First impression and review of new fitness studio John Reed Fitness in Prenzlauer Berg.
That is the logo of the newest trend making its way into Berlin’s fitness scene. Their goal is to make your gym experience as different and unconventional as possible by mixing live music, fitness and design. Being a 21 year old student, living, working, studying, and training in Germany’s capital I thought I would check it out.
IF I HAD TO SUMMARIZE MY EXPERIENCE(S) INTO ONE WORD, IT WOULD BE “CONFUSING.” HERE’S WHY:
NO REAL CONCEPT
All I can say is that I wish I could have walked into this gym without any prior knowledge. At the entrance you are treated by two lion statues (kudos here, I definitely entered the gym feeling powerful and motivated) however things took a turn upon reaching the lobby. To the left are massive velvet couches that melt almost directly into the actual fitness area. Huge windows were dressed in impressive red velvet drapes and from the ceiling hung grand chandeliers. Now, you may think that I am an adjective enthusiast but anything less of these descriptors would just not be doing their design justice. If it had not been for the gym equipment, the decor would have just as easily fit into a strip club.
Unfortunately their interior designer lost touch of her vision at some point. Throughout the whole gym layout there seems to be a clear theme: loud, tremendous, statement-making, and maybe even a little sophisticated. That is until you reach the what I will refer to as the “booty room.” It looks that the missing gym from Barbie’s Malibu Dream House. Pink walls and pink equipment (all only geared towards training only the gluteus maximus muscle). Bookshelves filled with meaningless gold spray painted junk. It was borderline misogynistic.
But the lack of concept does not end here.
Going in, I was promised the soundtrack to a new movement. Well I would not call unbearably loud, genre-less music the soundtrack to any movement. While it was nice to be out in Prenzlauer Berg and not be forced to listen to only electro/techno music, the mixture of smooth R&B, pop, electro, trap, rap, and countless others, left me yearning for the repetitiveness of the hard, thumping base also referred to as techno music. While I love Justin Bieber, Fetty Wap, Beyonce, TLC, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Lady Gaga and Shawn Mendes just as much as the next central Jersey girl, I know that few of them belong together on the same playlist, much less can power me through a productive workout.
Even more so, the volume at which it was played made me wish I had a vodka-redbull in my hand and not a 5kg dumbbell. While loud music motivates the majority of us during our workouts, it’s also nice to be able to take out an earpiece and kindly ask the person training on the machine you’d like to use next how many reps they have left. One seems a bit too eager and aggressive when having to yell at that person in order to be heard over the deafening sounds coming from the DJ’s turntables.
I understand the whole concept of appealing to the masses, but sometimes it’s better to appeal just to a few at a lower volume.
HOWEVER, CONTRARY TO WHAT MY REVIEW MIGHT LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE, MY EXPERIENCE WAS NOT ALL NEGATIVE. I ACTUALLY HAD AN INTENSE WORKOUT, THAT HAD MUCH MORE POTENTIAL IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE TIME CONSTRAINT OF A LUNCH BREAK. AND THAT IS WHY I WILL CONTINUE THIS REVIEW AFTER MY SECOND VISIT NEXT WEEK.
Thank you for reading, and if you yourself have visited a John Reed location and would like to share your experience or have any questions, please just write me a comment.