Ninja Warrior-inspired gym offers a new type of training

Tom Harlow with gym users Jason Auld and Anna Carranza. Picture: Greg Macvean
Tom Harlow with gym users Jason Auld and Anna Carranza. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Ever been sat at home watching Ninja Warrior UK on the box and fancied giving it a go?

Now you can prepare for the almighty challenge thanks to Primal Gym, a new fitness centre offering a unique type of training.

Picture: Greg Macvean

Picture: Greg Macvean

The Ninja Warrior-inspired gym was a brainchild of former Lance Corporal Tom Harlow and friend Dougie Graham who wanted to step away from the stereotypical gym by swapping treadmills and bikes for cargo nets and monkey bars.

Tom, who left the army in 1998 after 12 years, including time in Iraq, said: “We are the only gym offering this in Edinburgh. People get into the same routine at the gym, whether that be weights or cardio. It can get boring after a while.

“We don’t have any treadmills or other machines you’d usually find in a gym.

“We take that away from members and, as an alternative, offer a range of classes and making it fun to work out.”

Taking inspiration from TV shows Ninja Warrior and Total Warrior, the gym has a number of physical activities including monkey bars and fitness rings.

With obstacle course events such as Tough Mudder becoming more popular by the year, the gym decided to focus attention on members of the public looking to train ahead of the events.

Tom said: “These events are growing each year with thousands of people taking part.

“However, in Edinburgh, there’s not really anywhere for them to train apart from outside. This leaves you very limited as to what you can provide.

“Primal Gym enables anyone to come along, no matter of their ability, to try our sessions all year round and get in condition.

The 49-year-old grandad of two is going to be hands on with the business, on West Bowling Green Street, alongside fellow partners Dougie and Jamie Davidson.

New members will also get taught through direct experience of Ninja Warrior itself with Ali Hay, who got to the finals of the UK version earlier this year.

He is also lined up to participate on the American version of the show in 2018, while Tom is hoping to tackle the UK version next year – it is on STV, presented by Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara.

The obstacle condition workouts, functional training and army boxing and fitness sessions are aimed to ready members to participate in the show, if they wish.

Since leaving the army Tom has been a personal trainer in the Capital and is hoping to use his past experience to help make Primal Gym a success.

He said: “We want people to enjoy their sessions rather than dread them. I have had clients as a personal trainer in a normal gym on the machines and they are really dull. We have had some great feedback so far on the workouts and the gym itself which is great to hear.

“The types of activities we have available really do offer something different to the people of Edinburgh and we’re looking forward to welcoming more members.”