Content brand of the week: Gymbox, the small gym that’s teaching fitness giants how to pop it and squat it


Another gym chain? Great! Another place to feel bad about my sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary choices!

Yes but this one is different. They produce content.

Are other gym brands not doing that?

Not so well. Gymbox is a London-based gym chain with a fast-paced blog and a heaving YouTube channel, as well as a social presence that’s busier than muscle beach on leg day.

I’m feeling the pump already.

Good! What we love about the Gymbox approach is the contrast between it and bigger brands like Fitness First, battling to stay relevant in an increasingly fragmented market. Seeing the success Gymbox has had using content really emphasises the value of becoming a publisher as a more effective way of positioning your brand. 

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Have we seen much content from Fitness First before?

Not really. So far most of its efforts have been through its e-newsletter and some 56(!) technique videos that were posted on their YouTube channel in March of this year.

56 sounds like a lot of videos.

It is, in fact it’s more than some of those videos have had views. None of the Fitness First content has garnered more than 200 views in the three months since it was uploaded.

So Gymbox is showing the big brands how it’s done, but a blog and a YouTube channel does not a publisher-brand make.

No, but it’s a good start. Gymbox has hired a writer with a journalistic background to keep its blog ticking over, bringing an editorial mindset to what could be fairly dull subject matter. The blog content places people at the centre of the story, meeting the members and finding out their motivations. After all who really wants to read another article about squatting techniques?

Not me! What is Gymbox doing on YouTube?

Fun content that conveys the chain’s quirky approach to fitness classes. This vid is our favourite, but there’s also a Rave Class video with 35,000 views and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Parcour viral (6,000).

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Makes the Fitness First efforts look a bit out-of-shape.

Indeed. The middle-ground gym chain has been struggling with the effects of the recession and the likes of Gymbox snapping at its heels, eating into its market share. To remedy this the brand has brought in the help of Olympian Victoria Pendleton as its figurehead and plans to spend £150million over the next three years to position itself as a market leader. We’ll be watching carefully to see how the big brand approaches this task and if content has a part to play.

I’m ready for my rub down.

Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media.

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