Hub, Everybody’s Gym – by owner Claire

Hub, Everybody’s Gym……. This wasn’t just a strap line that we came up with because it sounded and looked good for Branding – it says everything about the environment and approach that we wanted to embed into the community and the way in which we live our lives.  It has been a few years now since Hub Everybody’s Gym was born and the time seems right to review how things have gone and what comes next.

Some people will say that when striving to achieve a successful business Customer Service is the priority and others will say it is the Team that is important.  For me I fail to see how you can deliver one without the other and whilst it has taken a good many years to find the right ingredient for a great team, I truly feel that we now have the best and most talented Hub Family possible to achieve.

Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves of the Hub Team

  • Claire Laura–  Owner,  Personal Trainer & Class Instructor
  • Linda Probert – Member of the Management team and lover of all things #Hublife
  •  James Grogan – Head CrossFit Coach, Athlete, Personal Trainer, British Weightlifting Coach and Chalk enthusiast
  • Aimee Schools– Hub Trainee Assistant Manager and could be considered a Ballet Barre task master by many.
  •  James Allen – Fitness & Gym Instructor who has been with us from his first day as an Apprentice to someone who consumes every opportunity to learn & improve
  •  Charlie James – Gym Instructor, Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Coach with training delivered in a way that would be hard for anyone to replicate
  • Maddie Fry– CrossFit Coach, Athlete, Gymnastics Coach and Gymnastics Champion
  • Kyla Probert – Our youngest member of the team and an invaluable CrossFit Kids coach
  • Rakan Sabbah– Gym Instructor & PT for whom there is never a dull moment in is presence
  • Sarah Matyjasik – Newest member of the Team for whom you will long forget you cannot pronounce her surname correctly when she is putting you through a PT session
  • Jeff Nutt – lovingly referred to as Jeff Mutt by the Transformation Ladies – PT extraordinaire and true master of his profession
  • Jane Lewis – Sales, Marketing & Information, hugely important to us
  • Abi Slee– Gym Instructor, the longest serving member of the team and greatly respected by us and her clients
  • Mike Varney & Steve Gillingham– Spinning Masters, remembered not just for their excellent classes but the kind of lycra outfits that only a very brave man would wear who was totally comfortable in their skin
  •  James St Leger – CrossFit Coach, Athlete, Physique Master Trainer and very talented individual
  •  Andy Cleeves – Gym, Martial Arts Instructor and Personal Trainer with accolades too numerous to mention in the world of Martial Arts

My desire has been to create something that appeals to everyone and that is one of the reasons why we doubled in size 18 months ago by opening CrossFit Portishead & building a combat zone.  The CrossFit Box is an extension of the Hub, whilst they may be run in different ways with different membership structures we remain a Hub of fitness enthusiasts.  Many members have become enthusiasts of both options by taking out a dual membership, which whilst not an approach for the majority, truly epitomises the approach I was looking to provide.

When I think of you, our Hub members (Hubbers), I could not be prouder of your achievements; some have joined a Ladies Transformation having never stepped into a gym before and are now hardcore members and supporters, we have champions of many varieties – Bodybuilding, CrossFit, Martial Arts, Pole Gymnastics, but most importantly our members support any and all Charity events – Thank you!

In recent weeks there has been some feedback from a very small minority that set me thinking and really prompted this blog.  As a result of that feedback & the ensuing conversations now is a great opportunity to be clear that by providing a gym, studio, high- low-medium impact classes, spin, yoga, martial arts, CrossFit, weightlifting, PT, kids classes & events, all under one roof, means it is Everybody’s Gym – there is no divide between our Gym environment or a CrossFit Box other than it represents an individual spending time doing whatever makes them happy.  Doing what makes you happy should never be to the detriment of someone else’s happiness and therefore we will not tolerate any behaviour that causes another to feel uncomfortable (This is not a swipe at Mike & Steve’s lycra, we all just have to put up with that).

There will be times when there is a lot going on in the gym in the different areas, it might be noisy, it might be too cold for some and too hot for others, you might love the music playing at the time, or you might not, you might have to wait at reception for 30 seconds whilst the receptionist takes a quick comfort break or is refilling the blue towel holder, before hot footing it back to let you in, your favourite instructor might be on holiday or sick, the toilet paper might run out, your favourite piece of equipment might be ‘busy’ or you might not be able to use an area because we are coaching kids – the Stars of tomorrow, but I can guarantee you that myself & the Hub team spend every moment trying to meet your requirements and ensure you are getting value for money.

So what comes next you may ask – well I will continue to reinvest where appropriate, I will continue to ensure that myself & the team remain up to speed on all the latest elements of Fitness & Health, I will continue to evolve the Timetable as & when it needs it, I will keep any areas that start to get shabby spruced up, I will continue to worry about the studio flooding if the rain falls in a particular way, I will continue to keep those toilets bleached to within an inch of their lives and I will never implement a Joining or an Admin fee.  Portishead is where it began for us and where we endeavour to remain a driving force, there are plans for a second gym in Chepstow (mainly because my Mum keeps moaning that Portishead is too far now) and we keep our fingers crossed that all goes according to plan for that one.  Who knows maybe The Hub will go Worldwide (then there will be nothing for Mum to moan about when she is on her holidays).

I have one ask of you please if you can…….if you have never tried CrossFit perhaps give it a go, just once, if you have only ever been a Cross Fitter consider doing a class with Charlie or Rakan or myself – who knows you might like it.

I leave you with one photo that I believe sums it all up nicely – 3 generations, one roof, one goal –Everybody’s Gym


Claire and the Hub Team

Team Scammell…..



Flexibility v Mobility – Charlie James explains….


Flexibility v Mobility – What’s the difference?   Charlie James explains….


Muscle, strength, endurance, fat loss; those are the most common terms we associate fitness with. But there’s an important component to fitness that isn’t openly discussed as much. It’s called mobility.

Surprisingly, many people mistake mobility and flexibility as being “one in the same.” In other words, they feel that if they’re flexible, they must have ample mobility (and vice versa). This couldn’t be further from the truth.


Flexibility and mobility: What’s the difference?

Flexibility is the ability to take a joint through a range of motion passively. For example, if someone takes you through a hamstring stretch whilst you are lying on your back, it is a test of your hamstring flexibility. They are passively assisting you in taking your joint through its range of motion.

Mobility is the ability to move a joint or series of joints through a range of motion and allows a perfect interaction with muscles, joints and the central nervous system. This means you don’t only try to passively increase a range of motion like for flexibility but instead work with exercises which move your joints actively, while improving strength at the same time.

Most people don’t understand that flexibility won’t help you to stay free of injuries or fix a mobility problem. The reason is passive flexibility movements won’t improve your range of motion. it’s very important for our body to be able to move actively and free and for that reason you need mobility training.


What happens to your body when your mobility is bad?

If a joint works only in a specific part of a motion the unused parts get kind of rusty. That means that an even distribution of pressure over the the full range of motion is necessary to supply your joints in an optimal way. The articular surface will wear out much faster if the joint only gets moved in a small range and the pressure is applied to the same few areas. If your muscles and their neural control are used to work in a certain range of motion they can stabalize the joints, much worse when the range of motion gets wide, so it can lead to injuries if you suddenly reach an unusual range of motion in your training. Your muscles also adapt to a bad functionality of a joint which may lead to musclar knots, in turn they can lead to impact you joints which creates a vicous circle.


You could say that flow forces and motion sequence, don’t fit together with missing mobility impaired muscles and that’s why your joints can wear out faster, your muscles and central nervous system can’t work like they should and the risk of injury increases due to a modified perception.

You should definitly not underestimate the benifits of mobility training which can also be intergratted into your warm up, training  and as separate sessions on an off day.

This is not to say that flexibility is not important. As you can see, they are pretty similar, important and neither is better than the other. Often they will complement each other.  We need to have a passive range of motion through our joints in order to be able to have the active range.


Mobility and stretching can be built into your workouts in three unique ways.

The key is to spend time working on the areas of your body that need it most, rather than just doing random stretches and drills. Begin to assess your individual movement patterns  to find restricted areas while also spending time on mobility exploration to determine your individual needs. This means goes through mobility drills to ascertain which areas are restricted. This will begin to fill in your personal movement profile and what is limiting it.


System #1 – The Classic Approach to Stretching

  • Before workout – Warm up
  • Workout – Full range of motion exercises
  • After Workout – Static stretching

Static stretching should not be used before workouts as it is actually linked to lower power output, reduced endurance, and high risk of injury. Dynamic stretching has had much better results opening the joints and muscles up to their current limits but without the negative side effects. Dynamic stretching will not often result in large mobility gains, and therefore should be reserved as a warm-up.


System #2 – Integrated Training

  • Before workout – Dynamic stretching, self-myofascial release (aka foam rolling)
  • Workout – Mix power and strength training with mobility exercises as supersets
  • After Workout – PNF, active isolated stretching, and static stretching


System #3 – Mobility Training Sessions

  • Spend ten minutes to two hours stretching and mobilizing

Example: Squat mobility workout

Warm-up – 2x10m walking knee pulls, walking quad stretch, walking figure four, walking lunges and walking leg kick.


  • Then perform 15x arm circles forwards and backwards, and 15x squat jumps.
  • Spend 3 minutes in a deep squat working on good form, use assistance if needed.
  • Foam roll thoracic spine for 2 minutes.
  • Spend 3 more minutes in a deep squat.
  • Foam roll hip flexors, or use a tennis ball to perform self-myofascial release.
  • 4×8 bodyweight squats working on good form and full depth
  • Foam roll IT bands, and calves.
  • 4×5 kettlebell goblet squats focusing on upright torso.
  • Then spend 3 more minutes in a deep squat.




Spending dedicated time to mobility and stretching will pay dividends in the long term, allowing you to train more effectively and have reduced risk of injury. Always remember to keep within your personal threshold and that it is possible to overstretch in a workout. Your focus should be optimal movement patterns, and full range of motion for all your joints. Specific range of motion will be body specific to your makeup, and the goal is efficient movement, not to win a stretching competition.  Go out and spend some quality time taking care of your body and it will thank you for years to come.