Since it opened in 2011, 98 Gym has functioned as a personal training studio and 24-hour gym capped at 98 members, most of whom were celebrities. Now owner Chris Feather has rolled out a program of group strength and conditioning classes for a maximum of 15 people: GPP (General Preparedness); ESD (Energy System Development); and STR (Strength, Power, Endurance).
“There are a lot of very general fitness classes out there,” says Feather. “People are getting to the point where they have this a level of fitness but they want to push it and get even stronger.”
Feather is an ex-professional rugby league player and employs a team of former professional and top-level athletes and trainers with military backgrounds. He is also one of 20 certified Gym Jones instructors worldwide – a Utah-based gym notorious for its challenging workouts and emphasis on mental toughness. He drew on this knowledge and his “elite training philosophy” to create the new classes, which have been designed to reflect a personal training session, but in a group setting. “It’s exactly like if you had myself or one of the guys as a personal trainer and you said I want to get stronger, we’d put you on a program and we’d monitor it. The only difference is that it’s in a class situation.”
GPP is a mixed session that targets different elements of fitness. STR is a twice-weekly strength-based session that alternates between upper and lower body incorporating exercises such as overhead press, pull-ups, back squats and Romanian deadlifts. ESD sessions focus on interval training.
Feather laughs when asked about the FYF class. “[Gym Jones] always had a session at the end of the week called ‘Fuck You Friday’. You’d come in and go for your life, just give everything you’d got in the tank after a full week of training. I loved it, absolutely loved it, so I started implementing it here.”
The classes are held in the cavernous multipurpose room, and the grungy, dark vibe of the space exudes a no BS attitude. Feather knocked down several walls to create the exercise area and introduced a variety of new equipment.