Ivo Gormley set up Good Gym out of a ‘frustration with all the energy being wasted in gyms, lifting things that didn’t need lifting or running nowhere on a treadmill!’ His answer is to bring people together to do something useful which is better for everyone.

The idea behind Good Gym is beautifully simple. Instead of driving to a gym and exercising, why not run to visit an elderly person in your area and have a cup of tea with them instead? They also organise group events, from group runs to helping out with projects like gardening, clearing canal towpaths, anywhere in fact where a bit of extra muscle can help out. They already have projects across London and they’re planning to be in every city in the UK within two and a half years.

They cater for runners of all levels from beginners to ‘long distance missions’ for more accomplished athletes.


‘I dread to think of the amount of gyms I have joined in the course of the struggle to get myself fit. But I wish in those years I had known about GOOD GYM.’ John Bird

Good Gym has two great advantages to most gyms. First, it’s virtually cost free. Secondly, you don’t only improve your legs and belly, you help others.


Good Gym is a way of running past your gym and getting all the exercise getting fit and then reaching a destination.

The destination might be a scout hut where you help sort food for a foodline. Or it might be a disabled or old persons flat, where you will do their shopping, painting, cleaning, because they can’t.


Imagine! What a clever, all round way of helping yourself by helping others. What a bright spark it was that thought up that you combine your own needs with the needs of others.

And what bright spark also thought of doing it often in the company of 10, 20, maybe even hundreds of people like yourself who are also involved in some colossal bit of original thinking.


“Run Past the Gym” by joining Good Gym must be one of the brightest bits of brain waving I have heard in a long time. And I tell you what, if you continue taking this little weekly newsletter on your phone you’ll hear of loads more.

Words: John Bird.

Pictures: Good Gym