Black-Owned Gym, Elite Evolution Is Battling to Stay in Hackney and Help Its Community

Hackney was a different place a decade ago. Back in 2010, the area was infamous for being the most deprived borough in London and the sixth most deprived local authority in the country. Back then, to outsiders at least, the mere mention of its name was enough to elicit looks of both sympathy and concern, which, given that it was home to a notorious stretch of road known as ‘murder mile’ and was synonymous with crime, violence and poverty isn’t any wonder. But gentrification works fast in the capital and just two years later, in 2012, the year The Olympic Games was held on Hackney’s doorstep, The Observer commented on how: “The area’s traditional demographic – white working class, Turkish, Asian and Afro-Caribbeans – increasingly share the space with newcomers, who attend arty happenings…and then go for some organic Sussex wine.”

Hackney’s transformation has accelerated in the years since, and the borough is now commended for its social mobility credentials, while the number of mums sipping on “flat whites, nibbling courgette cake and chatting as their kids fight over an abacus” – again witnessed by The Observer– has multiplied too. Like most areas, gentrification has brought positives and negatives, with the main negative in Hackney being that some of the community’s residents and businesses, good people who have been there all along, have been pushed out, while the liberal elite has been transported in. But whoever the borough has been home to, one business has stood firm and continues to offer a place for all local residents to train at affordable prices. Just as it has done since 2010.

When the word ‘black’ is associated with something positive, we should all shout about it

Owned by three born and bred Hackney boys, Afolabi Akinola, Joshua Oladimeji and Emeka Obanye, Elite Evolution is a black-owned gym. It’s important to say that because, as Oladimeji observes, the word black is associated with so many negative narratives, when it’s associated with something positive, we should all shout about it. And what could be more positive than three young, black entrepreneurs who for the past decade have successfully fought to keep their business in Hackney, while holding second jobs in education and the prison system, in order to serve the community that moulded them.

“I felt like it was our responsibility,” says Oladimeji. “We didn’t shy away from that, we believe that we needed to be positive, we needed to be out there and we needed to show that there’s a safe space for anybody to come in and feel like this is somewhere they can train, where they can work out and won’t be discriminated against. [And for trainers] they’re not thinking that they can’t go higher than being just a trainer. They can be managers. They can be owners.”

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Fitness Cross Trainer Review: The Vision Fitness Elite X6100 HR

Introduction:

There’s no denying that the fitness cross trainer is the hottest selling piece of exercise equipment on the market today. With their busy, modern lifestyles, most people don’t have the time to travel to a gym to work out. Recognising that staying fit is important, many have elected to work out at home, in private and at their own pace. These machines are a good choice for these people, because they provide a total body workout that maximises the time spent working out. Here’s a brief review of one we like quite a bit: the Vision Fitness Elite X6100 HR

Overall Rating:

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

Key Features:

The X6100 is a terrific value in a full-featured elliptical. With a durable, heavy-duty ECB-Plus™ motor-operated resistance system that delivers smooth, fluid operation and changes on demand with just the push of a button. We also like the easy to read, backlit blue LCD console that includes 5 programmes along with a scrolling message centre. This is a great elliptical for those who have limited space because the arms fold conveniently for easy storage.

Price: About £799.00

Product Description:

The Vision Fitness Elite X61 HR trainer has all the features you’d expect on a much more expensive machine. It provides plenty of feedback during your workout, including displaying heart rate, watts, time, speed, distance, RPM, calories, programme, level and profile. Watts, by the way, is a measure of power that helps you know how hard you’re working. It indicates the amount of energy you’re burning over time during your workout. For example, you’re exercising at a rate of 42 watts for 100 seconds, you’ve expended one calorie. A recent review in Health magazine raved:

This elliptical trainer is made of heavy-gauge steel and folds to less than 4 feet long, making it a nice fit for nearly any room…This is a solid, smooth, quiet unit. The simple-to-decipher console offers five program options…and three other types of workout feedback. The X6100 also has hand grips that detect your heart rate on contact and a reading rack in case you need a distraction.

Product Specifications:

Open dimensions: 201 long x 69 wide x 175 high (cm) (79 x 27 x 69 inches)

Folded dimensions: 107 long x 69 wide x 175 high (cm) (42 x 27 x 69 inches)

Boxed dimensions: 165 x 55 x 80 (cm)

Product weight: 90 kg (199 lbs)

Maximum user weight: 136kg (300 lbs)

Warranty: Lifetime frame and brake, 10 years parts, 5 years labour

Product Features:

5 programmes: Manual, interval, weight loss, mountain and constant watts

Stride length: 19.75″

Pedal arms: BIO-RADIUS™ folding

Pedals: Standard footplates

Flywheel: 24 lbs balanced

Transport wheels: Yes

Heart rate measurement: Hand grip pulse sensors and built-in Polar receiver

Drive train: QUIET-GLIDE™ super-silent poly-V belt

Resistance levels: 16

Power supply: Mains powered

Conclusion:

With an affordable price point and a bevy of desirable features, the Vision Fitness Elite X6100 HR fitness cross trainer is an excellent choice for beginners and experts …

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