Paddington, London

Paddington, it’s zone 1 London, and it’s mostly residential with a blend of shops and houses. Close to the leafy mews of Kensington, the perfect location and catchment area for a completely new type of fitness studio to open. “Retra were reimagining how gyms work with a new AV concept, they wanted to involve a lot of weights and racking systems that with the proximity of other businesses and homes, the owners had an added complication and needed to limit and isolate the noise that comes with heavy weight lifting and long opening hours” Sam Marsh MD explains “Retra required a unique design, fabrication and install service” something that Jigsaw was born to do.

The team behind Retra didn’t want the usual class based spaces here or row upon row of cardio equipment. With space at a premium and the busy lives of the members, their boutique gym concept was based around a 30 minute workout that fits with the members schedule, not vice versa. They had a vision “A client would walk-in and start at one station, complete the guided reps on screen and move to the next, and so on for 30 minute circuits of all stations set out that day.” RETRA’s mission was to get the population moving in a fun, fast and effective way, at an affordable price with the freedom to work out on your own schedule.

RETRA UK first approached commercial gym design experts and fabricators Jigsaw to work on the project in 2018, and took over a year to finalise and install. As with any new concept that’s never been tried before there were many iterations of the “Functional Fitness” model and adaptable gym layout to ensure all elements were correct and the gym could fulfil its unique mission… and at a safe volume.

With guidance and design from Jigsaw fitness Retra have created a new “functional fitness” model based on everyday movements. Pressing, pulling, jumping, moving, cycling, rowing, skiing, squatting or twisting all play their part in giving a full body workout using multiple muscle groups to build lean functional muscle. With use of the latest apparatus (supplied by Jigsaw) AV equipment and software, screens at each station give clients the guidance of which exercise to perform, supported by on-site qualified staff to motivate and mentor. 

Jigsaw provided the personalized touch creating bespoke, Retra branded equipment throughout the gym, laser cutting benches and racks to create a unique gym space unlike any other in the capital.

With custom engineering Jigsaw’s unique rack and mount design reduced decibel levels from above a harmful 120db down to a safe 80db. Saving Retra time and money, avoiding building regulation infringements prior to opening. A great achievement, one that hopefully won’t go unheard.

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