Brixton Street Gym is a gym and community centre based in Brixton.
Located off a side street of Southwyck House block, it is a fitness centre like no other.
Based in a reclaimed one-storey warehouse building and an outdoor carpark-like area with bright, street art-style décor on the walls.
Far more important is what happens outside. On the asphalt, part-under cover for when South London’s weather is doing its worst, is a host of gym equipment: pull up and parallel bars, weights, mats, a vaulting horse.
To a throbbing, bassy sound system, fit young guys and girls are pumping, pounding and gymnasticking their way around.
Like a circus ringmaster, shouting encouragement and advice to this tough looking crew, beams a tall, musclebound gent with a straggly beard an infectious smile. Dark-skinned, warm-eyed, charisma unbound: Terroll.
Now 25, Terroll is a proponent of what’s known as calisthenics – an exercise regime where you use your own bodyweight to work out. No fancy cross trainers, weights on pulleys or running machines. The concept’s been around for years, but Terroll’s twist is to do it outdoors, on the council estates of London.
That’s what I love about Block WorkOut: it brings people together from different backgrounds, different religions, colours, areas.”
I suggest that’s the opposite to the small-minded gang culture he’s come from. But he responds: “No. What we’ve done here is created a new gang. But it’s a good gang that brings people together.”
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