WHEN Aaron Chadda decided to open a new Southampton “gym with a difference” during lockdown his friends thought he was crazy.

But the 27-year-old was determined to follow his dream so the year long hunt to find a suitable premises for his new venture called One21 Fitness began.

He finally settled on a “semi-derelict” ground floor space in Waterloo Road, Freemantle, and that’s when the hard work began.

He already knew it was going to be no ordinary gym and while he set about the six week task of converting his new HQ into the state of the art fitness base his eyes turned to America.


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It was there that he sourced 20 pieces of top of the range gym equipment made by a company called Prime Fitness USA which all had to be imported.

Already a well-known figure on the city’s personal training scene, Aaron previously worked in a city gym for seven years. He then wanted to offer people something completely different in terms of personal training.

So instead of monthly or annual fees Aaron makes no membership charge and people only pay for their one to one personal training with him.

Daily Echo:

Aaron told the Daily Echo: “A lot of my friends thought I was crazy going ahead with the gym during lockdown.

"To be honest, I think they thought I was even more crazy when I showed them the place before it was done up!

“There was plaster falling off the walls, an uneven floor and it was overgrown with weeds at the back but it just felt right and I knew I could fit all the kit in.”

“Since I first took up personal training, I always had a dream of having my own gym but I didn’t want to replicate what was already out there.

“I wanted to offer Southampton something completely different – a private gym experience with one-to-one training so people can get the best out of their fitness regime.

“One of the main drawbacks with big commercial gyms is just how busy they are – don’t get me wrong it’s great to see people training and getting fit but it isn’t for everyone."

Aaron has a raft of personal training qualifications to his name and specialises in helping people who suffer from back pain and those who have suffered sporting injuries.

He also trains pre and post-natal mums and he is also a certified nutritionist.

Since restrictions were lifted last month he has been busy welcoming back clients to his Covid safe space and is looking forward to meeting new ones in the coming weeks.