Fitness turns green

The room flourished like a piece of nature on the tarmac of West London, beneath a railway line, among the sometimes greasy stalls of a colorful market. The new Terra Hale Gymnastics Club in the Shepherd’s Bush neighborhood cultivates an atmosphere of calm and greenery. The walls are made of reclaimed construction wood, the space sprinkled with plants. Like a breath of fresh air, which its founder, Michal Homola, wanted to rediscover: ” When I was younger in Slovakia, I did a lot of snowboarding. I had a real bond with nature … ”

Terra Hale means “strong land” in Latin and Old English. Here, as soon as you enter, your plastic bottle will be confiscated: the restaurant offers metal and wooden water bottles. Yoga mats, plates, toilet paper, vintage watches from the former Soviet empire, everything is organic, recyclable or reclaimed. It doesn’t matter if the rowers had to cross the Atlantic from Canada, their wood comes from forests that are renewed with each cut of the tree. As for the seven stationary bikes, they don’t count calories but the energy produced by athletes. These 1,500 to 3,300 watts produced in each field (enough to power a computer for a day) provide electricity to the room during operation.

Unable to store it, the rest of the generated energy joins the general grid, while Terra Hale uses a “green” supplier of wind power. A treadmill, the first machine of its kind in Europe, will soon be added to production.

Soon in France

This green conscience has a price: 160 € for 10 lessons in two months. More expensive than the neighborhood sports club, less than most luxury clubs. Not enough to scare sportsmen: with its two existing rooms (also ecological, but not energetic), Terra Hale has nearly 200 regulars in London. And the “green” philosophy does not prevent party wishes: the founder wants to bring a DJ every week. Nor does it prohibit ambition. Michal Homola does not want to disclose the amount of his investment (” high, in money and time ” ), or its profit target. But it is already discussing with investors to open other gyms on the same model, all over the world. In France ? The company manager smiles: Perhaps. ”


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