“Making health a lifestyle, quite than a chore” – Sheffield boutique well being membership has a powerful mission centered round it


Located on the site of the former Napoleons Casino on Ecclesall Road, the luxury boutique gym called Box Bare has stunning interiors with an array of vibrant lighting and decals, in keeping with its glitzy predecessor.

But it’s not just the gym that has a luxurious approach.

The changing rooms are outfitted with beautiful decor, incredible lighting, and some of the best self-care products on the market, including GHD hairdryers and straighteners, plus high-quality hair products and towels.

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Box Barre gyms in Sheffield. Changing rooms for women. Image: Chris Etchells

Talented designer and businesswoman Sophie Whittham, 32, is the brains behind this one-of-a-kind gym that offers a combination of boxing and barre classes.

Sophie said, “I travel all over the world and spend a lot of time in the US; There are a lot of these boutique workout gyms out there, boxing or barre, everything is exercise specific while there isn’t really much here, especially in Sheffield.

“There is only one type of boutique treadmill-based fitness workout; If you wanted to train like a boxer without actually being one, there isn’t much to choose from. Although Sheffield has such a rich boxing history with Prince Naseem, Johnny Nelson, Kell Brook and all these others, there isn’t anything for ordinary people to box to, it’s more the fitness side.

Barre workouts are a mix of ballet, Pilates and yoga – at Box Barre the lessons are based on the traditional ballet discipline, with the aim of toning, shaping, lengthening and strengthening the muscles.

Box Barre gym in Sheffield. Image: Chris Etchells

On the ethos of the gym, Sophie added, “The whole idea and mission of Box Barre is to make fitness a lifestyle rather than a chore. It’s about wanting to quit work to do a workout, or want to get up an hour early to start the day with an insane workout with cool music, meet friends, take a nice shower, fresh juice order.

“It’s all this investing in yourself that people have realized is important. So many people go to the gym and don’t go. This is for these people, but eliminating all reasons why they don’t go; usually the faceless machines. There are no electronically operated machines here.

“This is more about the social element, and fitness is a by-product of that. The workouts you do are very result oriented. You can kind of monitor your progress because you will quickly find that after four or five weeks of doing a few boxes a week, when you hit the sack, you will hear that your punches are improving your power improves.

“Even with the pole, you know when you can make a plie deeper if you can hold it longer. There are always little things while in machine-based workouts you are completely guided by the machine, so run at the speed the treadmill tells you so that you are never in control of your own workout. “It’s kind of old-school training, but in a new-age environment.”

Box Barre gyms in Sheffield. Punching bags. Image: Chris Etchells

Sophie from Sharrowvale, Sheffield is also the director of Fight Label – a fashion design company that specializes in making luxury boxing clothing.

Her client list includes some of the biggest names in boxing including Floyd Mayweather, Anthony Joshua, Katie Taylor, Canelo Alvarez, Sheffield’s Kell Brook, and many others.

Speaking of Fight Label, Sophie said, “We’re very customer focused, and that’s exactly what I want Box Barre to do. If a fighter comes to me and wants purple snakeskin shorts with pink spots, we can probably do that, and if the material doesn’t exist we will make it. There is no limit. Whatever your wildest design that comes to mind, we will make it. The ethos behind Fight Label is that we make your dreams come true; there are no limits so that you can be as creative as you want. “

Gyms and indoor leisure centers were given the green light to fully reopen their facilities on Dec.

Box Barre gyms in Sheffield. Pictured is Sophie Whittam. Image: Chris Etchells

“We’re really looking forward to the class,” said Sophie. “We have three different types of plans for every boxing workout, so we have a Signature, a Sweat, and a Sculpt and Power class. Signature classes are your entire full-body full-body workout, sweat classes are more based on cardio-HIIT, i.e. shorter laps, faster repetitions, lighter weights, and then the sculpt and power classes are aimed at your endurance and your stamina building as the laps kind of get longer and the exercises get harder.

“We’re not targeting beginners, intermediate or advanced, but what you want to get out of the workout. So if you want a full body workout, choose a signature workout; a sweat session if you want to build a waist and focus on it To tone up a waist and improve on that side, go to a modeling session, the exercises are done regardless of your skill level, so you can do it as hard or as easy as you want.

She added, “There is something for everyone. If you’ve been on a bag next to a professional fighter, it doesn’t matter; They’d both hit the same punch. Your work rate could be better than yours if you are learning what you are doing and want to keep improving your technique. It all depends on you and what you want from it. “

Gyms, indoor leisure centers and indoor swimming pools have all been given the green light to open their facilities as part of the second phase of the roadmap plan outside of the lockdown.

During the national lockdown across England, gym goers and owners focused heavily on the mental health aspect of exercising in the gym, and many urged the government to prioritize opening gyms in an effort to stop the country’s physical and mental health from deteriorating .

Sophie said, “My mental health has suffered massively after I built this up and then was unable to open up and the pressures that came with it and that I had to keep changing your offerings to meet the restrictions and instructions of the Government and all of those things to follow. Yes, it was a really stressful time.

Box Barre gym in Sheffield. Pictured is owner Sophie Whittam. Image: Chris Etchells

“I think the basic health side of things; First, people suffered from being unable to socialize, so this is being combated. You can exercise with your friends and there is some security in doing the exercise together when you are not alone. It’s also, to some extent, like personal training, as our courses are limited to just 14 people per class, so you essentially get an hour with a fully qualified PT who is a specialist in boxing or parallel bars, and that’s pretty much seldom thing. They can help you through the session because ultimately they are helping you and delivering the exercises, they are there to make sure you are doing them correctly.

“The other thing is that we’re all fed up with star jumps in our living room and garden. We want to go back to the gym, but we also don’t want to just sign up for a gym membership and never leave, so it’s that mental wellbeing to think I’m going to the right place to do the right thing, that’s right for me.”

Hoping to launch Box Barre nationally and globally, the 32-year-old is also keen to create a new line of clothing with a luxury approach that will appeal to the general public.

She said, “I’ve never known a gym that just combines boxing and bars as a whole. People have replaced going out for a drink or exercising, and people are choosing to spend their income on improving their health and fitness.

“People don’t like the treadmill, they don’t want to run, they want to do something else for their fitness. This is fighting that, and I think it will be exciting to get more of this out on the market once this one gets going.

“Regarding other plans for the fight label, we kind of got the boxing done. We work with Canelo, Anthony Joshua, Golovkin, Mayweather, which is super exciting, but at the same time, where do we go from there?

“My plan is to bring a range of clothing onto the market that is more geared towards the general public, like tracksuits and t-shirts on a luxury level, more like the fitness clothing you can find at Selfridges or Harvey Nichols.”

In addition to fitness classes, Box Barre offers a range of refreshments and clothing. They sell protein shakes, smoothie bowls, and juice drinks, as well as a range of sportswear and boxing gloves if you need some for your boxing class.

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The Sheffield Drawing Challenge receives contributions from Romania and IranBox Barre gyms in Sheffield. Men’s changing rooms. Image: Chris Etchells