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Strong + Bendy Member Portraits

group fitness outdoor gym
grafitti artwork in our gym garden
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Personal Training sessions Hackney Wick

Strong + Bendy Member Portraits

By Rhian Cowburn (Studio Founder)

We commissioned the famous portrait artist Zabou to paint floor to ceiling portraits of our founding members.

Jas, John, Sarah, Tiff, Chloe and Jo were some of our first members – people who supported us when there was no fancy outdoor gym or cool equipment, just a temporary studio space and us trying to do something different in the fitness industry!
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Celebrating our customers will always be really important to us.

We find it upsetting that in other gyms and studios customers are celebrated on the basis of how much weight they lost or muscle they gained on or a ‘6 week challenge’.
It has become the norm to publish unflattering before and after pictures of customers in their underwear. I just want you to take a second to think about how wrong that is – judging a person based only on their external appearance, making exercise something untaken only to change your body.
We believe that to be damaging to people’s mental well being – the exact opposite of what exercise is capable of!
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Our portraits don’t just make Strong + Bendy a beautiful place to workout.

They are a peaceful protest against the fitness industry’s obsession with trying to make people think they need to change; encouraging people to believe that they have a ‘problem’ and that they can sell them the ‘solution’.
The decision to only feature a head, not a body, on the murals was deliberate – a focus on the fact we offer exercise that’s good for the mind, rather than focusing on changing your body.
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