On the 1st of September 2021, MDL Fitness opened its doors for the first time, so after a few months of finding their feet, we spoke to Tim Mayer, Director of Sales and Marketing to find out what it’s all about.
MDL Fitness is part of a larger corporation called MDL Marinas who own and operate 18 Marinas across the UK and 1 in Spain. MDL Marinas owns Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth which is where you will find
Tim Mayer’s vision of the future is clear, he wants to make people’s lives better which starts by protecting what we all live on; Earth. Tim began working in the Health and Fitness market in 2007, starting at a single site level and by 2019, became a national manager, looking after the commercial activity and digital transformation of over 200 locations. In 2017, Tim met Roger Eldergill from SA Green Fitness, a sustainable health and fitness company offering green solutions. Tim was looking into the idea of portable/temporary gyms that could be sustainable and dropped into low-income areas but plans were only
He made the move over to the Marina industry by the end of 2019 with exciting plans whereby sustainability and protecting the marine environment was at the forefront. In 2020, covid-19 fundamentally shifted the UK fitness industry giving an opportunity to those in a position to enter the market. The pandemic made everybody more inclined to take better care of their health which resulted in an influx of gym memberships. Surprisingly, in the UK, 90% of the population are not gym members therefore, keen to make the jump, he pitched his idea to the MDL board and was chuffed when the initial nod to explore the MDL fitness concept had the go-ahead. Soon after, he contacted Roger again and collectively, they pulled together the first design and it has since grown from there.
MDL are very fortunate to be managing 19 beautiful locations where they each deserve and need special consideration if we are to enjoy them in years to come. Whilst they are aware that virtually all the activities of the company, and that of their customers and tenants, have some impact on the environment, MDL is dedicated to environmental improvement. They are working with their berth holders, on-site businesses and supply chain in a bid to protect the natural beauty of the marina surroundings and the marine ecosystem, for the enjoyment of all. MDL Fitness is just one of those brilliant, forward-thinking ideas to help the planet.
Sustainable products and business sustainability is increasing dramatically in demand, particularly among millennials and the younger generation. Tim Mayer states, ‘One recent report revealed that certain categories of products with sustainability claims showed twice the growth of their traditional counterparts. In one recent survey, 65% said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, yet only about 26% actually do so. That is a challenge for all of us.’
Each of us can begin to make that journey to zero carbon with forward-thinking ideas and having the courage to do what Tim has done by putting a stake in the ground and hoping the rest of the industry follows suit.
Featuring the latest kit, including treadmills, bike machines, cross trainers, free weights, functional space and fixed resistance equipment, MDL Fitness has all you need for an exhilarating workout with the added bonus of an undisrupted view of the Plymouth Sound.
The environmental success of the gym comes down to the gym members and their workouts on SportsArt Eco-Powr equipment. By plugging in their new Eco-Powr treadmills, cross trainers and bicycles into a standard outlet, MDL Fitness will be able to send AC power generated by gym members back through the gym’s power grid to offset its energy consumption and reduce its carbon footprint. By working out on an Eco-Powr treadmill for an hour, twice a week for a year, it’s possible to create a CO2 emission offset equivalent to 62 lbs of coal burned, 138 miles driven in a car or 7,197 smartphones charged!
OM Plymouth Magazine – “With 18 marinas in the UK, why have you chosen Plymouth to house
Tim Mayer – “Plymouth is a very green city with ambitious plans, and Plymouth Sound is one of the world’s most important and visually stunning natural harbours. It has multiple designations for protected habitats and supports over 1,000 species of fish and other marine animal life. It is also the location where we launched the UK’s first-ever Green Tech Boat Show!”
The first few months have been very successful for MDL Fitness. Their members are truly in love with the state-of-the-art gym and its view over the ocean. This aspect offers one of, if not the best views to work out from on the planet. To be able to work out and watch the boats go by, in itself, is very special. It also gives the members a sense of fulfilment knowing they are helping to protect the environment whilst taking care of their own bodies.
Not only are their cardio machines sustainable, there are other elements to the gym that are also environmentally friendly. The flooring has been made from recycled tyres, the ventilation system has heat recovery making it more energy-efficient and the gym furniture comes from a sustainable source.
The UK’s climate mission is ambitious, and MDL are in full support of it as they continue their journey to becoming the UK’s most sustainable marina group. They have already made some improvements to their marinas by installing 1,000 solar panels on 5 of their marina buildings, they also have a 100% zero waste to landfill policy, they are helping to replenish the Solent’s oyster population and converting their existing petrol/diesel workboats to fully electric or hybrid propulsion. They have also just announced that they will be the first UK marina group to offer an electric boat charging solution across their marinas!
Whether you’re new to the gym or fancy a change from your own gym, MDL Fitness is there for everyone to enjoy, no matter your experience. They have a fitness manager and qualified personal trainers on hand to give you any advice or to motivate you in one of their group cycling classes. Users of the gym will be able to track their progress and energy production against local and global leader boards through a specialist wellness App called
SportsArt is the only manufacturer offering fitness machines that recover energy expended by the user. Using this equipment gives MDL a green competitive advantage over other suppliers and they plan to extend this project beyond Plymouth by creating further MDL Fitness sites using the SportsArt Eco-Powr equipment in 2022.
Tim wishes that all of the big operators move away from the comfortable brands we all know and start talking to the change-makers such as SA Green Fitness more seriously. He has noticed an unhealthy pattern whereby the independent businesses are more likely to make the change while big operators choose to ignore the option of becoming more sustainable.
MDL Fitness is all about making fitness sustainable and as straightforward as possible. They want to be able to help people appreciate new environments they may not have been lucky enough to experience before and ensure they’re open to people, no matter their personal circumstances.
There is a membership option to suit everyone! You can pay for a day, a month or a year with prices from as little as 69p per day. If you want to try the gym for yourself, please go to www.mdlfitness.co.uk click on ‘Day Pass’ and add the coupon FREEDAYPASS. If you love it and want to get started straight away, readers of the magazine can get a £0 joining fee by simply adding in the code JOIN4FREE.