Pupil is now running his own outdoor gym
Elizabeth Banner, Alumni and Development Manager

Sam had a passion for cars and had always planned to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps to one day own his own car dealership. But, after he started his first job as a trainee salesman, he soon realised this was not the career for him. What he did know though was that he still wanted to own his own business.

Cargo Gym Sam Parish Eastbourne Bede's Alumni

‘It was a strange period when the goals I had previously seen for years just disappeared. But it also helped me recognise it is fine to have long terms goals but you have to realise that you might not reach them the way you imagined. For me, I used my other passion - exercise - and it was lockdown that first gave me the idea and motivation to start the outdoor gym.

The idea original came about through necessity; during lockdown, when restrictions allowed, several of us used our back gardens to run our own exercise classes with importantly a meal and an opportunity to socialise after. It was in this time that the first seeds for Cargo were planted; there must be others out there that want this more social and outdoor experience from their workout.’

Lockdown would on the surface seem like a strange time to open a gym and while there have been some challenges, Sam believes that as a result of lockdown there is a new wave of exercising with micro gyms and smaller boutique fitness classes becoming increasingly popular. People no longer want to be inside breathing in the same air and sweat as 30 other people. 

Lockdown has also shown how important it is for us to socialise with others for our mental health and wellbeing. Sam believes that Cargo is in the perfect position for this with small social classes outdoors with community at the heart of the gym.

‘When it comes to fitness there is a lot of fear and misunderstanding but there doesn’t have to be’  Sam and Cargo Gym insist. 

Cargo Gym Sam Parish Eastbourne with MP Caroline Ansell

So, what is Cargo Gym?

The name Cargo Gym comes from the simple fact the gym is based out of a converted shipping container and is located in the Saffrons Sports Ground in Eastbourne. 

The aim is to get everyone moving and to “find their fit”. Sam and Cargo Gym run outdoor exercise classes for 45 minutes per session to a maximum of 10 people. Classes include beginner, cardio and strength classes.

For Sam, it is so important for his gym to be a community and social place where people enjoy working out, whilst also achieving their goals and learning about exercise from correct form to the benefits of keeping fit. Not only that, the outdoor gym has less impact on the environment (the average treadmill uses 700 watts which is the same as 50 compact fluorescent light bulbs). There are also of course all the benefits that come with exercising outside from burning more calories (you can burn 600 calories in one class), more vitamin D, serotonin and endorphins and also reducing the risk of serious illness. The 5-star reviews back this up!  

Sam says: ‘On average people spend 22 hours a day indoors which we are not designed to do. It is important to get back to nature. After all a bit of rain never hurt anyone (don’t worry though we do have an outdoor shelter to keep most the rain off you while you exercise). Exercising outdoors is also great for your mental health; reducing stress, improving self-esteem and more.’ 

So what does the future hold?

‘Cargo Gym has only been open since the 29th of March this year, so we are still definitely the newbies in the industry and have a long way to go. I have to keep reminding myself of this as I have bold plans for Cargo to become the biggest boutique fitness studio franchise in the UK and along the way start our own charity to help those less fortunate than ourselves. But for now, I am not getting ahead of myself so am just fully focused on building strong foundations in Eastbourne.’

We wish Sam and Cargo Gym all the best and if you want to find out more, have a look at the website, its full of information!


Cargo Gym logo Eastbourne