City Slickers Part Two

City Athletic is London’s very own high end sports and performance gym. Having open in December last year many high profiles sports teams and individuals have already been seen taking advantage of their range of state of the art equipment and top level coaches.

In the second of a two part feature, we pick the brains of Director and WBFF World Fitness Champion, Shaun Stafford…

Free weights are a cornerstone of many gyms, why are they so important?
We use a lot of free weights because they are functional, multi-purpose (great when you don’t have acres of space), and they get you results for your clients and members. Even our cardio area has a weights based element to it, sleds, ropes and bags sit on a designated two lane sprint track. It gives the members a variety of options and is more fun that hitting a bike or treadmill.

How much of the gym floor at City Athletic do you devote to free weights?
We have over 50 pieces of kit in the gym and 20% of them are cardio. In terms of the space, I would say it is 70-80% free-weights, resistance and functional zones.

Could PTs be doing more to encourage the use of free weights?
In general, I think PTs do a very good job at encouraging people into the weights room. I think if you take a member who doesn’t have a PT vs. one who does, the one who has a PT will be more often found in the weights room.

Could PTs be doing more from a general training point of view? Variety of training etc…
I think with any profession you get good ambassadors and bad ambassadors. A lot of publicity is given to bad PTs whereas I feel the good work and positive impact they have is often overlooked.

What’s your background in the industry? How long have you been involved etc…
I have been a trainer for over 10 years, working with everybody from professional sports teams to city workers. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to open my own facility (and I have been lucky enough to do it with my best friend and business partner Ben Claypole). Ben has been doing this for even longer than me, so we compliment each other well when it comes to the business.

What is the key to your training regime, how do you train – frequency/equipment etc…?
I train with weights pretty much 4-6 times a week and compete as a physique competitor with The WBFF. My training process is quite complicated as I change my programs every 4-6 weeks. If anybody is interested in exactly how I train, please visit my Facebook page, Shaun Stafford Fitness (

Is there anyone in the industry that you admire/look up to?
There are a lot of good coaches and trainers who are not well known who inspire me on a daily basis. Anyone who is passionate about what they do, and strives to be the best version of themselves, will definitely earn my admiration.

To find out more about City Athletic then visit their website If you’d like to know more our range of free weights then make sure you order the 2013 Escape Fitness brochure today!


Opening Times

Mon- Fri 6.30am-9pm
Saturday- 10am-6pm
Excluding Bank Holidays

Contact info

City Athletic @ Sweatshop
6 Trump Street, London EC2V 8AF
020 7710 9231