Sandra Bohling

Owner / General Manager

IWD 2024
DTB Trail - short

The Shredquarters Twickenham is a boutique gym based in Twickenham. We are a functional fitness gym based on a class-based concept where experienced personal trainers design and lead all the group classes. Our membership base is over 70% female. Women appreciate both the community created by a class-based gym and also enjoy being told what to do and how to do it in a gym environment. We are very inclusive and offer an encouraging and supportive environment regardless of fitness level.

I took early retirement having had a 35-year career in the advertising industry, where I held board level positions. I quickly discovered that spending all day playing tennis or golf, was not fulfilling enough and gave me no purpose or direction.

What made you start your business or embark on your particular career?
I am very sporty and fit for my age and have a son who is a personal trainer so opening a gym franchise represented a wonderful opportunity to build a family business.

I have been fortunate to work in industries where I do not feel my gender has had much impact. Many women held middle management roles in advertising in the 80s, but by the early 2000s there were also many women in leadership roles.

I was the first (of many) women to be promoted to the board of one of the agencies I worked for. It was a little more challenging to reach this level as a woman, but I feel I was at the start of women being seen as 100% equal in the advertising industry. I am sure this helped give me the confidence to run my own businesses going forward.

Much of the gym industry may be perceived as being very masculine, particularly at a senior level, which can be off-putting for many women who are intimidated by the gym environment.

Our membership base is 70%+ female with ages ranging from 24-64. As a middle-aged woman myself, I hope to lead by example for our members. The longer we stay active and exercise the fitter, stronger and healthier we will remain. I regularly take part in our classes alongside our members and still do a pretty good job of keeping up.

Because many women feel intimidated and often a little lost in a gym, our classes are designed to make everyone feel at ease. All of our classes can be adjusted to fit with everyone’s individual fitness level and around half of our new members are complete beginners when they first join us.

One area that makes us a little different to other gyms is our strength training (LIFT classes). As these are slower paced and focus on technique and building strength, they are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. For women in particular, the risk of osteoporosis increases with age. Our strength training builds bone strength as well as muscle strength and joint flexibility. These classes are particularly popular with women, regardless of age.

It has actually been the men in my life that have inspired me to push the boundaries and be whatever I wanted to be. My late father, my late husband, one of my CEOs in the advertising industry and my two sons have all helped me believe in myself. They have all treated women as equals and have supported me in all my endeavours. I grew up with two brothers (and no sisters) and went on to have two sons. I have lived in male dominated households, but never felt unequal as a woman.

Sandra Bohling