Get Smart with Smart Gym Glasgow – the low-cost family gym in Glasgow

One of our most amazing finds with KidLocale so far has been Smart Gym Glasgow. Everytime I’ve posted on social media about this, I’ve had numerous comments about how much of a great idea this is and will really help families get back into fitness. I’m definitely going to be joining over the coming weeks!

Dean provided us with more information about Smart Gym – the affordable family-friendly gym in Glasgow and why he is on a mission to make wellness accessible and affordable for every family.

Launching in The Wedge, Glasgow, in March 2022, they provide innovative and affordable wellbeing services to hundreds of families from all across Greater Glasgow due to the unique nature of their services. The inspiration behind the social enterprise stemmed from founder, Dean Hardie’s, personal struggles with mental health following the birth of his first child, and the absence of affordable gyms with crèche facilities.

Why did Dean start Smart Gym?

Dean said: “Our children are watching everything we do, and we know that our mental health has a serious impact on them. For example Stanford medicine estimates the heritability of depression to 40-50%. I really struggled with becoming a dad. Postnatal depression isn’t something people normally associate with men but 1 in 10 new dads are affected by it. It is more prevalent in women, with 1 in 5 new mums being affected. We both had it, my partner and I. I was prescribed antidepressants which helped a bit but the side effects were debilitating. I needed exercise back in my life so I decided I would find a cheap gym with a creche so that someone could look after my baby whilst I worked out. It didn’t even occur to me that there might not be one, I just assumed there would be. I was wrong. The frustration of this settled into curiosity which grew into an obsession which evolved into Smart Gym – Glasgow’s affordable, family-friendly gym.”

Smart Gym is the only the low-cost gym with a creche gym in Glasgow. They aim to prevent intergenerational health issues including depression, anxiety and obesity-related illnesses in children through early intervention, which includes exposing them to a gym environment from a very young age as well as improving the lives of their role models: their parents and carers.

What do the members say?

One member, Raymond, said: “We’re a family with 3 boys, 2 of who are autistic, it was a charity that put us onto SmartGym at The Wedge Pollok. We attended to sign up and met Dean who looked clearly shattered that he may have to close the doors due to a lack of funding. Thankfully this has not been the case! SmartGym is a non-profit, low-cost ‘FAMILY’ gym. Family highlighted as this is the first gym I have ever seen children being allowed become members with their parents. Fun and fitness combined, there is also a crèche that staff supervise. It is an excellent service that I wish I knew about sooner, it is low-cost, not packed, there is also classes available and the facilities are great from the gym, crèche, kitchen are and showers, it really is Smart. In this day and age where prices of everything is increasing, mental health issues increasing and including children’s mental health, SmartGym provides a much needed bit of respite for me and my family at a very affordable price. There is no other service like it.”

Working with the community offering a low cost, family friendly gym!

Using a collaborative approach, Smart Gym disrupts the fitness industry by offering low-cost (or even free, based on referrals) gym memberships which includes gym access for adults and children (ages 8+), free crèche facilities (ages 0-8), a range of free fitness classes for adults and children (ages 2+), and discounted personal training for all its members. The gym is open 18 hours a day, 7 days a week (05:00-23:00).

In addition to exercise, Smart Gym offers various partner-led therapies including hypnotherapy, trauma therapy, life coaching and mindfulness-based yoga in collaboration with local organisations such as Santosha Therapy, Potential in Me, Clarkston Hypnotherapy and Glasgow Hypnotherapy. Moreover, the gym recently launched a new venture called Glasgow PT Academy which offers accredited, gym-based personal training courses in partnership with Pollok Credit Union to provide affordable level 3 diploma training for aspiring personal trainers. Their mission: to create 60 jobs over the next 12 months. In summary, Smart Gym is a social enterprise that aims to create long-term social change by helping parents instil positive learned behaviours at the gym, and uses physical activity and other holistic interventions to combat Glasgow’s mental health crisis. Since launching two years ago, Smart Gym is now broadening its involvement within the social landscape by creating affordable access to training and employment within the fitness industry.


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