LIMBER GYM: THE TOUR: JOHNNYS' DIY IN DEPTFORD                                     




Baudelaire, a founder member of Limber Gym, remarked on the extensive facilities provided,     "We are accessorised and syphilised" (his spelling not ours). He went on to extol the virtue of a gym dedicated to just hanging around and looking. He felt the exercise was not taken seriously enough. He made an art of it and believed that it should be on every school curriculum.

TESTBED I, the first stop on the tour, was set up for the promenade, resembling an arcade, so much so, that Benjamin and Baudelaire would have felt at home. Limber Gym having been brought up on a wrecked building site felt the same way and after a period of gestation came into being at 'The Meter Room' initiated by Daniel Pryde-Jarman who conceived this excellent venue to enable creative spirits to exercise their imaginative limbs for extreme purpose in Coventry.

                                                                                                               The Meter Room, Coventry


We at Limber Gym are not ashamed to say it is our conceit that, in the name of progress and self-improvement, we have become 'objectified and civilised' against our will. We do not know what we will become, what we are doing or where we are going. We know the strong prejudice against such conceit but we have iron in our soul, in our machines, in our changing room, in our laundry and in our brochure.

TESTBED 1 was the perfect venue for Limber Gym to reveal itself to those willing to try out something new and become acquainted with something old in an adequately equipped, far from sterile, environment, guaranteed to make anyone feel at home, especially if they live on the streets. Candidates from more prosperous and comfortable backgrounds took some time to become accustomed to Limber Gyms 'rugged' functionality.  Limber Gym is not exclusive: all are welcome. We want to serve the community. Limber Gym is dedicated to the concept, "How to, when to, don't do'.

Adepts are tested, challenged, questioned, repositioned and generally taxed beyond reason: all in the cause of personal self-improvement. An 'epistemological extravaganza' is on offer to those who are conscious and prepared to pay the very heavy price.

Schopenhauer would have been an adept had Limber Gym been on tour in his day: it would have replaced his walking habit without sacrificing his will to be. Heidegger would have supplied the principle and the administration, if not the actual tools and equipment in use today

It has been noted that we at Limber Gym like to drop names and make esoteric references to give ourselves a semblance of respectability and purpose, to justify our existence. This is the work of envious competitors. Limber Gym is just an empty shell waiting for its' clients to decorate it with purpose and meaning: thus giving it a useful function to reveal its raison d'etre. This is the contribution of the members, unable to allow Limber Gym to suffer ignominious anonymity. The Gym is nothing without support: wishful thinking is the way forward for many more converts to make significant differences to reveal its' secrets and develop the Gym.  

                                    TESTBED 1




Limber Gym recently acquired a bricolage machine from the scrap yard across the road from our Peckham headquarters. This wondrous apparatus allows us to enter a world, both distant and familiar, through the definitive use of anything that comes to hand. This machine provides an important exercise, establishing the common vocabulary, so necessary for an era when individualism is mandatory and exercised by rote and where access has to be seen to be believed, if Limber Gym is to be open and inclusive.

We retain our right to discriminate when necessary to ensure that our current clients' desire to be associated with a concern of quality and substance are met. They constructed a vernacular edifice so that future, potential, Limber Gym Members will be able to find us blindfold. The great strength of this edifice is that it is built on a flaw: an important device acquired from the Japanese and used here to great effect.  Members have to be put through hoops and then the ultimate workout is by strenuous word of mouth.

The new machine allows entry into an elaborate physical dialogue with persistent contemporary and elemental issues associated with the aesthetics of the desire for self-improvement.  We realise that this philosophical workout is most important for those in the know who crave an image for Limber Gym and feel left out. The debate is ongoing, no such image has been found to date, but Limber Gym has made a career out of failure and its' commitment to provide this service to the wider community, to acquire essential funding, is at the centre of its being.

Limber Gym is the product of an infinite variety of narrative predicaments that only make sense when brought together in the friendly and supportive atmosphere of the Gym. Here collective weaknesses coalesce and synthesise into a form used to exercise every aspect of your being: if you are susceptible to such things. Use of the tools and machines requires unquestioning cooperation and the essential facility to allow differences to exist by turning the blind eye and the deaf ear. Incredible intricate and monumental forms come out of this interaction and raise the bar: endless horizons appear to be traversed on bare feet over superficial slippery surfaces: these ultimately lead to a world of envy amongst the cognoscenti. Disclaimer: Limber Gym is not responsible for any conflict that may occur from this interaction: the bar is regularly serviced.

Adepts know that there is no point in over extending themselves unnecessarily by exercising enquiry into this or that. There is no depth to Limber Gym only a thin surface topsoil: so there is no possibility of being submerged by weighty knowledge or expertise. The mantra "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" is the measure exercised extensively: they flock to experience the void at the centre of the Gym where ample space is provided to exercise their delight in being simple. If Limber Gym had an image it would be a devotional work for the 21st Century.





A potential member waits for Limber Gym to arrive at JOHNNYS








Organic Free Range workout and weight reducing area











Indifference? When it comes to improvements, Johnny knows it's DIY and there is no time like the present









The Fitness Expert awaits the exacting demands of the improvement enthusiast  













Shameless, schematic exercise couple, workout in the window display area













 A 'Classic', measured, workout continues whilst trying to keep everything in proportion









An improvement fetishist exercises his right of choice on the colour chart machine










An essential Health and Safety Coverall is provided in the minimalist training area









The minimalist is encouraged towards additions with reductions in the ergonomic expander area









A substantial area is provided for the exercise of the numerous 'Flaneurs' that make use of Limber Gym









Must Have Space is provided for the 'disadvantaged' to exercise and workout improvements with their own equipment









The Angles of Incidence, Declination and Inclination demonstrate their respective positions









The Angles have all the advice you will ever need if your plumbing needs improvement









This Angle demonstrates ways to improve your strength and posture if you have the right inclination










The Self Assembly Area is equipped with Problem Solving, Doubt and Contradiction Machines










Limber Gyms' specialist area caters for the indefinite article










Looking and choosing are essential exercises for Limber Gym regulars









A student suffering from a surfeit of choice relaxes in the Rest Area with a Manicure and Wooden Wind Down facilities










Fresh water is available at the minimalist 'Hearts of Oak' bar













The founder members monument graces the A and E area that they set up and funded













Limber Gym encourages clients to workout  self-improvements at home using simple equipment









The improved man wends his weary way home from Limber Gym, fitter, wiser and richer in body and mind