Fitness Question of the Month: Meet Justin Bone

Exercise was so powerful an influence on Justin Bone’s life it took him from living on the street to being invited to Downing Street, after founding The Pop Up Gym in Bury St Edmunds . . .

Justin Bone, who co-founded The Pop Up Gym in 2017 with his partner Natalie Pace, turned his life around through exercise. Now sober for five years, he’s experienced first-hand the transformative effects of keeping fit and healthy on both physical and mental wellbeing.

A former alcoholic, Justin took an unusual route to recovery by living in a garage to isolate himself for six months. Every morning he would leave the garage at 6am and go to the local gym as it was open (and had showers!). He lost 4 stone over six months and it was at this time he came up with the idea of The Pop Up Gym (which provides unique workout experiences for all, in unusual locations).

In June of last year, he was invited to 10 Downing Street to represent The Pop Up Gym amongst 100 rural businesses, where he shared the inspiring story.

Justin Bone outside No 10 Downing Street (23350111)
Justin Bone outside No 10 Downing Street (23350111)

“We started The Pop Up Gym to encourage a social side of fitness,” he explains. “It gives those who regularly go to the gym the opportunity to extend the health and fitness benefits they enjoy into their social life, whilst also reaching out to those who are interested in fitness and wellbeing but are intimidated by a traditional gym environment.

“Our first event was over two days and featured eight personal trainers each bringing their followers to a church crypt, where a DJ spun banging tunes to get the crowd going. It was a nightclub feel but without the hangover.

“After two more events - one in a roller rink and one in a Market Square - we began talking with the Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds about a new strand event focused on holistic health approaches. In July this year we launched PAUSE, a UK first yoga-based event featuring a gong bath and a choral choir. The sell-out event was filmed by BBC Look East, and next year we will expand PAUSE to other iconic buildings across East Anglia.”

The Pop Up Gym in action (23350113)
The Pop Up Gym in action (23350113)

With January upon us, there’ll be a lot of people looking to start new fitness regimes. Here are Justin’s top tips, based on his personal experience, for getting fitter, healthier and increasing your energy levels. . .

Do activity you enjoy - and if this is the start, just move!

It’s as simple as that. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t succeed, and to start with don’t set targets. This may seem counter intuitive but there is no need to put pressure on yourself straight away. For some of you, just moving 10 minutes a day will be a great start, you’ll hopefully feel the benefits after a week and can move on from there. Once you’ve found your feet and you’re in the groove then start that process, although if you are looking to lose weight, remember 95 per cent of people fail if they haven’t weighed themselves at the start!

Eat more vegetables

Seems obvious but this is vital to elevating and increasing your energy levels, which should be your first goal. Increasing your vegetable intake will make you feel ‘lighter’ and the health benefits go without saying. I’m so convinced by the powers of a plant-based diet that I’ve recently become involved with Meatless Fast Food and we are launching a residency at Ta Bouche Bar in Cambridge in the New Year.


Normally overlooked when setting new year’s resolutions, this one should not be underestimated. Great, deep sleep is a powerful tool to have in your locker. Yes, that means drop your blue screen earlier in the evening and try to resist snacks and fizzy drinks after 6pm. Any sort of caffeine should have by done with by 3pm. With a good night’s sleep behind you, the start of your day should fly, not splutter.

Drink water. . . lots of it!

Fact. Drinking water makes your muscles stronger. It will make them work harder and longer before they feel tired. It also keeps your joints strong, healthy and lubricated.


For me this was the revelation of 2019. I started intermittent fasting and have never looked back. It changes your perception of food and takes your energy to a whole new level. Fasting is not starving yourself. When done correctly, it can produce amazing results including weight loss, slowing the ageing process and improving the health of your heart.

Find out more about The Pop Up Gym at

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