Mayfield’s inclusive strength training gym
Over the years, Valkyrie Gym has matured to create something uniquely special in the Newcastle fitness space.
Since Valkyrie’s humble beginnings in 2017, owner and veteran coach, Hugo Cranswick, has grown a magnetic community centered on strength training, compassionate coaching, and inclusivity.
Kicking old and tired industry trends to the kerb, Hugo, alongside co-owner, Sam Fisher, and the rest of the Valkyrie team have ditched the machines and instead created an “inch wide, mile deep” approach to fitness and strength that’s low-tech, down to earth, and people-focused.
“What do we do? Simply put, we make lifting weights and getting strong low-barrier, rewarding, and community-focused. New members are often surprised that this ‘gym stuff’ is pretty fun,” Hugo said.
Weights and plates aside, Hugo and Sam have been working behind the scenes to make their gym space more inclusive by registering with ACON (NSW's leading LGBTQ+ health organisation).
“Teaming up with ACON has given us the training and language to work with a more diverse range of people. It’s been extremely rewarding. The practice of strength training is really, really good for you, and there's a reality where those who don’t fit the typical ‘gym junkie’ mold can still find success with their goals in the gym.”
“We are making it clear that we’re here for the folks that have rejected toxic gym culture. We’ve made a space to get strong and belong, without all the bullshit,” Sam said.
And it’s not just the people with heart to share, it’s the space too. It’s stripped back, splashed with pink, and twinkling with fairy lights – less stimulation, more focus.
“Yeah, we say strength is for everyone. Why? Because feeling strong and confident, and finding a group of people where you belong is a literal lifesaver. It’s time for the fitness industry to make some changes,” Hugo said.
Even their onboarding method is caring and intentional.
“Every new member first comes in for a chat and a movement assessment instead of just being tossed into a trial class. We want everyone to come out of their first session with a win, not hurting or confused,” Sam said.
The initial consultation is playfully called Shoot the Sh*t.
“We just talk about all the stuff that works and doesn’t work, past experiences and plans. It’s an hour full of hope, excitement, and expectation setting.”
Sound like your people? You can book your own STS Session right here.