UVU is the training collective trying to change the way the world works out by taking exercise out of the gym, and infusing it with an element of culture and exploration.
UVU is a group of individuals that recognise workouts are no longer restricted to a treadmill or the weights area. In 2018, any city itself can be the gym, track and stage all day, every day – it's a 24/7 mantra that's inspired UVU's partnership with PUMA.
Just like PUMA, UVU are passionate about everything that helps to perfect performance: music, style and culture. UVU and PUMA are believers in combining form and function. To highlight the next release in their partnership, UVU train in PUMA's men's training collection, worn by the likes of Lewis Hamilton, and brings a fresh take to the Men’s Training realm – the collection features in episode three of the PUMA x UVU series, which you can watch above.
Episode three of the series sees Theo Caldwell reveal the impact music has on his daily life, exploring the effects music has growing up in London and how sound affects your energy while he mentors a group of 14-18 year-olds at the PNP youth academy. "It's quite easy to see that music is essential for these guys, not only as a soundtrack to their workout but their daily life too."
UVU and PUMA are changing the game and to find out how, we sat down with UVU's Adi and Diego to talk about their story so far, their work with PUMA and what makes London such a great city to workout in.
COMPLEX: Talk to us about the origins of UVU. How did you guys first find each other?
UVU: UVU organically grew out of our friendship circle. We’ve all known each other for a few years now, and in most cases found each other through social media. It started as nothing more than a get together of good people with a similar mindset, even now it still is just that, but on a different scale.
What’s diﬀerent about the UVU philosophy and mentality towards training that’s diﬀerent to what you’ll find in a regular gym session or workout group?
Our training falls under the functional umbrella, this could be calisthenics on the rings or bars, a circuit or just a general run. We all have to do our own individual training, so when we do get together it's less about killing ourselves and more just a trade of energies, sharing of ideas and catch up! Rather than just burning calories for fats sake, we are all fascinated by movement and the different ways we can push ourselves mechanically. This starts right from the bottom with mobility, up to high level gymnastic movements.
You guys are pretty famed for working out in unusual locations. What do you look for in a workout space?
Anything really with a good open space, bars or a place to hang rings. The beauty of functional training is it can be done anywhere and with any thing, rather than being cooped up in a sweatbox somewhere, we would rather explore our city and find something different but practical. As long as it's safe and visually appealing - we can make it work.
You define yourselves as a “global” collective. What are some of your favourite cities in the world to workout in and why?
We use ‘global’ as we have members all over the world joining in on what we do. We are yet to take the group international but I'm sure this won't be too far away. Likely first stop – NYC.
How important is health and fitness to you in terms of how you approach the rest of your life – does it help with your mental health, your productivity in work away from the gym, your relationships, etc…
It's vital, not only for physical health but our mental also. Starting the day with a daily release of endorphins is a great kickstart. I also think in most cases, the 1-2 hours you’re training are some of the only hours in the day you’re free from thinking about life tasks and problems, almost meditative. This is why we push ourselves, to a point where we can't think about anything else but the task at hand – a mindful way of training.
Talk to us a little about the playlists you’ve been putting together. How important is having a soundtrack to your workouts?
Music fuels our workouts just as much as anything else. It has a power to move us, alter our emotions and take us to another place. Without music, the workout can only be so good.
There’s always a strong UK flavour to your playlists. Are you guys big into the grime and UK rap scene?
Yes, apart from the Spaniards in the group, we were all brought up listening to grime or UK rap. For most of the group that are from London, this music is a part of the culture and it's hard to escape that. Having said that, we listen to all kinds of music. I think there is a soundtrack for every occasion, sometimes there is nothing better than getting lost in techno whilst out on a run.
How excited are you by this partnership with PUMA? What do you love about the brand?
Their collaborations have always been influential, it's great to now be a part of that and build a partnership with such a large brand like PUMA. We have a similar perspective on training, their mantra is in line with ours, so the collaboration is pretty seamless.
How important to you is looking good while you work out?
For me, looking good transfers to feeling good. I think if you go into a session with the confidence that you look good and feel good, this only sets you off on the right foot.
Between the playlists, films and print works you guys are putting together – has working out become a way you guys can creatively express yourselves? And has that surprised you at all? Some people view working out as a very mechanical, fixed thing…
For sure. All of the guys are creatives, so regularly doing the norm doesn’t sit well with us. Don’t get me wrong, to get results, the mundane and routine workouts can't be missed and will take up the majority of your training but every now and again we like to test ourselves, both physically and creatively. I believe it's also good to test yourself in ways that you aren’t used to and are unpredictable, we make it a weekly thing to either go biking, hiking, climbing, surfing etc.
What does it take to be part of the UVU collective?
We welcome anyone to join us online and use our methods of training. I’m sure in the future we will head out to major cities and invite people to come and join us.
What’s next for UVU?
We will continue to do as we have been but we are releasing three unique UVU PUMA short films telling the story of our 24/7 training mantra and also have small capsule clothing drops over the coming months along with pop-up stores.
Shop the PUMA training collection at puma.com.