The History of Friskis&Svettis

Friskis&Svettis is a non-profit exercise organisation which was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 1978 by Johan Holmsäter. Johan wanted to create a new form of exercise based on simple, natural movements done with timely and inspiring music in a group.

The basis for Friskis&Svettis is that people are built for movement, but working out also has to be fun if you are to continue exercising. We believe this ‘No fun, no gain’ philosophy explains the huge success of Friskis&Svettis!

In its first year, Friskis&Svettis Stockholm had 1,500 members. Today, almost 40 years later, there are 159 Friskis&Svettis associations in both Sweden, Norway, Finland, Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Aberdeen and London. In total, more than 500,000 members exercise 2-3 times a week with Friskis&Svettis.

  • The mission of Friskis&Svettis is to offer fun and easily accessible high-quality exercise classes for everybody, regardless of age and ability. We want to make people move!
  • We call this Swedish exercise form Swedercise (jympa in Swedish) and adopt an approach where we utilise rhythmic music, simple and natural movements to create an inclusive and positive group dynamic and a great workout for body and mind.
  • Our activities are funded entirely by the membership fees, with any surplus being invested back into the local associations.


F&S London

Friskis&Svettis London was founded in 2005 and we are steadily growing. Our activities are based at YMCA in central London and at Honeywell Junior School in Clapham (see our Schedule & Classes). Friskis&Svettis London has seven certified instructors and around nine other volunteers, all committed to the quality objectives and values of Friskis&Svettis.




Year 1984. Johan Holmsäter in the front right. Photo: Rolf Adlercreutz