It’s January and, as per usual, many of us ate too much at Christmas. what’s more, with gyms closed because of You Know What, many of us are struggling to get fit again and shed that excess blubber.
We spoke to two fitness Instructors, Jack from the south coast of England and Laura from the west coast of Scotland and asked for their take on how to cope without the gym.
Jack Miller Fitness Studio, Brighton & Hove, currently on Zoom.
How has lockdown been for you Jack?
After years working at the King Alfred Centre, I decided to take the daunting step of opening my own fitness studio in “Hove Actually” in September. It was great having my own studio but I knew we could have another lockdown, so I’ve created options for clients who want online only or studio options.
When lockdown finishes, I’m sure we will have queues of clients who’ve missed real life classes. However, as we are in central Hove, online classes have been a great opportunity for clients who would normally have to time their classes with the bus timetable to get home, whereas now they can get straight home and work out. It also opens our classes up to clients who live all over the country, particularly those who live in more rural places who don’t normally have a choice of fitness classes.
What would you say to our readers who need a bit of motivation to get off the sofa?
Start slowly and make sure you enjoy yourself at class. If you enjoy yourself, you will be much more likely to make it part of your life. Sometimes I get new clients who sign up for six classes a week. Some of my most loyal clients started off just doing a Saturday morning class. It’s only 30 minutes out of your day and it’s much better to get the consistency of coming two or three times a week than to burn out in a month. Alternatively, I also offer one-on-one sessions. These can be really good, particularly if clients want to work on their body image as they can talk through their concerns with me. Although, I’m always just a phone call away for any of my clients.
How does it work?
I run my classes over Zoom and we offer pay as you go and monthly options. If you have paid for a session and then find that you’re having a bad day, you are much more likely to go because you’ve paid for it – not to mention that I can see if you don’t attend! That said, if you are not comfortable on Zoom, just switch off your camera…you can still see me but nobody else will see you.
Here’s a quick taster
Laura Carmichael, Feel Good Transformation Club, Oban, or straight to your living room.
How have things things changed for you since lockdown?
A few months into the first lockdown, after seven years I sadly had to close my gym premises. At the time it was heartbreaking, however the positives are that I no longer have to get up at 5.30 in the morning to open up and since bringing Feel Good online, I get so many customers who tell me they used to put off going to a class after work because they were tired, it was raining or they had childcare issues. Now people can attend my classes any time from any place!
Tell us about the Transformation Club?
It’s my big passion! When I started the gym I noticed a massive gap between exercise and nutrition. There were customers not getting the right results through exercise alone and people I’d meet in town who would go to slimming clubs but who were too scared to set foot in a gym.
I wanted to create a community feel, where everyone regardless of their size, sexuality, age or any other factors felt welcome. I started transformation so that people could get the whole package – diet support and exercise.
I’ve had amazing success stories with people who had previously tried every “diet” or who ate all the wrong things and were terrified to set foot in a gym. One of the great things about being online is that it removes the fear of going to a gym.
However, I think it’s also very important for my clients to have someone – me – to keep an eye on their progress. I don’t expect perfection but what you put in is what you get out. Clients can find online workouts in other places but I start with a six week transformation, where they can speak to me on the phone, Facebook or through our app. I support them all the way and for most, six weeks is just a start of a genuine lifestyle transformation.
I also offer a “classes only” option for clients who don’t need diet support.