Personal trainer on why online fitness will still be a hit after lockdown ends
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
An Ipswich personal trainer has revealed how lockdown transformed her business and helped her reach thousands of people in Suffolk - and why it won't slow down when gyms reopen.
Kirsty Watling has been running Bodycare Plus, a lifestyle and wellbeing centre with sports rehab facilities, in Fore Street for seven years.
But when the pandemic hit, she was forced online and launched The Fit Business — an exercise and well-being subscription platform.
It has been a huge success, with more than 3,400 views this week and new content uploaded every day.
"I cannot tell you how much of a positive experience this has been," the personal trainer admitted.
"The feedback we have had is it's super convenient and gives people confidence who might have otherwise felt intimidated going to a gym.
"A lot of parents and business bosses in particular have highlighted how easy it is to fit in a quick workout during a busy day."
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Kirsty says home workouts aren't for everyone — those who lift weights and need specialist equipment will always return to the gyms when they reopen.
However, there are a vast number of people who don't need those facilities and do better at home.
She doesn't think the growing online fitness community will impact on gym owners and added: "Online doesn't need to be instead of, but as well as."
Pre-pandemic, Kirsty would see most clients twice a week for £55, whereas now she sees many of her members attend five classes at the cost of just £30 per month.
As well as people looking to get fit outside the gym, she also caters for people who can't play sport due to lockdown restrictions, as well as those who relied on weekly clubs or teams to stay healthy.
She says it is a pleasure to provide an interim service for them until sport resumes.
The 33-year-old recently launched a business to business initiative and is working alongside Suffolk GPs, Suffolk Fire and Rescue, the University of Suffolk and many others to offer staff classes.
Kirsty provides classes ranging from 12minutes to 60minutes in Pilates, Barre, H.I.I.T, Strength and Conditioning, Stretching, Relaxation and Mindfulness.