**This transcript was generated using AI and may have typos and other innaccuracies.
Hi, guys, thank you so much for listening in to our second episode in our premier fitness podcast series, which is all about our wonderful fitness sector. Our aim here is to provide some inspiration by listening to personal journeys from a wide variety of fitness professionals, with nothing edited out. The title of this episode is from beauty to biceps.
And I'm absolutely delighted to have with me the legend that is Laura biceps, who will be featuring in lots more episodes moving forward as we continue with this series. But for now, Laura is going to give us an account of her transformation in her career from a very corporate world to where she is today. So, Laura, thank you so much for being with us. And thank you for coming on with me. I'm just so thrilled. Thank you so much Susie, it's the feeling is very, very mutual. It's it's one of these things where I never thought I'd be in this position today is a successful PT, nevermind being a position where hopefully, I can give back and help some aspiring pts for the future.
That's, that's, that's really cool. And and I guess, you know, the fact that we have spoken, lots and lots and lots, you know, one of the things that you have, from my perspective, why I really admire you is you are extremely humble at the end of the day, and you're passionate about what you do. So thank you for allowing me and our listeners to have a bit of an insight to you. And hopefully I really get from this that you know, people will find some inspiration, especially those that are thinking about changing their career.
So yeah, without further ado, can I sort of just start plugging away and ask you some questions? If that's what we're here? Yeah, cause please do. Okay, cool. So I guess if we could maybe start at the beginning and just say, you know, that I, you know, in your own right, you are a really kind of inspirational fitness professional. today. However, that's not where you started out. So and if not kind of what you were going to be or were going to do so can you enlighten us please, as to what Laura was doing? A few years back? Yeah, I feel like this could I could go on for like three hours
and give you the shorter version. And essentially, grown up, I was super sporty. I as a young girl only child, I threw myself into every single sport, there was more likely the ones that stereotypically men, boys would play. So I played football, rugby, basketball, and one day, I always said, You know, I want to be like a footballer or a football manager of I can't do that I want to be a physio and I really always thought that my career would be in sport because at that age, I saw nothing else.
As you grow up, you sort of get into the position where a levels and university selection hits you. And, you know, I think I'm probably not alone in the pressure in feeling the pressures of getting a proper job. And you know, possibly fitness wasn't a proper job. And despite how much I loved it, despite how much I knew I could give to the sector. It wasn't a proper job and I took a different route. After I graduated from university, I got a degree in marketing and business studies and I got a job at Unilever, a top footsie 250 or 100 business and I spent five years there.
I spent another five years in another fantastic company still in fmcg at L'Oreal. So I've basically got a CV Suzy have 10 years of not what I planned.
In between that I took a year out I went and lived in the Cayman Islands. And if you don't know the Cayman Islands, is kind of near underneath Miami, near Jamaica and Cuba where my parents lived. And it was in that year that I was I was working as a watersports instructor. It was in that year where I really felt Actually, I really need to reconsider what my career path is because I've been doing a fantastic job with fantastic people.
I've learned an awful lot in that time. And I thought, I need to go back to what I always thought I wanted to do, which was sport and fitness. But it wasn't a proper job. Especially not for a woman. You know, I do I do believe you know in the you can't be what you can't see when I was growing up in the world of sport and fitness. I mean, I'm showing my age here a little bit but there's like Sally Gunnell
You know, these kind of people, but I didn't see a woman that was a fitness professional. And posters I had on my walls were like Ryan, Giggs, David Beckham, you know, all of these male role models that I never really saw where I would fit. It was in that year when I was in Cayman. And I actually said to my, I said to my parents, I was like, I just want to be a PT, that's all I want to do. And they said, okay, cool, you've had this time out to think. And they actually kindly put a deposit down for a course with premier.
Many years ago, it was two in 2008. That was, and I said, right, when I moved back to England, I'm going to do this course, what happened when I moved back, I felt the pressure again, to go back into a proper job. And I lost was it and I continued with my, with my corporate career, fast forward, many, many years. And I was in my early 30s, in my 30s, and just 1030.
And I said, you know, what, if I don't do this, now, I'll never do it. And I think at this time that the the sector has certainly evolved, and especially in London, which I would say is a bit further forward than, you know, perhaps the rest of the UK, in terms of the boutique sector, you know, fitness is a bit more sort of pay as you go a bit more premium, less, so much the sort of commercial gyms, and I saw a place for myself, that was a bit more, you know, a bit more where other women were, and I saw lots of women doing it. And I thought, No, but I'm not, I'm not size six, you know, 10%, body fat, whatever, on the front of magazines, I'm not sure where I fit in.
And that took me a long time. And I just decided, listen, if I, if I, if I don't try this, now, if I don't try this, as myself, as someone who is super passionate, there must be a tribe out there for me, then, you know, I'll give it a few months. And I'll go back to my corporate job, like I've got enough experience. But I also feel like the skills I've got a transferable and I can do this, because all this time in business in marketing, now, I'm the product, as a personal trainer, you know, you've got to have the confidence to actually sell yourself, understand your USP, your service, the benefits you can give to a consumer.
And it was just a big mindset change. And if I'm really honest, I was petrified is one of the scariest things I've ever done. But sat here now, whatever, five years, five, six years later,
it's the best thing I've ever done. And, you know, I could, I could talk for a long time about how many reasons I told myself not to do it. But I'm so pleased that I did. Absolutely. And, you know, the fact that you say that you're not like this, you know, kind of mainstream, you know, sort of person that we all think that somebody should be or think how somebody should look, I think that's what's very appealing about you, and what and what makes you very relatable.
And I would say definitely, you know, thank goodness, things have changed. And then very much is a place for women of all shapes and sizes of all niche markets, you know, within the fitness industry. So I'm sure you agree with me that there that's very, very good that that has kind of changed. So. Okay, so you were really successful in your corporate environment. But what was it about coming about becoming a PT that really made you want to change your career? Because you've said kind of what you love to sport and stuff.
But I mean, being a PT is not you playing? It's not you doing stuff? It's about you working for the people. So what is it? You know, what was it about becoming a PT that might think No, I've just got to do this? Yeah, so I think, from big sort of a sporting background, you know, it's all about being in a team. And that sort of camaraderie for a common goal is more strategic, kind of this, the sport of fitness and trainings or general population is very, very different.
And I think it was, from my own experience of how it changed my life, that I felt this sort of great sense of purpose that I needed to fly the flag and show other people that were in my position, and that they could do it too. I was working sort of my desk job working at like I said, in marketing and in business and sales for a big corporate and it was very, very stressful.
The hours were very, very long. I spent a lot of time sat down at a desk. And it was it was actually CrossFit that I found there was a CrossFit box that had opened in Hammersmith just opposite the the main L'Oreal HQ offices in London. And a friend of mine said, Oh, I think you'd like this thing you should go.
And I've sort of very, very open about my sort of struggles, my relationship with food, my weight, my relationship with myself, self esteem, etc, sort of growing up
As a as a young woman, which I guess I think many, you know, women and men can relate to around that, of not not feeling good enough and not able to, you know, to present your best self for the fear of, you know, someone judging you or comparing yourself to others. And I started this thing called CrossFit which if you know it, you'll, you'll know that it is essentially the sport of fitness. And you learn lots of different types of fitness across strength gymnastics, and more endurance base fitness. And I just found it the most fascinating thing, I walked in and walked out, beaten up, I was like, wow, I don't know what that was, but I absolutely loved it.
And previous Previous to that, I'd done things like Les Mills, I really love body pumps. So it was like, I kind of just started like working with weights, which was different from everything that I've thought I, you know, that society taught me to do, which was sort of be as thin as possible, lose weight, do your cardio, you know, that kind of thing. And I was like, wow, actually, I feel amazing, you know, moving these weights, and my body composition started to change, I felt stronger the transfer over to my daily life, of turning up at that desk, feeling more present, more able to, you know, make decisions, more able to share my opinion, I just, I felt a new lease for life.
And I kind of did that for a year or so. And I thought, wow, I can see all these people around me that are super stressed, that are not sleeping, they're not eating well. They're, it's it's a recipe for disaster. And I kind of found through my own trial and error. What a holistic, you know, and health wellness was for me, and I was like shouting it from the rooftops. It was like, you know, there's really annoying means that like, if you do CrossFit and you're vegan, what do you say first, I was just telling everyone about
the benefits of Oh my God, I feel amazing. And, and it was at through that time where my relationship with myself and my body changed because I didn't look at my body as Oh, god, you're not thin enough, or you don't look a certain way. I was looking at it thinking, wow, guess what you just did.
And that feeling of being able to lift something that you didn't think you could? Is, is life changing? And it was at that point, I was like, Okay, I think I get it. Now I think I think I get what I what role I can play in this industry. Because there's a lot of people that are frightened of gyms that are intimidated, because they don't look like what they perceive to be the finished product. And I want it to be they're saying there is no finished product, I just want to show you or educate you to say, this is how you can live your life better.
And that's not being on the front cover of any magazine or getting you know, shredded or whatever. It's like, I can show you how to be more present in your life. I can show you how you can get through work feeling like you've got more energy that when you get home for your family and your kids, you're a better person. And that's life changing. And I wanted to be able to share that.
Absolutely. And would you would you agree with me, it's almost as though you transform on the inside completely. And then the best thing is, is the outside looks biggest a bit different. But the most important thing is it's the change, isn't it? From within that, you know, it's really, really
life changing? Yes, absolutely. I mean, Sue's you and I have talked a lot about fitness. And throughout this time and you know, we're going through a global pandemic, there is now more than ever is the time where we should be really thinking about our health.
And whatever that is for you, whether that's a walk, whether it's a job, whether it's lifting some weights yoga, it has the power to like, completely change your mindset for the day, completely. And I think, you know, some some good points to take out from the very challenging times that you find ourselves in is that I think, you know, people are becoming more and more aware that you no longer do you have to be this stereotypical type of person, exercise is exercise.
Moving is moving at the end of day and like you say, regardless of what it is, it's more about just having the having the knowledge and I guess the face that if you just even go for a walk every day, that is going to make you feel better. And if that if that try aggresses into something else, great. But if not, it's fine.
It's all about really being comfortable with yourself, isn't it? Yeah, for sure. And that's just us as consumers, I guess the job of the PT is to learn and to get to know your client and understand what is it that's going to what is it that's going to help them make those decisions without me because as I've seen if you spend an hour with someone a day, but what do they do for those other 23 hours and ask ourselves that, you know, do we really make the most of the time that we have or do we see on Instagram and scroll we are making
We hold ourselves and our clients accountable. Because you know, they'll feel better if they do it. Definitely. And something that I've talked about before, is the fact that, you know, some of the best pts that I know are the ones that are able to kind of almost, you know, really look inside and get sort of underneath the skin of the person they're working with, you know, so that they can actually find out what makes them tick, what they, you know, they know what their challenges are, their goals, etc.
And that's very important, isn't it to build really good relationships with your clients? Yeah, 100%. And I think one of the first rules that, you know, that I was taught when I was, you know, qualifying for PT is to coach what's in front of you, and every client is going to have particular specific individual needs and goals. And you're right, it is, you know, we need to understand, what is it? What is that thing that's going to help them that day.
And it might be different one day than the next day, especially at the moment, you know, everyone's you know, very, very up and down. But if they are able to keep some consistency with exercise and getting outside, you know, it's we're not deficient. It's, it can make a huge difference.
Absolutely. And it's quite a responsibility, I think, as well, because, you know, if you've got somebody that comes to you, and they are maybe feeling a little bit vulnerable, a little bit anxious, never been to a PT before, and it is a massive responsibility. But coupled with a massive reward, if you are able to kind of almost, you know, envelope that person in in your kind of your comfort zone, if you'd like to help them forward. Really, really important. And
lower. So So okay, so you decided to move away from your corporate world, into the world to be a PT.
So you trained, you've got level two, level three, did you have a plan at that point? as to what you know, what you're going to do with your qualification?
Entailed plan, you know, as in obviously, you were qualified as a PT, but you know, did you have a business plan? And no, is the answer.
I think, I think, so I definitely thought I knew what I wanted to do. The reality of what I actually did was was very, very different. And I think that's, that's one because I didn't know enough about what, where I got my I saw my value, to be able to succeed. And the other one, it was just kind of the the fitness sector is just evolving. So so fast. I mean, it's incredible.
A genuine thing is one of the most exciting sectors to be in at the moment. And the plan that I had was mainly if I'm honest, it was around sort of time and financial success. And like, could I make this physically, financially and physically work for me, because it's a huge change to your lifestyle. So like I was doing, working from my ATM to whatever six 7pm. And, you know, think about when you're a personal trainer, you work when your clients aren't working, the hours the lifestyle chain, so anti social, when you're starting up, you don't have the ability to really pick and choose, you just take whatever comes to you.
And I was, I wish I could say that I was super strategic, but I wasn't I kind of just did some things like I was actually talking earlier about the first thing I did was get a website. It was like, Okay, I wanted to write down what Who am I? What is my training identity? What are my services? Why would I be for you, and just start to find platforms in which I could communicate. And I picked up a couple of clients just from like friends or friends. And it kind of just would just spread from there. And I think it's like, the pressures at the moment of being a PT, you get, you know, lots of people say to me, oh, you know, but I need whatever followers on Instagram, I don't believe that you do Instagram, it can be fantastic.
But it's just another communication tool, when actually start with where you are and what you have. Actually, many years ago, I worked at David Lloyd, and I actually worked in their kids club. So from my sort of late teens, I had witnessed sort of how difficult the job of a PT is in a commercial gym. I think that was the one thing I knew that I didn't want to do. I wanted to go out and do it alone sort of as a freelance model and kind of see if I could, you know, get a few clients and then I ended up
at the foundry which Susie and I have talked quite a lot about my experience at the foundry. And I think for me I'm the advice I would give is to just go and visit places. Go and meet people build your network. Go and find somewhere where you live.
training, whether you like the vibe or you like the community, and it's like, you know, that sort of that, you know, cheesy phrase of your vibe attracts your tribe, it literally is that you want to align yourself, you want to be working somewhere where your values are aligned and you like the the principles of training
that that gym has in the the freedom and the ability that you have to truly be who you are, and train, you know, people as you would. And that's, that's really where you can flourish. So this is about to answer your question, I had a plan, the plan that I actually executed wasn't the plan. But the main thing I did was to seek out the places the people find a mentor of people that I really looked up to and really inspired me and I, I almost, you know, wanted to emulate in my own way, and then you just sort of grow in that environment?
And would you say that you really have to kind of, you know, follow your heart with regards to that and kind of work out what really, if you're going to becoming if we're going to come into the into the fitness sector and to become a PT invariably, it's because you want to help people, you know, you have that burning desire to either pass on your personal experiences and help to make people better. But you know, would you say that, it's, it's, it's okay not to have a plan as such, at the end of the day, you know, if your passion is you want to become a PT, you know, come in, get qualified and things will fall into place, we're finding as you say, you have this kind of almost like a, like a, like sort of high level bullet points to kind of adhere to going forward.
But don't worry about that too much. Because I think one of the things that the career changing people is that if you're used to that, that really strict corporate environment, you're in such a structured environment, and it's almost like, I want to become a PT, I love fitness. I want to help someone, but how am I going to make it work? How am I going to make sure I'm in enough money and who's gonna be my niche marketing? You know, I think it's very easy to fall in that trap of, well, I haven't got a plan, so I'm not going to do it.
And then you know, and before you know it, you know, time has passed on, on and on. And then you get to a point you think, actually, I'm too far, and I'm too far gone in the world that I'm in. So it's okay, isn't it not to have a really amazing plan? It's almost like just go with go with go with your heart. Really? Yeah, I guess I'm, I was fortunate enough that, you know, financially, I was eight in year from a responsibilities perspective, you know, I don't have I didn't have children, I didn't have a mortgage to pay.
Of course, I had, I had fun. I had a level of financial responsibility. And going from a successful corporate career, I was basically starting again, and I think I kind of did it in a, in a staged fashion in terms of leaving my corporate job. So it wasn't easy, I've got to admit, and it took a real toll on my social life. But it was, it was a sacrifice I was prepared to make to to enable me to make that career change. And by that, I mean, when I was working full time, I was doing my studying to get my qualification. So I had to do that, on the evenings, weekends. So you know, going out late to whatever bar wasn't always possible, because, you know, if I wake up the next day, the last thing I wanted to do was learn the skeletal muscles. And so I had to really rein that in and focus. And I also, you know, I sort of said to myself, right, when I'm working full time, once I'm qualified, I'm going to take on two clients before work.
That's all I can handle right now. Exactly, yeah. Okay, now, I've never taken on too. Now I'm gonna build my confidence with these two. Okay, now, I think, until you get to that point where you go, right, it's now or never, and I'm not, I'm not promising that the day will come and you got okay. I think I'm ready. You just you just have to do it and have a plan. I had a plan B, I guess for me, which was, well, if it doesn't work out, I'll go back to my office job.
Yeah, at least No, I've tried. Yeah, definitely. And that makes absolute sense. absolute sense. And, you know, having that, you know, been able to work full time whilst introducing a couple of clients that can you know, really, really work.
Could you maybe think about part of your first real success with one of your clients and maybe just give us an account of of not necessarily their results but but how did it make you feel as a person and how did that compare with maybe your previous live in the corporate environment and you know, getting, you know, like a really big paycheck or whatever, what was what was how did you feel? Yeah, I think my favorite example, for this is
My commercial director when I was working at L'Oreal, he was one of the guys that when I left, I had to resign to him, and he won't mind me sharing that it wasn't a very popular decision for me. And I think in that in that world, you know, to say, I'm going to go it alone, to try and be a PT, which isn't, you know, well known for fabulously high earnings, especially when you're starting.
And, and that, you know, having to resign to him after sort of climbing the corporate ladder for 10 years, was really challenging. And then I sort of stuck by my guns, I said, you know, this is what I really want to do. This is my purpose. It's not about money. For me, it's about personal satisfaction. I've loved working, I've learned a lot. Anyway, fast forward.
Two years, I get a message from a guy I resigned to who said, I'm feeling really, I'm feeling a bit out of shape. I've had some things in my personal life. And I feel like I need some help. And I think you could be the person that could help me. So it's like, the tables have turned, I'm thinking, wow, this person who, you know, initially wasn't keen on me leaving to pursue this news of unknown career is actually asking for my help.
And it was the, it was the best for me, because I knew how I've been in his chair, almost, you know, I understand the pressures of what it's like to have numbers to hit, you know, hours in front of a computer, long, long days, you know, teams to manage multiple, you know, HR issues, etc, the stresses is unbelievable, and I could see that, but when he was with me for that one hour, whatever it was three or four times a day, I was able to facilitate an hour of pure escape, where he wasn't worried about the numbers where he wasn't, you know, worried about, you know, what he looked like, it was just me and him and he trusted me, he gave Himself to me for an hour, man that is so time poor.
And the feeling of knowing that it's, it's a shift feels like a huge, a huge burden, but also hugely satisfying to think, Wow, okay, I can really make a difference to this guy. And the more that we did, the more that we trained, you know, we started off, we had some, we had some goals that we had set, you know, at the start, we wanted to make sure that we were holding each other accountable, and we're making sure that we were doing the right things.
And the more that he got into exercise, the more he started to enjoy the training and more he started to believe in what he could achieve, he started to make better life choices with my guidance within the scope of my practice as a PT, I was able to guide him on you know, trying to live a healthier lifestyle. And guess what, he started to have some wins in his personal life after a really tricky time, he got a promotion at work.
So it was it was just like seeing the evolution of someone who didn't know where to turn and you know, little old me who used to work for him and was able to you know, with my skills and experience in and knowledge through the PT qualifications, and was able to guide him to a better lifestyle so for me that that that feeling was just unbelievable, you know, I would have done it for free. And that and that and that again, you know, it gives me confidence to be like you know, when you're doubting yourself as a new PT know how much you know, versus what they don't, and they don't have the time to know it's not their job to know.
So just have some confidence in your training methods in your practice, you know, know that you should be the one managing the timeline of those results, and just enjoy the process with them.
That's amazing. That's a really wonderful account and it's such a personal experience for you to share and like you say to be kind of almost like I say, tables were completely turned it must have really sort of taken you a bit by surprise to begin with. But what a lovely lovely story just on the just on the back of that so so you all you talk about how it porn how important it is to to kind of really trust in yourself and in the knowledge that you have. You are very passionate about education as as as we both like reports about it for for many hours and you know you also you you strive to be a voice within the sector can.
Can you can you tell me in the in the ministers why you feel so passionately about making sure that the education that you receive know when you are qualifying is absolutely the best that it can be. Yeah, I think I will. I will forever be a learner. If I ever think I'm in the position where I know it all. I've done it wrong. I think you know
in this industry, we're constantly learning, you know, from the, you know, studies in elite sports, you know, from strength and conditioning, that will filter down into sort of application of, you know, the latest methods or understanding, for general population will forever be evolving. And I think in in fitness, you know, once you've been around it for long enough, you see that, you know, things like, you know, fashion, there are trends in fitness that come and go, and I think at the moment, we are living in a, in a hit world, or, you know, that certainly feels like it has been for like, the last four years, where, you know, when hit was hit started at, you know, had this wonderful, you know, name for really high intensity, faster, results get shredded quick.
And I think the, you know, we have to be careful as an industry that we don't buy into the trends and the hype, because actually, the, you know, the foundations of health and fitness are actually pretty basic, and they don't change much throughout the years, you know, for general population health, you know, we want people to, you know, what their aerobics system, we want them to be active, you know, get their steps in, or less, as we call it, um, you know, low low intensity steady state work, you know, whether they do hit or not, isn't really going to make a difference to, you know, their, you know, their particular health, it's more to do with us their sleep, their stress management, their nutrition, you know, work with some resistance, you know, develop your strength.
So, there's some things that are a bit trendy, that come and go, and I think it's important that we stay on top of, you know, the latest, you know, studies and understandings so that as pts, we are evidence based, and we don't, you know, get caught up with what's cool on on Instagram, I think, you know, Instagram talked about it earlier, you know, don't think you need to have a big Instagram following to be an exceptional PT, or to have a great, you know, PT business, some of the most established strength and conditioning professionals don't on Instagram.
Or you know, that there's, there's one guy that I follow who, you know, I've been some of his seminars, I think he's got like, 200 followers and couldn't care less about Instagram, you know, maybe if he was on Instagram, or it might help him, but it's just, I think there's, there's a gift and a curse of Instagram, that means that anyone can go on Instagram, say they're a PT and say, here's a workout.
And I think it can be very, very misleading to a consumer who doesn't know any different. So I think I am passionate about educating my clients, my peers, trying to be a voice in the industry that I'm one at one of my things is and no shade to people that do, but I don't like to be negative about what other people are doing, I like to just try and lead by example, and just continue to repeat my my training methods, some pts, or people of influence on Instagram have very much built their following from, you know, taking, taking, you know, taking jokes out of, you know, whatever, Instagram workouts, etc, that that's kind of not my style.
But I think it's important that we continue to learn, we, once we get our PT qualifications for me, you know, I kind of say that, that that's where your journey starts. It's almost like getting your provisional license, because there's so much that you need to learn on the gym floor and from experience that, that no one can teach you, you know, having actual face to face experience with your clients is invaluable.
However, there are things you know, we talk about CPD, you know, continued professional development, because this should be career, this is a lifetime, and it's essential that we stay up to date, and we stay on the pulse of what's going on.
In particular, at the moment, actually, I'm doing the course, which talks about is rebuild the rehabilitation for those who have experienced COVID-19. I mean, this is something that has has and will impact millions of people is to something that we didn't know about and you know, when people have had it, you know, we know obviously it's a respiratory has a respiratory impacts, and people are desperate to go back to fitness, but actually that could be the worst thing that they do.
So we need to understand as fitness professionals, how can we cater to every client every single goal and just and just stay on top of the evidence based approaches? Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, you are you know, a really genuine person in as much as you know, when you said that you were always going to be a learner. I know from the courses that you've done, you know, you just always like to keep learning
keep evolving. And ultimately, the thing about continued professional development is it's key to building that relationship and continuing that relationship, isn't it at the end of the day, you know, just if you were so PT, I think it really adds to your repertoire of knowledge.
And I think, you know, if you're working in the gym, I think it really helps. If you are, you know, you've got that kind of up to date knowledge, it means that you're able to not only attract clients, but also retain them. And I know certainly from a from a similar space, but from a simonsberg perspective, they are absolutely, you know, passionate about people.
Ensuring that that is, is seems to be something that should be the norm going forward. Whereas it historically, it has been a very much a case of you get qualified, and that's it. But no, that's no longer you know, any more, you know, people have to invest in that continual learning development.
So yeah, really, really important, really important that we could keep talking for hours and hours, but I would just like, and we will, we will talk more in further episodes about the foundry fit, which I know is your absolute passion. But would you just like to give us a bit of an update as to where you are with the 5g technology, or the fabric that you're doing there?
Yeah. So the foundry on Instagram, we are at foundry fair, it is a gym that was co founded by my two partners, directors, Ben and Dave, and two ex rugby guys who were just passionate about creating a safe space building a community. without hope you don't mind me saying one of our values is don't be a dick. And fitness Can you know, there can be a lot of ego, a lot of judgment, a lot of comparison. I love that Laura.
I was like, when I say that word, I'm not sure. It's fine. It's fine. But they they they were passionate about building a space. It when you see the gym, but we don't really have many mirrors, we will our motto is where the strong belong. And that strength is both physical and mental. And the the diversity of clients profile that we have is incredible.
We've got people that can shift a shedload of tin, and people that were just developing their range and their ability to get to a bodyweight squat. And that is exactly what we wanted to do everyday people training like everyday athletes together as a team.
And as I qualified as a PT, it was one of the places that in my search to sort of get inspired of where I saw myself as a PT, I sort of went there and I was like, wow, this feels different here. And Paul, Ben and Dave, I pestered them for a long, long time and said Listen, I have no experience in this but I promise you I'm going to do a great job. Just give me months and thankfully thankfully they did. And the foundry is most is best known.
I would say for our strong man classes we do modified strong man as a strong man it's from women as well as actually we've renamed it strong since since the lockdown so it's essentially things that you would see on world Strongest Man or women that you know, things that we can do that is not only fantastic for our health and fitness, but it's a lot of fun to things like sled pushes, you know, Atlas stones, the log and it's it's amazing because whatever ability you are, whatever experience you have, we enable everyone to train together and everyone is so supportive obviously it's been a very very challenging time for all gyms so you know, I really feel for every business owner PT at the moment because I know that you know the the gang at ukactive Hugh Edwards has been very vocal about the support this sector needs you know.
If you're a freelancer you know, I don't believe that we've had enough the support that we need but in this time I think you have to stick by your guns your your clients need you now more than ever. I know there's a lot of free workouts, etc. going on. But there is nothing like seeing a familiar and friendly face that they trust and that you they know you understand them and how they're feeling. So we've turned the business online overnight, one day in March, which is actually coming up to our anniversary now because we would have been closed pretty much 10 months, which is absolutely nuts.
And as a small business in London, with three gyms, not a lot of cash and a lot of overheads. It's it's not been easy. But we're very grateful to our community for keeping us going and we just really hope that we can be in the position where we can safely open our doors soon. I Well, I think I you know, we absolutely can't wait for that. And I think there'll be lots of listeners in a very similar position to yourselves. That will be totally finding this very relatable conversation right now. And yeah, it's, um, you know, hopefully Fingers crossed.
We are, we are coming to the end of what has been an extremely challenging periods. And you know, when I think things do get back to normal, whatever that normal will be on, I am absolutely convinced from a personal perspective that we are going to see a huge demand in the services from fitness professionals for a variety of reasons. So that excites me. It's just this period we have to get through which hopefully it's not too much longer.
Now. Laura, you are you are active on the on Instagram, and I hope you're not going to mind me asking you this. But one. Well, one of the things that I obviously you you, you do loads of stuff, and it's one of the things that I absolutely love, and I think you know, men and women go for so relatable, but you started something on Instagram called it bought on the internet didn't need it. Yeah, that's right.
I'm so guilty of that. I have literally Amazon packages every day. And when I looked at it, I was like, Oh my goodness, it's hysterical. Yeah. How did you you know, what, what made you decide to go on Instagram with that? It's really funny.
I just, I, I think that there's a lot of pressure, right as a PT to be constantly putting out content, educational, you know, frequent, you know, Hey, guys, I'm apparently I'm training. The reality is Susie, I found this as a fitness professional just as hard as the next person. Yeah, you know, sometimes I wake up, and I'm not really very motivated, and I don't want to train and I don't want to smash it. And other days, I'll sit and have a cup of tea and I buy rubbish from Amazon.
And yeah, I thought you know what I'll, you know, I'll use my platform, not only to try and help support people and be educational, but also try and share a bit of humor. Because I think it's important to show that, you know, I am human, I'm not everyday training, fitness smashing it. I'm also buying a galaxy light projectors.
I guess the The trouble is, one day, I'm gonna look back at my Amazon orders and go for God's sake, that could have bought you a new CPD course. But you mustn't do that you have seen her do it back, do not look back. It's just, you've done it, you've done it now just move on and move forward. what's the what's the craziest thing that you've bought on Amazon, then Suzy? Oh, so I'm trying to grow my hair at the moment.
And I'm thinking that I want to track it my hair loss condition. So I have purchased a cover to go over my head that I need to attach to my hair dryer. And it's like an old fashioned like 70s caps thing that you went to put the the warm air in my hairdryer. It just blows up. So I've got this thing on my head.
It's just insane. And my partner community, What on earth are you doing? I'm like, don't just don't ask me. This is an absolutely essential. It was an essential item. I've only used it once. That's when he decided I bought it about four weeks ago. So I don't know. But everything's an essential item in my world.
I'm just trying to weigh up whether I should try and dye my hair myself. I know you're very you're very good at that. Oh, well. Yes, we could. Yeah, maybe we should have we should we should do a webinar just on hair dyeing.
That's great. So I'm just thinking then about to finish off. What would be a kind of final message, Laura, for people thinking about coming into the industry, you know, things have changed. I believe and and we believe here at premier global NSM that, that, you know, we think the sector is amazing. This is challenging right now I'm not detracting from that.
But you know, when things were in the direction where it's an amazing sector to be in and just to be able to help people with their, you know, physical and mental health and well being is just incredible. But, you know, that's me, you know, what do you what what would you say somebody that's maybe in a corporate environment right now.
And I've got this passion and this desire to potentially, you know, follow follow their dreams? Yeah, I very simply do it. I think I think what what we've been through and we continue to be through, like we said, there has never been a more important time to look after your health and fitness and there's lots of useless information out there and people are seeking professionals, people that they can trust and I do believe that
The demand when we can fully reopen in real life will be huge. And, and we've got, we've got a bit of time, I think before we get there, so why not use this time if you're working from home, possibly you're not doing the commute, start your studying now, get into the best possible position that when we all open up and you can start to reassess your your next move, use this time now to get qualified, start getting a bit of experience.
And, you know, although I've mentioned, I didn't have a specific plan, find your plan B, give yourself, okay, I'm going to give this a go, I'm going to start to do my research, I'm going to understand my training identity, I'm going to try and find a mentor. And it is now or never I genuinely think that it's it's one of those things that you can kick yourself in 10 years, and it is never too late.
The skill, the skills that you have built up from your corporate lifestyle, whether that's in finance, or sales, or marketing or teaching, essentially, you you need to be a person that is knowledgeable and experienced that someone can trust with their health and fitness. And if you've got a passion for it, do it.
Amazing. Amazing. Laura, I literally could talk to you all night. For me. We are delighted to be supporting you and to be supporting the foundry fix. And will you come back and speak to us again very, very soon. Absolutely. It'd be my pleasure. Thank you, Susie. Oh, no, thank you very much you take care of and maybe we'll catch up about the hair. Please, please.
Thank you so much. Take care.