The last few months it’s felt like there’s no better place to be than Tring. With new restaurants, gyms and beauticians arriving all the time, this place is in a period of change that will catapult our lives into a colourful new world. Being a self confessed local, independent business nut this is also pretty much as exciting as it gets for me! It was an obvious choice therefore to focus on a selection of these businesses and introduce you to the people behind them for this month’s blog theme.
First up, we’re meeting the lovely Steve & Mark from very new, fabulous (and extremely orange) Physique gym. When these guys announced they were opening a few weeks ago, I shared their post on Facebook and my page went wild! There’s a lot of love for a new gym on the block and definitely one that’s run by these two. So let’s find out about their journey to a tangerine fitness dream.
Mark and Steve
What was your background prior to starting Physique Fitness?
Steve: Both Mark and myself are personal trainers, and have over 20 years of experience between us. We pride ourselves on the fantastic relationships we’ve built with clients and the great results this achieves.
Mark: For us, personal training is not just about looks and vanity, it’s so much more. It’s the feeling we’re helping to improve our client’s health, wellbeing and giving them a better quality of life.
What made you take the plunge and set up on your own?
Steve: In all honesty, we weren’t happy with the way things were run at the gym we trained our clients at. Initially we planned to set up a small studio just for personal training clients, but as we delved deeper into planning and with a few unforeseen circumstances thrown in we decided to make some changes and expand our plans. We wanted to create a gym environment our members could be proud of and be comfortable training in, and not intimidated to ask for help.
Mark: Somewhere that members could feel at home in, and feel like they were part of a family.
What have been the biggest challenges to setting up your own business?
Mark: As Steve mentioned, there were a few unforeseen circumstances along the way, particularly around Christmas, when stress levels are already high, along with being super busy keeping all our clients in check. However, with a bit of good fortune and a lot of good people around us, and the strength from each other we managed to stay motivated.
Steve: And that motivation gave birth to ‘The Interim Gym’ our temporary gym on the top floor of the Old Silk Mill, made up of equipment borrowed from friends, family and clients,this gave us somewhere to train our clients whilst Physique Fitness was being built.
Mark: A place our clients likened to training in a New York loft, and everyone loved it.
Steve: This also meant we were lucky enough to be on site whilst the building work was going on, as there were a lot of problems along the way requiring us to make difficult on the spot decisions on architectural and building issues. Some of the trades on site started calling Mark ‘boss’! Despite these challenges, we’re super pleased with the end results and the feedback we’ve had from our gym members and personal training clients has been fantastic.
What are your top 3 tips for maintaining maximum fitness?
1) Prioritise strength and resistance training
This is such an important factor for people of all ages but especially for the older generation, as we get older we naturally lose muscle. Resistance training isn’t just for aspiring body builders. A well-structured program along with good technique has so many more benefits including:
Better bone health (stronger bones)
Better metabolism — It takes more energy for the body to maintain muscle than it does fat, so the more muscle you have the more calories you can get away with eating (win-win)
Improve blood pressure
Most importantly it makes you look and feel great
We don’t like the term “you are what you eat”. If you go by this rule surely if you eat fat you get fat, right? …. Wrong! A much more accurate saying would be ‘you are what your food eats’. If you eat meat which has not been properly raised then that is where potential health implications might occur. For years fat has been under scrutiny for making us obese, giving us high cholesterol, heart disease and a whole other list of health risks. It is only recently that fat has been recognised again as healthy. The only truly bad fats are trans fats (found in margarine and many processed foods). In fact, eating healthy fats has been shown to improve cholesterol. A balanced diet should prioritise proteins and fats over carbs and most of your carb sources should come from colourful veg.
This is the time our bodies recover from the stresses of the day, whether this be through exercise or work. It is during sleep that our bodies repair and grow. We are a generation addicted to social media. It controls our lives. I bet not many of you can say that the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep isn’t check your Facebook or Instagram feed for the latest gossip or just to have a nose at what people have been getting up too…usually what they have eaten that day or a picture of them in the gym, because of course if there is no picture of you working out, it never happened. ;-) This rise in social media has coincided with a generation who complain of lack of sleep. This is no coincidence. If we all switched off our phones and computers and even televisions an hour or 2 before bed and turned to reading a book or writing a journal then we would get much better-quality sleep.
What do you see in the future for Physique Fitness?
Mark: Well with all the stress and pain of building the gym seemingly forgotten, we have already started work on our next project.
Steve: And let’s just say it’ll be much bigger, and leave it there…
Mark: We really can’t thank everyone who has been there for us on this journey enough, you mean the world to us, we couldn’t have done it without you. You made it feel amazing, thank you.
Guys that’s amazing! Well done. You should feel so proud. So excited to hear about what’s coming next. I know it will be fabulous…and possibly orange?!
Obviously I must add that not all social media is bad for you…In fact I think it may have been scientifically proven that 9/10 cats prefer Tring Buzz and we will never negatively effect your sleep patterns?! (Or something along those lines.)