By Ben Coomber, Performance Nutritionist (CISSN), Coach, International Speaker and Fitness Educator at Ben Coomber
ukactive’s Digital Marketing Manager sat down with the creator of the UK’s #1 rated podcast Ben Coomber Radio; Ben has coached 1000s of people in his 90 day program Fat Loss for Life so we wanted to hear from him on what delegates can expect from attending ukactive Sweat next week, in London at Studio Spaces.
- Why do you think the fitness boutique space is emerging?
BC : Boutique fitness is new, fun and community driven. For a long time community has been missing from major gyms except in the group exercise classes. So why not build a gym purely on this model? This is what the boutique sector has done and its proven to be highly successful. Many of the boutique gyms are running high energy, fun and engaging classes, and that’s why people have fallen in love with boutique concepts.
- What do you think fitness boutique means?
BC : Well by the dictionary boutique means small, designer, intimate, and that’s how boutique has started, but with anything that works it becomes mainstream, and boutique is definitely mainstream, we’re now talking about it, it’s hot property. We can give it whatever meaning we want, but what we should be concerned about is the end customer, what does it mean to them? You’ll likely get a similar answer, small, intimate, an experience. And this is what fitness needs, so big or small if fitness can give a customer an experience, make them have fun, to come away smiling and sweaty, then both big and small wins, whatever boutique means now and next year…and the year after that.
- Are you interested in the fitness boutique space in 2019? If you’re not, who should be?
BC : Everyone should be interested in the boutique fitness sector because this is the sector that has the attention on it, why? Because they are innovating and thus taking market share of active gym goers and creating new gym goers out of non-gym goers. I’m fascinated by the new concepts that are coming to market and how workouts are being designed, both with new equipment and old equipment that has been around for many years. Customer experience is also a huge interest of mine as every business can learn from businesses’ that are doing well by their customers and winning. We’re obviously all interested in the space, hence we’re all meeting for SWEAT because the eyes are on boutique!
- You attended last year’s SWEAT, how was the experience for you? Did you learn anything new? Are you looking forward to attending this years’?
BC : I’m very excited, 100%. Events like this inspire, both with my own job, my own business, and with the industry as a whole. It was a super positive event with a ton of expertise and vision in the room, and that’s inspiring. Listening to how companies are doing things, their future focus, their opinions, and insight into what is working for them. Even if people come and pick up one idea, that one idea could spur a whole host of new innovations in that person’s business or practice as a coach.
- Do you think others stand to benefit from attending?
BC : Yes. The fitness space can often be lonely, yes we are coaches and working with people every day, but it’s not often you get to converse and learn with/from people on your level, that think like you, and then also sit in a room with the innovators.
If you want more from yourself as a coach, from your business, or you have your own ideas you should be there. You are a product of your environment so get amongst the innovators and set your mind and business on fire. That’s why I’m there, to learn and be inspired with what’s next.
- Do you think you could have used the expertise of the ‘fitness boutique’ sector growing up? Could it have helped in your personal fight as a teenager battling obesity?
BC : No, not personally. I was highly motivated to change when I was younger, I would have done anything to change and found the answers I needed to change. The boutique offers safer entry to people that are unsure, people that want the support, that want fitness to be fun, that want to be inspired by others in that group setting. For me it simply wasn’t something I needed, my goals were very personal and selfish and I would have conquered them regardless. That’s not to say either way is right or wrong, it’s about knowing what you need as a person to win with your fitness and choose the route that is best for you, and the boutique market has been fantastic for people looking for fun, engaging, community driven fitness.
- Do you think PTs and the fitness boutique can come together and collaborate, yes, no, why?
BC : 100%. The boutique sector has won in the market due to both the new and fun concepts it has developed, but also because of the coaches and trainers that have developed them. The boutique market only wins on high quality coaching, that’s what people are coming back for time and time again, which is why it has done so well. People for years have been bored of the gym environment, many gyms have lacked innovation and become stale, focusing on the numbers and not the members, so they have lost to young, new and exciting boutique concepts, and rightly so. Where there is a good fitness concept there is a need for high quality coaches, so if coaches want to be on trend they should be looking at being involved in the boutique sector or at least learning from it.
- As a fitness educator, who’s had to pave their own way, do you believe events like SWEAT which power smaller groups are important?
BC : Without doubt, gone are the days where big gyms control the power, just like big business. Small and nimble and personal is in fashion, people want a greater connection to what they do and the small boutique market has won due to this. They are on the front line, talking with customers every day and providing for their needs in a powerful way. Because of this success this will then filter up (bucking tradition) to the bigger gyms, so now the big gyms are watching the small gyms and what’s popular to get their inspiration from. It’s a funny change of events, but it’s been a long time coming because the big gyms, in many respects, haven’t been focusing on what’s important for a long time, and now the power is in the small guys hands. It’s exciting to see.
Question for us all is, will it stay that way? Only we can control that. Let’s find out; see you all next week Tuesday!
Who is Ben Coomber?
Ben has consulted and worked with everyone from pro athletes to kids playing sport, educates the nutrition coaches of the future at The BTN Academy, has worked with companies like Sky TV, O2 and Twinnings Tea, has been a headline speaker at Body Power and SFN for many years and now joins us at Sweat 2019, runs Awesome Supplements, and continues to try educate and innovate in the world of fitness. We’re also very proud at ukactive to be working with Ben as a ukactive Avenger spreading the ukactive message through positive change, education and inspiration. Connect with Ben over on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. For everything else visit: http://www.bencoomber.com