Hey Josh, tell us about yourself…
I’m Josh, I’m 24 and I live in Hackney, London.
I grew up in a rough neighbourhood, was part of gangs, got kicked out of school when I was young and dropped out of education when I was in college.
With time I left that path and found my safe space in fitness.
Why did you choose career in fitness?
Personal frustration. I hated going to the gym by myself – the only time I went was with a friend of mine from work. I realized how difficult it was to find other people, so I stopped going and looked for a personal trainer, but it was super expensive and didn’t make sense. I saw videos about how if you really want to start a business you should find something you hate, so I decided to solve my own problem. That’s how the journey started.
What makes WeGym unique?
WeGym is unique because we offer premium personal training services for a fraction of the price through using technology to match the two perfect people together, which creates a more effective workout, as it’s more social, motivating and consistent. You’re 60% more likely to succeed.
Did you try or consider a different career path before?
Yes. I come from a technology background and spent 2 and a half years in the area. I also started in education business for a very short period.
How long does it, in your opinion, take to become a successful personal trainer?
Years. However, it depends on how you define success. If you are talking about training the clients you want, that can take traditional personal trainer years. If you’re talking about being a master, a lifetime.
WeGym is trying to adjust the time for that to happen. Trying to make it easier by giving personal trainers clients and access to knowledge through technology.
How long did it take you to be where you are now?
WeGym has existed on paper for almost 2 and a half years. We do hundreds of sessions a month, which is exciting, but we know it’s just the start of the journey for us. I wouldn’t say we’re successful, wouldn’t use that word. We’re not successful yet.
What are the biggest obstacles to overcome on the road to success?
The biggest obstacles is having the energy to keep going when it doesn’t work. The courage, the motivation when it feels hard. For instance, when a personal trainer loses their main clients.
What are your fitness qualifications? Where did you get them?
I’m not a personal trainer. I’m just a guy who loves fitness and wanted to solve a problem.
Do you think qualifications are important?
Oh, this is a very controversial question! I don’t think they’re important, but I think they should exist. Anybody can get qualified, but it doesn’t mean you’re a good trainer. If you get a qualification or you just watch tutorial videos for 10 hours on YouTube, you’re probably going to be in the same place. The skill is in the doing. No qualification gets you ready for a client who doesn’t care about what you’re doing.
How do you gain new fitness knowledge? Do you try to keep up with current fitness trends?
Personally, most of it comes from self-necessity from friends and family. YouTube, Google and following certain people who create content helps too, but it’s mostly coming from our community. I’m privileged to be around passionate trainers everyday. We learn from each other.
What would be your top tips for people starting in fitness?
Apart from joining WegGym, pick and focus on one or two things you’re good at first and be the best at it, so people start to know you for that. Try to get your clients to get more clients. Not enough trainers bound with their clients in a smart way. They don’t check in, they don’t say happy birthday, they don’t care outside the hour. Take a selfie with them. You’ll have a better chance to get them to tell someone else.
Also, be commercially minded and patient. Think about how technology can help your business.
How do you promote business? Most of new PT businesses seem to rely on digital. Is it the same for WeGym?
No, we don’t really rely on it. We started with the most traditional and unconventional marketing ever – handing out flyers, putting up posters… As you mature, you might want look to digital.
I’d focus on being myself. You have a big advantage on being an individual, rather than a brand. People help people, people connect with people. When it’s a brand or a company, nobody cares. It’s easier to fall in love with a person.
If you could start your fitness career again what would be the things you would make differently?
From day one, I’d have been more specific and much more intentional in the type of person we’re trying to target and on who we are, what we’re doing and what we stand for. Equally, I’d move it faster.