The gym where everyone is welcome

A fitness instructor is hoping to create a welcoming environment for people from all walks of life in her new gym.

The right fit: Kate Campbell stumbled across the gym by chance when she went to buy a treadmill. Picture: Dean Atkins

Kate Campbell has opened her first gym in Sheffield. Ms Campbell was previously a midwife and decided to become a personal trainer after realising that there was a lack of fitness programmes for pregnant women and new mums.

She said: “I was pregnant with my second child. I was a midwife and I realised there was not really anything like fitness classes for people like myself who like going to the gym and feeling their heart rate going higher.”

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The only activities on offer were aquanatal and yoga classes.

“So I decided I was going to train to be a fitness instructor with the sole aim of delivering safe and effective antenatal and postnatal classes,” Ms Campbell said.

She set up Keep Mums Fit in 2007 and has helped over 1,000 women to get back their fitness and figures.

Ms Campbell is now looking to create a welcoming environment for all people, young and old, with Kate Campbell Fitness.

The 43-year-old acquired the gym by chance. She called in to buy a treadmill that had been advertised, discovered the business was up for sale and shook hands on a deal there and then.

Ms Campbell said: “What I hope to achieve is to create an environment where people feel comfortable coming. Where they are going to be looked after and they’re going to be observed to help them meet their goal.”

The fitness instructor wants to attract a cross section of people and will be offering a variety of classes including belly dancing.

“It’s about allowing exercise to be fun,” she said. “It’s not all about losing weight or gaining bigger muscles.”

The gym, a former Underground fitness club beneath Park Head’s Miller & Carter steakhouse, will offer a bespoke service to its clients.

Ms Campbell said: “It’s a small gym that caters for the needs of the many. I can tailor each programme specifically for them.

“I’ve got a lady who is short sighted and is bringing her guide dog in. I have a system that provides support for her.

“I look after everyone from the teenager all the way to people who have had a hip replacement.”

She added that anyone can walk into the gym, and as long as they have a goal, for example gaining strength, she has tailor-made fitness programmes for them to work to.

The fitness instructor believes that some people are intimidated by big gyms and feel like they’re just another number.

Initially, when Ms Campbell launched her business offering fitness classes for pregnant women and new mums, the hardest thing was raising awareness of her service. But soon the recommendations started flowing.

There’s no reason for women to stop doing exercise during pregnancy, Ms Campbell said.

She added: “There’s no evidence to say that exercise during pregnancy causes any problems. If they are fit and well to begin with then they can safely exercise.

“In the postnatal area they have to be careful that they are strong before they get back to running because if not then they can pick up injuries.”

Ms Campbell has been interested in fitness from an early age.

She said: “I used to dance until I was 16 and then have always been a member of loads of different gyms doing everything from weight classes to exercise classes.”

Breaking into a daily sweat

The gym will have 11 instructors running more than 17 classes a week.

It will offer both monthly membership and pay as you go schemes.

Kate Campbell Fitness will be offering newcomers intensive two-week courses to guide them into the exercise habit.

Ms Campbell said her own experience during pregnancy was a part of the reason for her becoming a personal trainer but there was also a desire to be able to give more specific advice and look after people one to one.

She added: “That’s what personal training is about.”