This week we’re dedicating the News to an in-depth interview with Shane Cook, Founder of the business and who proudly commented recently “I’ve been told that Active8 has the best personal trainers in Bristol.”
With a reputation spanning more than 20 years of providing personal training services in Bristol, Active8 has become well-known and respected in the city for offering a superb mix of personal training and fitness classes for all.
The question and answer interview below highlights exciting expansion plans for 2022.
Have you always worked as a personal trainer and fitness coach in Bristol?
“No! I started my first career as a professional goalkeeper at Swindon. I was in the first-team squad under legendary Glenn Hoddle, and within 12 months of joining the club we were in the Premier League.”
“I was the youngest goalkeeper aged just 18 in the Premier League at that time.”
“After my football career, I got interested in the psychology of sport and fitness. I began working at Redwood Lodge in Failand, gained a Sports Diploma in Exercise & Fitness, and built a client base over three years mainly teaching Body Pump and Spinning Classes as a Gym Instructor.”
When did you make the move from gym instructor to a personal trainer?
“During the time I was working as a Gym Instructor, personal training was mainly the preserve of the rich and famous. It was big in the USA and was just starting to emerge in London. Celebrities were also hiring personal trainers.”
“I could see that personal training and bespoke fitness in Bristol would become hugely popular, so I opened Active8 in 2002 from a unit on Chandos Road in Redland. At the time, it was one of the first personal training fitness centres in Bristol.”
When and why did you launch the Active8 Westbury Park fitness centre?
“The 10-year lease came up for renewal at our Chandos Road centre, and I spotted the Westbury Park site for sale. Paul Howe joined the management team at Active8 in 2013, and in that July we bought the Westbury Park unit.”
“It was based on a prominent road in Westbury Park with a fantastic neighbourhood feel and a strong sense of community there. We also wanted to own this Bristol fitness centre outright, to help build the Active8 brand.”
How has the Active8 personal training and fitness centre business grown?
“Westbury Park now has a dedicated team of seven qualified personal trainers and three therapists specialising in Physiotherapy, Osteopathy and Sports Massage. We are an important part of the local community there.”
“We opened a second fitness centre roughly 20 months ago at Origins on Berkeley Square in Clifton, to offer fitness classes as well as our popular personal training services.”
“Although the Active8 Clifton gym and fitness centre has only been open effectively for about 10 months due to Covid-19 lockdowns, we already have a team of six personal trainers there, with therapists coming on board.”
What qualifications do Active8 personal trainers have to work in Bristol?
“The minimum requirement for an Active8 personal trainer working at one of our fitness centres in Bristol is a Level 3 in Personal Training. Some of our Bristol PTs have degree-level qualifications and others have diplomas too.”
What personal training, fitness and gym services does Active8 offer clients?
“We provide bespoke personal training, fitness plans, as well as classes.”
“Some of our clients are looking to maintain or improve their health and fitness levels, whilst others may have sustained a sports-based injury and need rehabilitation.”
“We also have many older clients, as well as post-pregnancy mums, and wheelchair-bound clients who require specific training programmes.”
“Having on-site therapists also gives us the capacity to accurately and safely assess clients who may have previous injuries. This means that was can tailor a bespoke fitness programme for each client in a safe and professional way.”
How would you describe the Active8 offering to a new client in Bristol?
“We have always aimed to bridge the gap between a full membership gym and a personal trainer. Active8 sits perfectly between these two offerings.”
What is the future for Active8 fitness centres and your Bristol personal trainers?
“We’re currently looking at a third Active8 fitness centre in the Frenchay/Downend area of Bristol. There is a demand for our type of personal training and fitness services there, and it’s looking like 2022 will be an exciting time for us all.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
“Yes! Our client base has been incredibly loyal to Active8. We have many clients who first joined us back in 2002 and are still training with us today.”
“One of those clients said to me recently that Active8 has the best personal trainers in Bristol, and I felt incredibly proud of our amazing team of trainers and therapists.”