Meet Ollie Reeve, resident Personal Trainer at Origin Workspace.
After studying Sports Science at Durham University, and playing rugby for the university team, Ollie Reeve went on to play rugby for Durham County. Yet, despite his keen interest in sport and keeping fit, he secured a job in recruitment after graduating in 2008.
But just two weeks before he was due to start his new role, the 2008 financial crash hit, and the international banking crisis that sparked the Great Recession swiftly headed Ollie’s career back into the world of fitness. He’s never looked back.
From working in gyms, heading up PT Studios and launching his own business, Ollie is also member of Active8, and now part of the family at Origin Workspace.
With bags of experience behind him, we caught up with Origin’s resident health enthusiast to find out how he has managed to help his clients during the pandemic, what the future of fitness looks like at Origin Workspace, and why he firmly believes in the wellness culture embedded here.
What made you turn back to fitness when your graduate role in recruitment could no longer go ahead?
It was actually my Dad who said to me “you’ve always loved the gym. Why don’t you employ yourself and become a personal trainer?
He lent me the money to qualify. I did a course with Premier Global and moved to Newcastle where I started working in a DW Sports Gym. I then went on to head up a PT studio for two years before returning to Bristol to be closer to family.
Tell us about your own business?
I worked from the Anytime Fitness gym in Clifton for eight years under my own company name Origin Personal Training. Within weeks of launching my own business, a brand-new fitness company providing equipment to gyms called Origin Fitness entered the market. Clients thought that it was my business, but it was just an incredible coincidence!
And now you are also part of the Active8 Group?
I was approached by Shane Cook from Active8 in August 2020, a PT company that has been around for over 20 years, and I joined the team. I’ll always have my own company, so I am Origin Personal Training working for Active8 with Shane at Origin Workspace!
When did you join Origin Workspace?
Active8 became part of the team at Origin Workspace in September 2020. We want to get everyone fit and active and create a community around health and wellbeing. Shane and I had not been here long before the UK went into the second lockdown.
How did the UK lockdowns affect your business?
I feel like as Personal Trainers we offer a solution to a problem. When the gyms are open, anyone can go and take part in classes but when gyms are closed, it is not as easy for people to stay motivated towards fitness, especially when the weather is cold outside.
It was possible to set up an outdoor gym during the second lockdown, so I did this during the autumn. Then the UK headed into Lockdown 3.0 in January – the toughest one yet! This time outdoor gyms were forbidden and the only option to training outside was one on one.
How did the team at Origin Workspace help you find a solution?
Even though we have had to stay at home, people want to stay fit and healthy and keep their programmes running. During the winter months it is too cold and dark to run online classes outside so the team here at Origin workspace offered me a private office to use and it has been amazing.
My new studio meant that I could offer virtual training for my clients throughout the winter lockdown. The Wi-Fi is unbelievable, I have a large screen, the room is warm and well-lit and it’ is a really big space – it couldn’t be better. I feel really supported and part of the team here.
I was able to assess someone’s environment at home and create a fitness solution based on individuals’ boundaries and the equipment and space available.
What does the future of fitness look like at Origin Workspace?
Fitness and yoga classes will resume when it is possible to do so and we have lots of exciting plans too. We want to run seminars, nutritional courses, educational workshops as well as weekend fitness retreats in the space. We are thinking about reconfiguring the gym, so it is geared up more towards group exercise.
We want Origin Workspace members to come and talk to us about their fitness challenges so we can help them achieve their goals.
And above all, we’re aiming to create a community around fitness and a culture of healthy mind, healthy body, healthy business.
I enjoy helping people with mental health problems and regular exercise improves mental health by reducing stress, anxiety and can really help increase self-esteem. There is already a wellness culture in place at Origin Workspace and we want to work to enhance this even further.
Both Shane and I are really looking forward to getting stuck in when the weather warms up, the restrictions are lifted, and people return to the space again.
Want to kickstart your fitness journey? Get in touch with Ollie Reeve at [email protected] – you’ll never look back.