Despite having a business dramatically affected by the pandemic, Origin Workspace member, Nick Bamber (or as he’s perhaps now better known, ‘Nick The HIIT Man’) has certainly kept himself busy and smiling since March 2020.
Successfully recruiting teachers into roles for six years, in 2019 the young entrepreneur launched his own education recruitment agency, Bamber Education, but as the school gates closed and the academic world plummeted into a home-schooling frenzy, his business like many, faced a challenging time ahead.
But Nick didn’t rest on his laurels. As the UK found themselves in lockdown last March, he embraced the virtual world, downloaded Zoom, and hosted 20-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes live, every weekday at 1pm.
No stranger to fitness, and with a passion for fur coats and banging tunes, his quirky nature and comical commentary soon attracted an audience stretching from Scotland to Singapore, with friends, family and work mates tuning in to get a sweat on.
Ten weeks in and the 50th class saw Nick hosting in full cricket whites to mark the half century.
Taking a break as restrictions eased during the summer, Nick and his whacky wardrobe came back for lockdown 2.0 with twice weekly classes scheduled in for his growing fan base.
And as the tough winter months descended and the festive season came to an end as quickly as it began, Nick returned, gracing laptop screens of home-workers every Tuesday and Friday at 1pm.
The trademark warm-up of star jumps, squats and press-ups followed by three sets of heart-pumping exercises requires no equipment. It’s fair to say that at a time where we can’t spend time with each other in person, Nick has still managed to create a community, bringing people together online in the name of fun and fitness.
Now with press attention surrounding the positive 28-year-old, including a recent feature on ITV News, and a desire to work with Joe Wicks, we catch up with Nick to find out what’s next for Bamber Education and The HIIT Man, and why he’s planning to dress up as a plastic water bottle and run 100 miles…
Where did the idea and the name come from for The HIIT Man?
The name just came up playing around with variations on HIIT, The HIIT Man just really caught my attention and I couldn’t believe no one had taken it.
I’ve never sat down and written a business plan for this, it just started as a way to teach my close friends how to work out, and over time it’s grown into a full production with music and a running commentary!
When did you decide to build a website and take it up a notch?
So it wasn’t actually my idea. Around three months into the workouts, my friend Robbie had taken a website building course whilst he was on furlough. He’d been joining the sessions since the start and he offered to build one for me. I didn’t think I needed one, but it soon became a very handy tool! Check it out here www.thehiitman.co.uk
Did you ever envisage it gaining so much popularity?
Not at the beginning, I was so surprised when people I didn’t know started joining the sessions. Once I started posting on social media, that’s when it really started getting some attention.
What’s next for Bamber Education and what does the future look like – will the HIIT Man end when Covid does or will you steer your professional life in a new direction?
Just cracking on really! Schools will be back soon so business should be back to normal by summer.
The HIIT Man has only been during lockdown periods, but I think I will continue it in some form alongside my recruitment business!
Perhaps I’ll run a Saturday session every week when life is back to normal. Watch this space!
Why did you choose Origin Workspace over other Bristol co-working environments?
I had a look around a few other spaces, but none of them had the vibe of Origin. It is full of cool, professional people. I love all the events that are put on and the gym is top notch.
What is s like being part of the community at Origin Workspace?
It has honestly improved so many aspects of my life. I look forward to coming to work every day and I am proud to say I work at Origin. I often show people the workspace online and have given several friends tours around the building. It’s an amazing space, the staff are great and most of them have become my friends too!
Can you tell us about some of the connections you have made by being a part of the space?
I have made some friends for life at Origin! I’ve met some wonderful people at the social events mainly in the exercise classes but the friendships grew at the Friday drinks!
Is it true you are dressing up as a plastic water bottle?
Yep, it’s true. I am running 100 miles in 10 days dressed as a plastic water bottle to raise awareness for single use plastics starting on 5th February 2021.