A pioneering fitness firm is helping industry leaders run up profits while losing weight and improving their health and wellbeing.
Fast Way To Fitness has helped thousands of people to get in shape over the years via a series of innovative and ground-breaking programmes focused on hard work, eating the right food and creating a positive mindset.
Based in Mochdre, the company has come a long way since being launched by managing director Ben Owen in 2011.
Having graduated with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science from Cardiff University, the 32 year-old decided working as a performance coach with elite athletes was not for him and returned to North Wales.
The former Ysgol John Bright pupil, who was raised in Conwy, began holding boot camps and speed sessions every morning at Ysgol Glanwydden, Penrhyn Bay.
Eight years later – with CEO Mark Bryant now helping to lead the business – Fast Way To Fitness welcomes up to 300 people through the doors of its 10,000 square foot gym every week.
“When I came back to the area, I noticed there was no provision for performance sport for the masses,” said Ben, who competed nationally in the 400m and 800m at junior level.
“I started the boot camps on the school field and discovered I had a real passion for progress and helping people to transform themselves.
“It was literally an overnight success and rain or shine we would be out there every morning; I started with 30 people and by the third year there were 150, which was incredible.”
Lottery funding from Sport Wales helped Ben move the operation to a small gym in Mochdre, before opening the new facility two years ago.
More and more people are coming through the door to join the wide range of fitness programmes, including the Fast Mudder, the six-week weight loss challenge and Mansformation, which is aimed at businessmen in Conwy.
Around 400 entrants have taken part in the weight loss challenge, and the success rate is around 90%. That equates to 2.5 tonnes of fat loss.
“It’s a results business, and we are all accountable,” said Ben.
“We love to see them hit their targets and are committed to serving the tribe. It is tribal behaviour, they are not customers; people look out for each other and support each other, we’ve worked heavily on the culture and to make this place as accessible as possible.
“That has been especially successful with business owners and managers, in helping them to get fit and become better leaders.
“Fitness is one of most influential vehicles in increasing productivity, energy, motivation and, ultimately, success.
“These are often the areas we ignore or do nothing about when we are struggling or become stressed. Fast Way To Fitness gives people an easy access platform and programmes in life coaching, training and business coaching, not just the physical side of things.”
Louis Ellis, a partner in Towyn holiday camp Palins, and owner of the DPL wine bar and Locked In live escape game attraction in Abergele, benefited greatly from his time with Ben and his qualified team of coaches.
With the support of fiancé Ashley, he has lost two and a half stone since February and is aiming to have a total of 8% body fat by September.
“I joined because I was just working around the clock and never taking any time for myself,” said Louis.
“As well as losing weight I feel sharper and more focused, which has had a knock-on effect for the business because I’m not as tired and lethargic. There is more structure to my life and to my working day, so I’m far more productive.”
Sion Pritchard, managing director of PetPlace, which has stores across North Wales, is another to see business improve in tandem with his health.
“If the person at the helm of a company is tired, burned out disorganised, lacking in enthusiasm and constantly making excuses, what precedent is that going to set for the workforce?” he said.
“Transforming my body not only has helped me run PetPlace better, it’s helped me cope with stress better. I’m sharper, and even though I felt sharp before it’s nothing even close to how I feel now.”
Entrepreneur Mark, who successfully battled cancer and is leading a business and health revolution with his new venture, The Energise Academy, believes marring focus and fitness is something all senior managers, CEOs and managing directors should aim for.
“It’s not easy, we’ve all been there, wrapped up in the whirlwind of work, family and the stresses and strains of modern life, but it will have a major effect for the good,” said the 41 year-old, from Rhos-on-Sea.
“Ben and I are two highly passionate individuals wanting to make a difference, and if we can help change and shape better leaders then it will have a positive effect on their staff, their families and everyone around them.”
Ben added: “As a business we have grown exponentially so now it’s about capitalising on the infrastructure we’ve created and further improving what we do, especially from a service perspective.
“That includes our online presence, which we want to reflect the experience at the gym, with training programmes and advice to help people get the same level of results from home.
“We will continue to grow and scale-up the company, but our ultimate priority is to keep helping our tribe get better, be better and leave here with a smile on their faces.”