ARPTUK is a personal training business, born from a love for movement. Its founder, an ex-professional dancer, understands the importance of nurturing physical and mental health - something which has become all the more apparent during the pandemic. As well as 1-2-1 and virtual sessions, the business runs training sessions specifically for the LGBTQ+ community and allies, to ensure a safe and comfortable space for everyone.
Getting down to the core
The past eighteen months instigated a career change for the PT behind ARPTUK, who always knew that their livelihood would revolve around movement and fitness. While being sure to use transferable skills, they devised two important initiatives within their personal training brand: positive mental health, and inclusion.
“Moving from the arts and culture sector to the health and fitness industry has been an eye-opening experience, which has helped me to identify that there needs to be more work done to embrace mental health discussions. Most people know the health benefits of regular exercise, but the accompanying benefits to an individual's overall wellbeing are often overlooked or not promoted enough within the industry.
I want to be a positive influence in personal training, by striving to normalise exercising because it makes you feel good, as opposed to the all-too-common short-term goal of losing weight quickly for a holiday."
In a market that is dominated with competition, I wanted to find a niche that puts the client's physical and mental health before body aesthetics.
As a result, LGBTQ+Fit was born. This is a weekly outdoor bodyweight-focussed exercise programme for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. While fitness environments can be exceedingly heteronormative, ARPTUK exists to welcome “all the colours of the rainbow” and ensure everyone has access to a safe and comfortable training environment.
Up and moving with GoDaddy
Admitting to being a naturally active albeit “fidgety” individual, the GoDaddy Website Builder was a win-win option for them. Retraining as a personal trainer and gym instructor meant that time was precious, but having explored the free trial, and recognising how easy it was to navigate, it became clear that GoDaddy was the perfect website partner for ARPTUK.
“I was worried about being way out of my depth and I didn't have the time or resources to learn coding. My daily schedule was loaded with tasks related to launching a new venture, so I wanted a website that would be easy to navigate, within my budget and not time consuming. In addition, I needed a host that offered the extras required for a new business start-up, such as a new personalised email address and hints and tips on the dashboard to help build the site and the traffic to it.”
As soon as this business owner qualified as a Trainer, they fully committed to launching this new venture, ARPTUK, and chose GoDaddy to help shape-up the brand’s online presence.
“Thankfully, the GoDaddy Website Builder is easy to navigate and super quick to add content to. The website builder tool removes the need to be an IT wizard and my new site is slick, easy to load and looks great across all devices."
The instant results of having a GoDaddy website that I could link all of my social media channels to were fantastic! New potential clients were interacting and signing up to newsletters and services through the website as soon as the site was launched - doing most of the legwork for me!
Without wanting to compromise their new brand in the build process, the ultimate decision came down to the ease of use, access to pre-built templates and free features from GoDaddy.
“Because the tool is so easy to use, I have expanded the site faster than I had thought possible when I started and, as a new business, really appreciated the built-in access to stock images for use until I have the ability to replace them. The website quickly levelled-up from just a landing page to a site that hosted client sign-up forms and additional pages! I would highly recommend GoDaddy to other career-change warriors who may not know that much about building a website but want a site that looks great and actually works!"
Overcoming business hurdles
Although posture, alignment and musicality are all second nature to ARTPUK’s founder, the main obstacle to overcome was in fact “the dreaded imposter syndrome.”
“Transitioning to a new career can be daunting and I really had to keep reminding myself of the wealth of transferable skills and experience I already had under my belt, whenever the feeling of doubt crept in. I embraced being a gay man and my eighteen-year career in the arts, and reshaped some elements into my new USP.”
They truly believe that nobody should be afraid to start over, and have learned that professional development is essential for growth.
“If you are worried that a new course might take a year to complete and that you'll be a year older by the end of it ... reframe your thinking, you are going to be that one year older anyway. Why not be one year older with another arrow to your bow? Learn new skills, get a mentor and build a support network around you that's in (or close) to your new venture.
Starting out can be lonely and demanding, especially if you are juggling numerous job roles as a one-person-band."
It is crucial to remind yourself why you started your new journey and, with or without a support network, perseverance is key! A simple Post-It note with positive prompts and reminders can do a world of good!
From strength to strength
This optimism is admirable for a business that was forced to adapt to a “new normal” pandemic world. But, tenacity and determination meant that ARPTUK continue to push the pace and achieve new goals in the process.
“Our ability to exercise in a traditional gym environment was dictated by the various full and partial lockdowns. Not one to be deterred, and wanting to have a plan in place for the uncertain future, I decided to create Virtual Personal Training packages and a 30-Day Challenge initiative which could be accessed from anywhere around the world and can be hosted inside or outside of a gym. A self-guided journey with 1-2-1 live support via a personalised digital plan and app which is designed to fit around working from home.”
Physically or virtually, a happy client makes it all worth the while for this entrepreneur.
It’s all about progress over perfectionism for ARPTUK, embracing the challenging but keeping it achievable. They acknowledge that success is personal and can come in many forms, but it begins by setting out to do something and moving forward to achieve that thing, be it building a new website or exercising three times a week.
You can check out ARPTUK’s website here.
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