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Leeds: Personal trainers on the rollercoaster ride of COVID-19

Two personal trainers from Leeds have been describing the challenges along with the opportunities they have both faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Back in 2015, Chris Sutcliffe, founded CSS Fitness; a personal training company at Leeds award-winning gym, Graft Häus. 

Graft Häus is a warehouse-based gym that won the “Best Independent Gym, North East” in 2019.

With the coronavirus, the majority of self-employed businesses have found it a struggle to stay open this year.

CSS Fitness has had to adapt as best as they could in these unprecedented times. 

The government first put the country into a lockdown back in March, which resulted in gyms closing for four months.

Then again in November, gyms had to close for another month with no warning. 

Yorkshire Voice Image Courtesy of Tom Hooper, CSS Fitness Personal Trainer

Tom Hooper, one of the trainers, said: “Training people outside over the summer months was manageable as we had access to gym equipment and a large space to operate with social distancing in place.

“However, in the winter months training outdoors has been testing but we relished in the challenge and trained our clients in Woodhouse manor in Hyde Park, who jumped on board and smashed it.”

Owner Chris has built up the business over the five years with helping hundreds achieve their goals and with lockdown ending people are reaching out to them.

Chris said: “Enquires for PTs were not at their usual frequency in lockdown, but once it ended, we were overwhelmed with enquires.

“I think people want to start prioritising their health now more than ever.”

The company says it is determined to carry on helping people achieve their goals, despite Coronavirus.

“Surely the goal is to live a long happy healthy life?” Tom told Yorkshire Voice.

“I believe as a professional we can educate people on their health, no matter the struggles that we may face like coronavirus and social distancing.”

Lauren Davies (22) from Wales, has not been as lucky with her personal trainer she enquired about at the start of the year. 

“I enquired for a PT back in February,” she said. “It was good for a month till the lockdown hit and he refused to meet up socially distanced with me or give me any fitness plans.

“I was told to wait till the lockdown ended to continue, which ruined my progress completely.”

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