International Women's Day

Here at Fitness First, for International Women’s Day, we want to recognise and celebrate the contribution of the many women that make the fitness industry: the creators, the leaders and our members.

Read on for some inspirational statements and tips for women to take the lead, in line with this year International Women’s day theme.

We’d also like to acknowledge the ways in which men can support this movement, so we’ve got Lee Matthews, our Managing Director, to share his view on the subject. 

Girl in a jacket

JAne Fonda

JAne Fonda

Jane Fonda inspired women around the world with her timeless and iconic workout tapes. Her first tape titled ‘Jane Fonda’s Workout’ quickly became one of the most popular of all-time and sparked national fitness crazes of the ‘80s and ‘90s. We feel her legacy, presence and contribution to the health and fitness industry is something to be celebrated!

Girl in a jacket

Emma Thomas

Fitness First Basingstoke Member

Emma Thomas

My fitness and weight loss journey started back in December 2019. I began training properly in Fitness First last year and haven't looked back since. I have currently lost 5st 11lbs!

For me, training helps with more than just physical confidence it reduces any anxiety and provides that release from the stresses of everyday life. The friendly atmosphere at Fitness First makes me feel comfortable and confident around the gym which is something I previously struggled to find.

I cannot wait to get back to training properly and joining in for a (well missed) spin class!

Louis Gale

Fitness First Poole Member

Louis Gale

I decided I wanted to build up my strength so I started to train in the weights area with the help of a PT. Not only did I start to build up strength but my confidence grew and I soon found myself walking into the weights area feeling so empowered.

Holly Bale

Fitness First Basingstoke Member

Holly Bale

Fitness makes me happy, not only physically but mentally too. As a working mum of 2 my life is pretty chaotic but having something to focus on solely for me; that makes me better in every way is so important.

Hansa Halai

Fitness First Basingstoke Member

My long-term goal is for my children to grow up understanding the importance and value of exercise. I want to do this by being a shining example.

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Cleopatra Bartley

Fitness First Camden General Manager

Cleopatra Bartley

What is an empowered female? She is someone who knows their strengths and isn't afraid to embrace them. 💪🏼 I am Cleopatra, a General Manager at Fitness First Camden, and an empowered woman.

I firmly believe a title alone means nothing, without putting in the hard work and determination that is needed to be successful and achieve your goals. A day in the life as a leader is:

- Being a role model and leading by example
- Encouraging team members to go above and beyond
- Motivating and inspiring both members and team members
- Always having a glass half full approach!

As a leader it is assumed that you have all the answers, but I am constantly learning daily and my team humble me on many levels. If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

Tori Waight

Fitness First Basingstoke General Manager

Tori Waight

Everyday we have fun, from teaching, training and even cleaning, you are never alone. At some point you, your team or a member says something that makes a difference. The interaction allows for open, honest and inspiring stories to be unreeled.

Ruth Akesson

Head of HR at Fitness First

Ruth Akesson

My advice for women who are serious about their career is to find something you are passionate about and do your research into a business as it's important to find the culture and values you are aligned with.

Suzanne Loughnane

Head of Corporate at Fitness First

Recognise your attributes - focus on where you can make a difference and continue to enjoy every working day as you build your career. If you love what you do you will grow and grow!

Eilis Sweeney

Fitness First Poole General Manager

Make friends, build relationships, help people and smile. People will follow you, help you and maybe someday work for you if you listen. But most importantly, work hard!

Lee Matthews

Fitness First Managing Director

Lee Matthews

At Fitness First, we strive for more balance on our gym floors and in the workplace.

We know that women don’t have the same needs in training as men for so many reasons (anatomy, physiology…) and we make it a priority to welcome them in an inclusive environment and to support them with their fitness goals, whatever those are. We have an extensive class offering built with women in mind, but have also adapted our equipment – introducing ‘female bars’ in the free weights area (thinner grips and weighing 15kg, instead of the standard 20kg) as well as purchasing equipment where we recognise there is a high demand with women, such as the Glute thrust machine. And it’s just the beginning…

We also recognise the incredible value of women in the workplace – the passion, the grit, the focus and above all the importance of a diverse team to deliver the best results for our members. We have fantastic female employees across all levels of our business, from our senior leadership team, club General Managers, all departments within our support centre and of course our member facing teams at club level - we’re so proud that they’re part of our business.

We hope to welcome more women than ever into our clubs when we reopen and we’re committed to attracting the best female talents in the near future.

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