Always dreamt of getting a bikini body before the summer but always given up halfway? No more excuses! FitFam Studios is a personal training service and private fitness studio which opened last year in London’s East Village in Stratford.
Founded by husband and wife duo, Aaron Edwards and Eleni Panayis, FitFam Studios offers professional training programmes on a one-to-one or group basis for all people at all stages on their health journey.
This week, as part of the Wellness Wednesday series, the London Living team caught up with Aaron Edwards to find out more about Fitfam Studios and why so many people are cancelling their gym memberships and turning to more personalised fitness studios to get results!
How long has Fitfam Studios been open? And how did Fitfam Studios come to life?
I have been a personal trainer for a long time and before that I was also an athlete. I knew I was good at what I was doing, but I was also extremely comfortable! I always wanted to own my own studio but you could say that I was a little too ‘scared’ to make the move as it is something I hadn’t done before. I was also going through a period of struggling to find time for my wife and children. So, one day my wife and I decided to finally open Fitfam Studios so we could spend more together under one roof.
The fitness industry has become increasingly competitive, how does Fitfam differ from other London gyms?
There are three main qualities in which we pride Fitfam Studios on – privacy, quality and personal care. Fitfam Studios is a personal training studio, so we aren’t a normal gym as such. For example – you don’t attend group classes. All clients have a personalised nutrition plan and a highly qualified mentor to support them every step of the way to help achieve their goals.
At Fitfam Studios, we want to know who everybody is and what everybody is doing. And by doing it this way, we have achieved outstanding results!
Fitfam Studios is based in East Village which is known for London’s Hippest Postcode! What attracted you to East Village? And how has East Village evolved since you first opened?
Firstly, East Village is a very unique location and I have been around the area for a long time. I was born in bred in East London (Newham).
When East Village first opened I wasn’t too sure about the area. It was quiet in the beginning, but overtime (and quite quickly), it became a lot busier. When it comes to looking for a personal training studio we thought “East Village would be great” but didn’t think it was the most realistic option.
East Village is safe, unique and clean – and due to the facilities that surrounds the area, it has been really useful for our business!
There seems to be more awareness on health and wellness than ever before. What top tips could you give our readers who are wanting to become healthier but are struggling to find the time and motivation?
At Fitfam Studios we are big on nutrition! However, the hardest thing about eating well is making the time to prepare your food. If you aren’t sure what to eat, we encourage all readers to visit Fitfam, as we can give professional guidance on what to eat and when to eat.
In terms of finding time, I am super busy. My wife and I set time aside for each other and ensure we work out together 3 times a week. If we didn’t set time aside, we would find excuses! If it is important to you, you will make time for it. I also always remind myself that ‘20 minutes exercise is better than nothing.’
The second part is staying motivated. It’s important to either find a personal trainer, or find a training buddy. If you are doing exercise with someone else, you are more likely to succeed.
Apart from being a father and operating a business, when you DO have spare time (which I am sure is rarely), what are you favourite things to do and places to visit in London?
I love spending time with my wife and kids, so there really isn’t any ‘time off’. Being a family man, we like to explore new places in London and try new places to eat in London.The kids and I love to visit Ginger and Mint based in East Village. The kids love to sit outside to see the ducks in the pool. We also love to visit Timberslodge café which is located in Olympic Park. We just like to base ourselves in East Village for work and leisure because there is so much to do!
Your website has so many incredible testimonials on how Fitfam Studios has transformed people’s lives. Is there a story that has stood out to you that you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, there is one client named Laura Musslewhite who contacted me due to a few bad experiences with a personal trainer. When she first started, she always had her head down and was rattled with nerves as she didn’t enjoy busy gyms! Her transformation is phenomenal. She has gone from a size 18 to a size 8. Now she OWNS the gym. She knows exactly what she is doing and she loves assisting people! She is the true boss at Fitfam Studios.
Personal training is known to be quite expensive. Could you take us through the costs and packages Fitfam has to offer?
Personal training is more expensive than a general membership in a commercial gym, or compared to classes. The difference is, the process, the results achieved, the speed in which they are achieved, and the maintenance. At FitFam we give a thorough consultation, to go over a client’s background, their current and previous condition and training history, their barriers; physically and mentally, and what it is they want to achieve from their journey with us. We then, together with the client, based on all of the information given, will set achievable goals. We carry out a detailed body composition test (measuring body fat percent and lean muscle tissue, along with various other measurements). We will use this test as a progress marker, and re-take it at various stages of the client’s program. Using these results, and looking at the clients goals, we then provide an in-depth nutrition plan, providing a macro breakdown and giving meal ideas and alternatives.
The client is guided through a tailor made program (designed specifically for them), week by week, which we will progress as the client’s body begins to adapt to the exercises systems used (applying progressive overload). Each week the PT will set goals for their clients, to progress them through their program and on to the next phase. Results are guaranteed, so long as clients’ follow the nutrition and training programs given.
Our one-on-one packages range from £60-£80 per session depending on the package chosen (which includes the nutrition plan, 2-3 body composition tests and a number of ‘gym passes’ to use in the gym by themselves).
At FitFam we offer 24 hour guidance and support. We monitor our clients every step of the way, providing encouragement and motivation, and as we are a team here (a FitFam’ily), all of our PT’s and clients support and encourage each other.
And lastly, with social media, and so many new diets / products on the market now, it can be quite overwhelming to understand what we should all be doing to be the best version of ourselves physically and mentally. What would be your advice to someone who is wanting to start living a healthier and happier life?
Seek advice and stick to a plan. Don’t try and change it half way and don’t listen to too many other people, otherwise you will just get confused.
I think the biggest health myth I hear is ‘cut out carbs’. Cutting out carbohydrates works in the short term, but long term it isn’t sustainable as you will crave them more. The right proportion of carbohydrates is essential to give us energy. So to anybody reading this – please don’t be afraid to eat carbohydrates!
Also being healthy is also about making time for yourself and the loved ones around you!