Meeting up with two of the three people behind Revolution Personal Training, Rob and John Grim, Mark Kebble reminisces about early encounters and how their 12 week transformation programme has led the way from the start in terms of success stories
So back to the start – obvious how you two know each other, but how did you come to launch Revolution?
Rob: I suppose a simultaneous meeting of minds! Giuseppe [Di Credico, the third member of the founding team] and I were working together at the time. I asked if he would consider starting up his own thing. It was all borne out of a frustration of what we saw – people were going to the gym and didn’t really know what they were doing. They were not getting results and we felt it only catered for about 1% of the membership. So why not do our own thing? Back then it was a relatively new thing.
Was it tough to start up?
Rob: It was a struggle in terms of getting it started – it was a big gamble.
John: We just about got enough money together.
Rob: John was actually an interesting story. When Giuseppe and I were close to starting up, I felt we were missing something. We needed energy and passion – that’s John!
John: I was in Australia at the time [working in the personal training industry too].
Rob: I rang John and told him me and Giuseppe were setting a personal training studio up and if he fancied joining us. He said he was quite happy in Australia, he had only been there for four and a half months, and he had his own apartment. I just put the phone down on him and sat there and said, ‘That phone will ring in two minutes’. It did and John said, ‘I am coming home’!
John: I couldn’t resist the urge to get home. We all came together like a jigsaw.
Rob you were a professional footballer, John you still box, so have you always had a sporty family?
Rob: Our dad was a boxer, he was a West Ham champion for three years in a row. Sport is in the family, everything from football to cricket. Our sister played netball for Sussex. The reality of football was key for me – I got into my 20s and I had to find what I could do for myself. I almost stumbled into personal training really.
Why Angel as the location for the studio?
Rob: We came to Angel because of a friend of mine. When we started looking for a gym, he rang me up and said there’s some units available at the Business Design Centre. It was just what we wanted and we got a real feel for the area. You got off the Tube even ten years ago and there was a buzzy vibe.
Has your ethos remained the same?
John: Well one of the things we want to get across is the success of the 12 week transformation. It’s really important to who we are.
Rob: We brought in the before and afters in 2007, Marc Morris was our first – and he was in your magazine Angel! A lot of people today claim it, but we have been doing the 12 week goals from the first day we opened. Now everyone is doing it! But the ethos has remained the same.
It has always been a friendly place to work out – is that just as important to bear in mind as qualifications when you take on new trainers?
Rob: I think you are onto something, but the trainers we have here do come with impressive sporting backgrounds.
It’s amazing how big you’ve become, has it changed how you work on a day to day basis?
Rob: That’s how my job has changed, most of the time I am dealing with enquiries. We don’t want to outsource that, so people ring up and I can talk to them about how they can achieve their goals. That doesn’t happen with big companies.
John: That’s still from the small business mentality, it still runs through the veins of Revolution. You call and you will still get the personal service. It’s how Rob runs the business, his job is to get the right client with the right trainer to ensure they get the results.
What can we expect in the future?
Rob: We have just been approved by the British Franchise Association, so we can spread the word of what we do to a wider audience. We are also going to set another studio up next year in a London location to be confirmed. Our challenge is to grow the brand, but retain the core of what we are all about.
For a complimentary first session, call Revolution Personal Training on 020 7288 6121 or visit revolution-pts.com