ViveFitness is the latest EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) training facility to open in the UK. Perfectly positioned in the buzzing city of Westminster, London, the studio aims to capitalise on the high footfall of busy working professionals, seeking an effective and time-efficient solution to keep on top of their health and fitness goals.
Fraser Smith is the co-founder and COO of ViveFitness. With a longstanding career in the fitness industry, Smith knows the key to attracting new members, providing a results-driven service and creating an enjoyable experience for which people will continue to return.
In light of the launch of ViveFitness, we caught up with Smith to understand more about his background, the opportunities he sees with EMS and where he wants to take his business.
Tell us about your history in the fitness industry
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great fitness professionals over the years. I started my career in Premier League Football, with a highly enjoyable and successful spell with Blackburn Rovers. I then moved into International Football with the Welsh FA, before starting my fitness business in London.
I’ve since enjoyed mentoring new trainers and working with a variety of individuals with a wide range of fitness goals, ranging from the general to the highly specific. These include stars from West End musicals, actors, world champion athletes and those recovering from injury. With the foundations of sport science and nutrition degrees, combined with experience in professional sport, I’ve been lucky enough to receive great exposure to most forms of training modalities on the market.
When did you hear about EMS and what were your thoughts?
I first heard about EMS when I was in China. Initially, I was sceptical, yet intrigued – it’s definitely something you can’t get your head around just by watching it.
After some in-depth research, and more importantly, giving it a go for myself, it made instant sense in terms of the efficiency, the effectiveness and the science behind it all.
I started to explore the market, discovering who the training was aimed at and saw the opportunity to bring a unique form of fitness to the masses. I knew it had great business potential.
What about EMS inspired you to set up ViveFitness?
It’s always been a dream of mine to set up my own fitness business. To have the creative input to grow my own company provides a thrilling challenge.
For me, the most important focus is to create a fitness environment where members benefit from both the training and the whole experience. EMS makes that simple. The miha bodytec device provides a time-efficient and safe training experience for those that don’t have the time or desire to exercise in a loud and hectic gym.
As sessions are run in a bespoke, personalised training environment, the whole experience is far less intimidating and more enjoyable.
What’s more, whilst the EMS market is growing in the UK, there are currently few providers offering the service. It’s a great solution to stand out as a studio, offering something different to members. It gives us a strong USP.
What are the benefits of EMS training for you as a trainer and also for your clients?
The benefits of EMS for the user are well established. Numerous scientific research papers show that training with an EMS stimulus increases the percentage of muscles stimulated, and the velocity at which they're stimulated, thus improving strength and tone. It also shows a reduction in lower back pain, increased lean mass and reduced joint pain. It’s an efficient way to help clients achieve their goals faster.
For the trainer, EMS allows you to use a focused approach. You can target specific areas for development, knowing that the users’ muscles are working hard throughout the session.
What sort of clients are you looking to attract to ViveFitness?
EMS is for everyone! This is something we promote at ViveFitness. The key is in understanding the needs of each member.
Whether it be weight loss and toning, or elite sports performance, EMS has a place in everyone’s training plan. It can be used as a standalone workout or incorporated into a weekly programme.
Athletes or regular gym users will also get numerous benefits from EMS training alongside other forms of fitness.
Are you planning to offer any further services at ViveFitness?
At ViveFitness is it all about the experience. We’ve thoughtfully designed the studio to ensure members enjoy their time with us from entrance to exit.
We provide all equipment and clothing on site, with high quality amenities, towels, shower facilities and selected nutritional supplements for all our members. I’ve been fortunate to build a great team of experienced trainers and friendly staff here too.
We’ll also be offering nutritional advice in order to maximise results. Whether you train to lose weight, gain mass, or as part of living a healthy lifestyle, understanding the benefits of correct nutrition are essential.
Long-term, the plan is to have an on-site physiotherapist. EMS is widely used by my colleagues in professional sport as part of rehab processes for athletes and this is a service we want to bring to the general public as well.
What are your goals for the future with ViveFitness?
I have high ambitions for ViveFitness. I want us to be available to everyone, so we plan to expand. However, we won’t get ahead of ourselves. Our focus is to maximise what we offer to our members here at our flagship studio in Westminster, then push on with plans to grow.
We’re really excited about the journey ahead and are looking forward to welcoming all comers to ViveFitness.
■ If you’re looking for more information about ViveFitness or want to understand more about EMS training and the opportunities available within your business, visit the website below.