We caught up with our friends over at WeTRAIN to find out all about their unique small group fitness event series, WeEXPERIENCE. From events that combine pilates, horse riding and tea tasting to masterclasses in kickboxing followed by brunch, we get the lowdown on exactly how WeTRAIN are revolutionising London’s fitness scene.

Can you give us a short background about the inspiration and ethos behind WeTrain?

When you work in London it’s hard not to get drawn in to the routine of going to the pub every evening to socialise. The sesh calls. There’s nothing wrong with the pub don’t get me wrong – but more and more we wanted to see our friends, make new ones and not have a head ache the following morning!
We all enjoyed exercising in different ways; some of us swim, some of us dance, some of us lift weights, and we thought that it would be great if we could combine seeing old friends with living a healthy and active lifestyle.
The classic gym model doesn’t make that easy, and turning up to a bootcamp for 30 people is fun, but you don’t really learn anything. WeTRAIN was the obvious move for us; small group training for sociable people.

You have launched a series of exciting and unique fitness events, WeExperience. What makes WeExperience different to other fitness events?

Like our other sessions, WeEXPERIENCE is for small groups; 8-12 people per host. That means that not only do you have an experience designed by one of London’s leaders in health and fitness, you also get the chance to really engage with them and experience their world. 
We aren’t one-size-fits-all. We believe you can only deliver a truly personal, inspiring experience when you get the size of the group just right.

You offer a variety of activities at the events. How do you choose which activities to include?

Sometimes we don’t have to re-invent the wheel. For example, we saw a pattern of people going for brunch after our workouts and thought: “why don’t we just organise a brunch at the best place in town and take away all the hassle?”.

Other times we’re happy to let our hosts’ imagination run away with them; Nikki Urwin – one of the UK’s top pilates instructors – came to us overflowing with ideas: “yeah what about horse riding before pilates? Oh and I like tea; tea tasting afterwards?”.  So we called up the London School of Tea and a lovely stables in Bushey Park and made it happen.

Ultimately it’s all stuff we want to do with our friends and if we can take other people from the community along with us, that’s great!

How do you decide which industry leaders to work with for the events?

We’re lucky to have friends at the top of sport through our UK Charity Partner the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, so we’ve gotten to know some amazing athletes and competitors.

The industry is also super connected. If one of our team introduces us to someone we ‘just have to meet’ and they’re impassioned and creative, the experiences almost arrange themselves.

What is the WeTRAIN way’?

The WeTRAIN way is our training philosophy, and it influences every session we have. It comes in two parts:

1: Accomplishments are relative. Let’s say you’re a total beginner to fitness but work hard at a session and complete ten burpees for the first time, that’s something to get excited about! If you add up all those little accomplishments you start to see real progress.

2: It should be fun. You’re never going to stick to a health goal if the whole thing is a chore, so we look to bring the positive, happy vibes.

upmysport_ng_062_articleHow do you feel the fitness industry is currently shifting?

A couple of things spring to mind. 
We’re loving the explosion of pop-up exercise classes and running clubs across London. People are getting outside the four-walls of the gym and taking on Primrose Hill, running down the Thames or up to Greenwich Observatory. We’ve seen burpees on the Millenium Bridge and yoga on Parliament Hill; it’s awesome. 
As fitness becomes more experiential, there’s pressure to come up with latest thing, to be the hottest new studio. But like restaurants or nightclubs, you’ve got to be careful not to become flavour of the month. 
We’re also seeing a backlash against the perfectionism that’s dominated the fitness community on Instagram, with people increasingly looking to feel content, fulfilled and energised rather than lean, robotic and unfalteringly committed – that’s fine by us!

What are the implications of the increase in flexible fitness apps for gyms that offer memberships and subscriptions?

 People want more flexibility, choice and less commitment; everything they have in their social life. The market needs to make sure it is best placed to take advantage, which is likely going to involve them making some big changes. 

What is the idea behind social fitness’ and how do your events promote this?

Social Fitness isn’t a groundbreaking innovation that you have to try really hard to wrap your head around it’s something simple that people are already doing here and there in their personal lives. We’re just bringing people fantastic activities, hosts and combinations that help people experience something a bit different to what’s out there. 
We also love seeing different lifestyle components combined in our sessions; tea tasting, cocktail making, live music, so that when people have the post-workout buzz they can enjoy something else with their friends instead of having to rush off. 

How can people get involved with WeExperience?

You can book events on our website, Wetrain.com, and if you’ve got an amazing idea for an experience, an email to our London Community Manager Michael is a good place to start. 

Finally, what does 2017 hold for WeTrain and the WeExperience event series?

We’re really excited about 2017. We’ve got a a triple threat of Barre, nutrition and meditation, as well as the return of our popular Warehouse Workouts. We’ll be adding stuff over the Christmas period people should sign up to our mailing list if they don’t want to miss out. 

Take a look at the first WeTRAIN warehouse workout below: