boutique fitness

Starter forTen

When Joanne Matthews was injured in a car accident, little did she know that it would be the start of a successful boutique health and fitness brand.

THE incident in 2005 has come to be known as the ‘happy accident’, although it didn’t feel like that at the time, says Matthews, managing director of Ten, a group of boutique health and fitness studios. “I suffered a number of injures, including

severe whiplash, a fractured coccyx and fair amount of soft tissue damage. Though none were serious from a medical point of view, the impact on my quality of life was significant. I was in pain a lot of the time, I lost a lot of mobility and wasn’t able to work for six months.” Matthews found recovery difficult. She visited

GPs, physiotherapists and sports massage therapists, all in different locations and none of which appeared interested in any kind of ‘joined up’ approach to her recovery. Frustrated by this lack of consistency, Matthews joined a local rehab gym where she met her original business partner, David, a personal trainer who specialised in a dynamic form of Pilates. “I’d noted this failing in the UK healthcare

system while also identifying a gap in the market for a boutique Pilates studio that could offer both rehabilitation and more functional exercise. And as my sessions with David progressed, I personally experienced the difference this kind of approach could make,” she says. “By combining my marketing background with

David’s fitness expertise, we realised we could make our business idea a reality. We opened our first studio in Notting Hill in August 2007.”

circle of care Ten is a boutique health and fitness provider that sits in the gap between the medical sector and the generic fitness market. The core product offering is Dynamic Reformer

Pilates. Like traditional Pilates, Dynamic Pilates is designed to readdress the body’s natural balance through a series of exact, controlled movements. It focuses on the core muscles in the waist and lower back area to improve strength, flexibility and posture, keeping the body mobile and helping to reduce risk of injury. “As the name suggests, it’s a more intense

and dynamic programme, designed to slim figures, improve posture and build lean, toned muscle. The movements flow together seamlessly, and functional exercises are integrated to load the larger muscles and exercise the cardiovascular system. We focus on duration of the exercise to allow for greater muscle fatigue, and intensify the movement of the larger muscle groups to create a total body workout,” says Matthews. Trainers go through Ten’s industry accredited in-house academy and focus on hands-on

correction, precision and control whilst working clients hard. Class sizes are limited to 10 to ensure a personal experience. “Our concept is all about sustainable health

and fitness. We have in-house physiotherapists and massage therapists, so we can offer a holistic approach. It’s a ‘circle of care’ approach, where trainers and therapists work together to help a client through every stage of their progression, whether that’s improving their recovery time post-injury or helping them to achieve a specific fitness goal,” says Matthews.

personal experience When it comes to traditional gyms, Matthews admits to being a bit of a cynic. “In my view they’re in the business of selling memberships not driving fitness or health. Through my own experience I know that I’ve had the most expensive swim ever – attending the gym once, but being tied into a year’s contract and they didn’t contact me once.” By contrast, Ten operates a pay as you go

system to give clients flexibility. “For Ten it’s all about our relationships with

our clients and our staff. We are in the business of making people feel good each and every day


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