Starting a fitness retreat requires careful planning and research. You need to consider the type of retreat you want to offer, the location, budgeting, marketing strategies, and more. A fitness retreat is an excellent way to help people get in shape and improve their overall wellbeing. It is a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs who are passionate about health and fitness. We met with Workout Away Founder Chris to hear how he did it!
Hello Chris! Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed by The Retreater, can you start us off with telling us a bit about yourself and Workout Away retreats?
Sure! I've lived in London for 13 years. I moved here for work when I was 21 and never looked back. It felt like a big step at the time, moving from the North East, and thinking back, I was pretty young! London is definitely my home now, and although I get tired of the usual things, I always love coming into land and flying over the city after I've been away! I don't get that feeling anywhere else. I started Workout Away in 2018. We're celebrating our 5th year this year, which feels like a milestone! We started small with just two destinations and four dates in our first year, and from there, we've grown steadily. This year, we'll run 17 retreats in the UK, Portugal, Greece, and Morocco which feels pretty amazing. It's not just me anymore, we have an incredible team of talented people, and each person brings so much to the brand. It's an exciting year!
How did you get into creating retreats? Did you have a previous career beforehand or was there a trigger?
The trigger was very clear for me. I've been employed since I was 13, and although there are many perks to being employed, I wanted to create a future for myself in something that I could drive the success of. Like many people, I've worked for great companies, and I've worked for rubbish companies. Through that negative learning, I wanted to create a brand that truly values its people. So after sitting on a couple of different ideas, I had a lightbulb moment while I was in Australia watching the sunrise over Coogee, and I decided to go for it! I've had three careers so far, and I'm 34. I started as an apprentice for TONI&GUY aged 13, and after a long time away, I even returned to the brand during the pandemic, where I ran one of their businesses in the North. I've also been in the airline business for 14 years as a Cabin Crew Manager. I nearly forgot to mention fitness. I've been a trainer for about six years in London, and it's this blend of fitness, hospitality and service that lends so well to leading a retreat business.
What retreats do you have coming up this year?
We have so many, but our highlights are definitely our Workout Away retreats to Algarve and Mykonos. Both of these retreats are hosted in the most incredible locations with views to die for. The guest rooms are stunning, and you'll find Workout Away Revive, HIIT, and Rivals which are our three signature fitness programmes. Of course, both of these retreats can be booked on The Retreater!
Do people have to have fitness experience to come on a Workout Away retreat?
It's a great question that we get all the time, and it depends on your focus for your retreat. We're not for you if you're looking for rapid weight loss. Healthy and sustainable weight loss should happen much slower than over a five-day retreat, so we never promise unrealistic results. If you go to the gym or exercise regularly, or semi-regularly, then you're 100% fine. If you want to kickstart your fitness and you are healthy and able to do so, then this is great too, and you'll love our retreats. If you've never exercised and you're worried about if it's safe for you to start working out, it's always best to get a doctor's clearance first.
What would you say to someone who has never been on a retreat but is curious to try it?
My guess is that one of the things you're nervous about is doing it solo, and I say that because 90% of our guests travel alone, and my answer is this: if you wait for a friend to join you, you might never do it. Chances are, you'll get hooked, and before you know it, you'll want to try out our other destinations like most of our guests!
We hope you enjoyed this article all about the benefits of fitness retreats. If you are looking to try a retreat this year please contact us here to chat to our team about some of the wellness escapes we have available.