South Shields fitness fan Paul goes global

Paul Slater, Mark Hemmings and Dave Stodolph
Paul Slater, Mark Hemmings and Dave Stodolph

Paul Slater has designs on fitness.

Fitness fan Paul, from South Shields, has set up a business which uses evolving technology to deliver expert tuition in training worldwide.

Paul Slater, Mark Hemmings, and Dave Stidolph

Paul Slater, Mark Hemmings, and Dave Stidolph

Since October the number of customers using the Gym Plan app - which includes a U.S. soldier and truck drivers – has doubled.

Clients come from more than 10,000 cities in 200 countries, are aged between 18 and 80, and have now completed more than 200,000 workouts using training programmes provided by the North-East based team.

The company was launched as Gym Gurus in 2014 by Paul, the former head of a design firm, and Dave Stidolph from Sunderland, who was his personal trainer and is a highly qualified instructor.

They were joined a year later by Mark Hemmings, now chief technical officer, who brought expertise and experience in app platform development.

There are people out there who simply need a personal trainer there telling them what to do.

Paul Slater

Fit Gurus started life as a website giving guidance on fitness, muscle-building and weight-loss, but after significant support from investors has been developed into an app, which was redesigned and rebranded as Gym Plan in October.

It delivers an expertise in both intensive training and provides feedback, tips and encouragement through conversations via the app.

“There are people out there who simply need a personal trainer there telling them what to do,” said Paul.

“The market’s changed. Many gyms are open 24 hours a day now. People need 24/7 support.”

Dave added: “If you’re serious about training – and our customers have to be because it is intense training at times – you need to know what to do. We provide the expertise to guide them, but they have to walk the path themselves.

“Training can be a very lonely business. Our app and team can be a gym buddy for anybody, anywhere and anytime.”

Gym Plan has helped a serving US soldier maintain his fitness even while living in a tent in the Middle East, has designed a programme for a customer in Iran and is proving popular as well with U.S. truckers are taking part in a major fitness campaign.

Dave has also created a programme to get American men and women ready for the gruelling fitness tests for recruits to the armed forces.