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Gloo – the Stratford company that aims to revolutionise the business of weight-loss and getting fit

IF you are among the 48 per cent of people who gained weight in lockdown, help is at hand.

New company Gloo Fitness’s promise of “results that stick” couldn’t come at a better time.

Business partners and personal trainers Allison Rumgay and Darren Tebbenham opened Gloo Fitness in a new studio off Timothy’s Bridge Road earlier this month.

Gloo aims to break the mould of what’s on offer at traditional gyms. There’s no contract tying you in, you just pay as you go, and training sessions are a speedy but effective 30 minutes.

Trainers Allison Rumgay and Darren Tebbenham. Photo: Mark Williamson Photo: Mark Williamson G7/5/21/9972. (47508953)
Trainers Allison Rumgay and Darren Tebbenham. Photo: Mark Williamson Photo: Mark Williamson G7/5/21/9972. (47508953)

Darren said: “The fitness industry survives, it doesn’t thrive. It is based on non-attending members: get lots of people to sign up and hope they don’t all turn up. And personal trainers offer hour-long consultation because it suits them rather than what’s best for the client.”

Darren has lectured in psychology at university, worked as a personal trainer all over the world and also ran the European Institute of Fitness, where he trained thousands of fitness professionals.

It was through EIF that he met Allison, who has worked in fitness for 30 years and founded Zig Zag, a local company aimed at women that built a solid reputation for taking a holistic approach to weight loss and health.

The pair decided to launch Gloo as a franchise, with Stratford the first branch – the idea being to make personal training effective, affordable and accessible.

“We are a bit maverick because we don’t think of ourselves as typical of the fitness industry,” said Darren. “Gloo suits men and women who perhaps don’t like the gym but know they need to do something to get healthier. Here there’s no intimidation factor that people often associate with getting fit. Gloo is somewhere they can go without feeling like there is a bodybuilder next to them checking out their biceps in the mirror.”

Allison added: “We offer coaching and help people change their eating and exercise habits. You’ve got to do things that fit into your life consistently and change your behaviours.”

Time and money often prove the biggest hindrance to weight loss and fitness.

Darren explained: “If you aren’t going to find the time or money to get help, then you are not going to change, full stop. So we do 30-minute personal trainer sessions which are around £25 – less than half the amount charged by most PTs. Working with a trainer is more effective and will save you time and money in the long run.”

The pair say they are on a mission to offer new solutions to the health crisis.

“The UK has been in this trauma for decades: the government has spent millions but the diabetes and obesity rates are higher than ever,” said Darren.

“We’re all concerned about Covid but it’s nothing compared to the obesity epidemic that’s happening in the western world.”

Darren said they had been blown away by the number of people seeking their help in the wake of the pandemic: “Whenever there’s a recession in history it drives people back to their values – and the two most important are family and health, and that is what we’ve seen happening.

“People have been down and have used it as an excuse to overindulge. Our message is that if you have got into yourself in a mess, help is at hand.”

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