Fitness trainer successfully pivots with the times
A year ago fitness trainer Deanne Lightbourn was doing well. Her business Fitness Dynamics had a steady stream of clients, and she was selling work out products from her website.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
“The pandemic lockdown was bad for personal trainers,” Ms Lightbourn said. “We couldn’t be at the gym. We couldn’t go to people’s houses. We couldn’t do anything.”
She was glad she had just found a job as a nursing assistant when it happened.
“I do have two children,” she said. “If I hadn’t had that job it would have been bad.”
But the pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise for her.
Suddenly, many of her fitness products were selling fast.
“People were running to get them,” she said. “A lot of people wanted items like resistance bands so they could work out at home.”
And even when the lockdown lifted and restrictions eased, a lot of people were still nervous about coming to the gym, so there was still demand.
One of her best sellers is a waist trainer. It acts a bit like an old fashioned corset, helping to flatten your stomach under your clothing.
“It is good for posture,” she said. “Women who buy that also often buy our sauna vests. That causes you to sweat around your stomach and lose weight.”
She started selling resistance bands to clients not long after starting her business. At first, she was a little nervous about bringing them in.
“I could only bring them in bulk, 200 to 300 at a time,” she said. “It was a money risk. I didn’t know if they would sell. Eventually, I just had to tell myself they would sell, and bring them in.”
And the first batch did sell, and the next and the next.
“Every time I put them on Instagram, they sold,” she said.
But she also attracted the attention of people looking for the next business opportunity. Soon, she was not the only one selling the bands on the island.
“When I first bought them in there were no issues,” she said. “Now I feel everyone has them. Even if they don’t have them from me they have them.”
Sensing market saturation rapidly approaching she knew she had to pivot quickly.
“I am the type of person, if I am going to do something and someone comes behind me, I am going to go a different route,” she said.
She added new products to her repertoire including two fitness kits offering different length resistance bands, a skipping rope and other useful bits of workout equipment.
“That is now selling at People’s Pharmacy,” she said. “There is a pink kit and a black kit.”
She started out as a runner. Between the ages of six and 19, she ran with several different clubs and was on the Bermuda national squad.
“I have broken many records throughout primary, middle and high school, many of them which still have not been broken up until this day,” she said on her Facebook page. “Then I went on to receive a running scholarship in Kansas City. I did not enjoy my time there and shortly after returned back to Bermuda. That was really what ended my running career.”
But she said her athletic interest never dwindled.
“This is really what persuaded me to get my certification in personal training,” she said. “This is my passion and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love what I do! Helping people with their fitness journey and seeing the smiles on their faces is what really motivates me more and more to help others. ”
In the summer, she hopes to start offering paddle board fitness classes at Grotto Bay Hotel in Hamilton Parish. She offered the classes once before, but stopped three years ago when she had her daughter.
“You are in the water,” she said. “You are doing the same thing you would do on land, but on a paddle board. It is tranquillity. It is a good view and it is good for social distancing. We are literally in the ocean.”
Previously, her paddle board classes were popular with tourists. This year, no one knows what the tourism season will look like.
“But I have a lot of locals who come out and they love it,” she said.
She is in the process of getting her own paddle boards, and is looking to branch out at different swimming pools.
“I want to do more group sessions,” she said.
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, see www.fitnessdynamicsbda.com, Instagram @Fitnessdynamics_ or Facebook @fitnessdynamics.net.