Huyton mum launches women's only gym to 'empower' others

By Jess Flaherty

A mum-of-one has successfully launched a women's only gym in Merseyside.

Sian Fox, from Huyton, started going to the gym when her son was one month old in a bid to find something to focus on outside of parenting.

The 32-year-old now owns and runs the gym where she got her first ever personal trainer job and is intent on creating a safe, judgement free space where women can exercise, relax and meet like-minded people.

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Speaking to the ECHO, mum-of-one Sian said: "It all came about from when I'd been going to the gym and a lot of my clients when I was a personal trainer, they were self conscious around men. But it wasn't just the men, it was fit women too, so for them to step into a gym with fit men and women, it was very scary for them.

"My aim was to make it as empowering for ladies as possible so nobody felt the uncomfortable situations of going to the gym around men or just feeling anxious about going. I wanted to make a place where we could all feel comfortable.

"A lot of mainstream gyms have fit people in there already and it makes you feel uncomfortable, especially if you're just starting out, so I wanted to give people like that a space to go. There's no men who are PTs [personal trainers] there for people who don't want to train with men."

Sian trained to be a personal trainer and landed a job at Kerry's Fitness, before ultimately buying it and making it her own.

Fitness with Sian Women's Gym offers a women-only space with yoga, reiki meditation, spiritual healing, exercise classes, personal training sessions and more. Mums are also to permitted to bring their babies with them to classes so childcare worries and costs are eliminated.

Sian said: "It's shocking how many people message me saying how depressed or anxious they are about going to the gym, so I try and help them out with that - we've got three rooms so I can tell them when to come when I know there's less people so they'll feel more comfortable about going without anyone watching them.

"I had my baby and he was a month old and going to the gym was the only thing I stuck to, it was good for my mental health, so I started on a personal trainer course and from there I got a job as a personal trainer at Kerry's Fitness. After a year or two, she offered to let me buy it, but I said no at first because I was scared to take so much on.

"I was worried in case it didn't work out but in the back of my mind, I wanted to do it. People were telling me it was a lot when I had a one year old at the time, but when she offered me it a second time round, I took it as a sign, it was meant to be so I said yes.

"We get a lot of custom from single mums because we let them come to classes with their babies, that's good for people who can't afford childcare.

"When I had a baby, I thought I needed something else for me and my child for when he's older. It was a place to switch off - a lot of people come to me and say the gym is their happy place and somewhere they want to go to switch off and escape, away from their daily home routine."

Sian's son, Harris, is now five and Sian continues to thrive in the fitness industry. She attributes her success to knowing a lot of people in the area and maintaining a connection with her clients.

She continued: "I think because I was from the area, I had a lot of clients in the area who wanted to come and train with me whereas if I'd put it [the gym] somewhere else, I might not have done as well.

"We were only open a few months then lockdown hit. We've been open and shut, open and shut, so I started doing online classes in lockdown to keep it going."

The gym now boasts loyal customers and Sian arranges wellness retreats for them to venture on together, with their first weekend retreat scheduled for next month.

She said: "We've done events, we all went to Snowdon together - it's become this great community of women.

"We do meditation, it's all about people's wellbeing but it's become this community. I'm planning other retreats for us all, I'm booking one in West Kirby by the beach - I wanted us to just be surrounded by nature and land with yoga, facials, reiki.

"My auntie wants to do meditation sessions on the beach for people with their kids for free, so we encourage that mental well-being.

"Most of the girls that come do feel amazing, you can see their confidence isn't there at first but now everyone is always laughing and joking and they all get on and know each other, making friends. It's nice to watch people change so much and see their confidence grow.

"Some of the girls meet up outside of the gym now and go for meals together."

Sian hopes the gym will continue going from strength to strength.

She said: "I feel like when I was in school, I wasn't the best child but I was very driven, I couldn't keep still and I'm like this with the gym, I have so many ideas and I like to keep going.

"I want this to be as big as it can get. I want to promote meditation vibes, fitness, healing - everyone sees life in a different picture and in the past people used to pull faces at those who'd meditate but it's not like that now, it really works. It's better for your mind.

"I threw myself into and it's working, you've got to have the drive and the positivity to keep going forward or it won't work for you."

Fitness with Sian Women’s Gym offers a variety of services, classes, personal training sessions, courses and more. Clients must book before attending and there are limits on how many people will be allowed in at once to avoid overcrowding.

It is based at 32 Sherbourne Square, L36 9UR.

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