Jemma Thomas is a Personal Trainer and Founder of Jemma’s Health Hub – an online fitness community – www.jemmashealthhub.com.
Membership costs £29 each month and for that you receive four work-outs a week, recipe ideas and an amazing support network of other women and an instructor who will be there for you, helping you feel supported and mentally stronger as time goes on.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’m Jemma Thomas – a Personal Trainer and founder of Jemma’s Health Hub (www.jemmashealthhub.com), an online fitness community focusing on helping women feel supported and mentally stronger through regular fitness workouts. I wanted to create a fitness support network that has a real community feel, where women can take part in four work-outs a week alongside other women like them (or Hubbers). They take place at 6.30am on Monday (leg day), Wednesday (arm and abs day) and Friday (cardio) and on a Thursday at some point (kettlebells). Hubbers are encouraged to post their sweaty selfie afterwards to encourage engagement, making sure everyone knows that they’re not alone in their work-outs and having a bit of fun along the way!
Lockdown has been a tough experience for everyone but I’ve noticed a big shift in women wanting to find new ways to get fit during this tricky time. Exercise does amazing things to your body, particularly when you’re feeling at your worst, and I think people have realised this and are making the most of it. The best thing about The Hub is women can do it when they like, wherever they like so that they can fit it around their busy schedules, whether they’re mums balancing kids with work, or busy working women with not that much time to spend on themselves.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I never planned to be a Personal Trainer and company owner until I had my first son, Jude. Unlike so many fitness gurus, I actually used to work in advertising and it was only when I struggled with my mental health after having him that I turned to exercise and realised just how magical it can be in helping you get back to yourself again and feeling better. Exercise really pulled me through and I felt a needed to create a support network that will help other women like me. The key thing is we’re not intimidating and we don’t focus on things like weight – we focus on how to help yourself get mentally stronger and keeping positive, even in the most difficult of times. So there was no plan until I had the idea for The Hub and since then we’ve gone from strength to strength and it’s been so exciting to see it grow and evolve since launching in 2015.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Balancing work and family has been difficult but I have an amazing support network around me and running your own business means you can fit a lot of it around your family.
The biggest challenge is building up that membership – being both persistent and patient. I had to learn that things take time. You can’t expect things to happen over night. Building up a membership product like The Hub takes a lot of time and nurturing and it’s about building trust and relationships with each Hubber so that they not only sign up for another month but can hopefully go and recommend you to their friends and family too. I have a very personal service where I reply to each and every facebook comment and want to know each of my members individually.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I recently celebrated two years of The Hub – the facebook group which has got hundreds of members now – and that was an incredible moment for me. I also love getting messages from the Hubbers who tell me how exercise has impacted them, and how important it has been in keeping them fit and well, especially during tough times like the pandemic. It makes me quite emotional to read some of them and makes it all worth while!
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Having one main goal of keeping the community friendly and supportive has been the major factor. We never want to focus on how your body looks or the aesthetic; it’s all about keeping The Hub a safe space for everyone and that’s been essential to our success.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I think it’s great and I’d love to do it and if I had time in the future I would be keen. I think it’s great to be mentored by people so you can have more focus
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
I think that women need to be more open about their entrepreneurial journey and money. I think women especially find it hard to discuss money and how well they’re doing and the business is going so if there was more transparency in that I think it would really help to improve gender equality.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
I’d tell myself not to panic and worry so much. I’d tell myself to have that moment of self-doubt as it’s important to see things from a different perspective, but don’t let it hold you back or drag you down. Whenever you’re unsure, review your successes – no matter how big or small – and use them to bolster up your confidence – you’ll achieve great things!
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My aims are to continue to build up The Hub and take part in more events. With everyone in lockdown recently, it’s given me an opportunity to reach a whole new audience of women looking for online work-outs to try and so it’s going to be a matter of keeping these women on board, and encouraging them to spread positivity about the brand to engage more people. I just want to help as many busy women as possible and make them realise the magic that exercise can bring!
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