MUNICH — (MunichNOW Fitness) — We had the pleasant opportunity this past week to spend some time with Simon Conway, an Irish expat, and the guy behind Munich’s Evolve Fitness.
First, some background. Simon is an expat from Dublin, Ireland living in Munich for the last four years. A corporate advertising sales and account manager by trade and a qualified personal trainer by hobby he took a different career path following a few months research of the fitness industry in Munich. He then launched Germany’s first personal training and group fitness studio for the International community of Munich.
This seemed to us like a classic story of an Irish expat (any expat for that matter) moving to a new country with an idea and the drive to make it happen. We could use a few positive emigration stories these days and this is one of those stories.
Simon Conway: Well, first off I started doing some part time work for a personal training company in Munich that had a number of English speaking clients. Having realised myself how tough it can be to integrate as an expat in a city such as Munich I knew the importance of connecting with people you can relate to on a personal level.
This company lacked a particularly level of service and personal connection that I knew expats would automatically warm to. I simply saw a niche at that point for an international studio with the right service and quality training combined.
SC: Atmosphere & language. We have created an environment that is unparalleled to other studios in Munich. When an expat steps in our doors we want them to feel 100% relaxed and in a place where they get quality workouts from top class International trainers whilst having the chance to meet like minded expats and make some friends!
Outside of that its the focus on the International community of Munich. As English is the common language of expats here in Munich that’s what you’ll hear most walking in our doors. Having said that we also provide personal training and classes in Spanish and German too.
MN: What levels of fitness or ages do you cater for?
SC: All. We don’t specialise or favour one type of client or audience. Our training team have a wide range of qualifications and skills and we look after all age ranges male and female no matter what your goals. We currently have clients learning weightlifting techniques, training for a sport, keeping fit while pregnant or simply needing to make a change in their lifestyle.
MN: You seem to provide a wide range of classes for your clients from looking at your website?
SC: Sure. Along with personal training, the classes have grown in recent months. We now provide five different class types to our clients. Circuit training which can include HIIT (high-intensity interval training), functional training, kettlebell workouts, and TRX (total resistance exercise) for all fitness levels.
The Pilates and yoga classes run weekly too. Outside of this our new mother & baby classes have grown hugely in popularity since we launched them earlier this year. We are also into our second year of running both our Ski-Fit and Trail-Fit classes where we get clients in shape mentally and physically for the skiing or hiking seasons.
So overall now we have a great range of classes in both English and Spanish to cater for all areas of fitness.
MN: Do you miss your old career?
SC: Not for a second. I now believe all my previous career experience has lead me to starting Evolve Fitness and has given me the chance to build a dream business while being surrounded by people I appreciate and respect more than ever.
My job now encompasses management, sales, marketing and teaching so it covers all aspects of what I love most about business. I don’t like the often 6am starts but I don’t struggle getting out of bed like I used to! I think that says it all about how much I love what I do.
MN: What’s the next step for you and your company?
SC: When it comes to Munich, fine tuning really. We still have areas of our business we need to improve on and some additional services we want to provide clients. Moving into nutrition and relaxation services mainly.
Then looking further afield to other cities of Germany where such a studio would be in demand. We want to grow but in the right way. The number one thing that makes us different being our service and atmosphere has to remain regardless of how many studios we open. That’s why having the right team is of huge importance to me.
MN: What do you miss most about home?
SC: People mainly. That small town community feeling no matter where you are in Ireland. I miss the spontaneous conversations I would have with strangers on the street going about my day. However, I would like to think we have created a slice of this in our studio here in Munich. 🙂
MN: Yes, we would agree. Nice to chat and now how about a few tips for guys that are sitting in chairs all day writing and editing blog posts…
Editor’s Note: This is the third of a series of regular fitness and fitness-related posts from Evolve Fitness in Munich.