Alex Pendlebury Progression Fitness Club Interview

Alex Pendlebury Progression Fitness Club Interview

Alex Pendlebury Progression Fitness Club Interview

Six weeks after their Bali nuptials, Collingwood captain, Scott Pendlebury, and nutritionist, Alex Pendlebury, have announced plans to open a premium health and fitness facility in Cremorne called Progression Fitness Club (PFC), with launch day set for Wednesday, 6 January 2016.

PFC currently exists as a successful outdoor fitness group with Scott and Alex both active members. Inspired by PFC outdoor founder, Ben Scolyer's, vision to bring New York's boutique fitness scene to Melbourne, and together with Scolyer's partner, Olivia Smith, the couple decided to invest and help expand the club into an indoor-outdoor model integrating Alex's business, Simple Sensible Nutrition, into the delivery for members.

'New York is seen as the benchmark in fitness, with a prevalence of specialist clubs like Equinox, Soul Cycle and Fhitting Room which include a personalised service, expansive class schedules, luxury facilities and a cult following to boot. We want to bring this energy to the Melbourne fitness scene and start something truly unique," said Ben Scolyer, Founder & Managing Director PFC.

'Behind all great businesses are great people - you can't teach passion. We are lining up a cohort of Australia's leading fitness specialists for a customer experience that is truly next level," he said.

Spread across 450sqm, PFC will boast a main arena with premium Iron Edge training equipment, a 3-lane IAAF certified athletics track, boxing zone, 25-bike cycle room, sun-kissed yoga loft and designer changing rooms. Led by specialist instructors, classes will include Athletic Conditioning, Studio Cycling, Boxing Conditioning, Yoga, Strength Conditioning and Pilates.

'On a recent trip to New York we tried out all their best clubs as part of our research – New York is definitely a few steps ahead of Australia in terms of service, variety, intensity and also the use of technology. We're excited to bring that to Cremorne and show people a new way of training," said Scott Pendlebury, Partner PFC.

'One reason we invested in the business is because of the high standard of training," said Alex Pendlebury, Partner & Director PFC.

'Ben has unrelenting standards for his groups and a rare ability to push you through your mental barriers - I've been training with Progression Fitness for five years and I'm hooked," she said.

Boutique clubs are noticeably pushing the big fitness chains out of the market with greater customer loyalty, results and spend per customer. In 2013, USA boutique fitness clubs earned more than twice the amount earned by commercial gyms per customer.

Interview with Alex Pendlebury

Question: What is a typical class like at Progression Fitness Club (PFC)?

Alex Pendlebury: Classes at PFC are designed to push you to your own individual potential, making you fitter, faster, toned and stronger. They are always challenging, fun and full of intensity. You train in a group full of people trying their hardest, driven by some of the best coaches in Melbourne. The sessions are always different, weather it be body weight work, some running or sprinting, kettlebels, sleds, ropes, bikes, rowers, boxing, or using heavy or light weights. Because each session is different the sessions never drag out and you always leave the club feeling one step closer to your goals.

Question: What do you enjoy most about this type of exercise?

Alex Pendlebury: I enjoy being able to change up my training so I never get sick of it- doing athletic, strength and boxing training, and then mixing it up with some cycle and yoga or pilates. I enjoy the trainers there caring enough to push me to my full potential, where I am able to improve my fitness and become healthier and stronger. I love training with everyone at PFC because there is a great culture and you feel part of a team.

Question: Why did you decide to invest in the Progression Fitness Club (PFC)?

Alex Pendlebury: I have been hooked for 5 years, it was a no-brainer! Training with PFC changed my perceptions of my own ability for the better and I want more people to have that opportunity. I think that expanding it and incorporating nutrition advice/guidance will make it the complete health and fitness club. I am sick of paying so much money for a few different memberships, and believe that offering the best of the best under one roof, for an affordable price is what everyone deserves.

Question: How did your New York City research, whilst on your honeymoon, shape Progression Fitness Club (PFC)?

Alex Pendlebury: New York is a very innovative city and they do things very well. We took inspiration from some of their club environments and also from their enthusiasm for training and well-being. We want members to feel at home at PFC, so they can train with like minded people, shower & get refreshed and then relax in our lounge with other members or maybe catch up on some work. Like busy New York, we wanted to make getting your fitness in easy, enjoyable and a part of your life.

Question: As a nutritionist can you please explain the importance of a well-balanced diet along with daily exercise? Is it an 80/20 approach?

Alex Pendlebury: Healthy eating is simple if you are sensible about it. It is about eating a fresh healthy & balanced diet and not cutting food groups out. A balanced diet is important because it gives us sustainability. A healthy but balanced diet is one you can master for the long term, and that is the key to long-term health. We can all exercise like mad and eat greens for a few days or a week, but what is really hard is to eat well all year round, and when you do indulge, to do so in moderation. Once you get the hang of it, you can make a habit of it for life and reap the benefits of a consistent healthy weight and good health. You could say an 80/20 approach is balanced, I like to say choose and eat whole foods as much as you can- wholesome carbs, lean proteins, veggies, fruit and healthy fats. And when you do pick something less nutritious to eat make sure that you are aware and that you have smaller portions.

Question: How will Simple Sensible Nutrition be integrated with Progression Fitness Club (PFC)?

Alex Pendlebury: We have a consultation room at PFC where Simple Sensible Nutrition will be based and offering a range of appointment types and programs to compliment their health and training (eg: weight loss, muscle gain, healthy eating) PFC members have a discounted rate for consultations.

Question: What does Progression Fitness Club (PFC) have that other training facilities doesn't?

Alex Pendlebury: It has a range of varied classes, and covers all bases of training. From the yoga loft to the strength and conditioning area- and we do all the classes really well. It has boutique change rooms, and real plants throughout the whole facility giving it a great feel. It has a friendly lounge with wifi to chill out before and after class. It is not generic.. it has a homely feel.

Question: What is involved in your typical weeks exercising program?

Alex Pendlebury: I usually train about 5-6 times a week, and mix up the sessions I do. Monday, Wednesday & Friday I will do athletic training, cycle or boxing. And on Tuesday and Thursday I will do strength/weight training. And I like to do a yoga or Pilates class at least once a week to ensure I stretch out my muscles and work on my flexibility and core.

Interview by Brooke Hunter


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