Thriving post-Covid: Bamber Bridge gym changing lives with bespoke training and a human touch

Not yet two years into its existence, Thrive: Optimal Human Performance in Bamber Bridge faced an existential crisis. With the onset of the pandemic, the private personal training gym had to close its doors for nine months as the world came to terms with Covid-19.

By Jack Marshall
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 4:55 am

Quick to pivot, co-founders Jack Brunet and Patrick O'Keeffe took everything online so as to provide their close-knit client-base with invaluable fitness resources as well as a regular social touchstone at a time when everyone found themselves increasingly isolated.

“With Covid, like most fitness businesses, we had to close, but we were proactive in terms of what we could deliver to keep the members engaged, which was the biggest challenge,” says Jack, 32, from just outside London. “We had weekly challenges, including quizzes and non-fitness stuff they could do with the family for their mental health, and we had regular Zoom sessions to provide that sense of community.

“Everyone bought into it and people got through it together,” he adds. “We’ve been back in-person since April last year and people were so excited to get back to some normality. The community vibe is as good as ever.

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Jack Brunet and Patrick O'Keeffe from Thrive Optimal Human Performance

“We’ve got around 120 members but people aren’t numbers here, everyone knows their name and they’re looked after.”

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"We get the work done": The Bamber Bridge gym helping you Thrive

Specialising in performance-driven training, enabling people to improve their physical and mental health through bespoke exercise programmes, Thrive was founded out of Jack and Patrick’s desire to offer clients much more appropriately-tailored exercise regimes.

As a result, Thrive offers members assessment sessions to establish goals, running sessions with a maximum of four people per coach whilst also offering nutritional guidance to help people make long-lasting changes and develop a healthier and sustainable lifestyle.

Jack Brunet and Patrick O'Keeffe from Thrive Optimal Human Performance

Having taken on three additional members of staff since the start of the pandemic, Thrive is also going the extra mile with their charity work in 2022 and is set to take a 20-strong team to the Manchester Marathon early next month.

The group is hoping to raise £30,000 for the Natalie Kate Moss Trust, a local charity founded by the Moss family - some of whom train at Thrive themselves - after they lost their daughter to a sudden brain haemorrhage.

“We wanted to harness that community spirit here and get involved with the Moss family’s fundraising efforts, so we’ve been training with a local running club,” says Patrick, 40, from Chorley. “Most of the staff are doing it alongside about 15 members - it felt like a good challenge for us.

“There’s been the odd niggle with knees and hips as people get the miles in, but it’s just about staying on track,” he adds. “We know where we’re at now so it’s just about turning up on the day and getting through it now.”

Thrive Optimal Human Performance

With the fundraising having gone well so far, Jack is full of optimism. “The effort to reach out to local people and businesses has been amazing,” he says. “We thought the £30,000 target was ambitious, but we’re well on track.”

Jack Brunet and Patrick O'Keeffe from Thrive Optimal Human Performance
Thrive Optimal Human Performance
Jack Brunet and Patrick O'Keeffe from Thrive Optimal Human Performance