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

As a nine-year-old in Year 4, Jack Brunet was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Thankfully, he made a recovery, but the steeliness and dedication to fitness engendered in him by his experiences never left him. Now, at the age of 30, he is the Co-Owner of Thrive: Optimal Human Performance in Bamber Bridge where he is using his experience to help others change their lives too.

Thrive Co-Owners Jack Brunet (left) and Patrick O'Keeffe
Thrive Co-Owners Jack Brunet (left) and Patrick O'Keeffe

A private personal gym which, in recognition of the importance of performance-driven training on both the mind and the body, aims to improve clients' physical and mental health through bespoke multidisciplinary exercise programmes, Thrive is no ordinary gym. Established by Jack and his fellow Co-Owner Patrick O'Keeffe in November 2018, it is far more big change than quick fix.

"Both myself and Patrick were working in gyms and it got to the point where we wanted to tailor the service more, so here we do personal training with a maximum of four people per coach," said Jack, who is from just outside of London. "Members get a bespoke exercise programme in a private space and it's an enjoyable environment: people are happy to come here.

"Every member when they start they get an assessment session to find out where they're at in terms of body composition and their goals and nutrition," added Jack, who has lived in the North West for about 10 years. "People may have become frustrated because they've stalled and aren't improving, so we break things down and look at people's movements to make sure they're doing everything well and then build it up from there.

Thrive

"We know our members individually - in other gyms you're just a number."

Tailoring bespoke goals for each member and working towards them via a personalised programme, Thrive also offers nutritional guidance to allow people to make more long-lasting changes for the better and - in an era of constant distractions - develop a more sustainable way of living healthily.

"We've created an enjoyable atmosphere where people get the big-picture of fitness, nutrition, and a social community, which keeps people enjoying their fitness regime for longer," said Jack, who studied Sports Science at university in Sheffield and spent a season working with Blackburn Rovers. "We get the work done but, at the same time, people can really enjoy the process.

"We take it slow: we're not a quick-fix transformation gym," he added. "Things take time and getting the fundamentals right is crucial.

Jack during a session.

"This is something I've wanted to do since I was quite young," continued Jack, who also formerly played ice hockey for the Guildford Flames. "My experience with cancer led me into sport and exercise just from a health perspective and it's still a big driver; I do a lot of seminars in schools and workplaces on the importance of health and exercise.

"More people are realising how exercise and health can reduce your chances of getting things like cancer and heart disease and lots of people start because they've seen family or friends go through it. They're the ones who have a strong emotional motivation as opposed to people who just want a six pack for summer.

"We want those health drivers, people pushing for their own health - we had a new mum who was like 'I want to be a positive role model for my daughters', which will motivate her more than just wanting to look good in a bikini."

Thriving - pun intended - in an environment where he can help the person in front of him, Jack says that he is loving his work. "This job is hugely rewarding," he said. "It's such a positive environment to be in - everyone's chirpy and leaves with smiles on their faces. People have their goals and are pushing themselves together.

"I kind of fell into personal training," he added. "But looking back, with my involvement in team sport and my experience with cancer it really makes sense why I enjoy working with people to help them stay motivated."