The Impact of COVID on U.P. – Q&A with Nick Mitchell and Catherine Tyldesley

The effect of COVID-19 on businesses, both local and global, has been colossal.

But with the forced closure of gyms across the country and restrictive measures in place, the fitness industry has been particularly hard hit.

CEO and founder of Ultimate Performance Nick Mitchell discusses the hardships of running a global personal training gym during the pandemic, and how U.P. has come through the crisis, with actress and long-time U.P. client Cath Tyldesley.

Cath: I’m going get straight to the nitty gritty. The fitness industry is a lot like my industry, the entertainment one.

It has been completely and utterly forgotten about by the government. In terms of what happened, in terms of them deciding to make that decision to close the gyms, firstly, how did that affect you? And how did it affect U.P.? And what were your thoughts on those decisions?

Nick: When your business is shut down all over the world, you instantly think: can the business survive? How do I feed my own family? How do I help the people in my business to feed their own families?

So, it’s very hard. When it first happened, I was relatively relaxed about it. Because nobody knew, nobody knew how dangerous it was. Nobody knew how contagious it was. And we’re all in the same boat together.

Nick: The whole world was in the same boat together. So, it was fairly easy to be more relaxed. It was very tough for business. It was very hard to survive.

I know an incredible number of personal training businesses, because I am in a personal training business, I’m not in the commercial gym business.

So, I know a number of personal training businesses have gone under. And I also know a number of commercial gyms that have gone under, and lots of businesses have had to restructure.

Restructuring and business failure are going to continue for another year or so, I would imagine.

But for us, the difference is U.P. is an advisory business, we’re not just a gym business. The gym is the office from which we work, but we are not a gym business. So, we can continue to advise people, even when they can’t get into the gym.

That has helped the business to weather the storm. And we’ve been in a very fortunate position, in terms of the war chest that we built up pre-pandemic has enabled us to expand, for instance, even during the crisis and take on new sites.

For more info on exactly what Ultimate Performance means to Nick Mitchell, click here.