The quiet coastal town of North Shields, near Newcastle, might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of high-energy workouts – but it’s actually home to a custom-built Versa Hub.  

Comprising eight Versaclimbers, used for group and one-to-one classes, the Hub was masterminded by personal trainer David Fairlamb, who’s optimised sound and light to create a fully-immersive experience. 

Providing exclusive 30-minute sessions, the classes book up fast and David, who is also a motivational speaker, believes that this model could inspire gym owners to innovate in order to attract new customers, and bring back former ones after the pandemic.

We managed to pin him down for a quick chat to find out about what inspires him, and his experience with the Versaclimber.

Hi David, you have a great offering for fitness fans, what got you here?

It’s a long story! I was always sporty yet sustained serious injuries when I was hit by a car at 13. Although those injuries have followed me through life, this experience has been the foundation of my ethos and drive to push myself physically. Having played a lot of rugby and athletics at school, gaining an athletic scholarship in Long Beach California. Within three days of arriving, I experienced the biggest earthquake to hit the state in 40 years – perhaps this should have been a sign!

The intense training in the States aggravated an ongoing back injury therefore didn’t take me to the heights I wanted, so I decided to return home and go back to my first love – rugby. I then qualified as a fitness trainer in 1995 and set up my personal training business. I haven’t taken more than a week off since then until lockdown in 2020.

Sounds like you need a holiday, did you find success quickly or did you need to work at it?

I’ve definitely had to work hard. I grew from one weekly client, and it’s taken blood, sweat and tears, but I’m proud to say, I now own three personal training gyms and an outdoor gym.

As part of this development, I have always championed nutrition and launched campaigns such as my ‘sugar, clean, lean’ campaign promoting the benefits of living a refined sugar- clean life. This included the first refined sugar-free cooking classes in the country.

When were you introduced to the Versaclimber?

I had an issue with a spinal disc and, although I could play rugby, I wasn’t able to run to the same intensity as I was used to. The Versaclimber was recommended to me as it was non-weight bearing, meaning less pressure on my joints and back, and I have never looked back. I talk about it often in newspaper articles and on my website.

Tell us about the classes and the Versa Hub

The Hub came about when I was forced to relocate after my landlord sold the property that housed my gym. This provided the perfect opportunity to build my dream Versa Hub, something which I had been thinking about for a long time. 

My friend who does lighting for concerts helped with my lights and music system and we then built the Hub from scratch. It’s completely self-contained and optimised for sound, providing a completely immersive experience; while remaining soundproof from the rest of the gym!

I have eight Versclimbers and the classes are 30-minutes long, literally tripling the number of calories you can burn in a normal workout on any other machine. They offer unique movements that cannot be simulated anywhere else, such as having your arms above your head with your legs and arms powering away. You can manage your own effort levels too, it’s challenging but effective.

Why should gyms adopt Versaclimber classes moving forwards?

All I can say is, don’t just take my word for it, talk to my clients, who love it! 

It’s so important to take the time to listen and really hear your clients. They inspire me, and the fact that I have held on to some of them for up to 25 years means I must be doing something right. 

My customers love the Versaclimber class because it’s a unique experience, all round joint-friendly and effective at burning calories. One of the best machines you can train on. 

This is not just for fitness fanatics but also for those wishing to prevent injury, lose weight or just get fitter in a fun and healthy way. I am always content to put anyone on a Versaclimber and know that not only will they be fine, they’ll love it.

You can find out more about David and his Versaclimber classes and Versa Hub here.

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