When you look at where we live, with such a fantastic open space right next to the sea, it makes sense that a lot of exercise takes place along this stretch of Southsea. Come springtime you see groups playing sports on Southsea Common with bikes, scooters, rollerbladers, and runners using the wide stretch of interesting public spaces. It starts from Clarence Pier and heads right up to Southsea Parade Pier, so it was inevitable that a company would want to start training in this beautiful setting we have.
Portsmouth Outdoor Fitness was set up by Tristam Murdoch in April 2018. He had a vision; bringing fitness to the heart of Southsea seafront and providing a service where anyone can come along for a training session for a reasonable price, leaving feeling good about their health and fitness.
Tristam offers unique spaces and classes where no two sessions are the same. Using different areas of green space means you could be doing a circuits class at the Band Stand one day and then doing a HIIT session on Southsea Common the next. By offering 10 classes a week with 6 personal trainers it means that when there is a mixed group of clients at different levels of fitness, classes can be broken down so clients are looked after and feel they are working to the right level.
Portsmouth Outdoor Fitness works with Portsmouth City Council, so they have a license to use all the green space we have along the seafront. This makes the training adaptable and dynamic with the team working all year round, even on those very cold frosty mornings. By offering different surfaces and environments to train with there is a natural variation to the classes and people are loving it; with the sign-up numbers getting bigger and bigger throughout the year.
The age of people joining ranges from 17 right up to 70 and there seems to be a relaxed atmosphere where even though training comes first and everyone works hard, once a month a social evening is hosted in one of the bars we have in Southsea.
What I love about Portsmouth Outdoor Fitness is Tristam’s warm approach to his clients – he knows every one of them by name! All 150! His attention to detail is second to none and he is so passionate about helping people get fit and healthy for the first time, or maintaining where they’re already at.
Aged 34 now, Tristam trained in the Royal Marines which as you know is a very tough and intensive training programme. You need to be in the fittest condition of your life to be able to sustain even the basic training and Tristam flew through with flying colours. What is nice, is to hear him say that when he sees clients struggling in a class, he can empathise and knows what it feels like to struggle and want to quit for that second or minute. You can see clearly how passionate he is about making this business work and it is proving to be a great success.
Sometimes people want a fitness programme but don’t want to pay the earth, which is why POF offers a pay as you go class or you can take up the offer of a monthly package which
starts for as little as £27 a month. There is no contract or joining fee, so there is great flexibility in not only the location of your class but also how you pay for it.
By offering a circuits class, body conditioning, spinning, and a running club it means there really is something for everyone. Trail runs (or cross country as I used to call it) take place at Queen Elizabeth country park and afterward clients are invited to meet up for an hour have a cuppa with a slice of cake! With plans to introduce kayaking this spring, it makes for an interesting programme to get your teeth stuck into.
When not thinking about getting people into shape, Tristam likes to follow sports and Pompey FC (obviously) as well as spending time checking out the cool, independent cafes we have in Portsmouth.
Picking up a copy of Southsea Folk in an independent near you will allow you to take up the POF offer exclusively for Southsea Folk readers. They’re giving a 1-week free trial when you register, so look out in the magazine for more details.
Check out Tristam and his team on Social Media
and find out more on the website here.
By Louise O’Brien