There’s a groundswell of joggers pounding the pavement at Maitland Park on Saturday mornings as the latest craze in fitness for women takes hold.
Lissome, a Newcastle-based women-only gym, has been turning up the sweat in the city since December with free one hour boot camp sessions on Saturday mornings. More than 250 women have already participated.
It’s the beginning of the fitness regime’s injection into Maitland. In around five weeks it will set up a gym in East Maitland before going on to open in other regional centres across the country.
Founder Nerida Bint started training women in 2014 after her own struggle to lose weight was initially plagued with criticism, and intimidation, from men.
Participants relax after the session at a different cafe each week where they get to know each other. Ms Bint said the initiative was helping women physically, mentally and emotionally while also building a sense of community.
Every week they come they can do a few more squats and run a little bit further – even with one session a week, because we are really pushing them to keep doing better,Lissome founder Nerida Bint
Women of all shapes and sizes are being encouraged to try the sessions.
“We’re getting anywhere between 35 to 55 girls turning up to each session – and it’s all about us giving back,” she said.
“It’s accessible to everyone and there’s no pressure to join, we wanted to bring some value to the Maitland area. The free boot camp sessions will continue until we start up in East Maitland.
“We’re not a cross fit gym, but there’s a lot of elements of that type of gym that I’ve taken because I love it so much. The women are so relaxed and willing to have a go and all of that intimidation falls away.
Free sessions: Meet in Maitland Park at the netball courts at 7am on Saturdays for a one-hour boot camp.
There’s so much that you can do on your own with just your body weight – we get a lot of women who say they can’t get to a gym so we are about to build an app that can bring these sort of workouts to anyone in Australia.