Through a combination of pop-up workout events and fitness retreats in iconic locations around the world, there’s a growing community that’s changing the game of physical activity.
Meet Steph Barlow and Lauren Gill, founders of R:U READY, the experiential self-care initiative that’s empowering, challenging and encouraging people to enjoy fitness and adventure through experiences they won’t forget.
I’m Steph Barlow, aka Steffi Barlow PT (my grandma preferred Steffi to Steph). I was originally trained in dance and transitioned into personal training six years ago. I love endurance workouts and I love to travel.
My name is Lauren Gill, I have been a PT for six years. I'm 33 years young and love a leg day in the gym!
What got you started on your fitness journey?
Lauren: I have always been a keen sports enthusiast, my younger years revolved around sport and my talent was trampolining gymnastics. I was given opportunities to coach from very early on and I suppose the rest is history.
Steph: Training as a dancer and before that having hobbies such as figure skating and horse riding, I have always been really active. I began strength and conditioning training alongside teaching and was hooked. Fitness to me is the epitome of self care and I love being able share that experience with my clients.
Where did the idea for R:U READY come from?
The idea for the international retreats actually came first as we both love to travel but we felt we wanted to build a community first. We wanted to do something in Newcastle that hadn’t been done before.
Fitness experiences and, in particular, pop-up fitness events, were non-existent up here and we felt that Newcastle was missing out. We were actually offered to host a NE1 fitness event in Newcastle city centre and we couldn’t believe the hype around it.
Cool locations became out niche and we’ve been hunting down fun and unique locations to workout in ever since.
What makes it stand out from other fitness experiences?
To step into an R:U experience there are no qualifiers to stand in your way, no podium finishes or best time trail to mark how you have done! WE:R for everyone. If you’re starting out on your fitness journey or a fitness junkie, for the lovers and the haters of exercise, we push the boundaries, we keep you guessing on what, when and where, and we want nothing more than for our R:U crew to have fun.
How did you come up with the idea of hosting in such incredible venues?
The venues for us is what makes R:U READY so special. We feel strongly that fitness doesn’t have to only be inside a gym; it can literally be anywhere. Not only do our cool locations make us different, we also think this helps our brand become more accessible.
Walking into a gym can be daunting for a lot of people; training in an underground tunnel, a rooftop looking over Newcastle or a Cathedral, however, makes it about the environment. It kind of takes the pressure off, as well as showcasing our stunning city.
Why should people book in for an event?
If you like fitness or not, this is for you. This is where social meets fitness meets fun! Even if you’re a total newbie the locations will have you loving every minute.
Our fitness retreats are full of adventure and cool bucket list experiences. Come solo or with friends we cater for everyone. You’ll definitely have FOMO if you don't book in.
Is there anyone you’d like to shout out?
Big shout out to NE1, Lululemon, Hard Work Pays Off gym equipment for supporting our events. Our clients are loyal as they come and we couldn’t keep growing the business without them.