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Former Kent man put through paces when setting up gym business.
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Former Kent, Gloucestershire and Hampshire wicketkeeper Adam Rouse has set up his own Functional 45 gym in Central London.
Rouse retired from professional cricket at the beginning of the 2020 Covid-hit campaign. With the help of his PCA Personal Development Manager (PDM), Tom Jones, as well as some creative advice from former Kent teammate Mitch Claydon, the former wicketkeeper planned for life after cricket.
His creation is at the heart of London’s central business district, with one of its aims to make exercise more accessible to individuals who work long hours. The gym is run by Rouse and his wife who along with their team of personal trainers create intense 45-minute workouts for clients.
During an in-depth interview for Futures Week, a PCA initiative designed to encourage its members to actively think about career transitions, the 29-year-old spoke about where the idea to create his own gym originated from.
Rouse said: “I had discovered F45 while I was training for pre-season in Cape Town. My wife and I were training together and it was good fun. When I came back to the UK for pre-season, lockdown hit and Mitch Claydon suggested I should open my own F45. He knew I was interested in going down the strength and conditioning route. I had a lot of time on my hands, and once I looked into it, it snowballed from there.”
Rouse faced adversity at every corner whilst trying to get his business in motion. As someone who had no experience in this line of work, he explained how he faced challenging obstacles as well as the problems already created by a global pandemic.
“Being a cricketer for the last 10 years, I had no experience starting a business. Everything was new. I had a month’s delay with my equipment because of the Suez Canal incident, and then we had no drivers to pick up the equipment, so everything was stuck at the docks.
“It was very frustrating because it had a knock-on effect on the marketing side of things and our members.”
Despite the difficulties Rouse faced, he can now say that his business is up-and-running. On 7 August 2021, the doors were opened officially to members for the first time.
On the relief of the gym finally being open for business, Rouse said: “Those first couple of weeks were just about getting going. We trained up our trainers and we were just trying to keep the lights on. After that stage, it is about refining it and making it better so you can expand.”
Rouse told the PCA about his passion for fitness throughout his career, and how it was always an area of interest for him.
The sessions that he now runs 3-4 times per day are designed to hit different muscle groups to make you feel better in everyday life. The former keeper alluded to how the sessions are organised, and why the F45 phenomenon has taken off.
“Everything we do here is trying to mimic what we do in everyday life, so those tasks become easier. It is tech-based and very simple to follow, all our exercises are on the screens. We always have two trainers for every class so you also get that personal training feel within a group session.”
“We make it so the members do not have to think about anything. They just line up on that track at the start of the session. You walk through the front door and everything is laid out for you. We bring the energy and in 45 minutes you have a big tick in your day and you can go back to the office.”
Rouse made 84 senior appearances throughout his career, but he is now feeling happy with his new venture. He spoke of his gratitude to the PCA for aiding his transition.
“I am happy. Cricket can be a very difficult game from a mental point of view. A lot of the time you can put on a brave face and say that you are alright. I found my emotions going up and down a lot and it eats you up.”
The former wicket-keeper utilised the education and extra support provided by the PCA. This helped him through his transition and allowed him to view retirement in a positive way.
“The PCA’s support has been incredible. I owe a lot to the PCA for helping me to find direction in my life but also for being there to support me. I feel very grateful for this, even now post-cricket I know I have that support for the rest of my life which makes me feel at ease.”
Finally, Rouse has the following advice for all PCA members attending Futures Week: “Ask questions and then go and put a plan in place. I was forced into having a plan. The Futures initiatives allow you to talk to people who have transitioned and will also allow you to discover the reality of what happens post-cricket. There are some dark days but knowing that there are other people who have been through it and preparing yourself for it makes a massive difference.”
Futures Week shines a light on the area of personal development and career transition among PCA members. The two-day Futures Conference forms the centrepiece of the initiative and both are part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP). Click here to find out more.