Fitness fanatic teams up with Worthing Rugby Club as gym business grows in lockdown

A Felpham fitness fanatic has been growing his gym business, having bought his first facility in Littlehampton last year, during the first national Covid-19 lockdown.
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Matt Ryan, 21, leads a team of four fitness coaches at RyanFitHub and they were recently appointed by Worthing Rugby Club as its strength and coaching staff.

This gave him the opportunity to open his third semi-private personal training facility in a year that has been dominated by the new coronavirus pandemic.

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Matt said: “I started my fitness journey at a very young age, getting qualified as a personal trainer. Since then, I have worked with more than 250 people and seen some amazing transformations from my clients, physically and mentally.

Matt Ryan, centre, founder and head coach at RyanFitHub, with Sam Howard and Billy HarmarMatt Ryan, centre, founder and head coach at RyanFitHub, with Sam Howard and Billy Harmar
Matt Ryan, centre, founder and head coach at RyanFitHub, with Sam Howard and Billy Harmar

“The desire to help people is why I started this gym, creating something bigger than myself with a like-minded community and caring, quality atmosphere has been my life-long dream.

“My motto ‘physique follows performance’ ensures I help people move well, and most importantly enjoy it whilst reaping the rewards.

“We took on our first gym in Littlehampton in the first lockdown. Since then, we’ve managed to open three facilities while delivering one-to-one outdoor sessions. We have offered this service within guidelines and it is a great credit to the gym and our hard-working members.”

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Matt had been renting a fitness studio on the Five Stones industrial park since 2018 but bought his own gym in April last year and began refurbishing it during lockdown.

He said: “We opened our RyanFitHub gym in Toddington Lane, Five Stones estate, on July 27, 2020. We hit capacity straight away and built a coaching team of four people. We then added our second gym on the same site.

“We have now taken on our third gym, on February 22, 2021. We had the opportunity to team up with Worthing Rugby Club and get appointed as their strength and conditioning coaching staff. This meant we have transformed their current facility into a place we use to train them and our members, too.”

Being told to shut, due to government restrictions, just months after his first gym opened meant Matt and his team, Sam Howard, Mollie Bennett and Billy Harmar, had to change the way they worked.

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Matt explained: “We had to pivot our business to offering half hour one-to-one personal training sessions, within guidelines, so we could pay out rent.

“These sessions have taken place throughout snow, rain, etc. To keep us going, the money we accumulated meant we could open up a third premises on our current site to facilitate more members and give them a space to sit, drink coffee, etc.”

Matt has aways had a passion for sports and was running his own fitness studio at the age of only 19, having completed his REPs Level 3 personal training qualification at Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester when he was 17.

At the end of the year-long course, Matt started by purchasing various pieces of equipment to train people at his local park in Felpham and went on to train clients at Grit Gym in Chichester and AJs Gym in Littlehampton.

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Matt said: “The equipment I purchased consisted of battle ropes and dumbbells and by charging a very small amount, things picked up very quickly, which is why working in the gyms allowed me to build my client base.”

Two years later, Matt decided to take things further by renting a fitness studio at Five Stones.

Thanks to Worthing Rugby Club, Matt has opened new memberships for people in Worthing and Rustington this year, interlinking with the Littehampton gyms.

Visit for more information and follow ryanfithub/RYANFITHUB on Facebook or email [email protected]