Farming and fitness go hand in hand. Fuelled by clean country air, farmers get a daily workout as they haul heavy feed bags, run after stubborn sheep and push silage up to hungry cattle. More and more young farmers are blending their farming background and love of fitness to create exciting outdoor environments for people of all abilities and strengths to get fit.
Tom Kemp is a great example of this, as he has developed a gym with a unique concept called Farm Fitness. Taking a corner of the yard previously used as a machinery dumping ground at the family’s 240ha arable farm near Dunmow, he has created a bespoke workspace. Custom-made equipment sits alongside items commonly found lying around the farm, such as old tractor tyres that would otherwise have been thrown away. His Grandfather’s shed has also been given a new lease of life as a more conventional indoor gym, for when extreme weather makes it unsafe to train outside.
Having previously played hockey at a regional level, he was spurred on to become a qualified personal trainer. He told Farmers Weekly, “My sporting career gave me the discipline and mindset while my farm background gave me the work ethic to create a top-class gym”.
Inspired by the physicality of farm work, Tom had a bespoke rig built with multiple attachments and has designed exercise regimes that replicate farming activities, such as carrying heavy buckets of feed. “Our exercises make everyday chores and activities seem easier” he adds, “You can expect to see real results”.
Success has been rapid for Farm Fitness, with Men’s Health naming it as one of the world’s best gyms. Tom said that his “Dad loves the diversification and seeing people come down to get active on the farm”. Tom believes the great outdoors is conducive to a positive mentality when working out, which is part of the reason why rat-race Londoners flock to the farm to get their fitness fix in a rural setting.
Tom has big plans for the future of this niche but in-demand farm diversification, as he looks to build up his client base and reach more people. “I want to show that you don’t have to have expensive equipment to get a good workout. We’re often using old tyres, straw bales and chains,” he says. “What we’re doing here is quirky and unique, but it really does get results and people love it.”
His vision is to expand the concept and look into the potential for franchising his idea out to other farms, and he’s also building up a range of Farm Fitness branded sportswear.
Source: Farmer’s Weekly