For almost a decade, husband and wife team, Brent and Lyndsey Gorris, have been the king and queen of the fitness market in Townsville. As they prepare to celebrate 10 years in business this June, they reflect on the last decade of success and how they managed to build a fitness empire from the ground up.
Lyndsey, who is no stranger to thinking outside the box, first started 5 Star Fitness as a women’s only circuit class outside the front of her house in 2012 before expanding to include their infamous 12-week challenges that have since become Townsville’s largest and most well-known fitness series.
“I really identified an opportunity for female fitness to be at the forefront of the Townsville market and fill a unique gap in a crowded industry,” explains Lyndsey, who has a background in business and marketing and qualifications as a personal trainer.
“From the beginning, I had a really strong business plan for where I wanted to take 5 Star Fitness and eventually when it all came to life, Brent came on board in 2016 to help develop, refine and grow it further.”
With a career spanning over 20 years as an Exercise Physiologist and Strength and Conditioning Coach, Brent has worked with The Queensland Academy of Sport, the Townsville Crocodiles, The Australian Women’s Cricket Team, JCU Townsville Fire and The Australian Opals, which has recently seen him attend the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
“Brent’s extensive experience and skills has added another dimension to the business and enabled us to service elite athletes and clientele who needed modifications due to injury or chronic illness,” continues Lyndsey.
“To build an ongoing, sustainable business, you need strong foundations; it’s all about consistency; your clients need to trust that you’re not a pop up and that you’re here to stay. This means, we don’t cancel classes, we turn up regardless and our clients know that.”
Last year, the business faced their biggest hurdle yet when COVID-19 hit during their 12-week challenge in March. The couple quickly pivoted and within 48 hours had taken the business online, which not only enabled the challenge to continue but has since opened up new revenue streams in the national market.
“Going online was a huge leap for us but COVID-19 pushed us to adapt in a way that we needed to in order to keep up for the future and increase market retail,” she says.
“The online component now runs simultaneously with the in-person challenges and our clientele has definitely grown across Australia, so it has been a brilliant addition.”
Over the past decade, 5 Star Fitness has evolved to have a strong focus on positive body image and health and wellbeing, which Lyndsey says has created a culture of support and connection.
“With both of us now working full-time on the business, we’ve been able to add a lot more to our 12-week challenges over the past few years,” she says.
“In the beginning it was very much about body transformation, but our mission has developed to focus on social connection and confidence, particularly with young adolescents who are starting to grow into themselves.
“Fitness isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, if anything, it’s continuing to grow, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings for us.”
By Georgie Desailly.
Photography credit: Sonia Warrell