Southbourne’s female-only SOBO Fitness studio launches

SOBO Fitness, based on Seabourne Road, welcomed a raft of customers at its opening at 10am on Saturday, November 4.

The woman behind the business, Lizzie Astin-Gregory, moved to the area earlier this year after a birthday trip to Southbourne made her ‘instantly fall in love’ with the area.

“I was looking for somewhere to train and thought “where do all the women train?”, and realised there wasn’t anywhere,” said Lizzie.

After time to deliberate, Lizzie secured the property on October 2 and four and a half weeks later SOBO Fitness was born.

The site specialises in women-only fitness classes, tailored personal trainer programmes and a fresh juice and coffee bar.

“The classes are small and intimate, rather than a class of 50 people where you feel terrified as soon as you walk in,” said Lizzie.

“It’s about taking the fear out of the gym.”

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She added that the juice bar is welcome to all member of the public, not just women, and customers can spend more time on themselves before or after classes.

SOBO Fitness will also be host to monthly community events held by subject experts on women’s health, from menopause talks to advice on skin and healthy ageing.

Lizzie added: “There is a real focus on the community and to make friends because that becomes more difficult as you get older.”

Niki Zolnerova, from Highcliffe, attended the launch day with her friend Jane Kelly, who lives in Southbourne.

Niki said: “I really wanted to see the place and it’s beautiful.

“It’s a really great idea and I love the whole concept.”

Jane added: “I just had to come, that’s the only way I can explain it, I just had to.

“As soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to see it.

“The fact that it is local and a really lovely community, I love that it has this social space.”

Southbourne ward councillor, Bernadette Nanovo, also came to support the local business saying it was ‘really lovely and a great addition to the area’.

Caroline Coombes, founder of outdoor bootcamp, Good as New Body, has signed on to collaborate with SOBO Fitness and will be hosting six week coaching programme for overwhelmed women.

“Lizzie and I share the same mindset that training is not all about losing weight, it’s about feeling good.

“So, I was very eager to collaborate and work on that within this space.”

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