Fitness and health is a growing industry, but Tom Kemp has found a new and innovative way to train that brings farming and health to the forefront.
It conjures images of treadmills and rowing machines housed under one roof, with bright lights and the distant hum of equipment in the background.
That’s certainly not the scenario at Farm Fitness however.
Owner and founder, Tom Kemp, has taken his passion for training hard and his agricultual upringing to create a fitness empire outdoors, located at home on the farm.
The 600 acre family arable farm in Essex meant Tom spent his childhood in the countryside, in the fresh air and always active.
Farm work is a naturally physical occupation and with this in mind, he was inspired to set the business up on an unused part of the land which was simply storing old farm machinery.
And aside from the impact excercise can have, it is also about the surroundings in which you choose to train.
"It’s about being in an outside environment. I’ve worked in underground gyms before where there is no light and it’s dark - that isn’t great for your mindset."
Photo credit: Chris Parkes Photography
With Ozzy the Border Collie as their mascot, the whole concept integrates farming and Tom’s had the support of his family too.
"We’re literally attached to the farm itself so you could be training during harvest time and watch the combine come past in the field.
"I still help Dad out when I can but he’s supportive of this and loves the idea of diversification on-farm", says Tom.
The 25 year-old also says that although their gym caters for everyone and even attracts people from all over the world, he does get a lot of interest from those with farming backgrounds.
Many come from London too, seeking that healthy, natural element of being outside.
If you look the website, farmfitness.co.uk, it’s clear to see that Tom is still very much inspired by his roots, saying "come and give your workouts a rural shake-up!" and his enthusiasm is translating in to success, with Farm Fitness recently being named one of best gyms in the world by Men’s Health magazine.
By creating such a positive link between farming and the fitness world, it will hopefully help people to see farming in a different light.
"I believe that the positive use of redundant spaces is a great way to spread the ethos of an outdoor environment and is important in encouraging people to be proactive, get outside away from the typical confined gym experience.
"Upcycling and reusing not only space, but making use of farm consumables such as the tyres that would otherwise be destined for landfill also reinforces our ethos: That taking care of the planet and our bodies can go hand in hand.
"It's certainly changed my mind set and view of keeping fit. I would love other people to experience it too."
Of late, we've seen athletes champion the necessity of consuming only the highest quality foods in order to achieve the best results.
Diet, which plays a huge part in having an active lifestyle, is always at the forefront of Tom’s mind too and given the nature of his business, it seems only fitting that he can incorporate the use of quality farm produced foods in to the scheme.
"It’s important. I try my best to source quality foods and especially grass-fed meats.
"It’s still something we’re trying to hone in on."
There is a raw, organic feel to what Tom does.
The equipment itself is bespoke and custom made.
The body, says Tom, is made to manoeuvre in multiple ways and rather than adhere to the regime of workouts in the everyday gym, he has taken inspiration from daily physical (and normal for those in the industry) life on the farm.
"It is a rig with various exercise attachments surrounded by an all weather training track for functional training. I also use a wide range of strength equipment such as loadable farmers walk handles, wheelbarrows, prowlers, sandbags as well as raw farm equipment such as hay bales, chains, tractor tires and lifting straps.
"I really try to use equipment that allows a person to replicate functional, everyday movements."