Who among us has always wanted to go to the gym but have been too afraid? Things like the vibes being way too intense, buff gym bros getting all up in your business, classes that are too hectic and more likely to cause injury than actually improve your fitness?
SETS is a brand new gym across the road from the Boatshed in Cottesloe that puts a focus on technique and quality programming under two categories (Strength & Conditioning and Cardiovascular), delivered in group environments that are still tailored to individuals, personal training style.
Put simply – “The closest thing to a personal training session within a group environment,” or so co-owner Dexter Wright tells us over coffee, joined by fellow trainer and co-owner, Fabiano Buganza (both pictured, below).
After meeting and training together at a different gym, Wright and Buganza immediately recognised a similar approach to training and strengthening that felt unique to the two: “We had pretty similar modalities, started spending more time together and started to see a bit of a gap in gyms around Perth in regards to people not wanting to go to group fitness gyms because they’re scared they’re not going to get enough attention, have a higher risk of injury – that kind of thing.”
It led to the birth of SETS (Strength Exercise Training Studios), their first venture together (Wright’s first at the ripe old age of 21), and one driven by a desire to offer a very tailored experience that can still be fun and in a group environment.
“I find a big misconception about group fitness or training coming from our clients is that they think in a group setting it has to be hardcore, and if you’re not hardcore or punish yourself full-on you won’t fit in,” says Buganza, noting it tends to go both ways.
“A lot of time though people don’t need the full attention of a personal trainer, but they do need a bit of cueing, a bit of support, so we try and make everyone feel welcomed – you can be a beginner, be more advanced – we can adjust classes to individuals within the groups.”
And that’s the core of SETS philosophy – they want people at all different stages of their own fitness journey to get the most out of their training sessions, whether you’re a high intensity youngster, a post-natal mum just trying to ease back into the world of fitness, or recovering post injury.
“We want to push people but we don’t want to hurt them,” says Buganza. “We had 150 people sign up for the free trial, and 100 of them we did not know at all and we still got through the two weeks without any injuries in class. No one had to stop halfway through because it was too much, everyone was able to finish the session, most came back for more than one class.”
After two weeks of free sign up classes to get the ball rolling, SETS is offering an introductory special of Unlimited Classes for just $59 per week for eight weeks, which will go up to $94 per week as standard – although Wright notes that’s still cheaper than a once a week PT session, and you can come back as often as you like during the week.
“The space is quite large, and we’re not pushing it above 14 [people] for strength and 16 for cardio. I’d rather run more classes than put too many people together and make it a squeeze,” says Wright. “The way the membership is structured is the price for unlimited access per week is just cheaper/similar value than one personal training session… And you can come in as many times a week as you like.”
If this sounds like your (gym)jam, head to the SETS Website for more info, or pop in for a chat at 31 Jarrad St, Cottesloe.