Psychologist and personal trainer Gudrun (30 years old) opened a new fitness store: “Exercise does not mean losing weight, but finding time for yourself” (Antwerp)

© rr, Patrick de Roo


Going to the gym for fun and not seeing it as a commitment isn’t easy for everyone. Psychologist and personal trainer Gudrun Hespel, 30, wants to change that by helping people charge their batteries the right way at her new fitness store. “For me, exercise is not losing weight, but finding time for yourself.”

Sonia de Bock

The new year has already started for two months, which means that part of the population may have already forgotten their intentions to exercise more. As usual, many enthusiasts enter the gym, but without any guidance, knowledge, or experience, you can quickly get uncomfortable, making you want to leave the gym quickly. Psychologist and personal trainer Gudrun Hespel, 30, wants to get rid of that uncomfortable feeling at her new fitness store, which opened its doors last weekend.

“I did a survey with my Instagram followers and asked them if people were comfortable in the gym. Of the 6,000 answers, 86% of women said they didn’t feel comfortable because they felt you should be fit just to get in,” she says. “With my new business, Recharge, I want to remove that impression by personally guiding people, so that everyone can enjoy the sport.”

For Gudrun, exercise and healthy eating are not a reason to lose weight, but a reason to take care of yourself. “Often everyone is too busy, so you live less in the present. That way you can’t make time for yourself and sometimes you feel less happy about yourself. I want to break that stereotype about exercise and be clearly fit, so that everyone has An opportunity to work on themselves in a relaxed manner.”

Gudrun went for wood and soft colors.

Gudrun went for wood and soft colors. © Patrick de Roo

Create a soft impression

As for designing her new fitness, Gudrun started from a psychological standpoint and asked herself the question: “How would people like to exercise in fitness?” “If you look at a fitness chart, it’s often very masculine and feminine,” she says. “All those steel hardware, loud music, posters with skinny people…before you start exercising, your brain is already ready to expect something unreal from yourself. It’s not true. Many are looking for something different, for peace and reality. That’s why you By decorating my gym with soft colors, plants and wood materials, so that people can recharge their batteries in a quiet environment.The bar next door (coffee) also ensures that people can turn sports into an activity and not see going to the gym as if you have to go in and out quickly “to do it” anyway”.

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positive feedback

Re.charge organized its inaugural weekend on February 19 and attracted many interested parties. Gudrun laughs, “Right now I’m drowning in the many interviews that are being done.” “I have only received positive feedback, especially from people who really felt at home here. The group yoga and dance classes were very nice and everyone stayed at the bar for a drink. The fact that our concept is successful with people is a great addition to our entire team.”

© Patrick de Roo

Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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