"Summer bodies are made in Winter"
- every trainer, ever.
In a world jam-packed with countless 'six weeks to sexy', and 'get thin quick' plans, as well as Instagram fitspo accounts up to our eyeballs, sometimes what we really need is a good ol' dose of realism. Enter Mint Movement Pilates. Over the last few years, founder Bridie Hogan turned a few mates running around in the Victoria Parklands, into the kick ass Pilates, Yoga and Personal Training super studio it is today (ps: by kick ass, we mean you'll literally get your ass kicked. In a good way.)
With a strong emphasis on wholesome, good nutrition and training for your body and mind, Mint is all about nourishing your body and soul from the inside out. Best described as 'Pilates on crack', Mint is not your average workout; expect to find yourself bouncing on mini trampolines, sliding around on side disks and doing exercises that, on first thought, seem too fun to actually work but leave you feeling the burn. We sat down with the hell-woman herself, Bridie, to talk about why Mint is the flavour to add to your diet of life.
Tell us a bit about how Mint Movement began? What was the inspiration behind starting your business?
Mint Movement started out as an outdoor training 'bootcamp' style format. I decided to set Mint up when I returned back to Adelaide after studying yoga in Byron, just teaching Pilates and Yoga at different studios around town. I wanted to create a training program for people who enjoyed training outside in summer and were sick of, or intimidated by gyms and tacky workout culture.
Have you always been interested in health and fitness?
Yeah, I’ve always been interested in health and fitness, but only as a means for losing weight. I was never really that fit…or healthy. I was obsessed with weight loss and consumed by this idea of my ‘one day’ dream body! Working at Goodies and Grains after finishing school taught me so much about health and nutrition, and got me really excited about being healthier and getting fit. I guess this is where Mint eventually came from, finally learning that ‘all or nothing’ is not a long-term solution to weight issues... and certainly not the way to start feeling happy in your own skin. After traveling for a few years, I came home and completed my Personal Training, Pilates and later, Yoga certifications.
What is Mint really all about?
To sum it up, it’s about balance, strength and flexibility, in life and in training. Mint is all about providing people with an alternative to gyms, cross fit or physio Pilates. It’s a place where you can feel really comfortable, safe and excited about getting active. Our aim is to take the chore, guilt, shame or embarrassment out of getting fit. We think about exercise as something positive, making our weekly or daily workouts something to look forward to, like a coffee date with a mate.
What is your personal philosophy, so to speak, about health and fitness?
In the words of Joseph Pilates, “physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking or outright purchase.” I just love this! It’s a reminder that all the superfood powders in the world, or the most inspirational pinterest board of Jessica Biel’s ass will never come close to the benefits you’ll get from real, whole, nutritious foods and a good workout, both mentally and physically!
Talk us through a day in the life of Bridie!
A typical day can start anywhere between 5.30am -7am and end at about 8pm, with plenty of flexible time in between. Usually it begins a morning class or a private client, then our morning Pilates class. If I'm lucky, a mate is in a class and has time for a coffee afterwards! Then it’s straight to the computer to go through emails, check in with clients, research and plan sessions or work on a project like the new ‘Redefine Challenge’. I might walk my dog Mac, or do a mini workout. On a good day I’ll even chuck in a little Netflix time with lunch before heading back to the studio for our evening classes.
What’s your fave fitness exercise at the moment?
My favourite is always Pilates! I’m frothing over it at the moment and loving incorporating light weights, ankle weights and slide discs like we do in our ‘Power Pilates’ classes. We have just stated a ‘Barre’ inspired class at Mint; I love the burn and cardio challenge!
Career highlight so far?
My career is still very much in its infancy, but opening the studio on Beulah Road in Norwood is of course the highlight of my working life so far!
What is it that sets Mint apart from its competitors?
Our attitude and philosophy: Exercise, Nurture and Connect. You’ve got to exercise your body for a healthy mind, nurture yourself with delicious and exciting foods, (take) time out and lazy Sunday mornings. You have to connect with friends and your wider community in classes or with the environment when going for a walk. We promote working with your body and energy levels that day, rather than pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion. What works for one person might not work for you. At Mint, the focus is on gently working your body to transform instead of pushing and punishing your body to look like someone else's.
As fun as having your own business must be, what’s one of the less fun sides of running Mint?
Running the business solo means that there is no one holding you accountable or checking in on the boring stuff, like tax and reports. Get on top of it from the start.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start a business, or have a career in the fitness industry?
Starting a business is awesome, exciting and empowering, but be prepared for lots of highs and lows; like an emotional roller coaster! Try not to take things personally. Get a mentor or hang out with friends who inspire you and are positive!
How about for people wanting to take control of their health and fitness, and change their lifestyle?
Do it! Just take that first step. Ask for help…or pay for help. It’s worth it. You aren't weak or have less willpower than someone else, you just have a different story. Regardless of whether you might’ve “failed” before, who cares! You have a whole life in front of you to try and try again. Find something you think you might enjoy and give it a go for six weeks. If you don’t like it, move on to the next.
What’s next for Mint; where would you like to see yourself and Mint Movement in the coming years?
The Redefine Challenge is kicking off this month, which is super exciting. We now offer Barre, Boxilates and Bounce, as well as Sculpt and Power Pilates, so it’s awesome that there is so much on offer at the studio with a whole new team! In the coming years, I would like Mint to grow; I’d love to start an online studio, and blogging consistently. My long-term goal is to offer more coaching and advice around cultivating a healthy body image and motivation, and making health and fitness fun.