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With the fitness industry having taken a huge hit during the past few months, Cover Ninja is providing free technology to provide reassurance and resource to brands as they find their feet in this ‘new normal’

With almost all GEX instructors having been furloughed or let go during the pandemic, there is an understandable staffing worry amongst the industry as gyms re-open their doors and re-launch their class timetables.  Cover Ninja, with its huge Nationwide community of qualified group exercise instructors hungry to pick up work, provides reassurance for brands as they look to re-open whilst at the same time removing unnecessary time and money spent on recruitment.

Due to increased sensitivities toward sickness and the requirement for instructors to isolate at any early symptom, not just for a single class, but potentially for 14 days, the need for Cover Ninja’s robust platform for sourcing and managing cover is now more critical than ever.

With an 100% cover fulfillment rate in February and March before clubs were forced to close, Cover Ninja’s digital platform is a highly efficient and effective way for venues to source and manage cover instructors, as well all their regular instructors.

“Thank you for all the work done by the Cover Ninja Team, you have been essential help during this time.  It’s a huge help now having a platform like yours, classes are all getting covered quickly, my instructors are not struggling or stressing and I have access to all the instructors info that have covered at Covent Garden so that I can easily send all my communications so easily from home.” Studio Coordinator, Nuffield Health Covent Garden

From now, any fitness/leisure venue can register, set up and use Cover Ninja without any financial impact in 2020. In fact, with Cover Ninja proven to save each single venue £6500 per annum of unnecessary class cover staffing costs, utilising Cover Ninja will only positively impact precious cash flows. Already free of charge for instructors, Cover Ninja is determined to support both instructors and venues to get back on their feet post Covid-19 and is offering its technology platform free of charge for venues for the rest of 2020.

Cover Ninja CEO Nicola Addison says:

“We believe that the opportunity is now and we want to help venues to use this time to ensure they re-open stronger than ever. With Cover Ninja, a venue can re-open in the confidence that they are in control of their GEX instructors, with a system that ensures they save time, save money, and deliver the best possible product to their members. We will continue to support gyms and instructors whatever the next few months bring”


Pay nothing in 2020. Save money. Save time. Increase resources with Cover Ninja.

To find out more or to take advantage of the offer, visit coverninja.co.uk/let-us-help

To request a demo, please contact nicola@coverninja.co.uk




Getting on with it

The last six weeks have been a complete rollercoaster. Covid-19 has impacted each and every one of us, in ways that many of us will never comprehend.

As everyone has, I have  been adapting to life in self-isolation. There has been so much loss and so much suffering. The feelings of empathy have played out within us all in these last few weeks and I am constantly observing tremendous kindness, not only within my family and peer group, but within the fitness industry as a whole.

So, whilst the world comes to terms with the ‘new normal’, industry thoughts are moving to ‘what next’. We will recover from Covid-19. Life will resume. Businesses, at some point, will return to ‘business as normal’, albeit with a potentially slightly different look at the start.

In Cover Ninja world, these last 5 weeks and the forthcoming weeks have been and will remain about getting on with it. What can we do now to ensure we will come out the other side stronger? It is time for less cover, and more Ninja. And that is exactly what we have done.



If there are two things that the Cover Ninja team have, it is ambition and drive. We know what needs to get done and we even know how we need to do it. We understand our business KPIs, and even faced with this pandemic, we have always felt confident that they will be achieved.

The structure, the drive and the determination remains and if anything, it’s even more powerful than pre Covid-19.



I have always had an alternative view of down time. Surely ‘down time’ should be called ‘up time’?! In my early fitness instructor days (yes, 21 years ago now!) there were hourly slots in my schedule called ‘hosting’. This was often deemed by many as down time. Down time between inductions and programmes. Time to grab a bite, time to take a breath. But for me, this was up-time! I loved hosting. What’s not to love about walking round the gym floor chatting to and having a laugh with members?

I have adopted the same self-start approach with Cover Ninja during lockdown. With an average of 5 incoming emails per week, life is definitely different but actually this ‘up time’ has given me time to plan, focus and crack on. I have weekly scheduled tasks, I know what I am doing each day and I know my weekly deliverables. There is always stuff to do, even if it’s the stuff you always put off, so whilst things might look a little different, I’ve found it’s been important to keep updating my to-do list and get my head down now, without the usual interruptions.


Be better than before

Whilst there are obviously no users currently using the platform, we are incredibly lucky that we can be pushing on with the product and its development when the doors of our venues remain firmly closed.

We are developing features and improving user experience so that we will return stronger! We are excited to show our venues what we have been getting up to and are determined to deliver a better, enhanced platform post Covid-19.


The Future

I am an even mix of nervous and excited. Whilst I am proud of our ambition, drive and ability to self-start, I am also incredibly thoughtful. Not only about Cover Ninja’s survival, but the industry as a whole.

From owning and operating a venue previously and consulting with numerous brands in the last 15 years, I have a solid understanding of industry profit margins and really do understand first-hand how difficult managing the cash flow for businesses will be in the forthcoming months.

So much so, that here at Cover Ninja we are removing any usage cost and offering our platform completely free of charge to all operators (existing and new) for the rest of 2020 in order to support the industry to get back on its feet post-Covid19 (learn more about this here). We are allowing and encouraging operators to use this time to set up the platform so that they can open stronger than ever, in the confidence that they are in control of their GEX instructors, with a system that ensures they save time, save money, and delivers the best possible product to their members.


So, that’s Cover Ninja’s future. What’s yours?




Cover Ninja loves Community Fitness Network

How can we not love an initiative that strives to support instructors, increase participation and raise standards?

Well, we are in love with Community Fitness Network. Community Fitness can be anything from a Zumba Fitness class in your community centre, to a small walking group, to Pilates in the local primary school. Fitness can have such a huge impact on a community and helps build one. Let’s not forget the obvious fitness benefits, community fitness builds social circles, removes barriers, and supports a strong mind and body.

The force behind Community Fitness Network is Claire Goodliff. A self-confessed ‘del boy’, Claire’s personal and business mission is to increase the level of participation in community fitness around the UK. Good girl we say!

We wanted to know more about Claire and what makes her tick, so we managed to hold cheeky interview with her…

1. How long have you worked in the fitness industry?

I have worked within the fitness industry for 12 years. I’ve been an instructor for 11 years, have an events company based around fitness, own a sports bra business, worked for the national governing body of group fitness, been a trainer for 3 years for an international fitness brand too so I’m quite versed in the community side of the industry.

2. What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?

So many lessons. The biggest one is that as an instructor, we can get carried away with treating our business like a hobby. Planning and strategy are the key to longevity.

3. Why did Community Fitness Network want to work so closely with Cover Ninja?

Cover Ninja is a great way for community instructors to get quality cover without all the admin hassle when they want to take a break. With greater support services like Cover Ninja, Community Fitness Instructors are better able to run and maintain successful businesses.

4. Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing today?

I don’t really think I have one key influencer for the path that I chose as there’s been many moments of inspiration and motivation. The main thing that influenced the desire to create Community Fitness Network was really that there’s such a visible need for it and nobody was doing it. So why not me!?

5. What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Do what it says on the tin!

6. Do you foresee any challenges ahead in the group exercise world?

I’m in community fitness which does mostly tend to be group exercise, and the biggest challenges in this side of this side of the industry are education and respect.

Respect from the other parts of the industry that those out there teaching classes in village halls are doing a fantastic job to increase participation; and that you don’t have to be gym based or a PT to make an impact. Standardising the education so that licenced instructors see the importance and need to become qualified instructors. Brands do an amazing job, so together we can emphasise the importance of gaining that base line qualification.

7. What’s your favourite group exercise class?

I’m on the fence to be honest. Zumba Fitness is what got me in to the industry full time, and their impact on the World of community fitness is something to be grateful for. That being said, I absolutely love Tae Bo from the 90’s.

8. What are you excited to see in the next few months of the Cover Ninja/CFN friendship?

I’m excited to build supportive relationships which allow us to achieve our objective. We promised that one of our key objectives was the support for instructors and working with Cover Ninja helps us achieve that.

9. What’s a non-fitness fact about you?

I’m a proper Del Boy. I love a punt on a business idea.



If you would like to know more about the Community Fitness Network take a look at their website here.

If you would like to learn more about Community Fitness Week (more details to come on this!) then check it out here.



Introducing Jean from 4Leisure Recruitment

As you know at Cover Ninja HQ we like cool people, particularly when they run cool companies.

So when we met Jean who heads up 4Leisure Recruitment we knew it would be love at first sight! 4Leisure Recruitment are the Big Dogs when it comes to leisure recruitment. They sort out  the staffing needs for tonnes of the major brands and they source both permanent and temporary roles.

4Leisure Recruitment are big supporters of Cover Ninja and our mission, to not only find cover instructors, but to find the most applicable cover instructor and in turn to drive industry standards.

As let’s face it. Making our industry a better place has to be everyone’s end goal right?

So, we turned the spot to Jean and asked him some of our burning questions. We hope you enjoy the read!

  1. How long have you worked in the fitness industry?

A long, long time! I started with Holmes Place Health Clubs in 2000 and two years later set up 4Leisure Recruitment. We’re in our 18thyear and still growing, in fact this year will see one of our fastest growth periods.

  1. What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?

When I first started in recruitment, I was always surprised by the behaviour of people; the lengths they will go to, the creativity and fabrication that they will come up with as to why they didn’t go to work or turn up for an interview. These days, not so much. Although every once in a while a real cracker comes up but that’s a whole other blog! What I learned – be cynical. The team will tell you, I’m difficult to convince these days!

  1. Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing today?

If I’m honest, I didn’t have any particular role models that inspired me to run my own business. It was a late night conversation that got a bit carried away and before we knew it, we’d bitten the bullet and gone out on our own. The naivety of youth! I’ve picked up inspiration from plenty of people along the way though and make a point of identifying people who are breaking the mould in their fields. I do love someone who challenges the norm and we continue to strive for this in recruitment. It’s also why we love the idea of Cover Ninja!

  1. What’s the best advice you have ever received?

Block out the noise. Take aim and commit. Can’t remember where it came from, possibly not even from business, maybe a sports coach. I’m not a rash decision maker but everyone’s got an opinion if you ask them for one and I used to let that put me off making decisions. I’ve got a fantastic network of minds to pull on now so I’ve always got input where I need it.

  1. Do you foresee any challenges ahead in the group exercise world and recruitment?

Staff sustainability will be key for all areas of the leisure industry. Operators will continue to be pressured by the increases in minimum wage and they are continually looking for solutions to reducing operating costs. We’ve noticed a fair increase in the demand for casual staffing as a result.

Group exercise has never been so popular and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Since the boutique operators broke down, reconstituted and remarketed group fitness, there has been a substantial thirst for it. The only things to potentially hold it back will be market saturation but with the diversity on offer and still coming through, we’re some way off this and addition of more techy offerings will add another dimension entirely.

The other thing is the availability of qualified staff. However, the millennials and generation z seem more than happy to explore these diverse and inherently rewarding careers.

  1. What’s your favourite group exercise class?

I used to teach spin regularly but I’m a big boxing fan so I love anything that allows me to thump things legally! It’s also the perfect antidote to recruitment.

  1. What’s a non-fitness fact about you?

If I hadn’t have gone into leisure I might have been a mechanic or engineer. I seriously looked into those careers although my DIY would suggest I made the better choice.

If you would like to know more about 4Leisure Recruitment take a look at their website here.

If you would like to speak to Jean specifically (you should, he’s a top guy), drop him an email, here.


Introducing Brett from EMD UK

Cover Ninja loves Group Exercise. It’s a fact. So by default, when we meet people who share our love & passion for Group Exercise as much as we do, we embrace them and make them our best pals.

That’s been our story to date with EMD UK. They are big time rollers as they are the National Governing Body for Group Exercise in the UK. EMD UK have been huge Cover Ninja supporters and we are thankful we have made such good pals.

To get to know them even better, we decided to ask Brett (a big dog at EMD UK!) a few questions…

1. What is your role at EMD UK and how long have you been doing it?

I am Head of Sales and Marketing, so I oversee the marketing strategy to raise the profile of group exercise across the industry.

2. Why did EMD UK want to work so closely with Cover Ninja? 

As the National Governing Body for group exercise, we understand that unforeseen circumstances can wreck a class schedule and knowing approved cover is available quickly will be a great addition for instructors to ensure their participants don’t lose out on their regular classes.

3. What surprising lessons have you learned with EMD UK?

That despite the huge impact group exercise instructors have on the health of the nation, they are not rewarded as much as they should be. Another aspect is the lack of policing of valid qualifications, as you wouldn’t visit a dentist who wasn’t qualified, so why would you entrust your body to someone who does not fully understand what effect certain exercises can have on it??

4. Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing today?

My family are my biggest influencers. I was brought up to always do your best in everything you do. That does not mean you are the best at what you do, there is always someone better at some point, but that you should always try and deliver more than what is required.

5. What’s the best advice you have ever received?

“You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them in that proportion”. You learn so much more by listening to people and understanding what they need.

6. Do you foresee any challenges ahead in the group exercise world and recruitment?

I think there will always be recruitment challenges if the sector doesn’t promote itself as a viable and great place to be work in. There needs to be a concerted effort by the sector to advertise itself as a highly rewarding career. The impact our sector has on the health of the nation means our instructors can make huge differences to people and their lives. Surely, that must be a great reason to join in. That effect though also needs to be recognised and the compensation needs to be reviewed and improved upon by employers.

7. What’s your favourite group exercise class?

Core Pilates, although have just been introduced to Broga and that looks interesting as due to a back injury I need to maintain suppleness and improve strength.

8. What are you excited to see in the next few months of the Cover Ninja/EMD UK launch? 

Organisations working closer together to benefit our whole sector.

9. What’s a non-fitness fact about you?

I can drink a bottle of beer in under 3 seconds…….if that isn’t appropriate 😊I was in the Guinness Book of Records as a teenager.


If you would like to know more about EMD UK take a look at their website here.

If you would like to speak to Brett specifically (you should, he’s a top guy with excellent chat), drop him an email, here.


We are absolutely chuffed and proud to be shortlisted as a finalist for the upcoming UK Active 2019 Awards.  Cover Ninja has been shortlisted in the Digital Transformation of the Year category and we are stoked to be up against some massive industry names.  Judges Houses are at the beginning of May (we are fingers crossed for LA ;-P!) and the winner is announced at the awards in June. Wish us luck!

Click here to view the full list of finalists.



We all know that December comes along with late nights, boozy lunches, lots of bubbles and too many mince pies. No one wants to be a Scrooge or a party pooper so here are a few top tips to get you through and help you actually enjoy Silly Season a bit more!

Eat before a night out

A full stomach, particularly with healthy fats is the way to go prior to night out. Fats will help slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach, and the longer the food stays there, the slower the rate the alcohol will be absorbed into your blood. In turn, reducing the need for late night post alcohol snacks and nasty next day hangovers.

Keep hydrated

Help yourself out by drinking water both before you go out and whilst you are out. One of the mainreasons why that first glass of wine goes down SO well is because we’re often dehydrated. Drinking water alongside booze can also help you drink slower and in turn a little less than you might usually. Keeping hydrated also no only helps prevent nasty hangovers but has been known to improve your dancing skills too!

Prioritise exercise

Whilst it may feel like the last thing you want to do during the cold and dark days you will feel SO much better if you are keeping on top of your exercise regime. Indulgence is pretty much a given during the festive season but how much nicer it feels knowing you have worked out before you do. We would suggest getting your training in first thing before the day’s temptations take over. Get that session done and be smug for the rest of the day!

Get out ‘n about

Getting outside with activities to get the whole family involved is a great way to stay active over the holidays.  It also makes you feel much less guilty when you are snuggled on the sofa infront of the fire eating Quality Streets later! Think of activities that everyone can do – such as a bike ride, a country walk, a ball game or even a snow ball fight! All of which are great calorie burners but also fun, social family activities. Getting some fresh air is also a great way to blow away the cobwebs from last nights drinks party!

Plan your night’s sleep

When the diary is filling with social events, it is important to plan nights where you can relax and have a decent night sleep. Blocking off just one or two evenings a week during the party season to get a decent night’s sleep can be enough to keep you on track.


Hope these help and HAVE FUN!



We know the festive period is always a nightmare for class cover and to celebrate the last year of festive cover hell before Cover Ninja launches, we are giving away a £150 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky instructor just in time for Christmas!

We are asking instructors to let us know what their worst part about group exercise class cover is in order to enter the competition and be the running to win!


Competition closes December 6th and we’ll announce the winner on 7nd December.

Please share with all your fitness’y friends!
You can view and share the competition here on our Facebook Page

“I’m too tired”, “it’s pitch black”, “I’ll go later” are all excuses we hear so often when the winter months kick in.

Check out our top tips to help you keep motivated during the colder, darker days.

All the gear no idea?!

Buying new winter workout gear really does help! Popping on your new clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in could be the nudge needed to get up & workout.

Favourite tunes

Music can play a major role in motivation to move! Create a motivating playlist then get up & go to your favourite, energizing beats.  Little Mix is one of our faves!

Book into a class

Check out your local gym/studio’s class timetable, find a class that looks fun and then just book yourself in right then and there.  With something booked and in the diary you are much more likely to actually show up!  Plus the energy in a class situation is bound to get you motivated.

Exercise with a pal

Let’s face it, exercise can be boring. Dragging a pal along with you will make it a lot more fun! Having someone along for the ride really does make the time pass quicker and the overall experience a lot more enjoyable. There is less chance of you bailing as well when your friend is there waiting for you!

Play to your strengths 

If you know you hate something, why force yourself to do it as most likely it won’t get you out of bed in the morning! Plan to do something that makes you smile and you know you will enjoy but also gets you up and at ‘em. If that’s dancing around your kitchen, taking your dog for a walk, playing tennis, going horseback riding, going to a dance class, going for a scenic run in the fresh air.. whatever it is that puts a smile on your face – do it! The endorphins and positive feelings are sure to get you motivated.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Get all your gym kit laid out and ready the night before so you don’t have to spend unnecessary time rooting through your wardrobe in the morning.  Better still, pop your gym kit on the radiator so it gets nicely warmed up for you when your radiator goes on in the morning as added incentive to get out of your cosy bed!  Plan a quick and easy breakkie and have your gym bag and everything ready to go so you can just get up and at ’em with no stress.

Be consistent 

Try and plan your workouts in advance so you know when and where you are training each week. You want it to become part of your normal routine so plan convenient workouts and around the same times each week so you just know that’s one of your “workout days”.

Set some goals 

Winter can sometimes seem never ending so be sure to set yourself some realistic goals along the way. Whether it’s to do an unassisted pull up before Christmas, get three workouts in a week consistently for 6 weeks, feel confident in your dress on New Years Eve, be able to walk up the escalators on the tube without a break by the end of the month, or to be able to run a 10k by Easter .. figure out and set yourself some goals along the way to work towards so that your training feels worth it and don’t forget to praise yourself as you go.

Plan a decent warm up

Think of your body as a car that needs warming up on an icy day. We cannot expect the body to go from zero to hero instantly. Make sure you complete a 5-10 minute warm up prior to exercise. This will help prepare the brain & body for what is about to come during the workout. It will also slowly increase the heart rate & in turn blood flow with help mobilise the joints & lengthen the muscles. A good warm up also reduces the chance of injury.

Have fun winter warriors!

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