Why 'Bristol's answer to Joe Wicks' is hoping to work with the fitness star

  • Watch Lucy McDaid's report

A fitness enthusiast from Bristol dubbed 'the city’s version of Joe Wicks' is hoping to work with the fitness star.

Nick Bamber brands himself ‘Nick The HIIT Man’ and hosts 20-minute classes at lunchtimes in an effort to keep people moving during lockdown.

Wicks has launched a search for 3 personal trainers to help him "get the world fitter, happier & healthier".

Nick started the high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions when England went into its first lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

The 28-year-old originally kickstarted them as a way of keeping his own fitness on track and doing it with friends.

“When the gyms first shut, I wanted to create a gym routine at home and then my friends wanted to get fit and healthy during the lockdown,” he said.

“So we all hopped on a Zoom call the next day and I had all my mates there doing press ups and squats, all the basic exercises.

“The week after a couple of friends of friends got involved and before I knew it, a couple of weeks later it was old school friends, old uni friends, work friends - it just grew and grew.”

Nick's idea wasn't one to make money. He just wanted to keep people fit and positive during lockdown. Credit: Instagram / @nickthehiitman

The 28-year-old, originally from Cheddar, now lives in St Andrew’s in Bristol.

As well as being a full-time fitness fanatic, he runs his own company recruiting secondary school teachers. As it did for everyone, the coronavirus crisis presented its challenges.

“Obviously with schools shutting for the first time in our lifetime, it was pretty devastating,” he told ITV News West Country.

“For the first couple of months I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Thankfully it has picked up now, but at the time it was really challenging.

“I suppose that’s how I ended up focusing on this, to take my mind off it, because my mental health wasn’t in a great spot at the start as you can imagine.”

“This has been a saving grace. It has put me in touch with so many old friends, stayed on top of fitness - I’ve loved it.”

Most of the participants join from Bristol and Somerset - but Nick has attracted participants from as far away as Singapore. Credit: Nick Bamber

Nick’s fancy dress wardrobe is just part of the attraction for the growing number of home workers taking part in the sessions.

Whether it’s the bright blue fur coat or the lycra jelly bean dress, what the 28-year-old lacks in fitness qualifications he more than makes up for in character. He credits years of attending Glastonbury Festival for his whacky collection. In spite of their growing popularity, it seems nobody loves the 20-minute bursts more than the founder himself.

Speaking after one session, he said: “I really do feel like I’m helping people. The sort of messages I’m receiving all through the week are saying the workouts really are the highlights of people’s lockdown.

“That’s the main reason I do it.”

Nick grew up in Cheddar and credits years of attending Glastonbury Festival for his extensive fancy dress collection. Credit: Instagram / @nickthehiitman

He may have been labelled the next Joe Wicks, but Nick Bamber (aka Nick the HIIT Man) has carved his own alter ego throughout the pandemic.

His next challenge?

Nick is prepping to run 100 miles in 10 days, all around Bristol, to raise awareness of single-use plastic.

Oh, and he’ll be dressed as a plastic bottle too.

You can join Nick's free hiit sessions on Tuesday and Friday lunchtimes, from 1pm.

Read more: