Talented, genuine and bold, Steph Prem is on a mission to transform physical and mental health in the corporate landscape, one Pilates class at a time. Following a traumatic exit from professional snowboarding in 2011, Winter Olympian Steph Prem was seeking to make a lifestyle change. After spending five years in physical rehabilitation, Steph dived wholeheartedly into her own wellness and recovery journey, inspiring her to launch ‘Premium Performance’; fitness and Pilates sessions in parks across Melbourne.
Studio PP, Steph’s first fitness and holistic centre opened in Melbourne’s South Yarra in 2015, born out of her desire to “help people live healthy and happier lives”. In November 2019, Steph will be launching her second studio, RISE by Studio PP in Melbourne’s most iconic CBD commercial tower, 101 Collins Street. RISE by Studio PP will deliver a full-service on-site holistic wellness and fitness centre for the tower’s 4200 occupants.
Steph has foreseen the link between wellness in the workspace and employee engagement, and how imperative it is that companies embrace her philosophy. Workplaces need to encourage wellness practices to combat burnout, improve employee health behaviour and increase productivity. By launching RISE by Studio PP, Steph aims to “break from the physical monotony of the office and improve the immediate and ongoing health of its tenants”. Given the increasingly busy nature of our lives in today’s society, Steph understands it can be hard to find time not only to exercise but operate optimally and restore “balance.” The PP team embraces the importance of creating a luxury health and wellbeing studio with premium services and customer care attractive to both the male and female corporate culture of 101 Collins.
“Workplaces need to encourage wellness practices to combat burnout, improve employee health behaviour and increase productivity. “
Steph’s all-encompassing fitness and wellness experience, supported by an incredible team of trainers running Pilates, dance cardio, yoga, barre, HIIT, spin, boxing, natal training and personal training, offers a balanced perspective and promotes the idea that health is not a size, but a lifestyle.
- Congratulations on the success of Studio PP – It’s such a beautiful studio! Tell us a little more about your studio and why you are leaders in the health and fitness space in Melbourne.
Thank you, I always wanted to create a Studio that inspires, motivates and nurtures physical, mental and social wellbeing. PP is Melbourne’s only boutique complete health and fitness destination with everything housed in one premium Studio offering. The luxury studio and unique class offerings and exceptional trainers at Studio PP are what sets us apart I believe. We have every element of your training covered from high intensity to restorative. We also have strong a strong team of integrated allied health practitioners Physiotherapy, massage and Podiatry. From physical to mental wellbeing at PP we believe that variety and consistency is key to achieving your optimal health and wellness goals.
- What inspired your passion for health and wellness?
I grew in in a very active and sporty family. I danced for 15 years and was a professional snowboarder for 10 years, so health and fitness has always been a big part of my life. Coming from a professional sports background, performance was always about how your body functions, not how you look. I struggle with a lot of the “fitspo” movement that exists at the moment. It seems to dominate social media and affect society’s perception of health and wellness. I’m passionate about offering a more balanced perspective and promoting the idea that health is not a size, it’s a lifestyle. As a professional snowboarder I was always pushing to be better. It’s about finding all those one percenters which all add up. I now take that same approach into my everyday life and my business. I take holistic approach to health and wellbeing and I’m constantly inspired by how taking a 360-degree perspective and considering not just the physical but also the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of wellness can improve your personal performance in all areas.
- How do you train mentally and physically to help you manage your life with all the stressors of work, family and life? Is it possible to find balance?
I get asked in my line of work more often than not “how I manage my work/life balance, What’s your secret” I observe and work with so many clients in relentless pursuit of this thing we all call ‘Work-Life Balance’ and I’m a strong advocate for the pursuit – but these days I call a spade a spade- To believe that we can have perfect balance or equilibrium in our life all the time, is well, bullshit. Personally, I’m someone who’s lucky to say I genuinely love my work, which is satisfying. Everything that I do I always try to be good at it and enjoy it (it’s the annoying over achieving athlete in me). I enjoy my personal time, social time and my work time- they are all part of my LIFE. But trying to be good at everything in every part of my life all at the same time can be hard. It can be fucking exhausting actually. I’m the first to admit I’ve been guilty of complaining of lack of ‘balance’, itching for the weekend or a day off even, because I’ve allowed the work part of the balance see-saw to dip too heavily the wrong way. I’ve found the key is having a toolkit or collection of “life” recipes or ‘health hacks’ to refer back to, to bring you back into balance for me that’s acupuncture, Pilates, meditation, alone time for creativity and time with family and close friends. Also, red wine is helpful.
- What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their health journey and trying to find better balance?
Start where you are, and be ok with that. One of the best things you can do is resist the urge to compare yourself to others. Your health journey needs to be for YOU. Set goals and intentions for all facets of your wellbeing, not just your physical health but also your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Consistency beats intensity every time. Implement regular manageable habits which have a positive impact on your wellbeing. Accountability and routine are two of the biggest steps in taking ownership of your health. People usually see amazing results with a regular routine regardless of their level of motivation – commit to it and trust the process! Focus on long term personal performance not just superficial short-term gains. We all love a quick fix, but if it’s not sustainable it won’t stick.
- How do you think businesses can make wellness a core component?
Our PP corporate offering / 101 Collins street partnership comes at a pivotal moment in the evolution of corporate health and wellbeing in Australia. Business’s must make wellness a core component. Companies are reaping the benefits of investing in the wellbeing of their staff and tenants improving performance and the health of the staff and their bottom line. Corporate Australia are working longer hours and juggling with greater levels of stress and mental health issues than ever before. Companies need to be providing physical and mental wellness strategies for their employees to ensure they are continually performing personally and professionally.
- What do you think the impact of mental and physical wellness on the workplace is?
I think the statistics around burn out and anxiety in the workplace speak for themselves at the moment; all the more reason companies need to be providing physical and mental wellness strategies for their employees. Here’s the top 5 reasons employers should introduce workplace wellness initiatives:
- Wellness Programs Improve Employee Health Behaviours
- Wellness Programs Reduce Elevated Health Risks
- Wellness Programs Reduce Health Care Costs
- Wellness Programs Improve Productivity
- Wellness Programs Can Decrease Absenteeism
- We’re so excited about the next steps for you and Studio PP – any closing words on how you think we can all be more empowered to look after our own health?
Thank you, my favourite mantra I remind myself often also is; invest in yourself like you would in your business, and the business of others.