Musical theatre star Josh Piterman opens Australia’s first gym for performers.

Any professional performer will tell you: practising, rehearsing and performing for hours on end takes its toll on the body.  However, while being in good physical condition is definitely preferable, it’s not always easy to find the time, energy or the appropriate environment to improve the strength and endurance required to fend off the threat of performance related injuries.

Melbourne based musical theatre performer and fitness expert Josh Piterman has now launched PITFIT, a new fitness centre aimed specifically at actors, dancers, musical theatre entertainers and musicians.  Offering “creative functional fitness” that is designed to strengthen the muscle groups most commonly used by performers, Piterman provides bespoke, personalised exercise programs that tackle the specific fitness requirements of different arts professionals, which he promises to deliver with “playfulness and a sense of the theatrical.”

Josh Piterman. Photo: Blueprint Studios

Piterman decided to fill what he viewed as a gap in the Australian entertainment industry after experiencing the potential perils of performance first hand.  “I’ve witnessed a lot of preventable injuries happen on stage, including a few close calls myself.” says Pitman. “This is simply because performers, although technically trained, often don’t have the correct physical conditioning.”

PITFIT, which is based in Melbourne’s St Kilda area is already attracting a number of performers, most notably from the musical theatre community, including cast members from notoriously gruelling touring productions such as Wicked, Les Misérable and Grease.

Josh Piterman (centre) as Corny Collins in the West End production of Hairspray
Photo: Chris Parker

Piterman, who has performed leading roles in a number of major musical theatre productions including West Side Story in Australia and Hairspray on London’s West End, hopes for fitness centres such as PITFIT to become more commonplace, not only because of the health benefits they offer but also for the potential financial impact. “Recognition of the program as a valid means of injury prevention could see a reduction in insurance premiums for productions,” Pitman remarked. “I hope it will change the landscape for performers in Australia in an incredibly positive way.”

For more details on PITFIT, please visit their website.

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