Let’s start with the usual… It all started at school, my parents have always pushed me to be active, they themselves both used to run middle distance and still do, my dad especially, he came 8th in the Windsor Marathon about 25 years ago now (not bad I think you’ll agree). So it was always inevitable that I would be active in some form or another. It’s started off in the usual way, playing football at school and for local clubs, then I added in Tennis and athletics for good measure. As I got older and had more things going on and less time to do them, I decided to pick hockey as my main sport, it allowed me to concentrate on school.
So what were the steps to becoming a Personal Trainer, I have always been active, but that isn’t really enough. Thinking of careers, I always knew that I didn’t want to be sat behind a desk 9-5, staring out of he window, daydreaming. So that put quite a few occupations out, so I needed something that wasn’t in an office, being a professional sportsperson was off the list (I was good at sport, sadly not good enough), my 10 year old dream smashed into pieces!! But I liked being healthy and fit. One thought was becoming a sports coach, if I can’t be a professional, why not coach them, right? I was 15 at the time, so I decided that I needed to try coaching, to see if I enjoyed it enough. I became part of my schools’ Sports Leadership Team, a responsibility of which was to go to schools and help out with their sporting events. This seemed like me, I have never been that confident in new situations or situations in general for that matter, but sport has always been something for me to be me, whenever I play, I can relax and I feels great, a confidence I wanted to instil in others. After the Sports Leadership course finished, I volunteered at my old middle school. Helping out in their PE lessons and assisting in their competition days. I was 17 at the time. Then A Level exams became the focus of my attention, not that you would realise if you saw my grades!! Never liked exams, I am quite clever, believe it or not and if you talk to my mum, it was wasted intelligence during school, which in part I agree with looking back (didn’t agree at the time), hindsight is a wonderful thing. But children never listen to their parents at that age, we think we know what we’re doing!! Spoiler alert… We don’t!!!
After A Levels, I spent a month in Kenya, building a school floor, digging drainage at an elephant sanctuary and climbing Mount Kenya, to name a few. This is where, strangely, I came to conclusion that I wanted to become a PT, after all the coaching talk and experience, it’s seems a step in a different direction, but I realised that what I loved about coaching, wasn’t the sport, but the way I helped the children realise their potential and the happiness it gave them. So Personal Training seemed like a logical choice, keep myself fit and healthy and give others the tools to do the same!! It’s a no brainer really.
After returning back from Kenya, I finished school and went straight into a Personal Training course with Premier Training (World renowned), to be honest, I found it pretty easy, lots of it I had covered at school and the stuff I didn’t know, well it clicked relatively quickly.
During the course I met some awesome trainers, very passionate and knew what they wanted to achieve. The problem being that alongside these awesome trainers were part-timers, who saw the Personal Trainer tag as a great conversation topic and chat up line… My point being that in the fitness industry there are some great trainers and unfortunately a fair few ‘Cowboys’ who are just in it for the prestige of being able to cal themselves Personal Trainers.
What I am trying to say, is that, whatever you do, make sure that you enjoy it and have passion in what you do, it will allow you to work harder and push to be the best you can be in your chosen field.
Anyway, back on topic, after qualifying, I went in the direction most trainers do. The commercial gym. LA Fitness was the first port of call, success here we come!! Not quite, in fact, it was a huge shock to the system for me! For those who don’t know, commercial gym chains usually work in 1 of 2 ways; 1. Trainer pays a rent to the gym per month for use of the gym (LA Fitness was £800) any money made after that is trainers profit. 2. Trainer work a set number of hours for the gym unpaid (cleaning, manning reception etc.) and then the rest of the time you can sell your services and make money. So I walk into the gym on my first day, ready to train some people, gym members everywhere, but not training with me!! The problem was, I hadn’t gone in with a plan of how I was going to get these people, disaster!!! Let’s just say that after a few £800 payments, my resolve was being tested, I made very little money, but I don’t regret it for a second, as it gave me invaluable experience.
The next gym I was at was Fitness First, rent was cheaper (£400) still a lot, but after £800 seemed like nothing, already off to a flyer!!! I felt a lot happier walking in, knew what I was doing and had a plan, started making money. The problem here wasn’t the job, just the way the gym was run. Any business needs people working together to reach a goal, if everyone works together, things get done faster and more efficiently. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, their was a huge divide between the management and the gym staff, and ultimately it creates a rift. Even though I was becoming ‘successful’ I didn’t enjoy going to work and that was a problem. So I left.
Two gyms down and I was starting to understand why only 1 in 5 Personal Trainers make it past the first year!! I re-evaluated and went down another route, still involved with training, but working at a school in the PE department. A nice change of pace, but not really me.
After doing this for a few years, I became bored, time to get back to my passion. But commercial gyms were out (surprising that?). This led me to search more specifically and eventually led me to Sam and uFit.
Straight from the interview, I knew that I wanted to work there, we had the same values and aspirations, we had been through similar situations and had come to the same conclusion. Commercial gyms don’t look after their members, whether they achieve results or not, gyms don’t care, they are only after your money!!
Since that meeting, we have been working hard to build something special, to work with people, so that they can realise their potential and put a bit of positivity back into the fitness industry!!
What’s next for me?? I have a plan and so far I’m on track, eventually I want to move into the Strength and Conditioning of athletes alongside my Personal Training. I have just qualified as a Strength and Conditioning coach after a long 10 month course. I will not stop working until I have achieved everything that I want. I will keep learning, training and bettering myself as that is what I do!!!
Hopefully this long post has given you an insight into why I do what I do and how I got to where I am, currently working my way to the top!!