My journey into personal training - what makes me unique?
It’s been touched on at various points but today’s article seeks to take you further into my journey into personal training because it’s vital that as much as I understand you as a client, you understand me too and how my background makes me a great choice for a personal trainer.
Sport and exercise have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I come from a very sporty family where I was encouraged to keep active with my parents and was a pretty competitive child, trying my hand at swimming, athletics and netball to name a few. As such, physical activity has always been about far more than staying in shape to me; it’s about the endorphins, the drive and seeing exercise not as a chore but as an activity that you enjoy. This early introduction to sport also instilled in me the concept of working hard to achieve a goal, which is something I’ve carried with me throughout my sporting and academic lives.
My introduction to performance netball came around aged 15 when I reached regional level. Netball is a competitive sport; you can only have 7 players on a court at any one time which means that the places up for grabs are limited, so I didn’t get there without putting in the extra hours of work outside of training, throwing a ball against the wall or pounding the pavements. It was at this level where strength and conditioning (S&C) was introduced to me, which is a scientific and sports-focussed approach to improving performance and preventing injury. Netball is a very high-impact sport, rendering athletes particularly vulnerable to knee and ankle injuries, specifically ACL ruptures, so not only was S&C vital for enhancing our on-court performance, but it was equally important to protect us from injury. I quickly became interested in the ‘why’ component of S&C; understanding what the purpose of each exercise was and what the subsequent benefits would be to me. This really appealed to my rational brain and as such, encouraged me to stick to the programmes I’d been given and actually really enjoy the process.
I progressed up the pathway in netball, eventually reaching national level, playing for a Superleague side and becoming a national champion. This interest in S&C continued, and after my A Levels I took the first steps to becoming a PT by completing my Level 2 Gym Instructor course. I thought this qualification could also complement my degree choice, Biomedical Science, which once again, enhanced my fascination of understanding why the human body works as it does and what the evidence is for certain pieces of health advice. After my first year, I stepped away from all performance netball bar Uni as my degree stepped up, and subsequently found the time to do my PT course. The course is fantastic in providing you with the knowledge about programming, marketing, exercise choice and so many other things, but the real way to learn is to practice so that’s exactly what I did. Over the summer, I wrote my own training programme for the first time, and returned to uni to be asked by my S&C coach what programme I’d been following over the summer because I ‘looked like an athlete’ and was able to jump higher, run faster and generally play better.
Being able to write myself a successful programme gave me the confidence to write my friends programmes to use in the gym. Being split between home and university made it difficult to get clients – this is before online personal training became popular after all – but I really enjoyed giving my friends something to keep them focussed, achieve their goals and build strength and confidence whilst they did it. After completing my degree in June, I started to think about how I could use my qualification to help people to achieve their fitness goals. So many people were lost without a gym, and whilst home workouts are great for keeping you ticking over and getting you moving, they lack the personalisation, attention to detail and rationale that people require to achieve their goals. I was shocked to see how much personal trainers were charging for monthly programmes (well upwards of £100 and then the cost of sessions on top) so I identified a niche in the market to give people who want to improve their fitness a greater chance of accessing it at a lower price point. Building up AtHome GetFit from scratch hasn’t been easy; it takes a lot to set up all the aspects of a brand, from marketing to insurance, but it has to be up there with one of the most rewarding things that I’ve done. When I first started, I thought I’d be lucky to have 1 or 2 clients by the end of the year, so I’m delighted that I’ve smashed my expectations and am able to help people get fitter, stronger and more confident in their abilities.
I always try to explain to my clients exactly why they’re doing something because there’s no point in doing something blindly just because someone tells you to, and if you understand what the purpose of something is then it’s more likely that you’ll complete the task or exercise. I really think that this makes AtHome GetFit unique. Further to this is the personalised aspect of AtHome GetFit which runs through everything, from how clients wish to communicate with me to what exercises they can and can’t do or would benefit them more, and the length or time of day that they want their session. I’m also passionate about offering this service to people at an affordable price so that as many people as possible can access it and improve their health and fitness.
For me, personal training is so much more about delivering a session to clients and them achieving their goals 3 months down the line. It’s about making them fall in love with exercise, knowing why it’s important both at an overall and individual exercise level, and seeing them build confidence in their ability as they do it. My favourite part of being a PT is seeing clients tell me at the start of the session ‘this looks really hard, I don’t think I’ll be able to do it all’ and then subsequently completing the whole session I’d planned for them and exceeding their expectations. It’s so rewarding to feel like I’m making a genuine difference to their lives.
Hopefully, knowing a bit more about me and what makes AtHome GetFit unique has inspired you. Please do get in touch if this sounds like the kind of thing that you could benefit from, no matter what your experience level or goals. I’d really love to chat and explain to you just what I could do for you so please, drop me an email and we can get started.