One of my friends’ mum was a Les Mills group fitness instructor and she was trying to convince her son to come to one of her classes. He didn’t want to go but I said ‘I’ll go’.
In my first class everyone went left and I went right and knocked a lady over. But I got better. I decided to get a personal trainer to show me how to get some muscles. This guy took my money and took me over to a bench press. It went something like this: ‘ This exercise is for the chest, you put your hands wide on the bar and bring it down to your chest 10 times. Oh yeah that weight will do… (proceeds to turn away and look at the girls and not even watch me while I do it)'. A few years later when I decided to become a personal trainer I resolved to never be like that guy.
When I first decided to become a personal trainer back in 1995, there wasn’t many places to go and learn like there is now. Fortunately Les Mills had started The Les Mills Personal Training Academy. I attended these courses and never scored less than 95% in my exams.
I started personal training at the age of 20. Right from the beginning I decided that I would be the guy who specialises in Abdominal training. ‘Everyone wants abs right?’ To do that I had to learn what they do, which meant learning about how they control the pelvis and spine and how other movements can effect their ability to do this. For a while I spent 2 days a week in a physiotherapists clinic learning about the finer points of fixing people and the rest of the week in a gym that had a reputation for churning out successful strength athletes. This foundation allowed me to look at training through both lenses: train smart and accurately whilst still training hard for results.
I learnt a lot from Paul Check who was reshaping the knowledge and understanding of the fitness industry worldwide. Up until then exercise was often thought of as individual units: this exercise is for this muscle and thats that. Whereas now we take into account how this muscle effects the function of others and what is the effect upon all the other systems of the body and nervous system.
In 1998 I moved to London and stayed there for 8 years. I worked in a few different clubs teaching classes and personal training. I continued my education through the Chek Institute and American Association of personal trainers. I became an expert in bio and neuromechanics.
In London at the time the standard of education of personal trainers was seriously lacking so I started a company called Performance Fitness Ltd. which furthered the education of already qualified PTs.
Over the last 20 years I have seen the fitness industry change significantly from almost all amatuers to now having some truly smart people leading the edge of what has become the science of fitness. At the beginning there wasn’t really anywhere to go to learn the finer details of the science fitness. Now higher learning is commonplace.
Whilst I’m still training a few PT clients I take personal responsibility for the quality of the training programs provided at Aspyre Fitness. Nowadays my goal is to provide the best training environment and service possible in a gym. To that end I now am mentoring some up and coming Personal Trainers to try and fast track them to my standards.