A little bit about me... (get the kettle on)
TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read):
- Started as a Personal Trainer in 2010.
- Studied BSc in Strength and Conditioning Science (2013-2016).
- UKSCA Accredited Strength Coach in 2016.
- Studied MSc in Sports Medicine (2017-2020).
- Trained elite youth athletes at various professional sporting teams.
- Trained Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medalists.
- Human Performance Coach for EXOS and Google.
- Firefighter for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Back in 2010...
My journey in to personal training, and later strength and conditioning, started back in 2010. After a year of training as a Personal Trainer (often abbreviated to PT) at Loughborough College, I shortly became successful in obtaining a role as a Personal Trainer on a cruise ship. Fantastic. 25 years old, sailing the seas, using my passion of improving health and well-being to help everyone from around the world. Unfortunately, that vision ended rather quickly. After moving to the cruise ship training school in Watford, I quickly realised that the vast majority of the role was selling pills to cruise ship clientele. They wanted me to go as far as performing a presentation explaining that the reason why they struggled to lose weight, was due to them having "too much of an acidic bloodstream". The cure to this? Well, the little pills of seaweed (which is a high alkaline compound) that we had on offer. All we needed was £600 of your hard earned money, then we'll give you the pills and the weight would be flying off of you. It's Sales 101. Create a problem, sell the cure. You see, even so early on in my career, I was already beginning to become obsessed with learning everything about the human body. I knew that even if the body was too acidic, it had remarkable resources to help even out and return the body to homeostasis - all naturally without even needing one measly pill from the £600 batch you've just bought. In fact, research has demonstrated that the fad of "Alkaline dieting" was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. High alkaline foods did nothing to your endocrine system other than simply being edible food (a very expensive choice of food in this case). I raised my concerns to the instructors at my training school in Watford to which I was told to either "sell the pills" or "there's the door". As a man of integrity (I like to think so anyways), I opted for the exit. I simply hated bullshitters too much to become one of them myself.
On returning to my hometown of Leicester, I was fortunate enough to land a role as a Personal Trainer at a relatively new commercial gym chain called Pure Gym. Here I spent two glorious years training many individuals of different shapes, ages and cultures. But I wanted to become more challenged in this field, and I knew that basic fat loss (which was the goal of about 70% of my clients) was easy to teach (it really is). I wanted to dabble in something more complicated. Something like professional sport. I wondered what it would be like to train professional athletes! I wanted to train the best of the best.
Shortly after this idea, I was rejected by my beloved Leicester City Football Club when I emailed them about volunteering as a fitness coach for their academy. "Unfortunately, you don't have a degree in a sports science field, so we cannot offer an internship". Great. I'm 27, and if I wanted to work with professional athletes, I'll need to take my 'mature' ass back to university (I originally had a university qualification in Performance Art, but that's a digression I'll leave for now). However, I wanted it so much, that I applied to join a Strength and Conditioning Science Degree in Twickenham, London. I was successful, and after saying my goodbyes to some of the phenomenal clients I had, I packed my bags and moved off to the big smoke.
It was probably the best three years of my life. I met some incredible lifelong friends and coaches. I developed skills that far exceeded my current skillset as a Personal Trainer. Adjacent to my studies, I started working as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for a variety of professional outlets. Queens Park Rangers FC, Surrey County Cricket, The Football Association and England Ladies Youth, Metropolitan Police etc... I started to help out in the health and performance of many organisations. I met many other brilliant coaches and learned a lot! Coaches that still influence me to today. Nevertheless, fulltime jobs in sport can sometimes be hard to come by, and often involve incredibly competitive recruitment phases. So in 2016, I shortly became an accredited strength coach with the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA). At the time, there was less than 1000 of us in the world, and it was a very highly thought of accolade. Additionally to this, I wanted to learn how to fix athletes and injured people. I knew how to get people strong and powerful, but there was a grey area in rehabbing injured people. I didn't want to always rely on a Physiotherapist, so I started to study a Master of Science degree in Sports Medicine. Three years later, I completed my MSc.
Whilst I searched for a fulltime job in professional sport and shortly before I studied my MSc, I managed to land a role as a Personal Trainer at Google's Headquarters in London. After 8 months, this role changed in to a Performance Specialist - a role that included developing the training, programming and overall health of over 2500+ staff. I did this role for 6 brilliant years, whilst also getting my sports fix in extra curricular coaching jobs. One of these roles involved becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach to Team GB and the English Institute of Sport. Here I helped train a variety of professional Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Many of them were Gold and podium medalists too, so I'd finally managed to train the best of the best! The spectrum of athletes was phenomenal. One day I'd be working with able-bodied gold medalist and world champion rowers, to then working with gold medalist Paralympian competitors with severe Cerebral Pawlsy, paraplegia or missing limbs the next day. Here I truly demonstrated to myself that I can work with, and improve, any individual, with any goal, and with any capability. I was in sheer admiration for every Paralympic athlete. I've truly met some phenomenal people throughout my coaching career.
Shortly after assisting Team GB, I started to support the strength and conditioning of professional MMA and Kickboxing athletes. I have a big passion for combat sports, so to assisting and support professional fighters was a small dream of mine. Talking of dreams, many years ago, I had the dream of becoming a Firefighter. But at that time, I didn't want to stay in one place. I wanted to see the world and travel with a job I enjoyed. So Firefighting was something I'd put to the back of my mind whilst I tried other things. I was later fortunate enough to assist professional athletes on international training camps, which sort of ticked the box on traveling for work. But over time, the desire to have a go at becoming a Firefighter grew. I eventually applied and I was one of the lucky recruits (from 1500!) that made it in.
That's what I do now as my main role. I'm a Firefighter for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, and I love it. One of the other things I love about Firefighting, is having much more time off. And this is brilliant, because I'd like to use that time to get my coaching fix still! I still love getting to know people and helping them reach their goals. Whether that's health related, or sports performance related. So now I have the best of both worlds - I'm a Firefighter and a Strength and Conditioning Coach to many private athletes and clients.
If you want to know more about my services, in particular my training philosophy (because no two coaches are the same), then check out the Services page.