Getting up to speed

It’s been nearly six months since the sunny afternoon that I stepped out of the YMCAfit training venue in South London carrying my bag of sweaty gym kit, a folder stuffed with completed coursework, my results of 8 exams and 5 practical assessments and a sense of hope and anticipation for the next chapter. During the course I filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of anatomy and physiology as well as learning about systems like the Krebs Cycle and the complex relationship between the nervous system and muscle function in more detail than ever before.

Today I’m putting together content to launch my new website, planning tomorrow’s training sessions and looking back at my first six months of being a personal trainer. I’m not sure when I became a fitness fanatic – I’ve always been physically active although the amount of time and commitment I’ve dedicated to my own fitness has steadily increased since my mid-twenties when I added cycling to my relatively casual running, yoga and gym-going repertoire.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve taken up triathlon, a sport that requires you to train at three disciplines at the same time and means your weekly routine is heavily influenced by the training sessions you intend to complete. Over this time I hoovered up as much information about these sports as possible and used the data analysis skills learned in my day-job to analyse heart rate measurements and race results at weekends. Toying with the idea of taking this passion further, I enrolled as a trainee triathlon coach. A change of circumstances shortly afterwards represented an opportunity to try something new and all of a sudden the idea of getting involved in helping other people with their fitness goals became a real-life question.

After some intense research I decided to train as a REPs level 3 personal trainer. This qualification provides an excellent foundation in anatomy, physiology and exercise science and practice with which to strike out into the fitness industry and included specialist training in areas such as High Intensity Training (HIT), Padwork and Suspension Fitness.

I chose to start out as a self-employed personal trainer. I’m fortunate to live in the borough of Hackney and in close proximity to Tower Hamlets and Islington, which allow qualified trainers to use their parks to get local people fit and healthy, so I began planning sessions to deliver on my new clients’ needs using some of the great green spaces in my area. As with anything new, there are a number of things I have learned in my first six months working that I wasn’t taught on my course – to find out my top 5 learnings, read Five things I’ve learned about training outdoors.

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