I wasn’t typically sporty at school. I was academic (not infrequently called “geek” or “nerd”; and quite into music, playing clarinet, saxophone, piano and having singing lessons, going to choir, jazz band, windband and orchestra. Between all that, I fitted in a few circuits and aerobics classes a week and a trip to the gym here and there. I really enjoyed my aerobics classes and always quite fancied being up the front and teaching. I looked up teaching qualifications, but there was just no way I could fit it in at the time. Then last year, many years of A levels, medical school, and junior doctoring later; I took a year off full time work, and realised that I could finally fulfil this longstanding ambition.
I signed up to do my personal training qualifications through Premier International. They do part time courses over many months with weekend contact sessions, or full time intensive courses over 6 weeks. I chose to take the course full time, which actually meant 3-4 contact days a week and 1-2 private study days. I worked A&E shifts on the weekends to pay my way through the course.
The course structure included a variety of theory classes covering anatomy, physiology, nutrition and principles of exercise; and practical sessions in the gym. Thankfully, my medical background meant I had a good foundation in the anatomy and physiology aspects, but for people without that (everybody else), it was an awful lot to learn in a short space of time. We did written exams in anatomy/physiology, principles of exercise, program planning, and nutrition; and practical assessments in carrying out gym inductions, circuits classes, kettlebells, personal training sessions, and first aid.
There was a real mix of people on the course, from fresh faced school leavers, to uni leavers, armed forces leavers, and a smattering of other professionals. Apart from our work backgrounds, there was also a good mix of sporting interests including boxing, rugby, powerlifting, running, martial arts, basketball and aesthetic bodybuilding; so really good to take on and learn about everyone’s different training methods and think about setting programs specific to each individual.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed spending so much time in the gym and became more confident in my own training needs. I have always known the importance of using weights and strength training, but for me its so easy to lace up my trainers and just go. Racing so frequently at the time, up to several times a week, it never seemed a good day to be post leg day! Lately (I’m typing in retrospect in March 2016), I’ve been really trying to maintain a regular strength training program to support my running as I suffered injury in November which had me really scale back my running for 2 months and I’m still way off pace, but coming back stronger.
Following the course, I was unable to use my qualifications for a while as I was working as a locum all over the place and couldn’t commit to clients, but now I’m settled and based in Aylesbury and ready to take on new clients.
So if you want help with anything from just starting out and getting fit, losing weight and toning up, introducing strength training to a cardio heavy program or vice versa, getting ready for a specific event or trying to hit a new personal best; I can help. Please get in touch via the “contact me” form.