I’m 50+ and fabulous. Offering personal training since 2008, I’ve also taken part in various martial arts competitions for more than 23 years. Awarded 3rd place in the last Pure Elite competitions, these events are all about confidence, and when you’re on stage, you just need to own it. Travelling to anywhere within the Berkshire area, I have the ability to give you the confidence you need to succeed.
Following in the family tradition, I’ve been a baker since 1985 and have worked at different bakeries across South London. Going from being a baker to a personal trainer probably seems like quite a leap, but it was the right thing for me to do and I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way.
The trick with staying in shape when you work in a bakery is simply not to eat everything you bake!
I’ve been involved in martial arts for more than 23 years, and this has allowed me to gain and maintain a high level of fitness, which is something I’m very proud of. People often guess I’m in my late 30s, but I’m actually a lot older, and my physique is down to my commitment to training and the martial arts. I’ve competed in the UK National Championships and British National Team as well as being a qualified instructor.
I’ve recently stopped competing in martial arts, as I feel it is a young man’s game and I’ve done my time. That said, I continue to be really passionate about martial arts and instruct others whenever I can. When I stopped competing, I started going to a gym as I realised I needed to do extra work to keep up my fitness levels.
Lots of people would approach me in the gym and ask me if I was a personal trainer. It was really flattering because everyone wanted to have a workout session with me. It was then that I realised becoming a personal trainer was the next logical step for me, but I didn’t think it was something I could afford to do.
I initially did a college course to gain the qualifications I needed, thinking that it would be the most cost-effective way to get to where I wanted to be. I spent a year studying at college and gained my level 2 qualification. I then tried to get work in a local gym but was turned away as they only employed people who also had their level 3 qualification. I then realised that I needed to get my level 3, but didn't know how to go about it as I couldn't afford to spend another few years at college or pay the course fees upfront.
I was over the moon when I saw the Training Room advert, which explained the option of paying for the course via monthly instalments. Finally, I saw there was a way in to the industry and I couldn't have been happier. I got in touch with The Training Room straight away and shortly afterwards, made the decision to sign up for the course.
In spite of the payment plan, I still decided to carry on working during the course so that I could keep my head above water. I travelled from Reading to North West London every day after the course to work in the bakery. I knew it would be hard work but I told myself that it was only 6 weeks, and I had to get through it.
The course itself was brilliant. I learned more in the first 2 days on the course than I did in a whole year at college. The tutors were second to none and were a real inspiration while I was on the course. I seemed to find level 3 easier than level 2, but maybe that was because I was completely immersed by then, living and breathing personal training every day for 6 weeks.
Once I finished the course, I applied back to the same gym that had turned me away previously and got the job. I initially worked 15 hours for free each week and on top of that, did my personal trainer sessions and tried to build up my client base. Within 2 weeks, I had 21 clients. I also started doing paid work at the weekend as a fitness instructor. After that I set up an abs class, which involves absolutely no sit-ups or crunches and really intrigues people as a result. It is so popular that it is always fully booked.
I was made duty manager of the gym I work for after being there only 4 months, and hope to become general manager in the near future. Eventually, I plan to move to Malta and start up my own business over there. They have the second highest obesity in Europe after the UK, so I plan to do my bit to change that. I think they’re in need of my abs classes!