I Know Kung Fu!
Taking a look at my education background…
I love learning. I think I’m hooked on it.
It helps me see things more clearly, solve problems, try and live a better life and help others do the same.
Learning gives me so much pleasure.
It always reminds me of that scene in The Matrix. The one where Neo is getting loads of stuff uploaded into his brain.
I relate to this feeling when I’m studying, listening and absorbing new information.
I love this feeling. And when you put it into action in yours or someone else’s everyday life – it’s even cooler.
Learning has been a cornerstone of my life from a very young age, starting with my formal education.
I was lucky enough to go to two incredible schools which gave me a solid foundation.
The first, was The Falcon School in Cyprus, where the (somewhat eccentric!) headmaster and headmistress) took a very rounded approach to education spanning academia, arts and sports -which was an incredible introduction to learning.
When we moved back to Scotland, I finished my high school education by going to Hutchesons’ Grammar School in Glasgow.
Where again I had some amazing opportunities including being part of a science project which gave me the opportunity to present at The Royal Institution , in London when I was 15.
So my formal education was great but the thing I find fascinating is that whilst formal education has its place – it doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the real world.
And the same can be said for health and fitness too.
Knowing what to do in theory is one thing – doing what you know and knowing how to do it in reality, is another entirely.
There are so many ways to learn and over the last ten years, the biggest sources of knowledge for me have been from the following 4 sources…
Formal Courses & Qualifications
I find it absolutely amazing that I’ve hardly ever been asked what qualifications I have – I don’t really know why this is – maybe it’s just assumed that you’re qualified like you assume a doctor is too.
The big difference being the high barrier to entry and ongoing rigorous regulation doctors face.
My first major course was my Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training with Client Weight & Lifestyle Management.
This is your ticket to call yourself a personal trainer.
And I’ve got to say I loved it – it had been awhile since I’d done any formal studying – so I got my teeth into it and nailed it!
A year or so after I qualified though, I began to get frustrated:
Because outside of the very occasional conference, there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity for CPD up in Scotland which led me to look further afield.
Having explored what was out there, London called, and I was fortunate enough to be offered a position at one of the leading independent companies in Chiswick, West London.
This experience completely changed my perspective forever.
The guys I worked for were seasoned professionals who opened my eyes to a side of the industry I didn’t know existed.
They set me on a path of learning how to truly help people by focusing on the rules of the body and not fitness industry fads and protocols.
It was with this new perspective that I take the two biggest courses that I believe should become a prerequisite for becoming a personal trainer.
The Resistance Training Specialist Programme
I was on the very first sitting of this course in the UK back in 2013.
RTS is a U.S. based certification founded by Tom Purvis, RTS is the leading course on advanced exercise mechanics and the ultimate qualification to master exercise prescription.
Resistance Training Specialists are able to custom fit the exercise to you rather than you having to fit to the exercise. Which changes the game entirely!
Founded by Dr John Berardi, PN is a Canadian based course covering both nutritional science and applied nutritional coaching. I qualified in PN back at the end of 2013.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears!
These people come have come along in various forms for me- business, personal, and professional mentors; some who you know and have relationships with and some who you only know from arm’s length.
But when your mind is open and you’re seeking enlightenment in certain areas, these invuable people, seem to come into your life at the right time.
If we work together in some capacity, please feel free to ask me who some of my mentors are.
Over the last ten years I have become a prolific reader of mostly non-fiction books.
Books related to training, nutrition, physiology, digestion, behaviour & psychology, business, money, cooking and philosophy as well as the odd autobiography!
I love that I can keep track of my own personal library that helps shape the advice I give and the World view I have today.
I am excited that I’ll never be able to read enough, but do sometimes have to monitor my balance of input to output because one title can tend to lead to several more recommendations!
I’m instead channeling my energy into creating videos, blogs and writing my first book, to share all of the practical principles I’ve developed and tested to help people regain control of their bodies and lives.
I’ve worked with so many cool people now and I’ve banked many thousands of 1-1 personal training hours.
And because I want to help as many people as I can make a lasting change – I go deep with them.
What you learn “in the trenches” as they say – where theory is put into practice – is irreplaceable.
Of course we could map out “the perfect action plan” up on the whiteboard and that’s all well and good.
Then you put a human being living in the 21st century into the equation.
Who feels stressed out, fat and generally feeling a bit f****d up – and it’s a whole different ball game!
By carefully measuring and documenting all of this real world experience, I have an unbelievable bank of information and scenarios to call upon when they crop up again.
So if you start working with me now, you don’t get the same personal trainer you would had 5 years ago or even 5 months ago.
My approach is always evolving from learning from the people who I’ve helped before you.
And with my commitment to lifelong learning, that will be true for the personal trainer I will become in the future too, all being well.