“As a Personal Trainer there’s obviously always an expectation that you’ll have a high standard of fitness. However, we don’t all train all day every day and we don’t all eat our meals out of tupperware boxes, never allowing ourselves to overindulge in unhealthy treats.
We also very rarely get asked about why we got into fitness, with people often assuming we got into the profession while training for other sports, trying to ‘get big’ or in pursuit of the perfect shirtless Instagram post.
Truth is, I got into fitness because I learned very early on that life is short.
When I was six my dad died. He was in his forties. Two years later my eldest brother died. He was in his twenties. This was devastating, but it instilled a desire in me to get the most out of life.
To really do that, you need to be fit and healthy.
As I have grown up, what fitness means to me has changed. In my teens and early 20s it was all about performance. I was a canoeist and winning was my only target. I completely gave up my social life, abandoning time with family and friends for training twice a day and competing abroad at the weekend. My diet was immaculate and I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol.
I loved competing, but by the time I stopped, at the age of 23, I’d had operations on my elbows, ongoing shoulder pain, lower back and hip pain – something I still suffer from now.
Ten years on, fitness and making the most out of my life looks very different. I love being active and going on adventures. In the last few years both Debbie and myself have climbed Kilimanjaro and trekked to both Everest Base Camp and Machu Picchu.
Having a good level of fitness provides me with the freedom and the confidence to be able to have a go at adventures like those. I would hate to think that something as simple as fitness would stop me doing the things that I love.
Nutrition is where I personally struggle. I find hard to be consistent and in truth all I actually want is just to be healthy enough to still eat nice food without getting too fat!
From a professional point of view, I also believe that I need to be able to do everything I am asking of my clients. From attending sessions consistently and eating well 80% of the time, to performing all exercises that we program and being active outside of the gym, I have to practice what I preach. After all “nobody trusts a fat trainer 😁”.
I don’t believe that a six pack and lifting 200 kilos qualifies me as a good Personal Trainer, but I can’t coach people to do what I can’t
Over the last few years my thoughts and philosophy on fitness have changed. My personal and professional fitness journeys have come together.
I find now, when I don’t maintain my training consistency, my hips and lower back hurt and my shoulders ache, triggering thoughts about my long-term health and mobility. I wonder what will happen if I don’t look after myself, what state will I be in by the time I reach 40, or even older?
For that reason, I relate to Perform members more now than ever, regardless of age or level of fitness. I’m not a twenty-something year-old with a six pack and no responsibilities anymore. I’m in my thirties, I’m busy running a business, I have dogs to look after, bills to pay and I have a responsibility to my family in the long term.
That’s why I have to pay attention to past injuries and look after myself.
This philosophy is reflected in Perform training programs. We never prioritise lifting weight over maintaining good technique, our extensive warm up includes mobility, core strength and corrective exercises and is not optional, our big exercises are balanced and we always focus on control.
I might be a Personal Trainer, but my fitness story is the same as so many Perform members. I’m in the gym because, as I get older, I don’t want my health to be a hindrance to my life and or my family. I want to be fit enough to live the life I want and do the job I want, because life is too short to do anything else.”
Peter M, Perform Fitness Family Founder
To join the Perform Fitness Family contact the team today