In my research for writing this piece, the articles I’ve read come largely from the financial media and associated economists. The general narrative talks of statistics relating to longevity, GDP, the age of the population, NHS funding, socio economic status and taxes. Mostly matters in which I have no expertise. The advice then follows to have your health and wealth assessed annually by suitable professionals and after that to take action on the advice you receive. The final point there being extremely important – taking action!

Where I will come from is to talk about what I see going on with people who are similar to me. How shall I describe this bunch? British, middle class, middle aged, suburban, German car driving types! Will that do? Not offended anyone yet have I? If you’re reading this then you probably fall into that bracket, at least with two of the entry requirements anyway.

So what is the state of your health and fitness and how much money have you got? It’s worth knowing because it’s likely that these two will most influence what you are able to do and how long you are able to do it. Or, how long you can keep doing everything you love for as long as possible before you snuff it. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. A lot better than “Get a beach body for the summer” or “Triple your wage in just 3 hours a week from home” that’s for sure!

Not 5 years ago I would have ran a mile from talking about health and wealth and the reason was because I had tons of one but not the other – you can probably guess where the scales tipped. I’m still a lot healthier than I am financially secure but the reason I feel confident to talk about this now is because yes I know lots about health and fitness and I action it to help me daily but I now understand money more and I have a plan to get more of it. For 45 years I winged it. “I’ll be alright. I’ll have money for my future, it’ll happen sooner or later.” I spoke like this (if I was forced to think about it) but honestly? I had no clue how to get money or what to do with it if I got any! I never had any advice and felt too embarrassed to seek it.

My biggest fear was picturing the future me, strong as an ox, indestructible but at the same time 100 years old sat in a council flat in front of an electric fire with only enough money to set the heat to one bar. The fear increased and became the third force that kicked me into action to DO something about it. So I did.

As I mentioned, I still haven’t got sufficient money, not enough to support the lifestyle I want in my old age, but I now know how much I need, I have a plan on how to get it and how to make what I’ve got grow.

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Video personal training is new, it’s exciting and it’s here to stay. What’s best about this is that it’s a complete win for the consumer as they are going to have so much choice, literally being able to choose from any coach in the whole world and take them anywhere they desire.

If you are somebody that likes to workout from a public gym then the previous model was that you would join your chosen gym, think “I need a PT”, then ask the question who is available? You look at the profile board and you pick who you like the look of. Your decision might be based on a number of factors: qualifications, experience, their own lifestyle, the condition they are in, past achievements, whether you fancy them or not, many things.

The norm……

After an initial consultation (usually only with one trainer which I always found surprising as I have consultations with several people before buying service from them. Actually having said that, maybe one was all people needed with me! My infectious, wit, charm and charisma more often than not would win them over easily!) you would begin your journey usually after you’ve purchased a “block” of sessions where you had the sole attention of the trainer and paid them by the hour for it.

The world is full of a million trainers but by following this model you get the choice of up to perhaps 10. Possibly none of them are the right choice for you. I worked this way for 7 years when I was operating out of a big gym chain and although I did have a lot of success, there were times when I took somebody on and we didn’t click. Because there wasn’t a lot of choice, the client was left ultimately dissatisfied. That is what happens a lot.

It’s a whole lot different now with video training and as we come out of lockdown we are going to see an explosion in it.

With the previous model, the trainer has his or her time to sell and unless they own their own facility they are limited to training one person, two at the most, in the confines of a gym. It has to be this way because there are other people using the facility at the same time and it isn’t possible to “bagsy” all the kit and use it for a group of clients. Because it’s always been this way, personal training – once past the “learning phase” has become expensive.

I’ll explain further. When I take somebody on, it is my goal to teach this person to look after themselves. This, in my opinion, is the best way to train, these are the most beneficial exercises for you and this is the intensity and recovery you should take. The other areas of sleep, relaxation and nutrition are important too but for the purpose of this article we are covering fitness. Once a client becomes educated and formed new habits (it takes different times for different people) anything after should be maintenance – providing we are not working towards a specific goal in a specific time frame.

Maintenance through workouts that are anywhere north of £25 per hour. If you are someone that will only train out of a big gym then this has been your only option for a workout with personal attention. Now it might work for you and you might really enjoy working one on one with face to face contact with your coach. It’s good. I’m not knocking it. This is what I do!

Things have changed though.

When the first lockdown was forced upon us, I, like millions of others, sh1t myself! I couldn’t carry on the way I used to. I knew I had to try something and I knew I had to go online. I was terrified of it but I HAD to (3rd Force here. You’ll change when there is a 3rd force in place) go online. I thought it was going to be terrible. I thought everyone would leave me or I would have to reduce my prices because of this inferior service I was delivering. I tried my best though. I went to all my clients houses and delivered kit from my gym which I know every trainer doesn’t have but I do so I did and made sure they were all equipped for top class sessions.

I signed up to Zoom on the Friday night and come Monday morning I nervously logged on as did the others and within a few sessions I was flowing as so many of us now are with video communication, not just in Personal Training but in all industries. Over the last year, this has become normal, it’s the way it’s done now.

So what does this mean for the gym goer wanting to buy personal training and perhaps seeing it as an expensive outlay?

Well firstly, as I mentioned earlier, it means the client can choose from any coach in the world and take them anywhere with them on their phone. People are always on their phone these days so things would not be out of the ordinary to see somebody looking at a device in the gym and performing a workout. Back in the day, we PT,’s were fiercely protective of anyone coaching in our building who wasn’t paying rent but it’s not possible to enforce that now via video. You can’t walk up to somebody who’s squatting who has earphones in and say you can’t look at your phone while doing that. It’s impossible to police!

But here’s the even better bit for the consumer.

They can now join in a group session and reduce the price of their supervised workout! The basics of it are, you join a training group and perform the session the coach has planned live while they are working with you. Granted not everyone attending will have the same kit available but if you have a good coach then they can work with that. This system can’t work with a Joe Wicks workout with 5,000 attending but in can work in a group of up to say 12 at a time. With that number you get the personal attention still.

This is what I do now and it works a treat.

When the gyms were open in between lockdowns I coached several group sessions where some were at home and some were in a gym and everybody got great service. We can join in together, have a laugh, have a brilliant session and feel great afterwards though being a part of the team. It’s affordable, you can choose your coach and you can have outstanding service all much less than you would pay one to one which means you can train more and achieve more.

It’s a very exciting time for personal training once the gyms reopen and I can’t wait to be part of it!

Northwich Life

Northwich life is a great life, and I should know because I have lived here for most of my life.  Moving to a new area can be really daunting so it’s great to have a bit of an overview to give to people who might not be sure where to fit in and how to make friends quickly when moving into a new town.

So, what are the things about Northwich Life that would make me suggest to someone thinking of moving here, that this is absolutely the best place to live?  Well, there are rather a lot of options, but I am going to talk about the things that I love the most.  The Northwich gym that I run and have put my heart and soul into over the last 2 years, the amazing walks that are all sat on my doorstep and the location and fantastic places to buy property.

My Northwich Gym – Team Training UK

Several years ago now I was brave enough to set up and run the Northwich gym known as MPA with my ex-business partner.  As is often the way with new businesses, the energy and enthusiasm wanes and unfortunately, we had different ideas of where we wanted to take the business. This crossroads ended up being a blessing for me and my new gym was born.  A venture that I decided to pursue on my own so that I could control the gym to be based around my passion for community, competition, friendships, mental health, and of course amazing exercise coaching!

I now run a gym providing personal training in Northwich in a private facility.

Why does this make Northwich Life great?

Well, it’s because I also run team training UK from there which is group personal training and the perfect place to make new friends if you are new to Northwich.  These classes always make sure everyone gets involved and trains at their level, but we also meet outside of the gym too which is the key.

Team Training have hikes and walks at the weekend and meet up socially in surrounding areas for drinks and pub quizzes too when we get the chance.   Hikes and walks can be in the wonderful Marbury Park, along the river Weaver, Anderton and further afield to Macclesfield Forest.  Drinks have been held in The Hartford Hall, The Kingfisher at Kingsmead Northwich and Gusto and The Lost and Found in Knutsford.

So, my gym is really a great place to come and make friendships while changing your lifestyle for the better too.

Weekend life and walking local to the Northwich area:

One of my favourite things about my life living in Northwich is that there are so many great walks really on my doorstep.  I have lived on Kingsmead for most of my time here and have loved being able to nip onto the wonderful River weaver walk within 2 minutes of leaving my house.  This walk can go all the way along to Winsford and beyond if you really want tot test your legs.

In the neighbouring Hartford Marshall’s Arm woods also brings you to the River Weaver but on the opposite side for a completely different walk.  If you take the tip road opposite Pure Gym in Northwich there is another wonderful walk that can take you around Anderton and Marbury taking in the beautiful canal routes.  Walking from Anderton can also take you all the way to The Leigh Arms for a well-earned pie and a pint too.

Property and location in Northwich

Northwich is a great location with property prices just that little bit cheaper that Hartford or Knutsford and great rail links to all over the county.  The Northwich rail line can take you to Chester and Hartford one way, and Manchester, Altrincham, and Knutsford the other. Northwich is also up and coming with many bars and restaurants opening over the last few years and a funky food court market like the one in Altrincham promised over the coming year.   We have a good cinema, a fantastic Waitrose, and some amazing schools in Hartford just down the road. 

Overall Northwich is a great place to live and if you are looking to get fit and make new friends this January then get yourself along to my gym too and I will welcome you in!