Andy Berry completed a range of studies, including a Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage with CMS, before opening up his own gym, Generation Fit, in Bramley, Leeds. His apprentice, Lauren Gill, has also studied through CMS.
Born and bred in Bolton, Andy moved to Yorkshire to study at the University of Leeds. His first degree was a combined honours bachelor of science (BSc Hons) degree in biochemistry with genetics.
He has since taken several further professional qualifications, including Level 3 Sports Massage with CMS and a Level 7 (equivalent of a masters) in IT.
After working in IT, Andy set up a private PT business, specialising in biomechanics coaching.
Andy has worked with many elite athletes and sports people, including the professional rugby league football players Gareth Raynor and Jamie Peacock, and the British bobsleigh team member Axel Brown.
A large proportion of his clients were athletes and sports people getting ready for competition and members of the public who came to him for help with injuries, such as back or knee problems.
“I had a lot of clients who wanted to stay on after their injury was healed as they enjoyed training and were comfortable with me. These biomechanic injury clients turned into health and wellbeing performance clients. But in many cases you can’t bring non-members into the gyms where I was training and I didn’t want to make them have to join. There aren’t many small, independent gyms, so I decided to open Generation Fit.”
Andy took on a lease for his current premises in October 2017 and has been working hard to build up the gym since then. “I’m very dedicated to what I do; you have to be if you want to succeed.”
Route into a career in fitness:
Fitness and how the body works had always been of interest to Andy, and his study of biochemistry helped him to understand the finest nuances of how people move.
“The tagline for my PT business is: Andy Berry performance coaching: biomechanics for health and for performance. The priority is that before we go about fine tuning everyone into the best athlete they can be, I want to make sure they are moving effectively.”
Training with CMS:
Andy studied for a Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage (Soft Tissue Therapy) with CMS.
On a typical day, Andy starts early, opening up the gym at 6.15am and training clients pretty much back to back from 6.30am, as well as teaching classes. On a weekday, he will finish around 9pm; Saturdays he works 9am-4pm and Sundays 10am-2pm.
The gym has plenty of space and specialist equipment. “I took all the best bits of all the gyms I’ve worked at and amalgamated them into my facility. If someone comes in with a bad back or a sore elbow, I can work with them for a few sessions then they can stay on afterwards as regular clients.”
He is supported by an apprentice, Lauren Gill, who is currently training through CMS (look out for our blog on Lauren’s journey). Lauren now also trains clients and teaches classes, as well as looking after marketing and social media for the gym.
They previously worked together at a gym in Horsforth and Andy was impressed with her positive approach and the way she greeted and communicated with clients.
“I wanted somebody I trusted and recognised that she was diligent with her studies – she was doing a decent degree at a decent standard – and put a lot of effort into the job. I pay her over the usual apprentice rate as I believe in her.”
Andy is also looking to set up an internship within his gym to help existing or newly qualified PTs to learn the trade from an experienced and successful PT.
Benefits of taking a CMS Fitness course:
“I’ve always actively pursued education and worked with a lot of coaches in a lot of fields,” Andy says. “Without a shadow of a doubt, Hadyn delivered the best course I’ve been on. The way he delivers material is very, very good and I found it really enjoyable. The massage course involved some elements I had already learned about, but he made it riveting for me and accessible for the people who were brand new to fitness and hadn’t studied anatomy before.
“That’s why I suggested CMS for Lauren as I wanted her to get the best education possible so she can operate at a similar standard to me. Eventually she will do the same job as I do.”