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LOCATION: Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
BACKGROUND: Ex-British Forces Instructor
After retiring from the army as a decorated acting sergeant, Steven trained with CMS Fitness Courses and now runs his own private studio in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.
Although he’d always trained in his local gym, it wasn’t until Steven joined the army that he truly understood the importance of keeping fit. On returning to civilian life, he decided to become a personal trainer, to promote health and fitness and help tackle obesity and illness.
To ease his transition back into civilian life, the army funded Steven’s retraining with CMS Fitness Courses through the Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme. CMS had come highly recommended, he says: “The team were very helpful. I was able to work through the qualifications to give me a new civilian career.”
Having achieved qualifications as a Level 2 Gym Instructor, followed by Level 3 Personal Trainer, Steven progressed on to Level 3 Pre and Post Natal Planning, which gave him access to a specialised market. From there, he took the Level 3 Exercise Referral course to help groups with conditions such as obesity or diabetes. Finally, following advice from his CMS tutors, he became an A1 NVQ assessor.
The support from CMS began with helping him to secure funding and plan which courses to take to achieve his career goals. As well as benefiting from workshops delivered by trained, knowledgeable assessors, Steven found the e-learning facility invaluable, as it allowed him to study at home and submit coursework online. “There was no point throughout the training that I was left high and dry,” he says. “I was able to pick up the phone and speak to the team or ping over an email and get an answer straight back.”
Having someone on hand to give advice was especially helpful once Steven moved on to the more advanced courses. “The tutors have all worked in the health and fitness industry,” he says. “So they can offer you real situations and advice to help you progress your qualification.”
Once qualified, Steven decided on self-employment, rather than working for a gym, which meant he was responsible for finding his own clients. He set up a private studio in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, offering one-on-one, bespoke personal training. “If you’re hard working and diligent, you serve your customers, you present yourself well and you’re knowledgeable about your business, then you can overcome all challenges,” he says. Most important, he says, the constant support from CMS throughout his training helped prepare him for entering the health and fitness marketplace.
As a personal trainer, Steven understands the need to be flexible and fit round his clients’ working day. Steven’s training at CMS instilled in him the importance of presenting his work area well and being prepared. His day starts early: opening up the studio, making sure it’s clean and checking all the equipment is in good working order. From 6am, he offers personal training for clients then during the daytime; he prepares lessons, plans routines and works with pre and post natal clients. With a Level 3 Exercise Referral qualification under his belt, he is also able to take referrals from local GPs to work with elderly clients or those with special requirements. In the evening he teaches fitness classes.
As far as advising others interested in the health and fitness industry, Steven recommends that if you’re fitness orientated and have the right kind of personality to work with clients, then the most important factor is to find a good training provider, such as CMS Fitness Courses. “Learn, learn, learn,” he says. “Present yourself well, make sure you’re knowledgeable about what you’re teaching and get out there and do it. I’ve not looked back.”