Cameron and Hannah Shaw both trained with CMS Fitness before setting up Primal Eden, a Movement & Nutrition Academy based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
“Primal Eden was set up in response to the fitness industry’s general lack of success with the majority of the population,” Cameron explains. “Around 90% of people who join a gym don’t stick it out, as the exercise on offer isn’t what they enjoy. Our goal is to re-educate the fitness industry on how to train people.”
What is the offer at Primal Eden?
Primal Eden offers corrective exercise, calisthenics and advice on nutrition from instructors qualified to a minimum of Level 3. Classes include strength conditioning, aerial arts, sport pole and exotic pole.
“People who come here are taught to move correctly and we help them to get fit and lose weight,” says Cameron. “Within any group, some people will have joint dysfunction, but most gyms will put everyone in the same class and get them doing plyometrics and other exercises that they shouldn’t be doing. I want to build a new model, so people have a choice. Our class numbers are limited to 10 people, as I need to know each individual and what their health and fitness niggles might be.”
The emphasis is on creating a fun, welcoming environment. “All of our customers describe the gym as a family, and we call our members ‘the pack’. It’s like a second home, an all-inclusive community where everyone is welcome and people can get fit without feeling self-conscious.”
Cameron: Interested in fitness, in particular body building, since a teenager, Cameron previously worked for various major fitness chains.
Hannah: As well as a background in dance stretching back 22 years, including ballet, contemporary, tap, street and hip hop, Hannah has worked in a bank and as a spa therapist.
Training with CMS:
Cameron: He was the first apprentice trained by CMS Fitness, completing a Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training in 2012. He then progressed on to a Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral and a Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage.
“I already knew Hadyn [Luke], so I talked to him about offering a fitness apprenticeship through CMS and we approached KAL [Kirklees Active Leisure] together. It was a way for me to get a qualification, Hadyn to get an apprenticeship scheme and KAL to get a training provider. I trusted CMS to train me and I have referred lots of people to the company, including my wife.”
Hannah: She trained with CMS in 2017, completing the following qualifications: Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing, Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training and Level 3 Award in Designing for Pre and Post Natal Programmes.
Cameron: He trains clients in the early morning from around 7am, then works on aspects of the business, such as creating and editing videos, conducting research and writing new material for courses and the website. He also makes time to walk his two border collies. The gym opens at 2pm and he trains clients using calisthenics until 4pm. Classes run from 5pm-9pm.
Hannah: As the couple had baby Ember in December, Hannah’s routine has changed. However, she still runs the business’s social media, marketing and accounts from home, and has already gone back to teaching exotic dance classes at the gym. She will also take on her own PT clients moving forward.
The gym will be taking on its own apprentice, Callum Wheatley, on 1 April.
“Callum first came to me as a client; he has a background as a gymnast and started doing calisthenics with me,” says Cameron. “He put in the time and the work and progressed very quickly. We trained together three times a week for eight months and now we are training partners, working on the harder aspects of calisthenics. When I mentioned that Primal Eden was taking on an apprentice, he was keen to join us.”
Cameron: “Making Primal Eden one of the biggest calisthenics centres in the UK and becoming a calisthenics master trainer, creating courses for Bodyweight Gurus, who deliver training around the country. Also, breaking the mould of how a gym works – I’d like to see the fitness industry as we know it abolished and replaced with small gyms run by people who have a stake in customer service.”
Hannah: “Passing my exams and learning more than I thought I would from a course – I came away feeling knowledgeable and confident. Setting up Primal Eden is our biggest achievement: having clients come back day after day and helping people making a difference in their lives.”
Cameron: “Trying to convince people that what they know isn’t necessarily the best thing for them. Lots of people think you need to come out of a class feeling like you’re dying for it to have worked. I help them to move their joints better and I won’t work them too hard until they improve their flexibility, as that would be unethical.”
Hannah: “I’m naturally quite shy, so teaching a group was challenging but I’ve worked to overcome this. Also, going back to teaching eight weeks after having the baby. We’re already a family friendly gym but we are starting mother and baby classes and full-family classes soon, so it will be a challenge having more children in the gym.”
Benefits of taking a CMS Fitness course:
Cameron: “I have nothing but good things to say about CMS. Because I was the first fitness apprentice, it was very new for me, and Hadyn had to do a lot more work as everything was being put in place for the first time. It was a learning curve for both of us. We did quite a lot above and beyond the level of PT, which is why I rated the course so well. Hadyn spent time talking to me about things that were not on the syllabus but that raised my level.”
Hannah: “I really loved the experience. Everyone was very helpful and the courses weren’t too full, so I could ask questions and didn’t feel like just a number. The instructors didn’t just deliver course information, they were really knowledgeable. They knew what they were talking about and could get into the nitty gritty.”