Learner Case Study: Joe McKenzie

Avatar for Hadyn Luke Hadyn Luke posted this on Monday 24th of April 2017 Hadyn Luke 24/04/2017


Learner Case Study: Joe McKenzie


After training with CMS Fitness, Joe McKenzie won the MoveGB Personal Trainer of the Year 2016 award for the Sheffield area. He currently works at Spa Naturel Fitness at the Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s Hotel & Spa.


Born and raised in Blackpool, where he lived until the age of 19.


Joined the Army Air Corps aged 19. Later worked as a labourer on construction sites.


Joe has always been passionate about health and fitness. He considered taking a degree in sports science but decided instead to go straight into paid employment and joined the army. After leaving, he worked in several different areas, including construction, but sports and fitness was always in the background.

For a long time he considered going to the gym as just a hobby and never thought of pursuing it as a career. Once he decided to jump on board, he started researching apprenticeships and discovered that he could complete his training via an Advanced Learner Loan available through CMS for those aged 19+.


Joe began with a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing and went on to complete the following:

Having applied himself to his studies, Joe is now in an excellent position to advise clients in his role as a Personal Trainer.


Joe now works in the prestigious S1 development in Sheffield, at Spa Naturel Fitness, which is located in the Mercure Hotel & Spa.

As a Personal Trainer, he works through the gym and also brings in his own clients.

“I’ve been there just over a year and it’s brilliant,” he says. “I train a wide range of clients but tend to specialise in ladies over 35, so I’ve talked to some female trainers about working with women. For example, I’ve conferred with Emma Taylor about strength training for women.” (See our Learner Case Study: Emma Taylor).


Once Joe started his training, he was able to benefit from the support that Hadyn Luke and the team at CMS offered.

“Hadyn is super knowledgeable and I got on well with him. Fitness has always been a hobby of mine but he was a font of knowledge and understood the difference between the good and bad science found online.”


Last year, Joe won the MoveGB Personal Trainer of the Year 2016 Award for the Sheffield area. The organisation, which offers an annual membership that allows people to train at partnership gyms across the UK, runs annual regional awards based on votes, testimonies and results.

Another key achievement is getting to where he is now as a Personal Trainer. “Achieving my Level 2 helped me take the next step towards Level 3, which reinforced in my mind that this was what I wanted to do. My goal was to get to where I am now – all I had to do was take the right steps.”


Having chatted to colleagues, Joe has found that one phrase has stuck in his mind.

“They say there are three steps: first, being scared of not knowing anything, then thinking that you know everything and finally realising that you know nothing. You have to go through these steps in order to grow.

“Once you’ve gone through your training, the fundamental basics are always there, but you need to design and tailor what you do for clients. It’s best to take a steadfast approach, as it will limit your growth and development if you think you know everything.”


The support network provided by CMS proved invaluable for Joe, both while he was training and since entering employment.

“I met a great bunch of people and the ongoing support has been massive, from help with social media to being able to ring and text Hadyn for advice over the past three years. At one point, when I was working as a commission-based personal trainer, I was using up my savings and had to pick up part-time work in a warehouse to keep myself ticking over. I had a wobble, so I got in touch with Hadyn and he was there to support me. Hadyn was a shoulder to lean on; he talked to me about different opportunities, gave me moral support and said I could do it – that’s all it took. It reminded me of Rocky II – when he’s working in a warehouse, but wants to get back to what he really wants to do!”

Looking back, Joe says he would definitely recommend CMS and in fact already has done so.

“I had a brilliant time with CMS. They have great staff and they really do go above and beyond for you. I wouldn’t be anywhere near the level I am now without their ongoing support.”

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