Nineteen-year-old Matthew is currently studying with Future Fit Training (FFT), doing the total immersion with RSPH Diploma course.
As someone who has always had a passion for sports, Matthew first became interested in fitness when he wanted to enhance his own, to compete at higher levels in rugby. Having struggled with his weight at times, Matthew says:
“That drive to persevere through tough times and overcome hurdles moulded me to be the person I am today and I believe it allows me to comprehend what it’s like for others in the same predicament.”
“I have always been fascinated with human biology and how the body’s biomechanical functions work. After I finished my A-levels I was considering my options. A four-year university course felt like such a big and expensive leap, so I decided to try something else that I enjoyed. Becoming a personal trainer felt like the perfect option.”
Matthew wants to use his qualification to help his clients think of fitness as a method of entertainment and stress relief, rather than a chore. He feels his background enables him to empathise with people and asses them in a holistic manner, establishing a trusting, honest and open bond, that will allow him to support their journey more closely.
“Coaching friends and people at my local sports club has taught me that I need to be able to adopt many methods of communication, because everyone responds differently. Exercise is so closely linked to mental health; working out is about way more than making your body look a certain way, it’s about confidence and wellbeing, and how you see yourself. Being able to give that confidence to others is what inspires me.”
After winning an Inspired Award at the Future Fit Training Legacy Awards, Matthew intends to use the £1,000 he received to invest in extra-curricular studies to further his knowledge.
“Winning this award will not only assist me in my journey but will hopefully improve my clients’ quality of life, too. I’ve grown up in an ethnic family, where things like complimentary and herbal medicines are used all the time. It’s not as well-known but, from personal experience, I know it’s just as effective. I’d like to get some training in alternative disciplines and incorporate them into my work with clients.
“For me, it’s not just about being able to say ‘hi, I am a PT, what do YOU need?’ Clients need to have their own goal and we are there to listen, not to tell them what they should and shouldn’t be doing. I want to help people identify something they actually enjoy and find ways to encourage them to do it. PTs are there to facilitate the process, to make it smoother and easier for them to fit exercise into a busy routine; I’m just part of their journey.”
Matthew hopes to intrigue clients’ own intuition to delve deeper into this mindset of self-development. He believes that only through self-determination can they truly push beyond the mental limitations they’re placing upon themselves and experience self attainment upon completion of something they couldn’t see themselves doing previously.
“I know I need to work with a varied audience, to get a consensus of how everyone communicates. Personal training is about trust, honesty and how you interact,” he says. “Once I’m more knowledgeable about how everyone communicates, I want to specialise in a certain area, perhaps getting younger people up and on their feet and helping explain to them that it’s not just physical, their diet plays an essential role, too. Childhood obesity needs to be focussed on. I was overweight as a kid so can use my own experiences to show clients that you can come through it and out the other side healthier and stronger.”
In the longer term, Matthew’s goal is to create an online fitness portal as a way to engage people who may be intimidated by face-to-face sessions and communicate with current clients so they can ask questions and he can address any misconceptions they may have.
“All of this will provide them with a comprehensive understanding of wellbeing beyond that of just physical fitness.”