Future Fit Graduate explains how he turned his passion into a successful profession, having learnt from his mistakes. Mark is now a accomplished personal trainer, educator, columnist, presenter and facility owner! His hard work has led him to where he is today...
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They say that good things come to those who wait…
On paper, I have had an illustrious career, maybe even an enviable one. But it hasn’t been easy and certainly hasn’t been ‘lucky’.
I first contacted Future Fit Training in July 2005 as 24-year old, who had never followed a formal ‘training’ programme and had only ever been into a gym a handful of times. But I was athletic, keen and determined to forge a career for myself within the fitness industry.
Fast forward to today and I am an accomplished PT (although I prefer to use the term ‘coach’), a mentor, presenter, an educator, a regular magazine columnist and facility owner.
The fitness industry has taken me around the world over the last 14 years but since 2016 I have gone full circle and settled back into rural Norfolk where I was born.
Early on I worked for most of the big-name gym chains as a PT and I was always keen to go above and beyond to try and improve my knowledge.
In 2007 I travelled to Cinncinati, USA, to become the first non-American to be certified in America by Kettlebell World champion Valery Fedorenko. I also made a point of attending every conference, identifying every decent PT I could lay my eyes on, and finding out how they got so good, basically so I could follow suit and copy them.
When social media emerged, I went through years worth of magazines, making note of anyone that had contributed and added them as ‘friends’. It surprises me how few contact me now that I’m writing for those same publications.
Within a couple of years in the industry my kettlebell qualification gave me the opportunity to take advantage of an position as an unpaid intern at Yorkshire CCC and Castleford Tigers Rugby League where I learned how to work with professional sportsmen and also within athlete development.
These are skills that I continue to utilise on a daily basis as I still work with a number of elite athletes. This has lead me to launching an ‘athlete development’ programme for youngsters in my community.
A full-time paid role soon followed with Sheffield United FC, which took me to China and gave me the opportunity to work with the Chinese Olympic squad at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
I first stepped ‘behind the scenes’ within the fitness industry with a role as Training Academy Manager for Jordan Fitness which saw me average over 1000 CPD students per year for several years.
My networking skills have only improved since the early days, and that has led to various roles with leading global brands, including BodyPower, MyZone and even a stint with Bear Grylls.
Being able to step on stage at large events (which I used to attend as a delegate), being asked to write for global publications (which I used to buy every month), and being invited back to national gym chains to teach workshops (where I used to pay rent) really is a complete privilege and a dream come true.
Considering everything I’ve accomplished, my favourite part of the job is still getting up at 5am, unlocking my own facility come wind, rain or shine, and then helping a diverse range of people who come through the door every day. They never fail to put a smile on my face and they make me feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life.
If I could give you any advice it would be to make mistakes, learn from them and not repeat them, then you will quickly rise ahead of most of your competition.
If you can challenge your beliefs, avoid complacency and never stop learning, then you are in for a fruitful and long career in this thriving industry.
Good things do come to those who wait…
but I believe; “Good things come to those who make them happen”.
After qualifiying as a Personal Trainer with Future Fit Training, Mark worked his way through most roles within the mainstream gym chains such as Virgin Active, Fitness First, Esporta and Bannatynes - as a Group Exercise Instructor, Personmla Trainer, Fitness Manager and PT Manager. During his time, Mark has helped thousands of people to enhance their ability to go about their daily lives - from professional athletes to the most average members of the public.His wide range and diverse experience has opened up vast oppurtunities including working alongside the Chinese Olympic Squad. Mark is more than just a coach, he his a mentor, an educator, a columnist, a presenter and a facility owner. In his own words: "Considering everything I have accomplished, my favourite thing is to still to get up at 5am, unlocking my own facility come wind, rain or shine and then helping a diverse range of people. They never fail to put a smile on my face.”
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