Wondering what it takes to become a leading force in health and fitness education? Our Health and Fitness National Field Manager, Darren, reveals how he achieved career success and what inspires him to push for every day victories.
Struggling to find motivation in your professional life? Get set to feel inspired.
“Before joining The Training Room, I started out in the army.
I think that’s where I developed a lot of my management skills that I now use every day. I was medically discharged and started working in manufacturing – the regiment and people skills were familiar but the work bored me silly. I knew it was time for a career change and this is where the health and fitness industry came in.
I qualified as a gym instructor in Glasgow and started working with a gym lots of our students now choose when they graduate. It is actually the same gym that hosted the first The Training Room course in Scotland. Being in the gym environment cemented my want to work in this industry. I haven’t looked back since.
When I hit 35 I needed more than I was getting from the industry – I’d had a fair bit of exposure to tutors from The Training Room and wanted a piece of the action. I retrained at Level 3 whilst working as a Health and Fitness Manager and doing 15 hours of personal trainer sessions – I know how much pressure comes with working full time and studying so I can really appreciate the hard-work our students put in.
Becoming a tutor was a very natural step for me – I used all my experience from my army, manufacturing and health and fitness backgrounds and put this into practice in the classroom. I worked every weekend course there was, built up great relationships with my students and saw my career with The Training Room soar – I’m proud to see that ethos has fed down to our tutors today.
From being a tutor to working my way up to acting Regional Manager, then National Field Manager, the personal trainer course offering has largely stayed the same. That’s not to say there haven’t been a host of improvements. The way we offer the personal trainer course has evolved
– we listened to feedback and made changes. As an example, we introduced a part time course that enables students to dip in and out of learning – they can start in any way and on multiple platforms. We’ve also got a strong, talented and mobile team of tutors – it’s incredible to see how much we can achieve for our students.
We all strive to build strong relationships with our students. I’m still in contact with many of them; it’s great to hear how their careers are progressing. One student really sticks out in my mind – he started his course in 2015 in the Edinburgh academy – I saw in him the traits of a good personal trainer. He had great chat and social skills, his only downfall was that he saw himself as a bit of a lady’s man!
Anyway, he worked hard, qualified first time and got a job with Pure Gym thanks to the Career Support Team – after 6 months working as a personal trainer he was promoted to Assistant Manager, 6 months later full Manager, then became the youngest Cluster Manager in Pure Gym’s history! If everyone puts in the hard work that he did, you can make whatever you want for yourself.
That was one of my proudest moments, but the definite ‘I’ve made it moment’ was being awarded Manager of the year with The Training Room. I’d been acting Manager at that stage so I was only really covering – the award was such a huge honour. It’s only a wee trophy but the recognition was just incredible. It was the proudest moment of my career.
I’ve taken that feeling and brought it through my subsequent working life. I didn’t really come from anything educationally so to get to the stage where I’m at the level I am now is a real motivator. I never thought I could achieve this kind of success in my career. It’s all about having the right attitude
– you’ve got to keep improving and working up, then you’ll succeed.
I think the end goal should be everyone’s motivator. It certainly is for me, that and my family – they inspire me to strive for more. I first recognised that when I was working in the gym – my then manager would split his week working up North and down South. It made me realise that even up in Scotland, you can strive for more and be a big part of something else. He showed me that anything was possible, nothing was impossible.
I always try and use that to inspire those around me – whether that’s tutors, students or the team in head office. It’s something I’d also pass on to anyone looking to become a Personal Trainer: stop blocking yourself from achieving the amazing
. If you believe in your ability to pass the course and further yourself, it’ll pay off.
Of course, you’ve got to work hard too and put the hours in. But you should be able to look back at why you wanted to join the course or start your new career in the first place and use that to motivate yourself. You never know where that initial experience will take you.
I started out as a Personal Trainer on the gym floor – I never expected to be working with The Training Room as a National Field Manager. I wake up every morning knowing I’ve been able to make a difference - you too have the ability to effect change
Inspired by Darren to start your journey to becoming a qualified personal trainer?
Learn more about our Personal Training course here