Our MotivatePT team is hand picked based on their qualifications (Level 3 as a minimum) and their experience. In this series, we bring you the scoop on why our trainers became coaches and what makes them tick.
Claire is a superstar personal trainer with past experience as a national athlete. Claire is also a NLP therapist helping her to tap into the mental as well as physical limitations of her clients.
What are your previous experiences in sport and personal training?
As an athlete I have 30 years experience in elite sport competing at a national level from the age of six in five different disciplines: gymnastics, cross-country running, athletics, weightlifting and skeleton bob. My wealth of knowledge and experience in sport means I understand how to achieve great results and my goal in sessions is to pass on this knowledge and experience. This also means I am a highly adaptable trainer who enjoys tailoring sessions to fit my clients needs. I always make sure to bring a huge range of experience to every session. I love working with people where I have to be creative and adapt my method to suit their needs and abilities.
What are your main qualities and areas of expertise in fitness?
Concerning my qualities as a PT I would say that I love being able to share my good energy with others. I think my positivity and energy is infectious. Additionally as a national level athlete used to competing in multiple sports I think my clients find me inspiring in terms of the way I move with grace and ease. This depth of experience also means that I constantly have an array of fresh content to share, which makes me very adaptable as a trainer.
In terms of expertise, coming from a running background I really enjoy building programs for race preparation. Calisthenics and circuit training have also always been part of my training and I enjoy helping clients progressing in these areas. Finally I’d say that I have a strong appeal to weight and bodyweight workouts too.
How would you qualify your fitness approach?
I am definitely focused on creating bespoke programs for my clients. My approach is to spend time getting to know them really well so that I can understand what makes them tick. Then I create bespoke programmes that deliver the training they need in the way they need it.
Before becoming a personal trainer, I spent 10 years working in the art, design and museum sectors as a curator and audience development specialist. This unique combination of knowledge and life experience means I always look to find creative solutions to meet diverse training needs – and I bring plenty of added value beyond the normal personal training experience.
Can you describe a typical PT session with you?
I usually start with a 10 minute mobility warm up using animal flow patterns / complex movement challenges and static stretches. Then we start the 30 minute main session using a circuit training based format (3 circuits of 6 – 10 exercises) or sets based training (3 or 4 exercises x 3 sets with 6 – 12 reps). I really like incorporating 15 minute skills based training, working on a skill or goal the client is trying to achieve. This could be frog stands, press ups, chins ups headstands, handstands, cartwheels or introducing new body weight training exercises that require practice and coordination. And finally, a 5 min cool down and stretching to conclude the session.
What do you consider to be the most important qualities to be an excellent personal trainer?
Aside from having excellent embodied knowledge of the movements and exercises you are asking your clients to perform, I think it’s also essential to be positive, inspiring and motivational. Having a personal sports practice yourself (aside from working out in the gym) is also a real strength so that you always have fresh content and new approaches to share. Another major quality that a PT should have is being open and approachable so that clients feel able to come to you for emotional support. Finally, I think it’s indispensable to have the ability to meet people where they are at on their health and fitness journey and to ensure they progress towards their goals and develop their strength and fitness from session to session.
Written by Natasha Howe