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How Did Rowing Inspire Me To Become a PT?

29-01-2018

Have you ever wanted to know how it feels to be a personal trainer but you don’t know where to get the answers? Not to worry, you are not the only one! We asked one of our previous students, Kate Pankhurst, to take part in a Q&A on how she finds being a Personal Trainer – here is what she had to say…

Rowing

Q: How does a regular work day look for you?

At the moment I divide my time between my own training (I still row competitively and train six days per week) and planning for and conducting training sessions for individual clients and group classes. I’m also maintaining a training blog on my website (www.kprowfit.co.uk) which has a particular focus on rowing training and the sport of indoor rowing. I try and keep up with social media as well and post to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as often as I can.

Q: What qualification have you studied for and when did you finish your qualification?

I’ve completed the following qualifications with Discovery:

Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction (March 2017)
Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training (June 2017)
CPDs in Circuit Training, Suspension Training & MMA Fitness Training (Winter 2017)

Q: We understand that your previous line of work was within the finance industry, what made you change to fitness?

I worked in the finance industry for the better part of twenty years, but have always had sporting interests outside of that – mainly team sports such as football, cricket and softball. I took up rowing in October 2014 and quickly became rather obsessed with the training. I enjoyed the long hours in the gym and felt it was an area I would like to explore professionally and could use my enthusiasm to motivate others.

For more detailed information please take a look at the “About” section of my website at www.kprowfit.co.uk/about/

Q: How does a regular work day look for you?

At the moment I divide my time between my own training (I still row competitively and train six days per week) and planning for and conducting training sessions for individual clients and group classes. I’m also maintaining a training blog on my website (www.kprowfit.co.uk) which has a particular focus on rowing training and the sport of indoor rowing. I try and keep up with social media as well and post to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as often as I can.

Q: What qualification have you studied for and when did you finish your qualification?

I’ve completed the following qualifications with Discovery:

Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction (March 2017)
Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training (June 2017)
CPDs in Circuit Training, Suspension Training & MMA Fitness Training (Winter 2017)

Q: We understand that your previous line of work was within the finance industry, what made you change to fitness?

I worked in the finance industry for the better part of twenty years, but have always had sporting interests outside of that – mainly team sports such as football, cricket and softball. I took up rowing in October 2014 and quickly became rather obsessed with the training. I enjoyed the long hours in the gym and felt it was an area I would like to explore professionally and could use my enthusiasm to motivate others.

For more detailed information please take a look at the “About” section of my website at www.kprowfit.co.uk/about/

Meet Kate

Q: You have thought of incorporating your favourite sport (rowing) into your clients’ workout routine. That’s quite innovative, tell us more about how these routines look and work and what have been your results so far.

As far as cardiovascular and resistance training machines go the indoor rowing machine is just about the most effective piece of equipment you will find in the gym. However, rowing is a very technical sport and to get the best results and to avoid repetitive strain injury it’s crucial that you be taught safe and effective technique.

My experience when training away from my rowing club at local gyms is that there is a big gap in knowledge and understanding of how to use the rowing machine correctly both by the general public and, more worryingly, by fitness professionals. I’ve seen personal trainers in my gym instruct poor technique to their clients – a technique which, if followed for any significant length of time, would potentially lead to injury.

This is such a shame. It’s a fantastic fitness machine and indoor rowing is a developing sport in its own right – something that British Rowing (the sports governing body) is keen to push. It does, however, need trained professionals to be able to teach good technique and the big gym franchises need to start embracing the initiative if mass participation is ever to be achieved. It’s a tough battle.

In my own small way, I hope to help with this initiative. I take new clients who want to include rowing fitness training into their workouts through a number of sessions of technically focused training and only once they are ready, do I start to introduce more intense rowing workouts (such as endurance and interval training into their programmes). When incorporated with more traditional strength and conditioning and core stability work you then have the foundation for a great workout routine. That’s where my focus lies.

In terms of the monitoring of results I use a lot of video analysis for the technical aspect of training – seeing before and after footage is a great way to demonstrate work in progress to clients. From a pure performance perspective, the rowing machine’s display allows to very effectively record results from repeatable workouts – the dreaded 2k test often being the major milestone marker to use in my programmes.

Kate Pankhurst

Q: How did you find your clients?

From graduation, to the end of 2017 my clients all came through my rowing club. I advertise myself at the club focussing on people who were coming through the Learn to Row programme and who were keen to have more individual attention, or ex-rowers keen to maintain (or get back) their level of strength and fitness. I also run the Get Fit to Row classes at my club which we try to run a number of times each year (8-week courses with 2 sessions each week).

In 2018 I’m hoping to expand my reach out to the general public using my website, social media and sites such as Gumtree to advertise externally. My fingers remain crossed that this will enable me to expand my client portfolio.

Q: If you were to give our students one piece of advice, what would it be?

The best piece of advice I’d give to students (and constantly try to remind myself) is not to be discouraged in the early months when starting out as a freelance trainer. As I’m finding out building up a client base takes time and perseverance and it is easy to lose motivation if instant success doesn’t materialise. Keep enthusiastic. Keep learning. Keep reading. Success will come to those who make it happen.

Q: The number one thing you love about your job would be…

I’m finally doing something that can have a positive impact on other people’s lives. I never felt that was the case during my finance career. It’s incredibly rewarding to see people make progress, both in their ability to learn a new skill and consequently in their general health and fitness.

Q: The most difficult part of your job is….

Finding and bringing in clients is definitely the most difficult part for the freelance PT in my experience so far. I hope, therefore, that my specialisation in a niche training skill like rowing can give me something to stand out from others in an already saturated marketplace.

Thanks for reading our Q&A with Kate Pankhurst. Hopefully, she has given you a better insight into the aspects of being a Personal Trainer. Be sure to check out Kate’s website to see more of what she does on a daily basis http://kprowfit.co.uk/.

Do you want to become a Personal Trainer? Why not check out our website to see what courses we do and locations www.discovery.uk.com

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