Introducing Dominic – my ProTom Fitness journey

Hello, it’s Dom here!

I thought I’d introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my background with ProTom Fitness.

On 9th June I left my regular 9-5 job in Bristol to become a full time Personal Trainer at ProTom Fitness. I had been teaching kickboxing and 4core Fitness evening classes for around 5 years and having gained a level 3 Personal Training qualification in May, I decided to make the jump into working at ProTom fitness full time. However to tell my story I think I need to start at the beginning of my ProTom Fitness journey…

In April 2009 aged 25 I moved to Bristol, once I found a job I signed up to a local gym and noticed that they had kickboxing classes; having always been interested in martial arts I decided to put my name down and turned up at 7.30pm on a Tuesday evening to meet Tom and give kickboxing a go. Back then if you had no previous experience Tom wouldn’t let you throw a punch at your first session, it was all about stance and movement and I was all over the place!

This combined with the skipping-based warm up made for a disheartening first session but I was determined to stick with it and improve. I dedicated 30 mins every day to learning how to skip so I wouldn’t feel so left behind in the warm up and started attending 3-4 classes a week; within a few months I was competent enough to start sparring with Tom and I have never really looked back.

During this time I asked Tom if I could do some Personal Training sessions with him with a rather generic goal of losing belly fat and building upper body strength/muscle. I had had PT sessions with a number of trainers over the years but I kept picking up niggling shoulder injuries, as well as regularly aggravating a lower back problem that I had had since my mid-teens (a bilateral stress fracture of my L5 vertebra). This meant I could never train consistently and I never really achieved anything resembling my goals.

Tom’s approach was almost immediately noticeably different, rather than chuck me on the treadmill for 15 mins and then put me on any number of weight machines (chest press, upright row, assisted pull up, leg extension etc) he put me though a variety of body-weight and medicine ball exercises to see how my body moved so he could understand my strengths and weaknesses. Tom then used his creativity and understanding of human biomechanics to provide me with a seemingly endless number of challenging exercises designed to strengthen and improve my body, to not only help me work towards my goals but also guard against future injury.

Tom’s enthusiasm was and still is infectious and whilst his passion for correct execution of each exercise (no matter how complex!) can sometimes boil over to frustration I just saw this as a sign of how much he cared for his work and the well-being of his clients. Unfortunately due to my financial situation at the time I couldn’t afford to train with Tom regularly but the sessions I had with him left a lasting impression.

Towards the end of 2011 Tom asked me if I could help out at some kickboxing classes and occasionally take a warm up if he was running late, he said he wouldn’t be able to pay me but I could train for free at the classes where I helped out; I jumped at the chance and after a year or so Tom asked if I could take a couple of classes a week; in order to do this I would need a qualification for insurance purposes so he asked if I would be willing to do a Personal Training qualification.

I was hesitant because I didn’t think I could do anywhere near as good a job as Tom but through encouragement and some cajoling Tom convinced me to give it a go; I did a Level 2 Personal Training qualification in early 2013 and then immediately started coaching kickboxing classes as well as occasionally coaching 4 Core Fitness classes. Once the nerves settled I quickly discovered that I had a passion for teaching and over time I took on more and more sessions until I was coaching almost every evening as Saturday mornings.

Over the next 3-4 years Tom has occasionally floated the idea of me working with him full time. I had always been interested but there was always something in the way holding me back. I decided that if I was to become a Personal Trainer then I would need to do something to separate me from the vast number of PTs already working in Bristol; I therefore signed up do a Level 5 Diploma in Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy which was a year long course that began in January 2015. Having done no real learning since dropping out of university more than a decade earlier (the level 2 course I did in 2013 wasn’t very challenging and required minimal learning) this was quite a shock to the system! However the learning of anatomy and physiology would be invaluable. The amount of time spent practicing techniques and rote learning whilst holding down a 9-5 job and teaching evening classes would improve my time management skills no end!

Once I had completed the course and received my certification in June 2016 I started looking into doing a Level 3 PT course, this is a necessary qualification if you want to do 1-2-1 Personal Training. I began the course at the beginning of 2017 and completed it in May 2017. At some point in March Tom told me he was planning on going to Hungary for 2 weeks and asked if it would be possible for me to cover the days when he would be away. I decided that this would be as good a time as any to hand in my notice and try to work full time as a Personal Trainer for ProTom Fitness.

I’ve never looked back! Working with Tom has been amazing and I look forward to what the future holds. If my story has resonated with you and you’re wanting to tone up and get fit or have a sports massage, get in touch and we can arrange a consultation.

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