Matt's life changed dramatically after a car crash causing him to become a paraplegic. He talks to Sundried about how he got the fitness bug and continues to use fitness in his life.
Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
I've done the London, Bournemouth & Poole 10k. I also ran a 12-hour circuit class for charity and bench pressed the weight of a Challenger II tank (65 tonnes) for Help For Heroes.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
I've always been sporty and I played football four times a week in my late teens. I suffered a spinal injury due to a car crash in 1990 leaving me paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair. Following rehab, I began going to the gym and in time worked for them doing local marketing. From there I got the fitness bug, qualified as a personal trainer, and when the owners of the building in which the gym was situated went bankrupt, myself and two others opened a small club with gym, studio and changing facilities.
Over time, I bought out the other two partners and continued with my club for 19 years until March of this year when property developers purchased the site and decided that we were surplus to requirements.
Following a number of offers, I have now begun personal training at a small local facility which is one of the few in the country to be kitted out with MedX machines which are excellent for both rehab and strength gains due to their standardised resistance through a full range of motion. I am also qualified as a REPS Level 4 instructor specialising in Obesity & Diabetes Management.
What are your training goals now?
My goals are to remain fit and strong, particularly for my mobility (and vanity!) I also aim to help as many people as possible achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
I was on and won the television programme Big Break in 2001!
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
Goal setting is crucial to keeping a client on track and the 'big picture' should be broken down into smaller, more achievable goals to ensure progression. Also, realising that regression does happen and is not the end of the world is vital for the client to understand.
Talk us through your training regime.
I train five to six times a week and follow a standard bodybuilding split of one body part a day, including drop sets and super sets to work the muscle to exhaustion. Cardio is limited!
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
Continued education is essential to keep up with the latest developments and I am a member of the Advanced Coaching Academy which delivers regular modules, and I have recently signed up to an online Strength & Conditioning Fundamentals course.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Each client is an individual.
- Variety is key.
- Set goals.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If it wasn't unhealthy.... pizza!
Why work with Sundried?
Sundried creates such quality products but I am most impressed by the fact they are so ethical. It's a great brand to be associated with.
Favourite fitness quote:
"If it jiggles, it's fat!" - Arnold Schwarzenegger