Matt is a lively and bubbly PT who draws largely upon his own life experience to help his clients achieve their goals.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
My school was very focused on rugby, but I was a spindly child and never got any enjoyment from being beaten up three times a week (oddly enough). Then I discovered cross-country running, which I was built for, and discovered I loved running. I got pretty good at it, which was satisfying. I then went to university… and didn’t really do much at all. Fast-forward to moving to London in 2004 and then half-heartedly joining a gym for a few years, all while working in marketing. However while I enjoyed my work, I never loved it, and the idea of working in fitness popped into my head. So in 2012 I started training to be a PT, while still working full-time in a marketing agency. I loved it, and the more I did it, the more I loved it. The agency I was working for was really supportive and let me go part-time when I had my Level 2 Diploma, which really helped with money concerns and the transition to a self-employed life. And I haven’t looked back since! I finished my Level 3 diploma, set up my company www.FitterYou.net and have been building the brand and further developing my fitness marketing skills, as well as soaking up relevant life experience to make me the best trainer there is.
What are your training goals now?
I just achieved my first muscle-up (doing a pull-up then raising yourself above the bar), which was really thrilling, so while I will always be trying to pack on muscle (as in my head I’m still that spindly 12-year-old), I’ve been enjoying playing around with calisthenics and seeing what I can do with my body – handstands, L-sits, planches, and so on.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
I have two pet rats named Krycek and Pitbull! I never thought I would love and care for them the way I do, but there you go. The responsibility I feel for these two furry creatures continually surprises me.
What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?
Use a PT to improve your knowledge ASAP and develop a plan for you, and then get a training buddy to always work out with, to keep motivation and accountability high. And stick to the plan. The most important thing I’ve learned has been consistency. The greatest workout and nutrition plan won’t work if you don’t stick at it – and while I’m on my high horse (!) that’s the problem with social media: it makes it look like changing your body’s appearance/composition is a quick process: IT ISN’T. But it is very, very rewarding when you work at it.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I’m about to go on holiday for two weeks (snowboarding in France and then a more relaxing break in Portugal), where I will be more relaxed in my approach, however for the last month I’ve restricted carbs a little bit, just to tweak my bodyfat down, to allow for the forthcoming relaxation. When I’m back I’ll crack on with a pre-summer bulk for two months or so, eat clean(ish) but ramp up the calories, and lift heavy in the gym.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
I thank my experience working in marketing and keeping clients happy for the skills I use now to build a rapport with my clients as quickly as possible. Being yourself is the simplest and quickest way to do this – people buy from people and want a connection with someone who can empathise with them, not a counting robot. I let them know that I get drunk sometimes (the horror!) or if I’ve put on some fat (no way!) – we’re all human and we’re all busy – especially in London – so someone who understands what they’re going through is refreshing in the fitness industry.
Talk us through your training regime.
I know if I don’t workout at least four times a week I get ratty and don’t feel at my best, so it’s important for me to schedule it into my life, and that way I’ll stick to it. I have a four-day split, working on back and biceps, legs, chest and triceps, and shoulders. I put it together with my gym buddy, Dom, who’s also a PT and when life doesn’t get in the way, it works bloody well. We’ve both been getting stronger, and neither of us are young, as we’re 35/36, but we’re in the best shape of our lives as a result of applying life-experience we’ve picked up on the way.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I’m always open to learning new things. I follow various industry figures and writers who I respect such as Nick Mitchell and Joe Warner. I also like trying things out on myself and then applying it to the client, for example new supplements and exercises. I also listen to various podcasts and love working out with other PTs for fun (and gainz, obviously) but also to learn from each other and share experiences with clients (good and bad!).
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Get that water down you. For new clients, I buy them a Bobble filter water bottle as a welcome gift. This is A: a nice surprise, as most PTs don’t surprise clients with gifts, but B: means they have a nice bottle they can keep with them at work and regularly fill up to ensure they keep drinking the H2O
- Only try one new habit a week, and see if it sticks. If it does and you like it, keep it, and then add another. If not, ditch it and try another one. If you try to overhaul everything at once, nothing will stick as it will seem like too much of a hill to climb.
- I do have a secret tip (which I believe I invented…!) to distract clients if they are doing a static hold, e.g. a static squat/wall-sit, or a hammock hold on the floor – ask them really left-field questions from their youth, e.g. who were the neighbours to the left of your house growing up, what was your favourite book at school, who was your first holiday romance – the more unexpected, the more it distracts them from the pain in their quads!
If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Such a tough question! It would definitely feature muscle-ups, as they’re my main focus currently, especially slowing down the eccentric (down) part and I just love the feeling of flinging my body around! I wish I’d had the chance to do gymnastics as a child, as I know I would have loved it.
What are your training goals?
I’d love to join the 100kg club for bench press. I fully appreciate it’s an arbitrary number that doesn’t actually mean anything, but it’s the next landmark I’d like to smash
Why work with Sundried?
With so many unethical brands and people in the world, I’m delighted to align with one that stands up for what’s right, in all aspects of its work. People want fast fashion and t-shirts for £1, but someone somewhere isn’t getting paid fairly if that’s happening. I highly value the care, quality, and effort that goes into make Sundried products and want more people to know the good things you’re doing. Plus the tank tops make me look hench!
Favourite fitness quote:
“Do sharks complain about Mondays? No. They’re up early, biting stuff, chasing seals, being scary and reminding everyone they’re a f**king shark.”