By cutting down on his meat consumption and working with charitable brand Sundried, Peter Way believes he is doing his bit for a better planet, not just as a Personal Trainer, but as a human being. He tells Sundried all about his journey to fitness.
How did you find yourself in the world of fitness?
I kind of fell into the fitness industry from one job after the other, a slow progression that got me hooked for life. I used to have a really bad lifestyle of drinking and smoking but I guess it all changed when I decided to become a lifeguard at a sports centre. At the time I was just doing it for the money but my other team of lifeguards were strong, fit and put me to shame. The routine was do our pool shift, hit the gym for an hour, go swimming, then relax in the sauna - it was like that every day, and the more and more I went to the gym I loved it and had great support from my team to push me and had some great banter along the way. I saw my body and my life changing for the better and I decided I loved it so much I did my level 2 gym instructor qualification and went to work for one of the larger chain health clubs, just working reception and delivering inductions and small classes. Once working there I saw the lifestyle of the personal trainers and how much they helped people, being a people person I decided I wanted some of that, to be able to change someone's life and make them feel amazing and they had you to thank for it, filled me with happiness. I took my Level 3 PT qualification and my journey began!
What do you do to keep your clients motivated?
I keep my clients motivated by trying to make everything as simple as possible for them. I know everyone is different about how they approach things. Some people are more independent and some people need me to crack the whip a bit more. During a consultation I like to discuss what they need from me in order to achieve their goals. If they need me to text them every day I will. A great tool is WhatsApp, instant messaging and sending photo's can keep everything on track, I like to get my clients to message me pictures of their food for the day, and I'll take pictures of my food and send to them to give them food ideas. Emails often work once a week or a friendly facebook message but I'd say instant messaging on WhatsApp is the easiest way.
Talk us through your training regime.
My training routine can be quite different sometimes depending on what I'm experimenting with, I like to set myself different goals in all fields of the fitness industry and just work on achieving them one at a time. I think if you're going to market yourself to a specific niche then your training should be based around that. I like to mix it up and try new things all the time to push myself out of my comfort zone. If you mainly work with bodybuilders and someone asks you about running a marathon then you might not have a lot of information on that topic. I think if you try everything out then your knowledge is more varied so you can give your own personal experience on the subject. One month I might have a goal of improving my bench press, next month I might want to increase my 5k time, the next I might want to work on my handstands. Having a variety of goals can keep me interested in the industry and understand my body a bit more. I'm really getting into yoga at the moment so I've been working on my balance and flexibility to improve my practice a bit more. Last month I was really into CrossFit and working on my big movement patterns like snatches/overhead squats etc.
Do you follow a specific diet?
I wouldn't say I follow a regimented diet routine, I know some people like to do that and count their calories but personally that's not for me. I follow a more eating for health approach. I really like the quote that Mike Dolce said 'Don't count calories - make calories count' I think a lot of people get too obsessed with how many calories they consume when in actual fact rather than worry about if they didn't get in enough grams of protein that day the average joe that wants to start losing a bit of weight needs to look at his food choices and the food content. Cutting out processed food and experimenting with healthy reciphome-cooked cooked food is what they should be working on before I start throwing the numbers of calories at them. I'm a big believer in it's the quality of the calories you're taking in rather than how many. I don't think our bodies are computers that run on numbers - everyone is different so people need to be treated that way. I take up a more Flexitarian approach to my food. I like to think about the quality and where the food has come from - I'll try and be as vegetarian as I can throughout the week and work on having a more plant and vegetable based diet and then if the occasion calls for it at the weekend I'll have meat in my diet or if I've had a really big weights session in the gym. I try and eat for longevity and to improve my system and mind.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
Keeping fitness knowledge up to date is very important especially nowadays it seems like new trends, equipment and diets seem to come out every year. I quite like the PTDC (personal trainer development centre) website is quite good for information. They release monthly articles on hot topics that keep me in the know. I'm more of a social media / youtube type of person, I'd rather watch a short video of someone doing a seminar or a talk than read pages of something on a blog but that's me personally. I think Youtube is a great tool with lots of information out there where experts can voice their opinion on a bigger platform. Something that i'm looking to do more of.
How do you balance work and a social life?
Being a personal trainer it can be very difficult to balance work and a social life but somehow I manage to do it, I think it's important to have a full day off, mine is Sunday, this gives me time to refresh and recover and I try not to lift a finger if I can and actually have some down time. Being a personal trainer a lot of us are self employed and it can be difficult to take holidays as that means you're not getting paid for being off but it's still very important to refresh your mind every now and again as lots of clients tend to tell your their personal problems and it can feel like their problems are your problems. How can you give a good service if your brain is not clear and focused. I work Mon - Sat, mornings and evenings and have saturday night and sunday off. My day's are split between a few hours of clients and classes in the morning, then a few hours break and then same again in the evening. Having a gap during the day (usually when the gym is really quiet and everyone is at work) it gives me time to pop to the shops and run errands or have a coffee catch up with a mate and then back to work, although getting up at 5:30am and going to bed at 11pm is tough so when i'm 'Off' I try and do as little as possible to relax.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
My top 3 training tips would probably be:
'Prepare your food and think ahead of time' - it's no secret that diet and nutrition can make or break someone's goals but people still don't put it as a high priority in their life, we all know that things can happen in our life that it's difficult to control like working late or eating out so making something the night before and keeping it in a container can simplify things and keep you on track.
'Don't count calories make calories count' - Like I said before people need to look at the content and the quality of their food rather than worry that it goes over their calorie intake for the day by 50 calories for example. eating a variety of foods from good sources is a good place to start. The majority of the public when they want to buy food go to the supermarket and just pick any old packaged/processed stuff. There's lots of companies out there now like Hello Fresh that deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to your door with all the recipes done for you, all you need to do is cook it. Food is information to our body, it tells us what to do and how to use it in the body, if you put bad information in your body you're going to get bad results. You wouldn't put petrol in a diesel car so why do it with your body.
'Listen to your body' - Things happen inside our body that sometimes we don't know or understand, I think we need to listen and feel whats going on in there and work out what could be causing it and think how to improve or fix it. We have aches and pains and strange noises and everything else that goes on inside there, people need to become more mind and body conscious. If I eat a certain food or do a certain activity - my body reacts a certain way, it's all about gathering that information and deciding what to do with it.
If you could only give your clients one exercise, what would it be?
If I could give anybody any exercise to do it would be the Squat. It's one of our most primal and functional movements. We've been squatting since the caveman days and I feel like a lot of people have lost touch with their primal movement roots. We live in a society where lots of us have sedentary lifestyles and jobs where we sit at a desk all day. The amount of people I get in the gym that can't even touch their toes is shocking. Tight hamstrings from sitting too much, tight calves from wearing high heels and lower back pain is all too common. Working on your squat and squat flexibility can help so many people out with their movement and give more people a better quality of life. I love functional movement and squatting is one of the most functional movements and love to teach it.
What are your training aspirations?
My training aspirations always seem to change from year to year but there are a few things that I need to stay focused with. I've been doing yoga for a while now and would love to get my yoga teacher qualification. I think it would open up a lot of doors for me and give me a better understanding of the human body's movements and would love to be able to teach abroad and open my audience to more people. I've always wanted to run a marathon but running isn't my strong point at the moment after a knee injury so after some rehab i'm trying to get my running back on track. I'd also like to be able to train in a team sport like rugby, I haven't played in a sports team since being a teenager and i'm starting to crave it again.
Why work with Sundried?
Sundried seems like my kind of company, very conscious and aware of the world and has deep ethical values. I'm trying to be a responsible human towards the planet by cutting down my meat consumption to combat animal cruelty and the environmental damage the food industry does to the planet. Working with a clothing brand that puts people and charities first is a great idea and an inspiration to others out there. It's a nice idea of wearing a piece of clothing that has a story and you know it's come from a good source, it'll make me look after the clothing a bit more. Working with a company that provides a lot of help to charities makes me love it even more. Sometimes people are reluctant to give to charity but if they get a great product in return knowing that their money is going to a good cause people get a good return in buying the product and can wear the clothing proudly and tell others about it, people love wearing stuff that has a story and so do I.