Ross James Personal Trainer
Ross is a keen surfer and has built a business training pro-surfers and novices alike. He tells us about how he got into the fitness world through surfing and how he applies his training principals to help others get fit.
How did you find yourself in the world of fitness?
I became a personal trainer 5 years ago after working as a surf coach on camps in Bali and Portugal. On a weekly basis I would have guests asking me how I keep fit in between surfs. A lot of the guests would only surf once a month or even less frequently due to work and location so keeping fit in between was crucial. At the time I surfed most days and worked doing manual labour so I was already well conditioned. As soon as I got back to the UK I decided to train to become a PT. I spent a few years working with the general public but my main aim was to train surfers. Since then I have set up my business and now train multiple pro-surfers and run my surf training boot camps.
Tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up
I run surf fitness holidays all across the globe. They are a great opportunity for surfers of all levels to really progress in their sport. It is a non-stop week: I arrange for high level competition surfers to spend a week with the guests, honing their skills. This could be anything from improving their pop-up to launching huge tactical aerial manoeuvres! Each guest gets 1-2-1 time with the coach in the water and then in the evening they sit down and go through the video analysis. There is also a sports therapist on the team who provides massages and helps guests with injuries. I run the strength and conditioning side of the trip; helping with injury prevention, paddle fitness, and teaching guests how to be more explosive and build endurance. We also ensure there are yoga classes and top quality nutrition on each trip.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated?
Motivation is relatively simple depending on the client. For me I look around and see so many people becoming ill or injured due to poor lifestyle habits. Sure, everyone has a vice somewhere. It’s learning to live with great balance. So many people are overweight, sedentary, and almost seem like they have forgotten (or never knew) what it’s like to be healthy. As a kid I was definitely the kid with ‘puppy fat’. However I still swam every week, enjoyed P.E. and was out everyday with friends. It’s reminding people who have forgotten, that just by moving more you can become so much happier and healthier. Don’t go home and put the TV on!
Talk us through your training regime
I don’t train to lift heavy or become Mr Olympia. I do a lot of strength training as it keeps me strong and helps support my joints. My cardio mainly comes from surfing and keeping active, which is a good mix to ensure a healthy body. I also make sure I fill my stomach with great natural and nutritious food; nutrition is incredibly simple! No need for supplements for the general population (medical reasons may require some). Just good, wholesome, fresh food!
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I said don’t put the TV on, however I do. That is one of the ways I further my knowledge: watching videos from some of the world’s top trainers. I read books on strength and conditioning, anatomy and physiology, and learning about new training methods. You will never stop learning, keep the body and mind strong!
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
Not easy to narrow it down to just three but here we go…
Learn to cook! Learn how to make make use of different foods, spices, herbs and you will be able to make great tasting natural meals!
Move more! This will help burn extra calories, also keeps your joints active and prevent those little injuries that stop us exercising.
Learn more! By learning how to use exercise to improve yourself you will see the potential to live a much happier and healthy life!
If you could only give your clients one exercise, what would it be?
One exercise….surf! It builds strength throughout the entire body, provides incredible cardio fitness, and is so much fun. Plus some of the best destinations for surfing are in hot countries with great weather, landscape, and food!
What are your training aspirations?
I have very simple goals: avoid injury and aim to be surfing for as long as possible.