Clare Shepherd wins PT of the month in Gym Owners Monthly

Congratulations to Clare Shepherd one of our Personal Trainer’s here at Farm Fitness for winning PT of the month and featuring in the Gym Owners Monthly magazine. Read the full article below.

Your name: Clare Shepherd

Qualifications: Personal Trainer Level 3, Pre and Postnatal, Ricky Hatton Boxing Level 3, Kettle Masters, Olympic Lifting, Spinning, Vipers, Circuits, Advanced Nutrition, Strength and Condition Level 1 and 2

# years as a qualified PT: 11

Where you work (town/city): Bishops Stortford/Little Canfield

Your facebook: CS Fitnees, Health and Wellbeing

Your Instagram: CS.Fitness

How did you become a PT?

I have always been an active sporty person, playing hockey at a reasonably high level as a child, a keen horse show jumper and, after leaving school, a BHSI riding instructor. I gained a significant amount of weight during the pregnancy of my first child and following child birth just horse riding wasn’t really losing weight quick enough. I joined a local gym close to where I live, which had the added benefit of a crèche. I soon started to lose weight and felt really good about myself, I also found myself helping others out in the gym. I was offered a job at my local gym just generally helping out and after a few months one of my friends told me I was really good at helping people out in the gym and told me I should get qualified. I discussed this with my husband, who also encouraged me to get qualified. I enrolled with Premier Training where I achieved my Level 3 PT, Pre/ Post Natal and became REPS registered.

I do numerous courses every year to keep up to date with the fitness industries latest developments and REPS CPD points.

My husband has always been a keen road cyclist, one year he asked me if I wanted to do the famous London to Brighton bike ride with him and some of his work colleagues. I had never ridden a road bike before, so I started with a hybrid, which was tailored more to the road. I completed the ride in a respectable time, and this is where I found my passion for road cycling. The hybrid bike was short lived, and I purchased myself a good quality woman’s specific road bike. I then completed numerous long distance 30, 50 and 100-mile charity bike rides and sportive’s. I even completed a 32-mile charity road ride on my original 1981 Raleigh Burner BMX. My crowning achievement was completing the 123 mile, 1 st stage of the 2014 Tour de France over Buttertubs Pass in Yorkshire, approximately two weeks before the Tour de France, raising money for Cyclist Fighting Cancer.

I wouldn’t really class myself as a runner, but after completing numerous cycling challenges I needed a new challenge. For some unknown reason I decided to put in for the London Marathon. To my shock I got in on the first attempt via the ballot and had some serious training to do. This is where I found my passion for running, completing the 2013 London Marathon and Brighton 2015 and 2017 Marathons. I have also completed 10 Tough Mudders, Rat Race Dirty Weekend 20-mile mud run and a Nuclear Run.

Approximately three years ago I discovered Farm Fitness and have never looked back. This is where I found my passion for lifting, functional and strongman type training. This is the main type of training I do personally and with my clients.

What was your experience of the training/qualification process?

Being dyslexic I found going back to education a challenge, especially as I was bringing up two small children, however, I enjoyed it and found the mix of practical and theory about right for my learning style.

Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness?

I specialise in Pre and Post Natal, functional training and I like to think I am an inspiration to other women who are of a similar age to me. I am also enrolled on a strongman course.

What’s it like working with gym owners?

I’ve always been fortunate to have a good relationship with most gym owners I have worked with.

What is your opinion of CPD?

Really good. It makes you keep up with the latest best industry practices and I think all PT’s should do it.

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself?

I have learnt over the years the benefits exercise gives me, mentally and physically. Seeing some of my clients and friends doing well motivates me to do the same.

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business?

Set strict working hours right from the start. I used to be all over the place, wasting time travelling from one gym to the next. I now work out of two places and my clients know the times I am available at these places. I now manage my time more efficiently.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today?

People trying to copy what I am doing and undercutting prices.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years?

Seen the industry move towards functional/strongman type training.

How do you engage with your clients (active and inactive)?

I like to build a good rapport with my clients so that in their training sessions they can not only talk about fitness but also share any issues they are having in their personal life. Most of my clients see me as a friend as well as their trainer.

How do you promote your services?

Instagram and word of mouth.

How often do you train yourself?

Six times a week for at least an hour each day

If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it?

People promoting quick fixes like fad diets.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time?


What is your biggest success story?

One of my long-standing clients severely broke her wrist back in September 2016. Her passion in life is drumming, spending most of her spare time doing it, she had also just set a band up. It was so severe her consultant told her that he didn’t know whether she would get enough range of movement back to enable her to drum to the required standard that she would need to for a band. After the cast was removed, we started to do rehabilitation exercises in line with her physio’s advice. We progressed on to weight/ resistance training, paired with mobility movements. Over a period of time we began to increase the rep range and number of sets. To date she has virtually the same range of motion as her other wrist.

She is now drumming more than she was pre-injury, she has also set up her band and does one or two gigs a month, drumming for approximately two-hour sets. It gives me a great sense of achievement to see her perform and see a big smile on her face.

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