Tutor Profile - Darren Thomas

My time in the industry has been a varied one. My first role involved working as a fitness instructor before progressing to gym manager at Moss Side Leisure Centre. This was the perfect starting point - not only did my knowledge of fitness grow, I also became comfortable when it came to working alongside clients.

The time came to venture out on my own. I moved over to Wirral with my now wife and began as a self-employed Personal Trainer at Total Fitness. I started to discover my passion for injury rehabilitation and functional movement. During this time most of the best trainers were located in Liverpool, so I relocated to Green Health and Fitness. With a year under my belt, I and two other colleagues opened up Synergy Health Studios in the city centre. It was an amazing and re-energising experience. My role at Synergy involved training other staff members in functional movement and bio-mechanics. I also liaised with an array of personal trainers and sports injury therapists, as well as nutritionists and physiotherapists. I had found my niche. A passion for teaching had developed, so I decided to become a qualified tutor.

Today, as well as running my new business Functional Running Therapy, I am also a tutor and assessor for YMCA.

My areas of expertise are wide ranging. As well as being an Level 2 Gym Instructor, I also have a Level 3 Personal Training Diploma. I’m qualified in Exercise Referral, HIT, Padwork, Suspension and Kettlebells. A new Functional Movement Screening course is also in the works - looking to launch in 2017.

For anyone looking to start a career in the fitness industry, here are Darren’s eight top tips to help you succeed:

1. Surround yourself with people you like to spend time with.

2. Don’t be afraid to say NO to clients.

3. Set yourself a work schedule and don’t deviate from it.

4. Complete a suitable business plan.

5. Become a muscular and skeletal anatomy expert - if you know this well, you’ll never need to be taught another exercise again.

6. Your time is worth a lot - be careful of giving too much away for free.

7. Let your personality shine through - nobody wants to train with a robot.

8. Be professional. Establish good communication networks with clients and other professionals.

Darren Thomas is a director and head therapist at Functional Running Therapy based in Liverpool. As a ‘self-confessed anatomy and movement nerd’, Darren enjoys about anything that involves muscles, bones and joints.

You can contact Darren here: Darren.thomas@ymca.co.uk.