Ex-Olympic weightlifter, competitive figure skater and track athlete Fiona Jenkinson on why hiring a personal trainer is worth it
As a personal trainer at Third Space for more than 13 years, Fiona Jenkinson has seen (and heard) it all. From high-powered CEOs with little time to spare to yummy mummies who want to transform their bodies, the people who come to see Fiona are varied. She explains why the client-trainer relationship can generate amazing, and often life-changing, results.
“I’m quite personal with my clients and I think that’s what keeps them coming back,” explains Fiona. “I remember a lot about their work, their children, their lives. I get to know them and they get to know me and in turn that builds a relationship with them. And while some clients can be quite frustrating, I am ultimately there to keep them on their toes and push them as far as they want to go.”
All aspects of the client’s life is taken into account, from what you eat to how you cope with stress. A good personal trainer will be a counsellor, confidant and cheerleader. It is so much more than just counting reps. People are much less likely to skip a gym session if they have an appointment with a trainer. They are much more likely to push themselves harder. And they have a better understanding of their progress, with before and after photos provided as part of the bespoke service as well as a detailed record of what they have achieved.
With people attending the gym more often than ever – the frequency of visits at Third Space has doubled over the last few years – it is becoming increasingly important to train correctly. Having a personal trainer will ensure you do that and more.
Some people do balk at the price. But with many of us paying thousands of pounds a year maintaining, insuring and fixing our cars, why wouldn’t we do the same for our bodies?
The fact that many of her clients have been coming to her for more than 10 years is testament to her role as a friend as well as a good fitness coach. She describes how some people will offload the stresses of work on her or even talk about relationship problems at home, although she hastens to add that “what is said in the gym stays in the gym”.
Like many of the trainers at Third Space, her skill is in understanding and accepting the individual needs of the people she trains. Being fit and healthy is different for everyone. For some it might mean hitting the gym five times a week. For others it will simply be about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Fiona has first hand experience of success in sport as an ex-Olympic weightlifter. And yet for her, the results she gets out of the people she trains are just as satisfying as anything she achieved in professional sport. “My clients are what keep me going,” she says.