Ian Harkness, 40, is a personal trainer based out of BETTER (GLL’s) Sands Leisure Centre in Carlisle. Ian qualified as a PT in 2011, and joined the YOUR Personal Team (YOUR PT) in 2016.
Ian loves being a PT and is passionate about the real life impact personal training can have on people’s lives. Ian is also a keen runner, and participated in his first half marathon in 2004, since then he has competed over 100 races ranging from five kilometers to full marathon distance. Ian says: “I take running very seriously and have a passion to be the best I can be whilst enjoying the buzz I get from running, this is something I install in my clients.”
Ian says: “I’ve always been interested in sport, and at school I was into everything, be that football and playing county level badminton.. My career in fitness started back in 1998, when I began as an apprentice gym instructor in a hotel gym. Part of that training included working in their gym and qualifying to be a group exercise and fitness instructor. I was hooked, and it was a great stepping stone to my career as a PT.
”Being a PT is a very varied and rewarding job – no day is the same, and although it’s hard work, I always wake up pleased about my PT business. I take about 30 in-person PT sessions a week, as well as sports massage, nutritional programmes, running plans and online training too. On top of that there’s all the admin to keep up with too! Although the hours are flexible, that doesn’t mean you do less work. A PT life often includes early starts and evenings too.
Ian says: “It was a big change going from being employed to becoming self employed. “When I decided to launch my PT business, it was a risk. I was relatively well paid for my role in the leisure sector, and I was nervous. I have three children, responsibiilties and bills to pay – but I’m so pleased I made the leap, and I’ve never looked back. Having the additional support of YOUR PT behind you, especially for those PT’s who have recently qualified, gives you an extra security blanket and allows you to be that little bit braver about becoming self employed.
“One of the great things about YOUR Personal Training is that I get to base my business out of a super leisure centre with excellent facilities and equipment, so I don’t have any venue or gym overheads, and I’m not responsible for fixing equipment or cleaning the facility. All that is taken care of for you. It’s also nice to have the balance of being self employed, but to get the feeling I am part of something bigger and belong to the YOUR PT team. I get loads of communication from my regional manager, who is extremely supportive and always there for you. I’ve found the YOUR PT weekly mentorship and marketing strategies to be really beneficial to the long term success of my business too.”
Ian has alway enjoyed working on the clinical side of exercise, and prior to becoming to a PT did a lot of work with customers who had been prescribed exercise on referral. He has taken this rehabilitation speciality into his PT business.
Ian explains: ”There are a lot of misconceptions about what personal training is and who it is for. Personal training isn’t just about beefy men trying to lift heavier and heavier weights. A lot of my clients come to me for bespoke programmes, helping them back to health following injury and illness. I’ve worked with many clients who have, for example, suffered from a stroke. My objective is to get them to walk better, improve their balance and to give them overall better mobility. I love working with rehab clients and it’s very rewarding to see the impact my training has on their every day quality of life.”