During my career as a fitness professional I have been interviewed a few times for magazines and even radio about competing and my insight to training and nutrition. Here is an interview for a Personal Trainer magazine from last year, which will give you insight as to the why I do what I do.
Q: Please introduce yourself!
My name is Rahel, I’m from Estonia but permanently moved to London in 2011. I got into fitness in 2010, first by teaching Group Exercise classes (BodyCombat etc), then became a Personal Trainer in 2013 and in 2017 I qualified as a Nutritionist.
Q: What made you choose personal training as a profession? What are your drives, how do you motivate your clients?
I found my drive to become a PT through teaching classes. I loved the high energy and good vibes but I just did not have time to correct everybody’s technique. I realised that in order to truly help people get healthy and exercise safely, I had to become a PT.
I’m very particular about how I train my clients. I always assess a new client’s movement and general level of fitness to know what needs immediate attention. If they struggle with a movement, we will fix that first and only then progress. If my client dislikes an exercise I enjoy finding them a good alternative or convince them to give it another try. I will never overwork a client the first time I see them – they’d never come back! There are trainers like this out there and I myself have been trained by one, which is why I vowed to be a good coach. I make sure my sessions are varied and fun.
Q: Tell us about your education and experience in Personal Training over the years?
I truly believe in the importance of continuing development as a fitness professional, hence I’m constantly learning. Between 2010 and 2012 I qualified in L2 Exercise To Music, BodyCombat, BodyPump and BodyBalance by Les Mills, then went on to do L2 Fitness Instructor and finally qualified as a L3 PT in 2013. In 2016 I completed the Pre and Post Natal course and in 2017 I added the Nutritionist Diploma to my portfolio to also be able to give out sound nutritional advice to my clients.
Last but not least, I have competed in bodybuilding shows to see where I could push my body and to understand both our mental and physical limits when it comes to such extreme approaches in dieting and training.
Q: What is your primary specialty as a Personal Trainer?
I specialise in strength & conditioning and corrective exercise as a PT and in weight loss as a Nutritionist.
Q: Where do you train your clients?
I train clients in North, West and Central London. In Shepherd’s Bush I have the privilege of using the K Fit boutique gym inside K West Spa & Hotel. I also train clients in the comfort of their homes or in parks: Brook Green, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook. I work with several clients in Knightsbridge, Regents Park, Maida Vale, Highgate – the list goes on. If the client is serious about their goals I will travel any distance for them.
Q: What has been your experience working in Hammersmith as a personal trainer? What are the positives and the challenges.
I’ve trained clients in Hammersmith for almost 4 years now. I used to commute from Surbiton every day, wake up at 4 for the first client here at 6. Long days meant I sometimes got home at 10 or 11 and had to go straight to bed. For a few months I did this 5 days a week and it was tough, but when you have to establish yourself and make your name and face known then you do what it takes. Last year I moved to Hammersmith and suddenly gained 2-4 hours per day simply by not having to commute. I honestly don’t think I have anything bad to say about working here – I have enjoyed every day, every hour of my career.
Q: Has there been any unforgettable instance/story in your career?
This happened with my second ever client. After our first workout, I advised her to have chicken and vegetables for dinner. The next time I saw her she exclaimed proudly that she had eaten fried chicken and chips. You can’t make this up!
Q: What is the one piece of advice you give every client?
Eat more vegetables! I encourage having at least two servings (160g) of green vegetables with every meal.
Q: What makes you a great Personal Trainer?
Personal Training isn’t just a career for me, this is my passion. I live and breathe everything fitness and nutrition, can discuss either topic for hours and my friends and fellow PTs can vouch for that.
With my clients, I truly focus on the individual. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another. I love figuring out the best approach to help a person lose weight or to help someone find their favourite type of training. I especially love doing mobility work with my 80+ year old clients – I cannot even start to explain the feeling when a client says they’ve stopped having falls thanks to my sessions!
I work with my clients’ strengths and empower them. By doing that, they stay motivated and give it their all every session as we work on their overall fitness. And suddenly their weaknesses become strengths too!