Strong Friend Harry Thomas: PT and trainer of trainers
Making a difference in the industry
I met Harry through a colleague and instantly realised that he is very good at what he does: Personal trainer, studio owner and successfully training up and coming PTs.
He saw the problems in the health and fitness industry and has found a way to make positive change, not just with clients, but in the industry as a whole.
What is special about his approach is that he helps fill that gap between teaching people to be a great trainer to clients but also the business side of being a trainer or coach.
Please enjoy his story!
Tell me about yourself
I am Harry Thomas, Co- Owner of No1 Fitness and No1 Fitness Education. We opened our first studio over 8 years ago in Tower Bridge and have built up a successful Personal Training company that now has a pretty good reputation in London.
I have always been involved with sports my whole life, and got into Personal Training after studying at college when a teacher had told me that she trained people around the world on a cruise.
About 3 years ago we set up the education side of the business where we now teach people to become trainers. This was because it was shocking to see how bad the quality of personal trainers were when we were interviewing for trainers. There are so many people in our industry that give us a bad name.
Our main aim is to make the fitness industry better and produce a high standard of trainers.
Tell me about your business
We have around 22 trainers that work for us and we also have a number of Freelance trainers that run their own business out of our studios.
When we first opened, we literally did everything. Personal Training to marketing to cleaning, to diy to the laundry man. You name it, we did it. Over the years we have delegated many of these jobs and then started to focus on growing the business.
The business heavily relies on great staff and one of our main focuses is now to upskill our team by showing them our methodology and working with them continuously to make sure they are getting great results with the clients whilst learning more and more.
We have also turned our attention to the education, where we are focusing on getting more students through our courses.
What’s the story behind starting out in your business?
Ben and I were both the new guys at Fitness First and clicked right away. During our time there, we both saw that there were so many bad trainers that were making money without having any interest in personal training. We also noticed that many of our clients would only come in for a session with us and never used the gym on their own.
After a few months, we decided to start saving our money with the idea of opening our own space.
Little did we know, that this was going to turn into what it is now.
Today we specialise in transformations, but we add a more realistic approach to our training that focuses on health, longevity and sustainability.
What do you like most about working in this industry?
I love the fact we get to have an impact on so many peoples' lives from all walks of life. I like the fact that you can connect with people just because you both enjoy keeping fit and healthy. I also love the fact you always have to keep learning and there are so many amazing people within the industry.
Tell me about your favourite Success Story at work
I have many. But I think one of my favourite stories was meeting a lady for the first time to discuss her goals. Once we started digging deeper to what she really wanted, she burst out crying, and it really showed how much she lacked confidence and also how much she wanted to change.
Over the next few months, she made incredible progress, not just visually, but also in her whole attitude to training and you could see how much the confidence was oozing out of her.
Almost 2 years on, she is a completely different person and it's amazing to see how much she had changed.
What I love about this story, is that it took a team effort from her and my staff. That is something I am really proud of about my company.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
Again I have many. We have been at a point where we had no more money and almost at the point of bankruptcy. We dug deep and really overcame that. We have had a couple of people that we put good faith into steal from us and also had to sack a lot of people over the years, which is never easy.
Owning a business is constantly problem-solving and something that you need to be able to deal with day by day.
My best bit of advice is to try and spend a lot of time developing and looking after your team, and get rid of any bad staff right away, don't let things build up and up.
Who’s your inspiration in your industry?
I guess the person I love to learn from the most and respect so much is Michol Dalcort. He is the guy who invented the equipment the Vipr. The guy has so much knowledge and has transformed the way I think about everything in health and fitness.
He created a company called Institute of Motion and I have done 3 levels of his mentorship in San Diego. It's an incredible course which I recommend any trainer to go and do.
The community that we have built since starting the course is incredible and I have now made some amazing friends all over the world.
What's even better news is that we are now hosting the IOM mentorship in London in November.
Where do you train and what is your usual regimen?
I train out of my studio and my local Pure Gym next to my house.
I usually train 5-6 times per week which combines 3 split routine training sessions, 2 Loaded 3Dimensional training sessions and some cardio to mix it up.
I believe variability is key.
The main thing for me is to be able to move well while being in great shape.
Tell me about your sports and fitness background?
I have been into sports all my life, my main sport and love is football, but I have pretty much competed in all sports over the years. I have trained since I was 15 in the gym and have always been super competitive.
Any advice to people wanting to start their fitness journey?
Make sure that you do it because you love the fitness indusrtry and not because you see it as an easy job.
Secondly, learn from some of the best out there. Check out No1 Fitness Education, because I believe we show you what really happens in the world of Personal Training and we do this day in day out.
We will also make sure you go on to progress as a great trainer.
What's your favourite mantra?
Sucess is what comes after you stop making excuses!
Where’s your favourite place to eat in London?
I LOVE my food and love to try out all new places. So far I would say my favorite is Cecconis in Mayfair, I have always had an amazing meal and always make noises every bite I take due to the food being so good.
Where can people find you online?