We sat down for a coffee and a chat with Focus Training student, Shona Tomkinson, a fully qualified fitness professional with a passion for fitness that features the whole family.
Shona studied with Focus to obtain her Exercise To Music Level 2, Personal Trainer Toolkit level 2 (in Padwork, Outdoor fitness and Kettle-bell training) plus her Studio Cycling Level 2 and Level 3 Pre and Postnatal certificates. So, you might say, Shona certainly has a serious stack of skills under her belt.
Aged 19, Shona developed her first taste for teaching, having always enjoyed sports. Her passion for dance led her to dream of a career as an Exercise To Music Instructor, and so she began her fitness career running freelance studio classes around her job in finance.
“After having my little boy it became very apparent that as a Mum, I was very restricted as to what exercise classes I could do where I could take a little one with me . So I set myself up, gained more qualifications with Focus Training, such as my PT Toolkit course and level 3 Pre and Postnatal course and went around houses training small groups of Mums at home.”
Shona set up local small group sessions of up to six ladies with kiddies in tow, in order to offer the perfect solution for Mums that want to maintain their fitness regime, though feel limited on childcare options.
“I continued to keep myself up to date with training techniques and developed my own style of Hybrid training, making each session just 30 mins in length to keep my Mums and kiddies happy that they could fit this into their day.”
Throughout her studies, Shona tells us she was inspired by Course Tutor, Paul Readfern.
“I was attending a Studio Cycling course, was a year out of a marriage separation and with a kiddie to look after. Paul made me believe that anything is possible….I told him my ideas and he’s encouraged me ever since.”
Shona tells us she chose to study with Focus thanks to the availability of courses in her local area.
“Having studied with Focus, it was very clear that their attention to detail, support and delivery of courses was second to none…I had no reason to go elsewhere for my further training.”
How has studying with us worked out for Shona so far?
“My continuing experience is wonderful, there is so much fun to be had on the courses and you meet so many wonderful soon-to-be instructors and Personal Trainers.
I now have my own Hybrid HIIT Training Studio where we specialise in small group training with a Personal Training touch, so a max of 8 clients per session. The USP however is that you can bring little ones with you from babies onwards, there is a comfy play area in eye line to the studio which is kept safe at all times.”
Shona now enjoys a Monday to Friday work routine, running sessions throughout the day from 8.30 – 3pm which allows her to work around her own schedule as a mother.
“On a Friday I have a day off where I will do some admin/financial work at home but also take time out for myself to train and see friends.”
Shona’s client base is as diverse as her skill set. They include women from ages 16 – 72, as well as a growing number of men who like to join their wives and little ones for a spot of regular exercise.
Thinking of starting out? Shona says, “Follow your dream but be realistic, do your homework both financially and market research as much as you can, plan your target market…have your USP.”
Shona now plans to open two more studios within the next five years, and to also become a tutor to coach the ambitious fitness professionals of the future.
“I can’t teach 40 sessions a week until I’m 70.” Very true. But we love your ambition to try!