In the competitive and ever-evolving fitness industry, having a specialist skill can make the difference between a decent day job as a fitness professional… or a highly successful career as a Personal Trainer.
These days, being able to devise fitness programmes on the gym floor isn’t enough. There’s an increasing demand for fitness specialists with well-honed skills in some very niche areas (and they just so happen to come with some pretty decent perks too!)
In recent years, professional athletes have begun to increase their overall strength and agility thanks to Personal Trainers and specialist-trained fitness experts. So it’s no surprise that the Personal Training industry is a hot one to be a part of right now. Strength and Conditioning specialists are some of the most highly regarded in the fitness sector, with many athletes and famous fitness faces relying on their own Strength Coaches to develop their performance and skill.
We sat down for a coffee with professional athlete and ex-rugby League player, Matt Haggarty who played for Salford Red Devils in the Super League and most recently, St. Helens RLFC. We had coffee. Matt had some kind of protein shake… we preferred a latte.
Matt played for Leigh Miners as a junior before moving into the system at Salford in 2008. Throughout his rugby career, he made over 100 appearances representing Whitehaven, Barrow, Oldham, Dewsbury and St Helens RLFC
Matt tells us that his Strength and Conditioning Coach was crucial to the development of his performance on the pitch.
“As a Prop, we focus on short impact spells, so it’s about strength and power. With the help of my Strength Coach, I increased my PB by 30%.”
Life on the pitch has its hard knocks, as Matt knows all too well.
“I’ve broken my jaw and damaged my C6 & C7 neck vertebrae. Rugby players take a lot of impacts, so they’re not always 100% on form. If you suffer an injury, you’ll naturally see a decrease in performance.”
Matt worked with his professional Strength & Conditioning Coach through cardio, indoor and outdoor conditioning and SAQ (Speed, Agility & Quickness) training. This involved a focus on coordination, footwork, short sprints and techniques to produce a higher power input.
“It’s all about activating your fast-twitch muscle fibres to help push the body’s response rate and enable quicker reactions.”
Compared to the guidance of a less specialist fitness professional or more mainstream Personal Trainer, Matt tells us he couldn’t have achieved his performance successes without the guidance of his Strength Coach.
“My performance improved massively, and that was down to the expert-led coaching and constant assessment of my strength and agility. I couldn’t have achieved the levels of physical strength I did without my coach.”
After the team’s head coach, the next most crucial member of a sports team is the strength coach. If you have your sights set on something more ambitious, and fancy yourself as a trainer to a professional sports team, our Strength and Conditioning Specialist Course provides the knowledge and training to cut above the traditional personal trainer skill set. We delve down into the bio-mechanical analysis of athletes, physiological training needs analysis and plyometric to outline how they can be used together to improve sports-related performance.
So if you’re after more than the offerings of the gym floor, speak to the team about our Strength and Conditioning Coach course, and give your professional CV a boost!