Ready to help you become a better version of you

May 23, 2017
Ashley Ann Lawrie

People who practice martial arts understand it’s not really about learning how to fight. It’s an approach to fitness and wellness that serves to build confidence, relieve stress and find balance.

For Free Form Fitness’s Patrick Gorrell, this made the transition from Karate instructor to personal trainer an obvious and easy one.

“I enjoy teaching people how to use their bodies,” said the 28-year-old. “Karate was an effective way to teach people about exercise and conditioning. I wanted to make a career out of that and personal training seemed like a logical choice.”

Patrick has been with FFF’s Glebe team for about a year after earning a Health and Fitness Promotion Diploma from Algonquin College and his training certification from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.

He joined the FFF team after deciding the cookie-cutter approach to personal training typical of a big-box gym didn’t work for him.

“I don’t think that big-box atmosphere is what’s best for most clients looking for personal training,” he said. “At FFF, I get to know my client better without distraction. People don’t have to worry about being judged by others.”

That’s the key to becoming a great personal trainer – don’t be judgmental and don’t try to mould the client into anything other than a better version of themselves. The focus should always be on what’s important to them, whether that’s getting stronger, losing weight, or just being more confident about who they are.

“Seeing clients come in who are unsure about themselves and then to see them with increased confidence months later is always a good feeling,” he said.

Patrick takes pride in the success of one client in particular – a 23-year-old student on a tight budget who could only afford a personal session once a month. After completing the introductory package of eight sessions of $96, Patrick gave the client a workout routine to do at home, along with manageable and incremental nutrition goals – like making sure to eat protein and vegetables with every meal. They used that one monthly session together to evaluate progress and set new targets for the following month.

The goal wasn’t to achieve some herculean fitness milestone, just develop healthy and sustainable habits for the long-term – which is where many people run into difficulty.

“I took my knowledge and applied it so that the client would learn to develop healthy eating habits, and the outcome was exactly what we were both looking for,” Patrick said.

There is always something new to learn and pass on to clients.

“I love learning – I feel like that is what life’s all about – becoming wiser,” he said. “And I try to be a very understanding person – people can come to me with something out of the ordinary and I want to be there for them to help figure it out.”

There are a few things he wants new clients to understand.

“I don’t bite, I am pretty open to anything you are going to tell me,” he said. “Everyone has to start somewhere – progression is likely going to be slower than you think. It doesn’t just happen overnight.”

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