Why I changed my career and became a Personal Trainer.

In 2012 I made the decision to retrain and become a Personal Trainer. It was a big change for me. I had never been a regular gym-goer. But this didnโ€™t stop me quickly growing a list of clients.

Following almost a decade as a recruitment consultant, I retrained as a personal trainer. I had become trapped behind a desk and needed a new focus. When I made the decision, I was also training and coaching at the University of New South Wales Judo Club under Sensei Warren Rosser. At the time I was looking forward to turning my past-time into a career. I was also looking to become a fully-fledged Judo coach back in the UK.

Becoming a Personal Trainer to fix my shoulder.

Another pressing reason was my right shoulder. Almost a decade on the phone without using a headset (they werenโ€™t deemed salesy enough by many of the businesses I worked for), my right shoulder was a mess. I remember distinctly talking to a client and feeling a bolt of lightning hit the top of my head. It flew down my neck into my shoulder all the way down my arm. My arm then, completely involuntarily, shot out throwing my phone across the roomโ€ฆ luckily the client stayed on the phone whilst I went to pick it up. But after seeing a couple of physios; receiving some acupuncture; and endless salt baths it became clear that I needed to do something drastic to fix it. For those of you that want to know it was caused by a very weak subscapularis. 

Retraining as a Personal Trainer in the UK.

Because of the VISA I was on in Australia I had to return to the UK to retrain. I completed a Level 3 Personal Training course through Premier Training from a gym in Cambridge. The training was fantastic and gave me a good understanding of the basics of training in a gym. It was very different from the work I had done before on the judo mat. The training also gave me the basic understanding that I needed to correct my shoulder and other postural issues. I managed to secure a role at David Lloyd’s Head Office Gym and quickly built a roster of clients. It helped that I had a good story about why I had become a PT. That meant I could relate to many of the members of the gym, who had similar postural issues. 

Started my own business.

After a couple of years of working at David Lloyd, I started my own PT business JOD Health Ltd. It was really fun to do something for myself. I travelled around north London and Hertfordshire training clients at home. I even wrote an ebook on the basics of working out from home. 

After joining LDN Apprenticeships as Head of Business Development, I closed the business.

I can still apply the training that I received to my own fitness and wellbeing. I made some life long friends and being a PT indirectly led me to meet my wife. Not a bad result some might say. 


James O'Donnell
James O'Donnell

James is on a mission to put the Social back into Social Media!