Thursday, 12, February 2015
A Day in the Life of Martyn Evans, Head of Fitness at The Third Space
In our latest ‘Day in the Life’ post, we meet Martyn Evans, Head of Fitness at The Third Space gym in Marylebone.
Normally, I start the day by going straight into a personal training session. I usually try do 4 or 5 sessions on my days at Marylebone, so an early start is essential in order to ensure I can accommodate everyone. Normally by 10am I’ll be hitting the email inbox, dealing with member, staff and facility issues although I do admit I have some fantastic colleagues who take a lot of the burden off me.
Essentially, based on the fact that I oversee all things fitness related, my day is a blend of personal training, admin, HR issues, revenue, budgets and meetings and when required recruitment. Depending on the time of year, I’ll also spend some time writing. The Third Space has a quarterly newsletter to which I contribute articles and also I arrange for other trainers on my teams to contribute, if their particular skill set is applicable to the theme.
I'm often asked if I actually workout with my clients. If possible I tend to avoid this. If you’re training yourself, you’re not really in a position to ensure you’re client is exercising with correct technique. In some extreme cases I will make an exception but I would have to be comfortable that the client is fully competent in all of the exercises I intended to use. Admittedly some members find the concept motivating but as a group we always try to ensure our instruction is of the highest quality.
We open weekdays at 6.30am which is actually little bit later than many gyms. However based on our location it works. I’ve worked at other gyms that open at 5am, and there’d always be a queue outside to get in! That was in Canada, so it’d be -20c outside in the winter, yet we still had a queue every morning.
We close the gym at 10.30pm. Due to our attachment to the hotel, we find that there will be people here right up until 10.30pm most nights. The guests often check in later, or are finishing business, then they want to come down for a quick workout or quite often they’ll use the pool. Doors officially close at 11pm.
We do about 104 fitness classes a week at this location. For a club this size, that’s quite a lot. Depending on the time of year, they can vary – we tend to drop it back a bit in summer. At our prime times, there are at least 1 or 2 classes on offer, and sometimes more.
Personal training is available open to close, however I would say 9pm is usually the latest anyone partakes. But unlike many gyms our trainers remain busy throughout the day. That’s actually one of the reasons why the club is so busy. In the Marylebone area there’s a lot of retired people, and also people who work for themselves, so unlike a lot of gyms you can walk in here at 10 or 11am, and we’ll have 5 or 6 trainers working. It’s the same in the early afternoon.
In addition to gyms I’ve worked at rehab clinics, training people with severe joint issues, hip replacements, and knee replacements. I trained one guy who had a stroke when he was 11. He was pretty memorable, because he couldn’t even walk properly at the start. After several months of hard and in some cases tedious work (for him, not me) he was up snowboarding. He was one of the more extreme success stories we are fortunate to work with.
Here, at this club, we get a lot of people coming in more for health or specific fitness reasons. We don’t get a lot of bodybuilders. Fat loss, weight loss, increased joint health, strength gains, sport specific conditioning and increased motivation are some of the most common results our members and clients are looking for.
Based on my daily routine I need lots of energy! Usually I start the day with some porridge, peanut butter and berries. Then my wife makes me snack bars, which I eat on the fly. I actually just had a roast beef dinner and then at 3.30pm I’ll be eating another meal. However I will be working out for an hour between now and then. Then I’ll go home to dinner tonight, which will likely be fish, vegetables and a small serving of rice. Although I'm careful with my nutrition I'm definitely not obsessive with it. There are theories out there that say you should eat six times a day, it’s not really been clinically proven, plus nobody has the time.
For the general population, you’ve got to set realistic nutrition goals, because that’s the one thing you are most likely going to fall down on. If you turned round and said “Six times a day you’ve got to drop everything for twenty minutes” it’s not going to happen. Most of my clients have barely got time to come and see me, never mind find the time to prep all this food, leave meetings and visit the staff room every 2-3 hours. In an ideal world they would put exercise and nutrition as a number one priority but this is not an ideal world.
The way I look at nutrition is to try to eat meals where the ingredients compliment each other. Basically your diet should contain moderate measures of Protein, Carbs and Fats, depending on your activity levels and bodyweight. In my opinion elimination diets are not the way to go. All of the major food groups serve a purpose so therefore should all find their way onto your plate. Also don't forget about water!
All my clients are in the gym between 7am and 6pm, generally. Normally I try to be away by about 6pm at the latest, sometimes a little sooner depending on when I start. I have a family waiting for me at home so by 5pm my mind generally starts to wander towards them. When I was training full time, that didn’t happen. I’d be working a lot longer, as I’m now in more of a senior role, I’m able to get away sooner based on the fact I don't have as many after work clients. Now I go home and get bossed around by a four year old instead.
The Third Space gym is located under The Marylebone Hotel, and is free for all hotel guests to use. There’s another location in Soho. You can see more at www.thethirdspace.com, and you can read about some of their fitness classes on our previous post here.