How Ellis transformed her career with Lifetime
Ellis Sharp, now the co-owner of Trojan Fitness in Bristol’s Ashton Vale, completed her Personal Training qualification with Lifetime. She shares her success story with us, and explains her ethos when it comes to staying happy and healthy.
- When did you first know you wanted to become a personal trainer?
Originally, I never actually wanted to be a PT! I started my course with Lifetime some time ago – I thought that, even if I didn't become a PT, at least I’d have boosted my knowledge for my own training.
I've had quite a long, rocky road with my own personal health and fitness journey. When I was 18, I weighed around 14 stone. I decided I needed to do something about this, but I hated all things exercise and had no idea about nutrition. I started running (where no-one could see me!) and started switching my usual foods to a lower-fat or lower-calorie options. The weight started falling off and, before I knew it, I had lost nearly six stone!
I thought I would be happy with my body when I hit my goal weight but, due to losing that much weight quite quickly, my body felt and looked quite 'loose'. I started looking at girls on Instagram who did body building and weight training and fell in love with their strong look. I liked that women could look strong, but still womanly. It was then that I ditched the cardio and started doing weights. I studied YouTube videos on how to squat and deadlift, and began practicing in my garage.
I started going to a local bodybuilding gym called Trojan Fitness (which is where I now work as a personal trainer). I found it very intimidating at first, but stuck at it and found myself improving. Although I was doing the training and my body was changing shape, I wanted to learn more about the science behind my fitness. That’s when I decided to train as a personal trainer, and started the Lifetime course. I learned so much, and it really helped with my own training too.
- How do you balance working/ studying and doing coursework?
While I worked on my Lifetime coursework, I was also a manager at Nuffield Health. Being in the fitness industry helped a lot, particularly as we also had our PT exams at that particular gym! I tried to balance work, my own training, coursework and having a little bit of a social life the best I could – it turned out this was pretty manageable.
It definitely helped that I have a partner who has the same hobbies and interests as I me – he’s a competitive bodybuilder, who helps people to train for bodybuilding competitions. He understood I needed to get work done, and was also very knowledgeable!
- What’s your favourite thing about doing the course with Lifetime?
I like the freedom you get with the course, but also the fact that there’s help and guidance on hand if you need it. The practical four-day courses were great too, and I learned so much from those. My tutor, Mark Durnford, was really knowledgeable and a good teacher – as well as very funny!
I also like that Lifetime give you the choice of completing your coursework on paper or online. Personally, I'm a bit old school, so I find it much easier to read from a book and write things down in pen!
- Who or what is your inspiration?
There are dozens of women I aspire to look like or be as strong as but, when it comes down to it, I guess I am my biggest inspiration.
My journey is far from over, and I am nowhere near where I want to be. But when I look back at my journey, I’ve come a long way. For me, weight training is about being strong mentally as well as physically. You have to accept and love yourself for everything you are. Confidence is something that doesn't come naturally for me, but I’m always trying to grow into a better person!
I’ve also learned that comparing yourself to others is the ultimate way to feel bad about yourself. Everyone is on their own journey and is in different places in their lives, so it’s pointless to measure yourself against them.
- What are your goals for the future?
Right now, I’m working closely with Trojan Fitness. We’re always growing and have won multiple awards – it’s amazing to be associated with an independent gym that offers such a wide range of equipment and types of training.
My plan is to help Trojan Fitness continue to grow – we won’t stop until it’s the best gym in England! I also want to grow my PT business and to keep learning. I’m aiming to start my own strength and conditioning course towards the end of this year.
I am also a powerlifter in the making! My long-term goal is to win a national powerlifting competition, and one day compete at an international level with the best of the best.
Ultimately, my goal is to keep growing, learning and getting stronger. And, of course, to be happy!
If you're interested in becoming a personal trainer, head to our website to find the right fitness training course for you!