Alumnus shares story of how Loughborough shaped his personal training career

Simon Long wearing a black t-shirt standing in front of a black and white 'Body Development Centre' logo

Simon Long always aspired to work in fitness and personal training, but a few years into his career he felt dissatisfied with his progression and enrolled in Loughborough to drive change in his professional life.

He began his personal training career seven years prior to enrolling as a student at Loughborough University. He was a qualified personal trainer, having completed a qualification in less than a year. He proceeded to follow his career goals upon completion. Simon continued to work in this field for many years after gaining his qualification but was not content with the direction his career was heading in 

When sharing some issues Simon faced early on in his career, he said:  

Although the personal training course I did was taught very well, it was limited in what it was able to cover in such a limited time. Therefore, as I got into my career, the two main issues personal trainers face became evident. 

“Many trainers struggle to help their clients reach success, as they do not have the understanding required to aid the individual, leading to them employing strategies that will not allow success in the long runThis not only hurts the individuals’ chance of change, but also greatly dampens the enjoyment of the trainer’s career.  

“Differentiation between trainers is limited. The curriculum across personal trainer courses is very linear and limited in scope, as certain requirements are needed to secure certification and insurance. This leads to most trainers singing from the same hymn sheet’, which makes it difficult to stand out from the crowd.” 

The alumnus’ feelings of dissatisfaction encouraged him to make a change to better his career. He came across the possibility of studying at Loughborough when talking to a long-term client who was a Loughborough graduate himself, and highlighted the benefits that further study may have on his personal training career.  

Simon enrolled in 2015 to study an Applied Sports Science degree and became heavily involved in university life and his course.  

Looking back on when the alumnus first joined university, he said: 

“The passion I developed for everything around sports, health and fitness cannot be understated, and was entirely built on the foundation of inspirational and passionate lecturers and incredible facilities. I got involved in everything I could. I offered myself up for every lab experiment. I bought every book any lecturer advised me to read. I was learning so many things that I could apply to myself and my clients that nearly everything fascinated me.” 

Following his degree, Simon returned to personal training and his business, Body Development Centre. At Loughborough, Simon became interested in many aspects of the degree he studied, such as biomechanics, strength and conditioning, careers, and particularly psychology. The subject of psychology and particularly behavior change was increasingly engaging, and the alumnus went on to explore it further in a master's degree.  

Simon continues to follow a successful career in personal training using the scientific and psychological knowledge he gained whilst at university at the forefront of his services.  

Finally, Simon shared how his degree has shaped his career: 

“Everything Loughborough University provided went above and beyond to solve the two main issues I previously mentioned. My new understanding of science in so many areas allowed me to bring my client’s success to new heights, leading to me becoming highly sought after. Further to this, I used my new love and understanding of science to differentiate myself, which further provided me with clientele whilst simultaneously allowing me to charge more than my competition.  

“I have an incredible career. I honestly love every moment of my job. I have a solid and secure income. And I have a clear differentiation from any of my competition. All of this is owed to Loughborough University. Before I enrolled, I was considering leaving the industry. Since I graduated, I would never consider doing anything else.” 

Find out more about the Body Development Centre.