Hartpury students box clever on conveyor belt to dream careers at Fight Factory


Fitness fanatic Hartpury students are hoping their personal trainer plans will pack even more punch after being put through their paces at a Gloucester gym.

Students on the Hartpury Advanced Diploma in Fitness are learning about different personal training methods in a range of sports and activities as they work toward their Level 3 certificates in Personal Training and Nutrition.

Currently, they are being trained once a week by professional boxer, Andy Harris, at the Fight Factory in Gloucester. They will then work with personal trainer Ramsay Sawi in his studio for four weekly sessions and there are plans for them to then move on to a Crossfit environment.

The ultimate aim is for the students to gain experience of running sessions and managing clients themselves by offering personal training sessions and classes to students and staff at Hartpury College and University Centre after Christmas.

“It’s really important for the students to have plenty of opportunities to put what they learn in the classroom and in practical sessions at Hartpury into practice in real-life settings,” said lecturer, Steve Adams.

“By taking part in specialist sessions like these boxing fitness classes and seeing how different instructors and personal trainers operate with differing results, they can take this learning into their future careers and when they set up their own businesses and run their own classes.

“The personal training sessions they run for staff and students at Hartpury will then give them more experience of working with clients of all ages and abilities, which is very different to working with their peers on the course.

“As well as having to adapt what they have learned to the individual’s fitness and ability level, they will need to take into account what the client wants to achieve from the PT and enable them to gain experience in their own specialist areas of PT. It will also further develop their business skills.”

In the first year of their two-year course, the students gained a solid base of PT knowledge, with practical sessions focusing on gym, spin, circuits and sports conditioning. This year, they are experiencing more specialist environments and learning from independent personal trainers and they will all complete a work placement in February.

Student, Alex Bache, 17, from Gloucester, said: “My dream is to work as a PTI in the Royal Navy. When I first started at Hartpury, I thought I wanted to work in a gym environment but then the Marines came into College for a day and ran lots of activities for us. I loved the fitness side and I decided that’s where I wanted to aim.

“This course gives you job-related skills from the outset that will help me on my career path. It’s fantastic experiencing so many different fitness environments and training methods, plus I love this kind of high intensity training.

“I used to come to Fight Factory with my family every weekend but that was more for strength and conditioning. I do crossfit now but I’m also a 400 metres and cross-country runner with Gloucester Athletic Club.”

Student, Lisa Wright, 17, who lives in Littledean, said: “I’ve always been interested in fitness and I’d love to be a PT in the army and then go on to open my own gym. On this course, we learn such a lot from our tutors, instructors and personal trainers that will help us with our own career ambitions. I really enjoy the variety and the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of the industry.”

Fight Factory trainer, Andy Harris, added: “Running a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) like this teaches the students a lot about recovery rates and the importance of getting the heartrate back down during breaks. The Hartpury students are brilliant to work with because they give 100% all the time and really connect with you as an instructor.”

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