Let’s get physical

Let's get physical
Tom Burgess of Sweat-It Training

If you’re one of the millions of people who make a resolution every January to get fit and healthy only to see your short-lived exercise regime and diet fall by the wayside barely a week or two into the new year then you may want to read on.

The reason? Tom Burgess, who runs Sweat-It Training based in Crowborough, could possibly just make you change your life forever given his infectious enthusiasm for being as body confident – in a healthy and achievable way – as possible.

“I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness after playing plenty of sport when I was growing up,” explains Tom. “Golf and rugby are my main favourites but now I’m really into keeping everyone else active.” But he says this has to be done in a ‘fun and energetic’ way.

Tom decided to open his own personal training (PT) and fitness enterprise after he’d come to what he describes as a ‘crossroads’ in his career having worked previously in the hospitality trade.

“I wanted to do something that I was passionate about, rather than just getting by each day making a living. Originally I had looked into becoming an online fitness coach where I would help people from afar and drive my business through physique shows – something that I was passionate about at that time.

“But that didn’t last very long and I grew more and more towards the idea of helping more people as opposed to working in a specialist market where the focus was about losing an extra 1 per cent body fat. This is really how Sweat-It began and now we as a team help everyday people – all at different abilities and ages in life – but with one goal in common, which is the desire to better themselves one session at a time.”

Tom credits his previous career in hospitality with helping him to develop a solid understanding for standards, service and dealing with the general public. He also adds that Sweat-It Training’s USP is that he and his team provide the majority of their sessions within a small group format.

‘I grew more and more towards the idea of helping more people as opposed to working in a specialist market’

“This allows us to keep it a personalised experience to the individual and their specific goals, but without the one-to-one PT price tag. Working out in a group also adds motivation for other people who are on similar journeys. There’s always something for everyone to be part of at Sweat-It. We can be very flexible for all our clients’ needs.”

What does Tom enjoy most about running his own business? “Providing a high quality fitness to people who wouldn’t normally be found doing what we do. Your normal gym fails 95 per cent of normal people because they are mostly soulless and uninspiring. We’re different because we ensure everyone is greeted personally and made welcome from the outset.

“This means we watch people grow from being shy to welcoming the next newcomer like they’ve been training with us for years – not months! We feel like one big happy family here and everyone is very welcome.”

How does employing a PT enhance people’s lives? “It provides that direction and support that so many crave. We all have so much on so why add another thing to the list. We can take all the thinking away, all you have to do is turn up and put in the hard work.”

But as is the case with any business there will always be challenges along the way too. So what would Tom cite as those he’s encountered so far in his journey as a fitness guru? “I’d say getting people to believe in what’s possible. We follow a weights based approach which could be daunting to a newcomer. But really what this comes down to is us educating everyone to believe in our unique methods.

“We test all our members every 12 weeks on strength, power and endurance, among other things. Some people aren’t at all competitive the first time they get tested, which is fine as we don’t force this upon people. But seeing people grow into taking a huge interest in their fitness and improving it the second time round is very cool.”

He also operates a TEAM membership scheme. “We start everyone off with 30 days so you can test us and yourself. This gives you the opportunity to meet your coaches and all the other TEAM members already enjoying what we do.

“Within this we learn more about you and then map out how we can help and how this would look with which session would be best. Over the course of the 30 days we’re always on hand to support and guide to make sure you get the most from your time with us.”

Instead of having huge sprawling classes where some can get left behind or offering pricey one-on-one sessions Sweat-It’s USP is that if offers small PT groups. “We can individualise these sessions for absolutely anyone and everyone,” continues Tom. “Even if you’re a complete novice or an experienced athlete we can tailor these sessions to four completely different people if we need to. That means we can coach and improve everyone’s fitness as well as adding a huge amount of value to everyone who comes to us.”

Although Tom and his team are operating solely out of Crowborough it sounds like there may well be plans for offering a Sweat-It outpost in Tunbridge Wells. “We have some extremely exciting things in the pipeline for 2020 to widen our reach into Tunbridge Wells as we know this is a seriously under-serviced market with what we offer. So watch this space!”


The way forward in 2020

What key things should we be doing daily to ensure optimum health and weight loss?

Stay hydrated: drinking plenty of water, 2+ litres as a minimum

Keep active: this may be as simple as hitting a steps target but it’s too easy these days to just not walk anywhere

Get outside: not only will you have the chance to enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll increase your steps while you do it

Your five a day fruit and vegetable intake: this should be achievable for all.  We just have to remember to plan meal and snack times well and avoid sugary options

Increase protein intake: this doesn’t have to come from supplements you can also build meals around this resource to aid recovery and help you make good choices around food

Control portion sizes: this can be done with smaller plates, measuring out food or using your hand as a guide. Controlling your portions will in turn control calorie consumption

Staying on track fitness-wise

Here are Tom’s top tips for achieving and sustaining a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle

  1. Get started with whatever method you decide
  2. Be consistent: one or two classes, sessions or walks may not be enough but make it three to four and you will soon be on the right track
  3. Enjoy it! Without enjoyment, exercise of any kind is always going to be hard to continue so find something you enjoy. That way you can remain consistent to it

How to stop indulgent cravings

Plan ahead: we’re all human so when energy levels are low temptations rise. Fight off that 4pm afternoon slump by reaching for a healthy/low calorie snack or piece of fruit in order to avoid tempting biscuit tin raids

My 2020 vision

We want to continue to grow our Crowborough site with all of our wonderful members.

We want to change the way PT and gyms in general are seen in order to ensure health and fitness is accessible to all – and not just a few.

We are also planning a grand Sweat-it Games event which will allow us to reach more people and have some fun while doing that as well, in collaboration with the team who put on the Crazy Jeans Soap Box challenge. 


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