Personal trainer and dancer Courtney Pruce is best known for her inspiring Instagram account @thecleaneatingguide and as one of the co-founders of online coaching company Team Lean UK. You may also recognize Courtney from fx 16.3 workout videos! TRAINFITNESS caught up with Courtney to find out how she became a personal trainer, and her tips for a successful fitness career.
What made you want to become a personal trainer?
I trained at performing arts school for 4 years; somewhere where bettering our body images was a pivotal part of training yet there was little advice or guidance in how to achieve the 'look' we were told we would need to be the 'complete package'.
After trying all sorts of bad fad diets, phases of over-training and excessive amounts of cardio, trying to cut out certain food groups and neglect training certain body parts, I soon realised that I was still no closer to become a fitter and healthier version of me, both aesthetically and mentally. Looking back, knowing everything I know now, after years of gaining knowledge and experience, quite frankly, I just completely wasted my time and probably did myself more damage than good.
I decided that I wanted to help other people who don't have the experience, knowledge or mindset to do things the right way, healthily, from the get go. The very first moment they decide to start their fitness journeys, I want them to have correct advice and guidance in how to achieve their goals the healthy, maintainable and sustainable way.
What has been your biggest achievement as a personal trainer so far?
My biggest achievement so far at the age of 22 is building my own personal brand and being labeled as one of the top health & fitness influencers in the UK, as well as building my successful online coaching company Team Lean UK. I have established a great following of over 80,000 followers over my social media platforms which has created my own personal little fitness community which I absolutely love!
What do you enjoy about health and fitness?
That’s a toughie - I love everything about it! I love pushing my body to its limit, challenging it and achieving things that I didn't think would be possible. I just love the feeling of those post-workout endorphins after an awesome training session - you just can’t beat it! I love how living a healthy fit lifestyle can help someone develop such a positive mental attitude and enhance their self-love and motivation. I love that there is still so much to learn every single day; whether it's new styles of training, new exercises, new nutritional studies or new things that I learn about my self - it's constantly developing and changing and it’s amazing. I love how living an active lifestyle and eating healthily (80% of the time - balance!) can make you feel so god damn good, inside and out!
In terms of working out, what would you say are your three strengths?
I think my strengths are probably... my strength haha! I guess being very little can make you even more determined to be as strong as possible and to be able to lift challenging weights, especially ones over my own body weight - I love that feeling of achievement! Exercise-wise, a couple of my strengths at the moment (sitting at around 52kg) are probably: 12 chin ups, squatting 85kg for 5 x 5 and trap bar deadlifting 90kg for sets of 6 reps. I've also recently started working on my barbell clean and press and hit my first PB the other day of 40kg for 5/6 reps!
What are your strengths as a personal trainer?
I would say my top strength is that I am not a cookie-cutter coach. I would NEVER regurgitate one client's plan to someone else to - that's lazy and in my opinion irresponsible. That person has trusted you to listen to their needs and help them achieve their goals, so it is of the upmost importance that you do your job and formulate the best and most personal plan you can for them. I pride myself in tailoring training and nutrition to each individual client, helping them reach their goals in the most optimal way. Another strength is that I would never apply something to someone else without having tried and tested it myself. I feel it's really important to have experienced the methods you're suggesting and implemented the advice you are giving out, so that you fully understand exactly what you're asking of your client.
What do you think makes someone not just a good personal trainer, but a great personal trainer?
There is only one thing in my eyes that makes a good personal trainer a great personal trainer, and that is: Going above and beyond. Giving your 110% into every single client, every single time. Going that extra mile to help your clients and supporting them in any which way you can, not just inside the gym, but outside too. It's so important to actually care about your client's welfare and their goals. if you want them to invest in you, you have to invest in them!
Find out more about Courtney on Instagram and Facebook
For more information about Team Lean UK, visit the website