DEREK CRAVEN - SPECIALIST PERSONAL TRAINER
What led you to become a personal trainer?
I have always been interested in movement and activity. After teaching PE and sport in schools for many years, I decided I'd like to help adults train to move correctly.
What do you offer or do that’s different from others in your line of work?
I have focused for many years on rehabilitating new and old injuries and that’s evolved into working with older clients including athletes, those with health conditions and those who simply want to stay fitter, healthier and age well.
What’s a fairly typical day for you?
I travel to clients’ homes, check up on how they are, whether any new issues have arisen, then run them through the exercises I have chosen for them to do that day. I set up my equipment which I take around with me. Most clients I take do 30 - 40-minute sessions. If it’s a nice day we may exercise outside. I like to keep their sessions varied and interesting.
What strengths and skills have served you well?
I am passionate about studying and trying out the latest exercise ideas that relate to my clients’ needs. I have also learnt to observe clients carefully, looking for irregular movement patterns. If I feel an issue involves further attention, I’m not afraid to discuss it with one of the physios I work with.
Do you have mentors or people you collaborate with?
I have two physios and a doctor that I work with closely.
What advice would you give to someone who is keen to establish their own small business?
The one thing I wish I’d had when starting out was a mentor who understood the business I was getting into.
How do you keep your knowledge and skills current?
Over the years I have attended many professional courses and workshops but I find these days I get top quality ideas and teaching from several trainer/physios that I have found and follow on YouTube.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I love working with people and helping them to move better. It’s great to see them moving more freely and gain strength and physical confidence. I really enjoy getting to know my clients and look forward to training sessions with them.
When you have a day off, what do you choose to do?
I have periods of time each day between clients so I do my own training then - cycling, gym work, swimming or running. I also make time to study training ideas or research possible solutions to problems on the internet.
Do you listen to music while exercising?
If I’m training indoors or just walking or running I use my iPod and have a huge range of music to choose from. I’m very careful to make sure I'm aware of my surroundings – I know how dangerous it can be if you’re out and about and can’t hear traffic!