A new health and fitness company set up in Northampton and Kettering by one of the top 100 trainers in the world promises to help people lose a stone in six weeks by following its exercise, nutrition and coaching programme. Ruth Supple found out more . . .
Former professional snooker player turned fitness entrepreneur Matt Sutton of Thrapston, Northamptonshire, believes people expect results when they are paying for personal training. But while he says many focus more on exercise, his new programme takes a more holistic approach and looks not only at fitness, but eating habits and - perhaps most crucially - someone’s mindset.
Matt, 33, owns Lifestyle Performance Transformations (LPT), which runs lose a stone in six weeks and “mans-formation” programmes, from Lynn Wilson Centre at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club in Wantage Road, Northampton, and from the gym at Kettering Park Hotel.
He says: “Personal training is not cheap and people want results from it, whether that is weight loss or to become healthier. Most personal trainers focus on the exercise for the results, but our programme looks after the individual as a whole because if you look at the nutrition, lifestyle and mindset of someone you will see better results,”
Matt was always sporty at school and left to become a professional snooker player for four years. He still plays English billiards semi-professionally and is five times English champion. He then worked his way up to becoming a personal trainer by working in various gyms and has been the resident personal trainer at Kettering Park Hotel for the past 10 years.
When he was 27 though, Matt was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It changed his life.
“Having cancer when I was 27 was the biggest catalyst for me building the LPT business,” he says. “It was horrific, considering I’d always been very fit and, pre-cancer, I thought I was doing great. I had to have 10 months of chemo, but a good thing came out of it, which was setting up my own company. In a way it was kind of the best thing that could have happened to me and my whole cancer experience taught me the power of nutrition.”
Matt started putting his principles of healthy eating into action with his fitness programme and says he has had amazing results.
“I gave a few seminars and in 2012 was voted one the top 100 trainers in the world. Out of this, I began developing my fit for life programme for people to follow. Yet I still realised some people weren’t getting the results they wanted and I realised that mindset plays a huge part in it. I studied with a guy called Dax Moy, who is one of the world’s leading fitness and transformation gurus and charges from £25K a week for training royalty, rock stars and millionaires. He is my mentor and through training and studying with him, I began to look more into the neuro-science aspect of coaching and developed the TCP method, which we use in LPT.”
TCP stands for Training (fitness), Coaching (mindset, lifestyle and nutrition) and Personal Development (self-growth).
Matt explains: ““The fitness industry is not servicing people very well. Typically, people who do well in gyms are already fit, confident and happy, and make the most of their membership. But the reason gyms are nearly always empty is because those people are in the minority and they don’t really care if you go or not. If a gym had all its members there at the same time, it wouldn’t be able to fit them in.
“When someone attends our six-week programme, they not only have access to small or large group personal training sessions, but things like nutritional seminars, coaching webinairs, motivational emails and bi-weekly one-to-one 20-minute telephone coaching sessions, where we look at things like time, stress management and sleep habits. It’s an holistic approach and very different.
“We also run a Facebook group where we encourage people to put up their weekly accountability goals and it gives them a chance to talk to others on the programme.”
The six-week programme fitness sessions are split into metabolic Mondays, where the exercises are more cardio-vascular based and designed to get your body moving; weights Wednesdays, where it is all about building muscle and so burning fat in the process, and strong Thursdays, where the emphasis is on strengthening exercises.
At each session you are individually assessed and monitored to see how your body handles various movements and weights, and over the weeks you will be able to see how you have progressed, thanks to a chart showing your reps and levels achieved.
Noah Kennedy is one of the personal trainers working for LPT and the 20-year-old ran the thrice-weekly small group personal training sessions I took part in at the Lynn Wilson Centre. After leaving school in Wellingborough, Noah qualified as a gym instructor and spent a year working in London before working in a gym in Switzerland, where clients included Princess Beatrice.
He says: “On the six-week programme, you notice the women tend to want to lose weight, while the guys want to get stronger. This programme delivers what it promises and people find they get better results than they expected. It’s very satisfying and rewarding to see.”
Harvinder Sandhu, known as Harvi, is one of the four women in our group sessions and said she signed up because she wants to lose weight before her daughter’s wedding in September.
Mother-of-two Harvi, 52, from Ecton, says: “My daughter’s wedding is my target and I just want to lose weight and get fit for it. I’m enjoying the programme so far and seeing results. I would rather do this than go to the gym as it feels like a proper kick start, which is what I need in my life. I have been a member of a gym for years and find I lose a bit of weight then put it back on; this is teaching me to look at my mindset and when you go into the unconscious mind, it is amazing how much you can do.
“It was this holistic approach which really appealed to me and because the group is so small, it almost feels like you are having one-to-one personal training.”
LPT charges £145 for large group sessions, £199 for small group lunchtime sessions and £349 for peak evening sessions per month. For more information and to book a place on the next course, starting on June 6, visit www.lifestyle-pt.co.uk
By Ruth Supple
You will be treated like elite athletes during this six-week programme with a goal to strive for at the end of it,” Matt Sutton advises us on a Saturday morning at Northamptonshire County Cricket Ground.
I’m sat with a large group of men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes as we embark on the LPT programme. And it’s inspirational stuff listening to Matt talk about the power of mindset to become fit for life, advising us to take photos of ourselves at the start of the programme and then one at the end, to keep a three-day food diary so we can monitor our eating habits (nothing is banned on the programme but we are encouraged to “eat clean”) and how we’ll each have our movements screened and monitored so our trainer knows where our strengths and weaknesses lie.
Armed with a welcome pack, which contains more information, advice, a food and sleep diary, recipes and fitness exercises, I head home fired up and ready to return for my first session the following Monday, although elite is the opposite of how I feel.
My fitness has slipped enormously in the past 18 months due to what’s been going on in my personal and professional life.
At the end of 2014 and having gone through a messy and painful divorce, I was down to a size 10 for the first time in years . . . and felt great, though emotionally I was a mess. Dealing with the consent order of the divorce in 2015 caused more stress than the divorce itself, as did trying to sell a large family home me and my ex-husband were still having to live in - albeit on separate floors - along with managing my own salary for the first time in my life and dealing with grown-up children also going through the break-up.
Work and my new partner, Kieran, were my only sanity and salvation, and I retreated to both to find comfort and solace. I spent the best part of a year living out of a suitcase, crashing overnight at friends’ houses because I wasn’t happy sharing the house when my ex-husband was there, and doing car boots in my spare time to raise cash to pay for a solicitor. Some of my possessions ended up in my car boot (because I was moving things into storage) and at one, someone yanked my vacuum cleaner out of my boot and tried to buy it off me.
Along the way, the dancing that I’d been doing almost five nights a week declined into once a week, then once a month and now not at all . . . ironic when I left my husband for the dance partner I met when taking part in Strictly Northampton. All this in spite of me loving it so much and knowing how good I felt being slimmer and more toned. Life sometimes gets in the way and I became adept at finding excuses not to go dancing or keeping fit.
By the end of June 2015 I was finally downsized in my tiny new home, albeit on a blow-up mattress for a bed, no wardrobes (there were fitted ones in the old house) and a broken boiler which didn’t get replaced until the end of November . . . thankfully we only had a really couple of cold nights where I wrapped myself up in all sorts of clothes, duvets and throws on the by now punctured mattress. Who ever said being a magazine editor is glamorous?
Comfort eating seemed like a great option and that too became my greatest friend.
Fast forward into January 2016 and, thanks to the kindness of friends giving me a new bed and mattress (what utter luxury), I felt ready and fired up to get back dancing and embark on a new fitness challenge. Then, wham, another three curve balls were thrown at me in the space of one week - more financial problems linked to the supposedly resolved divorce, redundancy after nearly 28 years of working for the same company and my father being diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer. It is literally no exaggeration to say I wanted to curl up in that proverbial ball and die.
Did I feel like seeing a doctor to be diagnosed with stress, yes? But did I, no . . . ultimately it’s only me who can change things in my life and what would have been the point of ditching work to go off sick with stress? None whatsoever, for me. I’m too proud for that and think that my grandparents went through far more when they lived and fought through the Blitz in Liverpool in the Second World War.
As some wise soul once said, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and, thanks to my partner picking me up for what felt like the hundredth time from the crying heap on the floor that I had become, I realised he was right telling me to stop making excuses and get on with it.
I’ve gone through three major life changes in the space of 18 months - divorce, house move and redundancy - but I’m still standing, to quote Sir Elton John. And I know friends who are going through far worse than me.
It’s no exaggeration to say fitness, nutrition and mindset are all key for me feeling better so when Matt contacted me asking me to take part in this programme, I jumped at the chance, even though, as I write this, I have only been able to complete half of the six-week programme before my departure from Image.
Nutrition is a work in progress . . . I know it will take a while to break the bad habits I’ve got back into and which have catapulted me back into the size 14 clothes I danced so hard to shake off.
Mindset is getting there, slowly . . . I am ready to give myself a break after working for nearly 28 years solidly - two maternity break leaves aside - and see what the future brings, whether that’s in journalism, communications, teaching English, writing the play I’ve been threatening to do for years or even emigrating.
Fitness is already improving, thanks to the LPT sessions I’ve been doing, and today I was able to fit more comfortably into the size 12 clothes I’d been squeezing into lately. I’m loving the small group sessions I’m doing and where everyone is encouraging one another to do well, with no pressure to compete.
What’s more important though for me is I’m sleeping better than I have for the past three months and feel ready to get on my bike - literally - once it’s been fixed and after I’ve handed back the company car. At least I won’t be able to fit my vacuum cleaner in it.