It’s safe to say, I am a sucker for a fitness craze; sucked in by a celebrity Instagram post or glossy magazine feature, in most cases I have been there, done that and got the sweaty t-shirt. Therefore, when it came to interviewing Scott Laidler, whittling my questions down to just ten was like holding a two minute plank. With a phonebook full of high profile clients and a weekly column for The Telegraph, finding time for our interview was no mean feat. Yet this is an expert worth waiting for. An all round game changer, with a background in sports psychology, a diploma in sports massage and experience in nutrition, there is far more to Scott than just kettle bells and cardio. Sharing his success, his training tips and diet advice with those hoping to follow in his footsteps, this is one interview that will not go out of vogue.
So Scott, how did you get here, have you always been interested in the industry?
I started in the industry at age 23, but had been interested in fitness since the age of 18 and found myself working in the first gym I ever trained at. I began as a gym instructor, progressed to a personal training role at a Central London health club and then became a freelance trainer.
How did things progress from there?
As I grew my client base I ran my own health club and operated a boot camp company. Now, I provide in personal services to a handful of clients with the majority of my client base being online. I also run my training studio in Buckinghamshire and mentor up and coming personal trainers.
Did you receive any formal training or receive qualifications?
My academic background is in psychology. After graduation I went on to gain a diploma in personal training and sports massage. In the UK you cannot become insured without the correct qualifications.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far was my first working visit to LA, where I was able to work with some exclusive clientele and learn a lot from what many would consider to be the birthplace of the fitness industry.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of the job for a busy personal trainer is getting the balance between taking on more clientele and spending time on the business itself, in order to create services that can reach out to more people.
How did you get into the blogging side of your job?
I started writing about personal development in 2012; a member of staff at The Telegraph saw my articles and recommended that I pitch for the role of fitness columnist for the papers new men’s section. Following the success of my column I have been able to contribute to most of the magazines and newspapers in the UK.
We all have a love/hate relationship with the gym, how do you ensure your clients stay motivated?
I ensure my clients stay motivated by making sure there is no guesswork left in their routine, no chances are taken and this gets results. It’s the positive changes they see in the way they look and feel that keeps them motivated. I keep my training simple and ensure that each and every session gets them closer to their fitness goals.
How do you ensure your clients get the results they are after?
I’ve worked with a lot of different people and learned about fitness in many different scenarios, so I ensure my clients get results by making sure that their training plan and nutritional intake is as tailored to them as it possibly could be. Getting results isn’t actually that hard if proper regimes are followed. The greater task is often getting my clients to stick to the regime they’ve been prescribed, but this is achieved through gradual and patient guidance.
How important is diet when it comes to exercise goals?
Diet is huge. All the training in the world won’t change your body composition if your diet is all wrong. Of course, you can get fitter and stronger with exercise, but most of my clients come to me for rapid body transformations and that is only achieved by getting both your training and nutrition right.
What is the best exercise to help weight loss?
There is no one best exercise to help with weight loss. Weight loss, or rather fat loss, is best achieved through a combination of healthy eating, resistance training and structured cardio. It’s not enough just to lose weight – that’s easy. Weight is arbitrary. When you break down what people really want to achieve when they speak of weight loss, you will find that most people simply want to feel good. We feel good when we are lean, healthy and know that we look good in our clothes – this is not always achieved by merely weighing less.
What advice would you give someone hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Start out by thinking about who you have to become to achieve success in the fitness industry – work on yourself, not just your professional development, but communication skills, time management, marketing and writing skills. Everyone I know who has really succeeded in this industry has paid their dues and worked hard, almost to breaking point – the hard work definitely pays off in the end. It’s also important to never lose sight of the fact that you are in an industry that is supposed to be helping people as a priority, never make decisions that compromise your integrity.
Finally, what is your go to ‘cheat’ food?
I love nachos and oatmeal cookies!
To find out more about Scott and his training, go to www.scottlaidler.com, or get in touch via Twitter at @Scott_Laidler. If he has inspired you to pick up the barbells and get your personal trainer qualifications, take a look at the courses listed on our site. What are you waiting for?