Written by: Paul Clemente – Personal Trainer, Co-Founder & Head Trainer of Empower Club
A little background…
So, a little backstory about me without boring you all to tears. I have been fortunate enough to have been running my own business as a personal trainer at the Ascot Vale Leisure Centre for over 11 years now. Pretty basic I know, but it’s also something I hold pretty close to my heart. More recently, I started working alongside my now business partner Jackson Kew, teaming up to form Empower Club. We are currently working extremely hard to get the doors opened at our own training and wellness warehouse facility in Mephan street, Footscray.
What 20,000 hours as a personal trainer has taught me about people
As you can imagine with over 20,000 logged hours of dealing with people in a one on one personal setting, I have come across many different people all from different walks of life, both professionally and personally. It’s often joked, that I am more like a psychologist than I am a trainer. One true common ground ALL my clients and I share, is the direct link between their exercise routine and its importance/impact on their mental state. This is the case no matter what fitness level or background they come from.
I have found that one of the most rewarding parts of my role as a PT is, not just seeing clients achieve great results, but when I have clients who’ve had a rough day or week (some with current diagnosed mental illness) and I can help them through with exercise. Being able to educate them and spread the message of the importance of exercise is extremely important to me. Exercise is not just about achieving great physical goals, but most importantly the significant role in your weekly routine, that can help you to regulate and stay on top of your emotional state. Because one thing is for sure – we all have stress and challenges in our lives that we need to learn how to manage.
Exercise is about more than physical fitness
I’m a big believer in exercise as a holistic approach to life and not having a preconceived notion that working out is all about “achievement,”. Don’t get me wrong – we love to work hard and achieve great things, but ultimately what it’s all about for me is enjoyment and being happy.
We all have personal experience in dealing with our own emotions and in the recent years I have seen a huge shift in my own mental state. Often, I find myself feeling overwhelmed, like we all do, with whatever is going on in my life. To manage these feelings, I have learnt to prioritise my ‘unwind’ time.
I love being in nature, being active in the outdoors – not just in the gym and making sure I have my much-needed ‘Paul’ time. This non-negotiable ‘Paul’ time could simply be spending time with my new-found love for getting out in the ocean surfing or just going for a long run, alone and along the river with just my thoughts. I find this often settles my mind and gets me refocused and re-energised so I can get back to life. Additionally, this helps me with calming any negative thoughts or stressors that pop up.
It’s amazing what just moving and getting some air in your lungs and some sweat on your body does for your soul, it really is.
Have a chat with yourself and others…
I know this isn’t ground breaking stuff, nor do I write this piece for one moment fully understanding the hardships many people go through with mental illness. But I certainly do know the power of speaking up, being open and honest with how you are feeling with yourself and the people around you. It’s important to remember that we all struggle from time to time, some more than others, but there is power in talking to someone is something that should never be taken for granted.
I feel an amazing privilege in being able to share and spread this message of wellness and being active. By teaming up with my amazing business partner Jackson, we are focussed on helping people achieve physical and mental wellbeing through exercise.
Together we have developed the Empower Club. This has taken all the bits and pieces of everything I (and Jackson) have learnt over a decade in the industry and with my own personal experience. To be able to create something that you truly believe in; that has such a positive effect on people’s health and wellbeing; is something that I can look back on and be very proud of.
Thanks for reading!