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All hail the conquering heroes of fitness

Every issue of Fitpro magazine, we crown a Hero Instructor – a group exercise class dynamo who’s been nominated by their very own members for their sheer brilliance at what they do. Aislinn Kelly catches up with 2015’s heroes to find out where they are now.

(Download your Spring 2016 issue of Fitpro magazine on iPhone via the FitPro app. Out soon.)

Spring forwards

Sam Hobbs - our Spring 2015 Hero Instructor

Sam Hobbs, our Spring 2015 Hero Instructor

In spring 2015, we crowned Sam Hobbs (samhpilates.com) our hero. Having felt she never really fitted in as a child, Sam found that yoga and Pilates improved her confidence and introduced her to a more peaceful state of mind. She wanted to bring these benefits to others, so she became a freelance Pilates instructor, focusing on functional Pilates to keep her clients fit for every-day life.

Class member Roz Tomkins says, “I attend Sam’s classes twice a week and feel very sluggish if I can’t go; it’s not just the exercise, strength and balance building but the whole calmness and refocusing that keeps me sane. I have regained the skill of walking downstairs without holding onto the banister and my posture, balance, strength and confidence have grown enormously. I come out of Sam’s classes feeling strong and ready to take on the world. It’s extremely empowering.”

Being crowned a Fitpro Hero Instructor was “amazing”, says Sam. “The feedback from clients was truly overwhelming and I realised how much I have actually helped people. It has given me more drive and ambition to help more people achieve their goals and to serve clients even better.”

Sam has been busy taking on new clients, starting new classes and securing a new venue for her one-to-one sessions. “I have learned to believe in myself and to do the very best I can,” she adds. “In the future I plan to follow my true passion, which is Pilates, and give up the ‘sensible’ job!”

Summer loving

Karen Austin, our Summer 2015 Hero Instructor

Karen Austin, our Summer 2015 Hero Instructor

Karen Austin (topazfitnessacademy.com), a freelance instructor who runs Metabolic Effect classes, was honoured as our summer 2015 Hero Instructor. Member Cassy Lloyd, who went from just under 19 stones to losing 2.5 stones in six weeks with Karen, told us, “Karen is my hero for many reasons, not least because I can cross my legs when I sit without getting cramp; I have cheekbones and collarbones, which you can see without x-ray; and my son can clasp his hands around me when giving me a hug (very emotional moment). Karen has saved my life!”

Karen was “over the moon” to be crowned our summer hero and says, “It meant so much to me to finally be acknowledged for all my hard work, especially knowing it was my lovely clients who voted for me. When I read the reasons why they’d nominated me it made me cry (happy tears, of course).”

Being a Fitpro Hero Instructor has boosted Karen’s confidence and self-belief. She says, “I’ve noticed I’ve been taken more seriously, not only by my peers and friends but also on social media too, which has really helped me to raise my profile to become the go-to expert, especially within my local area. Plus, it gave some people the initial push to sign up with me who had been thinking about it for a while. Being a Hero Instructor has definitely helped towards raising my profile, hence all my courses being full and a boost in income!”

Autumn awesome

Kelly Ravenscroft, our Autumn 2015 Hero Instructor

Kelly Ravenscroft, our Autumn 2015 Hero Instructor

Kelly Ravenscroft (keepfitwithkelly.com), our Autumn 2015 Hero Instructor, stays at the top of her game through regular workshops and courses. “I went to FitPro LIVE 2015,” she says, “and seeing Jayne Nicholls, Rachel Holmes and Bobby Cappuccio was fantastic. I came home with pages and pages of ideas.”

One of Kelly’s members, Lisa Matthews, told us, “Kelly’s love and enthusiasm for her job and clients is amazing! She makes every class fun but gives you a great workout. Kelly always has time for questions and advice – hers is the only class I would be 100% comfortable going to alone. I always feel like I’ve had a proper workout after each class, too.”

Kelly “absolutely loved” being crowned Hero Instructor. “I shared it all over social media and definitely picked up more followers. I think it gave a boost to my confidence to read the comments my participants made and my business has gone from strength to strength since!”

Kelly has recently launched her own unique class called RockNRobics, a fitness class set to rock n’ roll music, which she says is getting superb feedback. She has also become a Kick Start Fat Loss franchisee and was a finalist in the Mumprenuer Awards 2015. She says, “I plan to get my online business off the ground this year and look to grow my RockNRobics classes, with a view to potentially getting it to become a licensed programme in the future.”

Winter wonder

Marita Moore, our Winter  2015 Hero Instructor

Marita Moore, our Winter 2015 Hero Instructor

Finally, in winter 2015, we celebrated fit camp instructor Marita Moore (thelotusfitnessacademy.com) who, along with her regular boot camps, runs fit camps for Southway Housing Trust, training unemployed residents who suffer from poor health and cannot afford classes themselves.

Class member Dr Mutota told Fitpro, “Marita is my hero. I’m 56 and my house has three levels. I used to reach the third level exhausted, out of breath, sweating … Since I joined the camp with Marita at my workplace, I can do the stairs without a problem. And I have lost weight from 83.5kg to 79kg! It’s not just the exercises; it’s also about how she communicates, explaining the benefits of different exercises.”

Marita says, “It was such an honour that my clients put me forward for Hero Instructor. It confirms that I’m delivering what they need. It has definitely had an impact on my career as, following on from this, I was interviewed by We Are Stockport (a documentary about my town) and also given hero status from them. They also highlighted my charity stuff.”

Marita has expanded her boot camps and entered the Cadbury’s Milk Tray search (a competition to find the new face of Milk Tray), making it through to the last stage. She adds, “The award itself has confirmed I am heading exactly where I want to go, to inspire and encourage my guys to be the best they can be.” Marita plans to continue her expansion by bringing fitness into more schools, and to grow her academy: “a place that works on fitness first but then moves on to building people up to the beautiful unique humans they are.”

Could you be our next Hero Instructor?

hero instructor (1)If your members think you’re the bee’s knees, why not ask them to nominate you as one of our Hero Instructors for 2016? They should email us at publish@fitpro.com and tell us why they think you deserve to be crowned a hero!

Don’t miss the next issue of Fitpro magazine, out soon and packed with insightful features, including members dishing the dirt on what goes on in your classes and how to create the right vibe in class to keep people coming back. We’ll also crown our Spring 2016 Hero Instructor! Download your copy on iPhone via the FitPro app.