FitPro member Claire Owen-Pockett started teaching fitness in 1997 and has spent most of her career delivering a range of group fitness classes. Here, she shares her inspiring journey with us and tells us why she has now chosen to take up a MOSSA Instructor Licence.
FitPro: What was your route into fitness?
Claire Owen-Pockett:I found six months after getting married first time around that I’d put on a lot of weight, so I joined a local gym. I became hooked on the classes – step, circuits and LBT – and wanted to become qualified myself, so did ETM and Gym qualifications. To me, these are essential building blocks for further development. After securing several aerobics-based classes, such as low impact and LBT, I soon qualified in step and circuits.
FP: Tell us more about your work as a fitness professional.
COP: I started teaching in 1997 and loved all the formats but found that step was taking its toll on my knees and hips. I wanted to find something a less stressful on my body and increase my overall strength, so I qualified in 2008 in Les Mills Body Pump and then Body Combat. All the ‘stress’ of spending hours every week working on class plans disappeared. I became passionate about these classes and worked hard to deliver safe, effective workouts every single class.
FP: What advice would you give to your younger self or someone starting up in the industry?
COP: Whatever life throws at you, don’t give up! There are a few ways we can deal with challenges. Is it within my control? If yes, then look to do something about it to change the situation. If not, then why spend time stressing over it? I also like an acronym I learnt on my ETM training – KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid – and it’s something I still use today. Above all, the challenges we faced yesterday make us what we are today.
FP: How would you describe the current fitness market?
COP: The fitness industry is changing – with the pandemic, we have proved we do not need to teach endless classes in a studio. I have now launched my own business, teaching solely online, unaffiliated to any club. Although this was an easy decision for me, it was also very scary! What if my lockdown followers didn’t want to stay with me? Am I good enough to make this work? What products can I offer?
One of those answers was MOSSA! Being unaffiliated, I could no longer teach Les Mills but then, like a knight in shining armour, MOSSA came to my rescue, allowing me to transition from Pump to Group Power and Combat to Group Fight and leading me back onto the developmental path again. Many of us need to learn new skills/programmes for, if we don’t offer what our customers want, we’ll have no customers! Another factor of online fitness is that people spent money on equipment during lockdown and want to carry on using it, rather than put it in the shed to gather dust. They also love the fact that, while many still work from home (as do I in the day job), they can roll from their laptops and into their workout space. In the words of Bear Grylls, “Improvise, adapt, overcome”.
FP: What does the future hold for you in the industry?
COP: I’m hoping my online business will grow and succeed and it is my full intention to continue to work in this space. MOSSA is a big part of this future as, while my customers love my freestyle classes such as circuits, they also love having Group Power and Group Fight on the timetable, proven programmes with proven rewards and, of course, the science behind them to back them up.
FP: What is your fitness journey highlight?
COP: I think the time I’m in right now is my highlight. Having spent years working for clubs who don’t necessarily provide customers with what they want or listen to their feedback, this forms a big part of my business model – what do customers want and how can I achieve that? Again, MOSSA is a big part of this. When I asked my customers if they wanted similar programmes to what we’d done in the studio, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”
Interested in hearing more about transitioning to a MOSSA Instructor Licence? Head over to our website.
Claire Owen-Pockett lives in Gloucester and is qualified in ETM, step aerobics, gym, circuits, spin, yoga and is currently qualifying in Pilates. She runs around 12 classes a week and, during the day, she is an analyst in financial services.