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“Joining the army at 16 effectively forced me into exercise,” begins Phil Snowden. “Having completed three tours in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, I left after six years to work in the fitness industry as a personal trainer. The most important things I learned from the army were discipline, time management and respect for others.”

Changing lanes, Snowden was determined to make his mark on the fitness industry. Alongside his business partner Ross Cowan, Snowden opened the M.E.T.A Studio in Rochester, Kent. Diving into the unknown, the ambitious business partners were eager to learn and be educated.

“The functional cable machine is one of – if not the – best piece of training equipment you can find in a gym,” says Snowden.

Its versatility allows movements of the body to be isolated or integrated into any training programme.  What’s particularly special is that exercises can be regressed or progressed to suit the client’s abilities.

In the attached video I have chosen some of my favourite challenging exercises that I use for combined strength, mobility and functionality. They can be used as part of a circuit or normal training routine. The great thing about dual pulleys is that you can get two users on one piece of equipment but doing different exercises, so although it is one of my favourites, I still insist it is not the only piece of equipment in the gym and should be used as part of any PT’s arsenal to support a client’s goals.

In my own training I personally like to create a dynamic routine combining upper body with lower body in multi-planar patterns. Here I am doing a combined circuit consisting of 15 exercises for 20 reps, each as fast as possible, each with 60 seconds rest, aiming to beat the recorded time previously set.


Designed to push the boundaries and urge mudders to the next level, Tough Mudder® just got a whole lot more serious. The M.E.T.A team raised funds for a local charity last year and participated in the Las Vegas Tough Mudder event. Read how they got on here.

For full details on the M.E.T.A gym studio, visit the website here:

Will you take on the challenge?