About Us

Based on the Devon and Cornwall border, near Launceston, Functionally Aware Fitness was established by Matthew Luxton BSc (Hons), Register of Exercise Professionals (Level3), due to the need to provide a mobile, high quality, reliable fitness and wellbeing service within West Devon and North Cornwall, covering areas including Launceston, Tavistock, Callington and Saltash at present . This mobile service allows you to achieve all of your health, fitness and nutritional goals from your own home, your workplace, in the great outdoors or in at the FA Fitness Studio.

At Functionally Aware Fitness, we understand that for many people, exercise in the past has not been fun, rather it is seen as a boring, relentless, tiring and possibly even an uncomfortable chore. However it doesn’t have to be that way! Functionally Aware fitness uses the latest contemporary methods mixed with the more successful traditional training methods to create a truly unique and positive experience for its clients.

Exercise provides countless physiological, psychological and social benefits, and should be something that we all enjoy doing, and want to do. Therefore one of our main aims when working with clients is to ensure the training is as enjoyable, rewarding and beneficial as possible, making sure that they stay motivated and on course to achieving their goals. You will learn and master many different exercises, utilising many pieces of equipment and training methods, and then actually see and feel the results.

The success and reputation of Functionally Aware Fitness to date, is based on the results and experiences that our clients feel and achieve, so you can expect a dedicated, motivated and professional trainer and to be provided with an effective, holistic programme that has been created specifically for you, based on your needs, circumstances and goals.

 

 

 

 

About Matt

Where I Was Before Today

I joined the ‘fitness industry’ at the age of 17. Before this time I spent a lot of my free time playing and enjoying various different sports, ranging from rugby to horse riding, golf to cricket, swimming to football and tetrathlon to decathlon. All of which I think have helped me to become somebody who understands how people feel in an individual environment and a competitive environment.

I guess that I also had many different levels of experience, I was part of the England Rugby Academy based in Exeter, which gave me a glimpse of the elite level, I competed at county level for decathlon and was part of a team at regional level and also played golf and cricket socially.

I also had been doing my own thing with my weights and conditioning programme, reading and being fascinated by programme design, how to make myself faster, stronger, more agile, it all just appealed and I guess I just wanted to be the very best I could at my main sport, rugby.  I also wanted to be recognised as someone who looked after his body and health.

Outside of the free time I was involved in my studies at GCSE and A/S level as I knew that I wanted to be involved with physical activity and sport in some way. I actually thought I wanted to be a physiotherapist at one stage, but when it came to it, I just didn’t find it stimulating enough, so headed towards my real passion, health and fitness.

In terms of work, I worked part time at a local leisure centre as a swim coach and lifeguard and ran coaching sessions for children on health related exercise classes, built around fun. I then got into doing gym inductions for people who just started at the gym at the leisure centre, which was great. But I just felt I could do more, but wasn’t allowed to due to my level of qualification at the time. I had people asking me to write them programmes and train them, but I had to say ‘sorry but I can’t’. That really got to me, and enough was enough, off I went on my mission to get what I needed to help more people.

Life was pretty amazing to be honest, looking back on it I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunities I have had, to be involved in so many different social networks, has helped me connect with so many clients from so many different backgrounds.

I was a student, so my income came from part time work at holidays on strawberry fields, chinese takeaway (Really!!!), building, green keeping on a golf course and lifeguarding.

This variety of work also helped me to appreciate the value of everyone as an individual, because I hated doing some of these jobs, but really appreciated that for some people this was their passion. I love the fact that we are all passionate about different things. I also felt that I learnt how to work with people who were older than me and those who were more experienced in every aspect of life and learnt to accept advice and be someone who could listen. Which I think for many people at my age, this was a difficult skill because they were so used to being listened to.

I was happy meeting people and working with them. The one thing I realised was that I couldn’t go to work and do the same things every day. I was lucky to be combining my studies with part time employment, but to be honest it was a real eye opener, and I began to realise that I had an opportunity to make something of myself or settle for anything. That wasn’t in my nature, I knew what I wanted, and so off I went!

I wouldn’t say at this stage I was unhappy at all, but I began to realise and create clarity about what I wanted from life.

When I was at primary school I told my mum that I wanted to be a PE teacher, and then as I grew a little older, I thought I would like to be a physiotherapist. I think this was shaped mainly by the fact that I had my fair share of injuries during adolescence and appreciated the help I had received from physiotherapists along the way. As I became more competitive at rugby, I realised how much was involved in competing at an elite level. This was amazing and I couldn’t get enough at that time in my life. I loved the different styles of training and the effects it had on my body. My friends used to and still do enjoy training with me ( I love training with my friends) mainly due to the fact that we always do something a little different and they love the effects , rather than just doing the same old, same old.

So as you can see getting into fitness didn’t just happen overnight. My journey into the fitness industry came from a very positive experience of school PE and then into my adult hood with positive experiences through sport and PE. I would say my journey was more than just a flash in the pan moment, more of an evolution.

I don’t think I actually chose fitness, we chose each other. This was my passion, I saw the benefits, I loved the fact that you could essentially create the body that you wore and competed in by your actions on a day to day basis. We just had a special bond.

I like to share information, so for me it was a natural progression to share the knowledge I had gained in a relatively short period of time with my friends and then to the public.

 

From The Fitness Industry to The Fitness Professional: Not all plain sailing!

So I started my journey in fitness as a gym instructor at a local council run leisure centre. I was and still am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work here as this gave me a chance to see what was involved. I was at first really happy to be showing people how to use machines and giving them the benefit of my short but positive experience of exercise.

However, it soon became frustrating, after only 2 to 3 months of doing this, I just felt that I couldn’t really help people be the best they could due to my role within the gym. I only had an hour with these clients to show them how to use the kit and after that there was nothing I could really do. I worked shifts and I never knew from week to week whether I would be there or not.  There was no system in place to take them through a progressive and holistic programme, no nutritional advice, no lifestyle coaching, no support network. I guess it would be very lonely place to be. I didn’t like this.

I knew at that age (17) that I didn’t want to be part of a commercial gym chain as there just wasn’t the individual attention that the clients deserved. The ‘hi and bye’ culture just wasn’t for me. Now that’s not to say that there is nothing to be learned from these types of establishments and it certainly doesn’t reflect the qualities of all the staff. Case in point I believe was when I went to work in Los Angeles at Gold’s Gym, Venice Beach. Yep, the Gold’s where Arnie (Schwarzenegger) trained. An interesting place let’s just say. I had the time of my life! I got to work with some of the top trainers in the USA.

But, the restriction of working directly under someone else’s rules didn’t appeal to me. I felt I had much more to offer and could help the people I met far more if I could learn and become a better me, rather than a clone of someone else.

At 17 years of age and probably for a couple of years after that I was somewhat blinkered by my previous lack of experience. I guess you could liken my view to that of a fork inside a plastic food tub. I only knew what was in there. Once someone showed me the way to the top of the tub I saw the table and suddenly I knew there was a lot more out there for me.

So after working in these different environments I decided that the best way for me to help more people was to go about it by setting up my own company, which I did in September 2008. Sure it was a big risk, in a recession, I had my doubters. But to be honest my belief was always greater than their doubt. I knew that if I could get my first client and help them, I could show people what I could do.

I wanted to give a personal training/coaching service that addressed the individual as an individual and not in a one size fits all approach. So rather than just doing the standard questionnaire and showing them how to turn on the equipment and take the pin out and put it in again, I wanted to develop an approach that addressed posture, nutrition, lifestyle habits, exercise efficiency and recovery techniques.

I wanted to provide a support network, whereby people could get access to me outside of working hours. This really came to fruition with the launch of my VIP members’ site. This is where I host all of my articles and videos to keep my clients up to date with what’s on offer and pass on the knowledge I have learnt to them.

I also felt that people’s view of the gym was limited by what they were shown in that 1st hour. Often they wouldn’t get any extra exercise guidance that could show them how to use even their own body weight. When you consider what we are actually born with, there is so much scope for improvement, but instead gyms will get people sitting on machines or staring at a mirror or TV whilst pounding on the treadmill. Now that would bore me and I love exercise, so what about those people who are undecided or had a previously poor experience.

Part one of my mission was to make ‘exercise’ FUN! It just has to be. You have to enjoy the short term discomfort of the exercise to help people adhere to the bigger picture. You just can’t expect to hand out generic, 10 minutes of this, 10 minutes of that crap and expect people to get turned on by that!

Part two was to develop and implement on a daily basis, a results driven system that gives people a second to none experience.

Breakthroughs

After deciding that I did not want to merely be part of some big chain of fitness entities, I sought the best of the best for my education. Initially after having gained my degree in Sport & Physical Education, I applied to gain work experience in the world famous Gold’s Gym, Venice Beach. I was successful and gained a huge amount from working with some of the best trainers in the USA during my time there. I actually helped to film a production with ‘Mike’ a trainer who was voted in America’s top 10 trainers for the Discovery channel.

Whilst there, I went on a course with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, where I became aware of the Corrective Exercise aspect of personal training. This fascinated me, as I could see that I could make a real difference to the people I served.

I already had a ‘good’ all round knowledge, but I wanted far more than that. I wanted to be awesome at it and deliver great results and great experiences. Part of this comes from me having a very positive experience of sport and PE as a child and I just want those who perhaps didn’t to find success through improving their health.

I think the corrective exercise knowledge I gained helped me to understand a lot of the ‘why’s’ behind what I was originally taught at university and during my YMCA fitness professional qualifications. I built upon this through my learning with Juan Carlos Santana (Institute of Human Performance), with his 4 pillars of human movement, helping me to understand the way people move and function day to day. I genuinely believe that this helped me to give so much to my clients in a very short space of time, because all of a sudden they can move better.

So I looked on the internet initially to see where I could find Juan Carlos who had been recommended to me by ‘Mike’ from Gold’s Gym and ‘Howie’, the manager at Gold’s. These guys were really forward thinking for such a big commercial gym, they were a fantastic advert for what can be achieved in a culture of machines and mirrors that dominates LA.

I then found that there was a seminar in Long beach, which was about 2 hours drive from where I was living. I then realised that this was no ordinary seminar. This was the ‘who’s who of the fitness industry’ talking over 3 days! IMMENSE! I had found the World Functional Training Summit! Get in!

So off I went for 3 days of ridiculously eye opening education. Whilst I was there Juan Carlos Santana (IHP) came over to me and asked me how I found the lecture/seminar. I actually replied ‘I thought I knew a lot, now I feel like I know nothing’. He replied, ‘you see, you are like your fork inside your plastic tub (which was full of chicken, some things never change), you only know what’s in there. Now, because i showed you to the top of the tub, you can see the table and suddenly there’s a whole load more out there for you.’

Wow!! This was the moment that sparked my drive for education into oblivion!

I then sought JC’s Functional Training Specialist Diploma of which I am one of only 4 in Europe to hold the qualification. I also bought many books on structure and function of the human body, deeper understanding of this has helped me to ‘fix’ clients very quickly.

I also attended courses run by Dax Moy , including the Kinetic Chain Assessment, Integrated Performance coaching and Elimination Diet Coach.

I won’t bore you with a list of the qualifications and courses I have done right now, but its suffice to say that in 3 years I have spent well over £20000 on my education and personal development.

It really has been an eye opener for my girlfriend of at least 7 years (she will shoot me now for not knowing the exact number :) ), I used to hate reading, now I have an extensive library of training books, nutrition, life coaching, stress management, anatomy, physiology and many more topics.

 

Frustrations to Fulfilment

As with any journey, my journey from taking myself out of the ‘fitness industry’ and into the ‘fitness profession’ has not been without a few frustrations.

I was frustrated by the number of courses that are run seemingly to just get accreditation and not actually based on the content of the course and what you can give to a client. The whole ticket for this, ticket for that just gets to me. I found that a lot of the so called leaders in the industry we not actually leaders, in fact I felt that on some of the courses I may have been able to run a more informative programme, that left me with more questions than clues.

It was frustrating as when you work hard you then spend hours travelling and a lot of money on these courses to then be disappointed with the content and the amount you can take away. It was at this point I began to distance myself from the courses that tried to solely sell themselves based on points or accreditation to some organisation. I seek education from those who get results with good morals and underpinning philosophies.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that there was nothing to be gained but the standard of the education I now choose is above and beyond the course description. As I always say to my clients, try to surround yourself with positive people because these are the ones who are happiest, perhaps for a reason. The courses I attend seem to be full of achievers, success breeds success.

It is really important to me to seek this level of education because there is no way I am going to slip into the ‘fitness industry’; I am staying in the ‘fitness profession’. The person who is in the industry cannot see beyond the hours they work, as a professional I see it as my duty to serve my clientele and community to the best of my ability and that is what I will do until the day I finish as a fitness and health professional.

By striving for excellence, this excites me every day. Whilst I am aware of where I want to be held within my profession there is an element of excitement because I don’t always know what opportunities are around the corner. Sure I am a person who seeks a strategy rather than random opportunities, but I still like the air of spontaneity that makes my professional working day a pleasure not a chore.

I love the quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: ”Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You”.

For me this optimises why I like to seek improvement every day in what I do and how I serve my clientele. I feel that I have been given this gift for a reason and I will persue it until I fulfil it.

The overriding benefits to my clients would be a holistic approach to everyone as an individual and an ability to be able to serve them better. So with me as their coach, they can still play their game, but they play it much better with me in their game than without!

I would like to think that they leave me feeling educated and empowered to make fantastic life long decisions for themselves and their families. This is the bottom line, any client of mine once they have achieved their goal, must feel empowered at the end of their time with my company to make healthier decisions thereafter, otherwise I have failed, even if they reach their goal. Sure they may fall off the wagon from time to time, but who doesn’t, it’s just knowing how to get back on!

From my business point of view, with everyone getting the results and a 1st class experience that is incomparable to others, this will help my business grow into a well known entity based upon delivering results to my clients wants and needs.

I think that in terms of knowledge it was the World Functional Training Summit in Long Beach, CA, where I met Gray Cook, JC Santana, Mike Boyle, Todd Durkin and many other leading fitness professionals in the world, that really opened my eyes to what I could deliver. Then in all honesty it was the work I have been able to do with Dax Moy on his Kinetic Chain Assessment Course, Elimination Diet Coach and more recently the Integrated Performance Coaching Course that has made the service I deliver a more holistic approach and fulfilled experience for my clients.

I think that to single out any of the above as ‘the aha moment’ would really do a disservice to any of them and there are others that could be included. They are all part of the knowledge base I have gained and I feel privileged to have been able to experience them.

I truly believe that this continual commitment to my education is enabling me to provide more answers to my client’s questions. More solutions to their problems and helping them to be more empowered to make the best decisions for themselves, taking the guess work out of the equation straight away.

For myself it just helps me to seek new knowledge and skill sets all the time. I always view each course attended, each book read and each new skill set as added value to the service that my company provides. It helps me to feel confident that if a client has a particular problem then I can solve it more often than not.

 

AHA….

I remember this moment. I was at a conference in Long Beach. It was the World Functional Training Summit, where I was exposed for the first time, to some of the world’s finest coaches! I still can’t believe what happened that day. It was as if someone switched on the light and opened the door all in one moment. I honestly felt like I had been let free and I now realised how I could develop my own philosophy, style and system to help my clients.

I wanted to be the very best I could, I always knew that, but I didn’t realise that this would enable me to have created a system that gets results every time for my clients. I am able for that reason to wake up each day and look forward to the work ahead, safe in the knowledge that I am helping my clients play their game better.

My business idea was initially about providing a service that was mobile or utilising other gyms facilities to train clients in. I soon realised that I needed a base, even if this was just a small room that I cleared furniture out of and replaced it at the end of a session.

I believed that every session should be progressive and specific to what my client was aiming to achieve. I just wanted to go the extra mile, provide a service that got results and gave an experience.

Initially I wasn’t sure of who I would be best suited to, so I was willing to help anyone who wanted help. With time and experience of working with my clients, I now know that during our initial consultation, if I can really help them.

I valued commitment (still do), so I wanted my clients to commit to me and I wanted to be able to commit to them. With this I drew up a client trainer agreement and got my clients booked in on a 5 week block, so both parties knew exactly what we were doing. Things are a little different now that I know how people work best.

I always want my clients to think about their technique or form before speed. I always thought this and it helped me to help my clients move better.

I wanted to provide an individualised assessment, so initially I used the NASM Functional Movement Screening Tool, assessed over head squat technique. This helped me to do this. I now use the Kinetic Chain Assessment tool developed by Dax Moy, integrated with other tests and assessment protocols I have learnt along my learning path.

I think that I have been able to connect with my clients, even though some of them are the same age as my parents. I have been able to show commitment and dedication to my clients which has helped me to develop a great word of mouth and referral system.

Initially offering the mobile service enabled me to show people what I could do outside of the confinements of a gym. This has helped me to show people that there is far more to exercise than just plodding on the treadmill or sitting on the leg extension machine.

The owners of the building that I currently rent my studio from respected my professional and thorough approach to each and every session I ran with them in the initial stages of my business. One of which is a client of mine still.

They then saw the potential synergy between our businesses, and this has enabled me to have a base in which I can train my clients deliver even better results, with more professional surroundings.

 

Born were the BLAST Training Systems

As with every successful system it isn’t built overnight and it doesn’t come without hiccups. I think I was so enthusiastic about the impact I felt I could have on people’s previous misconceptions of fitness, and initially I wanted to train anyone who wanted training. This to start with, left me feeling somewhat disillusioned when I didn’t get the very best results with some clients, but now I have a specific system that delivers results.

Other than that, I am very grateful that I have been able to surround myself with positive and Win/Win minded people. I have mentors in life and business all around me to help me make the right decisions up to now.

So far the biggest success has been the ability to deliver a personal experience to all of my clients. It’s not so much just about the biggest weight loss, inch loss or measurement improvement but more about the amount of people who have been able to experience an education that will enable them to make positive and healthy decisions for themselves and their family for the rest of their lives.

For me the link between the stresses on the body as demonstrated by Seth Godin, really helped me to truly identify the different aspects of the service that I was putting together.

These include postural stress, nutritional stress, emotional stress, lifestyle stress, exercise stress and many more. This has enabled me to look at my clients experience and make sure that in every area we deliver a service that removes stress before adding it.

I was then able to seek (and still seek) the very best educational courses and materials to create clear systems for the client to achieve the best possible results and have an incomparable experience.

A glimpse of the Success

When a client came to me and started the Hot to Trot Nutritional Plan, his mum decided that she would too start the plan and since then she has been able to come off of her steroids that she has been on for years after a serious stomach complaint. The education I have undertaken around nutrition is responsible for this and many other success stories.

I have had a 63 old male client who lived in fear of putting his back out daily due to a weak core and posterior chain, with a kinetic chain assessment and some simple muscle activation techniques he now completes 4 sets of 30s of FULL Press ups with relative ease.

Many of my clients experience huge gains in terms of range of movement, muscular strength and endurance and also health related measures of reduce body fat and in particular massive reduction central body fat stores. I put this down to the holistic nature of my education and appreciating that each and every one person is different, has different circumstances and deserves to be treated so.

As mentioned above but also more recently I have been able to help one of my clients shed over a stone of body fat in just under 10 weeks. In total now he has gone from 21 stone to 13 stone 8 with 16.5% body fat. Admittedly he lost a lot of body mass before starting, but the shift in the body fat levels has been brilliant in the 10 weeks so far. Some of my clients have lost 6 inches off the waist others are typically losing 8-16lbs in 4-6 weeks of training with fat loss being their goal. I have trained people to run their fastest ever marathons, run their first triathlon and ironman competitions. I have helped a client enter the Sunshine golf tour in South Africa with specific work for his golf.

With the BLAST Training Principles & Hot to Trot Nutritional Formula I use with my Personal Training Clients & Fitness Camp I have helped clients shed up to 7 inches off their waist, dramatically improve moods and skin quality.

The BLAST Training Systems have also helped people run multiple PB’s in various distances, complete ironman competitions, compete on an international stage for Team GB and in many other areas of life.

Aside from all the objective results the most pleasing part after the immense results we get is the experience that we are able to deliver to our clients as a result of a tremendous amount of investment in professional development and mentoring with the best in the profession from all over the world. I am proud of the results achieved thus far and this is what I am keen to continue doing, working with those people who are equally committed to improving their quality of life, health and well being.

 

 

Matt Luxton’s Hot to Trot Cookbook