1. How would you define your personal practice?
My personal practice changes frequently. I have a very short attention span so sticking to one thing is very hard for me, I chop and change all the time between different practices but I do always focus on making my body stronger and more flexible as it gives me the freedom to pursue more things that interest me!
2. What turning points have you encountered on your movement journey?
Turning points for me were all injuries, I flipped a switch over night basically and at 24 years old went from doing absolutely nothing to practicing martial arts 6 days a week and doing fighter conditioning, I got very very broken. Each time something happened to me I refused to accept that it wasn’t for me and I learned from it. Not having healthy joints and good ranges of motion is a recipe for disaster if you want to do anything other than just burn calories on an exercise bike. Mentally I discovered that although technically I was very good, getting in a cage to fight just wasn’t for me, I’m too nice and apologise when I punch people… the strength side of training though, I really enjoyed and that’s how I ended up doing CrossFit.
3. What role has injury played in cultivating your current niche?
With martial arts I had hurt my shoulder and knee, and tweaked my back several times lifting, my coaching had taken a turn towards injuries and helping people to move better and pointing out points of compensation etc. The life changing moment though was an L4/L5 S1 disc protrusion with nerve impingement. I had never been in so much pain, even moving my little finger hurt my lower back, I wasn’t able to get any help or answers from anywhere so started researching myself. I now have no pain, I am the strongest I have ever been and I have been able to replicate the same results with many others, all through muscular retraining. Helping people is what I am most passionate about and that’s the experience that I have so that is kind of what shaped what I do and I am actually very grateful for it!
4. Do you consider yourself a teacher? Why or why not?
I never used to be open to the idea when I was younger, I always felt I wasn’t smart enough. My strength coach actually asked me if I would be interested in coaching as he seen that I had a way with people, until that point it wasn’t something that ever entered my mind, now I couldn’t imagine my life not being a teacher of movement, it is something overlooked by many, everything LOOKS simple and should be taught in such a way but the subtle complexities are real!
5. What has been your experience with physical education, both in the schooling system and sought out knowledge/ know-how elsewhere?
In school I had zero interest, I skipped most of school to stay at home and play guitar. Now though I cannot get enough of education! I would have to say that although qualifications are important and useful, a seminar by someone that loves their craft and has many years of real world experience is priceless, I have learned a lot more from a one day bodyweight workshop costing £75 than some other courses costing hundreds. Getting out of your gym and training with people with more experience than you in certain areas is worth every second! The exact same thing said by a different person could be all you need to bust through a plateau.
6. How do you involve your mind/ emotions into your physical routines?
This is a question I actually would have laughed at five years ago! Emotions make you weak I would say! Truthfully though they are so important to your practice. There is no way I use the same mentality when I am weightlifting and when I do flexibility work. Since I stopped doing programs I have really worked on a “how my body feels” basis, it takes a long time to be able to do that though and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that hasn’t a solid foundation in some sort of something…
7. What are your personal aspirations regarding movement?
How do you hope to find purpose and use in the skills you have built? Trying as much of everything as I can, and do it properly! My flexibility was always my limiting factor with a lot of things but now as my knowledge has grown I am eliminating my weaknesses and able to have a lot more fun with everything! Being the best coach I can be is very important to me, being in contact with more experienced coaches makes that possible and I am eternally grateful for the Internet!
8. How can people find/ contact you? Do you have a site or social media handle to share?
Best ways to reach me is either via my Facebook page
Or my email
Tom’s Recent Blog Posts
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The Things You Tell Yourself
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Hips Back Connection
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Spend Time with the Knowledge You Have
Principles of Shoulder Function
The Dangers of Misinterpreting Coaching Cues
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Your body is not broken, it’s confused