Health & Fitness Tips from Australia's Personal Training Professionals
Urban Fitness

Urban Fitness

Lee Sutherland

“I treat each client as a complete individual, regardless of whether they are flying solo or part of a larger group.”

80% of Australia’s population is living in urban areas. The cities themselves are constantly evolving to fulfil every need, whim and desire of its citizens, yet when it comes to a fitness regime that is truly suited to city living, well, they often fall flat.

The World Health Organisation suggests that the global urban population is expected to grow 1.84% per year between 2015 and 2020 and so finding a modern way of exercising is important in a world that is getting faster and closer.

Enter Lee Sutherland, who was frustrated at the lack of fitness and health options available to her and sought out to create something fresh and inspired by the city she lived in.

Lee wanted a form of training that made her want to get out of bed in the morning, set her brain alight and one that motivated her to lace up her sneakers after she left work. Most of all Lee wanted to feel supported and encouraged, not restricted by her surroundings. She knew others felt the same.

Her program, Fitness in the City, became a specialised health and coaching manual that utilised her experience in natural medicine and nutrition combined with a realistic approach to modern living.

As an advocate for eating healthy whole foods she could also see others who were confused by the latest fad diet, bogus quick fix regimes and understood the stresses and strains of city living.

Lee realised that gaining fitness in the city was an achievable goal, more importantly a teachable one, and was in demand on a large scale.

1 What drew you into the fitness industry and made you believe you could make a career out of it?

I first entered the wellness industry by studying herbal medicine and nutrition and then set about travelling the world. I was totally unsatisfied with what I was seeing within the health industry and felt that I could offer something different with my holistic approach and combine it with my knowledge of health coaching and nutrition.

The best thing is that it evolves everyday.

2 What does being a holistic personal trainer entail?

I treat each client as a complete individual, regardless of whether they are flying solo or part of a larger group. Everyone has different requirements and imbalances both in their structure, their hormones and their fitness levels. City life makes many demands of us all.

3 What are the benefits of a holistic personal training program?

You aren't bundled in with the rest of the herd. Ok, yes we live close to each other, but some classes I have seen, like those in city gyms, ignore injuries and the needs of the individual. Whether it’s a class of one or one hundred I separate each person out from the crowd.

4 How do you approach a new client?

I like to chat about what is happening in their life and decide what needs attention. The daily slog of urban life takes it out of us. Identifying goals is important; whether it is stress, PCOS, weight loss, lack of drive in life – anything.

We then build a relationship and create a program that is custom-made for them.

5 What advice would you offer students looking to get started in the fitness industry?

You have to have passion and drive, otherwise you won't last more than a year waking up at the crack of dawn. I also recommend you find a niche area to work within so you really own it and become an expert in that field, which will make you invaluable.

Finding a mentor to guide you in the early days is also helpful.

6 What is the secret to your success?

There is no secret; it is more about finding a system that works, learning from your mistakes and constantly looking to evolve. The blog, the fitness, the nutrition, herbal medicine and the health coaching, all add value for the client.

Ultimately people want someone you can trust, so if you can do that, you have something that makes you stand out.

Are you interested in getting into the fitness industry? Hear more real life stories from industry professionals here.

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