Meet Mel Kent, PerformancePro strength and conditioning coach. Having taken an unusual route to her career in physical fitness, Mel brings a remarkable and perceptive wisdom to the PerformancePro team.
In between her sessions with clients, we were keen to find out more about Mel Kent, the newest member of PerformancePro’s prestigious coaching team.
Mel Kent started her career in the fitness industry three years ago, having previously worked in very different fields: law and politics. So what happened?
“I’d never felt particularly fulfilled in legal and political roles and often daydreamed about doing something less desk-bound and more interactive. Then, when Nordic Walking, lifting weights and the support of excellent trainers helped me transform my own health, I began to tentatively consider training others as a profession.
“This was quite a shock to people who knew me as more of an academic rather than sporty person, but I just happened to find my movement and fitness mojo a little later in life. Maybe if there’d have been a weights option at school P.E., things would have been different! “
Mel began by qualifying as a Nordic Walking Instructor and running classes alongside her other work. She enjoyed coaching and developing her knowledge so much that in October 2017, she qualified as a Personal Trainer.
Following further education and practice, Mel began to develop her love of strength training. As well as working with the team at PerformancePro, Mel is heavily involved in coaching a ‘ladies who lift’ programme. Alongside this, she also structures and delivers foundational strength training for beginners.
“As much as I feel that I’ve now found my ideal job, I wouldn’t change my previous experiences. They’ve given me a great understanding of what it’s like to be the busy client on the other side of the coach/client relationship.”
First and foremost, Mel was attracted to PerformancePro’s professional and educated approach to structuring and delivering training to clients,
“Using proven training principles, PerformancePro helps get the best return for each clients’ investment of time and effort. This is backed up with access to onsite physiotherapy expertise so we can work as a team to manage any issues.”
And away from the gym?
Outside of the gym, Mel maintains her interest in current affairs, social policy, architecture and the built environment. In her spare time, she can often be found reading, watching a play or visiting an exhibition relating to these themes. And to let off steam?
“When I need to let off steam, I like to let loose on the dancefloor to music I’m probably too old for!”
Lifting is Mel’s main love and she tries to move some weights three or four times a week, changing the structure and focus of her workouts depending on her goals and interests at the time. She also loves to walk and hike, especially in beautiful places when the chance arises. And she also keeps an open mind,
“In addition to my core regular fitness activities, I like to keep an open mind and try out new types of movement, especially those that might be outside of my expertise and/or comfort zone, such as climbing, spin, pole or even dance aerobics.”
Top 3 fitness Do’s and Don’ts?
– Find movement that you enjoy: an enjoyable exercise habit is more likely to be sustainable in the long term.
– Get your priorities in order: it is possible to work towards different goals at the same time, but some will always have to take precedence in order to succeed.
– Set realistic and achievable goals to work towards: there are many metrics of progress and these goals may change over time, but it’s good to have a focus for your training.
– Worry about what anyone else is doing: comparison is the thief of joy.
– Get disheartened by the odd bad workout: our performance in the gym is affected by many factors and not every session will be a great one. What is important is the trend of progress over time.
– Sweat the small stuff: the best results come from getting the big blocks in place and being consistent, not the tiny details that it can be easy to get distracted by.
For motivation Mel looks inside herself and encourages clients to do the same,
“Humans are more successful in pursuing and achieving their goals of any kind when they are in tune with their own values and what is important and meaningful to them. It’s much more satisfying to achieve something you’ve been aiming for if you chose that goal for yourself over something that you felt you should do, or someone you respect does, or your coach said you should do.”
With that in mind, Mel’s professional and fitness inspiration can come from a variety of places including her work,
“It sounds really cheesy, but I often get inspired by clients working hard to learn and improve. To offer the best coaching to them, I also need to have a growth mindset and continue to develop my professional expertise to best help them meet their goals.”