Nick has been my personal trainer for about 9 months now and, without exaggeration, has taken my fitness, endurance and mindset to a different level.
I first met Nick when undertaking the Fan Dance in the Brecons as he was one of the Directing Staff. I then progressed to attempting the Test Week Marches and, having failed to make the cut at RV4 on Point to Point, found myself chatting to Nick as we walked back down to the bottom of the mountain.
At that stage I had just signed up for the Marathon des Sables (MdS) and whilst I had a basic level of fitness, knew that the MdS would be a major challenge (6 marathons over 6 days in the Sahara). Nick and I were chatting on the way down and without any hard sell he gave me a few ideas that I reflected on and following that I decided to contact Nick to see if he would undertake my personal training – and there it began.
Nick constructed monthly training plans for me from November until April (the MdS takes place in April) and they were comprehensive, varied and well balanced. As the months passed the plans became more and more challenging, however they were always balanced around my strengths, some of the areas that Nick knew would be relevant to the MdS and my ability to find the time to train.
As the plan for February arrived it was very challenging and I wondered if I could actually achieve that level of training, however I managed to make pretty much most of the plan and, most importantly, without any injury. In April I took part in and completed the MdS. Easily the hardest thing I have ever done and by far the main contributory factor to completing it and making the finish line was Nick’s training and support. The key points that differentiate Nick from other personal trainers are:
Knowledge/expertise/experience – Nick’s knowledge is second to none – not just about training, but also physical and mental considerations. His background in Special Forces brings an additional dimension and helps him to understand what goes on in people’s heads and how best to motivate them;
Support – Nick was very supportive, whether in the face to face sessions, on the phone or via e-mail. He always knew exactly where I was and what advice to give and it was spot on every time;
Challenge – Nick constructed some of the most challenging plans I have ever seen for me, but they were well balanced and I achieved them with his support. This challenged my mindset as much as it did my physical side and that is half the battle; and
Community – Nick runs WhatsApp and Strava groups which have a fantastic group of people on there who are supportive, knowledgeable, helpful and inspirational. They make training more enjoyable and help to motivate.
Whatever your goals, however challenging they may be, I would strongly recommend working with Nick. He will help you achieve things that you thought were out of reach and fulfil your ambitions.
TonyTony, age 52
Nicks knowledge and expertise when it comes to fitness and training is second to none. He explains very clearly the science behind why we do what we do and the goals that can be achieved. The progressive approach to training is manageable and clearly delivers results. I have been on a number of Nicks training days at Ivinghoe Beacon and genuinely look forward to the next. The sessions are tailored to be challenging but achievable to all ages and levels of fitness. On top of that it’s good to mix with like minded individuals, a very friendly bunch! I am currently following one of Nicks plans for the Paras 10 event, just over halfway through I can really notice the difference in pace, strength and endurance. I cannot recommend enough coming on one of Nicks training days and joining the group. You will undoubtedly see and feel the difference. The Whats App group offers a wealth of knowledge and tips on training and kit as well. If your ready to progress to the next level, looking for inspiration and motivation, drop Nick a line!
Richard, Aged 46
I met Nick in May 2012 working overseas where he used to train a group of us in his spare time. Back then, I was a good bit chubby and completely oblivious to how bad of shape I was in. At 26, I couldn’t do more than 35 push-ups or 4 pull-ups, and it was a real accomplishment to finish a 5K run. But, what changed for me is that Nick provided an environment to break through the suck part of working out – actually, he turned it into a complete blast. He always had a fresh training plan; good tunes, and knew how to challenge me so I’d feel like a British Special Forces bad ass. Getting some training in quickly turned into the best part of the day, especially when I started to see results. After a few months, I could get 30 pull ups in a row, could do muscle ups, was benching nearly ~140% my body weight, and could walk on my hands about 40 feet! CV went great too, as I was getting sub 7 min miles pretty consistent good times. I was by far in the best shape of my life, but what’s great is that his training has also stuck. I learned a great deal from his approach (strength, power, endurance, balance, flexibility) – and have been able to keep a focus on it to this day.
I highly recommend his service – as it will definitely be a smart move.Ryan
Having taken part in your training weekends and fitness days over the last year or two, just a few words to let you know how beneficial they’ve been. Whether it’s navigation, fitness or survival tips, everything has been outstanding with great company from yourself and those in your fitness group.
You’ve given me the tools to take my map reading skills to the next level. Being out on the mountain map reading in the mist is challenging but great fun. Every time I learn something new and I can’t fault the attention to detail. I was always fairly average fitness for my age but with your ability to push everyone outside their comfort zone, I have improved no end, getting older just means I’m getting faster and running further.
I have never entered races before but now find myself entering numerous ultras. I urge anyone who is looking to improve their fitness, or learn new skills to give it a go; you’ve got nothing to lose! Thanks for everything.Dave Sage, Aged 50
I am an outdoor enthusiast; I have known Nick for two years. Nick has helped me with developing my training sessions. I have been competing in endurance races eg (Para10, Avalanche Endurance Events – AEE Fan Dance). With Nick’s expertise, I have recently achieved my goal of breaking a number of PB’s. Nick is an expert at what he does. He has time for everyone. I would highly recommend Nick to anyone wishing to focus on getting fitter, stronger and healthier, wanting to achieve better results.
If you want to progress whatever your level, Nick is the ‘go to’ guy.
Whether your navigation, physical or mental toughness levels are minimal or advanced, I can absolutely endorse Nick’s training to push you further to achieve more. Since incorporating Nick’s regular training days into my fitness regime, I have seen my ultra PBs tumble by up to three hours. I have also increased my distances, successfully competed in Avalanche Endurance Events (AEE) Test Marches and now consistently achieve sub four-hour load bearing Fan Dances. Throughout the last twelve months I have found Nick to be 100% reliable in delivering fitness-training days. He is an approachable and exceptionally experienced instructor and regularly tailors training to meet the needs and expectations for individuals and groups for all standards. I have also benefited from meeting many like-minded people that consistently inspire and motivate me to improve. Nick’s contribution to my physical and mental toughness training this year is fundamental for me to achieve my most ambitious goal yet; a five day 240km ultra in the Arctic Circle in Feb 2019.D of Quigley, Aged 53
I’ve been on numerous hill fitness sessions and navigation days with Nick and they are always challenging and also educational. My navigational ability has gone from non-existent to being able to navigate myself across the hills in the fog!!! As a result of Nick’s help and guidance my fitness levels have improved beyond my greatest expectations so I have now started using him as an online PT to achieve my Fan Dance goal and other fitness objectives. His training plans are amazingly challenging and my fitness levels have increased quicker and to levels I didn’t think I could achieve.
Thanks to Nick I have completed Special Forces test marches run by Avalanche Endurance Events (AEE) and even run a marathon!!! I have also seen changes in my personality. I’ve become more self assured and confident which has had positive effects in my working life. If I am being honest, he is my hero!Rob the Joker! Aged 40
There’s nothing quite like running across the unspoilt beauty of the countryside with everything needed to be self sufficient on your back. Having the confidence to navigate your way to and from places you have never been before whether in a group or on your own with just a map and compass. The remote fitness coaching, group fitness and navigation training days offered by Elite Outdoor Fitness are a fantastic way to gain the experience, fitness and confidence to enjoy the outdoors in way not experienced by most. On a personal level the focused training and support provided by Ex British Special Forces Nick have taken my expectations whilst either training for or during an event, to a new level. Whether looking to build on past experience, take your training up a level, train for a particular race or starting from scratch the expertise provided caters for all. The support, encouragement and banter from the group always make training days a brilliant day out.Duncan, Aged 41
I first met Nick on one of Avalanche Endurance Events (AEE) Fan Dance races. He formed part of the Directing Staff & was stationed at the top of Pen Y Fan in severe snow & took our numbers as we checked in/passed through. Out of all the directing staff on that day. Nick stood out as being warm & approachable (yes, on a snowy mountain doing a military endurance event!!!)- Friendly, but a definite degree of SAS fierceness! As a direct result of Nick’s advice and confidence in my abilities, I’ve seen my fitness levels soar to beyond what they’ve ever been. I’ve recorded faster times, and even come close to winning the odd mountain load-bearing race, which if anyone knows me, would’ve seemed impossible a few years ago!
I was lucky enough to be on one of Nick’s first fitness sessions. He talked through the basics of self-sufficiency & survival on the mountains, map reading and how best to pack our Bergen’s. After the lesson we ran a 10k route around the area. This was my first run with a Bergen and Nick was nothing but supportive. As I lagged behind, he stayed with me and offered me loads of encouragement and good techniques for improving speed and efficiency. This knowledge I still remember and use today! His knowledge of fitness, nutrition and survival is quite literally limitless. Any questions I had were answered with genuine care and interest and it seems there’s nothing he doesn’t know!
I’ve attended two fitness-training sessions with Nick in the Brecon’s in preparation for numerous AEE races and one Test March. During all sessions Nick is friendly yet professional, upbeat & very goal oriented. I feel utterly safe with Nick and trust his judgment on all levels. I asked Nick for a specific training plan at one point, as I needed a more structured schedule for achieving a few particular goals I had. He provided a detailed and progressive plan that took me to the next level!! He was always on hand if I had questions or queries and was also incredibly supportive when I had a bad case of sinusitis having to pull back from training. He didn’t keep pushing me and actually suggested I stop training for a while – which was the best advice I could’ve ever received. A month on, after Nicks advice, I’m now almost fully recovered.
Like I said before, his knowledge is limitless & stretches beyond fitness and motivation. He is also a highly qualified nutritionist and knows so much about how the human mind works!
One thing that strikes me most about Nick is his extremely high level of outstanding confidence & motivation. It’s very infectious. He has often inspired me to push through when I’ve felt like giving up, and that anything is possible. Not only is Nick a hugely successful and fearless warrior, he is also a caring man that wants to see people achieve their dreams and goals, with a great sense of humour and an ability to see and bring out the potential of the many.
I’ve never met anyone as dedicated as Nick before and because of this; I will never turn to another personal trainer apart from Nick. If I wish to fulfil a fitness or life goal, Nick is the undisputed champion of this industry and gets results, fast, yet safely and healthily.
If you want to be the best, train with the best. Who dares wins.Ange Copeland, Aged 37
I started working with Nick after a brief chat with him whilst on MST duties on the Summer Fan. Many will know the sort of stuff I’ve done over the last few years, but if truth be told I felt like I was standing still a bit. The focus and commitment to my training wasn’t there in the same way it was previously, and after my injury (knee was completely lacerated down to the knuckle from a fall on to a piece of lava rock) and the subsequent surgery I had on my knee to repair it, I was convinced that I was then at a level that I couldn’t push past.
After The 100 Peaks I went through the motions with my training really, just doing enough to make sure I could cover the (marathon and ultra) distances I needed to cover comfortably, without over stretching myself, physically and physiologically. However, I quickly determined that I needed to be more than that, I was getting nothing out of my training and even less out of the events I was doing. I needed something to change or indeed someone to look at what I was doing and give me new impetus and a different approach.
With a plan set for Chicago Marathon in October gone, I then set myself a target of running a 3:05 marathon in 2019. The time I need to qualify ‘Good for Age’ for the last of my American World Marathon Majors in New York, the actual target is a Sub 3. I’d been playing with the notion of getting someone to help me for some time but had struggled to find anyone who I trusted enough. I didn’t want someone involved who would give me something generic given to every Tom, Dick and Harry. I wanted a plan that was tailored to my goals, that would push my limits and develop me consistently.
Given Nick’s background and knowing he’d know what my focus was, I decided to put my trust in him. My brief to Nick was that I wanted to run a Sub 3 marathon at some point in the very near future and break the 3:30 for the Fan (if I do it again). Plus, at some point in the future, I wanted to compete in the MdS and on bigger ultras.
Nick asked me if I do much ‘weighted’ stuff to which I stated that I didn’t, other than when I need to in the near build up to an event. I never took much stock in the notion of doing the weighted runs consistently, believing if anything that it would be counterproductive to the results I was looking for. Nick introduced that aspect back in to my training, alongside greater structure to my run sessions, insisting if I want to get faster and stronger, then I need to trust him. I duly did, and I’m glad I did.
Whilst come Chicago I didn’t hit a PB for the marathon (not that I expected to), I did see a massive difference in my performance in terms of consistency and progression over the longer miles with a significant increase in strength and power as the miles went by. The actual race itself was hampered by stomach issues on the day, but the race I ran was the most consistent I’d run, since I’d run the distance in my mid-20’s.
Fast forward another 6 weeks and after my block of training in the last month once again I’ve seen a distinct difference in my pace and my strength over time and my endurance. My endurance has always been decent but again that has been improved dramatically. What do I put it down to? Simply, the plan and trusting in it and the process. Whilst I’m sure I would have noticed the progression in my training if I’d purely concentrated on running road miles and developing my sessions to build strength, speed, power and endurance, it’s with the weighted sessions I’ve noticed the progression most. It’s very evident (with pack on) that week on week there has been significant progress and I think as such it has become the barometer of the shape I’m in. And will become the benchmark for that measure too going forward.
However, the crux, we all know (or should), irrespective of a plan, if you don’t have the focus and commitment you need to achieve your goals, the plan and process is next to useless. Therefore, if you want to improve, if you want to go beyond your perceived levels, if you want to see what you’re truly made of, my advice would be, focus on your goals (one step at a time), be disciplined in your approach and have a plan!
I used to use the 1:40 (which was my last Paras’10 time) as that benchmark. I’m now well below that (with Nick setting me new targets) and although I won’t really know if we’re on target for the Sub 3 for the marathon for some time yet, as I said, I will trust in the plan, the process and my mindset to get me there.
Want to go fast? Go to Nick! Want to go far? Go to Nick! Why did I want to work with Nick? The evidence is obvious now, I wanted to go from someone who performed well on the challenges I take on, to someone who could use every last ounce of what I have to achieve and go beyond those previous markers and put down new ones. For me, that should be the minimum for us all no matter the level you perceive yourself to be. Nick can get you where you want to be, but you have to trust him, put the work in and more importantly, trust yourself!Karl, Endurance Athlete Aged 42
Nick’s approach to hill and weighted fitness is motivational and life changing. As a former fell runner, he’s reignited my passion for the hills and made me a better person for it. He’s an excellent coach, shares his experience openly, and knows how to get the best out of you. Last year, at 51, I completed the notorious SAS Fan Dance well within the Selection cut off time. I did the same this winter. If you want to get the best from yourself I strongly recommend Elite Outdoor Fitness is the place to do it.Rob
This training does what it says on the tin!
Despite being over 50 when I first joined in with Nick’s training and believing I was past my sell by date, suffering from Atrial Fibrillation, I now find myself up the Welsh hills carrying varying weight and pushing myself further than ever before. Working with Nick, the improvements are now speaking for themselves. What makes the days even more special are the friends you make in the sessions. I’m not looked down on but rather looked after and encouraged. I would suggest no matter what level you are at, IE like me, a beginner or to the more advanced physical types. If you’re looking for a real workout with exceptional advice, then look no further…
Update April 2019: Having just finished the Lyke Wake walk ( 40 miles in under 24 hrs ). I thought I should write a large thank you to Nick at EOF . When I first met Nick , I struggled to carry a bergan over any sort of distance and so don’t mind admitting having to hand it over to him to carry on one occasion . With Nicks help and guidance and the support from all the chaps and ladies I have met on Nicks training days and at events , I now find myself 2 stone lighter , a lot fitter and entering events I would never have even attempted in the past .. Take the Lyke wake walk for instance . Using all I had been been taught , I somehow found myself coming in as the first male walker even though I was the only person doing load bearing ( others having small day sacks) ..in 11 hrs and 40 mins .. I even managed a sprint on the last mile as an ex 65 year old female runner decided she wanted to be first female and had seen other walkers taking a short cut off the official route and went sprinting past me .. I managed to catch her on the finish line and came in first male walker (runners had come in at around 7hrs).. Taking stock I became a little emotional as I realised how far I had come .. Not only the distance but the fitness levels and motivation to go one step further … This may not be impressive to some groups but the guys and ladies at EOF are not ones for showing off but for inspiring to do and especially in inspiring others like me to do ( 50 odd year old )…. and in this case … You have inspired me … Not only with the training but those quiet chats and words that inspired me to do and to continue to do ..A very large thank you to allAn ever-youthful Daren R. Aged 52
Training with Nick has made a huge difference to my performance and enjoyment in events. Beyond Nicks technical knowledge, which is second to none, he has made a huge difference to my mental approach and preparation. Since starting to train with Nick I have not only improved my fitness levels on the hills, but have managed to approach events in the right state of mind, allowing me to expect more of myself and go beyond where I thought my limits lay. In addition to the valuable knowledge and coaching from Nick himself, he brings with him a community of like-minded competitors, who help to inspire, motivate and add to the fun of training and racing.Vernon, Aged 45