Name:  Oliver Mansfield

My job title: Exercise and Rehabilitation Specialist

How I got the job… Twenty two years ago I was lucky enough to land myself a job in a personal training studio. It was daunting, I was on the floor working with people having to learn a lot, but it was amazing. I had to do the American College of Sports Medicine qualification, which I failed three times. I learnt that I had to study, which set a precedent on my journey to my success and my education.  

My position in a nutshell… If I am working with a new client, depending on what they want to see me for, I want to gather as much information as possible about them, how they live, their physical situation, their mental and their emotional situation. For example, if you came to me with a lower back issue, I would want to assess the length tension relationships of your muscles, your posture, rib angle, neck, head position, eyesight, jaw. I would also want to know everything about your nutrition, sleep, hydration. I gather as much information as possible so I can prescribe exercise in a scientific way. It’s about listening and understanding what the client wants – is it preseason, post season, or for a specific job etc.  

My typical day… In the mornings I am in the studio seeing clients and, in the afternoons, I am at home in my office working online, either coaching clients, writing programmes for them, or producing work for companies or executives. I now do a lot of work with coaching which is slightly different to training, but is important, as you will be there for clients on a multitude of levels. I may be working with an executive who has huge stress levels because of their job, but also how they are treating their bodies. They may be suffering from adrenal fatigue and, by prescribing them the right form of exercise, rest and nutrition, we can get them back to a place where we can start to build strength, power and performance.

My most memorable moment… Passing any qualification means the world to me as I know that I have done it for the right reasons. I take a course because I have hit a block with clients who aren’t getting better and I’m not meeting their demands. I have done lab testing on understanding the gut and hormones, I’ve studied strength training, power training, how you become faster/slower, how to recover – all to ensure that I am able to meet the needs of my clients.

The worst part of my job… When I was younger it was the early starts. I ended up burning myself out as I was going to bed late, but getting up early. However, this helped me work on myself and understand how others may react – some of my worst moments have become my best moments.

The best part of my job… The messages of gratitude – hearing a young woman or man feeling empowered, breaking an addiction, or getting stronger – this means the world to me. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing people and most of them have also become my friend.  

The key skills/attributes needed in your role… Listening and detective work – be hungry to learn. You are your number one client, understand what is going on with yourself – listen to your body – what do you want to improve? And let that help you understand how you want to help other people.

Advice for someone looking to go into something similar… There are so many podcasts and videos out there – enjoy them and educate yourself. Paul Chek – he is phenomenal when it comes to the physical body, physiology, and holistic health. Anthony Robbins – you can see a lot of his behavioural, psychology work.  Joe Dispenser with his state changing work. Charles Poliquin with his strength training. Let’s get people healthy and fit and happy.