David's Got The Fit Factor

Issue 48

You may assume that fitness trainers are a similar bunch. It doesn't matter whether they're standing in front of a room full of people or working as a personal trainer, surely they all do the same thing.

Wow.how wrong you are. You discover that major error of judgement as soon as you begin having a chat with David Fairlamb. To say he’s enthusiastic about fitness is arguably the biggest understatement going. David has been a personal trainer for over 20 years and sort of fell into it by accident when some of his friends, fellow students and teammates spotted that he’s got a talent for devising interesting and effective training regimes.

“I played rugby union at school and also did well as an 800 metre runner.” said David. “I did so well that I was awarded a scholarship to attend Long Beach Academy in California. It was fantastic. The outdoor life and the warm, sunny weather really suited me because I’ve always enjoyed outdoor activity. The only snag was that I picked up a back injury which meant i couldn’t compete at the very top level. I had to adjust my training routine and suddenly discovered that people liked to join in. Before I knew it I had a crowd of people following my instructions.”

Consequently, when David returned to the UK, he decided to keep the personal trainer idea going.

And he’s blossomed.

He would initially do one-to-one sessions with a client on only a couple of days per week, but things steadily grew. It has now reached the stage where he has three private personal training gyms and eight trainers working with him. Last year he built the UK’s only private, self-contained, floodlit outdoor gym. He’s even got his own range of fitness clothing.

One of David’s most successful ventures is his Beach Boot Camps which he runs on Tynemouth’s Longsands beach. There are five sessions every week, although by far the biggest is between 9 – 9.45 on a Saturday morning when he has a huge turnout every week.

However, David isn’t just about keeping people fit via regular exercise, he has also devised various campaigns to help educate people about what is good…and bad…for your body. One of his most successful campaigns is called Sugar Clean Lean.

“This campaign has been running for over 15 years and the results have been staggering,” said David. “We all eat far too much sugar. Sometimes we don’t know we’re doing it because it’s hidden in various products and I believe it’s the number one factor behind obesity. I’ve written well over 500 articles for newspapers and magazines and have appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, all talking about Sugar Clean Lean. I try to educate people in a fun and informative way. This has led me to undertaking motivational talks with local companies and organisations such as MuckleLLP, Stantec, Northumberland Water, Flowserve, Northumberland and North Tyneside Councils. Companies and local authorities are keen to ensure that they have a fit workforce but, more importantly, a workforce that is educated and can control their health and wellbeing including of course their sugar intake.”

There’s no stopping him. In 2011 he set up The Great North Fitness Revolution whereby people had to make a pledge to change a couple of things in their daily life and over time the cumulative results could transform their lives. It sounds simple but can take a lot of willpower to make that change. His scheme has been so successful that it received praise from the government Health Minister, Andrew Lansley as a step forward in the health of the nation.

He also set himself a challenge. As part of the Great North Fitness revolution he launched a campaign to take eight people and promised to change their lives within twelve weeks, he called it the Fit Factor. He had over 600 applicants but eventually whittled it down to eight.

“Some of them were on the point of going into hospital for a gastric band operation. They were desperate to lose weight. They all followed my Sugar Clean Lean programme and I’m delighted to say they all lost a considerable amount of weight. Overall, the group lost a total of 32 stones and all of those who were booked in to have a gastric band fitted, cancelled their operations.”

In other words, David Fairlamb knows what he’s talking about and he’s got the success stories to back up the facts.

He took the success of the Fit Factor into his own business and runs similar six week body transformation groups throughout the year and has over 100 people enrolled. All sessions are conducted with a maximum of seven people. It is non-competitive; people are merely encouraged to do whatever they can. However, everything is monitored. All clients are given a food diary and receive a body composition analysis assessment every two weeks.

“It’s a medical self-help process really,” said David. “I encourage a healthy lifestyle and try to educate people into how to consistently look after themselves. I’m even doing cookery classes to show clients how to make delicious, healthy meals. I’d also like to see the national curriculum include topics on wellness, health and weight control.”

There really is no stopping David Fairlamb.

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