Updated: Aug 10, 2019
When Sebastian Ferrari became a personal trainer, he set about doing things a little differently to the norm.
His gym, FitStudioZ in Greenwich, is a gym with a difference. It offers seven private personal training booths which are fully equipped with the latest gadgets and around 200 trainers are signed up to use the gym.
Sebastian himself is a personal trainer with a difference. He’s not always been the figure of health you see today – he lost 40kg with the help of a personal trainer, and so began his passion for fitness.
Sebastian defies convention when it comes to personal training, which is why he’s the latest winner of our quarterly Personal Best Award.
We sat down with Sebastian to chat about his incredible journey so far and find out what the future holds.
Before becoming a personal trainer, Sebastian co-owned a business in the motorsport industry, building race cars – which is appropriate, given his surname!
In Sebastian’s words, it was a ‘fun and glamorous’ job – the only problem was, he founded this business during the recession.
It was during this stressful period that Sebastian’s weight ballooned, and the jumpsuit became his best friend.
“I’d always been overweight, even through school, but I’d just learnt to live with it. But when I was working in the motorsport industry, doing really long shifts, it got a bit out of control.
“I knew I had to sort myself out, so I got myself a personal trainer and trained with him for a year.”
Studying personal training
It was while working with his personal trainer that Sebastian gained a fascination with all things exercise. This curiosity led to reading a few articles, then to studying to become a certified personal trainer.
“After a year with the personal trainer, the results were amazing. I managed to lose 40kg and people would often ask me ‘what’s your secret?’ and in all honesty, I just did what he told me!
“Then I started reading up on the science behind it and I then understood why he told me to do all that.
“I got really interested in physiology and my brother said why don’t you give it a go and see how you get on?”
Realising he could make more money from personal training than working in the motor industry, Sebastian decided to turn his passion into a career.
He studied for an NVQ in Personal Training and Business Development at Future Fit while also working as a personal trainer on the side.
It’s safe to say Sebastian learnt a lot in his early days as a personal trainer – and this experience has stood him in good stead in the years since…
Breaking into the industry
“My first day as a personal trainer was quite daunting and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t doubt myself initially.
“I wasn’t the sporty boy at school, I wasn’t captain of the football team, I wasn’t maybe what you expect when you think of a personal trainer.
“But I found the strength from somewhere to make it work. I was lucky to be at Future Fit, which is a fantastic school and taught me a lot of the interpersonal skills you need to be a personal trainer.”
Sebastian set himself apart by doing what any good personal trainer should do – establishing a niche. His niche was weight loss, an obvious choice given his own struggles.
“I would train clients who had similar issues to me before I became a personal trainer, like stress eating and low self-esteem. I think they liked that I’d been there and could relate to me.”
Before he knew it, Sebastian was picking up more and more clients who wanted to lose weight, and his career started to take off.
Gaining business experience
Upon graduating from Future Fit, Sebastian became the director of Proven Personal Training in Greenwich. Here, he learnt a variety of business skills which have proven invaluable throughout his career.
“A lot of personal trainers lack the necessary business skills to survive in the industry once they’ve become fully qualified.
“They don’t hold themselves like businesspeople and they struggle with things like billing, taxes and invoices. Thankfully, I had previous experience of running a business, so this helped me set up my personal t