Ian Tennant: Sports Massage Therapist & Elevate member

Here at Elevate we are all about community and working together to support each other’s fitness journeys. By sharing our journeys with one another it has helped motivate and provide a fantastic support network to our members and celebrate each others achievements. Each week we will sit down for a chat with one of our members so they can share their personal journey with you. This week we caught up with Ian, a Sports Massage Therapist, who has also kindly provided us with a discount offer for his services.

Hi Ian, please could you introduce yourself to everyone reading.

Hello, my name is Ian Tennant. I’m 41 years old and a fun fact about me is I used to breed to stick insects when I was a youngster. These days my hobby is spending time at the allotment. I really enjoy being outside and growing vegetables, knowing the things that I’m eating are what I’ve grown with my Dad and my Fiancée. 

You’ve been training with us a while now Ian, how long do you reckon it’s been?

It must be over five years now. I used to go to Dan and Foxy’s circuit classes before Elevate and really enjoyed the intensity and the community the guys created. I had many interesting conversations with both Darren (aka Foxy) and Dan about their views on health and fitness and how to train. It’s been a nice relationship to have developed over several years.

Could you tell us a bit about your profession?

My profession is sports massage, acupuncture and health coaching. I got into those areas because I had some injuries myself and tension from training also, at that time I was working a desk-based project management job. So, I decided to train to do sports massage and then added in the other therapy’s, treatments and health coaching.

It all came about because I was into being active and my fitness, it was a way to help other people who are also experiencing pain or discomfort through anything repetitive, whether it’s due to fitness or strain at work, but particularly for fitness related injuries, tension and pain.

What was it about Elevate that attracted you?

I think once I got a taste for the style of training that happens under the guidance of Darren and Dan, the atmosphere they create, the teamwork and the focus of the workouts, that’s what attracted me. I have been to other circuit training sessions elsewhere however, I felt that I wasn’t been pushed in the same way. It’s always that kind of supportive, friendly environment at Elevate.

Darren in particular is good at spotting if you’re slacking off a little bit. It’s like he has eyes in the back of his head, then he’ll give me a gentle nudge in the right direction. It’s all those things really that make you look forward to your training, but know you’re going to push yourself each time.

Could you share with our readers what your personal fitness goals are?

I think in general when it comes to staying fit and healthy it’s about how it makes me feel afterwards. I know that exercise improves my mood and there’s certain types of exercise that wakes me up. One day you might be in a bit of a sluggish mood or grumpy before training, but after your training it gives you a whole new frame of mind, all the little troubles of the day seem to feel less relevant and important.

Obviously at the same time I know exercise is good for our overall health. All the data, statistics and the science show us this, so you’ve got that knowledge that training is going to benefit you in that way. On a more superficial layer, by staying fit and healthy I’m going to look better as well but, it’s mostly about the way it makes me feel. I always feel better after a session at Elevate.

Has fitness always been a part of your life?

Yes, when I was really young, I was quite active and into different clubs but lost some interest in my mid-teens. Then around the age of 16-17 I got into the gym and running, so when I went to Uni I decided to join cross country, ever since then I haven’t stopped, we’re talking about 25 years now. It’s part of my life almost to the point of addiction at times. I think that’s something we have to be aware of, ensuring we’re using exercise in a healthy way.

Exercise is a good stress reliever, but it doesn’t remove the stress. I see this a lot with my customers. I think it’s important to highlight we can’t use it to mask stress, and I think in the past I’ve done that. But these days its part of my life and part of feeling well and keeping a good state of mind.

Is there a reason you chose Elevate over another gym?

I’d say it’s three things really.

The first is the community. It’s a very friendly, supportive bunch of people. I don’t personally suffer with anxieties around gyms, but I know people who do as they are worried other people are going to be looking at them or judging them, but at Elevate teamwork and being supportive is always encouraged.

The second thing I’d say is the quality of the trainers. Darren and Dan, in particular, and the newer trainers as well.

Finally, it’s the kit. You’ve got some really great kit at Elevate, stuff you won’t find in every other gym such as the sled, the way that it’s used in the classes is really good.

How do you manage you work life balance?

In terms of the work/life balance it’s an interesting question and it’s something I’ve written about in my book. It’s very easy, especially if you enjoy working, for it to become all consuming. I did a personal exercise a number of years ago where I looked at the way I managed my work/life balance. The way I used to think was, how much work can I fit in a week because there’s always a to do list that’s bigger than the amount of time to do it in and would then think how can I squeeze the rest of my life around the work.

Then 5 or 6 years ago I decided to flip that on its head and thought about all the things that are essential to my life so; housework, staying fit, going to the gym, time with family and friends, time spent at the allotment and so on. I then added up all those hours and decided how much time I wanted to allocate to those things so I can live life at a leisurely and comfortable pace. I then looked at how much time was left per week to work and that really flipped things on its head for me. 

It made me realise I had been looking at things the wrong way round and trying to cram my life around work. It wasn’t an overnight thing because I couldn’t just switch but, fortunately being self-employed, there was a way for me to do that.

As an offer for our members at Elevate Ian would like to offer you 10% off his services. Ian please could explain this offer to our members along with a few of the benefits to your services.

Yes, so bearing in mind my journey into the line of work I do came from injuries, niggles and aches from fitness and also from work-related tension. I’d like to offer everyone at Elevate £5 of one of my treatments on an ongoing basis, like a membership discount. My normal rate is £55 for a one-hour session but for Elevate gym users they can have a treatment for £50 for an hour’s session.

In terms of the beneficial side, I think when we train and are exercising a lot it brings to the surface little aches, niggles, pains and a build-up of tension in our body that we get from everyday life. People often say sport injuries are due to the sport but, actually it’s often due to the things we do the rest of the time. For example, they might drive a lot for work, or are sat at a laptop or they have other hobbies which are also repetitive. It’s then when they go to the gym and train, they push themselves and that will highlight where their body is storing the tension.

My work is to release that tension in their body and balance out the muscular system, so they move and train more effectively. Some people also just enjoy having a good flush out, especially if they’ve been training hard, it’s nice to flush through the lymphatic system and help all their waste products from training, such as lactic acid, to be flushed out.

I like to think of it as a maintenance. Our body is the only piece of kit we have for our whole life. We take our cars for services, change the oil and all of that, so it’s the same with the body. You can come and give it a little spring clean and a freshen up with a massage.

I think it’s important to say you don’t have to wait until something desperately needs fixing as it will help to improve to your overall performance, efficiency and movement.

Finally, could you offer one piece of advice to someone who wants to develop a similar fitness mentality to yourself. 

I would say variety is the spice of life when it comes to movement and exercise, something I think Elevate does well as every workout is different.

 If you feel you’re not able to work out, or train as much as you’d like and if you have a fixed idea of what that means then just try to be a little bit more creative. I think it’s easy for people to get stuck into a certain routine with exercise or with anything in life. To add some variety is important.

Exercise doesn’t always have to be fast or intense. I think slow purposeful yoga is good, even walking outdoors is a great idea. Of course, adding in some weight or circuit hit training is great but, variety is the most important thing. Variety keeps your body on its toes metaphorically but also literally as it’s stimulating the nervous system in different ways. It’s also great for avoiding things like repetitive strain injury.

Ian is an award-winning Sports Massage therapist based in Peterborough. If you would like to find out more about his services send him a text on 07812 901685 and quote ‘Elevate’ when booking.

You can also visit his website at https://restoringbalance.life/

If you are a member at our Elevate gym and would like to share your fitness journey then please get in touch info@elevatefitnessuk.com we’d love to hear from you.

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