Nick Jack was working, what others may call, the ‘dream job’. Regular promotion and salary increase, this is what everyone wants, except Nick. Right from the start he knew what was his passion, that is, health and fitness. He now lives his life as if it was his last, no turning back, no regrets. Read his inspiring story below.
Tell us your story, who are you and how did you start in the health and fitness industry?
My name is Nick Jack and I have been a Personal Trainer for 10 years now and own a business called No Regrets Personal Training (www.noregretspt.com.au). I got started in the Fitness Industry for various reasons. Firstly I was good at many sports and loved to do any form of exercise from a young age. It was all I wanted to do, I just never quite made it to a professional level so the next best thing is to train people. Secondly I had suffered many injuries in my sporting career and became reasonable educated and interested in the rehabilitation field. But the main reason I got started is also the same story of how I came up with the name No Regrets.
Way back in 2003 I was working in a full time Sales position as an account manager with Global Food Giant Nestle. I was very good at my job, but as with most positions this days it was very stressful and required me to work over 50-60 hours per week plus travel of 2 hours. And as I was getting promoted regularly, my pay grade increased and my time to myself seemed to decrease. I had always been heavily involved in sports and still was playing competitive high level basketball and tennis which both were being sacrificed due to work. This seemed to make me even more frustrated and angry at times as this was not “living the dream.” But like most people I continued on, sacrificing my health, happiness and dreams to do something that I felt I had to do.
Then…….. It all came to a massive halt! While at a party to celebrate a friend’s birthday I collapsed and landed on my head, fracturing my skull. This left me in hospital for several days, and with a chronic headache for several months. And to this day I still cannot smell or taste food due to damaged nerves behind my nose. But it was while I was in hospital and even more so when I got home that I realised I had a second chance and that I should not just settle for the life I had, but to do what I wanted to do, take risks, and be happy. Up to this point I had many regrets in my life, I had many chances to play sports at a higher level, and decided not to because it was risky. I had always taken the more conservative road, just in case something bad happened. The Mark Twain quote rings in my head almost every day, “I have lived through many bad things in my life, some of them actually happened.”
But now I decided I wanted to change my life and how I looked at things and from this day on have NO REGRETS with whatever I choose to do with my life. So within 12 months I resigned from my job, enrolled in a Personal Trainer course and got a part time job as a PT earning $16 / hour for 14 hours per week. A big drop in pay, but a huge increase in happiness and health! Within 6 months I had a full book of clientsand even though I was being paid a lot less I loved every minute of it and still do, because I get to do what I have always been good at, sports and exercise, and even better than that, get to show many other people how to make it fun and change their life. Just like I learnt to.
What were some of the biggest mistakes you made when starting out in this industry?
I followed the standard cookie cutter philosophy that still plagues the industry today. What I mean by cookie cutter is to have template programs for nutrition and exercise. The word PERSONAL should mean exactly that. Personal and a program that is designed only for you! But unfortunately there are many people who abuse exercise due to lack of knowledge and ignorance to what health is. I like everyone used a Fitness model to make people healthy because that is what I liked to do. However after a few years I realised I needed to create a HEALTH model to get people Fit. It can only be done this way, not the other way around which is what is found most places these days.
What is the most absurd excuse you heard from a client and how did you respond to it?
Client said, “I need to take a month off from training as I have a sore little finger that I jammed in a door.”
What makes your gym/fitness center different from others?
What makes No Regrets different to other centers is our ability to provide specific to you assessments and programs that address the underlying cause of health problems. Almost 50% of our client base is made up mostly of small business owners and people in busy occupations who are very time poor, have a family and are under high level of stress. As a result their health has suffered recently and they recognize they need to look after themselves with a method that will fit their busy lifestyle and achieve results. Unlike 24 hour gyms, most traditional personal training or group training services, that use a one size fits all approach either using body building principles or “go hard go home” style of training that firstly do not relate to your goals or needs, and secondly will inevitably ruin the person with too much stress already.
We at No Regrets Personal Training understand our clients needs and factors as we focus on assessing your weaknesses across all areas of health, physical, nutritional, stress, sleep and lifestyle goals. From this we can find the fastest and most effective method for improving health so you can achieve your true potential. Our team is made up of an Exercise Physiologist, qualified Chef, Massage Therapist, Nutritionist, 2 Lifestyle Coaches, 2 Golf Biomechanic Coaches and Sports Conditioning Coach. We have a wide array of talent and experience to provide the ultimate Health Program.
What is your greatest guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
I actually cannot smell or taste foods as a result of my head injury from 12 years ago so many foods I used to like are not the same. Having said that I like a nice glass of red wine.
Describe yourself in one word.
What are some of your best exercise/workout tips?
I have so many tips it is hard to know where to start. So I will keep it simple. My first tip is ALWAYS use a test or an assessment to determine what exercise to do. If you are not good at something it means you must find a way to become a master of this movement or exercise. Once you master that find another one you are not good at and start again. This goes for nutrition or lifestyle habits. I try to use this philosophy myself and also how I teach my clients. This is also very important for injury and rehab. Most people when injured from a certain movement will now avoid that movement whereas I take the approach of saying lets find a way to become great at that movement or exercise. Bacisally lets go towards it instead of away from it. It seems so crazy at first but makes sense when stop to think about it. A great quote from Tony Robbins is “If you can’t, you MUST”. My second tip is to always use what is referred to as the success formula for creating an exercise program. I have used this for many years now and it is the cornerstone of my programs for myself and clients. It works by always restoring flexibility problems first, then addressing and stability problems next, strength and lastly power.
Below is a picture explaining what I mean. My last tip is to focus more on MOVEMENT and less on MUSCLES. Nearly all personal trainers are taught to look at the body as a multitude of muscles all separate from each other. The body does not move like a robot, so why do we train people like this? This has been proven over 50 years ago to be completely ineffective for developing superior movement skills necessary for living life without dysfunction. Yet everyone still trains like this.
What are your goals or plans this year?
I have many goals for this year. But my main plan is to create a Functional Strength Training Program for Older Adults. For many years I have worked with many older clients. some very good others in real pain and I have seen a significant improvement in the clients who adopted strength training as part of their life. It is my mission this year to educate the community and provide proven methods and programs to help people enjoy their retirement years as opposed to living in doctors clinics on all types of medications. I have seen first hand how many of these chronic ailments , injuries and illnesses can be prevented with a well designed program based on movements.