Many members will know the smiling face of PROACTIVE24 Manager, Steve Cockram, either from behind the front desk, out in the gym with one of his personal training clients or sweating through an RPM group exercise class. Here, Steve walks us through how he came to live in New Zealand from sunny England and how he utilises SMART goal setting to get results.

Since starting out in the fitness industry at the age of 17, Steve has continually developed his knowledge and career. As well as being an instructor, trainer and coach, the PROACTIVE24 gym manager has also trained and educated others to become fitness instructors and personal trainers.

“My passion for personal training and coaching stems from my enjoyment and satisfaction in helping clients to achieve goals, exceed their potential and change their lives and lifestyle for the better and for their future,” Steve says. “Working with a number of professional athletes from different sporting fields in specialised rehabilitation, nutritional and pre/post competition programmes have allowed me not only to immensely enjoy my continuing exercise and fitness journey, but to work with some amazing professionals.”

Known for his easy grin and enthusiasm when it comes to all things health and wellbeing, Steve loves using plyometric training (also known as jump training, increasing power by using muscles at maximum force in short intervals of time) and calisthenics (body-weight workouts) alongside strength training to create exercise programs rich in variety.

The trainer moved to Wanaka in 2018 from the United Kingdom, to take over management at PROACTIVE24. It was a big move for the fitness enthusiast, who had previously been managing the health club for London’s premier private sports club, Roehampton Club for six years. With 5000 members, it was a big change to move to the snow-capped peaks of Otago, but a challenge readily accepted.

“I wanted a new environment and challenge, and to work and live in New Zealand was a brand-new experience, with a chance for me to love what I’m doing and where I’m doing it,” Steve says. “Before working at Roehampton Club, I had managed gyms and health clubs in Devon and the south west and always kept my PT clients as a passion.”

Using SMART Goals to achieve more

Steve is a big believer in working smarter, as well as harder. Working with Steve always starts with a sit down to uncover the following goals and their moving parts.

S – Specific: Includes individual, small and targeted goals that come from an overall larger goal broken down into specifics

M – Measurable: How do you know when you achieve the goal/s? What are these measured against or what does success look like?

A – Achievable/Attainable: Is it within your power to accomplish these goals?

R – Realistic: Are these goals realistic to be achieved or do you/we need to reduce/increase the goal?

T – Timebound: When do you, the client want to achieve this by?

“I implement these into training and clients’ PT sessions by having regular conversations and revisiting these goals on a constant basis, as well as continual visual and physical analysis of exercises, mobility, strength, flexibility or whatever the goals may relate to,” Steve says. “SMART goals keep the clients accountable in their lives outside of the gym and whilst working out, they give the client focus, purpose, sense of achievement and also a staged progress report almost every session or week. These goals also keep the trainer accountable for giving the client everything they need in terms of the platform, the programme and exercises; the encouragement, the positivity, the analysis and the results obviously!”

Five steps to health

Steve has five key tips to instigating an improvement in health, which are easily adopted in everyone’s lifestyles as a way to keep in fine fettle. This is more important now than ever, with the stress of a changing world and COVID-19 nudging habits into daily life which can negatively impact health.

“Exercise for 30 minutes, at least four times a week with an activity that raises your heart rate to 70 to 80 per cent of your maximum heart rate,” Steve says. “I know it’s also common knowledge, but it’s always a good to be reminded to drink up to three-litres of water per day and get enough sleep! Ideally seven to eight hours per night. Set a routine for electronics to be put away or switched off, lights out and waking up at the same time.”

“Enjoy the physical activities that you do; enjoyment means that you look forward to exercise, not feel like you have to do it or don’t want to do it,” he continues. “Think about the calories that you ingest to the calories that you exert per day. Once you have a good idea of this, your eating habits can be tailored around what your body requires and not what your mind craves!”

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