Meet the Trainers: Challenging Charman

Tom Charman has been a trainer at One Element since 2010 and has never looked back. He studied Sport Science at St Mary's University in Twickenham where he now takes the Mon, Fri & Sat sessions. Having wanted to pursue a career in Health & Fitness since college his love of sport and thirst for an evolving knowledge of training keeps him at the top of his game.

With a background as a personal trainer, a tutor and sports coordinator combined with a passion for teaching he has immersed himself into the world of personal training and group exercise.

How would you describe your philosophy on being fit and healthy?

It's not rocket science really; Keeping it simple is key to a fit and healthy life.

If you enjoy your exercise, use every available opportunity to do so, and educate yourself on the healthy whole food to eat - you can't go wrong.

So many conflicting theories can throw you and you lose sight of what is important.... eat whole and healthy food, not processed junk, and exercise each day. Don't follow up one bad day with another. Get over the bad day by making the next one a gooden. If you ate badly and didn't exercise today, make a plan to do the opposite tomorrow.

What does a typical day in the life of Tom look like?

Monday to Friday I am quite dull really;

  • 5 or 6am I'm up (maybe a snooze button here and there).
  • Breakfast (I wake up starving so never miss this meal)
  • First PT session is 7 or 8am through to around 1pm normally at clients' homes or in the park
  • Head home to eat
  • I train myself in the gym Monday to Friday so I will cycle from home to the gym and workout for an hour. I drive to sessions all day so want to minimise driving anywhere I don't have to.
  • Eat
  • Go to afternoon and evening sessions finishing between 7 and 8:30pm- if these sessions are cardio/HIIT focused I will join in sometimes to keep clients on their toes
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Weekends are for sport, relaxation and most importantly for family and friends. I've earn't my play time so I enjoy it!

How do you fuel your body for all the training you do? And what would be a top tip for Members...

I tend to cook meals from scratch and if and where possible I will prep for the day ahead the night before. I use protein supplements when I lift weights but only on the days I train as I may not always be able to cram a snack in.

On the whole I base my food around:

  • Lean protein
  • Big portion of fresh veg
  • Good carbohydrates
  • Big flavours and seasonings
  • Drink about 35ml per Kg of body weight in water per day
  • Snack on fruit, veg and nuts/seeds

I eat about every 3 hours, avoiding processed sugars and white starchy foods like bread and pasta. I always make sure I eat whole foods not processed. My wife and I use many "go to" healthy recipes from RESET that are speedy to make and full of fresh ingredients. If YOU made the meal chances are it won't be full of bad stuff.

Look at what you eat, how often and compare it to what you do in exercise related to your goal. If you are wanting to lose weight - drop processed sugars and booze down for example. If you want to build lean mass - eat more lean protein and good quality carbs after training to rebuild tissue.

DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST even if you don't like eating early, that is no excuse to starve your body before it's even got going. Get into the habit and it will become easy.

Eat the right carbohydrates, rather than no carbohydrates at all as you won't have any energy to train and recover. If you starve yourself which many of us do when trying to shed some timber - you will overtrain faster (not cool) and your body will go into starvation mode; holding onto fat stores rather than using them.

Experiment with meals - food should be enjoyable and tasty not a punishment for wanting to look and feel good. Your body needs it.

Who or what gives you the most inspiration?

My wife, family, friends, sport, clients that are striving to be better and the desire to be as good as I can be. I was not the healthiest of teenagers and can honestly say that at 30 I am fitter than I was at 18 thanks to the examples above and the industry I work in.

What makes you laugh, smile and feel happy?

My wife, my family and my friends. Simple.

What's your favourite quote or mantra you can't live without?

"As hard and horrible as it feels now, it will feel amazing when you achieve it and nothing can beat it!" - This relates to training and sport for me and is what my mate told me on completing an event.

"The only limit is your imagination" Which I always use when I am stuck for ideas in training with myself or my clients. I was told this by a lecturer at Uni when doing some coaching work.

What are your top 3 tips for keeping fit and motivated?

Eat well
Train well
Sleep well

How do you think One Element sessions differ from others out there?

It's all about the team. We try and give each member from newest to oldest the same level of our encouragement and time when needed. Nobody is better than anyone else and being first or last, fittest or strongest is not the be all and end all of the drills. Work as hard as YOU can. You should only be competing with yourself (unless you want to compete with others in the group intrinsically).

Friendly banter and encouragement for your peers is essential for fun. We always like loud vocal sessions. When we are on the sports field we like to be heard encouraging the team and keeping morale high. If anyone looks down, or is struggling it's our job to bring them back into the game. This is what we apply to our sessions.

Some people find it very intimidating to come and train with a new group if they have never done it before and their first impression will make it or break it. Learn the names of the group and give them all positive feedback. They have overcome barriers you don't know about to get through a session so never assume they are as confident and relaxed as you.

What's your favourite part of training outdoors?

Being outdoors is never dull. There is always something to see, smell, feel and do that was not the same as the day before. The terrain/landscape differs day to day and season to season which throws up new challenges and allows you to build strength in different areas of your training. As long as you wear the appropriate gear for the weather you will be fine!

Tom Charman takes the One Element Sessions on Mondays, Fridays & Saturdays at Twickenham and Wednesdays at St Margarets, Richmond.