Ed Pilkington

My love for health and fitness all started when I didn’t make it into a rugby academy at the age of 13. I was quite big for my age but was surrounded by what felt like monsters at the trial. I used this as an excuse and tried to console myself until someone asked me what I was going to do about it. That’s when the switch flicked in my head. The following night I started doing push ups and sit ups in my bedroom, which progressed to a set of adjustable dumbbells from Argos, and finally I joined the gym at my local leisure centre.

Although training was something that I enjoyed doing as a hobby, rugby still excited me the most. When I left school, I knew that rugby wasn’t going to be a career option, so I went into coaching instead. I started by gaining some basic coaching badges and then spending 6 months in Australia coaching at a school, before coming back to England to do a BSc in Sport Coaching at Northumbria University.

During my time at uni my interest in training grew, which led me to qualify as a personal trainer during the summer breaks. Although looking back now the content was nothing spectacular, it captivated me and I discovered an excitement around learning that I had never experienced before.

After graduating, I wanted to apply my experience of coaching in a sports setting. My interest in health and fitness was rapidly growing, so I began an MSc in Strength and Conditioning at The University of Edinburgh.

While I was gaining a lot of theoretical knowledge, I knew that it was just one part of the story. Eager to get more practical knowledge, I immersed myself in internships during this period. I worked with Scotland Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby and Scottish Institute of Sport.

From there I moved to Oxford and began working as a self-employed Strength and Conditioning Coach. Although I worked with a range of university, club and school teams and athletes, I found myself padding out my diary with busy, everyday people to help pay the bills. Something I never expected soon started to happen…these were the people that I was getting most excited about training. I realised the impact that I could have on this type of client was so much greater than the impact I could have on any athlete. Helping ‘regular’ people improve their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing was so much more important than helping an elite athlete run a bit faster.

By this point I was reading, listening and watching more content on training and nutrition for improved health and body composition than I was for athletic performance and I could feel my own training shift that way. This is when I made the big leap to move to Dubai to work for a world-renowned body transformation company and really commit to pursuing personal training as a career.

This move took me to another level as a trainer, as well as providing me invaluable life experience. I had left the UK as a personal trainer but when I moved to Belfast to work for myself again I was a results producing, body transformation coach!

I loved seeing the impact that I was having on my clients but it didn’t take long until I felt like another change was needed to help me continue progressing as a coach. I wanted to be part of a team of high performers who would support and push me to be my best and allow me to play a part in doing something world class - RNT Fitness was the obvious choice.

Since joining RNT Fitness I have been able to use the physical results that my clients make as the vehicle for all other areas of their lives - unlocking true transformation. I’m now based back in England with my young family and can finally say that I’m so happy that at 13 I didn’t get past those trials!

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