Interview with Gav O’Brien Personal Trainer in Hove

Hove sea front perfect for personal training

What’s the best thing about being a Personal Trainer in Hove?

By far the best thing about being a Personal Trainer in Hove are the many outdoor areas that I can train my clients, Hove Lawns is great not least being so close to the sea, but I also love Hove Park, there are some great pathways for running and warm ups, and the park itself is spacious so I can run battle rope routines, and small group classes. I also like the people, having lived in London for some 20-years, people are a lot more friendly down here, and this is reflected in the many lovely personal training clients that I have, not just in Hove, but across our beautiful city.  

Where do you train yourself locally in Hove?

I’ve been a member of Corals Gym for about 5-years, it’s a friendly gym, and it has all the free-weights, kettlebells, resistance machines and cardio machines that I need for a great workout. It’s also good value for money. As a Personal Trainer in Hove, I also cycle a lot, and workout in a few of my local parks, particularly after training a client if I have a small gap in my schedule. Having carried my kit with me, I always have everything I need for a power workout before moving onto my next personal training appointment.

As a local PT in Hove, how far are you prepared to travel to your clients?

The majority of my personal training clients live in the Brighton and Hove area, but I have clients in Lancing, Lewes, Shoreham and Worthing. As I offer a fully mobile PT service, I’m happy to travel a few miles, particularly for my older adult personal training clients.

What makes your Personal Training in Hove different from the other PTs?

I’ve taken a specialist qualification to work with older adults, and increasingly my Personal Training client base across Brighton and Hove is with people aged 60 and above. This is further underlined by my being one of the co-founders of the Young At Heart Keep Fit Club, and I currently run exercise classes for older adults aged 60 and above in Hove, Lancing and Portslade, with more being planned to launch over the summer. I’m also in talks with a high-profile national charity that supports older adults to start running classes for them.

Over 60s personal trainer in Hove

What made you become a Personal Trainer?

I reached a stage in life where I wanted to do something that I loved, rather than doing just a job (I used to work in financial services as a marketing director), and as I’ve been passionate about keeping fit since my early twenties, it was the natural choice. Being a Personal Trainer in Hove has been the best decision I’ve ever made and my only regret is not making the change sooner.

Where did you study to become a PT?

I studied for my Level 3 Personal Training qualification with YMCAfit up in London, they’re one of the UK’s leading PT training providers. I really enjoyed the experience and was the oldest student on the course of 23 students. I also studied my specialist qualification; Exercise for Older Adults with YMCAfit.

What does a mobile Personal Trainer in Hove have in their kit bag?

I’m big into Kettlebells, Battle ropes, resistance bands, skipping ropes, dumbbells, steps, gloves and pads. I like to keep my clients interested and challenged by bringing new things to their routines. Occasionally it’s a logistical act, and I can look rather like a pack horse walking up the road to a client’s home!    

Gavin O'brien who is a personal trainer in Hove uses Kettlebells

What’s your best tip for starting to exercise?

My number one tip if you’re starting out is to make sure that you do a proper warm up before every workout, whether that’s with a personal trainer or by yourself. Too many people jump straight into their workout and end up with unnecessary injuries. The same goes for stretching out properly post-workout to minimise delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It’s just not clever cutting corners!

As a Personal Trainer in Hove, what sports do you enjoy?

I was never much into team sports and I was pretty rubbish at them while at school, but I played a lot of Squash throughout my 20s and 30s, although my knees are no longer up to the task. I love swimming! From a spectator point of view, I love watching tennis, equestrian events and skiing.    

Outside of being a Personal Trainer in Hove, what leisure activities do you enjoy?

Well as a busy PT in Hove, spare time is limited. However, I like going to the movies down in Brighton Marina, I enjoy a walk around charity shops on George Street, Hove and London Road, Brighton, the occasional Gin & Tonic in the Colonnade Bar, and a pizza in Franco Manco.

Gin and tonic

As a Personal Trainer, what’s one thing that your clients would never guess about you?

At the risk of being labelled an ‘anorak’ I collect shipping postcards of ocean liners. I’ve got over a thousand of them. My pride and joy in my collection are the ones with the infamous Titanic on the cover, and the 13 other liners that had four funnels. Okay, so I am an anorak; you asked!

What as a PT in Hove annoys you?

On-the-whole I’m pretty laid back, people texting and walking in the cycle lanes is probably the one thing that does annoy me, as outside of being a Personal Trainer, I cycle a lot.

Where do you like to go on holiday?

As a self-employed Personal Trainer it’s not easy to take a holiday, but I do like to go away over Christmas and the New Year, I’ll be off to Alicante at the end of this year. It’s easy to get to at just over 2-hours away, and the weather gets up to the mid-70s, perfect for long cycle rides along the coast. I’ll be going there at the end of this year.

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