How to Create a Mind Shift Towards Training

by Stephen Fraser

Personal Trainer Stephen Fraser and model Simone McDowall,  The FIIT Principle

Personal Trainer Stephen Fraser and model Simone McDowall, The FIIT Principle


In the run up to fashion week we spoke with trainer Stephen Fraser, of The FITT Principle to see how he gets the most our of his model clients with these five expert tips..

There’s nothing more rewarding as a trainer than to witness the moment where a client’s brain and attitude makes the shift into total concentration for the task in hand. That point when we both understand the importance of what we’re doing and how to get the best out of each other.

For me, creating that mind shift towards training and making people realise why they need to invest in their bodies is a primary task I set out to achieve when starting with new clients. Here are the pillars I use to help kickstart this process.

1. Start To Understand Your Body

When doing an exercise, start to listen to your body and understand what muscles are working throughout every part of the movement. If you’re with a trainer, don’t be afraid to ask them questions and justify the reasoning behind the moves you’re doing. I tend to use a lot of influences from gymnastics in my training.

Understanding how to hold yourself in certain gymnastic strength positions requires a high level of body awareness and with body awareness comes confidence. Confidence then starts to permeate into client’s lifestyles and onto camera.

2. Think Like An Athlete

We all have good and bad days but try and think of yourself like an athlete; They might miss a really important penalty or not get a medal but it doesn’t mean they’ll quit and give up tomorrow. You need to have faith and awareness in the longer term goals and keep driving forward with focus. You’ll get your chance but only if you don’t give up.

3. Understand That Happiness Is In The Pursuit

With the world of social media, it is very easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others or thinking “once I get this or that, I’ll be happy”. From my experience, the most joy I get is from the grind and the work needed to get from a to b. The people with long lasting careers in the world didn’t get there overnight. There will be years of hard work behind the instagram posts, that you have never seen. This is a moral I try to install in everyone I work with and let them know, the training journey and those career strains is what makes you.

4. Consistency

This is a super important one I speak to clients about due to the nature of the industry. We might be training in my studio one week and they’ll be on a plane travelling to a shoot the next. Managing how to react to external forces pulling you in all directions is the key to consistent training. We programme bodyweight movements that can be done anywhere and workouts of varying length from 15-60 minutes. Skipping ropes, bands and any other equipment that can be put into a bag comes with us. This is so we know we’re not relying on hotel gyms or their equipment to get a workout done.

5. Be Kind To Yourself

Finally, understand not everything needs to run at 100mph. Find time to recover. I get hit with “I’m too busy to stretch etc” quite a lot but are you too busy to get injured and lose out on potential work? It’s good for your body but also your mind to switch off. Put the phone on airplane mode for 30 mins at least once a day and just slow down. Relax.