Full Episode Transcript


Matt:                                   00:09    

In today’s episode, we are joined by one of Pro-Fit’s most experienced personal trainers and physios, Rachel Webb. Rach has been with the company since 2008 and has an unbelievable level of knowledge and experience in the field of health and fitness. Not only is she a top class personal trainer, she’s also a hugely qualified nutrition coach and run the whole of Pro-Fit physiotherapy so safe to say that she’s an amazing guest to have on the show. It is a relatively short episode because we were working around schedules regarding children on both ends. Both me and Rach have spent a while organizing this interview and trying to find a time where we can both fit it in around kids and things like that. So we kept it fairly short and sweet. Rach is on to cover all things related to joint health, joint pain and the psychology of joint pain. And then we also dive into some of the areas around her experience in the industry, as she’s been around for a while now and what she would recommend to others. So, it’s a fantastic interview. She covers a lot of ground in a short space of time. So make sure you pay attention and listen in. And without further ado, let’s head on over to that interview with myself and Rach and let’s dive right in.

Matt:                                   01:29

Okay, so as I just mentioned in the introduction today, we are joined by Rachel Webb from Pro-Fit personal training. Rach, how are you doing?

Rachel:                                01:37                   

I’m good, thank you.

Matt:                                   01:38                   

Good, good, it’s great to have you on and know that we’ve uh, we’ve tried this a couple of times now and we eventually got around to it. It’s not easy organizing anything when you’re a dealing with parents and businesses and things like that. So as I’ve mentioned in the introduction earlier on, you know, you, you are a fellow Pro-Fit PT, you’ve been around for a long time in the industry and in and in the Pro-Fit business. Today, I’ve brought you on to talk about specific topic around like physio and joint health and injuries and things like that. But can you give the listeners a brief insight into your journey, like your origin story, so to speak of, uh, of how you found yourself in the position that you’re in now and how long you’ve been in the industry and what you’ve been up to.

Rachel:                                02:19                   

So, my background is in physio, so I did my degree in physiotherapy. I graduated in 2007, came straight out of university and started working in hospitals, um, in the local area and did a year of rotations there. And it was actually whilst I was working in hospitals that I realized I wanted to work with a more athletic population and I really enjoyed my time there. So I worked in the military hospital, I worked with a lot of amputees like soldiers who’d been in Afghanistan. So that was kind of really what inspired me to want to go away from that, but then invest in myself in terms of extra CPD, doing more work around rehab and conditioning.

Rachel:                                03:01                   

So, I came out of the NHS and then I went and did a personal training qualification just to gain some basic skills in strength and conditioning. And it was whilst I was doing that course and the a company called Pro-Fit came into talk to us about job opportunities. So this was back in 2008 it must’ve been, and my plan had always been to do this course in personal training and then go to London, which is where my sister was and all my friends. I obviously thought it was a bit of money in London and that’d be kind of a good place to go and do physio or personal training. But what really appeals to me about Pro-Fit was the family aspects of the company and the team. Every other kind of personal training company that I’d looked at, it seemed very much like you are a trainer, you’re in a gym, but you kind of worked on your own.

Rachel:                                03:47                   

This was the first company that had come in where I could sense the team aspect was really important to them. So I changed all my plans and I started working for Pro-Fit as a personal trainer. I was still working as a physio, so I worked for another private company doing physiotherapy. Did that for a number of years, kind of three or four years at least, which I was really grateful for because it kind of taught me all the basic skills that I needed to be a self-employed therapist as well as starting to build my business and for personal training point of view. But all I would say was all the skills that I kind of learnt doing personal training and not just how to train somebody, the business side of it as well made me realize that there wasn’t any other companies out there who were doing what Pro-Fit were doing at the time.

Rachel:                                04:34                   

So, at that point I made the decision to leave the physiotherapy company and we set up our own physio clinics, which I then took over running. So that is my role now is I still work with my own clients and that’s a combination of personal training clients, physiotherapy clients, some people who are just see for nutrition and some people who I do like distance coaching with and I run the physiotherapy side of the business. So we have three physio clinics, a team of seven therapists. So, I’m in charge of the day to day running’s of the clinics, but also mentoring the therapists doing their education and helping to grow and that side of the business.

Matt:                                   05:12                   

Excellent. So as you can see, Rachel has got a wealth of knowledge in a lot of different areas, so uh, so yeah, she’s a great example of what can be achieved in this industry if you apply yourself and work hard and get better guidance. Now as I mentioned at the start Rach, I wanted to talk to you today a little bit about joint health and how we can help clients and things like that. And I thought the best place to start was when it comes to something like joint health it’s a term, it’s a phrase that gets banded around and we find ourselves using it without really understanding it to some degree. I’d like to ask you what your opinion is or what your thoughts are on what joint health actually is. Like what does good joint health mean? What does that look like in the real world?

Rachel:                                05:54                   

Yeah, I think it’s a term which is quite individual to the person dependent on what that person wants to be able to do. For me personally, good joint health means full range of movement with no pain. You know, if I can move well and I’m not in any pain, I’m happy with that. Whereas that might not be enough for some people. Some people like professional athletes or you know high level endurance athletes want to have maximal amount of strength, maximal amount of endurance past be around that joint as well. Other people might be quite happy managing a little bit of pain and having limited range of movements as long as they can do the things that they want to be able to do. But for me, myself, that would always be full range of movement, pain-free cause I think you’d be can achieve those two things. Then you can build on that. You can build a good strength, you build power, you can build good performance, but the foundation is having a good joint, which moves well.

Matt:                                   06:47                   

Yeah, and I think the idea of light live in pain-free is a big one. I think it’s something that often gets lost from the idea of health, isn’t it? It’s you know, if you live in a life of pain, it’s pretty miserable. And we’re going to talk about joint pain a little later on. In terms of promoting good joint health, are there any sort of key things that you would look for, not just in yourself but for the clients that you work with in terms of promoting good joint health or the things that we can be doing, not just movement wise but maybe nutrition wise and hydration wise. And I know there’s probably loads of things you can go into now, so feel free to take your time explaining it, but what are the key bits that we need to be paying attention to? Who wants to promote good or better joint health?

Rachel:                                07:26                   

When a client first comes to work with myself, whether that the reason coming to work with me was because of a joint problem or not. So whether that’s a physio client or a personal training client, there’s always four areas of that person’s life that I look at. And that is how well do they move. How strong are they, what’s their nutrition like, what’s their sleep like, and then what’s their lifestyle likes in that in lifestyles? That kind of includes his stress factors and I think you have to approach all of those areas in order to achieve optimal health. That includes joint health but kind of full health in whatever area that is. So yeah, in terms of what areas would I look at, that’s where I kind of being looking to start is right. How well can somebody move? What is their strength like through that movement, but then also what is their nutritional status, what is their sleep status, and what is their stress status?

Rachel:                                08:20                   

And obviously those things can change. I think, you know, being a new mum, you realize at times, certain times in your life you’re going to be sleep deprived or the times the not. Hopefully I need, same thing with nutrition. You know, some people can eat really well 5 days a week, but the weekend it all goes wrong and you have to work on all of these things but be understanding that those things can change dependent on what’s going on in that person’s life at that time. So yeah. So does that answer the question?

Matt:                                   08:48                   

It does. Yeah. And I think that the area I’d like to go into in a little bit more detail, just cause I know he’s one of your big areas of expertise is the nutritional part of that. If someone, let’s say someone does move fairly well and they’ve got most of those lifestyle factors under control, like many of the clients we probably work with, they do need to improve the nutrition even if it’s just to give those people a bit of awareness, like what sort of impact can poor nutrition actually have on our joints and our joint health and our ability to move properly.

Rachel:                                09:18                   

Yeah, I think a nutrition is a big area that most people think when they go to see a physio, they’re not really going to look at, you know, most physios will assess someone from a musculoskeletal point of view. So a movement point of view or strength point of view. But from my own personal experience and from working with a vast number of clients over the years, I’ve seen first-hand evidence of how much nutrition sleep and other things can affect during health as well. Nutrition for me is fundamental. So the foods that you put into your body are responsible for making up all your cells, your cells form organisms, they form organs, they form everything else within the body. So it all starts at a cellular level and you have to start putting the right things into your body in order for your cells to form in the right way.

Rachel:                                10:05                   

I always use like a simple analogy with patients. So if you think about when you go out and you get drink a bit too much, maybe bad food, you wake up the next morning and how do you feel? That’s obviously an extreme version of how much your body can ache, and your mind can ache, if you’ve gone out and abused your body. But if you’re doing that on a daily, like lower level but regular basis, that can be a massive reason why a lot of people’s bodies can ache, joints can ache because they’re putting food into the body that’s either just not agreeing with the body or not giving them all the nutrients that they need in order to build strong and healthy joints. If you have something that goes on inside your body, which is called inflammation, and a lot of people can find that quite hard to understand what inflammation is.

Rachel:                                10:51                   

So again, I tend to use the analogy of an ankle. So if most of us have had a twisted ankle at some point in our lives where you, you go for a run, you might go over on your ankle, that ankle swells, it goes red, it goes hot. That is inflammation. That same thing can happen inside the body, but you might not be able to see it. So a lot of people are diagnosed with arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and that inflammatory process can happen inside the body on our joints, which makes them sore, which makes them hard to move, which makes them achy. But by putting certain foods into the body can help reduce that inflammation and help improve circulation to the area, which therefore in turn improves how that joint moves and the amount of pain that you’re in or not in.

Matt:                                   11:41                   

And if we were going to look at some of those certain foods, rage, what, what would the types of things that you would be recommending? I know that a lot of what you do will be personal to the, you know, the person sat in front of you, but as a general idea for someone that’s not got a clue about nutrition, what should they be considering in relation to this? What would those foods look like?

Rachel:                                12:01                   

I think there’s two sides to that. There’s the foods that you should include to help reduce inflammation. And then there’s the foods which you should try and cut out that are what called proinflammatory foods, so foods which can accelerate inflammation. And as you said, a lot of that can be quite personal to the individual. So, some foods which work for some people don’t work for others. Um, and vice versa. As a general rule, there are kind of three top category of pro inflammatory foods. So you have the grain category foods, which are gluten containing grains. So if you eat gluten and actually you’re intolerant to it, which you might not know about, that can have a massive inflammatory effects on the body. And a lot of people in the UK have a, it’s on a spectrum, but a lot of people have a certain intolerance to gluten.

Rachel:                                12:49                   

Some people more extremely so than others. So if you are kind of searching for foods and things to try or to cut out, gluten would be kind of one of the top ones that I would advise. The second one would then would be dairy. So again, a lot of people in the UK don’t produce the gene that’s needed in order to digest dairy inside the body. So therefore if you eat in dairy but you can’t digest it, it can cause an inflammatory response. And then the final category of foods can be nuts. So nuts can have quite an inflammatory effects in the body. And those are one things which you see a lot of people start to increase in their diets when they’re trying to be healthy. But actually if you can’t digest them well and they’re causing a lot of inflammation, the body can have a negative side effect.

Rachel:                                13:34                   

There are other ones, as I said, that is an exclusive and it can be individual. Some people can be absolutely fine with gluten and dairy and nuts, they might have a certain intolerance to, you know, a group of vegetables, which is called nightshades. So those are things like tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and rheumatoid arthritis, especially people who suffer rheumatoid arthritis tends to have an intolerance to that family vegetables. So yeah, as I said it, cause it’s not as definitive of that. It’s not like I’m telling everybody to go away and cut out gluten, dairy, nuts. But those are some of the foods that you could trial if he kind of tried to search for things to call out would be date, which might help. And then in terms of foods to introduce, which have a positive impact on inflammation. So, our anti-inflammatory foods, one of the biggest categories is omega three containing and foods, which a lot of people have heard of Omega threes now.

Rachel:                                14:26                   

So, they’re very anti-inflammatory. You get them from cold water fish and he can take it as a supplement or you can simply increase the amount of cold water fish in your diet. And so things like salmon tripe, oily fish or you can take it as a supplement. The other foods which are very anti-inflammatory are probiotic foods. So, things like sauerkraut, kefala that family of foods have a very good anti-inflammatory effects in the body because they help you produce good bacteria, which helps improve digestion, which therefore helps reduce inflammation. Turmeric as well. So, turmeric has a very um, anti-inflammatory effect and there has been loads of studies done, which show all sorts of benefits from turmeric, but one of them being having a massive benefit on arthritic joints. And again, he would take that as a supplement or you can increase the amount of turmeric that’s in your diet. You can put it into drinks, lemon and honey or you can use it in curry’s. Some people can just eat it, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend that we want you to try it and make it as palatable as possible, if it’s a habit you’re going to be able to keep up long term.

Matt:                                   15:35                   

Yeah, I think everyone’s going to take the advice Rach and just start making as many curry’s as they can.

Matt:                                   15:47                   

if we start to look at now like moving towards the conversation around joint pain and sort of something, I wanted to talk about this probably in between joint health and joint pain is trying to help people understand what happens with their joints as they get older. You know, we will work with a lot of people that will comment on how their joints have changed as they’ve got older and obviously that probably is an element of the aging process, but there’s probably also an element of the accumulation of these lifestyle things as well that are going on. From your perspective, what sort of changes should we expect to see in our joints as we get older and as part of that? Should we start to actually expect some form of joint pain or uncomforting or anything like that or is that something that we should actually be able to work around if we’re doing things, right?

Rachel:                                16:35                   

Yeah, I think like if you examine my joints and your joints now, we would all have a degree of arthritis within our joints. So arthritis is a condition where you wear the cartilage away in your joints, you wear that cartilage away quicker. The more active that you are that this is why you can see a lot of new footballers retied in the 30s who have got knackered joints. So it’s completely normal to get arthritic joints as you age. It’s how well your body copes with that. And the key for me to that is to get your body as strong as possible because the stronger your muscles are, the less strain it puts through your joints then cause you’ve got some support around your joints. So it’s, yeah, in answer to your question, it’s completely normal to get unhealthy joints or arthritic joint tissue age, but it’s how well you deal with that and how your body deals with that.

Rachel:                                17:20                   

So, incorporating strength training in you two or three times a week to help build up muscle tissue around your joints for me is fundamental. I still don’t think you have to suffer with pain. I think as soon as pain comes into the equation that’s when you something needs to be done about it. Whether that seeing like a specialist or a physio or your doctor, then yeah, I think as soon as something becomes painful that’s when a plan needs to be put in place to help with whatever that is. Whether it’s having some specific treatment for it or you know, potentially further down the line some sort of operation. But I believe a lot of that is avoidable. If you do preventative work before it actually becomes painful. So the more people can get into the gym, get their body strong before they’re actually in pain is going to delay the onset of pain into later life.

Matt:                                   18:09                   

And how much of a role do you think just generally holding yourself well and having good posture and things like that can affect these things? Cause, I know we’ve talked about like having knee pain and ankle pain and stuff like that, but then also we get a lot of people with like neck pain, back pain. You know what sort of general lifestyle factors and posture might affect those areas as well. And you know, how important is that to a person?

Rachel:                                18:31                   

Yeah, it’s all very well saying to someone, hold yourself in the right way, but none of us are perfect. None of us are going to do that all the time. They key for me is to get your body as strong as possible into that ideal postural position so that you’re not having to think about it. You just do it automatically. I know myself as when I was at university, I spent a lot of time studying. I went to the gym, but I just did cardio. I didn’t really do any strength training. I used to suffer really badly with like neck and shoulder pain. It was only once I started to get myself strong that that actually relieved any pain that had around that area. And it wasn’t that I was just holding myself in a better position. It was just that my muscular system was stronger to keep myself in that position. So I think some of it is postural awareness. Some of it is knowing how to move your body, how to hold yourself, but that has to be paired with getting yourself stronger in those positions so you’re not having to think about it as much in your own time. You just do that automatically.

Matt:                                   19:28                   

And then in terms of, again sticking on the topic of pain, I know this is probably different depending on whether it’s like an injury type pain or some sort of chronic pain that’s occurred over time. But for you, when you work with people, what are your thoughts? People actually continuing to move joints and use joints even if they are under some sort of stress or pain as a way of keeping things moving and keeping things mobile like, where do you sit on that sort of debate? Cause I know that people will get different things. They’ll go and see a physio that will tell them to stop moving, stop using that joint leave it alone and then they’ll go and see someone else, or their trainer might say, no, no, we need to keep it going. We need to keep moving. Again, I know it’s a very individualized thing, but is there anything you can talk to us about that would give us a bit of an idea of maybe how to look at those things and maybe even do a little form of mini assessment or anything? How would you look at that?

Rachel:                                20:22                   

There’s a massive difference between chronic pain and acute pain. You know, if you’ve had a recent injury where you know you’ve been on the rugby pitch and you’ve had a blow to your knee or to your shoulder or whatever, then this is obviously an acute situation which needs addressing, you need that checking out to make sure there’s no structural damage. Verses you know, someone who’s had creaky knees for 20-30 years of their life, they understand pain. You know what that pain is and they know what things they do that help improve it and what things they do that make it worse. So if you work in with your clients or you know if it’s a personal injury yourself, you have to understand your body or their bodies and know what is a normal level of pain for that person and what goes beyond that.

Rachel:                                21:04                   

I always get people to grade their pain. So I’ll say right, on a scale of 0-10 what would you give out a 10? For me, If it goes above a seven then that’s something that we don’t want to work through. If it’s a seven or it’s below, we can work with it. Especially if we start to doing something, doing some movement. If that pain starts to ease, brilliant, we know that actually doing some movement is actually going to help that pain cause all your joints have a fluid inside them, which caused synovial fluid and you have to move your joints in order to get, that synovial fluid going, which I always explained to people as being a bit like WD40 for your joints. It’s like the lubrication for your joints so it helps ease it. You only get that fluid moving by moving.

Rachel:                                21:47                   

But obviously if you’ve got an inflamed joint or a damaged joint, sometimes moving too much can make that pain worse and make the injury worse. It’s really just about understanding your own body, knowing what’s normal for you, what goes beyond normal for you. Knowing when doing some activity actually helps ease that and when actually doing too much helps aggravates it and that might not be that, you know, moving in that way aggravates it. There might be other ways that you can move that, get that, get your joints moving but without causing you pain. And that can be sometimes when you just need to use a bit of a specialist to help advise whether what you’re doing at the moment is working or not. And if not, you know, give you something else that is going to help strengthen your joints up but not aggravate the pain.

Matt:                                   22:31                   

Perfect. And I think there’s a couple of points out of that I just wanted to highlight to make sure that trainers and listeners in general got a couple of the points you made there. So in terms of asking clients that question about rating their pain, I think that’s so simple yet so effective. Most people probably don’t do it. Just rate your pain out of 10 and you’ve given people an idea of where, where you might want to work if, if the score sits on a certain level of where you might want to avoid it. So I think that’s a big one. And then the bit that you’ve mentioned about just trying to put yourself in their shoes, almost like trying to understand a client’s body. You might have written a workout for a client that you think is fairly like straightforward, but what’s it like to perform that workout, in your client’s body, you’ve almost got to try and understand that on some level haven’t you. I know it’s not always easy to do and you might get a few bits wrong first, but it’s a bit of an ongoing process to learn what they can and can’t do or do or don’t find comfortable and are capable of doing over time. Then they’re really big points to pull on.

Matt:                                   23:33                   

Now an area you mentioned in the email exchange before we had this Rach when we started talking about this a while ago was the idea of psychology and pain and I thought this was a really interesting topic to go into cause I don’t think it’s something that gets talked about a lot. Give us an overview of that and what, what it is about that that you use when you’re working with people. How does psychology actually impact pain and how much of pain is psychology and

Rachel:                                23:58                   

it’s a massive area and it’s, it’s not so that I’m professing to be a specialist in cause you know there are people who just do the psychology of pain, but it’s certainly an area that I consider and have seen it have massive impacts on people. So I think a lot of people who’ve been through physical trauma have also been through some sort of mental trauma. You know, if you take the example of a professional football or if they have a career end in injury that has a massive physical effect on them, but also mental health effects on them as well. Obviously that’s one end of the spectrum. You can have other people who’ve had multiple low-level injuries through their life, but it’s actually stopped them doing the things they want to be able to do is from in their lives, which again has a negative mental health effects on them.

Rachel:                                24:45                   

So, it’s just being aware of like the psychology behind that and how having certain aches and pains has impacted that person’s life and vice versa. You know, people can go through mental health struggles and that mental health pain comes out through their bodies. I think the fundamental issue with that is just being there to listen to people. People have to feel understood and that you actually really understand what it is that they, that going through all they’ve been through and then you help them come up with solutions to move forward. So just being there as someone to listen to someone who understands, um, and helping to put realistic plans in place for that person to move forwards. And also referring to specialists. So if someone has clearly been through a lot in their lives, you’re seeing them from a physical point of view, you feel like they need that mental health support as well. It’s having a team of people around you where you can get them the support that they need. You’re obviously still, they’re going to work with them and you’re there to listen. But sometimes it goes beyond our scope of practice and that’s when you know, we have to refer out sort of the specialists.

Matt:                                   25:52                   

Yeah, definitely. And I think if you’ve never actually had any issues with injuries yourself, it can be quite difficult to understand the psychology side of it, can’t it? You know, if you’ve not had a major injury or anything that even a low, low, low level thing that you’ve just had for years, we might not understand how that feels to be that person. And we do have to help explore that from a psychology level.

Rachel:                                26:14                   

Absolutely. I think on that area as well, you have to consider other lifestyle factors that are going on in that person’s life. So, they may have a physical pain, you know that they’re coming into your training sessions with you and they’ve got a certain injury or something that you’re having to work around. But outside of that, they’ve also got know really busy jobs. They might run their own company or you know, be working in an environment where they’re not happy, may have children, they may have a wife who’s putting demands on them at home, which I know my husband would say I do. So there’s a lot of other stress that can go on in other people’s lives with can come out through the body. So not just the impacts of an injury that they’ve had but the busy lifestyles that we all lead. That all puts extra stress on the body and it all affects how well people recover from training or recover from injury.

Matt:                                   27:05                   

Yeah, definitely.

Matt:                                   27:11                   

So, in terms of the joint health stuff and the pain stuff, Rach.

Matt:                                   27:15                   

You know, I think we’ve covered a few good areas there and a few good bits of information

Matt:                                   27:19                   

to give people a general understanding of those things. There’s no way I could let you come on here

today without talking.

Matt:                                   27:29                   

about a few other areas, as you’ve got so much experience in the fitness industry and as a, as a PT and a physio, but I wanted to dive into a few other areas as well. And you know, I always sought of talk, talk about these as like quick fire questions. But obviously, you know, you take as much time going through these as you want. So for the listeners, out there, give us an understanding of what it’s like to run a business as a mum of two children under the age of three.

Rachel:                                27:50                   

It’s hectic, but I wouldn’t really have it any other way. I think. I think in our industry, like when you’re self-employed, a lot of people can be a bit worried about what they do when they have children. But for me it’s been, I’m so grateful for my job that I get to, you know, run a business, work with my own clients and patients and still get time to have with my family as well. I will never be as grateful for my job as I am now because I get to have the best of everything. So yes, it’s very busy, but um, you have just have to be really organized. So I get up before my children get up so that I can prepare myself for the day ahead and get my children up, I get them ready, send them off to nursery and then I get, go to work with my own patients and own clients.

Rachel:                                28:37                   

And I’m lucky that I’ve got a good support network around me. You know, we’ve got grandparents close by. They give us a lot of help and support. Oh, I’ve got a lot of respect for people who don’t have family close by. I think it would really be tough. So I think you have to know when to ask for help and not be afraid to do that. I think that before in the past I’d probably be one of these people whose tried to do everything on my own. I’m definitely not any more. I’m very good at delegating and asking for help.

Matt:                                   29:02                   

Yeah. Yeah. You have to get better at that. Yeah. You have to make any adjustments to the way you run your business rage like of, cause I know that quite a few trainers in our own team and probably PTs outside of Pro-Fit as well, now we’ve gotten to the age where they started families and things like that. Like have you had to change the way you operate at all in order to, you know, like you say, have the best of both worlds?

Rachel:                                29:25                   

Oh yeah, absolutely. I think you prior to having children. I love work. I love what I do. I used to work like 12/14 hour days. I never complained about, I absolutely love it. You know I would do that again now if I could, but I can’t do that and see my children at all. So I have to be realistic about what I can do in both areas. So no. Yeah, my diary has changed and so I work six till 12 four days a week and then one day I do a long day over in one of the physio clinics. So I’m a morning person. I’ve always preferred to get up early, get it done. That then means I can pick my children up from nursery at lunchtime and then have the afternoons with them. In terms of how I’ve been able to do that from a business point of view is I do more semi-private training. People in groups still work with a lot of people one to one obviously from a physio point of view, that can be a bit harder to do. But I do have people in kind of small group rehab classes as well. So yes and my diaries, it’s kind of a long morning. Um, and then condense people into groups so that financially, you know, I still earn the same as what I was doing before. It’s just more economical with my time.

Matt:                                   30:33                   

Yeah. Yeah. And you’ve been doing this now, like as you said earlier on since 2008 when you first joined, how over a decade, what is it about this that you enjoy most? What is it that you get from this that sort of keeps you going? Cause I think at some point along the way personal trainers, or anyone in the fitness industry sort of start to lose sight of why they started or what the doing it for? Clearly you’ve, you get a lot from this. Like it’d be interesting to hear what your thoughts are on that.

Matt:                                   31:00

It’s working with people. I kind of a people person, I could never, you know, just work in front of a computer and be, or be an online coach. That’s just not me. I need to work with people. And that goes for people in terms of my own clients, but also working with a team of other people. So, you know, I love my team, I love my team in Wilmslow, I love my team of physios, I love my own clients and I love working with them. So that’s definitely one thing which motivates me every morning, is just getting up and actually enjoying being with the people I work with. And then the other thing is just the freedom of it. It’s like I know that whatever I want to do, if I put my mind to it, I can achieve it. I have the freedom to create whatever career I want. And I think when you’re in employed roles, you don’t have that freedom. You know you’re there to do a job that somebody else is asking you to do. So yeah, for me, it’s those two things really. It’s loving the people that I work with, having the freedom to do what I want essentially.

Matt:                                   31:55                   

Yeah, I know that the next question is probably going to get heavily biased answer as it would do if someone asked it to me but give us an idea of what Pro-Fit means to you, Rachel.

Rachel:                                32:05                   

Oh yeah, it’s my life really. And I’m married to one of the directors so that it probably is a little bit biased, but

Matt:                                   32:13                   

yeah, we failed. We failed to mention that somewhere along the line. But yeah, yeah, obviously she actually has to be biased.

Rachel:                                32:20                   

Even if he wasn’t part of the business, which I never see him at work. So there you may as well not be there. It still would have that same thought for me. You know, I think when I first came into the company as a brand new trainer and a relatively new physio, I knew next to nothing, zero experience, but more than that I wasn’t in a great place myself. And over the years they’ve done a lot of self-development work with me. I’ve invested in my own continued professional development, but the support that I’ve had from the company has just been massive in terms of my own self development. And the belief that they instil from you and yeah, just keeping you accountable to doing what you say you’re going to do. I think that teaches you a lot about yourself is if you get, if say you going to do something you follow through and you do it and that helps build confidence in yourself that actually you can go on to achieve whatever you want.

Matt:                                   33:15                   

Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome to hear. And as someone that has, you know, done a lot of mentoring over the years Rach, um, you know, being in a mentorship role like you have, you’ve obviously spent a lot of time with newer trainers and newer physios, people that are just generally starting new businesses in the fitness industry. For those people, what sort of advice would you give them? Cause there’ll be plenty of those people listening now. What mistakes do you generally see these groups of people make? Um, you know, what sort of words of wisdom have you got for people that are just starting out in this industry?

Rachel:                                33:46                   

I think it’s not being afraid of hard work. I think these days everybody’s looking for the next quick way to make a fast book. And in reality that doesn’t exist anywhere. Anyone who’s successful in business has worked hard and worked long hours for many, many years to get to where they are. So, I think it’s not being afraid to work long hours and putting a lot of graft and not much money initially. And you’ve always got to do those hours of, you know, working hard to get the experience that you need to get to where you want to be. And so it’s putting the time and it’s putting the effort in and it’s working hard. it’s invested in yourself, I think, you know, spending money doing courses, I think you sent some questions around a while ago about how much money have you invested in doing X and CPD courses? And when I worked by now it was well over 20 grand.

Rachel:                                34:39                   

So, I think whatever money you’re earning is a new trainer. Whatever you could afford to put into your own education was, that’ll keep you moving forward. It’ll keep you fresh, it’ll keep you excited about what you’re doing. And you’ll have the best positive impacts on your patients or your clients. And most importantly, yes, so working hard, investing in your own education and then just surrounding yourself by positive people. For me that’s massive. You know, every other workplace that I’ve worked in, the mindset of the people I’ve been with, I’ve always found quite negative. Whereas at Pro-Fit it’s completely different. Everyone has the same mindset, the same opportunity mindset, the same can do mindset. And for me that that’s massively important.

Matt:                                   35:21                   

I mean in terms of that investment you’ve made in yourself Rach, what would be some of the highlights for you in terms of like the best courses or the best development that you’ve been involved in? Cause I know there’s so many things that especially when you’re a new PT you can look at and go I need to learn this, I need to do that, I need to know more about this, need to know more about that. So for you, what has been the standout bits that you’ve done? Cause I know that you’ve done loads

Rachel:                                35:43                   

that has been lost and I think that kind of two standout courses I’ve done are the Poliquin Institute certification program, which I did level one, two and three as well as their bio signature. I would say that was probably most important to me because it actually gave me confidence about having a system to follow that I understood that and knew what I was doing. Whereas prior to that I wasn’t that great at strength and conditioning. Most doing that system kind of gave me the confidence to do a good job with my clients. So I’m not necessarily saying it needs to be that one, but I think doing some source of qualification that gives you the confidence and the skills that you need to do a great job with your clients. And then the Anthony Robbins achieved the power within, I think he’s like weekend long conferences called the me from a mindset point of view that really allowed me to believe in myself and the tools that I learned on that course, which must be eight or 10 years ago now. There’s still things that I use today to get myself into the right frame of mind to achieve kind of what I want to achieve.

Matt:                                   36:46                   

Yeah. Yeah. The uh, the Tony Robbins one’s been mentioned a few times on the podcast. I even actually mentioned it once when I got interviewed as my number one. I don’t even have a clue what happens on that weekend. Rach I just turned up and then turned up and hooked a few people and walked away completely different. I don’t actually know what happened, but yeah, it’s a mad thing to experience if you’ve never done it, go and give it a go. It’s an interesting experience. Rachel. I am very keen to protect your time because you’ve got kids to look after you’ve got businesses to run and I think you’ve already given us a massive amount of value today. So I wanted to thank you for that. If people want to find out anything more about you or what you do with like the Pro-Fit physio, you know, we’ve never really mentioned that before on the podcast that actually you can join Pro-Fit as a physio, you know, if people want to find out more about you and getting involved with that side of things, how can they do that? Where’s the best place to go and find you and what you do?

Rachel:                                37:41                   

Yeah, just drop me an email is probably the best way. So we’ve got a website, so if you go to pro-fitphsyio.co.uk there’s a link on there where people can drop me a message. Um, I’m a bit rubbish on social media. It’s one thing that definitely need to get better at. So, I would give you my Instagram name and stuff, but the main one is probably just pictures of my children on there as a posed to actually business related, so through the website is probably the best way to contact me.

Matt:                                   38:06                   

Yeah, that’s fine. And what I’ll do is I’ll make sure that in the show notes for anyone that’s listening, I’ll give you the show notes link at the end. We’ll make sure that we link up to all Rach’s stuff on there so you can find her if you want to inquire about anything before we go today. Rachel, anything else that you want to finish off with? Anything else, any bits of advice or words of wisdom that you want to put out there for the world?

Rachel:                                38:25                   

Be passionate about what you do, do what makes you happy and do it to the best of your ability. Don’t be afraid to work hard as you go along, but yeah, that’s, that’s all I try to do on a daily.

Rachel:                                38:36                   

Make myself happy and make other people happy.

Matt:                                   38:38                   

Yeah. Excellent. That’s great advice. Rachel, thank you very much for coming on. It’s been an absolute


Rachel:                                38:43                   

No problem.

Matt:                                   38:53                   

Um, there we go. Another great insight into a top class health and fitness professionals business and insights in terms of how they help people, what they do and stuff that they’ve done over the years. I know that I am biased as the host of this podcast, but, I do genuinely believe that some of the guests that we’ve had on recently have been some of the best around in terms of people that can actually help you in your business, in the fitness industry, the not always names that you get to hear from on some of the bigger podcasts and that’s fine. One of the aims of this show is to make sure that we give a platform to, some of the people

Matt:                                   39:27                   

pull the are at the absolute top of their game, but they’re just busy with their head down, working hard. They’re not necessarily shouting about these things on social media and stuff like that. I want to make sure that these guys have a platform and then you have a way to get access to them so that you get to hear from some of the best of the best, even if you’ve got no idea who they are before they actually feature on the podcast. So I hope that you would agree that this was another one of those episodes. If you would like more information, then please head on over to mattrobinson.blog/podcast, you’ll be able to find a link to the show there and all the show notes. As usual, if you enjoyed this episode or any of the previous episodes, please head on over to Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to the show and leave us a quick rating and review. It always helps us in terms of feedback. If you did enjoy this particular episode. Then also tag me and Rach on social media, on your Instagram stories are aware of you, likes to hang out online and just let us know what you enjoyed. It’s just nice to get that bit of feedback and see where we can potentially help you out in the future as well. Until next time, take care of yourself and we will be back very, very soon with another great episode for you, take care.

Avoiding Aches, Pains & Injuries

Rach Webb has over a decade of experience in the fitness industry, both as a Personal Trainer and a Physiotherapist. As the head of Pro-Fit Physio, I thought she was the perfect guest to bring on to talk about aches, pains, injuries & joint health.

In this interview she discusses several different factors involved in joint health, how ages effects our joints, and how to assess someone who is in pain.

The discussion also lead us down the path of talking about her own development over the years and some of her thoughts on running a fitness business.  

For any aspiring Physio or Personal Trainer out there, this is a great listen and one which you will be able to take a lot of advice from.

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