Welcome back to How I Made It, Metro.co.uk’s weekly career journey series.
This week we’re chatting with Monique Eastwood, 56, from Chichester, who works as a personal trainer – and she’s so good, all the celebs want her.
As well as offering one to one coaching, people can train using her Eastwood Movement Method via an app.
From starting as a dancer, to helping some of Hollywood’s biggest stars work up a sweat, here’s how she made it.
Hey Monique. What made you want to work in the fitness industry?
I started my career as a dancer, which has heavily influenced my journey to becoming a personal trainer and movement specialist today.
Dancing taught me to understand movement, correct alignment and technique. This then led me to qualify as a fitness trainer and Pilates instructor.
I find that, though I’ve been in the fitness and movement industry for nearly three decades, I’m still constantly learning and developing my knowledge with various courses and qualifications on the human body.
What was changing careers like?
We didn’t have quite as much guidance and kindness 30 years ago when I was a dancer. Even though I was athletically healthy and fit, it was a tough career on your body.
Moving into the fitness industry was a big change – it wasn’t about pushing a client’s body to its absolute limits to achieve unrealistic results to the detriment of their health and technique – it became about the holistic journey a person has to take to become healthier, stronger and see results.
Who are the celebrities you train? Do you enjoy working with such big names, does it ever faze you?
I love working with my celebrity clients as they are very result driven, dedicated and focused.
I don’t get fazed at all as we are all working towards a goal to achieve a stronger body.
The celebrities I teach are just normal people at the end of the day wanting to stay strong, fit, agile and flexible for their jobs.
I think this is something that’s close to my heart because I was also in the performance industry, so in a way – I get to live a bit through them too!
My celebrity clients include Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Anne Hathaway, Hayley Atwell, Chaske Spencer and Miranda Richardson.
An average day in the working life of Monique Eastwood
5.30am: ‘I teach and help clients from this time until 4pm – I have clients who I train from all over the world, so this can vary dependent on the time zones.’
12pm: ‘If I get spare time between this time, I’ll quickly answer some emails or catch up with business. I always ensure I fuel correctly so grab a light lunch during the day.’
8pm: ‘After dinner, I like to have a recovery bath – with some essential oils to help my muscles after an active day. Then I go to sleep as early as possible as sleep is essential to recovery.’
What do you love most about your job?
I love motivating clients and helping them achieve results for themselves.
It’s so rewarding to see a client feeling stronger, fitter, more confident and therefore more empowered by their bodies as they live their lives.
Not just that, but I love teaching my method – which is a multidirectional blend of dance inspired, pilates-technique and core movements all geared towards creating really strong, athletic and well-built bodies.
What do you dislike the most?
Training people in all ages and stages of life requires a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
There are some days where I have slightly less energy for myself as a result – because I’m giving 110% to each of my clients.
It’s one of the best parts of my job but as I age, I’m learning that with a job that is physically demanding, it can take its toll mentally.
I have to be very careful not to overspend on my energy on some days, and take appropriate recovery strategies to keep my own health and wellness in balance.
What’s your favourite way to workout personally?
I really love doing Reformer Pilates, which I also teach at my studio.
But when I can, I love to go on long hikes (I live very close to gorgeous nature reserves in Sussex).
I also love long bike rides in the countryside – anything outdoorsy is usually where you’ll find me when I’m not teaching.
Because my training is largely virtual these days, I always love to add nature to the mix (for me and my clients) when training.
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