Tristan Wesley, 32, is a member of Gymbox Holborn and an account director in sports marketing and sponsorship. "It's easy to get stuck doing the same routines and lifting the same weights – if you don't push yourself, you'll never achieve your goals" he says. We meet him.
Hi Tristan! You work is sports marketing and sponsorship, tell us about it
My company works with a range of individuals, teams, organisations and events to help them develop commercial and sponsorship strategies. This allows them to generate income through a range of sources, including but not exclusive to sponsorship. We also work with brands / companies looking to enter the sports sponsorship arena to help them develop strategies and identify potential properties to partner with. We then manage the relationship.
Cool. What made you get into this career?
I always wanted to do a job I enjoyed and that made a difference. Having always been a huge sports fan, both participating and spectating, a career in sport was a natural choice for me. We often work with the smaller sports that don't enjoy the kind if riches found in football and motor racing, so the work we do often makes a big difference to both the grass roots and top ends of the particular sport.
You were a semi - professional rugby player for 9 years, what happened?
Playing semi-professionally was a big challenge juggling rugby with work, as well a social life. It got to a point where I wanted to concentrate on my career and as fate had it I suffered partially torn ankle ligaments midway through what I had decided would likely be my last season. I managed to play through to the end of the season with the help of physio and a huge amount of strapping, but decided against the operation that would allow me to continue my rugby career and thus called it a day.
Has your body shape changed since retiring from rugby?
Since retiring I have lost a lot of muscle mass and gained some unwanted love handles. I used to train everyday other than Sunday - either in the gym or on the pitch - and consumed a lot of calories to maintain my playing weight. I now gym three or four times a week and have cut down on the amount I eat.
Do you think men are as conscious about the 'body' as women are?
No - I think men are definitely becoming more conscious about body image, but the pressure on women to be a size 8 or 10 is still far higher than it is for a man to be in shape. Obviously some men are obsessed with training, as are some women but on the whole due to the media and unfair expectations, I think more women care about being in shape than men do. My personal motivation is both fitness and body image. When I stopped playing rugby I lost a lot of muscle and had to throw away a lot of clothes that were too big for me – I now train to avoid the post-rugby bulge and maintain some level of fitness.
Have you always been interested in sports?
Sport and fitness has always been a big part of my family. My dad was a rower, my sister a hockey player and my older brother a rugby player, so it was always part of my upbringing. I've still yet to try boxing – strictly for the fitness and not to compete (I'm too much of a wimp!).
What do you think gives Gymbox the edge over other gyms?
Definitely the equipment – it's a good range of free weights, lifting platforms, machines, frames and CV options. Also, having been a member of a number of gyms in the past, the other members of Gymbox generally train pretty hard which in turns motivates you. A few of the gyms/health clubs I have been at have been more about looking good and not breaking a sweat!
How do you want to feel after a work-out, or class, with us?
I usually only do 45 mins sessions so I try to limit rest and train to full potential and therefore want to feel like I've given everything and am exhausted.
Our current slogan is 'if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you' – do you agree?
Yes – I think it's easy to get stuck doing the same routines and lifting the same weights but if you don't push yourself you'll never achieve your goals. Obviously some days you do go through the motions but if that's the case for every work out there's not much point in training.