VPT Spotlight – meet Angus Martin

VPT Spotlight – meet Angus Martin

Angus Martin is a VPT at Gymbox Covent Garden, who's developed a training method called The Movement, which is based on calisthenics. "Calisthenics derives from the Greek kalli, beautiful and sthenos, strength. When training with me, you have the opportunity to not only reach your fitness goals, but also learn a specific skill set setting you apart from your peers."


Hi Angus. Tell us about The Movement

The Movement is my own concept and exists as part of my lifestyle brand, Lift London. Lift is a clothing line and creative outlet focussed on producing high end video and asset production in the fitness industry. The Movement is focussed on functional bodyweight training known as calisthenics.

What's your background?

I have been training 10 years in several disciplines. With a background in rugby strength and conditioning was never far away, and from there I explored many training methods – I've now arrived at calisthenics. I mainly trained at warehouse facilities and outside, but when I did go to commercial gyms I was being asked regularly for advice on how to achieve certain skills, in particular the muscle-up. I saw an opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with others, and as the concept fitted so well with Lift London's ethos, to set up The Movement was a natural progression.

What type of clients are you training at the moment?

I train a vide variety of clients. A big USP with The Movement is the opportunity to actual be taught and acquire skills at the same time as reaching more traditional fitness goals. Many guys and girls will come to me wishing to learn things like muscle-ups, handstands and ring work, and this is what I really enjoy teaching. People also come to me because calisthenics is a fantastic way of training for weight loss, and to generally improve body composition. Plus it's far more varied and challenging than a typical gym routine. What's really rewarding for clients is that with this type of training there's constant feedback of progress. It's obvious when someone joins and they can only manage a single or a band assisted pull up/press-up, and by the end of a block they are blowing their previous max's out of the water with multiple sets and reps.

Do you work with a variety of fitness levels?

I work with a huge variety of fitness levels. I'm creative with my methods, and pride myself on being able to make every movement or exercise scalable in some way or another, this is the key to being successful in this discipline. In terms of a fundamental bodyweight skill, a great example would be a pull-up. Many clients cannot achieve this, and in order to work towards this skill we use bands to support the legs while they develop the necessary upper body strength to perform the movement with perfect form and totally unassisted further down the line.

Any inspiring transformational stories?

I'm currently focussing on strength and endurance goals with a lot of my clients. Rob Trotter was a great example who went from performing 9 pull-ups to being able to complete 111 in a 15 minute period. This took approximately 12 weeks to achieve, but was very impressive indeed. It's great to see someone who started with band assisted movements smashing their goals, it's very rewarding.

What's the most important aspect for you when training a client?

Due to influences of the modern world our bodies have lost the ability to move. The training principles are focused on skill-based movement patterns, and have been carefully thought out to combat modern physiological problems caused by increasingly sedentary lifestyles that have led to an epidemic of inactivity. Due to this there is now an unprecedented amount of imbalances in our bodies, as well as a multitude of postural and mobility problems. The Movement was born out of a love for calisthenics, and the desire to share my passion for the discipline with others in a way that translates, but most importantly to me challenges, current fitness norms. Calisthenics derives from the Greek kalli, beautiful and sthenos, strength. When training with me, you have the opportunity to not only reach your fitness goals but also learn a specific skill set setting you apart from your peers. The principle gives you the necessary training and nutritional knowledge to actively change your lifestyle for the better.

The Movement principle incorporates a variety of functional movement patterns with the focus on calisthenics with the inclusion of 'Compound Conditioning' to maximise results. The principles will see you improve in strength, endurance, mobility, posture, flexibility, motor control and balance and the end result will be a stronger, more functional and leaner body that has the ability to move the way that it evolved to.

What's your training style?

I get on really well with all my clients, and even train with some of them. But, it really does depend from person to person. Some guys and girls like the 'drill sergeant' approach, and others need to have a much fun as possible while training. My approach is very straightforward. If you put the effort in the results will come. I am very strict on things like form, and finishing sets, and will always be upfront with someone if they are not on the way to reaching their goals.

If someone books a 12 week block with you, what can they expect?

A 12 week block is a full one to one service. I am very client focussed and I'm theirs for the entire block, on call to answer any questions and make necessary tweaks to programming throughout the 12 weeks. They will obviously get their sessions in the gym with me along with a full programme specific to their goals and nutritional support where necessary.

Follow Angus on Instagram @anguslift and @liftldn