The studio that Jon Stratford uses, The Albany Club, is fantastically located near to Regents Park, Great Portland Street, Warren Street and Euston tube stations. It’s purely a personal training studio so there’s a definite ‘I’m here to train’ vibe, which combined with excellent kit choices and space gives Jon a lot of equipment to ensure that the client not only achieves, but where relevant, has a lot of variety in their programming.
As mentioned, Jon was a Royal Marine Commando for over 14 years, where he trained and operated in all environments throughout the world. He completed his career as not only a physical training instructor, but as an even more select group of people, an adventure training instructor.
Since the age of eight and throughout his career he has trained and competed in a ridiculously wide range of sports, from the more conventional like rugby, athletics and cross-country, through the pretty unconventional, adventure racing, white water kayaking, climbing and jungle ultra marathons.
His current clients have equally diverse goals, from health and aesthetic improvements through to repeat desert ultra marathon runners and even gymnastic hopefuls!
1 — What does Commando Active stands for?
The title Commando is due to co-founder and lead coach, Jon’s 14 plus years as a Royal Marines Commando. The term Commando is often used to mean ‘without underwear’, which we actually like as we want people to be confident in their own skin, however, far more relevant for us is the Commando spirit that all Royal Marines must have to succeed and it’s this that we look for in all of our instructors, regardless of their individual backgrounds, but also, what we develop and give the confidence for a clients to use to ensure that they achieve everything that they want and more. We develop and progress individuals and groups in many ways, but all of which fall under the banner of ‘active lifestyle’. Commando Spirit is made up of: COURAGE – DETERMINATION – UNSELFISHNESS – CHEERFULNESS IN ADVERSITY
2 — Commando Active offers group fitness classes as well Semi Private Personal Training. What is a main difference between these two?
The main differences between these is that our group class, Raid, is outdoors and has up to 20 people, and that the semi private sessions are indoors and have a maximum of three people per session. This gives two very different types of training medium which suit different people at different stages of their health and fitness journey, from those who want to get confident using gym equipment to those who are looking for a boost to their results, either performance or fat loss, to those who like a sustained level of resistance based training to keep them in not only great shape, but able to perform too.
3 — Most Beginners probably fear training in a class with Pros, do you need a certain fitness level to join one of your classes?
There is a huge amount of people who delay or put off starting their training due to a fear of the unknown, being in front of other people, even wearing exercise clothing in public for the first time, let alone looking like they don’t know what they are doing! At Commando Active, whether the beginner is in a 1-1 with one of our specialist coaches, a semi private session or our group classes, they soon realise that they are in a safe place! We are experts in delivering training to all levels within the same session that doesn’t highlight any individuals or detract from the rest of the session. Also, they must remember that they have already achieved success, by fighting their way off the sofa or from the pull of peer pressure to head to the pub and actually had the courage to try something different.
4 — It’s the time-of-year when everyone has new year resolutions. What is your advice to stay motivated and achieve them?
For most they need to do several things:
1. Write down specific and challenging goals
2. They need to commit both physically and mentally to the journey ahead
3. Do not take failure with a shrug or an ‘I’ll try again next week’ attitude. If they struggle or even fail, they must learn why they failed and then not repeat the trigger, then move on!
4. If you have never achieved your health and fitness goals (we consider yo-yoing as failing!) then do not do what you have always done. Develop a different strategy and don’t be afraid to ask someone who knows what they are doing to help you.
5. Put in 100% effort into your training and your food and the rest of your lifestyle, because you will not achieve 100% of the results you want or need if you don’t!
5 – What’s your daily fitness routine like?
All of the coaches at CA train between 4-6 times per week depending on work, family commitments and also due to the phase of training that they are in for their next event or challenge, even Michelle who has less than a week to go before she has another baby has only recently stopped training! Regardless of goals, we all start with a strength foundation to ensure that we are moving correctly, resilient to fatigue and to protect ourselves from injury, then it starts to become a bit more activity or sport specific.
6 – What is your philosophy / your mantra of the moment?
Live now, move more and don’t be afraid to explore how capable you really are, because until you realise this you will never achieve anywhere near your full potential.