Fitness is a lifestyle
Tom, founder and head trainer of Zebra Fitness, grew up in the country side, within a stones throw of a working farm in Gloucestershire where splitting wood with an axe, fixing fences and stacking bales of hay were part of everyday life. Aubrey, a man with a National Service experience was the farmer who took Tom under his wing, who took the time to teach him these vital skills as well as goading him into thinking that he would never be tough enough to join the Army! Well, much to this old farm hand's satisfaction, Tom proved him wrong and served in HM Forces as a Royal Marines Commando for nine years.
Tom joined the Marines in October 2004, passing the 32 week basic training as an 'original' and was awarded the Kings Badge for being the best all round marine.
During his career, he saw active service, twice, in Afghanistan. He also had the privileged of taking Royal Marine recruits through their 32 week basic training. During this time, he was nominated by ballot as the most inspirational leader (twice), by his recruit troops.
Tom then decided to undertake one of the toughest specialisms within the RM; The Physical Training Instructors (PTI) course; a 17 week course of exercise, learning about exercise and doing more exercise!
Successful passing the PTI course, it was now Tom's responsibility to lead, motivate and physically prepare recruit troops of up to ~50 men for all of their physical tests, accumulating in the Commando Tests and the famous 30 miler across Dartmoor.
Tom was also part of the Potential Royal Marines Course (PRMC), with the responsibility for assessing physical fitness of all potential Marine recruits before (if they were successful) they started basic training.
Within the PTI branch there are several sub-specialisms; Tom opted to become an Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor, embarking on an intense six month course at Headley Court, learning from Doctors and Physiotherapists on how to help rehabilitate people back from their injuries; injuries that could range from triple amputation to fractured metatarsals.
Unfortunately, having struggled with an injury from the early stages of his PTI course, Tom physically pushed himself too far in order to succeed, resulting in a permanent injury that ended his career in 2013.
Since then, Tom has always been a keen gym goer, getting up at just gone 5am to get his work out in before heading into the office.
Lock down 2020, has given Tom the opportunity to reflect on what he really wants; the opportunity to own and run his own well-being centre, to bring together the two parts of his life; Farm and Military fitness.
Jess, founder and head trainer of Zebra Fitness, grew up on the very farm where Zebra Fitness is based. Having represented Great Britain at show jumping, Jess has competed at the highest level and knows exactly what it takes to be the best.
Extremely passionate about all things healthy and incredible invested in listening to all of the latest fitness pod casts, Jess has a wealth of knowledge and vision that she brings to the table.
As a fully qualified Personal Trainer, Jess specialises in one to one and small group personal training sessions. Dedicated, driven and empathetic, Jess will support you on your exercise journey and help you to achieve your fitness goals.
A unique fusion of farm and military fitness
We all know that person; the old farm hand, builder or lumber jack who has worked outside in the elements come rain or shine for decades. They never seem to do any 'physical exercise' but when it comes to moving house, or lifting something heavy they are the first person you call upon. They may have never set foot in a gym but yet, their strength is admirable. Why? Well, everyday, these hands on people are putting their bodies through what we call a series of 'functional' movements. Squatting down to pick up a bag of cement, carrying buckets of water or digging a hole for a post. These functional gross movements are the basics, the fundamentals, the origin of the more contemporary gym exercises that we see / do in a gym to achieve similar results. Am I saying the gym is pointless? Absolutely not. The gym definitely has it's purpose and there many exercises you do in the gym that would be difficult to replicate in the 'real world'. At Zebra Fitness we believe that fitness is not a hobby, but a way of life. We founded our well-being centre to bring to our customers a unique blend of all parts of Tom's fitness world; Contemporary gym movements, fused with functional farm activities and a decent sprinkling of military exercises.
Call us today to find out more!