A Class Act: Adrian Walters

A Class Act: Adrian Walters

Originally setting out as a volunteer teaching the Sunday lunchtime circuit classes, Adrian instantly fell in love with the YMCA.

“It was totally different to any other gym that I’d visited previously,” Adrian explains. “It’s that sense of community, no - more family than community.

“No intimidation, just be yourself. That’s the club’s ethos. It doesn't matter what size you are or where you’re from - the club holds a fantastic and diverse mix of people from all walks of life.
 
“We don’t want our club to feel intimidating like you might feel at other more well known gym chains. It’s every man for himself at those places. Looking in the mirror, checking out your pecks - that’s not what we’re about.” 

Adrian’s background is an interesting one. For 14 years he was a choreographer and professional dancer, travelling the world and busting moves in the West End. He even worked behind the scenes on the Matthew Kelly fronted Stars in their Eyes, but nothing lasts forever... “It’s a lot like being a sportsperson - you have a shelf life,” Adrian asserts.    

The show must go on. Moving forward and changing careers, the fitness industry seemed like a logical next step for Adrian. “I came into something that was very similar to what I’d done previously. Fitness first, then moving back to teaching classes with group work. I went back to the books and retrained myself - I enjoyed learning again and putting what I’d learned into practice.”

The group work Adrian alludes to enables him to utilise some of his past performance credentials. “It’s almost like a performance [clicks fingers] - you switch it back on.”

Leading by example and feeling out the performance buzz, it seems like the perfect time to ask Adrian about the best new classes for new members.

As a personal trainer, Adrian feels that it’s all about the individual. “I can tell you what you should do and what your goals should be, but that’s not what it’s about. What I think you should do, might end up being what you don’t like doing. It’s getting to know the individual, finding out who they are, what they want, and what works best for them. If you hate an exercise or you’re not really enjoying it, then you’re more likely to not come back to a class”.

This reverse psychology method is one that Adrian admires. Working to the person, rather than telling that person what they should be doing.  

“New members will adapt easily in any class environment here.” Adrian continues. “Classes are always mixed ability and we can accommodate accordingly - class plans can be easily adjusted to accommodate everyone who attends.

With group exercise you get something from everything. It’s not about being big and muscly - it’s embracing a circle of all exercises.”

The perfect circle for new members would ideally consist of:

  • Cardiovascular exercise
  •  Strength training
  •  Stability training
  •  Mobility training
  •  Flexibility training    

“It’s about being fit and healthy further down the line, and about movement and longevity, says Adrian. There are no exclusions for anyone who wants to come along. We’re open for all, beginners, intermediate and advanced. Instructors will screen anyone at the beginning of each class. If you’re new, arrive to the classes early and speak to the instructor. You’ll be well looked after. No one will judge you here.”

Depending on fitness levels, it seems like you can go into any new class with confidence - there are no barriers.

Overseeing the entire 130 class programme at YMCA Club ensures that Adrian is able to teach every class with absolute confidence. You’ll most probably notice Adrian flitting in and around the club. To witness him in his absolute element, we suggest that you pop into an Aerodance class sometime soon. Being one of Adrian’s favourite classes, you will witness one of our YMCA greats taking a step back into the past, with his choreographed feet firmly planted to the future.

ymca | 5 July 2016