Getting Fit with Callum Parker
Hi there, my name is Callum and I am the founder of PAR|fit Health & Fitness, a personal training and fitness business based in Oxford and Abingdon.
I first began lifting weights and exercising when I was 14 years old. Naturally very skinny, I experienced teasing for my lack of strength and muscle. Believe it or not, I also played rugby at both club and school level (the latter of which I was captain). Luckily, I was a scrum-half, so I didn’t need to be particularly big or strong! Still, I wanted to stand alongside my team mates in terms of strength and size, and just feel more confident in my own skin.
My early gym days were quite typical of a skinny lad my age; I would head straight to the dumbbells for 20 odd sets of bicep curls; stick mostly to the fixed resistance machines; and I almost never worked my legs. I also paid almost no attention to nutrition – I knew protein was kind of important, but I restricted myself to consuming over-priced shakes and other useless supplements, wrongly believing that these would get me to where I wanted to go. Funnily enough, I didn’t get there.
It wasn’t until I turned 21 that I went back to weight training. I wasn’t quite as skinny as I was before, but that was more down to putting on fat rather than muscle. I was still unhappy with the way I looked, and still felt quite weak whenever I competed in sports.
To make matters worse, I had sustained a chronic back injury as a result of regular heavy and improper lifting at a previous job. One of the discs in my lumbar spine had been worn down, which led to me experiencing incredibly painful bouts of sciatica that prevented me from walking properly. I felt like a 90 year old man in a 21 year old’s body. Something had to change!
This forced me to be smarter about my training. I did a lot of research into mobility and flexibility, identified the muscles that needed strengthening, and applied my newfound knowledge to great effect. Where once my back would flare up and have me immobilised for days on end, the absolute worst I get now is the occasional dull ache.
Growing tired of the dead end job I was stuck in, I decided to take the plunge and invest in my Level 3 Fitness qualification. I started out working for a big chain gym, which was an invaluable learning experience. However, I quickly grew tired of the corporate atmosphere and ‘by the book’ training methods, so I decided to go my own way.
I founded PAR|fit Health & Fitness on the premise that fitness should be educational, simple and fun. I wanted to create an atmosphere that was approachable and understanding, and one in which everyone could feel totally comfortable, whilst at the same time laser-focused on their training and their goals.
As a result of everything that has happened, I pay meticulous attention to detail when I coach. The best thing that I ever did at the gym was to leave my ego at the door on day one – it’s not what you lift that’s important, it’s how you lift it. Respect for your body, an open mind and a healthy dose of perspective go a long way. I know this because I have applied it myself, and I want to help you to apply it to your own life.
I would love to hear from you. If you would like more information or to
make an enquiry, please use the form below.
Phone: 01635 600 604
Mobile: 07928 786 544