As anyone following ITV's new series, Commando – On the Front Line will know, passing the eight-month programme to become a Royal Marine requires supreme physical fitness. Nick Schofield, 27, and Rob Blair, 26, won their green berets seven years ago and have just launched Commando Fitness Trainers, a London-based business that offers high-level physical training.
"Our individual clients,"says Schofield, "are often those who have reached a plateau with training programmes available from commercial gyms. We can help them dig deeper and achieve that next level."
The business founders have access to gyms but their main training locations are Blackheath Common and Greenwich Park. As Blair says, "We encourage our clients to train in the open air regardless of weather – it is commando training after all." From a business perspective, this outdoor approach keeps overheads down and fees very competitive. But it is also very applicable for sports teams, one of the main target client groups for the new business. "Commando training has physical fitness as a foundation but it is the ability to work effectively in a team that defines a Royal Marine," explains Schofield.
"The Corp's proven methods, renowned for turning new recruits into effective fighting units, have much to offer in competitive sport," adds Blair. "We believe that our training programmes will prove effective in helping good teams move up a league." And feedback so far has been uniformly positive. As Jack Kay of Blackheath RFC says, "The boys were looking forward to the morning with some trepidation, stepping into the unknown with these two hardbitten Marines but once the 90 minutes got underway they absolutely relished it."
The founders have also applied their training philosophy to themselves and both have undertaken professional programmes in nutrition, personal training, sports massage and first aid. "We want to be able to offer the highest level of service to our clients," says Schofield.
The business goal is to carve out a niche market with professional sports teams over the next five years and the founders clearly have the necessary determination and experience to achieve that. And they are prepared to work flat out, six days a week to make it happen. So will they be taking Sundays off for a day of rest? "Unlikely, says Blair. "Many of our days off will be spent competing in endurance events for charity." Passion and commitment – a winning combination in business.
Commando Fitness Trainers, Blackheath, London (07806 216756; www.commandotraining.co.uk)