About me

Dan Thomas

Strength and Performance coach

London’s strongest man (Masters) 2019

5th place, Official Strongman games, European Championchips (Masters) 2019

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Location

The Commando Temple

Units 14-16, Resolution way

Deptford

London

SE8 4NT

 
 
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I have been a strength coach for 8 years, but my training goes back much further.

As a kid, I was chubby. I still played outside and was on a local football team, but I was always a lot bigger than my friends. At school I would get bullied for being fat and it made my life miserable, I often didn’t want to go in, this all changed when I was 14 as I got a weight bench, barbell and plates for Christmas so that I could start training. I set the bench up in my room, bought Flex magazine with my pocket money and ordered my first protein powder. I would spend every night lifting weights, copying the routines I read. After a year or so, I started to get bigger and the bullying stopped (funny how bullies don’t pick on the kid who can fight back).

I kept training through my teens and into my early twenties where I hit a road block at the age of 23. I was working in a bar where I injured my back. The diagnosis was a herniated disk which had me off work for 14 months, I was in constant pain and could barely move. Sneezing would set off spasms that would have me doubled over in pain. Pain killers barely helped so my only other option was alcohol.

This led to a downward spiral of depression and anxiety which was very difficult to overcome. Eventually, after an operation, I was able to get back to what I loved doing, which was training. The damage had been done though and I had ballooned from a lean 93kg to a very out of shape 118kg. My only way to beat this was to go cold turkey, I quit drinking for 6 months, cleaned up my diet and trained 5 times a week. This became my way to deal with depression and anxiety and to some extent, it still is, although now, I have learned to talk to the people I love and they help me just as much as a barbell does.

In 2006 I wanted to try something new, this was when I found armwrestling. I’d always been good at it in school and bars, but the guys I trained with were on a whole different level, it was like pub football vs premier league. I trained with the team in Milton Keynes for 3 years under the tuition of a multiple British champion and others who would eventually become my team mates when I represented Britain at two World championships.

During this time period, I had changed careers and started working as a personal trainer, using the 20 plus years of experience that I had to good effect and in 2016, I moved from the commercial gym where I started into a new facility where I took out a business loan to set up a company called Cambridge Barbell, I used the money to buy strongman equipment, I had Atlas stones, logs, a yoke, farmers handles, sandbags, plates, kegs and some big tractor tyres. I used this equipment daily and found that I was pretty good at moving events, in particular, farmers walk as a decade of armwrestling tends to give you a very strong grip.

I started to compete with a win in my first competition and then five top three places following that. In 2017 I entered my first under 105kg competition and qualified for England’s strongest, but a shoulder injury picked up in the first event of the qualifier forced me to pull out (another road block!)

In August of 2017 circumstances meant that I could no longer continue running Cambridge Barbell from the facility I was based in, but as luck would have it, Rob at the Commando Temple was looking for a new coach to come on board so I contacted him to ask if I could come down for a chat and the rest is history.

Apart from a few of my clients who are either coaches or athletes who compete at national and international level, the majority of the people I now train are professionals in their 40’s or older and this is a demographic I am really interested in working with as I too am in my 40’s. I love strength training and firmly believe that it’s the fountain of youth and there’s never a more important time to pick up a barbell than when you hit your fourth decade.

Now I’m guessing that If you’ve got this far, you have already decided that you want to hire a coach, so please get in touch and let’s get the ball rolling.

Dan Thomas

CONTACT ME

 
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