March 15, 2021
Interview with PT Jim Burnside

Catching up with Personal Trainer and Nystart ambassador Jim Burnside

There’s a few tropes of mental health out there that have become popular parlance to the point of cliche. That’s not to say they’re not true, just that they’re heard so often that they become almost diluted by over exposure.

One such trope is vulnerability… We often hear that vulnerability is strength. That there’s power in vulnerability. So often in fact that I for one am guilty of rolling my eyes at the phrase...  That said, it is 100% true. Not up for debate, not here for discussion, don’t @ me.

Where’s this all going? Well I’m glad you asked… Enter Jim Burnside.

Jim is someone who’s father actually introduced him to the Nystart brand - he purchased Jim a t-shirt, we got chatting on the Nystart Instagram, and the conversation built from there. I’ll leave Jim to tell you himself but as a PT he’s someone doing great things to tackle the image of machismo and the ‘strong man’ image.

To be clear, I’m not saying he’s the only PT in town to roll out the ‘360 wellness’ chat, but he is one of the few people I’ve met that really seems to walk the walk. We chatted for about half an hour and I walked away feeling hopeful and energised. At the core of it, he seems kind. He was open, vulnerable and honest - in a way that left me wanting to follow suit.

What is it you do, and how did you get into it?

I am a personal trainer with an ethos that exercise should be one important tool of overall well being. Creating a space / environment for people to be the best versions of themselves, based on their own feelings, not a parameter dictated to them from an outside source.

I find this environment is the one most conducive of helping people reach those elusive goals. Goals in which we will keep in the back of our mind, without basing our success solely upon them. The foundation of our success is leaving the room each time feeling a little bit more content in our own skin and own feelings than when we walked in, and if we can manage to do that each time, I often find we’re onto a winner!

What did you do before this?

Prior to this I worked in recruitment. People are my passion, and helping them achieve, so the role in itself taught me a lot. It also helps me understand now how it feels to navigate a 9-5 role, lifes challenges and still find time to train, which allows me to be more considered for my clients and their needs now. Functional fitness is a buzzword across many people’s minds these days, and it has quite a loose definition. But to me, managing the daily grind, and then finding time to train is part of that. Running up the stairs at home and not feeling out of breath, getting up at 6am to train before getting home to feed the kids and prepare them for their day, travelling hours on multiple forms of public transport across a city, carrying luggage, whilst wearing office attire and still walking in, on time, with a smile. That’s functional fitness!

Having worked in a different sector completely, and found time to pursue my passion, I have such a better understanding of that now, and I’m glad I made the jump when I did

Why is wellness across the board so important to you as a PT?

Wellness across the board is at the heart of what I do. Exercise is my vehicle, with the wider journey being part of someone’s overall HEALTH. I explore different components of physical / mental wellbeing throughout my training process, gathering information from courses I’ve completed, my own darkness in the past, but mainly a deep, compassionate and ever-growing understanding of human beings. That’s what I feel my gift is, that’s my purpose - to serve others and in turn it looks after my own wellbeing. I may only nudge them in the right direction, but a nudge is a nudge all the same, and as long as we’re moving forward together with kindness, communication and plenty of hard work, I think I’m absolutely in the right place.


Euan Plater

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