Being a professional fitness model comes at a price that not many of us would be willing to pay. It requires a lot of self discipline, hard work and personal sacrifices. Luke Sumner-Wilson has paid that price in full. Find out what it really takes to make it as a fitness model and personal trainer.
Would you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Luke Sumner-Wilson. I am 21 years old, 6’2’’ tall and my weight is 88kg. I am a personal trainer, fitness model, magazine columnist and physique competitor. I am also a member of the amazing Team Reflex; as a sponsored athlete. I am here to show you the right way to do things to achieve what you have always wanted with your health, body and mind.
My aim is to provide everyone with the latest and best tips on training, nutrition and other things needed to achieve the physique they have always wanted.
When did you start your body transformation?
I first became interested in health and fitness at the age of 12 after watching a YouTube video of a basketball coach giving advice to improve ball skills. As a keen basketball player, I found the advice incredibly useful but I was won over by the way the coach explained the drills and exercises I needed to perfect my shot.
Basketball was a big chapter in my life. The friendships and camaraderie that came with being part of a team helped my self-confidence. As an athlete I learned about hard work, discipline and sacrifice. It was this last attribute that got me through the very difficult decision to retire from the sport to focus on building a career as a personal trainer helping others.
Rather than signing up immediately for a Personal Trainer course, I was keen to get straight into a gym environment and learn from those already doing the job. I got a job as a receptionist at my local gym and spent several years watching and learning from the professionals before I did my Personal Trainer course.
While studying for my qualifications, I lost my job at the gym. The financial pressure led to the breakup of my relationship and I found myself struggling with mounting debts.
Losing my job was a major setback as I had just taken on a flat and relied on the income my job provided. I ended up getting an evening job which meant working until 2am most nights. I’d then get up at 6am to travel to my course, do a full day’s studying before catching a train back and then running into town to start the whole process over again.
It was a really hard time and I felt as if everything was going to get on top of me. I really didn’t know how things would play out but I knew I had to follow my dream of becoming a personal trainer.
It was at this time that my sports injury specialist and friend – Ross Knevett, introduced me to the Potentia Performance Centre in Colchester [UK].
It was like I’d arrived home. The centre was amazing; the team were incredibly helpful, friendly and encouraging. I had a meeting with one of the Directors – David Chandler, who offered to mentor me on the business aspects of being a personal trainer, how to set up and grow my business.
By the time I left the centre, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t stop chuckling and smiling to myself. It was like everything I’d worked for, trained for and learned and all been worthwhile. I can’t put the feeling into words and do it justice but I honestly felt that everything had fallen into place.
Shortly after that, I had built up a client base big enough to allow me to quit my evening job. I found a new place to live and started to catch up with the debts I had run up.
I often think back to when I first started out and it seems like just yesterday but then, so much has happened since, that it also feels like a lifetime ago.
What keeps you motivated?
I get motivation from deep within, striving to be the best I can be and to show people what can be achieved naturally if you dedicate your life and have a dream. I definitely think having role models and their images being posted about makes me just want to keep chasing.
I also like to use powerful motivational videos from YouTube – videos that stimulate positivity and activate that mental drive you need to achieve in all walks of life.
Mateusz M does a great job on his channel with providing some of the most motivating videos I have ever watched. This is one of my favourite to date:
What is your advice to anyone who wants to gain weight and build muscles?
Gaining weight and losing weight is different to adding muscle. You need to make sure you get your calorie surplus right for you as an individual and this will take time and experimenting.
When trying to build lean size, I think it is imperative that you get a gym membership or at least access to weights. Memberships run for as little as £10-15 a month at some gyms. You can save for it by cutting bad dietary choices – like fizzy drinks for example. They cost roughly £0.50 a day, if not less. That leaves you with a saving of £15 a month.
The real question is how bad do you want it? Some sacrifice has to come along the way and that is all part of the journey. Use all of your sources online to research on types of training that people do and find what’s best for you as an individual.
What are your ambitions?
My ambition is to be the one of the faces of the fitness industry that people look up to. I want to inspire a generation and show them the right way to do things. I want to take away all the myths and motivate people around the world to achieve the physiques they’ve always wanted.
I want to be on the front cover of the top magazines and someone who leaves a mark on the fitness industry!
Anything else you like to add?
My first competition was the WBFF in the UK this year and it was such an amazing experience one I will never forget. After competing and picking up an athlete sponsorship from Reflex Nutrition and the comments I have had post show, it has spurred me on to return in 2014 with a bang in as many competitions that I can. I will be at Body Power Expo representing Reflex Nutrition and hopefully some other brands as well.
I am also looking to go into a couple of natural body building shows as at current my physique could potentially hold up there. It would be an experience on its own just to see how I do.
I’d like to give a massive shout out to Reflex and their support to date. They are a great team that I am so proud to be part of and to represent! Next year , I hope to bring some titles back to say thanks for their continued support to me as an athlete.
[quote_box_center]For anybody looking to get started, more advanced training and dietary programs or just want any help with getting results in the gym then please head over to my website and social media pages:
Photography credit: Toby Harrison – facebook.com/tobyharrisonphotography; Alex Wightman – www.forever-imagery.com; Broosk Saib – www.broosk.com [/quote_box_center]