Emma Trott is the founder and head coach of Flamme Rouge Fitness. Based in Christchurch, the mobile coaching service is both distinctive and diverse. RoadCycling caught up with her to find out about her new enterprise.
RC: You talk about your coaching style being very much about working around your athletes. Your coaching style comes across as very relaxed in that regard, has that been a deliberate value on your part?
Emma: When you are a full time professional you have the ability to work your sport around your life. When you have a job and a family; your sport has to work around that. The first question I often ask people is do you have children, or what time do you have available to train. It’s important peoples’ training works for them and the training doesn’t rule their life.
Together we will then build a program that is tailored to their needs and their goals and aspirations. Just because someone is working or has a family doesn’t mean they have to put their dreams on hold. In fact in my opinion too many people have a mentality of wanting to do too many hours on the bike.
On the outside I may seem chilled and laid back. On the inside I have a brain that is constantly ticking over and constantly thinking of new ways of either challenging my cyclists or my personal training clients. It’s important to keep pushing forward and never to rest on your laurels. As soon as you stop moving forwards, much like in the peloton, you’re going backwards at a very fast rate.
I don’t need the world to know what I am capable of and what I can achieve. I will do it in my own way and achieve results that way. It worked for me on the bike and I am 100% sure this mentality will work off the bike too. Too many coaches want to be the centre of attention, they want the limelight. I suppose I have just taken the approach of the ones that do the work and let the riders have the glory. True, you cannot make it without a hard working team around you, but you also can’t be a successful coach without a rider willing to dedicate hours to the bike.
I’ve learnt to be relaxed as it’s important this rubs off onto my riders. I will stress and I will worry, but to every rider I train, there is never a problem. Broken bones, no worries they will heal. Poor result, also not a problem, let’s look at the data and see why and is there something we can change? I am a doer and a problem solver. I don’t believe in not being able to achieve something. Even the unachievable is achievable with a plan and a strategy.
I suppose I can be relaxed because I know my method of training works.
RC: How mobile is your mobile personal training?
Flamme Rouge Fitness is 100% mobile, currently only around Christchurch but I would love to move it to different locations around New Zealand. The gym atmosphere only suits so many people. Some people don’t like the environment and the bulking up mentality. The struggle for most is just getting to the gym. So having a service where I go to them it means, unless they cancel in advance, they have to train. There’s someone accountable, at every step of their fitness journey.
By offering sessions like this, people are accountable. They know they have to be ready for when I arrive. I have been told on numerous occasions that if I didn’t turn up they wouldn’t train. This is the mentality of a lot more people than you really realise. People know the benefits of leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, however sometimes just getting people into kit is an issue. This is where I play a big part in people’s lives. I work with their lifestyle rather than against. I am about creating a solution rather than a problem.
There are many trainers and coaches out there who think of their clients as full time professionals within sport. However the majority of the people I train have families, full time jobs and this is only their hobby and I believe this is important to keep in mind.
RC: A lot of cycling coaches I know really hone in on cycling exclusively, but you’re crossing everything from Hit Boxing to Running to Boot Camps to Cycling. Why?
I love cycling but I love sport and fitness in general. Cycling wasn’t my first love as a child. I threw my hat into the ring to do everything and that’s why I also decided to get my qualifications as a PT.
I had an opportunity in England to gain my qualifications with a company who sponsored me to do it. Opportunities like that don’t come around very often so you have to grab them with both hands. I am a very grateful person and at the time I was over the moon. It meant I could finally do something I knew I was good at. From GCSE’s to A-Levels and now to these qualifications I have gone through the grades only really knowing sport within my life.
I wanted to pass my passion and my knowledge on to people. I wanted people to enjoy getting fit and enjoy that feeling when they knew they were fit.
I like the fact I get to meet many people from all walks of life and this keeps you on your toes and constantly busy thinking about how you as a person and a trainer can get better. My PT clients benefit from my knowledge as a high end cycling coach and vice versa.
Why should I only limit my services to cyclists when I know what I do can help many other people?
RC: Why is watching others achieve so important to you and where does that come from?
I suppose if people knew me as a bike rider I spent years riding for the best in the world, in service to them. I didn’t complain, I listened to my job and delivered more times than I failed. I believe these were ethics and values installed in me at an early age. Work hard, help others and be happy even if it isn’t you winning.
To me it’s about creating an opportunity that people wouldn’t have otherwise had. I get frustrated that there are the chances here for Kiwis like there are over in Europe. Yes, I will be the first to agree that we are a long way from the home of cycling but that doesn’t have to mean a dream cannot happen.
I suppose in a way I see a problem and my mind goes how can I solve this. I already have many ideas running through my head to give more Kiwi riders the opportunity to ride overseas, whether that be Europe or America. It’s about creating a system and allowing them to learn within that. A lot of people have mouth but not many have get up and go. I would like to think that at the next Olympics New Zealand has three or four standing on the start line instead of one, but the hard work really starts now.
As I grew up in England people don’t know my background, but if it wasn’t for all of those people who sacrificed their time at track league, track training and all the club races we did, I would never have been in the position I was in. I wouldn’t have gone to race on mainland Europe because dad was a cricket player and mum a stay at home parent. In a way our life was pretty normal and that’s what is so cool about it all now. We are still just those people.
I can be honest and say I was always so worried about other riders, I probably wasn’t worried about myself enough. Cycling is a selfish sport, as is exercise, I just wasn’t selfish enough but I do have the knowledge to help others achieve the very pinnacle, through experience and qualifications and often the two don’t come hand in hand.