An interview with Elitas co-founder and personal trainer David Cox

How long have you been a personal trainer?

I have been in the industry on a full-time basis for 14 years and have worked with people on a one-to-one, personal training basis for 13 of those years.


What kinds of goals do people have when they come to see you?

The majority of people I see want to improve the way they look and feel.  Most want to lose a fairly significant amount of body fat and have little to no experience using a gym.  I have also noticed that both physical and mental health goals are becoming more common than just body composition goals which is really great to see.


Older individuals I work with tend to prioritise strength and mobility as they realise this is so vital as we age to ensure a good quality of life.


What makes your gym and your coaching stand out from all the other gyms and personal trainers out there?

The gym is all about creating a great, positive and supportive community of people with a wide range of backgrounds, training goals and experience.  We look to educate and support all of our members, so that they feel confident in their training and their ability to reach their goals.


We know everybody by name and are always available to help people in whatever way we can. Gyms can be very intimidating for people so we aim to create a really positive space for our members and clients to come in and focus on their own training.  We also have a world class array of strength training equipment.  This equipment has all been carefully selected and added to over the years by myself and Ben.


Having originally started coaching clients on a busy commercial gym floor how would you say your service is different in your premium semi-private facility in Chichester? 

One of the best features of a more private facility is that we can always follow a carefully structured training plan without having to compromise the quality of training. Commercial gyms can get extremely congested, particularly around peak hours.  During the early stages of my career when working within a commercial gym, it was almost impossible to follow a training plan – there was always a compromise and the ability to utilise optimal training methodologies was impossible most of the time.


A lot of people can also feel very self conscious, particularly when they first start and it’s great to be able to train clients in a private environment away from hordes of people watching you from the row of treadmills.


Most trainers who work in larger gyms are typically very early in their careers and lack the experience that only years of working with people can teach. The service and quality of coaching at Elitas is a world apart from your typical gym.


Many people try and fail over and over again with their fitness and weight loss goals – how is it possible to break this cycle?

Education and guidance is everything and people need to understand the science and reasoning surrounding the steps they need to take in order to achieve their goals. “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  Show a man how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”.  This phrase rings so true and we are all about educating and offering explanation around all of our recommendations. This is always tailored to the individual and we never provide cookie cutter guidance, which I see in 90% of fitness professionals’ training programmes and dietary plans.


People often have very skewed concepts of what it takes to achieve their goals: assuming they have to train 6 days a week in order to get into great shape or thinking that a couple of runs will give them a super slim stomach.  Being very honest from the start and allowing for sustained development with minimal disruption to family, work and leisure pursuits is key for people to stay the course and enjoy the journey.


Do you have any simple advice for someone totally new to the gym and looking to get fit with no idea where to start?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You wouldn’t pretend to fix your car if something is wrong, you would seek professional advice. Your body is no different and it’s the only one you’ve got.


People waste so much time trying all the wrong things.  These choices lead to a lack of results and very often injuries and pain.  It doesn’t take long for this to destroy motivation and adherence.  Training should not be associated with pain and a lack of enjoyment; it should be something you really look forward to.