Favourite Things: “Sheffield brought me right out of my shell”

Chris Mason, pictured. Picture: NSTE-21-12-18-Mason-1
Chris Mason, pictured. Picture: NSTE-21-12-18-Mason-1

Chris Mason is the owner and founder of popular Sheffield personal training gym, CMP Gyms. Chris has been a personal trainer for 12 years and embarked on his career in health and fitness while studying for a degree in sport and exercise science at Sheffield Hallam University. 

Starting off as a gym instructor at the former Don Valley Stadium, upon completing his degree Chris worked as a freelance personal trainer in both Sheffield and London before establishing his own private personal training gym in Sharrow Vale area of Sheffield in 2013.  
Chris set the gym up due to being unhappy with the level of support and type of results that were offered by commercial gyms to their, and ultimately his, customers. Chris said: “When you’ve taken and seen a client go through a physical transformation, the thing that often gets overlooked is the impact on their confidence in themselves, their mood, their relationships, their energy and their positivity. To be able to facilitate that change in so many of the people of Sheffield and surrounding areas, makes me and my team proud of our impact on others.

Leopold Square

Leopold Square

“The results we’ve achieved with clients, sometimes over the course of just 12 weeks, have blown me away. One in particular lost 52lbs to get into photoshoot shape. I love being able to help facilitate these results, many of which are available on my website.”  


Bramall Lane

Having grown up just outside Sheffield, I found myself travelling into the city as a youngster to watch the mighty Sheffield United – and have now spent years following the Blades. The first match that I went to, I wouldn’t have been very old but the buzz and excitement gripped me there and then. This was back in the days under Neil Warnock when literally anything could happen any match. I remember being one of the kids down at the front trying to get players like Simon Tracey and a young Marcus Bent’s autograph!


Hallam University

I loved my time at Hallam. Being the first of my family to go to university was a huge deal for me. I actually worked two jobs to be able to afford to go! It was also the first time that I’d ever lived away from home. I loved the halls of residence, learning all about science and why things worked in the body the way that they did and even enjoyed the lectures that every student has been to when they were hungover. University brought me out of my shell and thrust me into a world where I learnt to stand on my own two feet.


Don Valley Stadium

Though it’s not there anymore, I still remember Don Valley Stadium fondly. It’s where I cut my teeth in my first job as a gym instructor while in my second year of university. I cleaned the changing rooms, mopped the floors, took gym inductions and fended off a few angry customers from time-to-time! 

It was a rude introduction to working in a gym but I loved It. Athletes like Jessica Ennis-Hill would train in the strength and conditioning rooms at the stadium too – it was a great eye opener to see what they went through in their training and their overall approach. If anything, this is where I first started learning about people and, more importantly, how to communicate with clients to help them with their fitness results and the type of conversations needed to keep someone on track.


Eating out 

Another part of Sheffield close to me is Leopold Square and in particular Zizzi because this is where I took my wife on our second date and has been a favourite of hers ever since, particularly the panna cotta!. We love eating out and trying new restaurants.


Up and coming areas

When I previously lived in Sheffield, I lived down at Kelham Island before any of the recent developments. So it’s great to see the changes and improvements in that particular area while managing to keep the character and tradition of pubs like The Fat Cat and Kelham Island Tavern, which were directly opposite my old flat. 


Friendliness and community

If I’m honest, there is no place like home, and for me that home will always be Yorkshire. Having lived and worked in London, one of the biggest things I liked about returning back to Sheffield was the friendliness and sense of community among the people. People, though busy, are in less of a rush and Sheffield is less all ‘hustle and bustle’ compared to London.  

And in relation to what I was about to set up and offer in terms of the business, I thought why not? Private personal training is pretty big in a city like London, and I wanted to bring something more upmarket and results-driven to Sheffield, especially as I didn’t see any other service like the one I was offering.

For more information or to view Chris Mason's 'body transformations', visit www.cmpgyms.com.