Tom Herbert, CPT, CISSN

I want to help you be more useful. Which means work with you to identify inability, and coach you in the mindset, skills and practice to improve and move you towards ability—more useful.

Lanzerote, 2016. Obligatory marketing torso shot. (@usefulcoach)

INSTAGRAM: Tom has been an incredible help, getting my nutrition sorted out, finding certain muscle imbalances and showing me how to fix them, and meeting up with me each weekend to put me through my paces… all the while being one of the most motivated, inspiring and friendliest people I've trained with! – Louis Parkinson (@captaincutloose). 2015 GB Bouldering Team.

Since my own goal is to be more useful too, my focus is understanding how best I can facilitate you with the most effective coaching, programming, and applied nutrition you need to reach your goals. I'm interested in finding what works best for you, using evidence informed practices, and drawing on the years of experience of other excellent coaches and practitioners.

Working with me is working with a team of people. My coaching practice is, and will continue to be informed by a multitude of the best in their fields. My education in nutrition, sports and performance science continues, and I care deeply about understanding and utilising the best tested and respected information available.

I don't want to exercise you for money, we both don't have time for that. I do though want to coach you—figure out the limiting factors to your progress, the sticking points, the weaknesses, and come alongside you to help you move forwards. I want to train and support you, you can pay me for that.

Personal Training / Coaching

My coaching style is finding and applying an optimal training stimulas through phased training loads, periodisation and underpinned by breathing practice, muscle activation, non-defensive posture, body awareness, movement novelty, integrative corrective exercise, visualisation, and biofeedback.

INSTAGRAM: Over the years I have had countless treatments for musculoskeletal alignment and optimisation and I have to say that his work with these emerging techniques is very interesting. Helping to activate neurological pathways to fire the muscles correctly so that strength comes with more ease is something that I have experienced before via Rolfing and yoga. But this is a new approach which could have huge benefits in my opinion. – Charlie Woodburn (@charliewoodburn). DMM Pro Team Climber.

I am passionate about tracking change and monitoring athletic health, recovery, and progress. I utilise assessments, benchmarks, training logs, training loads, habit streaks, wellness questionnaires, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and heart rate variability (HRV). If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.

TRAINING NOTES: 16h00 (2h30) - Bouldering (AR) | RPE (9) | Load (1350)
All on my board at home, I did about 1:45 of feet-on projecting followed by 45mins of campusing on the board. Honestly the strongest I've ever felt and sent pretty much everything I have on the board! – Aidan Roberts (@aidan.roberts98). 2016 GB Bouldering Team.

Performance and Change Nutrition

My approach to performance and change nutrition (i.e. body-composition) is understanding the underlying science and best practice, but choosing the means which will be most effective and effectively applied by you.

I am able to work within most dietary boundaries: vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, mediterranean, paleo, autoimmune, LCHF, ketogenic, religious restriction, etc. It is my job to find the way to optimise your dietary choices to improve your overall health, body-composition, training, recovery and performance outcomes.

EMAIL: Thank you for all your support with the diet and sorting me out with the right supplements. I feel like in general I have more energy, especially when training and I have been recovering from training sessions quicker. For example I felt the strongest I have ever felt the week before my injury and had one of my best training sessions on my 4th day on which is pretty cool considering I rarely climb more than 2/3 days in a row. – Matt Cousins (@mattcousins_). 2016 British Bouldering Champion. 2017 GB Bouldering Team.

Working With Me

I have worked with everyone from a ballroom dancer to an agile development team scrum master, and even though this website is particularly climbing focused, if you need help preparing for Ninja Warrior or your wedding day, just ask.

Lifting is also going well, added another 15kg on to my deadlift since our session and feeling a lot more stable in my overhead squat. Still using many of the techniques we used in between sets and during a warm up. The main thing that has stuck with me though is the way I now approach the bar and my mindset for each lift, lifting with much more confidence and positivity. Really happy with the progress. – Jack Sanders (@apeirofitness).

For commitment sake I do limit the number of monthly subscription clients, but do contact me regarding availability and if you are interested in working with me for a few months, a few hours, or just want a coffee and chat:

TESTIMONY: Our sessions are challenging, but always with an element of fun. When I thought I couldn't do something, I was never allowed to give in, the movements were either broken down or modified to help me achieve the goals for that session. Since working with Tom, I am now able to deadlift more than bodyweight, despite never having done a deadlift before in my life. Tom takes the time to listen and understand your goals and designs a programme specifically tailored to your needs. Having worked with other PTs, Tom goes above and beyond what most PTs offer. – Angela.

Please don't hesitate to ask for help, even if you feel you are lack the confidence or experience in exercise, using gym equipment, or worry about your current level of fitness. It is my job and pleasure to help, teach, and enable you at whatever ability and starting point so you can train yourself. I have a lot of time for complete beginners, people who are shy, lack self-confidence, or feel unable in any way.

Coaching and Nutrition Services

Freelance CYQ L3 Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN), L1 "Be Activated" Muscle Activation Practitioner, Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach. (See CPD and Credentials). Based in East London, Docklands, United Kingdom, E14. Enhanced DBS checked, CIMSPA registered, fully insured, GLL gym licensed under YPT Management.

Unless otherwise arranged, all coaching / personal training sessions are held at:

BETTER: Tiller Leisure Centre
Tiller Road
E14 8PX
Tel: 020 7987 5211
(Google Map)

Pay-as-You-Go (<£10) or BETTER monthly membership (<£30) is required for gym entry, and not included in the coaching session price. Please check BETTER for current entry fees.

Please note that sessions are programmed to maximise the use of the time scheduled. Please arrive early enough to be ready to start on time. Please contact me directly to change or cancel any scheduled sessions, cancellations made with less than 24 hours notice will incur the full session charge. Service prices listed below are correct as of 01 March 2018.

  • ENQUIRIES AND BOOKING: Please contact me directly:
  • COACHING / TRAINING: Weekdays (18:30), Weekends (09:00 - 17:00 / last booking 15:30)
  • BE ACTIVATED SESSION: Weekdays (19:30) / Weekends (10:00-21:00 / last booking 19:30)

In my opinion, the corrective warm-up (a.k.a. movement prep, integrated warm-up) renders the "general warm-up" obsolete. You have 2 choices before you start training – improve the quality of human movement and optimize mechanics, or spend 10 minutes on a treadmill reinforcing your compensation patterns. – Brent Brookbush, DPT. The Brookbush Institute.

Strength should only be developed on top of an optimal strategy or the individual will simply be creating a more significant issue. Choose exercises that allow your client to successfully align, breathe, and control and you have given them the framework for developing and maintaining an optimal strategy. – Dr. Evan Osar. Fitness Education Seminars.

» MSC Coaching - Movement, Strength, Conditioning

£60.00 / 1.5 Hours (Weekends Only)

All personal training / coaching sessions are a minimum of 1.5 hours. Sessions generally follow the format of:

  • Body awareness, breathing practice, muscle activation, optimised posture (~10 min)
  • Awareness through movement, prehab, corrective exercise (~10 min)
  • Training block, movement coaching, visualisation (~60 min)
  • Deloading, stretching, breathing practice (~10 min)

» MSC Coaching - Subscription

£150.00 / Month (Minimum 3 Months)

Rolling monthly subscription for 3 hours of in-person MSC coaching, plus I'll provide you all the weekly supportive programming between our sessions. Paid monthly (£150.00 / Month) with a minimum subscription of three months. Probably one of the best value dual (in-person / online) training packages available.

  • 2 x 1.5 hour MSC coaching sessions per month
  • Weekly supportive training programming tailored to your schedule
  • 1 x body-composition assessment per month
  • Discounted ithlete Heart Rate Variability (HRV) tracking (£40 bluetooth heart rate monitor)
  • Discounted "Be Activated" - Assessment / Activation (£80.00 / 2.0 Hours)
  • Discounted Nutrition Coaching (£150.00 / 12 Weeks)

» MSC Coaching - Initial Session

£60.00 / 2.0 Hours (New Client)

The initial 2 hour evaluation session for new clients. Our first gym meeting follows the MSC coaching format, but the longer session provides us the room for discussion, note-taking, and allows me to better understand where you currently are, and where you want to be. Unfortunately no, I don't offer first sessions for free.

» Be Activated - Assessment / Activation

£100.00 / 2.0 Hours

A dedicated session of Douglas Heel's "Be Activated" muscle testing and activation. We work together to establish where you are holding defensive tension—which negatively affects your breathing, posture, mindset (yes really), and limits flexibility, freedom of movement, and optimal performance. You will go away having been taught how to activate yourself, able to apply the activation techniques daily, and before training or performance. See client results: Be Activated.

» General Consultation - Q&A

£60.00 / 1.0 Hours

Skype, Google Hangouts, or in-person (availability permitting). Happy to discuss training, recovery, Douglas Heel's "Be Activated" muscle activation, heart rate variability (HRV), nutrition, food preparation, supplements, or anything you want. Most productive if you pass me the questions over email first.

» Nutrition Coaching - 12 weeks

£200.00 / 12 weeks

During our initial meeting (online or in-person) we discuss your goals, concerns, eating habits, and training or activity schedule. You pass me a food journal of your typical week, and we meet up again to look over the nutritional breakdown report, discuss my recommendations, ideas, and meal guidence. I have no bias towards any particular diet strategy, but work with you to establish the most effective means of maintaining progress towards improved health, performance, and your target body-composition goals.

  • Food journal evaluation and full nutrition report (energy, macronutrients, micronutrients)
  • Tailored meal guidance (training specific, recovery focused)
  • Supplementation recommendations (if applicable)
  • Slack correspondence over the 12 weeks
  • 1 additional hour of online or in-person (availability permitting) general consultation, which can be scheduled to discuss progress and answer any questions

» Nutrition Coaching (Redux) - 12 weeks

£100.00 / 12 weeks

Following on from an initial coaching above, the evaluation and planning process can be repeated again as a means to adjust or change strategy. This is ideal if you are moving from one training block to another (e.g. strength phase to competition preparation phase), or having reached a specific focused goal (e.g. maximally increasing muscle mass), and are now wanting to switch direction (e.g. maximally reducing body fat). Available for previous clients only.

Continuing Professional Development and Credentials

The true scientist is always skeptical of claims but always remains open to changing his opinion based on emerging science; there is no place for confirmation bias in evidence-based practice. – Brad Schoenfeld, PhD

I list these so that you can understand what I have done, what has influenced me, and where my mind is perhpas going for the future.


  • CYQ Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training (QCF)
  • Certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN)
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certificate in Exercise Nutrition (PN1)
  • UKAD Accredited Anti-Doping Advisor
  • Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach (ICEA) - Dr. Evan Osar
  • Advanced Core Training - Dean Somerset
  • Complete Shoulder and Hip Blueprint - Dean Somerset, Tony Gentilcore
  • Intervention: Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer - Dan John
  • The HRV Solution - Dr. Mike T. Nelson, Simon Wegerif
  • Activation for Therapists and Trainers - Douglas Heel
  • Be Activated (Level 1) - Douglas Heel
  • Immaculate Dissection: Functional Anatomy - Kathy Dooley, Anna Folckomer, Danny Quirk
  • Chapmans Reflexes - Paula Nutting

Currently Undertaking

  • ISSN Diploma in Applied Sports & Exercise Nutrition (ISSNDip)

Future Development Goals and Certifications

  • RPR™ (Reflexive Performance Reset) - Chris Korfist, Cal Dietz, JL Holdsworth
  • Be Activated (Level 2) - Douglas Heel
  • NLSSM Anatomy & Physiology for Massage Therapists
  • NLSSM Principles and Practical Application of Stretching
  • NLSSM Muscle Energy Techniques - Post Isometric Relaxation
  • NLSSM Muscle Energy Techniques - Reciprocal Inhibition
  • Postural Respiration - Postural Restoration Institute®
  • UKSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach Accreditation (ASCC)
  • Level 1 ISAK Anthropometry Accreditation
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy
  • Feldenkrais Practioner® - Feldenkrais Institute