A Premier League sports coach from Burnley has traded in a career in pro football to open his own US-style fitness centre.
Michael Rawson (28) was head strength and conditioning coach with Bolton Wanderers and trained stars including Gary Cahill and Kevin Davies.
But Michael, who worked under former Clarets boss Owen Coyle as well as a stint at Huddersfield Town FC, has quit football to open Crossfit Pendle and bring the “sport of fitness” to East Lancashire.
The former St Theodore’s High School pupil said: “I started at Bolton in 2007 under Gary Megson and was promoted to head strength and conditioning coach when Owen Coyle came in.
“I worked with top players to increase their performance, prevent injury and did a lot of their nutrition programmes.
“But I got a bit sick of travelling and staying in hotels and it can be quite hard work working with professional footballers – some of them don’t like doing the gym work.
“So I decided to leave football and set up my own gym after catching the ‘Crossfit bug’ training at Clitheroe Crossfit.”
The sport of Crossfit has exploded since it was created in America in 2000 and thousands of affiliate gyms have started up across the globe.
The training style is different to a conventional machine-based gym – with group classes and high-intensity workouts which include dozens of different “functional movements” from Olympic weightlifting, strongman and gymnastics to rope climbs, pull-ups, box jumps, kettlebells and rowing.
Clarets fan Michael says his new training centre on the Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, which will be among the first of its kind in East Lancashire, is open to everyone from beginners right up to athletes.
Michael has recruited former Burnley RUFC player Alistair Quinn and personal trainer Matt Donnelly to coach at the gym in Kenyon Road.
An open day will be held tomorrow from 10-30am where there will be demonstration workouts at noon, 1pm and 2pm.