Behind Gym Doors With Celebrity PT And Sussex Local Matt Hodges


Matt Hodges is a personal trainer to the stars – and has some amazing stories to tell. He talks about Behind Gym Doors, dealing with ADD and why his Sussex home is a real escape

What inspired you to write Behind Gym Doors?

I’d been told for years by my clients that I should write a book about the things I’ve experienced. I always thought it was just part of the trade, but it wasn’t until Adam Kay’s This Is Going To Hurt came out, that I thought to myself ‘I could do this’. Then Covid happened and I started to put pen to paper and it just took off from there.

Was it a cathartic experience putting the book together?

Yes, on two levels. The first level was/is that I suffer from attention deficit disorder so giving anything a serious amount of time is often quite hard for me. My mind is whirling 24/7 and I get very excited and motivated in short bursts. The writing at the beginning was furious. It was mind vomit all on paper. I think this is where writers get really stuck. They try and get it perfect on the first go. I found a style which worked for me and it made the process easier.

The second was that a lot of the experiences I talk about in Behind Gym Doors were difficult. They were either hilariously disgusting, laugh out loud funny, or grim and sad. But this was my life. I’d never really looked at it any other way than just par of the course, but upon writing and reflection I realised that it was a kind of therapy. The book has quite an arc, which changes more towards the end. This is where the book helped me in many ways.

Black White

How did you decide on what stories to feature?

I’m not short on stories. I already have book two pretty much ready in terms of what’s going in there. There are just so many characters and incidents and adventures that have been had, that people who don’t mix with the type of people I do, won’t know about. That said, the book has what I like to call ‘umbrella’ chapters. These are issues in the health & fitness world that I wanted to talk about. Things like fat loss, social media psychosis, or the celebrity circuit. Once the umbrella chapters were chosen it was easy for me to bring the stories into those subjects.

Can you give us three crazy stories that sound made up, but actually happened?

A colleague pretending he had Tourette’s just to show us all how to get rid of difficult clients. He sacrificed his own clients and wage just to prove a point.

Another one who decided to eat her own placenta… raw.

Another one who paid just shy of £1million pounds for a new kitchen just to rip it out again three months later because someone across the road had bought the same one. Remember – my circles are the super rich.

Are there more serious subjects covered too?

All the ‘Umbrella’ chapters are me talking to you in a more professional and serious manner. I cover the issues I see in the fitness world and how they relate to the common man. I look at the lunacy of the health and fitness industry, rife with fad diets, silly exercises, and stupid products that litter our day to day news feeds. I also take a point of view from the customer and the client, and also the professionals. I try and give a well rounded view of everything interspersed with entertaining stories, which justify what I’ve talked about.

What are your views on the fitness industry in the 21st century?

We are currently in a transition phase. I think/hope we are moving away from fitness influencers who hawk rubbish diets and charlatan-esque monthly subscriptions based off their fake lifestyle and overly groomed abs. There seem to be more educators out there debunking poor methods and people are wising up to it. Main chain gyms are going down the budget route (they either go budget or high end luxury) in recession times. We are also seeing more people doing less group exercise. This could be financial, but Covid hasn’t helped environmental factors that make people want to work out.

What is The MPH Method?

The MPH Method itself is an eight-week whole body practice. The client is essentially spoon fed for eight weeks to either get them in the best shape of their lives or give them the kick start to getting them on the right track. The Method offers four personal training sessions a week, one sports massage a week, all nutrition and meal planning, and hormone testing if needed. The clients also have the option of using our subsidiary services like metabolic testing, meal servicing and a private chef.

What do you offer at your Fitzrovia gym?

A completely exclusive luxury gym over 1100sq ft. If you are a client of The MPH Method it will just be you and I in the gym together where there are no prying eyes or nosey personal trainers.


What would be your top tips for anyone looking to get fit in 2023?

Consistency is the key to everything. When people are consistent the magic happens. Unfortunately the human body isn’t like baking a cake. You will not see the difference immediately. It takes time so people lose patience. But if you keep going you will get there. It’s the same in business. Regularity also links in to consistency. You cannot expect to learn how to play the guitar or learn a language and only dedicate one hour a week to it. That said, on a more practical level, people need to be focusing more on their NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis aka calories burnt whilst not doing active exercise – walking, sleeping etc). For all new clients to The MPH Method, I require everyone to be getting at least 10,000 steps a day OR 70,000 per week. This burns way more calories than a workout, which people either don’t realise, or neglect.

You are based in Sussex – whereabouts and what do you love about it?

I live in my little paradise in Sedlescombe, East Sussex. I can breathe here. I look out in the morning to rolling fields, greenery, and tranquillity. I’m a disastrous sleeper so the silence in the evening is like the planet’s Night Nurse.

Do you have favourite spots to head to for getting away from it all?

When I need to get away I just get away from people. I’m a bit of a recluse after seeing clients all day and my own company is always the thing that gives me a bit of peace. Again with the ADD, it’s sometimes better just to sit and be alone, watch a film, or read a book, or take a bath. It’s the small things in life really.

What’s next for you?

Without sounding arrogant I’m keen to get back into TV. I want to write more (I will be doing book two), and I’m toying with the idea of writing a TV script. That said, I have been told that Behind Gym Doors is film material so if there’s anyone out there who wants to take a punt… I’ll play ball.


Share this Article

Written by
Must Read

You May Also Like

Did you know you can now buy or subscribe to our printed issues?


Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to find out what’s on your local area, exclusive competitions, the latest launches and much more!

Select the areas you want to hear about