From Rookie Group Trainer to Head Fight Coach: Meet Joey Bowling

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Meet Joey! 

I’m the one and only Joey, A.K.A Mr Motivator, I’m from London and I help people develop a healthy relationship with Fitness through 1:1 Coaching and Group Fitness. I also help new staff onboarding and deliver training and mentorship to our new group fitness staff.

Joey, what made you interested in a career in fitness?

Fitness has always been the biggest and most important part of my life. However, before I started, I thought only professional athletes could make a career out of fitness and I actually didn’t think I was good enough to have such a career myself.


But, I took a risk and started at Fitness Playground (as it was back in the day, the OGs will know) to see if I could make a career out of my passion and I’ve never looked back.

What pushed you to take that risk and get into the fitness industry?

It started with mistaken identity!


When I lived in Bondi Beach (as all Brits do), I would go on coastal runs and do beach workouts. I started to lead a few other backpackers from the hostel on these runs and workouts. One day a stranger asked if I was a PT, I blushed and replied “I wish – these are just friends from the hostel”. This planted a seed that continued to grow as did my curiosity after people continued to think I was ‘The Hostel PT’. It made me realise that there was something more I could be doing with this, incorporating my love of fitness into my career.

What took you from Hostel PT to where you are now at One Playground?

I was friends with an ex-coach who introduced me to the manager of One Playground Newtown at the time and I landed myself a job there back in 2016 coaching classes of 12 members.


The next stage in my journey was when I teamed up with the one and only Jose at the Surry Hills gym.


From day one, I was given a platform to express myself and my coaching style, which was well-received by members. Music, motivation, smiles and sweat: that’s what we delivered every week to the company’s highest-attended class!



Before long, I had the chance to ride solo coaching my own classes at The Bunker gym: Fight Club, Badass, Strong, Gun Show, Elite and the infamous Athletica. This was a new atmosphere that helped me evolve as a dynamic and creative individual.


One Playground consistently gives us the right combination of guidance to ensure we continue to develop as Coaches and Group Trainers, but also enough freedom to learn who we are and bring our own personality and uniqueness to our classes. I think this is what gives One Playground its edge, endless experiences created by trainers who bring their own style, flair and personality to a class.


In a short period, I was awarded the Rising Star and Culture King awards in our End Of Year Company Awards in 2017. The following year saw me progress to Fitness Professional of the Year and retain the Culture King title, something I have now won every year since I started. All of this was topped when I worked my way up to become Head Fight Coach and Master Coach to new Coaches and Group Trainers.

Looking ahead, what do you see next for you in your career, other than more Culture King titles?!

So, I recently watched Kung Fu Panda 4 and dare I say it, I can relate to the storyline!

Po is the Dragon Warrior who was given a gift that is a mark of wisdom. He now must transition from Dragon Warrior to Guardian of the Valley, a far more mature role with higher meaning. This is what I see next for me, making the transition from Head of Fight & Master Coach to someone who plays an even higher role in educating and guiding new and experienced coaches.


Po/Joey, what advice would you give to someone looking to get into the fitness industry?

I’d advise them to understand what makes them different.


In the early stages of my career, I often compared myself to others. Some people still do it and all it does is bring self-doubt, low self-confidence and resentment for those who you aspire to be like.


Once you understand who you are as a coach this will help you to understand your “coaching style” and it will be that style that draws people to you and make you love what you do even more!

How important are upskilling, personal development and additional qualifications to progressing in your career?

Nobody likes a ‘know-it-all’. These people can be seen as arrogant and stubborn. A good coach understands that knowledge is infinite and you can never truly ‘know it all’. Learning is never complete.


To this day, I still attend every club development session and participate in external coaching sessions. I’ll always be a student of my craft and all successful coaches would agree to this.

Finally, what do you love about working at One Playground and in the fitness industry?

It’s not just the fact I have the freedom to work my own schedule, it is the fact that work doesn’t feel like ‘work’.


Instead, from day one, it’s been time spent with friends and family. The culture and community we have are what some people search for their entire lives. To be rewarded with finance and wellness is the icing on the cake.


I’ve worked in industries from construction to nightclub promotion and sales, yet none have lasted half as long as my time in the fitness industry.


This line of work is highly rewarding on a personal level. During my time away from the UK I have unfortunately witnessed my loved ones’ health deteriorate, yet on many occasions, I encourage them to be more active in their day-to-day lives and lead by example.


If anyone is considering starting a career in fitness or looking for the next step in their coaching journey, I can say with my whole heart that this One Playground is the place to do it!

Ready to start your journey with One Playground?

Apply here



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