The world according to Leon Wormley

“My goal in life is for there to be no barrier to sports for anyone, no matter what their abilities, age, gender or background”

“If you are not fit and healthy enough to walk out of that front door and take on the world, all your academic skills are no use to you whatsoever”

“Jean is 80 and in my cancer class, yet she smashes the TRX every week with Functional Training”

“I did the Let’s Move with Leon videos with my mum. Everyone spent 12 plus weeks with us online and its felt like a family”

“I’m biased towards physical activity and exercise and the importance of being physically resilient, yet it’s the first thing that gets cut out of lives and budgets”

“I wake up every day and think about taking over the world. My first studio is here but the next one will be in Marbella or somewhere like that”

 Let’s Move with Leon

Image by Claudia Avila-Batchelor  Let’s Move with Leon

The phenomenal
benefits of Functional Fitness

Functional fitness is a way for you to be in tune with your own body’s needs and enhance heath and wellbeing. Expert Leon Wormley gives us the low down.

Claudia Avila-Batchelor

Let’s move with Leon! The phenomenal benefits of Functional Fitness

Leon Wormley is a man with a mission to get people moving, no matter their abilities. His recent ‘Let’s move with Leon’ campaign with Versus Arthritis saw him engage with tens of thousands of people with chronic conditions, resulting in better mobility and health for many. So what’s his story?

Who is Leon Wormley? 

An affable Yorkshire lad, Leon Wormley has spent all of his life in his native Rotherham, with the exception of three years studying Sports Studies and Physical Education at York St. John’s University. His love for fitness and sport began with gymnastics, running and football, eventually finding his forte in the benefits of Functional Fitness.  

How did Leon’s journey into Functional Fitness begin?

Functional Fitness with Leon Wormley

Image by Claudia Avila-Batchelor    Functional Fitness with Leon Wormley

Leon’s journey into Functional Fitness started at college, where he did a BTEC National in Sports. Deciding that he wanted a break from studying, Leon worked as an assistant manager at a go-karting track, where for two years he learned all about events, customer services and many life lessons along the way. Leon’s journey into the benefits of Functional Fitness was expedited when he decided to go back to university and study for the diploma he needed to make a life in sports his future. The additional maturity gained by having being an employee was key in shaping his Functional Fitness journey.
After graduating, a friend in Sport Development at the local council helped Leon continue on his journey into Functional Fitness. In spite of cutbacks, Leon managed to work his way up to become a sport development officer specialising in disability, a unique role at the time (2005/6). His wife worked within the learning disability and autism sector so this was already something close to him. The project lasted for three years and sadly came to an end with further cutbacks, leaving Leon primed for his benefits of Functional Fitness journey, which he continued with a four year stint as a disability officer at Rotherham United.

How did he finally get into Functional Fitness?

Lets get moving with Leon

Image by Claudia Avila-Batchelor         Lets get moving with Leon

After more frustrating cutbacks, instead of Functional Fitness, Leon found himself back in local authority with a role in ‘Active Ability’ for the disabled as part of Sport England. Whilst still passionate about health and mobility, it was apparent that he was not being recognised for his achievements. In spite of his camps always being full, his position was still precarious due to ever-decreasing council budgets. He was bringing in the revenue and clients yet his own teams and budgets were always in decline. At university he’d done a private training and business module, which became key to developing his new career.

In 2013 Leon finally opened up his ‘Go Functional Fitness’ studio in partnership with his previous go-karting boss. He was working full time in sport development, then delivered private classes after work. It was brutal. The partnership dissolved, Leon eventually becoming intrinsic in helping to set up the structure for a new health programme for people with chronic conditions. He applied for five of the seven pathways and was awarded them all, helping patients with conditions including COPD, cancer and stroke. This enabled him to leave his full time job and go it alone into the world of Functional Fitness.

What is Functional Fitness?

Functional Fitness trains the body for activities in daily life . Leon previously worked with Vipr resistance bands, which were useful in a limited gym space. They facilitated creating individual workouts for clients to work on strength, stability, balance, posture, power and flexibility. These and TRX allowed Leon understand the body’s space and working with limitations as a whole.

Why is Leon so passionate about Functional Fitness?

Leon’s passion for Functional Fitness stems from being raised in a socially deprived, ex-mining community with one of the worst obesity rates in the UK. After two years working unsupported in his TRX focused gym, he was one of only seven professionals nationally to qualify at advanced level, becoming a TRX source facility. He knew that if he could make TRX work in Rotherham he’d make it work anywhere. The benefits of Functional Fitness is that it’s effective wether you are elderly or an athlete, because its all about the foundational movements of life, and an additional asset to help wellbeing.
Leon’s deep understanding of the body works in perfect harmony with Functional Fitness for the simple fact that our bodies are not designed to move in isolation. And whether someone is training for the Olympics or trying to regain mobility, the goals are the same- to build up the confidence and strength to carry out the task. This is the essence of Leon’s passion for Functional Fitness and the very reason he has continued to work with organisations such as Versus Arthritis, for whom he created a hugely popular, bespoke 12 week fitness plan, designed for those suffering chronic conditions. 

How can Leon and Functional Fitness benefit you?

Leon Wormley and Functional Fitness

Image by Claudia Avila-Batchelor         Leon Wormley and Functional Fitness 

One of Leon’s life mantras relates to his hopes of there being no barrier to exercise and wellness for anyone. How this can benefit you is because Functional Fitness works with everyone’s body and objectives, making this the perfect entry point to health. His gym has been a focus point for the Rotherham community, however his online classes can be accessed as part of the Versus arthritis campaign, with hopefully more to be scheduled in the future. In the mean time you can contact Leon through his website or follow him on social media. 

IIn addition to a passion for the health of others, Leon’s ambition is to take his work globally. His gym may be located in a “challenging” area, yet the attention to design could have come from any high end gym anywhere in the world. From the nature inspired décor including reclaimed timber and Scottish cobbles, through to the open plan, healthy café and bespoke TRX equipment, Leon’s studio represents the essence of who he is. Functional but with a welcoming purpose. Its worth making the journey just to see how much Leon and Functional Fitness can benefit you!

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