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Royal Regiment of Scotland – The NEN – North Edinburgh News



How SCOTS Military Training Forged Gladiators Champion

The Edinburgh based fitness trainer at the barracks of Gladiators winner Major Finlay Anderson has expressed his lack of surprise at the standout performance of his fellow soldier.

Sergeant John Fleming, who has trained over a thousand soldiers at Glencorse Barracks in the outskirts of Edinburgh, believes Finlay’s military training played a huge part in his success in the hit BBC show.

John, who helps soldiers of all ranks reach and maintain peak physical fitness, said: “I’m not surprised that a soldier from The Royal Regiment of Scotland was able to beat the Gladiators – our training is to the highest, most demanding standards and anyone who is capable of enduring it could really take on the challenge in terms of fitness and endurance.

“The way we train means it’s not just about physical strength and stamina – it’s the mental resilience that gives our soldiers the edge and the ability to take on any challenge.”

SCOTS soldiers under John’s training are required to have a minimum of three physical training sessions per week, at least 60 minutes dedicated to self-directed fitness. And, in the lead-up to operations, sessions significantly increase in intensity, becoming testing and uncomfortable as soldiers’ overall fitness and mental resilience is pushed to extremes.

John said: “Our gym and training ground doesn’t exactly look like the Gladiators stadium, but it certainly is a space where soldiers learn physical discipline and, when necessary, push themselves to their limits.

“Soldiers are first put through the foundation phase, teaching correct movement and injury prevention. We then move onto the resilience phase, where soldiers’ cardio strengths are put to the test in full kit.

“The final phase is the ‘Specific Phase’, which puts soldiers through their paces by focusing on strength training through various testing exercises. This really is the toughest part.”

With seven years as a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) under his belt, John has helped over a thousand SCOTS Soldiers develop and improve their own physical training, mental resilience, and overall strength.

Aged just 17, John started his army journey with six years as an Infantry soldier within the Royal Regiment of Scotland and two years as a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer before joining the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC), igniting his passion for fitness into his career development.

Ahead of stepping into the official role of Physical Training Instructor (PTI), John endured a tough selection process in Aldershot, which tested his physical and mental strength to the limit. Within the grueling 19-weeks of training, John was taught how to develop advanced physical training techniques, leadership skills, instructional methods and widen his military understanding.

John said: “Being a PTI in the Army is a tough, but extremely rewarding job.  Not only do I get to bolster the fittest soldier athletes, but I also get to train those who need some extra support, where Army levels of fitness may not come as naturally to them.”

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