Personal Trainer at Olympic Sports Gym
Steven, one of the managers of the Olympic Sports Gym, has had a very extensive coaching background.
He specialises in training young professional sports people and works with Rugby, football teams, colleges, schools as well as being a personal trainer.
Steven is also a coach and personal trainer at Sports Performance Innovation. This is a company that runs beside OSG and specialises in cutting edge equipment and technologies from around world. SPI provides services and products which fit in to the "seedofspeed" training philosophy from cognitive functioning right through the spectrum to Recovery.
Steven is a qualified personal trainer at O.S.G. and runs regular classes in fitness as well as one to one training with many elite athletes including Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks (below) and Aaron Cook.
Specialising in "Olympic Fitness" he runs many training sessions within the gym as well as regularly helping out his father Mick with training sessions throughout the gym.
Steven Clegg - Qualifications
Personal Trainer Award Level 3
Master Trainer Level 4
Gym Instructor Level 2
Advanced Cardiovascular Training Level 3
Advanced Resistance/Weight training Level 3
Group Training Coach Level 3
Nutrition Level 3
Sports Nutrition Certification
Weight Loss Certification
Healthy Eating For Weight Loss Certification
SAQ level 2 coach
Working alongside his dad Mick on the Sports Performance Innovation project using the cutting edge technologies within the gym, Steven gives those who work with him a unique and varied training programme. "Our philosophy and training methods are founded in cognitive processing, for example the Neuro-Tracker. We focus on the whole training experience all the way to recovery. Our methods involve not only innovative training and thinking but also innovative training tools and our ‘SPI lab’ at the Fitlight Centre has already attracted a wide variety of clients in a short space of time, including professional football players, Super League rugby players, martial artists and senior school children specialising in sports."
Steven, along with his other brothers and sister, benefited from his father's training from an early age. "From as far back as I can remember my dad has owned the gym." says Steven. " He bought it 27 years ago now and my first memories are of me being here at the age of five or six. Dad used to make us run to it with him from our house, which is about two miles away."
"At first we couldn’t make it all the way; we used to run part of the way and then walk the rest. I was about eight years old when I could finally run the full two miles. He used to get us to train and I started Olympic lifting at the age of nine. He taught me how to lift weights properly."
As a teenager he was selected to join Manchester United Youth Team. He spent several years in the youth system and later went on to work part time with his father as a strength & condition coach as well as a personal trainer. Since leaving United, besides helping to run the family gym; Steven has worked in schools and for the council providing strength and fitness services from children to all ages.
Steven Clegg - Manchester United Career
Steven Clegg's name will forever be ingrained in Manchester United when he opened Carrington’s Training Centre along with Ryan Giggs on the 26th July 2000.
While at Manchester United Steven devised a Youth Team Training Schedule which you can view HERE
Steven has had the amazing chance to work with some of the biggest names in football such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjær as well as other members of the Manchester United first team.
Steven is a former professional footballer, joining Manchester United in July 1999 as a defender.
He played with Manchester United for 5 years playing in both the academy and reserves team.
After retiring from professional football, Steven went on to work as strength and conditioning coach for Manchester united training Paul McGuiness’s youth team for 4 seasons along side his dad Mick Clegg.
Steven Clegg Picture Gallery
Muscle and Fitness Interview October 2011
Steven Clegg on Cognitive training in sport today
To complete our series of articles on this remarkable family we met Steven Clegg, a former Manchester United youth and reserve team player who is now developing a scientific approach to training that develops both mind and body.
We first introduced you (in last year’s November M&F) to Michael Clegg, the former Manchester United defender who is currently the strength and conditioning coach for Sunderland FC; we then gave an overview of the entire Clegg clan at the family’s Olympic Sports Gym in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester and followed this with an in-depth interview with the father of the family and patriarch of power, Michael Clegg senior, who was the strength and conditioning coach for Manchester United’s first team for a decade. We then wrote about the impressive strength feats of strongman and former international weightlifter Mark Clegg and last month profiled Shaun Clegg, a teenage weightlifting prodigy with a chance of qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games. To complete our series of articles on this remarkable family we met Steven Clegg, a former Manchester United youth and reserve team player who is now developing a scientific approach to training that develops both mind and body. Steven thinks training the mind will be the next big thing and he and his dad are leading the way by creating a sports performance innovation lab in the family gym. Here Steven talks about his time at Manchester United as player and coach and his ideas on training the mind and body.
M&F: What was it like being brought up in such an athletic and successful family?
STEVEN CLEGG: From as far back as I can remember my dad has owned the gym. He bought it 27 years ago now and my first memories are of me being here at the age of five or six. Dad used to make us run to it with him from our house, which is about two miles away. At first we couldn’t make it all the way; we used to run part of the way and then walk the rest. I was about eight years old when I could finally run the full two miles. He used to get us to train and I started Olympic lifting at the age of nine. He taught me how to lift weights properly.
M&F: How did your weightlifting develop?
SC: I competed in my first competition when I was 12. It was a North-West competition then I progressed to under-14 and under-15 level and won two British Olympic lifting titles. From then I took my strength and power into different sports.
M&F: Which sports did weightlifting prepare you for?
SC: I joined Sale Harriers athletics club and did javelin and shot put. I competed at the English Schools Championship and came 4th. I’m not the biggest but I did OK compared to some of the bigger competitors. At school I won sportsman of the year twice, which is rare. I’ve always been into training and fitness. Being at the gym has always been part of my life.
M&F: Tell us about your Manchester United years?
SC: At a young age I was strong and powerful and had excellent fitness. I enjoyed training but I wasn’t the best footballer in the world. I played in Manchester United’s youth team and reserves and while I was there I excelled in the fitness training and weights because that’s what I was really—an athlete. When United spotted my strength and speed my dad ended up getting his job with the club. Rob Swire, the head physio, came down to our gym and watched the type of training we did and was blown away. Cleggs, at the end of the day, are athletes. semi-professional football and started to coach, which I am a lot better at. Once I established myself as a full-time coach I quit playing football and I got the job as strength and conditioning coach at Manchester United as well as doing personal training and helping to run our family gym. I worked at Manchester United for four years, working with Paul McGuiness and Manchester United’s youth team.
M&F: What was it like working at the legendary Manchester United academy?
SC: I worked at Carrington for four years, training the youth teams and the schoolboys. Strength and conditioning is particularly beneficial for kids because this is the time you can see big gains and really make an impact. Training first team players is all about injury prevention and keeping the players on the pitch. While training the youth team I also helped out training the reserves and first team. Last summer I did a lot of work with Michael Owen while his physiotherapist was away on holiday. I’ve done lots of pad work with the first team. Antonio Valencia used to ask me to do some boxing with him the day before a game to get him fired up. I had the honour of training with Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at the club, which was a great experience. He was the hardest working player I’ve met. He used to be in the gym every morning before training and after—a true professional. It’s a great feeling when you see a player like Danny Welbeck, who I have worked with for four years, getting called up for England and feeling like you’ve had an impact on his career. Danny is a great lad and professional and is now doing really well for himself at Sunderland where my brother is now training him,.
M&F: What training did you get the youth players to do?
SC: This is the programme we followed for the under-18s. With footballers you always want to do multi-joint compound and bodyweight exercises. Isolation stuff is not sports-specific enough.
10 minute spinning for the start
Warm up with a 5 kg bar mimicking the movements we are going to perform in session
Overhead squat, looking at posture and correct functional movement patterns (neutral spine, etc .) Deadlift/power clean/overhead lunge all around 10 reps
Deadlift 4 sets x 5 reps
Squat 4 sets x 5 reps
Push press 4 sets x 5 reps
Olympic lifts in the 4 sets x 3 rep range consisting of:
Keiser hydraulic work to improve speed and power outputs , e.g. military shoulder press, pull downs, jump squats
Short, sharp sprints
Fast feet ladders
Cone reaction/over-speed training
Correct running mechanics Cybex get back/trazer
*We also do some Kaiser hydraulics work, e.g. fast punching, jumps over hurdles, sprints
Finish with spinning/cool down
M&F: What are the two most important things you’ve learnt from your father?
SC: Firstly, hard work… training and fitness is hard—it takes time to achieve what you want. Secondly, patience and persistence.
M&F: When you compare the outrageous pay of players and managers with what strength and conditioning coaches earn, how do you feel?
SC: We’re not under the same pressure. We enjoy the one-on-one with players and seeing them get better and develop themselves. We enjoy what we do and I love to be part of a team, meeting people, and making contributions to a winning side.
M&F: Is Ryan Giggs your family’s best advertisement in terms of how taking care of your body can achieve sporting longevity?
SC: I think so. Ryan’s not massively built but he has good endurance. A lot of the players now are concentrating on strength, which means they’re bigger built and can’t run as fast or for as long. Ryan works on all aspects of his training, a true professional. He’s getting better every time he plays and he’s certainly my hero.
M&F: You’ve grown up with all these famous sports personalities. How has that affected your life?
SC: I’m used to it, I was a reserve team player myself. I’m a down to earth lad from Ashton. They’re all normal people that have a particular talent. I feel blessed but it’s always been a part of my life.
M&F: What recovery strategy do you recommend?
SC: Have a lot of rest and a good protein intake. Take ice baths the day after and have an easy session spinning and stretching to relieve delayed onset muscle soreness. We did this at Manchester United.
M&F: Do the local sports stars use the family’s gym?
SC: Yes. We’re well known in the Tameside area so we have different types of athletes and clubs coming here. We get Olympic lifters, running clubs, pro footballers, pro rugby players, powerlifters and strongmen. We have a good network of people here that have trained together for years. We’re all down to earth normal working class people and I think that’s why people enjoy coming here. We’ve never branched out, we haven’t promoted ourselves but we’re going to. The coverage in Muscle & Fitness is a big thing for us.
M&F: Tell us about your latest mind-training venture?
SC: It is based on our family’s philosophy of training and utilises the latest innovation and research in sports performance. Our company is called Sports Performance Innovation and our motto is ‘you cannot train today with yesterday’s methods and still be competitive tomorrow’. The company itself is a combination of practical but innovative training methods backed by sound science and innovative thinking. I have formed the company with another ex professional football player with a similar strength and conditioning background and a guy called Pete Friar, who provides the research and science backing. Pete is a chartered physiotherapist and exercise scientist with 15 years experience in professional football, seven of which were as head of sports medicine/ head physiotherapist at Sunderland
M&F: How does it differ from traditional training?
SC: Our philosophy and training methods are founded in cognitive processing, for example the Neuro- Tracker. We focus on the whole training experience all the way to recovery, including things like using Mammoth Sport for mattresses. Our methods involve not only innovative training and thinking but also innovative training tools and our ‘laboratory’ at Olympic Sports Gym has already attracted a wide variety of clients in a short space of time, including professional football players, Super League rugby players, martial artists and senior school children specialising in sports.
M&F: What benefits does it provide for the athletes?
SC: Our training philosophy is relatively straightforward in its aims. Simply put, we aim to make sport-specific gains in speed, agility, visual awareness and cognitive processing. In fact, all the attributes required to improve athletic ability, regardless of the level of competition already being achieved. We have created links with the likes of Alan Pearson, the owner of SAQ International, and are combining tried and tested training methods and philosophies with innovative technology and creativity to formulate what my dad calls the ‘seed of speed’. This is an exciting an evolving venture for myself and my colleagues as we attempt to push back the barriers to sports performance and create a training philosophy, without equal.
Name : Steven Clegg
Date of birth : 16th April, 1982
Place of birth : Ashton-Under-Lyne
Lives : Ashton-Under-Lyne
Height : 175 cm (5’ 9”)
Weight : 80 kg (176 pounds)
Career highlight : Signing pro for Manchester United
Ambition : To create the best gym in the UK for training elite athletes
Training advice : You cannot train today with yesterday’s methods and still be competitive tomorrow