Meet Koen Bouckaert
Hello, I’m Koen, a personal trainer, chef and health coach.
I’ve 15 years of experience helping people over 45 to get fitter, healthier and more active, so that they can enjoy life to the fullest, with energy and vitality, looking and feeling their best.
Having trained in multiple areas over the years, I am qualified in many disciplines from Pilates to Boxercise, so I can create bespoke coaching, that’s most suitable for you and what you want to achieve.
Prior to training as a PT, I was a professional Chef working at top hotels and restaurants in the UK and Belgium.
Combining my knowledge of and passion for food with personal training, I help people, just like you, create a healthy lifestyle, with a balance of sustainable exercise habits and great tasting, nutritious food (through the cooking branch of Body Health Investors –
The 500 Calorie Kitchen) so that you can get the RESULTS YOU WANT!
I’m based near Horsham in West Sussex, UK and offer a mobile personal training service, where I come to train you at your home, in your garden or a local outside space. I also offer online sessions using Zoom and have clients Nationally and Internationally booking my services.
How it all began…
From an early age, I was into sports and exercise. I was never destined to be top athlete, I just enjoyed being part of something, having fun and being active. When I was at school, I played football. I was never the best player. I was probably the most average player there was! But I enjoyed the rituals, the kit and having a laugh with my friends. It was a release from the pressures of everyday life and worries.
My father was always very sporty and was the goalie for a local team. Aside from his football practice, he swam every morning at 6.30am before work, to keep himself fit. From 7 years old, he insisted, (I mean encouraged me!) to go along with him. We’d leave home in the dark and go to the lido, 10 kilometres away. I was usually the youngest there, but every morning we’d see the same dedicated, middle-aged people quietly going about their morning routine. Their dedication, even on the coldest of days, fascinated me and I now see that this was the beginning of my understanding of how consistency leads to habit formation.
I’ve a simple question for you.
What stops you getting the best results from your health and wellness activities…?
I’ve noticed over the years training clients of all ages, that most people over the age of 45 aren’t really looking for a “Beach Body” – and yet, a lot of younger less experienced personal trainers tend to take the same approach with a 25-year-old as they do with a 55-year-old, and prescribe a programme that involves turning up at the gym, pumping iron, doing endless burpees or military-style bootcamps, surrounded by men and women who have a completely different agenda…
This can cause a feeling of intimidation and even inadequacy and eventually leads to people giving up because their training programme and the way it’s structured is completely wrong for them! My approach is very different….
Amazingly, even now, many of them, in their 70’s and 80’s, still take those early morning swims. I’m certain it’s helped with their physical and mental wellbeing over all these years. When I go home to Belgium, I sometimes join my dad on his swims (he still goes several mornings a week) and I give a nod of respect and admiration to those older people I once swam alongside as a boy.
What this experience taught me is that as we get older it’s vitally important that we have a health and wellness programme that we can realistically sustain, gives real long-lasting benefits and that we enjoy. We don’t need to become a competitive athlete or be the best, we just have to get comfortable with our own abilities and limitations and discover the activities that suit us, to keep our bodies fit, strong and flexible, so that exercise becomes an instinctive part of our daily lives allowing us to do all the things we want to do for the long term, free-from injury, illness and disease.
How about now…?
I don’t swim so regularly anymore, but I’ve found a passion for cycling and have personal goals to cycle around France.
Unless you have something that can actually do and enjoy, then you won’t be able to sustain it and that leads to the short bursts of activity and then the inevitable stopping when it becomes unrealistic and that feeling of ‘failure’.
One of the aspects that I love as a personal trainer and health coach, is to help my clients cultivate the right activity, exercise and lifestyle routines that let them feel in control of their long-term fitness and wellbeing. I’ve thrown the “one-size-fits-all methods” out the window for my clients and they’re reaping the benefits of a personalised, active, sustainable lifestyle.
What about healthy eating …?
Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve got that covered too!
After leaving school, for 5 years I attended one of the best Hotel and Culinary Colleges in Belgium and my career began as a chef. I’ve worked at some of the top restaurants in London and Belgium. I’ve always been passionate about cooking, but I made the decision to change career when my first son was born and the arrival of parenthood changed my perspective on life completely!
I wanted my kids to grow up to be fit and healthy, eat well and enjoy the outdoors, but the lifestyle I was leading at the time as a Chef (commuting to London at the crack of dawn, being permanently stressed out and eating erratically) was not going to be the right example for them, was not healthy for me or conducive to family life…
I saw that this was the case too for many of my peers and that the “rat-race” lifestyle was no longer serving them. That was the tipping point that inspired me to get into personal training.
I’m fortunate now to be able to bring together my passion for health and great cooking to help and inspire my clients achieve the lifestyle they want. I invite people around the world into my kitchen – The 500 Calorie Kitchen – where I show them how to cook delicious, nutritious recipes that are filling, packed with flavour, made from wholefoods, yet are under 500 calories per portion, so that they can take control of their calorie intake, without missing out on their favourite meals or the occasional glass of wine.
I work with men and women, typically 45 and older, who have found that now their family is growing up, they want to;
Re-ignite their exercise habits
Start new ones
Feel attractive, comfortable and youthful in their clothes
Glow with health and vitality
Have the energy and stamina to take part in fun activities
Find themselves again
Manage their stress
Eat and live more mindfully
Feel stronger and more confident in their body
Focus on their long-term health and wellness
So they can live life to the full and be around to enjoy their family for years to come.
See how I work with clients locally (in West Sussex), as well as nationally and internationally online.
Let’s have a short chat and see how I can help you 🙂