Name: Philip McDougall
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Current Employer: Virgin Active, London

Can you tell me a little bit about your Military background?

I joined the Royal Marines in September 2005. After passing out of basic training I attended a heavy machine gun course and deployed straight to Afghanistan for my first seven-month tour as a gunner in a heavy weapons troop within 42 Commando, Lima Company. On return, I specialised in heavy weapons and combat pistols. In August 2008, I organised and participated in a charity cycle from John ‘O’ Groat’s to Land’s End, raising £12,000 for Help For Heroes. Three weeks later, I deployed to Afghanistan for my second seven-month tour with 42 Commando. This time, instead of being stuck in a forward operating base having IED’s planted all around and taking incoming artillery on a daily basis, as we did during the first tour, my company was lucky enough to be allocated the job of strike operations. This involved seven months of continuous air assaults onto known Taliban positions. An offensive role every good Marine wishes for.

During my final years I captained the unit’s ski team in the Royal Navy Ski Championships and fought in the Corps Novice Boxing Championships. Having fought on the frontline many times, I had fulfilled my aspirations within the Royal Marines and so I decided to hand in my notice and began to focus on resettling towards civilian life.

When you decided to leave the military did you have any fixed idea of what you wanted to do?

A large part of my particular role within the Royal Marines was being physically robust enough to carry out heavy weapons related operations and tasks. This involved a continuously adapting physical training programme. I have always loved exercise of all forms and took a great interest in sharing my knowledge with others, so personal training was a natural career progression.

How did you become aware of Faster Global and the opportunities that were on offer?

By word of mouth. A former FASTER student was a successful personal trainer in a gym I used to frequent. During a casual conversation he ‘wowed’ me with a few wonders of functional training and myofascial continuums and recommended I look at From that point I was hooked.

What was it that Faster Global offered that appealed to you?

Brand new state-of-the-art content and knowledge. I fed my hunger for knowledge pertaining to human movement by completing the US PTA Global certifications and being a member of, which are truly at the forefront of the personal training and exercise industry on a global scale. The more I learned, the more it became apparent that FASTER were up there and leading the way for the UK.

Since completing your qualification with Faster Global how have you gone on from there?

Before leaving the Corps I was very apprehensive about finding a job, considering current levels of unemployment. I believe that as a direct result of my functional therapy knowhow and qualification, finding a job was almost too easy. Of course, being a charismatic former Commando had a part to play, but I had four very appealing personal training related pathways on offer within three weeks of being a civilian. I am currently employed by Virgin Active and my functional training skills are recognised, embraced and well compensated.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

As a world class personal trainer, either in London or New York City, constantly learning and improving. I will probably be freelance and would like my own personal training studio. PT is an extremely sustainable and potentially highly lucrative career if you’re willing to put in the hard work.

Would you recommend Faster Global for training purposes for other Armed Forces Leavers?

Yes, yes and yes. It’s inspiring. You get constant personal tuition and it’s highly practical and easy to apply.

Do you have any advice for others leaving the Military who are interested in a career in the world of fitness?

Sign on with, who are a US company and are world leaders in all things fitness and personal training related. You will soon learn for yourself that FASTER is at the forefront of UK personal training. Every personal trainer in every gym across the UK has a level 3 qualification, from FASTER, Premier or whomever. It’s what you do after level 3 that will distinguish you apart from your competition and a functional therapy/performance diploma will give you the practical skills to wow prospective employers as well as your clients. It became apparent when my very first client (a big shot banker) thanked me for sharing my expertise and extensive knowledge and assumed I had been a medical professional for years.