Fitness is subjective and everyone’s experience is different. For Carlie Dedman, it has been an evolution from a necessity, to a passion, to a successful career in Personal Training. 

“I first got into fitness when I met my husband about ten years ago. I remember the first time he took me to the gym and tried to teach me how do a lunge, it was the most ridiculous thing ever.”

Carlie has just opened her own PT space in Standstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire.

It’s a modest space but strikes the perfect balance between gym and office. 

Half the floor is covered in gym flooring, shelving holds an array of equipment and a section of the roof has been carved out to make way for a rig.

On the other side of the room, it’s quite the contrast. There’s a neatly decorated desk space with plants, lamp and a book entitled ‘Mr. Greedy Eats Clean To Get Lean’. 

Carlie’s unique and welcoming spin on her training space embodies her personality. She tells Bulldog Gear warming stories about her clients as we sit across her desk.

“My client Susan was one of my first [clients], she’s 67. She trained with me twice a week, she isn’t your typical PT Client!” she says animatedly. “She just wanted to be a bit fitter. The issue she had was that she’d get big deliveries of coal at home and she wanted to be able to pick them up.”

While she is now going steady in this [fitness] career, with her own space and 12 clients who train with her twice a week, this has been quite the journey for Carlie.

“I was a nursery school teacher for about 8 years, then I went into lab work, where I was a lab technician, I did that for a long time.”

During this time, Carlie tells Bulldog Gear she was progressively getting more into the fitness side of things with her husband.

It becomes quite obvious where the turning point for Carlie is (in her career) as she talks about her two year stay in Australia. 

“We were travelling in a camper van for six months, so we had a camper van workout - resistance bands, push up handles and water buckets. We were in the desert doing walking lunges with them!”

Upon return to the UK, Carlie took on a six week course and qualified as a Personal Trainer.

“My first job was at Nuffield Health and I was there for about three years. This is where I became a Les Mills GRIT instructor. I left Nuffield to work alongside a guy who also worked there, he has a studio in Hertford.”

It was around this time that Carlie made the bold decision to go solo.

“I decided that I wanted to do my own thing. I kind of stumbled across the place I’m in now because of my sports therapist, he’s in this building too.

“I called up one morning just to see if there was anything available, the lady said that there was nothing and just as she was about to put the phone down that’s when she said “look, we have got a space.”

“My husband and I were visiting family in Dorset and we came back early so we could see it because we were so desperate and had a bit of a feeling.

“We thought about it for a couple of days, spoke to them about making the ceiling a bit taller because I’ve got a client, Marsha, who is tall – there’d be no way she could swing anything in here. Then we went for it.”

The studio itself has also been on a bit of a journey. Once belonging to a craftsman, Bulldog Gear have helped Carlie transform this space into the ideal training space - both for clients and herself.

“I decided to go with Bulldog Gear because I use the equipment at CrossFit Huntsman, which is where I train and have done for about a year now.”

Carlie wanted a custom Pull Up Bar to fit into the space, she says “I went for a custom pull up bar for completely selfish reasons – mainly so I can develop myself as a CrossFitter. It looks great. All my friends who are CrossFitters are very jealous!

I literally just sent a picture to you guys [Bulldog] and it was done, really pleased with it.”

When asked to select her favourite piece of kit, Carlie struggles to choose.

“I’m heavily into pressing with my clients, wall balls as well and dumbbells – I waited a little bit longer because they were out of stock, but I wanted the shape of the hex for various reasons. Worth the wait.”

Three months into this space, Carlie is happy but still looking forward.

“The plan is to develop my client base, potentially looking at something a little bit bigger down the line and considering some CrossFit coaching.”

After spending a couple of hours with an enthusiastic Carlie, it’s easy to see how she's maintained a strong client base for a number of years - the future does indeed look bright.

Kit List:

1.25kg Cast Iron Fractional Plates

2.5kg Cast Iron Fractional Plates

Spring Collars

16m - 20mm Thick Rubber Gym Tiles

Garage Gym Package 2 w/ Pull Up Option

- Garage Gym Rig with Pull Up Option  (custom)

- 115kg Bulldog Bar + Bumper Package

- Spring Collars

- Box Flat Bench

100kg Hybrid Bumper Package

15kg Bulldog Bar

9kg Box Medicine Ball 2.0

7kg Dynamax Elite Medicine Ball

Marketing Bulldog


Such an amazing achievement Carlie, and well deserved. You should be very proud! You have such a passion for what you do and it’s always a pleasure to chat to you about fitness. Good luck, the world is your oyster!

Lee @ Monday Muscle

— Lee Amico