Niko Algieri is the co-founder of Equilibrium Total Balance in Holland park. He has a wealth of experience that makes his approach to personal training unique. He’s a former Men’s Health cover model finalist and semi-professional footballer, a blackbelt in kickboxing, Welsh athletics champion and is currently a television fitness expert for London Live. He is renowned as one of the top trainers in London and THE top TRX suspension trainer. Niko’s aim for his clients is for them to be able achieve things they never thought possible. Confidence and happiness for the client is key, the six pack comes later.
Niko says: I never was an early riser but now it seems I’ve become one. I started working as a PT 9 years ago and I hated the mornings with a passion. At first, I had to wake up at 5am to get to Beautcamp Pilates (now Bootcamp pilates) via 2 buses and a train, then teach 4 classes back to back. It destroyed me. But now, I appreciate how much you can get done in one day if you rise early. These days my commute is a little easier. I live in Notting Hill and my studio, Equilibrium is 5 mins drive from my flat. Some say I should walk but when you’re training people for 10 hours a day the car is a welcome luxury. Believe me I’ve earned it! I wake up at 6am and start work at 7am.
I always say I was forged in the fires of fitness. My father was Mr. Wales both 20 years ago and 2 years ago in bodybuilding and also a 5th dan black belt in karate. My stepfather was 4 time world kickboxing champion and professional boxing trainer. My mother, a full blown terminator, still to this day teaches insanity and tae-bo classes 5 times a week. Passion for fitness is in my DNA. I was national athletics champion in high jump and hurdles as well a semi professional football player. But I went the academic route, got a Journalism, Film and Broadcasting degree at Cardiff University and headed to London in search of a dream that I wasn’t sure about. After 3 years in media I was ready to pull my eyeballs out of my head with a spoon. I hit breaking point one day whilst being asked to complete a PowerPoint presentation and handed in my notice. A 6-week fast track course in personal training later, here I am. And that’s how you do it. You jump guys. I gambled. I knew I had the ability to engage people, I just needed the qualifications and the insurance to get going. It really is all down to your confidence levels and drive. I love helping people achieve what they never thought impossible, to regrow lost confidence is a gift. That’s Equilibrium. The best advice I’ve ever received is to follow your heart. It’s cliché. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. But in the end it is RIGHT.
My hero is my mum. She is a phenomenon. I’ve never met a human with such unbelievable strength and resolve to survive and give her children everything. She is calm, non-judgemental, works hard, loves hard and has the posture and grace of a ballerina. If I’m half the person she is then I’ve made it.
My job as a director / social media manager / PR / admin boy / tea boy / personal trainer / psychotherapist / doctor / nanny and cleaner doesn’t really allow me to have a ritual or typical lunch break. My favourite café to visit if I have time is Raoul’s in Notting Hill where I go for 4 poached eggs, avocado, rye bread and spinach. For snacks just now I’m loving Mindful Bites Nut Butters at the moment and Form Nutrition Super Blend.
I have 2 favoruite parts of my job.
- The places it takes me. I train some celebs and this year it’s taken me to Rome, Pisa, Madrid and LA.
- Watching people’s faces when they achieve the unthinkable because of my guidance
My least favourite part is still the hours. I work consistently throughout the day until 9pm, then I’ll do more emails when I’m home. So my social life is on the backburner! I’m always training, producing online content, writing for Esquire Middle East or Harpers Bazaar Arabia, meeting new clients, speaking at events or editing videos. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, I’ve fought so hard to get where I am today, I won’t stop! And rarely, when I’m not working, I dive into Netflix and ignore the world. Favourite series ever is The West Wing.
Although routine is something I don’t have the luxury of, I try to train at least 5 times a week. I always include a mobility warm up, a heavy push and pull section, a core element and a faster metabolic finish. Cooking is almost an impossibility for me due to time constraints – despite being a small town Welsh boy I’ve embraced the London fine dining rituals of my clients.
As a child I very firmly, passionately and obsessively wanted to be Superman. Lately it’s veered more towards Batman. Seriously though, as an alternative career now I’d love to be a movie director or screenplay writer.
My top three online recommendations:
- Shona Vertue is one of the most authentic and talented fitness professionals in the world. She’s funny, intelligent, fiercely experienced and her beauty doesn’t hurt either.
- Rotten tomatoes – for all my fellow film buffs out there.
- I subscribe and love Bill Maher on YouTube – he constantly challenges religious and political views with humour and intellect.