> About us

You won’t see a treadmill, cross trainer, rowing machine or exercise bike at The Loft because we know you don’t need them. What you will see is our passionate and supportive team, who have all been on their own journey to fitness and who are now supporting others to do the same.

Our story

Spark Health & Fitness was born out of a passion to help people live healthier, happier lives.

We began back in 2014 with a handful of inspiring people training outdoors around Gateshead. No matter if it was cold and wet or light and bright, they always turned up and we were left feeling amazed by the results we helped them achieve.

Soon the word spread and over the past three years our Sparks crew has grown so much we’ve opened our first facility. It’s called The Loft and it’s in Low Fell (off Kells Lane). Just to be clear though, we still get out and brave the weather – that will never change.

Our small but perfectly formed warehouse HQ is only part of what makes us different. A uniquely personal space, it means our hands-on team can deliver training sessions in our supportive and challenging style. We still have small groups, as we know how important the camaraderie is for people. We also know everyone’s different, so if you want to focus on your own thing there’s more than enough space… basically, we’re all about what works for you.

Our way

You won’t see a treadmill, cross trainer, rowing machine or exercise bike at The Loft because we know you don’t need them. What you will see is our passionate and supportive team, who have all been on their own journey to fitness and who are now supporting others to do the same.

Our bespoke programmes and classes are designed around every individual, regardless of fitness, age, body shape or size.

Body Composition

Before training begins, you’ll have a confidential chat with a member of our team to discuss your goals and assess your current fitness levels. Consider it a full ‘wellness’ profile where we talk body fat, muscle mass, hydration, bone density, visceral fat, metabolic rate and metabolic age.

Crucially, we don’t just focus on exercise. Your diet, nutrition and lifestyle are all assessed to get an overall picture of where you’re at on day one with Spark.

Sound scary? It isn’t. It’s all done with a few simple questions and a set of scales. The information we gather means we can really focus on you and your body to create a practical training and nutrition programme that becomes part of your new balanced lifestyle. Yes, we said balanced, after all, we all love a slice of pizza now and then.

How can we help you?

We’re incredibly proud to have helped hundreds of people overcome their fears, improve their diet, fitness, health, confidence and body image. People even tell us then enjoy exercise after joining Spark, which is huge when it comes to long-lasting change.

So, what’s your motivation?
– Get a bit fitter
– Lose weight and feel better
– Hit peak condition
– Smash personal bests

Wherever you are right now, Spark will get you the results you’re after in your own unique way. Arrange your free consultation by calling Mark and finding out how Spark can help you.

Testimonials

We are really proud of the fact that people are relaxed and comfortable with us. There are no egos here, just people who want to be fitter, healthier and happier, no matter what their age or ability we have a programme to suit all.

—Mark McPherson
SPARK Health & Fitness (Director)

>Our team

Mark McPherson
Director and Personal Trainer

I have always had a passion for health and fitness and coupled with a fascination of how the body works this led to me completing a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science in 2005. I spent the next 8 years helping others in my spare time with fitness training and nutrition. In August 2013 I set up SPARK Health and Fitness to help those that had literally “tried everything” to lose weight, body fat, change shape and get fitter.

As a busy husband, father and former teacher I understand as well as anyone the difficulties of balancing a busy work and family life with staying healthy and active.

With my knowledge and 12 years of experience I am dedicated to helping you get over any barriers you face to achieve your health and fitness goals. All you need to do is take that first step, I promise you wont look back.

Jo Robson
Personal Trainer

My journey started with SPARK Health in 2013, earlier that year I had been given the news that as my Ulcerative Colitis (which is an incurable inflammatory bowel disease) was not responding to the various types of medication I would need to have major surgery to remove part of my large bowel. At my heaviest I weighed over 26 stone, and at the time I was told I needed surgery was over 23 stone. I was devastated, humiliated and terrified I wouldn’t survive such major surgery at the size I was.

At the time I worked with Mark and he offered his help with nutrition to help me lose enough body fat to get me through the operation. He also suggested that I start to get active and offered to train me on a Sunday morning in the local park.

I refused at first as I was embarrassed and couldn’t think of anything worse than exercising let alone outdoors where anyone could see.

Anyway to cut a long story short I gave in and said I would give it a go, I was so unfit and unhealthy I struggled to walk around the park that first session. I hated it and told Mark so, his response was ‘Give me 6 weeks Jo and I know I can get you to love it’… after I stopped laughing at him I agreed to further sessions.

Neither of us could’ve guessed what would happen next…

I started training more regularly with Mark and every session I felt a sense of achievement, the more I did the more I loved it the healthier I felt and in turn my confidence started to grow. Fast forward to now….

I no longer need the operation. My Colitis, although not curable, is in remission. I’ve gone from a size 32 to a size 12. I’ve lost over 250cm’s and 13.5 stone.

And the best thing of all is I’m now a qualified Personal Trainer delivering PT sessions, semi-private training programmes along with being Metafit, MetaPWR, Boxercise and Kettlebell qualified and I’m working at the very place that helped me on my journey.

I’m so proud to have developed my own programme ‘First Steps to Fitness’ which I’ve been delivering since August 16.

Brian Short
Personal Trainer

Let me tell you a little bit about myself…

Before I started working at SPARK Health, I attended as a client. I worked in an office job sat at a desk all day, ate all the wrong foods, and done barely any exercise.

In March 2015 I made the decision to get fit, I was overweight and had zero energy. I started a programme at SPARK Health and Fitness with Mark. With Mark’s help I lost 3 stone and I felt fantastic, I had a brand new lease of life. I could not believe how much I loved training and how I found a new passion for fitness at 30 years old.

With that, I started to think about what I wanted to do with my career so I made the decision to become a qualified fitness instructor. In September 2016 I gained by L2 Gym Instructor qualification and I began working at SPARK Health delivering the ‘First Steps to Fitness’ Programme. Since then I have successfully launched my own ‘7am Burn’ Programme.

I have attended and passed Metafit, Boxercise, and more recently, Metapwr and Kettlebell courses and I am now L3 Personal Trainer qualified.

Since starting work at SPARK Health, I can honestly say that there is no better feeling than helping clients reach their goals. Getting fit can be a daunting experience for new clients, so I pride myself on making the journey as stress free and effective as possible.

Taking charge of my own health and fitness turned my life around, my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. It is never too late to make that change and take control of your future!

Kosta Tarasov
Personal Trainer & Sports Therapist

Pretty much all of my life I have been interested in Sport and helping people become more active and pain-free.
I have been involved in various sports since the age of seven and have a passion for fitness which lead me to a career in the fitness industry.  I am a fully qualified personal trainer and also have a degree in Sports Therapy.

With more than 5 years of experience in Personal Training, Sports Therapy and teaching classes, I can help you with every aspect of your fitness.
I really like to work with various types of people coming from different backgrounds of a fast paced life.

Come along to one of my sessions and you will know me as a friendly person who treats your goals very seriously, but we will have a good laugh too.

I will be delivering Thai boxercise sessions on the ‘pay as you go’ timetable, these will be circuit style classes with plenty of Muay Thai kicks, that are challenging, non aggressive and fun to take part in.

Lauren Wall
Personal Trainer

I’ve always been an active person, I studied Dance at University and went on to teach both Dance and PE as a secondary school teacher. However, as I found myself spending more and more time sat in my office, in-front of a computer screen at work I found that I was becoming uncomfortable with not only how I looked but how I felt because of this.

I had often thought about weight training but the idea of walking into the free weights section of the gym terrified me! I would attend the gym and hide on the treadmill in the corner, leaving knowing I could have done so much more but feeling too intimidated to do so. I was approached by a PT within the gym and started regular sessions, classes and eventually having the confidence to train by myself. Sometimes all it takes is having someone believe in you, when you, yourself just can’t.
Fast forward four years and I am now a level 3 qualified PT, competitive bodybuilder (who walks into that weight section with her head held high) and the current North West Bikini Wellness champion! If you had told me that back then when I felt at my lowest, i’d have never believed it for a second but if I can change my lifestyle and enjoy life more because of this then so can you.

My goal is to pass my passion for fitness onto you, to support you into changing your life for the better and motivating you to help you achieve your goals no matter how big or small they are.

Mark McPherson
Director and Personal Trainer

I have always had a passion for health and fitness and coupled with a fascination of how the body works this led to me completing a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science in 2005. I spent the next 8 years helping others in my spare time with fitness training and nutrition. In August 2013 I set up SPARK Health and Fitness to help those that had literally “tried everything” to lose weight, body fat, change shape and get fitter.

As a busy husband, father and former teacher I understand as well as anyone the difficulties of balancing a busy work and family life with staying healthy and active.

With my knowledge and 12 years of experience I am dedicated to helping you get over any barriers you face to achieve your health and fitness goals. All you need to do is take that first step, I promise you wont look back.

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