A FORMER Bradford Grammar School (BGS) pupil has credited the school for helping him become a successful businessman.

Silsden-born Nick Mitchell is the founder of global personal training company, Ultimate Performance (U.P.) which has offices in nine different countries across four continents.

U.P., formed in 2009, has worked with more than 25,000, including well-known celebrities, mostly from the film industry.

Bollywood actors John Abraham and Sonam Kapoor, Oscar winner Olivia Coleman and 84-year-old Dustin Hoffman have all used U.P. to improve their fitness for various roles.

Nick's latest endeavour was to help Glen Powell get ready for the new Top Gun: Maverick movie. It led to him being an arm's throw away from members of the Royal Family.

Read: Tom Cruise's co-star helped by ex Bradford Grammar pupil

"The person who was going to train him was away. So, I stepped in.

"There is a reason these people are successful. They come to the gym, work hard, and stay on their diets, they are machines.

"A boy from Bradford at the world premiere of Top Gun sat a couple of seats behind William and Kate."

But it is his West Yorkshire roots that have stuck with the 49-year-old throughout his career.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Nick training Hollywood A-lister Glen PowellNick training Hollywood A-lister Glen Powell

Nick, the son of a self-made millionaire, attended BGS while living in Addingham, from the ages of eight to 18. 

"The school shaped who I am today," he said.

"It was the way that we were taught at that school, that I will forever be grateful for. It gave me a sense of place and belonging.

"A truly wish my 13-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl could go to a school like that.

"BGS gave me an enormous amount of confidence. As long as I worked hard, I thought I could do anything."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Grammar SchoolBradford Grammar School

It was at the school where Nick developed his interest in bodybuilding, something that would follow him for the rest of his life.

He added: "I was 12 when my dad came back from business in America with a Conan book.

"It was when Arnold Schwarzenegger was huge. He was there semi-naked holding a sword. I looked at that and thought that it was a man should look like.

"I then bought his autobiography called Arnold The Education of a Bodybuilder. I walked around school with that under my arm.

"Even though I was a skinny boy, people kept calling me Arnie (to try to make fun). I got the bug from then."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Bradford man has excelled in the fitness industry since starting his own businessThe Bradford man has excelled in the fitness industry since starting his own business

BGS is where Nick met his best friend turned business partner Joe Halstead who grew up on Manningham Lane. The pair joined Phoenix Health Club, in Bradford city centre, at 16.

"That gym was rough and old school," Nick said.

"We were from the posh school. It was very working class. The local bouncers would work out there.

"When the owner got angry, he would pick up all the dumbbells and launch them across the gym."

Nick went on to gain degrees in both English and Law before he started training as a barrister in London and went into investment banking.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Nick is currently doing his dream jobNick is currently doing his dream job

However, he always had that lingering need to find enjoyment in his work. It meant something had to change, despite what his parents thought.

"15 years ago, I decided to become a personal trainer. I didn’t tell my parents.

"They wanted me to do a profession. That was the route for a BGS student.

"My dad once said to me there is no money in weight training lad. That is not strictly true.

"For the first time in my life, I was scared about the future. I wasn’t confident but I had to just bite the bullet.

"It made me work hard and be relentless. From there, I ended up with the business."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: He credits Bradford for giving him a great upbringingHe credits Bradford for giving him a great upbringing

Nick has an ever-evolving team of 300 elite personal trainers at U.P. in offices across the globe, from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, Dubai, London and Mumbai.

He added: "People say I am just a typical Yorkshireman, say it how you see it, straight-talking. I like to think I am coming from a good place. I have taken that Bradford culture and my family’s working-class attitude.

"BGS taught me to work hard, be honest and with a bit of luck the world can be your oyster."