Seek. Empower. Do.

Dream of a healthier lifestyle?
Want to reach your ideal weight?

Knowing where and how to start is a difficult task made harder by the sheer volume of conflicting ‘how to’ advice we receive daily.

This information overload, combined with our modern-day busy lifestyles, is a nationwide problem that’s causing gym memberships to go unused, diet books to collect dust and clothes, no matter how much we breathe in, to get tighter.

It doesn’t have to be this way – and the answer isn’t just moving more and eating less. It’s emotional.

Our Health Revolution

It’s time to combat self-sabotage and self-doubt for good. By embracing a loving mind-body relationship, you’ll no longer feel overwhelmed or unable to achieve.

At The Mind Gap we focus on the power of change psychology, helping you break old habits and retrain the brain in a way that’s both stress-free and fulfilling. Our combination of personal training and online coaching makes it ideal for even the busiest of lifestyles.


Kick-start your journey to a healthier, happier you.

Get started

MEET YOUR COACH – Nicola Mapes

My own experiences motivates me to help others. In life we all have lessons to learn, and after 8 years of personal training, I understand how powerful a positive (lasting) change can be.

With the next chapter of my coaching career, I want to prove that self care isn’t selfish, and hope to help more people, like you, online.

The long version.. I have been working as a personal trainer for 8 years since I graduated with a BSc Sports Rehabilitation from the University of Salford. My sports injury knowledge provided a niche and created a client base which steadily grew over the coming years. Feedback from clients encouraged me by saying I was a ‘natural counsellor’ and could provide wisdom as well as insight beyond fixing their physical injuries. I started to consider the psychology of personal training, cue Precision Nutrition Level 1 qualification (and lots of additional reading).

But my perfectionist nature got the better of me.

Never wanting to turn a person away I worked longer hours, missed out socially and attempted to be the perfect role model for everyone (this is impossible FYI).

Someone I had not seen recently asked “Are you ok? The sparkle has gone from your eyes.”

I didn’t admit it at the time but I wasn’t ok. I felt like I was drowning. I was slowly burning out because of my own harsh self talk and high self expectation to be all knowing. Stress manifests in many ways. My voice started to disappear, (which was a lump on my vocal cord from overuse and not breathing properly), I was suffering heart palpations and my immune system was none existent. It was time for a change. How can I preach about a healthy work life balance if mine was completely out of whack? I vowed to change all aspects of my life. I got rid of toxic relationships, moved house, left my place of work and set up elsewhere. I needed a dramatic change for a dramatic improvement which was well over due. No longer surrounded by negativity, without the deadly commute to work and no targets to hit, I found space. I learnt to appreciate the importance of self care. I build a new team of people that helped me see the wood for the trees. Without the kindness and patience of others I would have had to leave the profession that I love.

Everything changed from the day I started saying no. I learnt to be smarter about how I helped people. I actually got more business. I had to create classes, programmes and started working with other coaches just to cope with the demand.

Now I wish to embrace a new challenge and coach online to reach more people. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone but we all know that’s where growth happens 🙂

If you have made it this far… thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope you have a greater understanding of who I am and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Nicola Mapes


  • BSc Hons Sports Rehabilitation

  • Precision Nutrition Level 1

  • Currently studying towards ISSN Post Grad Dip. Sports Nutrition and Supplements

  • SUN Power Yoga Teacher

  • APPI Pilates Level 1 and 2 Instructor

  • Quantum Performance NLP Certified Practitioner

  • Fully insured member of BASRaT (British Association of Sports Rehabilitators and Therapists)



I am a firm advocate of taking care of the mind, body and spirit to encourage balance in all areas. I believe my role in life is to empower others to take responsibility for their own health and, if presented with conditions that are debilitating in some way, to take control of how they respond to that condition.  We may not always be responsible for what happens to us in life but we are responsible for how we choose to respond.

I graduated from University way back in 1997 with a BA (Hons) Degree in Sport and Recreation and used this as a platform into youth work.  I then trained in Advice and Guidance in the Careers Service and went on to be a Personal Adviser in the Connexions Service. I worked in this service for 12 years and during this time received training in many useful areas including solution focused counselling and steps for excellence facilitation. I trained as an NLP practitioner and use elements of all my training to get the best outcome for my clients. This helped to pave the way for when I left in 2010 to become a self employed coach.

I currently practice as a Personal Development Coach at Bare Health in Congleton.  I cover a range of topics and issues with my clients but my focus is on improving the relationship with self and others by changing the way we think. I am keen to improve the emotional well being and promote good mental health through my practice.

Working with Nicola on The Mind Gap, I will endeavour to bring both my skills as a Coach and my experience in sport, health and exercise to all of our clients. I use both running and yoga as meditation practice and have seen not just the physical benefits of combining these activities into my weekly habits but also on a mental/emotional level. I also dance because it is good for my soul! I have created ‘The Power of the Journal’ workshop in my capacity as a coach to help others access the power of their minds through reflective writing and flow. I am keen to bring this into new projects so watch this space… I look forward to joining you on this transformational journey as I believe we all have the answers we are looking for inside ourselves, we just need ways to uncover them.

We may just need a little re-programming and re-conditioning to get us into tip top shape but with self awareness and mindful noticing we can start to move our thought processes towards that which helps us, and away from that which hinders us.

Let the journey commence…

Photo Credit: Louise Hampson


  • BA Hons Sport and Recreation

  • Level 4 Advice and Guidance Practitioner

  • NLP Certified Practitioner

  • Facilitator in Steps to Excellence

  • Trained in Solution Based Counselling

  • Qualified Youth Worker

  • Fully Insured

What our clients say

“Brilliant all round trainer, with expert knowledge in PT, nutrition, massage, yoga and ‘know how’ in sorting your head out. You got me pain free in about 3 months, made me cry because it was so great and when my days were tough a walk and a talk did the trick. A year of training with you was a real journey to mend my body. You know how to push your clients and work hard to reach goals but understood pain and how to manage it. Your new clients will be in safe capable hands.”

Helen Rankine

“I contacted Nicola at my gym as I needed help to get fitter an I had lost interest in going to the gym. We met and she assessed my fitness and we decided on a plan. From the first moment we met I knew we were going to get along… she really encouraged me back to it and regular sessions 3 times weekly soon got me back in shape. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone. Sign up with Nicola and you are guaranteed results!”

Tony Stingemore

“Happy new year. Despite dreading most of our sessions and wondering why the hell I am putting myself through them I am genuinely looking forward to our sessions this year. Maybe I am just caught up in the New Year excitement but I am feeling really positive and confident that I can make myself feel fitter and healthier. You’re very good a your job and luckily for you you’re very hard to dislike!”

Juilanne Hughes

“Nicola was my PT for nearly two years, she is fantastic at her job. I had major back surgery on my back that made running and other exercises difficult. Working with Nic has enabled me to run and I can do most things that I enjoy pain free. I feel more confident and better about myself and my posture has greatly improved. Our sessions were hard and challenging but also great fun, apart from the ball!”

Jane Walton

“Nicola not only changed my body, she also changed my mind. She helped me prioritise my goals and make sure I put myself first. This not only helped me personally get through a very stressful period in my life, it also resulted in amazing results in our PT sessions.  I saw great results and Nicola knew exactly the type of exercise I would enjoy and also gave the best results for what I wanted to achieve. I never left a session feeling disheartened – I was a hero every day. Thank you for giving me the confidence in my abilities to continue my fitness and personal journey.”

Tasha Howard