Using their extensive knowledge of nutrition and the body, Scott Robinson and his talented team at The Edge bestow you with the keys to ‘unlock your future potential’.
The Edge isn’t a lab, but a transformative experience. It’s a place where you can discover new sides of yourself, where you can overcome fears and reach your highest level of performance. That’s what Scott Robinson and his team at The Edge strive to do – combine science and creativity to make an experimental and supportive space for their clients. Using state-of-the-art technology, they evaluate their clients’ health before finding the keys that best match their individual requirements. After which, they provide fun yet nutrient-rich recipes that have the power to change lives.
Robinson started out with a genuine desire to help people, a desire that has become the backbone of his company. He’s worked with incredible athletes, including Olympic, World and European medallist, Asha Philip, and five-time World Champion Speedway Rider, Tai Woffinden. His company is revered by all who go there for its professional yet welcoming environment. Now a successful business owner and leading expert in his field, he wants to spread the knowledge and experience he and his team have accumulated over the years. The Edge’s recently released recipe book, Fuel Like a Champion, contains a variety of tasty and beneficial meals, snacks, and drinks that spice up your palate, and their life-changing course, Champions of the Future, which aims to give young people the tools to navigate their nutritional needs, launches this September.
How did The Edge start?
Initially I started to work in different football clubs and sporting arenas, and often had quite limited time with the individual athletes. One footballer contacted me and asked for help with nutrition, as he wanted to build a team around him. He had a strength conditioning coach, physio, and then he wanted to bring me in to do the nutrition. So it all stemmed from his desire to be the best version of himself. One of the key things he said to me was that not only is he competing against his opposition, but also against his own team, as he was competing for a shirt number. He knew these areas would help him go above and beyond, and so it grew from there.
Through networking and word of mouth we started to develop good relationships with other athletes as well. We sat down as a team to discuss the name, and really thought about what we actually deliver and what value we add to clients’ lives. Ultimately, our aim is to provide anybody who we work with the competitive edge in life through nutrition. Whether that’s in sports, with young and ambitious people in the classrooms, families, entrepreneurs, The Edge is always unique to the individual. We spend a lot of time listening to people and learning about what their short and long-term goals are, and then we use the power of foods to provide them with the edge in life.
Have you always been interested in nutrition?
I did both an undergrad and masters in Sports Science, and within them there were lots of options – psychology, biomechanics, nutrition, etc. I just took the time to find out what I enjoyed the most. I suppose I've always had an interest in nutrition from when I was younger because I used to perform at a reasonably high level in football, and I found that it really helped in terms of energy and recovery. And then, luckily, during my masters, I got to shadow Professor Don McLaren at Everton football and do some work there. It was an experience that opened my eyes to how nutrition can enhance athletic performance. So it stemmed from there I kind of just went with the flow. I've always pursued what I enjoy and feel passionate about. The best thing about it now is seeing the positive change you can make on people’s lives with nutrition, and showing them that food doesn’t need to be boring, bland and restrictive. There’s so much joy in food, not just from a theological perspective, but also from a social and cultural perspective, through trying new cuisines and experimenting in the kitchen. I think that’s probably where my passion lies when it comes to nutrition.
One of the things that makes you stand out is your commitment to creativity and individuality. Could you tell me more about why this has become an integral part of your company?
We often hear that there's ‘no one size fits all’ with nutrition, right? So that's why we have the lab. We do so many different tests to ultimately get a 360 physiological profile of a person, and objectively learn about their body and what’s going on. But then, of course, everyone has their own individual likes, dislikes, and preferences. There are also loads of barriers in nutrition that are often neglected, such as time, opportunity, availability, and motivation. One of the key things is learning more about the client, from the testing and objective side to the subjective side, which involves actually listening to them and hearing their feedback. I’m not a fan of giving people six-week nutrition plans because it’s just not sustainable, so like to look at things like habit formation, positive behavioural change, and find what works well for the client. We try to recommend lifestyle changes that not only fit them, but are sustainable over time, and for that the experimentation phase is key.
I think there's a lot of beauty in trying out new things and being creative. Actually, if you invest time in it from an early age, that lifestyle withstand the test of time, as you find out more about yourself and have fun in the process. You can learn to create meals, dishes, and snacks that you really enjoy and feel comfortable and happy to make.
Your Human Performance Lab is incredible! Was it designed with a specific aesthetic in mind?
Definitely! Although it’s called ‘the human performance lab’ we don’t want people to see it as a clinical setting – that it’s impersonal or a daunting experience. Ultimately, we want them to feel at home, relaxed. We have some clients who walk in looking like they've got the fear of God in them, but by the end of it they’ve had a coffee and met the team, they’re happy, we’re taking pictures with them. The overall experience is a massive part of it, and equally, bringing that personal touch. We want our clients to walk through the lab and see that our standards are super high with everything we do, and every little detail matters. We never rush people through the lab, and we don’t take more than two bookings a day, as we recognise that people could be late, or stay longer than expected to have an extra coffee and good conversation. From a nutrition perspective, this helps us build relationships and trust, to see people as people, and helps us work together.
Congratulations on the release of your digital recipe book, Fuel Like a Champion. What was design process like? I can imagine there was a lot of trial and error involved?
There was a lot of trial and error and a lot of mess in the kitchen! First of all, I have to give major credit to both Tiffany and Molly, who are our creative chefs at the edge, for coming up with all of the recipes, and Chloe for putting them all into digital form. It came about as we have a lot of clients who are often stuck for ideas. They’ll have the same food week in, week out, and it’s not that they’re not open to trying new foods, but that they don’t know what to try. Overtime we built this recipe library and curated around 1000 ideas covering everything from main meals, to snacks, smoothies, desserts – whatever you can imagine. We’d look at our clients’ weekly schedule, what they like and don’t like, speak to our chefs and suggest recipes that fit them best. We wanted to make these openly available to the public, so that they can benefit from them to.
One of the things I’ve experienced is opening a recipe book, and seeing an extensive list of ingredients alongside a long and complicated method. It can take a lot of time to make, and after a busy day, it puts me off. When we spoke to people, we found that they like quick, easy, minimal ingredient recipes, that not only taste fantastic but are really beneficial. Something that feels like a take-out or a little bit naughty but is still healthy. That’s where Tiffany and Molly have been fantastic – creating delicious, simple recipes that are also nutritious. The great thing as well is that anyone can make them. It’s not just for adults who are skilled in the kitchen, but also for people who have no cooking skills or knowledge and want to give it a go.
Not only have you released a recipe book, but are soon launching your Champions of the Future initiative. What does the course look like, and how is it relevant?
A lot of the work we do day to day is very intricate and bespoke, and we spend a lot of time supporting each individual. After learning so much from university education, from our experience, and working with high performers, we wanted to reach more people. Especially because we noticed how much information is out there regarding nutrition, both high quality and misleading. It can be really confusing for people to know what’s best and makes them feel overwhelmed. Initially we thought about building a learning platform for adults, but that changed when Tiffany began working with a school in the Middle East. The feedback was great, and everyone involved loved it. We started researching what’s out there for younger people regarding nutrition, and lo and behold, we didn’t come across much. Parents and young people are finding it difficult to know where to look and what advice to follow, and there has been a lot of research done about children being overweight, suffering with food disorders, and over exercising.
We wanted to do something about it. Over the last 18 months we've created a unique online digital learning platform where teenagers and parents can learn about the fundamentals of nutrition. Included within the course are areas that are very often missed, such as positive behavioural change and how to set up a good nutrition environment, and instil a motivation and willingness in young people to learn about it. We also knew we needed to make this cool, so that’s where we teamed up with around 25 of the world’s best high performers. There are insights into what their nutrition looks like, their approach, what they struggle with. It’s important they see these champions as human, so that they themselves can turn into champions through the power of food.
Ultimately, the aim is not only to have a positive impact on future generations, but also to try and influence policy and school curriculums. We want to reach young people from underprivileged backgrounds who don’t necessarily have access to potentially life-changing information. We’re aiming high and will give it our best shot.
Is the work you’ve been doing in schools similar to what you’ve included in the course?
It’s similar, but it’s more specific. For example, nutrition for swimming, or triathlon performance or football. But with this course, the main beauty of it is that it's for any young person who wants to unlock their full potential. So yes, it can definitely benefit those involved in sport. But if you want to be a high performer in business, or performing arts or theatre, or whatever it might be, you don't have to be sporty to take part. And I think that's where the benefit of the course really shows, as no matter what you want to achieve, even if you haven't got it figured out yet, it will benefit you. It's such a crucial step to be the best version of yourself, to have a good self-esteem and feel confident in the body you’re in. We never tell anybody they have to eat perfectly all of the time, just to aim for the majority. We’re for excellence over perfection, and I think that’s what keeps people happy and positive about food.
You’ve spoken a lot about turning people into champions, and have referenced it in both of your recent projects. What is a champion to you?
I think a champion is 100% unique to the individual. In this day and age, it's so easy to compare yourself against others, and have that as the benchmark. But when you do that it’s really difficult to be happy. I think to be a champion you don’t necessarily have to win something like the Premier League or a world title, it’s about the steps you put in along the way, becoming the best version of yourself every day. But there’s also an element to it of realising that everyone, even the world’s best performers, are human. They might have days where they’re a 6 out of 10, but that’s fine, because they’ve still given 100%. People, especially younger generations, need to be kind to themselves, and give themselves a bit of a break.
A champion celebrates their success, but also, they love to fail. Their response to failure is what makes them a champion. Do they give up and think, ‘no, it's not for me’, or do they think ‘It's not the best feeling in the world but what can I do about it? What's the solution?’. And then the next time that happens, they're in a much better headspace about it. They build up their resilience and are also able to reflect. They are able to look back at their day and instead of focusing on what went wrong, they focus on why it went wrong, what can be improved, and importantly, what did go well, and give themselves a pat on the back. They have an awareness that always allows them to self-improve. Ultimately, it’s about enjoying the journey. It’s well documented that many high performers feel depressed after winning, as when they reach their end goal it isn’t what they thought. So you have to appreciate the journey and the beauty that comes with it. I myself try to take the time to be still and appreciate things more.
Speaking of the journey, what are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced as a business owner, and on the other side of that, your greatest achievement?
The biggest challenge I’ve had is building resilience in myself. I never took a business course or anything like that, I just went in with the mindset that if I’m doing it for the right reasons – to help people – then I’ll find a way to make it work. I don’t back down from opportunities. Even if I feel like I'm not quite ready yet I'll throw my name in the hat and give it my best. It’s been challenging but it’s helped to throw myself in at the deep end, to put myself in situations outside of my comfort zone and learn from the experience. I try not to fear challenges. Don’t get me wrong, I do at times, but I always think that if we’ve gotten through it before, and our motivations are genuine, then we can’t go too far wrong.
I think the biggest success, both for myself and The Edge, is building the team at The Edge. It’s really difficult in nutrition to find a job coming out of university, one that pays you fairly for your experience, provides good feedback, and gives you the room to be creative. So I think the team culture at The Edge is what I’m most proud of, and I love the opportunities we’ve created for people. We have a really high attention to detail, but it’s still really relaxed, and we have some group trips scheduled to the Grand Prix and Dubai! At the end of the day, however well the business does, I can always look back and think about the great experiences we’ve had, and how we’re able to learn from each other.
Who would be your dream person to collaborate with?
Apart from The Teff Cookie Company? I’d have to choose someone we’re already collaborating with for our Champions of the Future initiative, which is Chrissie Wellington. She became the Ironman World Champion in her first year after turning pro, and won it for four consecutive years, breaking a world record every single time. Incredible. She’s superhuman but also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I’m really pleased she’s stationed as an ambassador for our programme. She does so much work for young people regarding health and wellbeing, and it’s been great just chatting with her and learning more about her ideas around the nutrition space for young people. Her passion is very similar to ours, which makes working together so much easier. We’re trying to create this positive movement and she’s been an amazing support.
Finally, what are your future aspirations for your company?
To continue supporting high performers. We love helping them unlock their full potential. It’s something that challenges us every day because we're constantly searching for the extras we can provide for them. Whether there is a product as little as 2% better for them, we’ll recommend it and explain why. And that’s really cool. A lot of our clients have become really good friends, and they’re some of the nicest people you could ever meet, so we definitely want to continue in that space. We also want to empower young people with the very best nutrition knowledge so they can live a healthy, happy, confident, and high-performance life. We’d love to try and impact as many people as possible, and do some good work with parents too.
You can find out more at:
Instagram: @scott_theedge / @theedgehpl