For a long time on my personal and professional fitness journey I have certainly been one to follow the crowd. However, over the last 18 months I have really started to question the status quo and work out what’s best for me, but most importantly what I believe to be the best practices for my clients and for you my community.
My approach to training has varied hugely throughout my life.
As a teenager I hated any form of exercise and avoided PE like the plague. As a young adult I went off to drama school and discovered movement and exercise and began to enjoy ‘fitness’ because of the motivation to be a fit and healthy performer.
Towards the latter half of my time at drama school, I discovered the gym, weights and #fitspo on Instagram, becoming obsessed with training in the gym 5-6 times a week in addition to my dance classes. The focus was on achieving the elusive aesthetic goal of a six-pack and I did just that. However it was at the expense of having a life outside of my gym workouts and my self imposed clean eating diet.
After graduating in the summer of 2014 I decided that my true passion was for fitness and so I qualified as Personal Trainer in the Autumn of the same year. By the end of 2014 I had started working in a big commercial gym teaching classes and getting to grips with training clients. It’s very true what they say – as a PT you really do learn, grow and develop your skills on the job.
Of course, as reality set in, I was unable to keep up my strict gym regime and over the past 4 years I have been working on what best works for me and my lifestyle. Now I have a far more balanced, flexible and sustainable approach with my health and happiness at the forefront, rather than the aesthetic results which instead are simply a by product.
This has of course had an influence on how I practice as a Personal Trainer and group Instructor. Instead of promoting strict and intense training, I want to encourage my clients to do the same and put their overall health and wellbeing first at all times.
PUTTING THIS INTO PRACTICE
As I said at the start, I have been one to follow the crowd in the past, but as I have gained more experience and grown in confidence, the past 18 months have really been about going against the grain. It’s pretty intimidating, however I truly believe this is best practice.
I have done a lot of reading and research into the Health At Every Size principles and movement, and so this has really help shape and develop my current ethos and Personal Training style.
I now put the emphasis onto health and well being as opposed to physical transformation and weight loss results so I can really help my clients and community focus on the long term benefits of exercise and movement.
I do not weigh or measure clients. Instead I track their training progress through programming, celebrating increases in strength and fitness ability.
I do not offer quick fixes or diets. Instead my approach is about finding long term solutions to help clients feel their best and to function at their optimal level inside the gym and most importantly outside too.
I do not believe in creating a culture of shame or guilt as motivation to train. Instead I want to positively encourage and support people to use movement as a form of self care, so they can make the best choices for their own health and wellbeing.
The ultimate goal is to change mindsets away from the aesthetic transformation, but rather shift to the positive physical and mental health benefits so that we are all able to thrive.
CORE VALUES & BELIEFS
- Train clients in a sustainable and maintainable way, with health and happiness always being the priority.
- Weight Neutral, and therefore do not make judgements and assumptions based on weight, treating everyone as an individual who deserves respect.
- A focus on what bodies can DO with emphasis on celebrating physical progress as opposed to aesthetic results.
- Share the many virtues of exercise and movement beyond how a body looks with a particular spotlight on how movement can make you feel.
- Empower clients with knowledge and support so they feel comfortable and confident within a fitness environment.
- Shift mindsets to ENJOY exercise for it’s many benefits and change perceptions of fitness as a punishment, a chore and a negative activity…it can be fun!
- Encourage intuitive training; listen to your body for cues on energy and fatigue to help inform your choice to rest, workout or adapt your choice of exercise.
- To remind clients and my greater community that joyful movement and exercise is an act of Self Care for mind and body.