• Coleen Holiday Personal Trainer

    Coleen Holiday Personal Trainer Sundried Ambassador

    Coleen Holiday is fabulous at fifty and uses her wealth of knowledge as a personal trainer to help her clients. She tells Sundried how her passion for fitness and life skills allows her to help her clients be their very best,

    Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

    I started fitness particularly weight training when I was a teenager. While I literally failed gym every year I would always pass weight training and sign up as often as I could. I wasn't very good in school then, but this was clearly where it all started. There is something about physically becoming stronger that builds you up not only on the outside, but on the inside as well. I eventually married this to my experience and education in counselling psychology and it became the niche I have training and helping women become their best selves.

    What are your training goals now?

    I'll be turning 50 next year-I want to make 50 my most awesome year yet.

    Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

    I am absolutely phobic of insects.  

    What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out? 

    BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I do not eat any meat but for fish and cage free eggs. I also avoid consuming foods that have wrapper. (My new rule this year).

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

    I keep them motivated by having contests, giving prizes and really living the life of a trainer. In other words-I walk the walk. They make not only physical changes and successes but major life changes. I am a life coach of sorts. I can always see the talent and the unique beauty in my clients and then continue to work with their talents to reach their goals. They teach me so much and its really a reciprocal win/win. They are like family. 

    Talk us through your training regime.

    That highly depends on what I am training for-right now I am going back to the basics. Kind of starting over to build something different. I have a studio in my home and I go to the gym -I love free weights but my new love is the core board.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    National Academy of Sports Medicine and mentors. You must always have someone to look up to that keeps you motivated as a trainer. It is so easy to burnout or get bored so you have to find someone inspiring.   Mine is Mike Davies from the fitness factory.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Never follow some else's diet for their physique -you always have to tweak it to fit your body. I can never eat as much protein as every one else does and I learned that the hard way. 
    2. The second is to not be afraid to build muscle.
    3. Lastly-Never give up.

    If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    Weights and core board.

    What are your training goals?

    To be stronger and leaner and my very best at 50.

    Why work with Sundried? What an amazing company.

    I love the thought that went into this it- Such a unique and progressive step toward making a better future. Its like clothing with a conscious!  I'm proud to be an ambassador    

    Facebook

    Colleen Holiday (@MsHoliday50) | Twitter

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Matt Boyles Personal Trainer

    Matt Boyles Personal Trainer Sundried Skiing Active

    Matt is a lively and bubbly PT who draws largely upon his own life experience to help his clients achieve their goals.

    Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

    My school was very focused on rugby, but I was a spindly child and never got any enjoyment from being beaten up three times a week (oddly enough). Then I discovered cross-country running, which I was built for, and discovered I loved running. I got pretty good at it, which was satisfying. I then went to university… and didn’t really do much at all. Fast-forward to moving to London in 2004 and then half-heartedly joining a gym for a few years, all while working in marketing. However while I enjoyed my work, I never loved it, and the idea of working in fitness popped into my head. So in 2012 I started training to be a PT, while still working full-time in a marketing agency. I loved it, and the more I did it, the more I loved it. The agency I was working for was really supportive and let me go part-time when I had my Level 2 Diploma, which really helped with money concerns and the transition to a self-employed life. And I haven’t looked back since! I finished my Level 3 diploma, set up my company www.FitterYou.net and have been building the brand and further developing my fitness marketing skills, as well as soaking up relevant life experience to make me the best trainer there is.

    What are your training goals now?

    I just achieved my first muscle-up (doing a pull-up then raising yourself above the bar), which was really thrilling, so while I will always be trying to pack on muscle (as in my head I’m still that spindly 12-year-old), I’ve been enjoying playing around with calisthenics and seeing what I can do with my body – handstands, L-sits, planches, and so on.

    Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

    I have two pet rats named Krycek and Pitbull! I never thought I would love and care for them the way I do, but there you go. The responsibility I feel for these two furry creatures continually surprises me.

    What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?

    Use a PT to improve your knowledge ASAP and develop a plan for you, and then get a training buddy to always work out with, to keep motivation and accountability high. And stick to the plan. The most important thing I’ve learned has been consistency. The greatest workout and nutrition plan won’t work if you don’t stick at it – and while I’m on my high horse (!) that’s the problem with social media: it makes it look like changing your body’s appearance/composition is a quick process: IT ISN’T. But it is very, very rewarding when you work at it.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I’m about to go on holiday for two weeks (snowboarding in France and then a more relaxing break in Portugal), where I will be more relaxed in my approach, however for the last month I’ve restricted carbs a little bit, just to tweak my bodyfat down, to allow for the forthcoming relaxation. When I’m back I’ll crack on with a pre-summer bulk for two months or so, eat clean(ish) but ramp up the calories, and lift heavy in the gym.

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

    I thank my experience working in marketing and keeping clients happy for the skills I use now to build a rapport with my clients as quickly as possible. Being yourself is the simplest and quickest way to do this – people buy from people and want a connection with someone who can empathise with them, not a counting robot. I let them know that I get drunk sometimes (the horror!) or if I’ve put on some fat (no way!) – we’re all human and we’re all busy – especially in London – so someone who understands what they’re going through is refreshing in the fitness industry.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I know if I don’t workout at least four times a week I get ratty and don’t feel at my best, so it’s important for me to schedule it into my life, and that way I’ll stick to it. I have a four-day split, working on back and biceps, legs, chest and triceps, and shoulders. I put it together with my gym buddy, Dom, who’s also a PT and when life doesn’t get in the way, it works bloody well. We’ve both been getting stronger, and neither of us are young, as we’re 35/36, but we’re in the best shape of our lives as a result of applying life-experience we’ve picked up on the way.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I’m always open to learning new things. I follow various industry figures and writers who I respect such as Nick Mitchell and Joe Warner. I also like trying things out on myself and then applying it to the client, for example new supplements and exercises. I also listen to various podcasts and love working out with other PTs for fun (and gainz, obviously) but also to learn from each other and share experiences with clients (good and bad!).

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Get that water down you. For new clients, I buy them a Bobble filter water bottle as a welcome gift. This is A: a nice surprise, as most PTs don’t surprise clients with gifts, but B: means they have a nice bottle they can keep with them at work and regularly fill up to ensure they keep drinking the H2O
    2. Only try one new habit a week, and see if it sticks. If it does and you like it, keep it, and then add another. If not, ditch it and try another one. If you try to overhaul everything at once, nothing will stick as it will seem like too much of a hill to climb.
    3. I do have a secret tip (which I believe I invented…!) to distract clients if they are doing a static hold, e.g. a static squat/wall-sit, or a hammock hold on the floor – ask them really left-field questions from their youth, e.g. who were the neighbours to the left of your house growing up, what was your favourite book at school, who was your first holiday romance – the more unexpected, the more it distracts them from the pain in their quads!

      If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?

      Such a tough question! It would definitely feature muscle-ups, as they’re my main focus currently, especially slowing down the eccentric (down) part and I just love the feeling of flinging my body around! I wish I’d had the chance to do gymnastics as a child, as I know I would have loved it.

      What are your training goals?

      I’d love to join the 100kg club for bench press. I fully appreciate it’s an arbitrary number that doesn’t actually mean anything, but it’s the next landmark I’d like to smash

      Why work with Sundried?

      With so many unethical brands and people in the world, I’m delighted to align with one that stands up for what’s right, in all aspects of its work. People want fast fashion and t-shirts for £1, but someone somewhere isn’t getting paid fairly if that’s happening. I highly value the care, quality, and effort that goes into make Sundried products and want more people to know the good things you’re doing. Plus the tank tops make me look hench!

      Favourite fitness quote:

      “Do sharks complain about Mondays? No. They’re up early, biting stuff, chasing seals, being scary and reminding everyone they’re a f**king shark.”

      Posted by Alexandra Parren
    • Training Update from Laura Smith

      Laura Smith Duathlete Triathlete Triathlon

      Sundried Athlete Ambassador Laura Smith gives us a quick update on her training so far this year.

      On the 24th of March, I headed off for a week's intense training camp in Mallorca with the University of Birmingham's triathlon team. It was great to get a solid week's training in ahead of the start of my season this year. I racked up around 35 hours of quality training in the sunshine which was brilliant. The Sundried kit definitely got its use out there!

      On the 9th of April, I competed in the Standard Distance Duathlon AG British Championships and took home a gold medal. It was a tough race but a great result for my first standard distance duathlon! It has given me a great boost for the upcoming triathlon season and I am fired up for BUCS Sprint Triathlon in a few weeks.

      Laura Smith Gold Medal Winner Duathlon

      Congratulations on your gold medal Laura! From everyone at team Sundried we wish you the best of luck in your upcoming races!

      Posted by Alexandra Parren
    • Guest Post: Training Update by Laurin Thorne

      "Finding The Bright Side"

      This past summer I had an unfortunate crash on my bike during one of my triathlon Junior Canadian Series races in Montreal, Quebec. I left this incident with a broken wrist, collarbone, shoulder blade, two vertebrae, and a rib that caused a lung puncture. Although it seemed like nothing could be worse, I was able to see the positives with the help of family and friends. I realized I was lucky to suffer no head trauma, no needed surgeries, and the lower part of my body had no damage. I was incredibly lucky to physically walk away from this. I am a strong believer in the saying, 'everything happens for a reason,' and I have finally found the silver lining of it all.

      It continues to be a rough journey getting back to the normal swing of things, but I couldn’t be happier to be able to train again. I was immobile in both arms for months post crash, but my family was there with me giving me the assistance I needed (my dad became very good at doing my hair).  Once I gained enough mobility to bike and run, I was completing trainer rides on my bike with my wrist cast still on, but able to enjoy the outdoors on the running trails. Due to my lower bone density, my bones healed slower than normal, and I was out of the pool for five months to ensure I had a safe return to training.  

      Within the last few months of training, I have found my silver lining, with the help of coaches and teammates of course. After having 10 weeks off, it came to no surprise that I had lost my feel for the water, and at the same time, my bike and run form was almost forgotten. While I thought it wasn't a great situation, my coaches thought the opposite. I was seen as a blank canvas where I could start fresh and recreate my swim, bike, and run technique to be more efficient (an opportunity a lot of athletes don’t get). So far there have been a lot of technical improvements and gains! The other benefit is being able to focus on my bike and run, and have those two demands become stronger... the swimming will come later. Because of this, I have already achieved an all-time personal best in the 20min FTP on the bike! I have learned that you may need to look at a situation differently in order to find out how to get the most from it and to not be afraid to ask others for support along the way.

      Laurin Thorne Athlete Ambassador Triathlete Sundried

      The past eight months have been anything but easy, but I have been able to push through all the doubts and challenging moments to get where I am today. I try to stay optimistic with everything I do (knowing that something good is eventually going to happen). But there is no doubt that sometimes that satisfaction doesn't hold. I am originally from Alberta, train in British Columbia, and was away at a four-month training camp in Arizona where I was still rehabilitating. About five months into recovery I hit a mental wall. I didn't want anything to do with the sport and the last thing I wanted to do was begin a training session. I dreamed of being home with my family and friends and stop what I have worked and trained for up to this point. The hardest part was losing the motivation to train for a sport that I know I loved.

      Even in this slump, which seemed to last forever, I found optimism. I believed that if I kept going and surrounded myself with people that wanted to train the mentality would eventually come back. Sure enough, with a lot of positive self-reinforcement, the will to train is currently making a comeback. This period included looking at highlights from past races and training sessions while trying to regain that feeling of accomplishment and pride after pushing myself to the limit. I looked up to athletes who have gone through struggles but were strong enough to get back on track and be successful. But most of all it was finding a bright side to every situation no matter what! (Had a horrible workout? Well that workout is out of your system and now you’ll be faster tomorrow). Many times you have to laugh it off and have the confidence to know that it was just a bad day. A few bad workouts don't make a bad athlete.

      Recovery is a process and unfortunately, there are no time frames for when you will be fully healthy. I have learned there is a lot of patience involved and finding little goals along the way instead of solely focusing on the main target helps the time go by. A good reminder is that you don't want to get back to where you were, but rather better than you were. Work on the little things when you have the chance!  

      I am realizing more and more how crucial is it to listen to your body and if something is 'not right' to investigate immediately, and take all the recovery time required until it's safe to get back into training. I have (like most athletes) continued to train through injuries in the past thinking the pain will eventually go away, but I'm finally confident in taking a step back to play on the safer side of a situation and not risk further damage.

      My right shoulder continues to be a challenge with one day pain-free and the next day having me leaving a swim early due. I am fully aware that this is going to be on an on/off basis for the next year, but I have the best support team with me in Victoria who is always by my side. I couldn't be more grateful for the doctors, physios, nutritionists, massage therapists, and coaches that have given me relentless aid.

      I am now gearing up to an American Cup in Richmond, VA, as my first race of the season followed by Canadian Championships in Ottawa. I am starting to see everything steadily advancing together, and it's honestly a great feeling. I am exceedingly giddy to race, and I have confidence that I am heading in a positive direction.

      Stay Golden,

      Laurin

      Posted by Guest Reviewer
    • Marios Iacovou Personal Trainer

      Marios Personal Trainer Ambassador Sundried

      Marios is a newly converted vegan who uses yoga to balance his mind as well as his body. He tells Sundried about his motivations as a PT and how he applies his own pricincipals to help his clients achieve their goals.

      Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up. 

      I'm really a big believer in taking up challenges, though these challenges must be good for my body, and doing something I love doing. If it involves raising money for charity I'm there. I have taken part in a number of runs in London, Brighton and elsewhere in the UK. I have also raised money by doing a 'Dover to Calais' rowing challenge where I rowed over 33km non-stop.

      Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

      I did not come from a sporty background, so it took me a while to learn to enjoy the benefits of keeping fit. I always took more to activities I could do by myself and with someone else's company if I chose to. Swimming, tennis, running and strength training have always been my main interests. Now I am broadening my horizons as I made a bigger link between a healthy mind and a healthy body, where yoga has become a really big part of my life. In fact, I recently qualified as a yoga teacher and now love working in groups, something I always thought was not for me.

      What are your training goals now?

      My training goals now are to improve my flexibility and also to simply enjoy using my own body for resistance training. Our own body weight gives us so much potential to improve our strength and endurance. Often the fitness element holding us all back is flexibility, but this often goes unnoticed. For a healthy, injury-free body, which feels good and light, flexibility work should not take the back seat. 

      Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

      I have studied to be a life coach, which I haven't really told anyone about. I did it for myself and I feel it helps me understand and appreciate myself and others much more in daily life.

      What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?

      You do not need to get acceptance or permission from others when you are looking to follow your own path in life, regardless of how difficult it is for others to accept.

      Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

      I am a vegan. I have not been vegan for long, about 1 year. My only regret is not starting sooner. I eat lots of soy products and Quorn, as well as fruit and vegetables, beans, and lentils. Thankfully getting enough protein is not difficult, with a little bit of planning.

      Typically in the morning I'll eat plant-based alternatives to yoghurt with muesli, flaxseed and a banana, with green tea. In the afternoon I may have quorn sausages, with peas and a carb source such a quinoa. For dinner I may have a meal like a chilli con carne but with quorn mince and plenty of veg. I usually have 4-5 meals a day and snack on fruit throughout the day. With my coffees I'd opt for oat milk or soy milk.

      The vegan diet makes me feel much less bloated and I have more energy throughout the day. I feel that the vegan diet has increased the variety of foods in my life rather than limited, as it encourages me to look beyond the basic foods that I'd have every day such as chicken and eggs.

      A vegan diet is not only better for my body but it is better for the planet. Also, I know that 4-5 times a day I may well be saving an animal from a difficult life on a factory farm.

      What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

      My approach is to encourage clients to make improvements, but at a level that they will be able to keep it up. I always look to long term gains rather than short term. Would I recommend a disgusting tasting protein shake to someone who has to hold their breath each time they swallow it? No. Chances are that protein shake will not be used the following week, let alone the following year. I follow the same approach with activity levels. I would not ask too much of someone if it is not realistic. Therefore clients stay motivated knowing that they are keeping to certain practices, and as these practices become habit, I can take the clients goal even further.

      Talk us through your training regime.

      I work with a loose training regime, similar to the advice i give my clients - I do not believe in rigidity. I will base my training according to how I feel that day. I would typically aim to get 4 training sessions in each week. Each training session will comprise of compound exercises, working as many different muscle groups as possible, therefore you would typically see me performing deadlifts, squats, lunges, chest presses and back rows. I keep each session to an hour apart from when I feel I may have had a more sedentary day and therefore require a little more cardio. Outside of my gym sessions I practice yoga 2-3 times a week. My yoga sessions and gym sessions always vary as I work with how I feel, any parts of my body that require more attention or simply depending on how busy the gym is and which equipment I can get to.

      How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

      As a member of REPs - Register of Exercise Professionals I always keep my career development up to date by studying and going on a range of courses, from pad work and suspension training to first aid. I also let my curiosities and passions roam freely, if that's simply watching youtube channels to improve my technique, speaking to other people in and out of the fitness industry, and pushing my practice further.

      What are your top 3 trainer tips?

      1. Find something you enjoy. Do not perservere with something that is a chore, there are always options.

      2. Try to cut down or cut out animal products. Do this gradually and with advice.

      3. Don't give up. Consistency is key. Even if you fall off the bandwaggon, jump back on as soon as you're ready.

      If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?

      A yoga full body strength session. I trust yoga to be a fully balanced approach to training, where every part of the body is strengthened, stretched and shaped. The session will involve inversions, balancing poses, twists, flexion movements and extensions.

      What are your training goals?

      My goals are to reduce body fat down from 15% to 12% in the next few months. This will be done by more focus on HIT training methods. 

      Why work with Sundried?

      Sundried has really impressed me with its eco-credentials. They are asking questions which unfortunately most other companies ignore. They are considering and acting on their responsibilities to provide ethical clothing. They provide premium ethnical clothing which often don't go hand in hand but Sundrieds products are modern, high quality products. They are a very transparent company so you can see the could they are doing. They are a company i'm proud to be an ambassador for, and Ihope they will be an example for other companies to follow. Sundried show that there are no excuses to shy away from ur responsibilities and go above and beyond my expectations in every way.

      Favorite fitness quote:

      I already know what giving up feels like, I want to see what happens if I dont.

       

      Facebook https://www.facebook.com/yogawithmarios

      Twitter www.twitter.com/mariosiacovou

      Instagram @mariosiacovoupt

      Posted by Alexandra Parren