Alex is a CrossFit enthusiast and uses this well-rounded sport to stay fit. He talks to Sundried about life as a personal trainer and CrossFit coach.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
I was always very active growing up. I played a lot of different sports including football, golf, athletics, triathlons etc. but mostly I played rugby from the age of 6. When I got older I started CrossFit training to try and make myself a more well-rounded athlete and get a little fitter for rugby. I ended up enjoying CrossFit so much more that I stuck with it and haven’t looked back to this day.
What are your training goals now?
My goals now are just to enjoy my training. The challenge of bettering myself everyday and striving to do a little bit better excites me. Each day when I finish a hard training session, I feel that sense of accomplishment and it fills me with joy and optimism.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
When I started strength and conditioning training for rugby, I wish I had been guided a bit better. I was far too interested in being big, strong and lifting heavy. I realised much too late on in my career that the best athletes are the ones who are good at everything not great at just one thing. Fitness comes first.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I try and stick to a macro-based diet. I try and keep my foods as ‘clean’ as possible but sometimes I need enough carbohydrates to fuel double sessions. Typically, I stick to the same meals, ones that hit my macros for the day and are easy to make/carry around with me. Then, on rest days I like to relax and change it up a bit.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
Enjoying what you do is pretty important for me. I try and pass that on to my clients I train, as otherwise, spending a lot of time in the gym can be difficult when you don’t really want to be there.
Talk us through your training regime.
My training is so varied and that is part of the aspect I love the most about it! It’s always different so you don’t really get bored of it! Typically, my week is ‘heavy’ volume on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. A little bit more moderate on Saturdays and then active recovery on Thursdays. Sunday is a rest day. My training is for competing in CrossFit so it mixes weightlifting, gymnastics and various conditioning elements. It's the best all-round programme out there!
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I’m incredibly lucky to be working at Reebok CrossFit Tyneside and be surrounded by excellent, knowledgeable coaches on a daily basis who impart their wisdom and experience onto me. I have genuinely learnt a lot from them and just the general experience of coaching and training in the sport for the past 3 years. Outside of this I am currently completing my degree in Applied Sports and Exercise Science at Northumbria University and I enjoy listening to podcasts such as Barbell Shrugged, RX’d radio etc.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Take care of your clients.
- Make the process enjoyable for them.
- Always be open to learning new things from people.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Why work with Sundried?
I love that Sundried stands for so many of the same values as me and the care they take when manufacturing and producing their product is unparalleled. The range of clothes are awesome, with a simple and classic design I feel like it really suits me. The ambassador programme rewards hard work and positivity and that was more than enough to convince me how great this company is!
Favourite fitness quote:
"There is no talent here. This is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist, we are all equals as human beings. If you put in the time, you will reach the top. I am not talented. I am obsessed." – Conor McGregor.