Amy is a keen dancer who has turned her hand to personal training so that she can share her wisdom with others. She is a very vibrant and bubbly character with lots of passion and energy to pass on to her clients.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
I began ballet and jazz classes at the age of three. Dance is my biggest passion in life so when I began training professionally after leaving school I also started to hit the gym to become as strong and fit as possible. It’s important for dancers to do other forms of exercise to support our training, to prevent injury, and create balance in our training. Soon I realised that I was as equally interested in general fitness as I was in dance, especially in posture and movement efficiency. I wanted to learn more, so I decided to become a PT so that I could use my new knowledge along with my dance background to train and educate others!
What are your training goals now?
My goal is to sign up for a 5k run and beat my personal best of finishing in 24 minutes. Finishing in 20 minutes would be amazing! As a dancer, I work in short bursts of energy so now I'm focusing more on building stamina and endurance. Currently, my weekly training looks like this: 2/3 dance technique classes, 1 yoga session, 1 upper body session and 1 lower body session (these are usually HIIT sessions). I also try to include some LISS cardio and core on one day. I also stretch every day. So I mix it up a lot! When it comes to training for the 5k, I will start to put my focus on the LISS to build aerobic stamina, and include HIIT sprints to improve speed. I prefer to run outdoors for the extra challenge.
If you could only give your clients one exercise, what would it be?
It would be Salsa dancing! It’s cardio, it challenges your balance and coordination, and it tones the waist like nothing else... plus the music is amazing and you can do it with a friend which is twice the fun.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
It’s crucial to keep my knowledge up to date, which I do by meeting other PTs for coffee and sharing training tips. Reading is vital, so I make sure I brush up on any newly published research. Recently I got my hands on a set of DVDs introducing the basics of bio-mechanics, so that will be my next topic of interest.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Don't just warm up by doing 5 minutes on the treadmill... you need to mobilise every part of the body and activate the muscles you plan to train. Not only will this highlight any aches and pains (so you can adjust accordingly to avoid injury), but a good warm up will get you in the right head space to push your limits in the rest of the session.
- No time to train? Every little helps! I have been known to squat with my full washing basket as a weight and even do single-leg balances whilst I brush my teeth! Adding these little daily habits is a great way to fit in exercise when time is short. My New Year’s Resolution was to stop taking the escalator in tube stations... so every day is leg day now!
- Pack your training bag the night before so there are no excuses the next day when you are searching for reasons not to train. If it helps, pack an outfit you feel amazing in, so that you look forward to putting it on and kicking butt.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I tend not to overthink this unless I'm working towards a specific goal. Generally, I think the rule of eating healthy 80% of the time, and enjoying a treat the other 20% keeps things on track and allows for variety and most importantly, enjoyment! I don't cut any food groups except for dairy (personal choice to replace it with almond or coconut substitutes, which has improved my skin and energy levels, but not something I push everyone to do). My meat intake is minimal, again just through personal choice. Importantly, I always try to buy organic/free range where possible, to ensure the quality and ethical production of my food.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated?
I motivate my clients by finding out about their taste in music and putting together a killer playlist to listen to while working out. It makes such a difference psychologically, and it can provide a steady tempo during exercise too. I'm also not afraid to jump in and do an exercise with my clients if the energy is lagging, maybe create a little competition! My clients have become accustomed to receiving a mid-week message to boost motivation and provide some training tips so that their energy doesn't drop mid-week. I also like to work with progress pictures as they are a great visual reminder of how far the client has come, and how far they could go.
What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?
Future me would tell the young, newly qualified PT Amy that she should cut back on the coffee before sessions, so she doesn't scare clients with all the excess energy! She might also mention that it’s important to keep track of reps! Apologies to any client who ever did 50 instead of 15 because I lost count! I've learned, I promise...
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
I am part of 20% of the world's population who will never get wisdom teeth. I'm told by trusted sources that I really don't need to feel jealous?
Why work with Sundried?
Because I believe that positivity creates positivity. So an activewear brand that is ethical AND stylish... well that's pretty positive. Imagine the good karma when you work out in those leggings!
Favourite fitness quote
"You don't get the ass you want by sitting on it".