Angela decided to become a personal trainer after a life-changing incident. She talks to Sundried about staying motivated and her reasons for strength training.
Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
I've completed various half marathons including Surrey Half, Wiltshire Half and Southend Half. I have also taken part in several Brutal 10 races- intense 10K off road races with natural obstacles. (Bagshot, Woolmer and Minley)
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
I have always led an active lifestyle and taken part in many sports, especially running while growing up in South Africa. I enjoyed a healthy outdoor life with a sporty family. However, fitness wasn't my chosen career after school as I explored other options. It was only after being married and in my mid twenties that a traumatic event led me to strength training. I was attacked by a dog who destroyed 60% of my right bicep which resulted in many operations and physiotherapy to repair the damage. It healed remarkably well but with obvious scars, a lack of strength, and an arm that doesn't completely straighten. I have worked very hard over the years to build up strength and for the most part it functions very well. There are certain movements I feel hindered by it and sometimes have associated shoulder pain. Strength training definitely helped my progress and I loved the challenge. Therefore, I decided to make it my career and qualified as a personal trainer. I ran a small personal training studio at my home in South Africa, which was ideal as I was a mum with 2 young sons. I moved to the UK six years ago and became a mobile personal trainer, training women in their homes and I love that I can make a difference in their lives. Now in my forties with 2 teenage sons, I realise the greater importance of overall fitness and well-being, including strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise that works for ME!
What are your training goals now?
Although I was always a runner and competed in various races, since having knee surgery 18 months ago I was advised to give up running. It was hard to accept but I knew I couldn't continue running with my knee pain. I have now started spinning and my aim is to start outdoor cycling in the summer. So now my training goals are to increase my upper body strength which is always a challenge due to my injured right arm, improve my flexibility, and enjoy a healthy, fulfilled life with my family.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
My family nickname is Pups.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Believe in yourself, feel confident in your own abilities and just be YOU!
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I maintain a balanced approach to my diet because as a busy mum this is what works for me. I don't follow a specific nutrition plan but my diet consists of real food and I avoid processed packaged foods. I like to include as many vegetables as possible in every meal and eat mainly chicken and fish. I'm not a big meat eater but I do enjoy it now and then. I try to avoid dairy and processed sugars in my diet and love being creative in the kitchen recreating healthier versions of popular dishes.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
I always maintain a positive attitude and when they are feeling discouraged remind them of their progress so far. I advise them to keep a food diary for a week so they can actually see what they are eating, and remind them that I'm only a text or message away if they need advice with food choices. I also try to keep the workouts as varied as possible so they do not become bored and keep them challenged at all times. I ask them to set goals and together with them we break them down into smaller more manageable steps.
Talk us through your training regime.
Monday- Strength training
Tuesday- Dance class or HIIT workout
Wednesday- Strength training followed by Metafit class (20 min HIIT class at gym)
Thursday- Piyo class (at gym)
Friday- Strength training and spinning class (evening)
Sunday- Spinning class
That is my ideal week but sometimes things change, especially if I have changes with my clients or my sons
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I follow other fitness professionals on social media and subscribe to various newsletters sharing the latest trends and research. I am always eager to learn something new and bounce ideas off other trainers. I love attending fitness events and enjoy lectures from experts in various fields. Online courses are also very valuable and I have completed a few of these. It seems that there is always something new to learn everyday.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Be consistent in training and nutrition- there are no quick fixes or magic pills, it's the consistency of effort over time that will have results.
- Thousands of crunches don't give you 6 pack abs- abs are made in the kitchen!
- Rest and recovery is vital for mind and body. You can't function at your best and see results if you don't take time to take the rest that is needed. Overtraining does more harm than good and we are exercising because we want to be healthy and this is definitely not healthy!
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Nuts in any form, especially almond butter
Why work with Sundried?
I like that Sundried is a functional activewear range which enhances performance. I believe in the ethos of the brand as it is all eco-friendly- the whole range is made from recycled materials. Their support of valuable charities is inspiring and I believe they are a brand of the future.
Favourite fitness quote
Success is the sum of small efforts repeated daily.