personal trainer

Declan is a personal trainer who practises what he preaches. He talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

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

I used to play county squash, competing in national events and representing the South West as well as winning the county championships twice at junior level. I’m now really enjoying CrossFit and am looking forward to getting into competing after I finish my Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

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

I played all sorts of sports growing up – anything with a racket was my favourite! I got into training in the gym as a way of improving my squash performance and loved it. I have since moved away from playing squash to CrossFit and weight training.

What are your training goals now?

To enjoy every session that I do. I’d also like to be able to do handstand walks, they’re pretty cool.

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

I trekked to Everest Base Camp when I was 18 and absolutely loved it.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

Make sure you’re doing something you enjoy and don’t worry too much about the outcome, that’ll take care of itself.

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

I don’t follow a specific plan but do have some things I try to stick to;

I fast everyday between 8pm and midday the following day, so I don’t have breakfast. I like doing this because it makes me feel sharper in the morning and has a balancing effect on my insulin levels.

Aside from that, I try to get as much of my energy from plant-based sources, but try not to be too controlling around what I eat. I’m also pretty partial to chocolate, so I think my diet would be best classed as ‘trying not to eat chocolate three meals a day’.

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

I work with clients to find out what works best for them and help them to build regular exercise into their lives. I believe that if you’re enjoying it, that will take care of the motivation side. Whilst you’re finding what you enjoy, think about why you’re training, whether its to look better or feel better mentally, and let that motivate you to create some good habits!

Talk us through your training regime.

I train in the gym around 6 times a week, which will often involve different types of squats, deadlifts, pull ups and some pressing movements at least once per week. On top of that, some interval and circuit training and walking as much as I can, which is great active recovery and just a really nice way to get around.

How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

I’m lucky enough to have access to academic articles so I read them whenever I have time, which I feel keeps my knowledge up to date. I also like to try new things myself, which keeps my ideas and approaches fresh and interesting.

What are your top 3 trainer tips?

Do anything, as long as you’re enjoying it.

If you can, focus on the functional side of training. Not only will it make you feel and look better, it will help you with the rest of your life outside of the gym and make you feel more prepared for what the world has to throw at you.

Mix things up often! Keeping things interesting makes training much more enjoyable than slogging away at the same routine over and over again.

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

Yogurt coated banana chips (it’s technically a fruit, right?)

What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of our kit?

I love Sundried’s take on activewear; good kit that doesn’t damage the earth. The fact that they support good causes as well as being environmentally friendly is brilliant and it’s lovely stuff to wear.

My favourite bit of kit is the Olperer T-shirt – it’s comfy, looks great and is made from recycled coffee grounds which is really cool. The coffee grounds in the material means that it doesn’t hold on to smells too, which is a massive bonus.

Favourite fitness quote

"Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for something you've eaten."