Kim Gardner Personal Trainer
Kim is a cheerleader by trade but has been working as a personal trainer for the past 5 years. She talks to Sundried about life in the fitness industry.
Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
I have just returned from competing at the Cheerleading World Championships 2018 in Orlando. This is an event I have competed at for the last five years and in 2017 I helped Team England win Gold. I hope to try out for Team England again to compete at World's for one last time in 2019.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
I developed my passion for fitness through training as an elite gymnast from a young age. I would train six times a week and due to the athleticism of the sport it was essential for me to be strong and mobile. After finishing my BSc Exercise, Nutrition & Health degree I continued with competitive Cheerleading but wanted to keep up my strength and fitness which is where my love for the gym was born. That's when I knew I wanted to work in this industry to help others find their passion for health and fitness too. Since then, I have spent the last five years working as a Personal Trainer and also a Physiologist (completing health assessments and fitness testing).
What are your training goals now?
My training goals currently involve maintaining my fitness, strength and mobility as I work towards the end of the competitive Cheerleading season with two UK competitions left before July. Following this I look forward to focusing more on strength training and being able to improve my PBs.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Find your niche. When I first started I wanted to help everyone that I could but over time I have realised it is more productive for you and your clients to focus on what makes you different and run with it!
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I follow a healthy and balanced Mediterranean style diet of a variety of vegetables, wholegrain carbs, healthy fats, and protein! I don't measure what I eat but I aim to have a balance of all of these with most of my meals (and of course having the occasional treat.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
Find a style of training you enjoy and it will never feel like work! This is what I aim for with my clients because if it's not fun they won't want to do it. Switching up the workouts and adding a little competition seems to work a treat! But also talking to your clients to understand their motivation, or lack of, can be the most productive to find solutions together.
Talk us through your training regime.
I currently train with my Cheerleading team twice a week for 2.5 hours each time. This is where we practice stunts, jumps and tumbles to perfect our skills and unison. I will sometimes have an additional gymnastics/stunting session. This year I have been working on reducing the amount I train in the gym as it was getting too much. So whilst I'm Cheerleading I will complete 2-3 strength and fitness training sessions per week with most days utilising mobility work. Once the Cheerleading season is over I look forward to being able to have more structure with my gym training.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I have found talking to other trainers really useful as they pass on their experiences and valuable documents to watch/read, as well as going on courses for further development.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Always plan your sessions in advance
- Be supportive and try to understand how the client is feeling
- Have fun! That's the beauty of this industry
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be
Uh, I love to eat healthy but... pizza! It's so versatile with all the different toppings you can use and it can still be healthy - tortilla pizzas for the win!
Why work with Sundried?
I love that it is an ethical brand trying to make a difference and at no expense to their expert design and quality. I feel that this is the most relatable branding for sportswear I have come across and I am excited to be associated with it.
Favourite fitness quote:
"Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do!"