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Kimberley Burrows Personal Trainer

gym workout fitness personal trainer

Kimberley has been into fitness from an early age thanks to her parents and now enjoys life as a personal trainer. 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.

When I was 7, my uncle took me swimming and told my parents he thought I was good and that they should get me into a swimming club. Next thing I know, I’m on a starting block waiting for the gun. I can still clearly remember that moment, the nerves, the excitement, the fear, the calm, the focus, the rush of adrenaline and the chat with myself "I'm never doing this again".....but I did. Time and time again. Countless swim meets, then ski competitions, then 10k runs and BMX races and now the odd road bike sportive, duathlon and triathlon.

Those starting block emotions haven’t changed, but however much I talk myself out of the next competition on the start line, I’m already planning the next one as I cross the finish line.

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

My parents. Being active is ingrained in me. It’s my way of life and I put this down to my parents. They didn’t tell me I must exercise or make me go to swim club, running club, hockey training or skiing lessons but they set an example. They were always being active themselves. I grew up watching my mum on the squash court and waiting for my man-of-the-mountains-dad at the bottom of rock faces. There was never an expectation that my brother and I would follow them in their sports or even an expectation that we would be sporty; only a hope that we would pursue something we love doing. We now both have businesses in sport and wish to influence others to lead active lifestyles.

After a few ski seasons I completed a Sports Management BA degree and then worked in the sports sponsorship industry. After 3 kids I decided that swim teaching would be rewarding as well as something I could fit in around the kids.  That led to forming my own swim school 'Kimberley Swim Clinics' and becoming a personal trainer with my own PT business, mainly training small groups outdoors. I’ve also just become a Stages Indoor Cycling instructor. Stages is brilliant cycling training in power zones - I love it!

What are your training goals now?

My training goals vary depending on the season and if I have a race in the calendar or not. In the winter I’m not so inclined to get out on my bike and so I like to focus on gym work. I love how quickly I can see results when I’m following a focused weights programme. However, for some reason aesthetic goals don’t keep me motivated for long – but I love a gym workout so luckily that doesn’t stop me from going.

I’m also keeping my running ticking over at the moment but come spring I’ll be properly back on my running and biking game and I’ll set myself a goal that competes with a previous PB.... maybe this year it will be to get near to my fastest 10k run but within an Olympic distance triathlon. I’ll have to break that down into achievable mini-goals otherwise I’ll scare myself off.

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

I’m really good at the cereal box game. I can lick the flat piece of cardboard off the floor. Not because I’m really flexible but because I’m a show off.  Bad DOMS the next day though. If you haven’t played the cereal box game then you’ll have no idea what I’m going on about but you should Google it and play it for a laugh.

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

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  2. Confidently enjoy the moment.
  3. Everyone else is not much cooler than you.

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

Since becoming a PT I’ve become a lot more conscious about what I eat (not necessarily in a good way!) I went through a phase of counting macros and lost fat/gained muscle pretty quickly. I felt pretty good about this at the time but now I find that I can slip in and out of ‘healthy’ and ‘bad’ eating patterns because I know that I can get back to the ‘healthy’ pattern at any time and see almost instant results. I think it’s much better to enjoy all food in moderation and not get so hung up on what you are/aren’t consuming. So these days, nutrition-wise, I’m trying to get back to where I was before I became a PT!

Having said that, I do rely on chocolate protein shake after a good workout and SOS Rehydrate sachets added to my water bottle during a workout. I seem to have a more balanced diet on the days I eat eggs for breakfast.

I’ve just read Renee MCGregor’s book 'Orthorexia' which opened my eyes to how bad fad diets and omitting food groups can be for us. It’s definitely worth a read if you are conscious about what you consume.

What do you do to keep your clients motivated?

I make sure that my small group outdoor training sessions are sociable and fun and no one takes themselves too seriously. I play upbeat music and I use Polar OH1 HR monitors with the Polar Team app so that I can keep an eye on heart rate zones. My clients love checking out their calories burnt at the end of the sessions. I can email them their workout reports too.

How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

Dialogue with other trainers and reading research-based articles written by people I respect.

What are your top 3 trainer tips?

  1. Find something you love doing, something you are going to get excited about doing so that it enhances your life in more ways than just getting physically fitter.
  2. Become part of a community. There are countless benefits to participating in physical activity with other people i.e. you can count on people to look out for you and support you, you have more accountability (people will wonder where you are if you don’t rock up for training), you become part of a social group with a bunch of people that have at least one thing in common with you (maybe only one thing in common, but that can be refreshing), even if you are a lone-runner-type you can benefit from a fitness tracker community such as Strava.
  3. Don’t run before you can walk. Think long term rather than short term and make sure the building blocks are in place before you go full steam ahead. Otherwise you can do yourself some serious damage and take backward steps rather than forward steps.

A good Pilates studio instructor (machines rather than mats) can help you become aware of the compromises your body makes in day-to-day life and help you build some strong foundations to enable you to put your body through its paces. 

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

Peanut butter on toast.

Why work with Sundried?

It’s time for every individual to take responsibility by asking themselves if they are making ethical choices daily.  If we keep demanding low-priced, disposable products there will be a market and someone will produce them for us. We need to believe that we can make a difference as an individual.

Favourite fitness quote:

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

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