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Natasha Jawad Personal Trainer

by Alexandra Parren
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Natasha has always been into sport and now trains hard to achieve her goals. She talks to Sundried about life as a personal trainer.

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

I used to be an amateur sprinter around 10 years ago. I got into it quite late so I was never going to be breaking records or getting called up into the national team. But I loved the training and the camaraderie that came alongside training with the same group of people seven times a week. The skills I acquired, such as drills and Olympic lifting, I still incorporate into mine and my clients' training today.

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

I was a tom boy growing up. I would always play football with the boys at lunchtime in Primary School. Unfortunately, that drive got lost during my secondary school years at an all girl’s school. And I didn’t pick it up again until college and university. Gym was a must. Eventually it led me to a course on PT and the rest is history!

What are your training goals now?

I’ve been training consistently for 15 years and a lot of that has been weights-based. I have reached a stage where injuries and niggles are becoming more frequent so I’ve embarked upon a more holistic training program, which includes comfortable cardio, yoga, and lots of flexibility work to replace weight sessions. It’s hard to rewire that part of my brain which is addicted to weights and PBs, but it has to be done!

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

I love doing jigsaw puzzles! 

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

You’re not meant to please everyone. Discover your niche and purpose and stick to that. Filtering out any other distractions (often disguised as opportunities to make money but at a cost to your happiness) means you will be doing what you love AND earning from it. The dream!

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

I don’t, instead I try to eat intuitively. Meaning, when I’m hungry, I will eat. If I want something sweet, I will have it. This is balanced through working out consistently and eating what I like in moderation. I am a firm believer in eating sensibly without the need to resort to fad diets. Sustainability is key to nutrition and training.

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

For clients to stay motivated they have to enjoy their workouts and nutrition. I don’t write programmes for clients that they’re not going to enjoy or complete. Training is a lifestyle. It has to be integrated into your day-to-day the same way as eating, working and sleeping. If you aren’t enjoying it? Then guess what? You’re not going to be motivated to engage and it will eventually fall by the wayside. Again, sustainable training is key.

Talk us through your training regime.

I train legs twice a week, and then the rest of the week between back, shoulders, and arms. I try to complete a winter season of hypertrophy work which eventually leads up to a spring/summer cutting season which will include strength and cardio. Periodisation is prominent throughout to avoid stagnation.

How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

Making sure I read and follow top fitness publications online and via social media such as NSCA. I follow and speak to good PTs to exchange ideas and pick up new exercises. I also go on courses.

What are your top 3 trainer tips?

  1. Understand what your client wants AND needs.
  2. Educate your clients, don’t just dictate.
  3. Build trust and rapport with your clients.

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

Too many foods to choose from! Might have to be my own homemade bread.

Why work with Sundried?

I commend the fact that the ethos of the brand focuses on ethics and sustainability both socially and environmentally. I think the fitness industry desperately needs more brands (and trainers) like this!

Favourite fitness quote:

"Training is therapy."

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