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Sally O'Sullivan - Personal Trainer and Ambassador

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After experiencing some inspirational fitness classes, Sally qualified as a personal trainer so she could help others have the same magical experience she did. She talks to Sundried about her journey.

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

I trained as a dancer from the age of three until I went to university. In fact, it was very nearly my career, but I didn't want to be forced to retire at 30! I rediscovered fitness in my late 20's after experiencing some truly inspirational - I'd even say magical - classes in London. One or two instructors have been pivotal in my motivation by showing me just what a journey a fitness class can be - physically and mentally. The highs, the lows, the excitement, the emotion - all condensed into one hour. It's both a talent and a finely-honed skill, and I knew I wanted to be able to deliver that… one day! 

If you are interested in starting your fitness journey, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. Check out our Active Life Collection today.

What are your training goals now? 

Firstly, I've rediscovered my love for running and have joined a challenge with an online (at the moment, due to lockdown) running club called Force Velocity Running. Through live, guided runs, we're remotely but collectively running the distance from Big Ben in London to Ushuaia in Ibiza. There's a bit of friendly competition as we're split into teams and it's a lovely, supportive and very motivating community to be part of. 

Secondly, I've been doing CrossFit for a couple of years now and although we can't be physically in our amazing box - TIO CrossFit right now, it's always there as a backbone to both my training and my life in general. Again, it's a community thing; I've made some of my best friends there, but of course we do also set goals! Both of my CrossFit goals for this year are strength-related - getting after a 1.5 x bodyweight squat and 1.25 x bodyweight clean and jerk!

What sporting events have you taken part in and what have you got coming up? 

Aside from the running challenge I’m currently doing, I plan to do the CrossFit Open again this year. It’ll be a little different as most people haven’t had access to their gyms as usual, so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out. Even the thought of those workouts makes me nervous. Good nervous though! 

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

I once briefly met Simon Cowell and he told me I was 'gobby'. Still makes me laugh to this day, as that's a proper insight to the 'real' Sally that he saw immediately. Anyone who knows me knows that day-to-day, I'm polite and courteous, a good listener, and generally very British - in the best sense. But he saw through to my cheekiness in the blink of an eye. Was that talent or a lucky guess?! 

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

When you get knockbacks, take a big, deep breath, pick yourself up and just keep putting one foot in front of the other - literally and figuratively! It can be really hard when something you had your heart set on doesn't work out. But experience has taught me that every single time, the alternative door that opens is a much better route for you. Things do work out for the best, naturally, in the end. And you will be a more rounded, resilient, confident person for having gone through those pitfalls and come out the other side.

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

My first PT educated me well about nutrition and how to eat for my shape and size. I'm tiny but I have a huge appetite so it's just as well that I'm very active. In the past, I've followed super-clean, super-regimented plans and got very lean, but these days I'm more focused on fuelling correctly and being able to live a full life which includes alcohol and cookies!

Now that I'm trainer myself, I also want to lead by example for what I think is healthy. My current nutrition is very balanced with roughly equal amounts of carbs, proteins and fats and I eat three meals and two snacks a day - the 'little and often' approach definitely works best for me. I do eat meat and fish. And cookies! 

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

When it comes to classes, I find variety is the best way to keep things fresh and engaging, and that goes for me as a trainer too. If I'm bored coaching something, then you can bet my clients would be! I also don't believe in lazy programming and think clients can see though that. I could be wrong, of course, but I've stopped going to instructors myself in the past because it was the same old stuff and guess what? I got bored.

Of course, there need to be some constant threads running through programming to ensure progression and that you're not just zigzagging aimlessly through movements with no direction. None of us would reach our goals if that was the case! But my top tip would be to find a trainer who can balance your progression with fun and variety and who can keep things interesting. 

Talk us through your training regime. 

Right now, I'm strength training five times a week, although each day has a different focus/body part. I'm also running 3-4 times a week as part of this challenge and I'm going to count sleeping as part of my training at the moment, since I seem to be getting record hours in. Lockdown does have its perks!

When the world starts reopening, I'll be chomping at the bit to get back to my CrossFit box: TIO CrossFit in Barnes, London.

To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.


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