Sebastien grew up in the Caribbean before moving to Paris to study sports science and become a personal trainer. He talks to Sundried about life in the fitness industry.
Tell us about your journey to fitness.
I've been involved in the fitness industry since 2006, but I have been practicing sports and been really active almost all my life, especially as a Caribbean kid you don't really spend time playing indoors but mostly outdoors running in the bush, climbing trees, and swimming in the river or the sea.
In 1997, I started to play Handball (which I played until 2014). In 2006, at the age of 19, I moved to Paris to start a Sports Science Degree and graduated in 2011 with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science. I then started my career as a Personal Trainer.
I graduated in 2014 with an MSc in Sports Science.
I worked with people willing to lose weight or gain muscle but I also worked in a Rehabilitation Center in France where I worked with people recovering from stroke, cancer, Alzheimer's Disease or Parkinson's Disease. Prior to that, I also worked with people suffering from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and with young people suffering from mental health.
I now help busy professionals to transform their bodies while moving better.
What are your training goals now?
I train to remain the most mobile and efficient possible. I train to inspire people to remain active and live a healthy/balanced lifestyle.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
There are a lot of unusual facts about me! My accent doesn't match my face apparently!
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
To never compare myself to others.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
No, I'm not following any specific diet or nutrition plan. I eat everything but mostly healthy and whole foods, vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates and fats at every meal. If I feel like having a burger or a pizza I will have it.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
Through experience and self-development, I realised that motivation can only be relevant to a certain extent. So when it comes to motivating my clients, I make sure that they are training for the right reasons, that they know their purpose for training (For example: Not because my friend has been training for 3 months and I want to do the same but because I don't feel comfortable within myself and I want to change this feeling), once they know the REAL reason why they want to train, we link it to any kind of happy feeling they had when they used to feel good and when it comes time when they don't feel like training I remind them of the reason why they decided to train.
On the other hand I make sure that they enjoy the training that we are doing and I explain to them the purpose of the exercise or training method, because I believe if someone enjoys what he or she is doing, chances are this person has way more chance to stick to the plan and get results.
Talk us through your training regime.
I train 4 to 5 times a week on average, for 1 to 2 hours depending on the time that I have and on the session plan. I cover the main movements: vertical and horizontal push, vertical and horizontal pull, rotation and hinge; I do mobilisation, stabilisation and recovery work.
I usually do 4 sessions where I cover 1 or 2 big lift(s) per session (Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, and Over Head Press) and the volume is between 70 to 90% of 1RM. After, if the time allows it, I do some kind of cardio on the rowing machine or on the Wattbike. The 5th session is a bonus where I do either a circuit training or a full-body workout.
And I walk an average of 2kms daily: I have to get these 10000 steps in!
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
On the theoretical side, I read a lot of fitness articles, a lot of studies around the different training methods and their effects on the body, but I also follow the work of pioneers in the industry such as Bret Contreras, Chris Beardsley, Eric Cressey and much more. I'm also following the work of some of my Uni teachers.
On the practical side, I take part in at least one course per year, but it's often more than that, and I share a lot with my trainers.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
1. Never underestimate yourself and take credit for everything you do, especially the things that are going to get you closer to your goal.
2. Don't compare yourself to models on social media who train every day, sometimes twice a day, and are being paid to do so. We are all unique so look for a method that suits you, your needs and availabilities and if you don't know where to look, ask a fitness pro to help you.
3. The results will come even quicker than expected but for them to come, you should embrace the journey.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh wow! I think it would be chicken!
Why work with Sundried?
I believe that we can do better for our planet than we are already doing and Sundried is sharing the same value as they are doing everything with a low carbon impact. They also care about people's wellbeing which is something I fight for. I simply recognised myself in their core values.
Favourite fitness quote:
What the mind believes, the body can achieve.