Shea is a vegan personal trainer who lives and works in London. He talks to Sundried about life as a PT and how he stays in such great. shape.
How did you find yourself in the world of fitness?
At a time of my life when I had drifted away from all forms of exercise and adopted a frankly unhealthy lifestyle, I had a growing feeling that I needed to make a change. This was the turning point for me, I decided to take my well-being seriously and began making decisions that would bring an ever-increasing balance to my life. Strength training at my local gym became the remedy that enabled my health and body to transform. This ultimately lead me to become a personal trainer, so that I could help others to achieve the same life-changing sense of liberation.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated?
Goal setting is probably the single most important tool in keeping clients motivated, specially when the goal is something that excites their emotions and desires; fitting into that dress, squatting 2x body weight or winning that competition. Everyone enjoys the feeling of achievement, it's the reward for all those hours of hard work.
Talk us through your training regime.
Most weeks I do four training sessions:
- Two are resistance/strength style sessions - One is an upper body push/pull and the other is lower body.
- Session three is callisthenics (bodyweight) - I meet up with a group of friends at the park for this one which is a great way to get outside and involves mainly upper body using pull up/dip bars.
- I go to one yoga class per week - I find that yoga not only compliments my training but also serves as a calming refuge from the intensity of city life.
- Occasionally I'll throw something new or different in there like sprinting or rock climbing to keep things exciting and I'm always looking for more ways to push my body!
Do you follow a specific diet?
I recently made the decision to become a vegan which I must say I'm enjoying and the change hasn't affected my training. To anyone considering going vegan, make sure you do your research and plan your diet properly to ensure your nutrition is spot on.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I read articles from a couple of selected websites and attend courses/seminars which I believe are vital to staying up to date in an industry that is constantly changing and
receiving new information.
How do you balance work and a social life?
Somehow these two aspects of my life have become intertwined, I think that just happens naturally when you're lucky enough to be doing work that you enjoy. I'm not health crazed 24/7 though and do enjoy the occasional messy night out with friends, but for the most part I tend to focus on personal progression/exploration which includes and extends beyond fitness, my social group has formed from this.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Learn how to control your body and master the movement patterns (squat, bench press etc) before attempting to lift heavy.
- Every trainer will tell you this; being healthy is a lifestyle so your training, diet and choices need to be aligned in order for you to achieve optimal results.
- Find a balance that works for you, fitness is not "one size fits all" and you'll have a much better experience if you take ownership of your journey.
If you could only give your clients one exercise, what would it be?
Deadlifts. Not just because it's my favourite exercise but because of the combined benefit of strength training on the body:
- Increased muscle mass which in turn speeds up metabolism and helps with fat loss.
- Increased bone density which slows down the deterioration associated with ageing.
- Most people could do with being stronger, plus hitting new PBs is very satisfying.
What are your training aspirations?
This has changed over the years; first I just wanted to look good, then I wanted to be strong and now I want to be healthy, train with longevity and push my body to its limits in as many different ways as I can... If I look good as a byproduct then that's a bonus!
Why work with Sundried?
I feel a responsibility to take care of this planet that I call home as well as the people and animals I share it with. For that reason, I try to honour this in everything that I do and would only consider working with a company or brand that shares the same values. I feel that Sundried embody everything that a modern sports brand should be and I'm proud to be one of their ambassadors.