• 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.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Harris Bell Athlete Ambassador

    ballet dancer fitness strength

    Harris is a ballet dancer with the Royal Ballet in London. He talks to Sundried about his passion and his journey.

    How did you first get into ballet?

    My grandma took me to my first ballet as a child which must have sparked something, as at the age of 8 I started dancing at a family friend's ballet school near my village. It started more as dancing for fun but once I tried a male solo with some big jumps, I knew this was going to be something fun to chase and it snowballed from there.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I've had a few moments I could consider, but I'd have to say I'm most proud of where I am now. To be part of the Royal Ballet has been a goal from the moment I knew it existed, and to be here giving as much as I can to this craft sparks more pride than any specific moment.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Setbacks are always going to be hard to swallow, but once you step back and get some perspective you can navigate a route around it that can actually create improvement, so I wouldn't count it as a setback. Take a step back, look at the reality of the situation and figure out how you can use that situation as a springboard to success in areas that it doesn't affect. Refocus your efforts and set short term goals to get through it in high spirits.

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

    Practise confidence and self affirmation every day. Like a muscle, train your self belief to be so strong that nothing can touch you or shake you from your place of absolute self belief. Another one I've stuck to is that you get out what you put in. Do more than is expected of you and great things can only come of that.

    What are your goals?

    My goals are to be the best I can, in whatever I do. That goal will never be reached but the further it is, the further I have to stretch myself. Whether it's my work, hobbies or relationships with family and friends, I want to maximise potential in all areas. Have fun in all I do and find a good balance to be deeply happy.

    Who inspires you?

    I'm so grateful to be surrounded by some of the most incredible dancers in the world every day. I'm lucky enough to call them my colleagues and friends but the people around me are constant inspiration, you just have to look around to realise the culture of skill and obsessiveness that is the Royal Ballet.

    Why work with Sundried?

    What first sparked my interest with Sundried was reading about their values and aims to maximise sustainability in their clothes. That's so important right now, and to be part of a team that has solid ethics as well as making some awesome active wear makes perfect sense to me. As a professional dancer and hobby-cyclist, to train in such well made gear is a treat.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Q&A With Dancer Lucie Palfreyman

    Lucie Palfreyman Sundried

    Lucie Palfreyman uses fitness to further her career. As a professional dancer, it is essential she exercises regularly, focusing on flexibility and endurance. When choreography gets intense, Lucie tells Sundried how her training complements her sport. 

    How do you use dance to keep fit?

    Whilst rehearsing and dancing in shows I keep fit just through the intense choreography and usually long rehearsal days. Between dance contracts I maintain my fitness through attending advanced dance classes and also doing my own workouts.

    Sundried Breithorn Bra

    Do you do any other training outside of dance?

    Outside of dance, I enjoy jogging outdoors and practising my Pilates at home. I also love to attend Bikram Hot Yoga when I can find the time.

    What are your fitness goals?

    My fitness goals are always to push my own strength and flexibility. I am constantly working on my weaker areas. Every dancer has a stronger/more flexible leg and I am trying to even myself out. Cardio is very important for dancers too as some shows can be very physically demanding.

    Sundried activewear stretching

    Where do you find your training motivation/inspiration?

    I have looked up to certain dancers and choreographers since I started my training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2005. Also, whenever I work on dance contracts with new dancers, I take their strengths and can be very inspired to apply this to my own practice.

    How did you find the Sundried activewear?

    I was extremely pleased with my Sundried products, the quality of the garments is of a very high standard. I particularly love the women's leggings, they are the most comfortable leggings I have ever trained in! The material is very soft and easy to stretch in and I like the height of the waist. The sports bra is also very comfortable and I have been complimented on it every time I have worn it.

    What advice would you give our readers to stay in shape?

    My advice would be to maintain a healthy diet alongside exercise and to always drink lots and lots of water! The body is the most important thing we have and it is vital to look after it. Finding exercise that is enjoyable too is very important. Exercise should be fun and not a chore!

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    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jade Parker Dancer

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    Jade is a dancer who is passionate about her line of work. She talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

    How do you use dance to keep fit?

    Dance is a full body workout and is great cardio. It helps with balance and co-ordination and is also a lot of fun.

    Do you do any other training outside of dance?

    Yes, I go to the gym. I like weight training, HIIT classes and just going for long runs. I try to vary my workouts to keep myself motivated

    What are your fitness goals?

    To maintain a strong and healthy body while improving on my own fitness and endurance.

    Where do you find your training motivation/inspiration?

    In my line of work, appearance is quite important so I am aware I need to keep in shape but luckily it's something I have always enjoyed doing. I know that the healthier I am, the more my dancing will improve so this acts as great motivation.

    What advice would you give our readers to stay in shape? 

    Find something you enjoy, whether that's an activity, sport, class, or exercise. It will be so much easier if you enjoy it and have fun while working out.

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

    I do eat mostly healthy foods but I don’t limit myself to anything; if i want a slice of pizza I will definitely have that slice. I live by the motto 'everything in moderation'.  

    What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of our kit?

    I love that the activewear is eco-friendly and is just trying to leave our planet in better shape than we found it. It's also high performing and will push you to your limit. My favourite piece so far is the Sundried Solaro women’s leggings, they are high waisted and cinching in all the right places.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Deanna Humphreys Fitness Instructor

    Deanna Humphreys Fitness Instructor

    Deanna is a keen dancer and entered the fitness industry to complement her dancing. She talks to Sundried about life as a fitness instructor.

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

    I have taken part in the Tough Mudder event, one of the most challenging but fun sport events I have been able to take part in. I love to challenge myself and push my body so my next challenge will be to do the 24-hour 3 Peaks Challenge in the UK this coming July.

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

    I have always been into sports from a very young age. I was a part of the netball and rounders team in school and always performed in high school dance shows. I continued my love for dance through to college and university and I'm still loving it today. I began my career in fitness in 2016 because I wanted it to help me with my dance career after I graduated, so I could stay fit and keep moving. I love being physical and being in the fitness industry and the dance industry is really a dream. I am still improving and I want to become a very versatile Fitness Instructor. I teach many gym classes where I work and I look to combine both dance and fitness. I teach Les Mills BodyBalance which combines Yoga, Pilates Tai Chi and Dance, and I have recently become an instructor in Animal Flow which is movement training designed from many disciplines of Parkour, Hand Balancing and Yoga.

    What are your training goals now?

    My current training goals are to improve my inner/core strength and mainly just to be happy and healthy, both physically and mentally.

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

    Try things that are out of your comfort zone! It really helps confidence and makes you try things you thought you couldn't do.

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

    I wish I had the willpower to stick to a nutrition plan.

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

    Keep reminding them of why they started and what their goals are.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I am currently working on overall strength. I generally do a lot of cardio as I cycle to and from work and teach a lot of spin classes. I make sure I spend at least 3 days a week working on compound exercises and 2 days on Movement Training which incorporates primal movement patterns, balance/stability, dance and yoga.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Instagram.. Doesn't everyone nowadays? and I also like to read fitness blogs.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Always challenge yourself.
    2. Mix things up - try different training techniques.
    3. Do things that make you happy - don't make staying fit and healthy a chore.

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

    It has to be chocolate, specifically plain Dairy Milk

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am 100% for a healthy body and healthy mind and live to help people feel good and be happy physically and mentally. I had heard of Sundried's ethical ethos and loved the fact that their newest range is made from 100% recycled materials. Sundried are a positive company towards a healthy world and environment. I believe that the environment is a major factor in our health and well-being from bad pollution causing diseases and illness and even how our environment looks can take affect on our emotional/mental well-being. Working with Sundried, I know i will be helping towards the environment and also spreading the awareness of what 'fast fashion' is doing to our world and how it affects the people in it.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you!"

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
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