How can you eat "everything" and stay in shape? Personal trainer Xavier Ramirez tells us how to eat and train to achieve your best so you feel good inside and out.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
At 5 years old I was obsessed with the Martial Arts and fitness. My older brother would do press ups and run, he’d buy books on Bruce Lee - which taught me a lesson I use as a personal trainer, there is a great power in leading by example.
Throughout my childhood, I was heavily involved in kickboxing and gymnastics. The gymnastics eventually took hold of me as I got older and I ended up competing for Loughborough University while studying how to design and build sports equipment.
In my early twenties I got injured and had to stop training whilst I finished university. I got married and was very happy in my life, but doing a job in a steel factory for 4 years something was missing. Increasingly I found myself magnetised back to the world of fitness and I decided to do my qualifications to become a PT and hopefully be a positive part of someone else’s journey.
7 years on from that decision, I am a qualified Lower Back Specialist, in a job I love, able to go into to work every day and feel grateful that my decisions in life have led me to a place where I mean something to the people around me. That's not to say my day doesn’t have its challenges - but I do love it!
I have realised that I want to mean something positive to other people and my understanding of why I do what I do helps me help others. How I do this is by slowly changing the ‘fitness philosophy' with which people live their lives so that fitness is not something that happens to them, but something they have had within them from the beginning.
Do you follow a specific diet?
I do not follow any food regime, I eat everything!
However, 'everything' must be of the highest quality and attempt to show good ethics. This means if I have some chocolate, I make the best decision for the people who make the chocolate (Fair Trade), I want the soil it's grown out of (I am an active Soil Association Member) to be treated as naturally as possible! This is especially important with meat; high welfare and organic are a must wherever possible.
Talk us through your training regime.
I do the same structure of a general routine 6 days a week (pushing/pulling/legs/core) but each day I do more of whatever I feel is working best. So if I am feeling really great pushing I will maximise this and reduce the other three parts of the workout and so on in the session the next day.
This structure provides my long term strategy, but day to day I have a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing my exercises.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I am now a qualified specialist in lower back injuries which has been a really interesting journey, the human body is a miracle!
How do you balance work and a social life?
Honestly, I am not great at this one…I love my job and so I throw myself into it usually with so much energy that my personal life can suffer. However, I am zen with this and try to make the ‘healthy decision’ on a daily basis where possible!
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- If you want to make a change to something in your life, wait for the moment where the momentum is with you, a lot of people work against the natural flow of things - it doesn’t have to be difficult to work - start small and build when the wind is on your back.
- Be honest with yourself at all times. If you want to do something or get somewhere or just be happy, being direct with yourself is most of the journey.
- All movement counts - however small or short in duration…you are built to move. Remember this especially on days where you really don’t have time to do a traditional fitness session. Even 30 seconds of squats or press ups will make you more likely to follow your goals after the busy time ends (and yes busy times should end - city people!!).
If you could only give your clients one exercise, what would it be?
Walking uphill! It's low risk, high energy, and it gives you great legs!
Why work with Sundried?
Sundried care about the people and planet they are connected to, which means I can now wear awesome clothes while I train and know that they have come from values I hold.