• Colleen Holiday Personal Trainer

    Coleen Holiday Personal Trainer Sundried Ambassador

    Colleen Holiday is fabulous at fifty and uses her wealth of knowledge as a personal trainer to help her clients. She tells Sundried how her passion for fitness and life skills allows her to help her clients be their very best,

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

    I started fitness particularly weight training when I was a teenager. While I literally failed gym every year I would always pass weight training and sign up as often as I could. I wasn't very good in school then, but this was clearly where it all started. There is something about physically becoming stronger that builds you up not only on the outside but on the inside as well. I eventually married this to my experience and education in counselling psychology and it became the niche I have training and helping women become their best selves.

    What are your training goals now?

    I'll be turning 50 next year-I want to make 50 my most awesome year yet.

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

    I am absolutely phobic of insects.  

    What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out? 


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

    I do not eat any meat but for fish and cage free eggs. I also avoid consuming foods that have a wrapper. (My new rule this year).

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

    I keep them motivated by having contests, giving prizes and really living the life of a trainer. In other words- I walk the walk. They make not only physical changes and successes but major life changes. I am a life coach of sorts. I can always see the talent and the unique beauty in my clients and then continue to work with their talents to reach their goals. They teach me so much and it's really a reciprocal win/win. They are like family. 

    Talk us through your training regime.

    That highly depends on what I am training for; right now I am going back to the basics. Kind of starting over to build something different. I have a studio in my home and I go to the gym -I love free weights but my new love is the core board.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    National Academy of Sports Medicine and mentors. You must always have someone to look up to that keeps you motivated as a trainer. It is so easy to burn out or get bored so you have to find someone inspiring.   Mine is Mike Davies from the fitness factory.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Never follow some else's diet for their physique -you always have to tweak it to fit your body. I can never eat as much protein as everyone else does and I learned that the hard way. 
    2. The second is to not be afraid to build muscle.
    3. Lastly-Never give up.

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

    Weights and core board.

    What are your training goals?

    To be stronger and leaner and my very best at 50.

    Why work with Sundried? What an amazing company.

    I love the thought that went into this it- Such a unique and progressive step toward making a better future. It's like clothing with a conscious!  I'm proud to be an ambassador.


    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • 4 Squat Myths To Ignore

    Squat Myths

    There is lots of bad advice out there on how to squat (or how not to squat!) We look at 4 of the biggest squat myths to ignore and why.

    1. Your knees can never go over your toes when you squat

    The theory that knees should never go over toes was found in a study that found maintaining a vertical lower leg as much as possible reduced strain on the knee during a squat. However, the study only looked at two dimensional models of the knee joint, so it lacked consideration of forces working from above, at the hip, below, and at the ankle, which all receive considerable force in this position

    Further research by Smith and Fry in 2003 compared unrestricted squats, where the knee could travel freely over the toe, to squats where a vertical board was placed over the lifters shins and physically prevented the knee moving over the toe. Whilst forces on the knee were reduced by 22% due to the restricted range of movement, forces were increased by 1000% on the knee joint.

    The reason we are told to ensure our knees don't go over our toes is actually less about our toes and more about our centre of gravity and muscle recruitment. With the weight shifted back, we get more muscle activation from the glutes and hamstrings, whereas when our weight is shifted forward the focus is more on the quads and anterior chain. So… knees over toes is a myth as the toes simply serve as an arbitrary point and the guideline should really be more to do with how to balance load, but the knees over toes works as a simplified guideline.

    2. Deep squats are bad for your knees

    Look at how a child squats, in fact most children will spend the majority of their time in what looks like a deep squat. That’s a big hint that it’s not bad for you, as a child will not put themselves in a position that causes them pain, they move in our natural movement patterns until they are taught otherwise.

    What then happens is our kids grow up and we start introducing the pattern of sitting behind a desk all day. That’s 7-8 hours of sitting and what that does to our flexibility is where the issues arise.

    Contrary to popular belief, squatting deep is not bad for the knees - studies have found there is no difference between partial, parallel and deep squats impact on the knee. In the study by Clinical Biomechanics, five female athletes were studied throughout squats with varying degrees of flexion at the knee and concluded that squatting from 70 degrees to 110 degrees of knee flexion had little effect on patellofemoral joint kinetics.

    Another study by The Journal of Biomechanics found that the deeper the squat, the less pressure is created inside the knee. The journal of strength and conditioning research also completed a study which concluded that parallel squats with heavy weights are less effective at increasing strength than deep squats with a lighter weight.

    Obviously, there is not a one-size-fits-all perfect squat, but in most cases, gradual progressive training to the full range of motion of a deep squat will be effective.

    Squat Myths

    3. If it doesn’t break parallel it doesn’t count

    Myth. Despite the research supporting squat depth as seen above, failing to squat deep doesn’t mean that the squats don’t count. In fact squatting to parallel is probably the most widely used squat because it is arguably the safest form of squatting and the easiest to perform.

    For some people, though it has greater muscle activation, squatting below parallel just isn’t possible, be it due to lack of flexibility, lack of strength or lower back issues.

    If the lower back rounds when the athlete performing a full squat breaks parallel, it's time to stop. Rounding of the back during this phase of the squat places intense pressure on the lower vertebrae of the back. Research has shown that during the deepest phase of the squat, this compression is six times greater than at the top of a squat.

    As your spine flattens out with a heavy barbell across your shoulders, a large amount of pressure is imposed on the discs in your spine. Eventually, if your form isn’t spot on this can lead to tissue damage and back pain. Repeatedly sliding out of a neutral spine position increases your risk of serious injury and a hunched back. All of which can be avoided by squatting to parallel, or even breaking parallel but rising before your bum tucks.

    Work on flexibility by performing bodyweight squats and gradually sinking lower until you can break parallel and enter the full squat without compromising your spine. Dynamic warm ups and flexibility work will help to increase your range of motion.

    4. Look up as you squat

    As much as you may enjoy staring at your squirming face as you squat, “head up” is one of the worst commands you can give to a client. The logic behind it was/is that the body goes where the head leads and therefore if you look up, you will be less likely to fail your squat. However, with a heavy load across your shoulders looking up increases the amount of pressure on your neck and could potentially lead to slipping the discs in your neck. Ideally, the aim should be to keep your spine in neutral alignment. For most people you need to keep your eyes forward and tuck the chin slightly.

    Now you’ve sorted fact from fiction, why not check out our page on Squats.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Tim Dickson Personal Trainer

    Tim Dickson Personal Trainer Sundried Ambassador

    Tim is a self-professed lover of the outdoors and has the goal of reaching Everest's base camp next year. He talks to Sundried about life as a personal trainer.

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

    My name is Tim and I’m an outdoor personal trainer. I love the outdoors. Everyday my gym can have a different view and a different challenge. I have taken part in several events from the ‘D33 Ultra’, to ‘FastPacking’ the second highest mountain in Britain, Ben Macdui.

    My latest personal challenge is coming in 2019 when I’m trying to make a quick ascent to Base Camp Everest, Nepal.

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

    My journey to fitness started in August 2015. I was 24 stone and a type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure and cholesterol. On top of this, I had sleep apnea and mild depression. On the 18th of August 2015 I woke up and said enough is enough. My goal was ‘Obese to Ultra Runner’ in 20 months. I completed this on March 14th 2016 when I finished the D33 Ultra Marathon in Scotland. The icing on the cake was I had also reversed my diabetes and all the other aliments mentioned. I was reborn and have not looked back since. 

    What are your training goals now?

    My training goals now are all based around my Everest trip next year. Plenty of strength, cardio and endurance work.

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

    3 years ago I started my fitness journey. I haven’t shaved my beard since this date. 

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

    I don’t follow a specific nutrition plan. For me, it’s all about having a plate full of colour. 

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

    To keep my clients motivated I do monthly challenges. Everyone loves a challenge.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    My motto is “Train the same, remain the same”. So, everyday my training is different. I mix up my week with trekking, power walking, running, canicross, body weight exercises and mountain biking. I’m totally outdoorsy

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I work very hard at keeping my fitness knowledge and sessions current. I’m always attending seminars and working with some top athletes to give my clients nothing but the best. 

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    My three top tips are simple. Get up, get out, and get it done.

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

    If I could eat one thing for the rest of my life it would have to be peanut butter

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am so proud to be working with Sundried. Their ethics and quality is second to none and that’s just how I try to portray myself to my clients and my personal fitness goals. Be the best version of you possible.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    “It’s you vs you, make sure you win”

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • James Powell Personal Trainer

    James Powell Personal Trainer

    James is a passionate personal trainer whose main goal is to help his clients achieve theirs. He talks to Sundried about life in the fitness industry.

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

    I run events throughout the year, normally 28 or 30 day fat loss competitions. Everybody is guided by a step-by-step fat loss plan, over 1000 recipes, loads of home workouts and me available 24/7 to help offer support, guidance and weigh them.

    People compete against each other to win amazing prizes, so far we have had a brand new Fitbit, £100 cash, and Dr Dre Beats Headphones plus loads of other prizes. The winner is whoever has lost the most percentage weight loss in 28 / 30 days.

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

    I was 19 and had no idea what I wanted to do in life, a friend of the family got me involved with his circuit training classes and then the interest started from there. I then started my first gym instructor course and haven't looked back since then. 12 years on I’m as motivated now about improving my clients and my life as I was back then. I've done loads of courses covering all areas of health, fitness and mindset and specialise in fat loss as that's where I see the best results for my clients. 12 years down the line and over 8 years self employed I'm still hungry as ever to improve and live by my own code to get the best out of my clients so they can get the best results they possibly can.

    What are your training goals now?

    I set goals for a lot of things and my training is no different. The training goals are to make steady, sustainable and achievable progress week by week by training 4 x per week with a specific programme focused on increasing strength, fitness and health.

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

    Im a huge list builder, I mean its borderline OCD, lists of jobs I need to do daily, weekly , monthly and every 90 days. It helps me massively stay organised but yeah, like I said, borderline OCD.

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

    Make progress everyday, no matter how small. You don’t have to complete huge tasks everyday but have plans in place to improve yourself, your work and your mindset.

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

    Yes I do, I follow my own flexible nutrition plan. It's a well balanced diet plan which is set by an amount of calories I need to eat each day based on height, weight, activity level and BMI. I can have treats during the week so long as I am sensible and hit my calorie target but there are those times where I go a bit mad but the bottom line is, it's not the end of the world!

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

    Every one of my clients sets their own 90 day goals and we work together to make a plan to make sure they hit their 30 day and 60 day targets and then their 90 day target. These targets help keep my clients on track and motivated.

    Top tips for motivation are: set realistic goals, follow a nutrition and exercise plan that works for you, this means around your lifestyle, family, work and social life, the better it works around you the more chance you will stick to it!

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I normally train 4 x per week which is split into different body parts. I perform between 4-7 exercises with 0 rest in between each exercise and then once completed I give myself a minute or so rest, complete this 3-5 times and I am done for that day!

    These workouts prove you don’t have to be in the gym for hours to get great results and burn shed loads of calories!

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Im finishing off reading a book at the moment and I've got 2 more books to finish before the end of the year. Ive got 2 courses lined up for the year to, level 3 exercise on referral and level 4 diabetes and obesity course so busy, busy , busy.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Follow a nutrition and exercise programme that works around your social, family and work life.
    2. Make small improvements every day and every week (no matter how small)
    3. Don’t beat yourself up if everything doesn't go to plan. Everybody has set backs with training and nutrition, don’t throw it all away if you have a bad day! Just give yourself a talking to, look where you went wrong and plan how you are going to put it right.

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

    If I could get away with it? Definitely pizza. Realistically though I love anything with protein in it, boring I know but I like to find new healthy protein snacks that I can mix into my flexible nutrition plan. Protein pancakes are my one of my favourites!

    Why work with Sundried?

    They are a great fitness brand that have a full range of clothing which works closely with charities and protecting the world with a low carbon footprint. I know my clients will love this clothing due to the quality and the fit so it's great that Sundried have chosen me as one of their ambassadors so my clients benefit from Sundried.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    “Nobody ever moved forward standing still.”

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Training Update From Triathlete Sophia Green

    Sophia Green Sundried Ambassador Running Triathlete

    Over the past few months, I have been training consistently and getting through every session despite the awful weather and the early 5 am starts. To make training easier I attended a training camp in Portugal. The camp was great as the weather made training much more enjoyable. I was able to get out on my race bike on the smooth roads which was great as it had been way too long. Not being at school allowed me to purely focus on training; I loved being in a camp environment because I could really focus on the session. Instead of being rushed pre-session and post-session I was able to concentrate on the specifics like stretching and mobility, that is what really makes the difference.

    Alongside the training, there were also trials going on throughout the week. The trials were to decide who would get the reserve spot for the Commonwealth Games in the mixed relay. All my hard work over winter had been worth it as I managed to secure myself the reserve spot to Australia. I am super excited that I am getting the opportunity to represent Scotland and can’t wait to experience such an opportunity.

    Over the next few weeks I will continue to keep up the consistent training. During these weeks I will start to do more race-specific sessions as the season is slowly creeping in once again.

    What will change within my training as race season approaches?

    - More group swimming/working on positioning.

    - Work more on front-end speed in the swim so that I am able to position myself better at the start of a race.

    - Get out on the road more (providing the weather is reasonable) to work on bike skills, specifically dead turns.

    - Increase running volume and do more tempo work.

    - More brick sessions. 

    Sophia Green Sundried women's running leggings gym vest

    After I get back from Australia I have trials for the British Super Series races and my final exams for school will not be far around the corner after that. The next few months will be very busy but I will give it my best and I can’t wait to see what they bring!

    Training has of course been made easier with my Sundried clothing as I am able to train in comfort and look good at the same time. Currently, my favourite piece of clothing is the Sundried Les Rouies gym vest as I can wear this casually and for sport! It's lightweight so for training it is perfect, especially when in the gym as it can get very hot, the material is fast drying so there is no worry about leaving the gym looking a mess!

    When I was in Portugal I actually got the opportunity to wear shorts! The Sundried Les Rouies Women’s gym shorts were perfect and I highly recommend them. I got through some of my toughest run sessions in them and they never failed to perform. They are super stretchy which is exactly what you need for running! Leading to recovery was perfect as there was no need for me to get changed. This was because of the inner shorts and again because they are such stretchy, flexible shorts.

    I look forward to letting you all know how my 2018 season goes!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren