• Jason Harvey - Personal Trainer and Athlete Ambassador

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    Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up. Sell yourself, this is your page :)

    The last few years I have been taking part in Duathlon - of which I am now lucky enough to represent my age group for Team GB. My first international event was the European Duathlon Championships last March 2020 in Spain - unfortunately immediately following this coronavirus hit and so I have only done one race since. I am currently training to improve my fitness for next year where I have already qualified for the European and World Championships - fingers crossed they go ahead!!

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

    I have always had an interest in fitness and have been a Personal Trainer for 12 years - through this time I have tried a few different sports but always enjoyed cycling and running the most. In 2018 I took part in my first Duathlon race to try it out and fell in love with the sport.

    If you're interested in starting your own fitness journey, Sundried's Activewear is suitable for people of all abilities. 

    What are your training goals now?

    Currently I am working a lot on my cycling and running technique (as I have the time to do so before international competition) to reduce injury risk going forwards. My main goals being the World and European Championships next year where I hope to place in the top 3 of my age group.

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

    I am currently learning to fly - working towards my Pilots licence.

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

    Take part in sport/exercise activities because YOU enjoy them - not because other people do.

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

    I do follow a set nutrition plan - my daily target is 2500 - 2700 calories. This caters for my body fat target and activity level ensuring I have enough energy in the tank for the big sessions. I try to eat 5 times per day - 3 main meals and two snacks. Diet wise I keep a good balance of Carbs and Protein, Fats I try and keep relatively low. My favourite snack is a bagel with peanut butter and chopped up banana!

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

    Keeping clients motivated is all about goals - no different to myself. Setting goals and working towards them keeps motivation high.

    Make sure your goals are achievable and not too far away - you can always set a new goal once you have achieved your first!

    Talk us through your training regime.

    Currently I train 6 days per week - my regime consists of 2 strength sessions, 3 bike sessions and 3 run sessions. The sessions vary in goal and purpose depending on the weekly plan and how my body feels.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Reading! The most valuable tool to us all, and I don't mean insta feeds...I mean books! Learning how the body works and where everything is is the best place to start if you want to improve your knowledge - once you get to grips with this the exercises become easy to develop.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Set achievable goals.
    2. Do what you enjoy.
    3. Health and Fitness is a lifestyle not a diet.

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

    Flapjacks! Although I'm not sure I'd manage many before they came back up!

    Why work with Sundried?

    I love the Sundried gear! I already recommend it to my clients as I wear it myself - it's affordable, well made and well designed. 

    Favourite fitness quote:

    The body achieves what the mind believes.

    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
  • How to cope with pre-race nerves

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    It might have been some time since you appeared on the start line of an event and subsequently your race anxiety is probably at an all-time high. Although it is completely normal to get nervous prior to an event, there are ways to work through that nervous energy so that it does not become debilitating on race day.

    Step 1: Understand that your anxiety is normal

    The first step in managing your nerves before race day is to understand that your anxiety is perfectly normal, and a small amount of nerves can actually enhance performance.

    Step 2: Focus on what you can control

    There are plenty of variables that are out of your control on race day, like the weather, and worrying about them will only drive you crazy. Instead, manage the things that you can control like pre-race sleep, nutrition, and hydration.

    Step 3: Maintain healthy habits

    During stressful times, it is easy to forget about taking care of yourself but if you can maintain healthy habits, you will be doing your body a huge favour. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough sleep are both essential components of anybody’s race preparation.

    Step 4: Engage in stress-relieving activities

    Activities that actively encourage meditation and mindfulness are a great way to relax your body and mind. Yin yoga is a great way to take some time out of your busy training schedule to focus on your breathing and clear your mind of any concerns.

    Step 5: Review your training

    It is normal to start doubting your fitness before a race. To combat these fears, take the time to review your months of training. Think back to the long runs you’ve completed, the lengths you’ve swam, or the miles you’ve cycled to put your mind at ease.

    Step 6: Talk to someone

    You are not alone in feeling anxious before race day. If you have trained with a group, chances are that your training buddies are feeling the nerves as well. Whilst over-focusing on anxiety is not likely to help, having a few brief conversations with friends will help you to feel less isolated.

    Step 7: Organise your race day essentials

    In the 2-3 days leading up to the race, it is important to get all your kit and nutrition together. For everything that you cannot pack yet (like your phone) make a packing list to ensure that nothing gets left behind. Getting everything in order will help ease your fears about forgetting something on race day.

    Step 8: Review the course

    Take a look at the racecourse online and talk to previous competitors so that you know what to expect on race day.

    Step 9: Make a race day plan

    Even if it is your first race and you don’t have a specific performance goal, having a race plan will help you feel like you are in control of the day. Talk to a coach or training partner about how you should approach the race and try to get a rough idea of pacing.

    Step 10: Enjoy the process

    It is easy to get caught up in the logistics of a race but always remember to have fun, otherwise; what is the point?

    About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more advice from our ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Rebecca Christian - Athlete Ambassador

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    Have you always been into fitness?

    No, not at all. I’ve always been quite active but I was one of those people that would aimlessly roam around the gym, not really knowing what I was doing. I’d do a few classes a week but never really got the results I wanted. I’ve always enjoyed different forms of exercise and keeping healthy, but it’s only been the last year that I’ve really pushed with weight training and looking after my nutrition. It’s never to late to start. It’s truly changed my life for the better!

    How did you first get into weight training?

    Back in April 2020, I wanted to take my training to the next level. I signed up to an online fitness coach and this was when the magic really started to happen for me. I fell in love with training, it became my passion and with the help from my coach she helped me totally change my body composition and mindset.

    If you're interested in starting your own fitness journey, Sundried's Activewear is suitable for people of all abilities. 

    What has been your favourite exercise to date and why?

    This is a tough one as I have a few favourites! But I do love training upper body so I’d have to say the lateral pulldown. Although, I do have a love/hate relationship for barbell hip thrusts and RDL’s.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I guess taking the lockdown as an opportunity to become the best version of myself. I started to do things outside of my comfort zone, I fell in love with training and nutrition, and I’ll be a qualified Health Coach by the end of 2021. Having the ability to help people with their mind-set, nutrition and lifestyle is an amazing achievement for me, which I will continue to do throughout my own journey.

    Have you ever had any training disasters?

    Does dropping the bar count? I think pushing to failure is important but what I’ve learnt is to always make sure you have a spotter when lifting heavier than usual to avoid any embarrassment and of course injuries! Also, forgetting my trainers is next on the list!!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I now see setbacks as opportunities to grow. Life doesn’t always go perfectly or the way you’d like and if it did, then where would the excitement be? I use the time to reflect and surround myself with like minded people to share experiences and ways to overcome setbacks. It all starts with your mindset. 

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

    To truly trust the process! Training sessions don’t always have to be perfect. Having a ‘bad session’ is okay. It’s about consistency and showing up every day in order to reach your goals.

    What are your goals?

    Honestly? My goals keep changing the further into my fitness journey I go. Initially, I wanted to lose the weight. Then the goal post moved and it led to changing my body composition, lifting heavy and building muscle. My passion then led me to enrol onto a Health Coaching diploma, so my ultimate goal is to become a certified Health Coach to help others change their lifestyle and unleash their true potential. 

    Who inspires you?

    I have many! One of them being my coach Kirsty Colbert, WBFF Pro who is one of the most inspirational women I know. Kirsty’s dedication and commitment to the sport is second to none and she motivates me every single day!

    Why work with Sundried?

    I just love everything Sundried stand for! Their passion for all sports and fitness! Their clothing is of amazing quality and so comfortable to wear! I love how they support our environment by designing their eco friendly range. I’m so excited to work with Sundried and share their vision and values.

    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
  • Reece Barr - Athlete Ambassador

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    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes from a young age I was always into sport, athletics being the earliest I can remember. I was always looking forward to the school races and then the county and nationals. And then when I was a bit older I got into mountain biking at a similar time to Motor Racing around 10 years old and have always had a passion for intense physical and high adrenaline sports ever since. In general, I was quite a competitive kid and definitely still have that trait today.

    How did you first get into Motorsport?

    My dad always loved the sport and was an avid spectator and he introduced me to Karting, which is the feeder sport into car racing, when I was 10 years old. I fell in love with the speed and adrenaline I got from driving and especially racing and progressed ever since to where I am today.

    If you're interested in starting your own fitness journey, Sundried's Activewear is suitable for people of all abilities. 

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    My First race in the world of GT3 racing last year at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. As a debut weekend as a guest for the final round of the championship, there was less pressure than normal, which allowed me to enjoy it a bit more. To come away with Pole position in Qualifying and a podium in both races was an awesome achievement. And just a super enjoyable race weekend.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    My first win in car racing, Round 2 of the championship back in 2016. I had a bad start and went back to 10th position and fought back through, chipping away with an overtake every lap and then fighting for the lead. Coming out on top with a 7 second gap to P2 in my second car race ever was definitely a proud moment.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Unfortunately, yes in 2018 in TCR Europe I had a big crash before even reaching the start link, which is less than ideal. I got clipped by another car just after the start which ripped the steering wheel out of my hands and sent me into the wall at 80mph.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I try not to get held back with setbacks, but I always take away from these situations what I could have done better myself to improve on, and to not get caught up on things that happen that are out of my control. I truly believe that the knowledge you gain from setbacks is much greater for the future than the knowledge gained from success.

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

    Trust must be earned and not taken for granted!

    What are your goals?

    My goal like most people, is to work hard and earn a living competing in pinnacle of the sport I love which then opens the door to all the things I strive to do alongside Motorsport. And most importantly to enjoy life.

    Who inspires you?

    Personally, I find inspiration from the people who are close to me like family and friends, because from people that are close to you, you get to see the incredible amount of work that truly goes on in the background for them to achieve their goals in life. For me this is where I find the biggest inspiration. 

    Why work with Sundried?

    It’s awesome to work with the Sundried team as they provide a great range of clothing for all the sports and training that I do like Mountain Biking, Road Biking and everyday gym training. It’s great to have such a high-quality selection of clothes for different sports that all come from Sundried.

    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
  • Fact vs Fiction: 10 common health and fitness myths debunked

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    There is a colossal amount of information available to us about fitness, which is frequently contradictory. It is often hard to decipher fact from fiction which leaves us all in a state of confusion but, when in doubt, it is important to turn to science. 

    In a world of fad workout trends, sport science serves to discern fact from fiction with in-depth research and testing.

    Myth 1: Long sessions at a lower intensity burn more body fat

    Our bodies are always working to turn both carbohydrates and fat into energy which our cells can utilise. This energy production is constant, and the dominant energy source changes depending on what we’re doing and what we have most recently eaten. 

    It is true that when working out at 55-70% of your maximum heart rate, your body will utilise more fat than carbohydrate for fuel. The more intensely you exercise, the more your body turns to carbohydrate stores for energy. However, as higher-intensity exercise puts more strain on the body, it requires more caloric energy. And so, if your goal is to solely lose weight, it isn’t necessarily more effective train at a lower intensity to stay in a so-called ‘fat-burning zone’

    When it comes to exercise, a mixture of intensities is important. Striking a balance in your fitness routine is the best way to make it both productive and sustainable.

    Myth 2: Lifting heavy weights makes you bulky

    Lifting weights was previously associated with body building, strongmen, and professional athletes. It bred the longstanding misnomer that performing a low number of repetitions with heavy weights will result in an increase in size. It is important to dispel this myth because strength training is a vital component of any fitness regimen and will not give you unwanted bulkiness, especially if you are a woman. Women’s hormones aren’t conducive to ‘bulking up’, thus women have a greater handicap in putting on excess muscle mass.

    Don’t deny yourself the benefits of resistance training because of the irrational fear of becoming accidentally bulky. Instead, reap the rewards of improved cardiac and respiratory health, increased joint and muscular strength, better posture, more energy, and a faster metabolism.

    Myth 3: You can target areas for weight loss 

    The belief that fat loss in a specific region could be targeted by building muscle around it has evolved from the idea that gaining muscle increases metabolism. Whilst working out can help to reduce your overall body fat, you cannot control where that fat comes from.

    Targeting areas during exercise can be effective to build muscle and shape specific areas but directed fat loss will not occur. This is because, as you exercise your body breaks down stored fat, from fat cells distributed across your entire body, into chemicals that can be utilised as energy. No targeting is required because our bloodstream acts as a carrier for these chemicals to get the energy where it needs to be.

    Myth 4: Your workout must be intense and hard 

    Believe it or not, moving between different intensities and types of exercise is better for your body and fitness levels.

    Not every gym session has to leave you struggling to walk the next day and may be a sign that you are training too hard. It is not a good idea to frequently exercise at a high intensity because it can limit recovery and lead to overtraining. Ideally you should avoid putting too much stress on your body and limit high intensity workouts to 2-3 times per week.

    Myth 5: The more you can train, the better

    You might be relieved to hear that rest is key in fitness. When you work out, you are breaking down muscle fibres so that they can rebuild stronger. To do this, you need to give your body time to recover by scheduling in 1-2 recovery days per week. 

    Recovery days could incorporate complete rest or something which doesn’t put stress on the body, like a walk or gentle stretching.

    If you're looking for some new activewear to make training feel a little easier, check out Sundried's Gym Activewear today for gym wear that will support you and enhance your performance.

    Myth 6: Exercise will result in weight loss

    We have all been conditioned to believe that exercise is the most important element for weight loss but, in truth, it only accounts for a small portion of our daily energy expenditure. This means that it is hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise alone.

    Food intake accounts for 100% of the energy that goes into your body whilst exercise can only burn off 10-20% of it. And so, for weight loss, the focus should be turned to dietary intake and regular daily movement.

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    Myth 7: Fasted cardio burns more fat

    The thought process behind fasted cardio is that the body will use fat stores to fuel the session as opposed to dietary carbohydrates in the absence of a pre-workout meal, therefore aiding in weight loss. However, studies have shown that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a hypo-caloric diet are similar regardless of whether an individual is fasted prior to training. 

    Ultimately, when it comes to weight loss, an individual’s overall diet is far more important than a single fasted session. The body needs fuel to perform optimally, so eating a small pre-workout meal before a cardio session will only help improve your performance and may even prevent overindulgence later in the day.

    Myth 8: Exercising counteracts the effects of sitting at a desk all day

    If you are sitting at a computer screen or desk for most of the day, a 30-minute workout isn’t going to cut it. It is more important to take movement breaks every 30-60-minutes.

    It is time that we all start to become more innovative when it comes to movement in the workplace and schedule in calls on-the-go and standing meetings. 

    Myth 9: Body parts should always be trained separately

    The use of body part splits is frequently overused by lifters and can result in poorer results when done badly. What often happens is that people get too excited at the start of the week and train very hard, resulting in muscle soreness and a reduction in motivation the following day. Consequently, training the next muscle group will be at a much lower intensity, leading to a loading discrepancy between body parts.

    By hitting multiple body parts more often throughout the week, it is much easier to maintain an optimal muscle balance.

    Myth 10: A successful workout should be sweat inducing

    Sweat occurs when your core temperature rises to help cool the body via evaporation. Whilst your muscles will generate heat when you exercise, your internal temperature will largely depend on the temperature that you are working out in. For example, you will sweat less in an air-conditioned room compared to a heated studio. The humidity in the air also plays a role; you will feel like you are sweating more when it is humid because the sweat can’t evaporate from your skin.

    Don’t buy into the notion that sweating is a sign of a good workout. Instead, focus on other better indications of a successful training session like an improvement in fitness or enhanced technique.

    Final thoughts

    When it comes to fitness fads, it is important to exercise some caution. Especially if they seem gimmicky, sound too good to be true, offer ‘quick fixes’, or are trying to sell you something. 

    Take the time to do your own research and only invest your time and money into things which are backed by science. 

    About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more advice from our ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett