Have you ever wondered how personal trainers keep fit? How do the people who are motivating you through your workout stay in shape themselves? Do personal trainers have their own personal trainer? Or do you imagine that because they seem to live at a spin studio or gym that they spend all their time in between clients on the pull-up bar, or working on their deadlifts? The reality is quite different. Some personal trainers find that it’s tricky to stay in shape which is ironic since they spend all their time helping others with their fitness. Others, most often those who take group sessions, actually do the workout with the attendees.
As a personal trainer and (fairly new) mum, I struggle to make the time to work out. I LOVE going to new and varied classes around London but often don’t have the capacity to fit it into my day. As well as training private clients, I also take bootcamps, and set aside 2 hours a week to attend DeRose Method lessons which I love. Alongside that, if I’m lucky enough to have free time, I’ll squeeze in a strength-training or cardio workout. Otherwise, I have to be quite creative my workouts as they often involve a very mobile and energetic 1 year old (who also happens to weigh 10kg – it’s just a shame he’s not kettlebell-shaped…)
So I reached out to the best London-based personal trainers to find out what they do to keep fit. Do personal trainers have personal trainers? Or do they set themselves their own workout? Do they even train at all…?
Here’s what the personal trainers said:
I don’t have a personal trainer myself, mainly because I myself am a PT and am able to come up with my own diverse workouts. I don’t spend much time in the actual gym training apart from when I’m doing my knee rehab for my injury. Otherwise I tend to drop into classes all over London, I love spin, yoga and also trying out new and different workouts. Every day is different for me because my schedule changes week to week and I like that because I always get to try something new! I exercise probably about 6 days a week and then always let myself have a rest day, but even on rest days I try to at least get on my yoga mat for 15 minutes to stretch or foam roll.
Sadly, I struggle to train myself as I have a full-time job in a different industry, plus blogging, plus PT’ing. I love teaching group exercise classes because I know I am committed to the workout. Currently, I teach indoor cycling 1-2 times a week. Having a goal keeps me focused too. Currently, my long term goal is running all the World Marathon Majors so I have a structured training plan that I am due to follow (but haven’t been because I am injured). To compliment running marathons, I know I need to strength train to help my body complete the race without too much pain and I need to stretch to avoid injuries and stiffness. Recently, I set an eight week challenge to train and then ride my bike from London to Paris with friends, which got me out on the bike more often than normal.
I would love to invest in a personal trainer for myself but I would feel silly as I know what I should be doing. After designing workout programs for others though, I sometimes am out of inspiration. I need accountability to ensure I fit in some ‘me training time’.
My attention-span is short so I like to have different things to focus on. In the past few years I’ve done triathlons, 10k runs, obstacle course runs, bodybuilding and most recently, I trained to cycle from London to Paris.
Through all of these I always look for someone to work with to keep myself accountable, whether that’s a triathlon coach, friends or a personal trainer. At the moment I’m working back from various injuries so I’m working with a personal trainer once a week to keep my mobility tip top as well as working on some of the more traditional olympic lifting moves. Apart from that I try to work out at least twice more in the week with one of those sessions being a gym-based weights session and the other being whatever I fancy. I also have a dog so she makes sure I get my 10,000 steps in each day!
I’m Sophie Kay, a body-positive personal trainer based in Hackney.
I keep fit by cycling to work first of all, it is a quicker and cheaper way to get into work especially during peak hours. So it is a win win situation. Secondly I train myself either at Fitness First gyms or Moreno Boxing gyms after training my clients.
I don’t have a personal trainer but I do train with personal trainers as then we could share different techniques and exercises so we learn from each other. I love going to Moreno boxing classes to improve my boxing skills and get a few sparring sessions in. I do train by myself to practice and experience first hand what exercises i would be teaching my clients, because i believe in practice what you preach.
I am a full time Personal trainer at Fitness First and a videographer for Moreno Boxing. I have been training in the gym since i was 17 and fitness has become ingrained in my everyday life so i thought why not make a “job” out of it. Learning to shoot/edit videos complimented the fitness side as i was able to market myself more as the “fitness guy”. So I have self taught myself the art of videography when I was in university.
Being a Barrecore instructor and PT, everyone automatically thinks that training clients is enough to keep me fit and healthy. While teaching is great for general body maintenance and keeping me active to a certain extent, the very nature of the job means that my attention is focused on my clients and their technique, and simply demonstrating is not enough if I’m wanting to gain strength and make changes in my own body.
I have my own home studio where I take clients, which means I have no excuse not to train myself in there as well. I often train myself along with my boyfriend, working together is extra motivation and he can spot for me when I’m lifting heavier weights. I also get into classes as much as I can. I love teaching barre, but I love getting into class even more. The burn I feel while still maintaining an element of gracefulness in the ballet influenced class works well for my body. It’s also great for inspiration when teaching my own classes as well! Finally, I have yoga, this I don’t teach (yet) and use as ‘me time’. It’s usually the first thing to disappear from my schedule if I’m busy, but I try to get to at least one class a week.
Natasha Wynn – Personal Trainer
I train anything from 2-5 times a week. I do a mix of self-directed weights sessions in the gym as well as a couple of classes at Un1t studio in Fulham. I can’t make myself do cardio, so I have to go to a class to make myself work at a high intensity!
It’s hard to sum up who Zanna is and what she does, but among the many strings to her bow, she is an author, personal trainer, blogger, female empowerment ambassador and supporter of Sea Shepherd, a marine wildlife conservation charity. She has also co-founded several things including the #girlgains movement and the London Brunch Guide.
My current weekly workout program is: 4 resistance sessions a week (2 upper/2 lower -1 hr each). I do 2 x GymClass classes (where I teach) and 2 yoga sessions (classes or at home on YouTube 30 mins – 1 hr). I try to make sure I hit 10,000 steps a day and always take the stairs/walk where possible. I currently teach approximately 10 GymClasses a week and each class is about an hour – whilst I don’t do the workout when I’m teaching I’m very active during the class demonstrating and monitoring & motivating clients. My heart rate does go up and I burn about 300 calories in each one – so I also count these towards my cardio!
I currently workout mainly by myself although I do go to some classes. Working out by myself is my time to zone out as being a trainer is obviously quite a full on people business! I don’t currently have a PT but I have before and I definitely will again as I think every coach needs a coach! It’s extremely important to me that I’m always increasing my knowledge, improving and learning from people that know more than me and are more experienced. Being in an environment with other trainers (as I am at GymClass) is a great way of doing this. I have also used an online coach for a photoshoot I did – she was an extremely experienced body composition coach and through this I hit my goal but also added a great deal to my knowledge.
I’m an ex-city worker who discovered healthy living when city living started to take it’s toll! I became a PT & nutrition coach to help others in a fraction of the time it took me to learn when I know now. I specialise in fat loss and in pinpointing barriers in the lives of my (very busy) clients to address exactly what has stopped them from achieving their goals before.
I teach across a variety of studios so I am not required to “do” the class but in choreography based classes I actually do the entire class with everyone which means that it does classify as a workout especially when I do them back to back.
Outside of teaching, I’ve been enjoying building up my endurance through cycling, as well as running whenever I get the chance. Learning choreography for classes and learning new concepts also involves a level of (repetitive) training which classes as a workout on my books!
I don’t currently have a personal trainer but it’s something I would consider but more as an opportunity to learn and share knowledge and expertise with someone. I do however love going to classes; when I give all my energy to the classes I teach sometimes I just need to switch off and have someone else take the lead for my own workouts! I generally don’t workout on my own unless I’m practicing choreo / running through a session plan unless it’s a bike ride as I think I’d lack the motivation!