A day in my life

A Day in my Life

As a Personal Trainer, Class Instructor, Writer, Business owner and a single Mum, I have no choice but to lead a  super organised lifestyle.  In fact if I haven’t got each day planned out in advance I get too stressed out to manage it all, so being organised is my No.1 priority.  I’m very lucky to be able to say that although my weekdays are hectic, I really love my lifestyle and all the challenges that go with it!

The Morning routine……

My alarm goes off at 5.45am each morning.  I’ll be completely honest here – I don’t jump up full of motivation.  I hate getting out of bed BUT once I’m up, dressed and I’ve talked myself round, I feel ready to tackle the day ahead.

After my breakfast (usually porridge) I generally train with clients from 7am to 12.30pm.  Now that my children are older I’d rather be out of the way of the usual ‘are you up and dressed and ready for school yet?’ chaos!.  If I don’t have to leave until later, I use the time to go for a run before work (again I don’t always feel like it but the feeling of going out for a run before I start my day is great so I have to talk myself into it!).

Training…..

I always make the time every day for my own training (I schedule it in my diary at the beginning of each week). I usually go to the gym or go for a run as soon as I’ve finished training with clients. My clients sessions inspire me, especially if someone’s done a kick ass session – I go to the gym and do the same!

Going back to the diary……I’m a creature of habit.  I like to do the same thing at the same time everyday which may sound really boring to some, but it helps me feel more organised and in turn I get more done.

After my gym session or run, I go home and have lunch which is generally some kind of salad, chicken or eggs and rice combination.  I’m not the greatest of cooks but I try to be as creative as possible and if I’m taking a photo of my lunch to post on social media, I find I try a little bit harder with the presentation and in turn it actually tastes nicer.  I then walk my dog and I use this time to re-charge my brain.

Stress Less…..

If you’ve got a hectic lifestyle it’s so important to look after yourself. As the saying goes ‘You can’t pour from an empty vessel’. It’s not being selfish, its self-care.  I switch my phone off for just 20-30 minutes and try to clear my mind of any stress that’s going on.  It’s not always easy to turn off from the outside world, but it’s very beneficial to your personal well-being and mental health to take just a bit of time each day to get some head space. Just breath and live in the moment without any distractions – even if it is while walking the dog in the rain!

Evenings…..

So, after my half an hour of calm, the madness begins for round 2!

As the kids are returning from school I have my crazy 2 hours of the day.  You know the scenario……I’m sat at my laptop trying to write, do my admin, pay bills, sort client folders etc. and the kids are asking ‘When’s tea ready?’ ‘Where’s my rugby shorts?’ ‘Can my friend come for tea?’ the dogs running around like a lunatic, the window cleaners knocking at the door and while you’ve successfully managed to sit and have a wee in private you get interrupted by a PPI call!

I constantly feel like I should do more with my kids – they always see me working, on my phone or going out to work.  However, I was a stay at home mum whilst they were both pre-school so I suppose its good for them to see me now running a business and I’m hopefully inspiring them to do something they love and to work hard at it.

After our evening meal (which I always try to sit down as a family to eat) I’m back out to work to train my evening clients or class members.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I love my job, there is no way I’d leave the house on a night.  I’m a real home bird and could quite easily stay at home all day, but when I get to my class and see my class members giving it their all, I just love it!  I’ve got a great team at my classes and along with my PT clients, as much as it’s MY job to motivate them all to work hard – they really motivate ME to do my best too.

I usually have a couple of hours on an evening before I go to bed and if I’ve got everything on my list done for that day I get chance to put my feet up and watch TV or read.  Actually, this very rarely happens if I’m honest! In reality, I tend to walk the dog (again), pick up my phone, text clients, google workouts and post on social media (I’m working on not doing this as much BUT it’s a vital part of my job!). Then just as I’m about to get into bed I’m usually reminded that I haven’t washed a P.E. kit that needs to be ready for the next day!

Bedtime……

Now I’d like to say I switch my bedside light off at 10pm and fall fast asleep but I currently have a bit of a problem with my sleep pattern.  Sleep is so important for good health and I know I should go straight to sleep but my brain doesn’t seem to agree – this again, is an area I need to work on, but it’s so hard when you have a zillion ideas buzzing though your mind when your head hits the pillow.

Weekends…..

So, this is my daily routine Monday to Friday and by the time the weekend arrives I generally switch mode.  I’m an all or nothing type of person and although I love going for a long run on a Saturday morning, I also love slobbing on the settee in the afternoon.  It’s the same with food, I eat healthily 90% of time but, I can eat A LOT, so I really look forward to my Saturday night Meal out or takeaway – it’s all about the overall balance.  I haven’t drunk alcohol for over 2 years now and it makes a massive difference to my weekends, in fact it makes a difference to my working week too.  Since giving up the booze I’m more productive, I perform my job a lot better and I seem to have more time as I don’t have to nurse a hangover which is a good job really as when my alarm goes off at 545am on Monday morning, I’m ready to do it all over again!.

Rest and Recovery

Rest and Recovery

No matter how extensive your fitness program may be, the time you spend working out is only a part of the process necessary to achieve your fitness goals. If you’re planning your training but not your recovery, you’re not going to fully reap the rewards from your Workouts.

One thing that is often misunderstood is the fact that your body becomes stronger AFTER you exercise and NOT during the actual workout itself.  The real secret to getting results depends on what happens during the recovery period following the workout.  This is why the correct recovery and rest is so important.

There are different types of recovery – Short-term (which happens immediately after a workout set) and Long-term (the period of time between workout sessions).

Short-term recovery can be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and it’s important to replace energy stores within this period. But the longer recovery period between workouts is the one to focus on, because it’s the time after the workout when the body adapts to the training session.  The correct care of your muscles and connective tissue, eating the right type of post workout nutrition, the quality and quantity of sleep and, even the types of clothes you wear, can all promote the post-workout recovery that’s necessary to help you maximise the results from your time spent exercising.

Post-workout Nutrition
During exercise, your muscles expend energy and experience stress. After exercise, the body needs to replenish energy with carbohydrates and repair tissue with protein so having a post-workout snack with the correct ratio of carbohydrate and protein can help massively. The correct nutrition also assists the release of the muscle-building hormones to repair and build new muscle tissue.

Stretching and Myofascial Release
Stretching, Massage, Foam rollers, Compression balls and Rolling sticks can all help to reduce muscle tightness. If a muscle doesn’t cool-down properly, the collagen fibres (which are part of the connective tissue surrounding each muscle) can create knots. Massage works by manipulating muscle tissue to break up knots and can help reduce muscle tightness and improve joint movement.

Sleep

Sleep is probably one of the most important factors that can help improve your overall health and fitness. Your body produces most of the hormones needed for tissue repair during sleep so it’s vital to get enough to assist in the recovery process.

Ice, Cold Baths and Cryotherapy
Cold treatments are extremely effective for recovery as they can help cool down the body’s core temperature, reduce inflammation and promote healing in tissue that was used during the workout. The cold temperature brings increased blood to the area, which brings nutrients and oxygen to help promote healing.

Sauna or Hot Tub
The heat from a sauna or hot tub increases the body’s circulation, which removes metabolic waste products while also carrying oxygen and other nutrients necessary to help repair tissue used during the workout.

Training Periodisation
Alternating between high and low intensity workouts (muscle confusion) either daily, weekly or monthly and taking a few days off every few weeks to allow the body to rest and recover fully.
Compression Clothing
Wearing Compression clothing before and after a workout is a relatively new form of recovery treatment that may also be effective. The pressure from the tight clothing can improve circulation which will help remove metabolic waste and promote blood flow to help the tissue repair and rebuild.

Too much exercise without enough rest and recovery can lead to injury or illness, both of which could prevent your regular workouts.  There are dangers to overtraining without the correct recovery periods between and If you don’t take enough R&R for your muscles to adapt this will certainly affect your ability to achieve your fitness goals.

NEVER forget to include RECOVERY into your Fitness programme!

When things don’t go to plan

when things don't go to plan

 

When Things don’t go to plan

A goal is just a wish without a plan, but what happens when the plan fails?

Progressive programming and periodisation, mathematically and scientifically calculated, works extremely well in theory – but in the real world is it really a SMART Plan for success?

The specifics for how to plan periodised training and nutrition plans to achieve accurately calculated progress are vital for programming athlete’s performance schedules, However, they may not always be as vital or effective for the average person wanting to work towards specific goals.

Here’s why………

No matter how dedicated, committed and focused you are, unless your training and diet schedule is the top priority in your life, there are always going to be circumstances that arise in which it will take a backseat. Family, work responsibilities, injury or illness – for most of us happen! And deviating from a strict plan is sometimes inevitable – Life gets in the way!

There are going to be times that your plan will need to change, adapt and re-route to an alternative path to reach your goals so you don’t get to the point of giving up on them altogether! and rather than seeing it as a failure and feeling de-motivated when you’ve missed a scheduled training session and not stuck to your plan with military precision, you need to appreciate that you haven’t failed, you’re not halting your progress, but you’re just adapting your plan to reach your goal.  Obviously, if you’re skipping your programme just because you aren’t committed enough and you have no self-control or discipline, you’re not going to be making progress, however it could mean that the programme your following just isn’t the right programme for you.

Is your Training plan torture?

There also has got to be some element of enjoyment to your training to get the most from your workout and the same applies to your diet.  You’ll always give more effort if you’re enjoying it and your adherence to you programme won’t continue if you’re not!

Adapting your plan may mean choosing an alternative that’s suitable for your current state.  You may have low energy that day for the workout specified on your training schedule, so you may need to switch your workout accordingly or even skip it and rest – which may sometimes be a lot more beneficial than pushing through a workout that’s too intense.  Hormone levels may mean that for 3 or 4 days a month you find it impossible to stick to your calorie requirements, so rather than just blowing the diet completely, just allow for extra calories on these days.  You’re not failing, you’re still on track, you’ve just varied your route!

And remember, progress isn’t only tracked by the numbers – weight, reps, measurements, calories etc. it’s also about HOW GOOD YOU FEEL!