Hey, I’m Paige, I’m 20 years old and work as a personal trainer. Just like everyone else, the on/off lockdowns have been extremely difficult. I have had days when I could just sit, eat cake and binge-watch all the TV available to me. However, I have fought the temptations and pushed on to continue my growth. My goals and passion for learning has kept me motivated throughout this time!
Regardless of whether I had the opportunity of going to a gym or being restricted to home workouts, as we all are now; I have always tried to keep a schedule. I train 4 times a week, with a split of – legs, push, pull, hip hinge. In addition to this, I like to make the most out of my daily allowance of exercise and go for an hours walk.
Staying fit for my job doesn’t solely rely on exercise, I concentrate on maintaining a healthy diet with good nutrition. It is very important! If I have the time, I generally start my day with a big breakfast to powerhouse my day. On a typical day, it would be any leftovers from the day before e.g. chicken curry or something similar. If I don’t have any leftovers, I tend to cook up some fish, rice and peas! To wash this down, I like to opt for either a bog-standard cup of tea or something a bit bolder, like a cup of green tea and pomegranate. When it comes to lunch, I normally opt for a big bowl of salad and salmon… beautiful! Lastly, I often make chicken curry for dinner with a whole free-range chicken. I love making this as it’s filling and nutritious, it also lasts for a few days. In regards to the cooking process, I always like to use fresh ingredients and make everything from scratch… that way I know that I have control over what is going into it.
My best advice in regards to nutrition would be to always aim to get fresh ingredients and if there’s an organic option within your price range… buy it! However, if you have a smaller budget, try to get your free-range meats (if you eat them) as toxins are stored within the fat. If your meat is fed a poor diet and isn’t held in a healthy environment, those toxins will be stored in its far and inevitably this will then be absorbed into your body. Aldi is a great place and for the cheap free-range meat and Iceland is also a good option for their wild-caught fish.
The past year has caused my strength to fluctuate. After the first lockdown, I went back to the gym for a couple of months… I was hitting PB’s (personal bests) and I was feeling the best I had felt. When the second lockdown occurred, it had a huge toll on my strength and as the gyms finally reopened, I felt disheartened as I had dropped in strength. Throughout the current lockdown, I have just been trying to do as much as I can with the mindset that it can’t be helped.
Naturally, I do want the gyms to open but due to the current climate, I understand that is what is best for the situation that we are in. I think the government have tried to avoid the gyms shutting for as long as they can; they know the positive effects they have on people, not just physically, but mentally too. The fact they have closed is very disappointing and upsetting for so many people but we have to push through and make the most of the bad situation.
One month before I was qualified, Coronavirus hit, making the process ten times more difficult to me. I then decided to embark on a year-long course for personal training, so that I could still make the most out of my time. With this course, I am equipped with a level two fitness instructor qualification and a level three personal trainer qualification. These processes have been so rewarding for me. Along the way, I have met the most amazing people and learnt so much. To be a personal trainer, you have to be extremely motivated to help other people, it is so much more than just training.
The level two instructor qualification allows you to run fitness classes such as circuit training, HIIT classes etc. Furthermore, the level three personal trainer qualification allows you to complete movement assessments on clients, train clients one-to-one, and write up nutrition/ exercise plans.
I think it is important to set goals for yourself, regardless of career path. In one year’s time, my goals are to start/ complete my strength and conditioning course; this will allow me to train athletes. My goal for the next five years is to work in a privately owned gym and complete further courses to help people suffering from injuries or limiting disabilities. I also want to be qualified in holistic health. For my long-term goal of 10 years, I would like to have invested into building my own gym facility including health and wellbeing. Alternatively, I would like to have pursued a career as a physiotherapist or holistic lifestyle coach.
My advice for anyone that is struggling to motivate yourself in fitness throughout this time would be to set little goals. When you wake up, set your daily goals – mine is to get up as early as I can every day and go for a walk. This allows me to start the day off on a positive note and then the rest tends to follow. After a morning walk, I have more energy and motivation to exercise or even to just do work. On top of that, set yourself weekly goals, perhaps on a Sunday – mine for this is to work out at least four times a week, even if it’s just a quick ten-minute blitz or an hours intense weight training. The most important thing is to make them small and realistic for what you believe you can achieve.
My advice for anyone thinking of getting into personal training would be to go for it! When I first started my personal training course, it was so intimidating as I wasn’t sure if it was truly what I wanted to do. All I knew is that I loved the feeling that I got from training, the rush that I was feeling afterwards and even sitting down eating my meals knowing that I was fuelling my body. I knew then that I wanted to help someone else to get this feeling. It was a shot in the dark for me but it was the best decision that I have made. Often, if you’re scared of doing something, you should push harder and pursue it! Good luck!
Follow my journey on Instagram @paige3mi1y