And they’re influencing your results more than you think.
Ever wanted to step into somebody else’s shoes for the day and see what life is like as a magazine editor, a professional sportsperson or corporate high-flyer..? Well, SHESAID is giving you the closest thing to your very own Freaky Friday experience with our A Day In The Life Of… series.
Name and role?
Lauren Hannaford, former elite gymnast turned health and fitness professional and national gymnastic coach.
Tell us about what you do?
Since I stopped competing in gymnastics professionally, I decided to turn to the health and fitness industry to build on my passion for fitness, gymnastics and working for myself. Training wise, I have created a series of workouts that can be done ‘anytime, anywhere’ that utilise core gymnastics skills for strength and conditioning. I have found that this approach works really well for my clients and it is hard to get bored because there are so many things that you can do! I also tour sometimes with groups such as The Wiggles and I am always on the go doing one project or another. That’s the great thing about the health and fitness industry, there are so many opportunities to work on new projects, its hard to get bored.
When did you discover your interest in this industry? What made you want to follow it into a career?
I grew up being an elite gymnast so I was always fit and active. The strength and discipline that I learnt from gymnastics really helped me in other sports like athletics, swimming and diving as well. Competitive sport has always played a big role in my life. After I finished school I had always planned to become a personal trainer, it just happened a little later than I thought due to my training and coaching commitments from teaching babies their first forward roll, all the way up to national level competitive gymnasts. From the age of 16 I started to pick up a few coaching hours, which progressed to full time coaching position. After many years coaching it was time to get my personal training certificate so I could start progressing further into that field.
Your workdays are much more exciting than the average 9 to 5. What does a typical day for you involve?
6am: Wake up!! Its up and at it this morning to spend a bit of time with my boyfriend before he head off to work and then I get my day under way. I have two glasses of water first off which I believe is the most important way to start the day.
7am: Now its work out time. Making sure I start my day feeling fit and energised with a 60 minute interval bodyweight workout before my firs client of the day. A morning sweat session gets me motivated like nothing else.
8:30am: It’s then onto checking all the important things in life like Instagram and Facebook. Work emails are in the mix as well as an IsoWhey® Post Workout shake. Diet and recovery are very important so that I can keep going at full speed all week! I follow this with a bowl of Morning Glory toasted muesli, some all natural Greek yoghurt, blueberries and some Hannaford homemade stewed plums and relax for a moment by the window before heading outside of my morning client.
9:30am: I have two back-to-back clients for the morning.
12:30pm: I take myself for a walk into Coogee with my notebook and laptop in tow for a lunch meeting at the Pavilion.
2:30pm: I whip out my laptop post meeting, ready to work on some blog posts, one of them being for my new site www.laurenhannaford.com.au. Then it is onto some online interviews and workout write ups.
4pm: Joined by my boyfriend, we wrap up the afternoon with a delicious Will & Co latte at The Pavilion before heading off to Maloney’s grocer in Coogee for dinner.
7pm: Dinner time, finishing up the day in the kitchen together is the best! Our favourite is the little lamb steaks with a side of greens, beets and baby potato salad.
8:30pm: Now it’s onto some tragic yet fantastically addictive American reality TV before sleep.
Completing a workout everyday should be at the top of our priority list. Not only does exercise keep you looking fabulous, it keeps your heart healthy and puts you in a great mood. You can’t deny the benefits of a workout, but so many of us continually skip designated exercise time with excuses ranging from “we don’t have time,” to “we are exhausted.”
We also know that we should be doing high energy workouts, especially if we’re looking to burn fat and condition our respiratory systems. While some of us avoid this kind of exercise out of laziness or fear, others know little about the benefits of HIIT workouts.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and has been proven to be very beneficial and can even replace a longer, moderate workout. This means you can spend a shorter time exercising and still burn calories, which means more time for important things like shopping and excessively watching television shows. HIIT workouts are explosive and vigorous and get your heart rate to a maximum, which is great for achieving results fast – just think about that wedding you have to go to in a months time.
Personal trainer Luke Heath is a highly regarded Australian fitness professional and entrepreneur. He is the creator of his own Group Fitness programs, a National Group Fitness Trainer and the presenter of Luke Heath 5 Minute Workout Series.
Being an athlete and a personal trainer Luke Heath understands what our lives can be like. He knows how hard it can be to fit exercise in when we’re busy and he is very real about how to go about exercise when time is of the essence. Taking into account all of the above, Luke has created his workouts to fit our schedules, so that we reap the benefits while still having enough time to cook dinner and help the kids with their homework.
Luke has developed a super handy workout app brimming with 5-minute HIIT routines to get your heart going and utilise the benefits of a longer workout in a short and explosive five minutes. Luke loves to share the benefits of HIIT workouts and the fast results they can achieve.
“These workouts are perfect particularly for time poor professionals, mums, dads and fitness fanatics who want to see fast results! Using functional exercises that target your arms, legs and core teamed with high-energy exercises ensure maximum fat burning in minimal time,” he says.
You can take the workouts anywhere that you can take your device which means when you’re on holiday, when you’re at the park, or when you’re at your partner’s house, you’re still able to get in a great heart starting workout, that takes hardly any time.
While five minutes may be great for someone who’s on a tight schedule, Luke’s app is also for those people who do have the time to complete a longer intense workout. By joining 5-minute bursts together, you can complete multiple HIIT blasts that target different areas of your body. You can pick whichever workouts you want to do to create your own longer exercise session that will pump your heart and burn those unwanted calories.
The workout app itself is packed with some awesome features to help you out and keep you motivated. There’s a whopping 70 plus workouts to choose from and with ten new workouts added every month, you won’t have to worry about getting bored.
There are step-by-step photos to ensure you are completing the moves correctly to reduce injury, along with hints and fitness tips. The app also includes a profile page to set up, with before and after photos and weight and BMI tracker so you can see how much progress you’re making and how well you’re doing.
There are workouts to suit your specific needs, such as getting in shape for your special day, or hotel workouts to keep you fit while traveling. You don’t have to spend hours working out to get the results you’re after; you just have to know how to work your body the right way.
The Luke Heath Fitness app contains all the right 5-minute training sessions to help you achieve your body goals.
“These 5 minute workouts can help to compensate for a traditional 30-60 minute workout. Each is structured to be 5 minutes worth of intense intervals of exercises ranging from 15 seconds to 1 minute, with a circuit and ‘super set’ style of training and no rest time – That’s right, no break at all for best results,” says Luke.
Focus on different areas of the body and a mix of strength and cardio to work your body hard and get quick results. The best thing about the Luke Heath Fitness app? You can download it for free and get started on creating your dream bod!
If you’ve ever faced the somewhat daunting prospect of a personal trainer or GP calculating your body mass index (BMI) – be warned – for what they often won’t tell you is that this formula is seriously flawed and outdated.
BMI is calculated by taking your weight (in kilograms) and dividing it by your height squared (in metres). It is meant to be a simple way to compare the weights of groups of people of different heights.
But far from being an accurate measure of whether a person is of normal weight, underweight, overweight, or obese – your BMI is seriously bunkum for the simple reason that it doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle and different body builds.
That’s right ladies – a muscle-bound Adonis like the recently married Brad Pitt (pictured above) was, at the time he filmed Fight Club, famously declared “overweight” according to his BMI. And even ol’ bodybuilder and Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger is another fine example of a super-fit celebrity whom health experts say would be declared “obese” according to the outdated BMI formula.
My own new, muscle-bound, ex-army commando PT (whom I call The General, among other names, behind his back) is also “overweight” according to the BMI system. What’s more, did you know this BMI system was devised by Belgian astronomer Adolphe Quetelet up to 180 years ago? That’s a hell of a long time ago!
Professor of Numerical Analysis at Oxford University, mathematician Nick Trefethe, is an open critic of the BMI formula. He believes people put too much trust in it in part because it looks so precise, akin to Einstein’s famous equation E=MC².
“That’s an equation of physics and it’s really right. The BMI formula looks similar. It seems to have the same character, but it doesn’t reflect a precise truth about our world, it’s an approximation to a very complicated reality,” he recently told the BBC.
So, what does this all mean if you’re a woman? Well, for a start, according to my PT, if you’re not stick-thin and fairly fit and muscular, with lots of lean muscle mass, your BMI could come up as “overweight” even if you are anything but.
Far, far more important and a better measure of your health and fitness – even more so than that pesky number on the scales – are body fat and measurements, he says. And this was recently backed by Sydney PT, Blake Worrall-Thompson, owner/director at Ministry of Wellbeing, who recently told Marie Claire Australia: “Don’t worry too much about your BMI – it’s completely out of date (I’m in the obese category)… Instead, focus on measurements, body fat and whether you’re feeling healthy, strong and energetic.”
There are a lot of rogue cowboys out there in the fitness industry, like any industry I guess, but how do you find a good personal trainer? Should there be mandatory PT course modules on professionalism, customer service and how to run a viable business?
Finding a good PT can be more complicated than you’d expect; and let’s face it – a PT is a luxury spend – it pays to shop around to find the right one for you. If you want optimum fitness results from a person who may put you through so much physical pain you will wish you were dead, here’s some handy hints on what to look for in a good personal trainer:
A personality fit
For optimum results, you need to find a trainer with whom you gel – your personalities have to be a good fit, otherwise you will not want to spend the considerable money on them each week and start to resent having to do so. If your PT continually riles you with their outspoken political and/or religious opinions – like the bad cabbie you can’t escape – abort! Or if spending time with them makes you question the future of humanity, shop and train elsewhere.
Professionalism is key
I just broke up with a PT who was constantly late; changed our session times at the last minute; complained about not enough toilet/coffee breaks because she was stacking clients together too much and who refused to take the time to do my regular measurements. If it’s not working out with your PT, act fast and take your hard-earned elsewhere – it’s not personal, it’s good business sense to do so. I know it’s not easy running a small business, but you shouldn’t have to put up with that BS from a so-called “professional”. Be upfront – break up with them by saying you need a change.
A good PT will change things up often, so you don’t get bored. Who wants to do bloody kettle bells and burpies each session, when you’re paying good money to get both results and more motivation to exercise outside your sessions? Tell your PT often and loudly what you want and expect – be it boxing, kickboxing, or a good cardio/weight mix-up.
Eye on the prize
A first-rate PT worthy of your hard-earned will want to do your measurements, even though you may loathe them. Measurements and weigh-ins keep you both honest and motivated. Don’t put up with a PT who fobs you off, as I did for too long. Sure, it might be time they have to put in outside of your session, but it’s an important part of their job. And getting good results is the best bit – a lovely boost when you are sore and exhausted and wondering why the f*** you got a PT in the first place.
Mind your manners
Good customer service buys loyalty and longevity. Repeat after me – your trainer is not your friend; if they don’t treat you with respect – abort! You are the catch. There are plenty of trainers out there – find one who doesn’t ignore you during your sessions, belittle you or make you feel bad in any way. PT should be a positive and empowering experience – it should boost, not detract from your well-being.
Keep it strictly business
While Samantha in Sex and the City had some enviable raunchy PT bedroom encounters; in real life it’s probably best to avoid sexing your trainer. Take the personal out of personal training! If you’re blessed with a PT who resembles a Greek god, power to you sister, but do try to keep your hands to yourself lest the relationship turns sour quickly and he really does try to kill you on the stairs. In addition, your PT is not your counsellor, not you his/her’s – I don’t want to feel like I have to give a PT marital advice in between crunches. Conversely, don’t expect your PT to care about your emotional needs. It’s business time!
Image via flickr.com