A Week in the Life of a Model, Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor (Part III)

Happy Monday team! I hope you have a great week to come. Here’s the last segment in my “Week in the Life of..” which covers what I got up to once I landed back in London from my location shoots and back in my training world last week…

Day 6 – Almost there! (Faaaabulous Friday)

Contrary to the madness that has been this week, I have just a few clients booked in for the afternoon today at Eqvvs Personal Training.  I take the morning to sort through my admin for the week before training myself at Equinox. I’m back on my usual nutrition regime now; being back on home turf makes it so much easier to control. I’ll always be the first to admit that I stick to similar meals in the week. It’s what I know works for my body and makes me feel good. So on that note I have my overnight oats for breakfast (for recipe see here).

My 'Grab & Go' Overnight Oats
My ‘Grab & Go’ Overnight Oats

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Then for lunch I have some eggs and avocado on rye bread with spinach before heading out for the day. I try to eat at home where possible or take a packed lunch with me so I know exactly what I’m eating. With the right food in me I’m feeling full of energy and ready for my training at Equinox.

Easy Eggs & Avo

Post lunch I make my way to Equinox for a quick and punchy full body strength training session. For my session I mix it up a bit. Today I’m training alone and I fancy hitting an 8-12 rep range and focus on predominately full body moves. Having been out of the train game for a bit I want to get straight back into training those major muscle groups. I do a mixture of full body, back, chest and leg exercises. Following it up with some core and arm work. As it’s a Friday and I happen to be at Equinox (e.g. the BEST place for shakes) I allow myself a cheeky nut butter shake to tide me over for the afternoon post workout.

Little PT tip…post workout is incidentally one of the best times to get nutrients into your body. I like to eat a mixture of carbs and protein as soon as I can after working out. If I finish training and it doesn’t happen to be near a meal time then I’ll have a snack of some sort, like a banana or apple and almond butter or my NEAT protein shake. If possible it’s best to have this within a 60 (max`90) minute window of your workout. This is a time where your body most efficiently makes use of the nutrients to recover, repair and replenish your body. Therefore making your recovery that much more efficient and your training that much more effective. I also swear by eating more than an hour before workouts to make sure you have the energy you need to push your body to the max. If you don’t eat before you train (or are on a very restrictive diet) it’s like trying to get your car to run without putting any petrol in it.

Apple & Almond Butter is one of my favourite snacks!

For the afternoon I head into Eqvvs to see my regulars. It’s so nice to see my clients again. Although it’s only been a week you get used to seeing people on such a frequent basis so it somehow feels as though its been longer. What I love about my PT sessions is that I get such a vast array of clients. I get to know so many really interesting people. I train girls, guys, youngsters, fiesty and fit golden oldies, or those just wanting to keep their health ticking over. Some want more general fitness and overall health improvements, whereas some have a specific goal in mind. Recently I was working with a young male client of ours whose sole focus was to get into the army – so we drilled him in the ways he would need to pass the fitness examination with flying colours. It was so rewarding and a proud moment for all of us when he did!

I love my job not only because I enjoy giving people the training, knowledge and confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zones and into amazing results, but  the fact you can see the difference you’re having on someones life. Whether it be something super short term; like they perhaps came in having had a bad day and leave on a much happier note. Or more physical long term improvement, like seeing their range of movement increasing. Maybe they couldn’t squat at all before and now they can. Of course you inevitably see the fitness and strength gains and amazing posture differences too. You also see general life perspective and happiness level changes too. It’s an incredible thing the effects that exercise can have on someones life. How wonderful is it then that you can have that influence, provide that helping hand, that stepping stone to happiness and health? I happen to think it’s pretty awesome!

Image: Lucie Yoga, Rue LaLa Online.
Image: Lucie Yoga, Rue LaLa Online.

My three client sessions for the afternoon seem to fly past. We chat and banter whilst still getting the work done. Soon I’m on my way home. I can’t wait to be at home tonight with my boy and doing absolutely nothing! We both adore cooking so we make a lovely dinner of tomatoe and basil sardines followed by sole, asparagus and a parsnip and sweet potatoe gratin. Delicious!  It’s a Friday so we’re sharing a lovely bottle of vino rouge and finishing dinner with some cheeky choccys.

Day 7 – What a week!

Sweet Saturday. We made it! I have just the two clients this morning. I know todays going to be a busy one so I factor my training into my work. I pop on my Adidas PureBoostX’s to give them a whirl. Luckily both clients are at the same place and in close proximity to ours. I run 2 miles to meet them for their sessions. Train them for a couple of hours, then run 2 miles back, trying to beat my first round for time. Although the running is staggered its great to get a quick bit of speed training in when I know I might not get a chance to do anything else in the day.

Time to Test These Bad Boys - Adidas PureBoostX
Time to test out these bad boys! – Adidas PureBoostX

The reason my Saturday is so hectic is because …I happen to be getting married in August…and today is my dress fitting. GAAAAAH! The excitement. My bridesmaids and mum together in arms hit the bridal boutique for a super special day. We oooooh and aaaah over the pretty shoes and THE dress before having a lovely lunch at Browns Brasserie. At which, we manage to book our hen party “bantz”. We’re heading to Barcelona for Sonar festival in June and cannot wait! All that was needed was the accommodation booking. Soon we were all booked up and lunched out and were heading home. I finally to see “that” fiancee of mine! We spend a lovely evening together and are finally free to enjoy our work free Saturday night and Sunday. Phew! What a full on, but all very fun week!

Sunday – Full circle 

From Stockholm to Marseille to London, it’s been nuts. We finally have a day off together. Today we decide to chill and do all the things we love to do. Namely…cooking, training and chilling out together! We have a leisurely morning scoffing healthy home made pancakes (see recipe for which here!)

Healthy & delicious pancakes!
Healthy & delicious pancakes!

Before trying out a local gym hang out “Bounce Gym” for some double trouble training together. The gym happens to be awesome so we spend a while having fun with the space. Todays workout looked a little something like this:

Hypertrophy training – 8-12 reps – Full Body

A1 Barbell Back Squats x 3 sets

B1 Deadlifts x 3 sets

C1 Single Arm Rows x 3 | C2 Arnold Press x 3

D1 Rope climb x 2 | D2 Rope pull x 2

E1 Ski Erg 60s x 3 | E2 Sprints x 3

 

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Love the space at Bounce, Wimbledon!

It’s super fun to have a training partner to banter off of. It helps when there’s lots of fun new toys to play with too.

We enjoyed our session at Bounce before going out to lunch at our favourite coffee hangout: Bean&Hopps in Earlsfield. Baked eggs and eggs benedict down we head home to chill for the rest of the afternoon.

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Bean&Hopp’s Dreamy Baked Eggs & Flat White

We make home made turkey meatballs and courgetti for dinner and prep our food for packed lunches for the week. Not only does this save us money but keeps our nutrition on point for the week. We cook up some turkey breasts and sweet potatoes for easy grab a go salad options for when we’re on the run in the week. We simply have to add some spinach and jobs a good’n! Luckily there’s meatball left over too (winner!) so they will also be for lunch at some point. Before we know it Sunday has been and gone, but you know what they say…a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. I feel ready and raring to take on another busy week ahead!

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Left Over Turkey Meatballs for Lunch – Winner!

It’s been a great week. I’ve seen some amazing places. Worked with some truly awesome people. All whilst seeing my #fitfam – my class and client regulars, as well as new fitness faces. It’s fair to say this week isn’t a complete reflection of my ‘regular’ modelling come training, come teaching week. The nature of the jobs means that ‘regular’ just doesn’t factor into it. Each week brings new fun adventures, challenges and craziness but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so blessed that I can explore the world with my job. Meet some truly inspiring, motivational people. I love that I can teach and train people to use their bodies to their absolute best leaving them feeling healthy, strong and most importantly happy! Even more importantly for me as a model I want to show people that models are like any other person. They bare the brunt of some pretty rough stigma. I’m on a one women mission to get models and non models alike feeling amazing in the skin they’re in. Doing the best with what they have and embracing what they have – hence the tone what YOU own, not anyone else.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little insight into the world of a model, personal trainer and fitness instructor. Stay tuned for lots more to come on the Tone What You Own blog in the form of recipes, workouts and general wellness advice! I’m looking forward to lots more fun fitness adventures to come!

Till next time…have a wonderful fresh, fabulous, shiny new week!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

 

 

Burn It Like Brooklyn: The Bodyburn Phenomenon

It’s Tuesday morning. I have a sinking feeling in my stomach. It’s Brooklyn Bodyburn (BBB) day. I’ve come to have a love/hate relationship with the muscle burning, shake inducing, “do I puke or cry?” phenomenon that is BBB. On the one hand I know the next hour is going to be pretty much the most intense grueling hour of exercise I can do (bar maybe Tonehouse). On the other hand, it’s the feeling of strength, power and pure adrenaline after the burn that keeps me (and most of the New York models I know) coming back for more.

Photo: Brooklyn Bodyburn
Photo: Brooklyn Bodyburn

So what is the sweat sensation that is BBB? Brooklyn Bodyburn has taken Pilates Reformer to a whole new level. Based in Brooklyn, the class utilises the ‘Megaformer’. What on earth is that I hear you ask? I know, I felt the same way when I first decided to take my ‘mega plunge’. If your familiar with Pilates Reformer, it basically takes the fundamentals of that to a ‘mega’ scale. You’ll use a machine similar to that of normal Reformer set ups. Which (if its as foreign to you as it was to me), is a machine like contraption, using changeable weighted springs as a form of resistance. You use different platforms on the machine to perform moves which are met with the springs resistance. It definitely looks like a torture mechanism, but it’s not. Well not technically anyway.

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Photo: My Instagram @kimhartwell

The class is spent hopping (very quickly) from one exercise to another. You’ll perform Megareformer variations of planks, lunges, pikes, push ups, Tricep dips to name a few. Each exercise uses isometric movements that lead your muscles to fatigue. And when I say ‘fatigue’ I mean “holy cow I’ve not seen my leg shake quite so much. Ever. I’m practically Bambi on ice”. I “must go on”, they encourage. The shake is a “good thing”. Really?! Right now I feel like it’s kinda not I tell myself. Yet they motivate me in such an inspiring way that I keep going. They reaffirm that “muscles are built when the shake comes; recruiting new muscle fibres”. Uhh ok fine maybe one more lunge. Grimace, grimace, or as my yoga teacher likes to call it “fart face” – unsurprisingly none of those allowed in yoga. May have to make an exception in the case of Bodyburn.

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Photo: My Instagram @kimhartwell

Movements focus on different parts of the body. Notably, I remember a whole lot of leg work. “I do want a butt like Beyonce’s, I do want a butt like Beyoncé” I tell myself as I see my face grimacing in the mirror at the thought of the whole other leg to come later on. I honestly don’t know whether to puke or cry. Having been a few times I thought I’d get the knack of it by now. Not sure if they’re just trying to be nice, they tell me apparently it’s ‘always hard – even for instructors’ – oh good.

You certainly get your burn for your buck. The class is a full body workout, but the core. Oh my word the core. Megaformer known as ‘the core creator’ ensures that in every move you make, the core is fired up. A teacher once told me it’s like a ‘truth machine’; you think you have a solid core, but this way of working out brings a whole new meaning to the word. No coincidence that the girls who have clearly spent some time here are flaunting abs of steel then!

The instructors are a true merit to the class. Motivating you past those shakey points, past the brink of no return, on to the next exercises. They aren’t lying when they say it “burns so good”. You certainly burn. Oh it burns, but oh it’s worth it. Not for the faint of heart (I would be sugar coating it to say that it’s anything but intense), but if you’re willing to persevere, push past your limits and rise to the challenge you will surely be handsomely rewarded. I certainly recommend it – just try to keep the “fart face” to a minimum!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

A Class in Getting Your Runners High

Photo: My Instagram
Mile High Run Club. Photo: my Instagram

Treadmills are having a massive moment in the fitness scene. Although treadmills themselves have been a part of the fitness furniture for years, it might just be their time to brush off the dust and start to shine again…

Photo: David Siik's Precision Running, Well+Good
David Siik’s Precision Running. Photo by: Well+Good

Gone are the days of being bored sat on a treadmill at the same pace for long monotonous amounts of time. The likes of Mile High Run Club, Barry’s Bootcamp and David Siik’s ‘Precision Running’ treadmill based training classes has made the once thought boring equipment of the treadmill all sparkly and new again. Although it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of the equipment based trendy classes hopping their way around the fitness circuit at the moment (Acroyoga, Megareformer anyone?). The simple act of treadmill running still remains one of the most effective workout tools. As David Siik (running coach and Precision Running group treadmill creator at Equinox) explains: “running requires so much energy to push up and off the ground every single step that collectively over many steps, it’s so much work.”

Photo: Mile High Run Club
Photo: Mile High Run Club

Mile High Run Club (MHRC) prides itself on being the first group treadmill class studio in New York dedicated to solely running. By the looks of things it won’t be the last. Class led treadmill workouts fused with resistance training provide a burn that strides ahead of traditional treadmill training. As MHRC states; “daily group treadmill classes and endurance focused strength training led by elite runners, (means that) everyone trains like an athlete regardless of fitness level.”

MHRC’s classes are a fusion of class led coached running and resistance training with kettlebells. The running portion of the class focuses on gradient and speed. The strength portion of the class focuses on strengthening muscles needed most in running. Both portions will make you an overall better runner. You’ll never need to ponder what on earth to do on the treadmill for so long again. Your treadmill workouts will be stronger, more exciting and more efficient.

Classes are great for anyone wanting to up their running game or simply just wanting to run with like minded fitness folks. Whether your training for a race or just starting out, you’ll learn all you need to know about life in the running lane – without the usual treadmill boredom or unpredictability of New York’s ice cold winter.

Founder of MHRC, Deborah Warner. Photo by: Well+Good
Founder of MHRC, Deborah Warner. Photo by: Well+Good

I was lucky enough to meet Deborah Warner, founder of MHRC on a fitness shoot for Self Magazine. The lady herself is the picture of health with fitness experience by the bucket load. Her newly opened studio is taking the New York fitness scene by storm. The studio is set in super fit and trendy Noho. With beautiful, clean changing rooms, meeting dark fluorescent lights of the class studio, it’s enough to get your motivation revved and help you really tune into your runners stride. Make sure you get down to MHRC for a taste of your ‘runners high’ – it’s addictive!

For those who can’t get down to the studio or outside but still want a runners workout, check out the “Be A Better Runner” workout routine in this months Self Magazine (February edition) . You can find Deborah and myself showing you some indoor strength training that you can do anywhere that will help you up your running ante…

Deborah Warner’s “Be A Better Runner” Self Magazine workout

Also available in video on Self.com at: http://video.self.com/watch/trainer-to-go-the-moves-you-need-to-improve-your-run

Here’s to longer, stronger running!

Sending Health & Happiness,

Kim x

 

Another Level of Yoga

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Photo: OM Factory Yoga NYC

Yoga is moving to a new level and it may just be the way to make your fitness take flight…

Though yoga has a longstanding stance in the well-being industry, it’s the ‘anti-gravity’ or ‘aerial yoga’ that’s having a moment. Yoga as we know it is a firm favorite amongst the celebs, but it’s the aerial yoga that has the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Mariah Carey and Pink coming back for more.

What could be more blissful than yoga I hear you ask? Being cocooned in your own little silk ‘hammock’ whilst doing yoga, that’s what is! The bonus is that as wonderful as it sounds to melt away your worries in your own little silk cocoon, aerial yoga is as much challenging and invigorating as it is great for relaxation.

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Photo: Om Factory

The good news for us that didn’t quite get born with the ‘ultra bendy acrobatic gene’, is that you don’t need to be an acrobat to navigate through classes. Classes flow similarly to a yoga class but the ability to freely float in the air brings a whole new dimension to the yoga practice. On entering aerial yoga studios (like the one pictured at Om Factory Flight School) you’re greeted with large pieces of fabric bolted into the ceiling. These pieces of fabric create a wide, stretchy, hammock-like contraption suspended from two points. By suspended your body in the hammock you can achieve traditional yoga poses but also deepen them without overstressing the joints as you float in air; minimising the weight on your spine and joints.

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Om Factory NYC Yoga – Union Square

Throughout class you’ll do moves similar to those that you would come to expect in a normal yoga class but with an aerial twist; e.g. the “Flying Downward Dog” and the “Flying Pigeon”. The “Flying Boat Pose” is also a corker for getting a great ab workout! You’ll get a full body workout as you use your entire bodyweight to help you stretch deeper into poses in addition to helping you navigate up and into the hammocks.

By incorporating aerial yoga into your workout regime you can benefit from numerous perks: increasing flexibility, joint mobility and releasing pressure on your spine which helps to lengthen muscles. Inversions are also a great aspect of the aerial yoga. By hanging upside down suspended in the air; it allows the boost of blood flow to the heart and provides all the benefits you would get from yoga inversions; without the compression to the neck and spine.

The great part is that you feel like you’re having fun the whole time so time literally flies past. Even if you wouldn’t class yourself an ‘avid yogi’, this class provides enough fun and challenge that even the not so ‘yogi of heart’ can enjoy it.

Why not take your yoga up to a new level?

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x


OM Yoga Factory NYC holds Aerial Yoga classes at both its Midtown and Union Square locations. It offers beginners a stepping stone in with their foundation classes. In addition the studio also offers many other acrobatic, circus style and standard yoga classes.

Find out more information at: http://www.omfactorynyc.com/ 

OM Factory Midtown – 265 W 37th St, 17th Fl, New York, NY, 10018

OM Factory Union Square – 873 BROADWAY, Suite 202, New York, NY, 10011

Unleash Your Inner Athlete at Tone House

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Image: WellandGoodNYC

Greeted by the sign “Leave your ego at the door, its game time” you walk into Tone House NYC. There it stands; a dimly lit room and the kind of music that makes your heart pound. You feel like a boxer psyched to fight, taking your walk up to the ring. The coaches and rest of your team are ready for your first strike. This is a training destination where you undoubtedly have to bring your “A game”. Coined ‘the toughest workout in New York’, there’s no room for anything less.

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Sounds intense right? Tonehouse is a simple but brilliant idea. Founder (fitness powerhouse) Alonzo Wilson and a team of buff bad asses take you through your paces by simulating the training of actual athletes. No stranger to professional sports conditioning Alonzo and his team know a thing or two about elite training. With different days of the week dedicated to different body focuses you can make sure that you tone every bit of what you own on a weekly basis.

Challenging, muscle burning, insanely sweat inducing? Yes, but here’s the fun bit; the whole time you’re supported by the type of group team camaraderie you’d expect playing in a team. The coaches’ push you to make sure you ‘show up’ and bring everything you’ve got, but there’s still this great underlying fun factor to it all. You come out feeling incredible (errrrrytime) & with an amazement for what you’ve all just accomplished. We, everyday people of New York can be athletes too. How amazing is that? If you have a body, you can be an athlete. ToneHouse brings this to you.

So what should you expect?

It’s certainly not for the faint hearted but nothing to be feared either. If you enjoy being challenged and “unleashing your inner athlete” with a group of fun loving fitness people, you will love every minute of it. Ok you might have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the minutes in conditioning day but ‘oh my’ will your body have something to show for it.

The body focus of a particular day will dictate the exercises you do but the sessions follow a similar structure. 15 minutes of a pretty intense warm up including agility exercises and burpees. Then multiple circuits of exercises for either upper body, lower body, total body, core or conditioning training. Expect to get to use all the toys in the fitness toy box. Weighted bungee sprints? You got it. Power sleds? – Yep those too. Pull up bars, TRX, sand bags, val sliders, soft boxes, abdollies, they’ve got it covered. The coaches will show you how to navigate your way through the equipment with their fiery workouts, high fiving and cheering you all the way.

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My last session was a lower body focus day with Head Coach Yusuf Jeffers (he’s awesome!) One of my ‘team mates’ was Mary. Mary has recently given birth to her daughter (4 months ago no less) and was absolutely crushing her workout. This buff baby Mumma I thought, is some fitness inspiration. Her small piece of time off from the baby she had she was at Tone House running rings around all of us. If she can do it (and be a total bad ass doing it) so can you!

You wanna be in the coolest team in downtown NYC? You want to have some fun? Then channel your inner athlete and get involved in Tone House!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

Find out more information: www.tonehousenewyork.com

Tone House NYC, 20 East 17th St, 2nd Floor, New YorK, NY 10003

Surf’s Up NYC!

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“Everybody was surfing, surfing usa!”. You’re not imagining New York are you? Although New York has ‘some’ surf to offer up, west coast probably has us nailed on the sizzling hot surf destinations. Fear not aspiring surfers of New York; Chelsea Piers has the latest surf inspired classes aptly named “SurfSet” to get you wave ready in no time.

IMG_2663Surfset classes will get you conditioned in a way which not only helps with your surf practice, but also just happens to build a smoking hot bod! You’ve seen those sexy surfers with blinding washboard abs – probably no coincidence my friends. Surfing is well known for its total body conditioning and toning as well as being a whole lot of fun. That’s not even mentioning that this cool little class is nestled in Chelsea Piers famed for its mind blowing sports facilities – it’s enough to make a gym nut go weak at the knees (and that’s not after leg day!)

Even if surfing isn’t particularly your ‘crack’, you might still want to check it out. This class offers a fun and creative way to hone every part of your body. You’ll spend the class on the “RipSurfer X” – sounds scarier than it is. It’s basically a surf board on mini stability balls; meaning you’re constantly challenging your bodies stability (like the real life surf). The unstable surface means that your ab and postural muscles have to constantly be engaged to keep you steady. This means even if you don’t feel like your working your core, you probably are. Don’t worry there’s plenty of core specific work in class too!

Throughout the class we did squats, lunges, bunny jumps, single leg movements, plenty ‘surf style chatarungas’ or ‘nose downs’. Throw in some unstable push ups and SurfSet is a match made in fitness heaven. It serves up all round fitness performance benefits; working the core, balance, agility, muscular strength and endurance, aerobic conditioning and explosive power. Throughout the class they play epic surf videos which is enough to get anyone super stoked about surfing in general and make you feel like you’re in the moment. Couple the fitness benefits with the energy and originality the class brings, its a sure fire place to check out when your in the city. Surf’s Up!

Sending health & happiness,
Kim x

SurfSet is on Classpass (the cities go-to fitness studio membership) or available to Chelsea pier members.

http://www.chelseapiers.com/sc/sports-training/surfset.cfm

62 Chelsea piers, #300, New York, NY, 10011