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

 

 

5 Tips for Staying Strong All Winter Long

 

We’ve all been there. Gym kit on (or very close to being on), finally gearing yourself up for that run, you look out the window…it’s dark, cold and ultimately all very un-alluring. So it’s back to the sofa I guess?….Not so fast! Here’s my top 5 tips for staying strong all winter long – even when it looks like the apocalypse is upon us outside!

  1. Stop overthinking it 
    • Usually it looks worse than it is. More often than not it’s a case of sacking it up and getting out there. Once your outside getting the blood pumping, the endorphins flowing and breathing in that fresh air, you’ll start to get yourself into your workout. Sitting inside glaring out the window watching each rain cloud come in (or not!) isn’t doing anyone any good. The intention to get an outdoor workout was there but we all too easily let the doubt in our mind conquer us. Essentially by the time you thought about starting and had a little dither about it, you may as well have gone and got it done. Even if it was a quick 15 minute run, or perhaps some sprint training, chances are you’ll feel a world better for doing it than not.
    • Where your dedication will prevail is in your ability to remain un-phased by external forces that you have no power over. If you let the weather dictate your workouts then your leaving achieving your goals to chance. Although a bit of a cliche…summer bodies ARE made in the winter. There’s a reason why the fitness buff’s you know are in the gym throughout the year. “Rome wasn’t built in a day…but they worked on it every single day” – and that’s not just the days leading up to your big summer holiday!
  2. Incorporate it into your day
    • Doesn’t the time just seem to fly by? How are we almost mid January already? There barely seems enough time to get work and the household chores done, let alone a bit of down time – so when on earth can we fit in that workout? The struggle is real! A great way of getting your workout in (especially in those cold, dark winter days) is to somehow incorporate the workout into your day. If you find a formula that works for you, it will be that much easier to sustain
      your fitness regime. If you can, run or cycle to or from work. Pack your gym kit the night before and hit the gym early doors before work or straight after work.
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      My commuting running adventures!                                                             Instagram: @kimhartwell 
    • Personally I find it that much harder to get the motivation up to go to the gym once I’ve come home and got settled with that lovely warming (not to mention homely) cup of tea. The other week I knew the only opportunity that I would have to workout would be to run home from work. I was so busy in the day that I wouldn’t get a chance to go to the gym. I knew the second I got home the chances of me going back out for my workout were pretty slim. So, 7 miles later I was home. I had a real sense of achievement. I managed to get the workout in. I scaled quite a nice distance through my mileage home. Saw some good sights, beat the time it would have taken on a stuffy tube and saved that travel card fare! Happy days! If you prepare for this sort of thing, pack your bag (lightly), take some headphones, take a backpack; it isn’t all bad. Time saving fitness – now that’s my sort of workout.
  3. Layer up
    • My dad once told me: “there’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad outfit choices”. It’s a phrase which made a remarkable amount of sense to me and one that I use when training outdoors. You’ll only be cold if you’re not appropriately dressed for the occasion. If its raining wear a waterproof. If it’s windy wear something that works as a wind breaker. If its cold, layer up! Chilly hands? Wear some sweat wicking gloves. I see a surprising amount of people neglect this on cold winter days. Our bodies actually like working out in temperatures around 7-10 degrees celsius, so now it’s just YOU that needs convincing! And that rain? Our bodies are made of about 70% of the stuff! Sooooo that rainy run isn’t going to be all that bad for us after all!
  4. Tune in
    • For me I find it difficult to really get going and get into my runs or outdoor training (or indoor for that matter) without some good music behind me to motivate me. Check out my Spotify Playlists for my music to help get you raring to go and get you on the way out that door!
  5. Have a plan B
    • OK I get it…sometimes, THAT rain and THAT wind just ain’t gonna fly today. Have a back up option so there’s no getting out of your workout for the day. Can’t run? Have that back up bodyweight workout plan as your plan B. Need inspiration on what you can do without a gym and inside? Have a look at the Tone What You Own Bodyweight Workout for inspiration.

Above all else…have fun with it. Get muddy. Get sweaty. Get a little soggy! Take on the challenge and win. Get that summer body from the fruits of your winter labour and feel darn good ‘n’ proud about it. Till next time…Happy workouts my winter warriors!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

 

 

 

 

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

Banana ‘Nice’ Cream

FullSizeRender(1)So TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday) is a thing. Thursday. That fabulous day when you’re so close to the weekend you can almost taste it. It’s the new Friday, bringing all sorts of naughty little cravings that you usually manage to keep at bay till your Friday night. Innocent as it sounds, it could be wrecking havoc with reaching your fitness goals. If you’re regularly reaching for junk on a Thursday night, that extends your slightly relaxed ‘weekend eating’ to a 4 day junk fest.

If you find yourself craving a little something sweet, here’s my simple, healthy recipe to keep you on the health wagon (till Friday at least). My friends go nuts for this substitute ice cream; super easy and surprisingly delicious banana ‘nice’ cream. You could even go crazy and have it on a Monday!

Banana ‘Nice’ Cream (makes 1 serving)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ready frozen ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp non fat plain Greek yoghurt (Fage is my personal favorite)
  • 2 chopped dates (stone removed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter (optional)
  1. Blend the frozen banana and yoghurt together using a food processor
  2. Add the chopped dates and cinnamon
  3. Serve in a bowl adding the almond butter on top if desired

Take that Thursday! You can have your sweet treat and eat it without completely demolishing the hard work you’ve put in all week. Enjoy!

Sending health & happiness, Kim x

Are You Getting Enough?

Are you getting enough

So no one could ever accuse you of having a lazy bone in your body. You’re the definition of the Energizer bunny, the superhero, the “do everything” type. Up at the crack of dawn, down to the gym, before hop skipping to work. Not to mention that huge to-do list you attack outside the office. Suddenly your skip in your step is a weary foot shuffle. You’ve been at the gym for months and worked hard to keep to a healthy diet, and still… no progress. Sound familiar? Here’s the one thing you’re superpowers are missing…SLEEP!

Just chill for a second. You can only do so much. You are only one person. One of my favorite sayings a yoga teacher once told me was: “you’re doing the best with what you’ve got”. So those niggly non-critical emails and texts might not get replied to today. So you may have to skip the drink with a friend to go to the gym. So the gym just might not happen today. Beating yourself up and stressing about it will only make matters worse for your body.

If you’re struggling to meet your fitness aims then sleep could be a major factor. Although nutrition and exercise are undoubtedly the key to weight loss and needed to ‘tone what you own’, sleep is the number one most important factor. Fitness and nutrition without sleep is like superman without his ability to fly. If that early morning gym session turns your 8 hours kip to more like a 5-6 hour one then you’re probably best to catch up on those zzz’s, you’ll start seeing more results in no time, here’s why….

Top 4 reasons sleep is THE most important thing for a better body:

  1. You need energy for your workouts to get your best performance. If you’re taking in less calories your energy is already lower. Combine that with not getting adequate sleep then you’re going to really struggle to bring your A game to your workout.
  2. When we sleep our body is rebuilding the torn muscle tissues that we create during exercise. Sleep is fundamental for your bodies recovery. Sleep ensures your body repairs itself properly so that you don’t run the risk of overtraining. It also means you don’t start your next workout off at a disadvantage.
  3. Sleep loss has been shown to increase stress in the body. Cortisol secretion is higher, which in turn breaks down the bodies tissues. This means it can cause muscle mass loss; so the very muscles you’re trying to build are being decreased.
  4. Sleep deprivation is responsible for a number of hormone and metabolism changes. This has an effect on appetite and hunger. Those who have struggled to sleep the night before may still feel hungry even when they’re full because of this.

By no means is this a ‘get out of gym free’ card, but its certainly something to ponder if you’re run ragged most of the time. Studies have shown that many overweight people are sleep deprived – coincidence? Not likely. Sleep is the single biggest way your body can reward you for all your fitness and nutrition efforts.

Make sure you’re getting as close to 7-9 hours sleep a night as possible, your inner superhero wants to fly!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

Butt Kick with a Beat!

Photo by: John Davenport
Photo by: John Davenport

So it’s winter time for a lot of us. Those cold, rainy days play havoc with your gym motivation. Who wants to go to the gym when there’s a warm cosy sofa waiting at home with the latest episodes from Netflix with your name written all over them?…You need some serious butt kicking. Good news you can do it all by yourself. Whip out your music player and get yourself some cracking, heart pumping, ‘get off your butt’ (it aint gonna squat itself) tunes to train to.

Find out what really gets you going and add it to a workout playlist. Plug into your music on the way to your workout and get yourself ready for the awesomeness that’s about to entail. Plan your playlist so you get your real favorites in there. Have the ones that get you the most fired up about midway through your workouts to spur you even further when you’re feeling fatigued. If your doing intervals (I’m a huge fan!) create playlists to play faster songs for higher intensity portions of your workouts and slower for lower intensity.

Music is an incredible way to get you motivated for your workout. Here’s some of the playlists I’ve created to get my heart pumping. Follow them here for new workout music inspiration…

Now go own it!

Sending health & happiness, Kim x

Training Playlist…

Beats Playlist….