Week 19 : The trials and tribulations of  Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur ‘in training’

Week 19 began after a whistle stop 30hour trip to Stockholm in order to see Bruno Mars in concert at the Globe Arena. My friend Laura really wanted to go and see him, so as non of the UK dates were possible for us both, we investigated whether it would be possible to jump on a plane and see him elsewhere; hence why we ended up in Sweden’s capital for the night. He was incredible live. I wasn’t all that fussed about seeing him to be honest, but he surpassed my expectations and then some.

Stockholm is a beautiful city, and we were extremely lucky with the weather, sunshine and 24 degrees meant just walking around the city was so lovely and pleasant. We stayed on a boat. Yes you read that right. Our hostel was STF AF Chapman, an old ship which had been renovated and is now a hostel! Our ‘cabin’ was bunk beds. It was such a lovely setting on the water, spotlessly clean and certainly an experience. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Stockholm, check them out for sure! People had told me it would be expensive, and all I will say is I am glad we were only staying one night! But the people, the food (see restaurant recommendations down below!) and the ambience were fabulous and I would highly recommend to anyone (just make sure you have some deep pockets!)

stf af chapman

The weather has been absolutely beautiful in England this week, unfortunately I think I have only managed about 40 minutes sat outside though due to work and clients. However just having the back door open and the sunshine streaming in has been so nice and my mood certainly alters with the weather. I walked to work and back for the first time this year and it is something which I need to start doing more. Just the simple act of popping on a podcast and 10 minutes in the fresh air does wonders for me.

I don’t know whether it was the sunshine or just one of those weeks but I had more than a few client cancellations this week. This is quite rare for me. It makes me question everything and probably gets to me a lot more than it should. There is usually a valid reason for the cancellations and they do all get rebooked in again, but it just reminds me not to get too complacent as this is my livelihood, if I don’t have clients then I don’t get paid. It has forced me to really think about my business model this week and what I could be doing better to ensure things like this don’t affect me as much.

Speaking of business, I have been working away at planning for my group sessions which took place again in week 19. More new faces amongst returning regulars has been brilliant. I put so much pressure on myself to make these sessions amazing, waking up in the middle of the night fretting and worrying that they won’t be good enough and people will leave disappointed. When planning I can sometimes just stare at a piece of paper for hours and not get anywhere, but then other times inspiration will take over and I will come up with something which I am proud of.

I really do enjoy putting these sessions on. The ability to be able to get in front of and help more people is one of my goals. Without giving too much away, there may be something on a larger scale in the pipeline sometime soon…..

Week 19 was rounded up by an extremely proud moment for myself. My sister was home this weekend and took part in her very first powerlifting competition; Lift for Cancer at Scarborough Spa. Hannah has been training for this for months and she did absolutely brilliantly. It was a Bench Press and Deadlift only competition. There were a couple of hiccups in the Bench Press, but she came away with a 42.5kg lift which is brilliant. In the afternoon, she hit a new PB of 125kg on the deadlift which was one of her goals so we were both incredibly happy and chuffed. I train Hannah online, she is probably one of the best clients I have in terms of adherence and following a plan! But seeing her succeed and being so happy got me all emotional.

I am so proud of her.”

lift for cancer

What have I been learning in week 19?

21st: There is a car accident every 18 seconds in Barcelona

22nd: In 1903, Australia became the second country in the world to grant the vote to women, New Zealand was the first, granting it in 1893.

23rd: One in every three people sitting in jail in Berlin are there because they didn’t pay their fare on transport system.

24th: 95% of black people who go to Ivy League Universities in America come from Africa for their further education.

25th: 60% of the US population have less than $1000 in savings. 60% of NBA professional basketball players go bankrupt once they have retired. 40% of divorces in America cite money problems as one of the main reasons.

26th: Nestle uses a different chocolate recipe in each one of its chocolate bars.

27th: The most expensive flower in the world is the Kadupul Flower which is only found in Sri Lanka. It is a white flower which blossoms at night and survives mere hours, meaning catching even a glimpse of it is next to impossible. This near-mythical species has never been up for sale, making it literally priceless.

Love Abi xxxx

This week has been tinged with huge sadness after the events of Monday night at Manchester arena. All acts of terrorism are completely barbaric, but this one certainly seemed to hit home and affect me a lot more. The number of concerts I have been to at that venue and used that exit to get out, I would have been in that exact spot had I been to see Ariana Grande that night. A concert is supposed to be a fun night, an evening enjoyed with friends and family, not something which we will forever be worried about going to. Frightful of what may or may not happen. My heart is heavy thinking about the number of lost lives and their affected families. May they rest in peace. 

Stockholm Restaurant recommendations:

Barrels, Burgers and Beers: We had one of the best burgers I think I have ever had at this little restaurant in the old town of Stockholm. It was hugely popular but luckily we got there early and were able to get a seat without much waiting! You can also get your burgers ‘naked’ i.e. without the bun and served up in a huge lettuce leaf.

week 19 update - greasy spoon stockholm

The Greasy Spoon: This little cafe is run by two english guys who saw a gap in the market for a proper breakfast in Stockholm, and it most definitely is not what you think of when you hear or see the words ‘greasy spoon’! We had read reviews online and knew that this was the place for us. Serving up classics like Eggs Benedict or your full english, but with a modern twist, this hugely popular spot was just great. There was a waiting list when we arrived so we knew it must be good. I had the Eggs Florentine and then we shared the Apple Pie pancakes special. Hunt this place down!

Pharmarium: Fancy a cocktail to remember in a backstreet swanky bar? Then this is your place. We found this little gem out after the concert for a late nightcap. The bar also serves food, but the cocktail menu will blow your mind. I don’t think I recognised over half of the ingredients on the list, but on recommendation from one of the waiters I opted for what would be ‘The Best Espresso Martini you will ever have!’ After the first sip, I agreed. Must visit for sure if you are in Stockholm!

Week 18 update and what I have learnt this week!

I will throwback to last weekend (I mentioned a little bit in my Week 17 update but I was tired and probably should expand more!!) when I went to Birmingham for the Bodypower expo at the NEC. This was the fourth year which we have visited and it is something which I really enjoy. I usually come back really motivated after being around other people in the industry and speaking to them; this year was no exception. I was able to network with and speak to people who I had previously only followed on social media which was great. The most beneficial chat was probably with Jamie Alderton, I follow a lot of his work on multiple platforms but it was so interesting getting to actually speak to him, bounce ideas and get a lot of invaluable information to help my business going forwards.

Week 18 - Jamie Alderton Bodypower 2017

I personally don’t think the expo was as good overall as previous years, and in fact think it may start to decline in coming years as number of big companies decide against going, including GymShark. But who knows, I may be proved wrong and I would hazard a guess that I will still be there next year!

I went with my sister and we stayed over Friday night and had the day in Birmingham on Saturday with the intention of going shopping, however it always happens that when you want to spend money you can never find anything!! We ate out at an Indian on Friday which wasn’t great, but then had a couple of good meals on the Saturday. In the last blog post I mentioned that we would hopefully be visiting Emporium Gym for a training session, and we did do just that. It was one of the best training sessions I have had in ages, there is something about a new gym with different people in it which I love! If you want to check out my full vlog from the weekend then head on over to my Youtube channel!  Abi Durrant Fitness.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were so busy I barely had chance to catch my breath, let alone speak to anybody! But one of the key things which I have been told by my mentors is to not neglect working ‘on’ your business, rather than just ‘in’ it. Therefore I am going to be making a concerted effort to try and take half a day each week in order to try and do just that. This week it was Wednesday afternoon, unfortunately all I managed to do was catch up on client plans, youtube edits, social media posts, emails, and didn’t get chance to do anything else! I know I need to develop a better system but it is just finding the time!

It was National Vegetarian week this week and I made an effort to choose more plant based meals. I made another youtube video with a full day of eating vegetarian which I would love you to check out too!

This weekend I have another exciting one planned as I head to Stockholm on Saturday for the night to see Bruno Mars in concert! Another new country to tick off my list as I work towards my #30B430. goals.

What have I learnt in Week 18?

13th: In America, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Noah and Emma.

14th: Sellotape was developed by the merging of glue and cellophane.

15th: It took 5,127 prototypes before James Dyson believed the technology was ready to go in the vacuum cleaner using the ‘new’ dual cyclone concept.

16th: KitKats used to be called the Chocolate Crisp.

17th: The UK’s biggest export commodity is Gold (9.8%), followed by cars (9.6%).

18th: Nootropics are substances that enhance or stimulate certain mental abilities such as cognition, memory, attention, concentration, motivation, learning and generally many of the functions related to intelligence. This word, derived from the Greek word “nous” means mind and “tropes” address refers, first, to natural components found in foods and plants.

19th: The most popular names over the last 500 years are Mary and John. Most popular names in 2016 were Oliver and Olivia.

Hope you have all had a good week!

Love Abi xxxx

 

Week 17 Update and what I have learnt this week!

I know every week I seem to be saying it has been a really busy one for me, but week 17 has been no different! Last weekend I put on my second round of group sessions at the gym which were a huge success. I had 3 groups of highly motivated and encouraging ladies all giving their absolute best for a 45 minute workout. I am really enjoying delivering these sessions and really hope to be able to put on more of them in the future. I have received some really great feedback as well which is always lovely to hear. Need to finalise the next round of dates this week with the gym to keep the momentum going!

week 17 group session

I had 4 jam packed days of clients as I was taking Friday off to go to Birmingham for the Bodypower Fitness Expo. All clients did AMAZING this week, and we hit a few of incredible PRs.

Annie Hex Bar Deadlift 8 reps at 100kg

Lauren Hex Bar Deadlift 8 reps at 75kg

Hannah Bench Press PR 47.5kg

I am so chuffed with all of the above. I try and get my girls to focus on mini goals like these rather than just aesthetic ones. The looks on their faces after achieving something like this is priceless.

As mentioned, I went to Bodypower on Friday, this was the 4th year which I have been now. I really enjoy the day. It is a chance to wander round, try out new products, listen to talks and network with like minded individuals. This year I really wanted to focus on networking and speaking to different people in the industry. I had a good chat with Jamie Alderton, who I look up to immensely and follow all of his work. Some of the information he was able to share with me I bottled up and will be implementing in the next few weeks as I look to progress myself and my business. (There is also a lot of beautiful people walking around as well 🙈)

I mentioned my sister Hannah got a Bench Press PR, she achieved this whilst we were training at Emporium Gym in Birmingham on Saturday Morning. We went here for the first time last year and loved it so had to return this weekend. It is an old school bodybuilding style gym, the machines and weights are old and well used, but the atmosphere is amazing. A lot of the athletes who come over for Bodypower train here, last year we met Dana Lynne Bailey and this year had the pleasure of training next to Calum Von Moger. This was the best training session I had had in a really long time, it reminded me why i got into this industry.

‘I love lifting weights, I love the process, I love the feeling of making myself better.’

I needed this session more than I realised.

I am now home, up early and planning for the week ahead, week 17 flew by. Week 18 will culminate in me flying to Stockholm (#30B430 ticklist!) for the night to see Bruno Mars…

What have I learnt this week?

7th: The Queen has two birthdays because it would be too chilly in April to have major celebrations! The tradition started in 1748 with King George II, who had the misfortune of being born in chilly November.

8th: Gelato and ice cream are different. Gelato uses a higher quantity of milk in comparison to cream which means it contains less fat, it is churned at a slower rate which introduces less air making it less dense (ie creamier!) and it is also served at a warmer temperature than Ice cream.

9th: If you earn over £75k per year, you are in the top 5% of UK earners.

10th: Olericulture is the science of vegetable growing

11th: There are 576 billionaires in the USA, the highest of any country in the world. The UK currently has 134.

12th: May 12th is International Nurses Day and is celebrated around the world. It is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

13th: In America, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Noah and Emma.

Have a fab week everyone!

Love Abi xxxx

 

Week 16 Update | What have I learnt this week

Once again week 16 has been a strange one, I lost all knowledge of what day it was with having football on a Sunday and then the Bank Holiday. No time off for me though and it has been a super busy week with clients! I have felt like I have been trying to catch my tail all week and get caught up but to no avail. Next week looks like it will be similar as I am taking a couple of days off to go to Bodypower in Birmingham, but I have promised myself that the week after I will try and sort my time management out a little better.

Football last Sunday was amazing to see us crowned champions at Bramall Lane, plus witnessing all the celebrations afterwards. It may not seem like much to some people, but after witnessing all the lows over the past few seasons (in fact the whole time i have been a supporter!) it was finally nice to have something to cheer and celebrate. I thought my weekends would now become a bit more free but doesn’t look like it for the foreseeable future!

My sister came home for the game, which meant we went out to lunch in Malton as a family. Afterwards did mean a trip to Groovy Moos ice cream, and my willpower was in full force as I managed to only order a single scoop in a tub whilst everyone else got whopping 3 scoop cones! I tried Black Forest which was another new flavour for me to add to my list.

Considering it is now week 16, i probably need to revisit my #30B430 list and see how I am getting on. Feel like time is slipping by really quickly so much get some more plans in place!

Diet has been going really well, no late night binges or feeling hungry. I am putting this down to simply being so busy. Clients all seemed to have stepped up their game this week as well and my Facebook group has seen plenty of meal sharing ideas and photos, some of which look amazing!

Training has been enjoyable and I have been able to fit in all of my sessions this week which I am chuffed about. Next week may not be quite the same, but we will be training at a gym in Birmingham which I am looking forward to!

Right what have I learnt in week 16?

30th: Only 10 teams have achieved 100 points in an English football season

May.

1st: May Day was introduced as a bank holiday by then employment secretary Michael Foot in 1978. In other parts of Europe it is also celebrated as the start of spring.

2nd: The busiest lifeboat station in the UK is Waterloo Bridge in London.

3rd: Asparagus contains a sulphurous compound called mercaptan (which is also found in rotten eggs, onions and garlic). When your digestive system breaks down mercaptan, by-products are released that cause the strange smell when you wee.

4th: Investment in UK ‘fintech’ companies has fallen by a third since the announcement of Brexit.

5th: L’Oreal was founded in 1907 by a scientist named Eugene Schueller.

6th: Chris Brown owns 14 Burger King franchises in the US.

Week 16 down, week 17 looks like another busy one….

Love Abi xxxx

 

WEEK 15 UPDATE AND QUEST TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY

This week I feel like I have just been chasing my tail as I try to recover after a weekend away in Dublin! Late nights are not something I make a habit of, so 3 in a row has left me trying to catch up on sleep all week!

I have had a really busy week of clients, including a couple of new ones which has been great! I am always so nervous on these first meetings, however need to remember that the chances are the new clients are much more nervous than myself. I am getting better and think it is probably only natural as I want to do my best and give a good impression from the off!

Dublin was amazing. I really loved the city. We had a great time, seeing new things, eating and drinking. I was able to tick off one of my #30B430 tasks as we dined at a celebrity restaurant whilst there, Fade Street Social is Dylan McGrath’s restaurant who is a presenter on Irish Masterchef as well as frequenting many cooking programmes her in the UK. It was amazing food, really lived up to expectations! If you want to check out my full trip vlog then click this link! 

In terms of progress, I feel like I have really had my head back in the game this week. After a few weeks of overindulging and sneaking extra bites here and there, this week my food and macros have been pretty much 95% on point! I feel TONS better for it, both mentally and physically.

Gym has also been great as I have been able to fit in 5 full sessions this week. I scaled the cardio back and this doesn’t seem to have affected progress. I can get into the mindset that I need to do more and more cardio, when in fact, if I just get my food under control I am able to track and see progress.

I tried to tick another thing off my #30B430 list midweek when I attempted to give blood….note the word ‘attempted.’ It turns out that my veins are actually too small for the needles so I won’t be able to do it 🙁 Instead I decided to join the organ donor register which literally took less than a minute to do and I highly encourage you to do so. https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk

Right, week 15 catch up done, so what have I learnt?

23rd: Annual sales of washing powders are over $3billion in the USA alone.

24th: Ireland is the only country in the world with a musical instrument as its national emblem.

25th: 10% of American companies go bankrupt every year

26th: The bank used by the Queen, Coutts, receives the most number of banking complaints every year. 1 in every 100 account holders files a complaint against the company.

27th: In Jan 2001, Calcutta was changed to Kolkatta. It is believed that the name Kolkata fairly sounded like Kalikata, one of three villages in this area where today kolkata is present, before the arrival of British.

28th: Sales of cauliflower have declined by 10% in the past decade!

29th: One in every seven people in the UK is now a member of a gym, which is now at an all time high of 14.3% of the population! The fitness industry continues to grow year on year as people are releasing the importance and benefits of being active.

Next blog post will be my April favourites so stay tuned for that one!

Week 15 done, let’s hope week 16 is a successful one!

Love Abi xxxx