week 21 : what have I been learning about this week? Plus the trials and tribulations of a Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur in training

Right let’s go…week 21…

Last weekend I was still home alone as my parents were away, so Sunday was just a day of catching up with work at the laptop after a couple of PT sessions and my own workout in the morning. I must have been exhausted as I sat down to just read for a little bit and woke up 30  minutes later, something which I NEVER EVER do. I can’t nap. I would much rather just go to bed earlier! But I obviously needed it, sometimes I forget to take it easy and slow down a little bit.

If I am at home I always feel like I should be at the laptop working, as there is always something which needs to be done. As a business owner I don’t have set hours. I just work until I do everything which needs to be done. This can mean really long days but the upside is that if I want to take days off or time away, then I can. Don’t get me wrong, I am not moaning about the fact I am self employed, but rather just reminding myself that it is important to take care of myself. I am my business and therefore if i am not functioning optimally, everything will start to suffer…

week 21 training

Training sessions have gone well this week. I wrote out a proper plan and have stuck to it. I am forever preaching the importance of going into the gym with a plan of action, you are much more likely to have a good workout, however it is something which I have been guilty of in the past few weeks. I did 2 lower body days and 2 upper body days, plus I jumped in on a couple of sessions with clients doing some treadmill sprints and then a full body conditioning circuit. You can see one of my upper body workouts in full over on my Youtube Channel here!

Like I mentioned last week I have been putting a lot of effort into my Youtube channel. It is an area which I really enjoy and hope that people find beneficial. It is so much easier to explain something on video as opposed to written down. It is a bit of a minefield though and I feel like a duck out of water when it comes to certain things, but with the much appreciated  help of a couple of people I feel like i am beginning to learn and implement a lot more.

abi durrant fitness

If you watched my latest Youtube video you will have seen that I was a bit down on Saturday. I put so much effort and time into planning sessions, coming up with content, recording videos etc etc, so when I get cancellations or not as much engagement on posts it really does get to me. Am i creating rubbish posts? Do people not enjoy it?

What am I doing wrong?

This self doubt is something which I have struggled with for a long time and know that I need to overcome. It hits me in waves and this is just a bit of a blip at the moment which I need to pull myself out of.

On a more positive note…

Laura visited and we booked our summer trip!! Finally!! This is something which we have been talking about for ages but just haven’t had the time to get together and actually sort. So on Friday night, armed with laptop, pen and paper and credit card, we got everything planned and booked! Can’t wait to share with you all where we are going and what we are hoping to get up to. It will also  mean I can tick off at least one of my #30B430 checklist! Travelling is a huge part of my life. I cannot imagine not being able to go and explore far flung places, experience new cultures, try different foods. It is certainly one of my major passions and I have a countdown calendar on the go ready!

abi durrant fitness

Hope everyone has had an amazing week 21 of 52. It maybe wasn’t the best for me mentally, but i am in charge of my thoughts and feelings so it is my choice to change them which i intend to do this week!

So what have I learn in week 21? You may be able to guess where I am going in summer from some of the facts…

4th: Approximately 10% of the world population is left handed, including Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates.

5th: almost 10 % of Croatia is made up of 11 Nature Parks, 8 National Parks and 2 nature reserves.

6th: In 1987 Dianne Abbott became the first black woman to be elected as a member of Parliament.

7th: The Pallof Press core exercise was introduced in 2006, and named after the Boston-based physical therapist, John Pallof.

8th: The capital of Montenegro is Podgorico. Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia on June 3, 2006

9th: Nike didn’t go public until 1980, its founder Phil Knight is now worth $25.1 billion. Nike means greek goddess of victory.

10th: Stari Grad means Old Town.

 

Love Abi xxxx

 

week 20 : what have I been learning about this week? Plus the trials and tribulations of a Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur in training

Here goes… week 20 began with more group training sessions last Sunday followed by a lovely day out at Malton Food Festival with my sister. It was the second year which I have been and it is a great way to spend a few hours, especially seeing as though the weather was so brilliant still last weekend. We sampled quite a lot of different offerings, from cheese to chutney, from brownies to ciders. It is made up of lots of different local sellers, food trucks and a large drinks tent. There are also demonstrations and talks on over the course of the weekend.

Malton Food Lovers festival 2017

For lunch we had a mexican tortilla bowl with pulled pork and chicken, it was delicious. Then of course we had to make a visit to Groovy Moos for an ice cream! This is simply the best ice cream which you will taste, and i should know as somewhat of an ice cream connoisseur. I had to use the opportunity to try out a couple of new flavours, rhubarb and custard as well as coconut and white chocolate. Beautifully indulgent!

Groovy Moos ice cream Malton

Bank holiday Monday was just a usual day for me, full of clients at the gym, although it was an earlier finish which meant that Laura could come over for tea and to discuss holiday plans! We were hoping to be able  to get away this week for a last minute sunshine break, but unfortunately couldn’t find anything. It is only 8 weeks until August when we are hoping to get something booked for Croatia and Montenegro. Has anyone been? If so, any recommendations?

After a few cancellations last week, this week has been the complete  opposite! Not one person has text to rearrange or postpone, which has meant another crazy week for me! The past couple of weeks I have blocked out Wednesday evenings from the gym. I was finding that after Monday and Tuesday, i was snowballing into the weekend without any time to get on with client plans, and business in general. Just by taking this evening away from the gym, I am able to set up at the laptop and just get on a roll and get stuff done! It has certainly helped not only my organisation, planning and business, but also my mind by giving me that mental break.

Speaking of business, I was able to speak to somebody who is much cleverer and more experienced than me in regards to my Youtube channel. It is something which I have been working on for a while but growth has been slow, and if I have struggled to get to grips with some parts of it. It was so kind of this person to give up their time in order to help me on some things and I now feel much better about certain things and how to create better videos in the future which people will find more enjoyable and useful (fingers crossed anyways!) Speaking of which, I vlogged the whole weekend last weekend and would love you to head on over to my Youtube channel and check out the full video! Link here. Any comments, i would love to hear from you!

I was writing a Facebook post about reasons why I became a Personal Trainer, and it ended up turning into a full blog post which  I published. Check it out here. 

abi durrant fitness

I have had some really good training sessions this week, whether it is the realisation that it is only 8 weeks until I put on a bikini or whether I have found some internal motivation from somewhere else, I don’t know but I am not complaining! I also found a photo on my phone from July 2015, this is the look which I am going to try and reach once again this year….well we shall see! Diet wise, it has been a bit up and down, a mini binge episode on Tuesday evening followed by 4 pretty good days. I know what I need to do, just sometimes the ice cream and chocolate scream at me from behind their respective doors. If this is something which you suffer from, I have a video on my top tips for getting over a binge here. 

Right, what have been learning in week 20?

28th: Peas are actually a fruit as they grow from a seed and picked above ground.

29th: A captain can deliver a baby or marry people.

30th: A group of parrots is called a Pandemonium.

31st: By the end of this century, 70% of all known cold water corals in the entire ocean will be surrounded by sea water which is so acidic that it will be dissolving their coral structure.

June 1st: Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube river with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, with Pest on the east bank in 1873.

2nd: Today was National Fish and Chip Day. There are around 10,500 fish and chips shops in the UK. Ninety years ago there were 35,000.

3rd: The Champions League was introduced in 1992 and replaced the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, or simply European Cup. The pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country

I can’t believe we are up to week 20 already, I have just updated my photo a day for the year and that is now over 100! Crazy!

Love Abi xxxx

 

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!

Fitness Trackers. There are so many of them on the market now as the health and fitness industry is still riding the crescent of a wave. But a new study published this week in the Journal of Personalised Medicine, from a team of Stanford researchers states that there is a much higher margin for error than perhaps the majority had thought.

The study looked at the accuracy and reliability of 7 of the most popular trackers on the market; the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn, and Samsung Gear S2.

60 participants were asked to wear the fitness trackers and were monitored while sitting, running, walking and cycling, whilst being simultaneously assessed via telemetry and indirect calorimetry.

The results were quite shocking.

‘Don’t rely on fitness trackers to track number of calories burned.’ The Register 26 May 2017

‘Why your personal fitness tracker may not be all that accurate.Consumer Affairs 25 May 2017

‘Fitness tracker fail: Research shows devices off by as much as 93 per cent when counting calories’ National Post 25 May 2017

I have always been very cautious over recommending fitness trackers to clients or anybody who asks my opinion, especially when it comes down to relying on them for how many calories you have burnt. But even I was shocked to read that when tested, the margin for error for calories burnt was between 24-90%!!! That is a whopping difference, especially for those people who use them to ‘eat back their calories.’

An acceptable error range would be 5%, so even 24% (which was the Fitbit Surge) is very high.

The study stated that the devices ‘adequately’ tested average heart rate, but there was still margin for error beyond what you might expect.

In my personal experience (I do not own one but some clients do), I think they are great for encouraging you to get more active, to strive towards the recommended 10,000 steps per day, to remind you to get up and move if you have been sitting for too long. However I have never liked the calories burnt aspect of them, and usually disregard what they say and tell clients not to use it as an excuse to eat more.

Example:
Somebody checks their fitness tracker at the end of the day and discover that they have burnt 1200 calories that day, when in actual fact they have only burnt 900. They may have an extra piece of cake or a glass of beer since they think they have done well that day and met their target. Overtime though this adds up, that is an extra 2100 calories every week which the user thinks they have ‘deserved’. If your goal is losing fat then this is could certainly be counterproductive.

SO SHOULD WE JUST THROW FITNESS TRACKERS AWAY?

No.

Hold your horses.

I am not saying fitness trackers are useless and should be resigned to your top drawer. I am just suggesting that you start using them with a little bit more caution. Track your steps, make sure you are being active. If you like seeing what calories you have burnt, great, but don’t use it as your tracking for food. Use it in conjunction with other measurements and look at trends over time.

Do you own a fitness tracker? What has been your experience with one?

Love Abi xxxx

Ps Have you read my April favourites blog yet? Click here. 

 

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