The weeks are flying past and I can’t believe I’ve only got 2 weeks left of my personal training course with Premier Global. There are plenty of course-related things and people that I’ll miss when it’s over, but also plenty of non-course related things that I won’t miss – like the 6am starts, the hour-long commute during packed rush hour, your face practically sitting in someone’s armpit. Then there’s the too-frequent dwindling of money as I give in to the temptation of Pret coconut coffees and Bounce balls.
Week 4 has probably been my favourite week, mainly because it was the most active week, and I always enjoy the practical side much more than just sitting in a classroom. This was quite a busy week, so I’ve broken it up into individual days to give it a diary-like structure.
Monday was bank holiday and a home study day, which meant my main focus was revising for the nutrition exam on Wednesday. I did a bit of studying and also went for a run for the first time in a while to see how my hip (injured) was holding up. I prepared my body with some hip mobility work but unfortunately, whilst I had no hip pain during the run, the familiar pain resurfaced several hours later, so I’m off to see a physio next week in the hope that they’ll sort out what looks like an overused muscle.
In the morning we revised some nutrition content, and in the afternoon we designed core circuits for different pairs. It turned out that everyone had pretty similar ideas; I’ve never been put through so many Russian twists in my life – with a medicine ball, a kettlebell, you name it, we probably did a Russian twist with it… In an attempt to try something new, I came up with a core burner using a kettlebell – in high plank (prone) position, using one arm to move the kettlebell behind the opposite elbow. And then back to the other side. Keep that bum down. No swaying from side to side. Yep, ouch. The move, which I cleverly named the ‘Plank with Moving Kettlebell’ went down a bit a Marmite…Our “clients” either loved it or hated it.
I was looking forward to the Great British Bake Off all day long, so my evening was spent tucked up on the sofa, with a slab of toasted homemade banana bread (a delicious Hemsley + Hemsley recipe) slathered in peanut butter and raspberry jam. Because it’s practically impossible to watch Bake Off without something sweet. (P.S, this PB&J nana bread combo – try it, you can’t beat it).
We knocked our nutrition exam out of the way first thing – this is the exam that allows personal trainers to use the title ‘Nutritional Advisor’. Yep, it’s a bit of a vague term and the extent of nutritional advice we can give is very limited, with many PTs giving specific advice or creating nutrition plans that they really shouldn’t be doing. Nowadays, it seems that having a big booty or well-defined abs and a huge social media following allows an individual to create and sell fitness and nutrition plans without any protected qualifications, which should NOT be the case. As someone who is passionate about nutrition and wants to be able to give plenty of science-backed nutritional advice, I will be starting my 4-year nutrition course at university this September, with the aim of eventually qualifying as a registered nutritionist.
After the exam, we began our kettlebell instructing module. I’m familiar with kettlebells as they were probably the first weight-based equipment I used, long before I even had a gym membership. My dad had a collection of kettlebells and I would use a combination of workout videos and my own written workouts with them at home.
We were taken through several kettlebell exercises, including a challenging 3-minute kettlebell swing with a 14kg in my case. I lasted, but my hamstrings were on fire afterwards and I had to waddle with difficulty over to the water fountain. We were later assessed on instructing a group of 5 and I was one of the unlucky ones who got given the Turkish get-up to demonstrate on the spot. An absolutely brilliant and challenging full-body move (have a look here), but it requires a lot more explaining than a simple squat with a kettlebell, and a step-by-step demonstration, where I referred to my ‘leg’ as my ‘arm’ in one long moment of confusion. We all passed, but I definitely intend to learn a little more about kettlebells before I train anyone using them, as I feel that ¾ of a day doesn’t cover the content in nearly enough detail and shouldn’t be enough to qualify anyone as a kettlebell instructor!
Our second home study day where I worked on my Business and Sales module (yes, it is as exciting as it sounds) and visited one of my favourite local gyms, Local Motion Studios, for a TRIBE class (video below of a TRIBE class I did a few months ago).
We spent the morning in caffeine-fuelled lectures, where we learnt about anatomy in more depth than for Level 2, recapped my Biology A-level with the endocrine system and then looked at stretches and analysing posture in the afternoon. At lunchtime, I squeezed in some squats, as I’m working on increasing the weight that I can squat with. I managed to increase it from 70kg for 3 reps to 80kg for 5 reps, which felt like good progress, although I intend to work on getting deeper in my squat and focus both on my breathing and core engagement more.
From here, I went straight to yoga at my favourite yoga studio, the Power Yoga Company, where I had a fantastic class and got to release some tension. And then from here, I met my family for dinner at Boma Bridge, one of our favourites, where I tucked into a crispy cod dish, followed by the most delicious brownie with vanilla bean ice cream and without a doubt, I would have licked the plate had it been acceptable to do so. I returned home to watch the final episode of Season One of Game of Thrones and now I don’t know what to do with myself whilst I wait to get my hands on Season Two.
Thanks for reading my rambles, have a lovely week and see you next week!