Working out

Interview with Nick Hounslow

Nick Hounslow is an A list celebrity trainer living in LA. Nick, originally from the UK, moved to America to pursue his modeling career, and has never looked back. He is now on the books of top modelling and talent agencies, is part owner of CycleHouse in LA, trains the likes of Nicole Kidman and looks damn good!! Lets see what this gorgeous man (who is also super nice and friendly) has to say about how we too can have the body of an A lister!

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How did you become a personal trainer?

After high school I decided to take a personal training course the summer before I started University. I had been training myself since I was 15 but wanted to know more about the human body and different ways to train. That same summer I became qualified spin, yoga and pilates instructors.
Your clients include A list celebs, how did this come about?

I’ve been modeling since I was 17 in London so through this industry you start meeting a lot of people. Added to that I was building a name for myself teaching my classes at CycleHouse in West Hollywood. I was approached by one A listers people to come ‘audition’ for the job as trainer. 6 years later I have developed an awesome client list traveling with many on TV and movie sets around the world getting them in shape for various roles.

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What are your top tips for getting a lean, toned physique?

Commitment, dedication and changing it up.  The human body is incredibly smart. It quickly becomes used to one routine and needs to change to adapt, grow and change. This is where you can actually make it fun believe it or not. It’ s great excuse to break routine and go try out some new fitness class or physical activity you have never done or been too scared to even try. Added to the physical side of things is diet. It accounts for 75-80% of what your body feels and looks like.

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They say abs are made in the kitchen, what are your top diet tips?

Let me start by saying this. EVERYONE has a six pack. it’s true! It’s just a little more buried in some people than others. Diet is key. Body fat needs to be low to reveal a toned slender torso. My top 5 tips:

1 – Cut out the drinking … if that seems impossible just drink Fri and Sat. Keep it to lower sugar drinks (vodka soda, tequila lime soda. Wine and beer are the worst for sugar and worst on the waistline.

2 – Up the protein, reduce the carbs…that doesn’t mean no carbs…just keep them lower and stacked at breakfast and lunch. Your evening meal should be lean proteins and greens (veg&salads)

3 – Avoid eating after 730pm…you need to go to bed a little hungry and not stuffed full

4 –  Hydrate…keep drinking. Flushing the system and hydrating cells actually helps lean you out alongside giving you a lot more energy.

5 – Avoid the sugar…try to get your sugars from fruit and natural sources.

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You live in LA, is the health and fitness scene very different over there?

I think LA is at the cutting edge of fitness. To me it is very different to London and the UK. However it IS changing which is so amazing to see. Even seeing smaller gyms and group fitness classes opening up in smaller towns and villages across the UK shows the growth and change in the health and wellness industry.

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Do you avoid any food groups?

I do my best to avoid dairy and wheat….although I am not perfect and have a weakness of sugar…particularly cupcakes haha. I go for a 90:10 balance. Everyone needs a cheat day during your week. Whats interesting though is once you have been off any food group you are sensitive to upon introducing it to your system again you feel how bad it can make you feel. It makes me not want to cheat as much. Listening to your body is key. It tells you when a certain food group is not good for you.

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Do you take supplements?

Currently I am taking no supplements apart from adding a hemp protein to smoothies I make at home.

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What does your weekly exercise routine look like?

I teach 9 spin classes a week…so my cardio is covered 🙂 Additionally I love to lift weights. For me it is alone time to unwind, listen to music and zone out.  I also have started Pilates classes twice a week to work on my posture. I try to make a hot yoga class twice a month to stretch out my entire body.

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How often should we change up our exercise routine?

Every 4-6 weeks. Small changes. Just to keep the body guessing.

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You host classes at CycleHouse, can you tell me more about your classes and how it differs from other cycle classes?

We cycle in the dark. High intensity to great music. The class is between 50-55minutes long with the exemption of my 1000calorie class on the weekend which can be anywhere from 65-85mins. The energy is incredible. At cyclehouse we believe you go through it together as a group. Yes there are different levels of riders and different body types but EVERYONE can give it their all and feel 100% supported. We really build a camaraderie. It is so rewarding to watch friendships, relationships blossom from clients you have met in spin class not to mention seeing bodies change.

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Where do you like to eat out in London?

Beagle LOVE the decor and Sunday Roast

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And if I’m feeling fancy and want sushi….Nobu in Mayfair

Where do you like to eat out in LA?

I love:

Yatai (sushi) on Sunset blvd

Lala’s (argentine grill) on Melrose Ave

Cecconis on Melrose Ave (amazing cocktails, Italian food & breakfast)

Osteria La Buca (Italian food, melrose ave)

Nobu, Malibu

Stout (great burgers!) in Hollywood

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 What does a day in the life of Nick look like?

My days are so varied which I love. If I am not shooting or on set then my typical Off and On days are as follows:

Day OFF:

Sleep in! Workout. Go to my auditions /castings. Head to the beach & chill, go to the movies, get a massage. I really try to unwind in my downtime.

Day ON:

Teach 6am & 715am spin classes, attend auditions/castings, train some clients, lift some weights, hit some more castings then perhaps another client, meet friends for dinner and crash to bed!

Any plans to open up a CycleHouse in London?

Watch this space! I’m coming for you London! 😉

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Interview with Kayla Itsines

Before you continue reading this article you need to go onto Kayla Itsines instagram page and take a look at Kayla’s clients body transformations, and trust me you will want to know more about this internet global sensation!

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Kayla is a personal trainer from Adelaide, Australia. Not only does she have an enviable lean and toned body of her own, but she helps others achieve it too. Kayla was inundated with requests to release an e-book after her followers demanded to know what she did to look so good. Kayla now has over one million Instagram followers, and has helped others achieve amazing results! So lets find out more Kayla….

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Where did your passion for fitness come from?

Once I graduated high school, I actually started studying beauty therapy. However, my love of sport and basketball lead to me to Personal Training, and that’s when I discovered how much I loved helping people to become healthier and happier! I have never looked back since, for me it was a great life changing decision. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

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Did you always have such an amazing body?

Definitely not. I had a really tough time at the beginning of high school. I was bullied for being “too skinny” and “weak” by my classmates. This is when I turned this negative energy from my peers into a positive lifestyle change for myself. I have trained researched for years to get my body to where it is today. Now I’m in the position where I can use this information to educate girls to feel happy and confident, like I do now!

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Cardio or strength training? Which do you think is more important? 

It’s so important to understand that both are vital. One training method will not surpass another as both have different benefits. In conjunction with recovery, there should be a balance between the two training methods.

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What annoys you? 

People who workout once and complain they don’t have an amazing body. It’s as simple as that.

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What does your daily diet look like?

I believe that variety is really important in your diet, so I always try and change it up with what I eat. Despite this my days are quite structured so I generally do plan out what I’ll eat for the day, an average day would look like this:

Breakfast: Toast with poached eggs, avocado with fresh lemon juice, & spinach leaves plus a cup of berry herbal tea.

After morning shift: A piece of fruit

Lunch: Chicken wrap with homemade tzatziki, tomato, lettuce & onion.

Afternoon snack: Tuna & corn salad a piece of fruit.

Dinner:  My absolute favourite meal is a fluffy lemon & rice soup called Avgolemono, with chicken.

Evening: I always have a cup of tea in the evening

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What is your top tip for losing & toning stomach fat? 

Like I say a lot of the time with most advice I give, be consistent! Keep up a regular training program as well as keeping your eating patterns consistent. Your body and your belly will love you for it!

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Get your bikini body guides here 

Interview with Rebecca Gentry

Personal trainer and fitness model, Rebecca Gentry, has trained a host of celebrities, worked with top fitness brands, and worked at Bodyism. However most importantly, she trains hard, she eats well, looks amazing and is so passionate about what she does. I was fortunate to interview the lovely Rebecca and find out all her health & fitness secrets…

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What advice would you give to those who want to get into the fitness industry?

Get your PT3 qualification with your chosen scheme but then never stop learning and expanding your thoughts, opinion and practises as the industry grows. Pick one or two key things which you are very good at and hone those skills to become awesome, the best: don’t be a jack of all trades!

What supplements could you not live without?

Sun Warrior Raw Protein Blend Chocolate flavour, Revolution Foods Superfruit Blend, Maca, Baobab and Moringa powder, Organic Burst Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Chlorella, Udo’s Oil to ensure I’m getting all of my essential omegas, Magnesium Taurate to help my body rejuvenate properly overnight, Vitamin D3 to keep me happy!!! I do like to take a milk thistle before bed if i feel very full or had a glass of wine.

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What is your typical exercise regime?

I run 5km minimum every day, adding in a weights circuit 4 times a week upper and lower body and core, hot yoga at Fierce Grace at least 5 times a week – ideally everyday if I can fit it in. I also cycle everywhere now!!

What is a typical diet for you?

I try to have an 80:20 balance where i eat very well, ensuring my nutrition is awesome and providing my body with what it needs. my wonderful man bought me a great juicer so i make huge juices and have them in the fridge for snacks when I’m working adding in a supplement if i feel i need it. I don’t eat meat, but i do consume eggs and fish and adore experimenting with raw food concoctions. my go to meal would be coconut oil scrambled eggs with avocado and spinach and tomatoes home-marinated in olive oil and fresh basil. LUSH!

People often struggle to stay healthy when eating out, where are your favourite places to eat?

Coya and The River Cafe are my favourite London spots and both are insanely good for accommodating healthy food choices in a luxurious environment. My top brekkie spot when my man is in town is Granger & Co, we cycle there and back as they’re quite generous with portions!! For veggie or raw food Nama and Wild Food Cafe are un-miss able, I guarantee you will leave inspired to mix things up in your own kitchen.

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What exercise clothing do you recommend?

I am a huge Nike girl, especially their running tights and sports bras which I find are reliable and comfortable, Lorna Jane activewear is my pretty kit for those gym and juice date days, and for some fun I am desperate to get some Onzie leggings into my yoga wear collection. The only shoes i wear to run in are Asics Gel 33 trainers but for strength or casual gym days I’ll rock the Nikes!!

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Do you believe in being mind strong, as well as physically strong?

100%!! it is an ever giving circle – the more you work out the more endorphins you release which make you feel happy. With improved health and more than likely a happier vision of your own body people tend to become automatically more mentally strong and confident. The more you give the more you get back – stay strong and you are strong mind body soul and smile!!

Hydrofit

Ever fancied riding a bike in water? Well now you can! The Hydrobike is the new fitness revolution where you can work out on an exercise bike, which has been submerged in water whilst 20 power jets massage your legs, all in the comfort of your own private luxury room. Sold? The Americans and French certainly are- it proved a massive hit in France when it launched in 2011 and America soon followed suit, with hydro spinning classes popping up all over the states. However you don’t have to travel to experience this exercise phenomenon, Hydrofit is the first UK spa to house the Hydrobike.

 

 The Hydrofit Spa is situated in Fulham, about a ten minute walk from Fulham Broadway tube station. The Spa also has a juice barnutrition & fitness experts, and a range of relaxing spa treatments.

So what’s the fuss all about? The Hydrobike benefits include:

 Reduced Cellulite

Detox effect

Toning of legs

Burns 300- 500 calories in 30 minutes

Improved Cardiovascular

Weight loss

Improved circulation and lymphatic system

As you enter the spa, you are met by friendly staff, who will show you downstairs to your individual pod, or your duo pod (Two people in the same room in two separate pods). They leave you to get undressed in to your swimming costume, once ready, they will then instruct you on what to do and what to expect. They input your details into the system, so all you have to worry about is cycling. There is a TV system with headphones, and a Bluetooth headset for private phone calls. I did the duo Hydrobike with a friend, and it was a really nice way to catch up, whilst getting your exercise in.

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As you sit on the bike, the cabin begins to fill up with water up to your waist, the water is room temperature. As the water first enters it might feel slightly cold, but after a few minutes of exercise, you soon warm up. You can monitor how fast you are going and what distance.  The time flew, it was a great way to burn calories, without realising how hard you are working.

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Once the time is up, the water will begin to drain and the staff will come in and help you get out of your pod. There are showers, products and towels available in your room. However one of the benefits of this exercise, is your hair doesn’t get wet, no chlorine is used and there is no need to remove your makeup if you don’t want to, as your top half doesn’t get wet.

I found this to be such a simple and fun way of exercising. I personally loved the fact that you could work out with a friend. I also think it would be great for people to do in their lunch break, and not have to worry about getting their hair wet or having to re-do your make up. It would also benefit those with joint/muscular pain, as you are not applying any pressure to your joints. Overall this a great lower body workout, which burns calories whilst attacking cellulite, relaxing and massaging the muscles. All the results without the effort!

A 30 minute session costs £30 and a 45 minute session costs £40.

There will also be a  Hydrojogger available soon, where you can walk/run in water. This is coming within the next few months and I will definitely be back to check this out!

Thank you Hydrofit for a great experience! Go and check it out!

Paola’s Body Barre

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If you haven’t heard of Paola Di Lanzo and her PBB studio- then it is a good job I am here! Paola’s Body Barre is the hottest and one of the toughest workouts to hit the fitness scene. Calgary Avansino recently stated it was one of her favourite workouts, Millie Mackintosh recently tweeted about it and Amanda Byram is a regular visitor to PBB. I have been going to PBB for a month now and I wanted to write this review now, rather than just after one class, as change doesn’t happen after one class, it takes four weeks to notice a change in your body.

So one month in I am noticeably stronger, fitter, my butt is far more toned and I have worked muscles I wouldn’t normally work. The PBB classes are different from other barre classes as they also incorporate a high level of cardio, seriously you will be sweating after every class. I have written notes after each class of how I was feeling, it is funny now looking back at the notes from my first class, here are a few snippets..

‘About 10 minutes in to the class I began to question my fitness levels’

‘I looked around me and noticed the other girls in the class seemed to have amazing stamina, I soon realised they were regulars’

‘That was one of the hardest workouts I have experienced’

The first time I tried PBB, I thought it would be similar to other barre classes, but it was a lot faster paced. You are straight into it, there are no long periods of rest, it is full on! Just when you think you can’t do anymore, Paola throws another set at you, or adds a weight in, but at the end of each class you will feel amazing, as you did it, you pushed your body, and each time you do it you feel stronger and fitter!

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PBB is based in Fulham. Paola has been in the industry since she was twenty one years old, working with celebrities, models & executives. After having her first child, she found her routine of running and weights were just not making the changes she wanted to her body, so she trained in Pilates and created a programme which combined Pilates with cardio. Having practiced ballet from a young age, she also decided to train in barre and voila three children later she has a body to plié for! For more on Paola click here

The studio is fitted with two barres, TRX’s, and has all the equipment you need. The studio is really nicely done, it is actually next door to Paola’s house, so it has such a nice homely feel to it. The studio’s classes range from Barre, Dynamic Pilates , TRX Core, Jivamukti Yoga, FitCamp Ballerina, TRX Kettlebells and many more. So a whole range of workouts which all complement each other! Trust me you will need the yoga after the Barre and Barre Dynamic Pilates. The trainers all specialise in their field, so you will get a lot out of the classes.

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So back to the classes and what you can expect… The PBodyBarre signature is one of my favourite classes. Filled with isometric exercises (small pulsing repetitive moves) and clever positioning that just work and burn muscles you never knew existed! Paola physically corrects your positioning, to ensure you are maximising the burn. It is full on, using the barre plus weights/a pilates ball/a pilates ring and your body weight to raise your heart rate and burn fat. I also love the Barre- Dynamic Pilates Core class, which is a fusion of Pilates, Barre and core, again this is a real fat burner, and it is a good introduction if you have never done barre before.

One of my favourite non barre class is Jivamukti Yoga with Melody Hekmat. This class focuses on chanting, breathing, vinyasa flow sequences (a flowing, dymanic form of yoga where postures are linked together by using breath) and meditation. Melody is hands on and will re-position you and really get you focused on your breathing. Each exercise you are constantly stretching and toning your body. The big focus on your breathing is great, as it transports oxygen into the lungs and the blood which helps to eliminate toxins, boost circulation and de stress the mind and the body. At the end of the session Melody massages your neck and back and all you have to think about is your breathing, you leave the class feeling so balanced and calm, it is amazing.

Another favourite is the TRX Core class with Paddy Colman. This class was much more harder than I expected. The class started off with circuits on the floor, which ranged from one armed burpies to jumping squats. Once our heart rate was up we then moved on to the TRX where Paddy created a range of exercises where we had to use our own body weight to perform the moves and our core to stabilise. This is definitely one for strengthening your core!

After you finish training there are an array of healthy snacks and drinks from Punch Foods, Rebel Kitchen, The Retreat Café and Organic Burst powders. PBB also sells yoga mats, socks and SukiShufu workout gear…which I have been eyeing up for the past four weeks!

Overall, I loved working out at PBB. I loved the variety and intensity of the classes and the amazing trainers, particularly Paola. I love that my fitness has improved whilst toning and strengthening my body in just under four weeks.

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The classes start at 7am and there are a variety of classes throughout the week and on Saturday’s. Paola is currently offering an amazing deal of £40.00 for unlimited classes for a month for new members,  whilst also offering private training sessions.

I promise you will love it!

Visit http://www.paolasbodybarre.com/ or email paolasbodybarre@yahoo.co.uk for more information

PAOLA DI LANZO (PAOLA’S BODYBARRE)

Paola Di Lanzo, is the (toned) beauty and brains behind one of the best workouts in London, Paola’s BodyBarre. Paola has trained celebrities, models, and anyone that wants to have a toned physique.  My review of Paola’s bodybarre is soon to come, but let me just say this, after experiencing only one class I was hooked and PBB is now a staple in my exercise routine. Paola is someone with amazing positive energy and an amazing body… I was desperate to see how she does it (and with three kids!)

Q1) How did you get into the health & fitness world?

I have always been passionate about fitness and health. I was an extremely sporty kid and that followed throughout my high school years.

You name it….I played it! I also loved ballet as a child. I started at 9 (which was a little late) and quit  at 14 as it proved too much to keep up with all  my sport and school work. At 17 I decided I wanted to be a High School Teacher so majored in Health and Physical Education. All the way through University I worked in gyms (Gym Instructor/Aerobics teacher). Once I graduated I realised teaching was not for me! I taught on and off for two years. I had several jobs from events organising to working in fashion as an agent for an Australian brand.

However, I always went back to my fitness. I have been a personal trainer since I was 21 (22 years). After my first child I realised my body wanted something different to the heavy weights, pounding the pavements and jogging every day! I discovered Pilates 12 years ago and was hooked. Over the years I have devised my own routine drawing on my fitness back ground and Pilates. I “upped the anti” on the original Pilates repertoire, which gave my client’s a routine that would keep their heart rate up whilst adhering to the basic principles of Pilates.

Q2) You moved from Australia to London 16 years ago. Do you think our attitude to health and exercise in the UK is very different from Australia?

When I first arrived I felt the Health and Fitness Industry was very much behind what it was in Australia . Now I think we are about the same. The only difference I would say is that in Australia we tend to more outdoors activities, merely because we have the weather that is conducive for this! It is not unusual to see hundreds of people running and swimming on the beach at 6am. The Australians are extremely health conscious and into their health. But I think we are in the UK. There is a huge fitness and health movement which is evident worldwide. Generally we are so much more aware!

Q3) Can you tell us a bit about Paola’s BodyBarre, and what people can expect from your classes?

Paola’s Bodybarre the Method is a mixture of Dynamic Pilates, Ballet, Dance and fitness. You can expect an intense body work out working into every muscle! We keep you moving so your heart rate stays up giving you the cardiovascular workout we all need! The class is fun and vibrant with loads of energy. Expect muscle soreness after your first attempt!

Q4) Women now aspire to be fit and healthy as opposed to being skinny. How do your classes help to create this toned physique?

We are all about “Fit Not Thin”  We try to promote healthy eating and training techniques that help build muscle and whilst keeping you fit. We do not focus on the weight loss factor, we focus on body composition. Eating correctly to build healthy bodies! I see a lot of women who have misconceptions about eating. Such as eating no carbs! This is my pet hate! We have to eat carbohydrates, just healthy ones. We are essentially a machine and in order for it to run it needs the right balance of fuels put into the body.

Q5) How do your classes differ from other exercise studios?

At PBB we have a variety of classes: Yoga, Pilates, TRX, Body FIT, Dynamic Pilates, Pre/Post Natal Pilates, Fit-Camp Ballerina, Barre-Pilates-Core and of course the PBB method. I would say we are different in that we encourage a mixture of training. We also love the Hybrid training concept. Mixing it up. Not getting your body too used to one type of training. We pride ourselves on our non-competitive vibe. I live right next door and treat the studio as an extension of my home so it is rather homely and welcoming with a non threatening environment. We don’t care for what other studios are doing we like to concentrate on what makes our clients happy, and us of course. I always wanted a space that made people feel comfortable whilst getting fit.

Q6) You have an exercise studio in Fulham are there any plans to open any others?

Since opening I have several investors approaching me! Right now I want to concentrate on Fulham. Maybe ask me one year down the track. My youngest child is only 22 months and three children and a new business is some what of a challenge! Never say never I say.

Q7) You have an open day this Saturday (21st) can you tell me more about it?

This Saturday we are offering free taster classes from 10.30am – 2.30pm. We want people to pop their heads in stay for a few 15 minute taster sessions. Have some yummy healthy snacks and fresh juices on us and enjoy themselves! We are also holding a raffle for the participants. The prize is a free block of 10 sessions at PBB. We also have a juicing work shop held by Jo Arthur at 3pm. (£25pp)

Q8) Do you have a signature exercise move?

Oh yes! I would have to say ‘Kick-Boxing Ballerina’s’ I have been using this term all my years of training Pilates. It’s not Pilates, however it is a mixture of a kick-boxing move with an element of ballet.

Q9) What is your normal eating and exercise routine?

My normal eating routine is a Rebel Matcha Tea or a spirulina green juice from Fresh Poppy’s Place  at 7am. After my 7am class I will have one of our healthy treats by Retreat Cafe, or Dynabites by Miss Nutritionist or yummy protein balls by Anita (Our Ballet teacher who is an AMAZING cook and heath food/raw food “chef”. By 10am I need a protein fix so I usually have eggs and some from of veg. I whizz by The Goodlife Eatery when I’m teaching in Chelsea or to The Pie Man (not for pies….for his healthy snacks and salads). At home we generally have fresh home cooked meals. I make sure myself Tom and the children eat a balanced healthy diet. All our veg is delivered weakly from Riverford farms!

As far as exercise is concerned now days I try to do one yoga class a week at the studio with Jo Arthur whom does an amazing Yin class or Jivamukti with Melody Hekmat whom is also a brilliant teacher. I need the Yoga with all the Barre classes I teach. As I also teach my privates and teach PBB at Grace Belgravia and KX Kensington it is rare I will go and do another fitness class. I think the 30 odd classes a week and my kids keep me fit enough. However I am dying to try PsycleBarry’s Bootcamp and SBC. I have heard amazing things!

Q10) Where do you like to eat out in London?

Locally my favourite is Poppy’s Place on Munster Road. I have my daily Soya late there and love to sit in for the smashed avocado and poached eggs or their lentil salad! It feels like you are sitting in your friends kitchen. I also love the new Jaks on Lots Road and  Olive on Munster Road for the best takeaway HEALTHY Italian (I grew up in my father’s Italian Restaurants in Australia so Italian food is a must!) E&O is a favourite if I feel like a cocktail and meal out with Tom.

I personally love to cook so my favourite meals are at home with my family!

Q11) what are your top tips for achieving a healthy body?

My top tips are balance. The right balance of exercise, type of foods and portions. If you over do it one day, just make up for it the next day. We can get into terrible cycles of guilt over eating. In my opinion the more you worry about it the less likely you will stick to a healthy eating plan. It’s a simple formula at the end of the day, energy input and output. Exercising and eating in moderation is my motto! I don’t believe in fad diets nor do I believe in cutting out foods that you enjoy that may be enjoyable for you to eat. MODERATION-PORTION CONTROL-BALANCE!

 

Equinox

Equinox, is a super swanky, luxury gym based just off High Street Kensington. Equinox is an American company, famous for being at the top end of the gym scene, with high end personal trainers, equipment and all round star service. It is renowned for it’s hefty monthly fees, so I was intrigued to see how much it differed from your average high street gym

The gym is situated on the 5th floor in the same building as the Kensington Roof Gardens. The fact it is at the top of the building is significant, because there is so much natural light in the gym. The day I visited, it was a gloriously sunny day, and it was so nice to feel that sunshine and look out at the views, rather than being stuck in a gym with artificial lighting, and no windows.

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The gym is set up in an oval shape. I met with Membership Advisor, Rory Butler, who explained the reason for this is so you can look at other people working out, and it motivates you to keep going. The gym has multiples of the same equipment, so you never have to wait for a machine. The Machines are all the latest and top quality models, I was introduced to the Alter G Anti Gravity Treadmill, which claims to take the aches and pains out of cardiovascular training by “unweighting” runners from 20 to 100 percent of their bodyweight, one percent at a time. This reduces the risk of stress related injuries, while allowing athletes to train harder, faster, and smarter in a safe, controlled environment.

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I was also introduced to the Curve, which is powered by you. There is no electricity. You work to power it, so you burn 30% more calories than on an average treadmill. The running surface actually absorbs energy at the point of impact, which eliminates harmful shock to joints & connective tissues. When I used this I realised just how hard it was, it felt more natural than running on a treadmill.

The gym has weights, dumbbells, foam rollers, kettle bells. It also has soft plyometric boxes, which offer a soft and safe landing when doing jump training. Another stand out machine was the Matrix StairMaster, this  engages the body’s largest muscle groups to repeatedly lift your body weight up, step after step. They claim this is more effective than a treadmill, as you are constantly carrying your weight uphill. This was a real fat burner, and it was my favorite machine to use, as it works you so hard.

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As well as the quality equipment, you also have eucalyptus infused cold towels to keep you cool. There is a juice bar where you can pick up a fresh juice, as well as healthy snacks such as eat, love, raw bars, vereo snacks and Plenish cleanse cold pressed juices. There is a boxing studio, with top of the range punch bags, a spinning studio with the latest bikes and lastly there is a creche which charges only £7.00 for two hours!

The trainers and instructors are sent across to America to be trained, to ensure each client receives expert advice and the latest techniques. The club also offers a varied class schedule from boxing to pilates to cycling. I did the Inside out Barre class with Instructor, Anne- Mette Friis. Anne- Mette has a background in ballet and that was apparent throughout the class. The class was similar to other barre classes I have done. My only criticism was the class was quite full (roughly 20 people) so sometimes it was difficult to spot the instructor, and you missed out on that one on one direction, that you would get from a smaller class. There are other signature classes here, such as Whipped, Tabata and Metcon3 which I have heard great things about, and would love to go back and try out.

The monthly fee of £183.00 sounds expensive, but Equinox is offering you everything from one place, you don’t need to pay your monthly gym fee plus paying for additional barre, pilates, spinning classes elsewhere. You can get it all in a luxury gym, knowing you have the best equipment and trainers to hand, and you can cool down with a eucalyptus towel afterwards!