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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

I know reaching out to a coach is a big decision! If you’ve got any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What if my mental health isn’t great?

If you’re facing challenges around your mental health then you’re in safe hands. I know exactly what that battle is like. I’ve had my own challenges – and continue to do so. Without years of therapy & personal development, I absolutely wouldn’t be the coach that I am today. Empathy & understanding are my bread & butter. I’m kind, compassionate & supportive. Mental health is an area I’m particularly passionate about.

What if I’m anxious about the gym environment?

Gosh this is SO normal! I totally get it. I know exactly what it is to feel anxious in the gym. It can feel like an intimidating place, especially if you’re new to it. Rest assured, I’m well versed in creating a safe place for those with gym-based anxieties. It could mean finding quieter times to train. Or it could mean simply supporting you through the process. Whatever triggers your anxiety, I’m confident I can help you navigate around it and ensure it doesn’t become a barrier to your success.

Is it worth getting a personal trainer?

If you’re reading this with a fire in your belly. If you feel ready to make positive changes but you’re not sure where to start. If you’ve identified how achieving your goals might enhance your life – e.g. enable you to seize future career opportunities or perhaps improve the quality of your relationships. Then, make no mistake, I will get you from A to B significantly faster than you’d ever be able to achieve alone. And if that excites you, then I’d say you’re an excellent candidate for coaching!

How many times a week should you see a personal trainer?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule here. Whether you see your personal trainer x1 or x3 times a week, life-changing results are 100% realistic. This is because the primary driver for fat-loss success is the behaviour that occurs outside of coaching sessions – i.e. with regards to nutrition & lifestyle – and not what we do in sessions. To help you decide, you might ask yourself the following questions …

1️⃣ Am I likely to train if my personal trainer isn’t there? It’s certainly true that training x3 times each week might be considered more “optimal”. Maybe you’d benefit from the accountability that comes with more frequent sessions. Or maybe you simply know yourself, and you know you’re unlikely to find the time to train alone.

2️⃣ How much of a lifestyle overhaul do I need right now? If you think you need to make BIG changes, then perhaps you’d benefit from a little extra support. On the other hand, if you’re a fitness veteran – and already have decent structure & routine – then perhaps more independence would suit you better.

3️⃣ How quickly do I want to see results? For faster results, more contact time with a coach and a more frequent training stimulus would certainly be desirable.

4️⃣ What is my current level of knowledge around fat loss? If you consider yourself a “beginner” – i.e. someone at the start of your journey – then perhaps you’d benefit from multiple weekly sessions to kick-start your progress. Once goal-supportive habits have been developed and your feel more confident & competent in your performance, you might then decide to reduce the frequency of your sessions.

5️⃣ Which package best suits my budget? Naturally, personal training requires investment financially.

How long until I see results with a personal trainer?

If you consistently hit your calorie targets, you can expect to see weight loss in the region of somewhere between -0.5% & -1.5% per week. With 100% adherence, that would continue for perhaps 12 weeks or so (or longer depending on the individual). At this point in time the metabolism will have slowed down to match calorie intake. This is where we would either need to 1️⃣ lower calories further, or 2️⃣ begin “reverse dieting” for in order to prime you for a second “dieting phase” (but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here).

With 100% adherence to your calorie budget, you can expect linear fat-loss results. There’s nothing magic about this process. It’s science. It’s the law of thermodynamics. It’s indisputable. It works.

Now, if you were a robot, adhering would be easy – we would simply programme your brain to adhere. The trouble is, you aren’t a robot! You’re a human….

This means you have emotions, you have relationships, you have thoughts, you have responsibilities. All of these are potential obstacles when it comes to adherence

Overcoming these obstacles is essential for adherence. For most people, learning to overcome obstacles is a process. If we overcome them, you can expect faster results. If you don’t, your results will be slower.

For example …

I shed 25kg unwanted body fat whilst maintaining a high quality of life between July & December 2020. I was able to be achieve linear progress because I had the prerequisite knowledge, habits and lifestyle to support high levels of adherence & consistency

So, to answer the question:

➡️ Your progress will 100% depend on your adherence to the plan
➡️ Your adherence will 100% depend on your knowledge, habits & lifestyle

Building your knowledge, habits & lifestyle is an area I specialise in. From experience, it’s the area that most people struggle with.

Do I need gym experience to work with a personal trainer?

Absolutely not. The vast majority of those I coach begin with no gym experience whatsoever. Rest assured, wherever you’re at – whether you’re a newbie or a lifting veteran – I will guide you step-by-step through everything you need to know. I will equip you with the skills to feel comfortable, confident and competent in the weights room.

Is there the option of online personal training?

Not at present, although watch this space. I currently coach exclusively out of Buzz Gym, Reading.

What’s Buzz Gym Reading like for personal training?

Located just a few minutes walk from The Oracle shopping centre and Broad Street, I’ve always found Buzz Gym is an exciting & dynamic place to be. Relatively new on the gym scene, the UK-based Buzz brand has grown rapidly in recent years, with 24-hour Buzz Gyms now open in Slough, Swindon, Oxford, Reading, Birmingham & Plymouth.

With passionate owners, friendly personal trainers, low-cost membership and high-spec equipment – for us, it’s the perfect home for GymHippie. We regard it as a safe space full of individuals working hard to better themselves. The culture is welcoming & supportive.

Features include …
– Open 24 hours
– Over 200 studio classes a month – free with membership
– Large functional zone
– Reading’s best free-weights zone
– Cardio machines with built-in TVs
– Dumbbells up to 60kg
– Lifting platforms
– Power racks

Since the members are largely working professionals, peak times are typically before work, lunchtime and after work – and it can certainly get busy at those times! Particularly in the evening. If you’ve any gym-based anxieties, we’d advise using the gym at quieter times – i.e. weekends or weekday late mornings / early afternoons.

Is there parking at Buzz Gym, Reading?

Unfortunately there is no on-site parking at Buzz Gym. There is 24/7 pay-&-display parking outside the gym on Kings Road, and an NCP car park a few minutes walk away on Queens Road. There’s also a bike shed.

Is 55 minutes with a personal trainer enough?

If your personal training plan includes key features such as the following …

➡️ Clear guidance on how to train & eat effectively outside of coaching sessions
➡️ Sufficient support – e.g. over the phone or WhatsApp
➡️ Ample opportunities for personal growth – e.g. via ebooks or videos
➡️ Effective progress tracking that keeps you accountable and empowers you to reflect & improve upon your performance

Then, yes, a 55 minute session with a personal trainer is certainly enough time to create a training stimulus. Remember, the primary driver for fat-loss success is the behaviour that occurs outside of coaching sessions – i.e. with regards to nutrition & lifestyle – NOT what we do in sessions.

How qualified are GymHippie personal trainers?

When it comes to qualifications, the personal-training industry is a funny one. The barrier to entry is low.
Did you know you can become a “fully-qualified” personal trainer in just 6 weeks!? Given the role & responsibility that comes with coaching others, we find this a little barmy.

Over many years, I’ve concluded that being a “fully qualified” personal trainer often means very little when it comes to gauging quality of service – as it can differ hugely from coach to coach. And beyond being “fully qualified”, there’s no official recognised career progression.

So how do we gauge the different levels of personal trainer? In my opinion, what distinguishes high-quality coaches is their unwavering desire to master their craft. Sure, I’m talking about their knowledge of nutrition & training – but I’m also talking about their understanding of the mind, their business acumen, their understanding of the body, their emotional intelligence and everything else in between.

Becoming a fantastic personal trainer is a journey of personal development. A journey that doesn’t end with becoming “fully qualified”. On the contrary, becoming “fully qualified’ is just the beginning! Personally, I invest endlessly in my education in order to deliver the highest level of service. My personal development & improving my coaching practice is something that I’m fully committed to and passionate about.

For anyone looking to hire a personal trainer, I believe that the quality of a trainer’s results & testimonials alongside their continued investment in their education are all fantastic means to gauge the service you’re likely to receive.

What is a calorie deficit?

Other than liposuction, there is only one way to burn body fat: creating and sustaining a calorie deficit. o calorie deficit, no fat loss. There really are NO shortcuts in the sustainable fat-loss game.

So, what is a calorie deficit? We create a calorie deficit when we consume fewer calories than our body requires for activity. In this state, our body is forced to utilise internal fuel resources in order to cover the calorie shortage. Such resources include body fat and muscle. However, with regular strength training and sufficient protein intake, we encourage the body to burn fat and keep the muscle.

Why is protein so important for fat loss?

Ahh protein – our favourite macronutrient! Four reasons spring to mind …

➡️ Protein helps us retain muscle – In a calorie deficit, our body burns internal fuel resources to make up for the shortage of calories. Above all, we’re talking about body fat and muscle. Since muscle is desirable – and is made of protein! – by upping our intake, we give our body a strong message to preserve the muscle and burn body fat instead.

➡️ Helps us manage our hunger levels – the appetite-suppressing effect of protein not only reduces the likelihood of excessive snacking. It also means we feel fuller more quickly, thus making us less likely to over-consume.

➡️ Fuels repair & recovery – protein provides all the raw materials our muscles need to recover from training.

➡️ Burns more calories during digestion – of the calories we consume from protein, about 30% of them are burned during its digestion and processing. Not a bad return huh! That’s much more than dietary fat and carbs.

Will strength training make me bulky?

This is something I’m often asked by prospective female clients. Categorically … no! In fact, for me, this is one of the most out-dated and disempowering myths in the fitness industry. In the context of a calorie deficit, lifting weights will not make you bulky – it will make you lean, toned, shapely and strong.

How can I be so sure? Because the primary driver for gaining bulk (i.e. muscle and / or body fat) is a sustained surplus of calories – i.e. when we’re eating more calories than our body requires. And, since a calorie deficit is our number-one priority, this just isn’t going to happen! Naturally, genetics will play a part. However, with skilled guidance, we can easily navigate around such potential challenges.

How does sleep impact fat loss?

From experience, sleep is often the first thing to go when life gets hectic. This can be bad news for our fat-loss journey, as ensuring we achieve enough sleep can be a major factor in our success. For most of us, we’re talking about 7-8 hours per night. You see, when we’re sleep deprived and lacking energy, we are …

❌ More likely to choose high-calorie or “pleasure” foods
❌ Less likely to train
❌ Less likely to recovery after training

Moreover, when we’re tired, we’re …
❌ More likely to start relying on caffeine – potentially perpetuating sleep deprivation!

Whilst the occasional night of little sleep might be unavoidable, sleep deprivation over an extended period of time is something to avoid. Here are a few tried-and-tested ideas to help promote a good night’s sleep:

1️⃣ Avoid drinking fluids just before bed – otherwise you might have to get up in the middle of the night to wee!
2️⃣ Avoid caffeine for 8 hours before bed – don’t forget that a lot of teas also contain caffeine.
3️⃣ Avoid blue light from electrical devices – we’re talking laptops, tablets and phones. Switch them off 1-2 hrs before bedtime – or adjust the screen settings to “night mode”.
4️⃣ Write down x3 things you’re grateful for – this has been shown to improve how fast we fall asleep and the quality of sleep. Honestly, this stuff has been studied!
5️⃣ Eat kiwi fruit before bedtime – again this is an evidence-based recommendation. Apparently, eating 2 kiwis fruits before bed will help us fall asleep faster.
6️⃣ Play white noise – soundscapes like rainfall or white noise can help soothe a busy mind
7️⃣ Wear ear plugs – ever since the days Luke used to tour in his band, he’s used silicone earplugs – the ones that mould to your ear. He absolutely swears by them!

How do I burn fat from my tummy, arms, bum, back etc?

A common fitness-industry myth is that fat loss can be targeted. For example, abs exercises can burn tummy fat, arm exercises can burn arm fat, leg exercises burn thigh fat etc. Let’s be crystal clear, this is 100% gobbledygook!

In reality, no exercise is capable of causing fat loss in a specific area – and, for that matter, nor can any cream, lotion, tea, detox drink, waist trainer, fat-burning supplement or anything else! Frustrating, we know, but think of all the money you’ll now save! Whilst we might have no control over where our body burns fat – as this is dictated by our genetics alone – what we can do is control whether we burn body fat. Here’s how …

1️⃣ Sustain a moderate calorie deficit – creating and sustaining a moderate calorie deficit forces our body to utilise internal fuel resources – typically either muscle and body fat. No calorie deficit, no fat loss. Period.

2️⃣ Regular strength training – strength training a few times each week helps us preserve muscle whilst in a calorie deficit. It also has the unique ability to reshape our body.

3️⃣ Sufficient protein intake – ensuring about 30-35% of our calories are coming from protein will further help us preserve muscle whilst in a calorie deficit.

4️⃣ Patience – provided the above are in place, we’ll steadily burn away unwanted body fat and begin to reveal a new body shape. Trust the process, be consistent, and you will see the results you’re after – even in those stubborn areas!

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All you need to get started is self-awareness and a fire in your belly