Tag Archives: personal trainer

20 Questions

As with every profession, being a coach has a typical set of questions I get asked often.

The number one question asked is on the subject of fat spot reduction

“How I target my bum, legs, arms (insert any body part)!”

I want to quash the idea right now that spot reduction in one area is never going to work.

Let me give you an example;

You want to reduce you love handles (hips) so you decide to do side bends and prone leg lifts to reduce the fat stores in this area.

What you will find is that while the exercises help tone the muscles in the hip area, it won’t make a significant difference to the fat stores.

We need to understand that muscles toning and fat reduction work in different ways.

Muscles toning, is a lot more flexible. You can isolate a particular group of muscles or you can take a more holistic approach and work whole body movements. Specific goals would determine how you choose to execute a  weight training program. For body fat loss a whole body approach is optimal and time saving.

Fat reduction is always going to happen inclusively. When you embark on a new fitness program, kilos are lost from all over the body at the same time.  It is also worth noting that fat reduction has a partner in crime for optimal performance. Alongside exercise, diet and lifestyle need to be made accountable. If you reflect back to our love handles and those side bends and leg lifts, as mentioned this will help tone but if you are not eating well it won’t make a jot of difference.

To further cement our example;  Our lady with her  love handles has a smaller upper body. She makes the right changes and starts to notice the reduction first from her upper body because there is less to lose and won’t notice that her hips have reduced until later on in her new lifestyle regime. The loss has still happened all over at the same time but due to the way it is distributed we notice it at different points.

(Note that I called it a lifestyle regime, a diet overhaul is for life not just Christmas)

To summarise;  Sensible and balanced calorie intake + whole body approach training = Body fat loss all over!

Need some specific guidance? Email me @

sally@crossfitlondonuk.com

 

My contribution to Tower Hamlet in 2013

Part of the reason I love my job is the satisfaction I get from helping people.

Whether it’s helping an athlete reach a goal or helping a post-natal Mummy re-connect with her body again, the buzz is addictive.

This year I have fueled that addiction by giving a little back to the community I live in, Tower Hamlets.

Living in Tower Hamlets I am lucky to have 12 SureStart Children’s Centre, all in walking distance. The centre’s offer free groups for you to bring your baby to. They also offer help and support to families from all walks of life but specifically targeting struggling families and teen mums.

I found these centre’s priceless. A little haven where I could bring Sebastian, get support and meet other mothers.

So when I started learning about a more functional style of post-natal recovery classes, Foo foo Fun Club I got thinking, how cool would it be to teach ladies from the Children’s centres?

(More info on my Foo foo classes and what it can do for you)

I could help educate mothers who would otherwise not be able to afford or access this kind of help.

I had no clue where to start, so like hunting for a needle in a hay-stack I sent out emails and letters to councils and leisure centres in the hope someone else would also think this was a good idea.

It didn’t end up taking that long in the end as I got a response from Katie Ellis the Women in Sport coordinator at Better (formerly GLL)

She was very interested in what she could do to help me so we set up the first of many meetings, sometime way back in March.

Trying to do something nice was not going to be as straight forward as I then I first thought.

Between liaising with the children’s centres and GLL, writing up proposals, police checks and finally getting the funding to buy the equipment and to pay the creche workers to run the classes, it took the best part of the year.

I have now finished two 6 week  fully funded Foo foo Fun Club courses.  It was well worth all the running around.

Here is what some of  the ladies had to say about the course;

“I have developed an appreciation that many small changes will make for a more sustainable effect. The movements are simple but so effective and have helped me manage my stress levels”

“Foo Foo has really helped change my perspective toward diet and lifestyle. I feel I am starting to get fit again after having my twin boys. My eating habits and that of my family have made a change for the better. Thank you.”

“I will definitely be telling people about the Foo foo effect. I have not only met like minded mothers but feel a lot more confident”

A big thank you to Better for helping me get this off the ground and the Amazing Jenny Burrell for her continued support and help.

 

Sally Dixey is a CrossFit London personal trainer in Bethnal Green and East London. She teaches CrossFit, pre & post natal fitness.

Testimonials

My East London FooFoo Fun Club Ladies give you an in sight as to what you can achieve;

  • Foo foo has been a great experience for me. It’s helped me understand how my pelvic floor works and what to do to get it in shape. My continence confidence has increased and I feel so much more positive about my future pelvic floor function. Not only this but the sessions also provided a time and space for us women talk and support each other. I would recommend it!
  • Sally is an excellent motivator. She made the classes interesting and fun, tailoring exercises to suit our individual needs. I felt that Sally really cared about me and the benefit that the FooFoo classes would have on my health a0nd fitness. It is a really holistic approach and Sally’s knowledge of nutrition really inspired me to think about my health and wellbeing – something that had been forgotten since the birth of my baby.  The FooFoo program is simple and the idea is easy to grasp. I found myself thinking about my posture, not just my pelvic floor, and the exercise helped me to build confidence by strengthening my core muscles and making me feel more in control of my body.

What about Personal Training?

  • I can’t recommend Sally enough! I have had personal trainers before but none have helped me maximise my strengths and overcome my fears like Sally. What I love is her style of coaching. While most trainers focus on form by talking at you, Sally has an uncanny eye to spot my slightest deviation from the correct stance and knows exactly how to communicate what I need to do to correct myself by getting me to really focus on how my body feels in the correct position. She also has the ability to drive you to try harder than you thought possible and enjoy every minute of it!
  • Who would have thought it!! Certainly no one would have in my family! But I have done it with your help and got over my phobia of THE GYM. Thanks Sally
  • You have given me confidence that nobody else has succeeded in over the last 50 years – and will be eternally grateful for your help.
  • Sally has an easy comfortable manner and a delightful personality. She works professionally at all times and is totally committed to teaching better awareness of movement alongside getting a really good workout!

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach in East London.

For more information on CrossFit, Pre & Post natal fitness or general fitness email Sally @ sally@crossfitlondonuk.com

What did you get up to at the Weekend?

Me?

I was at CrossFit London attending the Coach Chris Sommer, Gymnastic Bodies Seminar.

In my pursuit of better teaching and movement I was hoping to learn some really cool things and refine some of my teaching ability.

What I walked away with were some tidy skill progressions and moves with a side helping of motivation and focus.

The weekend was broken into two days the first of which was based around the importance of mobility.

As a group this area was sorely missing. We were meant to be mobilising for the first 15-20 minutes of the session but 1 hour in to it and we were still writhing around on the floor pulling pain faces. A clear take home from this is the need to implement a clear and progressive routine that would allow good practise of gymnastic foundation movements.

I have always known this is the area of fitness that I am lacking. I am in a pattern of rushing through the stretching bit in favour of the bigger faster movements. Don’t we all.

So why am I going to listen to Coach Sommer? Allow me to degress a little.

As a child I really wanted to do gymnastics. I loved the cool moves, but I hated the teacher. In hindsight she was probably just a kid herself and was only coaching the way she had been coached, which was pretty much shout and bully the girls until they break. Well I broke after a term. I did not like getting shouted at and for that I stopped.

Now in adulthood my gymnastic dream pretty much faded. Whoever heard of adult beginner gymnastics?

Well funny thing is in 2010 my boss Andrew Stemler scheduled CrossFit London’s first Beginner gymnastic classes.

A chance to re-live my dream, only to be put on hold again by the news of my pregnancy. In keeping with pre-natal fitness guidelines I stayed away from aquiring new skills during my pregnancy and just scaled back CrossFit to an appropriate level. Leaving gymnastics on the back-burner.

Now after a long post natal period of recovery, I have been slowly looking at gymnastic skills and weaving them into my usual CrossFit training. And of course because I am impatient and the movements look cooler then the mobility I have been missing steps in progressions and skipping beats in mobility, all in all which showed me up in front of Coach Sommer.

So back to full circle. Why am I going to listen to Coach Sommer and mobilise my butt?

Because unlike my childhood attempts at gymnastics I am in charge of my training so it is only me to answer to, not a young coach out for blood.

It has never felt very realistic before as gymnastics has always seemed like a youth window that I missed. Working with Coach Sommer and seeing some of his advanced students, gave me re-newed energy for success. They can demonstrate amazingly cool moves on the rings or pararell bars and can tell you they were not child gymnasts but started maybe 2,3,4,5 years ago.

Great motivation for an adult beginner to hear.

And so it begins.

I have just finished writing out my training program for the next 12 weeks.

I can not wait to see what I can achieve by paying a little more attention to the finer things.

Here are some of the photos of the weekend.

Mobility through the Pelvis
Mobility through the Pelvis
Handstand drills
Handstand drills
Looking at upper back strength
Looking at upper back strength
Shoulder Prep
Shoulder Prep

Thanks Coach Sommer.

 

Sally Dixey is a CrossFit London personal trainer and pre/postnatal fitness coach based in East London.

Contact Sally directly on sally@crossfitlondonuk.com

 

Diary of a Bra pt3 – Doing the Open

The title if these posts is starting to resemble a bad bunch of sequels lol.

Overall I pretty impressed with this sports bra

. I will conclude this series with a full summery.

For now the next test.

Box Jumps and a fast moving WOD.

The WOD in question is the second in the Crossfit Games Open 13.2.

Task:

10 minute Amrap

5 Shoulder to Overhead 35Kg/52Kg

10 Deadlifts 35Kg/52Kg

15 Box Jumps 20″/24″

This wod is geting back to the old skool roots of Crossfit. A simple unassuming looking WOD that has a big old sting at the end of it’s tail.

Scores are worked out on total reps.

So how did the bra measure up.

As I expected not a problem.

I have to make mention of the coverage it gives you. I am not usually one for training with my top off but for the first open last week (13.1) Mid WOD I had to tear my vest off, Hulk stylee.

The nice thing about this Shock Absorber is that it covers well so that even with a top off you don’t feel over exposed.

Box Jumps and Shock Absorber gets a huge thumbs up!

 

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach in Bethnal Green

 

 

My Picture Diary of a Bra

This is the first of many pictures I will use as I test how well Shock Absorber’s new ultimate sports bra lives up to it’s name.

Continuing from my previous post Handstands made the short list of movements that needed a test run.

How well did it keep everything in?

Was it comfortable?

I decided to test this out under wod conditions and as my handstand push up strength needs improving I decided on a scaled JT.

JT is usually 21-15-9 Handstand push ups, ring dips and push ups.

My version 9-6-3 Still tough enough.

Did everything stay in place? Check

Comfort? Sure.

How about a bit of hip snap with a kipping handstand push up? No problem.

 

Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer @ Crossfit London in Bethnal Green

 

 

 

Problems with Sacro-iliac Joint Pain

Sacro-iliac joint pain.

Having just covered all matters relating to pelvic girdle pain (PGP) it seems like a perfect time to discuss the sacro-iliac  joint.

This can be another source of pain and discomfort during pregnancy, but thankful like PGP it is manageable and usually subsides after childbirth.

If at any time you have fallen funny and landed on your butt that was probably your first introduction to the Sacro-iliac joint.

(The science bit)
The Sacro-iliac joint is one of the largest joints of the skeleton, where the pelvis and spine join. The bone is smooth and slides together and with large ligaments strengthening their connection.

So the question is: how does pregnancy upset this joint and cause us pain? It’s all down to those pesky hormones that relax all our joints and ligaments. We couldn’t give birth without them but boy do they give us a rough time!

Normally our bodies have the ability to compensate for these changes.
But when hormone levels are higher than normal or there is already an underlying instability of the pelvis, the sacro-iliac joint can begin to slide out of place.

This is when pain is felt.

You could think of pain as the signalling telling our bodies:”It’s time to slow down and adapt your movements”

You will feel this commonly in the lumber (lower) region of the back, possibly radiating into the butt and down one or both thighs. Referred pain may be felt at the symphysis pubis .

So we can’t affect the release of the joint-relaxing hormone, this is a given.

What you can do is work on balancing out tight and/or weak muscles connected to the pelvis. The piriformis is a common culprit. It connects from your pelvis to the top of your leg. Try using a form roller or a tennis ball will also do the trick.

I  keep  mentioning stability and I can’t push this point enough. A stable pelvis will support your growing bump and counter the effect of the hormones by giving you a strong base to work from.

Never neglect your pelvic floor work. Use you abdominals to hold your bump in. And don’t be afraid of squats!
This all helps give the sacro-iliac joint the support it needs, to help reduce or eliminate any discomfort.

Next week I will be putting together a short video showing some simply ways to engage your pelvic floor .

(Sacro-iliac pain can sometimes be mis-diagnosed as sciatica. If you do feel pain and discomfort in this area please consult your doctor first. Seeking professional help with exercise is advisable)

For London based consultations you can reach me at sally@crossfitlondonuk.com)

Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green @ Crossfit London

 


 

Deload Week for my Life

As a fitness professional and enthusiast I am very use to adding a deload week to my training schedule. This post shows my path to enlightenment! and Deloading my life.

I have been pretty quiet these last few days as Sebastian started to get a little cough late Thursday night.

Typically Seb was fine all day until bedtime, which meant a last minute class cancellation. Feeling sorry for my poor little bubba I decided to spend the day chill-axing and playing. We stepped out for a quick trip to the shops and that was it.

I didn’t check my emails, I didn’t once glance at Facebook. I didn’t pour over any class programming and as for my weekly article, not even a thought entered my head.

Putting Seb down for a lunch time nap I thought about cleaning the bathroom, moping the floors but as I lay him down to sleep, a huge wave of tiredness washed over me and before I knew it I was sliding into bed and within a matter a seconds I was in the land of nod just like Seb. We both slept for two hours solid.

Almost as if my toes had been set on fire I leapt out of bed in a panic, realising there was no fire, I gently woke up Seb. I decided I quite enjoyed this ‘no work and all play’ day. So it continued.

For the first time in ages I was ignoring the housework and pushed work to one side. It was glorious all the extra time I had. I could feel myself slowing down to an easy pace and that flustered red glow in my cheeks paled in comparison.

Being a busy working Mum, rushing to and fro it is easy to get blind sided to the cost of all this rushing and business. I am so used to adding a deload week to my training, what I really needed was to deload my life for a few days too.

One day of domestic abandonment wasn’t quite enough so for the next few days I looked at life like training. I did what was essential around the house, simple chores and of-course the odd load of washing.

Having children means endless pots of patients, it is part of the job description. It is also one of the first things to shorten when you are over tired. By making myself over-tired and stressed out I was not giving Sebastian the best I could.

Having this rest and prioritising playtime and rest with Sebastian was the best stress relief I could have reached for.

What else suffers?

Pretty much everything takes a dive when your tired. I get snappy and up-tight with Adrian. Cooking becomes dull, not to mention the increasing collection of bags under my eyes.

So what have I learnt from this, Life is like training. You need to give yourself enough rest to continue running at optimal levels.

After periods of stress or business you need to allow time to recover and ‘deload’ your life, re-charge the batteries.

We usually wait for a holiday to do this but I am suggesting that you periodically lessen the load for a week. I am not suggesting you stay in bed, under the duvet for days on end but sit down and work out where you can make your week that little less hectic for seven days.

Try it you will be amazed at the difference it makes!

 

Sally Dixey is a personal trainer @ Crossfit London in Bethnal Green

Pregnancy in the Developing World

When I think about developing world pregnancy I am amazed to see images of women still continuing to do the same manual work they did before pregnancy.

It really drives home the message, that what you did before pregnancy is still achievable during pregnancy.

Do you think it even entered her mind to stop what comes so naturally??

Of-course not!

Here are some of my favourite images.

It doesn't look like pregnancy stopped them!
It doesn’t look like pregnancy stopped them!
8 Months in and she is still lifting weights!
8 Months in and she is still lifting weights!

Manual labour and Pregnant?????? Didn't stop them

Manual labour and Pregnant?????? Didn’t stop them
Post-Natal and very active
Post-Natal and very active
Pregnant & Working hard still!
Pregnant & Working hard still!
Pregnancy and Squat? Hell yeah!
Pregnancy and Squat? Hell yeah!
One tough looking pregnant lady!
One tough looking pregnant lady!

 

(I am not suggesting you squat or take up manual labour if this was not already part of your pre-pregnancy life. Form and technique is very important so you need advice and a bit of guidance before you start squatting for England and baby. Please ensure your doctor has OK-ed exercise during pregnancy)

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

A bit of a practise Workshop @ Crossfit Bold

“Do something everyday that scares you”

– A little saying I try to follow, and defiantly fulfilled last night as I ventured South-west to meet up with Harri, her intern Marlo and a blooming group of pregnant ladies all keen to keep up crossfitting during their pregnancy’s.

I have delivered workshops before but they have either been exercise and movement driven and or with the help of Andrew, Kate or Steven.

This was the first time for me sitting in front of an audience discussing the benefits of continued training, how to look at adaptions and scales and what special consideration would be needed. All by myself.

If I said I was cool calm and collected I would be a cheat, as in fact I was a total bag of nerves.

Despite having an order and plan, under the spotlight it all went a bit freestyle-e. I think my brain had a bit of a panic so my mouth took over for a while. Once I had relaxed though, things started to feel a bit more chilled and into my mo-jo.

I still have a bit of work to do! No matter I know now that I need to work on speaking under pressure and keeping to the plan.

It’s all a learning curve.

I hope the ladies found the information useful. It was a great help for me to sit in front of them and has given me tones of food for thought and things I need to work on and develop.

Thanks again Crossfit Bold.

 

Watch this space for further information on future Crossfit Pregnancy Workshops!

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green