How I became a very fit guinea pig starts with Kelly continuing her own training!

Kelly believes in continuous learning and never stops achieving so she jumped at the opportunity to gain her Level 3 Personal Training Certificate.  She was a Physical Trainer in the army and is still incredibly into fitness and this was the chance to gain a formal qualification.

We laughed at the fact she would need a guinea pig and then suddenly, I was that guinea pig and training commenced!

About to turn 40 in December this year, and having not prioritised my own exercise recently, I was keen.  But this was with Dame Kelly Holmes, elite athlete, so it also felt a bit daunting!   I reminded myself it was a good time to get more in shape and make a positive difference to my health, too!

Kelly had to complete the theory programme first and of course blitzed the exam with a 95% score so she was thrilled.

And so we began – we agreed to meet once a week at Kelly’s gym for a Personal Training session and then Kelly set me homework of at least 5 extra workouts a week.  These were mainly swimming, weights and treadmill, cross trainer and rowing workouts PLUS committing to my friend’s Boot Camp on a Friday morning.  Ouch!

Firstly Kelly assessed my fitness levels and took measurements.   I am your average 39 year old who hasn’t done that much exercise, so great for Kelly as a guinea pig but you can imagine how I felt!   Kelly set up a weekly programme at her gym using different equipment and different weights to keep the work outs varied.  I’ve never worked out as hard as I did in those sessions.

Great news though.  About half way through the programme I started to notice changes to my levels of fitness, I could run much further on the treadmill without stopping and I also noticed my figure was toning up and clothes felt looser.   This inspired me to keep up with the regime.   Kelly’s results also partly depended on me sticking to my side of the deal so I made sure I committed fully to the programme.

The key challenge was keeping up with the amount of work we had as well as sticking to the plan.  Kelly says the past six months have been the busiest of her career so I know Kelly found it challenging to fit in all the work to gain her qualification, too.

She introduced me to a really useful tool, though. She is an Ambassador for Garmin and she lent me one of her Garmin watches.  This helped me keep track of how hard I was working, how high my heart rate was and, a bonus from a PA point of view, it shows me texts, Whatsapp and phone calls as they come in – so I didn’t miss out on anything urgent!  On the negative side it meant all of my workouts were recorded and Kelly would know if I hadn’t pushed myself – so the benefit of a personal coach is that you achieve!

We often meet up once a week to catch up on work, and review her diary but for a few weeks our gym sessions took place of our catch-ups and we changed our routine and used e-mail and calls instead – this worked.

A typical day during the 12 weeks training would involve me dropping the girls at school, working at home for a few hours, going to the gym at lunch time, home again to eat and work before doing the school pick up.   More work until about 6 pm.

It was an intense 3 months trying to fit everything in, we had a lot going on, such as speaking engagements and awards ceremonies. But I’m pleased to say that it is now complete and Kelly was given a Double Merit for her practical assessments.  So both Kelly and guinea pig were successful.

Kelly is positively encouraging me to keep up the new regime so this week I was at the gym on Saturday and Sunday and am planning another two visits on Wednesday and Thursday.  I am hooked!

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