I’ve been having a funny old time in the Bristol fitness scene since arriving here a couple of months ago. After some moping about my lack of chilled towel fridge (I know, London has turned me into a moron), I’ve decided to turn this very different looking fitness scene into a positive, and use it as an excuse to try loads of new things.
And that really paid off when, only a few weeks after arriving here, I found myself a deadlifting 35kg dumbbell, being cheered on by a wonderfully blue-haired fitness pixie, personal trainer Amy Newton.
I’d been put in touch with Amy when I’d been in Bristol for only a week, and we shared a coffee and swapped fitness journey stories. I left that chat inspired by her reasons for ditching the corporate insurance world and becoming a PT, and her absolute determination to get qualified, get clients and get training them.
When we agreed to do a workout together, I was actually a bit nervous! Amy is big into strength training and I struggle to lift a 10kg kettlebell. And the whole personal training thing – I haven’t tried it much before. I was a bit worried about how little leeway that gave me to hide at the back of the class (erm… just to clarify, that would be none).
I steeled up the courage and headed to see her for the session. My alternative was another morning in my own company, singing renditions of All By Myself while I stared into a cup of cold coffee, so I managed to get over my nerves and get my ass to Amy’s gym.
She was incredibly friendly when I arrived, and we had a little chat about what to try during the sesh. She suggested we make it more of a “together” workout than her instructing me, which I thought was a great technique to employ around visibly nervous people like yours truly.
We did some warming up (which I never do by myself because I’m an idiot who presumably likes being permanently injured) and then before I knew it, she had casually started loading up the dumbbell with weights for a little deadlifting. In other scenarios, I’d have started to panic. But Amy is such a positive PT that I was actually enthusiastic to give this shizzle a go!
We worked on deadlifts for a while as she demonstrated and then helped me refine my technique, and we them moved onto the squat rack (I’ve never really tried this with instruction before… presumably because I’m an idiot who likes being permanently injured) which after some extra muscle activation exercises, I really felt the difference!
It’s hard to describe exactly what impressed me so much about this session. But I shall try.
Firstly, Amy made actually quite big mental blocks like weight lifting seem achievable through her positivity in my capabilities. She broke everything down into easy steps, and mixed up the demo-ing with the helpful advice on my technique.
I think what astounded me was that within 10 minutes of talking, she was able to tell me why my hamstring was so niggly lately, suggest some ways to resolve it. She also swiftly worked out why my initial go on the squat rack wasn’t working my muscles in the way it should, identifying that my glutes needed activating, and showing me one of the most effective exercises I’ve ever tried to wake those lazy b**tard butt cheeks the hell up!
Tie your thighs together with a medium resistance band, then take a few step sideways while in squat position and feel the buuuurn! The second set on the squat rack after this little trick felt a thousand times more effective and Amy had managed to help me achieve something that I’ve struggled with for absolutely ages.
Anyway, I think you get the picture. She fixed me, she energised me and she helped me lift half of my own body weight in less than an hour. Amy’s story and reasons for becoming a personal trainer had really made an impression on me, and her absolutely passion for, and belief in, her work was instantly obvious during our session. Bristol fitness scene, you’re lucky you’ve got this lady.
And if you need me in the next few days? I’ll either be walking round my house like an elasticated crab, yelling profanities at my lazy butt cheeks, or else I’ll be on the squat rack lifting
heavy a relatively modest amount but with absolutely perfect form.
And if you need Amy (trust me, you ALL need Amy!) she’s offering free consultations to help women get stronger and feel more like themselves. If you’re wondering whether or not to sign up – please see above review immediately!