Amanda Hughes is a new addition to the Gymbox team. As a functional trainer she is teaching Kettlebells, TRX, Metcon, Badass, Ripped & Stripped and Frame. "Gymbox members mean business, I’ve never been in a session where they aren’t smashing it and giving it everything they have!"
Hi Amanda! What has made you smile today?
Waking up to blue skies and the sun shining!
Imagine a world without fitness, what would that feel like?
Terrible! Fitness is such an integral part of my life, so I could imagine I would be incredibly bored, sad, and uninspired.
You’ve got too many fitness qualifications to mention here, what inspired you to qualify as a PT and instructor (nutritionist, running coach, boxer!)
I’ve always been really passionate about fitness and nutrition. I played hockey through school, and joined a gym the minute I was allowed. Originally I wasn’t able to see how I could make a career out of this, as the fitness industry back in Ireland is very different to London. So I opted for studying business. It never really felt right, I felt a bit lost and like I was working toward a career I was never going to love. So I took a step back and did some research into the fitness courses available. I went on to qualify as a fitness instructor and PT, then moved to London. I haven’t looked back since, and have loved every minute of it. There are a lot of early mornings, late nights and everything in-between, but I’ve learnt it’s a lot easier to get through when you love what you do.
You left behind a career in business and languages, can these skills still be useful in the world of fitness?
Definitely, the skills I gained studying business I’ve used every day since. As a freelance trainer, you’re essentially your own business and you need to know how to sell, plan ahead and keep your accounts in order.
You’re teaching many classes, from Metcon and TRX to Ripped & Stripped and Frame, do you have a favourite?
I love Metcon! It's a great combination of cardio and resistance, you leave feeling like you've killed it!
Describe the DNA of a Gymbox member
They mean business, I’ve never been in a session where they aren’t smashing it and giving it everything they have!
You are passionate about nutrition, is this a hard battle with clients?
Not really, I try to find a way to make it work for them. I encourage them to make small changes each day, and not overhaul their whole way of eating overnight. I don’t want them to look at it as a diet. I'm all about 80/20. If they train hard and eat well 80% of the time, they can afford to enjoy the not-so healthy foods. Nothing is banned, and nothing is bad. Generally, I notice when my clients feel better and look better, that’s motivation enough to keep making the changes.
You say hormones impacts on training, tell us about that
Hormones are chemicals released from the body, that cause responses like building muscle (anabolic) and breaking down muscle (catabolic). Achieving optimal hormone levels are key to you achieving your desired physique. So a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition to include eating healthy fats, carbs and protein, regular exercise and enough sleep can help you to achieve this. Too much stress, bad nutrition or lack of sleep can release more catabolic hormones, like cortisol.
If you could impart a pearl of wisdom, from what you’ve learned so far, what would it be?
Don’t take it life too seriously, no-one's perfect. If you miss a workout or eat a box of brownies, its definitely not the end of the world. Kill it in the gym and enjoy your life outside of that.