LOU: A HARD LESSON LEARNT

Before going inside I’d been so focused on heavy lifting that I’d neglected other important factors of fitness training, such as flexibility and mobility. Staff in the prison gym helped me change that.

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Before going to prison I was doing really well.

I ran outdoor bootcamps, taught fitness classes and had a busy schedule with my personal training clients. When it came to my own personal fitness goals, I was progressing to lift heavier weights, reducing my body fat and improving my endurance training. My favourite days of the week were leg and glute days - heavy weights, a squat rack and sets of repetitions. I was working towards my own goals, my goals as a trainer and my ethos of ‘promoting healthy curves’ for women.

However, when I first went to prison the gym was never open and I was really worried that all of my hard work would be undone. I didn’t have Instagram to watch fitness videos and try new exercises and my motivation was slowly fading away.

Thankfully I was moved to a different prison and it was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the first - especially in terms of fitness.

The new prison enabled me to train with people that had a complete different mindset to my own. These people had trained in the marines, were ex-soldiers and had competed in Olympic weightlifting. They were experienced. They weren’t just personal trainers or gym instructors - they lived for their fitness. These people were officers that worked in the prison gym.

They mentored me, took the time out to help me learn and develop my technique for Olympic Lifting and even Badminton - which is something that I wouldn’t have been able to do just by looking at Instagram and other social media.

But the most valuable thing I learnt from them was the importance of stability and flexibility - two factors of training that can greatly improve range of motion, posture and performance. Before going inside I’d been so focused on ‘promoting healthy curves’, and the heavy lifting that came with that, that I’d neglected other important factors of fitness training, such as flexibility and mobility.

My new goal is to work on movement where mobility and flexibility are the primary focus.

I want to be able to be able to perform better, be more agile, improve my muscular development and avoid those nasty injuries that I seem to be prone to.

I’ve started to introduce some Animal Flow Movement into my workouts and into the classes I teach. Animal Flow Movements are exercises that mimic different animals and they way they move. It’s bodyweight, great fun and includes a wide range of benefits from improving strength, mobility, flexibility, power and endurance.

I’m on my journey to a new and better me ... Join me.

Lou