Charlotte Ord is the top female personal trainer in the UK and was recently named UK Personal Trainer of the Year for 2010
MK: Hi Charlotte, first let me congratulate you on becoming UK Personal Trainer of the year and say thank you for taking out some time for this interview.
CO: It’s a pleasure Marc, and thank you!
MK: Could you start by telling the readers a little about your self and your coaching background?
CO: Sure. Well I’ve always been really active and played 5 different sports to national level when I was at school, including playing lacrosse for England and riding horses internationally. After I finished my degree in Psychology and Sociology at uni, it was a very natural progression to move into the fitness industry where I could combine my passion for training and psychology. It was a bit of a stroke of luck to be honest that my very first job in the industry was a club manager role in a brand new corporate gym and was, initially, a complete baptism of fire, but I managed to develop the club to be pretty successful with an absolutely thriving personal training component, and that was what I really loved. In 2008 I decided that I really wanted to go out on my own and develop my own business, so that was when Phoenix Pro Fitness was born.
MK: You have been featured in some of the top fitness magazines and have recently authored “The Beach Babe Workout.” Every girl wants to look hot on the beach, could you share your approach to getting bikini ready in a hurry?
CO: Yeah. The programme follows exactly the same protocol we use in our club and with our members to great success every day. It’s essentially based on the hierarchy of fat loss; sound nutrition, strength and metabolic acceleration training combined with high intensity intervals. Despite the girly exterior it seriously works people hard, which there is no way round if you want to see significant results in a brief period of time.
MK: You mention your “triple threat” approach to getting in shape fast, would you describe this for the readers?
CO: Of course. See the thing is with fat loss and getting into great shape is that it’s really hard to do it just through training. There’s a saying that you can’t out train a bad diet, and unless you’re really lucky and have an amazing metabolism, it’s true. So the first angle we need to cover is nutrition. Good eating habits are number one on the hierarchy of fat loss, as my mentor Alwyn Cosgrove likes to call it! Then it’s essential that you have a training programme that is focused entirely on getting your metabolism racing – especially when you only have a short period of time in which to achieve your goals. The final prong in the triple threat approach is motivation and mindset, because without it, it’s really hard to make changes that are ultimately going to get you to your goal. It takes 3 weeks to change a habit, and mindset is what keeps you committed when the going gets tough and you wanna quit.
MK: So we start with the right training, could you describe a beach babe workout. What kind of exercises should the girls be doing to get that beach babe look?
CO: The training component of the Beach Babe Workout is based around a combination of resistance training and high intensity interval training, both of which lend themselves extremely well to not only shifting unwanted muffin tops and wobbly bottoms, but also in producing super sleek, super sexy streamlined muscles. The exercises that are involved cover a range of different movement patterns so that you become well conditioned from every angle, and they’re all bang for your buck exercises which produce big calorie burn during each session, and even bigger calorie burn once you’ve finished! And that’s what we want – elevated metabolism even at rest. All of the exercises are functional, which basically means you have to use your own body for support, not sit on a piece of kit; most of sit too much as it is – it’s time to get moving!
MK: So none of those adductor and abductor machines you see in the gyms?
CO: Err, no! Don’t get me started on that…haha.
MK: What about cardio? In your experience what type of cardio is best for burning fat fast?
CO: high intensity interval training, or even low intensity intervals for those who haven’t trained much before, are perfect for between resistance training sessions. These ramp up your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular fitness better than steady state training, AND it’s not nearly so laborious. HIIT is basically where you perform an exercise, say sprints, for a short intensive burst, and then rest, or active rest, before repeating again. You can use various different time scales, but the idea is to go really hard for short periods of time. It’s tough, but over much quicker than an hour trundling along on the treadmill and gets way better results.
MK: So that’s the training covered. Nutrition is the second step in your triple threat approach. Could you describe the ideal nutrition plan for fat loss?
CO: In an ideal world we’d all eat raw foods, drink clean water and be totally free of pollutants. In today’s world that’s not realistic, but if we aim to get as close to that as possible we’ll be well on our way to optimal health and therefore a killer body. The key things when eating for fat loss and muscle tone is to drink clean, filtered water, and lots of it, eat as much raw, or at least natural, food as possible, avoid processed foods and eat often; ideally 5 or 6 times a day. For most people a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat works very well for fat loss. It is however essential to eat good fats as these actually help facilitate the chemical process of fat metabolism and promote overall well being.
MK: Finally motivational support and coaching, why is this so important?
CO: I think regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, if you have people around you who are supportive, positive, cheering you on, telling you can do it, that you’re amazing, that you can do anything, you’re always going to do better than if you are left alone with your own thoughts, which very often are negative and not conducive to positive change. The power of the mind is incredibly powerful and I would say is one of the biggest factors in body transformation success.
MK: Thanks Charlotte, that’s some great information you’ve just shared with us. So what would say are the 5 must do things regarding exercise a girl should do to get beach ready in a hurry?
CO: No problemo! Ok so my top 5 things would be..
1. Before anything else, I’d say make a plan, schedule in when you’re going to train, and move hell or high water to stick to it. If you don’t give yourself the option of missing training, you won’t. Make a commitment.
2. Lift weights. Contrary to popular belief, it won’t make you bulky unless you’re on steroids. What it will do is turbo charge your metabolism, whip your muscles into sizzling hot shape and leave you feeling fit, strong and sexy.
3. Give it your all. Don’t be a wimp, you’re stronger than you think, and you’ll be amazed how good you feel if you push yourself and achieve things you didn’t think you could. You know those annoying people who get high as a kite on exercise? Push yourself and you might just turn into one of them!
4. Don’t skip the warm up and recovery phases of your programme. These are essential not only for getting your body ready for the more vigorous part of your programme, but also for helping you recover fast so that you come back to the following session even stronger and burn even more fat.
5. Invest in expert help. The fact you even need to get ready for the beach in a hurry suggests that you haven’t had much time to think about how best you might get into bikini shape in the first place, and now you even less time you’re probably going to need some help. Having a plan to follow is ALWAYS more successful than winging it – going to the gym without a proper programme is a bit like getting into your car and not knowing where you were going; you just wouldn’t do it. Hopefully!
MK: And the 5 must do nutrition strategies a girl must do?
1. Drink plenty of clean, filtered water
2. Eat as many raw foods as you can
3. Eat at least 5 times a day as this will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and reduce cravings for quick fix sugary foods
4. Again, make a plan. If you’ve got a meal plan written down, you’re far more likely to stick to healthy eating habits than if you don’t. It’s that old saying, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail.’ Don’t let it happen to you!
5. Avoid acidic or processed foods which can leave you feeling bloated, lethargic and storing fat that you don’t need. A diet of 80% alkaline and 20% mildly acidic is optimal.
MK: Thank you Charlotte for sharing that with us today. Before we go, is there a website where the readers could go to find out more information about you and your training programs?
MK: Thanks again Charlotte
CO: Pleasure, thanks Marc!
Charlotte Ord is a Sky TV fitness presenter and director of leading Surrey Personal Training Company Phoenix Pro Fitness. She was named UK Personal Trainer of the Year 2010 and is a regular contributor to both the general press and fitness publications on an international scale. A specialist in kettlebell training, Charlotte is an assistant coach to the IKFF and is renowned for her ability to produce outstanding fat loss results. She trains a wide variety of clients ranging from those challenged by morbid obesity to ultra marathon runners, and has herself competed nationally and internationally in five different sports.