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TGt Meets ... Nicole Cutting

In our latest TGt Meets, we've been speaking to fitness instructor Nicole Cutting about all things fitness and motivation.

How did you turn your passion for fitness into a career?

I have always had a passion for health & fitness and wanted to share that passion with others but wasn’t quite sure how. As soon as I was old enough I became a member of a gym and instantly knew that this was an industry I wanted to be involved in. I gained the relevant qualifications to enable me to work as a gym instructor, gaining experience from the amazing people I have had the pleasure of working with over the past 8 years. During that time I have had different roles within Fitness, from gym receptionist to studio coordinator and I am now Operations Manager at Village H&F Swindon.

Early in my career, I very quickly discovered that group exercise was a fantastic medium to relay my passion to others and was a fantastic way to connect with a multitude of individuals in a stimulating and motivational environment. I have been teaching for the past 7 years, qualified in the following Les Mills programmes: Body Pump, RPM, Body Attack, CXworx, Grit series and most recently Sprint! I love working with people on a 1-2-1 and group basis.

How do you stay fit and healthy?

I teach 19 classes a week but I still like to train outside of these classes, improvising my own strength based routines in the gym. The human body is a very sophisticated machine and will adapt to any stress you put it through, hence why you need to continually challenge yourself in new ways. I like to do short, intense workouts and avoid training more than 45mins- to an hour if possible. You often see people slogging away on a treadmill or any other cardio machine for an hour then maybe do a couple of exercises on the ab machine and thigh adductor/abductor. Not only is this BORING, but it is most probably counterproductive to the goal of those individuals. People focus on this too much, thinking short term gain and miss the bigger picture. Resistance training (compound movements, utilising bodyweight, barbells, dumbbells and machines) will help build lean muscle which will lead to the following benefits: increase metabolism, improve posture, increase bone density, improve body composition and improve self-esteem to name a few.

I have a very active job and lifestyle so it is vital that I look after my body. I eat well and ensure that I have adequate rest, aiming to sleep for 8 hours per night (which can be hard when you have classes at 6:05am!)

I think the most important thing is to have a balance in your life and to view exercise and good nutrition as something that is a part of your life rather than a chore. It should be enjoyable and something that you can sustain for a lifetime.

Do you have a motto or favourite motivational quote?

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!

People often struggle with fitness motivation, how do you keep yours?

Classes are a great way of adhering to an exercise regime as they are so motivating and the fun element and inspiration you get from the instructor certainly makes the time fly by! I also set myself goals- in the past I have competed with the UKBFF (UK Body Building Fitness Federation) which changed my lifestyle and my physique! I reached the British finals within my first year of competing and this was a key land mark in my training history and something I’m very proud of.

I now look to improve my mobility and technique to increase my strength- working on this will no doubt have a benefit on my ability to instruct the many classes that I do and hopefully continue to instruct at the same level and intensity for many more years to come. 

What are your tips for people looking to get into shape?

Invest the time to learn safe and effective technique. You can seek advice from a Personal Trainer or enrol for a gym induction. Village offers Real Results, which based on your experience and ability is a complementary multi stage induction, covering everything from Goal setting & postural analysis to exercise correction techniques for those that may have an injury or ailment, all which will help us to provide the best training advice to tailor a training plan for you and get you moving!

What are some mistakes people make when working out?

Wanting results and progress to happen immediately! We live in a fast paced, “I WANT IT NOW” society but unfortunately that does not happen when it comes to changing your body. You have to think, it may have taken 20+ years of poor diet and lack of exercise to get in your current shape. It’s going to take more than a 4 week juice plan or extreme exercise routine to get long lasting results.

When working with clients, I look to make changes in ALL aspects of their lifestyle. If I can encourage someone to reduce their weekly soda intake, add more protein and vegetables to their diet or get them to take the stairs more often, I’m happy. Remember, small progress is PROGRESS!

Are there any exercises you advise against?

No. If executed with proper technique, within that individual’s ability and at the right intensity, it will have a benefit. We can all benefit from including a variety of exercises and training disciplines to promote overall health and fitness.

What music do you listen to when you work out?

Mostly my Les Mills class music. I have over 128 albums on my IPod, and I figure if it motivates me in the class, it’ll motivate me during my workout in the gym. I do prefer the fast paced, up beat music. It also helps me learn the choreography to teach. 

What foods are always in your fridge?

I love nutrition! It is such a vast, complex topic I find it so interesting and enjoy learning about it.  I always have the following staple items in my fridge, freezer and cupboards:

Lean protein (chicken, turkey, beef mince, OSTRICH STEAK- I love this!)
Vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, Kale, peppers etc)
Healthy fats (nuts, oily fish, coconut oil, olives, butter, Greek yoghurt)
Fruits (bananas, apples, blueberries, raspberries)
Carbs (sweet potatoes, rice, root vegetable mash, oats, cous cous)

I aim to eat well for the majority of the time but will allow myself food that obviously has little nutritional benefits (ice cream, crisps chocolate etc) It is important to not get hung up on good and bad foods, I enjoy ALL FOOD.

I am also a big fan of coffee and protein supplements- with the amount of exercise I do, I supplement my diet with this to ensure I get enough nutrients for adequate recovery and repair of my muscles.

What's been the most rewarding part of your job?

Fitness is inclusive, which means no matter your age, size, ability, exercise history or whether you are male or female,  EVERYBODY is capable of including exercise into their life. It is so rewarding to see someone that has no previous history of exercise try a new class or book in for their first induction and see them progress over time whether it be their exercise technique, the amount of times they train a week and I have even witnessed those that have even become qualified and look to carve out a career in the industry!

I feel privileged that I am able to be a part of someone’s weekly routine, hopefully motivating them to reach their ultimate fitness goal.

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