In 2015 I was looking on Facebook and I came across a “beach body challenge” – simple exercises per day to tone the legs, bum & tum area – it was just what I needed and the exercises were fun. So, I did the challenge, went on holiday, and forgot about it! In 2016 I came across another challenge, this time Legs, Bums & Tums, and I signed up for email sessions too. It wasn’t until after Christmas and New Year, that I realised I wanted to seriously tone up for 2017 and that’s when I received an email about some monthly challenges from the same lady, I signed up and never looked back. Personal trainer and fitness mentor, Nicola Pybus, has certainly inspired me to challenge myself, she has motivated me to tone up and she has made exercising seem fun. I love her challenges … not always easy, I must say… so I set her a challenge to answer a few questions …welcome Nicola…
Hi! My name is Nicola Pybus, I am a competitive athlete and Level 3 Personal Trainer. I work exclusively with women to motivate, inspire but most of all to make their fitness journey an exciting and sustainable one.
Where did you get inspiration from to start the personal training fitness challenges?
The challenges started as a way to help my friends/family members exercise without having to pay for a Personal trainer by the hour or afford expensive gym memberships. I found that many of my female clients felt very self conscious at gym or couldn’t afford a personal trainer on a long term basis, so it inspired me to create something that ALL women could do in the comfort of their own home, could afford and that would be worthwhile.
I think your fitness challenges online provide a real alternative to traditional personal trainers and mundane workouts in the gym; however, you are also a fitness model & competitor – how do you prefer to work out – in a gym, personal trainer or at home?
I like to make my challenges fun but challenging as I know people tend to get bored with the same workouts over and over again. I think people should still be able to enjoy working out even if they aren’t in a gym setting. I train alone at gym, listening to my music and use that time to focus on my goals. I do , however, also enjoy training with someone or group of friends with the same workout ability as me, as I have found I’ll push myself harder & get a laugh in between sets.
So what do enjoy most about being a personal trainer and fitness mentor? Have you a favourite exercise?
I honestly love it all. I love helping women reclaim their power through exercise and work on developing self love. To give them motivation and strength when they can’t find it. To give them that push when they think they can’t do another rep of an exercise. To see their smiles when they get the results they want, I don’t just see my clients as just another paycheck but I develop a friendship with them and enjoy keeping up with their journeys once they are ready to go out on their own.
My favourite exercise would have to be the Barbell Deadlift. It is such a powerful exercise!
What exercises or aspects of your personal training programme seem to be the most popular with your clients?
I deal specifically with female clients and without fail, they all want to “lose weight” or “Get skinny”. I am not one of those personal trainers that promotes thigh gaps and quick fixes, so I always use this as an opportunity to shift their focus to improving their health overall in a long term aspect rather than quick fixes that only work short term.
What exercise(s) seem to yield most results? What seems to be the least popular – or gets the most groans when you suggest it? (I hate push ups personally – although I am getting better!)
That’s a very loaded question. There are lots of factors that help contribute to results, such as getting your nutrition on point while exercising. All exercises work and will yield results IF you also work on cleaning up your nutrition. The nutrition side of things is the side that women moan and groan about the most I’d say. It’s the cutting out of chocolate and yummy treats that they battle with.
Which famous lady or gent would you love to do a spot of personal training with?
Sara Sigmundsdottir, she is a badass crossfit chick who definitely could teach me a thing or two!
Have you had any funny moments or disasters that you can tell us about whilst trying to video a personal training session?
Disasters more than funny moments I’d say hahaha It would definitely always involve my daughter, you’d be in the middle of filming and she’d start crying, walking into the shot, playing with the camera equipment and we’d then have to start ALL over again or stop filming for the day and resume hours later at her next nap!
You are a Fitness competitor – what inspired you to enter competitions? what is it like competing in competitions such as the Miami Pro European Championships? Is it nerve racking?
I entered because being a competitive athlete is the ultimate challenge. It tests your discipline and willpower. It takes your body, mind and training to a whole new level. Many will attempt the journey to the stage, but many will fail, simply because it requires 100% dedication to your goals. I always need to be growing, working towards a goal and bettering myself and my training.
Competing for me was such an exciting time! Getting up on that stage is the fun and easy part, the hard work has been done and you just have to enjoy it. The nerves definitely kick in but you have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Your legs will shake, your mouth will twitch, you might forget all your poses, but in the end all you can do is just be yourself and let that shine on stage.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I have a slight obsession with active wear! I love bright coloured racer back tops and strappy, criss cross type sports bras. Leggings for me MUST be squat-proof! There is nothing worse than seeing someone’s thong through their tights while they squat! My gym shoes are either Nikes or Sketchers because I love their range of colours!
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
Nike, Forever 21, Lorna Jane
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Gymshark sculpt leggings… everyone seems to have them so I want to see what all the fuss is about too
Boots or Shoes?
It really does depend on the weather and occasion. I LOVE boots in winter, but when summer rolls around I wear sandals to keep cool.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you & “Fit & Flashy”
Instagram : nicolapybus_fitness
Facebook page: fitandflashy
Thanks for chatting to me, Nicola … and now it’s time to tackle today’s challenge! Ummm…how many pushups in 2 minutes? Here goes…. dear readers, do you go to the gym, have a personal trainer or do you do challenges like me from home? Do you enjoy exercising? Do share your experiences, I would love to know…
Pictures of Nicola have been published with kind permission of Nicola Pybus.
Pinned photo – Linda Hobden