Fitness Formation: Personal training California-style

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In the latest of our Fitness Formation features Guardian news editor Ingrid Kent hears about personal trainer Ryan Donohue’s recent trip to California. On his fact finding visit Ryan met fitness gurus and came across various celebrities. Ingrid also starts training again after her recent operation.

Keep up the hard work.

However, if you’re falling into the trap of slowly relapsing and slipping back into your unhealthy ways, I’ve some real simple tips for you to try this week.

First of all, what exactly do I mean by trigger foods?

I simply mean anything loaded with sugar, salt and/or fat.

A slice of chocolate cake or a pack of sweets for example.

Now you understand what I’m talking about, when you feel as though you have become victim to your favourite trigger food, try implementing these three easy to follow steps and get right back on track eating healthy and exercising consistently.

*1. Stop. Sounds all too simple doesn’t it? So many people try to overcomplicate things. Keep it as simple as you can and you can’t go wrong.

If you do fall off track, stop, correct your course and get back on track straight away. Don’t self-destruct and continue eating the whole packet of biscuits.

If you start, simply draw a line and stop.

Remember what we talked about not so long ago, about a support network?

Enlist those who are around you, to support you.

*2. Remove any and all triggers from home.

Again, another simple yet highly effective tip to try. Clean out and remove all your trigger foods from your house and replace with fresh, one ingredient foods.

They are obstacles preventing you from further success, so get rid of them.

*3. Always refer back to your why.

Get focused again on why you set out to do this in the first place.

You have your own individual goals and ambitions.

If it’s losing 10 pounds or completing your first half marathon, poor nutrition and irregular exercise are the fastest way to fail.

So refocus yourself, remember your why and keep moving forward.

Ryan Donohue

Ingrid’s Gym Diary:

THE gym is once again my domain after an absence of around eight weeks.

Back in January I had an operation which meant I had to take it easy and suspend my training sessions with Ryan Donohue of Fitness Formation.

Thankfully I’ve been given the go-ahead to start training again as long as I don’t do too much heavy lifting.

I met up with Ryan at VVV gym on Friday and we started with a relatively easy session - 55 minutes of light exercise.

Ryan had just returned from a trip to California where he had been on seminars with the great and the good of the American fitness industry.

He met up with personal trainers, gym owners, authors, fitness gurus and writers as well as encountering celebrities such as Kanye West, Denzel Washington and lead singer of the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl.

Ryan explained that he had been invited to participate in the seminars after meeting some of the fitness gurus on a previous trip.

“I saw Denzel Washington on Hollywood Boulevard and Kanye West in a shop called ‘Millionaire Milkshakes’,” said Ryan.

“A famous American comedian called Jimmy Kimmell was filming his show on Hollywood Boulevard and the Foo Fighters were his guests. They did an entire set on the street.”

I was interested to hear that some of the personal trainers charged their clients hundreds of dollars per session. Some of the people Ryan met had trained celebrities including Cameron Diaz, Kim Kardashian and Brad Pitt as well as sportsmen from the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

“I learned a lot from the personal trainers - they are just so far advanced,” Ryan added. “They all cited research articles to back up the techniques they use. I was a bit star struck when I met some of them. They were very giving and nice - they even bought me a few beers! I’m going to be incorporating everything I have learned into what I do here.

“One of the main things I learned was how to get better results in a shorter time.

“People are so busy these days that they want every minute in the gym to count. I’ve learned more ways to achieve this.

“This visit has really changed my thinking. It’s been phenomenal.”

Ryan will be returning to America in the near future to meet up with his new contacts.

He told me most of this as I plodded along on the treadmill and pedalled away on the recumbent bike.

I also lifted a few very light weights before climbing back onto the treadmill. We did 55 minutes of gentle exercise and I felt great afterwards.

Reclining on the couch and watching daytime TV sounds great but after a day or so it’s mind-numbingly boring.

I’m looking forward to getting much stronger and maybe taking on some fitness event later in the year.

*For further information go to or email Ryan at Fitness Formation also has a Facebook page. Call Ryan on 07596 227854.