week 20 : what have I been learning about this week? Plus the trials and tribulations of a Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur in training

Here goes… week 20 began with more group training sessions last Sunday followed by a lovely day out at Malton Food Festival with my sister. It was the second year which I have been and it is a great way to spend a few hours, especially seeing as though the weather was so brilliant still last weekend. We sampled quite a lot of different offerings, from cheese to chutney, from brownies to ciders. It is made up of lots of different local sellers, food trucks and a large drinks tent. There are also demonstrations and talks on over the course of the weekend.

Malton Food Lovers festival 2017

For lunch we had a mexican tortilla bowl with pulled pork and chicken, it was delicious. Then of course we had to make a visit to Groovy Moos for an ice cream! This is simply the best ice cream which you will taste, and i should know as somewhat of an ice cream connoisseur. I had to use the opportunity to try out a couple of new flavours, rhubarb and custard as well as coconut and white chocolate. Beautifully indulgent!

Groovy Moos ice cream Malton

Bank holiday Monday was just a usual day for me, full of clients at the gym, although it was an earlier finish which meant that Laura could come over for tea and to discuss holiday plans! We were hoping to be able  to get away this week for a last minute sunshine break, but unfortunately couldn’t find anything. It is only 8 weeks until August when we are hoping to get something booked for Croatia and Montenegro. Has anyone been? If so, any recommendations?

After a few cancellations last week, this week has been the complete  opposite! Not one person has text to rearrange or postpone, which has meant another crazy week for me! The past couple of weeks I have blocked out Wednesday evenings from the gym. I was finding that after Monday and Tuesday, i was snowballing into the weekend without any time to get on with client plans, and business in general. Just by taking this evening away from the gym, I am able to set up at the laptop and just get on a roll and get stuff done! It has certainly helped not only my organisation, planning and business, but also my mind by giving me that mental break.

Speaking of business, I was able to speak to somebody who is much cleverer and more experienced than me in regards to my Youtube channel. It is something which I have been working on for a while but growth has been slow, and if I have struggled to get to grips with some parts of it. It was so kind of this person to give up their time in order to help me on some things and I now feel much better about certain things and how to create better videos in the future which people will find more enjoyable and useful (fingers crossed anyways!) Speaking of which, I vlogged the whole weekend last weekend and would love you to head on over to my Youtube channel and check out the full video! Link here. Any comments, i would love to hear from you!

I was writing a Facebook post about reasons why I became a Personal Trainer, and it ended up turning into a full blog post which  I published. Check it out here. 

abi durrant fitness

I have had some really good training sessions this week, whether it is the realisation that it is only 8 weeks until I put on a bikini or whether I have found some internal motivation from somewhere else, I don’t know but I am not complaining! I also found a photo on my phone from July 2015, this is the look which I am going to try and reach once again this year….well we shall see! Diet wise, it has been a bit up and down, a mini binge episode on Tuesday evening followed by 4 pretty good days. I know what I need to do, just sometimes the ice cream and chocolate scream at me from behind their respective doors. If this is something which you suffer from, I have a video on my top tips for getting over a binge here. 

Right, what have been learning in week 20?

28th: Peas are actually a fruit as they grow from a seed and picked above ground.

29th: A captain can deliver a baby or marry people.

30th: A group of parrots is called a Pandemonium.

31st: By the end of this century, 70% of all known cold water corals in the entire ocean will be surrounded by sea water which is so acidic that it will be dissolving their coral structure.

June 1st: Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube river with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, with Pest on the east bank in 1873.

2nd: Today was National Fish and Chip Day. There are around 10,500 fish and chips shops in the UK. Ninety years ago there were 35,000.

3rd: The Champions League was introduced in 1992 and replaced the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, or simply European Cup. The pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country

I can’t believe we are up to week 20 already, I have just updated my photo a day for the year and that is now over 100! Crazy!

Love Abi xxxx


I love a routine. I like knowing what I am doing every day. However, sometimes these routines can get us into a little bit of a rut. The key to reaching goals is progressive overload, consistency and adherence. If you aren’t achieving these then I am afraid you are just plateauing.

I see it so often at the gym, people coming in doing the exact same workout, using the exact same weights, lifting for the exact same number of repetitions and sets, week after week. Then they wonder why they are not waking up looking like Tom Hardy or Jessica Alba?

‘A goal without a plan is just a wish.’

hollywood hike sign

You do not need to change what you are doing every session or every week, there is absolutely no need to shock your muscles by doing something different. However there are times when a change is necessary. If any of these points ring a bell then maybe it is time you did something about it!

#1 Progress has stalled
Is your workout helping you get closer to your goals? If not then you need to reevaluate and think about getting a new plan that will. Your goal will depend on you, it could be muscle gain, fat loss, strength, running time, but if you are not getting any closer to achieving it something has to change.

#2 Boredom has set in
If you are going in to the gym doing whatever fitness activity of your choice, but you are bored then I think it is time to find something which excites you. Fitness should be fun. There is no point in doing something if you are not enjoying it. Boredom means you are probably more likely to skip a session, or two, which is a slippery slope to be on. Find something new which you enjoy, the possibilities are endless. Rope a friend in, sign up to a new class, ask somebody to write you up a new workout programme, but don’t get bored!!

Boredom will affect motivation which will affect adherence which will affect results.

#3 Your goals have changed
If your initial goal was fat loss, but now you are happy with your figure and want to start gaining some strength, it is time to change programme. A plan to improve your 10km run speed will not help you reach that 100kg deadlift that you are now after.

#4 Your workout no longer challenges you
Every time you enter the gym you should be aiming to do better than the previous occasion. This could be in terms of lifting more weight, doing more sets, trying harder exercises. In order to make progress, your programme needs to challenge you so that your body has to react and adapt. Don’t go in and do the same 3 sets of 12 reps at the same weight every single week, your body will adapt and progress will stall.

abi durrant personal trainer

#5 You have been doing the same routine for longer than 3 months
Like I mentioned, you do not need to ‘shock’ your muscles by changing it up every workout or even every week. To see some form of results you need to be on some sort of progressive plan for a certain period of time. But if you have been following the same plan, with the same exercises, weights and reps for longer than 3 months, it is probably time to find a new one.

#6 You are getting injuries and feel beat up all the time
It may be time to take a little bit of time out and give your body time to recover. This doesn’t mean that you need stop doing everything all together, but it may mean that you take a step back for a couple of weeks. Try incorporating some yoga and stretching; change up your rep scheme and exercise choice. Yes your muscles may hurt after a particularly tough gym session, but you shouldnt consistently feel like you have gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

Your body is the most valuable asset you have, so look after it.

Make sure you are taking time to rest and recover. I do this by scheduling in a deload week every 4-6 weeks.

golds gym venice

#7 You don’t have any sort of plan at all
If you don’t have any sort of plan then it is time you got one. How do you think you are going to reach your end goal if you don’t know how to get there. If you are just going into the gym, hopping on whatever machine is available, lifting random weights and reps each time, and generally just feeling defeated and unmotivated once you have left, then it is time you got a little bit of structure.

Ask an instructor at your gym to help, it is what they are paid to do. Or failing that there are so many resources available online. I recommend www.bodybuilding.com if you want to find a routine. Youtube is great if you are unsure of how to perform exercises or just want some inspiration. But get a pen and paper, write something down, and have something to follow next time you enter the gym. You will feel much more accomplished afterwards.

If any of the above apply to you, then set aside a little bit of time to doing some research. Rather than just spinning your wheels and getting nowhere, freshen things up and jump back on that wagon!

If you are in need of any ideas or help then just drop me a comment or a message!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 21/31

It is time for another little workout inspiration for you! This week, we are looking at some abs and core exercises. We all know that ABS are are combination of good diet and exercise. Unless you lose fat overall, then your abs will not be visible, even if you do insist on doing 1000 crunches in your bedroom every night.

You cannot spot reduce fat!

Unfortunately, your body loses it from wherever it wants, in whatever order it wants.

But we can do some exercises focusing on the core and abs to help strengthen them and get that six pack to peak out a little bit when the time comes!

This week I have used a similar protocol with some of my clients, it is based on a tabata workout. Tabata workouts may look short, but they are intense. 20seconds rest then 10 seconds rest, and repeat 8 times through. So each round only lasts 4 minutes!!

I have come up with 3 separate tabata sets for you to try.

A1) Up and Down Plank
A2) Shoulder Taps

B1) Alternate Toe Taps
B2) Leg Lowers

C1) Full Crunches
C2) Scissor Crunches

So this workout should take you 12 minutes total!! But maybe take a minute rest in between each tabata set to catch your breath!

If you have a go let me know how you get on!!

If there are any types of workouts which you would like me to type up and film then just let me know!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 18/31

Barbell Complex

This is one of my favourite ways to get in a bit of cardio at the end of sessions, my clients also have a love/hate relationship with it!

A barbell complex is essentially doing a few exercises back to back without dropping the bar. The aim isn’t to go as heavy as possible, but rather to complete the circuit and get your heart rate up and bring about a cardio effect. I love it as it doesn’t feel l like you are performing ‘traditional’ cardio such as running or cycling.

Pick your weights, rep ranges and exercises wisely.

You want to make sure that you are able to perform all exercises (with good form) using the same weight. I know you can probably squat more than you can shoulder press, but for this complex choose the lightest weight which you can perform the hardest exercise at.

You can vary your reps within the circuit or just use the same for each exercise. Ie perform every exercise back to back for 10 reps, or you could, shoulder press x 8, row x 10, squat x12 for example.

I always choose exercises which flow on from one another in order to make the complex as efficient as possible. You don’t want to be back squatting, then performing a deadlift and then going back to lunges. Try and set it up so one exercise seamlessly jumps to the next.

You could set a timer and go for as many rounds as possible in 10  minutes, or you could set a number of rounds as a target to hit.

Rest as needed. Don’t go absolutely hell for leather and sacrifice form and therefore risk injury in the process, if you need to take time out then do so; but it should be hard so don’t use it as an excuse to wimp out!!

Here is one of my current favourites!

Set a timer for 10-15minutes and try and perform as many rounds as possible within that time. Choose a weight which you would be able to perform the hardest exercise at (here it is likely to be the shoulder press) and then go for it! Challenge a friend and see who triumphs!

Romanian Deadlift x 10
Bentover Barbell Row x 10
Front Squat x 10
Shoulder Press x 10
Back Squat x 10
Mountain Climbers x 10


Give this complex a whirl next time you are in the gym and see how you get on! Tag me and let me know!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 11/31

You may have seen this workout on Instagram or Facebook if you are following me on there! (If not, then I would love it if you did 🙂 ) But figured it was too good to not share on here as well!

The idea came from watching Steve Cook’s snapchat on December 31st, where he decided to do 2017 Press ups to bring the new year in! 2017 reps in one workout session, how hard could it be?

We decided to break workout up into ‘supersets’. A superset is just two exercises performed back to back. They can be used if you are short on time in the gym or are wanting to train to separate body parts simultaneously, or simply to increase the volume of your workout.

We wanted to do a full body workout and decided on 5 supersets. Each exercise would be performed for 10 reps, and then each superset is done 10 times through. In-between rounds of supersets, perform 200 skips. This equals 2000 reps. Then to finish, everybody’s favourite….17 burpees!


A1) DB Squat 10×10
A2) DB Shoulder Press 10×10

200 skips

B1) Feet raised flute bridge 10×10
B2) Press Ups 10×10

200 skips

C1) Straight leg DB deadlift 10×10
C2) Bentover DB row 10×10

200 skips

D1) Reverse Lunges 10×10
D2) Abs crunches 10×10

200 skips

E1) Plank shoulder taps 10×10
E2) Donkey Kickbacks 10×10

200 skips

F) 17 Burpees

Take as much or as little rest as you need, but the aim is to complete it as fast as possible but with good form. You don’t need to use heavy weights to make this an effective workout!

Grab a friend and have a go! I think this took us about 30-40minutes to complete so great if you are on a time constraint as well. Or you may simply want to mix things up!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 4/31