You can’t be in the fitness blogging world and not know about Carly Rowena: the personal trainer has garnered a massive following online for her expertise and positive approach (and personally I like anyone who’s Instagram bio says ‘Forever trying to make food go to my boobs’).
I was lucky enough to interview Carly while she was working with Stand Up To Cancer earlier this year – here’s what she had to say…
How did you first get into fitness?
‘As a child I was always running around outdoors instead of watching TV, so it was no surprise that I joined the gym as soon as I could.
‘The big shock was that I fell in love with weights. I had previously always been a cardio bunny but weights changed my whole outlook and the shape of my body.’
What does you typical week in workouts look like now?
‘I try to never go two days without working out, but to be honest four days is usually the most I can into my schedule due to travel and work commitments.
‘At best, I like to have two HIIT sessions and 3 LISS sessions a week (this usually comprises of a walk or jog with my dog).
‘Weights-wise, I split my body in four groups: Legs and Butt, Chest and Biceps, Back and Triceps, Shoulders and Core.’
What are the most common gym mistakes people make?
‘Far too often I see women spending all their time doing cardio and men only focusing on weights. Women end up with arthritis and men have heart attacks – there needs to be a balance.’
How do we get abs like yours?!
‘One word: food. I know no-one wants to hear this, but abs don’t come from exercise unless you have extremely strong genetics.
‘Reducing stress levels, eating a balanced diet and having at least 6 to 8 hours sleep a night will get you much closer.
‘The best exercises to boost muscle in my opinion are hanging leg raises, planks and side plank dips.’
What’s the best way to get more out of your workouts?
‘If possible, get a trainer. You are never more aware of how much harder you can work than when someone else shows you.
‘If you’re not sweating or can’t feel your heartbeat quicken then you’re not pushing hard enough!’
Who is your biggest fitness inspiration?
‘My mum! She used to run marathons even though she was suffering with ME. She’s now my favourite client and loves to show her friends that she can do pull-ups at the age of 69!’
What’s the best way to motivate yourself when you don’t feel like exercising?
‘We ALL have days like that. I suffer from adrenal fatigue, and sometimes exercise is the last thing in the world I want to do.
‘But then I log in to my social channels and read the incredible comments or emails I receive from my followers and I can’t wait to get moving. They’re my inspiration!
Niomi and Carly Rowena put on a special Barry’s Bootcamp class to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer. Check out their YouTube channels to see how they got on.