From Personal Trainer to Health and Fitness Coaching

Say hello to my new health and fitness coaching service!

Here’s why I am now health and fitness coaching: to offer a more holistic approach to stressed out working mums. Think habit-change and mindset coaching layered in with my exercise knowledge and people experience as a Personal Trainer and Mum. It’s an idea that’s been brewing for a while, and here’s the story behind it.  

Bianca Sainty is wearing a green vest training top and resting her elbow on the Millennium Bridge in London. She smiles and looks into the distance as she thinks about her health and fitness coaching

My journey to health and fitness coaching…

When I started Personal Training clients 10 years ago, I poured all my time and energy into planning and delivering their fitness sessions. I put a lot of work into keeping it fun and varied, with the client’s goals in mind. I wanted exercise to be enjoyable for them.

After four back to back sessions (an average day for me) I was totally pooped! I would go home to eat and rest before planning the next day’s sessions. I would start the work/life admin catch up, before picking up the kids from school and launching into ‘that part’ of my day. Often I would return to the laptop after they’d gone to bed.

Whilst I was confident I was doing a good job for my clients on one level – keeping them moving, progressing and enjoying the journey towards their goals – I often felt frustrated.

This little voice in my head kept piping up, to ask me: “But what about the rest of their lifestyle? Are they sat at a desk all day? Do they move enough throughout the day? What are they eating? Do they drink enough water? Do they feel good in themselves, confident and energised? Or are they stressed and frazzled? How can I help them feel even better in their day-to-day life?”

Time to think

At the time, I just didn’t have the energy or headspace to address it. So, these questions and ideas bobbed about in my mind, like those important but not urgent emails. You’ve read them and are thinking about them, but you’ve not quite formulated your response yet.

As the Pod Fitness business grew and I hired PTs to work with me, I handed over clients to them to train. Now I was beginning to have the headspace to start to figure out some answers to those big questions.

I wanted to reach beyond our sessions and make more of an impact on clients’ everyday life. To engage them on a deeper level about their health goals, as this seemed the key to unlocking greater self-motivation. I wanted to help my clients make those small but critical changes to their everyday that would amplify their feel-good. I wanted to empower them with the knowledge and confidence they needed to succeed on their own. But I still couldn’t figure out how.

Time to listen

So I made myself available to clients for check-in chats. We would meet, often over coffee, and I would ask them how training was going. This was also my chance to broaden the conversation: how was life in general for them. What was really going on for them?

Listening to them was fascinating and illuminating. Finally I was able to piece together their bigger picture and fill it in with the granular detail of their daily lives. I gained precious insight into the many different pulls on their time and energy. At last I was accessing the info I needed to answer that little, questioning voice in my head. Now I felt that I could genuinely formulate a movement plan that I was 100% confident would work for them. I could also start to offer ideas of small, everyday changes that would help them sail through the more gnarly bits of life.

Now we’re talking!

Over the years, I have come to understand that taking control of your health and fitness is not as simple as fitting in that PT session or spin class or Bootcamp. You need a much more rounded approach.

An approach that looks at making small changes throughout your day to optimise your feel-good. Where you spend time getting to know yourself and your needs. To understand your thought patterns and how they can help as well as hinder you. An approach which enables you to ditch the guilt and up the feel good at every opportunity.

Accepting. It’s about accepting that life throws curveballs all the time, and that being flexible with yourself is key. When time and energy is pinched, it’s about focussing on what you can do rather than what you can’t. It’s about checking in daily (sometimes even hourly) with how you feel and where your mind is at. Knowing that it’s ok to tweak the plan to work with you, rather than against you.

These principles and beliefs now form the cornerstones of my holistic health and fitness coaching service.

Health and fitness coaching for working mums

Now that I’ve sold the PT business, I can devote 100% of my energy to delving deep with my clients. In case you’re wondering, my clients are the O.G. master-jugglers, that’s working mums of course! Might as well focus on what I know, right? Plus, my two teens continue to provide me with plenty of lived experience of just how tricky that juggle is!

Because really understanding your juggle is crucial. Only once this is done can I focus on flushing out the stress-points in your life. Then I can guide you to the right habit changes for you, and set you up with the right systems to support successful and enduring change. Do-able, small changes that are as stress-free as possible to put into practice. Little things that will grow, rather than sap, your confidence.

Working together

In a nutshell, here’s what we work on together:

  • we explore your deeper motivations for change and the type of person you want to become
  • we identify and agree habit changes that will start to move you towards becoming this person
  • I use my PT knowledge to craft the right movement plan for you (and one that you will enjoy!)
  • I help you organise your life so your plan becomes your new normal in the easiest way possible

So this is where I’m at with it right now. I’ll continue to look, listen and learn, to develop my knowledge and understanding of habit-change (big fan of James Clear’s ‘Atomic Habits’ by the way). Meanwhile, I am so excited to be supporting stressed out working mums to ditch the guilt and take control of their health and fitness.

If you’re thinking: “I need this health and fitness coaching in my life!”, you can learn more about how we can work together here. Or just drop me a line at hello@biancasainty.com

Bianca x