Q&A with PT Natalie Summers

18 October 2017 by
First published: 18 April 2016

Q&A with PT Natalie Summers

Check out our Q&A with PT Natalie Summers! We chatted to the adventurous personal trainer all about the highs and lows of her job and what motivates her on a daily basis.

Were you always into exercise growing up?

I wasn’t really into exercise, but as a tomboy I led a very active childhood. I was into roller skating, skateboarding, snowboarding, BMXing and mountain biking. On top of that, I found a love of geology and studied from GCSE right through to degree level, which meant I was constantly on outdoor field trips, rock climbing and hanging off cliff faces all over the British Isles!

How and when did you first start working as a personal trainer?

I fell pregnant with my daughter at 27 and was working as a technical author for a media software company. After a tough pregnancy and gaining over five stone of weight, I looked for a local PT to help me get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I had a shock when most PT’s in our local area thought I was delusional to get back into shape. So, I decided then and there to become a PT and I retrained on my maternity leave. I felt that if this was how PT’s made their clients feel, then I would offer a service that gave people confidence and helped them get the results they hoped for!

What’s the best and worst part of being a PT?

The best part, without a shadow of a doubt, is watching someone’s self esteem grow as they become more confident in their own skin. Amazing things happen when people start training – they feel better, they work harder, their positive energy increases and their lives turn around. I have clients that have been with me for 11 years who started training as a last resort, when they were depressed and disliked themselves. As they gained confidence in themselves, they began to thrive and not only do they have kickass physiques, but they’re successful in all areas of their lives!

The worst part is not being able to control external environmental factors that constantly seem to be against some clients, as sometimes this can be emotionally draining. Once I remember having three clients in a row, one who had sadly miscarried, one who had been diagnosed with cancer and the other who had been made redundant. As PT’s, people can think we’re invincible, but we take all this emotion home with us. To be a good PT, you have to channel all sorts of emotions in one day!

What’s your daily workout routine?

I do a fasted Tabata each morning and alternate between kettlebells and bodyweight and I also love to box! I have a great coach who I see weekly and in between I get the pads out with my very patient husband. I’m learning the rings at the moment… I’m not great, but I’m getting stronger and as a family we have all recently found a love of climbing at our local climbing centre!

When did you first meet Bear Grylls?

That would be about six years ago… Time flies, hey!

How did the idea to create BG EPIC Training, the fitness experience designed by you and Bear, come about?

Together we decided to write a book Your Life – Train For It – about our express training workouts focusing on bodyweight, kettlebells and power stretch and it just evolved from there!

How do you think you would fare on one of Bear’s survival reality shows?

Oh, tough question. I’d like to say I’d do well, but when I watch the shows Bear’s knowledge is vast and he has incredible mental clarity, which you can see when he trains. While I have great common sense, I’m not sure I would have the ability to have such mental clarity and I doubt I would stay that calm!

What’s the biggest fitness challenge that you’ve faced in your life?

A few years ago, I was running one of my fitness retreats in Turkey and I developed a rash. I assumed it was a heat rash and continued to work and jump around. It nearly ended in disaster, as I was admitted to hospital over in Turkey with a liver problem. I discharged myself, flew home on the next flight and ended up in A&E. I was diagnosed with viral hepatitis and streptococcal infection.

The consultant said I was very lucky to be here. I had no idea how serious a streptococcal infection could be, and it was made worse by the fact that I continued to exercise and pumped it around my system! If I’m being honest, I’m still getting my fitness slowly back to its peak, as I was unable to train at high intensity for a while. I’m determined to get there by summer this year, so I guess that’s been my biggest fitness challenge to date!

Do you have an inspirational motto that you live by?

‘Train to move freely both in your body and your mind.’

What advice would you give to someone struggling to maintain a good fitness regime?

Stop struggling. The fitness journey you have chosen is the wrong one. Try something new and keep trying something new until you find something that motivates you to get up and train.

What advice would you give to someone with ambitions to become a PT?

Make sure it’s not about you, not about your gym workout or the way you look. An inspirational PT is not one that is aesthetically pleasing, but one that is able to truly help clients on a physical and emotional level. They selflessly share their positive energy to change the way someone changes for life.

Twitter: @Natt_Summers

Instagram: @natt_summers

Visit nattsummers.co.uk

Natalie owns Accomplish Fitness and co founded BG EPIC Training with Bear Grylls.

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Q&A with PT Natalie Summers
Check out our Q&A with PT Natalie Summers! We chatted to the adventurous personal trainer all about the highs and lows of her job and what motivates her on a daily basis.