I’m Marika, I’m 31 years old and I live in West London. I’m from Mielec a small town in Poland and I came to England a few years ago to pursue my dream of becoming a personal trainer.
I have always been very sporty and I’ve always really enjoyed going to the gym – it’s amazing what your body can do when you push yourself to your limits. I grew up in a very healthy and active family: taking our dogs to the park, skiing, just being outside as a family and that’s stayed with me as I’ve gotten older.
I studied physical education at university and, on completion, I decided to start a Personal Trainer course – I just knew I’d enjoy motivating other people to be their best. I came to London a few years ago and, whilst it was a little scary at first, I found a job pretty quickly. I was very lucky to find a great gym with amazing facilities right on my doorstep and I’ve been there now for over 3 years!
What is your daily routine?
I get up at about 5.30am, depending on what time I have my first client. Obviously, most people work 9 – 5 so the bulk of my clients want to see me before or after work. I maybe see 5-6 clients in the morning and then head for lunch with a friend. I do some work with a couple of local businesses so may head to their offices in the afternoon to get their staff moving – it’s tough to sit at your desk all day so I find this work really rewarding. I see more clients in the evening and usually finish by 8pm, head home for some dinner and an early night. It’s very important for me to be fit and healthy so I try and get my own workout in at some point too!
What does your meal plan look like?
I don’t actually have a typical meal plan. I know my body so well, I listen to it all the time and I eat as often as I feel I need to. I choose very simply, healthy foods – lots of vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbs.
I’m a fan of intermittent fasting – I don’t usually eat my first meal until mid-morning or lunchtime and that really works for me as I’m at my busiest in the mornings.
What do you think that people should do to achieve a healthy lifestyle?
Switch your focus from weight loss or comparing yourself to others – really it’s all about being consistent and being the best version of yourself.
What are your 5 tips for people to manage their daily meals and exercise?
- Make a promise to do just 30 minutes of exercise a day – get out for a walk, go for a lunchtime run with a friend, ride your bike to work – anything.
- Make sure are you consistent – it’s the things that you do on a daily basis which has the most impact
- Forget about miracle diets they do not exist! Try to eat healthier options: vegetables, lean proteins, avoid fried and processed foods. Try to eat home-cooked meals and check your portion sizes
- Drink lots of water. Muscles are made up of 73% water so you need to replenish. Water also keeps you feeling satiated so you want as much.
- Find your way to train. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll do it more often. Join a local club or team or start something with a friend – you’re more likely to commit if you’re a part of something bigger!
What is the first thing a person should do if he/she wants to lose weight?
Think about calorie deficit – it’s the only way. You need to burn more than you put in. You can be in deficit in two ways; either by eating less or by exercising to burn calories. Do them both together and you have a sure-fire way of losing weight.
Are you for or against counting calories?
Yes and no. I think, at the start of any period of weight loss, it’s always a good idea to track your calories over a few days, just so you can see where you’re going right and where you’re jeopardising yourself.
Can you tell us 3 exercises that you recommend for a daily routine?
Squats (weighted if possible) – they use the biggest muscles in your body
Jumping Jacks – get your heart rate going
Push-Ups – tone your arms and your core
Do 30 seconds of each, back to back, trying to do as many as possible. Have a 30 second break and then repeat. Do this five times.
What is your plan in the fitness industry?
I love watching my clients achieve their goals and this is why I do what I do. I’m also hoping to start getting into schools to talk about fitness – it’s so important to speak to young children about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Do you have any motivational quotes?
No pain, no gain!! It’s cliched but it’s true – to see results, you have to get out of your comfort zone. That’s where having a trainer can really help – they can push you further than you ever thought possible – just ask some of my clients!!