Start off by telling us about yourself and your journey!
My Names is Katie and I’m a 35-year-old personal trainer from the UK now living in Mexico working as a personal trainer and group instructor at Tulum Jungle Gym. I’ve competed in sports since the age of 6 swimming, kickboxing, Ironman triathlons, gymnastics, powerlifting, and bodybuilding. As you can see, I’m a jack of all sports and like to try new sports. I choose a sport that I’m not very good at, put in the time and dedication to master it, compete, win a medal and then get bored so look to a new sport for some new inspiration in my life.
How did you get into fitness?
I started swimming lessons at age 6 and took to it like a dish to water and started swimming for squad and training before and after school.
What's your fitness specialty?
Endurance. I'm an endurance athlete at heart and a really good pacer. I know how to pace myself to get the job done. I would also say I’m a metabolic expert and have a huge array of fun. Hard hit retcon workouts suitable for any range of ability.
What's your preferred style of encouragement?
All styles work for me, from funny comments that make me laugh, to negative comments that make me angry and want to cry, to positive ones that make me feel good about myself and what I am doing. To be honest, harsh comments usually get to me and I want to show my coach that they are wrong. Therefore I would say truthful comments work best followed by positive ones that make you feel that all the effort s worth it.
What would you recommend to someone that is new to the city, or working out, in terms of meeting and connecting with others?
Taking a class. The more classes you take the more people you are going to meet and make friends with who will be like-minded and who you have things in common with.
How do you track fitness goals?
I don’t use any apps. You don’t need an app to tell you if you are doing better than the week before. You know in your head, you can feel it in your body, no app can tell you how your body feels. I’m a big believer in old style training that didn’t involve technology.
What metrics do you track for your goals?
PB on time, PB on weight lifted, RPM.
How are your favorite workouts structured? By sets and reps? Or Sets and Duration?
I changed my workout every day so don’t have a set routine. I like to mix it up from week to week so no session is ever the same. My favorite workout would involve mobility to start, a heavy lifting session with mixed rep ranges and sets, followed by a HIIT session and then stretching again.
Who are your fitness icons/mentors/heroes/inspiration?
Myself. I don’t look to anyone else for their motivation or inspiration. I’m inspired by my own achievements and how far I can push myself.
What is your favorite food?
Dark chocolate or a great British classic……Sunday roast.
What is your word for 2019?
Mañana (tomorrow) as there's always room from improvement tomorrow.
What’s your go-to song or artist at the gym?
Trance. I love trance, but at the moment, I’m loving Group Therapy’s Above, and Beyond Live at Hong Kong. It really gets my blood pumping before a heavy session.
What are three interesting facts about you?
1. I was undertaking a Ph.D. in criminology and Law before leaving to pursue my passion and become a personal trainer.
2. I am super clumsy and always injure myself.
3. I don’t take life too seriously. I’ve never stuck to a diet or nutrition plan in my life and would never weigh my food.
What is your greatest achievement and how has it shaped you?
Becoming an Ironman, there is nothing that compares to giving up your life for 1.5 years, not seeing friends or family, cycling and swimming in Gail force winds and cold icy conditions, the injuries, the bruises, the boils, and tears to then passing that finishing line and hearing the words “Katie Davies” you are an Ironman. It makes you realize that if you really put your mind to something and you really want it you can achieve anything.
I happened to see an Ironman race on TV and being an endurance athlete. I remember thinking I want to be an Ironman. That sounds so cool. Then the next week I joined a Triathlon club, signed up to do an Ironman a year later, and set out a training plan. I had never open water swam before. I didn’t own a bike and had never cycled in cleats. The whole thing was a learning experience from start to finish. I now know that I hate cycling downhill and cry that a baby if its past 20%. I've fallen off I don’t how many times because my legs were so tired that I just couldn’t turn the pedals anymore. I ended up with saddle sores, dislocated shoulders, a torn ligament in my patella and many times I just wanted to give up.
Thinking is this sport really for me, but then there was this voice in the back of my head saying “you can do it… tough times don’t last forever but tough people do”.
After becoming an Ironman and then getting the tattoo on my arm (so I can be reminded of what I achieved) it really has made me realize just what I am capable of both mentally and physically if I put my mind to it.
If you could master one skill you do not have, what would it be?
The squat…. Oh, the dreaded squat. My nemesis exercises for so many years, mainly due to a hip injury, but all I want to be able to do is squat heavy and low. I can squat heavy, but not low, or low but not heavy. I would love to be able to combine the two and have the perfect squat.
Also languages. I’m terrible at pronunciation, so learning Spanish while living in Mexico is very challenging for me. I've been trying for 2 years and just can’t retain the words or even say them. I'm not giving up, but let's just say I don’t take to Spanish like a fish to water. Thank goodness I come from an endurance background as I’m going to be in the learning Spanish game for a good few years to come.