Life’s too short to say no to cake – at least in #TeamCoco’s book. Which is why we were relieved to finally meet a fitness pro who feels the same way. Enter celebrity trainer Tim Hayes, founder of Peach fitness – an app that connects busy Londoners with personal trainers. Championing a more well-rounded approach to fitness, Peach’s top team of PT’s provide highly personalised training based on nuances in your body’s movements. We sent our girl Beth to be put through her paces.
I meet Tim in Shoreditch Park on a sunny Monday morning – already a winning change from my usual schlep across London to some savage underground HIIT class. Having never had a personal training session before, I’m a little hesitant, and mostly praying this won’t involve someone shouting at me while I run reluctant laps of the park.
Thankfully, within a few minutes, I’m sat in the shade with my socks and shoes off. Tim takes the time to explain that Peach is all about movement, and that to change the way our body performs, we need to move the way it was designed. That expertise is what Peach’s trainers aim to give people access to.
“Whatever your goal, moving is what you do in a personal training session and everyone – without exception – moves differently. A session is only truly a ‘personal’ training session when your trainer understands movement on a deep level,” he explains.
Tim shows me a few exercises tailored to my body and how best to practice these so that I am properly engaging my muscles. Turns out, while squatting with my toes turned in may look strange, after a few rounds I find my range of movement so much improved I can almost hit the floor – something I’d previously thought impossible. Each exercise is so tailored to my way of moving, I can maximise my training by tweaking these exercises to push my body out of its comfort zone and really engage my muscles.
Tim then asks me to visualise a goal – something meaningful. I struggle – my usual target of shifting a few pounds suddenly seems a little insignificant. “Think about the why,” he encourages. Together we decide on one pull up – not exactly Rocky, but something centred around strength and not out of reach (particularly given that my idea of #eatclean involves finishing my Sunday roast).
Following years in the city in corporate sales, Tim seems to empathise with this kind of busy London lifestyle. He tells me that while we’re all after quick results and delight in most trainers being able to promise us our dream body in a matter of weeks, for anyone with a normal life, this is both completely unsustainable. Instead, Tim recommends allowing a period of at least 6 months to reach a realistic goal – this is where Peach differs from your standard PT – they are able to set personalised targets with the realities of your lifestyle in mind, which they find tends to lead to more sustainable results long term.
I’d previously taken any trainers word as fitness gospel, but Tim explains that there’s a real lack of education in the industry. The majority of PT’s choose a 6-month course which amounts to just 30 days of actual learning while in comparison sports coaches complete a 3-year degree before they are allowed to work with athlete’s bodies. Tim is all too aware of the problem of promising your clients the world, it’s something he admits to previously being guilty of when he first qualified. Which is why he created Peach’s training Academy – holding all of Peach’s trainers to the highest standards and newest findings in exercise science.
So what did I learn? Well, I can definitely feel the difference after just one session. Despite my initial scepticism, you don’t have to break a sweat to do a full body workout – if you’re engaging your muscles properly. I might have felt pretty fresh after our session, but I find myself walking like John Wayne the next day – a sign that I’m engaging previously neglected muscles. Second, even if you’re wedded to your gym, Peach’s one-on-one training can really help to re-focus on the nuances in your bodies movement to improve your overall fitness. It’s something I’ve taken forwards and worked into my training, however small – whether that’s how my foot hits the floor or reminding myself to engage my stomach muscles properly during a boxing session. But most importantly, it reminded me that while we might all be yearning for that peachy bum, our bodies are just as functional as they are decorative. Working out should never be a punishment, but should make us stronger, happier and more fulfilled, whatever our individual goals and lifestyle may be.
Download the app via getpeach.com or contact email@example.com. Peach is currently available in London but is in the process of setting up international versions.