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Q&A with Kirsty Godso


During her second week using the Nike Training Schedule, Bridget Hewitt gets some inspiration from Kirsty Godso, Nike Master Trainer and the designer of the 4-week programme.

A few weeks in and I have been attacking the Nike Training Schedule and Les Mills Grit classes. Lately I have been doing more classes during my lunch breaks, and the endorphin rush afterwards has made such a difference in my afternoons. By 3.30 I’m usually ready to curl up under my desk for a wee nap but now my energy levels are high and I feel so much more alert, goodbye 3.30-itis!

To keep the inspiration flowing myself and fellow Miss FQ girl Astrid meet up with Les Mills Brand Manager and Nike Master Trainer Kirsty Godso, who is extremely lovely and oh so admirable. Keep reading to learn what motivates Kirsty and some of her secrets to a lean mean bod!

How did you get to be involved with Les Mills Grit classes and Nike?

I’ve always been a gym junkie, but I wasn’t always a trainer. I studied finance and marketing.

I did lots of sports growing up – I did really competitive water polo until I really badly broke my knee and I had to refocus. I used to do a lot of athletics and I loved running, but then I had to change to sprinting rather than long distance running. I was always committing to too many sports at school, so once I left school I found I had this huge hole I needed to fill. Then I got addicted to the gym and going to classes. I was actually pulled out of a Body Pump class by Les Mills, which was how I got involved with Grit.

It had always been my dream to work for Nike, ever since I was five. I never imagined that I could ever be a trainer for them; I always thought it would be more like an office job or something. I actually thought it was a prank the first time they contacted me!

What motivates you?

I’m so competitive with myself, it’s actually embarrassing! I don’t really compete with other people because everyone has their own limits and strengths. I’m always setting goals for myself. Some people set goals like “I want to run 20 kilometres”, but mine are like “I want to do 20 chin-ups.” It’s those things that really keep me going.

Having something like Grit which is ongoing, it’s like you are an athlete. To be in this continuous cycle all the time, you don’t have time to fall off the wagon. That’s motivating when you have to live in Lycra and train other trainers. I know there’s always something new to learn and something more that I could probably achieve. I love to prove a point – people always say “oh, you’re so small” and then I say “I bet I can squat more weight than you!”

How often do you work out?

Twice a day usually. I’m meant to take a rest day, but I usually do yoga or ab stuff or play basketball with my flat mates on my days off. There’ll be days where I might teach three times in a day and then I might have a session with my personal trainer as well. I spend so much time training other people, so it’s nice to be trained myself.

What’s your favourite Nike Training Club workout?

There’s a 15 minute one called Alpha Abs that’s totally kicking my ass, or rather my abs, at the moment! And I like Hollywood Ab Blast – they’re both from Get Focused. Alex Morgan (American soccer player) has one called Explosive Power – that’s 15 minutes and it really messes you up!


Can you tell us about Grit?

There are three types of Grit class – Cardio, Strength and Plyo. They’re all high intensity training but they all offer something slightly different. For Cardio you use equipment, for Plyo you use the bench and for Strength you sometimes use the bench and you always have the barbell and a plate.

People have this mind-set that they have to be in the gym for an hour, but you don’t. Your optimal time to be in the gym is 30-45 minutes because then your hormonal response starts to drop off. HIT (high intensity training) is meant to be short and sharp, because that allows you to spike your heart rate into an anaerobic training zone, which is when your body starts to go into a panic state. It’s fighting for oxygen and that’s why you have short recoveries. But if you don’t have the recovery in there, you can’t spike your heart rate.

It’s such an effective way to train because the post-calorie burn is ridiculous. You’re going to be burning calories from anywhere between 12 and 24 hours because your heart rate goes through the roof. And that’s where the benefits come in.

It’s also important to note with high intensity training that you shouldn’t do it every day, because that’s when you burn out. You need to have a structured schedule, so you might do three a week but then you might also do a weights class or go for a run or do yoga. It’s important to mix things up.

What would you say to someone who’s never tried Grit before?

Go for it! Be prepared for the first few sessions to kick you in the butt – if it’s any consolation I’ve been teaching Grit for two and a half years and it still totally ruins me! But I haven’t spoken to anyone who’s tried it and said “I’m never doing that again.” You need to give it a couple of weeks – you can’t argue with the results! It drastically changes your fitness levels and the shape of your body.

It’s important if you’re new to talk to the instructor first. If it’s a class that uses equipment they’ll help you with weight selection. If you’re finding it all too much, don’t be afraid to stop and lower your intensity before jumping back into the workout. It should actually be fun at the end of the day.

Snacking is really big for us in the office. What would you recommend as a healthy snack?

I eat a lot of raw nuts. I love cashews, macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts. I’d also recommend fruit that’s high in fibre and low in sugar – I love pears and peaches. And I love these things called Bounce Balls – they’re really delicious and they come in the most amazing flavours like coconut and macadamia and spirulina. I always tell people to steer clear of protein bars. People need to be careful to read packaging because often they’re full of sugar and aren’t good for you at all.

Often you really just need to eat more protein to fill you up with lunch meals to avoid snacking. I eat two lunches every day, one at 11.30 and then again at 2.30. I’ll eat 100 grams of protein, like salmon or chicken, and vegetables. Remember it’s not about eating low fat; it’s about eating high fat but good fat.

Photos: Nike


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