At Gym+Coffee, something we really try to promote is a healthy, active lifestyle. One that balances stretching yourself, getting more out of life with taking the time to unwind, relax with friends and stay grounded.
The Rise of Athleisure is more than just a fashion trend, it reflects a new way in which we live our lives. Leggings have become a major part of the Athleisure evolution and there is a cultural/lifestyle shift that goes along with it. On the Leggings Lifestyle we want to talk about the things that make up this cultural shift. This could be goal setting, yoga, athletics, sporting pursuits, mindfulness, healthy living, balance etc.
Recently we spoke to the four stars of the above video all about Life Balance. We also caught up with @JulieByoga to get an insight into Her Yoga Life. This time around we are heading to the gym.
Training is an integral part of the Leggings Lifestyle. Who better to get tips on smashing a leg day workout than with a competitive Olympic Lifter. We caught up with Sinead McSorley to hear all about how she got into the sport, how she balances work with passion and tips for building a strong lower body.
How did you get into Olympic Lifting and what has it brought to your life - physically + mentally?
SM: I've been lifting for about four years now and it all came about really naturally. My coach had just done a training course in OLY and asked if I wanted to try it. That was it, from that very first training session I was hooked. I couldn't wait for my next training session and it has been that way ever since. Olympic Lifting teaches you to be strong and to have discipline. Most importantly, it teaches you to respect the bar and your body.
For Olympic Lifting, you have to be strong both physically and mentally. For every lift that you make, there may be ten attempts that you don’t make. It is all about getting back up and trying again. Finding the will to keep going can be extremely hard. So, you definitely develop mental toughness.
Olympic Lifting reminds me every day that the body will achieve what the mind believes. It's true what they say “Approach it like it's heavy and it will be.”
What have been your biggest achievements in the sport?
SM: My biggest achievement is being ranked in the top 3 female lifters in Leinster for my weight class. I came into this sport in my thirties so to compete against young talent and actually earn my place is a big deal. Something I’m very proud of.
Any tips for anyone that is juggling career with passion?
SM: One word - PLANNING.
I'm a ninja when it comes to precision planning. What works best for me is scheduling out what competitions I want to compete in and working backwards from there. Training times are slotted in around my career and targets are set for each session.
I believe that you need a goal or competition to keep you motivated and focused.
Any advice for people that want to build strong, toned legs?
SM: I hate the word “toned”. Seriously, that word should only be used when referring to a musical note or a colour!
To build strong legs you have to train against resistance. It’s as simple as that. Squats and split lunges with weights are at the centre of my training programmes. I also use TRX training to build speed.
Single leg TRX burpees are my favourite. Sick I know!
What tips would you have for anyone trying to stay in shape while working a 9-5 job?
SM: The most important thing is to find some form of training that you love doing.
Whatever it is, it could be running, cycling, weightlifting. Do whatever makes you feel great. After that it is just about making the commitment to train. Put that training session in your diary and commit to it like it’s a business meeting.
Aside from that, move whenever you can. Get out at lunch time, sign up to fitness challenges in work and encourage those around you to do the same. Set a timer and make sure you get up every hour and move around.
It is also very important to that you eat well in order to fuel your mind and body.
Do you have a leg day routine that people could try out? One that you’ve found most effective.
SM: This one is a great circuit for working the legs.
30 seconds of ‘Lunge Skips’
30 seconds of ‘Squat Jumps’
30 seconds of ‘Barbell Back Squats’. (Aim for at least 10-12 in the 30 secs)
30 seconds of ‘Split Lunges’ Left Leg - (Use a bench for stability and barbell if you can manage extra weight)
30 seconds of ‘Split Lunges’ Right Leg - (Same as above)
That’s five different exercises. Do four rounds in total. That’s twenty sets altogether.
Do 30 seconds on each exercise followed by 30 seconds rest. Feel the burn!
Thanks very much to Sinead for all her tips and advice. We would also like to thank her for the help she gave in putting our leggings through their paces when we were testing out our latest designs. Learn more about the journey to launching our leggings by reading this blog post. For more in the Leggings Lifestyle check out our feature on Balancing Life with Passion.