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If you previously knew Alice Liveing as Clean Eating Alice, that’s no more. London’s most famous female PT has matured in body and mind.
After starting work at Third Space, London, Alice Liveing transformed her fitness routine; what began with calorie-torching bodyweight HIIT today is geared towards building a strong body for life, not the scales.
In essence, her focus has shifted from sweat to strength. To do so, Liveing changed her mindset. She decided to challenge herself by spending more time on the training that she struggled with, rather than focusing on what she liked.
And without restricting her programme, Alice now trains not only with her PT, but with friends, in classes and with her boyfriend.
Between training, recovery and low-intensity classes, Alice Liveing told WH exactly how she trains each week.
Alice Liveing on her week in workouts:
Before I started working at Third Space, which was a little over a year ago, I’d say my training was more sporadic. I didn’t have much structure to it. I, like most people, tended to train what I was good at, which is a really common thing. Everyone wants to do what you’re good at.
Overhead work was quite easy for me because I’ve got mobile shoulders. So I tended to stick to a set of exercises that I was good at and didn’t really venture outside of that.
When I started my new role and I began to exercise with Elite Trainer Andy Vincent things changed. Today, I follow a workout schedule that includes two lower body and two upper body sessions a week, along with a healthy mix of cross-training.
So, what’s changed in Alice Liveing’s training routine?
I have cut down on strength training. I used to do five sessions a week and now I aim for four. I’ve also decreased my HIIT and do this every now and then rather than all the time.
Instead, I burn energy through low-intensity steady state recovery work. Sometimes this low intensity is a 45 minute walk or maybe yoga. I’m more focused on recovery and have come to appreciate its significance in my physical journey.
But I also eat and sleep and do all the things that are normal. My life does not revolve around exercise. I think people think that my diary is dictated to by my training and that’s not the case, my diary is dictated to by what I want to do.
Yes, I enjoy my training so sometimes that might take precedence over certain things, but at the same time it’s not the be all and end all. If I want to have social interaction over going to the gym, I 100% will.
I’m not that much of a planner. I organise to see my friends and fit the gym around it, just because it makes sense. It’s not that I’m planning it, I just sort of go with the flow of life.
UPPER BODY WORKOUT
Quite often this is my upper body workout.
The focus of my 60-minute strength sessions is to build a fitter and stronger body, then keep it that way. On upper body days I focus on a combination of pushing and pulling exercises.
These are my favourite:
- Bench press
- Single arm landmine press
- Single arm rows
- Resistance band pull aparts
No strength session begins unless I’m warm and mobile. I always spend time working through the movements I’ll do later with weight.
LOWER BODY WORKOUT
On lower body workout days I focus on building strength to sculpt. To do that, I need to address weaknesses.
I pronate a lot in my feet, dropped arches they call it, so I try to work on building strength in my ankles. I recently had Achilles tendonitis so I focus on isolated calf work, which I wouldn’t tend to have in a programme normally. It’s really to help build strength in my ankles.
To strengthen my glutes, quads and hamstrings I’ll often include these exercises in my workout:
- Resistance band glute bridge
- Sumo deadlift
- Barbell lunge
- Step up
- Back squat
I like the fact that I have really good structure in my training, but every now and then it’s nice to go to a class and have someone else take over and just tell you what to do. For example Unit in Fulham on the occasion, or I sometimes go to BXR. And we’ve got a new WOD class (Workout of the Day) here. It’s a Crossfit style class. I tried it and it’s amazing.
You don’t even have to think about it. Maybe you’ve had a busy week or you just need someone else to hand hold a bit. And everyone loves that sweaty post-workout feeling – I don’t always get that after strength training, so it’s sometimes nice to go to a class and actually feel that adrenaline rush afterwards.
UPPER BODY WORKOUT
It’s back to upper body day and I need to focus on my weaker lifts and the areas I need to work on more.
For accessory work I tend to work in a 8-12 rep range.
During my rest time I check my phone, and listen to audiobooks. I’m listening to this book I’ve been raving about, it’s called Eleanor Oliphant is Absolutely Fine. It’s really good, I’m halfway through listening to it and I’m just gripped. I’ve not had that with a book in so long!
During one session I was actually reacting in the gym to the book. I do a five-minute walk on the treadmill to warm up so I was doing that, and suddenly something happened in the book and I gasped. I was like I’m sure people are looking at me but I don’t even care because it’s just so good.
LOWER BODY WORKOUT
Last lower body session of the week.
When I’m lifting heavy I probably lift no more than 4 sets, and it tends to be between 4-6 reps. That’s for my big lifts, the kind of compound exercises.
I think every training programme should have things that you enjoy doing and it shouldn’t all be horrible, so I include squats as I like squatting more than my bodyweight.
HYBRID WORKOUT OR A CLASS
On the weekends I tend to train with my boyfriend, Paddy. So we might do a rogue session on whatever we’re feeling, because obviously we do different sessions throughout the week.
So for example if he’s done legs on Friday and I want to do them on Saturday we’ll do a hybrid session. So I can kind of mix it up, I don’t feel like I need to stick to my programme 100%.
We like doing classes together as well. He really enjoys training and we like doing it together.
I also love yoga. I go to a place called the Power Yoga Company, which is great.
I find it really difficult to stay in bed. One thing I do on a rest day which makes me feel really good is get outdoors.
Most of my training takes place inside so in a gym, in a class, in a yoga studio, so on my rest days, it’s not that I’m exercising I just like to get out into nature.
Last week Paddy and I went out for an hour-long walk along the river in Putney – it’s a nice way to move your body.
I am a big believer in the power of nature. It might sound sad to some, but I honestly think it’s very therapeutic and having grown up in the countryside, I personally need that open space.
Some days I get to the gym at 6am and don’t even see daylight. So I try and get outside and go for a long walk as much as I can.
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