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Introducing Holly Lynch | Personal trainer extraordinaire

Holly Lynch headshot Fitness Evolution Burnley

Holly Lynch was named Personal Trainer of the Year in 2018 and currently works as a personal trainer and co-ordinator at Fitness Evolution, a dynamic new facility based on the Burnley College campus.

We caught up with her to find out her story, what’s next in the world of fitness, plus some tips for getting in shape this year…

Fitness Evo Facilities - Richard Tymon-10

The journey to today’s role as Personal Trainer of the Year…

I didn’t originally choose a sports career – I went down the arts path instead and studied English, media and theatre at sixth form, but I was always part of all of the sports teams throughout school (Holly attended Edge End High in Nelson). Fitness was a hobby rather than something I thought I’d end up making a career out of.

I took a year out after sixth form instead of going straight to University and actually auditioned for drama school! I then moved to Greece for 3 years, came back and started a degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science at UCLan and have never looked back.

Thoughts on living at home whilst studying at uni…

This was the perfect choice for me as I’d already had the ‘living away from home’ experience in Greece. Living and studying close to home also meant that I could fuse together my education and life outside of studying as one. Basically, I was able to get a job on the side (with Pendle Leisure Trust) that benefitted my degree and career in the long run and kept it through the summer too, rather than just getting a job anywhere to earn money whilst at Uni.

Life at Fitness Evolution

I was headhunted for the role at Fitness Evolution and was lucky enough to be really hands on with the whole process right from the beginning – everything from the branding, décor, classes and the equipment. In fact, one of the interview questions was ‘what’s your vision for this space’ as it stood as a blank canvas; a big responsibility for a newcomer, but they wanted young, fresh ideas and it was a great time to get on board and see something come to life.

We now run around 50 classes per week – a mixture of Fit Pro and Freestyle. I’m a national trainer for Fit Pro (the world’s largest organisation for fitness professionals) which means I’ve got my ear to the ground where new trends and classes are concerned, so it’s great to be able to bring that insight back to Burnley.

On being named Personal Trainer of the Year…

One of the reasons that the judging panel said I was chosen as the winner last year was partly due to my work within the community – the subsidised boot camp classes aimed at the wider community that we run, being part of this. It was great to be recognised and it highlighted the fact that it’s not always about the trainers who earn the most or who have the biggest social media following.

Fit for professional sports teams…  

Professional sports players and teams such as Accrington Stanley, Brisbane Broncos and British cycling use the facility.I don’t think that people realise what’s on their doorstep – you often associate things like that with bigger cities – Manchester, Liverpool, etc. but we’ve been able to attract such teams to Fitness Evolution because of the hi-tech equipment and facilities that have been developed here.

Next big thing in fitness

Joe Wicksand HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts is still going strong. The rise of social influencers training without equipment has also shifted the way that people are thinking about training – studio based workouts (rather than using gym equipment) are definitely on the rise. Around 60% of our members purely use the classes, not the gym.

Instagram and unrealistic fitness…

Instagram has made fitness more socially acceptable and popular, especially amongst girls – think they call it the Kardashian effect?! It does have its downside too and some of the images on there set hugely unrealistic expectations which unfortunately are very impressionable on young people.

Clients come in and show me photos of people they follow on Instagram and want to achieve the same ‘look’. Half of the time, these photos have the ‘muscle filter’ applied (yes, that’s a real thing on Instagram, so don’t be fooled!) and girls in particular want to lose weight everywhere but their bum (hi again Kardashians reference). I combat this by explaining and educating my clients on why we train, how our bodies work and how aesthetic is a happy coincidence.

Thoughts on Burnley…

Small but packed with ‘stuff’! Its progressive, there’s lots of building developments going on which is a positive sign. It’s also got a raging nightlife, for the size of it! Burnley people are real, salt of the earth types. You can chat to anybody about anything. There’s not many places you can say that with confidence.

In terms of other things to do, Carnivoro is a great restaurant that I like to go to and recommend to my clients – its healthy and there’s loads of choice to it makes eating out so much easier if you are in the midst of training.

Making the most of the Great Outdoors…

There are some great places to train outdoors in and around Burnley – Towneley Park, Thompson Park, lots of multipurpose areas that people may not know about – the 3G pitch at Fitness Evolution is just one of them. There’s also a brilliant circular run (or walk if you prefer!) starting from Burnley and around Pendle Hill.

Holly Lynch training at Fitness Evolution

Holly’s New Year fitness advice…

  • The body likes routine and variety in training– don’t dip in and out of fitness, maintain it
  • Ideally need to be training for a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 times a week
  • If you pick up a niggle during training, don’t be discouraged by it – at F.E. there are trainers, physios, GP referral staff – utilise what you pay your membership for

Holly’s New Year healthy eating tips…

  • Eat what is made naturally – be that fruit, vegetables, meat
  • If you can’t understand ingredients on a packet, don’t eat them!
  • Make sure there is lean protein in every meal and prioritise protein over other foods – e.g. – eggs at breakfast, lean protein at lunch, lean protein for tea
  • Make too much! And have your leftovers for lunch the next day