Interview with celebrity trainer and former Miss Galaxy Universe Emma Louise Burrows
PUBLISHED: 16:43 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:43 25 February 2016
Lauren Godfrey chats to fitness expert and owner of Studio ELB, Emma Louise Burrows about training Lauren Goodger and the importance of staying fit throughout pregnancy
There are many strings to Emma Louise Burrows bow. She is a fitness presenter, an international fitness competitor and the original Miss Galaxy Universe, a competitor coach, a business woman, celebrity trainer, founder of Studio ELB in Loughton and most recently, a mum. Emma was instrumental in original Towie star, Lauren Goodger’s recent body transformation. Training together at Emma’s Studio ELB whilst pregnant, Emma helped Lauren lose four stone in weight and drop an amazing five dress sizes. We caught up with the fitness guru to talk about filming Lauren’s fitness DVD OMG! Workout and how to stay in shape during pregnancy.
What was it like coaching Lauren Goodger? How often would you train together and how did you build up the intensity of your workouts?
Working with Lauren to help her transform from fat to fit was extremely rewarding. I met her in the spring of 2015 and could see her determination to prove a lot of people wrong. I soon adopted that goal with her and we set about working on the plyo-dynamic routines that eventually made their way onto her OMG! Workout DVD. I was actually eight months pregnant at the time of filming.
Can you tell us a fond memory from your time training Lauren?
Lauren is forever making me laugh which is one of her best traits. I can be quite tough on clients at times and Lauren gives as good as she gets, so we would often shout at each other only to end up laughing together. We both like to laugh at ourselves so making fun of one another happened regularly, and it is these funny times that get you through the tough harder times.
How does it feel seeing pictures of Lauren in the paper being praised for her new figure and healthy lifestyle?
It makes me very proud to see such positive feedback about Lauren’s transformation and the DVD. Lauren is often given quite a hard time in the press and on social media, but nobody can dispute that taking control of your body by training hard and eating well is a very positive thing to do. I am sure she has inspired many others to do the same and she deserves huge credit for that. Also, the muscle tone created by the plyo-dynamic training we did has really paid off. You can see that she genuinely did train her butt off to shed four stone.
You recently gave birth and look fantastic. Did you keep fit whilst pregnant?
I was actually rehearsing for the OMG! Workout DVD quite a bit in the latter stages of my pregnancy so I used the plyo-dynamic routines to keep in great shape. I am also well versed in pre and post-natal training and know just how important it is to home in on core strengthening when preparing for childbirth and post-natal. I focused on my core even more than I usually do and used my star trainer Vivien Bakos a lot for motivation along the way. She is the ultimate motivator!
What exercise do you recommend for pregnant women?
As it is vital to keep working the core primarily for pre and post-natal training, I always suggest starting with the plank. It is a fundamental exercise for strengthening the core but can also be adapted in thousands of ways to target different core muscles in different ways. One of my favourite examples is a side plank thread-the-needle exercise. Try this on your forearm or, if you feel strong enough, your hand. Holding a side plank position, use your free arm to rotate the hips to thread them under your body and then raise back up again. If you get really strong at this you can add a stability ball to be held between your legs whilst performing the exercise. This is just one example of how a basic side plank can turn into a rotating and waist trimming movement.
There are so many ways to adapt simple exercises to train different areas of the body and we love inventing new ways to use the human body as a machine at my studio. Our clients sometimes fear trying out new exercises, but when they realise how capable they can be plus the results they can achieve, they begin to throw themselves into any of our crazy routines. We hold classes for people who don’t want to opt for personal training at the studio and they are run by Scarlett Bagnall whom also has a gymnastics and athletic background.
How did you get fit after the birth?
I simply practised what I preach. I worked out throughout my pregnancy and as soon as my body allowed me to do so safely, after the birth. I didn’t have to follow as many post-natal methods as I usually adopt for post-natal clients because my pre-natal training was pretty advanced so left me in good stead. That is not to say I don’t still have a long way to go before I have the body I am most happy with back again. But, as long as I know I am eating the right food and training hard I am happy to let nature take its course.
How important is it to stay fit and healthy whilst pregnant? What challenges did you come across during your pregnancy?
A fit and healthy mum will undoubtedly produce a fit and healthy baby. I was mountain climbing in Switzerland for a couple of weeks whilst pregnant and because that involves the type of fitness I don’t specifically target in my usual training, I researched how it would affect the baby quite a bit before deciding to go ahead. The main restriction during pregnancy is the pressure on the vena cava valve so having less oxygen up in the mountains whilst working in a cardiovascular manor was a concern. But I concluded as a result of my research that although I would become more easily breathless than others not carrying a baby, as long as I monitored it well and didn’t push too hard, it would in fact have a great impact on the respiratory system of the baby. Other than that, there are the usual pre-natal rules to follow such as not lying on your back or front when exercising, which are very easy to avoid.
Emma’s top tips for getting fit
1 Set goals and be sure to make them realistic
2 Don’t compare yourself to others - enjoy learning what works for you and your body
3 Treat your body as a temple on all levels. Feed it well, train it well and rest it well
4 Start your journey slowly and build up to your big ultimate goal
5 Most importantly...be stronger than your excuses!
Emma’s top tips for a healthy diet
1 Don’t be afraid of fats. Good fats such as those found in avocados are imperative to a healthy diet
2 Consistency is key - crazy yoyo dieting will always lead to failure in the end
3 If you are on a weight loss diet and want to go out one evening, simply deduct a few hundred calories from the day before and the day after to reduce worrying about over-indulging on your night out
4 I am a great believer that any natural food which is green in colour is fantastic for you. Spinach, rocket, beans, sprouts and broccoli, all hold amazing micronutrients and are high in fibre
5 Keep hydrated, especially if you are training. Drink plenty of the good stuff, H2O!
Unit 5 Loughton Business Centre, Langston Road, Loughton, IG10 3FL, 020 3602 6363, www.studioelb.co.uk