Life doesn’t get easier, you just get better.
Emily Simpson is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Manager in London, Ontario. Emily believes the fitness industry is ever-changing and she takes pride in keeping herself knowledgeable and updated with latest research. She takes about 2-4 related certifications a year.
Outside of the gym Emily loves to spend time with her loved ones. Family dinners, hiking with her best friend. That’s my favourite way to spend my free time. Emily also loves to travel!
Read our exclusive interview with Emily and know more about her.
Tell us about your education.
I went to post-secondary for Fitness and Health Promotion. The fitness industry is ever-changing and I take pride in keeping myself knowledgeable and updated with current research. With that being said, I take about 2-4 related certifications a year.
Where do you train?
I train at GoodLife Fitness.
How long have you been into fitness and training?
My fitness journey has been a long, and interesting one. I was a dancer until the age of 14, joined my first gym at 16, hired my first trainer at 18, and the rest is history. Originally, I had very poor habits and found myself pursuing fitness because I hated my body. My motivation was driven by a poor body image, which only enabled the unhealthy behaviors I had. Regardless of what my physical self-looked like, it was my mental wellbeing that suffered. Lots of reflection and mindfulness later, I began prioritizing what made me feel good, what made me feel strong, and what made me happy. My physique happened to change more than it ever had in the past, as did my self-acceptance. And now I work to help others feel empowered and become their happiest, healthiest selves.
If you had to define all that you do in a title, what would you say?
My official title is “Personal Trainer” but I believe “Fitness Coach” is better suited to what I do. I like to encompass all aspects of wellbeing in my work with others. I aim to change my client’s relationship with fitness, food, and their own goals in a positive way. I work WITH my clients to address mental health, nutrition, stress management, as well as movement – because what my clients do inside the gym with me is just as important as the work they do on their own.
What is the difference between working with a personal trainer than exercising alone?
There are many differences in regards to working with a trainer as opposed to on your own but I would say the biggest differences are experience, knowledge, and accountability. It is hard to sort through all the myths and misconceptions regarding fitness/ nutrition that you can so easily find online. Everyday we see somebody promoting diet culture in one way or another, which can cloud our judgement and leave us believing in things that are quite frankly – wrong. Working with a professional give you the best chance at avoiding this. Not to mention that learning how to move and how-to train is a SKILL that needs to be taught. In my experience, no one starts with perfect form and to have that second eye to coach you will increase results and decrease your risk of injury. When I say accountability, this is a massive mental aspect to hiring a trainer. When you have an appointment with someone who is expecting you, it is much less likely that you will “fall of track”. The trainer’s job is to hold you accountable and to make sure that you’re using your time as effectively as possible to drive the best results.
How would you describe your philosophy about being fit and healthy?
Being fit and healthy has often been thought of something purely aesthetic. Six packs, toned legs, etc. My belief is that being fit the mental as well as the physical. One without the other has consequences. I believe that if you are doing your best to live your happiest, healthiest life – than that can take on whatever form it does. There is no one size fits all to fitness.
What are some tips you have for people looking to get into shape?
Aside from speaking with a professional to kickstart your journey, there are some major elements you can begin implementing immediately. Move more – walk, stretch, lift! Sitting is so dangerous for our health when we do it for the majority of our day. Drink more water! Often new clients tell me they constantly have headaches and low energy … dehydration is often one of the first areas I address. Improve your nutrition education! Improve your nutrition education, as I mentioned, it is hard to determine fad from fact nowadays. Learn the basics of nutrition – digestion, macronutrients, micronutrients, etc. Understanding WHY and WHAT your body needs is such a valuable tool.
What mistakes do people make when working out?
The most common mistake I see is incorrect form, everyone’s body is different so when we try to mimic exercises without understanding how our own body works, we put ourselves in compromising positions that could result in injury. Often, I see people over train, not allowing their bodies to rest and doing more harm than good. On the opposite end of the spectrum I see people undertrain, never working out at an intensity that demands change. As simple as “move more” sounds, there are levels upon levels of complexity. *cue the personal trainer*
What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?
Life doesn’t get easier, you just get better.
My dad told me this when I was really young, battling a lot of my mental health struggles. This has stuck with me forever, as a reminder that personal growth is so important.
What are some of your other hobbies?
Outside of the gym, I love to spend time with my loved ones. Family dinners, hiking with my best friend, sipping sangria on a patio on some beach.. That’s my favourite way to spend my free time. When not in a pandemic, I love to travel!
Who or what gives you the most inspiration?
Powerful, strong, independent women. Nothing inspires me more than seeing a strong woman unapologetically rise into success. Having struggled for a long time with my mental health and body image, I have always looked up to iconic, confident women.
Who are your fitness idols?
Oh this one is tough –
How has the fitness scene affected by the pandemic?
It was so interesting to observe my peers during the gym closures. Some used the time to bring their fitness to the next level, whereas others struggled to overcome certain mental barriers. And while there was no right way to handle a global pandemic, it definitely had affects on the fitness scene. As an industry, competitions are being cancelled, virtual classes are becoming more popular, and gyms tightened up on restrictions. It’s hard to say what will happen in the future but what I’ve observed is that people have had to shift their mindset to prioritize mental wellbeing more than they ever had before.
What important thing have you learnt during the pandemic?
Having a great support system is crucial – even as someone who teaches fitness, and worked out 5-7 times a week, walking over 10 thousand steps a day, I struggled. The closures caused everyone to feel isolated and alone. I hadn’t seen my family, I wasn’t helping people in the gym, and my friends and I could only see each other from a distance (and I’m a hugger). What got me through was knowing that I had people in my corner that despite not being able to see me, continued to reach out, and supported me in whatever I needed to do to be happy.
What’s your typical meal for…
First thing upon waking:
I drink a half liter of water every morning before eating. This helps dramatically with digestion, hydration, and alertness.
I am a big believer that you should at least enjoy what you’re eating so typically in the morning I will have a home made breakfast sandwich with whatever ingredients I feel like – typically turkey bacon, egg, and cheese!
This varies but I often gravitate towards a high vegetable meal with protein. This could look like a home made burrito bowl, a salad, or a stir fry!
I love carbs so I tend to have a lot of them in the evening around my workouts! Often you’ll find me eating something very similar to my lunch, just with a serving of rice/ pasta!
Snacks or sweets:
I am a big snacker – you’ll see me often eating home made oat protein bars, fruits, roasted beans!
I won’t lie – I’m a sucker for a sugar free energy drink.
Tell us about some of your achievements you are proud of?
I began training at the age of 18. By the time I was 20, I was promoted into management. I am proud of this. I take a lot of pride in my work and being able to help people. Not many people are able to say that their passion is also their career, and I hope that if people take anything from me it’s that your success is a direct result of the work that you do and that anything is possible with the right attitude and grit.
If people have 10 minutes a day, what can they do?
Learn something new – give yourself 10 minutes a day to read/ watch/ listen. Personal development is so important in keeping yourself educated and your mind sharp. Be in a constant pursuit of personal growth.
So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?
Follow me at @emxlysimpson . My goal is to connect with as many people as possible and to inspire, educate, and laugh a little.
Your message for CiiN?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. If you’re reading this and looking for a sign, this is it. Write down what you want in life and do something today that is going to get you one step closer to those goals. You’ve got this.