'Should I Fitness Train For Equine Sports?’
I have been Personally Training rising Dressage star Sofie Butchart for a few months now and she has really benefitted from the extra fitness, strength and overall well being that results from the training. She is winning competitions and is more determined than ever.
I know my bodybuilding career is ever so slightly different from equine sports but the drive and mental focus needed to win transfers over to all sports! We work on visualisation techniques and a winning attitude as well as the fitness etc.
I’ll hand over to Sofie and she can tell you in her own words how she transformed herself to rise in the world of Dressage. I did not ask her to write anything for me, this was done off her own back!
‘ Within the equine world it is hard to find the time to be healthy and look after your body correctly. Although in order to perform our best to contribute to our equines overall performance, we should look after ourselves like we do our horses!
Previously I literally lived on fast food, carbs and anything with sugar in to give me a boost of energy on a busy day. I had an extremely inconsistent diet with massive gaps between meals, then times of binge eating. I managed although my concentration levels, energy levels and my overall health were pretty awful! I was ill a lot, I would get injured very easily and feel run down the majority of the time.
I knew things had to change to not only become a better rider but also a fitter and healthier person! That’s when I met Peter Chown, former Natural Mr Universe and Heavyweight World bodybuilding champion who is also a well respected personal trainer and nutritional advisor.
With Peters help and guidance I have transformed from being McDonalds favourite customer to now managing to consistently eat the right foods to fuel my body and being healthy. I also train at the gym with Peter 3 to 4 times a week and under his watchful eye I am stronger and fitter and also i’m loving seeing the visual changes. I feel great!
During my training sessions with Peter we do some cardio but mostly weight training to help strengthen my whole body for my riding. We have recently progressed to training lower body and upper body both twice a week. I have felt a huge difference within my riding performance as well as feeling so much better in myself.
Beforehand I had ‘strength’ in my riding muscles but I was extremely weak in other areas making me prone to injuries, form hernias to having major surgery on my shoulders due to reoccurring dislocations.
Peter is always on the end of the phone for me whenever I have any questions regarding my nutrition plan and training.
Originally I thought eating healthy was just salad and boring foods, it isn’t, I now really enjoy my meals A LOT!! I cant lie, when I first started my nutrition plan I felt awful, my body wasn’t used to healthy food, I craved Dominos pizza so much! But I stuck to it and now I look back at how I used to eat and it makes me feel sick! I wouldn’t feed my horses an inconsistent and unbalanced diet and expect them to perform at their best, although I was doing it to myself.
I also have acupuncture and visit an osteopath every 2-3 weeks to keep any twinges at bay and help my bodys energy and my mind. My horses are very sensitive and their performance changes drastically if I am not ‘on form’ so it’s important for their sake I keep myself in the best shape I can mentally and physically.
I hope this has given you and idea to my personal training structure, how I look after myself in order to perform at my best and also how anyone can turn their lifestyle around with guidance and support, not just in the equine world but anyone! ‘