Fit Fix: Celebrity Trainer Faisal Abdalla On Why A Positive Mental Attitude Is Essential To Our Workouts

'Once you’ve mastered it, the world is yours for the taking.'

If there’s one personal trainer to follow on Instagram that’ll make you want to workout whenever you see his posts, it’s Faisal Abdalla.

The celebrity personal trainer, who often puts Ellie Goulding through her paces, applies endless enthusiasm and motivation to his healthy lifestyle.

Abdalla’s fitness brand ‘PMA’ is based on positive mental attitude, and he believes no workout can be done without it.

He has amassed more than 43,000 Instagram followers, is a master trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp and Nike and even recently joined forces with The Body Coach Joe Wicks.

“We have one body and one life and if you see that as a gift and work on pushing yourself to your absolute limit then the rest will naturally follow,” he told us.

We chatted to Abdalla about his weekly training plan, why rest days are essential and the motivation that keeps him going.

Training 💪

Talk us through your week in fitness.

“I train six days a week and rest on a Sunday. I aim for two or three Barry’s Bootcamp classes a week, four weight-based session and a HIIT-centred workout from the Nike Training app which I do at the gym.

“That probably sounds like a lot, but it’s my job as well as my hobby so I put in a lot of work. Everyone should work to their maximum ability with their own goals in mind at the end of the day.”

What’s your favourite type of workout and why?

“I’m a huge fan of HIIT (high intensity interval training) because it’s the ultimate fat burner and does magical things to the metabolism.

“That, combined with weight-based strength training, is my favourite way to work out. I like to train with friends when I can because the extra support (and competition depending on who it is) is a great motivation when you want to take it to another level.”

What do you do on rest days?

“Everybody needs time to rest, both mentally and physically. Without a proper recovery period, you are going to burn out and are likely to injure yourself which is massively counterproductive.

“I do try and fit in a nice stretching session in front of the TV with my foam roller because I’m usually pretty tight at the end of the week. Other than that it’s all about climbing on to the sofa with my duvet, whacking on a movie and chilling with my cats and my wife. I work really long days and I’m often away from home so I cherish every moment I get to spend time with my loved ones.”

Faisal training Ellie Goulding.
Faisal training Ellie Goulding.

Food 🍳

What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule?

“I am very strict with what I eat Monday to Saturday. I like to go meat-free on a Monday as a bit of a detox after the weekend, but other than that I stick to three main meals with a couple of snacks during the day.

“A standard day might consist of overnight oats for breakfast, vegetable frittatas with avocado for lunch and lemon pesto cod with roasted vegetables for dinner. My snacks would be something like a banana, an apple with nut butter or a handful of nuts.”

What are your pre and post-workout snacks?

“I always try to keep everything low carb, but high in protein and good fats. I don’t tend to eat especially before a workout, I actually prefer to do fasted cardio in the morning.

“Post-workout is the perfect time to consume a combination of carbs and protein so that’s when I eat my overnight protein oats. I also LOVE the Coco Loco protein shakes at the Barry’s Bootcamp fuel bar.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food?

“Forget what anyone else says, it’s 100% food and 100% training. You can’t neglect either area. That doesn’t mean diet, diet is such a negative word and I hate any plan that tells people to starve themselves.

“It means eating well and fuelling your body right. You wouldn’t expect your car to run efficiently on empty or to run well if you’ve fuelled it with rubbish, and your body is exactly the same. It’s an engine and you need to take care of it if you want it to run efficiently.”

Motivation 🙌

Do you have a motivational mantra that keeps you going?

“Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know the answer to this: Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). You HAVE to train your body as well as your mind otherwise you will always be fighting a losing battle.

“PMA isn’t just a hashtag, it’s a life-changing state of mind and once you’ve mastered it, the world is yours for the taking.”

Do you always have fitness goals you’re aiming for?

“I’m always striving to be the best that I can be physically, not better than everyone else, just my personal best. However, it’s not an aesthetic goal that I’m chasing and there’s often too much focus on how you look within fitness.

“We have one body and one life and if you see that as a gift and work on pushing yourself to your absolute limit, then the rest will naturally follow. If your only aim at the gym is to get a six pack, your mental attitude is all wrong and you’re not going to achieve what you need to make the changes permanent.”

What’s your ultimate workout track and why?

“This is a tough call, but love anything with a fast tempo - keep the tunes thumping and the heart rate pumping!

“So, Skrillex ‘Squad Out’, Chase and Status ‘Count On Me’ and Prodigy ‘Firestarter’.”

Fit Fix’ is a weekly dose of fitspiration from leading athletes and fitness fanatics. Each week, we chat to stars about their weekly workouts, the food they eat and what keeps them going.

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