Fitness model and personal trainer Olly Foster has made a living from the pursuit of better health and wellbeing. As a high performance athlete and popular cover model for the likes of Men’s Health and Muscle &Fitness magazines, Olly’s success is built on dedication and attention to detail.
With a degree in Nutrition, Health and Lifestyles and a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry, Olly understands the importance of rest and recovery in achieving goals.
We caught up with Olly to talk rugby injuries, mean workouts and the reasons he and partner Gemma Atkinson turned to Mammoth.
Hi Olly, could you tell us how you came to become a fitness professional?
It started while I was studying Nutrition and Health at university. I took a role as a gym instructor at the local gym to couple with my degree. From there I moved into personal training and fitness modelling based on what I had learned.
If you had to describe your work in three words, what would they be?
Satisfying. Life-changing. Fulfilling.
How would you describe the kind of fitness programmes you follow?
Pretty basic, really. There is no magic to any fitness programme other than simply applying it and being consistent. Commitment and motivation is the key to making gains and reaching goals – that’s what I try to instil in my PT clients.
If you weren’t in your line of work, what job do you think you’d be doing?
Can you tell us what you are looking forward to in the next 12 months work-wise?
I’m always looking to improve and 2015 is no different. which includes all aspects of professional development. I’m open to learning new things, continuing my education and working on new avenues for the business. Professional development is as important to health and fitness as any industry, so this year will be about growing my brand.
Mammoth mattresses are known for their health benefits, particularly for people recovering from injury or taking preventative steps to maintain condition. Have you suffered any injuries during your career? If so, do any of them still hinder you today?
Actually I’ve had more injuries than it’s possible to list here. During my rugby career I had at least eight operations. More recently, I’ve suffered a laterally prolapsed disc in my back – and this was a key reason why I decided to ditch my existing Tempur mattress and switch to a Mammoth instead.
I’m getting regular treatments and setting myself specific exercises to aid with rehabilitation. Hopefully, the combination of the right therapies and my new Mammoth I’ll be able to avoid going under the dreaded knife again.
Would you consider rest time and recovery an important part of your training regime?
Absolutely. And sleep is the most important aspect of this. A good night’s sleep makes a whole world of difference to how I perform in my job, from helping me to train harder through to helping me concentrate and take on board information in the other aspects of my business.
How many hours of sleep do you aim for a night? Do you usually reach your target?
I try to hit seven, but unfortunately I regularly only get 5 or 6 if I’m lucky.
What impact does it have on you if you feel you’ve not had a good night’s sleep?
A huge impact. Lack of sleep not only makes me feel fatigued and grumpy, it also reduces attention span and affects energy levels – which are obviously important in my line of work.
What kind of a sleeper are you? Perhaps a light and restless sleeper, or do you sleep like a log, as the saying goes?
I’m kind of in-between. Each night can be different.
Do you have an optimum environment to sleep in – e.g. warm and cosy, cool and clean?
I prefer warm and cosy with total darkness.
What is your typical bedtime routine? Do you like to relax in bed with a DVD? Read a book or magazine? Or is it straight to bed and lights out after you’ve brushed your teeth?
I tend to wind down. I dim the lights and turn the TV off a good 30 minutes before I get into bed. Generally, I read a little but I always try to avoid mobile phone contact. There’s a lot of research out there showing that screen-time before bed can have a dramatic impact on quality of sleep.
Through Google, actually. I spent a bit of time researching the best options on the market.
What attracted you to Mammoth in the first place?
I’ve always told myself that one day I would buy myself a quality mattress specific to my needs. My last mattress was a Tempur but because of my back injury I needed something designed to optimise postural support at night. After visiting the website I was totally convinced that I had found the right company and I persuaded my girlfriend that it was the right product for us.
If you could have a (purely platonic) late night chat with anyone, dead or alive, who’d be worth losing sleep over – and why?
That would be Greg Plitt. He was a fitness icon who inspired me to be more. He had a way of making you feel like it was possible to achieve anything. Unfortunately he recently died in a tragic accident, so I would have loved the chance to have listened more to what he had to say about life.