I’ve freed my Inner Warrior! | Kate Buckland – Personal Trainer | Pilates | Chandlers ford

At the start of 2017 I committed to spending this year trying new things. I think it’s important to continue to challenge yourself physically and mentally, and to have new goals to work towards. Yesterday I tried women’s rugby. I visited the Ellingham and Ringwood Rugby Club and took part in their Warrior Camp. Warrior Camps are free sessions England Rugby is hosting across England which allow women to try rugby without the commitment of joining a team and with other women who, like them, have never played before.
I’ve been champing at the bit to write about last night, but I wanted to hold off and I’ve now had a full 24 hours to reflect on the experience. I’m going to talk you through the whole experience and I’ll be including a video of different bits of the evening. However, I’ll preface this by saying that a day and a bit on I ache like mad. I lift in the gym very regularly, but rugby was a workout on a whole different level. I left dirty, achy and tired but also on a complete natural high!

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I arrived with about 10 minutes to spare before the start of the training session, and I’ll happily admit I was nervous. I think it was pretty obvious, because one of the first IMG_0536messages I was asked was if I was nervous lol. I met the ladies’ team coach, who was lovely, then got myself signed in. I was given a bright pink vest which I chose not to wear, only because I am rather well endowed in the chest department and the vest had a somewhat restrictive and flattening effect (I may have blushed just a little trying it on). I wandered over and met the other ladies – some who, like me, were experiencing rugby for the first time, others who had played before and wanted to get back into it, and some members of the Ellingham and Ringwood RFC ladies team. We did introductions while passing the ball around the circle. It turns out that after years of no team sports I was pretty rusty at catching, and I had no idea how to pass a rugby ball!
We moved out onto the pitch, where a smaller area was marked off with coloured cones. We started out with rugby ball ‘netball’ – passing the ball in any direction but we couldn’t run with it. Once we got the hang of catching and passing, we began running with the ball, too. Once we were touched we had to pass the ball to a teammate. This was upgraded to two touches, and somewhere around here we learned about keeping a line of defence and the offside rule – you could only pass to someone behind you, not in front.

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Coach Dean

We had a break and it was time to learn about dropping safely to the ground. Meet the rugby Gruffalo! We played a game where we were Gruffalos, The Gruffalo’s Child and Sleeping Gruffalos. So, bumping into each other with our shoulders, dropping to the ground, rolling and getting straight up again and lying flat face down and then jumping up again. We also did some partner work learning to pin someone to the ground. I felt a bit mean – I was partnered with someone half my size, but as it turned out I was laughing so hard that she pinned me on the second go with almost no trouble at all. Our last game was basically touch rugby – hold a line of defence, pass backwards only, run with the ball but if you’re touched stop and pass. I thought by this point I would be dying, and I think a couple of the coached thought I was because of my tomato face, which I get even on a warm day with no exercise at all. I was still going strong though, enjoying every moment and I even scored two tries!

We then headed over to a course that had been set up. We split into teams and it was time to learn how to tackle. We had to run at a padded cylinder that looked a lot like a punching bag, drop our shoulder into it and take it down, then pick it up and run with it before running back to our team. It was at this point I got a bit over enthusiastic – I found the idea of running full pelt at something and taking it out just a little too appealing! I threw myself into it on the first go, didn’t drop the shoulder but literally flew through the air and landed hard right on top of the bag/cylinder (can anyone give me the correct term for this please?). One of the coaches asked if I was okay, but I was so pumped at that point that I was utterly perplexed as to why he was asking me this! I shouted “I’m great! Let’s go!” and I charged off carrying the bag, dropped it, and sprinted back to my team.
After I got back to my team I realised I had perhaps rattled my bones a bit, but I was super keen to do it again! This time when someone yelled repeatedly at me to drop my shoulder I tried my best to do it, and the result was much more comfortable.
And that was it. We were done. It felt like we’d only been going for about half an hour, but a full hour had passed and it was time for the team to continue a proper training session. I had been so nervous but I was sad it was ending, especially as I was on such a natural high! I’ve resolved to find myself a team in the near future.
England Rugby’s Warrior Camp was a fantastic experience, and one I’m so glad I found the courage to embrace. Warrior Camps are being run all over the country this year, so if you’d like to have a go at women’s rugby in a safe and fun environment without the pressure of everyone else knowing what they’re doing, then get yourself along to one near you. They’re free, they’re so much fun and you’ll learn what the game is all about. Click here to go to the England Rugby website and search for Warrior Camps near you.
So, my Warrior Face. You wanna see it, right? Are you ready?
I was #BraveEnoughToTry and I hope you are too!

Have you been to a Warrior Camp? Join me on Instagram and tag me in your #InnerWarrior photos!


via I’ve freed my Inner Warrior! | Kate Buckland – Personal Trainer | Pilates | Chandlers ford



Unleashing my Inner Warrior!

At the beginning of this year I challenged myself to spend one year trying new things. I got off to a flying start earlier in the year and threw myself into my new project. I tried gymnastics, which was hard but amazing, and I signed myself up for adult ballet. I got a road bike and began dabbling in cycling and I entered the Great South Run, which unfortunately is now out of reach due to an injury. Since then I lost my mojo a bit, disappointed I wasn’t going to achieve a major goal I had set out to smash.

Well, I’m pleased to say that when it comes to trying new things, I’m back!

Untitled designThis summer I’ve challenged myself to give rugby a go! Yes, you heard right 🙂 Girls can play too, ya know! I grew up playing a variety of sports, but I think as adults it’s really easy to forget the value of playing team sports. A lot can be said for the team spirit and camaraderie that comes with being a member of a sports team, not to mention better mental health and overall fitness and wellness that comes as a result of being physically active. I have several friends who play football, AFL (in Australia) and rugby who say when they joined they didn’t just get a new sport, they found a sisterhood. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I could definitely use more of in my life.

The great news is, that I’ve picked a fabulous time to try rugby, because England Rugby is running a series of Warrior Camp events to give women the opportunity to try rugby in a fun environment without the pressure of being thrown straight into the deep end with other experienced players.

So who’s with me? On August 30 I’ll be going to the Ellingham and Ringwood Warrior Camp at 7pm in Ringwood, Hampshire. It would be fantastic if some of you can join me! You can sign up to this Warrior Camp or find one closer to you at www.englandrugby.com/innerwarrior

I’m going to post all about my experience, so make sure you check back here and follow me on Instagram to if you’d like to see what Warrior Camp is all about.

Are you a woman that plays rugby? I know there is at least one female PKU rugby player – Emma Harbage has represented Britain and is currently over in the US and Canada playing Rugby. If you’re a female rugby player, do you have any tips for me? Help a sister out here!

I seriously can’t wait, but in the meantime I think I’d better keep working on my cardio… 😉

Going Strong

Hey guys! How are you all doing?

Things have been pretty busy over here in PKUFit land, so I haven’t done a lot of blogging lately. Some of the busy stuff is fitness related and some isn’t.

My training has been going well. Honestly, I haven’t seen much physical change, but then I have been finding nutrition SUPER challenging lately. In the last couple of weeks this has improved dramatically as I’ve gotten off my arse and actually put the work in doing my meal planning and food prep. I’m still far from perfect, but its getting there.

One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that I’ve achieved a lot more consistency in my workouts and it’s paying off.  I’ve been training at Spartans in Southampton, at home or at my new studio (more on that in a second). I LOVE Spartans. I was intimidated at first, but that changed quickly.

I’m seeing some good shape change, particularly in my legs and shoulders.

I’ve also moved studios, so I’m now training out of MGB Fitness in Swaythling, and my clients and I all love it so far. I’m enjoying having a shorter drive into work!

Business has been going well and I’ve got some really exciting things coming up that I will hopefully be able to share with you all soon.

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Earlier this year we put an offer in on a new build house which was accepted and we’ve been not so patiently waiting for the build to be finished so we can complete on the sale and move in. That day is fast approaching and will hopefully be in the next few weeks. My parents are also arriving from Australia next week, so between packing, cleaning, training, work, having the girls home for the summer holidays and getting ready for my parents to be here I’m pretty busy.

Okay, so I think that’s everything! Look out for more content soon 🙂

From fat to the stage on a low protein diet

I have neglected this blog for a while. Truth be told, I’ve just been getting on with life and business, and for a long time I’ve put my own goals aside to help everyone else. A good friend helped me realise recently, that while it’s good to help other people that I am important too. Over the past year I’ve put everything into my business. All my spare time, money and energy. By the time looking after my family fits into that equation there was nothing left for me, and I’ve been exhausted. My training has long fallen by the wayside in favour of helping my personal training clients to achieve their goals. I’ve got that the wrong way round. No, not the wrong way round, but perhaps that balance is wrong. I shouldn’t have to sacrifice myself in order to help others, and I’ve decided that it stops now.

It’s with quite a bit of trepidation, and yes, even fear, that I resurrect this blog in the name of my goal. I’ve set myself a huge goal and it terrifies me. Previously I’ve experimented on myself in the name of science (well, sort of!) to learn how my PKU reacts to different kinds of exercise, but now I’ve decided to see how far I can truly push myself.

I’m not going to lie about the fact that over the past year or so I’ve gained some weight. At my biggest ever I was around the 140kg mark, and I’m nowhere near there, but I have gained. That’s what happens when you don’t make your own health and fitness a priority though, I suppose.

I’m giving myself a year to see how radically I can change my physique while still maintaining my low protein diet. My ultimate goal is to shred the fat and carve a stage worthy physique, notwithstanding the inevitable loose skin that would most likely prevent me on stepping onto an actual stage.

I’ve thought about this long and hard. I have no idea what can be achieved, and how much having PKU and maintaining decent phenylalanine levels will hold me back. I know it won’t be easy, and that’s certain. It’s going to mean hard work, dedication, early mornings, constant DOMS, possibly being hangry, frustration and no doubt annoying the hell out of my metabolic clinic with this, my latest crazy scheme.

There are going to be definite challenges. For one, this is going to be done on a tight budget. We’re trying to buy a house at the moment, and that means that all expenses except the absolute essentials have had to go, including my gym membership. I have some basic equipment in my home studio – a bench with bench press, ham curl and leg extension attachments (though I doubt the leg attachment will hold much weight as it’s quite poor quality, and it shows), a very basic squat rack, a low step, two kettlebells, battle ropes, a TRX that I have no room to use and some too light dumbbells. I also have costochondritis, and I have no idea how to train chest without hurting myself. One decent depth press up on my knees or a chest session with measly 1kg weights and that awful pain starts to come right back. I don’t want to end up back feeling like I’m having heart attacks every week or two! I also only eat 12-15g of protein per day, plus an additional 60g of protein from my GMP (from whey) based medication. That’s not exactly much.

The only thing I might do is to get a few sessions with a personal trainer of my own. I have someone in mind, but I need to speak to her to find out if I have to be a member of her gym to train with her, and if she accepts credit card payments over the phone (which, to be fair, is very unlikely). My ability to train with someone rides on those two things, because I can’t afford a gym membership, and the PT sessions would be a birthday present from my mum in Australia, who, I understand, wants to use her credit card rather than sending me money directly.

I have no idea how this is going to play out. I have a rough plan, tomorrow is my day 1. I will be weighing in, taking my measurements and… probably not my body fat % because I have zero idea how to do that by myself and I don’t have anyone I trust enough to grab and pinch handfuls of my fat.

I’m 34 in a few weeks. This challenge ends on almost my 35th birthday. I’ve never been small. I’ve never been under a size 14, and while I’m fairly okay with me as I am, I want to know what I can do if I am 100% dedicated and push myself without giving up.

But hey… what’s a year, right? 😉

Low Protein Living Weekend, Ireland

This weekend I’m going to be speaking at the Low Protein Living Weekend that Nutricia is running near Dublin in Ireland. I’m sat on the plane and have decided to take some time out from reading over my presentation because it’s starting to turn into one big 5000 word long blur!


Tomorrow morning before lunch I will be addressing the weekend’s attendees about fitness on a low protein diet before running two workshops over the course of the afternoon where I’ve decided to get participants up and moving! I’ll be putting them through their paces with a short sequence of body weight exercises and a taster Pilates class, followed by a short Q&A session at the end to give everyone an opportunity to get any help they need with their own fitness journey while they cool down for their next workshop session.

I’m really excited about having the opportunity to share the knowledge I’ve worked so hard to build since my interest in fitness first began more than a decade ago. I’ve experimented on myself a lot over the past year with training systems and approaches that I thought might be beneficial to people with PKU, and sometimes I’ve had great results, other times I’ve gone backwards. Ultimately though, it’s that process that has brought me to this point, so even when I’ve gone backwards it has been worth the struggle and challenges!

I think one of the things I’m most excited about is that I’m going to be meeting two women I have been friends with for years, but we have never met in person. We were pregnan at the same time and I’ve discussed all sorts of things with these ladies that would make many blush! I love that the metabolic world is such a tight knit community, and I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and am continuing to have that allow me to embrace this community, meet long time friends in the flesh and to nurture those wonderful friendships.

My plane is landing in Dublin now, so it’s time to close. I will update when I can!

Update: I’m here and it’s beautiful! Can’t wait to go on a run in the morning to explore 🙂


Re-focusing, food experiments and travel

It has been a busy time in the Buckland house these last few weeks, so I’m sorry that I have been quiet. I have just started a new job at a private personal training studio in Southampton, so I’ve been covering all my usual shifts at PureGym, fulfilling my obligations to my current clients, and seeing new clients at the studio as well as trying to learn the ropes there. That has meant I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to train myself, prep my meals or experiment with cooking new healthy dishes.  It’s a very different environment from the big, bustling commercial gym I’m used to, and the approach is a bit different. All the trainers share clients, so I’m already seeing a broader demographic of clients, but I’m learning a lot!

Brightside PT – the private studio I’ve started working at

 At the beginning of this week I decided it’s time to really focus on my own progress for a while. I spend a lot of time experimenting on myself with different nutrition and training approaches so I can better help others with PKU. Sometimes it results in great progress, sometimes I go backwards terribly (which has happened recently), and sometimes I just end up completely breaking myself. Two weeks ago I taught a really intense spin class then backed it up four hours later with an hour long strength session. Bad idea. Despite my usual high activity levels I was broken, went into catabolism and have just gotten over the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
The other issue with experiments on myself in this manner is that it can result in unstable levels. That’s bad, obviously. I find instability affects me even more than consistently high phe levels. My last level was frighteningly high and it shocked me a bit because I felt okay. I’ve reined myself in now on the experimenting front and I’m eating 10g protein per day, taking 3-4 Lophlex per day and ensuring I’m eating enough. I’m also avoiding any really intense sessions of cardio over 15 mins (except my spin class – not much I can do about that!

I have played around with meals a bit. I tried BBQ pulled jackfruit, which was amazing, and surprisingly easy. Not that healthy though, mostly due to the sugar content (1 cup of bbq sauce plus extra added brown sugar).

BBQ pulled jackfruit

 Now I’m sat on the train to London to take part in a meeting with Nutricia’s patient advisory board, which should be fun 🙂  
Over the next few weeks I’m on training courses for a fitness system I’m training in, back up to London for a PKU study day at the Tower Of London and heading over to Ireland to talk about PKU and fitness at a PKU day.