We talked with Sharon Orval in July, 2020.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi, my name is Sharon Orval. I am 56 years old. I was born in a small country town but now live in Melbourne Victoria. I am married to Mark Orval aka (@itsangrydad). I have three children, Dylan 27, Mitchell 24, and Hannah 21. I also have a grandchild, Bowe, who is one and a second about to be born.
I am now retired apart from my social media influencer work on Instagram, where I give tips ( ‘Shazza’s Tips’) @sharonorval on Health Happiness and Fitness. I also have a YouTube channel as well. I am very passionate about motivating people to be happy and the healthiest version of themselves.
I worked originally as a police woman in the Victoria Police Force for 10 years. After two of my three children were born, I decided to complete my certificate 3&4 in fitness.
For the past 15 years, I have worked as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Teaching freestyle aerobics and bodypump. I have also worked full time as a group fitness manager for a large company.
I love weight training and believe it’s the most important thing we can all do for ourselves as we age.
I do not believe in dieting at all. I strongly believe lifestyle changes are the only way to maintain a healthy weight and that you must enjoy your food and keep it family-friendly.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I generally weight train four to five days a week and my cardio is now only walking. I walk 8 km four to fives times a week, more in summer. I do this more for feeling great in my mind and fresh air. I generally train at a gym although during Covid I have been training in my garage. I still love to do one to two body pump sessions a week for my strength and endurance.
I prefer to train alone and focus. I train for approximately an hour to one and a half hours. I don’t split routines, I’m not training to bulk, I am training for shape and tone.
Generally I alternate sets with upper and lower body. I love to work the lower body in between to keep my heart rate up and maximise calorie burning.
I don’t have a strict rule with my training and don’t pre-plan or keep track. I love to do compound exercises and always do them every session.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I’ve always loved exercise. Sport has been a huge part of my life since a young child. Finding group fitness and weight training turned the corner for me.
I hate the treadmill and never ever use it. I also don’t like bike riding or swimming so cardio has never been a strong point for me. The results that weight training gives me is so much better and I actually really enjoy doing it.
If I’m feeling unmotivated I will go to Body pump or crank up the music. A group class helps me to keep going when I feel I can’t. It pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me feel happy uplifted and accomplished when I’m done. I love the fact that we all feed off each other’s energy.
I have always put my training first in my day. Everything else I fit around it. I don’t give myself an option not to. I never have. I prefer to train in the mornings, so for me no appointments made before 12 pm.
The first thing I do after getting up is have a hot lemon water and head to the gym. (I don’t use a pre-workout, I don’t like the crash they give you), instead I have a black coffee on the way to gym.
I never eat before gym, I eat as soon as I get home. I always take my protein shaker with me and have it as soon as I finish training before I leave. Sometimes I will make it as soon as I get home and add spinach, greens, collagen, frozen banana or frozen berries, with unsweetened almond milk.
I train at Fitness First and have worked for them and trained there since 2003. (17 years) they are like family to me. I love their clean, well look after clubs.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’m currently no where near my best fitness level. Covid has made training very difficult with my limited garage weights. I hope to be able to get back stronger and fitter as soon as we can get back to the gym.
Age definitely means maintaining muscle is a lot harder, but I’m trying to be kind to myself and understand that I can be like I used to. In saying that I plan to be walking and weight training daily for the rest of my life. I believe it’s the key to health and not becoming old and unable to get around.
If I could give my younger self any advise, it would have been to start weight training so much earlier (I didn’t find weights until I was 30) and to forget hours of unnecessary cardio trying to maintain my ideal body weight. It would also be to accept my body type and be kind to myself about how I look.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
If I get an injury, I always seem to manage a way to work around it. I do be careful to rest the injury but don’t use it as an excuse to give everything up. My fav recovery tool is the ribbed roller. And a good stretch always.
I also feel a lot more well rounded and healthier when I do yoga a couple times a week. I’m working on being more consistent with yoga and meditation as I believe it’s one of the best things we can add to our training.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I do not believe in diets. I have a very strong option on this. I believe they are the reason people’s metabolism is ruined. I don’t believe in quick fixes. I don’t like frozen meals either. I love to eat a natural healthy balanced diet , basically the old style food triangle without to much focus on carbs, etc.
I believe that I should be able to fit the foods that I love into my diet and I reward myself with treats at least one day a week. I make sure I follow the 80/20 rule of 80% of my week being good healthy choices and then 20% of choosing some fun treats that I love.
I always choose where to ‘spend’ my calories and don’t waste calories when I can avoid it. I’m not a sweet tooth and never spend my calories on cakes etc or soft drinks and juices. If I have juice it’s always vegetable. It’s about eating a long term sustainable diet for me.
I don’t really take supplements other than protein (WPI) it’s 100% natural I use the brand @punishnutrition
I also take collagen for my skin as with age it’s the most important thing you can do I use the Arbonne one. If I feel my gut imbalance is out I also add Happy Gut by @purau to to repair, replenish, and restore gut health.
I’m a big fan of water with a squeeze of lemon and don’t drink soft drinks.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
After spending the last 20 years surrounded by fitness professionals and have close contact with so many people trying to get a healthy lifestyle I believe the path is very different from those training as athletes or training for competitions.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
I spend my time now helping people for free. I use the knowledge and tips I’ve gained over the years to try and help people to be realistic about how they look and what they want to achieve.
I want to help people learn that we can’t all look a certain way, but we definitely all deserve to be our best healthy fit version of ourselves.
We also need to be patient and kind with ourselves and stop comparing. I also want people to follow and be guided by influencers who are honest and real and give them inspiration to be better.
To understand it’s about hard work and not easy quick fixes, but the hard work should always be doing something you love. Forcing yourself to do something you don’t like means you won’t sustain it long term.
Also, it’s about healthy HABITS. creating a habit that is good for you is hard but once you do, it is no longer a chore. Just commit and do it.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I don’t train clients any more but through my social media profile I happily help everyone that I can in any way possible. I give quick easy tips and ideas for healthy lifestyle and foods and exercises, etc. mostly though to try to INSPIRE people to give it a go.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
Shazza’s Tips is on Instagram @sharonorval and I also have a YouTube channel. It’s free and a guide with motivational informational for fitness and happy lifestyle.