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  • Writer's pictureShani Yeend

PT perch


Here at Fitbirds we pride ourselves on our ability to connect on a personal & deep level with our birds through 1:1 & 2:1 personal training.


Our flock of female specialist trainers are dedicated to supporting our birds along their individual journey. Whether it be prenatal empowerment, postnatal rehabilitation, injury rehab or long term commitments to continued personal training, our trainers are there to support & educate these women each step of the way. On a personal level, I know what starts as PT, quickly becomes a real connection between both trainer & client. During that 60min session both tears & lols are shared & often lifelong friendships are created. Over the decades I have met hundreds of incredible women through PT. I believe personal training is just that, a personal experience & one that transcends beyond purely fitness goals. Ok, so less from me & more from our incredible bird, friend who is fam, fellow kiwi & incredibly dedicated personal trainer, Philippa Barr. It's crazy to think Philippa has just celebrated not only her 2yr Fitbirds anniversary, but also her 2yr personal training anniversary. Philippa is a true representation of an intelligent, educated & embodied trainer. Philippa leads a committed lifestyle to fitness & wellness, is an inspiration to her 3 incredible (not so small) humans & has the energy & enthusiasm of my 3yr old. Philippa we bloody love you babe.

We got chirping with Philippa on her PT journey, here's what we found out. Shani: We have all the mama birds here at Fitbirds, as mama's ourselves we know how intense this journey can be on our body. What forms of rehabilitation do you you implement in your training with postnatal clients?

Philippa: It’s called ‘personal’ training for a reason - I want to find that individual pathway for each client. Every woman who trains with me comes with their own unique history, abilities and goals. I’m interested in their story, what rehab will look and feel like for them and how I can make their fitness journey a positive one.

I am a firm believer in using strength, core and mobility training in combination with a protein packed diet to help rehabilitate areas weakened from pregnancy and labour. The abdominal muscles are key to this rehab and connecting to these muscles through breath & movement. Focusing on "exhaling as we exert" and using techniques such as ‘lifting and wrapping’ the pelvic area will help ensure that core muscles are activated when we are exercising.


Shani: What are some of the most common injuries you have clients coming to you with & how do you rehabilitate injuries through PT?

Philippa: It’s unusual not to have a client with one or another form of injury or chronic illness! I’ve had everything from clients recovering from gruelling rounds of chemotherapy to pelvic organ prolapse and every other type of tendonitis in between! Each body is so unique and every injury or condition requires a bespoke approach.

The way I programme exercises is predominantly a mix of compound, functional and isolated movements to target weakened areas and build up strength and stability in the muscles surrounding the injured sites. Rehab takes time so my mantra is always Patience & Consistency - these words are key to making long lasting change.

Shani: Trainer, bestie or therapist?

Philippa: All three! I am there for all of it, the sweat, laughter and tears (often in the same session!).

Shani: Highs & lows of being a Fitbirds PT?

Philippa: Highs - being connected in a Fitbirds community full of inspiring, supportive & funny as hell women. We share highs & lows together and always have each other's backs. For me fitness is not just moving the body, but also tapping into something inside us, freeing up that often overcrowded space in our head and creating calm where there is usually chaos (well in my house there always is!).

Lows - grey, cold days in the parks coupled with 6am starts can make days feel endless during the winter months. For some reason I also seem to attract every dog that enters the park (for those that know me I’m firmly a cat person!).

Shani: How do you support your clients outside of your 1hr session?

Philippa: I generally connect with my clients outside using a mix of: PT homework (depending on what their goals are- this could be fitness videos, articles, technique points, diet tips) and Whatsapp check ins (particularly if they need support adhering to their fitness or nutrition goals);

Oh and the memes. We all love a good meme!


Shani: Tell us your fave “success story” from a bird client.

Philippa: I’ve been so privileged to work with some incredible women. One of my earliest clients came to me with an extremely weakened shoulder and arm caused by a significant car accident and reconstructive surgery. Lifting weights of doing any sort of strength work seemed out of any sort of possibility for her (or so she thought!). Over time we slowly built up both her strength and confidence so that she had developed enough strength to nail her first push up, and to support her getting back into the gym to continue her journey.


We love you Philippa, we are so lucky to have you in our flock. Follow Philippa here & reach out if you wanna get personal with this bird babe.| FB x

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