Fearne Cotton shares her favourite ways to strength train

Posted by for Strength

In an exclusive interview with Stylist, broadcaster, writer and avid yogi Fearne Cotton shares her favourite ways to strength train and her inspirations for her new Sweaty Betty collection’s art work. 

If you already follow Fearne Cotton on Instagram, you’ll know that her exercise routine consists mostly of yoga sessions and Sunday stretching. Sounds dreamy – but we delve a little deeper to get her thoughts on strength training, how she stays motivated to workout and why fitness is so important to her lifestyle – plus what inspired her new collection with Sweaty Betty.

What does fitness mean to you?

If you get into that meditative space and block out noise and just feel really joyful without buying something, eating something, talking to someone, asking advice – it’s so important to find at least one thing that gives you that feeling. When I’m running I’m usually listening to a podcast or music or I’m thinking of ideas – but in yoga I’m really not thinking. It took me a long time to get to that place and I thought, God this is hard. Once you get into the rhythm and understand not where your body should be, but how your body should feel, then you can tune out of where you’re meant to be and then your head zones. So, for me doing that hour is bliss and that connectivity with yoga is definitely one of those things for me.

Fearne Cotton wearing the collection she designed with Sweaty Betty.
Fearne Cotton wearing the collection she designed with Sweaty Betty.

Do you strength train or weight lifting?

I do strength with kettlebells but I have never done weight lifting. Maybe I should try it? Which is why I enlisted the amazing Poorna because she has got mega into weight lifting to help her with her mental health and now she is lifting insane weights. She is incredible. It was lucky that I had these friends that had a very different outlook on fitness, what worked for them and their story of why they got into it – but strength training I tend to do if I do a HIIT workout.

Is stretching a big part of your training?

It really wasn’t until yoga came along. I was doing basic stretching until I discovered yoga. If I went for a run and didn’t stretch I would not be able to walk the next day, I hate the feeling of having tight hamstrings, I hate when my calves hurt because of having kids, sometimes my hips get really tight. So for me this is more important than any of the other things I do. I want to have a good range of movement rather than being tense, stiff and rigid and feel liberated in my body.

Fearne Cotton wearing the collection she designed with Sweaty Betty.
Fearne Cotton wearing the collection she designed with Sweaty Betty.

Do you find yoga to be a good outlet?

I’ve done some yoga classes before where I’ve walked in and I’ve been really pissed off about something. I’ve had a lot of anger and I hadn’t known what to do with that energy and I think I might cry. I might feel deeply emotional by the end but something has moved, something has left the building. I think it’s a physical way of moving on from what’s going on up there. We have a brain thinking and then a body doing something and they are the same thing, so you have to work through those things.

How do you deal when you’re not feeling at your best?

There are days where I wake up and I just feel fantastic, I’ve done a video workout and I feel good in my clothes and I move confidently through the day. Then there are other days where I catch sight of myself in a window or there is an element of body dysmorphia when I see a picture of myself and that can send me off spiralling. All of a sudden my thought process is warped and I’m thinking about my body in a way that doesn’t exist. I try and look at, work on and do affirmations in my head constantly “I’m ok, I’m enough, I look great” and trying to rewire those circuits of negative thought and plastering them with positive thoughts, that for me works mostly. 

Tell us about your collection with Sweaty Betty?

The hero piece is the t-shirt, ten pounds of the sale goes to MIND. I’m an ambassador for MIND and do a lot of work with them throughout the year. It’s a really important charity for men and women. The rest of the collection is based on a pen drawing that I worked up for Sweaty Betty. Some of my art is more real-life artistry and some of it is these pen doodles I do. I worked up this four-page doodle and then we extracted elements from it to lay onto the leggings, jacket and the sweater. It was really nice to be in every element of the design process and feel the textures. The t-shirt is the softest, the leggings are like stroking a baby seal, they are just so soft and gorge. You just want to feel like you are literally wearing nothing, and I think that’s what they achieve with their running and leisurewear, it’s really durable.

Shop Fearne’s Sweaty Betty collection here.

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