We took a few minutes to chat to the talented Channel 5 presenter, actor and fitness instructor Olivia Birchenough, we discussed her career, becoming an fx instructor her ETM qualification

Tell us a bit about you and what you’re doing at the moment ?

For the past 5 years I’ve been presenting for Channel 5’s children’s segment, Milkshake! This involves presenting live tele on a daily basis, as well as fronting the channel’s live theatre tours up and down the country. Alongside Milkshake!, I’ve been on tour with a theatre company called The Paper Birds, performing in their one-woman show Mobile, which travelled to various theatres up and down the country for 6 months. And I’ve been awarded Best Leading Female at both The Great British Pantomime Awards and Panto Insider Awards 2017!

When did you get your exercise to music qualification and what was the reason for getting it?

I got my ETM qualifications last November. I was looking for a bit of a backup for quiet times with presenting and acting and have always enjoyed going to the gym and participating in classes. I was there all the time anyway, so it just sort of made sense! It also struck me as another niche for presenting, so maybe one day combining the two skill sets of presenting and fitness.

Interview with Exercise to Music Instructor Olivia Birchenough

Can you tell us a little about how you found the course and how it worked?

I chose to do the course as a Distance Learner, allowing me to study in my own time and fit around my work commitments. This worked really well, doing a couple of hours a day from wherever I happened to be on tour/filming across the country.

Once I’d completed all the online theory, I then booked in for my written and practical assessments which I did both on the same day in Manchester.

What was your favourite thing about working with TRAINFITNESS?

The classes! The accessibility of all the routines on the app is great, along with the actual programmes and material you’re provided with. The classes are a joy to teach with clear, engaging choreography. Topped off with the fact that the pro-choreography options allow for you to add your own style and take on the class.

What fx class do you instruct?

I’m qualified in pump fx, blast fx, stomp fx, groove fx and fight fx.

My main teaching work comes from pump fx, blast fx and fight fx.

How do you fit in being an fx instructor around your day job?

I do a lot of cover classes, meaning I’m constantly at different and new gyms in between my filming and touring schedules. This often gives me a chance to work with clients who aren’t used to participating in fx classes. The positive reaction of participants is always a joy to witness and is real testament to the strength and quality of the fx programmes.

Interview with Exercise to Music Instructor Olivia Birchenough

What’s been your favourite thing about being an fx instructor?

Hopefully inspiring others to build their fitness levels in a fun, engaging yet challenging way!

T3 HIIT Workout qualification

How is the fx programme different to other Exercise to Music classes out there?

As an instructor, it gives me the opportunity to put my own stamp on the classes I teach. The pro-choreography style allows me to draw upon my dance background and training, and offer alternatives to exercises each week. No two classes ever have to be the same which not only keeps it exciting and fresh for participants, but for me as the instructor!

Would you consider learning other courses?

Definitely! My experience with TRAINFITNESS so far has been such a positive one and I can’t wait to build on what is a really exciting venture for me!

You can find Olivia tweeting at: @Olivia__5 (double underscore)

Further Reading

How to become a Fitness Instructor

How to deliver a great group exercise class

The Benefits of Group Exercise