It is with great pleasure to introduce to you Katrina Durden. A kick ass female S&C coach, who will be now writing for the blog. With a wealth of experience she is an asset to the site and I am really looking forward to the content that she will bring to the forefront.
Hi. My name is Katrina Durden. Let’s keep it nice and simple. There’s not that much you need to know about me really. Just that I’m a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer with a bit of a Lara Croft complex. I’ll get to that. But first, let me start by saying I’m serious about training. And I mean deadly serious – not just “for a girl” (followed by some mumbling about “strong being the new skinny”) either.
I guess it was always going to happen. Despite being a pudgy child, teased for having “tree-trunk” legs among other things, throughout my life, I was always involved with sport and physicality in some form to varying levels – ranging from equestrianism and tennis, to my continuing romance with dance, various martial arts, gymnastics and powerlifting. No skiving off P.E. for the Durden. Plus I had this innate competitiveness and tenacity which made me want to be better, faster, stronger.
I remember the first day I stepped into a gym (in the conventional, ‘fitness’ sense anyway) so clearly. I was 14 years old studying for my P.E. GCSE, walking into this tiny converted classroom. All it had was a couple of resistance machines, a treadmill or two, a rower and some matted space. I remember thinking this was the start of something. And it was. A love and an obsession. Over the next three years, I secured a job in a gym, a personal training qualification and began studying for my degree in Sports Sciences at Brunel University.
Now, I was lucky. I was very close to going down the route most females do in this industry – I spent a short stretch in the torturous prison of generic group ex, endless cardio and zillions of crunches and called it training (*shudders*). But I was saved early on. From the beginning of my career, I was surrounded by some of the highest level athletes, trainers and health professionals in their respective fields and am proud to have called many of them teachers, training partners, esteemed colleagues, mentors and friends. These ranged from national strength and conditioning coaches, respected personal trainers, powerlifters, bodybuilders, ex-professional rugby players, footballers, martial artists; talented physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and nutritionists. The list goes on. I also had, and indeed continue to have, this insatiable thirst for knowledge which can never quite be quenched, as many of them might testify following countless conversations, questions and requests for assistance. Sorry. Not sorry. These conversations, lectures, studying and training sessions etc. only contributed to the bricks I lay along my path.
It was during this time and over the subsequent years I tested and implemented different programming paradigms, training methods, equipment and nutritional plans and learned, not just in theory but in application, how to manipulate and obtain aesthetics and performance. I’ve worked and coached a broad spectrum of clientele, ranging from your average joe and recreational gym user, to elite athletes and fitness models. Now, I’m pretty no nonsense, a bit like my training methods. Lifting, both olympic and power, and plyometrics are a big part of that. The squat and deadlift became special areas of interest/obsession, with several years and a dissertation dedicated to the almighty hip hinge. I found my niche: strength, conditioning and power development – unusual for a girl. It’s something that I struggle with at times, particularly in a largely male dominated industry, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Everyone likes some numbers. In my prime, my bench press was 85 kg, squat was circa 130, and deadlift closer to 150 all at 65-67 kg bodyweight. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of that. Good times.
These days, well, I’m adding other strings to my bow, so training methods have switched up slightly. I mentioned the abridged list of physical activities. Oh, and the Lara Croft complex. I guess you could say I related to and became inspired by the strong alpha female characters I grew up with – like Miss Croft, Chun-Li, Xena, Shera – all those badass females. Then I thought. Dammit, I’M going to be a bad ass female. That ongoing thought process throughout my life has taken me on one hell of a journey, and I’m currently in training for the JISC stunt register and looking to specialise in martial arts, weapons and vehicular handling for performance. Oh and be the best damn strength and conditioning coach and professional I can be (NOT just for a female). And then some – but that’s more than I have time for right now.
Let me just say this. Whether you are male, or female, or anything else for that matter, this is an exciting, varied and dynamic field which I have dedicated my life to. And I have met many others who feel the same way.
So with that, I thank Sportland, and indeed you, for having me. And in the apt words of my esteemed colleague – in strength,
PS. Say what you will, but I am NOT a douche-bag.