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A quick well done today to one of our personal trainers Phil Chalmers. Phil, who covers personal training for us in the Reading, Tilehurst and Wokingham areas has been working now with one of our best and most successful clients, who although wishes to remain anonymous, is 85 (our most mature client!) and has been having personal training sessions with Phil for over a year. Miss B as we will call her has gone from being relatively house bound, having to get help for weekly shopping and general mobility difficulties, to being a sprightly, fit lady who now looks after herself totally and can get to the shops no probs!
Starting with the most gentle and simple functional and cardio-vascular training Phil has transformed her life, and they are now on to more advanced moves in training including wobble boards and stability balls! It takes two to tango of course, and B has kept up with her sessions religiously, and hardly ever misses one.
She had also taken on board the practical and achievable nutritional advice that is included in all block bookings of 6 personal training sessions or more and has also lost nearly a stone. Well bone to miss B, keep up the good work! You can see Phil’s profile on our “Meet the Trainers” page.
Resistance or strength training is a vital part of any fitness programme, whether it’s for health, fitness, weight loss or other goals. Very often people do too many or too few repetitions, and are unsure how many sets (a group of repetitions) or reps (the repetitions themselves) they should be doing. The blog today is a brief guide into what to to. The key to resistance training is the quality of the exercise, not the quantity. Your body will only adapt and change (improve) if it is placed under overload; it has to be pushed to want to change, in this case it has to be pushed to grow more and stronger muscle fibres. In the real world this means that the last few repetitions of any given exercise must be really hard to be effective, and take the body into the overload that will make it change and adapt. Thre are three things to think about in order to make this happen;
i) Tempo. How fast or slowly you do an exercise will influence how hard it is. By going slowly and smothly not only is the exercise safer on the joint, but it is more chalenging for the muscles and so harder. Aim for 2 seconds in and 2 seconds out (or up and down etc depending on the exercise).
ii) Resistance. You should have the correct weight or resistance so that the last few repetitions of an exercise are really hard.
iii) Reps. How many you should do depends what you are training for. For most people we are looking for muscle tone, where the muscles appear hard and look sleek. This means 12 to 14 reps, so that the last few are realy hard. If you want to build endurance then the reps go up, to 15-20. If you want to build more musce size and strength then the weight goes up and the rep range comes down to 6-10 reps, so that for the last few you are getting shakey and finding it difficult. For extreme strength go for even less reps to failure, anything from 1 rep to 5, so that you can’t do any more, and so fail. At this lower range it’s important to be well warmed up, have good form, have built up to it and also have a spotter so you don’t hurt yourself.
In the next blog we will look at how many sets you should be doing of a given exercise depending on what your goals are. There is lots more insider personal trainer information on our “Resistance Training” fact sheet on the Knowledge page.
I cuf you want to reduce your chances of getting breast cancer try drinking 3 cups of tea a day saysthe Daily Telegraph.
A survey of 5000 women in Florida found that those that did so had a 37% less chance of developing a tumour. The beneficial effect is thought to be due to health-giving chemicals contained in tea called polyphenols, which are known to fight disease. Previous tests have shown that it can also provide protection against heart disease and can lower cholesterol.
“Given that tea is the most common beverage in the world, it makes an attractive candidate for breast cancer prevention” said Dr Nagi Kumar of the Moffit Cancer centre in Tampa, Florida who led the research. However she went on to note that tea drinking in women over 50 did not seem effective in preventing cancer, possibly because the polyphenols only act against the types of tumour found in younger women.
So yet again something that many personal trainers might advise you to avoid (caffene in drinks has traditionally been a personal trainer no-no) turns out to actualy have some benefits; remember that many foods and drinks have both a good and bad side to them, and that the key is to try and follow the diets don’t work philosophy of moderation in all things and trying to stick to he wholefood nutrition plan as much as possible.
We have had lots of enquiries this month about our personal training programmes for weight loss especially from the Clapham, Battersea and Wandsworth areas. Quite a few of these enquiries have made the smart decision to take up out guarantee that if you apply our achievable nutritional advice and attend all your sessions you will get smaller and lighter; welcome to these new clients, I know some of you are a bit nervous about starting personal training, but we won’t kill you (not at first, anyway!) it’s just a matter of finding your level and then challenging you from there in step by step progressions. It does have to be hard, remember that the body will only adapt and change when stresses (overload) are placed on it, but this progress can be gradual, you don’t have to bust a gut straight away.
Good luck to all those new clients, be confident, personal training really does work!
So today is my Birthday, and I’ve still been out in the ice making certain personal training clients who shall remain nameless run up and down a lovely hill in Swinely forest. I am 38 today,(don’t tell), but due to the balanced exercise/nutrition/relaxing time that I have stick to I of course look at least 10 years younger! My dad says that we are from young stock ha ha!
For the first time this year I have written down some good things that I have done in this 37th year, here they are:
1-Learned how to kitesurf.
2-Improved my 2000m time on the concept 2 rower from 6:56 to 6:48, not bad for someone with very short legs who was called a pit pony yesterday.
3-Gone up 6 rankings in my squash club and broken into the 2nd team.
Having done these things I have finally come to the verdict that practice actually does work. In rowing I downloaded a 2k training programme from concept 2, and actually did most of the rows over a 3 month period. Low and behold, it worked, nearly 10 seconds is a big deal over 2k. In squash I had some coaching, and then practiced the drills given on my own 3 times a week for 25 minutes each. It worked! So if there is something that you have always wanted to do or get good at just give it a try; the correct type of practice is important, so instead of half hartedly going through something, really focus and practice well. It’s better to practice well for 10 minutes than to practice poorly for an hour. The same is true of the gym and exercise in general-it’s the quality that matters more than the quantity. I’ve always ben the “practice won’t make a diference” type of person, but now that I’ve actualy tried it I can really vouch for it. Try also to do a small list of good things that you’ve done in the year on your birthday-even if it’s just small things like finally cleaning out the shed, it’s still an achievement. Go for it. Thanks for reading all my blogs, call if you want to get fitter and lose weight, I will do my personal training upmost for you.
Adam & The DDW! team.
Those of you who read the Telegraph on Sunday may have read the article in the magazine on celebrity personal trainers in LA and how they have become as important as publicists, lawyers and managers to many A-listers. It also went on to discuss the history of personal training and the rise of personal trainers from those who trained Charlton Heston in Ben Hur through the emergence of trainers at muscle beach in LA right up to the modern day and the popularity of personal trainers. One of the most interesting bits of the piece was that the backlash to the excesses of the 60’s and 70’s was that in the 80’s it became socially acceptable to have a buff body and to be seen to be working towards this goal, as seen in the rise of starts like Jane Fonda and her fitness videos.
The moral of the story here is that if it works for the stars it can really work for you too, particularly as we don’t charge celebrity rates at Diets Don’t Work. Nearly all the training and nutritional methods we use are identical to those Hollywood A-list trainers, and as Halle Berry will confess, with a bit of hard work and sensible eating it really does work! If you get the chance read the article or have a look for it on the Telegraph web site.
It’s a debilitating condition that affects one in 10 mothers says the Daily Telegraph, but it’s poorly understood and often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Yet post-natal depression can actually be predicted with up to 75% accuracy according to researchers at the university of California at Irvine. The key indicator is they say the level of a hormone in the placenta 25 weeks into pregnancy; the higher the level of the hormone known as CRH, the more likely it is that the pregnant women will suffer from depression after giving birth.The researchers believe that if their study, which looked at the experiences of 100 mothers pre and post-natal, is backed up by larger surveys, a test for hormone levels during pregnancy could become standard procedure. However they warned that a high level of CRH is only one indicator for post-natal depression; others included the more common sensical issues of stress, lack of family support, anda history of mental illness. Last year a study found that women who give birth to boys are more likely to sufer from post-natal depression that those who gave birth to girls.
As it happens, great and medically proven cures for all of the above conditions are exercise and good all round nutrition; as nearly all our personal trainers in London and the Thames Valley are pre and post natal qualified at REPS level 3 we can really really help to get you back into shape both mentally and physically after your big day. There are many myths about pre and post natal personal training/exercise but the truth of the matter is that provided that you had a normal birth, you can start doing some gentle personal training nearly straight away; how do you think those stars get their figures back so quickly? Similarly, pre-natal training can go right up to the birth, and be reasonably challenging, provided that you have a good level of fitness going into the pregnancy. My own personal trainer client in Holyport is booked in to have a C-section on Thursday, and has not mised a session during the 2nd and 3rd trimester, and is due to train tomorrow (yes, the day before!!) provided that she does not chicken out! As a result her legs/arms/shoulders are still very trim and she will find it much easier after the birth to get back to where she was before it, having a speedier and less traumatic recovery.
Old habits die hard it would seem; just as I was giving up hope for a few personal training clients who I had not seen for a while (one of them for 18 months!) up they pop like a perennial spring bulb..it would seem that they can only go without personal training for so long…or maybe it’s just my own personal witty repartee?
So it’s a big welcome back to CV in Slough. who was doing so well but then let romantic issues get in the way, I’m sure that we can get that waistline down again. Welcome back too to Wendy in Egham, you can see some of her efforts on our success stories page. She took a bit of time off to look after her new baby boy, and now that she is a bit more organised and rested I hope she can still do a push up! Finally welcome back to my personal trainer client from Eton Judy H, looking forward to you hiding every time someone you know from Eton goes by as we are doing lunges in the meadow, or as you like to call it “giggling in the bushes”.
It just goes to show that personal training really does work, and that even although you may be able to hold things togther physically on your own it’s much more fun and results will come much more quickly with a trainer!
A bit more insider information on resistance training and two different but interesting and effective ways of exercising. Compound exercises are defined as multi-joint exercises, or those that involve more that one joint, ans therefore more that one muscle at a time. In the real world (not the gym!) our bodies usually work in this way, using 2 or more muscles at one time to produce force, usually lots of muscles work together to produce effort. A good example would be a push up; the chest muscles are contracting to push you up, but at the same time the triceps are helping to straighten the elbow, while the deltiods and rotator cuff muscles are helping to produce the movement as well as stabilise the joint. These helper/stabilising muscles are called synergists and fixators respectively, you may see this written on machines at the gym with an accompanying diagram to show you which muscles are working. These compound exercises rely on good neuro-muscular co-ordination between all the contributing muscles. As more muscles are working more resistance or weight can also be used and functional movements (movements that we do in everyday life) can be trained.
Isloation exercises are ones that only work one joint or one muscle group. The example here would be the chest fly, where while lying on a bench with dumb-bells in each hand and elbows slightly bent you move your arms towards each other until they meet above you. These exercises although less functional than compound exercises are still useful, especially in advanced weight training and if you are trying to pinpoint one specific muscle. A good example of this would be pre-exhaust training (more on this in another blog).
So be sure you do some strength and resistance training at least 2 times a week, it will help with weight loss and keep your bones and joints strong. Have a look at our resistance training pdf on the knowledge page
Hard exercise, or in the experience of this personal trainer even gentle stuff if you are dreadfully unfit, can induce DOMS, which usually set in the next day but are worse 48 hours after the exercise. This soreness seems to be caused by exercise induced muscle damage followed by an inflammatory response, although surprisingly the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood. What we do know (and if any of you have played explosive racket sports such as squash and badminton will know for sure) is that this DOMS is made worse by eccentric braking and loading. This is where a muscle or group of muscles are forced to lengthen and then suddenly stop while elongating. It’s much easier to understand this if you take the squash example; when playing a shot under pressure you lunge forward onto the leading leg. This leg then suddenly has to brake and then spring back as you push off it. So the muscles in the bum and thigh get longer, then have to stop you, before contracting from this elongated state. This, as you squash players will know, leads to the horrid 48 hour (or longer) soreness. Ways around this are to start exercise gently and build up from your starting point (our Diets Don’t Work personal trainers always try to do this), and also to stretch as soon after exercise as you can; remember that muscles stretch much more effectively when they are hot and fully warmed up. Try to avoid static stretching when cold. This DOMS is also a useful guide to make sure that you are not over training. If the soreness lasts for longer, 6 days or more, then over training has occurred, and as the muscles don’t get long enough to adapt and get stronger this over training is counter-productive. More on this adaptation in a later blog.
The key really to avoiding this DOMS is to keep exercising!!! You will of course have some soreness to start with, but if you go through that and then stop exercising, all your initial pain will have been wasted, as when you start exercising again you will have to go through DOMS again too…so keep it up.