Monthly Archives: October 2012

Stuff I Read Last Week

I make a huge effort to read every single day. Whether it’s online or books, Health or Fitness related or self development, I know that becoming the trainer I want to be requires me to continue learning for the rest of my career. I figure Ill share with you some of the posts I’ve read in the last week so you can meet the people I learn from.

First up is Nia Shanks.

Nia is one of the ladies from the Girls Gone Strong movement that has made it their mission to change the way women train. You can check out their page here.

She has written an article on the six female strength training myths that just won’t die. It’s simple, easy to read but gets the point home without complicating it all. Check it out:

Nia Shanks: 6 Female Strength Training Myths That Won’t Die

Next up is Tony Gentilcore. I’ll admit I freaking love his blog. It’s funny, doesn’t take himself too seriously (well at all) and it’s educational. What more could you want? His post was on trainers being walking advertisements for Health and Fitness.

Tony Gentilcore Walking Advertisments

The last one is by Chad Lander who I have not read before but enjoyed this post. He highlights that while Health and Fitness has changed over the years, it doesn’t necessarily mean what works hasn’t.

Chad Lander From 1879 To Today Nothing Has Changed

Enjoy the reads and let me know what you think.

D

Getting Started

I’ve realised that I have never posted a workout that can be done by anyone looking for a basic strength program or a workout that can be done if you’re just having one of those days where you can’t be screwed doing anything (it happens to the best of us). This workout is what I give a lot of my beginner clients as it covers the four main movements we do in a gym, then finishes off with a mini circuit for that last little fat burning kick. That doesn’t mean it’s really easy either. You can adjust the weight if you’ve been training for a while and it’ll still put you through your paces.

Here it is:

A1) Goblet Squat 12 Reps

A2) Pushup 12-15 Reps

B1) Split Squat (Also called a stationary lunge) 10 Reps ea Leg

B2) Horizontal Row 10-12 Reps

For these two rounds you would complete both exercises then rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat for a further 2 sets before moving on to the next. While the exercise seem simple, you add extra weight to them and trust me they will get your heart rate up!

This is what you can do to finish off, complete each exercise for 30 seconds going as hard and as fast as you can, then rest for 30 seconds. Move to the next exercise and repeat, keep going until you complete all four exercises and then go around again for another 2 to 5 sets.

C1) Burpees

C2) Alternating BW Lunge

C3) Jump Squat

C4) Mountain Climber

Pretty simple huh? Simple yes, but very effective. That entire workout will only take you 30 to 40 minutes and it covers your whole body.

What if you can’t do all exercises? EASY! There are always alternatives.

Can’t do weighted goblet squats? Do body weight. Can’t do pushups on your toes? Then raise yourself on an incline (ie have your hands on a bench or rail). Can’t do jump squats? Do normal BW squats. Can’t do burpees or mountain climbers on the ground? Same as the pushups-raise yourself on an incline.

You can make minor adjustments to any program until you are stronger and can perform the original exercise. Don’t use it as an excuse not to train.

If you are not sure about any exercises, please always ask a professional and get them to demonstrate correctly for you.

Try this program out and let me know how you go. You can add me on Facebook here to post how you are going.

Have fun!

D

Client Spotlight: Mathilda!

Welcome to my first client focus blog! These will be the chance for me to brag about the people I have been working with and share their successes with you. Hopefully they’ll inspire you as much as they have me.

Without further adieu I present: Mathilda! Mathilda came to me as a one off comp session through the gym I work at. We sat down first to chat about what she was looking for training wise. She had been in two car accidents and was just looking to get some of her strength and mobility back, plus rid herself of the pain she was in. I decided not to do any exercise whatsoever in the first session and instead taught her foam rolling and some mobility drills for her to complete. She immediately felt some relief and tension leave from the foam rolling (seriously if you’re not doing this, start, like right now!) and drills. So we began with one session a week to get her back training. Along with the foam rolling and mobility drills we have now added some strength training and interval work. Slowly but surely her pain has alleviated and her quality of life has improved.

Mathilda is also one of those clients that comes in with a smile on her face and she always cracks me up through her sessions. Getting up at 6am is not a chore for someone like her. Even when I come in and she looks at me with a very serious face and goes ‘We have a problem’. At this point I do freak out a little, has she hurt herself again, have I hurt her?? Uh no, she looks at me and goes ‘I forgot to wear a bra’. Come again? Yep she managed to put a singlet and Tshirt on, but forgot the bra. I laughed so hard I cried and continued to laugh for the entire session, plus give her hassle for the next week about it.

Here’s what she had to say about training with me:

To Whom It May Concern,

Testimonial for Dion Stewert:

My name is Mathilda Straw and I came to train with Dion after I had been involved in a serious car crash and was suffering from chronic back pain. After seeing a physio therapist for a while without results, I was eager to get back into exercising and increasing my strength and fitness in order to get well. After meeting with Dion she advised a training regime in which I would be able to gain back some of the strength I had lost since the accident.

After 1 – 2 sessions, my mobility increased dramatically and my pain and discomfort decreased considerably. It has now been 5(?) weeks and I am well and truly on the road to recovering. I am also beginning to increase my strength, confidence and energy levels and am able to foresee a future involving a much healthier lifestyle, post injury. I not only thoroughly enjoy the sessions and the level of attention Dion gives me during the sessions but find the ongoing support outside of the gym invaluable. As a passionate cooking enthusiast, the information Dion has provided me in regards to nutrition, I believe, is directly linked to my current feelings of increased wellness and control in my quest for leading a healthier lifestyle.

I believe that any changes that are beginning to show in both my mental and physical wellbeing are directly attributed to my ongoing involvement in personal training with Dion. Her support, motivation and confidence in me have and will continue to be a vital part of my training development.

 

Regards

Mathilda Straw

Words like that make me feel so good, it really is great to know that I am making a difference in someone’s life.

Mathilda thank you, I look forward to our future sessions and getting even more results with you!

D

What motivates you?

I’ll admit that one of the hardest parts of my job can be keeping my clients on track with their Health and Fitness goals. I can give someone a great program and great nutritional advice but if they lose motivation the best plan can be completely derailed. I’m constantly told that the first few weeks are great and then they just lose the motivation to keep going. I look at this as my responsibility. People pay me their hard earned dollars to help them and I take that responsibility very seriously, I will do my utmost to keep them on track, bring them back if they fall off and get them to their end result. I will call, text, email, talk face to face, harass on Facebook, just about anything to help someone get back on track. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t-that’s something I want to change,

This post is to look at what motivates a person and perhaps give you some ideas to help you with yours.

So firstly, what motivates me personally to train and get the correct nutrition? Well it’s a combination of things. The first one (and probably the biggest) is vanity, I want to look good, I want people to comment that I look good and I’m not afraid to admit that. When I have that little bit of my ego stroked, it keeps me coming back for more.

There is also an expectation in my job that I need to look good. I’m ok with that expectation. This second reason is close to the first. Seriously would you hire a trainer that didn’t look healthy? How can I be expected to have clients take me seriously if I don’t lead by example? So for me this is business-if I want to succeed then I need to exercise, eat well and look the part.

Third is for health reasons. In my family diabetes and heart disease are common and I have no desire to get either one of them. Cancer also scares the beejesus out of me, if I ever have to fight that disease I want to have the healthiest body possible for that fight. I want to get to the age of 90 and be one of those older people who get around by themselves, who still train (there are women in my gym who are almost 90-they are freaking awesome!!!) and lead active lives. I have a MASSIVE fear of ending up in a home, incapable of doing anything for myself.

And finally, it’s just a part of my life, a second nature. I cannot imagine not exercising or eating well. Don’t get me wrong, I still fall of the bandwagon every now and then (I’m human remember???) but I always get back on. For the above reasons.

They are my reasons. Are they perfect no? Are they in the order they should be? Maybe not. But they are mine and that’s what keeps me going.

What I also did was open this question up to my Facebook friends to see what they had to say. Here’s their responses-none have been edited.

“The fear of not looking good. As a PT/Coach need to look the part.”

“I feel crappy when I don’t eat well and I feel good when I exercise. Simple as that.”

“Vanity, health, state of mind, and knowing that its much harder for me to be motivated if I’ve gained any weight!”

“I think you could sum it up as a fear of becoming complacent with my current life and not constantly pushing the boundaries of what you can achieve. When you’re driven to physically perform then your much more driven to succeed in other aspects of life too.”

“Seeing how far I can push my strength, taking on the best in the country to see who is strongest and this time next year taking on people from all around the world.”

“Hm, there’s a few
– to look good
– to feel good (physically and mentally)
– to be strong (again both physically and mentally)
– to be a better father (when that eventually happens)
– to better enjoy my sunset years (when they eventually happen)
– to just generally kick ass?”

“I wanna look good naked!”

“As a nurse I see people’s bodies fail them all the time, often prematurely because they didn’t look after themselves (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases etc). This obviously motivates me to look after myself… and bonus you look good too :)”

“Ok so seriously I turn on the music channel and look at all the girls on the videos and that makes me want to exercise harder cause I want to look like that!”

“…. The ladies…”

“For once in my life I want to have a bikini body for summer so my husband is like dammmmm that’s my wife ;)”

“Being competitive and seeing that everyone else is talking online and offline about their exercise/gym session/routine and feeling crap if I have nothing to share!”

“To stay alive and feel alive. And what Rod said….” (Side note: what Rob said was for the ladies)

“Probably sounds stupid but I find myself motivated by the ones that love me! Feeling loved pushes me through that negative phase. Makes me want to eat well and have more energy for everyone that surrounds me! My state of mind only works from my surroundings of good well adjusted people. Weird I know but the more I surround myself with healthy happy people, I want to be glowing just like them from in and out:) so that works for me maybe not others! Good music always helps too..”

“I eat well because it shows in my hair & skin etc. and because I feel full but ‘light’. I train because I like the physical release & feeling strong. On a purely vanity level, I like the gratification of seeing the numbers on the scales go down the day after a clean day or a big session.”

“As a personal trainer, I train for many different reasons.
1. Mental health.. Shit gets ugly if I don’t release the daily stresses
2. Physical health.. Longevity and quality of life
3. Role modelling to my children, friends and clients that it’s not a 6 week 12 week 1 year challenge it’s a way of life for life.
4. Vanity… 100% y wouldn’t u want to look and feel ur absolute best?? My partner is 7 years younger so I want to appear younger vibrant and energised and I love that my teenage sons friends think I’m MILF..
5. Avoids becoming complacent .. I love the mental, physical and psychological challenges wit a new programme new exercise or new group fitness regimes, they never end.. And conquering them never stops feeling good :)”

“I train because I find that it helps me deal with the day to day stresses. If I don’t train I notice that my tolerance level is not as high. I also enjoy exercising (I have been involved in sports since I was very young) and it has just become a part of my life. Whilst my exercising is good I still need to work on my diet, but I am slowly getting there :)”

Every single response is that persons intrinsic reasons as to why they exercise. You may agree with them, you may not. Does it matter? Not to you. What you need to know or figure out is what motivates you. Find that reason (or reasons) to get you exercising and eating properly. Keep a hold of that reason. Write it down or take a photo or record it. Whatever works for you. Copy some of the above reasons if you want-I know some of them have even given me another reason!

Hopefully what has been written above will give you some inspiration, maybe there was something you hadn’t realised yet and this will get you started towards your Health and Fitness goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way either.

If you want to connect with me (and my awesome friends!) here’s the link to my Facebook profile. Come say hi!

To everyone who responded to my question-thanks so much for helping out!

I”ll look forward to hearing about your journey.

D