Blog Archives

Surviving The Holidays

I can’t believe it’s almost December. Seriously where did this year go? I LOVE Christmas! It means time off to relax and recover, time with my family (yep, I like spending time with my relatives, they’re all just as nuts as me!), time for catch ups with friends and the chance to sleep in past 5am (though in saying that my body clock doesn’t always follow that plan). The entire period keeps a smile on my face and me acting like a five year old for the entire month.

Unfortunately this is also the time period where everyone’s Health and Fitness can go out the window and by the time the New Year hits, they have taken five steps backwards. Christmas day itself is not the problem. One day of indulgence isn’t going to cause you to gain 5kgs and lose all of your strength. Everything in the lead up to Christmas is the issue, there’s work Christmas functions: for your work and then your partner’s work, then maybe even a friend’s work! There’s the dinners with every circle of friends you have, the Christmas dinners for the family that you won’t actually see on Christmas Day, there’s the Boxing Day BBQ which can lead into more BBQs and before you know it’s New Years Eve and well that’s just one giant party.

But do not fear, here’s some tips to help you survive the holidays and come through with your Health and Fitness Goals still intact:

1) Don’t use this time as an excuse to just not train. Keeping up with your exercise regime is VERY important. Make time for the gym. If you know you have dinners on, then get yourself out of bed earlier and train in the morning. Drag a friend along if you want company for motivation. If you know for sure that some sessions will be missed, ensure that every time you can get to the gym, you train HARD! Don’t use the holidays as a time to relax on training.

2) We tend to eat out more often as we catch up with family and friends. Make smarter choices with your food. You don’t have to have bread at the start. Do you really need that entrée? If you do, can you share it with someone? Choose a main that is protein and vegetable based. Avoid creamier sauces, go for tomato based sauces instead. Skip dessert, or again share if you really want to have one. I’m not saying you can’t have a few treats, but spread them out and you will enjoy them more. If you know that you are going to have the creamy pasta or dessert that evening, then make sure your nutrition for that day and the day before is spot on, that way you can somewhat counter balance the calories. Have a treat meal, not a cheat day!

2b) Function finger food can be loaded with crap that is not good for you. You tend to pick off every plate that comes around and you lose track of how much you have actually eaten. Try to have a meal before you go out so you don’t need to pick. Then if you do have a little bit of the finger food, choose the healthier ones that have protein and aren’t deep fried.

3) Alcohol. To be perfectly blunt, you should just skip it entirely. I’m only allowing myself a drink on Boxing Day this year as there is a wedding on. I have a figure comp that I’m aiming for in March and I’m determined to get there. Alcohol just isn’t going to help me so I’m saying no. But I know that every person is different. Remember you don’t have to drink at every function. You can say no (yes you can!). When you choose to have a drink then make smarter choices like red wine or white spirits with soda water. Avoid soft drinks like the plague! If you do drink, you don’t have to right yourself off completely. A hangover just encourages you to skip training and eat junk food the next day.

4) Water, water, water! Keep that intake up to keep the toxins flushing out.

They’re my tips to you. Do you have any others I can add that may help other people out? I’d be happy to have them added!

Remember to enjoy Christmas Day, have that piece of pudding/cake/in my case, Mum’s pavlova and ENJOY it! Depriving yourself is not fun, a little bit of indulgence is!

D

Advertisements

Personal Training For Everybody

Sooo I have been slack on writing recently, I have no excuse, I just haven’t prioritised this. Sorry for that. I hope you’ve missed me!

This is something that I’ve been meaning to touch on for a while. My personal opinion is that everyone who is looking for results in the gym should have a Personal Trainer. Pro athletes have coaches to reach their goals, so why shouldn’t you? Don’t you deserve someone to guide you, push you and keep you accountable? I think you do! I have one (yep a Personal Trainer has a Personal Trainer! I gave some reasons why in this post https://dionstewart.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/why-i-have-a-personal-trainer/) and I can see myself continuing to do so for a long time.

In saying this though I realise that not everything is that black and white. I’m single, have pretty much no debt and no children or people dependant on me. So I can afford the one to two sessions per week with no stress. That obviously isn’t the case for everyone. There’s mortgages, kids and other responsibilities that can impact someones ability to afford Personal Training. Here’s some other options to help you out.

First up if you can go out every weekend blowing your hard earned dollars on alcohol, fast food and whatever else, maybe you need to prioritise your finances a little more. Write down exactly what you spend for a fortnight and reassess from there. Maybe cutting down on the excesses on the weekend will allow you to do one, two or three sessions of Personal Training a week? You health is worth it..

If you really cannot afford sessions every week, could you afford one every fortnight? It’ll be such a big help with keeping you on track and accountable. A Personal Trainer should give you a program to follow so you have a structured approach to training and then once a fortnight they can give you that extra push to keep you going. They should still offer you support when needed and help you with your goals.

Even still that may be a large commitment financially. How about seeing a trainer once every 4-6 weeks, paying them for a program and get them to take you through it? That way you have a program tailored to you, you’ve been shown how to do the exercises correctly and changing it every 4-6 weeks will keep your body changing and prevent you getting into a rut. I have several clients who cannot afford regular training, but see me for programs monthly instead. I will also give them a little help with nutrition along the way.

I’m going to be a little cheeky and now throw this to the other Personal Trainers out there. Have you considered offering these options to clients who cannot afford weekly sessions with you? Sure it’s not an income every week, but think about the other benefits. You offer this to someone, then when a friend asks them about the gym and Personal Training, you’ll be the first person they think of, you may then pick up a client who does the weekly session with you. So regular income coming your way! Don’t get stuck thinking you have to have just one on one clients all the time.

Hope that helps some of you a little.

Any feedback is always welcome!

D

 

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

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

I’m asked quite a lot why I have a Personal Trainer, when I’m one myself. Couldn’t I just train myself? Well yes, but I’d rather pay for a trainer. Yes I pay for a Personal Trainer! I train three sessions per week with Rob and here’s why:

1) Designing a program for myself is actually quite hard. I get excited and want to put every exercise known to man in the one program. Then I can never decide what rep range to use or what protocols to follow, then it’s the second guessing, is that too much? Should I take this out, include that? I end up with something that has no structure and makes no sense. Rob does it all for me. I just let him know what goals I have and he designs to that. Other than that I leave it to him.

2) Motivation. I admit that working in a gym helps to keep me on track, when you’re there already it’s hard to skip a session. But I am human, I have those moments just like you do where the last thing I want to do is train. Knowing that I can’t get out of the session will get me there, knowing that I’ll have Rob on my back if I try to bail is just not worth the hassle. It’s easier to do the session!

3) Sometimes I underestimate myself strength wise. I wouldn’t have picked up the heavier weights if someone else didn’t tell me to and then made sure I completed the set. I have been surprised with how much I have lifted in a workout. I wouldn’t have done that without the prompt. Also knowing that I have someone to spot me, gives me that little bit of security to attempt the heavier loads.

4) Accountability. Rob treats me just like every other one of his clients. He checks up on my diet, ensures I’ve completed my sessions outside from him and gives me homework. It’s the little things that count and he does them to keep me on track.

What’s the point of this post you ask? Well it’s to show that everyone can benefit from Personal Training. If you’re lacking in motivation or need some help with your program then invest in the sessions. Your health is worth the investment.

Happy Training

D