Personal trainer in Nottingham

Posts made in August, 2015

No spare time – or not a priority?

By on Aug 18, 2015 in Articles |

Contributed by Tim Wheatcroft, RWF PT Let’s first just dispel the myth that PTs are robots that train 3 times a day and eat chicken, rice and broccoli at every meal. We don’t, and we do not expect miracles from clients. We do not expect them to show the same levels of training/strength as Olympic swimmers/weight lifters. We PTs also enjoy food, a drink, to lie in, and sometimes skip training sessions. Now, any half-decent human should enjoy helping someone do well at something. Naturally, in our job whatever the goal of the client it’s their achievements which make our job rewarding. So please, please forgive us for being slightly upset/ frustrated when clients don’t show anywhere near the levels of commitment needed to reach the goals that they have made clear they want to reach. Bear in mind that goals set by clients have been set after long discussions with their PT about what is realistic, what they can commit to timewise etc. A client’s goals might be guided by a PT, but they should never be dictated to them. We spend a minimum of an hour with any new client going through their lifestyle and work/family commitments with a fine toothcomb before setting ANY targets. Not just PT’s, but any decent humans, do not want to see someone waste their hard-earned money. In the interest of marketing ourselves and our business – believe it or not – we love to see clients do really well and go out from sessions as happy or happier than when they came in. No PT should want or need clients to leave ANY session feeling down, feeling like they failed or feeling like they’ve been ‘told off’. Priorities – or not? Having said all that, the point of this article is to talk about priorities. How often have you heard excuse after excuse from people that ‘I haven’t got time’ or ‘I can’t afford PT’ – often combined with ‘I’d do anything to lose weight’. Working in the fitness industry you come across many, many different people from every background. Some genuinely work every hour under the sun and don’t have time for anything else in their lives. Guess what? THAT IS OK. Some can’t...

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Squatting 101

By on Aug 11, 2015 in Articles |

To squatting! Please see my list of caveats: 1. No. I’m not the best squatter ever. Don’t claim to be, never will be. Get over it. I have. 2. Yep, I know there are lighter people than me that lift more. Don’t care (well, too much…) 3. No, I’m not Dave Tate. But I have trained people for thousands of hours. I do have a bit of clue what I’m talking about. So, who’s the article for? Probably everyone, to be honest. I doubt that many people reading this are doing all of this right. Some will have found a better way than I talk about. Pretty certain 99% of people that read this have never squatted 200kg though, so if you haven’t, there’s probably something here that can help you on that journey. I’m not going into programming and training – that’s a whole different post. This is just about the cues and set-up tips that WE use at RWF when training clients. Your PT/coach may have different opinions or approaches – that’s fine, honestly, we don’t care. The results we get here speak for themselves. As with everything, take what is useful, reject what doesn’t help you. Stance There is no ‘correct’ stance. “Feet at shoulder width, toes pointing forward” is not the right stance for most people. It is, however, a good starting point. From there, look at angling toes outwards slightly. That helps the angles for many. Next tweak, is to usually widen the stance a little. Typically, the more you widen your stance, the more you’ll need to angle your toes away from the body. We’re trying to make sure your knees travel in broadly the same direction as your toes are pointing. It’s just more comfortable and stable, and more comfort + stability = bigger squat. Many people who ‘can’t get low’ in a squat have simply never tried having a wider stance. Experiment! If you have uber-long legs, it’s likely that a wide stance is necessary. Same if you’re over six foot. It does all depend on body shape though – I’m 6ft and like a pretty narrow stance, personally. I’ve trained 6’5” guys who have to practically go sumo-style to hit...

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Strength Training and Dyspraxia

By on Aug 7, 2015 in Articles |

Before I even start: (a) I’m not a medical professional. None of this advice should be taken as such. (b) I don’t have formal qualifications to work with dyspraxic individuals (no such qualification exists) (c) All of this article is based on experience training 4 dyspraxic individuals for a combined 1200hrs (approx) over 6 years, and as such is NOT based on a big enough sample to extrapolate all my methods and findings to *every* dyspraxic individual. (d) If you’re after proper medical support, contact these people or your GP   Phew. Hopefully the above will stop me getting sued. I’ve trained four individuals with dyspraxia over the last few years. My very first PT client, who I still train now, has it. That was a baptism of fire for a newly qualified PT! What is dyspraxia? I’m going to lift this directly from the Dyspraxia Foundation: “Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. DCD is formally recognised by international organisations including the World Health Organisation. DCD is distinct from other motor disorders such as cerebral palsy and stroke, and occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. Individuals may vary in how their difficulties present: these may change over time depending on environmental demands and life experiences, and will persist into adulthood.” In laymans terms, dyspraxia used to be called ‘clumsy child syndrome’ – helpful, eh? Over the years, better understanding has led to dyspraxia sufferers being able to have a less negative label for the condition and be able to seek help for it. Dyspraxia often continues into adulthood, and can present teenagers and young adults with immense problems living a normal life, depending on the severity. The main manifestations in the clients we’ve helped has been in co-ordination issues – balance, ability to track movement accurately, grip strength and general proprioception (linking where something actually is, with the body’s ability to touch it on the first attempt). Outside of the immediate physical issues, we’ve found that writing skills, following of complicated instructions (not always, but often) and speech are often affected. Why am I, just a PT, writing about dyspraxia? Well, we haven’t solved it. Let’s get...

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Yoga and Weight Training

By on Aug 6, 2015 in Articles |

Really happy to present our first guest post on the RWF blog. Sophie Thomas has put together this piece about the crossover benefits of yoga to weight/resistance training. Enjoy the read, and you can find all her contact details at the bottom. Thanks Soph. “I remember my first yoga class well. Having been promised to be filled with peace, calm and enlightenment, I scurried into the studio both hurriedly and enthusiastically, bemused yet curious by such an exciting prospect – teen years, after all, are ones where you generally become introspective and angst-ridden, or rather, extremely hormonal and moody. I left the class, however, feeling quite the opposite; arms and legs shaking, sweat on my forehead, and an accomplishment akin to that of a decent gym session – the mental benefits and immediate clarity post-yoga were, of course, an amazing benefit of the physical results, and is one of the main reasons I practice today. But, having been fed the same old stereotype that yoga is very much a ‘girly’ exercise, reaping little to no strength or cardiovascular benefits, I was pleasantly surprised to find that with consistent practice, not only was my mental health and emotional well-being improving, but I also saw significant shifts and improvements in my physical fitness, too. First of all, a caveat: everyone’s physique goals are different, so what works for you may not work for me. Secondly, don’t be fooled – even though yoga will challenge you, improve bodyweight strength, and offer you a refreshing aspect of training, it is not the same as squatting to failure or incorporating progressive overload into your strength training routine. Rather, in yoga, you train isometrically – that is, holding a position, without moving, for several seconds or even minutes – it’s no picnic, as your muscles are indeed straining against each other, hence the sweat and muscle soreness. But this does not necessarily equate to muscle growth or even fat loss – the latter of which requires a caloric deficit at any rate, regardless if you are a devoted yogi or competing bodybuilder – certainly, it will help retain muscle that you’ve already managed to build, which is why it is an excellent form of exercise...

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Alcohol and Training

By on Aug 5, 2015 in Articles |

For many people, training and fat loss/muscle gain is important to them. However, it’s not important to the point that they will completely abstain from drinking going out and socialising – and rightly or wrongly, socialising often involves alcohol. Alcohol and training are a bad mix, for the most part. Let’s assume none of you are drinking immediately before or during training. You can’t fix stupid. Alcohol impairs your body’s ability to repair, disturbs sleep patterns and usually causes bad decisions with regard to food choices. It’s not simply the excess, and useless, calories that alcohol provides at the time of consumption, it’s the knock on effect from drinking to excess. Let’s work an example: You’re trying to lose weight. You work hard during the week to eat about 500 calories a day under what your body needs, generating a 2000 or so calorie deficit. That’s great, and will likely lead to a pound or two of fat loss. However, you’re out that weekend on the Saturday night. You share two bottles of wine with a friend, have a cocktail, and then, hungry when you get home, have two or three slices of toast. The next day, you’re mildly hungover so you have a fry up or a McDonald’s breakfast, and crave poor food choices all day. You also skip the gym visit you had planned because you don’t feel great. Guess what’s happened to the deficit you created in the week? You’ve wiped it out, and almost certainly had EXTRA calories over the week. You start the next week at Step 1 all over again. Also, whilst your body is getting rid of the alcohol, it’s very unlikely to be expending energy building muscle or utilising fat for fuel. If you’ve had 20 units, that’s roughly 20hrs in the week your body is going to spend just getting back to where it all began. It doesn’t have to be that way. Think about what and when you drink. A small glass of wine two or three times a week will be likely to have zero impact on meeting your goals. A bottle of wine or more in one go, will have a HUGE effect. Think about having a spirit with...

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