I spend my day making decisions. What time will wake up? What will I wear, eat, drink, say? According to thinkingbusinessblog, the average adult makes a whopping 35,000 decision per day! So when it comes to fitness and Yoga, my preference is to concentrate on my breathing and follow instructions. Often I lose track of how many reps I have done! I guess it’s all part of getting in the ‘Zone’.
Whilst being away from Bristol and my usual training with Tom, I have been attending fitness classes at a top of the UK’s top gyms (just happens to be my local) that focus on problem areas of the body such as stomach, legs and bum along other classes like weight lifting (my favourite) and Yoga. I have attempted spinning, however, my performance was so awful, I’m pretending it simply never happened.
I’m very aware that lots of people pay money for low-quality trainers that train recklessly, (Eg. 100 squats as fast as you can) but I wasn’t prepared too see dangerous training on such a large scale.
My initial shock to the absence of any class introductions was quickly surpassed by the lack of instruction and general attention towards the correct posture, for example in weight lifting. Not having the correct posture when lifting a weight can put your spine under extreme stress and cause a slipped disk! Treatment for a injury like that can be expensive and even with treatment, will potentially cause injury and discomfort for the rest of your life.
Even where pointers on safety or technique were given, only those with super sensitive hearing could hear them over the noise of the blaring music. The class was led by a large male with a completely different physical capacity to anyone in the class. Instruction and guidance on size weights appropriate to my body weight and physique was sadly lacking. Choosing a suitable weight was akin to a free-for-all in Sports Direct on Black Friday. Not a pretty sight!
Weight repetitions were executed too fast and in too quick succession with inadequate time to rest.
Below is an image of me trying to keep up.
I don’t think there was one person who both successfully and correctly completed any of the sequences. Rapid repetitions surely have benefits in terms of weight loss, but this most definitely comes hand in hand with a pulled muscle. What happens when the class attendees are let loose alone in the gym? With no adequate training on things as basic as simply lifting a weight from the ground, I winced whenever the instructor requested we do so.
At one point, my friend who I attended the class alongside, was jumping back and forth off a block so quickly, that much to my delight, she catapulted herself across the room.
The aim of this article is not to name and shame but to point out that getting a trainer who genuinely cares about your personal safety, pervious injuries, posture, technique and ability, is imperative!
The slightest change of posture can alter your workout entirely and work muscles harder bringing greater benefit in a shorter space of time… I’m thinking back to practising a simple exercise with the guidance of Tom, where you sit on a bench whilst holding a medicine ball and repetitively stand up using only one leg. The intensity of the exercise was then suddenly increased when Tom instructed me to lean forward. The easiest exercises are often the ones we enjoy most and are also the ones that may not be challenging enough. On auto-pilot, humans will always take the easiest option. By training harder with a knowledgeable instructor, I cut the expense and frequency of my sessions and end up with amazing results, no injury and most importantly, I have learned to train independently and I am confident enough to do so (something I thought I would never hear myself say).
For optimum results, I would recommend a Personal trainer. I appreciate however that it can be expensive and therefore not an option for everyone. ProTom Fitness releases spaces every so often on a Group PT programme, which significantly reduces the cost of training yet produces the same tailored results! It can often be more fun working towards fitness goals in small groups. I have developed friendships with some of the other inspirational attendees and the ‘family vibe’ that runs through ProTom Fitness will ensure that you never feel as though you're working towards your fitness goal alone!
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Wishing you all the best,