Am I doing it correctly? Is a common question when it comes to people who exercise when they meet an exercise professional. The thing is, this isn’t a simple question with a simple answer. Although that may appear to be the case. You see, from the outside, an exercise may look easy and simple to perform however there is a big difference between how something looks compared to how it feels and the results it gets.
There are additional questions that need to be asked. For example, let’s take a press up where do you feel this exercise working when you perform it? Is it the chest, is it your shoulders, your triceps, is it your abs, is it all of those muscles?
The thing is, the press-up is a full-body exercise, and you should aim to squeeze as many muscles as possible. Through coaching, you can learn how to make this exercise far more effective. Once you achieve this with the basic press up, you can try more advanced skills of a press up, for example, an archer press up, which builds on side-to-side straight arm strength, where you will have far more bicep and forearm recruitment compared to the traditional press up. What does all of this mean?
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I was always one of those people who practically spent her life in a gym or being active. But after two bad pregnancies I was diagnosed with kidney disease. After spending years on medications my weight skyrocketed, I felt constantly tired, stressed and had little or no time to myself. In 2015 I decided enough was enough. My children were older and demanding less of my time so I selfishly decided to spend some much needed time and energy on myself.
For Christmas I’d asked my husband to pay for PT sessions as part of my present so when it came to finding a PT it made sense to for him to book sessions in my local club. The only condition I gave my husband was that given a choice, I would prefer a man as experience had taught me that they push you harder. I have to say that I was not disappointed when I first met Sam. He was friendly and had a wonderfully positive energy. We talked about my illness, previous injuries and my goals – which at the time were simply to be in a position to get off my meds, get healthy and just start enjoying exercise again.
Sam’s sessions are full of variety and he always pushes me to do my very best. He never makes me feel foolish, completely useless or uncoordinated – even when I am! Sam’s observant to my capabilities, sensitive to my illness and no matter how bad my weeks been, we always manage have a bit of a laugh during our sessions.
Training is hard work and just when I feel like I can’t do it, he likes to remind me that actually, I can! My confidence in lifting weights has grown and I don’t feel intimidated in ‘the big boys’ end of the gym anymore. With Sam’s help, diet advice and supplement suggestions in 2015 I finally came off my meds and I’m confident that I will complete the goals I’ve set for 2016.
I can wholeheartedly say that Sam is a fabulous trainer and I would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone. I guarantee after one session with him, you’ll be hooked! My confidence in his knowledge, guidance and support is extremely high and when my 14 year old son decided he wanted to bulk up and start lifting weights to help him with his sports, I sent him to see Sam. I don’t think there is anyone else I would have trusted more to train my son. Need I say more!
Before I started the PT sessions I would go to the gym 3 maybe 4 times a week. I would generally do classes at the gym or if in the gym I tried to make up my own routines but didn’t really know what I was doing. I did this for near enough a year and although it kept weight off I never saw progress in myself or the way I looked. I never had the confidence to push myself in the gym as I didn’t know enough about what I should be doing to achieve this. Although I wasn’t generally unhappy with the way I looked I wasn’t happy with certain areas of my body but i didn’t know how to change that
My main concerns initially were being worried I wouldn’t be able to do what might have been asked in the session and feeling a bit stupid as well as whether spending all that money could be justified. However these doubts following just a could of sessions were completely gone and after the progress I’ve seen in the past 10 months it has been worth every penny.
I wanted to achieve a more leaner looking physique with more muscle and tone. In terms of specific areas i really wanted to improve my stomach. I also wanted to learn routines that I could do in the gym and learn more about the machines and understand what exercises targeted what areas.
I’ve had training sessions with Sam for 10 months and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Sam tailors each session to suit me exactly in relation to my goals even goals I didn’t know I had. He knows how to push me as far as I can but also can tell my limits. If I’m ever not sure of an exercise he’ll go through it until I am, even if he had originally planned something else for the session. He always keeps me motivated by giving me lots of little goals to achieve in a session such as beating time limits. I look forward to each session and feel a sense of achievement after each one.
Even more importantly in some respects, is what Sam has done outside the sessions…answering questions whenever asked and giving me routines to follow week by week.
I have learnt an amazing amount since training with Sam. Ive learnt exactly what exercises to do to target certain areas of my body and the techniques to do them properly (not having one injury since starting). I’ve learnt how to use all the machines in the gym and have a ‘bank’ of routines I can use week to week. I’ve learnt about the importance of things you do before and after training such as stretching and foam rolling which I hadn’t previously done. I’ve really enjoyed added extras to my training I wouldn’t have expected such as boxing. I’ve also learnt about other aspects such as nutrition to help with my training.
I feel I’ve achieved a lot in a relatively short amount of time, in terms of numbers I’ve had a 5% drop in body fat which has been an added bonus as it wasn’t necessarily a goal I set out to achieve. I’ve seen big changes in my physique and feel so much more happier with the tone and shape of my body. Overall I feel a lot more healthier and have changed my nutrition to match the effort I put in the gym. I’ve achieved one of my main goals I set at the beginning in terms having a more toned stomach, which I can now say I’m happy with. I really enjoy every workout I do due to his guidance which has given me even more motivation to stay focused week to week. The great thing about Sam is he always wants to push you further and look for new goals you can achieve. So I’m now looking forward to challenging myself in a different way and setting new goals to keep on pushing myself and ultimately continue to enjoy it and feel good about myself as a result.
Before training… I woke up one morning and realised I had reached the wrong side of 45, and although my mind refused (and still refuses) to believe that I was middle aged, my body disagreed – I had lost tone, flexibility and was definitely starting to sag in all the wrong places. I often felt bloated and tired. I was heavier and flabbier than ever before and although I tried exercise and dieting which would work for a few weeks, I could never sustain this for any length of time and I would put the weight back on again.
My main concern about personal training was the cost. However I have had so many fantastic results that I realise I am just investing the money in myself and that I AM WORTH IT! I wouldn’t think twice about spending that money on clothes or shoes, or on a night out. My priorities have changed a little, that is all.
I wanted to be fitter, more flexible. I wanted to go to the gym and not get bored with the same old routines that I would do every time. I wanted to tone up and lose some weight.
Training with Sam is hard work but it is fun. And it works! Sam mixes things up and keeps it interesting. He knows his stuff, and is able to push me, motivate me and entertain me. Who knew that Boxing was so much fun? That I would actually start to enjoy running? That I would get so much satisfaction from hanging from a bar? And, part of the package is a nutrition plan, which was something that I hadn’t even considered when I first started training with Sam, I thought it would just be sessions in the gym. Its not a “diet”, Ive probably never eaten more in my life before, its knowing what to eat and when to eat it.
I have learnt that following a diet or an exercise regime for a few weeks isn’t enough if you want a significant and permanent improvement in your health and fitness levels. A change of lifestyle is necessary. Sam can give you the tools to do this. The rest is up to you.
Two years after I started training with Sam I have maintained a weight loss of 2 stone. I have toned up and I am much fitter and more flexible. I have found that I am far more confident, and while this has benefited my personal life, it has also had a huge positive impact on my professional life which is an unexpected bonus.