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From training to coaching - shifting my approach

 Health and Fitness is an evolving space. [This is quite a long post. There's a bit of storytime first, but for the TLDR version, scroll down to the subheadings at the bottom which I invite you to consume in any way you prefer] The fitness industry is still relatively new - the science and art of looking after our bodies and minds is in a constant state of growth as our environment, technologies and needs change. It feels like not at all long ago when our only sources of information and guidance were a trip to the family doctor and a written programme from the guy at your nearest gym. When I first qualified as a Personal Trainer, I mentioned to my instructors that I was considering online PT, and they didn't know much about that. Now almost every successful trainer I know is at least offering a hybrid (online/in person) model. In my own practice, I felt a natural evolution, initially away from the face-to-face/Zoom training where I am there for every rep, into a hybrid model th
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That one exercise you just hate? Training for diverse bodies.

I was fairly new to  personal training , when a client spoke to me about mountain climbers. Trainers love a good mountain climber, it's a great, whole body, high intensity cardio exercise and at the time I was using them a lot in my own training, putting sets of mountain climbers in between my strength sets. She explained to me that she just couldn't do them. It wasn't a fitness thing, they didn't work for her body, as she put it "my belly gets in the way". We adapted. I discovered that if we did a TRX mountain climber, with her feet raised, she had the space under her body to bring her knees forward. It's a more challenging exercise in terms of core stability, but like I said, it wasn't her fitness that caused the issue, the exercise was just a poor fit for her. That was probably the catalyst that made me think a lot harder about exercises and their suitability for the diverse body shapes of our human population. Who invents exercises anyway? Well...

The little details are costing your big goals - but not how you might expect.

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I'm always banging on about the benefits of exercise. It's what I do. One of the best ones is how it makes you feel good when you've done it. That post exercise endorphin rush where you feel like you're the boss of everything and your body feels like a good place to be. I've written before about how I use cardio as a way of moderating my fibromyalgia pain. Exercise and pain relief There's a proper word for this, it's called post exercise hypoalgesia - which literally means you get a decreased response to pain after exercising. Magic! We know a bit about how this works. We don't know exactly what the mechanism is, but it's understood that the endocannabinoid system is involved - which is nice. We also know that cardio exercise is great if you want a whole body pain relief situation, while resistance exercise tends to produce a localised result. This is super useful information for me as a Personal Trainer, because it helps me write

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Confused about your online fitness options? I'm here to help!

Isolation fitness is the new gym (for now) With Covid-19 measures limiting our movement at access to fitness, the internet has become a chaotic explosion of workout options. All the online retailers are sold out of home fitness equipment (ask me about my quest to find a pair of 20kg olympic plates...) and there is a definite shift in consciousness - I have never seen so many people talking about their exercise - and I surround myself with fitness people! In a way it is heartening to see a universal shift where people are becoming very aware of their health. It's necessary when, in all likelihood, many of us will have to fight a respiratory virus - the healthier you are to start with, the better your chance of a full recovery. Doctors have suggested we should prepare ourselves as we would for surgery. As a fitness professional it is always in my mind that I am "the front line of preventative medicine". Fitness, nutrition , recovery and a balanced mindset make measu