Blog - Best Practice Personal Training



What I see wrong with 99% of group training

So before I begin my hatchet job on group training, let me just list what I think is great about it first. I don’t want you to think I am a doomsayer or a negative Nellie. My name is Anthony though, which means it would be something like Antagonistic Anthony. Group training fosters community. It encourages participation because you don’t want to let the group down, when you may have no qualms about letting yourself down. Weird I know. It’s social. We are social animals so it fits. There’s safety in numbers. Some of our clients prefer it because you can hide a little. Now that may be a reason that it isn’t great, but let’s face it, not everyone wants every single movement scrutinised. That’s a lot of pressure! Friendly competition. Now this one is a double edged sword because a little can be so good as progress can be faster when we push our boundaries but the downside….. well this is a great segue way in to what I see wrong with most group training these days. Now imagine this. You are an ex athlete and pretty darn fit in a previous life. You have a competitive nature but it has waned a little. You have matured and feel that now it’s more about feeling good from exercise and making slow but steady progress. You turn up to a group that is full of highly competitive types. In fact the training methodology has a formal world wide competition that the local group has been carved from. The movements […]

Energy and Injury Management in the age of Covid 19

At the tender age of 54 this subject becomes more and more important to me with each passing year. You don’t get to this age with out some lingering memories of exercise gone wrong. I am talking here about old injuries, which can be a big limiting factor when it comes to either getting back in to a good exercise routine or maintaining one. As with all things, it usually comes back to how you look at it. The mind can either help you get around this or allow you to use it as an excuse to not do anything. I find the trick with this challenge is to go back to a process focus and forget about the end point. When you stay transfixed on what you ‘used to be able to do’ or have unrealistic expectations about your results, you are setting yourself up for failure. It really comes down to the age old principle of starting small and then building slowly but surely. If you keep to the task and deliver on the action, pretty soon you will arrive at a better place. It’s hard to do rehabilitation exercises for example (this is me!) when all you really want to do is start lifting heavy weights again. But you just gotta do it first and know where you are at, not where you might want to be in some far off future or past (glory days!) So what about energy? How do we manage that when there is just so much that can eat away it? The […]

What are you waiting for?

This is a question that often perplexes me when it comes to seeing (or not seeing as the case may be) people take action on the most important thing one can do, bar none. It is hard I know because why would you want to invest in something that takes a reasonable length of time to show a return on investment? It is a world of, I want it now! When you buy a new car, you get the instant feedback on that new car smell and that pleasing shiny look as it sits parked in your driveway. Not so when it comes to health and fitness. You pay, then you work which are two relatively painful things. Although I would say that when fitness training is done right, you should walk out the door of the gym feeling better than when you came in. You should not be exhausted, injured or wishing you stayed in bed. In reality, it is far easier to keep your head down and not really look at what is happening. This is why I say, ”awareness” is your very first step on the journey to better health. I guess if you understand the importance of investing your finances then the principle for improving your health and fitness is exactly the same. Often people will come to us after years of not ever weighing themselves or looking in to a full length mirror or observing the changing shape of their image in photos over the years. I mean it is easy to write off these […]

It’s okay to undulate….

That’s a weird headline I realise. It comes from my days of studying Sport Science and the method behind training athletes. It refers to the need to vary training load in a training cycle, so the body can recover and improve baseline performance. It is no different for the everyday person who is trying to make regular exercise their ‘go to’ thing. It is seriously okay to go a bit up and down with this. Read: You can’t always be peaking or at the top of your game. I was out for a run the other day and it got me thinking. Just as an aside, the run is my ‘go to’, which is a legacy of the training methods pushed on me as a child tennis player trying to improve my physical performance. They didn’t really get it in those days that tennis is more a power sport requiring, speed, strength and agility over endurance. That is not to say you don’t need to have aerobic fitness (endurance) but just that there are other things that should be favoured given a finite amount of time to train. Anyway, I digress a little there…. I was thinking about how it is okay to be fitter in some parts of the year and then let it go a little (emphasis on ‘a little!’). It is not a time to panic when you realise you aren’t as fit now as you were before. The beauty of regular training is that you can tweak things and get a different result, because variety for […]

3 tips to help you start running again….

3 tips to help you start running again Running is a fantastic and liberating form of exercise, and you might well be missing it if you have taken a break. It could be for a variety of reasons – maybe an injury, a lack of motivation or maybe life just got in the way. Sometimes, things just happen that stop us from doing the things we want to do and we don’t realise just how much we miss them until it feels like it is too late. The good news, when it comes to running, is that it is never too late. It is possible to get back into the sport and to enjoy it just as much as you used to do. Here well take a look at some ways that you can get back into running again. You’ll be enjoying the freedom that comes from the sport before you know it. 1. Make it a habit As with anything in life, if you want to make something part of what you do regularly, you need to turn it into a habit. It should become something that is a natural part of your life, not something that you only fit in when you can find the time. After a break, it can be difficult to carve out the time in your schedule for running, but it is important that you do – consistency is key. Take a look at your schedule and see where you can carve out time on a regular basis to go for a run. Make […]

Walking is not enough!

I’m putting on the tough love hat a bit here. I would never discourage anyone from walking more. It is a great thing to do. Period. However, if you would like to really take advantage of the opportunities life presents, then you are going to have to train for those higher level priveleges with more than just walking. First let’s look at what other things you might do to increase your capabilities. What is suggested by the experts? The World Health Organisation talk about accumlating at least 150mins of moderate exercise per week (slightly out of breath intensity) and doubling it to 300 mins would increase the benefits you would enjoy even more. They also suggest 2 resistance based exercise sessions per week, focussing on all major muscle groups performing repetitions in the range of 12-15, choosing a load that is quite challenging at the end of that rep range. There are two new areas beyond cardiovascular and musculoskeletal (resistance/strength) training that are now recommended. They are flexibility and neuromotor – “Neuromotor exercise training incorporates various motor skills, including balance, coordination, gait, agility, and proprioceptive training”.  This is why we aim to present our clients with all types of activities that cover these important bases of health, fitness and let’s face it, performance. You might be saying that “I don’t need to be an athlete, just feel better”. I get that, but think how you must respond if you trip on a kerb when walking in the street. Unless your reflexes kick in and you make a quick and agile […]

The clock is ticking…..

I find myself writing about this from time to time. I often wonder what it takes to spark the action required to start change. I subscribe to a very smart guy in the personal training/mentoring field. He talks about these crazy times we live in, where people flit from one thing to another and get so buried in ‘activity’ that they no longer have time to really think. Do you find yourself caught up rushing around and never really considering or pondering or contemplating…..about anything that really means much? I used to do a lot of this contemplation stuff when I was younger. I travelled to Europe to play tennis and found myself with a lot of time on my hands when I was waiting for buses or trains or in between tournaments. I had perhaps too much time on my hands! I have read some of my musings from that period of my life, that I put down on paper recently and it makes for entertaining reading, for me at least. I was a guy who philosophised and examined things a lot. It is probably how I ended up buying a boat and living on it, amongst other kind of off the wall stuff. I guess I am doing less of the navel gazing now but when I have a quiet moment or something hits me and gives me pause to really think, then I realise that this is an activity that can lead to momentous stuff in life. It is like you finally have space for some truly […]
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Quick and dirty thoughts about nutrition…..

I guess that is an interesting headline. It is likely to get some interesting clicks. It is just those key words, ‘dirty’ and ‘thoughts’. Anyhoo. Down to the subject at hand. What is my view on nutrition? Well hows this? If you are not overweight, haven’t been sick for years, sleep like a baby, are low stressed and you have plenty of energy, then don’t change a thing my friend! If however you are: not losing body fat and you are trying to lack energy or have digestive issues regularly have reactions after eating can’t seem to sleep well no matter what you do aren’t building muscle and you are trying to then perhaps it is time to do something different to what you are doing. I often hear people say,  ‘I eat quite well’. That may or may not be true as a statement but the bottom line is that if don’t have the body you want or it is not performing the way you would like it to or you know that it is capable of, then again something has got to change and it is going to be diet related. I am not going to tell you there is only one way to do this. If that was true then you wouldn’t never see healthy people in different cultures around the world. Some countries have a carb heavy diet and the people are healthy, some have a very high fat diet and the people are healthy. So much of this depends on how your individual body responds […]

I’m trying to lose weight, I NEED to do more cardio!

If you have ever said this I think you might be missing the point a little. I don’t blame you by the way because it is a confusing world out there when it comes to information about what to do when trying to get healthy and maybe lose a few kg’s or a lot. There is this impression that weight loss comes from sweating hard in an aerobic workout of some kind, weight training and mobility work won’t help at all. Now I am not going to tell you that it is a waste of time like some crazy people are asserting. There are statements out there that drive me a little crazy. “Cardiovascular training will make you fat!” Great headline for sure but is it true? Here is what I think and what science is telling us, as well as a bit of common sense. Don’t ever discount what your gut tells you. So is it a simple equation of burn more energy to create a deficit in relation to what goes in versus what goes out? I would say yes to that. The qualifier however, is in what mechanism in your body allows this to happen? I see it as a very complicated process depending on how your personal metabolism works, so here is what I think is the smartest and most scientific approach. Simply start moving more and eating better….. That can’t be it surely? Scientific you said? The scientific approach is based around testing a hypothesis and if the variables you test lead to the result […]