Tag Archives: Physical fitness

Counting down to launch…

30 Jun

10

The minimum number of hours each week that I need to fill with client bookings in order to keep a roof over my head.

9

My new bed time each night, if I’m going to be at my best each day to train the early rising clients each morning.

8

The number of professional development courses that I have already either earmarked or booked in to attend over the next 6 months.

7

Basic functional human movements to be observed, corrected, trained & blended together into a great workout for each of my clients at every session they attend.

6

The number of days to my next professional development course, which will be to receive a qualification in instructing with Bulgarian Bags.

5

The new time that I will be getting up each morning, which means that like it or not, I really need to become a morning person!!

4

The actual number of service categories that I will be launching with, with the fifth due to launch this September.

3

The number of weeks that I have set myself to have a nearly full PT schedule, which is a target of around 25 to 30 sessions – or about 12 to 15 hours per week.

2

Days to go until I start hitting the phones at a local gym where I will be starting to build my client base.

1

Happy Personal Trainer looking forward to enjoying the new career that I’ve worked so hard to begin.


Yes, it’s official. As of 4pm on Friday the 28<sup>th</sup> of June 2013, yours truly received his certificates which qualify me as a Fitness Instructor and a Personal Trainer. Only 10 minutes later, I had registered myself with Fitness Australia, and had my insurance paid and set to begin tomorrow, ready to start my first week as a bona-fide fitness professional.

I’ve spent the better part of the last 2 weeks attending to the things that need doing in order to get a small business off to a great start. I went to a 3 day induction in order to start working out of the local Goodlife Health Club, and I also attended my first additional professional development course to give me an extra certification for running group fitness programs in an outdoor setting. I’ve been busy getting all of my other business related stuff together as well, such as bank accounts, price lists, policy documents, making a start on my operations manual, and just way too much other stuff to mention. So in other words, getting seriously organised as I gear up for starting out in my new career.

Part of that getting organised business has been putting together a new website, which is kind of finished… for now. It’s needs more art, and it’s not the perfect layout or colour scheme, but it will do as a first run until I can organise to have someone look after it for me in a couple of months or so.

So as of tomorrow, Compass Personal Training will be officially open for business. I’m seriously excited about all of this, and I can’t wait to see what the next few months has in store.

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I’m back, and I survived!

1 Jun

It has been an extraordinary journey over the last 9 weeks. My face to face study time has finally reached it’s end, and with the exception of completing some written assessment tasks, I have made it through my training to qualify as a Personal Trainer! While there has been a lot of pressure and stress, there has also been a lot more in the way of fun and learning, and I have had the pleasure of meeting, studying with and working with some really amazing human beings, who I will count not only as colleagues, but also as friends.

Each person that I worked with was unique and wonderful, and each also taught me a little more about myself.  From one of these new friends I learned a lot more about how inner strength and fitness are intertwined, and how believing in yourself can really make a difference with how you face and ultimately overcome the adversities that cross your path from time to time. This person also pointed me to a really great quotation by Socrates:

“It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

Those of you who know what it is to have been in a place in life where you don’t enjoy a great physical quality of life will probably find that this quote really resonates with you. I know that it does for me personally from my own experiences, and yet it also resonates in terms of my experiences during my course.

One of the great joys I have is when I teach someone something and I can see an improvement in their knowledge or skill. This was something I really got a kick out of when I used to be a kids soccer coach, and in the years since I had almost forgotten what it felt like. Those “feel good” vibes came back quite strongly during my PT course when I spotted some problems in a basic movement pattern with one of my colleagues, and I was able to use my newly learned skills to correct the movement pattern. Not only did I feel really pleased to have done something that helps someone else, I could also see with my own eyes what it is that Socrates was banging on about when he made is quote. There really is great beauty in watching a body move efficiently, and yet for the person who is moving efficiently there is also this delight that appears on that person’s face, and a sense of satisfaction when they realise that they can do something that they weren’t necessarily aware they were already capable of.

When we feel that our bodies are letting us down, it can be easy to convince ourselves that we can’t do something. We can convince ourselves that failure is inevitable, or that it will take a long time and incredible effort in order to overcome whatever obstacles prevent the thing from being achieved. In some cases this may actually be true, however for many this can simply be because they don’t really know how to move their bodies efficiently, and a few simple corrections to posture and technique can reap huge rewards in a very short time.  For myself, I have never been able to do something as straightforward as a chin-up, which has admittedly affected my enjoyment when I am rock-climbing because certain movement patterns will tire me very quickly. So imagine my delight when I completed my first ever chin-up only a few weeks ago, and how now within only a few weeks of training I can now do 3 in a row!!

I saw something similar in others, where a weight was difficult to lift or a movement difficult to do, and when I corrected their posture and movement they were able to comment that yes they felt I had worked them hard, and yet the work itself became easier after the corrections. In a couple of people, their obstacles were less physical and more in the way of mental barriers. One person in particular kept telling me “I won’t be able to do…” certain things, and yet with a little mental coaching and encouragement, this person found the motivation within to persevere and apply the inner strength required to break the mental barrier and achieve more than she thought she would be able to do. I felt great pride in this person for her achievement, and so pleased that I had the ability in that moment to coach her past her blocks. Even better though was the “payback” when it was her turn to train me, and she pushed me harder than I might otherwise have worked myself. Karma may be a bitch, but it can also be incredibly fulfilling on both sides.

I’ll admit that I had some doubts when I entered the course that I might not have the ability to succeed as a personal trainer, and when the stress started to rise, those doubts began to talk louder in my brain. Now at the end of my training, I’ve realised that those doubts were some of my own mental barriers that I hadn’t realised I would need to face. I feel very pleased to be able to say that I’m hungrier than ever for this new career I have chosen. I know that I will be a great PT because I love helping others to achieve, and because I really do believe that it would be the greatest shame if my future clients could not enjoy the beauty of their bodies which they have an inherent right to achieve.

So what’s next? Well, the good news is that I have a job to go to. I’ve been asked by the PT Director of a local gym to attend their staff induction, and within the next couple of weeks I’ll be working for myself as a contractor and personal trainer in a place that is less than a 20 minute drive from where I live. I’m finishing off my assessments so that I can officially receive my certificates, which I will need in order to get my fitness industry registration and insurance, and I am rapidly creating the processes and products that I will need to start running my own small business in Fitness and Personal Training.

Yes… this shit just got real people!!

I am really excited about getting myself out there helping others to grow, achieve their goals, and fulfil some of their dreams. In doing so, I’ll be achieving a few of my own as well. 🙂

Finally, to those of you special people who have been following my blog and my journey, and who’s lives have touched mine, I’m so glad to be back!!  I’ll be allocating blog time so that my own physical fitness journey – which is far from over – will continue to be a feature here. I’m looking forward to catching up with all of you very soon to see how you’ve been going and to reconnect after being away for so long.

Fitness Journey – Day 58 Progress

28 Feb

Well it’s been a very eventful month in terms of my health and well-being. I have achieved several of my goals and this has left me feeling extremely pleased with myself. So first, the data, then I’ll tick off all of my achievements for the month.

So which goals have I reached?

  • I have permanently reduced my resting heart rate to my first target of 58 beats per minute. This is a huge thing for me, because the lower my heart rate at rest, the less oxygen my body needs and therefore the longer I can potentially stay underwater on a single air tank when I go diving.
  • My waist to hip ratio has passed my first two targets of 0.92 and 0.89. This is a really good indicator that I have lowered my overall risk of cardiac and coronary diseases to a bare minimum. My next target of 0.85 will virtually eliminate any risk (statistically speaking) of a heart attack or stroke as I head into my 50’s and 60’s.
  • I am now permanently off my anti-anxiety medication!!
  • I now no longer crave sweets/desserts, soft drinks, or any foods containing either dairy or grains.
  • I am now exercising to a regular training schedule… mostly

What else have I achieved?

  • In the two months since I started to take measurements, I have reduced my body fat from 28.2% to 19.72%, which is only 1.72% away from my first goal.
  • I am stronger over all
    • lifting greater weight, having tripled my dumbbell weights, doubled my bench press weights, and moved on to my thickest resistance bands in order to get an effective workout.
    • I am now only 2 push-ups from my target of 30 in the 60-second test.
    • I have increased my plank time from 1 minute to 2 minutes and 41 seconds, which is only 19 seconds short of my first 3 minute target.
    • I started measuring a Wall Sit Test, which has increased by 30 seconds to 3 minutes 8 seconds in only 2 weeks.
    • I can push myself in my workouts to perform with greater effort and for a longer period of time, and I no longer give up on my exercise when it gets tough, pushing myself until I am forced due to failure of my muscles to respond.

Where do I need to improve?

  • I am still not strict enough with myself to ensure I spend enough time stretching after my workouts. This is particularly noticeable this month as I have some lower back pain and a tilt in my pelvis due to tightness in the hip flexors on my right hand side. While I am being more careful to do a dynamic warm up and dynamic stretching before workouts, the recovery exercise will ensure I recover much more quickly and with less risk of injury at my next session.
  • My nutrition is so much improved, and yet I have eaten much less fruit this month, and I have not been eating from a wide enough selection of vegetables. I’ve been considering the option of taking a multivitamin, but I’d prefer to avoid needing to do so if I can help it, so I will need to ensure I am eating a wider variety of vegetables with every meal, rather than simply having a single vegetable or two of the same types with most of my meals. Perhaps this means I should plan ahead a little better when I go shopping for the weekly groceries.
  • My workouts have increased well in intensity, but I feel I have been letting myself down a little in terms of duration. While I can see on paper and feel within myself that I am stronger and fitter, I feel as though I should be able to do more, and should be able to increase my HIIT workouts to be greater than only 4-6 minutes. I guess I’m not convinced that I will increase my stamina if I don’t start to incorporate some endurance work as well. While I have made a start more recently by doubling some of my HIIT workouts, I feel as though this is really only a beginning. My warm-up and cool-down can take up almost 25 minutes of my workout time if I wish to ensure I do things “properly”, so I will need to look more carefully at how I stage and plan the workouts themselves. This is an area where I am starting to believe that the CrossFit methodology seems to be a good fit for me, and is something I feel I need to examine more closely.
  • I still can’t complete a pull-up. What I’d like to do is to be able to complete enough of them to use them as part of a serious workout, so I think some targeted training my need to be done in order to do this. This means buying or building a pull-up station for outside the house where I will have the height to do the exercise properly.
  • I need to set a more appropriate training schedule that is both challenging, and yet allows for sufficient recovery and development over time. Clearly my efforts to date have been less than perfect and need to be improved in order to be more effective.
  • A resting heart rate of 56
  • 18% body fat by 31 March 2013
  • 16% body fat by 30 April 2013
  • 0.85 Hip to Waist ratio
  • 0.45 Waist to Height ratio
  • Perform 3 complete pull-ups in a row
  • 30 push-ups in under a minute by 14 March 2013
  • 40 push-ups in under a minute by 31 March 2013
  • 4 minute wall sit by 31 March 2013
  • 3 minute plank by 14 March 2013
  • 4 minute plank by 31 March 2013
  • 7/0 Beep Test on 02 March 2013
  • 7/5 Beep Test by 31 March 2013
  • 8/0 Beep Test by 30 April 2013
  • Run 3.8 km undulating course in 25 minutes by 31 March 2013
  • Run 3.8 km undulating course in 22 minutes by 31 May 2013
  • Run 3.8 km undulating course in 18 minutes by 31 July 2013
  • Dive continuously for 2 hours at 10 meters on a 14 litre tank of air.
  • Reduce Triglyceride count to < 1.5 mmol/L by 01 Apr 2013
  • Reduce LDL cholesterol count to < 2.5 mmol/L by 01 Apr 2013
  • Increase HDL cholesterol count to > 1.0 mmol/L by 01 Apr 2013
  • Commence Personal Training Course on 4 March 2013
  • Complete Personal Training Qualifications by 01 September 2013
  • Design an effective, flexible and randomised training program for minimal equipment to be implemented by 01 April 2013

You may have noticed that some of these goals don’t have dates. This is because I don’t know yet how to achieve those goals in a predictable way, either due to a lack of knowledge, or a lack of understanding relating to specific training. When I have learned more, I’ll be able to set some realistic yet challenging dates for these goals to target. For all of the rest, the dates are my expectations based on everything that I have learned about myself over the past 2 months.

Final Thoughts

I feel as if I’ve had a couple of big wins this month. I’ve managed to mostly take my training in hand, and I am doing all of this by myself and without the help of a trainer or a specific support group. The biggest win for me is that I am no longer medicated to manage anxiety. Diet and exercise have really helped here, and by learning to focus myself mentally to achieve my goals or to do some of the harder workouts, I have been learning to focus myself better mentally for the challenges that I face in the rest of my life. I have learned to embrace my failures and to take valuable lessons away from them, and I have learned that I am capable of anything that I put my mind to, provided I want it enough and my reasons for wanting it are strong enough to be self-motivating. I have seen an experiment in dietary improvement become a life changing lifestyle choice that has become habitual rather than forcing a diet on myself.

I’ve seen myself slowly reach a weight-loss plateau, yet the fat-loss has been consistently linear and I have seen a reciprocal muscle gain which explains the slower weight loss. This is a very good thing, and shows me a real measurable result that is in keeping with the other wins I have had in areas such as increased strength, balance, and endurance. I am as strong, perhaps stronger than I can remember myself ever being, and fitter than I have been in more than 20 years.

Nothing worth having is ever easy. The work has been hard and I’ve certainly had a few hiccups along the way, yet every failure fills me with a desire to do better, and every little win motivates me to reach higher. My self belief is stronger than it has ever been, and I find myself more focussed on what I will do rather than what I might do, because I know that I am capable of far more than I have been able to achieve to date. 2013 is off to a hell of a start for me, and I’m looking forward to every addition challenge that the rest of the year throws my way.

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