TRX’ercise Training is here!

Finally, after lots of planning and finding the right venue, ‘TRX’ercise Training’ is finally here and I have now started two TRX Suspension Trainer classes each week.

I am very excited about these classes as I never recommend a product or service that doesn’t work. I’ve been using the TRX for years both with clients and more importantly my own training, so I know first hand the benefits of it. It really works and my training hasn’t just improved, it’s become more fun and functional with the TRX. There are also a number of sports clubs and football clubs using the TRX at present as part of their training, such as Liverpool F.C and Manchester City F.C. If professionals at that level use it, it can’t be that bad, can it? Personally I think it is one of the best fitness tools anyone can have and I’m sure my classes will be very popular when others experience the TRX and see or feel the benefits for themselves.

So what does the TRX give that other workouts can’t?……

The TRX doesn’t restrict movements at all, so the workout can be functional creating exercises from everyday movements. It also helps control exercises that people might struggle with normally because of bad posture or technique. It adds a balance factor which helps hit deeper stabilising muscles(especially the core and the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulders) and adds more difficulty to an exercise. The most important feature is that there are no heavy weights or no need to change weights between exercises. The simplicity of its design means that all exercises are with your own body weight and can be changed easily with a simple shuffle of the feet or hands, to increase or decrease the amount of bodyweight you are performing the exercise with! For example, many women struggle with press ups because generally they aren’t physically as strong as men, in fact a lot of men struggle with press ups too! But with the TRX the resistance can be decreased by raising the angle of the body to perform a press up at more of an incline. This makes exercises like press ups more manageable and appealing to a lot of people. One main benefit is that impact exercises can be controlled a lot more, so a great cardio workout can be achieved as well as a strength session. My favourite benefit is that the core of the body stabilises every movement we make but with the TRX it enhances the work through the core giving a fantastic session with each and every workout. With all these benfits, how can you not give it a try?

Now you’ve heard about what the TRX can offer you, why not come along to one of my classes and try it for yourself. Here are the details of classes…..

If you would like more information about the classes, please feel free to contact me on 07949 235586 or via my contact form to ask any questions you might have.

If you want to experience the TRX before committing to a weekly class, I am currently offering the first outdoor class at Bankside Park for FREE, so you can try it first. Remember to book in if you want to take advantage of this free class.

Come along and see what all the fuss is about. I hope to see you at a class in the near future.

Fail to Prepare; Prepare to Fail!

After using the phrase ‘Fail to prepare; prepare to fail!’ this week, I thought it would be a great place to start when writing my blog. As I’m in the process of training for the London Marathon in 2012 I find myself back in the same mindset as I was as a footballer, not leaving anything to chance and making sure every training run is prepared for properly. It made me think about how others prepare themselves for their sports or just for training in general. I’ve come up with a few questions and tips that might help you train and perform to your best…..

  • Are you eating the right foods before training or the main performance? 

TIP – What you put into your body prior to training/performing will provide you with the energy you need to perform at your best. If you don’t eat right, don’t expect to perform to your best! High carbohydrate foods before hand should leave you with the energy to perform at a good level without feeling tired/drained. I tend to eat foods like, chicken, pasta, rice, bananas, toast and cereal. The size and type of food depends on the time of day I eat it and how long I have before the performance. Ideally, a big meal should be eaten 3 hours prior to the performance or smaller, lighter foods such as toast for anything closer to the performance. Remember to leave enough time for your food to go down and start the digestion process or it will sit on your stomach and make it uncomfortable to run or move when performing.

  • Are you drinking enough of the right fluids before and during training or the main performance?

TIP – Very similar to the tip above, the fluids that you put into your body prior to and during training/performing, will prevent you from becoming dehyrated and will replace lost salts from sweating. Drinking plenty of water before training/performing will help the body be at its best. If you feel dehydrated the damage is already done! It only takes 2-3% of water loss in the body before endurance starts to suffer and your performance also suffers. A little bit more(5%) and it effects the mind making it hard to concentrate and the body continues to suffer with pace slowing down. Keeping hydrated is vital! Isotonic drinks are a good tool during training/performing as they replace lost salts and also have a high concentration of carbs to keep the energy levels up. If possible, try to take plenty of fluids with you during your training/performance and keep drinking small amounts at regular intervals. It’s easier for sports like cycling for obvious reasons that you can connect a drink to your bike, but I’ve been known to hide drink bottles in a quiet place on a route I plan on taking a long distance run, so that I have a drink at certain stages of that run. Don’t neglect drinking fluids and make sure they are the right fluids, not fizzy drinks, tea, coffee etc as they are diuretics and will only dehydrate you more!

  • Do you have the right equipment and clothing?

TIP – This is a very important tip! Having the wrong equipment or clothing could be costly, not just because of comfort but because you can risk injury. Until you know a sport, it’s very difficult to know what you might need, so make sure you speak to the right people and get advice on the essentials from people who perform in that sport or know their stuff. An example: Until running long distances, you might not have ever thought about blisters, chafing, correct trainers for your gait etc, but all of them can make the difference between performing at your best and a very uncomfortable event. Clothing such as 1000 mile blister free socks, lined shorts, vaseline or other lubricants to prevent chafing and correct trainers(sometimes fitted with orthotics if necessary!) are a must. Sometimes it’s trial and error but there are specific sports shops that can advise you if you need help. How about riding up a steep hill on your bike and the gears keep slipping? Again something that can cause an injury if you’re on a road amongst traffic and can really make your ride much more difficult. Maybe it’s about the right foot wear in a football match. Do you have moulded boots for hard grounds and studded boots for soft weather grounds? It’s not just the equipment/clothing it’s also the colour! I have recently been on a training run in the clothing you can see in the picture to the right which looks fine until you know I went out later in the day and misjudged the time. I ended up running in the dark in black clothing without any reflectors on. I rarely make mistakes like this and there were no problems on the run, BUT there could have been and next time I might not be so fortunate. I have learnt from my mistake and it’s a good mistake to highlight as an example of the title of this blog.

So in conclusion, don’t leave things to chance! There are many more tips I could give you about performing to your best but the blog would go on all day, so I’ll save it for another day. The higher the level you perform at, the smaller the margins are. Not drinking enough, eating the wrong foods at the wrong time, wearing the wrong clothing and using the wrong equipment and generally not preparing for your performance could be the difference between being a winner or a loser! What would you rather be?

Training Tools

If you have read any of my previous blogs, you may already know that I love to train and keep myself as fit as I possibly can. It’s not just a job, it’s my life, it’s what I’ve always done and what I’ll continue to do until I physically can’t anymore! Weight training has always been very high on my list of priorities and over the last eighteen months running has featured more and more in my training routine. I’m a firm believer that you should use anything you can to make exercise as enjoyable as possible and recently I have found the perfect training tool to make my training fresh and more fun!

Over the last year I have got into a routine of running 2-3 times a week for 10 miles at a time. My times have improved dramatically and a lot of that goes down to challenges I have entered that keep me pushing myself further and becoming fitter. All the challenges were from the same source, the ‘Nike+ Running’ site.

After entering the ballot for the 2012 London Marathon I decided to run a couple of test runs to find a pace I think I can sustain for 26.2 miles. The problem I had, was that slowing my pace meant smaller strides, therefore the distance the Nike+ sensor recorded was dramatically wrong. Being a perfectionist, I found it very hard and quite annoying trying to judge a pace when the recorded distance seemed to be wrong every time I ran a slower, longer run. So, after asking a few questions to some running friends of mine, the unanimous decision was to invest in a watch that would be more accurate for recording my training.

That is when I bought the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch. Since that day I no longer have a problem with inaccurate readings, such as distance and times, and it also shows me in detail every second of my run, from the route, speed, distance, to the heart rate throughout the run and even the elevation. It also connects to the Nike+ running site so I don’t lose out on all the challenges that are pushing me to bigger and better things! For me, this is the tool of all training tools. It makes running long distances fun and seeing the results recorded on my computer for every step of my run, is incredible. With this new watch I can now train hard and enjoy the results!

Training doesn’t have to be a chore. Think outside the box and find something that can make your routine more fun and enjoyable. One thing’s for sure, if you are enjoying what you’re doing, you will get better at it and want to do it more and more. Why not try a few of the following if you want to freshen your training up:

  • If you have a friend that trains in a similar way you do, why not set a challenge between the two of you as a bit of friendly competition. We all like to be winners and even if it’s friendly, I guarantee you will push yourself harder just to beat your friend!
  • If you do the same exercise over and over again it starts to get repetitive. Try mixing it up and doing something different, your body responds better to variety and when you return to your old routine you will start to enjoy it again.
  • If you train alone, try training with a friend for a change. By having someone training with you with similar goals that can help push you along when it’s tough, it can really motivate you when you need it most. Also a little conversation can make the time pass quicker and stimulate the mind a little more.
  • A lot of people already do this but if you’re not one of them, listen to some upbeat music when working out. Design your own playlist of all your favourite music and see what happens. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you have when one of your favourite song comes on just as you’re starting to struggle.
  • If you train with a friend, how about setting mini competitions each session where the loser does a forfeit, such as an extra sprint or 10 press ups etc. You’ll be shocked how well you step up to the challenge.

There are many ways of keeping your routine fresh and enjoyable, just think about what makes you tick, add it to your routine and keep working hard. As I always say “play hard, work harder!” and you will see the results.