Isabelle is August 2020 client of the month and it is easy to see why.
I’m not sure where to start with Isabelle as there is is much to praise.
She has given so much effort into transforming her health, fitness and well-being. Her diet is amazing with processed sugars being eliminated. Training is consistent and she is entirely focussed on her goal. Isabelle is a woman on a mission and she’s in a hurry.
Like last month’s client of the month, Leon, Isabelle has made client of the month in record time. There are other clients challenging for the August 2020 client of the month, but Isabelle’s pure determination and achievement in a short space of time has surprised everyone who knows her.
At the beginning of July, Isabelle contacted me looking for support and direction in achieving her goal. I remember chatting on Zoom and was immediately captivated by her enthusiasm, drive and determination to succeed. Having a positive attitude is often associated with high performers from all walks of life. Isabelle is no exception.
Isabelle recently completed her degree at the Royal Agricultural University in Gloucestershire and moved back to her west country home during lockdown with her family. As we have all witnessed, it has been a difficult few months and many of us have been unmotivated and inactive during the pandemic.
Due to lockdown and gyms being closed, many people have lost fitness and gained weight. Isabelle was determined to change her lockdown habits.
The easing of restrictions brought hope and gave people a new lease of life to loose the ‘corona curve’ . Gyms opened but many people stayed away, feeling unsafe about exercising in an enclosed environment. A fear I support.
As a result, my business model has changed. Clients now train outside in open spaces, parks or private gardens. A full range of strength and fitness equipment plus shelter cover from wet weather is available. All this with social distancing, fresh natural air and good fun.
Isabelle is not alone in her concern about training in an indoor gym due to Covid-19. She has adapted her fitness as nature intended in the open spaces of the English countryside, come rain or shine. And once you train outside, you’ll never go back! There is something magical about exercising in the elements.
Isabelle is now in great shape and working even harder than ever towards her goal.
The training started on a low key, slowly building with basic movements.
However, Isabelle already has a background in county gymnastics competing for 10 years as a junior. This meant the building phase of her training was accelerated. Within 2 weeks, we had introduced a functional circuit that incorporated gym rings, suspension straps, kettlebells, ab rollers, sledgehammer tyre hits, skipping, battle rope training and core stability exercises.
Shortly, barbell exercises will be added to the functional circuits plus plyometrics and speed work to spice up the training.
The benefits of functional training are endless. Not only does it improve mobility, strength and body tone, but it also improves cardiovascular health, core strength, posture, range of motion, plus burns fat and relieves stress.
Isabelle has always struggled with bad eating habits, even when she was competing in gymnastics.
When she attended university, the bad eating habits continued but she wasn’t exercising. The inevitable weight gain made her feel sluggish and she lacked motivation. Soon depression set in and it became increasingly difficult to dig herself out.
Isabelle made the decision to hire a personal trainer to help her health and well-being. As she says, “there is a need to have someone that you’re answerable to like a coach. I need the extra push with diet advice as there is only so much exercise can achieve. The advice was great as I was often guilty of cutting my calories too low which lead to rapid weight loss and gain”.
With a PT, Isabelle has the confidence to know what she is doing is safe, healthy and good for her. No crazy diet plans. Just good old-fashion natural organic foods. Cut out the processed junk food and watch your body and well-being change for the better.
By eliminating processed sugars out of her diet, keeping her daily calorie allowance to under 1400 calories per day and basing her diet around healthy plant based foods such as leafy vegetables, soups, nuts and seeds, tofu, legumes, wholegrain breads and dairy alternatives, Isabelle has shifted 4.5kgs in 6 weeks. A very good return bearing in mind she is only 4 feet 11 inches tall!
She says “So far I have lost 4.5kgs in 6 weeks and working towards my goal of being leaner. I truly believe that after many yoyo dieting attempts, this sustainable approach is exactly what I need and to have the results I want that will last”.
There it is. That word – SUSTAINABLE. How many of these fad diets that count points, sell expensive disappointing artificial shakes and meal replacements? It’s about financial profit, not your health.
Unsustainable ketogenic diets, imbalanced low-carb diets, unhealthy Atkins diet, low fibre Paleo diets, essential nutrient void detox diet and so on. You cannot live your life on constant diets, switching from one to the other. Just eat how nature intended. Real wholesome natural organic food.
AND DON’T BUY ANYTHING THAT HAS A LONG SELL BY DATE.
It’s the same with exercise fads. How many of these gimmicky exercise trends are sustainable. Trying doing 5 HIIT sessions a week for a a month! As exercise is about longevity, diet is about sustainability.
It’s difficult to plan any future at the moment with the pandemic. A rocky road awaits us in the northern hemisphere over the coming dark wet cold months as more people gravitate indoors allowing coronavirus to spread.
Training outside in all weather conditions is the future. Outdoor exercise can ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and thus improve your mental health. In addition, you are getting a big dose of vitamin D which keeps bones, teeth and muscles healthy. It also facilitates normal immune system function. Pretty important in the fight against Covid-19.
Isabelle has started running as part of her training regime. 6 weeks ago, Isabelle was struggling to run 5 minutes. Now she’s up to a whooping 30 minutes. She nows runs quicker than me!
Add her training outdoors to her healthy eating plan and we have a recipe for a long healthy happy life. The next plan for Isabelle is starting her own fashion sports wear company. Not sure I’ll be able to help her with that. Watch this space!
Isabelle. The natural winner of the August 2020 client of the month.
Leon is the July 2020 client of the month.
Leon, who is starting his final year at the University of Bath made contact in June with a goal to regain fitness, strength and mobility after months of lockdown inactivity.
It’s unusual for me to award a client of the month to someone after only 4 weeks of training, but the transformation has been spectatcular. Leon, a former rower at Westminster School and rowing coach at the University of Bath now plays American Football.
In order to achieve the strength and explosive fitness required to play American Football, we planned a programme to transform Leon into an athlete to withstand the physical demands of the game and increase his power and speed.
American Football has a huge following from across the pond and is growing in the UK. The game evolved during the 19th century in the US with a mixture of soccer and rugby. It is brutally hard and strength and conditioning is vital for longevity in the sport.
Having previously had some experience of training UK base American footballers in the past (both were wide receivers), I felt I had an understanding of the training required to benefit Leon.
Leon’s position is with the offensive/defensive linebackers. He has to be aggressive, strong, fit and fast. These are the areas where you defend your territory or rush the quarterback depending on your position in each game. And you have to deliver some big hits as well as take them!
So, quite a bit different from rowing on the river!
Training is the easy bit for a former rower. Rowers enjoy training. However, the type of training required for an explosive sport is very different from the repetitive movement of rowing.
Initially, developing full joint mobility to support the cartilage, ligament stability and tendon strength are crucial. This form of training ensures movements such as the squat and deadlift can be performed correctly thus reducing the risk of injury.
Training has consisted of compound movements, initially with kettlebells such as Swings and Cleans. Bodyweight exercises including TRX Suspension Trainer and gym rings are used to increase stability in the joints and improve strength. Core training has also been at the centre of the workouts.
Stretching and flexibility is a big part of Leon’s programme. With all the time spent strength training, it’s imperative that Leon has full range of movement to enhance mobility and prevent injuries hampering his training.
Long runs are not great for big athletes. So Leon has purchased a second-hand Concept2 rowing machine. In my opinion, this is the best cardiovascular fitness machine you can use, especially for bigger athletes or those with ankle, knee or hips issues. It’s a full body workout and you can vary sessions from long slow steady state training to HIIT workouts.
The training will shortly progress into ‘big lifts’ using barbells and bumper weights. Exercises such as Deadlift, Power Cleans, Push Jerk and Front Squats will be introduced into the programme.
And the final piece in the training programme puzzle will be hill sprints, plyometrics, resistance movement bungee work and speed drills. These types of exercises will compliment Leon’s strength and produce power.
As I point out to every client, you cannot outrun a bad diet. Diet is pivotal to the success of a programme. You can train multiple times per day, but you will never reach your full potential with an inadequate diet.
Leon is following intermittent fasting for health. He is eliminating sugary processed foods and increasing his fibre intake to great success. Another example why Leon is the July 2020 client of the month.
The diet is based on organic vegetables, fruit, meats and wild fish with a reduction and eventual elimination of processed foods.
Leon has increased his vegetable intake, omega 3 foods such as salmon, nuts and whole natural grains. To support the connective tissues (ligaments, tendons and cartilage), collagen-boosting foods such as organic bone broth are added to the menu.
There are no shakes or artificial supplements included in the plan. Only natural foods as nature intended. There are many positive reasons to shop local and organic and focussing meals on plant-based foods. I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but I do know that organic vegetables and fruits are the basis of any successful diet.
With Leon coming back to Bath to finish his degree in a pandemic, it’s going to be a challenging year for him.
It is impossible to determine if Leon will be able to compete in American Football at Bath this year due to restrictions, but training, good diet and a healthy lifestyle will stand him in good stead to stay active, energised, positive and motivated.
Keeping the training momentum going throughout the year is key. Even with the stress of exams, deadlines and a pandemic, keeping fit and healthy will make all the difference.
Congratulations to Leon, the July 2020 client of the month. The quickest person to achieve this great accolade.
It has taken a pandemic to change things around for our winner, but I am very pleased to announce Ben as the June 2020 personal training client of the month.
Ben co owns a company that designs and builds stands and stadiums for events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup and other expos across the globe. Travelling is part of the business, managing big projects, visiting clients and ensuring standards are high.
However, since Covid-19 and the UK lockdown, Ben has been unable to travel to his clients who are based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Communication is now on Zoom. As a result, Ben has more time to spend with his family and on his health.
What has Ben changed?
Initially, Ben would train whenever he was in the UK. This meant that he could spend 4-5 days a week training. Or it could be 4 weeks before his next training session.
Add the sedentary lifestyle of travelling and working long hours behind a computer. Include fast food and disturbed sleep patterns and you start to get an image of the stress Ben’s body was under.
After agreeing with Ben to use his local park as a training venue, Ben moved into a rhythm of training 4 times per week on a regular basis. Both of us agreed that gyms were to be avoided until a vaccine is developed.
Building up the running distances and intensifying the park sessions, Ben has noticeably changed shape. His posture has improved. His revised dietary habits of cooking real local fresh food from scratch has increased his energy levels. And we know that an improved healthy diet slows down the ageing process and promotes energy levels.
And Ben has been able to spend more time with his family which improves well-being, lowers stress levels and enhances self-esteem.
The family are in the process of moving into a more suitable property, something that would have added to the stress had the lockdown not happened. So for Ben, the lockdown has helped him gain time lost in travelling and working away and used that to create positive behaviour that has promoted his and his family’s happiness, well-being and health.
HEALTH AFTER LOCKDOWN
With the easing of lockdown, Ben will be tempted to revert to type.
This is when a good trainer steps in.
Ben will be strongly encouraged to continue with his new way of life. He knows it’s important . The temptation to work longer is always lingering. However, we are all finding ways to become more efficient and smarter with work since lockdown.
I never thought I would hear myself say this, but thank goodness for the internet!
Happiness and longevity is about spending time with your loved ones, communicating with friends and looking after your health. Work smart, train smart, live smart.
Well done Ben. June 2020 client of the month. Keep being smart.
NHS CHARITIES TOGETHER
As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads across the globe, our NHS continue to produce miracles and save many lives. Funds are required to protect the staff with PPE to ensure they can stay safe and well. A small supportive committed group of people have logged in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the past 6 weeks to support the NHS Charities Together who give over a £1m every day to the NHS. These people are the Zoom Rowers May 2020 clients of the month.
These dedicated individuals completed hard sweaty HIIT workouts in order to raise funds for the charity.
As a result, I have given the May client fo the month award to the rowers and cyclists who joined in for the workouts and gave generously in which £1140 was generated.
The workouts were created to test each participant both physically and mentally.
Some examples of the workouts were the ‘hateful eight’, 5 x 8 minutes with 2 minutes rest, the ‘pyramid of pain’, 1/2/3/4/3/2/1 minutes with half rest and the ‘Triple X’, 30 secs on 30 secs off x 30. These types of workouts were not for the faint-hearted. But not once did any of the participants complain. They all dug deep and pushed on for a good cause supporting our NHS heroes.
And we had an array of participants. From teenagers through to people in their 8th and 9th decade. Amazing commitment!
Although the fund raising has finished, the Zoom workouts are continuing on Mondays at 1230, Wednesdays at 0800 and Fridays at 1230 being led by Ching, a masters rower from Minerva Bath Rowing Club and a previous client of the month.
Everyone is welcome to join in. Please contact me for details. All fitness levels, from beginner to elite. Ching is an amazing instructor and will help you through the sessions.
You do not need to be a rower to do these sessions. These sessions can be completed on a stationary bike, a ski erg, an elliptical trainer, a rower or any other cardio equipment you may have at home.
And by staying at home and exercising, you’re flattening the curve and helping the NHS.
Thank you to those that completed and are currently participating in the workouts and all that supported the charity. Sharing the workouts and seeing you all in as much discomfort as I was in helped the minutes fly by.
You are all very worthy May 2020 clients of the month.