Hello Blog World….I’m back!

Hello Bloggers, 

I’m sorry for forgetting about this blog.

Last entry was sometime during the middle of 2012.

To catch you up, I got married. Travelled to various places. Left my job at Virgin Active.

Started working for myself.

Feeling happier.

Training wise, not much happened….
Due to working under stressful conditions with a manager that was extremely unprofessional and inexperienced, my training completely stopped. 

I just didn’t want to be there longer than I had to.

In the end, body composition and conditioning has suffered as well as strength.

However enough is enough!
Restarting this up as well as the food diary.

Somewhere along this journey, I completely forgot about why I do what I do. It became more about getting sales, hitting targets.
I wasn’t any different in terms of delivering a quality session.

 A client said to me that I had changed…that I didn’t seem happy and that I just seemed deflated.
I’m not going to lie it was true, it was the worst time I’ve ever had working as a PT and I had to get out.

So here I am, I feel great.

I’ve got courses lined up and the end of the year. I’m getting back into my training. It’s on baby!!

Anyway how are you?




So today a well muscled lady came up to me today while I was in the middle of training a client.
She asked me whether there was a hyper extension bench – See attached image

To which I said no I’m afraid not….she then BURST out with “What kind of a gym is this! what gym doesn’t have one!!” so I said “I know I’ve been telling manager that for years” she then said “that’s crap, this means this place is all hip flexor and abs, and it’s bad for the back”

To which I replied, “The only alternative for that exercise is to do it on a swiss ball”  “well thats not ideal!” she said….

Afterwards, I was pretty miffed…I wasn’t annoyed but just miffed.

She basically assumed that everyone only did exercises for flexion, when this isn’t the case. From her one visit to the gym, (I assumed she was a guest as I’ve never seen her before), she was under the impression that everyone just did abs, or hip flexion….Well ah-ha! Actually all they do is chest! Just like every other gym!

In all fairness I can understand what she’s saying. I guess I’m a little hurt that she decided to blow up on me when it’s not my fault the facility doesn’t have a hyperextension, I also hadn’t eaten so I felt my reaction was super slow to come up with anything witty to say back. Then again I probably wouldn’t have with a client there.

I guess I’m also miffed because I know there’s no hyperextension bench, but that doesn’t stop me from programming hip extensions, and hip flexor stretches into my clients programming. Coaching people through deadlifts, kettlebell swings and weighted glute thrusts.
I guess it’s a bit of a slap in the face when someone throws some attitude at you when you’re with a client and you just have to take it.

And unless she was going to do the hyper extensions weighted, the swiss ball variation is just as good if you’re doing it right and I’m pretty sure alot harder too as it’s not fixed.

What about sport specific training, I know everyone talks about general public and how their posture is out of alignment, what about athletes, they’re going to develop these “impairments” because it’s specific to their sport.
My manager kept telling the rest of the gym team, oh your glutes aren’t firing, your hip flexors are too tight.
Number 1, they’re football players. That actually kick a ball. Of course they’re going to be tight.
Number 2, how can you tell whether the glutes aren’t firing, without an EMG hooked up.

The rest of the team are pretty young, but watching them stop their training and only do 3D exercises to release their tight hip flexors was something else. In fact they all seemed to get worse with other issues popping up. Ya Silly kids!

Our resident bodybuilding colleague has been selling his bodybuilding paraphernalia to his clients.

We’re talking, wrist straps, weight belts.
Yes that’s right weight belts.

They use it when they squat…..(on a smith machine), they use it when they bicep curl (on the squat rack!!)

It’s pretty cringing….purely because they’re lifting weights that doesn’t even require the extra support.

One big pet peeve I saw was the knee straps, as you can see from the above image, he’s clearly lifting alot.

I had to watch while doing my squats, as he strapped up a lady and made her do squats with a 35kg bar. Which I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her do anyway. Even then her knees fell inwards and nothing was said about her technique.


It’s frustrating watching people go to someone who may look good, but train people oh so badly.

I let stuff slide, If that’s the way they train people then so be it. I don’t hate them, and I won’t say anything or talk smack about them.

So that’s why I blog it.

There’s so many thing’s I see that make this industry a joke.

Rant over. FOOD TIME!!! 😀

Update – Back on the bench

I can finally bench again. I need to check when my last post was but I’m back on the bench at 90kg for 3 reps and there was no pain.

Definitely a good thing, although I’m not interested in benching it’s just nice to be able to do it again after so long, especially not losing much strength.

I’ve mostly done vertical pressing, most of the strength coaches say that doing vertical pressing is much better for strength than straight benching. You can get away with doing OH press and it should carry over to the bench. Where as if you benched and stopped you’d lose that strength.

I guess I can vouch for that. Although I was only doing 5reps.

It’s nice to train again, I’m starting with 2-3 exercises, at least 2 major strength movements and one supplemental exercise. Sets of 8-10 with ascending weights.

I’m not really sure how things got so bad, I guess I got a little tired of training at the globo-gym. I’ve done alot of home training with kettlebells but that’s it. I really missed deadlifts though.

When I have my house, I’m definitely getting a power rack…..Not sure if that’s going to please the wife to be.

Anyway, my sleep had a turn for the worse and I was on 5 hours roughly, combine that with the stress, it was a depressive period.
I’m not even a depressive person, but things were murky there for a while.

Recently I’ve been using magnesium before I sleep, I’ve used a zinc and magnesium supplement before and it was pretty good.
Anyway since I’ve been recording my sleep patterns, I noticed that on days that I have a lower dairy/calcium consumption, and supplementing with magnesium before I sleep, has really helped put me in to a deeper sleep than normal.

I used to have a weird sleeping pattern when it would be up and down every hour.
I do know that calcium and magnesium use the same receptors so it’s best not to ingest any high calcium foods if you’re going to take magnesium.

I listened to a podcast, Sean croxton’s underground wellness show about magnesium with Morley robbins and it was an eye opener.
Not much has been said about magnesium before but it does make sense.

I’ve been thinking recently about what I want to do in the future, and I think sports therapy is definitely on the cards.
The whole personal training side of things is great, apart from the club politics etc I love working with clients and it’s probably why I’ve stayed at the club for so long.
But I don’t know if I can do this forever.

I’ve thought about doing management, but if its a case of chasing after numbers and sell sell sell, then I’d rather not. Especially for one of these bigger gym chains.

Hm what to do….


Almost human.

I’m slowly starting to feel human.

Thurs I attempted deadlifting and all was good with the wrist. I was surprised but I’ve really missed it. I think out of all the exercises I’ve missed it’s been the deadlifts.
I don’t know what it is about deadlifts. I think I just like to try and lift heavy shit. (well heavy as I can go.

So today was conditioning –

20 cycles of 1min skipping with 30 sec rests.
Varied tempo. Pushed it 80% of the time.

Training wise has been okay. 4 sessions at least this week. I’ve mainly got my conditioning hat on this week.

Sleep patterns hasn’t been too bad. I still have yet to get my 8 hours in. I’m going to have to make more of an effort there.
I’m still averaging 6 hours.

Stress levels have been high.
The work issue has been annoying. I’m still figuring out what I want to do. I don’t want to work for the company and I’d rather open up my own place but right now it’s risky. Especially with the wedding and house hunt around the corner.

Thanks for Kristen chiming in on my last post.

However I’ve got a new project in the pipeline. Fingers crossed.

Reading Kristen’s post about the standards of personal trainers in the US highlights the exact same situation here in the UK.
There are companies in the UK training people to be personal trainers in 6 weeks.

Some of the gyms here due to reaching sales targets allows level 2 coaches to train clients. The minimum legal requirements are level 3.

There’s also the issue of creating generic globo-gym employee’s. Managers forcing their training views on trainers to train a certain way. At one point my manager was focused solely on the TVA activation and that was the cause of every problem along the chain.

The NASM course made it clear that it starts from the foot/ankle complex. Maybe I have it wrong?

He also had a thing about the VMO not firing. As well as glutes not firing.

Great to know about, however he failed to show any real assessments or solutions. No manual muscle tests, and no corrective exercises or even rationale as to how to fix the problem.

I guess what grinds my gears is the dilution of knowledge and the creation of globo-gym trainers.


The week ahead, I’m aiming to do 2 conditioning sessions. Play tennis for the first time in 12 years. 1 strength session.
Goal is to sleep 8 hours at least 2 days out of the week.

We’ll see.



Updating with a rant. Globo-Gym Douches.

I haven’t blogged in a while so I’m just here to rant and record what’s been happening over the last 4 weeks.

The wrist isn’t 100% but I’m back into gentle training. It’s not healing as quick as the physio’s tell me, it is probably going to take 6 weeks.

All that from doing some silly push up.

I’m going to have to make sure I do wrist strengthening exercises, I thought the cleans, and front squats, deadlifts etc would have made my joints and connective tissues bullet proof but I guess I was wrong. Not at superman status yet.

Other than that, sleep over the last few days have been slightly better. Still not great. I’m noticing that I’m sleeping deeper even though I’m not getting enough hours.

Thing’s have been busy for me….

Virgin Active took over my company, they now own 122 clubs around the UK. They’re currently sweeping through each department giving each one a big change that effects their jobs.

You either choose to stay with Virgin, or you can go.

They started at the swimming department which led to the manager leaving after 20 years of service.
They went through the fitness team and decided to put us on a sliding scale which means that I have to deliever 25-30 sessions to make any money.
The club I work for has 3500 members, 800 only going to the gym, these are high profile members and their schedules aren’t as regular as I’d like it to be.
So I either train housewives or people that travel. People need to cancel sometimes so I’m fairly flexible.

It’s not as busy as I’d like it to be so I could be doing 22 sessions right down to 12. If you’re doing 12 sessions a week  it means I could get paid £11.

Keep in mind clients pay £55-65 a session.

If the club was really that busy I wouldn’t be annoyed at all and this wouldn’t be an issue, but the fact is, it’s not that busy.

So with all this work stuff going on, I’m also getting married as well as trying to buy a house.

Hellooooo Hypercorticism!

But anyway, I’m coping. I really need a day to just zone out.

I’m starting to lose that passion to train in the gym, as I said the gym is quiet, if you ever seen Joe Defranco’s gym, think of the opposite of that and you’ll get my gym.

I think I want to boycott the gym and just train outside. I’m going to miss heavy deadlifts and squats, but I’ve lost the will even more so now that the mood has darkened over the entire club.

We’ll see what happens, hopefully it’ll be cool.

What’s it like in the states? are there globo-gyms out there taking over every gym in sight?

Have you ever worked for a globo-gym? what was it like?

I really feel that the quality is going to drop and it’s going to be a big push for sales and meeting targets.

I think maybe it’s time to go it alone.

Screw you Virgin, you suck balls.

Back into the zone sorta…

It’s good to finally rest my wrist on the laptop and type without it hurting.

Reading my previous post, it’s roughly been about 2 weeks with this injury.

I haven’t been injured in maybe 15 years, the last serious one was when I used to play b-ball and had a bad sprain that popped!

Otherwise I’ve had minor injuries but nothing that’s put me completely out of action.

The last 2 weeks have been up and down, I went through a phase of “yeah Im going to keep this training up, I’m in the zone. I can still train even with this wrist problem” to some weird depression thing where I realised damn, I just can’t do anything. I couldn’t even type, wash the dishes, or hold any kind of weight in my hands.

Training wise, I’ve had to regress right back down to using machines. I could only do exercises that allowed my wrist to be in a neutral position.

So thing’s like machine flyes, neutral grip seated row, and any other open chain movements I was fine with. I felt demotivated, diet was okay for the  most part but too many neolithic foods, I ended up getting weird cravings to eat salt and alot of sugary things.
I find that usually happens, it’s like it snow balls.

I decided to force myself into 16 hour  intermittent fast with an 8 hour feeding window. Still eating the same amount of calories, just condensing it down.

I’m not recommending everyone should go on a fast, especially if cortisol levels are high, you’re doing weird shift hours and lead a fairly stressful life, then eating every 3 hours in that routine works better. Again most of this stuff is individual.
I was pretty impressed by beradi’s report on fasting and his results.

So anyway, having got my nutrition back on track, I’m feeling better about training right now.

Main thing I’ve been doing is sprints, some plyo’s and mobility work and machines for upper body.
I’m pretty bored to be honest.

I love training and I just can’t do what I want.

It must be very frustrating for people that are going to the gym, suffering from back pains, knee problems etc.

Anyway back to work.


Amy – the butternut squash thing you made looks awesome. I’m going to try and attempt it and post a picture.


A sprain!

So I haven’t been able to blog because I managed to sprain my left wrist.

This was the move I was doing.

A little too crazy perhaps, too much load on my wrist.

Sometimes I think doing too many crazy exercises for the sake of it is pointless if you can’t do a standard movement. Clients seem to get a kick out of it though. I guess you could still do a few “special moves” but still follow your core lifts.

I can kinda type now. It hurts to rotate my wrist though so the pronated position hurts as well as supinating.

I managed to do 4 sprints on  treadmill within 10mins because the gym I went to was shutting down. It sucks not having a gym that stays open late.The ones that do open late are crappy and you just get a bunch of guys hogging the bench press or doing curls on the squat rack :S

anyway I’m hoping I’ll be back into it by next week. I can at least still train the rest of my body.