claude

Winter time is building time

Time to ramp up your training

Winter is finally here so expect the darkness, chilling wind, the footie and the rain to keep us company for the next few months. I reckon now it’s probably great time to change your training around, keep motivated and achieve those results that you’re after. That’s right! Rug up it time to put in the long yards and get some serious base training in!

In my opinion this is the best time to work out so don’t let a little coolness hold you back. Take advantage unlike the others who drop off and get working. The alternative is to stay indoors, grab some chips, chocolate and catch up on all those programs you have been missing out on, but I know that this is not you.

Here’s my cheeky yet honest opinion on what you can do to keep you focused and motivated over the winter months.

Build your strength base

For the experienced strength trainer it’s time to load up that squat rack and start placing more weight plates on your deadlift my friend. Yep for the weight lifting crowd it means cover up and starts working on those honest compound lifts. Winter is great for now getting into some pure and serious strength training in while following a simple yet challenging 5×5 or 5×3 program in building up your limiting strength or pack on some more muscle. No more of the 2 hour, high rep 6 exercise routine. Bring it back to the basics and lifts. Just make sure your lifting goals are clear and you are injury free. Now is the time to put in and go hard.

For the more recreational trainer it’s a great time to get in some consistent training in and work on getting in a full body program over the training week. Include some cardio and don’t neglect your stretches. After 6-8 month of solid training expect to be heavier and slightly more muscular. Enjoy, Hang in there and don’t be a fair weather trainer.

As for my female readers it shouldn’t be too different for you with this approach. It’s just a matter of keeping the food in control and eat enough to fuel your workout. It’s about being lean, fit and healthy. No skinny at any cost. You won’t put on size if you lift weight.

Your fitness engine

The cooler months are much kinder to anything cardio related. I’d rather be properly attired with my running clothing than run out in the summer’s heat. The body takes a greater toll when one is exerting themselves in the hotter months so I would only recommend you minimize the hard running and focus on events during this time. (As you have already put in the hard runs) As for winter it’s great to be able to push the body without blowing up and with a smart program you can recover quicker and constantly push the pace in building your cardio engine. Running/cycling in winter is also easier when monitoring the body’s own temperature as you can layer up and remove items as you move along. Get out and embrace the cool. Do some research and invest in some proper winter clothing. You won’t look back! Tip: Find a training buddy and hit the cardio machines or get out and about. You can both keep each other accountable.

Work on weaknesses

Hips lacking power? Need to build up the shoulders or need core strength? Yep you guessed it. It’s time to focus on those imbalances and areas of opportunity now. You have 4-6 month of cool weather to work on weaknesses and before you know it you are a better version of the one that decided to focus in on those particular areas. Time to give those stubborn body parts attention, target your lack of any cardio, finally get some flexibility in or simply improving any lacking technique. It a great opportunity to work on those key parts of you goals and get it sorted out.  Imagine getting to spring feeling ready to go and knowing you have put in the work and improved previous areas of concern.

Work on food quality

What a perfect time to start working on your food. Don’t give me the” I’m not motivated and hand me my comfort food here” or “I’m too tired” rubbish. You simply cannot neglect such an important part of you strength, fitness and health goals. It’s all about the food. You cannot bust out a solid workout and expect results by feeding yourself junk. In this day and age there is an abundance of information out there that can help you out and provide you with the basic understanding of how to go about eating healthy and clean. Get the basics right from the start and then maybe when you are eating well and you are getting in the quality nutrients, then maybe you could invest and think about reaching for the Protein powder, Creatine, or any other supplement you think you may need. Most of the time if you already have a sound established nutritious eating habit you don’t need it. Honestly your nutrition usually requires a little tweaking so be honest and clean it up. Think quality first.

For the weight loss crowd

For those who simply want to lose the weight now is the time to put in the work and get educated about how to shift the kilos. No secret here, it’s a matter of incorporating a nutrient quality approach and take it from there. The fad diet, totally omitting a food group or I’m doing my own thing doesn’t work nor does the “its comfort food season” mindset and “you gotta live” excuses. This approach will only set you back further. If you don’t bother now don’t question why you are still overweight in spring. I see it all the time with people. It’s always about food and sedentary lifestyle choices. You have 4-6 month now before the fair weather arrives so you have a choice now. Do something about it or wait until spring to once again procrastinate whether you are going to diet again.

It’s about education and being consistent with your overall habits. Not the short term quick results approach. It’s not easy, but it ever so worth it.

A positive mindset

This is everything when it comes to reaching your goals. Most often with people they are highly motivated at the moment, however this changes when the reality of turning up mid-June in the dark and have to put in the work. Better to stay at home warm in front of the telly…..yeah? A positive mindset will not only motivate you to work out but will go a long way in helping you to fix up other lacking areas (your Health) and soon enough with a consistent few months, you’ll be eating better, getting stronger, be fitter and you will most likely start reaching your goals on the scale. An ordinary attitude doesn’t not help you nor does it endear you to fellow class participants so please understand that your mindset is important.

most importantly , stay positive, commit and take advantage of the cooler months.

Rug up enjoy!

Claudefit is a Mill Park Based Personal Trainer with 10 year experience directly in the fitness industry in addition to his own.

Get yourself active, your kids will follow.

Parents be active

As a fitness professional  and an active dad one of the observations that I’ve made is the inability of parents to get actively involved with their own kids when it comes to simple activities like kick the kick, a simple bike ride around the park or just joining in on the fun at the local playground.  It seems to me that parent these days are too busy checking in their Facebook status or playing games on their phones whilst missing out on valuable parenting and interacting with their kids. I’m going out on a limb here and reckon some of you agree while some of you might be offended, this is not my intent.

What I’m not suggesting is to go out and play hard and hurt yourself. What I’m asking is for you to at least have the ability to simply move around as required, have a base fitness level to keep up and have a body strong enough for you not to be sore. Seriously you shouldn’t be sore after just playing with you kids. Getting yourself “fit” does not mean you need to look like a fitness cover model and be able to play like an elite AFL player. (Would be great though)It simply means being able have a body that is able to deliver solid fitness, strength and movement.

How about taking a more proactive effort into your own personal health and incorporate a fitness regime that works around the kids while creating an opportunity to fit in a workout. Given that almost two-thirds of Australians are overweight, including one in four children It’s about time you stopped being a spectator and let the kid having all the fun. Go ahead join in and get that base fitness up, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

You might end up having a good time.

Here’s a couple of ways that you can find the time to get some exercise in and by extension possibly get the kids involved. From the little I know of kids they copy what you do.  So basically the old saying “monkey sees monkey do” rings true so go out and get moving, as a family should.

Fitness Tips

  • While the little ones are participating in say Gymnastics, Swimming, or Martial arts why don’t you use this opportunity to go out for a walk and time it so that you get back a little sooner and still be able to spectate the kids. In my experience the little ones won’t mind if their parents are also exercising. Why let them get all the benefits? Plus they will be pleased that you are exercising just like them.
  • What about when you take them to the park, you do take them don’t you? Get involved and don’t be the parent who just sits there and ignores their kids while they seeking your attention and approval. Go ahead and join in, even if it’s just too initially stretch out and get used to the equipment again since you last played on them.
  • Walk when you can. As simple as it sounds for most even having the desire or energy to walk is hard. How about taking the time to walk up to the shops for small items, the local park or any other regular location nearby. Take the time out and get that 30minutes in, too easy. If it’s cold put a jacket on, if it’s a light rain grab a brollie. Simply get out and walk. The 5 minute drive can be left behind.
  • Running on an oval can be a beginner’s guide to getting out and enjoying the benefits of running. It’s how I’ve managed to get my clients started. How? Simple. Start off with a few meters of running then walk for a while and repeat. An example on a footie oval would be run for about 100 meters and walk for another 200 then repeat for about 3-5 laps. From there you’ll start managing it a bit more seriously and run half, walk a quarter and repeat. All of a sudden you are knocking of laps of the oval in no time. The kids can join in by playing ball sport in the middle of the ground while you keep an eye on them – and them on you.
  • Take the little ones out for a bike ride while you run. My personal favourite as it’s a time where my wife gets to go out at her pace and has my 10year old son ride beside her. They cover anything from 8-15klms depending on her plans. This would depend on you getting better at running and fitting in some direct exercise time with the kids. I know that you might see this as hard exercise but if you start with short runs at a low intensity I’m sure you’ll get here. By the way the kids don’t see this as exercise, the just want to go for a ride with mom…or dad.

The benefits of exercise are many and can only be positive if you partake in the many activities available. So if you’re worried about the health of your family – your children’s, your spouse’s and your own, it’s about time you got moving. Too many kids and adults these days in my opinion are wasting their time in playing mindless games on their home entertaining systems, hand held video games and sadly on their mobile devices. This approach to parenting creates bad habits that your kids will follow.

Take control and get them off the games and spend time with them.

Strengthening your running chassis

Recreational runners

If you’ve been running for a while and have never managed to experience an injury or suffer from some niggles due to the wear and tear the typical runner incurs then I would probably say you are a quite fortunate or just plain lucky. Well done and keep on going as you are doing well. For some to be a runner is to constantly carry some sort of grievance like a badge of honor. How many times do you hear from a fellow runner how in pain they are after their usual long run and brag about it?

Most recreational runners unfortunately choose to run through the pain and hope it will run itself out or it will go away. Unless you are an active competitor I don’t see the point. For me at my age I can’t afford to get injured as the recovery will not only be long but will carry over to my work and life activities. Like most injuries you should do everything possible to prevent  them, in my case I choose to reduce my chances by incorporating an all over resistance training program that provides me with a balanced regime allowing me to particularly target the hip and leg region in building up a strong and durable running chassis.

Weight training for runners

In the past it was thought of that adding some weight training will bulk you up and slow you down. Fortunately for us we are now in a better position with education and experience that this is not entirely true. It is if you are training to simply pack on mass/muscle, say with a powerlifting or bodybuilding program then you will be slowed down due to the inactive additional mass you have to carry. However in taking a more proactive approach and embracing a complete strength and conditioning program in assisting your passion of running, it will strengthen the skeletal and muscular system and turn you into a more resilient runner. This means that you can enjoy your passion for running. Nothing better than knowing you can tackle the last klms felling stronger through the hips and legs as opposed to being in survival mode and crossing the finish line a wreck.

Here’s a few of my chosen movement that I’ve incorporated into my own and running clients full body programming.

  • Trap bar deadlifts – The one movement that I prefer in the programming of runners is this classic floor pull movement. It works the Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings together in the execution and compared to the more technically difficult barbell deadlift is kinder on the spinal loading and more comfortable to execute. It’s also easier to teach and allows for greater reps to be performed compared to the Barbell Deadlift and Olympic lifting variations. Remember this lift was chosen for the runner in complimenting their program, not the pure strength trainer. In addition it can also be performed for higher repetitions.
  • Single leg deadlift (SLDL) – In complimenting the trap bar deadlift the next exercise I add is the SLDL as it target the Hamstrings, Glutes & Lower back. An excellent compound (intermediate level) Strength movement. My weapon of choice here is working the two kettlebells as they are easier to hold and assist with the balancing of the movement required. The feedback I get from this little gem is that the glutes get worked solid and walking around for a few days later seems challenging. (Ladies take note!) The other is that it toughens up the ankle and helps with balance. The additional loading of the lower back within the overall movement allows the posterior chain to develop fully and adding value to the movement as running, without the constant (concrete/bitumen) compounding of the joints during a run.
  • Kettlebell Front squats – These are by far my favourite movement for the active runner. The front rack positioning of the Kettlebells once learned allows for a more upright posture development whilst targeting the quadriceps muscles during the squat. This front positioning allows for a deeper squat technique, is easier on the shoulder loading and ensures your core is activated due to the stabilizing required and guarantees it receives a solid hit out. All up an excellent movement for runners compared to the barbell squat less the wrist flexibility required in performance. Once again the choice was for the runner, not the future Olympic lifter.

As previously mentioned the above 3 have been selected in complimenting the runner who has decided to either integrate a more specific workout of just looking at starting up a resistance program and needing where to start. After all you are a runner first and a weight trainer later.

Just to finish off it would be remiss of me if I didn’t as a Personal trainer mentioned that an all over body program is the ideal way in training your body and I would never recommend a pure upper body or Lower body program and disregard a more balanced approach. As a bare minimum and for the sake of balance both the Military press and Chin ups should be added. These two movements are not directly running related but will go a long way in adding upper body strength and balance to the lower body component, from a structural point of view they are a must.

Please ensure that before participating in any resistance program you are familiar with the techniques and are in an environment where professional guidance is available. The last thing you want is to incur an injury from the very program that you started in order to prevent them in the first place.

Happy Running.

Claudefit is an active runner who also balances own resistance training program for a fuller delivery of working out time.

Exercise for the newbies over 40

Exercise for the over 40’s

I’ve recently had the pleasure of being contacted by a journalist who had been looking at presenting as part of a pull out section of a health and fitness Sunday newspaper publication. (the herald sun)

The reason I was called was due to my age (48) and opinions on how partaking in an exercise program over 40 year would fare. I liked the idea that the audience targeted was going to be those new to exercise at this age. In addition I was kind of happy that it would not be about my own story on personal training, I’m sure there are plenty of those around already so helping people who are new to fitness is a privilege.

The following is really the basis of the initial conversation and I though it would be interesting to note what some of the question they were looking at in projecting to their readership.

My responses where pretty much my thoughts based on my own experiences in life and working as a fitness professional.

What are the main physical changes after 40 that will influence your fitness routine? How does the body behave differently from when it was, say, 30-something?

  • The biggest difference when we get to the magical age of 40 is the recovery time and the longer time the body takes to heal from any small niggles. For anyone who has already a solid base of exercise from a younger age it would just be a matter of adjusting the workload and intensity of any activities. A more cautious approach is recommended for those newbies who are looking at participating in any activity post 40. Another change is a lack of proper movement, that is you are hurting performing the most minor of moves like a squat while playing with the kids. Once you are able to move better then you can work with greater loading.

What are the areas of caution and issues to watch out for at this stage in your fitness life?

  • The major one here would be injuries and how they will affect you. Given that you are now in your 40’s it’s fair to say that you have a family, working life and your time is limited for exercise. Adding a rehabilitation process to this just makes it more difficult. Make sure that you are training with a sound program and you are familiar with the technical requirements. The no pain/no gain approach does not apply. It should be more like slowly but surely.

What are the types of exercise best suited at this life stage, or is it the same as ever – choose what suits you best personally?

  • Whether you are a beginner of have some background in exercise the major moves are still effective and should not be neglected, movements like the Squat, deadlift , shoulder press, a rowing movement, pressing movement , and core should be the pillars in any sound program. Adding the many cardio movement like cycling, running, swimming and team activities places you well with regards to your time exercising. Basic is good folks.

I’ve found that once I educate my clients on proper technique and they are able to execute the movement pain free, then it’s just a matter of            following the process and using the required approach depending on the personality types. People respond well when they feel confident in what they are doing and results soon follow. Nothings better that seeing results to motivate us.

What do you find are the most frequent obstacles to motivation among clients you see in this age group?

  • I’m too old for this and I have an injury

Once these two reasons enter their minds it’s quite difficult to break this thinking. These two come up usually early on when working with client or when they are not simply feeling well. Over time with a little more experience and working around any (real) injuries people soon realise that they can still work towards their goals and put aside any anxieties and find that motivation to keep going.

Is this a time in your life when you can still actually achieve personal bests, achieve new goals and continue to expand your fitness?

  • Absolutely! I have a female client who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She is 60 years young and has beaten her marathon personal best and shorter “parkrun” 5klm weekend runs. She came to me with a solid running background and realised that she needed a stronger body. Others have been my two dads who want to run their first 5 klm event and even give the Spartan race a go. The rest simply want to be able to start running pain free. It’s all achievable if you want it to be.

Women/men issues – anything specific for either sex to focus on (bone strength and resistance with women?)

  • The benefits of exercise a many with the obvious been that you actually move better and feel better .The aesthetics that we often chase should be a by-product of a well-balanced program supported by a sensible nutritional approach. It all comes down to balance. Once you take this approach you will get that lean and appealing look and for the ladies you will still look feminine. You will find that by simply dropping those kilograms you will have more energy and feel better and be able to push yourself properly and achieve other results. Both men and women in general will greatly benefit from an active and healthy lifestyle. An all over strong body and mind should be your goal.

From your own experience again, do you have a healthy client base in this age group? Are greater numbers of people now open to staying fit and active in this age group than before? We are younger than we used to be over 40 with 40 being the new 30, 50 being the new 40, and all of that!

  • I would say that 70% of my client base fits in with this category with most of them coming to see me for an all over program that involves fitness and strength as a priority. Funny enough “weight loss” is not the sole reason. This is great from a service delivery point of view as from the very beginning I can focus on a more complete program that just coming in to lose the weight. These clients are now at an age where a more complete program is required, expectations a high, are time poor and need an experienced and professional instruction in guiding their goals.
  • Being 48 it’s a little easier to get my message across to my fellow post 40 clients.

A final comment

Physical activity is valuable for all and for some has now become a necessity. For us older folk (like me), where maintenance of good health, independence, and certain age/lifestyle factor related disease prevention can be achieved with only a dose of Fitness and Strength. It’s time to take action and do something about it.

As we are now over 40 we should all do some form of physical activity, no matter what your age, weight, health problems or abilities. You have to make an effort. It’s never too late to start becoming physically active. Let’s get you started in helping you out with enjoying the benefits of having more energy, reducing pain in movement and other age related matters we have to deal with that are slowing you down. It’s now time to act.

Claudefit personal training has been a personal trainer for 10 years and has own personal training background since 1988.

Spring into your fitness regime

Spring into fitness

It’s now early spring, the sun is out and all you can smell is the fresh scent of cut grass. It’s also time to start thinking about your forgotten or long overdue fitness program. Winter is over and you now have no excuses about the cold, darkness and not having the right motivation. Rise and shine people!

Funny how spring is the time where we all magically are in better moods, are no longer “busy” and are ready to take action with our fitness, weight loss and general health.

So what are your Fitness options?

I’ve made it simple for you as I’ve summarised the available options in selecting the right one for you. After reading this you will be better informed as to what to expect in terms of cost, effort and time you will need in reaching you particular goals. It pays to be informed as it will determine what you will get for your cash outlay.

First point to cover is what exactly are your goals? Is it weight loss, an increase in fitness, getting stronger, performance based, some sort of event? There are so many reasons to get out there and be active. This is important as once you determine what they are you will be better placed on making an informed decision.

No point in hiring a fitness trainer when all you want to do is increase your body mass.

Too many times people aren’t sure what they are and take up some sort of fitness regime and quickly lose interest. Don’t be that person.

Semi private personal training

This type of training is generally made up of small groups between 2-4 people and depending on the trainer is an attempt of replicate the same environment as a one on one. (that is keep a close eye on you ) At Claudefit my Semi private personal training options are made up to a maximum of 3 people and its typically family members or couples that enjoy working out together. I feel that any more than this number we as trainers tend to lose the value in paying for a personal training session. This type of training suits the person who has a partner/friend who clearly shares the same interest in working out and are committed to their training. The cost varies from $35 to $45 for each person for the hour. The trainer in these sorts of groups still makes good money and you are not paying the full premium price, however the focus is still there with an experienced PT.

Personal training (1-on-1)

This is clearly for those who expect 100% attention from your trainer and expect within reason the quickest and best results. Otherwise, why bother in hiring a trainer? With an experienced PT you should be able to not only be worked to your capacity (no bucket required) but also looked after with proper technique, nutritional guidance and a program that is achievable by you in its proper application. One on one training is suitable when you can’t achieve the same results by yourself so it makes sense to put a bit of effort in choosing the right one as you will spending a lot of time with them in addition to paying one a premium fee for the benefit of being told simply what to do. A professional working relationship should be a given so shop around and find the best fit. I’ve accumulated over 10 years of this type of training so I guess I’ve got a bit of experience by now. You are looking at paying anything from $30 – $80+ per hour. It all comes down to experience and what type of service is being offered. expect a high level of service, skill-set and experience when paying this sort of money.

Group training

This type of training is as the name suggest, it’s all about the group environment.  A group set up can really vary depending on the type of training you are going to do.  The range of a typical small group run by a personal trainer is usually around 6 to 12 persons and to allows for proper group facilitation.  I’ve run these in the past and have found 8 is more likely my limit. Other trainers would probably take in more and you can find yourself working out with at least 20+ others so be prepared to blend in. Most suitable for people who are after a trainer and not looking at paying  for the previous mentioned options. These are great for work mates and family members to take up together. They are also priced at the more budget conscious and are around the $8 to $15 per session. Most operators even sell the sessions in blocks of ten with a discount and require you to do 2-3 sessions per week. There are many options for this type of set up offering the many entertaining ways in getting you up and mobile. Shop around.

These should more than cover any particular fitness, strength and weight management goals.

Where to find them?

It’s pretty straight forward. These options are available in most commercial gym and community centres around you. A simple google search in your suburb should be a good start. You will find that in larger gyms your options for one on one training are many as most gyms have team of trainers with different skill-sets available for consultation. Check out the type of training specialty they offer and take it from there. (PT’s )Trainers usually offer some sort of trial before you hire them. You will also find most centres have regular group training classes that keep their members happy with lots of variety and are also entertaining. Jump in and give them a go.

Also check out the smaller boutique and local gyms that offer the same service. For some the smaller and less intimidating environment suits them better and staff know all their member names.

Claudefit personal training is a private free weights training facility catered to delivering an all-round fitness, strength and health service. With over 26 years of industry and practical experience you will certainly be looked after the way you should.

Get Fitter through Boxing

Get fitter through Boxing

It’s been well documented that a solid boxing workout works the entire body from a strength and fitness point of view. It’s the energetic nature of applying this particular sport within the fitness environment that allows Claudefit to deliver great results with my client’s fitness and conditioning. It’s also a lot of fun once you have the cardio base to push yourself harder.

I’ll get right to the point and go over a simple yet effective template that I use with my personal training clients. The criteria are simple, get fit and have fun while you are challenged and level totally worked.  For general fitness it’s easier to adjust as you go along and wont interfere with fitness objective.

Get fit, burn the calories and have fun. Ok then, let’s get you Boxing!

The warm up

  • 3×2 min light bag work at around 70% exertion will allow most people with the ability to last out the timed rounds. No point in attacking the bag for 30 seconds flat chat and floating around wondering where the energy went. Remember the plan is to last out the session, not deteriorate within the warm up.
  • 3×2 min Skipping will add value to any cardiovascular workout. A solid set of 3 rounds will go a long way in working out your shoulders, ankles, warm your core and hit the heart rate a treat.
  • 3×2 min Shuttle runs and punch-out drills will introduce the running component. Yeah, you have to run. For those who neglect the running part you are greatly diminishing the returns on any true fitness workout. For the rest of you embrace the movement and reap the rewards. Remember, athletes run.

The core work

My favourite go to core and abdominal drills for the boxing clients is to work the following exercises together as part of your  non-boxing component and rest before you continue the theme and glove up again later and be expected to work harder.

  • Medicine ball – These drills can be simply the old school throw and catch where you are performing a sit up while having you partner/trainer throw the ball. Simple and sinister when performed at high volumes. Old school is still the best here.
  • Gymnastic ring drills- I use this one in particular for my female client as it not only his core in a dynamic way but had the benefits of effectively working the hips region. A clear favourite with my female clients as it hit the hips and core nicely.
  • Hang knee raise – A classic movement that work the same muscles as a traditional crunch, however this movement delivers more bang for your buck in that it works your grip strength, stretches out you shoulder region and with the lower body isometric hold adds up nicely in delivering a solid core workout. Give 15+ a go and hit them hard.

Time to push Intensity

3×3 80%+ Bag work drill – Moving onto the next phase where you will hit the heavy bag again. This time you will be sufficiently warmed up, have you timing, co-ordination and be ready to bang! The 3 rounds at now 80%+ exertion will certainly take its toll. It’s time to get down to business and let go with all the energy you have, work the bag well and move constantly. Once you complete the rounds and depending on you skill-set/fitness you will be totally charged up.

Focus pad rounds – Keep in mind that with proper focus pad work you are feed the information and it will be up to you and your work output to proactively strike the target while moving around. Time to put in champ! With an experienced pad holder you get to move around so be prepared to go harder. You won’t beat the pads though, its part of the drill. This is where you decide how much work you want to put in. Time to leave it all on the line.

Skipping/shadow work– Once the heaviest workload has been completed it’s now a matter of preparing to complete the session with an eye of lowering the heart rate and allowing your body and mind to start winding down. For the fitter ones feel free to work the skipping a little more vigorously, for the not so fit it just a matter of finishing the rounds.

Close the workout

Stretch & cool down this is the best part of the session (if you have done the work) time now to focus on slow and gentle movements and hit the areas that need the work. The body is pretty much all warmed up and any stretching should be done correctly. Not a good time to go the full reach and hurt yourself.

Rest and nutrition

You have worked hard and have managed to smash out another session. Well done. Now it’s time to property fuel yourself and take in plenty of water. This is where your nutritional program is important.  Why waste your time in eating junk after you have worked so hard.

Getting your rest post exercise is part of the workout. Here’s a tip. You will go a long way with your fitness and weight management goal if you are diligent with both your nutrition and getting in proper rest/sleep.

Claudefit is an experienced personal trainer located in Mill Park in the outer Northern Suburbs of Melbourne.

Over 40’s Spartan race preparations.

Obstacle course racing

It was on the eve of my next Spartan race that I was feeling typically anxious about the next day’s event. You see this time we were tackling the Spartan Beast race.( http://spartanrace.com.au/ ) A well designed challenge that entails a half marathon distance of 21klm of mostly trail running along with over 25+ obstacles spread out over the field that need to be negotiated  and completed.  Otherwise the price of failure is to knock of 30 burpee’s as your standard penalty. All this with no map supplied or markers indication distance covered. Spartan organisers are notorious in not providing specific race detail so be prepared. It’s part of the appeal.

Age (I’m 47) should not be a barrier, so I’m not going to be constantly reminding you of your age, I’s just a matter of continuing to do the basics over the long term and stay on track. Consistency is the key. Quite simply, I’ve prepared myself on a diet of Trail running supported by an all over simple strength training program and complimented along the way with regular mobility and stretch drills. And i do mean regular! It pays to get the body resilient enough to endure the Beast run.  For us older runners we need to take into account the additional recovery cost when planning for these types of events. We need more time resting, not smashing ourselves with the typical fitness industry thinking of go hard or go home. Take this approach and you will definately be staying home – broken.

It’s been a long process along the way with plenty of running and general physical conditioning in prepping for this unique event. Previously we have tackled the shorter sprint event of 7klm (yeah they call the 7klm option a sprint) and then progressed over to the super which is their 14lklm version. One thing is for sure, they are both challenging in their particular ways.

Sleep / Recovery

I’ve made this point first as this is a critical part of the plan for everyone so I cannot stress it enough when it come to the older folk. I manage to get the standard 8 hours and take a nap whenever possible (mostly weekend on the sofa while the kids are watching telly – yeah I’m also a great parent!) Sleep is one of the best forms of recovery and allows the body to repair itself from the toll it took over the day. So get some sleep, plenty of it.

Apologies to those with newborns, sleep is not an option is it?

General physical Preparation

As with most things in life preparation is the key to achieving results. You either plan to achieve or plan to fail. The previously mentioned running and supporting resistance training was kept rather basis in its approach but I was consistent in applying it to the training week.  The template is as follows.

Monday – Light Kettlebell work focusing on mostly mobility.

Tuesday -10klm road – light

Wednesday – 10-15 klm Road – medium

Thursday – Pulls, press, chins, squats & core

Friday – 10klm road – medium

Saturday – Rest day (mobility)

Sunday – 20klm road/trial mix – light/medium

Spartan specific training

Over the last 3 months I’ve averaged 200klm per month of running both road and trail and kept the resistance training moderate depending on how I pulled up post runs. Unfortunately at Claudefit Personal training I’m not able replicate the 12 Ft wall climbing challenge, crawling over mud under barb wire, and climbing the new tower obstacles that Spartan rolled out on the day. My approach was simply to get the body resilient enough to cop what-ever Spartan threw at us and come out of it unscathed. It’s was just a matter of getting the body resilient, develop solid grip strength, be able to move well and turn up fit enough. Glad to report our goal was achieved. The Spartan part of the program was getting some playtime with crawling, rope climbing and bodyweight training. Basically to complete a Spartan you need to RUN, carry your bodyweight over obstacle and be flexible enough to not pull any muscles (I’m talking to you old fella) when negotiation the various tasks. The rest of any specific training is the icing on the cake. For those of you who have the time to build you own obstacle course, go for it and enjoy.

Race day

Once you arrive at the venue there are a few items that you should have packed for the event. A quick mention here as it will ensure that post event you are well organised and not suffer due to a lack of proper and adequate nutrition, dry clothing and comfort. Your race day bag/kit should have:  A large towel, spare socks, jocks and shoes, warm clothing, water, muddy clothing bag, cash for food and merchandise (yeah you’ll want the beanie), hat and a proper post event meal as you will be ravenous post run. I’m been pedantic here so don’t mind me if you wish to walk around in muddy , wet and uncomfortable clothing after you have run the beast ( 21Klms) You will have enough to deal with once done – You might as well be comfortable.

Stretching/mobility

My go to movement here have been a staple for several month. I’ve pinched these straight out of Kelly Starrett’s book  Ready to Run. I’ve build up to 2 minutes each side with the following. Hip flexion, hip extension, and squat hold. in addition for my shoulder blades , I just hang of the chin up bar. Have also added leg swings as my only movement pre-running. This has all added up well for me as my body while still fatigued from my running no longer feels painfully stiff around the hip and legs. I simply apply the following stretches post run and on the days off I manage to increase the time under tension. It all adds up folks so make this a part of the program. It won’t feel like much when you are supple and mobile, however neglecting these will clearly show up on the day. “Don’t be that guy”

Nutrition

Just as important as rest. let go over nutrition.

Keep-it-simple! No fancy, expensive, special or secret eating going on here. Please keep the following in mind when preparing your meals for all you nutritional requirements. It’s just matter of balancing out the energy requirement when you exercise and not overdoing it when you are not active. In other words, only eat what you need and eat well. Post event run reward yourself with the pizza or burger if you wish. First things first. Ensure that most of your nutrition leading up to the event was wholesome, good quality and eliminated the junk.

Keep it simple plan:

Water, Protein with every meal, Monitor carbohydrates, Eliminate sugar, No alcohol, Vegetables, Some fruit and Consume good fats.

In summary you need to have a sound cardiovascular base, solid all over strength and be flexible enough to manoeuvre your body through the course. It’s just that it takes a well-planned program to achieve a good balance in getting the 3 elements to work together. As you are an older athlete I’m sure your experience will allow you to take a common sense approach and take it in well.

See you at the start line.

Claudefit is an active personal trainer who enjoys trail running and the fun of participating in obstacles races for fitness and general health. Don’t let age be a barrier and let the younger folk have all the fun. Venture out, take control and enjoy yourself all while being pain and injury free.

Hiring a personal trainer

Hiring a personal trainer

It’s getting to the time of year again when people are starting to think about the oncoming spring months and now focusing on their current fitness, health and wellbeing.  It’s the perfect time to start your fitness regime given that you have plenty of time to prepare yourself for the warmer months ahead.

I myself have been involved with this industry as Claudefit personal training coming to 10 years and in addition have been proactive with my own personal fitness and strength since 1988. The industry since has dramatically changed in many positive ways with now an abundance of choices in getting you fit,strong and leaner within your reach, It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for.

If you are like me and past your late 40’s you are most likely looking for someone who at the very least has a sound working knowledge on how to train people. You will also be expecting to be paying a professional who delivers results and a high level of service for your time, money and effort you will be investing with this specific training resource.

So how do you find the correct personal trainer for you?

Here a few tips on finding the correct one. Given the nature of the industry its best to be armed with the knowledge of exactly what you are getting in return for your investment in time, your hard earned cash and safety. Here are the items that need to be on your checklist in order to make an informed and practical decision.

It’s all about you so be diligent in your choice.

Personal trainers can help people reach their health and fitness goals, or they could be big wastes of money

Experience & Professionalism

Given the variety of choice with our Industry an experience trainer who has time under their belt is certainly a worthy consideration.  For the ones who have been around the industry over 5 years you should be expecting to be with a trainer who has managed to stay busy enough with clients to keep themselves employed and continue to develop their skills. These are the ones who have acted with a sound professional approach and have managed to make a business out of personal training.

Skill set & Ability to deliver results

The expectation of the trainers should be that they’re well versed on their particular choice of skill set they promote. If they promote strength training ,Fitness conditioning , kickboxing or boxing do they have a background in either of these disciplines or was it obtained from a weekend workshop. At Claudefit you are dealing with an experience Martial artist and registered Boxing coach. It’s important to understand which skill you are actually paying for.  It’s not only being thorough but for your own safety as these high impact sports (used for fitness)can injure the client with an overzealous trainer who with all good intentions pushed too hard.

Maturity

It goes without saying that your trainer should exhibit some sort of maturity, and what I mean by this is the ability to verbalise teaching cues without resorting to inappropriate language under the impression of getting you motivated. yelling down at adults isn’t my idea of training you. One of my dislikes in young trainers make questionable remarks on your current shape and overly judge you apparent lack of effort. It’s not our business to make such remarks. It’s ours to train you, educate and deliver results in a professional and supportive environment.  It’s always good to know your trainer also has responsibilities like kids, a mortgage and can understand life outside the gym. Apathy is not the domain of younger trainers who often mistakenly judge you are unmotivated and lazy.

Level of service

As someone with a strong background in client deliverable’s it’s the one item that has allowed me to be in this business for as long as I’ve been. Basically do as you say and follow up all your promises. If your trainer says they will call you, and then expect a call. Having to deal with someone who is consistently late for sessions and forgets important details should not be rewarded for this level of poor service. I previously had my own trainer who was coaching me spend most of our time (that I paid for) on Facebook or confirming the next day’s bookings. I simply cancelled the session on the spot and will never deal with them again irrespective of how “good” they are.

Premises

Safety and cleanliness of premise should be primary goal. Is the equipment being used up to the standard of using it in a commercial environment? You are not paying to use someone’s home gym set so expect to be working with equipment that is properly designed for this purpose. Again this is an issue of safety as you need to know the equipment can withstand the constant abuse it takes every day. A simple “cheapo” home gym simply won’t cut it. In addition a dirty gym reflects badly on the trainer.

Approach & personality  

This is an important component in getting the right trainer as you need to be aware how your potential trainer will approach the way they train you. Will they go all out and treat it as a boot camp, will they conducted as a slow and drawn out workshop (boring) or simply deliver the workout as you requested with a sound understanding of training protocols. Far too many times in my experience I have seen newbies somewhat destroyed by their trainer because they thought this is the way to achieve results.

My methods are simple. Claudefit gets you to move better, establish a solid base of all over strength and ensure that you fitness level compliment the other elements. Once this base of body conditioning is achieved it tends to work out that my clients are the ones pushing themselves as the feel how hard to work during out session and get the results they are after.

Remember you need to crawl before you walk.

Claudefit Personal training is an owner operator committed to delivering results based on your needs.

Running trails in Mill Park

Trail Running in Mill Park

We are currently on a mission where my two running buddies and I are looking at tackling another Spartan race in September while building up to towards a full road marathon in late October.

As a group we have previously tackled sever running event as they pop up and deal with them as part of our regular running program. This time around we are being more practical and have planned out strategies to cover three different runs while ensuring that the workouts all complement each other. We have already completed the Plenty valley 11.2klm trail run as part of our preparation and have set up a solid base of  trail running for the next more challenging and longer event – The Spartan beast that is a half marathon trail run along with many obstacles.

It’s been an interesting few months as we have built up the necessary kilometres of running required to successfully complete this particular trifecta all while maintaining our health and staying injury free. We are all have other responsibilities and getting injured is not an option so we do our best to prepare for the upcoming events with a sound program that balance out running and resistance training.

Our running

The first race for us was the Salomon run in plenty valley (Mill Park) which is an 11.2 klm’s trail run around the blue lake single trails that is one of the more scenic events this series has to offer. It’s made up of several single track sections, a big hill and several more technical sections that add up to an enjoyable and challenging run. We have been running this particular area for several months as we are local to this course and change the route every time we run the park for variety. We generally cover anything from 8 to 20 klms depending on the type of workout.

With trail running just chucking in hill or two makes a huge difference so there’s plenty to offer here. This shorter (Salomon series) of the 3 events offers us the opportunity to work on our hill climbing , speed work and overall endurance in using it as a stepping stone to the longer and harder 20klm Spartan race coming up in September. Let’s not forget the Marathon in October.

The following is a simple, yet effective plan in getting you prepared for trial running. Remember, the bottom line with most programs is to simply turn up, do the work and commit to the long term plan. Especially with running!

  • 2-3 times minimum running 8-15 klm’s both on road and trails. This would include a longer run over the weekend covering a mix of road/trail up to 20klm’s
  • 2 sessions working on resistance training
  • And for my clients 1 personal training session working of full body strength covering specific requirements based on their particular needs.

Our weight training sessions

The resistance program was approached with a view of ensuring that the overall training load would fulfil an all over strength base increase and make us more durable given the trail running effect on the body and in particular preparation for the half marathon distance Spartan race. It’s basically a General Physical Preparation plan that will deliver a bigger return on workout time. It’s important to ensure that both you fitness and conditioning is up to the task.

The following represents the major exercises/movement covered.

Trap bar Deadlift/barbell

Barbell military press

Barbell bench

Barbell squat

Pull ups/chins

For a more conditioning approach the following more that satisfied the criteria

Kettlebell swing

Kettlebell push press

Sandbag shouldering / Sandbag muscle snatch

Battling rope

Skipping

My own weekly program was basic. Here’s the plan for the last month. 

Sunday – Long run

Monday – Mobility / weights

Tuesday – Run

Wednesday – Run

Thursday – Weights

Friday – Run

Saturday – Mobility

A lack of preparation will show on the day.

Similar to most things in life without proper planning you are going nowhere. It’s clearly the way to approach any fitness goal as it will go a long way in getting you where you want to be. whether its weight loss, an increase in fitness levels , becoming stronger or simply cleaning up your act with your food , it will always come down to having an effective plan first and then sticking to it. I’ve seen it many times before during running events where  a few chosen ones turn up and think they will wing it on the day and “see how it goes” unfortunately this usually doesn’t go too well. It’s the same thing with nutrition, if you don’t manage your intake along with the quality of your nutrients then nothing will happen.

By having a plan you at least have a greater chance in achieving your goals. As life tends to sometimes getting the way it’s always good to know that you can always adjust you plan as circumstances dictate. It’s better to have one than not.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park with the premises conveniently located with access directly to the gorge and its many trails.

Happy training and see you at Spartan. AROO!

 

Olympic Weightlifting for physical fitness

Olympic Weightlifting for strength and conditioning                    

Over the last couple of months I’ve been getting back into Olympic weightlifting in a more focused way than previously where I was content with the 3 Power versions of the lifts, kept the sets to a few high volume reps while working on the other traditional strength barbell lifts.  At times it more resembled a crossfit approach than a more specific weightlifting one.

The power version of the clean, jerk and snatch worked a treat in delivering results on their own so there was never a reason to change, especially if you are a sports power athlete that requires you to be more explosive or build on your already established strength base. These 3 exercises is all you will need to reap the benefits of Olympic weightlifting for sport, even better yet if you are in a position to hire a properly qualified and experienced coach on hand to guide you through.

This is my case now as I’ve taken on my own Olympic weightlifting coach to guide me through the more technical sports of weightlifting versions. Weightlifting is one of those disciplines that benefit from an extra set of eyes to keep your movement pattern ensuring you make progress and reduce the possibility of an injury.

The following is a list of prerequisites that are required as you set up to the bar. The checklist is for the snatch. It’s important to cover as many of them as you are able to given the nature of the movements. Ideally you will have a training buddy that can provide you with the cues to set you up. Once set, it’s just a matter of continually working on replicating the movement pattern of the Snatch- Easier said than done

* Feet Hip width apart * Shoulders over and in front of the bar * Chest is Inflated and up * Arms straight and elbows out

* Upright position (back is tight)  * Hook grip * Hips Higher than Knees (80-100 degrees angle)

Now aged 47 my warm up and mental preparation is what gets me ready for Weightlifting. With my extended background in Kettlebells it’s an efficient way for me to prepare myself with the HKC movements and work the exercises until I’m sufficiently warmed up (depending on time of day and temperature this could be 10- 20 minutes)  The simple Kettlebell exercises I utilise are simple and effective. The TGU, Two hands Swing and the goblet squat. Once completed I simply grab the barbell and start on more specific movements relating to the lift. Overhead squat, Power snatches and full stretch movement using just the bar. By then my squat and overhead positioning feel comfortable and the core is ready to go.

Time to load it up.

The current exercise for the snatch that I’m working on have been identified as the ones I need to focus on where I am at the moment.  The points are what part of the movement they promote. It’s these that I’m currently working on in addition to dropping into a full snatch.                

Snatch grip high Pull                                                                     

* High transfer into power production * When comfortable (more experienced), done at maximum speed

* Start position of snatch (wide grip) * Pulling straps can be used

Full Snatch from Hang (Knee Height)                                                                    

* Enhances the ability to accelerate the bar in the second pull * Skill at receiving the bar

* Top of thigh /lower / explode up

Power Snatch                                                                   

* Emphasis on explosive phase * Accelerate as much as possible

* Avoid pushing head forward (promotes hips going back) * Lower than 90 degrees it’s not a power snatch

In addition the above I cover the necessary movement that basically add all over strength. The obvious ones are the squat variations, the pulling /deadlift movements and the overhead press. It’s important to have a balanced program that will allow you to work in all the element of strength, conditioning and power. For some the weekly turn around works well. For me at my age the two week turn around suits better as it allows me to cover all the moves. It incorporates rest periods/ aids in proper recover and just as importantly, doesn’t interfere with work and family.

Maintaining you water intake and ensuring your nutrition supports you goals will completer the package and ensure you are feeling up to the workout recover well and achieve you results.

Claudefit personal training Is located in the Northern suburbs of Mill Park.

 

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