Latest News

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.

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.

We survived another Spartan race

Spartan Super recap

Congratulation to both my running buddies Kaan and Shai in once again managing to conquer what those crazy folk at Spartan threw at us during the recent 14klm super held way out in Mymiong. A brilliant location for this type of (obstacle )course event held on the grounds of Lake Dewar lodge run by the YMCA.  This third time around we were more prepared before as you would expect if you had put in the training, which we did.

I’m lucky enough to back onto the local plenty valley reserve that has enough kilometres of single tracks and dirt roads that prepared us well for the off road running based Spartan super so for the last couple of months we have all incorporated a big chunk of our running kilometres towards trial running. Fortunately for us all the base training clearly showed on the day as Spartan races are not held on the roads.

They are held over singe tracks, paddocks, muddy sections, hills and occasionally involves a bit of swimming across dams and short lake crossing.

Tip: Get some serious trail klm’s under your belt. and learn to swim.

In addition to the road /Trail running program the general physical preparation with the resistance training added the extra touch to negotiate ourselves through the lifting/holding/carrying challenges we faced. Keep in mind that you are actually racing towards these obstacles you can’t really slow down to rest too much.  After all it is a race.

The folk at Spartan don’t release the course, it’s part of the appeal. If you are not happy with this I suggest you stick to entering 5klm fun run 8 month from now where you get a course map and take as many selfies as you want.

After having discussions with my team post-race it was clear that a few of the obstacles were a little more challenging for us as the others that we simply ran through. The list below is the ones we had to pay extra attention too as they were clear road blocks in running a quicker time around the course.

  • Sandbag carry – This one was as is described. You had to pick up a sandbag (20-25kgs I believe) then march downhill for about 500 metres , under a fence and then back up again. Clearly there was no racing or sprinting going on here. The legs were pounded while the core got its fair share of loading. Pity the person who chooses to carry it without the proper balance. Your physio will be pleased.
  • Various walls – In previous events I had simply taken a run up and managed to get my hand over to the top of the wall, got the leg over and got across. This time around I wasn’t as lucky as we had just run an uphill section of the track and then copped this at the worst part. Thanks Spartan. At my age the legs didn’t have the spring or the sprint in them so made a new friend quickly who helped out.
  • Dead ball carry – This one’s a killer!!! It requires you to pick up a 55kg dead ball that is somewhat difficult to handle, run with it around a maker and then place it back where you found it. Sounds simple? Ask your body how it feels when you start to run again straight after the effort taken and get back to me. Look up Iron edge equipment suppliers if this is something of interest.
  • Monkey bars – Ahhhhh the monkey bars, a nasty little obstacle that too many of us who don’t possess the ability to do either a chin up or simply hold onto your bodyweight find a challenge. A fundamental requirement of Spartan is the ability to manoeuvre your body around the obstacles requiring your bodyweight training approach is sound. We use bars often and I personally take my kids down to the park for extra “secret training” You dealt with them in the school ground so now you have to deal with then in the Spartan race as an adult.
  • Rope climb/Traverse – I left the best until last and included the two. Look at it this way, two for the price of one. If you are thinking about doing any spartan races you need to be able to both climb up a rope ring the bell at the top and then on the next rope obstacle and be able to traverse along what seems a lengthy distance in order to collect you well-earned medal. I’m proud to say that by the time I got to this last obstacle I managed to hang on and make it until the end. The price to pay was a set of burning shoulder and arms along with a slightly scratched pair of calves. Quite happy to pay the price again as I didn’t drop off like some other poor younger folk did!

Spartan Kids – A special mention should go to the kids who also participated in this even. There were two aged group waves that looked after the little ones, my 6 & 9 years old’s both participated and undoubtedly enjoyed themselves.  A must if you want your kids to get involved. Bring a change of clothes for them.

All in all we had plenty of fun this time around and will definitely take on the next challenge that I believe is the Spartan Beast. A mere 20klms+.

For now we are still training for the next running trail event. This time were going to tackle the Salomon run series held around four local and regional locations involving a variety of running distances.  No obstacles this time around, just a lot of natural hills, creeks and plenty of single tracks.

Arooooo!

Claudefit is a private gym conveniently located near plenty gorge Mill Park.

Spartan Super 2015 – Here we go again!

Spartan Fit

It’s been while since we ran our last Spartan race and from what I recollect it was the Spartan sprint covering approximately 7 klm’s along paddocks, , bush, shallow creeks , hilly terrain and swimming across dams all while busy running against other like minded individuals in getting to the next obstacle first in the hope of surviving it till the end. I did say the 7 klm was a sprint didn’t I? Yeah that’s what the folk over at Spartan call it.

This time around  we are back wiser, ready to go and I guess since I promote myself as a fitness trainer are more prepared than our previous race. However the test this time in training for this event is a mere 14klms, twice the fun I reckon. Ask me at the end and I will most likely tell you it was twice the torture. Depends on your point of reference I guess.

Here is a quick summary of the training (suitable for the recreational participant) and an overall approach we have taken in preparation for this challenging and very much and enjoyable event.  Let’s tackle the individual components that you need to cover in order to make it through safe, injury free and able to enjoy the post event celebration knowing you met the challenge and got though unscathed. AROO!

The Running part

First and foremost this event like most obstacle events is predominantly running. That’s right, Running and lots of it. Given any Spartan race it easily takes up 80% of the effort required in getting across the line for that coveted event t-shirt , participant medal or for some it’s the hard earned beer waiting for you after crossing the finish line.

This is the single component that usually gets to most of the participants. Not the Burpees because people cheat on them. You need to be able to run and run well as you can’t cheat 14klms.

The undulating nature of the course requires you to adapt to the terrain and if you are not familiar with trail running you will suffer as I speak from personal experience. In last year’s 7klm spring Spartan I already had a solid road running base of 40-50klm average a week in addition to my weight based workouts. Unfortunately my over excitement and lack of understanding of the course basically blew my running motor within the first klm and took me another 2 klms before I recovered, ran with composure and settled into pace all while having to tackle the obstacles as they presented themselves. although I managed  respectable time, I knew that I could have prepared better. Rookie mistake.

Our solution: We have now been running trails on a regular basis and have become familiar with this type of running and will now tackle the longer event with a bit more experience and focus on keeping a solid pace and negotiating the obstacles with minimum energy expenditure. (Yeah, we did the work) A solid 8klm + run would be ideal as a minimum base to finish the course ,( expect to walk) however if you are keen and well planned a Road base of 10 klm plus with a few trial runs thrown in would just get you by.

If you are fortunate enough to be close to a trail, I suggest you tackle it often.

Weight training & Conditioning

This time around we have focused out attention to preparing the body for the assault as opposed to preparing for the obstacles on an individual basis. Why? It’s better to focus on preparing your own body in getting stronger, fitter and resilient to be able to withstand the challenge than simply focusing on one or two obstacles that will come up such as the dreaded rope climb and surprisingly difficult dead ball deadlift.

Spartan has a way of throwing in obstacles that challenge the strongest and fastest regardless of the specific training you do. Better to prepare the body. Get stronger, build you grip strength, core and be able to both carry heavy and lift heavy objects and you should be fine. Spartan doesn’t release the course until the last few days of the event. It part of the appeal.

I must add that there are several standard obstacles that will be there waiting for the regular Spartan hopefuls. Look up the Spartan website for more information. www.spartan.com.au  the interesting ones are the new ones that pop up. So be ready.

The focus on the major lifts was what we all (clients) trained with.  We ate up lifts such as Barbell Standing military press, Bench press, Squats, Deadlifts & Bent over rows. What more can you say when you have program that involves these old school and very effective exercises. They will get you strong and prepare your strength base for life and everything else.  That’s another story.

The other tools used were Kettlebells for conditioning because they work,  exercises like the swing , cleans and renegade rows were a staple along with basic bodyweight movements involving the always reliable chin up/ pull up ( do both . they both work!) crawling and handstand play. For variation we chucked in Rope climbs and sandbag drills. The ability to “chuck a leg over the fence” will also be required as I find that most who don’t have flexibility with this movement find out the hard way and looks painful! You have been warned.

The bottom line is that we have been consistent and trained smart. As with most things related to fitness and OCR events the primary objective of the training should be to prepare the body to successfully complete the event. Everything else is a bonus.

Planning and application

You need to have a plan that you actually implement and you need to take the right mental application. I’ve mentioned this as I unfortunately see several individuals not complete the course due to their inability to have the will finish what they started. Experience should tell you the better you prepare for this or any other event the better it is on the day. If you turn up underdone you will make it harder than it needs to be and will most likely give up or worse , suffer an avoidable injury.

The common factor here is that sometimes people simply just turn up on the day and think because they’ll can run 5 klm around the block at home ,do a spin class, body pump and bench press on Monday they think that they will be right on the day. Spartan Races are advertised as a race and it doesn’t forgive lack of preparation.

IMO the positive’s here is that if you sign up for an event you have committed to do it. And do you should be able to do it well. Like most of my client’s requirements if they approach their goals with the proper mental application, goals like weight loss, muscle gain, strength gains and improvement in their overall fitness will happen. Funny that.

If you plan well and  commit to your training, eat well and get enough rest, there is no reason for you to turn up unprepared, out of shape and put yourself through this event not quite 100%. It’s hard enough as it is being prepared so why disadvantage yourself before you get there.

As I say often to my client ( on my soapbox) whether you do a trial run, fun run, Spartan, TM or any other event. A lack of preparation will show up on the day. So plan well, implement you plan and give yourself the best opportunity to not only conquer the Spartan Course but know that you can do anything.

See you on the course. Aroo!!!

Claudefit is a personal fitness trainer based in Mill Park.

Gym and Fitness

Fitness with Claude

Great to be asked to contribute as a fitness “expert” for one of the larger commercial gym equipment sellers and information providers in  Gym and Fitness .

The following blog post is basically in response to a few questions they asked me to provide.

Hope this continues for the benefit of both Claudefit and Gym and Fitness.

It’s important to get out there and be seen as a voice of knowledge in getting people Healthier , Fitter , Stronger and Feeling better about themselves.

http://www.gymandfitness.com.au/blog/personal-trainers/personal-trainer-claude/

For now its a matter of keeping the head down and getting the work done.

Claudefit Personal training is located in Mill Park and offer a private facility for your health and fitness goals.

 

Gone Crossfit

Weightlifting for Crossfit

I have recently been offered and accepted a position as Weightlifting coach for one of the new and very exiting Crossfit premises out in Craigieburn. I’ll be looking after the members with technical and programing requirements in order to prepare them for their own competition within this new brand of fitness.

If you don’t know what crossfit is and are an active exercise participant, you might be mistaken for someone who has been in the dark ages. Crossfit has literally taken over the fitness world and is now a major player in the states and other parts of the world in relation to this style of training and let’s not forget to include their ever-growing participant base. Add some local and regional competition to establish who the best is an all of a sudden you have a juggernaut called Crossfit.

It so big now that we now have the crossfit games that have an enormous television viewing audience and Is now regularly been held in Australia for qualification into the overall championship held in the states.

My humble part will be simply to add value to the current members who are looking at brushing upon their Olympic lifting technique, look after the members who are looking at competing or simply want to learn how to properly and safely perform these dynamic lifts. I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of adding value to the crew at crossfit Craigieburn.

Olympic Weightlifting

In Olympic weight lifting the core exercises performed are the snatch and the clean and jerk. Both these exercises are very difficult to perform and require extensive adherence to detail when applying the techniques, assistant exercises and related stretches.  In relation to more sports related training both these lifts and their variations have been highly regarded as “the discipline” to incorporate with their explosive movements in adding clear benefits with both high end strength levels and power output. With sports such as AFL and the rugby codes it has obvious benefits.

Olympic lifts should be prescribed when the individual has progressively developed significant relative and absolute strength to capitalise on the speed and full body movements required to gain maximum returns. I look forward in preparing the member out in Craigieburn in relation to these lifts and other associated strength exercises.

The classes are held of Friday evenings and are from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm and are suitable for all.

Hope to see you there ready to get strong and powerful.

Happy lifting.

Claudefit personal training is located in Mill Park in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne. Contact detail can be located via the website www.claudefit.com.au

 

Tough Mudder preparation

Tough Mudder fun

So you think you are ready for the tough mudder experience do you? Well great. The first part about entering this great event is the decision to give it a try and work towards completing the challenging 20klm long course in tackling approximately 20 or so obstacles. It’s your decision.

At Claudefit we think the TM is a great way to work towards your all over fitness , weigh loss and is a great motivator once you and your team have put the money down and all have a clear focus on what’s coming up. It’s amazing how much ownership you take once you put a cost to it.

Out team here at Claude fit has now participated in 3 of these events and we are proud of the fact that in the second and third one we have always included newbie’s who have managed to complete it unscathed. No major injuries and a lot of fun had. I myself mostly enjoy the satisfied look of all my clients when they cross the finish line looking tired, covered in mud, soggy socks and a great individual story to tell.

So how do you prepare for Tough Mudder?

It’s pretty clear that in order to complete the TM you will need to have a solid running base that will get the job done. Now before you think that you can’t run 20klm think about the fact that you will be running from obstacle to obstacle and then stop (rest) negotiate the obstacle, wait for you team members and continue to run. As this is NOT a race the pace generally is kept by the slowest member of the group. TM encourages team work so don’t think that this is a fun run style set up where you are continuously running.

What you do need IMO is a solid minimum base of around 7-10 klm’s that will get the job done. Prior to the first TM I myself recorded my longest continual run at 11.5 klm. This was enough for me to get by. Now that I’m a regular runner the TM doesn’t really pose that much of a concern with distance. As the stop start nature of the event is great for recovery. So get running.

The obstacles are reasonable for anyone with an average base of fitness. Unlike other event you do not have to do all of them if you are intimidated or simply think they are out of your capabilities. It’s all right, just rest while the others in your team give it a go, then re-group and continue onto the next one. This is what TM is all about – Teamwork.

Without going over the entire obstacle that you will encounter (TM changes a few anyway) let’s go over the basic strength that you need to successfully cover the course.

  • You need to be able to pull your bodyweight up – whether it be climbing over the 3meter wall or getting over the rows of mud moulds, you need the strength and flexibility to get that leg over in making it through/over.
  • The ability to trudge through ankle deep mud for over 500 metres is also essential. Fit enough to do it and well balanced. Expect to fall on your butt and get covered in mud. Guaranteed.
  • A decent center of gravity is required and most of the obstacles require you to have good balance as part of the challenge. For example the balance beams are great. TM mudder also nails old tyres to logs that you have to walk around. Expect to get wet if you fall.
  • Have a decent sprint in your armoury. In order to get up to the top of Everest you need to have a bit of get up and go and sprint full on towards the ramp. (Think skateboard ¼ pipe here) Many don’t quite make it even when a helping hand is waiting to meet you half way. This one was frustration to the ladies in out group.  A few sprints in your training will certainly help out.
  • Hanging strength. The monkey bars are a bit of a novelty during TM. It’s one of the more well know obstacles where the set up allows for many rows of bars to keep everyone moving along. Basic holding strength and knowing how to move come in handy. At Claudefit the pull up is a as staple here so the holding strength should pose no problem. However with all things related to TM, you will have tired and slippery hands by the time you get to this obstacle. In the past we cop it around the 18klm mark.

The event is quite achievable for most as it attracts people of all shapes and sizes and is a well run safe event. It’s really suited t all types. You only need to want to give it a go.

One of my clients didn’t quite get by all the obstacles , however was thrilled that his body was able to at least take part and surprise himself with what he did. That what is t all about

Participating, challenging you and having a hell of a time.

See you in the mud.

 

Go here for my Obstacle course Page

Spartan race preparation

Spartan is a race

I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in two of these unique evens in both the 14klm Spartan Super and now recently completed the 7klm Spartan Sprint. Both are catered to the same crowd and quite smartly linked together as a package to ultimately be called the ultimate Spartan. There is another longer 20klm + race that I’m yet to partake in appropriately called the Spartan Beast.

In addition I’ve run my own personal training team/groups over 3 tough mudder’s and have incurred more mud and  bruises on my body now that in my whole weigh training experience.

In order to properly prepare for these events one thing is clear. First and foremost this is a running event. Yes it’s referred to as an obstacle course for some. But be under no illusion. You have to run. And since it’s called a race. You have to run at pace.

Similar to a fun run you are provided with a race bib and more importantly a timing chip. That’s right. you will find out how you fared pretty much straight away, as on crossing the finish line you collect your participant medal, you free t-shirt, a beer (if you want one at 9am in the morning) and then check you race time.  This is a great way to establish who is superior with you mates and makes it fair to those who were starting out on a different wave time.

Quite competitive for some and a lot of fun for all.

Spartan preparation

So how do I get ready for this event I hear you ask? Number one in my opinion is to have a plan of what you are going to do and stick to it. You need to know what lies ahead and not just turn up on the day and have a crack! It’s all experience. You can even hire a trainer who has done it before and can get you  to the starting line ready to go , fit, strong and knowing what’s coming up.

Number one on the hit list is Running. You need to be able to run on uneven terrain, across cow paddocks (no cows at event) up dry creeks, down slippery slopes and generally anything that the great Australian bush throws at you. The only assistance you get is a marker leading you to the net obstacle.

Here’s a few of the obstacles I encountered and the suggested required preparation, the 5 are only my own most memorable obstacles you will be challenged to negotiate and get by. Should you choose not to try or unfortunately fail. You will be penalised 30 burpees. So either get accustomed in performing this wicked little exercise or do the right thing and get prepared. Either way, you are going to get it. (Insert evil laugh here)

 

  • Deadlifting the 55kg Deadball and walk – pretty much self explanatory , you get to the Deadball which is basically a flat plastic ball filled with 55kg for men folk and 35kg for the Spartan ladies. You pick it up and then have to carry it for distance and place it back to where you found it. Simple, not easy. This is where your Deadlift strength and bottom position of the squat comes into play.
  • The Sandbag carry – Again the weight of the equipment is 20-25 kg’s for the men and I believe 1o kg for the ladies. On my last Spartan event we had to carry the sandbag uphill around the tree on top of hill and return it back. On my second Spartan, we actually had to carry it down hill first and then back up. Same but different I reckon. Still the same effect. Add running to and from this obstacles and you start to appreciate what just happened. Learn how to shoulder a sandbag , work on shoulder stability and work your core.
  • Wall climb – This for me was simply out of the question, with a height of 174 cm and a bodyweight of 79kg and been old. I just dont have the get up and go to get my hand over the 2m+ wall from a run up – I wish! Solution. Quickly find a new buddy and ask for help. Don’t forget to offer hand in helping them, once the obstacles is complete run as you have paid the price and earned the right to continue alone. The wall climb basically required pulling strength and a bit of flexibility work to get the leg over. If you are no longer a spring chicken tread carefully as this is one of the common injuries in getting over the wall. A lack of hip & inner thigh flexibility.
  • Traversing the rope / rope climb – yeah I know I’ve put two items under rope. It’s because once you get accustomed to handling your bodyweight in the rope climb it stands to reason why you wouldn’t want to traverse along the rope from one end to another. ( it’s just fun)It was a safe obstacle during the sprint as the possible fall was only about 9 feet and you landed on an oversized pillow. Think jumping castle floor here! For some this one’s quite hard as from what I saw with a first timers and would be Spartans. Quite humbling when you don’t know how to move. The other rope option is the always troublesome rope climb. Never underestimate the power to pull yourself up. With and adequate level of pulling power and solid grip strength up you go it would seem. Remember once again you will most likely be running prior to tackling an obstacle so you will be tired, wet, have slippery hands and then need to get to the top to ring the bell to make it legit. (And pose for photo) The crowd that gathers here is always willing to provide you with a ready made cheer squad! We cover this in my facility in always having the rope handy for you to play with. So by the time you hit it at the event. It’s all been done before. So plan ahead.
  • Horizontal wall traverse – This one’s is my favourite as my kids have called It the ninja walk (as seen on ninja warrior program) it requires a great level of grip strength, great co ordination, solid core strength. With an understanding of having at least a basics 3 point contact at all times you can certainly negotiate this one well. Should you be carrying a little more girth than others that pushes you away from the wall, have poor coordination and really never worked you grip strength. I suggest you work on burpess.

The little wooden block that you both stand and hold on to is about 5-10 inches long and about 1-1/2 inched wid. Again watch out for slippery hands and shoes. How we train this at Clausefit is simple. Get you grip strength up and slowly transfer the weight onto the fingers. Along with rope pull ups should do the trick. The rest is just about being naturally co ordinate. Helps to be lean.  

Other obstacles to mention were the Balance Beams, Swimming the dam, Kettlebell on a rope, Spear throw, Tire pull on rope, Concrete block drag and the famous last one ,the Fire jump.

By now two things should be obvious. You are either fired up to give it a go yourself, or you have pulled your head back into its shell and retreated.  It’s this type of event.

Perhaps a friendlier fun run is in order for now. A long as you move you will do well. But don’t give up.

At Claudefit personal training the obstacle events like Spartan and tough Mudder are what some clients use to keep them motivated in reaching their goals. So if you are interested let us know. We are always keen to get others involved in joining the fun.

Go here for my Obstacle course event page.

Go here for my Conditioning options page.

Claudefit Free Trial Session

Northern Suburbs Personal Training

If you are looking at Personal Training options and are not sure what to do? Easy, pick up the phone and arrange a free (approximately) 30 minutes trial session where you can ask questions and get to know your potential trainer.

Based in Mill Park I offer a private facility for your comfort.

During this session you will simply be put through a Fitness, Strength and Movement screen to establish where you are currently at. No point in putting you under heavy loading when we don’t know how you move.

This session allows us to talk and for you to ask all the question you need with absolutely no heavy selling pressure like you would encounter at most commercial gyms.

All I ask (respectfully) is that you are not wasting both our times as I operate only with individuals who have a good attitude. If your mindset is positive towards your goals, you are more that half way there. This is very important and allows me to do what I need to do. Get you results.

I am an experienced and professional Personal trainer utilising the clear benefits obtained from proven disciplines such as

  • Kettlebells
  • Bodyweight training
  • Weightlifting
  • Powerlifting

And various other Strength and conditioning protocols. Along with a solid background in Boxing and Traditional martial arts, you are sure to get results you are after, all within a properly equipped and private facility.

Claude has 26 years of practical weight training experience and been working closely within fitness facilities for many years. If you are committed to your strength, fitness and overall health, I am your trainer. If you are not sure please refer to client testimonials page and read what others have to say.

As an experienced trainer both personally and professionally my approach is simple and effective. Recognise what is preventing you from reaching your goals and taking action in rectifying this situation. As everyone is unique it is a dual effort by you and me in achieving your goals.

Within our fitness industry there is always promises and guarantees on you partaking this or that type of training you will get faster and better returns. I wish. Unfortunately this is not always the case. A sound and committed adherence to proper eating and regular training is only the beginning. You will also have an understanding of the behaviours that got you into trouble (weight gain, lack of energy, feeling ordinary) it all plays into one system – your body.

My commitment: I will work with you individually on what you want to achieve. I will help you set realistic goals, a balanced approach to nutrition and your own individual exercise program if required,

I will work with you to achieve results.

Personal Training Services

My skill set and extensive experience allows me to work on:

  • Weight Management/Loss
  • Strength
  • Fitness
  • Movement.

Learn to move better, feel better and look your best

I look forward in hearing form you.

 

20x30-MMAH0153

Claudefit Workshops

Strength and Conditioning workshop.

Honoured in been asked to facilitate a Strength and fitness workshop with the Bundoora Seido Karate branch.

A great opportunity to deliver some General physical preparation content in benefiting their traditional Karate.

A fun time had by all in learning and applying different conditioning drills.

If you are interested in similar workshops at your club or organisation I can be contacted on

  • Mobile 0412 589 570
  • Email: info@claudefit.com.au

General physical Preparation  is designed to ensure that there are no weak links in your body. your goal during GPP training is to develop all round balanced muscular development , an efficient cardiovascular system and good general flexibility , agility and speed. To accomplish this you will employ a wide variety of exercises and methods , many of which are not directly related to your event or chosen sport.

If you are a more advanced with your training you would still include GPP training in your training schedule , although not as much. This will help you to maintain your base and to enhance recuperation from the more intense and specific training you’ve been doing. for example , in season skill training for chosen sport/activity.

  • Since 1988 i’ve been fortunate to be either working out with weights(of various forms) or been involved with traditional Karate followed a few years later taking up the sport of Amateur boxing. It would be reasonable to think that I have picked up a bit of knowledge along the way with regards to training myself and others.  With a solid practical background and supported by continuing formal learning (ASCA/RKC/Weightlifting) I’m able to deliver results from a few sound and tested options in getting the job done.

Please check out the Conditioning link for further information. http://claudefit.com.au/conditioning/

 

Karate workshopasca

Book A Session Today!