Female Fitness Mill Park

Ladies fitness and strength workout

Northern Suburbs Kettlebell trainer

Having been involved within the fitness industry since 2006 in starting from walking the gym floor, group fitness and now operating my own personal training private facility I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of women in both group fitness and now in personal training sessions. Prior to that I had been involved with martial arts and seemed always to be in the teaching and training others mode. By now I think I’ve got a general idea as to what works well for the ladies, what they like and definitely what they don’t like.

If it wasn’t obvious to you the ladies have a habit of telling you outright what works, what they like and over time you get to learn a lot. Sometimes more that you would read in a book.

Now that I operate my own place I’m able to continue to deliver a high level of service in conducting my personal training sessions. I have the space and equipment now without disruption to cover the entire basis on what the ladies need.

Some of the requests I’ve had include. (In addition to strength, fitness, weight loss) are working the Hips, thighs, flabby triceps, bottom of the belly, muffin top and puny legs. OH let’s not forget their Bu**!

The exercises that are my go to movements will basically cover all the bases with the many and varied requests I get from clients and additionally allow me to provide them with a decent base of Strength, Fitness and ensure they move better. It’s only logical that with all programs you don’t just focus on just one element. You need an all over balance. Still hitting those areas a little harder doesn’t hurt.

Well almost.

Here are my most dynamic and effective exercises that are a favoured with the ladies I work with. As an experienced RKC2 kettlebell instructor with several years of ladies group fitness under my belt, watch out as you might get what you want!

Kettlebells

  • Kettlebell Squats – With any effective program the inclusion of squats in any form provider they are performed correctly will go a long way in achieving results. The kettlebell squats sith in the rack positon and hits both the quads and gluteus while the more upright position gets the core activated. Go get some.
  • Kettlebell SLDL – this little gem I picked up a few years ago from a fellow female fitness kettlebell instructor. How? It simply isolates the gluteus while working the single leg. Give this one a go and see how you negotiate the stairs at work the next couple of days. To date I haven hear one lady complain about the effect this one has.
  • Kettlebell Swings – A staple within the kettlebell world and a dynamic standalone movement that works your, hips, butt and legs all in one. The cardio gets an absolute boost while also promoting grip strength. It’s a go to for me when warming up that posterior chain. (Hamstrings, gluteus and lower back) and easily fits into the programming needs of my female clients.
  • Kettlebell Military press – One of my favourite movements is the classic Military press (standing shoulder press) that is performed standing up, as most kettlebell movements are. The simplicity with correct technique makes the Military press and ideal upper body movements. For the ladies the arms get a tremendous workout so there is rarely enough gas in the tank to even consider curls. An excellent shoulder workout with additional benefits when performed correctly.

Core work

  • Medicine ball sit ups – This old classic is basically performing a high volume of medicine ball throws while you complete a sit up and throw it back. Give this one a go with a lighter ball and go the volume. Your abs will be screaming for a while.
  • Hanging knee raises – This is an alternative to the good old crunches. It works the same muscles however the loading on the body creates a greater return with isometrically holding the core, grip strength overhead extension and works the core brilliantly.
  • Hollow position/prone holds – These two I stole from my gymnastics buddies and is a well know one with the yoga group. I rotate the hollow (dish position) with the classic bridge hold to ensure your core area is also strengthened during strict stability work. Who’s up for a tight set of abs then?

This is just a small sample of the few exercises that work with only a kettlebell and 3 selected core movements. Obviously we can get results with a barbell and other equipment. For the sake of efficiency and keeping a solid tempo I have chosen the kettlebell for its ease of use and immediate effect it has during the session.

The ladies like to know what works ASAP, for now the kettlebells it is.

There are many more ways in hitting certain areas as requested. The above ways simply works for me given my experience with this dynamic tool in providing you what you want.

A firmer, leaner and fitter body.

Claudefit Operates his own private gym facility within a professional environment and takes a straightforward no fuss approach in delivering results.

Ladies Strength training workout

Ladies Strength training

One of the memorable phone calls from a client who was referred to me by former group fitness participant. She had already made up her mind that I was going to be her trainer (happy for referral) and I still remember what she had said. “I want to be strong all over, get it? I don’t like being weak” in addition there were other question related to what she was after , however the comment on getting strong is what stuck on that particular occasion. There was a history of dropping a lot of weigh in a short period of time and this process came at a cost. It made her feel weak and she lacked energy. In addition she was a smoker resulting in minimum cardio output.

After initially working with her on her movement patterns and educating her on the basics it was time to put her under loading. My choice of tool here is always the Kettlebell. As an RKC Instructor I’m able to get both the movement and strength work done in one session and introduce the Kettlebell swing in looking after the cardio component.

Fast forward a couple of months and we have an individual who can now move better, feel better and has a reasonable base of strength and a bit of cardio to go along with it.

Here’s a sample of a workout that we did in testing out her overall progress. The movements that we covered in one session to demonstrate how much progress had been made in relation to her goals. All over body strength, with no size and to be “toned”

Barbell Strength.

  • Standing military press

A classic lift that work the shoulders in developing a nice all over shape and if performed correctly is sale and also works the often requested triceps and core when greater resistance is used.

  • Barbell back squats.

One of the most effective exercise’s in delivering and all over body workout that primarily targets the legs, hips and core area. The upper body gets a workout n holding onto loading used. An honest and must do movement in working those shapely legs.

  • Barbell Deadlifts

This hip dominant exercise when executed with heavy weights adds a great deal of value to any program. When it comes to delivering an exercise that (with sound nutrition) goes a long way in delivering real results. It practically works all of you muscles in one movement.

  • Single leg Kettlebell  deadlift

I particularly use this movement in delivering an honest and dynamic workout for your gluteus. The ladies will certainly be putting this movement in their must do list.

  • Kettlebell Renegade rows

For an absolute and true core exercise the renegade rows performed with a kettlebell is right up there with one of my better core exercises once you get  solid base of strength and co-ordination happening.

  • Hanging Leg raises

A simple and yet difficult move to make if you core is not strong. Persevering with this exercise is sure to payback in a set of hard abs. With a strict adherence to quality nutrition the core will not have too much of a problem in showing up.

  • Gymnastics ring “chest” presses

For a bit of variety and challenge to the upper body the gymnastics rings press is a must do. It gets to the pectoral, triceps and front delts in a challenging and rewarding fashion. The core work in stability is also a handy bonus.

  • Barbell Bent over rows.

An old time favourite weight training exercise often performed incorrectly in some gyms. The bent over rows hits the back muscles, build solid strength and deliver s nice pump to the biceps as well. Once you are comfortable and know how to maintain the position results come quick with this strong pulling movement.

Stronger Ladies

These exercises were performed in one session to demonstrate to client that her basic movements were now strong enough in establishing a solid strength base as required. With the introduction of more Boxing her cardio fitness will also come up. She now feels stronger, more confident, her nutrition getting better and as changes are happening is happy with progress.

The feedback after a few days was that she was a little sore and her legs were slightly wobbly. It not my style to wreck a client however when we are performing these movements you are sure to feel it the next few days. The other side of this feeling is a stronger individual.

She is no longer feeling weak and now comes in more energised and ready to belt out more strength and cardio session at a greater work capacity.

So the message is simple. Ladies Don’t be afraid to get strong and reap the benefits it brings.

Best of all no size.

Claudefit Personal training operated out of his own private facility located in Mill Park. Contact details can be found on www.claudefit.com.au

Ladies group fitness workout

Female Fitness Training

One of the services that I offer as a Personal trainer is my small group fitness classes that is catered for the needs and wants of my female client base. The aim here is to simply burn up those calories, effectively add strength, movement and as they call it, “tone up all those bits”.

However, just simply taking the approach that one type of program fits all their needs can sometimes become a bit of a challenge. There are many ways in delivering the results you see, if you are an experienced trainer that is. My basic template for an all over body blast is simple. I’ll work your entire body with the beginning 3 major movements that I picked up as a Certified Kettlebell Instructor; they will prepare you for the future exercises that will all add up to you getting results. The following thee will make you move better, feeling better and burn up a heap of calories.

The following is the first part of the Session

  • Goblet squats 3×3
  • Swings 25 x 5
  • Turkish get ups. 1 x 5

From this general warm up we are well and truly warmed up and then set up the Barbell for some heavier lifting. Ladies please note that due to the limited release of testosterone from females you won’t get too muscly. An overabundance in food is what gets you big! – No offence meant.

How Strong Ladies are made

Barbell deadlift for all body strength and conditioning:

The dynamic deadlifts is one of the well-known strength lifts that if performed correctly allows you to get incredibly strong without wasting your time with other unnecessary lifts that promise you big results and don’t quite deliver. They are great for females as they burn a lot of energy and get’s you to move those hips, legs and gluteus. In addition the carry over effect of this exercise goes a long way in promoting a leaner and more naturally balanced body. The deadlift also teaches you the benefits of properly bracing your body in lifting properly and safely. It’s is this bracing understanding that will also make your other lifts more enjoyable.

Single leg deadlifts to get to that gluteus activated and worked

I cannot talk this movement up enough when it comes to working your gluteus (Backside) it simply gets the job done and you will feel it instantly when performed correctly. It was one of my go-to exercises back when I was taking female group fitness for a large gym. It teaches you to properly perform a one leg movement that targets the gluteus  and actively gets the core involved to support the exercise. An all over winner in the eyes of my female client.

Front kettlebell squat for leaner legs and strong core:

The front kettlebell squat is easy to learn and perform for most. it’s quite safe as you have the weigh loaded up in front, promotes an upright posture and makes you core get involved as well. With the use of the kettlebels it’s a case of using the correct tool for the job. You can’t go wrong with this basic compound lift that works the legs as they should, as a collective unit.  Get those legs looking lean and strong, get squatting with the kettlebells front squat now!

Kettlebell shoulder press for that shapely look:

For those shapely and not too bulky shoulders the kettlebell press is the ideal way to get it done fast and efficient. It is an all over upper body pressing movement when done with a Kettlebell is easy to teach, perform and has a great return on effort. It’s a safe movement where the ladies get comfortable with this often neglected exercise that is an above the head press. Women often tell me that they don’t like the press because they are not strong at it. Well given the nature of this lift it’s actually the less dominant big mover as opposed to the Deadlift and Squat, so it makes sense that the shoulders are not as strong as the legs. Ladies take action now and start working on those shapely deltoids.

Light Kettlebell snatch for cardio a total cardio blast:

The last one on the list is the one that is the king (queen) of cardio and all over body blast. Period. Once you have a well rounder understanding of the kettlebell swing , have performed hundreds of swings, have become well versed on the Turkish get up and finally have reaped the benefits of the kettlebell press , you are then in a better position to be taught this rather dynamic exercise within the kettlebell movements. In order to move onto the kettlebell snatch you first need to be able to efficiently get the kettlebell from a swing position to an above head hold ( think top of press and top of TGU here) and then back down and into the back of a swing in order to  (using hip drive ) thrust it back up again. Rep after rep.

Say hello to an absolute cardio blast. Best of all, no size ladies.

My ladies group fitness and personal training services go back to my initial years working for several large commercial gyms. I have taken several large group fitness classes and have dealt directly with the ladies for a long time. From this position I now run my business directly from home that allows me to directly deal with you and not pass on my overheads like when dealing through a gym. That is, I’m able to better price my services and not pass this onto you.

Claudefit Personal Training has been operating for 8 years directly in the fitness industry and has over 25 year of own practical experience.

  • Is a Strength and conditioning coach
  • RKC2 Russian Kettlebell instructor
  • Experienced and Professional

My contact details can be found on www.claudefit.com.au

 

 

Women’s fitness and Strength

Women’s fitness and strength

When initially looking at getting in shape or otherwise known as” getting toned and look skinny” many women unfortunately think that they will get too bulky and grow muscles that will make them look big. The truth is that as women don’t produce the same levels of testosterone as men and are not able to put on muscles as easy as men do. This allows you to stay feminine, get lean and become stronger!

For many years it was thought that resistance training programs for women should be different from that for men. There was even a time before that when it was thought inappropriate for women to undertake any resistance training as it might masculinise them. Thankfully times have changed to the extent that more and more women are now only participating in resistance programs but are competing in Power lifting, Olympic lifting, Figure contest and the now popular Crossfit games.

It is now well accepted that women can demonstrate impressive results from the same resistance training program take on by men. In some cases women have produces greater gains than their male training partners. While there are gender differences, there is little need to change the program variables when designing a resistance training program for women.

Fitness and strength.

Part of the deal is to work hard toward both your fitness and strength in order to maximise you return in investment  of time, money and effort. With a solid base of strength and fitness your body is in a better position to move and burn more calories and be more effective than just doing cardio. Because you want results right?

Don’t be afraid of becoming stronger, fitter and finally look the part with no extra muscles.

As a persona fitness trainer I have previously had the pleasure of taking many Women’s group fitness classes over the years and believe me, I have learned more than enough about what ladies are looking for when working out. The many comments about toning this, toning that and wanting to get rid of this and so on are part of dealing with my many female clients.

Fortunately for me I can honestly say that ill work you so that you will feel the hips, legs and you butt getting worked. I will address you saggy arm and make them “tones and will ensure that your shoulders look feminine without too much muscle. Is that ok with you?

Private facility

My Knowledge in delivering  fitness and strength training services goes back to 2006 where most of my clients and classes at the gym were mostly female. I took the Boxing class, Total body conditioning (after creche drop off) and fit mums group fitness. So you can imagine that I had to deliver results to many females of various levels of fitness and strength.

With fit mums everywhere of all ages and levels of fitness I certainly learned a lot! quick.

Now that I operate my own facility I’m able to still deliver a services that with effort ensures that you lose the fat , tone up and feel better about yourself. Or cater the session around what your others needs might be in relation to a healthy lifestyle.

Allow me in helping you reach that goal.

Claudefit is a professional and highly experienced operator that offers a private facility for you comfort.

Disciplined for results

Disciplined for results.

Typically a bloke who takes on a fitness program is looking at getting himself into shape, put on a bit of muscle and work on the pot belly, while the ladies are generally looking at shedding some body fat, look fantastic and fit into their jeans. For the younger gents it’s usually the need to bench press a house or have arms like cannonballs similar to Mr Olympia. For others who are already fit and healthy the allure of an event of sorts tends to appeal. Maybe you have thought entering a fun run/ marathon? Maybe you just want to be able to win a friendly bet with a friend and do something silly like enter a Tough Mudder Obstacle course event?

It all takes planning and Discipline.

Once you begin a fitness regime and are super keen on busting out that run or weight session what happens after a few weeks, or maybe a day or two later? Do you just say ill get it done when the time comes, do you get up at 6am in the morning for that chilly run or after a heavy day at work with no lunch head to the gym at 6pm?  If that’s sounds like a plan and you stick to it you understand discipline and you will go a long way in reaching desired goal. If not keep on dreaming for without a disciplined approach to your fitness you won’t get far. If you don’t work out, the consequences aren’t immediate, this is where a lazy habit will build up to the point of asking yourself, how did this happen?

I’ve outlined a small hit list that will guide you into setting yourself up be more motivated and reach your fitness goals. Try these ideas to get more disciplined with exercise:

Make Exercise a Habit. Part of being disciplined is creating a habit. You may not want to brush your teeth every night, but you do it anyway because you always do it right before bed- it’s a habit. Planning your week in what you are going to eat and when you plan on working out can helping you out with keeping it as a habit. You know on the day what you have to do and have allocated the time. Makes life easier if you plan. After a while it’s just a regular habit.

Understand the Consequences. You already know what happens if you don’t brush your teeth-cavities, gum disease, painful dental experiences, etc. But what are the consequences of not exercising? Make a list of all the things that could happen to your body and mind without exercise such as weight gain, feeling fatigued, Lack of activity, too tired to play with kids, no energy for activities you would like to do, not feeling better and not been able to look your best.

Find a buddy or get some assistance. One sure way to show up for your workout is to have someone waiting for you. If possible find a training buddy that will keep you company. As you will with them. Alternatively hire a personal trainer-someone who will hold you accountable for your workouts while educating you all at the same time. Having that support will make exercise more enjoyable and keep you on track.

Just get starter first. Don’t feel like working out? Promise yourself you’ll turn up ready and for starters just do a warm up. If after 10 minutes you still don’t want to work out, you can quit and go home. I bet you won’t. The majority of the time, you’ll keep going and feel much better for it. Overtime this will get easier and won’t even give it a thought.  Maintain focus on the Benefits. You will feel better, move better and look your best. Reminding yourself of what you’re getting out of your workout may motivate you to get started.

As much as we dislike admitting it, most of us is well aware of how ordered we are in tackling everyday life. When it comes to matters of health and fitness understanding discipline and actually following through with initial enthusiasm can simply save you a lot of time in reaching you fitness goal. Without it expect to take a little longer or for some giving up. Unfortunately we all have to deal with it one way or another so let’s accept it and move on.

No one said that it was going to be easy, but as it’s often mentioned. It’s all so worth it. Take your time in finding what approach works for you. My clients themselves are always chalenged with items that get in the way. Slow and progressive seems to work.

Get started now and keep on telling yourself you can keep on going.

Over time you will learn and implement the ways that it will suit you lifestyle, become more motivated and stay in the plan. Or should I say disciplined.

Start now and don’t leave it till alter. It’s the hardest part. From there on it’s all about putting it together.

 

Ladies Workout

Ladies workout

As a personal trainer the ability to get the job done quick is something that people assume will just happen. Unfortunately if getting results was “quick and easy” you would not require hiring the services of a personal trainer or having the need to sign up for that body challenge, skinny jeans fitting group fitness class and sadly being pressured into signing a long term fixed contract with a global commercial gym.  Nor would you have the need to purchase the variety of expensive supplement out there in the hope of looking/feeling great.  It’s not hard in getting the results you are after. You just need to know how to go about it in a practical and realistic way.

It all takes hard and committed work. So you might as well come to terms with it and find a suitable trainer that knows how to put it all together.

For my lady clients I have several ways in getting them toned, lean, not too bulky and to drop weight. In addition they will feel they have more energy to burn for other pursuits. All I ask is that you do what’s required. That you manage your nutritional requirements, commit to yourself and do the work. This is where I teach you what to do as you require. It is the reason you will hire me right?

One of my favourite fat burning workouts for the ladies who have a sound fitness base and can now be pushed a little harder or my ladies group classes. The following is a typical workout and what you expect to get. It targets your hips, legs, core, arms, gluteus and burns a lot of calories which my female clients enjoy.

Warm up

  • 3 x 2 minute round of skipping
  • Bear crawls for time

Kettlebell Workout

  • Two hand Kettlebell swing 30 second x 5
  • Double Kettlebell Military press 5 x5
  • Double Kettlebell clean 5×5
  • 2 minute skipping
  • Double Kettlebell squats 5 x5
  • Double Kettlebell  single leg Deadlift 5 x5

At this stage the whole body has been worked and the heat rate is going to be elevated so expect to have already burned a few calories in just the first part of the program. After a brief rest we wrap up and put the gloves on and change the theme over to a Boxing protocol. Given that my experienced client are able to utilise footwork , have solid grasp of punching techniques and can perform pad work one on one, it time to push the pace and smack some focus pads. This is where you simply move and punch. Given a basic boxing understanding it fair to say the calorie burn is up there.

A bit of Boxing 

  • 2 minute skip
  • In circuit format . One on the Heavy bag, one on the focus pads with me, one on the medicine ball and the fourth member doing core work. Basically two repeats of 2 minute rounds are done and by now all ladies are fully worked and thinking dry clothing and the comforts of home. Well done to all!

The simplicity of it all for the above program should not be confused with easy. At Claudefit it’s never hard, just challenging to the level you are currently at. This particular format is suitable for all as not everyone is at the same level. For more focused and personal attention, that’s where the PT comes into it. It all depends on you and your particular needs.

On this occasion this program was clearly Kettlebell focused with the Boxing at the end complimenting the previous work done.  Some nights we just go straight to boxing and then move onto other elements in complementing the workout in getting you results. So don’t expect the same old theme for every class. Just expect result if you put in the work.

I have been running both one on one and small group fitness for the ladies for 8 years so has heard many times what you want.

Quite happy to hear about what your need s are

Claude Castro has been operating as a full time personal trainer since 2006 and currently operated his own premises Claudefit Personal Training

 

 

Preparation for Stadium Stomp

Stadium stomp preparation

Running stairs to my clients is not something they first thought of was possible prior to beginning training with Claudefit in either one-on-one or my Ladies group fitness. The best part about my job as personal trainer is when clients ask me if they can do events. The answer is always yes and most eventually choose to take on the challenge. Whether it’s the stadium stomp stair climb, Tough Mudder or any other fun run event all are basically dominated by running. In this case we need to deal with over 7000 of them.

So how do you actually plan for such events without actually needing to find the local hi- rise (difficult for most) and train for it? And for those who are fortunate enough to have ample stairs to run. How not to go a little stir crazy in such confined places like stairwells?

In our case we need to be well conditioning to get us through the stadium stop event that requires you to consistently run up and down and traverse the famous terraces of the MCG.

Stair climbing preparation

The choice tool here at Claudefit are Kettlebells and Boxing for the initial conditioning and working on individual movements that compliment their program. No point in running up stairs when you are in pain due to a lack of mobility. In addition all clients are then either out running or doing own training sessions all while monitoring their weight management goals. The events for us at Claudefit always serve as the motivator in reaching your goals. Clearly a win-win scenario we often choose to keep us accountable.

A sample template on a regular group session wound be;

  • Kettlebell swings for time (30sec, 45sec  1min sets)
  • Kettlebell squat ( a front squat variation )
  • Kettlebell Cleans
  • Kettlebell single leg row
  • Turkish get up
  • Running

(The important take home here is choosing the correct bell size that does the job and changing the set rep range for variation. The only non compromise here is the technique)

Then we switch it over with a pure Boxing approach. This particular type of training for us is to enable the explosive component required to work out your cardiovascular system. It’s better for me as a trainer to work on this in a one on once scenario and get the (rounds) volumes up within a controlled environment.

Once a solid cardio base is build the participants are then able to push the pace when performing their own running training alone. For beginners this makes it simpler to just focus on the running and enjoy the journey to getting fit. It’s just a matter of transferring over your built up strength and fitness to the endeavour you are following. Once your strength base is adequate and you are moving well then you must take it outside and reap the benefits of the overall program. No boxing will make you stair climbing better. Only stairs will do this.

This is a given with our group as this template of Kettlebells and Boxing firstly gets you to;

  • Move well
  • Become  stronger
  • Builds up fitness base
  • And for some assist my client with their weight management goals. It’s what most signed up with me in the first place. So I never lose sight of this important goal.

From a more technical point of view , If you take one thing from the famous scene of running from rocky Balboas training regime, make it stair climbing. The constant plyometric motion strengthens the same muscles as lunges and squats, and taxes you lungs and heart as you power to the top. (Think rocky music here) That is, it absolutely gives you an enormous heart pounding workout and clearly delivers results.

The bottom line is that most training for these events relating to the casual fitness buff only requires general physical preparation. My experience with both Boxing and Kettelbell allows the delivery of a service that is also well suited to weigh management goals. Add in a sound Nutritional approach and you are basically heading in the right direction.

Once I get these element in order it’s up to you to push the pace for that PB or simply becoming a stronger individual.

Here at Claudefit personal training we use all events to keep us all motivated towards our own personal goals.

If you are in the Mill Park Area Let me know if you are interested.

Its fun run season

As the Melbourne fun run season is well on the way, the Claudefit/Nikfitness guys and gals are well and truly exited or as the young folk say “pumped” It’s the one time during their personal workouts that I encourage my clients to push the pace and get that PT. (personal best) after all it’s a professional event that is timed and you get to wear a race bib (number) and somewhat feel part of it. Basically you get to do it on a flat road with no traffic. Truly a runners dream.

Along with the rest of the participant that sometimes number 35,000 it is the perfect stage to showcase you fitness and do it for a worthy cause. Plus it’s a lot of fun to have. This Season will be or second weve decided to have some targeted runs to both measure our progress and just for the pure enjoyment of it. The enjoyment being getting up at 5:30am on a Sunday to make it down to the event , get ready and run anything from 4klms to 22klms depending on the event. Chuck in Mud and obstacles if you include tough Mudder and Spartan race.

In addition to the Mothers day classic coming up we have the Spartan Race (think mud and obstacles here) Stadium Stomp (running up and down the MCG stairs) Run Melbourne and our last team event, Melbourne marathon. Might even give the Eureka Tower a crack also !

In regards to the Mothers day run this weekend here’s what my respected peer Nikki had to say.

The Mothers’ Day Classic is on this Sunday! Running around the TAN track in the city. Either the 4kms or 8kms course – And the dreaded “Anderson Street Hill” (to do twice if you’re doing the 8kms!)

Look it’s not so bad the Hill, it rises about 30m in 400m, It’s a moderate beast but with fresh legs (the first lap) it’s quite doable! And I was like what the fuss is about, this hill isn’t so bad.  Second lap around and 5kms already run, I found the going tough, even with my tunes pumping in my ear willing me to the top there was no way my legs were going to be running the whole way up.  It was my only walk of last year’s 8km race, my hips were burning , but I ran the rest out! Till we meet again Hill!

It’s a special run the Mother’s Day Classic, the Run for Breast Cancer research and one close to my heart, as it is a lot of people. The day starts before dawn, you’re at the track as the sun is rising.  There is a sea of pink everywhere and you see many tribute cards worn as a dedication to a loved one’s memory.  It’s an emotional morning with a minute silence before the runners commence. It’s a run I’m very proud to be a part of and I’ll continue to keep running for this cause as long as my legs will let me!

With my team alongside me, we begin the run together and we make sure we all finish (as we do every run).  There is a lot of support for this run it’s getting bigger every year with a lot of celebrity support too.  Hello Michelle Bridges! And I’m very much looking forward to Round 2 with Anderson Street!

If you’re interested in joining a Fun Run please let me know we can help train you for it too.

See you at the start line!

My Office Glutes

Weak and imbalanced glutes and the troubles they can cause is not something that had ever crossed my mind over my journey to fitness.  I’ve had trouble with my knees as I played basketball for 10 years and had my right anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed and thought that would be an ongoing issue but I found it wasn’t.  Sitting at a desk for 6-7 hours a day is not a natural position for the body to be in. I have been doing this for 15 years.  The butt muscles (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medias and Gluteus Minimus), otherwise known as the glutes, will be stretched when sitting down, and the hip flexors will be constantly shortened.  This is not a natural state for the body to be in and over time this is going to cause some damage when exercising.   The gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in our whole body, if it’s not firing this is going to lead to a whole lot of problems.

When I started getting fit I wanted a new passion like I had for basketball. I gave that up thinking my knees couldn’t cope and I didn’t want to go through another ACL reconstruction. So I began running, yep that seems like a good idea!  No twisting and turning forward running movement, knees will be fine I’d done the rehab they felt strong.  So running it was, and the first issue that popped up was slight soreness in my hips after 20 mins or so.  Just felt like aches from running they’ll be fine I thought.

Wasn’t till a few months of this pain getting worse and worse and the repetitive stress on the legs and hips of running that eventually I felt something pop and that was it I could hardly walk!  Thinking this was it I’ve got a bad hip now. Great!

I visited my GP thinking I need to get this fixed, I had no idea what it was, why it was happening or what I could do to fix it!   Not the smartest doctor I don’t think, just sent me for a Ultrasound, he thinks I’ve got tendonitis,  results came back.  Nothing was found, no bursitis of the hip either.  Gave me a Cortisone shot and sent me on my way!

Of course this relieved the pain that was what he gave it to me for.   But it didn’t fix the problem and unbeknownst to me that I was actually still injured.  I got back out running again (relatively pain free) and even completed a Tough Mudder and Eureka Tower stair climb during this time.

Fast forward three months and my hip muscles were a ticking time bomb and although I was having pain running again now, I just kept going. And thought well this is what I have to put up with when I jog. I competed in a Triathlon, and after my swim and cycle I began my run, which was only 2kms, (I had stopped running anything longer) and 500m from home I felt that pop again in the right hip, POW! Felt like it ripped something also, I struggled to the finish line in a lot of pain.  S**T this was really bad. Sad face Nikki.

Heading back to my GP I told him straight up,  give me and MRI I need to know exactly what this is, cortisone shot was a temporary relief to a problem that was chronic, and  I need to take the time and rehabilitate this properly.

Got my results, told him I had another Tough Mudder coming up in a month, he said come back for a cortisone shot if you need it… Um… NO THANKS!

I saw an Osteopath for this also, who is a runner himself.  I had torn a muscle called the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) in my right hip.  It’s a tiny little muscle that joins at the hip to the knee, I’d read about it extremely briefly through my studies.  He told me this is a good injury and not to worry. He said it could have been the actual hip bone and I could never run again!  Ahh relief!

What caused this muscle to tear was what I wanted to know.  He knows I work in an office,  I’ve sat in this position at a desk for 15 years!   My glutes, to put it a simple way, just stopped working when I ran.  And this little TFL muscle was doing far too much work than it was designed for.  So it tore, was bound to happen with all the running I was doing.

Ok so problem is diagnosed, what now!?  My osteo said I have to start strengthening and stretching my glutes to build them up to the powerhouse they should be while I’m running, they should be the power muscle forcing my pelvis through each stride.  He said just to get out there jogging again but shorter times and regularly stretching after, heat bag at nights and treatment with him. And to stick to this like glue!

It’s a long process but in the long run I literally will be able to do a long run, pain free!   That’s the goal.  I gave up my dream of a third Tough Mudder for now and put my smart cap on, you’re a trainer now Nik, what would you tell a client to do?

Some basic exercises to do for activating the glutes are bridges and lunges,  it will fire them up and the stronger they are the more efficient all your workouts will become, and if you’re sitting all day, get up and go for a walk at lunchtime!

Moral of the story?  Well I think there’s two, there’s no easy fixes for injuries, and they need to be taken care of correctly and precisely if you don’t want them to happen again.   And your butt, if you sit on it all day it’s going to need some extra special attention so it can work it’s correct way and give you the best possible performance.

Guest blog from: NikFitness Owner : Nikki Wallace 

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