Northern Suburbs Fitness trainer

Kilcunda Trail Run

Kilcunda Running Event

The start of the year for our running was held down by the coast located in Kilcunda located just past Philip Island. We decided to tackle the half marathon distance as it was a nice course with not too many hills to climb and an overall low elevation grading.

It turned out to be a great call as it will certainly be an event Claudefit personal training will have marked for next year.

We try to participate in only a hand full of event as we mostly just enjoy running the local trails or an urban run close to home. The priority for us is for Health, Fitness and overall Conditioning that consistent running delivers, so when we do participate in an event it’s generally a fun time to push the limits and find out how all the base runs have served us.

It’s a varied running course on single track, gravel, grass, bitumen and even has a nasty component of running on the sand while the spectacular views along the beach front make you forget that you were running a half marathon trail event. Well almost!

We had been running over the whole summer so we didn’t think that it would cause too many problems. The run was on the second of February so by then we had all worked off the Christmas pudge and were keen to take on an event. Over the last few months we mainly focused on our own individual runs during the week and got together as a group on the Sunday. Once again we ran either around the many track offering of Plenty Gorge (Mill Park) or for a change ran the historic rail trail located in Tallarook.

The Running 

The training over the last couple of months for myself consisted of 3 x 10klm runs, a 5klm recovery run on Saturdays with the Sunday run been anywhere between 15klm to 25 Klm’s on the trial. On the rare occasion we hit a 30klm trail for additional conditioning. This usually added up anywhere from a 50klm per week to 70klm per week loading on the legs.

Runs were mainly performed at a continuous comfortable pace that didn’t break me at the end or made me feel that I had not pushed enough. The Friday 10 klm was often slow and kept it at a point here we could easily talk at a perceived exertion of 7 out of 10. The whole idea about our runs was to keep the klms ticking over without overtraining or not getting enough conditioning. The Sunday run was kept for a bit of speed work along certain section of the trails that often included some challenging hill work. Depending on the run I could make the course hilly, flat or plain nasty. Once again it had to be stimulating without getting overtrained or injured.

Leave your best for the event.

The reason for the tight managing of runs was due to the complimentary resistance training that we all did during the week. As part of our running workouts my running buddies are also clients of Claudefit and all work out with weights in both strengthening and conditioning their bodies for the constant pounding the body takes during any type of running.

It’s unfortunate that I see many people who just focus on running and carry their injuries as something they simply have to put up with. This is not true. With an effective program you can do both and even improve on your running if you’ve made your body resilient enough to push harder.

The weight Lifting program

The whole point of the resistance workouts was to ensure that the whole body was strengthened with a slight emphasis on running. I’ve outlined the main movements below that are the groundwork supporting my running client base.

Deadlifts – How can you incorporate a running strength program with this ever reliable movement? It work the posterior chain (engine room) along with the overall body stimulus that the movement returns.

Front squats – My choice movement to develop the quads and a great compliment to the Deadlift. The bonus here is the demand on the core for a more upright position. The carryover is stability in running.

Single leg deadlifts – For those who lack the necessary glute development this is the go to movement to add on to your program. Once you go SLD you don’t go back. It provided you with the stability, strength and conditioning that allows the runner the confidence to push harder when both sprinting and climbing.

Standing Shoulder press – I choose this over chest a primary as it helps me compliment the previous exercised in the way it requires the core to become involved.

Other movements to include are the many and varies Core exercises available to runners for both stability and strength. The Humble kettlebell swing also gets a mention as it works well on days where you need to take a rest from the constant pounding from running.

When choosing the right kettlebell it can benefit with high volume work with less impact on the joints, providing you use good form. Lastly is the availability of Glute ham raise machine, at Claudefit I’m fortunate to have one available for my clients.

Overall it was a good day out with most of us running well over the course given that it was at the beginning of the year. We look forward to the next even in the Victorian high country on the famous and very scenic Mt Buller.

See you on the trail.

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.

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.

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