Isolation workouts

Isolation workouts

As an active person and operating a personal training business I’m shut until further notice. Its now time for us to incorporate some Isolation workouts so time to move. During the unfortunate shutdown of the country we’ ve been told to stay at home, I figure most of us are in a similar place. As business owners the government has told me that we are in hibernation mode. Whatever they want to call I’m now unemployed and its time to get moving.

With now having only limited opportunities to exercise like were used too we can’t be too choosy with available options. Without access the usual activities we so much enjoy, no access to the gym or smashing your group fitness class with friends you now must settle with other forms of exercise.

Either outside or indoors under isolation lockdown. I know what I prefer. Time to get moving people.  

I’m fortunate that as a regular runner with access to an exercise bike and my own equipment exercising is not a problem. What if you don’t have equipment? With limitation to outdoor activities been diminished this still leaves you with some options.

Time to get moving with walk to Run

If you have ever wanted to try it, now would be a good time. The many benefits of what running brings to the table are good reasons why this form of activity is recommended as part of an effective isolation workout. This includes:

  • The strengthening of lower body muscles
  • Strengthening the lungs
  • Mental health,
  • Weight management.
  • A strong immune system
  • Keeps the blood pressure under check and
  • Now gets you out of the house.

Especially if you’ve been keeping an eye out on the kids while they home school.

Start with a walk / run plan. For example, go out and walk for 5minutes then run slowly for 1 minute and repeat it for up to 20-30minuter at first. It clears the mind, provides some necessary movement to the body and is a brilliant overall exercise. Another is to find an oval and do walk run 50/50 around the oval. The possibilities are many, remember start of slowly then build it up as it suits.

For those who currently do walk and have a few routes, Adding running to your isolation workout schedule now would be a good opportunity to begin running that last 500+ meters and build it from there.

Bodyweight has several isolation workouts variables

The internet is all over this one, you can just about get a program here for all levels of strength and commitment. What I’m suggesting is to first go and find out how to properly perform the basic movement that are achievable to you. Pick some of the classics like a bodyweight squat. It’s best Learn the movement properly and start of gently and try to avoid busting out more than you can handle on the first time. Next tackle the various ways you can execute a push up, find the one progression that suits you and apply. There are several aids that can be used to change it up once you have the basics down.

The next one I propose is a pulling movement, this one will be a little challenging for you to achieve as you don’t have access to a chin up bar or equipment. Best to look up what is called an Australian row also known as an Australian pull up. (I kid you not) You can pick up a stick at your nearest Bunning store to find something suitable. BTW, working the pulling and pushing movements will also tax those arms.

Then there’s core

Then there’s core, the most basic of isolation workouts to use at home. No suprise, It’s one of the most often worked areas in bodyweight. There are literally 100s of core variations out there, start with the plank and some crunch movement and build up from there.

Once you build up the fundamental to each movement there will be many variations to making the movement tougher. Get the classics right. When you achieve a basic understanding and built up your strength and confidence you can start adding on more challenging exercises.

I’ll name a few to get you going however with a bit of research you will find a lot more.

Alternating Lunges, mountain climbers, Pistol squat (hard), jump squats, glute bridges and burpees. These are more on the cardio side however they all work best when the movement is right. Hit them when you think you can handle the workload. Enjoy.

Stretches

To complement the bodyweight movements and build up your exercise knowledge it will be beneficial to learn the stretches that support the exercises. It adds value to your time and makes the session more efficient. You are exercising or stretching it out. In my opinion I would recommend you learn the full body facial stretches first them move onto the major areas like the Hip and Shoulder. Finally, you can learn the many possible isolation stretches about. Think full body, Major muscles, then isolate.

The benefit with taking this approach is that you will identify the troubled areas that can be professionally worked on once this lockdown has ended.

Nutritional awareness

A lot’s been written on Nutrition. You can find an endless amount of nutritional knowledge from all sorts of qualified professionals to the ever-increasing so-called influencers. On what you should be eating. I for the record will always listen to the professional, not the influencer. I’m sure it’s all delicious and the comfort food recipes are out of this world. I suggest now to be aware of what you are consuming. Dont let it get away from you. You reckon you will work it off do you?

One of the best ways to keep in check of the amount of food you consume is to start on a food diary. This will tell you exactly what you’re doing and diligently recording it will help you in making the proper food choices. With a general lack of movement now I’m taking my own advice and noting all my food and beverage consumption.

I understand that his is not for all, however this is a great way of ensuring that weight management issues doesn’t get away from you during isolation.

Kids Isolation workouts. Get them moving outside

If you are working from home and have the kids with you schooling online. Use this as a great opportunity to take the family out for some outdoor exercise. As playgrounds are not in use now its best you all go out and walk/run. So if possible have the kids ride their bikes.

It gets everyone out of the house together clears the mind and freshens everyone up. Therefore now is a good time to walk to the oval and practice running while the kids kick the ball.

I know it’s the bare minimum and not an “ultimate” home workout program. The Isolation workout suggestion is to get you started on establishing a habit (forced or not) that you can continue and build on post our stay home restrictions.

As you, I look forward to having my total freedom back and get back to normal.

Stay safe.

Our running year so far

Great start to our running year

Our running so far this year has allowed us to only be able to squeeze in two running events before we as a nation came to a complete stop due to the Covid 19 virus. Which unfortunately has held us all at bay from late 2019. It has been interesting.

The first event we managed to participate in is the well populated 28klm Two bays trail run held in early January. Starting from Dromana and ending at Cape Shank it’s a new running trail event for us this year. So we decided to tackle it as its been on our bucket list for a while. For the other experienced and more committed runners who participate in the grueling 56Klm. It’s an out and back run from Cape shank. The return-back route is an amazing conquest.

For those who attempted either one of the distances, you have another year to prepare and go again. Well done for giving it a go. Because we know how hard it is.

Running Base planning

For Adam, Kaan and I we fortunately had sufficient time to get in the necessary training and set ourselves a 12 week training program. In short the key points are to:

  • Build a greater fitness base
  • Add some elevation
  • Build the condition required to complete the distance
  • Prevent injury
  • Recover well

For us every running year to simply complete an event is not enough. To recover well is just as important so a solid well-planned preparation was the key.

This allows for continuation of running and maintain health. Its why we run yeah?

We all managed to complete it in reasonable times and now have a greater understanding for next years event and will be more aware of the nuances of the course and adjust training accordingly. No substitute for experience.

With 2 Bays done and dusted and the initial post celebratory drinks and food were consumed over it was time for me to prepare from the next event in the coming weeks. This time I would be a solo participant as both work and other commitments prevented my running buddies from running. Someone has to carry the can.

More hills to run

As a regular runner and participant of several events over time it was great to be starting our running year with an early 28klm trail run then followed 3 weeks later by the next event. You see the 3 weeks before an event is usually the time to log in that last long run. For me it was a treat to have built up my base from late 2019, run a new longer event and now prep for a shorter one soon. I basically treated the two bays run as my last long run for the next trail event at Kilcunda which is an enjoyable half marathon distance.

I will mention that certain parts of the two bays offer some spectacular scenery and amazing vistas and the single trail sections were fast flowing, however for me running Kilcunda along the beach coastal path and an opportunity to run on the beach itself was an amazing treat. It’s one of the events that I look forward too. Its fast and the elevation isn’t too harsh on the legs with its rolling short hills and flat packed running surface. It’s a personal favourite.

Then it all went to pieces. Well almost.

Buller trail run  

The next event we had all signed up was the very challenging and intimidating 22klm run at Mt Buller. This one is an Alpine run with an elevation profile of over 1000m. While the previous two events had challenging elevations for the distances the pure descending or climbing nature of this course doesn’t allow for much even ground to run on (just a little). You are being taxed most of the time. The quads will be burning on the decent or the hammies will be grinding out during the climb.

Given that Kilcunda had been run the first week of February and Buller was supposed to be on the 5th of April it was sufficient time to build the running conditioning from past events and start to focusing the workouts on more challenging terrain designed for optimum elevation.

It was time to climb more so welcome Masons falls in Kinglake.

I had as part of our running plan included some specific elevation on our Long Sunday run. For the month of March that consisted of 5 Sundays we managed to reach a touch over 7000m of elevation in total in preparation for Buller. As luck would have it by the time we had run the last week of the month it was already a given that the event was going to be cancelled and were not going to make it. With the lockdown and stage 3 of conditions imposed by the Vic government it left us all with no event, sadly we had to adjust our strategy on not let our motivation wane.

Hibernation running plan.

Once we found out that a semi lockdown was in place and were effectively on hibernation mode (Gov words) we simply readjusted our general plan and now run a base building style where we try to run at least 4 days per week with two strength session (time permitting). The Sunday is still the long run with now having to leave a little earlier than usual. About 5:30am now to have the luxury of running free of any other people around us. Therefore In keeping with social distancing there is only two of us with the 3rd member running solo on or around his property in the country. Sorry Adam.

With no event on the horizon that been 100% confirmed as a definite my strength and running plan is simple.

If all goes well, Monday is a recovery 7klm, Tuesday a steady 10klm, Wednesday a tempo 15, Thursday Strength day, Friday an early 10klm, Saturday strength and Sunday the long run. All runs are now on Road.

Meanwhile I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to strength train in my own home facility. Besides that , when running we are currently not breaking any laws by having two non-family members run together. Rest days and intensity here are as you feel. Until the next event is confirmed, we will then start working on a more specific and structured plan because that when the heavy running will be back. Fingers crossed on that.

The plan really is to get out and continue moving with the running and compliment it with a full body strength workout. So the idea is to keep you Strong, flexible, fresh and not break you. 

Future running events, maybe.

We plan on taking on the very well-known Surf coast century held in Anglesea. This fantastic weekend event in September consists of a 100k klm Ultra (yes 100klm) and a 50klm trail event both held on the Saturday. The 50 klm course is basically the second part of the 100. On Sunday the event allows those who wish to participate in shorter distances ranging from 8.7klm, 15.3klm and the 22.7 klm suited to most abilities who want to try out trail running. So i highly recommend this event as its well organised and the atmosphere is fantastic.

Only time will tell if this year’s event will go on and in a couple of weeks if the distancing restrictions will be lifted. With certain events returning and people’s work places operating as normal. However any event news will add to our running year so far.

To sum up , I hope that as an active person you have found a way around this slight change to our daily routine to incorporate some workouts, are eating well and getting enough rest. I have the little ones at home with me now for home learning. oh sorry “online learning” which now helping to keep me sane during Isolation.

Well see you on the trail.

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.

Winter time is building time

Time to ramp up your training

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

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

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

Build your strength base

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

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

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

Your fitness engine

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

Work on weaknesses

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

Work on food quality

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

For the weight loss crowd

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

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

A positive mindset

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

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

Rug up enjoy!

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

Get yourself active, your kids will follow.

Parents be active

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

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

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

You might end up having a good time.

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

Fitness Tips

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

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

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

Strengthening your running chassis

Recreational runners

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

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

Weight training for runners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Running.

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

Exercise for the newbies over 40

Exercise for the over 40’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A final comment

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

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

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

Spring into your fitness regime

Spring into fitness

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

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

So what are your Fitness options?

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

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

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

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

Semi private personal training

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

Personal training (1-on-1)

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

Group training

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

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

Where to find them?

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

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

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

Get Fitter through Boxing

Get fitter through Boxing

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

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

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

The warm up

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

The core work

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

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

Time to push Intensity

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

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

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

Close the workout

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

Rest and nutrition

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

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

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

Over 40’s Spartan race preparations.

Obstacle course racing

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

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

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

Sleep / Recovery

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

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

General physical Preparation

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

Monday – Light Kettlebell work focusing on mostly mobility.

Tuesday -10klm road – light

Wednesday – 10-15 klm Road – medium

Thursday – Pulls, press, chins, squats & core

Friday – 10klm road – medium

Saturday – Rest day (mobility)

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

Spartan specific training

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

Race day

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

Stretching/mobility

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

Nutrition

Just as important as rest. let go over nutrition.

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

Keep it simple plan:

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

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

See you at the start line.

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

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