Fitness Trainer Mill Park

Hiring a personal trainer

Hiring a personal trainer should not be too hard a task. Once you know what you are looking for. To ensure you find the right one I have offered a few items to consider.

It is getting to the time of year again when people are starting to think about the oncoming spring months. Now more than ever focusing on their current fitness, health and wellbeing.  It is the perfect time to start your fitness regime and consider hiring a personal trainer. Given that you have plenty of time to prepare yourself for the warmer months ahead. Hiring the services of good one can make a positive difference.

Having been with this industry as Claudefit personal training coming to 14 years. 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. Getting you fitter, stronger and leaner are well within your reach, it is just a matter of knowing where to start.

If you are like me and past your late 40s. You are looking for someone who at the very least has a sound working knowledge in training people. You will also be expecting to be paying a professional who delivers results. A high level of service for your time, money and effort as you will be investing valuable time with this 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 having some knowledge. Hiring a personal trainer is knowing exactly what you are getting in return for your time, money and safety. Here are the items that need to be on your checklist in order to make an informed and practical decision.

It is all about you so be diligent in your choice.

Hiring a Personal trainer can help people reach their health and fitness goals. However also could be a big wastes of money.

Experience & Professionalism

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

Skill Set  

Personal trainers need to have a solid understanding on the skill sets offered. If they promote strength training and Fitness conditioning. Or with kickboxing and boxing do they have a background in either of these disciplines? Or obtained from a weekend workshop.

At Claudefit you are dealing with an experience Strength trainer. A martial artist and registered Boxing coach. It is important to understand which skill you are paying for.  It is not only being thorough but for your own safety as these high impact sports. When used for fitness. Can injure the client with an overzealous trainer who with all good intentions pushed too hard.

Maturity

In short, it goes without saying that your trainer should exhibit some sort of maturity. The ability to verbalise teaching cues without resorting to inappropriate language under the impression of getting you motivated. Yelling down at adults is not my idea of training you. One of my dislike’s trainers make is questionable remarks on your current shape. Others severely judge your apparent lack of effort.

It is not our business to make such remarks. Ours role is to train you, educate and deliver results in a professional and supportive environment.  It is always good to know your trainer also has responsibilities. Maybe have 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

Having a strong background in client deliverables. It is a skill that has allowed me to be in this business a long time. 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. Forgets important details. Should not not rewarded for lack of service.

I previously had my own trainer who while coaching me spend most of our time on Facebook. And confirming the next day’s bookings. I simply cancelled the session on the spot. I 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 up to the standard. Is it in a commercial environment? Because you are not paying to use someone’s home gym set. So, expect to be working on equipment that is 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 will not cut it. Similarly, A dirty gym reflects badly on the trainer.

When hiring a personal trainer. Their approach & personality is important.

This is an important component in getting the Hiring the right personal trainer. Because 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 levels improve. Consequently, complimenting other elements. Once this base of conditioning is achieved it tends to work out that clients are the ones pushing themselves. Knowing how hard to work during our session and getting the results they are after.

You need to crawl before you walk.

Claudefit Personal training – Is an owner operator committed to delivering training results based on your requirements.

Winter time is base building time

Time to ramp up your workouts now that winter is here and you can start working on building up that fitness base

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

In my opinion this is the best time to work out so don’t let a little coolness hold you back. Take advantage unlike others who drop off and get yourself moving. The alternative is to stay indoors, grab the chips, chocolate and catch up on all those streaming programs you have been missing out on. I know 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 packing 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 the gains, 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. Just strong and lean.

Winter time is base building

Cardio Fitness. Time to ramp up the cardio

The cooler months are much kinder to anything cardio related. I’d rather be properly attired with my running clothing now than run out in the summer’s heat. The body takes a greater toll when one is exerting themselves in the hotter months.

As you have already put in the work I would only recommend you put in the harder running when the focus is on a event during this time. It’s winter time now so its about building a solid fitness base. ANd getting ready for the more regular events. Anything during this time should be a bonus. Now during winter its great to be able to push the body without blowing up. So with a smart program you can recover quicker, develop greater capacity and constantly push the pace in while building up your cardio engine.

Running or cycling in winter is also easier when monitoring the body’s own temperature as you can layer up and remove clothing items as you move along. Get out and embrace the coolness. 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. 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 on any lacking technique. It a great opportunity to work on those key parts of your goals and get them sorted out.  Imagine getting to spring feeling ready to go and knowing you have put in the work with an improvement on those 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. With every thing related to winter base building time dont forget its also about the food.

Get the basics right from the start and then maybe when you are eating well and you are getting in the quality nutrients. You could think about investing in some Protein powder, Creatine, or any other supplement you think you may need.

Because 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.

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 secrets 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.

As a result 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 television, 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.

To sum up. Stay positive, commit and take advantage of the cooler months.

Rug up enjoy!

Claudefit is a Mill Park Based Personal Trainer with 13+ years experience directly in the fitness industry in addition to his own.

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.

Running trails in Mill Park

Trail Running in Mill Park

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

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

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

Our running

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

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

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

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

Our weight training sessions

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

The following represents the major exercises/movement covered.

Trap bar Deadlift/barbell

Barbell military press

Barbell bench

Barbell squat

Pull ups/chins

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

Kettlebell swing

Kettlebell push press

Sandbag shouldering / Sandbag muscle snatch

Battling rope

Skipping

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

Sunday – Long run

Monday – Mobility / weights

Tuesday – Run

Wednesday – Run

Thursday – Weights

Friday – Run

Saturday – Mobility

A lack of preparation will show on the day.

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

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

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

Happy training and see you at Spartan. AROO!

 

Your weight loss checklist in reaching your goals. (Part 2)

Consumption of low to moderate GI foods

When it comes to carbohydrates the importance of this nutrient is the fact that it is the one that will mainly provide you with the energy that you need to get by your day. Unfortunately this is the one that is mostly misunderstood and people are under the impression that to eliminate all carbs or take on an extreme low carb diet is a sure way in getting to drop the bodyweight down. To simply eliminate carbs is to basically stave yourself into being skinny while still holding fat deposits ! Need proof? Just look at any major gossip/fashion type magazine and check out the so called skinny people. Or more to the point – staved. The significance of a low GI loading to carbohydrate refers to the release of steady energy over the day as opposed to a fast release that ultimately leaves you feeling unsatisfied and as a result, you eat again and ultimately increase you calorie intake.

Eat complex carbohydrates and reduce refined sugars

Closely connected to the item above the consumption of complex carbohydrates should be a major component to any health and weight management goals. After all the good carbs are an excellent source of energy and if you consume the right ones and get in the quality ones you will feel better and have the energy to carry you over the day. Foods like rice (brown) pasta, noddles, and wholemeal breads the current superfood Quiona, sweet potatoes are the staple ones that are easily available to anyone who is familiar with a supermarket.  If you are the type to not consume carbohydrates after 6pm you need help. Getting in the “complex”quality into you system is the key to long term health and to have sustained energy.

When it comes to refined sugar, the quantity  contained in most soft drinks reigns supreme. Not sure what’s worse. Fanta or Coca cola when it comes to the sugar content, It doesn’t matter, avoid both. If you are not happy then I would suggest you at least give the diet option a go. The hidden sugar within the carbohydrate in some food stuff is the item that has been the reason people are now increasing their waistlines. Take the good ol 3% fat free muffing. Don’t worry about it being only 3% fat, or the fact that it has over 600 calories! (sarcasm) But if you could work out the sugar content you will not be disappointed should you be looking at a high mark!  This is where the natural sugar in fruit is a better option. Yes it’s still energy however the nutrient quality is where it trumps the refined sugar and in addition doesn’t mess with the insulin release that ultimately contributes to weight gain. Get some fruit, veggies and complex carbohydrates and  avoid over consumption and reduce you sugar intake.

Eating slowly to encourage maximum digestion

How many times in the past have you were told to slow down, chew and enjoy your food.  It takes the body approximately 15-20 minutes or so for the food to travel down to the stomach and start the process of making you feel full. Don’t disadvantage this by using this time to throw down the food as quick as possible and them find yourself clearly over stuffing  (AKA gorging) what would otherwise be an enjoyable meal. If you have taken the time to plan and properly prepare you meal, why would you not want to enjoy it?  Unfortunately I see this food frenzy mentality at most food courts and sadly at some family restaurant. People, please slow down it’s not a race. Enjoy the pleasures of eating. A good tip is to stop eating when you are at least 80% full. I dare you.

Choosing low fat products and methods of cooking

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. In choosing low fat products be aware that fat, that is good fats are well….. good for you, so don’t go all the way and try for the zero fat approach. You won’t get far and as for your overall health not really a good idea. Instead become familiar with the types of fats you need to  consumed and eliminate the heaviness that trans fats offer (bad ones ) while incorporation and enjoying good fats like Avocados, Nuts, flax seed oil , olive oil, fish oil supplements, egg yolks that should be all consumed for optimal nutritional value. As for the methods of cooking. Let’s get it back to basic and say that deep frying or frying in any case is not the preferred option.

Depending on the food type. Try to boiling, Steaming and even oven bake you food for cleaner and healthier results.

Avoiding or limiting alcohol intake

This one’s always intrigues me when I discuss it with clients. What I’m finding here is that people most likely will under estimate their alcohol consumption. It’s just the way it is. I have never had someone tell me early in our training sessions what they actually drink. “Just a few during the week I think” its only after we do a food diary that the true amount becomes clear. In fact unless I write it down myself id probably be guessing as well. Now I’m not suggesting that one doesn’t drink at all. After all there are social occasions that go hand in hand with having a drink, the quiet one at home after work or simply out with mates. What I’m suggesting is to take a more direct approach and weigh up the benefits of elimination or at least reducing your overall alcohol consumption. Not only is alcohol more energy dense as it has more calories per gram them both protein and carbohydrates. (Only fat is more energy dense) In addition the promotion of greater fat storage is increased due to the body’s inability to process foods while under the influence. It basically utilises all its processes in getting rid of the alcohol before it taps into the foods energy source.

In a nutshell the kebab after a few beers is one way the set you back the whole week. And that’s with only one meal.

Focusing on a healthy habit not diet

This is what it really comes down to.

The most basic way to see it is to consume adequate quantities in calories, ensure they are quality and make sure the calorie ratio is well balanced. The emphasis should not be on just focusing or increasing one food group. It should be about an overall long term strategy that is simply part of your lifestyle. Getting in the quality into you system will make you feel better as you are sufficiently getting in the vitamins, minerals in eating “clean foods” while maintaining a sound quantity intake looks after the rest. Add in the proper balance of you meals and you don’t have to think about it again. Severe restrictive “dieting” should be left to those who participate in weight bearing sports on occasions where this approach will be short term. The long term approach is the one you should take as opposed to the 6 week diets offered on the lifestyle trash magazines.

Exercising regularly

Well given that I’m a Personal trainer it’s a no brainer that I would recommend exercise here. The benefits are clear. With a smart and well planned program you can  become stronger, fitter, be able to move better (pain free for some) and if adhering to proper nutrient quantity, quality and getting in the correct ratios it should all fall into place nicely  and will go along way in getting you results.

The bottom line is to have a nutritional plan, actually implement that plan and be committed to your overall goal.

Get the nutrition right and you are well on the way.

Claudefit personal training is based In Mill Park.

Spartan Super 2015 – Here we go again!

Spartan Fit

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

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

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

The Running part

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

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

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

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

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

Weight training & Conditioning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Planning and application

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

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

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

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

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

See you on the course. Aroo!!!

Claudefit is a personal fitness trainer based in Mill Park.

Olinda trail run

Trail run fun

It’s a mountain not a hill!

This was the comment my client and fellow trail running buddy Shai who so enthusiastically told me on the way to the 3rd of the Salomon trail series race. Right from the start to end involved running the trails on the ever popular Dandenong ranges suburb of Olinda. In our case what runs down most certainly has to run up again, and so we did.

The drive up there was typical of two blokes about to do anything to do with exercise; we bragged on how well we were going to do. Let’s just say it was a different type of conversation on the way back. Once we got to the bottom of the mountain and drove past the famous 1000 steps we simply started to climb up and passed a few crazy cyclist who were riding up there for their regular Sunday hit-out (a massive ride I believe) and it was only when we got to the golf course at Olinda where we were received by a thick and unwelcoming fog.

You can’t make this stuff up.

It was cold, early and windy.  Glad for me Shai was good enough to pick me up and we had arranged to meet up with the other participant once we got to the start/end line where all the stalls were all set up and grabbed that all important coffee prior to start.

Welcome to the top of the Dandenong ranges.

As we have figured out the Salomon series is well organised, with around 1500 participants in three distances of 7klm, 15klm and 21klm. We as rookies to these events gladly took on the 7klm as we had previously taken on the 12 klm for the Plenty Valley run and felt we hadn’t performed as well. You see, we participate in many of the popular fun runs and we can generally cover the 10klms on the flat well. Trail running as we found out has other challenges that the more comfortable flatter bitumen running doesn’t offer – go figure. The bottom line is that trail running is much harder and demands more focus on the single track.

While you are chasing the person in front while you can hear your own tail been covered and makes it quite draining from a mental point of view, it is a race after all. The Australian bush offers you a spectacular view and plenty fresh air. A good thing as you age going to need it.  The important point here that I would like to make is they they are a lot of fun to do, just be prepared and have more of a base fitness if you wish to conquer the chosen distance.

 

Short Course elevation profile

olinda

 

 

 

 

(Image taken form Salomon trail series website)

The Race

The elevation for this course looked pretty simple and on paper looked like we were not going to struggle like the previous longer one. Looks can be deceiving as it was quite an honest run. Start running down the hill, go across and back up, simple and effective and certainly go the job done. The first part was quite exciting as we were basically bolting down the hill and making sure we didn’t end up crashing into the scrub. Once we got down to the bottom it was a simple matter of negotiating the single and wider track until eventually had to come back up and as my running buddy had already mentioned we were supposedly meant to be running up this mountain, let me put it this way. I went from hero running down to zero in making it back up. It was a mixture of excitement and exhaustion at the same time. The legs were feeling the gradient and the lungs were on overdrive; the only thing I could do was slow down and let my breathing determine the speed. (A logical choice)  Eventually when we made it up the fog had cleared and all I can remember is the MC trying to coach a sprint out of me. No chance lady. Once complete I managed to regain my composure and not show the clear pain I felt inside.  It didn’t work.

I can only imagine what the other more seasoned trail runners had to cover in the longer races, a nice challenge moving forward. We as rookies to these events look forward to more specific trail running training and will be making sure we are ready to tackle the whole series with at least taking on the medium options as the next step.

The next and last of the trail run options will be held in Anglesea, I’m Looking forward to the drive down and supporting my wife on this one.

No point in keeping it to myself!

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.

 

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