I generally keep myself in good nick, but even the best of us who are happy to train independently need some help. A summer of sitting in pub gardens necking pints, and a not-so-strict diet – too much bread, cheese and scoffing of chips at 2am, we all do it – has resulted in me needing to lose some body fat and get my body feeling not only leaner, but stronger, too. Just running and spinning just hasn’t been cutting it, so I needed to put some weights and resistance training back into my schedule – with some expert guidance, in the form of Gymbox VPT, Richie Byrne.
Having to face up to making changes isn’t easy. And stepping into that first session with a new trainer is always riddled with some anxiety: “Am I really unfit? Will he laugh at me?” Having been going through a bit of a low patch in my personal life also made these first steps a little tougher. But the best one can do to bring yourself back on top is to take on new challenges, and this is precisely what Richie is helping me to do. Onwards, but not outwards, is my motto to live by. Becoming stronger physically will transform how you feel emotionally as well as mentally. And you’ll look hotter, too.
The first two sessions this week have really helped bring me back on track. I have stopped eating bread and have cut back on shoving carbs down my neck during the week (come on: life’s too short not to have a bacon roll at weekends) and my booze-swilling is being kept to a minimum (cough, surely spunking all your units in one isn’t binge-drinking?).
In session one, Richie introduced me to the pain that is foam rolling. I am warming up my muscles with this technique before we train. The intense pain I feel in my quadriceps (thigh muscles) when the weight of my body pushes down on the roller is due to too many spinning classes and not enough stretching. My bad. This muscle tightness will be lessened the more I foam roll. The pain can be so intense I have to apologise in advance for all the foul-mouthed profanities that get yelled across the gym floor. But to be frank, fuck it. You try and do it without swearing… We then moved on to an introductory session of kettle bell goblet squats with elevated heels (4010 tempo), split squats (3010 tempo) and prowler pushes – which is basically a sled – followed by some static stretching. Of course I left feeling I had barely worked out, but the following day my legs and arse were in agony. That told me. I might be able to run 10k three times a week, but this is an entirely different ball game.
Our second session was much more challenging, and I definitely felt my confidence growing. I started with kneeling hamstring curls, then we moved onto reverse hyper extensions and Swiss ball hamstring curls. I never imagined using the Swiss ball would be so challenging.This was, by far, the hardest section of the workout – anyone who has tried the single leg glute bridging will attest to that. We then finished off with kettle bell squats and those hideous press and prowler pushes. Give me a couple of weeks and I will be loading that fucker up with weights and throwing it around.
Richie is an excellent trainer, firm but patient, with an excellent gym-side manner. He hasn’t made me cry yet, and I haven’t sworn at him, but it’s early days…
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