1

Jun

How strength training has saved me from a crippled spine.

I was a pretty scrawny little kid.

I was always skinny and athletic. Never sat still.

You could count my ribs pretty well my whole childhood. My mum and dads grocery bill however would prove that I ate like a horse. I just didn’t sit still for too long.

As I reached my early teens however my mum started to express concern around my spine and my under developed musculature of my upper back.

I had extremely winged scapular so physiotherapy was sort out for me to begin the process of strengthening my scapular and the muscles of my upper back and shoulders to better hold my posture in place.

Later on it was noted that I had some significant scoliosis as well. Nothing serious enough for drastic intervention to be made but enough for some treatment to be had.

Personally, I was never too concerned about either and went about being my healthy, happy, million miles and hour kid/teen. I played a lot of sport, my focus particularly on footy.

When I turned 16 I got my first gym membership. I had always had a part time job since I could, so getting myself into the gym was something that if I made a priority. It was my call and my parents supported it.

Beach weights were the flavour for a 16 year kid. Naturally! I trained with one of my closest childhood friends.

We seemed to make a bit of progress in the gym and although we were working on our ‘Beach muscles’ the hardest, through some good guidance we managed to stay pretty well balanced with our bodies.

As time progressed I actually ended up starting my career in the fitness industry at that very gym.

15 years later (wow!) I am now focusing predominately within my own training on Olympic Weightlifting. This is actually a sport that being mobile, yet strong is a huge benefit for. I have some aspiration on competing soon and have started to post some numbers that I am a little proud of after around 2 years of focusing on this style of training as my priority.

This is really me.

I am a washed up local level footballer with an injury list longer than I should bore you with here. The most serious of which being a shoulder reconstruction after a series of football related dislocations.

I train hard, but also look after my body regularly with massage, physiotherapy treatment when needed and regular visits to my osteopath, particularly over the last 18 months.

Recently my Osteopath and I were discussing my  joint hyper mobility. I am and have for most of my life been quite flexible. Something that I thought my time in the gym focusing on this type of flexibility work had brought about. It was not something that I thought was typically un-common. Just something I thought I had brought about with diligence.

This is kinda how I feel after a solid strength training session. 😉

However, my spine in particular is very mobile.

This is not necessarily a good thing.

So, what is hypermobility?

Joint hypermobility syndrome is a condition that features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for a particular joint. The joint hypermobility syndrome is considered a benign condition. It is estimated that 10%-15% of normal children have hypermobile joints or joints that can move beyond the normal range of motion. Hypermobile joints are sometimes referred to as “loose joints,” and those affected are referred to as being “double jointed.”

Being more mobile and having more range of movement means you’re joints are also more unstable. When you are working toward snatching more than you body weight over you head this can create issues with your shoulders, hips, spine and even elbows.

However I now know that my time in the gym and my actively lifestyle since I was young has probably prevented me from being a crippled mess at the age of 33.

Whilst I have suffered the odd impact based injury like my shoulder reconstruction my spine is in incredible shape (according to my osteopath anyway) for someone as mobile as I am.

You see all of the resistance training I have been putting my body through since I was 16 has helped to transform myself from a skinny kid with winged scapular to a reasonably well developed strong father (#dadstrong not #dadbody). 🙂

In fact, the joint trauma injuries and hyper mobility might make a little more sense retrospectively. If my shoulders weren’t as mobile as they are traumatic injuries brought about by impact like my shoulder dislocations might have been a little less likely.

So after this very long winded introduction to my condition and where I am at now, if you’re someone who suffers from a similar condition should you just hit the weights hard and stiffen up?

Hell no!

Should you you start yoga and stretch out a heap whenever you’re stiff and sore?

Double hell no!

It’s about finding a balance between your mobility and building strength in the areas that you are laking. Strength in your end range of motion in particular.

Many people with hyper mobility natural are putting their bodies at more risk of joint related injuries as their connective tissues doesn’t provide them with as much rigidity as that of others. So many of them get stiff and sore regularly. Generally if people are stiff and sore regularly the common held belief if that something along the lines of yoga will help them to stretch out… This is, in isolation, one of the worst things you can actually do.

It will only cause to further loosen of your slack connective tissue and put you at more risk of a ligament or join injury through weak or sloppy support structures.

Yoga can be effectively added into a training regime for someone with hyper mobility but only if you are doing the things you need to to become more stable in the areas of need. This can be a very individual thing.

Adding in more spine strengthening work such as pilates or any structural strengthening work can be the key. The more you learn about your body and the more aware you can become of how you move and where your restrictions and weakness lie the better you can address them.

This little guy is now the main reason I want to keep myself fit, healthy and injury free.

For me, my shoulders, ankles and spine are both incredibly mobile, my hips however need a bit of work.

So for me, doing all I can to strengthen my spine and a unit and the retractors of my scapular works well for me to become less prone to injury. Supporting the stabilising structure of my ankles is also a focus.

Diligently focusing on what you need as an individual is the key to being fit, healthy and strong as you age no matter who you are. This can be incredibly individual. So if you’re wondering what you might need for yourself specifically seek out the advice of a strength and conditioning coach who can first assess where your at and then design a structured training program to have you progress towards your goals.

Or get in touch. I can point you in the right direction and would love to hear from you. 🙂

– Luke

30

May

Who is RevoPT and how are we different?

RevoPT is a Strength and Condition, Personal Training, Group Training and Functional Fitness gym dedicated to helping you create the strongest, happiest and healthiest version of yourself.

Group Training can be many different things depending on where and when you train but with us at RevoPT we have some specifics we focus that set us apart and will help you to really maximise what you are getting out of your training and will ensure you enjoy yourself along the way.

We focus on the following things so that you can focus on you:

What classes do we offer? We offer a plethora or classes, and you get the opportunity to chose what fits for you. Or we can help you to build the perfect training week for you with a complementary coaching appointment with our goal setting specialist.

So what classes do we offer?

HIIT – High Intensity cardio vascular focus class. Design to get you fit, quickly.

Pure Strength – Fundamental strength training. This will help you get stronger throughout your whole body.

MetCon – Resistance Training and high intensity work design to build your work capacity.

Strongman – Functional Resistance Training. No matter who you are you will enjoy strength training like this.

Primal Movement – Body Weight high intensity work stripping back the fluff and getting you working hard.

Mobility – We understand that when you move better you achieve more. This class will look at you restrictions and help you to improve them.

The Hustle – Expect the unexpected. We want this to finish of your working week with the toughest class of the week

Bootcamp – Everything and anything. Mostly done in groups or teams. A great way to train on your weekend.

BoxFit – High tempo, fitness based boxing class. This will really get your heart rate up.

Small class sizes – a maximum of only 12 per class. You can book all of your classes in quickly and easily via our smart phone app or via our website. Whichever option suits you best.

We find this number to be the optimum of interaction with all of the hard working, encouraging members of our community and supervision, motivation, coaching and care from our experienced trainers and coaches.

Get your copy of our App by following the link in the image.

Quarterly body composition testing – How do you know unless you know? We have the friendly folks from Melbourne Body Composition Testing visit our studio once every 13 weeks at the beginning of out latest round of programming to test and measure exactly where you are at with you body composition so that you can set some goals for your next block of training. This is done using the latest technology and something we find to be invaluable.

Strength Training – a huge focus for us is getting people strong, no matter what level that start at. We believe that no matter who you are, increase you level of strength will hold you in good stead to be able to enjoy more of life! Wether you are a 25 year old female just looking to tone up, or a 40 year old man looking to drop weight both of you will be benefited by increasing your level of maximum strength out put. It will help to keep you injury free, help you to burn more fat at rest by building lean muscles mass and help you to move better through greater body awareness and coordination.
Coaching – everybody is here to get better. Full stop. Whether it is to drop 5 kilos, to build 5 kilos, to get 5 minutes faster or to go for 5 minutes longer we want to help you to get there. We do this by learning what makes you tick and then coaching the shit out of you! What motivates and drives you might be something totally different from the next person so our elite team of trainers needs to treat each of you as an individual. We do. Our number one priority is to have the very best team to help you to achieve your goals. We have put a huge amount of focus on developing our team to an elite level where you can be confident that you are getting the best possible coaching for you to achieve what you have set out to. You can read a little about each of the members of our team on there details Personal Trainer profile on our website here.

Movement – no matter who you are you can move and perform better. We understand this and as such we have dedicated Mobility classes to help you to focus on this. If you’re tight, stiff and restricted you can’t move as well as you should. If we address this, you’ll start to move better. If you move better you’ll be able to do more. If you’re able to do more you’ll be able to achieve more! If you’re able to achieve more you’ll be able to do more of whatever life has to offer you. This makes us happy!

Community – Above all, development of our strong community is at the forefront of all that we do. No one is left behind. No one is forgotten. It’s the whole reason that RevoPT exists and something we are very passionate about. Everyday we get to spend time with people that make us tick, that work hard, push themselves and focus on getting better everyday. We would love you to become one of those people. We make sure you work hard, but it’s just as important to us that you’re having fun while you do it.

Programming – Our programming is meticulously thought out and programmed well in advance to ensure cohesiveness across the board. Everyone of our classes works in conjunction with one another. We offer truely Unlimited memberships enabling you to be able to attend our studio multiple times per week or even per day focusing on very different aspects of your goals.

Think what we offer might be the right fit for you?

We think so.

So, take us for a test drive!

Book your free first visit here:

You can view our full class timetable on our website here or view and book on the go via our smart phone app for iPhone or Android.

Want to know a little bit more of what we’re all about? Watch this:

29

May

Group Training is Revolutionising the way you can achieve your goals.

So you’ve decided that you need to step it up a little if you’re going to achieve the goals that you’ve set down for yourself.

You know what you want to achieve, you’ve got a plan of the steps you need to tick off along the way.

Now it’s about going to work to get it done.

We have found year after year that getting the best out of yourself often requires getting the best out of someone else as well.

What do I mean? Well, setting you’re alarm to go off at 5:00am (or before) to get to the gym for a 5:30am session ain’t that appealing if there’s no one there waiting for you is it?

The snooze button is a little more attractive when there’s no one there to keep you accountable. Especially as the mornings get darker, the nights earlier, and both a little colder.

Now this does not necessarily mean that you have to have a drill sergeant trainer there waiting for you at the gym either( although for some can this is certainly a positive). But training with a trainer, with a training partner or even in a group can be one of the most beneficial ways to keep you on track and working toward ticking the boxes as you work towards the bigger goal you have set for yourself.

Group Training is everywhere these days, and for good reason! From Pilates and Yoga classes, to Powerlifting and Weightlifting gyms, Functional Fitness studios and Group Cycling classes. Everyone is realising that especially when it comes to your fitness the sum is far greater than it’s individual parts.

We have forever been a Personal (predominantly one on one) Training organisation. We began our Group Training program here at RevoPT as a necessity more than anything else, initially anyway, about 6 years ago. We had a very busy and popular trainer need to step aside from his work with us.

He had a huge client load. We were incredibly busy and had to look after all of his clientele without losing any of his hard working clients if possible. So, after a bit of discussion with them all the solution we came up with was to have some of them train together in a group rather than trying to find a short term replacement that may not have been the ideal fit.

We had this group training together a couple of times per week following on from a plan set by their former trainer.

The amazing thing was we started seeing their results improve. Dramatically. This was not a group of untrained individuals. This was a group of hard working, dedicated fitness enthusiasts that had been working on their individual goals for quite sometime.

Together however they were all becoming better. They were more dedicated, more focused on what they were needing to do outside of the gym to achieve success. More engaged in the work at the gym. They were enjoying the whole experience more. They were pushing each other harder and even getting a little competitive, but more than anything, trying to lead by example.

The sum of the parts were definitely greater.

Everyone was starting to build bonds within the group too. Friendship were being forged that are still strong to this day.

In short it has been the most successful change in the way we have run Revolution Personal Training to date.

We feel that Group Training offers something unique no matter who you are.

Group Training can be many different things depending on where and when you train but with us at RevoPT we have some specifics we focus on including:

  • Small class sizes – a maximum of only 12 per class
  • Strength Training – a huge focus for us is getting people strong, no matter what level that start at
  • Coaching – everybody is here to get better
  • Movement, no matter who you are you can move and perform better.
  • Community – Above all, development of our strong community. No one is left behind.

Hopefully this gives you the push you need to seek out your tribe. Find the style of training that suits you. Get involved. Get passionate and most importantly get results!

Want to know more about us and how we do things? Leave us a comment below and we can get in touch.

Then, watch this: 🙂

If you want to experience all we are about for yourself then here is the perfect way.

24

May

Case Study: Why I chose RevoPT – Cara T

We love working with our dedicate passionate and hard working members like Cara.

Cara is the perfect example of how training with us can begin with a specific focus but grow to become so much more.

“It can be about losing weight when you begin but it becomes about so much more. The training in groups drives that.”

We strive to work with individuals to develop there physical and also mental strength, challenging to achieve things they never thought possible.

Our Group Training provides the perfect platform for you to grow as a person as well as develop your physical capabilities.

Who knows, like Cara you may get to meet some pretty cool people who you click with both inside and outside of the gym.

Are you keen to give training in one of our small Group Training classes a go?

Head along to one of our classes for free to see if what we offer is for you.

You can register for a free class here.

You can view our full class timetable and chose a class that suites you best here.

Or download our App to book classes on the go here:

iPhone or Android.

 

18

May

The 5 reasons why you’re not reaching your fitness goals… and what to do about it!

We get it. You’re training hard. You’re putting in the time in the gym. You’re sweating it out. But for some reason you’re just not getting the results you want.

What is it?

Is it your metabolism? Your thyroid? That doughnut you had for lunch? Or maybe you have just got big bones?

The chances are realistically it’s not actually any of the above.

I have worked in the health and fitness industry for more than 15 years now and in that time, I have worked with pretty much everyone. From athletes to new mums, to men wanting to shed weight and women wanting to tone up. You name it, I’ve seen it.

The reality is that we have more control over our bodies and our progress  than we give ourselves credit for and most of us simply need a little push in the right direction. Taking help and using the power we have to be healthier will create less frustration for you and  more importantly see you achieve lasting and sustainable results.

I might mention here, that in some instances a genuine medical intervention is required when a dysfunction occurs, but unless that has been determined, it is important to remember that we do have the opportunity to be our healthiest and fittest every day for the rest of our lives and here is how:

1. You’re just not doing enough

So you get to the gym once or twice a week. That’s enough right? What does the rest of your time look like? Sedentary? Bed to car, car to desk, desk to car, car to couch, couch to bed?

If you want to experience genuine change you are really going to need to up the work ethic. Making exercise only a habit once or twice a week simply isn’t enough. Ensure that you are getting in a solid focused exercise session at least three times a week for 45 mins per session to start to genuinely see your body start to adapt. Similarly get moving incidentally! Make movement a habit not an exception.

2. You’re fluffing your way through your sessions and not working hard enough

Are you more interested in scrolling your Instagram feed when you’re training than actually focusing on the work at hand? You want to create results. That requires focused attention, both mind and body. Leave the phone in your bag or better yet, work with a trainer or in a class environment so that you are 100% focused on the task at hand, not the latest cat meme or how you’re looking in the gym mirrors.

3. You’re inconsistent

Did you have a ripper training week last week? What about the one before that? And the one before that? Consistency in your approach to training is one of the biggest factors along with intensity that is going to illicit change.

It is not enough to have focus for one week here and one week there. You need to have a consistent focused approach ongoing if you’re really wanting to get great results and feel better for the rest of your life!

Think about those people that you know that have always just been fit… Do you think it’s a little bit of magic that they were born that way? Or do you think it could have something to do with the fact that they always seem to be consistently prioritizing their health and fitness?

Consistently creating and committing to healthy habits are what is going to have you living your best.

4. You’re eating too much. Full stop.

We look at foods as both type and quantity. Too much is too much. Excess is excess. And junk food is called junk food for a reason.

But I only had a muffin for brekkie… Really? Maybe you’re not eating copious amounts of food but you’re definitely eating too many calories. Specifically the wrong ones.

As Australians we typically eat far too many simple carbohydrates for our activity levels. Higher calorie foods or more simply processed carbohydrates do have their place in our diets at specific times… Well most things at least, definitely not Froot Loops, but generally focusing on eating more whole and real food in smaller portions sizes will help.

You may have heard the old shop on the outside aisles of the supermarket line? It does work. That doesn’t mean you should be eating nothing but toilet paper, but it does mean you should spend most of your time, energy and dollars on real foods like vegetables fruit and lean protein rather than things that are packaged.

5. I needed a rest day.

A rest day here and a missed session there can add up.

I’m all for programmed rest and recovery, but make sure you’re sticking to your schedule. Failing to plan is planning to fail. But failing to stick to the plan can be just as bad.

If your body isn’t up to it one day that’s fine. Acknowledge it and regroup. But don’t let the day become a pattern and get into the cycle of: “I’ll start again Monday…”

For many people Monday never comes.

For some people there might be more than these 5 things holding them back. But for many getting these basics right will have a huge benefit.

Keep it simple. Keep it focused and you will get your body to where you want it to be.

As always. If you’d like some help reach out. It’s why we do what we do.

Want to know a little bit more about us?

Check out the video below.

– Luke

Give training with us a go!

11

May

Staying hydrated is as easy as 1L, 2L, 3L…

Sometimes it’s hard enough remembering to consume enough water on a daily basis but particularly coming into the cooler months of the year, it can be difficult to hydrate our bodies and maintain a good water balance to assist us with recovery and physical performance.

Water is vital to health, healing and life. The human brain is made up of approximately 95% water, with the lungs at nearly 90%. As is evident, not only is water abundant in the body but it is also the single most important nutrient your body needs to function.

According to Don Tolman, the Indiana Jones of Wholefood Medicine, an individual needs to consume around 1 litre of water for every 22kg of body weight. For someone of 70kg, this is around 3L of water that should be consumed daily.

In a previous blog posting ‘Optimising your recovery from training’ we discussed that a common recommendation for adults is to drink 2.1-2.6 litres (8-10 cups) daily, but most experts agree it’s not possible to specify a quantity that is suitable for everyone.

There are many factors at play when it comes to determining your water requirements; these include genetic, body size, fitness levels, environment and exercise.

You will lose body water content through regular daily processes including breathing, sweating, bowel and urine movements and this can total a fluid loss of 4% total body weight so replacement of this as a minimum is essential.

Exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight. It can reduce an individual’s ability to thermo regulate and tolerate heat, which is a very important mechanism when it comes to engagement in physical activity. Dehydration can also contribute to the early onset of fatigue in prolonged exercise.

Dehydration occurs when we are not replacing our fluid losses throughout the day.

There are some common signs and symptoms when we experience dehydration. See if you can relate to any of these.

Signs of dehydration

  • dry mouth
  • decreased sweat rate
  • dry skin
  • yellowing of the eyes
  • chapped lips

Symptoms

  • headaches
  • sleep disturbances
  • reduction in blood volume
  • constipation
  • increased core temperature
  • extended recovery time
  • lowered immune function
  • decreased reaction time
  • decreased cognitive function

Water should be the go to fluid for the majority of the day in regards to hydration, however when we perform exercise we sweat more and lose electrolytes that can only be replaced by food or electrolyte drinks such as hydralite, shotz and gastrolyte. These should be used in conjunction with water and alongside medical advice.

The general advice around fluid consumption after exercises is for every 1kg loss through sweat and exercise, a replacement of 1.5L is required.

Understandably it can be hard to prioritise hydration on a daily basis given the busy nature of our working lives but it is something that I personally and professionally recommend drawing focus to for increased performance, injury prevention and overall wellbeing.

If drinking water for you is difficult, you can add natural flavour by adding fruits, vegetables and herbs such as lemon, strawberries, cucumber, orange, mint and raspberries. You can also consume your water warm/hot infused with the above food products. These will give you the added immune benefits and help you remain cold and flu free throughout winter.

Make sure you always have a bottle with you so it can act as a reminder to maintain daily water requirements.

Written by Krystal McCluskey

http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/fact_sheets/fluid_-_who_needs_it

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/dehydration-and-its-effects-on-performance

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5397/how-hydration-affects-performance

http://thedontolman.com/blog/tag/water/