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 throughout 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’ve always had a part time job since I was able to work, so getting myself into the gym was something that if I made a priority, it was my call and my parents would always support my decisions.

Beach weights were the flavour for a 16 year old teenager. 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 our hardest on our ‘Beach muscles’, 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 where being mobile, yet strong is a huge benefit. 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. Here are a couple of recent PB’s I have managed after working closely with my coach, Lester Ho, on my individual strengths and weaknesses.

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 hypermobility. 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 hyper-mobility 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 your joints are also more unstable. When you are working toward snatching more than your body weight over your head, you must do this with the right preparation and caution as it can create issues with your shoulders, hips, spine and even elbows if done incorrectly.

However I now know that my time in the gym and my active 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 scapula to a reasonably well developed strong father (#dadstrong not #dadbody).

In fact, the joint trauma injuries and hypermobility might make a little more sense retrospectively. If my shoulders weren’t as mobile as they were, 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’m 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 lacking, especially strength in your end range/weakest point of the rep.

Many people with hypermobility natural are putting their bodies at more risk of joint related injuries as their connective tissue 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 assist to 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 a greater risk of a ligament or joint 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 do 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 weaknesses 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 do 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.

The exercises you want to look at mastering as a minimum are:

  1. The Deadlift
  2. Barbell Back Squat
  3. Strict Press
  4. Pendlay Row

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 you’re 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.

RevoPT Group Training

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.

17

May

Why I Choose RevoPT Episode 5

Sam is one of the hardest working members of our community here at Revolution Personal Training.

He juggles a busy work and home life and still makes his health a priority.

Working through a few Rugby related injuries hasn’t slowed him down and we have been able to effectively get him back up to a solid level of fitness quickly.

Thank you for all of the hard work you put in here at #RevoPT. You’re a great role model to others.

If you’d like to join Sam training in one of our small group training classes just reach out as we’d love to have you on board.
#DadStrong

15

May

How do you know unless you know?

How do you know you’re making progress? How do you know you’re headed in the right direction? How do you know you’re on track?

Your phone starts ringing. It’s an emergency phone call.

You have to be in Sydney by midnight. Tonight!

You have to drive as you’re taking an emergency delivery to a family member.

Can you make it happen?

Of course you can… With time to spare!

You know your destination. You know your timeframe. You know the way (or at least you know that google maps does). You’ll make it there by dinner time…

So why should any other demanding task or achievement in your life be any different?

You can and should approach your fitness journey in the exact same way.

First, what is your goal?

Now this is an important point. What is your goal. Not what is your end point, but what is your next marker?

You’re not going to drive to Sydney and suddenly decide you’re going to stay after you make your delivery. Think of your fitness journey in the same way.

If you’re goal is to lose 5 kilos or increase your squat to 150kgs know that this isn’t a full stop. Otherwise your hard work will be undone pretty easily. Know that once you reach that goal, or preferably before you reach your goal you need to set the next marker that you need to achieve otherwise progress can stall pretty quickly. We all know the stories of people who have dropped the weight or ran the marathon to only bottom out pretty quickly afterwards.

Give you self a chance to enjoy the spoils of each little victory but refocus quickly. After all before you leave on the trip to Sydney you know that you’ve gotta get your arse back to Melbourne at some point don’t you? Or at lease you’d better. You can only tolerate Sydney coffee for a maximum two days running.

Know that your goal posts can be fluid as well. Swinging by Newcastle for a night shouldn’t be out of the question right?

If your goal is to lose 5 kilos and part of the way there you feel like it is not enough, raise the bar. Alternatively if you find that as the 5 kilos of body fat is starting to melt off you feel like you’re becoming too lean and feel like you need to increase your muscle mass start to shift your focus.

The import thing is that you have markers to measure your performance.

On your drive to Sydney you have a heap of distinct and very measurable markers:How far have you come?How far have you got to go?How much fuel have you got?How much will you need?How fast are you travelling?Is it fast enough for you to meet your objective?Is it too fast and you’re risking getting a ticket?

The point is that it is very easy for you to take a glance and your cars dashboard and the clock and know exactly where everything sits.

Any fitness goal (or life goal for that matter) should be the same.

Break down the big picture into manageable chunks. Know what you need to achieve along the way and by when. Know how much time and energy and work it is going to take. Decide if the work is worth it for you. Do you really want it?

If you don’t know how to formulate this sort of plan get the advice of someone that can help. Find someone that can break down each of the steps for you. Someone that can set the timeframe and workout the markers for you and guide you every step of the way.

Then, when you’re ready to go, get behind the wheel and drive that sucker hard. After all no one else can drive your life but you!

If you need a hand, reach out. I’m happy to help and there’s nothing more I love than seeing people achieve great things. 🙂

– Luke

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/