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SIMPLE NUTRITION

Nutrition to a certain extent is relatively simple….thats ironically what often makes it hard!

This post takes a look at some of the key principles/concepts that help to make nutrition simple.
The table below is a great visual aid to understanding the basics of nutrition, and if followed, will only enhance the quality of your life.
Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.20.59
(From ACA handout, Learney.P, 2016)
The ultimate key for you to get success from this pyramid is be clear about what you want to achieve? (that old nutshell again!)
Knowing this allows you to make the series of tradeoffs which allow you to achieve what you want by making it a priority.

EXAMPLE

This week I went to a local burger restaurant and ordered my burger without a bun (this was an option), and you got a extra serving of coleslaw instead. So this resulted in me:
  • not having a bun – which i know bloats me a lot
  • I get more raw veggies in (great for fibre)
  • and still get to munch on a yummy burger!

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Do you have have the skill set and tools to be able to achieve what you want?
  • Think to go and buy a casserole dish (or other essential cooking equipment) so you can cook food – the having the tools bit.
  • Do you know how to cook? or expanding your cooking skill set – so having the skills to implement quality eating.
There is an alternative to the above and that is to earn enough £££’s so you can pay someone else to do it for you. (THIS IS NOT CHEAP!)
In a post I wrote last week on the CF Facebook page I talked about how to stop food getting ‘boring’ by using those cook books that normally gather dust on a shelf, and try new things. I would note though that before you go trying loads of new recipe’s and foods, maybe lust look to keep things simple with planning between 1 and 3 days food and cycling it.
A couple of great quotes that I read in an EXAMINE research Digest to help you ‘get’ the point I’m try in to make –
‘Only after you start to walk is it wise to run’  – So keep thing SIMPLE and don’t rush it!
and
‘hard work on whats really important tends to pay off more than quick fixes’ – FOCUS on the SIMPLE things and repeat, your health is IMPORTANT!
If you want to ping me for a chat to see how I can help you, click >>>HERE<<<
Dave
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Technology v’s the Human Body

Technology v’s the Human Body

I was reading a post a while ago by Seth Godin where he talks about how technology often makes things easier or makes something require less effort.

As ever I started thinking about how this applies in my industry – Seth’s blog often stimulates the old grey matter into working!
technology
With the volume of ‘quick-fix’ and ‘short-term’ plans, pills and solutions out there you can see that principle trying to be applied.
However here is the thing…
The human body isn’t technology, its simply doesn’t work like that.  Time and time again the people who get the best results are playing the long game.  They put the graft in away from the public eye, do the work when no one is looking, and aren’t always telling the world how they are hitting ‘beast mode!’
muscle man
The western world particularly has created a culture where everything needs to happen now, we have to have thing straight away, things are expected to happen as oppose to truly earning them.
Its not all a bad thing but there has to be a balance and a grasp of reality.  When I was on holiday (did I mention that yet?) the resort was a mix of two styles of people –
  • There was the groups of younger tourists who were sat around a table without any face to face interaction between them – they were all on their phones. None of them actually sat and engaged with the other people at the table …literally
mobilephones
  • Then there were the locals and dare i say ‘older’ generation who took time to relax, communicate with people without technology (and yes i get the irony here…), and seemed much more relax and better (crap word here but can’t think of a better (lol) one).
images-4
Sometime its better to turn ur phone off, and actually interact with the people around you….your phone and all the crap that goes one with it doesn’t rule your life, you don’t need to reply the second after you get a message, and its a KEY reason why we don’t allow mobiles during classes/training.Interacting with people face to face will nourish you (if they are the right people!).  It will give you energy, make you feel better and more positive.  Likewise positive environment like Custom Fitness, with friendly staff and members who encourage and support make you feel better.
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Is private coaching a luxury item?

I recently took a bit step forward with the purchase of
an electric toothbrush. Dentists always recommend them
for a ‘superior clean’ and better oral hygiene.

They are a bit pricey though….to buy a decent one
you’re looking at spending up towards £50 or even
more….for a toothbrush!!! I mean when the non-electric
ones cost a little over £1 and do the job just fine,
why would you consider spending so much on what’s
surely a “luxury item”?

Well, on a recent trip to the supermarket my husband
spotted these particular electric toothbrushes were
half price and so bought me one (I know – such a
romantic!). I was really interested to see whether it
made any difference.

You know what? It really does! 

The 2 minutes (which otherwise can seem like quite a
long time) flies by and my mouth and teeth feel
completely different afterwards. So was it worth it –
absolutely! And now having tried it, I would actually
pay the full price for a new one too.

An experience can change your perspective on something completely.#toothbrushfitness

This is the same with your fitness too.
Here private coaching (or personal training) is seen as a luxury item, even an extravagant expense. You can just do it yourself can’t you?

Go for a run from your own front door. Hop down to the local leisure centre to use the pool or maybe even join a nearby gym and have a go on all the machines. You don’t need a private coach, do you?

Or do you?

You see the private coaching offered by myself, & other coaches here at Custom Fitness is a bit like the electric toothbrush experience.

Taking time to get to know you, to understand your training experience, thevtime you have available, your mindset, any injury history or any other issues relevant to you can identify key factors in succeeding and supporting you through change where otherwise you may falter.

By listening to You and watching you move, a coach can get into the nitty gritty of your fitness requirements. Coach you on improving movements where relevant, to help reduce the chance of injury and increase the return from exercise for You.

Just as my new toothbrush has a sensor that tells me when I’m pushing the toothbrush too hard on my teeth, as a coach I pay careful attention to my clients’ energy levels and stress levels. 

Why is this relevant?

If you’re already stressed out to your eyeballs, just ‘beasting’ you for an hour in the gym is potentially going to increase your body’s stress response, reducing the benefit of the session, increasing your fatigue levels and the likelihood of injury for you.

It is all a learning process though. Going back to my toothbrush, I learnt early on that, once you’ve applied toothpaste to the brush, you need to put it in your mouth before switching it on – to avoid redecorating your bathroom with toothpaste!

Sounds like common sense really doesn’t it?! Some things though need to be learnt through time and experience. A coach needs time to get to know You – your likes, dislikes, and those things that spur you on, improve your motivation and ensure you ENJOY your fitness journey.

There is still that niggle of cost though, isn’t there?

Would it be worth the money to invest in private
coaching for your own fitness and wellbeing journey?
Only You can answer that. These days we tend to
consider cost before the value to ourselves, and our
health. 

Before you dismiss it completely on the
presumption that it will just be too expensive,
consider the options available.

I offer shorter sessions at a reduced rate. 

Semi-private sessions (where you are in a
small group of individuals with similar goals) offer a
lower priced option along with the motivation of being
in a group.

I know with my electric toothbrush that if all else
fails, I can go back to my “manual” version with little
cost or consequence. It’s exactly the same with private
coaching – the only danger is that, just like me with
my toothbrush, once you’ve tried it you might not want
to do without it….but that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

If you’re ready for a new approach to your own fitness & wellbeing journey, then please get in touch.

Lisa is a Female Health Coach offering health, fitness & wellbeing coaching at Custom Fitness, LN3 4PH. You can contact her on 07726 713191.

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Do you believe in magic & fairies?

Do you remember being at that age where you still
believed in magic and fairies? The tooth fairy,
fairies at the bottom of the garden and the special
magic man of the festive period too.

Do you believe in magic & fairies

That sense of magical wonder at how something
supernatural could provide these enchanting treats. Do
you remember how old you were when you stopped
believing? It may have been a specific event that made
you realise or maybe your belief simply petered out
with age.

Either way, you came to an awareness that the magic was
provided by your parents, spinning a wonderful world of
make-believe to enhance your childhood experience.

If I were to ask you now if you believed in fairies I’d
probably get a derisive response of “Don’t be
ridiculous!”

What about “do you believe in magic?”. There are some
fairly impressive magic shows these days, yet we still
know that they involve trickery somehow, a clever
illusion that deceives our eyes.

We may not know how they perform the “magic” but we
understand it is not strictly magic. When we’re
watching it, we can be mesmerised by the illusion but
are also thinking ‘how did they do that?’

So why do we still hunt tirelessly for that magical
answer to our weightloss and fitness problems?

Seizing the idea of every product offer (raspberry ketones
anyone?!), to diet clubs, to fad diets (eating carbs
after 6pm turns you into a gremlin apparently….).

We constantly believe the images without giving any
thought to how it would work. After all there are
loads of ‘testimonials’ that say it worked for them –
so that means it will work for you too, right?

When it doesn’t work or the weight goes back on, we
simply look for another one or perhaps even try the
same one again…and again.

By only looking at the illusion, we choose to ignore
the mechanisms behind the scenes that make the magic
happen. The ‘behind the scenes’ stuff is just boring
really isn’t it? Perhaps you’d love to be able to
dance well, or play a musical instrument amazingly, or
some other feat – but you don’t have the time to invest
in the practice you know is required to achieve that.

It’s the same with your health, fitness and wellbeing.
Dropping in to a weigh-in session once a week, buying
all the diet products or buying a gym membership on
their own will not achieve your results. What you do
‘behind the scenes’ to make those approaches work for
You is what will get the results.

Simple approaches like planning your meals for the
week, creating a shopping list to make sure you have
the ingredients for your meal plan and then using that
list to go shopping make the difference.

Writing your planned physical activity time in your
diary (like an appointment), setting an alarm for it in
your phone, telling your friends and family what you
are doing and when can make a difference.

Through a number of recent nutritional consultations,
we haven’t actually discussed the food to be eaten….my
clients are all intelligent women who know what “health
choices” are – considering why they are not making
those choices most of the time is more relevant.

Taking time to sit and think how you approach your week
and events within it will highlight the real reasons
why these quick fixes will not be magic for you. From
this, you can create your own strategies to deal with
them – and any unplanned ones that arise.

The “magic answer” you are seeking is already at your
finger tips, you just need to look behind the scenes.

Lisa is a Female Health Coach offering health, fitness
& wellbeing coaching at Custom Fitness, LN3 4PH.
If you’d like further information for yourself or to
talk through coaching options available with Lisa then
contact her on 07726 713191.

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Is Easter the new ‘New Year’?

New Years Resolutions are usually dim and distant memories by the end of February….then Easter hops along, with its flood of chocolate, roast dinners, cake and, oh did I mention chocolate?

The long bank holiday weekend and school Easter holiday break means we all relax into it a bit more and “one more won’t hurt”. Its easy to adopt the ‘famine or feast’ approach….eat every bit of chocolate and other sweet treat in the house in one go and then it’s gone….”the diet starts Monday”.

The guilt starts to creep in as the sun comes out, reminding you that summer is around the corner….and your “bikini body” is nowhere near ready.

So we mentally hop back in time and make those resolutions again – to cut out this, remove that and hit the gym every day NEXT week.

The fact that your thoughts of plans start NEXT week, or on Monday, rather than NOW is telling in itself. Why not start right NOW?

Do you NEED to eat up all the left-over chocolate and ‘treats’ before you start afresh? Does it psychologically suit you better to start at the beginning of the week? Or is it that you’re not looking forward to restricting yourself and so WANT a grace period to build up to it???

That’s the trouble with restriction – there’s very little, if any, pleasure in it. Pleasure is important in pursuit of health.

If we don’t enjoy the movement we’re asking our body to perform, if we don’t enjoy the food and drink we’re allowing our bodies to consume, if we’re always thinking forward to the “cheat meal” and “treats”, then there is a fundamental flaw in your long-term health plan.

So rather than planning the restrictions you’ll impose on yourself when the children go back to school next week, consider what you can start doing right NOW. What easy WINs can you implement quickly?

WIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does it actually have to be about restriction at all??? Could you improve your health and make a start NOW, by doing MORE of some things?

  • You could increase the amount of water you are consuming.
  • You could increase the amount of vegetables you are eating at each meal.
  • You could add raw vegetables in for snacks if you need them.
  • You could switch all distractions off whenever you sit down (yes! Sit down) to eat – smell your food, taste it and listen to when your body tells you it’s actually full.
  • You could move more within your day – get up off your chair and walk about now. Use the stairs rather than a lift. Park a little further away from work or the shops.
  • You could make the most of the lighter mornings or evenings and go for a fast walk
  • You could stand a little taller, sit a little straighter.
  • You could get to bed at a more sensible time and switch your screens off an hour before sleep.

That’s 7 things you could easily do more of – add in one per day, starting NOW.

Think about what you enjoy – it might not be the gym. It might be walking, swimming, dancing or any other activity – can you fit more of this into your schedule? Do you have a friend or neighbour that would like to join you? – you can keep each other accountable and motivated.

Considering your options in this way makes it seem less of a chore, and includes more of the things you can enjoy. When you think about it in this way, starting NOW isn’t such a big deal.

Lisa is a Female Health Coach, offering her own brand of health coaching at Custom Fitness & Hykeham Chiropractic. From pregnancy, to post-natal, peri-menopause and beyond. Incorporating sustainable life changes to help you increase vitality, improve strength, health and wellbeing.

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STICKS & STONES

Sticks & stones – how words can help or hinder your weightloss journey.

Words can be so powerful. They can build you up, rip you down, make you smile or bring you to tears.

This week on social media & with my clients, I’ve been focussing on the language I use and the words my clients use.

“What’s that got to do with personal training or fitness?” you may ask.

EVERYTHING.

sticks&stones1

Did you see the Facebook name test this week that gave you a quote based on your details? My quote was:

“Being happy doesn’t always mean getting what you want. It means loving what you have, and being thankful for it.”

This really does apply to your body, health and fitness too.

If you don’t love what you have now, the journey is more difficult.

Think back to a project that you’ve worked on, at home or work, that you HATED.

^^^ that’s a strong word I know!

Remember what you thought about working on that project, how you resented the time it took, put it off as much as possible and didn’t give it your best efforts.

If you keep telling yourself you HATE your body – it’s just the same.

How can you care, nourish, motivate and enhance something you HATE???

Now think of a project you’ve loved doing – a hobby, something at home or work or elsewhere. You couldn’t wait to spend time on it, loved every second you spent on it, found ways to work round any difficulties, positively cheered at the successes.

^^^ wouldn’t it be great to feel like that about your body?

When was the last time you said something kind to YOURSELF?

It’s much easier to pick up on our negativities, our insecurities, our weaknesses and, of course – the big one – our FAILURES.

sticke&stones2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thing is, we can take those same words and turn them round into something positive.

In another article, I shared 2 words that ruined my year last year. Straightforward words that we use everyday. This prompted a great discussion amongst my clients and the phrase they most wanted to turn around was “I give up”.

So next time you give up on your efforts, your body, your fitness regime or anything else personal what about choosing to:

– GIVE UP the negative way you talk to yourself

– GIVE UP the unrealistic expectations you place on yourself

– GIVE UP trying to be like someone else – be You!

– GIVE UP measuring your standards and body by what you see presented on social media.

Say those affirmations out loud!

Does it feel different using those “give up” words in this positive way?

When you start to talk kindly to yourself and remove the artificial yardsticks of trying to be like others, your health and wellbeing journey not only becomes easier….it becomes more FUN!

This next week, the word we’ll be focusing on is “can’t”. All too often we use this word to protect ourselves from a fear of failure. I see this physically in so many people.

“I can’t do that”

“I can’t do a press-up”

“I can’t squat properly”

It’s my job to take those ‘I can’t’ phrases, understand the mental and physical blocks behind them and rephrase them.

Here my words as a coach are incredibly important. The language I use will make the difference between someone finishing a session feeling like they’ve achieved something amazing or feeling rubbish…..by the way, the second of those 2 is just not an option!

So can you get through this next week without saying “can’t”? Can you say something kind to yourself everyday? See what difference that makes to your week.

sticks&stones3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa is a personal trainer specialising in female health. From pregnancy & post-natal to peri-menopause and beyond. Offering private coaching, semi-private training and Pilates at Custom Fitness and Hykeham Chiropractic. For further information, please see www.optimum-health.me.uk and Facebook pages MyOptiMumHealth & CustomFitnessUK.

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CPD: Value for money – part 2

Following on from my previous 2 blogs about CPD (you can read them HERE and HERE), I am now going to attempt to link in how CPD enhances the value for money that members/clients get.

At Custom Fitness (CF) I like to think we ‘give a shit’ about all our members – a fact that was recently highlighted by an episode that I read about on social media where a commercial gym had a member of theirs crying due to the way they were treated by staff.  This ‘give a shit’ approach means we invest time/money/resources into our profession – being able to earn a living by working in a profession that we love is great – but we don’t just look at the bottom line.

However to go along with that we don’t give our time away for free, nor do we run a policy of ‘can I pay at the end if I think its worth it’ type of policy that many people seem to think they can ask for!

I am all for ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’, but there is a line where you are unfairly taking advantage.

This video pretty well sums this up.  its 2 1/2 minutes  long, and I feel it hits the nail on the head.

We at Custom Fitness offer a FANTASTIC service/experience…
All the coaches are in this industry because we are passionate about it…..

we LOVE it!

….but we are also professionals and need to make a living.

We are not the cheapest ‘gym’, but we do offer fantastic ‘value for money’.

We have a amazing team of coaches

We have created and continue to develop a brilliant place to TRAIN that has a positive, supporting and FUN atmosphere.

We had a video made in the summer (you can watch that HERE), and below are some of the comments made by current members when they very kindly shared it…

I hope that we will get to see more of you soon! 🙂

Dave

P.S Drop me a line HERE if you wish to discuss any training related topics 🙂

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CPD Part 2: Coaching the client

Following on from my blog about CPD (you can read that HERE), I am now going to attempt to link in how CPD enhances the skill levels of the coach, the benefits to their clients and other things you may not have considered.

At Custom Fitness all our coaching sessions are designed individually for each and every client – they are appropriate to each individual client; every session is DIFFERENT for each client because every client is DIFFERNET! (Do you get what I mean?)

As coaches if all we did were to make every client continually do a circuit for their training regardless of their goals/physical fitness/movement capabilities then we would be poor coaches and failing our clients. It’s a reason why we don’t ‘charge by the hour’ for coaching sessions (if it was as simple as this then we would be a better off financially, but we don’t do it for that!). All the coaches that work at Custom Fitness (CF) are in this profession/industry because we love it!!! Interacting with people, coaching, and helping – its ace!!

The advantage of working with a coach who has this approach/attitude (all the CF coaches have this approach) would be that you get fantastic experience, results, you learn, and you get unrivalled value for money. CPD plays a vital role in helping the coach have a greater ‘set of tools’ to enable them to make your sessions more specific and bespoke in every aspect. But like all businesses, we have to make a living and have costs to cover. Investment in CPD isn’t cheap, and this needs to be reflected accordingly. The advantage is that the skill of your coach is greater.

To demonstrate this here is a small case study:

We recently had a member of the public contact us regarding some training. They went to another gym where they were unintentionally made to feel left out. The reason – the coaches at that gym have a limited skill set. After have a chat with the individual I looked at a 3-step approach. After referring the individual out to the physio we work with, I also brought in another one of the CF coaches to assess the individual. From that the individual is now working with the physio, has joined a Pilates course, and working with a CF coach to develop their movement vocabulary (quality and diversity). The client understands the journey isn’t a ‘quick-fix’, will take time, commitment, and they have invested in this for the long term.

We (the CF coaches) have communication with the physio to get their input into the clients program as well as being in communication with the Pilates coach to take into account what they are seeing.

This means, using all the skills and knowledge gained by 3 coaches (with over 25+ years combined experience, and over £50,000’s of education and CPD), this client has got an extremely personalised program to follow. They will be coached, and then get support, help, encouragement and feedback.

I hope you can see now that for the duration you work with a CF coach, you are their client, not just for that session.

For a set fee you get an amount of face to face coaching, plus the numerous hours extra time invested in you behind the scenes and the ‘out of session’ communication (added to the face to face time) equals more that a ‘by the session’ fee. This is a core concept of why CF clients;

  1. Get results
  2. Have fun whilst getting their results
  3. Build a fantastic PT/Client relationship. This IS crucial to getting results.
  4. Understand there is no ‘quick-fix’ magic pill.

The flip side would be to charge ‘by the hour’ and charge you for every hour of time invested in you as a client. For example to break a month of coaching down:

  • Initial consultation (1-2 hours)
  • Face-to-face coaching (8 x 1 hour sessions)
  • Program design from initial movement assessment (2+hours)
  • Review each session and amend program (1+hour)
  • Interactions outside session – email/Facebook/face to face (1+ hours)
  • Nutritional analysis (1+ hours)
  • Nutritional coaching (2+ hours)
  • Lifestyle analysis and coaching (2+hours)

So the reality of paying by the hour for all the time your coach spends on working is that you potentially could be charged anything from 18 hours of work for 8 hours of actual face-to-face coaching time. That monthly fee isn’t so expensive now is it?

To summarise:

  • CPD is a key part of being a coach.
  • By continually learning, coaches can expand their skill set to enhance the quality of what is delivered to their clients.
  • I hope you now understand now that a ‘pay-by-the-hour’ approach to PT is not a great one.
  • All clients are treated as individuals – the needs, wants, learning styles, lifestyle etc.
  • PT is SO much more that ‘beasting’ people.

Hope you enjoyed the read…

Dave.

P.S to read the previous article in this series click HERE

P.P.S If you want to contact me click HERE

 

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The Importance of CPD

The Importance of CPD (Continued Professional Development)

As part of my Sports Science Master’s Degree I looked at CPD for Personal Trainers and what was available, compared it to the formats of learning available to PT’s in the UK, and the importance of CPD.

At that time the main means of learning more knowledge was by going on a course and the main focus of the courses was technical knowledge – anatomy, physiology, how to use kettle bells etc.

Since then (2010-2012) things have changed… a lot!

Now the styles, formats and topics of learning have moved on as the Health & Fitness world embraces modern technology and addresses the numerous styles of learning. As well as the traditional underpinning technical knowledge that has been required, skills now being addressed are psychology, communication, the art of coaching, learning styles to name but a few.

To support this increase in the volume of learning, there are different formats of learning beyond the standard weekend courses. Mentorships, membership website, workshops, webinars and hybrids of all of these are becoming a lot more common place and have the potential to significantly ‘add value’ to an trainer.

The flip side is that the quality of some courses has been diluted. The PT qualification courses 10+years ago were a lot harder. The underpinning knowledge you had to learn for the exams was greater. People failed modules/courses. In todays PT course training, it would appear that in 6 weeks, as long as you pay the money you would walk out a qualified ‘PT’ who knows everything! I’m not saying here that all the people who do this type of qualification are poor, they have to do it to get the insurance, and to start somewhere but since the training of PT’s is such a competitive business, so the quality of the courses has been diluted. Whilst I love the belief and enthusiasm that some individuals have, there needs to be an element of realism and responsibility taken by course providers to how hard the industry is.

I gained my initial PT award in 2003, I remember the level of learning required then was equivalent to what I have completed on the second year of my undergraduate degree (nerve and muscle physiology). How this volume of knowledge can be crammed into 6 weeks (30 working days minus actual practical and theory exams) is beyond me!!!

We pride ourselves at Custom Fitness with CPD for all the trainers. It’s a core part of our staff values. Learning is part of the continued evolution of the trainers and the business at Custom Fitness; we are always looking to keep moving forward, becoming better, so that you don’t stagnate OR regress. As my mentor LOVES to say ‘the relentless pursuit of better!’

11875041_930565713666124_8737537880518856493_oWe do this by going on mentorship programs, attending courses, reading books, in-house training, and attending courses. This way we are able to tap into a wide variety of content – physiology, psychology, coaching, business, biomechanics, strength & conditioning.

This is what’s on my desk – which is what i am working my way through over the next month…

IMG_0431

Then between the team here at Custom Fitness we have 2 staff on the Brendan Chaplin’s 9-month long Strength & Conditioning  mentorship. We have 2 members of staff part of the LTB membership. We have 1 member of staff booked onto 2 courses in the next 6 months + completing a masters degree, 1 member of staff starting 3 new courses this month and another member of staff working through a DVD educational series on lower back health. For 5 members of staff we do a lot of CPD!!!

IMG_0426All this CPD helps the staff/coach’s stay/become better at what they do. Being able to apply this knowledge when working with clients to deliver the best coaching is crucial for us to maintain the high standards we have set at CF.

CPD is a part of the role of being a coach. I addressed this in an earlier blog, (you can read that HERE). It means we (as coaches) have a greater range of tools to use when planning/working with our clients to get the best results for our clients.

Ultimately if you decided to come to Custom Fitness as a gym member, PT client, or on one of our courses you will receive a fantastic experience.

 

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My Mummy teaches Pilates

“My Mummy trains people and teaches Pilates….I have no idea what that is!”

I overheard my eldest son saying this to one of his friends recently. Whilst it made me chuckle, it did make me wonder how many other people have no idea what Pilates actually is.

Developed by Joseph Pilates, he originally called his practice Contrology and described this as a practice which “develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit”.

mummy pilates1

 

To me, it does all of these things. It is not however, magic. Many people defer to Pilates for back issues as some incredible system that miraculously eradicates back pain.

Increasingly modern studies are showing that it is MOVEMENT rather than specific exercises that help alleviate people’s symptoms of stiffness, pain or imbalance.

There are studies showing that undertaking a Pilates course can help with static balance, flexibility, abdominal muscle endurance, abdominal and lumbar muscle activity[1]. There will always be another study elsewhere that claims something else is the answer to your problems or perhaps, that nothing is.

Here’s what Pilates means to me.

Moving with my breath, at my pace, strengthening, lengthening, moving and ‘being’ on my terms.

mummypilates2

What it actually is, is a flow of movements standing, sitting, lying (on front, side &/or back) with an emphasis on engaging the muscles of your torso synergistically.

Flowing movement is one of the original principles of Pilates, along with breathing, concentration, centring, precision and control. I actually employ these principles in everything I do with my clients, whether we’re doing Pilates or not – because they give focus and meaning to each movement.

Without fail, clients on my courses say the biggest thing they get out of attending is increased self awareness. This can be to move more efficiently and feel stronger. Perhaps it just identifies that the way they currently do things is actually exacerbating any movement or pain issues they have.

My courses are all based on the original mat Pilates movements, (of which there are 34[2]) and class sizes are strictly limited to ensure that I can monitor everyone’s movement, as well as offer hands-on support where needed.

As such, it provides a safe environment to experiment with movements and re-connect with your body, giving you confidence to move more if you have been in comfort.

It can also offer a hugely beneficial means of rehabilitation – either childbirth or injury. There are no expectations of prowess, no minimum entry requirements. Just chance and space to re-connect with your body and enjoy moving.

This is why a Pilates programme compliments a resistance or weight-based training regime too, providing an alternative focus.

Pilates not only enhances flexibility but, as you can see from above, is flexible in itself. It allows us to adapt the movements to support those who are just starting out to those who are training hard, whilst including those with rehabilitation requirements.

So is Pilates perfect for you?

It just may be – why not give it a go?

Check out the courses we have available by clicking here.

Lisa is a personal trainer specialising in female health and Pilates. Offering Pilates courses at Custom Fitness and Hykeham Chiropractic, private sessions are also available on request. For further information please visit our website and follow us on Facebook

 

[1] Is pilates exercise program effective on balance, flexibility and muscle endurance? Randomized, controlled study.

Kibar S1, Yardimci FO, Evcik D, Ay S, Alhan A, Manço M, Ergin ES.

[2] In reality, my courses are focused on a smaller contingent of these original moves to ensure they are relevant and safe for clients of all levels

[3] Find out more information about the Girls Night In HERE