The final installment of the Charity Challenge:
Progressive Training Systems
Oct 29th & 30th ‘11
Gosh where do we start, what a manically busy, totally enjoyable weekend… and we hope you guys had fun too!
With support from selected local businesses we were able to offer an excellent range of services from some wonderful Aloe from Mandy Lagden to complementary therapies from Pippa-Jane Thomas & Beth Luton .
Kids Aid our chosen charity were there with a craft table for the little ones making some gorgeous crowns and a bouncy castle supplied by Scott from Northants Bouncy castles made more distractions so parents could stand back in awe at the equipment in our new gym. Andy Faulkner from Gym Nutrition was on hand to give advice and show case his stock whilst James Thorpe captured the day’s events including our lovely on loan Gorilla from Safari Northampton whom we were extremely reluctant to say goodbye to! During the day we had a huge pot of Faye’s delicious chilli and rice to keep everyone warm and of course the proceeds all going to KidsAid. We also announced the results of Jules Thomas from The Last Hurdle charity challenge. She lost an amazing 21.5 cm’s of which 7cm from the hips, 13cm from the waist and 1.5cm from the chest, well done! A great achievement, now the trick is find the work, life and exercise balance to continue on her way to a healthier lifestyle. Special thanks of the day go to Steve Jordan for stepping in and doing an excellent job with the face painting and to Wendy Nugent for helping out with the arts and crafts.
Of course the highlight of the day was the opening. The grins on Ali and Faye’s (p) faces as our very own MR T (John Lashley) performed the official opening and made the entire day!
Starting the day the right way with a special kids class
Now we have tuckered them out it’s the adults turn in our wicked Circuits class and we made it tough! Mwwuuuaaahhhh! Ahem.
The highlight of the day and our gratitude to Mr Keith Smith aka KG Smith and Son http://www.coalmerchantsuk.co.uk/ for the loan of the truck and for stepping in at the last minute when we were let down. Also thanks to our designated driver Dave for volunteering and to all you guys who attempted our strong man special THE TRUCK PULL. We started off with a warm up with Faye’s car (Px5)
Then came the day of reckoning well done to all of the successful pulls and to everyone who attempted it. Here is the roll call of honour
It was a thrilled and excited gang that congregated at West Coast Bar and Grill at the end of the day, we all slept well that night after the most exhilarating weekend, but it doesn’t stop there! Here is a taste of what you can do the Progressive Training Systems way …..
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and here is a taste of things to come ….
January 2012 – The New Year Resolution Revolution
A nifty package designed to get you on track compromising: Nutrition consultation, personal training session and a selection of classes. Optional reduced fee month’s membership.
January 2012 - Open Mat Grappling Sessions
The opportunity to do some wrestling, grappling and submission fighting freestyle, open mat session so come and join in all abilities welcome.
March 2012 – Sports Relief Mile
Well make that 6 miles – PTS Style – Pull a car, 6mile strongman, or whatever can be dreamed up??? Please watch this space for disclosure of how PTS will put their mark on this event (all subject to permission from the event organisers).http://www.sportrelief.com/the-mile
May 2012 – The Tough Mudder – Kettering
10 miles of mud, water and a ‘mudder’ of an obstacle course – Now this is PTS style already! No need for crazy antics here!http://toughmudder.co.uk/events/south-eastmidlands/
So what are you waiting for???
Charity Challenge Continues
With only 2 weeks left on my 8 week charity challenge, I can’t help wondering how many cm’s I have lost?!? I know some have gone but how many, I am starting to get excited! In the meantime it is time to tell you how the training has been going. As well as my personal training, I have been attending classes a couple of times a week. One of these is Circuits.
When Faye first mentioned circuits to me I envisioned people running around in circles. How wrong was I? It is far more exciting, exhilarating and knackering! There are 6 or 7 ‘stations’ and you spend a minute on each. This is where you truly appreciate how long a minute can be. An example the first ‘station’ maybe battle ropes; great big tug of war type ropes that you have to beat the ground with, for a minute. Doesn’t sound to bad… try it. Then will be the Prowler push (I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise) suffice to say big heavy metal thing that you have to get low to the ground to push. Sled pull; weighted of course, tyre slam; using a heavy ball to lift over your head and slam into a large tyre, very satisfying. Tyrestep ups; does what it says on the tin, sandbag or keg lifts; over the head then back to the floor, and finally a rest spot or if you are a bit mad you can skip. You would be surprised at how many do. And repeat for a full half an hour! So know I have painted you a picture you are dying to try it aren’t you?!?
It’s funny, but I look forward to each class and even when the charity challenge is over, I will continue with them. These guys have been so warm and welcoming, they look out for your welfare and encourage you to be more than your best. I now can’t imagine not going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week. I am hooked, as I said earlier; exciting, exhilarating and knackering!
Jules had done a brilliant job of describing our circuit classes at Progressive Training Systems, they are like no circuit class you would have done before, and there is a very good reason for that.
Most traditional circuit classes are usually set out in a similar way so you have a set of stations and you have to perform each exercise for a certain amount of time 30-90 seconds is the norm. However that is where the similarity ends. These traditional circuit classes usually consist of exercises such as press-ups, lunges, squats, biceps curls etc, all of which we consider to be ‘technical movements’, what I mean by this is that you have to learn the correct technique for the exercise and it is very easily done wrong, especially if you are tired or trying to perform it to the beat of the music, these types of exercise, in my opinion, should be only used in controlled training sessions where you can concentrate on using the correct technique and therefore maximising the benefits and reducing the risk if injury. So you can see why I don’t think that performing them in a circuit class when you’re tired and the movements are performed quickly would be a good idea.
Our circuit class on the other hand uses very un-technical movements that take no learning and no skill to perform, they are very hard to do wrong and so you can keep going even when you are tired without an increased risk of injury. This allows the participants to work as hard as they can without having to engage their brains too much! It also means that the classes are very accessible to anyone that wants to give them a go, you don’t have to be accustomed to exercise or to have any level of co-ordination, just a be willing to give it your all, however much that may be.
Our circuit classes can be done by anyone, young or old, fit or unfit. The have the benefits of using your whole body to work you muscles, burn calories, and increase your heart and lung fitness and circulation. So what you waiting for… come and give it a go!
Progressive Training Systems.
So we are a couple of weeks into the charity challenge and I have to say that although it’s tough, my fitness levels are the lowest. I am surprising myself. I am surprised at how stubborn I am, how well I respond to motivation, how weak willed and how strong I can be. Is this a fitness charity challenge or an emotional rollercoaster?!”?!
The charity challenge sessions are going well, focusing on strengthening my weak lower back. And when not focusing on my back Faye is extremely careful not to over extend my back’s capabilities.
As well as the private sessions I am now taking some classes, in fact so do Russ and Monkey Boy! I do like to spread the pain around! Thanks guys for all your help supporting my charity challenge.Kettlebells. I like these, great tips and encouragements from the trainers a brilliant squeeze to engage tip that really, really works. As Ali will say, you have to turn on your muscles. Kettle bells are great, versatile and easy to manhandle. The picture isn’t all rosy, despite being told multiple times, when it was time to swap classes, I forgot to bend my knees when putting the kettle bell down and pulled my back slightly, putting me out of action for the day after. Sounds alarming, in my world if I sit in a draft, get up wrong or even stand for to long, I can put my back out. This is why we are focusing on strengthening this incredibly weak area. I take heart though, as I met another lady these guys train, they have increased mobility in her knees and various other joints that were affected with arthritis, they really do train all walks of life! Serious athletes and sports teams, pro, semi pro and amateur. People like me who need to increase their fitness levels, Kids – My Monkey boy loves their classes. Even working with older, injured and beginners. Everyone is welcome here!
Circuits. What was I expecting from circuits, well kinda running around in a circle… what do you think? Fun, tough, exhausting and strangely addictive, that’s what circuits mean to me. The class is different every time, the idea is you stay at each station for a minute before moving onto the next but as an example, you will be on the treadmill (they don’t plug it in, you have to power it!) after a minute, move onto tyre slams, lifting a weighted ‘ball’ above your head and slamming it onto a tractor tyre as hard as you can after this minute move to tyre step ups or jogging, again a different tractor tyre for you to step up on jog on, after this minute, keg lifts. Lifting a keg to chest height then over your head then back to the floor repeatedly for a minute, moving on to battle ropes, ever seen the great big tug of war ropes, one of these in each hand ‘beating the floor with them after this minute, you meet Patrick the prowler, pushing Patrick at squat position the length of the gym, but he is on rubber mats the final station is a rest minute or you can skip! Needless to say I rest Sounds mad doesn’t it? As I said exhausting, tough but strangely addictive.
I have had a lot of interest in my training for the charity challenge and even requests to join me. After discussing this with Faye and Ali we are happy to have you join me to train or even spectate but we do require a donation to Kids Aid… It’s what it’s all about after all. So come on then if you think your hard enough, or a wuss like me, put your hand in your pocket give the guys a small donation and come and join me grunting, groaning sweating and straining to raise good dosh for kids aid and get rid of those unwanted cm’s. I am pleased to report I have got £110 in pledged support so far. for my charity challenge efforts.. click for my ‘Just Giving’ page
Ok, So we are two weeks in, and there is so much to talk about. Jules is doing really well, especially with the occupational hazard of ‘Contact with cake’! I Would like to thank all those that have supported her at various networking events with their donations, guilt trips, and the hand on approach of eating cake for her, all is very much appreciated .
Right so the training. As Jules has mentioned she is now attending classes once a week in addition to our training session, not only is she attending she is doing our infamous ‘double’ (2 classes back to back), and dragging Russ along to for support. Both classes offer a different approach to training, Kettlebells is very technique based movements that work on activating the glutes and improving muscular co-ordination and efficiency of movement, Whereas Circuits uses un-technical movements to work the muscles, heart and lungs to improve general conditioning and quite importantly (for this anyway) burn buckets of calories.
Our private sessions are somewhat different to the classes, as Jules has mentioned she has a lower back problem that she has lived with for some time now, so the first thing we have to work on is correcting the major imbalances within the muscles that this has caused. When an area of muscle is injured then the surrounding muscles also react, some over compensate and others ‘turn off’, as well as the person reacting by try to avoid hurting the area by using it as minimally as possible. This causes the surrounding and opposite muscles to often become under used and also ‘turn off’. And this is what has happened in Jules’ case. So you may be thinking that I am working on strengthening her back, well sort of, what we actually need to do is re-activate her abdominals, obliqus (side if the tummy area) upper back, glutes and multifidus (runs down the spine) as these are needed to support her lower back and relieve the pressure off it, during movements, so then we can work on it effectively without the chance of further aggravation. Here are some of the exercises that we are doing to achieve this:
Multifidus Activation movement – this is to be done daily and before any workout.
Box Squats (with caution) – Glutes & Abs
Kettlebell Swings – Glute activation
Inverted rows – Upper Back strength & Glute & Hamstring activation
Palov Press – Obliques
Miletary Press – Work the shoulders and arms, but we’re using it to force glute activation to prevent the back from arching in the movement.
Face Pulls – upper back
Roll Outs – Abs including transvers activation
(If you wish to know how these are performed then you’re welcome to watch any session for a donation to the charity)
To finish the sessions we usually use one of or a combination of Battle Ropes and Patrick (the prowler), this is just to provide the worked muscles with a ‘flush’ of blood flow and subsequently oxygen to aid recovery, and rack up the calorie expenditure for the workout. Although this is often the most demanding part of the workout, so it is a good job I have well and truly knackered Jules out by this time, because I’m sure if she had the energy she’d love to punch me at times!
We are also just about to move into our new much bigger facility, so keep a lookout for the next blog that will hopefully feature some of our new specialist equipment (or implements of torture as they’re affectionately known amongst our clients! ) , glute ham raise, reverse hype, just to name a couple… oh I’m sooo excited!
Progressive Training Systems
Jules’ Charity Challenge – Workout 1
The main aim of today was to do some simple movement based exercises so that I could indentify any weak areas that we need to work on, and to get doing some hard core metabolic conditioning (calorie burning & muscular/heart/lungs preparation). Oh yeah…and the ‘fitness test’!
The main areas that I will be focusing on within the strength training element are glute (bum muscles) activation and correct use of the abs. This is in order to make sure that both of these areas are taught to do their job of supporting the lower back correctly, as Jules suffers from lower back pain, and this is not just due to a weakness in her back it is mainly because her glutes and abs are not working effectively to support it.
So the workout went like this:
Treadmill Pushing – This is just manually walking on the treadmill, aim; blood flow to the muscles and to gently raise the heart rate ready for exercise.
Kettlebell Swings – These are all about glute activation and learning correct movement – we only did 5 swings at a time in order to make technique adjustments regularly. We used 8kg, 9kg & 12kg kettlebells for this and the next two exercises.
Kettlebell Clean – A basic movement where the kettlebell is lifted from the floor up to the shoulder. Again this uses a hip movement along with co-ordination in the arm to drop the arm under the kettlebell and leave it resting at shoulder height. The better a person gets at using their legs and hips to propel the weight up in this movement the heavier weight they will be able to lift.
Kettlebell Press – From the resting cleaned position the kettlebell is lifted in the air over head to a straight arm. Again co-ordination through the legs is needed to produce a leg drive that aids the arm in the lift – without leg drive this is a very hard exercise for the shoulders and arms.
Box Squats – It is all about the hips again! The hips are pushed back into a seated position until the bum touches the bench, the knee are kept still(ish) and are pushed out to prevent them twisting in though the movement. Especially in Jules’ case it is important to keep the chest up and back tight, flat and still, this is so that the back muscles are worked but not moved, this is also a fantastic abdominal exercise (although you probably won’t ‘feel’ your abs working unless the weight is heavy). Again the whole point of this is to make the glutes abs and back work in harmony and reduce unnecessary strain on the lower back. This movement Jules could feel on her lower back so we kept it very light (max 12kg kettlebell) so we could focus on perfecting the movement technique.
Half way through!!!!
That was it for technical movements, there is no point trying to teach technical exercises to a fatigued client, all you will do is teach poor form and that will result in learning poor form and creating injuries….so here comes that hard bit!! (I’m sure Jules will agree!)
I promised you a fitness test – and so here it is; Progressive Training Systems style! The idea is that we will do the same test in 8 weeks time to see how Jules has improved.
How many tractor tyre flips can you do in a minute?
The exercise is taken directly from our Strongman Class that we run at the weekends (although the Strongman lads and lasses use a bigger tyre).
So while Jules was resting (although she may describe it as dying!) I set up the second part of her workout. This was to be a small scale circuit – very similar to our circuit classes that we run on weekday evenings. This is all about big un-technical movements that take your muscular endurance and heart and lungs to the limit. The exercises were:
Tyre Jogging – as it says jogging on the spot on a tractor tyre.
Sand Bag Lift – lift a sand bag from the floor to over head repetitively.
Battle Ropes – beat the floor with our battle ropes – sounds easy doesn’t it?…it really isn’t!
All exercises were performed for 30seconds consecutively, with about 2mins rest at the end (while Jules’ son gave it a go!), the circuit was repeated 4 times.
And finally some ‘muscular care’ work to finish with. This is where you would expect or usually see some stretching type exercises, often with the trainer pushing/pulling their client to stretch more effectively. Well I’m sorry to disappoint but we don’t believe in that sort of stuff, ‘flexibility’ or to put it better ‘range of movement around a joint and through the length of a muscle and it’s connective tissues’ is best taught under tension through full range strength movements as this way the muscles are strong in a large range of movement, apposed to when muscles are just stretched, this makes the weak and lose around the joint which is likely to result in unnecessary wear and tear on the joint its self and more chance of tendon or ligament damage, and we don’t want that do we?! So a technique we use called ‘self myofascial release’ and uses a foam roller to massage the muscles. This enhances blood flow to the muscles which helps to remove toxins caused by exercise and aids the delivery of nutrients for muscle repair. It also, through the massage movement, helps to decrease stickiness between the muscle fibers so that they can move more freely and are less likely to form ‘knots’ and ‘nodules’ that can become sore and inhibit movement.
And that is the end of workout 1, well I had a lovely time, Jules was a responsive and conscientious client to train, she did say that she may cry or be sick or both at one point, to which I responded ‘ok in that order is fine, the fire door is over there if you need to go out, that is where people usually go!’ ha ha, she did really well and I hope she enjoyed it in a weird sort of way! Jules’ partner kindly took pictures for us and a selection of these is available on our facebook page ‘Progressive Training Systems’ in the Jules’ Charity Challenge folder.
Next Session – Thursday 8th 4pm!!!!
Progressive Training Systems
Check out the rest of the pics on our Facebook page
Training Session #1
Adding my thoughts to Faye’s technical and in some places malicious blog! I think I surprised myself! Although it took me a while to recover between the circuits, Faye is an exceptionally motivating trainer. And does the whole session with a smile on her face. The encouragement is crucial. If working out on my own I would never have pushed myself so far and doubtless would have quit. Although my legs a bit stiff today, and it was probably the longest hour of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the training session and am looking forward to Thursday’s. I am keeping up with my homework, it took a lot of will power to get up on stiff legs and walk the dogs yesterday, but I did it!
I understand the first few sessions will be the hardest but I have a sneaky feeling Faye will push me, that bit further at every session and being the stubborn individual (some people call it will power) I am I know I will respond and try for that little bit extra every time.
Now you have seen the first training session and seen the before pics, what’s your best guess on how many cm’s I will lose by the launch on the last weekend of October? Care to put your money where your mouth is?
You can donate to this brilliant cause here http://www.justgiving.com/Jules-Thomas
1st September 2011 – Jules’ Charity Challenge
As most of you already know, because you supported me through it, I gave up smoking on the 13th February 2010. I have been a non smoker for just over 6 months. You guys were amazing with your support throughout! It’s not all good news, I have piled loads of weight on all over!
From a girlie point of view this is devastating as my carefully collected, substantial wardrobe, is now useless, only a couple of items fit and that goes for shoes too! All joking aside, I bent down to fasten my shoes yesterday and it was painful! I am out of breath climbing the stairs and generally completely out of shape. OK a lot can be blamed on sitting at this computer for 12 hours a day, but I am not looking for something to excuse me, I need to return to my normal fitness and well being. I have tried motivating myself and doing sit ups and trying to squeeze other small forms of exercise in, but this isn’t enough, I am strong enough to admit I need some help!
Enter my new client, Progressive Training Systems – Faye Jordan & Ali Wilson who have retained me to do their marketing and promotional activity for the launch of their new Venue in Brackmills (fingers crossed hope to get the keys next week). These guys have big hearts and for their launch week they will be running various events for their favourite charity http://www.kidsaid.org.uk/ Can you see where I am going with this??? The launch of the new premises will be the last week, in October, the school hols, so we will be running lots of family friendly activities as well as a few Iron man competitions etc, something for everyone. I have decided to kill 2x birds with 1x stone, I can help my new client support this great charity and get myself able to climb mount ‘apples and pears’ without losing breath! Now these guys are ethical and do not condone rapid weight loss, although I will be recording my weight we will be measuring size instead: 3x key areas of my body: chest, waist and hips it’s cm’s I am looking to lose! And there are a lot to go!
So when you see me out and about at networking events etc please support me, sign my sponsorship form, help me to raise money for this great local charity, by losing flabby bits and if you want to join in the charity challenge I am sure that can be arranged too! Plus we have a prize for the person who correctly guesses the number of cm’s I lose between now and the launch, the last week in October.
You guys can watch my progress as Faye trains me… this is going to be hard work! She looks lovely and sweet… but she is a professional trainer and will be pushing me to my limits, at least twice a week. Keep following this special blog to keep tabs on how I progress.
Thank you for the support
The Last Hurdle
So as Jules has stated I am on a mission to get her back in her wardrobe while raising money for charity…two of my most favourite things!
First a bit about me and my business. I have been a trainer for over 10 years now (with a couple of breaks to have my two beautiful boys!) and have progressed up and through the fitness industry. I started as a gym instructor and personal trainer and grew my skills to specialise in older adults, antenatal and GP referral exercise prescription. After 18months in 2009 of being a successful freelance trainer I moved into fitness management, and in January 2011 formed Progressive Training Systems with my partner Ali Wilson. Our business has come on leaps and bounds in the last 8 months so much so that we are expanding THIS MONTH (aaaarrr!). We have been fortunate enough to start working with the lovely Jules Thomas recently and that is where this story begins.
Ok, so our mission is to lose as many body centimetres from measurements taken from the chest waist and hips as we can in 8 weeks. Now you might be thinking ‘that’s easy…all the magazines say you can drop inches in just a week’, well sorry folks, I have got some news for you, YOU CAN’T! Well not safely and sustainably anyway. So I am going to show you (with Jules as my Guinea pig!) how to do it properly and I will be explaining how and why I and using particular techniques or training methods as we go.
So to start with we will have taken the 3 mentioned measurements which are taken at particular points of the body to allow maximum continuity, as well as weight, blood pressure and resting heart rate. I will be also performing a Progressive Training Systems style fitness test in our first session (Sunday 4th September) which I will explain on the day’s blog. So this is our starting point:
Blood pressure: 133/81
Resting heart rate: 80bpm
We will be working on 3 main areas:
Diet & Nutrition
I have sent Jules away with a food diary sheet to fill in over the next few days so that I can assess what, how much, and when she is eating. Firstly this can give me an insight into the relationship that she has with food which can help me in the way that I advise her, also it can be a useful tool for giving advice on maximising her nutrient intake whilst removing unnecessary calories and helping the body to have a steady metabolism. I will explain in more depth in the analysis of the food diary.
Jules spend a lot of time on her computer (doing work for people like me, which I feel very guilty about!), so we need to maximise her daily activity. So the first lot of homework is; 1. Have at least a 10min break in the day to move around, go for a walk or if it is raining even walk up and down the stairs for a bit, I have assured her that the world will not fall apart in those 10mins if she leaves her computer! And the increased blood flow will also help her to refocus and improve her working productivity in the afternoon…so win win! 2. She is going to increase her evening dog walk from 5-15mins to AT LEAST 20mins – and yes I am mean, I don’t care if it raining for this one! The idea with this is to do an over 20min walking route on day 1 and then try and beet her time on the same route on the following days.
Now here’s the fun part (well for me at least, ha ha!). We will be doing 2 main things in the 2 sessions in the Progressive Training Systems gym each week. Firstly we will work on movement and muscle activation, this will allow me to identify any weakness that Jules may have and then work on them so that she is less likely to get injured and/or experience any muscular/joint niggles, it will also incorporate strength training in order to maintain muscle mass so that we can focus on losing fat not just muscle and water (which is what often happens with the quick fix diet plans). Her body will learn to work as a whole movement machine which will allow her to put more effort into the movements thus creating more power per movement – power = energy, energy = calories…you see where I’m going? More power = more calories, science is great isn’t it! And that is how we as a company work, we don’t latch onto the latest fitness fads and crazes we use tried tested and proven techniques that have actual scientific research to uphold them, simple really!
Secondly, we will be using metabolic conditioning techniques to improve fitness levels (heart and lung function), metabolic activity (calorie burning) and most of all make Jules sweat! This sort of training is completely the opposite to the movement style, it uses big un-technical movements that use loads of muscles at once and burns calories like nobody’s business, it also a good way to flush out your muscles from the previous movement training with oxygen and removal of toxins so you don’t feel as stiff and achy the following day. Most importantly we will get some great pics for you all to see of Jules doing her stuff.
Thank you for reading and you support for Jules and our chosen charity, Kids Aid.
The Last Hurdle ~ Northampton ~ Towcester ~ Milton Keynes ~ Business Development ~ Sales ~ Marketing ~ Social Media Marketing ~ Networking
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