Personal Training – open again!

Link

I’m very pleased to announce that I am now offering Personal Training again in all my locations.  Whether your objective is to lose fat, gain muscle or a bit of both, I am here to help.

I only take clients aged over 50.  Many of my previous clients have said they tried younger Personal Trainers but didn’t get on well with them – sometimes they felt that a PT in their own age group would be better at setting realistic and achievable goals, devising a relevant training approach, and understanding the constraints that years and experience bring.  All areas that I focus on, being well in the better half-century of life myself.

I believe that taking up fitness, even later in life than most, will help you add years to your life, and life to your years.  That’s a key philosophy I use for myself and my clients.

I have a range of one-to-one options including ‘I train you’ training and a ‘Train with the trainer’, shared exercise approach.  I offer training in three locations, Beaconsfield, Oxford Circus and Islington, and I’m pleased to say all three offer a COVID-aware environment with cleanliness and social distancing as top priorities.

See the options available on my dedicated site: www.bitly.com/ChrisPT 

 

Supplements

I am often asked about supplements, so let me explain my thoughts on the subject and my reasoning.

Firstly, a supplement of any kind should only be considered if you have a good, clean, healthy and nutritionally-rich diet.  You can’t (or shouldn’t) use supplements to counteract too much pizza, chocs and alcohol.  But if your diet is good anyway, isn’t nature so designed that it provides all the nutrients naturally?

I don’t take supplements as I think I get what I need from my diet – but I have taken creatine and BCAAs in the past, mainly in the run up to competitions.  These are times when I want to be ahead of what nature provides (but doing so as naturally as possible).

Did they make any difference to me? Honestly? I have no idea. I looked good on stage, but was that the supplements or was that the extra effort I was putting in on the nutrition and gym in the last eight weeks prior to the event? No way of knowing.

In any case, I wouldn’t take anything stronger than creatine or BCAAs.  Remember we do this thing to get healthier, not less so.  I have never tried banned substances – and never will; they have proven detrimental effects on the health of a 20-year old, imagine what they could do to a naturally more fragile body getting on to three times that age.

I do use protein shakes – which I don’t consider a supplement as they have calories and are basic nutrition for me (at breakfast and post-workout).  And the calories get counted from the shakes of course.

I also take high-caffeine zero-calorie drinks (sugar-free Monster and similar) 30-45 minutes before a workout as the science says caffeine helps sharpen the brain, stimulates effort and delays fatigue.  I find that to be the case with me, and I do get a better workout having taken my Monster than without.  But not late at night of course, I also need a good sleep!

New Podcast

I was happy to be invited to be a guest on a new episode of The Dan Wynes Podcast.   As you may know, Dan is a good friend and workout buddy of mine – and therefore he knows exactly what questions to ask me to get the best answers!

On the podcast, you can hear my thoughts on my own fitness transformation, plus what I am doing to help others in the over-50 age group get into shape.  And I tell Dan exactly what I mean when I say that for everyone that the answer to a healthy and fit second half of your first century really is ELEMENTARY.

Search for The Dan Wynes Podcast wherever you get your podcasts from – or jump straight to the episode by clicking on bit.ly/ChrisOnDansPodcast

 

Video Q&A on fitness for the over-50s

I’m often asked questions which exercises are best – or the opposite – for those over 50, and how to approach taking up exercise if totally new to it.  Is it too late to start?  How can I get the maximum benefit from the minimum effort?  What’s more important – exercise or food?

I’ve answered questions such as these in this new video interview with Robin Lansman.  As well as being an osteopath, Robin is setting up COGUK – a network of health professionals and healthcare organisations coming together for the health of the nation.

So, if you’re over 50 – and want to add years to your life, and life to those years – click  here for the Q&A video.

And if you want to find out more about COGUK, click here.

Lockdown Special

We are living in a strange world right now.  All our routines are disrupted, and we may find ourselves with more time on our hands than before.  And that is assuming we are not suffering from the virus or any other illness at present – if you are, the time will most likely be hanging pretty heavily on you.

At this time, it is so easy to lose enthusiasm for fitness activities, especially after the novelty of being at home pretty much continually has worn off.  This is a dangerous time for your fitness.  You probably can’t do all the exercise you used to do – or would now like to do – and this inactivity can be accompanied by the feeling of boredom and slight depression that leads to mindless eating, often in front of the tv or while online.  In terms of calories, you are probably burning fewer through less activity, but storing more through that unplanned eating.  That’s a recipe for fitness levels to take a nosedive.

The first step in addressing it is to understand the issue – and accept that (a) you may well be subject to that condition and that (b) you can do something about it – and that it’s worth doing.  If you get that far, the rest becomes easier.

The key to it is planning.  I have a routine that has fitness activities scheduled, along with pre-planned eating; it helps me to maintain my fitness levels, and I’m keen to share it with you.

On the exercise and movement side, I now do a 5k walk/run every morning before breakfast, which is the ideal time for such activity.  It’s 35 minutes of good bodyfat-burning cardio exercise.  Luckily, the weather has been lovely, I don’t see many people, I keep my social distance from those I do, and I usually shout a cheery greeting or a friendly wave – it might cheer them up and costs nothing.

I reserve the time 6pm to 7pm to do some resistance exercise in the house or garden, using a few dumbbells and resistance bands that I have, plus a lot of stretching and mobility work.  I’ll be documenting that workout separately.  This is a fixed time in my diary – I’ve no other appointments to go to – and by giving it that level of priority ensures it gets done.

I usually walk to the shops in the afternoon – we have a few local shops and a supermarket all within 20 minutes’ walk.  And rather than do a weekly big shop, which needs the car, I do a daily small shop which means I get an extra couple of km walked, and some exercise in terms of carrying the shopping back.  Everyone else at the supermarket especially is doing a big, car-based shop – which isn’t doing much to contribute to their fitness.  Of course, doing five or six daily shops per week takes more time overall than a weekly shop – but, if there’s one thing I have a lot of at the moment, it’s time.  Downside: I sometimes have to queue for entry to the supermarket – but I can use that time to do stuff on my phone, which I would probably have been doing at home anyway.  Upsides: it gets me legitimately out of the house, it’s an extra 10km walked per week, plus a bit of upper body work in carrying the shopping home – walking carrier bag curls as a new exercise, anyone?

Those three bits of daily exercise cover my activity – its not the same as gym, its not the same as parkrun, but it is good exercise and is helping me to keep my calories burned level up, as well as being a little developmental of muscle.  Think, could you adopt a similar activity regime?

That’s the first half – activity levels.  The second half – calories taken in – is also based on planning.  I have a few rules, you won’t be surprised to hear:

Firstly, I don’t have anything with any calories in it before completing my morning 5k.  That effectively extends the overnight fast until I break fast back at home.  That longer period helps burn more bodyfat; my fat is the fuel for the run/walk, as I have no recently-eaten food for the body to use instead.  Recently consumed calories are the first choice, of course, to fuel any activity – with stored calories – bodyfat – as a backup resource.  And I want to use only that backup.

For the rest of the day, I eat according to my plan.  What plan?  It’s the one I devise while out on that morning 5k.  I know I’m going to have a healthy breakfast when I get home, (about 500 calories) and then I plan to eat every three to four hours or so with about 500 calories in every meal.  So, if my post-5k breakfast is at 09:30, then I will likely eat again at 12:30, 4pm and 7:30pm, with maybe an extra protein shake after the 5pm home workout.  There’s a lot of checking of labels involved, and I use MyFitnessPal to keep a track of it all.  Does it take time?  Yes.  And what do I have a lot of at the moment?

Often, my wife and I will have a video conference with friends or family in the evening, which constitutes our social life.  I’ll often have a pint of something tasty from an interesting local brewery with that, or maybe a glass or two of wine.  Which is fine, and as we usually know in advance this is going to happen, I can tailor my food choices for the day to make sure I don’t blow my numbers at that stage.

Three final self-imposed rules: I try to preserve a 12-hour break without calories every night.  So, if I’m socially drinking up to 10pm, then breakfast tomorrow is not until 10am.  This 12-hour period helps with bodyfat reduction – it’s that lack of recently-consumed calories again.

And secondly, I keep the water intake up.  I plan to drink a pint of water in every three-hour period between 9am and 9pm.  It helps in fighting any hunger pangs by creating a ‘feeling full’ sensation, as well as giving the many other benefits of being well-hydrated.

Finally, I won’t turn on the tv until the evening.  Watching tv is a key enemy in the activity-up, mindless eating-down strategy, so it’s a help to delay the start of viewing as long as possible.

My strategies on this rules-based, planned exercise and eating regime have helped me lose a few pounds of bodyfat while maintaining muscle mass since the lockdown began – shown by a reduction in overall weight with a decrease in bodyfat percentage.  All of the planning might seem a bit laborious, but it helps keep my occupied and, well, if I don’t have the time to do it now, I certainly won’t when real work and travel starts again.

I hope that you will adopt similar strategies in your own life, and get results that are like mine.  You really can exit this lockdown fitter than when it started!

 

Home workout for the over-50s

Here’s a workout I’ve designed for people over 50 who want to workout at home during the crisis. It features my clients Mike and Yvette, and of course, at this time, I wouldn’t recommend you being this close to someone else during your workout unless you live with them.

The workout features strength exercises for all the major muscle groups, plus core strengthening and some flexibility movements.

https://bit.ly/HomeWorkoutByChris

It is comprised of:

1. A warm up, being 30 seconds of running on the spot then 30 seconds of jumping jacks

2. Strength exercises: 10 repetitions of each as a single set – adding more repetitions and a second set when comfortable

2.1 Chest – Press-ups or push-ups including kneeling variant

2.2 Upper Legs (1) – Air squats, keeping arms horizontal

2.3 Back – Door pulls, ideally overhand grip

2.4 Calf – Step raises, full range up and down (dorsiflexion and plantaflexion)

2.5 Shoulders – Seated press, down to ear height

2.6 Upper Legs (2) – Raised lunges, 10 each side

2.7 Biceps – Keeping upper arms welded to side torso

2.8 Upper Legs (3) – Bottle squats (or Goblet squats), keeping head up and facing front

3. Core exercises: for abs area as a stabilisation or fixator muscle group – again start from 10 repetitions (or 10 each side) and build up

3.1 Elbow plank – keeping body straight – try 30 seconds and build up to 2 minutes

3.2 Upper abs – curling the chest and upper body towards the knees, low and slow

3.3 Side abs or Obliques – twist as far as possible each side

3.4 Lower abs – bringing the knees and lower body towards the chest

4. Flexibility and balance – hold 20 seconds of each (or each side)

4.1 Quads – best done with backside touching heels

4.2 Hamstrings – keeping knees locked, curl toes towards your head

4.3 Calf – ensure rear leg is locked straight and heel flat on ground

4.4 Upper back and rear deltoid – stretch by maximising range

4.5 Triceps – walk the fingers down the vertebrae to get the best range

4.6 Rotator Cuffs – try to get back of hand (and as much of lower arm as possible) on the ground

I very much hope you are able to keep your fitness levels up during the crisis – and that the above workout helps you to do this.

Is exercise important to you? Should it be?

I recently produced an article covering why exercise is important for those over 50, the different types of exercise possible, and why each is important in its own way.  I also discussed how to progress within each type, specific exercise approaches for those with mobility issues and ways of finding time for exercise in a busy life.

If those points are of interest to you, take a look at the article by clicking here.

And many thanks to my friends at Prime Fifty Supplements for suggesting and originally publishing the article.

New PT Location – London Oxford Circus

I’m pleased to announce that I will be offering one-to-one PT sessions at a brand new location in Central London from the start of January 2020.  Its just one minute walk from Oxford Circus, and may be more convenient than my other locations at Islington in North London or near High Wycombe in South Bucks.

The new gym (see photos) offers two floors of gym training kit, all equipped with new equipment of the highest quality.

The showers and changing rooms are top quality too, with towels and grooming products provided.  And there’s a healthy-eating cafe on site, for us to agree a pre-session plan and post-workout review.

Fees are exactly the same as at HIgh Wycombe or Islington – that is £75 per session or £375 for a pack of six.

As with the other locations, all inclusive of session performance documentation and full body stat analysis and progress charts.  And as much discussion on your nutrition as you can handle!

Send me an email if you’ve any questions, or read more or make a booking at any of the three locations on my PT website – bitly.com/ChrisPT

 

Why exercise is essential for those over 50

As you know, I am a big believer in the benefits of exercise for those over 50.  And it makes me feel good when others – especially professionals in fields such as sport, longevity and nutrition – feel the same way about it that I do.

So I was pleased when Neil and the guys at Insure4Sport came for a chat and interviewed me on this; well, it is my favourite subject after all!

They published the article, which includes a video interview with Rob Riches – the guy that got me into fitness – as well as me discussing how important this subject is for my age group.  Or ‘essential’, as the title has it.  Take a look at the article on the link below, and once again many thanks to Neil and his team at Insure4Sport.

bit.ly/Insure4SportChrisZarembaArticle

 

Nutritional Therapist – New Podcast

Episode 8 of the Fit Happens podcast is now ready.

In this episode, I am joined in the MarlowFM studio by top nutritional therapist Saffron Rogerson, who gives some tips for everyone on the importance of a balanced, wide-ranging diet and how it directly affects health and fitness. She gives more detailed advice in a few areas, including gut health, dealing with IBS and specific nutrition to help promote fertility. It is a fascinating 30 minutes, I learned a lot from it – and I think you will, too.

Listen to the podcast on YouTube by clicking here.