Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Personal Training equipment for the new studio in Oakleigh

I'm now almost running out of space in my spare room due to stockpiling a stack of personal training gear ready for opening of the new studio.

The big expensive stuff is already ordered and will be delivered once we're ready for it, sometime in January. A lot of what I like to use in Personal Training and especially Group Fitness sessions is relatively small inexpensive stuff, although of course for group sessions you do need lots of it!

So I've got a stack of exercise balls (stability balls? they have a dozen names for the same thing!) piled up ready to go, and a whole heap of resistance bands should be delivered soon. I still need an assortment of medicine balls, steps, and plyometric boxes and I'll be chasing those up next.

It's all coming together nicely! Watch this space for more news.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's not to late to get in shape for Summer.

I hate to say anything at all negative but I have a bit of a complaint; it's supposed to be SUMMER and I'm sitting here with long pants, long sleeves and last night I even wore a jacket and beanie because for some reason it's still COLD and WET! And this after knuckling down and training & dieting harder than ever all Spring to be ready to hit the beach and the pool?

It's good news though for anyone who's left it until now to start getting into better shape, because (disclaimer: I am not a meteorologist!) with any luck we'll have a late summer with nice weather lasting well into the New Year. So in other words, THERE IS STILL TIME to get fit for Summer!

I'm happy to report that I'm getting lots of enquiries from new clients for Personal Training in Brunswick and between this and the new studio we are setting up in Oakleigh, the new year is going to be nice and busy and I'll be having a great time helping lots of people to get into the best shape of their lives.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Required equipment in the Personal Training Studio

We've started shopping for the equipment for the new Personal Training studio in Oakleigh and it's all very exciting stuff.

As this is a joint venture with the Combat Academy, the place will be set up as a Martial Arts Dojo similar to their Mornington location, which suits me down to the ground. Most people who've trained with me know that I'm BIG on body weight resistance training, circuits and boxing and kickboxing drills, and it's nice to have a bit of space to move around while you're doing this stuff.

The bodyweight exercises are really essential to get people conditioned to moving through a full range of motion in natural human movements such as squats, lunges, bends (bending from the hips, for example deadlifts) and push ups. Deconditioned people who have previously had an inactive lifestyle often require some instruction and a lot of practice to be able to regain their natural ability to perform these movements, and even for quite well conditioned, relatively fit people body weight training (especially in circuit formats) can be a great and challenging workout resulting in improved muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

I focus a lot on this sort of training and incorporate resistance bands, medicine balls, steps and exercise balls along with the bodyweight techniques already discussed. Of course, I still want to be able to mix it up with some good old fashioned weight training as well, especially for my bodybuilding clients, so here's the list of equipment we've ordered so far.
  • Smith Machine,
  • Squat Rack,
  • High Cable (for pulldowns, etc)
  • Low Cable (for rows, cable curls and so forth) 
  • Preacher Curl Bench
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curl
  • Pec Dec
  • Dumbbells
  • Olympic Bar
  • 200kg of weights
as well as cardio gear such as;
  • Treadmill
  • Bike
  • Rower
I don't really like to put clients onto cardio machines for long periods of time in a PT session... but the rower is great for cardio assessment purposes, and I'll be encouraging people to come in early to warm up on the bike or treadmill before their session.

That's all for now but stay tuned for more updates!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Martial Arts and Personal Training In Oakleigh


This is the first post on the new blog I just started to talk about the new Martial Arts Dojo and Personal Training Studio we are opening up in Oakleigh. This is a joint venture between Combat Academy and my personal training business.

At this stage, my understanding is that we have a great location organised which we should take possession of in early January. I've been working out my wish-list of equipment and we'll be going shopping on Thursday and hopefully ordering everything then. As you probably know, as well as free weights and machines I am a big fan of resistance bands and bodyweight resistance training so you can expect the new studio to be set up accordingly. Of course there will also be some cardio equipment and lots of open space for interval and circuit training.

The Combat Academy already has 3 very successful clubs including one with Personal Training available in Mornington, so we're very confident that we can make the new club at Oakleigh a great success too.

Keep watching this blog and you'll be able to see it all come together! Of course, we'll be having some great deals and special offers for the first people to sign up for PT at the new club, so be sure to get in while the getting is good!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some photos of me after hiking up a mountain.

I went away last week and did a bit of bush walking, hiking, rock & mountain climbing.

I've always loved doing this sort of thing and for some reason it had been quite a few years since i last went out and enjoyed the wilderness. Anyway, you can see some pictures on my training blog of me before and after climbing the mountain. Also I'm wearing my awesome new Personal Training uniform! Well, the hoody anyway, not so much the jeans!

Click those links for the photos.

Personal Training In Oakleigh?

This is still top secret and yet to be confirmed, but if you're in the area or close by you might be interested to know that my friends over at the Combat Academy are talking about opening a new club including a Personal Training Studio In Oakleigh.

Stay tuned for updates on this, you'll hear it here first!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Unbeatable value on Personal Training in Brunswick & Melbourne CBD

I've just published my new Personal Training Packages for 2011.

The more people train, the better value they get. In fact if people sign up for 10 weeks of training, I'll give them an extra week for free and throw in a heap of other free stuff. It really is unbeatable value!

Prices for Personal Training in Brunswick.

Prices for Personal Training in Melbourne.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Loving my new strength program and the delayed onset muscle soreness that comes with it!

As shown in the last blog entry, I'm on a new program and  working towards getting a little stronger, a little firmer and nicely defined toned muscles.

Each day after warming up I'm going into a strength exercise such as dumbbell bench press, deadlifts, dumbell shoulder press and so on. I start with 25 reps, then 16 - 18 reps, then 12, then 8, and then I'm ready to go on to some heavy sets with a target of 4 - 6 reps.

I think it must be a winning strategy, because I've been nice and sore all this week. Specifically in chest since training last monday, and also very much so in the triceps after training on Friday. I'm starting out with an overhead dumbbell extention for triceps. My triceps happen to be perhaps my best and most responsive muscle group, so even though I really enjoy training them it's fair to say I might not always push them quite so hard as other less responsive muscles. This time though, the overhead extension took me to complete temporary muscle failure (don't worry, this is a good thing!), and that's just the first exercise of the day!

Of course on arms day I am alternating bicep and tricep exercises each set, so I'm pushing my biceps just as hard. I'm certain that this program will have my arms looking their best and the strongest they have ever been in time for Summer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How's my deadlift form?

Yesterday was back day and that means DEAD LIFTS. I wanted to check my form so i set up my phone to take a video of me performing this exercise.

As it turns out, my form was not too bad and I did a personal best at 5 reps of 100kgs. I was pretty pleased with this!

Dead lift is a very important exercise that I think most people should have as a part of their fitness program. It's a functional exercise which carries over into day to day life, helping you to lift heavy objects at home or at work safely without risking spinal injury. It's VERY important to get the form right though, so don't be shy to ask someone to teach you how to do it. Bail up a Personal Trainer, staff member or just one of the experienced guys or girls at the gym when they're not busy, people are usually happy to help.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What exercises should be in your Personal Training Program?

I spend a bit of time talking, networking and comparing notes & strategies with other Personal Trainers, body builders and fitness enthusiasts about what makes a good program, amongst other things. Ideally as a PT I'd really like to have a consistent approach, that gets results for everyone. In reality though, everyone's goals are different, people are starting out from a different level of ability and de/conditioning, and may have different biomechanical issues to overcome. That's not to mention dietary issues, and how much effort and consistency they are prepared to put into training.

So for these reasons (and more!), there's no "one size fits all" approach. Every client's program will be different, that's why it's called Personal Training. When you hire a Personal Trainer you should expect a personal program tailored to your circumstances and goals in all aspects from exercise selection, volume and intensity, nutrition planning and even style of coaching and motivation.

With that being said, I'm increasingly of the opinion that there are a handful of exercises that should be utilised in the vast majority of programs. These are the exercises that recruit the most muscle activation, improve core stability, burn more calories, and encourage more fat loss. You might be surprised that I am talking about the three classic body building exercises; Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Press.

Now before you stop me because you think these exercises are only for body builders or power lifters who's goal is to get huge, lets address that myth first. If you want to get bigger, eat more and lift heavy! If you want to get smaller, firmer, more toned with less fat, eat less, and lift heavy! Building muscle through resistance training is what will give you that lean, firm and toned appearance that most of us aspire to, while also increasing the amount of fat we burn through out the day. To reiterate, you will not get bigger unless you consume a higher amount of calories than required.

These are also functional exercises that carry over into every day life. For example, practising good lifting technique in the gym with squats and deadlifts will go along way towards preventing spinal injury the next time you have to move the sofa at home, or fetch a box of stationery at work.

The issue with the "big three" exercises is that many people are not able immediately able to perform them. In these cases the Personal Trainer's job is to identify the biomechanical issues (postural, flexibility, and so on) preventing the client from successfully performing the exercise, and then create a program with appropriate stretching and descended versions of the exercises which address these issues.

Aside from our squats, deadlifts and bench press (or the descended exercises which will lead up to them), the balance of exercises included in the program will be selected according to the client's individual needs. For example, a client with rounded shoulders might require stretching of the chest muscles, and strengthening of the back muscles to improve shoulder posture. This is just one of many common postural issues that may need to be addressed in the program.

We've covered resistance training and to a lesser extent stretching, we need to talk about cardio as well.

Again, the choice of cardiovascular exercise will vary from client to client. If you enjoy running or jogging, that's easy - get out for a jog on days in between gym or PT sessions. If you're less likely to enjoy that (like me), we can try boxing drills, bodyweight resistance circuits, interval training, or combinations of all of these.

To summarise, the Personal Trainer's job is to provide a program that is both enjoyable, effective and suited to the client's individual needs. Within the program there should be room for flexibility to alter the choice of exercises as the client's abilities and conditioning improves, or as new functional issues are discovered.

Most of all, a good trainer aims to get the client to a point where their knowledge and ability allows them to continue the program without further instruction. Often times the client will continue working with the trainer due to the additional motivation and encouragement provided, or choose to return sporadically as they find that they need a more challenging program.

Remember, if you're in Brunswick Personal Training and great results are just a click or two away!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday: cheat day

So we all know by now just how crucial good nutrition is in ensuring our efforts at training are fully rewarded with good results. I'm on quite a strict relatively low calorie plan at the moment in the lead up to the start of Summer, but you can't be good ALL the time, can you? Sooner or later you start craving something that's not on your list of authorised and approved meal choices.

Something I've been doing a little research on lately is the role the hormone Leptin plays in fat loss, and while I'm not quite ready to write a blog post on the subject in any detail, cheating on your diet once in a while might not actually be such a bad thing.

Lets not call it cheating though, lets say we are scheduling one meal a week with a higher amount of calories from carbohydrates.

For me this is usually in the form of a small - medium sized potato (or half of a larger one), and usually with dinner on a Sunday evening. Sunday is as good  a day as any. For potatoes I like to make chips or wedges, but done under the grill instead of deep frying. Boil them in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes first, and then grill until they're starting to go brown. Excellent!

Another option I like is to scoop out a trough in a larger potato half and fill it with ham (vegetarian deli slices or rashers in my case), some avocado and a little cheese... or tofu nuggets instead of the ham. This is pretty damn good too.

So that was my dinner today along with an enormous capsicum stuffed with spinach and tofu nuggets. If you're passionate about training, health and fitness, it's a logical extension to get enthusiastic about cooking as well, right?

That's all for now. Remember if you are looking for a Personal Trainer In Brunswick, I am your man!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Personal Training and Group Fitness In Brunswick

Hi again guys and girls out there in internet land!

In case you missed this, here's the final instalment from a series of videos I made last winter, which demonstrates my style of training and some of what you can expect in a session. I'm a big fan of bodyweight resistance and circuit training, and as you'll see it's a great workout!

Of course, this is just one form of training. We can also do some boxing, kickboxing, or hit the weights at Doherty's Gym. 

With just one month to go until summer hits, it's time we got started! Give me a call or email now!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Toning Up Exercise Program

I was thinking, and talking about this with some other trainers as well. Most new clients when asked for a goal or reason for beginning an exercise program will tell you they are looking to "tone up". But what does this mean, and how do you do it?

Well, I wrote an article answering these questions. Click below to read it!

How To Tone Up In The Gym

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What makes Personal Training good value for money?

This is a good question that I think is probably on the minds of anyone considering hiring a Personal Trainer or joining a Group Fitness progam. Different trainers have different approaches, different facilities and equipment available, and widely varying pricing.

So lets look at value for money in Personal Training; and how to know that you're getting it.

#1 Are you getting results?

This point covers a few areas. Is the program suited to your goals and level of ability? If the program is too hard / advanced, or too easy / not challenging enough you will probably not see great results. A good trainer should be able to create a program suited to your individual needs. Regardless of how much or how little you pay, if the program is not tailored to produce the results you are not receiving good value for money.

#2 Are you enjoying yourself?

A trainer or a coach's job is to push you a little! Different people respond better to different sorts of encouragement, and the trainer's job is adjust to your personality and find the right way to help you to perform at a higher level than you might have thought you were capable of. So, the trainer is there to make you work hard! With that being said, the experience should be enjoyable and leave you eagerly looking forward to the next session. If you're not having any fun, you're not going to feel quite so good about parting with your hard earned money.

#3 What is your trainer's goal?

This is a big one. I like to think that most people working in this industry are genuinely interested in helping people to improve their health, look and feel better and be happier. I believe this is true, but how can you tell? In my opinion this comes down to one word; "homework". If your trainer gives you exercises, programs or activities to continue with between sessions, you'll know his (or her) motivation is to see you achieve great results as quickly as possible, not just to keep you as a client for as long as possible.

#4 This one is up to you.

If you really want to be getting the most out of your program and therefore the best value for money possible, you need to stay active between sessions and make sure you eat right! Your trainer will point you in the right direction, but it's up to you to keep moving.

Monday, October 25, 2010

How do i stay so motivated?

I'm often asked how I stay so motivated, and I get quite a few compliments from people telling me how much they admire my level of commitment and dedication to training and exercise. It's always nice to get a compliment, but I'm not so sure people should be so impressed by simply taking an hour a day to do something I enjoy, look forward to and am passionate about. To me, that's what life is all about! 

On the other hand, probably just as often (if not more) I'll get a bit of a lecture about how I push myself too hard, put too much pressure on myself or whatever, and I should allow myself to have a day off from training and eating right, and just relax and get some take-away instead. I suppose this is probably well intentioned advice, but it always annoys me a little because it makes no sense to me to take a day off from doing what I love. There are scheduled rest days in my program, and some days you have other obligations that get in the way of training, or you need an unscheduled rest day for some reason, but to just take a day off for no reason and sit around bored instead? As my friend likes to say "Do you think Alexander The Great took a day off from being The Great?"

Not to mention, as a professional Personal Trainer it's important that set a good example to my clients and practice what I preach. I need to look the part as well, so slacking off and getting out of shape is NOT an option if I want to be able to pay my bills on time!

Having a great life is all about doing something you enjoy, that helps you to be the person you want to be, every day. Even if you're not interested in sports, and don't have a competitive spirit, doesn't everyone want to look feel their best, full of energy and vitality? Fitness, exercise and physical activity is the vehicle towards getting the best out of life.

Introducing, me.

Hey everyone.

My name is Dave Hargreaves and I am Personal Trainer working out of Doherty's Gym in Brunswick, and also Doherty's Gym in Melbourne CBD.

I'm a vegetarian, but not one of those annoying preachy types, so I can train people who eat meat as well. I love weight training in particular, as well as boxing, kickboxing and martial arts training.

Previously I've worked in the I.T Industry as well as Corporate Security and Crowd Control in a variety of public events and licensed venues. Some of you might even recognise me from playing guitar in a few bands over the years.

This blog will be all about fitness, training and being motivated and enthusiastic to make you life the best it can be!