The value of one on one sessions with kids

August 18, 2009

I take group training for kids aged 8-12 which mainly includes games and fun circuit based exercises with basic equipment. When you have a group of kids in a resistance based circuit it’s hard to find time to help every out and get them doing things right. Kids between the ages of 8-12 do tend to have a fairly short attention span and by the time they’ve done one or two circuits they’ll start to misbehave. So in a group it’s a tough job to teach everything you want to for each individual as they’re all at different stages of learning and maturity levels.

You may think that all kids love games and all kids want to play with balls and run in the park but this isn’t always the case.

You shouldn’t under estimate the importance of proper training in a safe environment.

  • You have the right equipment to monitor improvements
  • You can progressively overload what they are doing by increase speed, incline, reps, resistance etc.
  • They are in a safe environment with good supervision and knowledge.
  • They often enjoy feeling like an adult. They want to do things that they don’t usually get a chance to do.

The benefits of a one on one session compared to a group session are:

  • The participant gets more guidance from the trainer
  • They can do more advanced exercises because of the increase time the trainer can spend with the individual.
  • Kids like to have your attention; they generally misbehave in a group situation to impress others or to get your attention.
  • They will learn alot more one on one compared to a group session because there are no other distractions.

Overall group training is good fun but kids love having role models and they can look up to the trainer. They want to have their attention and they also want to learn and become better at certain things whether it’s a sport or to just be fit and healthy. They love to try new things and tell their friends these cool things they did. I encourage parents to keep their kids active and get involved with some sort or program, sport, or just walking the family dog! It’s that simple. Just keep it simple and regular. After all, parents are the ones in control of their children. If you teach them early on to exercise regularly they are more likely to get involved with physical education and grow up to be fit and healthy.

Tell me which of these sounds better to you..

Healthy kid who exercised regularly by walking the dog and going for runs on the beach or playing sport in the backyard who grows up fit and healthy and leads a healthy lifestyle because of his childhood experience of exercise.


A kid who wasn’t bought up around exercise whether it be incidental or set execise like walking and playing sport therefore doesn’t enjoy physical education at school, often discludes themselves or gets in trouble. Grows up overweight leading to poor mental and social wellbeing and bad lifestyles choices lead them into such problems as heart disease, stroke and other realted problems.

The message: It’s in your hands – it’s your call


How to boost your training performance and get results

August 11, 2009

It seems like a real waste to do all the hard work, like getting to the gym, training hard, or going for a long run or cycle, and not getting the best rewards you could be for your hard work. Everyone would love to get the best results possible from their hard work and there are a lot of products going around all with various claims of how much they can help you. Knowing how beneficial they are is the hard thing and sometimes you’ll try many different products and combinations before knowing what is best for you. I was reading an article in a magazine and thought I would share some of the information.

Whey Protein

Protein has certainly become a major player in weight management, muscle building and recovery. More importantly however while research has shown eating a little more protein can be beneficial, research into whey protein has shown some rather solid results especially when it comes to preserving lean muscle mass as well as building it. Why? Protein from whole foods, while beneficial and still integral to a healthy balanced diet, take many long hours to digest. Whey protein, the left over product from cheese manufacturing, is ‘pre-digested’ and 8-10 grams can be absorbed. What’s special about whey protein is that it contains a high level of branch chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. These escape digestion in the liver and are transported straight to the muscles. The benefits are bigger muscles, a decrease in muscle loss and even appetite suppression and weight/loss maintenance.

There are many variates on the market. Find one that tastes good, has high protein content and fits your budget. Whey protein taken straight after a workout, in between meals or even as a snack will yield the best results, especially at two doses a day. You don’t need to over do the dose size. 15-30 grams each dose would be sufficient.


How does creatine work? More ATP in muscles means more energy to lift weights, so rather than getting 8 repetitions in a set you may get 10-11. After your first set ATP has been used up therefore you’re left with ADP which isn’t much use when you have another few sets to complete. More creatine means more ATP because phosphate is donated to ADP to produce ATP. Supplementation of creatine in the diet means there is an increase in the amount of creatine in muscle. This means the next set rather than getting 7 repetitions without supplementation; you would most likely get 9-10 repetitions. What this means is greater training intensity, and therefore more lean muscle mass.

What type of results can be expected?

Specific improvements are;

  • Short-term creatine supplementation has been reported to improve maximal power/strength (5-15%)
  • Work performed during sets of maximal effort contractions (5-15%)
  • Single effort sprint performance (1-5%)
  • Work performed during repetitive sprint performance (5-15%)
  • Long-term creatine supplementation appears to enhance the overall quality of training, leading to 5 to 15% greater gains in strength and performance.
  • Nearly all studies indicate that “proper” creatine supplementation increases body mass by about 1 to 2 kg in the first week of loading.


There are numerous products on the market; however whey protein and creatine have consistent sound evidence behind them to support their use. The best way to use these is to find products and doses that work best for you. This is a trial and error process and may take some time but is very beneficial in the long-term.

Finding motivation to train – or to commit to regular exercise is tough

August 11, 2009

Finding motivation to train – or to commit to regular exercise is tough – especially if your not self motivated.

If you are someone who would prefer to do anything other than training, these tips may provide added motivation, a switch in exercise mentality or just a few new ideas to jump-start your exercise regime.

*Mix it up:

Running the same track each day or attending the same aerobics class can be physically and mentally draining. You should try and switch up your regime regularly to avoid losing motivation. Changes in scenery will freshen your mind and keep you motivated.

*Make it social:

Training with friends who have similar exercise habits is very motivating. A training partner is the perfect motivation and you can achieve great things together and it also makes your workout more enjoyable.

*Involve children and pets:

If walking or jogging is your exercises of choice then why not involve your children or pets. If their daily dose of exercise relies on you then you will have an added incentive to make sure your getting your daily exercise.

*Be realistic:

Set achievable goals and choose activities you know are achievable especially if you’re only starting out with your routine. If you’re constantly frustrated with your workouts then ensure you review it and find a better option for you.

*Find “non-workout” workouts:

This covers all types of incidental exercise like taking the stairs over the lift and walking to work rather than driving. Aim to make yourself a more active person through little things you do.

*Write it down:

Keep a diary to show improvement and help set fresh goals. Logging what you’ve done and what you’re doing now shows you can improve and gives you motivation to keep improving. It’s also great to help you recognise when a regime isn’t getting you the results you want so this means it’s time to look at what you’re doing and change things up.


If you struggle with exercising regularly then treat yourself when you achieve the goals you set. They don’t have to be long term either. Try not to treat yourself with something that can sabotage your goals such as food but more something that is enjoyable and beneficial like a massage or shopping for some new clothes.


If the thought of exercise put you off a bit then why not join a social sporting team or group or play with friends. Indoor cricket, tennis, kicking the footy. Anything that you find fun and takes the emphasis of exercise is better than no activity at all!

*Distract yourself:

Place a stationary bike in front of the TV, listen to your favourite tunes while exercising, cover the screen on the cardio gear to prevent negative thoughts. Time flies when you’re distracted by something you like.

*If at first you don’t succeed….

Unpredictable events can sabotage the plans of even the most dedicated exerciser. Never give up though. Find ways to overcome these obstacles. If you miss a few weeks in your program then start over again. Keep working hard and always revisit your goals. There shouldn’t be a time where you don’t have a specific goal in your head.

The risks of carrying excess weight

August 5, 2009

Being overweight causes a multitude of health problems: Are you at risk and what can you do about it to prevent these problems from occurring.

Insulin resistance

  • Insulin is the main hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels.
  • Insulin is secreted from the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar levels, to remove glucose from the blood.
  • Insulin also plays a role in fat storage.
  • Insulin resistance is where the insulin can’t effectively act on the cells to do it job properly, resulting in high insulin levels in the body.

Type 2 diabetes

  • Type 2 diabetes is categorised by high blood sugar levels, because the body isn’t using insulin properly.
  • Type 2 diabetes usually arises as a result of lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese and inactive.
  • If not managed, glucose levels become too high and become destructive in the body increasing the risk of heart disease, stoke, circulatory problems, kidney damage, blindness, impotence and other health problems.
  • Losing weight and doing regular exercise improve the health implications associated with type 2 diabetes, as well as preventing the disease.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  • PCOS is a hormonal condition in women, often accompanied by irregular or absent periods, infertility, acne, excessive hair growth or hair loss, weight gain (especially around the mid section) and difficulty losing weight.
  • Women with PCOS are more likely to have insulin resistance
  • Women with PCOS who are overweight/obese and inactive are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Blood pressure is the driving force that moves the blood through the circulatory system.
  • Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80
  • High blood pressure is when pressure exerted by the blood as it’s pumped through the arteries is high.
  • Equal to or more than 140/90 increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

High cholesterol

  • Cholesterol is a fat related compound naturally produced in the liver, and is involved in many important bodily functions.
  • The problem with cholesterol occurs when we consume too many animal products such as eggs, meat, and cheese which can increase the level of cholesterol in the body.
  • Cholesterol is said to be good or bad: The good guys, HDL (high density lipoprotein), clean your arteries and have a protective effect in preventing heart disease. The bad guys, LDL (low density lipoprotein), are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  • High levels of LDL are linked to atherosclerosis which is the build up of plaque on the artery walls.
  • Triglycerides also contribute to your total cholesterol score, and are dangerous bad fats and can be higher in people who drink a lot of alcohol and eat cholesterol rich foods such as cheeses, fried foods and biscuits.
  • Your doctor can test your cholesterol and tell you if it’s within the normal range.
  • Regular exercise has been shown to increase HDL and decrease LDL.

Sleep apnoea

  • Sleep apnoea is an interruption of natural breathing patterns while sleeping.
  • People with this sleeping disorder stop breathing for periods of time during sleep, waking up repeatedly as a consequence, sometimes hundreds of times a night.
  • Being overweight increases the risk of sleep apnoea, especially if the weight is carried heavily around the neck area.
  • Sleep apnoea is also linked to an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Lower limb pain and injury

  • Being overweight places enormous strain on the joints of your lower limbs, such as knees and ankles, just imagine loading an extra 20kg or more into your backpack and walking around all day and you might appreciate just how much extra pressure these body parts carry.
  • Joint pain is strongly associated with bodyweight.
  • Excess weight is a common cause for many lower limb injuries such as shin splints, patella tracking disorder and plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia which causes severe foot and heel pain).
  • Being overweight is a risk factor for osteoarthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis.
  • Reducing your weight will obviously reduce the load placed on your joints therefore decreasing the likelihood of the above problems.

It’s one thing to know your overweight but it’s another to do something about it before it’s too late!

Why care about your weight?

August 3, 2009

It seems that the majority of people are obsessed about weight. We have weight loss TV shows, weight loss or weight gain issues fill celebrity magazines and obesity is a regular headline in the newspapers and on TV.

Weight is directly linked to our physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. Being overweight or obese puts you at an increased risk of: heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, sleep apnoea, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Your weight can determine your life expectancy, health and risk of disease. The goal of weight loss is to get you to a healthy weight to give you the best chance possible to live a long, happy and healthy life. Losing even a small amount of weight can lead to significant improvements in your physical, mental, emotional and social health.

Weight loss can:

Ÿ            Reduce blood pressure

Ÿ            Lower LDL levels (bad cholesterol)

Ÿ            Reduce risk of chronic disease such as heart disease

Ÿ            Prevent and/or manage type 2 diabetes

Ÿ            Increase your life expectancy

Ÿ            Improve your self-esteem

Ÿ            Increase your energy levels

Ÿ            Prevent and/or manage depression and anxiety

Ÿ            Provide stress relief

Is your weight under control? Check out a previous post to check how you measure up.