March 2020 and like so many businesses TLA had to shut down.
Scotty kept many clients going with Zoom sessions and Jason took to Instagram.
During this time time was in abundance and $ in short supply.
We were given the green light to reopen mid June.
Again like so many businesses, we had to reopen w/restrictions.
These restrictions included sanitizing every piece of equipment after every session, mandatory masks, and limited # of clientele.
Things were tough, but we adapted as best as we could.
The bad news. Financially, we lost loads. Being closed for so long, limited attendance. Whew! Nightmare.
The good news. Well, there was a big silver lining. We kept 95% of clientele. Scotty found Zoom. Not one of our clientele has so far, fingers crossed, got Covid. and we survived. Flipping things, as trainers we also realized how important exercise + working out was/is to each clients well being. This became a huge mind shift. Sure, having a great body is magic but covid proved building a great body is more magic. For many, not having the opportunity to do this became a key absence in life. After all building a great body provides so many other things than a great body. Just to name a few: stress release, improved cognitive brain function, a feeling of presence + doing something for yourself, anti aging effects, the act of making an effort has been proven in creating a carryover to happiness, increased strength, power & hypertrophy, improved movement, greater overall fitness and a stronger immune system, the satisfaction of a coach trying to find the best version of yourself, confidence….) These factors are something easy to take for granted – yet covid proved- they are factors which hold value.
Covid also gave us back Personal Training (PT). In many respects PT was becoming a relic. Cheaper training options were the fashion and people were so busy that coming in the middle of the day was pointless to their frenetic lives.
Not any more.
The world has changed.
Many clients see both intrinsic and extrinsic value in working out and being coached.
The value of quality coaching has gone up.
Covid proved not health is wealth
wealth is health!
Weight training is here to stay and will never ever go away.
in fact, the more we stare at our screens and stay seated watching Netflix the more relevant weight training will become.
The only problem is the effort to train becomes more difficult as screens become more addictive and life becomes increasingly cosy.
Every single athlete and adult should include weight training into their weekly routine.
I will repeat this again.
Every single athlete and adult should include weight training into their weekly routine.
Weight training is unique in that, done correctly, it immediately gives back. And the more you give, the more it gives back. This includes: increased muscle, fat loss, higher performance, better cardio, stronger bones, improved posture, constant feedback.
No other activity delivers like weight training which is why everyone should be doing.
I am a trainer and the next question is the important one because ultimately I want results for TLA clientele. How often should I lift for optimum results?
First of all, weight training is no different from any exercise and is a stress on the body.
An athlete who has multiple team training sessions and a game or event at weekends: one single lifting session will be perfect, while two sessions could easily be overboard and lead to fatigue. Meanwhile, an individual who is sleeping great, eating wonderfully and not experiencing much lifestyle stress then- regardless of age- can train multiple times per week. If you have heard someone older should train less than someone younger take with a grain of salt. In our experience how often someone trains is dependent on how experienced the trainee is, training intensity and how well they recover from each individual session. Someone 25 could be recovering inadequately, with poor nutrition choices and lousy sleep while someone 55 could have great recovery methods, and as a result, would be able to train more consistently than the 25 year old. Therefore, how often you lift, the intensity at which you lift, how busy you are in your day to day life, how well you eat and are you recovering properly from the intensity of the training session are relevant factors which must be considered.
However, here is a few general recommendations to get you started, based on training correctly.
TLA general weight lifting recommendations for optimum results:
If you are just starting out: 1x per week with the objective of building a second session within 6-8 weeks.
If you are an in season athlete or weekend warrior: 1x per week training on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Research indicates injure rates will decrease by 50%.
If you want gains but in less of a rush to achieve them: 2x per week
If you have a demanding schedule: 2x per week
If you are under a lot of stress: 2- 3 short sessions per week w/a day of rest in between.
If you want the perfect weight training lifestyle and all the benefits this kind of training provides, including ample time to do other ‘life’ things in-between: 3x per week with a day of rest in between is wonderful.
If you are an off season athlete: 3-4x per week. For off season athletes we like:
2 days on/1 day off/ 2 days on/ 2 days off.
If you have time and want to challenge yourself in new ways or our prepping for something special(like a movie role for Marvel): 4-5x per week.
Fancy getting started? Give Train like an Athlete a try.
You are at a party and having a chat about so and so’s trainer. In that instance you may wonder “what exactly does a trainer do?”
I remember one client who asked me to bark orders at him and make him feel useless. That was fun! Getting to use insults on this particular individual was a delight. I kept thinking “I am getting paid to say all that?” It was very rude.
I had another client who paid me to meet him @ 5 am and 9 pm every two days for workouts as he had a goal. Looking back, I think the goal was to not sleep because after a few days I was knackered.
I had another client who came in talked. He could have been a dj he talked so much. Unfortunately his chat was not what I would describe as enlightening. -This was no Dali Lama. – He would badger on about toxins, ailments and his bedtime routine which involved no other exciting action except enjoying chamomile tea before the lights went out. I listened, watched the clock tick tock as each slow minute passing was making me lose the will to live.
I had a filthy rich client who would arrive at the studio in her swag convertible, smoking a joint and wanting to listen to Motown during every training session. After a while, I don’t care how much you are getting paid, even Barry White has it’s limits.
I am adding the fillers above as this was all unusual stuff, and not what trainers normally do.
Here is what trainers do. Or at least, good trainers do.
- We have relationships. I cannot think of any other occupation in the world where a client sees someone 1-3 x per week. Therefore, being good at relationships is important if you want this relationship to last. After all who wants to be trained by someone weekly who they don’t like. Therefore, rule 1. We have to show up and be personable, otherwise the client will cheat on us with someone better. And do you know what, I don’t blame them if they do.
- We create motivating workouts that provide results faster than you will ever achieve on your own. Just think, if you have been working out 4x per week for 10 years that’s 800 workouts. We hit that number in 3-4 months with all kinds of body types and ages. Not to beat around the bush but we kinda know what works.
- We are waiting for you. Yep you. If you book and don’t show up we get angry. We have muscles so this motivates clients to show up and not get us angry.
- We make the training environment for one thing: training. Everything is thought and laid out for a top notch session. Even a good selection of music. Just no Barry White.
- We coach you. Do you know how nice it is to get coached: It’s super nice. You get to listen to our voices and as we speak will likely swoon into an exercise trance as we provide the most exquisite instructions. (we think our voices sound like Morgan Freeman) and you will too/ha.
- We want our clients to succeed and perform like Olympians, look hot, and turn heads everywhere they go. That is the honest truth. And when we design the TLA training sessions, we do our damndest to make this truism happen.
- We correct form. Clients are always doing stuff wrong. Doing stuff wrong repeatedly can lead to injuries. Remember we want you to look and feel good.
- We take the thinking part away of what to do when you come into the studio. Instead, the only thinking required is implementing the optimum technique of the exercise you are engaged in.
- We create an environment where you are motivated to continue exercising. Is that a good thing? We believe so. Look at our previous post (if there was a pill/) to see the benefits of regular consistent exercise. By being consistent, clients are giving themselves something truly wonderful. I firmly believe that.
The scenario: I went to my hometown of Port Glasgow in Scotland for a month. Within a throwing distance was a fish & chip shop, pubs, cake and pastry shops, butchers that sold meat pies containing more fat than a ducks bum and dessert shops that sold double thick cream. I was buying so much Double Thick Cream I started to ask for it by DTC. DTC would go perfectly with meringues, ice cream topped with chocolate + caramel sauce, even my morning cereal. Oh yeah, on top of that there was the weekly scotch festivities and nightly drinks with the happy word of slainte being toasted every evening.
Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said “I can resist everything except temptation.” Decadent was in full force for that month and I did not hold back one bit when tempted.
When I came back, admittedly I was very happy, but in the process of all this happiness gained a lardy one pack and even a simple venture like going upstairs involved puffing.
This was not good: I was a trainer and needed to get back into shape more pronto than fast. A plan that made sense without sending my body and brain into shock had to implemented.
So the plan went something like this.
The first two weeks/
I would workout 1x per week and exercise 5x per week w/ one day of basically living like a sloth. Please note, and the point of this whole post is there is a difference between working out and exercising. Working out is like the first slider in our web page or image below. Working out changes your body composition literally as you are doing. In other words it creates a stress response that needs recovering from. Working out is tough, has potential to make your muscles shake and when the trainer says the magic words “session done” you utter in response “thank god for that.” Exercising on the other hand is not that hard and actually quite kind to the body. Exercise might be a simple bike ride to work, a long walk, a mini circuit involving bodyweight exercises, even a swim. In other words things you feel you can do every day as they add only limited stress to the body while establishing new good habits.
I also cut alcoholic intake to every other day instead of my Scottish habit which was every day starting at lunch time. Actually that’s a wee fib: several of the five dram tastings we went to in Islay started at 1030 am. The friendly Ileach’s know how to pour them.
Added another workout day, cut an exercise day and removed alcohol to weekends only. Next step, started to dial in breakfasts(making them healthier, instead of square sliced sausages and bacon rolls it was poached eggs or oatmeal)while increasing protein intake: which of course is an easy method to stay full longer. Potatoes at dinner were added as a staple to each evening meal to give that lovely feeling of satiety. With HP sauce/ Wow! Potatoes I will have you know is also a fabulous healthy carb.
During this week added a third workout day and removed another exercise day. I cut alcohol exclusively to scotch as my beverage of choice (tough life, eh) and sipped only on days I was not working. Also – even though it felt like I was back at school – created a routine where every day would make my own lunch. My newest snack, instead of chocolate wafers, was now apples.
By the end of the month
I was exercising 3x per week + working out out 3x per week, enjoying a great breakfast, making lunch 5 x per week, and eating a decent dinner. As a result, feeling smashing and well on the way to athleticism TLA style. The entire process was the opposite of a crash diet. Instead progress was gradual, sustainable and except for daily lunch making, didn’t feel too much of a struggle.
Remember, we are all athletes. When you have been out the exercise game and want to get back (regardless of your level) it just takes a plan of action to get there that does not involve a mentality of sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice and pain, pain, more pain. Instead coaching is key, so is a plan of gradual stress.
Mind you, after saying that I do miss all of the decadent treats sampled in the photographs above. Now, I am on the road to feeling fit I don’t want to be a total health nut square (as wisdom proves will only lead to a road of unhappiness) so will be on the hunt for DTC/ If you know of any place that sells it…
Fancying becoming a TLA client. Let me know.
Slainte Mhath! (cheers and to good health)
Client Jillian Fong has been an absolute endurance speedster during the race series this year setting Canadian records in the 5k, 8k and 10k masters. In her most recent race TLA had to go down and see her and yep, she was winning that one too.