Working with an Injured Client & Facing Fears!

I’ve been a qualified personal trainer for 7 years now. One of my favourite parts of the job is the different people I get to meet, and the different type of clients I get to work with. I’ve written a short series on experiences I’ve had working with different clients.

This is the second in the series.

I love working with injured clients. They’re like life-sized puzzles. And working with them offers great potential to have a positive effect on a life. Funnily enough, I hate puzzles. You know, the monopoly type puzzle that takes no skill, but breaks up families! But I’ll happily work for 5 hours to install a graphics card in my PC without asking for help. And that’s the same effort I put into getting clients back to 100%.

The biggest impact I’ve had with an injured client was with a lady in her mid-20’s She had been running on a back injury for over 2 years. With injuries, there is a tendency to try and ignore it, especially if you’re not sure what steps you can take to improve it!

By the time she got to me, the injury was threatening to stop her taking on challenges like Tough Mudder, play cricket in the summer, or just go for a run with a friend. It took us a month to get to the bottom of the muscles and movements that were dysfunctional as a result of the injury, before we started to make any improvements.

When recovering from an injury, having someone with the expertise to take an objective and patient approach can improve your recovery in the long term.

Most Important Part of Injury Rehab – Graded Exposure

You always remember your first love. The lovers that come afterwards may be better for you. But there was nothing like the butterflies you got when you tried to ask your crush out for a date (even though you ended up calling them names to play it cool!). With any stimulus like heat, stress, emotions etc. your body reacts strongest to the first instance, then it becomes less sensitive as it gets exposed to the same stimulus.

It’s the same with your injured muscles or joints. After being injured, even after healing, it can be sensitive to movement. Usually it’s particular movement patterns that set it off. I’ve met too many people who give up here, reasoning that their body can never be the same. But belief that things can improve and be better is the start of the journey!

Facets of an Rehab Programme

The graded exposure principle can be applied to any number of factors. The important thing is that your goal is to get the muscle/joint that was injured stronger than the other side. That way, most fears are allayed, and you can get back to what you were doing before.

Here are the different components that any good rehab programme need to address;

Tension and Tone
Muscles and structures around injured parts usually get tenser to protect itself. Foam rolling massage and stretching are ways to release a tight muscles, to help it regain the movement range it had.

Stabilisation and Co-ordination
Sometimes the injured muscle/joint develops new movement patterns to protect itself, but after the part has healed, those patterns are detrimental. After releasing the muscle, moving the body through patterns it was trying to avoid helps to get the injured part as strong as it was before!

Strength
This is what a lot of people focus on first, but that’s like building your house on sand (and we all know that doesn’t end well!). But after easing the tension and relearning good movement patterns, you can now start to improve muscle and joint strength.

Check out my Facebook Live video below about graded exposure,and how it’s similar to a phobia of ????birds (Ornithophobia – yeah had to google that!) ????

 

***This info is for after seeing a doctor and physiotherapist,
who’ve cleared you to work with a personal trainer.***

Recovered from an injury, but not feeling 100%? We can help!
Send smoke signals ????… or Contact us now!

De-stressing for Those who Suck at Meditation!

Meditation is great. There is no shortage of research, articles and apps that sing the praises of meditating, and practicing mindfulness! And one of the main benefits is that it’s great at reducing stress.

But what if you just wanted to relax and unwind? Maybe you just want to learn how to de-stress quickly, but feel like the internet has a whole lot of mumbo jumbo to wade through when it comes to practical ways to relax?

Well… let’s see if we can help you!

Why Would I Care About De-stressing?

Chronic stress is huge in Western populations. With the increase in social media use, meaning we are never content with our lives compared to the feeds of “friends”, to poor diets that consist of highly processed foods.

So why Would I Care About De-stressing? Well…

  • Puts your body in a restorative state – by activating parasympathetic nervous system pathways (What the waaa?!). That’s just a fancy way of saying your body is in a constant state of emergency when stressed, and this is not good as you always feel a little bit on edge. De-stressing would allow your body a little time to recuperate.
  • When your body is in “fight of flight”, your mind in focused on surviving, making mindfulness impossible while being stressed. If you’re trying to be more mindful, de-stressing allows you to a take in more of your surroundings and be more aware, and make better decisions.

My Favourite Technique. – ???? + ????

I’ve found to simplify de-stressing, it’s best to focus on breathing. It’s one way to control a whole lot of body systems. For example, breathing slowly slows down your heart rate as well. And I have a specific technique for you that simple, but is more powerful than simply breathing slowly. Breathing in general is great, but you can be this technique will make you more purposeful about it.

Box breathing –

It’s method used by athletes, to help get rid of negative talk, a bad miss or simply to focus.

Called box breathing, the technique is simple: you inhale for 3s, hold for 3 seconds, 3s for exhale, and hold for 3s exhale. (For the visual learners, there is a rather good looking diagram below.)

 

 

When to Use the Technique?

I use this a lot when dealing with my children. Like when my (then) two-year old screams about not wanting to wear pyjamas. Having started work that day at 7am, I was not feeling my usual patient self (not being around kids makes you believe you’re patient!). But the breathing helped. It’s not a superpower,  but allows you to approach a situation with clarity, and like the adult you wish you were!

Other examples

  • When stressed – obviously!!
  • Mindful eating – simply slowing down and eating mindfully has been shown to help to manage weight. Taking a few breaths before eating helps to you enjoy your food more, eat only the food you need, and digest the food properly!
  • When you feel overwhelmed – and need to make a decision, a moment of clarity can be of help. Like when you just started new health habits, and the dairy milk dipped in peanut butter was not part of the plan!
  • Head is feeling cloudy – having spent the morning at a desk, taking a walk and focusing on your breathing can help you re-energise.

Hope that post was helpful. I’ve had clients who simply needed a stress release, and I was able to help them.
To read more check out this article I done wrote!
(6 Helpful Reasons to Get a Personal Trainer You Hadn’t Considered!)

Working with a Dyspraxic Client & the Cha Cha Slide!

I’ve been a qualified personal trainer for 7 years now. One of my favourite parts of the job is the different people I get to meet, and the different type of clients I get to work with. I’ve written a short series on experiences I’ve had working with different clients.

This is the first in the series.

One of the clients I have learnt a lot from is a teenager that has dyspraxia and some learning difficulties. Dyspraxia is brain disorder that makes movement in general more difficult. Usually, treatment revolves around making basic daily activities easier to achieve. This can be done either by adapting tasks to make them simpler, or practicing motor skills in general (catching, throwing, balancing). You can read more here.

With my client, our goal was to get her simply moving. And so enjoyment of movement was the most important thing. However, while working with her, I developed a sub-goal of improving her balance, which I believed would improve her day-to-day life. In particular, I wanted to work on ankle strength to help her feel more in control and reduce the risk of falling over.

Below is a video giving a quick explanation of what I’ve done with this client. But first I wanted to mention 2 things that I’ve learnt while training this young lady;

  • Timeframes are different for each individual – with someone with dyspraxia (and in my experience, a lot of fitness beginners) the timeframes needed to achieve goals need to be adjusted and made more fluid.
    • With more experienced clients, they pick up 75% of a new movement in one session, and other sessions are simply used to reinforce good movement.
    • With novice clients, there has to be more patience both from me (the trainer) and the client. Patience and repetition while keeping things interesting, can be challenging, but is my favourite part of training new clients!
  • Awareness of Limitations – Personal trainers have a tendency to train clients like we would ourselves, or even like athletes. Doing that however, is a disservice to any clients I work with. By recognising their limits, and knowing how they envision themselves after training with you, you get understanding  and can create better goals that are challenging but not discouraging!

 

 

In the video above, I show how I get my client walking on different parts of foot to work on both ankle mobility and strength, which I am hoping to translate to better balance.

To do this for 5 minutes would be boring for anyone, that’s why doing it to music was one way to ensure my client enjoyed her sessions (which was her goal) and improves here balance (which was my goal for her).

With a personal trainer, you say what you want, and they tell you what they can do. Their goal is accomplish what you want, not extra-funky exercises that don’t help you achieve YOUR goal. You’re paying for a cappucino, not froth. You deserve steak too(!), and not just sizzle!

If they haven’t bothered to ask you questions and tailor it to your exact needs. It’s going to be a waste of time!

Dingis Fitness is for you. Making fitness what you want it to be!

Read more about us here!

How to Disguise Yourself as a Fitno-holic!

As a personal trainer, I sometimes get tired. It’s quite a physical job. And I usually get a workout in 4/5 times a week. But if I dare yawn, someone pokes their head round a corner to (smugly) say, “But you’re a personal trainer, you’re not allowed to get tired” ????.

If I decide I’d like to eat some fast food …the same thing! (I do eat fast food, on rare occasions. So sue me!)

I’m not really your typical fitness-y type person. Most of my fitness goals in the last 2 years have centred on enjoying fitness and learning new skills. Very few have had anything to do with physique or performance (even though they sometimes still do!).

My focus is on being healthy and happy, and fitness helps me achieve that. Whether it’s helping me deal with stress, being (and staying!) sexy, setting a great example for my kids, fitness is never the end, but an exciting part of the journey!

As part of my job is working with lots of different people, I’ve become better at reading people, and blending in (like grannie below). And there is no better showcase of my skills when I walk and talk with other personal trainers.

Grannie knows how to blend in!

Below is my ultimate list of fitness-y stuff, and it’s how I pass off being obsessed with fitness. If you’ve ever talked/seen a fitness freak (or fitno-holic), this list will be familiar. When you can recite this list in your sleep, then you’ll be able to live your own life, and define your own fitness, happiness and life, and still be able to act cool with those fitno-hoilic (*BLEEPS!* – please choose your own swear word!).

The Fitnoholics list

A typical fitno-douche – showing a 6-pack for no sane reason!

  • Take tupperware everywhere with you. The more important the event, the more points you get. (Like your parents 50th anniversary dinner. Don’t they know you’ve got 6-pack abs to maintain and biceps that need to be bulging!)
  • Wear shirts and shorts way to tight for you. 80% of fitness is creating the perfect illusion.
  • Never rest, and continually wrap your self in wrist guards, tape, elbow and knee sleeves. If you’re feeling hardcore, use some duct tape to keep your body from falling apart.
  • Make loud noises when lifting weights. For random gym noises we have 3 choices; 1. Sexual grunts, 2. Tennis screams, or 3. Steam piston.
  • Eat kale. And make sure everyone knows how much you love it.
  • Just use bro like it’s a word in the Oxford English dictionary (It’s not though!)
  • Anytime you want to lift anything, apply chalk liberally! If done right, it should make a beautiful pretentious cloud.
  • Only eat meat from farms where Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is played on a loop, so that the cows chickens can dance a waltz.

Please be aware that this list is NOT exhaustive. It’s enough to get you by for an hour.
But if you have anymore tips for the fitness noobs, please leave a comment.

Every little helps.

If you don’t want to obsess about food and health,
and simply want to use fitness as a tool to live the life you want,
then Dingis Fitness might be for you! ????

The 1 Thing Health Professionals Agree Makes Everyone Healthier!

Fitness Professionals – agreeing on something for once!

 

OK Let’s get straight into it! No faff or fluff.

The only thing scientists, personal trainers, nutritionist and any person worth their salt agree on is this.

For a healthier life, EAT. MORE VEG. That’s it. Whether it’s raw  or steamed or sauteed. Whether it ‘s a fruit but doesn’t belong in a fruit salad, whether white, or green or red or orange. That’s all up for debate. What isn’t debatable is that for the overwhelming majority of people on this earth, to live a healthier life, eat more veg.

That it? Er yeah! But lets continue with the conversation.

  • Move moreThis come in at a close second. But improving quality of food comes before this. Sitting, or standing or squatting or anything position is not good to stay in for too long. Movement, in whatever enjoyable way you can do, is important.

There are a few other things that are beneficial to health that most people can agree on;

  • Eat less of everything else – This applies to the developed world more, but you can apply this rule quite liberally. Calories. Fat. Sugar. Meat. Fish. We just live in a world of an excess of food, and that is harming our health.
  • Drink more water -it’s hard to overdo this, and easy to feel crap becasue your dehydrated.
  • Sleep – no-one is quite sure how long, or even the exact evolutionary reason for sleep. What we know is that our busy lives has us stressed and unable to cope with this stress with very little sleep.
  • Less abdomen fat – this is the one that is the least in your direct control, but takin care of the other points mentioned in this blog post will help. It’s important to remember this is not the only thing that effect your health.

Everything else is up for debate.

But what about…

Just wait one minute. Whatever question you have, just hold on. I know the answer. The answer is…

Dan da da da!!!!

It depends.

Should I eat gluten?
Should I do the 5:2 diet?
Should I eat before bed? What should I eat before bed?
Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
Should I exercise on an empty stomach?
What’s the best exercise for 6 pack abs?
Are protein shakes neccesary for weight loss? What about for putting muscle on?

It depends…

It sucks a bit that answers aren’t easier, but life isn’t easy. It’s simple (chose what you want to do, and do it) but not easy. It’s simple because if you focus on the big things in life (relationships, finance, health, purpose) everything else becomes so much easier.

There are things that make you feel better immediately you do them. Exercising in any way and eating more veg are two of the more important ones for both physical and mental health.

Leave the minutiae till late!

Only once you’ve improved sleeping (coming from a Dad of two girls under 3, I understand that this isn’t always feasible), drinking lots of water (more than two litres is good starting point) and eating veg (honestly, just eat any you enjoy!), then you can focus on the minutiae of everything else later.

Keep simple peoples. Things a rarely complicated. Until marketing and sales and money  gets involved

Want help on any these topics, or want me to write a blog post on a particular subject,
let me know I’l try my darn hardest to oblige.

Just email – dingis.fitness@gmail.com

6 Helpful Reasons to Get a Personal Trainer You Hadn’t Considered!

If you’ve ever thought, “What the hell does a personal trainer actually do?”, you’re not alone.

So what does a personal trainer actually do? Get people fitter and healthier. Quicker (I hope!).

But what does healthy and fit look like to you? What does it look like to people who have enlisted the help of a personal trainer? Sometimes, we need a little more specificity than generic fitness advice.
Well… look no further. Below are actual reasons people have trained with Dingis Fitness.

1. Just want to punch stuff/stress release. ????

If there ever was a magic pill for health, exercise would be it. Exercise is great way to improve your body’s response to stress. At Dingis Fitness, we’ve found that the opportunity to throw punches at a guy is just too good to pass up!

What Happens in these Sessions?
Usually, at the start of a session I give clients the opportunity to verbally unload the crap of life. This improves the quality of each of our sessions because any issues the client is facing doesn’t intefere with the session. Our clients don’t feel like they have to pretend that everything is OK. They can just be.
The sessions usually end on some deep diaphragmatic breathing or some light stretching. This way, clients feel more relaxed leaving the session than when they first arrived.

2. Increase self-confidence (posture, self esteem, feeling strong, look sexy, etc.) ????

Sometimes improving self confidence is getting down to a weight they feel comfortable with, but other times it can be improving posture, feeling strong in their body or just looking sexy.

What Happens in these Sessions?
Strength is a big part of improving posture. Strength training with a focus on full range of movement helps to reinforce good movement patterns in the body. Plus, simply moving helps you feel more attuned to your body.

3. Travel and trekking… without getting tired. ✈

Walking is great, all the best creatives did it. It’s great for mental health. And it’s a great way to travel and see the world. But your fitness can sometimes be the limiting factor. Lets make sure it isn’t!

What Happens in these Sessions?
Walking takes a certain type of fitness that is focused on endurance, so cardio is  important part of your sessions, to make sure you’re heart can provide your body with oxygen for as long as it needs. Staying supple and strong will help keep you injury free as you tackle tough terrain, or when you decide to dance with a giraffe with two left feet!

4. Improve relationship with own body and food in general. ????

Improving your fitness is a great way of finding out what your body is good for. The human body is so amazing (including yours! ????). We were made to explore, and exploring what your body can do is a great way to improve self esteem and efficacy. Sometimes leanrning what your body can do, is better than improving how it looks.

What Happens in these Sessions?
The exercise approach or selection doesn’t change much, but what we talk about will. The most important thing to tackle is your self-talk i.e. the conversations you have with yourself, about yourself. Simply being aware is a great way to improve your relationship with yourself!

5. Learn a new skill. ????

There are so many ways to look at fitness. And one way is to look at it like a hobby. Something that gives you a break from a demanding job or relationships. And there are so many things to learn – from squatting your own bodyweight to learning how to skin the cat (actual exercise name!), you can’t get bored.

What Happens in these Sessions?
When trying to learn a new skill, its important to have one bigger goal that you can break into smaller ones. For example, for a handstand, having good core strength is important, so learning to plank correctly can help you get there faster. This way, the planking is not just an awful exercise you hate, but a tough exercise bringing you closer to your goal!

6. The opportunity for Small Wins – ????

The gym is like corollary of life, but is much simpler. This means that it’s easier to develop great characteristics like discpline and focus in a simpler and easier setting (gym, or wherever you train) and the apply that to your life. This is because fitneess goals are simple to create, and simpler to hit. And that’s progress. What’s life without progress?

What Happens in these Sessions?
With clients who have never been successful, especially in a fitness setting, it’s important to set little goals that take a week, maybe a month tops to achieve. It can be hard to gauage this. Sometimes the goals are too hard and disheartening. Other times the goals are too easy and boring. But on occasions, like Goldilocks, we find one that’s just right! This balancing act can be hard, but with more experience it becomes easier.

If you liked this post, and wanted to get to know Dingis Fitness better, holla ????!
Or just visit our ABOUT page!

Starting Fitness? Do what you’re good at!

I used to hate board games. I kind of tolerate them now. You know what has changed?

I got better a them.

I realised that I was just a sore loser! I just don’t like sucking at stuff. But let’s be honest, who does?!

When taking on the goal to improve your health/fitness, what do you do? Work on strengths first, or do you shore up your weaknesses?

I think strengths. Going to the gym or going for a run is awkward enough, there is just no need to make it more miserable! Trying to run when “big boned-ness” runs in the family is an experience akin to childhood P.E. lessons spent trying to act like you know to kick a ball! And that’s shame, especially in a gym. It’s the one place that people go to improve themselves.

If you’ve been to a gym, you’ve seen the crazy-ass people doing acrobatics and lifting stupid amounts of weight while grunting like hippos. But those people have one thing in common, they’re comfortable because they know what they’re doing, and what they’re doing is bringing them closer to their goal.

I hate running, but my friend told me running is best for weight loss?!

That might be true for your friend, and running might help you lose weight quicker than if you lift weights (in general that’s not true, but lets go along with that for the moment!).

But I feel this quote explains my thoughts;

The best exercise is the one you’ll actually do!

To be motivated in anything things are essential (according to the Self Determinant Theory of Motivation 🙄
• Competency – if we think we are good at something, or see progress, we do it more.
• Autonomy – Choose to improve your fitness, and choosing how you will do so!
• Self Relatedness – Training with people, or social aspect of sport, aligning fitness with your core principles.

Doing what you’re good at ticks the box of competence in terms of motivation. It helps to build momentum, which is always hard to come by if you’re going to the gym (a place you might hate), if you’re doing stuff that you suck at!

Well I don’t know what I’ll be good at!? 😡

Without seeing someone train, it’s hard to say what they’re going to be best at!

But here are some general guidelines.

• Your genetics will dictate a decent amount of your strengths. Tall and skinny? Then running and jumping. Big boned? Means more surface area for your muscles!
• If you have a personal trainer, they will try to help you with your goals. But they should also help you find your strengths, and be proud of them.
• Play sports you were good at. Use the gym to increase fitness and skill to get even better at that sport.
• Does the idea fill you with dread? Well don’t do it then!

Have fun at the gym. It really is possible!

Not sure how to make the most of your time there.

Email dingis.fitness@gmail.com, and I’ll be more than happy to help with some suggestions!

Why Get a Personal Trainer? – To Push Past Your Limits.

 

When I tell people I’m a personal trainer, I’m met with quizzical and confused looks.

I guess the bemused faces are asking “What does a personal trainer actually do?”

And more importantly…

How can a personal trainer actually help ME?

Well….watch the video below to find out why personal trainer can be useful! (Or read on below.)

 

 

“Oooff, that’s heavy, I won’t be able to lift that!

Clients are always convinced that I’m asking too much from them, but then surprise themselves by lifting it with ease (and a little shriek!).

The video above explains 2 different limits – “perceived limits” and “true limits”

If you imagine your “perceived limit” as the planet earth. It’s boring, it’s surface is covered in lots of water, and those pesky laws of physics apply. Nothing much happens here. This is where half-assed workouts end up!

Now imagine your “true limit” is like the wardrobe that leads you to Narnia. Here, there are faun galavanting around, talking lions and all the turkish delight you like (or hate!).

The questions is, do your want a half-ass workout of boring earth stuff (taxes, death, Kardashians)

Or do you want a kick-ass workout with talking lions and unlimited Turkish delight?

Want a kick-ass workout, that takes you to the world of Narnia?
Visit our CONTACT page, and we’ll show you our secret entrance!

Dingis Fitness – Making Fitness More Accessible

Fitness can be a bit of a cult. It’s very easy to drink the fitness coolade.

“Ah, I’ve just spent £200 on a detox. New year, new me!”

Honestly, I don’t like fitness as an industry. I like being fit, which enables me to get more done and have more energy and I believe we are born to move, and keep moving till we meet our maker. But I don’t’ think fitness is the be all and end all.

Don’t get me wrong, as a personal trainer I think fitness is a great way for people to celebrate small victories, to work on themselves with reckless disregard to everyone else and to develop a habit of taking care of their physical and mental well-being.

But when you have to spend stupid amount of money to look a certain way. To buy this particular piece of ludicrously expensive equpment. Work out like this or like that . It just puts a lot of people off, including myself. It’s makes people say “fitness isn’t for me!”

I believe fitness is for everyone. Maybe health is a better word. I think health is for everyone.

 

Is Personal Training Elitist?

Is personal training too expensive? I don’t know. It definitely feels like that sometimes. It can feel a little elitist. I think that is particularly true in Bath.  Gym memberships start from about £40 a month, and personal training starting from about £40/ hr.

I’ve been striving to make fitness more accessible.

I believe that personal training is great because you get find your brand of fitness, if you get the right trainer! But it shouldn’t need to cost an arm and leg. If you ever sat down with a personal trainer or even worse, a gym sales rep, you’ll understand. “Well if you gave a damn about your body, you’d give me stupid amounts of money.”

But it’s not really a hard decision between eating that day and buying a gym membership.

 

Why Dingis Fitness is Trustworthy

Everyone will say their fitness services are trustworthy. But with Dingis Fitness honesty, working relationships and self-development are prioritised before making money or working you till you puke!

Everybody in Bath Can get Fit!

But how are we making fitness more accessible?

  • We try to be transparent – we’ve included our prices on all of our offerings, even though all sales handbooks say to do the opposite. (Roughly £35 per 1hr session, or £20 per 30 minute sessions. Sessions are £25 for new customers with our 4-Week Fitness Boost!)
  • We understand that this isn’t cheap –  But we trying to make it accessible as possible. That is why we are offering instalments. Intrigued, keep reading below.
  • Money back guarantee – during our initial consultation we get to know what you want and how you want to feel when you train with us. We aim to create long term goals so you don’t need a personal trainer for the rest of your life. If you’re not happy with what we offer, we’ll give you your money back.

We want people to make up their own mind. We don’t want to do any weird sales trick, trying to get people to part with their hard earned cash. When people sign up with us, they already know and trust that we are always working in their best interests.

 

We are now offering an instalment plan on our Signature 4-Week Fitness Boost.
????Click here to get the inside scoop!????