The Trouble with Phones in the Gym

As a personal trainer I see all sorts in the gym. 

What I saw the other day (and I've seen before) is someone stepping on a phone that had been left on the floor of an exercise studio. What ensued, was nothing short of a cat-fight. 

Woman 1 - who trod on the phone - let out a small squeal, alerting woman 2 - whose phone it was - to rush over (she was busy putting a mat away at the time). Woman 1 apologises, adding she didn't see it because it was on the floor. Woman 2 picks up the phone to find that the screen has shattered and launches into a tirade of abuse. Woman 2 stands her ground and protests that it's not her fault because the phone shouldn't have been left vulnerable on the floor and it was an accident waiting to happen. Woman 1 suggests she must be blind not to see it, and starts name calling and using foul language.

This exchange  goes on for a couple of minutes by which time the studio has emptied of other people and a member of the gym staff rushes in, advising them to carry on their argument outside.

It was an unedifying sight which could have been avoided with a bit of common sense:

I am totally with Woman 1 on this:

If you bring your phone into a gym, do NOT leave it on the floor. It's plain STUPID and if someone does tread on it, you've only got yourself to blame.

I understand why people bring phones into gyms - there's a number of valid reasons. But, they can be a menace. 

What I DON'T understand, in addition to abandoning  them on the floor, is people who spend more time talking on them than working-out.But that's a whole different subject which needs a blog of its own - watch this space!


As a personal trainer, I'm in and out of gyms all day. Something I've noticed lately is the emergence of an 'athleisure trainer'  being used instead of a bona fide sports one.

Be aware: fashion trainers might look cool and stylish, they might come in more colours and styles, they might even cost less, but - in the main - they are not suitable for working out in. 

That's because they're not made for athletic functionality or to help prevent injury. 

The grip on the bottom is likely to be inferior to fashion ones and the cushioning and support at the rear of the shoe is unlikely to be suitable for supporting the ankle and instep - particularly if you're running or jumping. Also, the impact on joints will be greater, which is a classic pathway to knee and hip problems.

Also, the materials and fabric used in fashion trainers are often 'hard', inflexible, heavy and without wicking to help release heat and moisture.

If you're an athleisure-trainer-wearer in the gym, it might not be your fault. When you walk into the trainer section of a sports store, the two varieties are often not de-lineated and if you ask a member of staff, they don't always know the difference.

So, do your research before you part with your money. Once you've worn your trainers (whatever type they are) you won't be ale to return them.

Don't Run Out of Steam

So much has been written about coronavirus and how to keep fit while we're locked down. So much information, so many You Tube videos, so many Instagram posts and so many people to like, follow and watch. It's overwhelming and exhausting - and that's before you've even done any exercise.

 My advice is this: find a type/s of exercise that works for you and keep doing it. Change it when you feel your body's got used to it or when it gets boring, The most important thing to do is keep going during this period. Those people who maintain an exercise regime throughout lockdown are the very people who are likely to remain committed when this is all over. They are the people who will stand out and flourish back in the gym/exercise classes and they are the people who will be able to feel proud of themselves from a fitness perspective for a very long time.


The Honest PT

Posted on March 5, 2016 at 1:05 PM

This week's rant: women who do multiple exercise classes in a row

We've all seen them - those smug, super-fit, super-slim women who rush from one group exercise class to another.

Why? is the question that springs to mind.

I'll tell you why - because theu can, because they're showing off and because they've obviously got time on their hands (and in some cases they're obsessed and think that the longer they exercise, the more they will benefit).

What perhaps they don't realise is that they could be doing more harm than good. As most classes at gyms and health clubs are an hour long, this means that some women are working-out for three hours a day. I know such women. I also know women who travel from one gym to another in order to meet timetable deadlines so they can get their class 'fix.'

It's now almost universally accepted within the fitness industry that 'less is more' in terms of time spent doing exerciuse. The guiding principle is: it's not how long you do something that matters, it's the quality and intensity of what you do in a shorter time that counts. (unless you're training for a marathon, or similar, of course)

And almost all research shows that, for an average person, exercising (hard) for much over an hour is likely to be counter productive - both in terms of results and impact on the body. This is because after about an hour, your brain registers that your body is exhausted and sends it into 'survival mode' via metabolic changes and hormonal responses. It starts doing cruel things like storing fat and burning muscle which is the last thing you want if your goal is a fit, healthy and toned body.

The other potential problem is that if you've got any physical vulnerabilities - for example, a weak knee or diseased heart - they will be the first things to 'go' if your body reaches its limits - particularly as you get older.

And then there's the problem of lower level injury - like strains or sprains - not to mention general aches and pains. These things are common in people who over-exercise (whatever their age) and they are your body's way of telling you to stop. What an irony though. You exercise for as long as you can, and then you have to stop exercising because it's harmed you...

So, while I don't wish to discourage enthusiasm and I should acknowledge that any woman who can do two or three classes in a row must be pretty fit, my message to such women (and it is a female phenomenon) is: calm down, chill out and give 100% to just one class. You'll achieve the same results and you'll get back a couple hours or your life every day to do whatever you were missing out on before - like, for example, scoffing a cream cake!

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