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.

D‚Äčon'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.


Get SMART to be Smart

Posted on September 22, 2016 at 5:15 AM

Aside from compiling bespoke workouts for clients, I believe a personal trainer's most important role is that of motivator.

Let's face it, getting yourself to the gym (or your chosen place of exercise) on any sort of regular basis can be a challenge and, once you're there, working as hard as you can is tough. It makes sense, therefore to have someone or something that ensures you a) turn up and b) work to the best of your ability.

It stands to reason that if you've pre-paid for PT sessions (as most people do to get a discount) the chances are you WILL turn up; and  then, when you've got a professional watching you, correcting you, encourgaing you, pushing you and maybe even shouting at you, then you're more likely to fuflfill your workout potential than if you were doing it alone. 

Unfortunately, motivation doesn't just miracuoulsy happen. Motivation is borne out of desire - if you want something in life, you generally have to do certain things to obtain it. Most people need a reason to exercise; they need a goal or an aim or at least an idea of a place they want to be in time.

So, when I first sit down with a new client, one of the first things I establish is why they want a personal trainer. What I find though is that most people have a vague notion of what they're trying to achieve but they haven't thought it through in detail.

So, my advice for anyone about to embark on an exercise plan is to set SMART goals. The acronym stands for: specific, measureable, achieveable, relevant and time-bound. If you actually write down how each of these factors relates to your particular goal, you will almost certainly have a clearer view of what you're trying to do and what you need to do in order to achieve it.

For example, with regards the goal of weight loss:

SPECIFIC. How much weight do you want to lose/what dress size do you want to get down to etc?

MRASUREABLE: Plan to weigh yourself on a regular basis (say once a week)  and log down the results.

ACHIEVABLE: Be sensible. If you're 30 stone, don't set a 10 stone goal. Set one that's more likely in the first instance - say 20 stone. Then, when you achieve that, set another one and another one until you're there.

RELEVANT: Good goals are meaningful and significant. They can be life-changeing. So, for example, an overweight dad might want to lose weight so that he can play football with his children.

TIME BOUND: Set a number of different dates by which you want to achieve different things - for example, getting into that little black dress you used to wear before giving birth on your next birthday.

NOW, stick these goals up on your fridge, look at them every day and if you're in need of further motivation, you might wish to hire yourself a personal trainer. 

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