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.


Fitness Trackers are Good for...Jumping On

Posted on October 11, 2016 at 6:30 AM

'Fitness Tracking Devices Don't Improve Health'

This was the headline in a national newspaper recently. The story was borne out of the results of a scientific study which monitored 800 people using a Fitbit device over a year. The research found that while users exercised more at first, there was 'no evidence' the gadget promoted weight loss, improved cardiovascular fitness or blood pressure.' The study also found that 90 per cent of participants had stopped using the device before the end of the year. They said the novelty wore off.

My Response? No surprise there then!

Since such gadgets became popular I have been sceptical of their real use in long term improved health and fitness, so I feel a little smug about this research.

I am of the opinion Fitbit, and the like, are little more than a distraction from the task in hand - exercise itself. I believe they appeal to a certain sort of person (and that person is often not a dedicated exerciser) - geeks, people with more money than sense, and members of a younger generation which is concerned with style over substance. Yes, they might look cool on your wrist or attached to your belt, but if you want to know how hard you're working, all you've got to do is take your pulse or ask yourself this simple question: am I working hard or not? Your body will soon give you the answer.

And yes, I know they can do a zillion things like count your steps, moniter your calories, sleep etc but, ironically, the one thing they can't do for you is the exercise.

In addition, information overload is the bane of most people's existence nowadays without even more of it to analyse about your activity levels. I think life's a little short for obsessing about such things - and this comes from me, a pesonal trainer, who is commited to health, fitness and good old fashioned exercise for both my clients and myself. 

My advice? Jump up and down on your fitness tracker 100 times - you'll be killing two birds with one stone - destroying the gadget AND getting an aerobic workout into the bargain!

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