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.


Step It Up

Posted on October 6, 2018 at 3:15 PM

There's a new piece of kit in  gyms right now - only it's an old piece of kit. Yes, we're talking about the Stairmaster/stepper (see pic). Once the machine oif choice for gym bunnies intent on burning calories it was mainly retired off around ten years ago in favour of its trendier sister the Crosstrainer in which the arms and legs move simultaneously. But thanks to an Instagram generation which is more concerned with a shapely butt than a skinny body, it's made a comeback and gyms are now installing the latest models.

And that's good news because not only does it work the glutes, it works the quadriceps, the hamstrings and also gives a good cardio workout, used properly.

It's critics argue it can be a little boring due to the fact that you step forever, but never reach the top - not to mention the fact that walking up and down steps is a tedious part of everyday life so why also do it in the gym? But, you can make it more interesting. For example:

* walk up two steps at a time   *turn to the left/right, hold onto the handrails and step one foot over the other laterally     *do it while holding dumbbells  *you can practice interval training. For e.g step as fast as you can for 20 secs every minute.

Having a strong, toned behind has benefits other than looking good in denim. It helps with everyday functional tasks particularly as we age - for e.g getting out of a chair. It also helps prevent injury as strong glute muscles means less shock will be absorbed in the lower back and knees during weight bearing exercise. Strong glutes, also helps improve your posture.

So, what are you waiting for? Step it up and go for the glute force! 

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