Week 2 of Project You- Testimonial
Week two of Hip & Healthy Feature Editor, Harriet Chubb 8 week Project You challenge.
After my shocking attempt at doing a pull up or chin up in my initial fitness test for Project You, Craig, my assigned Personal Trainer clearly had his own goals in mind for me. Whereas I am distinctly more focused on the trimming of my trunk, he decided to make it his mission to ‘get me up on that bar’ at the end of the 8 weeks. I am sceptical to say the least. Not of Craig, I have every faith in Craig; I am sceptical of the one part of my body I have never attempted any sort of conditioning on. Up until I was 22 I was a life-long hardcore ballerina, training more than four times a week, so as you can imagine, legs are literally my strong point and women’s arms to me are supposed to be lithe, wafty and left well alone.
This is a generalisation I realise, but I would go as far to say that nearly all women are intimidated by the weights section the first time they enter a gym, I definitely am and perhaps it is this intimidation that immediately makes us associate weights as a male dominated arena. But of course, as Craig patiently explained to me (and to which I deep down already know) to get that flat stomach and to get that overall toned physique – we need to work each part of the body, not just with cardio but with targeted resistance training. As you can imagine, Richard Callender’s Exclusive Training studio has all the latest resistance and training equipment; now I don’t know if you have ever see one of these machines before:
But it is a work of genius. Probably one of the most versatile pieces of gym kit I have come across so far. The Gravity Training System (or GTS) creates a challenging all body workout using that humble force of nature – gravity. Perfect for practicing pull-ups, I laid myself face down on the magic glideboard and proceeded to swiftly do 10 pull ups with ease…of course 3 more sets of 10 later and you really do feel the burn, but it enables your trainer to teach you important aspects of technique and also to alter the load that you are pulling, ensuring that you gradually build strength in both your arms and your gripping muscles. We didn’t just use the GTS to do arm exercises however, 4 or 5 other movements were introduced to me that worked key parts of my body, giving my legs , abdomen and general core muscles a real test of strength, we moved from one exercise to another and completed 8-10 reps of each – these were felt well into the next day.
Craig then took me over to the weights area of the studio and it was with great trepidation that I used proper weights for the first time. I can’t quite describe how hilarious it was seeing my straggly frame doing dead lifts and snatches in the mirrored walls of the studio. A novel sight to say the least, but once I had gotten over this odd occurrence I realised how much I was enjoying the exercises. There is something very pure and satisfying about lifting weights, it also demands all your focus, unlike running where your mind can freely wander, I found myself needing all my mental attention to focus my strength on the bar and weights. It also surprised me how much my heart rate rose and how sweaty I became, having always thought that weights won’t give me much of a cardio workout – I have realised how wrong I was. Of course it is very important that your technique is correct and you are lifting only what you can realistically manage, but anyone who hasn’t tried it before I urge you to give it a go, it will bring a new dynamic to your fitness regime and gradually give you that all over strength and tone you so desire. Just speak to any one of the excellent trainers at Exclusive Training who will make you feel entirely at ease with this perhaps unfamiliar territory. It will change your attitude to your fitness, and maybe even gain you some guns to show off.