Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have any questions about the services I provide there is a good chance you will find the answer here. If not please feel free to contact me using the details at the top of the page.
1. If someone comes to you just to exercise, why do you assess their nutrition, lifestyle, and other factors?
The body does not work in isolation, but in a complete way. The same holds true for the things you do that impact your body. Your nutrition for example has a huge bearing on your exercise both in terms of how you perform during your workouts and how well you recover from them. A holistic approach dramatically improves the chances that you will achieve your goals. For example the person that wants to lose weight and wishes to focus purely on exercise while getting 5 hours sleep a night and eating low quality food is unlikely to succeed. I am happy to work with clients just on personal training or nutrition for example, providing other areas are in good order.
2. Is it really viable to train people online?
This is an area that is becoming increasingly popular. It saves people time and they get to be trained in the familiar surroundings of their own home. With lifestyle and nutrition coaching the online approach works perfectly well. With personal exercise training it is still a very effective tool but does to some extent depend on the individual. Some people require more stringent coaching on their technique that needs to be done in a face to face setting. Technique and the safety of the exercises is paramount in my practice, and so I will always advise people as to whether I think an online training option is suitable for them.
3. Why do I need an assessment?
This is a vital stage for any coach or therapist. The assessment stage gives you a client's starting position and enables the formulation of a plan of treatment, exercise, or nutritional advice. Without this process how can someone know what the correct course of action is? The assessment process can also uncover issues that perhaps you were not even aware of! Assessment is also an ongoing process. The diligent coach is constantly assessing his/her clients progress during sessions, and redoing the 'hard' assessment every so often to check and track the changes and progress that has been made.
4. Is it possible to achieve results with just one session per week?
The answer to this is twofold. Firstly it depends on what your goals are or what we may need to correct in order to get you back to robust good health. I will advise you on this. Secondly it depends on you and how capable you are of following a program without me being present. I am always available for my clients to contact and there are a lot of useful resources on this website to keep you on track.
1. Why do you have different time slots available for PT?
I've noticed that nearly all trainers only have 1 hour slots available. Some clients genuinely do not need a full hour to get what they need done. An interval workout for example can be done in 30 minutes perfectly well, and saves you money while still getting you what you need. I think this extra choice works well and my clients really appreciate it too.
2. Will I need to buy any equipment?
If you have online training I may advise you to purchase some relatively inexpensive items such as resistance bands, a mat, or some kettlebells. However many exercises can be done with bodyweight and so equipment is not always essential. If you have training face to face with me there will be no need to purchase equipment.
3. Can we train outside?
I live very close to two parks and outdoor training is possible and even desirable in some cases. If for some reason I don't think it's a great idea I will let you know.
4. Can you come to my home or travel to do PT?
With the exception of occasionally training clients in my local parks, I'm afraid I do not travel. I find that staying close to home allows me to train more clients more often.
5. How do you track your clients progress?
Depending on what we are trying to change or improve I use various measurements. I always take into account the fact that some measurements might make clients uncomfortable so I use something else if this is the case. Measurements can include body composition, grip strength, mobility and flexibility screening, improvements in exercise capacity, and body measurements using a tape. I also encourage clients to keep a visual record of their appearance. Taking regular pictures as you progress is really helpful and I also do it for clients if they are prone to forgetting.
6. What happens if I don't make progress?
If you don't make progress their is a reason for it. Finding it and correcting it will solve that issue. The most important thing is that progress is being made, but in the case of very slow or no progress, it's clear that something is wrong. There can be many reasons for this but what is clear is that somethings needs to be changed. I've heard many stories of failure to progress always being blamed on the client not doing what they were told. I take a different approach. If you are not doing what I asked then it is likely too difficult for your current circumstances. The key to progress is to give people things they can manage and complete consistently. Whatever the reason, I'll work with you to get back on track and achieve your goals.
7. What are you like as a trainer?
All trainers have their own individual style. I am fairly relaxed but focused on what we need to get done. I don't shout at clients or chastise them for not doing what I asked, but I will make sure you understand what I'm asking for. If you're not doing what I asked then we'll find a way to fix that which may involve asking for something easier. The safety of my clients is paramount and as such I'll never ask you to do anything dangerous or which is beyond your abilities. I train my clients with an emphasis on great technique. Rule number one: Don't injure your client.
Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy (MAT):
1. Are you the same as a physio or osteopath?
No these are different disciplines. MAT is a relatively gentle technique which is designed to enable the therapist to deal with both soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia) and osseous (bone and joint) problems. There are some things which an MAT therapist will not do such as high velocity work ('cracking' the spine for example). That said, MAT combined with my knowledge and experience of sports massage, is highly effective in treating many common problems found in individuals today.
2. How many sessions will I need to fix my problem?
This of course depends on the problem, how well you do with your home exercises if they are given, and your response to treatment. I'll advise you of how many sessions you will likely need. If I think after assessment that I cannot fix your issue I will refer you to a relevant professional who can help.
3. Do you prescribe medicines?
I am not a doctor so cannot prescribe nor advise you to stop taking medication that has been prescribed by a medical professional.
4. How can MAT improve my posture?
MAT helps to identify common strain patterns in the body so that they can be fixed and prevented from becoming pain patterns. Very often it is possible to see a developing pattern or problem that will one day lead to something more serious. It is far better to identify these problems and get them corrected before more serious problems occur. By identifying tight and restricted muscles and joints, along with inhibited and weak muscles, we can work to bring things back into balance. MAT works closely with corrective and strengthening exercises and also home exercises that you can do on your own.
5. Does MAT use oils?
No it does not. Very occasionally I will use oils as part of a sports massage technique, but typically fascial release works better without oil. Sometimes I'll just use a salve as a mild lubricant if needed.
6. Do you still do full sports massage sessions?
Unfortunately I no longer do sports massage only sessions as I find that using MAT and some sports massage is far more effective.
7. How often should I have MAT or remedial treatment?
This can depend on a number of factors including your activity levels, any and what types of dysfunction are present in the body, not to mention how well you do any home exercises!
Many people receive regular treatment b/c they keep getting the same recurring problems. In my practice I always aim to tackle the causes of such problems so that very regular repeat treatment is not required. In reality, if you consistently need to go and see the therapist then it's very likely that the root cause of the problem is not being addressed.
1. Do you make people follow a set diet plan?
I do not make eating plans for my clients in a strict sense. Everyone is different. This biochemical individuality and metabolic makeup. After you assessment we can make a plan and goals for you to follow to start improving your nutrition, but that plan will be specific to you and no one else. I'll advise you on the best choice of foods for you and how to manage the balance of the foods you eat.
2. Do you work for any diet company or weight loss organisation?
No I don't. I don't follow generic plans made by a lot of these companies and I will not try to sell you any products from them. There may be products I recommend using from time to time, but I do not benefit in any way from doing so.
3. Will I be required to weigh my food or count calories?
I will never ask you to do this as it's completely unnecessary. Nobody should have to live their life weighing food or calorie counting. It's not a sustainable way of eating.
4. How do you track progress?
This is done by goal setting and seeing those goals get achieved. From a personal perspective, as your nutrition improves you can not only see but really the difference both in energy levels, satiety, and mood. You'll achieve better focus and become more productive.
1. Why is it important to look at lifestyle? Surely exercise and nutrition just about covers it?
Lifestyle is basically how you live your life. Exercise and nutrition are part of your lifestyle, but there are many other factors which can have both a positive and negative effect on your health and wellbeing. Just a few examples of negative things which can cause immense damage to a person's physical and mental health are:
Being sedentary. Even if you workout a couple of times a week you can still have a sedentary lifestyle.
Use of medications and drugs. Some drugs are necessary but the use of many of them can be reduced or rendered unnecessary through lifestyle changes. Most drugs have harmful side effects many of which are unknown to the consumer.
Sleep/wake cycles. The large majority of people do not get enough quality sleep. This vital time when your body repairs and recovers is critical to robust good health.
Stress. Many health professionals are putting stress at the top of the list when it comes to a myriad of different diseases and premature death. Stress can take many different forms but the end result is that when the body is under too much stress, like most people today, it causes serious harm to the human system.
Isolation. We are increasingly living in a World where we do things online and by ourselves. There is a lack of positive human interaction.
Pornography. People out there may disagree with me but quite frankly, watching porn is a disaster for both men and women. I have taken an increasing interest in this in recent months and find this to be an inescapable conclusion.
2. Do you do sessions focused purely on lifestyle issues?
Sometimes yes. Sessions for those clients who are willing are geared toward whichever area needs the most attention at the time. Very often this begins with lifestyle, nutrition, and corrective exercises.
3. What if I'm not keen on discussing lifestyle issues with you? Will you still train me?
Yes I will. Most people are willing to discuss their lifestyle to a certain extent, such as stress or drinking and smoking habits etc. Only in cases where I feel that lifestyle factors are holding you back or even preventing progress will I let you know.