Tuesday, September 25The Voice of London

Personal Training: Advice From A Professional

We hear so many weight loss stories, but rarely from the people making them possible. We all need a little help some times, and that’s when we bring in the personal trainers.
Words: Jade Ratcliffe Subeditor: Caitlyn Hudson

Source: Pete Alford
Source: Pete Alford

Pete Alford, 22, from Watford worked as a personal trainer for a year, before deciding that it wasn’t challenging enough for him. But his hard work training wasn’t wasted. After weeks of strenuous training, he’s been accepted in to the Armed Forces.

When he’d got the relevant qualifications he managed to get a job at his local gym, where many of the customers were interested in training one on one. So he started to go freelance and advertised further on social media. His sessions were priced at £35ph, which is cheap considering that many personal trainers charge hundreds.

He explained that his job wasn’t as easy as he’d originally thought it would be. “Everybody’s different, each exercise suits different people at different fitness levels. Some have better motor skills than others, so they are easier to train. If they have the motivation that is”.

Motor skills are made up of six components; stability, co-ordination, agility, strength, speed, and reaction time. A sports person needs all of these to be able to perform well in what they do. People lack in different areas, this is what separates the people that are good at something from the ones who are amazing at it.

 Alford trained around 15 clients a week and still found time to train solo for five hours a week… he suggests that you work out with a trainer at least two times a week, as well as working out in your own time in between.

“The trainer is more like a motivator, but you cant rely on them forever.”

When asked about the most embarrassing stories he chuckled “most are my mistakes. When I first started out I didn’t realise the ability of people. I once put the treadmill on too high and the woman on it started whacking me and screaming.

“Once I didn’t think about the weather and I took someone out and it had been icy. They went flying straight away and couldn’t work out for another two weeks because they were too bruised up.”

Pete told that he is a fan of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) but he feels that more weight training needs to be incorporated. “It needs to be varied from time to time, as a pose to the assumed cardio machines and exercises.

“The hardest clients to train in general are the ones who aren’t willing to change their lifestyle, mind-set or nutrition in order to achieve what they set out to do.

“I was training one for six months and you wouldn’t know it, because they didn’t change their lifestyle.”

It doesn’t matter how much you work out, if you don’t eat healthily and make changes then you won’t see a difference in your figure.

“I’ve had so many that will talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk they have a mini break down.”

He’s managed to help someone lose a stone in six weeks, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but that weight is more likely to stay off them because it was gradual.

The reason that many people fail to lose weight is because they try too much at once. They want to lose weight as fast as they can so they can go back to eating normally. It doesn’t work like that. Fad diets are the number one problem. You can’t stick to them for a long period of time, and when you start eating properly again you will gain more weight than you started with. Why? Your body goes into starvation mode and as soon as you put food in your body it clings on to it. Your body gets used to routines, so when you change them it’s a shock to your system. How’s your stomach supposed to know the next time it will be fed? Eating small meals regularly is the easiest way to lose weight without torturing yourself.

The ‘fat gene’- an excuse that someone uses when they believe it’s impossible to lose weight. But is there really such a thing?

“It’s not the gene, but the environment. If your parents are big then chances are that you will be too. Not from genetics, but from eating habits.

“And there is no such thing as big bones! Your bones don’t hang over your belt!”

He told me that he doesn’t stick to a specific routine and diet because he gets bored quickly. As for his clients, he expressed that “Everyone has different needs and goals, so they can’t all follow the same plan.

“My advice is to get out there and do it! Take control of your life and put yourself in a position to be able to see change and feel success everyday!”