The Journey of Health that took 10 years to start

The reason for writing this short blog is to highlight that one is never down and out.   There is always a way to better health, it’s just about looking for the answers and asking the right questions.
Justin George emailed me in August 2018.   He had been working with Emrys Goldsworthy, (Musculoskeletal therapist) for some months to help work on ‘a bad back’ that had been presenting with symptoms of sciatica pain. He had a disc bulge at 21 (at the time of reaching out Justin was 37) and herniated the same disc at 31.
From the above Justin was living in pain, which didn’t help his mental health but was fearful and didn’t feel ready to do any strength training for almost a decade.
I had a good relationship with Emrys and often referred clients to him.   I am thankful of his tremendous work he does as Justin trusted him when Emrys told him he was ready to start focusing on getting stronger.
Justin went through the extensive steps we use when someone is looking to train with us and from that we got some conservative basic starting points.
There were no red lights in terms of mobility. The major things we were working around were his history of disc problems, his fears around strength training and just his lack of training in the past.   His major goals were to increase strength and also positively change his body composition.
Some conservative benchmarks when we started was a Bench Press of 45kg x 8 reps and a Goblet Squat of 20kg x 8 reps.    Justin also had an inbody scan early on since body composition was a goal and he weighed in at 95kg and 32% Body Fat.
Justin has now been training for over 12 months.   It has been a total pleasure seeing his transformation of physical health, his willingness to learn and his sharing of his mental health.
Just like anyone else with any success the graph is never linear. There have been ups and downs as he and we have worked through different problems together.   The important thing to note is the consistency that Justin has had over that year.   Like with most things Justin does he goes all in and is approaching 250 sessions with us.   From that hard work, day to day or week to week might seem like it’s not always moving forward but when we look at the bigger picture now Justin is:
  • Down to 86kg at 21 % (9kg Body weight down and 10% body fat down, 2kg of muscle up.
  • Back Squatting sets of 80kg for 8 reps instead of 20kg Goblet Squats.
  • Bench Pressing sets of 62kg for 8 reps instead of 45kg
  • Deadlifting without pain
  • Learnt the Clean and Jerk and Snatch (two most technical exercises you can do with a barbell)
  • Been progressing and learning handstands
  • Fully immersed himself into our community and is now even Head of Social Events for The Wild Movement!

Justins Body Composition changes over time. The graph bottom right shows Percent Body Fat and Total Muscle Changes. He was actually heavier than this when he started too.

I hope from reading this it gives you some hope where their may be little.   One of the hardest parts is reaching out and trusting a professional (especially in the fitness industry) when you have been living in pain for a long time.   I’m grateful Justin did and I’m looking forward to where the journey evolves to.
If you want to have a chat about whether our Pack Strength training is right for you please feel free to contact us HERE.  

 

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Results with a Strong Decision

This week I wanted to change the tune and simply tell you about one of our members. The purpose of this is to simply show you what is possible. When we hear more positive stories we are more likely to take action.

Steve completed his initial consult the week prior to my gym The Wild Movement opening. I remember it being a little hard to tie him down for the initial consult and wondering how serious he was.

His initial consult after doing the screening that was necessary we got some bench mark numbers of his strength.

Initial Results

• Rounded Shoulders
• Right hip sitting higher than left
• Lumbar Flexion poor
• Hamstring Length 30 degrees short of ideal
• Trapbar Deadlift 1 RM 80kg
• Chin Up x 5 reps
• Bench Press 1 RM 60kg
• Back Squat 1 RM 67.5kg
• 79kg Body weight with a body fat of 23.9% (InBody Scan tested)

Steve hadn’t trained in 3-6 months due to a number of different personal factors. When we spoke initially he said he was ready to start looking after himself and feel good again.

Steve committed to an initial 4 week block of training that involved training 4 x per week. This is a big commitment for someone that hasn’t been doing any training but it was a strong decision. If we fast-forward 18 weeks we will see some amazing progress.

Current Results

• Posture neutral including hips not hiked. This is strength training correctly and also working with the amazing Athletica Physical Health.
• Fingers to floor Standing Pike (previously 20cm short)
• Trapbar Deadlift 1 RM 127.5kg
• Chin Up x 13 reps and 1 rep max of 29kg added to bodyweight
• Bench Press 1 RM 81kg
• Back Squat 85kg last testing Estimated 90kg Currently
• 79kg Body weight with a body fat of 15 %. That’s 4.5kg of muscle on And 5kg of fat down.
• Juggling 60 seconds (Couldn’t juggle previously)
• Kicking up to handstands in the open. Progress from never being upside down.

Steve’s commitment I believe has increased each time he has set goals and ticked them off. It is very powerful to see yourself improving. It builds mental resilience. Steve’s openness to really work on himself in all areas not just physical has really meant he has grown so much more than his physical results show. He borrows books from our library and is always looking to learn more about himself and what we are doing.

I am really excited to see where Steve can take his training and his life through the continued growth he has been experiencing.

What started out as a 4 week commitment of 16 days training has turned into 4 days every single week (sometimes 5) for the past 18 weeks. There has never been a session missed. This doesn’t mean he has not struggled on some days and weeks with feeling flat, having niggles or fighting colds but we have always worked around it to ensure there is long term progress.

As I always say consistency is king. Do the basics well over a long period of time and you will go far.

In Steve’s own words – ‘Train hard, train often, eat good food and sleep well!”

PS If you would like to transform your health, physical capacities and life then reach out to us with an email to [email protected] we would love to hear from you.

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Learnings from Mass and Strength Holiday

Last week a client and myself completed Strength and Mass Holiday. This is a program designed by famous German Strength Coach Wolfgang Unsoeld. The goal of the program is for the trainee to put on weight and strength quickly. The program is 10 sessions across five days. It is not for the faint hearted. If you need to put on some kilos of muscle and increase strength though then this could be your answer however.

I have completed intensive blocks of lifting before similar to this but this is the most comprehensively I have followed the nutrition protocol (as did my client) with a given program. The nutrition protocol is more food than most people are used to eating.

We started Monday morning as the plan suggested and finished Friday afternoon. The sessions were maximum of 60 minutes but with a lot of volume, especially considering all sets had long eccentrics to increase time under tension of the muscle.

Most days we both felt good, with the only exception Wednesday. During the second session I felt completely flogged and wasn’t too sure how I would bounce back for the next morning let alone get through the session on hand.

LEARNING

• Doing something that questions your mental and physical strength sometimes is a good thing. When you do it with another person it’s an even better experience.
• When you have a decent training age squats don’t tax you nearly as much as deadlifts. We did 58 sets pretty heavy sets across the week and there was very little muscle soreness from them.
• Eating enough for people that want to put on muscle aggressively should be just as hard as training. Eating 7 eggs or a bowl of rissoles at 430am was tough – but part of the process.
• When you are strength training effectively and progressively there is such a massive adaptation that the body wants to go through. If you don’t feed it there will be no positive effect.
• Being on a clock and aiming to keep our sessions under the hour meant more focused training and less time fluffing.

OUR RESULTS

We kept our data very simple. We both weighed in Monday Morning pre training and weighed in again 7 days later at the same time. My client’s weight started at 80.1kg and finished at 81.9kg. My weight started at 95.8kg and finished at 97.7kg. We both gained close to 2kg. Unfortunately we did not complete any skinfolds or scans to get a more accurate picture of fat versus lean mass. I will definitely do this next time. We are both very happy with the result on the scales and I know I definitely feel just as lean if not leaner than before.

From here I plan to go back to moderate volume and intensity training over the next month or so with my lifting and capitalise on some good strength gains. I will be opening up a few spots in the future to complete the program at The Wild Movement for motivated individuals. Keep an eye out for this.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear any questions you have or you can check out the Ebook from Wolfgang Here.

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What is The Wild Movement

What is the WILD MOVEMENT ?

The Wild Movement is a holistic training space owned by myself – Luke Sharp and my partner Lauren Brown.

The name comes from our conversations across the years of how training has gone so far away from how we were designed to live and move that it is almost ironic. The fact that we have to go to a gym to try and get some of the benefits of movement that we would have got in everyday life only a hundred years ago is sad to me. We live in boxes, drive in a box to a box gym that has superficial lighting, machines and mirrors and then go to work and sit in our box and communicate via email on the box. We then go home via our box and watch the box while we eat out of a box. To us that just doesn’t sound like a prosperous life. Lauren and I have tried to live authentically how we want (not society) for the past five years since we met. The name The Wild Movement is about getting back to our origins of how we were desgined to live and move.

In our gym you won’t find any mirrors. You will find a feeling of nature, fun and peace. We have tried to make the space as organic and natural as possible. Training in this space reflects that.

I am a big believer in strength. A stronger person will die older. They will run faster, jump higher, have more protection against injuries and have more muscle mass to fat mass. Training at The Wild Movement reflects this. We use the barbell for the big lifts that carry over into so many massive benefits. We use our bodies through full ranges of movement that society has forgotten about. We develop physical skills to break through limiting beliefs. We push hard but also recover hard. We are about yin and yang. Where you take from one side you must give back to the other.

Our space is open for anyone that wants to create long lasting positive change in their life. This is not for people that want a quick fix but people that are open to being their best version of themselves physically and mentally. Health is wealth. I Look forward to seeing you soon.

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