Confessions of a Trainer: How I Stay Fit

Confessions of a Trainer: How I Stay Fit


Here we go. I am about to spill the beans and pull the curtain covering the top-secret training principles and mind-bending tricks on how I stay fit. Will it blow your mind? You’ll be the judge. Because, and here’s the kicker: what I do is nothing revolutionary. I do basic stuff but I do them with consistency. And, for me, that seems to work wonders. We can tweak our diets and major in minors. But when we have the basics in place, we’ll do 99% better than the majority of people.

Here’s the best part: everything I do is within the reach of everyone else too. Yes, I do spend most of my days in a gym because of my work. But it doesn’t mean I can train myself all the time. I have client contact hours as well as running the admin side of my sole-trading business.

Yet none of this is easy because it takes work, at least in the beginning until the habits are ingrained and burned in to the brain cells.

I’ve written previously how I used to be addicted to fitness, counting calories and all the other awesomess that I, oh so strongly, campaign against these days. What I haven’t mentioned before is that I didn’t grow up being super-athletic. Or athletic at all, period. I sucked at most sports. I wasn’t overweight growing up but I was definitely living on the “softer side” of life throughout my teens, even if I was lifting weights. I enjoyed the diet that most teenagers do, which is far from what I’d considered “healthy”. I was also drinking more in late teens/early twenties and that never helps with any sort of body composition markers.

So yeah, then I gradually made the full 360 and pretty much overdid every fitness and health habit know to a man. Luckily, I found a happy medium before adding too much damage to my body and mind.  So I’ve had my fair share of struggle and being where I am now didn’t just drop on my lap and voilà, I was suddenly fit and healthy. I did it all through trying and testing different things out, some of which were awful and some which were awesome. And I wouldn’t change a thing since those are the reasons why I am the way I am today. Warts and all. Besides we’ve all seen what happens in movies when someone goes back in time and threads on an ant: nuclear holocaust.

Anyways, I digress. Here’s how my typical week looks at the moment when it comes to physical and mental training and health. I’ve detailed my eating in the past, and that, with all honesty, hasn’t changed from what it was then. 

My current training goals:

  • Improve movement quality and posture – stop any movement as soon as I feel like I am not doing it 100% correct. 
  • Improve shoulder stability.
  • Don’t get injured!
  • Stay the same weight and similar leanness – between 82.5-84kg / visible four pack in the perfect lighting 😉

My current training plan:

How I stay fit - training journal

How I stay fit - training journal
Ah, the beauty of a sweaty handwriting


In case you are having hard time reading my sweaty and heavily panting handwriting, here’s the low-down with some additional notes:

Monday 9.5.16 At Home 
A1) TRX SA Row 8×12
A2) 1/2 Kneel SA Press 4×5 20kg (from down knee)* / Band Push Ups 15-10-10- I did do 4th set but didn’t record it here, it seems.
A3) Prone TYIW 4×3 / Plank to Frw Arm Reach 4×5

+ 50 Band Pullaparts
*Upper back had enough at 4 sets.

Tuesday 10.5.16 Gym
A1) SL Squat to Box 14″ 5×8

A2) Bottom Up Carry 3x30m 12kg
B1) Single Leg Deadlift 4×10 28kg – working on the form.
B2) 1/2 Kneel Lift w/ Band 3×8 – Tspine gets “tight”.
C1) Horizontal Leg Press 5×10 115kg – not a fan of machines but it allows me to move some weight that I can’t do with KB squats at the moment. This is purely to stroke the ego. Even if it’s not that much weight.

C2) TRX Hamstring Curl 4×12 – EPIC. 

Thursday 12.5.16 Gym
A1)
1/2 Kneel Bottom Up Press 4×8 14kg

A2) Suitcase Carry 4x15m 26kg
A3) Prone TYIW 4×4
B1) SA Cable Row 4×10 35kg
B2) Push Ups 4x Max Max – Dan John’s Max Max idea, leave a bit in the tank instead of going Max Max Max on each set.
C1) 1/2 Kneel Vertical Row 4×12 70lb – Rope Handle

Friday 13.5.16 Gym
A1)
Skater Squat 5×8-10 (did 8 per set) 30lb – Left knee feels shit.
A2) Bear Cub Holds 4x5ea (used a band)

B1) Horizontal Leg Press 2×15 100kg, 1×12 100kg / Romanian Deadlift 2×12 50kg (to make 5 sets while saving the knee)
B2) SL Hip Thrust 5×10 9kg – Last two sets right leg only – knee felt like shit.
C1) Prowler/Rope – Didn’t feel like it!! (Wanted to do prowler but turf was getting used [seriously!] so I started the rope but stopped. I honestly couldn’t be bothered.)

I don’t write down my warm-ups. But it’s usually:

  • Kneeling rock back
  • Crawl variation
  • Glute bridges
  • Wallslides
  • Reverse single leg deadlift walk
  • Whatever else needs to be done depending on how the body feels.

Also, I finish each session with some sort of breathing drill.

As you can see my training is rather simple. It takes me 40-60 minutes per session including warm-up. I could probably get away with less but I love training. Sometimes it’s as much for the mind as it is for the body.

I don’t go throwing weights around while screaming bloody murder. I rarely finish my sessions feeling as if I’ve been hit by a truck driven by a dinosaur.

Is this the best plan for everyone, ever? No. But it’s the ideal plan for me right now.

The other activities to improve fitness and the quality of life

There’s so much more to being fit than the physical aspect. Here’s what I do:

  • 15 minutes of meditation each morning. I’ve recently gone from 10 to 15 minutes and that extra 5 minutes seems to be when the “magic happens”. I am getting up 5 minutes earlier between Monday and Saturday to accommodate the extra time. That’s 4.50am or 5am. Sunday is a a sleep in with no alarm meaning I am up between 5.15am and 6.15am. This brings us to another important point:
  • A routine of getting in to bed around the same time each night. Usually 9.30pm, at the latest. Little reading and sleep by 10. Living dangerously, I know.
  • One or two longer walks each week, usually for an hour or so. More so to clear my head or listen to podcasts and stuff instead of to “exercise”. On Saturdays this walk involves a trip to the liqueur store to get a bottle of wine. Red wine as of late.
  • Playing guitar on four days a week. To rock chill the f#ck out.
  • 2-3 hours of cooking on Monday to get lunches and breakfasts ready for Tuesday to Friday.
  • Daily gratitude journal. This is great for perspective and happiness. Can’t recommend highly enough.
  • Quality wife-time. Happy wife = good life.
  • The secret sauce: large consumption of heavy metal. It seems that the more metal I listen to, the happier and more content I am. Or, is it that the happier and more content I am, the more metal I listen to? This is a chicken or the egg- situation. Either way, I was very happy while writing this and listening to the brand new Hatebreed record. Side note: if you want to know what music I’ve been digging each week sign up for my Friday Digest here.

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