Personal Training and Exercise Referrals
REPs Level 2:
REPs Level 3:
Continuing Professional Development:
First-aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
Mike Gascoigne is a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals
I can work with people of any age, including young people under 18 accompanied by their parents, but I am particularly interested in the older age groups from 50 upwards. I have found that age is not necessarily an impediment to fitness, and there are some very fit people who are well over 50.
Personal Trainers: The Lifestyle Coaches of the Health and Fitness Industry
Forget what you have seen on TV, films and advertising. Personal training is not about pumping iron and building huge muscles. It's about getting the results that YOU want in a way that fits in with all the positive aspects of YOUR lifestyle, and that's why it's called PERSONAL training. People go to personal trainers with all sorts of objectives, for example losing weight, improving their race results, or getting back to their previous form after recovering from an illness or injury. For some, the objective might be just to get started with a safe and effective exercise programme after years of inactivity and over-indulgence.
So, you are living a busy life, preoccupied with work, family and various other interests. But you are putting on weight and you know it's not good for your health, and you need to do some exercise, but how do you find time for it? I know how to help, and I've had to make changes to my own lifestyle, so why not contact me?
Getting fit is a rewarding experience. It helps you to look good and feel good, increases your self-confidence, and gives you the energy to go about your daily activities with greater ease and efficiency. It also improves your general health and well-being and makes you less susceptible to obesity-related illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and diabetes.
The process of getting fit is also rewarding, although it's hard work. After each exercise session you feel relaxed and it's a way of getting rid of the stresses of a busy life. You also get a release of endorphins, the hormones that make you feel good, and I like to call it the "good, tired feeling".
However, it can be a tough old game, getting motivated into exercise and persevering with it when there are so many other things you have to do. The key factors in a successful exercise programme are:
How Much Exercise Is Enough?
I get quite a lot of people telling me about their exercise programmes and saying that they go out for a walk a few times each week, or their job involves some activity such as occasionally lifting and carrying things. In many cases I find that they are not doing enough to achieve any useful results, and their exercise programmes do not include all the essential components which should be:
Having defined the type of exercise, the quantity is defined according to frequency, duration and intensity as follows:
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 1 gives recommendations for the frequency, duration and intensity of aerobic exercise for people with varying levels of fitness.
People who are unaccustomed to exercise should start at a low intensity and low duration, and increase it gradually to avoid the risk of injury.
Where does this put the person with average fitness who goes for a walk every day, for example the habitual dog-walker? It's good for the dog, because he goes off running into the fields and comes back puffing and panting, but it doesn't do much for the person. To achieve any benefit, you need to speed up a bit and start walking at a brisk pace or even start running. You need to raise your heart rate to 55-70% HRR which will make you feel warm and out of breath (leave your coat at home and put on your shorts and vest instead).
When do I Need a Personal Trainer?
You are likely to need a personal trainer in the following circumstances:
If you think any of this applies to you, and you live in my local area (Camberley in south east England, west of London), you can contact me for a free consultation.
What happens when I go to a Personal Trainer, and what can you do for me? Why can't I do it just by myself?
Normally, when you start an exercise programme and do something new, such as running, cycling, swimming or going to a gym, you will experience some immediate benefits. You will feel better, and in the early stages you are likely to lose some weight because the energy balance has changed. You are burning off more calories while consuming the same number of calories in your diet, so you lose weight. However, after a while you find you can't lose any more weight, simply by continuing the same exercise routine, because the energy balance has settled at a new level. You are burning off calories during exercise, but you are burning fewer calories during your daily activities because you are carrying around less weight. To continue achieving results, you need to focus on fat loss intead of weight loss. This will involve building muscle, while at the same time losing fat, so you need to focus on specific muscle groups depending on the goals you want to achieve.
As you continue an exercise programme, the body adapts to the activity, and then you can change the programme and adapt to a new activity. After a series of adaptations, you gradually progress toward a result that you want, a process called "periodisation". A common method of periodisation is to start with a number of different activities, each lasting for a short time to achieve all-round fitness, then phase out some of them and spend more time on just a few activities, achieving exercise durations that would not be possible at the beginning of the programme.
Exercise is time-consuming and hard work, and to make the most of it you need follow a scientific, structured programme. Whether you are a complete beginner, or you have been working at it for some time and you want to take it further, you will be better off with a professionally designed programme that is updated regularly as new adaptations occur. Most importantly, as you increase the intensity and duration of an exercise, the risk of injury increases, so you will need advice about how to stay within safe limits and how to maintain sufficient variety to keep all the muscles and joints working correctly.
A personal training programme always begins with a medical questionnaire, to try and identify any issues that might affect your ability to exercise. This is necessary, even if you are exercising already, because it might influence any changes that are made to your programme. In particular, I will need to know about any cardio-vascular problems, and a blood pressure measurement will be taken. I will also need to know about any problems with muscles and joints that might affect mobility. Everything that you tell me will be in strictest confidence, just the same as if you are visiting your GP. In some circumstances, it might be necessary for me to ask you to get a doctor's note, to confirm that you can do vigorous exercise.
After the medical questionnare, we go through a lifestyle questionnare to identify the goals that you want to achieve, both in the short-term and long-term, and see how an appropriate exercise programme can fit in with your existing activities (job, family, social life, etc.) Would you be better off exercising at home, or in a local park, or at a gym, or at a sports club? Obviously you will know more than anyone else about your own lifestyle, and you might have already struggled with issues about how to find time for exercise, but you might not know about all the options available, and talking it over with a personal trainer might be useful.
When the questionnaires are all finished, we start a fitness testing programme to find out how fit you are already. This involves the following:
The fitness tests are repeated at intervals during the exercise programme so that you know if you are achieving any results, and you will be able to compare them with your own perceived level of progress.
Obviously the success of any fitness programme depends on motivation, which means actually doing the exercise and not just thinking about it. There are many things that can motivate people, for example you might want to look good and feel good, you might want to impress a significant other person, you might have experienced the benefits of fitness already and you want to take it further, or you might want to recover from a health crisis.
Working with a Personal Trainer is a partnership. It's not like going to a barber's shop where you go in, pay some money and come out looking different. Fitness training is hard work and you've got to have your own reasons for doing it, but I am here to help. If you have any questions, please contact me and I hope to see you soon.
South East England, West of London:
I am a member of a running club called Sandhurst Joggers. It's a very friendly and sociable club and encourages people to do their best regardless of their ability.
I joined them in 2007 after recovering from a health problem and have successfully completed the following races:
In addition to these, I have participated in numerous cross-country runs organised by the Thames Valley Cross-Country League, and have organised and helped with regular training runs for the Sandhurst Joggers.