I was enjoying the leg weight training and always looked forward to a session. In 2006 I decided to go back to "school" and I began a course to become a Personal Trainer. The course was fantastic. I learned a lot about nutrition, the way the body works and the reasons behind some of those exercises we had been doing for many years. It also debunked a number of things I had learned about fitness and exercise over 25 years of training. As part of the syllabus we delved into a number of different areas including nutrition, physiology, anatomy and exercise programming. As I was working full time and also running a now growing martial arts club, I did the course via correspondence. Working in the city with long commutes by train does have one upside in that you are able to read and learn along the way. Two hours of study a day meant that I could speed through the course.
As I learned more through the course I could see that with my current leg weight training program I was only getting half the benefit. As part of the course I had to do a practical component of spending 20 hours in a gym. It was now 2007 and my daughter Anna had just been born and I was off on paternity leave. I took advantage of the time off by getting my practical component of the course done. I would get up and be at the gym by 6am and work until 10. The experience was fantastic! The environment was so different to what I was normally used to. In this environment we were really helping people achieve their goals. During a break in sessions with clients one of the other personal trainers put me through my paces. Upper body training killed me as I had neglected that part of my training. So I went home that day and developed an all body training program. I developed the program to build muscle endurance to support my Taekwon-Do training. The program was to be completed over three days. Day 1 was Chest and Back, Day 2 was legs and Abs and the final day was arms and shoulders. I would do two sets of 20 reps for each exercise but double up on bench press with 2 sets with an inclined bench, and then the next set with a flat bench. I would also do 2 sets of squats with a wide stance and then with a narrow stance. The sessions though took anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour meaning that the time commitment was at times difficult. I also gave the program to my brother who was a little overweight at the time. He ended up losing 12 kilograms in three months. The other benefit of the course was weight loss due to the focus on muscle endurance. On “non-program” days I would either practice Taekwon-Do, run or cycle. This program held me in good stead for the training I was doing. During weekend-long Taekwon-Do training sessions the body would hold up well without the aches, pains and injuries that others felt.
Quotes - “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken” – Warren Buffett
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