My journey through fitness started around 10 years ago when I first became a member of a local gym. With little direction and a desire to be fit and strong, I was drawn to weight training. For years after I resorted almost solely to this training method and enjoyed using the likes of typical split routines, isolating muscle groups and mixing between hypertrophy and strength based workouts. Ultimately I was making slow and steady progress in terms of strength and adding lean muscle to my frame, however I felt there was very little functional element to my ways and also I found it extremely challenging to maintain, let alone improve my flexibility.
As the years passed my mindset changed. I wanted more of a functional edge to my physique as opposed to just aesthetics which seemed to be the complete opposite case for most around me. So I started implementing more athletic, dynamic and explosive elements to my sessions and felt instantly more energised and focused towards achieving this new target.
In recent years I discovered a training culture called calisthenics. I was in ore over the levels of strength these guys had and mesmerised by their capabilities to control and manoeuvre themselves without a quiver in their bodies; not to mention their physiques clearly demonstrated their awesome abilities. This is what it became about for me. It was no longer the focus on looking a certain way, it was being able to move with the aesthetics being part of the process; a bonus as opposed to a priority. One thing that stood out was when the body becomes more able, it has to make the necessary adaptations to keep progressing; to be stronger, more functional, dynamic, agile and so on. It was no longer about how much weight I could lift but how I could move and discover what I’m truly capable of.
Along with this transition came yoga and meditation. I remember my first yoga class; it was two hours long and I was so surprised by the challenge on my strength, balance and endurance, I wondered how I was going to survive until the end! That said I absolutely loved it but unfortunately I let commitments get in the way so I put it to one side. Things have changed since and I have now made it a regular part of my routine. Meditation came in between stopping and starting yoga. Most people closely link the two and practise both together but this wasn’t the case for me. Having not really thought about meditation other than the typical association with Eastern culture, I discovered a friend used Transcendental Meditation to help control anxiety; something I had also struggled with. After researching TM further, I later found out that this type of practise was not only commonly used to alleviate the likes of anxiety, it had many other benefits that appealed to me. Following this, a friend and I sourced a local TM course and after completing it and starting to meditate regularly, the benefits came to life. Overall I felt more energised, mentally balanced and focused during day to day tasks as well as exercise, which has further developed my holistic approach towards fitness.
Adjusting my routine and adding these elements didn’t come easy as in some ways it felt like starting over, however I can safely say the progressions I have made in the past 6-8 months have been much more meaningful, rewarding and inspirational than those of the previous 9 years or so. Not only has my mindset and training style changed but my training time and volume has become more efficient in the process.
Whilst on this journey of self discovery and developing my own fitness lifestyle, I decided to pursue my passion to become a personal trainer. During the past two years I have learnt a lot about myself and which route to take, but predominantly learning what is important to others by helping them achieve their goals, making better lifestyle choices and pushing them beyond their expectations, all of which I continue to find extremely rewarding.