Terry Crews Workout, Plus Crews’ 5 Ways To Win At Life

No matter what his filming schedule demands, Crews makes sure he has a workout regime to stick to. If nothing else, he says, it keeps his mind clear. “I love running,” he told Men’s Fitness back in 2014. “I don’t have a typical runner’s physique, but I’m fast – I usually run four miles [6.5km] a day and I can do that in 30 minutes. Running makes me feel so good – the endorphin rush it gives has the same effects as an antidepressant. Once I get a good sweat on it helps to get the blood flowing to my brain and it helps me think clearly, which is why I use that time to learn my lines. I really notice the difference when I don’t run – I become irritable. I’m not the same person.”

Of course, you don’t get that ripped just by running every day. “I lift weights four times a week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday,” Crews says. “Monday is usually legs day, Tuesday is back and Thursday is chest and arms. I know a lot of people do chest and back together, but that’s just the way it works for me. Friday’s my shoulder day, when I do barbell complexes called 24s. I like using basic exercises and big, powerful movements that work your whole body.

“It’s good to incorporate bodyweight stuff into your training and it’s a great way to get you started, but I believe resistance is important. You need to have some weights exercises on your workouts! Nothing can replace picking up something heavy. As human beings we were meant to move that rock or carry food from one place to the next. It’s the way we’re wired.”

Since we want to be Crews when we grow up, we’ve created a weekly set of workouts inspired by his training schedule. Do four sets of ten reps for each move, doing the lifts in order. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Monday: Legs

1 Barbell squat
2 Barbell lunge
3 Romanian deadlift
4 Glute bridge

Tuesday: Back

1 Pull-up
2 Bent-over row
3 Reverse flye
4 Gym ball back extension

Thursday: Chest and Arms

1 Incline bench press
2 Chin-up
3 Cable crossover
4 Dumbbell biceps curl

Friday: Shoulders

1 Overhead press
2 Upright row
3 Dumbbell lateral raise
4 Dumbbell shoulder press

Terry Crews’ 5 Ways To Win At Life

This article first appeared in Men’s Fitness in October 2014

For a man who can toss around a 40kg dumbbell like a toy, Terry Crews is making a meal out of the 2kg one we put in front of him during his Men’s Fitness photoshoot, straining while curling it with an intensity that makes his veins pop. Why? Because it’s funny. Why else?

This is typical Crews. While he’s as hardcore as any Hollywood action man – he spent four years as an NFL linebacker and still lifts with dedication that would shame most pro athletes – he’s also an art school graduate who doesn’t buy into the stereotypical tough guy image. “People think that because you look a certain way you should act a certain way,” Crews explains between on-camera grimaces. “I like to challenge that.”

This attitude has made Crews just as at home flexing his pecs in Old Spice adverts as he is playing the action star in The Expendables 3. Crews likes a joke, but he takes his work seriously – and he’s becoming one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood. Here’s what else you can learn from the big man.

1. Embrace failure 

Unlike, say, the typical Apprentice candidate, Crews embraces his mistakes as a learning experience. “Comedy is all about failure,” he says. “And you need to learn how to fail because jokes don’t always work. I’ve learned not to care and to be comfortable being embarrassed. As a football player I was an alpha male among alpha males, but I watched guys go straight to hell trying to keep up a certain image. So I just decided I was going to be me, and it changed my way of thinking.”

Crews says he wanted to challenge preconceived notions of what a tough guy is. “People have bought into stereotypes and rules. They need to realise it’s OK to like what you like and do what you want. So if you like me, I’m with you but if you don’t, it’s OK too. With my comedy, some people are like, ‘Ah man, Terry Crews grates on my nerves’. I’m an acquired taste. But no-one can please everyone, and you shouldn’t try.” Lord Sugar would probably agree. 

2. You’ll get better with age 

At 46, Crews still trains with savage intensity – but with decades of experience in the gym, he’s tweaked his workouts to suit his busy schedule and age. “I’ve felt the need to change my workouts a lot as I’ve got older,” he says. “As a young man I could jump off a roof, fall on my back and get up without a problem. But now if I stub my toe, I’m out for two weeks. It made me realise that instead of just working harder, I needed to work smarter. I used to lift lots of heavy weights for lots of reps, but it would wear me down. So I tried lowering the reps, and I found that if I just got two heavy reps in per set instead of five or six, I’d get more benefit from it. Plus I’d recover better and I wouldn’t feel as tired.”

His approach to squats is a perfect example. “I used to squat all day long, but afterwards my knees would be sore and I’d blow my back out a lot. So I went to an Olympic training centre to see how Olympic lifters were squatting, and I realised that squatting with correct form is a lot like a ballet plié – you need to bend your knees outward with a straight back. That massively reduces the pressure on my knees.”

Crews’s one key lesson? When training, “you need to experiment and see what works for your body. Your workouts should always make you feel better, not worse.”

3. Play with your food

As with his training, Crews has adapted his diet as he’s got older to deal with what his body can handle. The good news? There’s pizza and ice cream involved. “When I was younger I bought in to the concept of eating five or six times a day, but it turned out I was eating too much, so I had to work out even harder to burn it off.”

Recently he’s been experimenting with intermittent fasting. “Most days I’ll eat my first meal at 2pm and my last meal at 10pm. I like to work out in the morning – I’m a big ‘wake up, hit it, get it done’ kinda guy – then eat my biggest meal in the evening.”

The concept isn’t complicated. “I find that restricting the times when I eat means I eat less,” Crews says. “For the first four or five days I was so hungry it was unbelievable, but all of a sudden my body adapted and the hunger pains went away. Now I don’t eat as much, and I get full a lot faster. I also save my carbs for my evening meal. That means I end the day with a wonderful meal with bread and potatoes that I can look forward to, and it never feels like I’m depriving myself.”

Especially since that’s only six days a week… “On Sundays I have a cheat day, where I eat whatever I want – pizza, ice cream, anything I’ve been thinking about during the week. It’s changed my life. I’ve managed to maintain all my muscle and burn away all my fat. And because I’m eating more at night, my body produces more testosterone and growth hormone while I sleep – and gives me more fuel for my workout for the next morning.”

Those aren’t the only benefits. “I get more randy too,” Crews says with a grin. “My wife is like, ‘All right buddy, I like your new workout!’”

4. Run and lift

No matter what his filming schedule demands, Crews makes sure he has a workout regime to stick to. If nothing else, he says, it keeps his mind clear. “I love running. I don’t have a typical runner’s physique, but I’m fast – I usually run four miles [6.5km] a day and I can do that in 30 minutes. Running makes me feel so good – the endorphin rush it gives has the same effects as an antidepressant. Once I get a good sweat on it helps to get the blood flowing to my brain and it helps me think clearly, which is why I use that time to learn my lines. I really notice the difference when I don’t run – I become irritable. I’m not the same person.”

Of course, you don’t get that ripped just by running every day. “I lift weights four times a week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday,” Crews says. “Monday is usually legs day, Tuesday is back and Thursday is chest and arms. I know a lot of people do chest and back together, but that’s just the way it works for me. Friday’s my shoulder day, when I do barbell complexes called 24s. I like using basic exercises and big, powerful movements that work your whole body. 

“It’s good to incorporate bodyweight stuff into your training and it’s a great way to get you started, but I believe resistance is important. You need to have some weights exercises on your workouts! Nothing can replace picking up something heavy. As human beings we were meant to move that rock or carry food from one place to the next. It’s the way we’re wired.”

5. Keep on believing 

The most important part of being Terry Crews? Enjoying life. “Sly [Stallone] is my mentor – he taught me how to be an action star,” says Crew. “The guy’s a force of nature. And when we were on set filming the first Expendables movie, he pulled me to one side and said, ‘Terry, when that camera’s on you, the whole movie is on you. So enjoy it, take it and live it, because you don’t get these opportunities all the time.’ That blew me away, because sometimes on set I was so nervous, I’d almost want to just hurry up and get it over with. But Sly was like, ‘No, no, no, this is your moment, this is your time. When you’re on camera, you take it.’

“Afterwards we’d look at my footage together and he’d say, ‘You see right there, you see how you’re taking it?’ He was showing me what it is to be a superstar, and he knows it more than anyone. He’s a guy who’s been counted out so many times and has brought himself back from the brink. He wrote this whole franchise and everybody said, ‘You’re too old to be an action star’ but he stuck to his guns, and now we’re on the third Expendables film and it’s a worldwide sensation. Sly built that from the ground up. He taught me so much, and above all he taught me you should never ever give up on your dreams.”

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Tough Mudder Training Plans

Obstacle races are all the rage right now – not just with fitness folk, but also with many former armchair athletes who now want to take part in the action rather than sit back and watch it.

If you’ve never taken part in a major obstacle race like Tough Mudder but are keen to do so, you’re in luck – we’ve designed a beginner-friendly eight-week training plan that will not only get you to the start line, it will allow you to get to the finish line too, and maybe even with a smile on your face.

RECOMMENDED: How To Tackle Tough Mudder’s Brand New Obstacles For 2017

Before you begin the training plan there’s a couple of things you need to remember: if you are not a runner but are physically strong then you need to include more running training in your preparations. However, if all you do is run and don’t do any strength work, it’ll be hard work getting over the many obstacles, so you need to do more resistance training. To tackle the course successfully make sure that your training incorporates both running and total body strength work.

Finally, while there’s not much you can do on the gym floor to prepare yourself for those obstacles involving very cold water and ice, you can gradually get used to the shock to your system in the shower after training, by alternating 30-second blasts of warm and cold water. It’s not the nicest way to wash, but it can be good preparation. Read on for our complete eight-week obstacle course training plan.

JUMP TO: Tough Mudder Training Classes

Tough Mudder Training Plan

“This programme combines endurance and strength training to mimic the challenges you’ll face on race day,” says personal trainer Glenn Higgins, founder of Glenn Higgins Fitness. “Run and train outside where you can or you’ll get a shock on the day.”

Keep following the workout and you should see your scores improve as race day gets closer. But don’t forget that Tough Mudder is not just a physical challenge – our guide to staying mentally strong will help you stay the course.

Most of the moves require no kit, but you will need dumbbells, a medicine ball and a kettlebell. When doing moves with weights, choose a weight that make it challenging but possible to complete all the sets. If it starts to get easier, increase the weight.

Week 1

Monday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest after each round

Tuesday Run 2 miles (3.22km)

Wednesday Rest

Thursday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 5 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 20 squats
  • Tabata mountain climbers: 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds’ rest

Friday Run 2 miles (3.22km)

Saturday 10 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

Sunday Rest

Week 2

Monday 8-12 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

Tuesday Run 3 miles (4.83km)

Wednesday Rest

Thursday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 10 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 ball slams
  • 10 box jumps

Friday Run 3 miles (4.83km)

Saturday 10 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 squats
  • 10 burpees
  • 10 sit-ups

Sunday Rest

Week 3

Monday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 squat thrust to broad jumps
  • 50m bear crawl
  • 15 press-ups
  • 20 V-sits

Tuesday Run 3 miles (4.83km) with a 3kg dumbbell in a rucksack

Wednesday Rest

Thursday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 5 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 15 lunges
  • 20 squats

Friday Run 3 miles (4.83km) with a 3kg dumbbell in a rucksack

Saturday Run up a hill carrying a 4-6kg dumbbell in a rucksack. Run for 90 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. 8-12 rounds.

Sunday Rest

Week 4

Monday 8-12 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • Tabata burpees: 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds’ rest
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 press-ups
  • 15 jump squats

Tuesday Run 4 miles (6.44km). Every half a mile (805m) do 15 burpees

Wednesday Rest

Thursday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 10 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 ball slams
  • 10 box jumps

Friday Run 4 miles (6.44km). Every half a mile (805m) do 15 burpees

Saturday 5-8 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 press-ups
  • 10 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 burpees
  • Tabata mountain climbers: 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds’ rest

Sunday Rest

Week 5

Monday 5-8 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 press-ups
  • 10 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 burpees
  • Tabata mountain climbers: 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest

Tuesday Run 5 miles (8.05km) run with a 4kg dumbbell in a rucksack

Wednesday Rest

Thursday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 5 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 15 lunges
  • 20 squats

Friday Run 5 miles (8.05km) run with a 4kg dumbbell in a rucksack

Saturday Run up a hill, carrying a 4-6kg dumbbell in a rucksack. Run for 90 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. 8-12 rounds.

Sunday Rest

Week 6

Monday 8-12 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 20 kettlebell swings
  • 10 squat thrusts
  • 10 box jumps

Tuesday Run 6 miles (9.65km). Every mile (1.61km) do 15 press-ups

Wednesday Rest

Thursday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 10 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 ball slams
  • 10 box jumps

Friday Run 6 miles (9.65km). Every mile (1.61km) do 15 press-ups

Saturday 5-8 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 press-ups
  • 10 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 burpees

Sunday Rest

Week 7

Monday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 10 pull-ups
  • 20 press-ups
  • 30 squats

Tuesday Run 7 miles (11.27km)

Wednesday Rest

Thursday 5 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • 5 dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 15 lunges
  • 20 squats

Friday Run 7 miles (11.27km)

Saturday Run up a hill, carrying a 4-6kg dumbbell in a rucksack. Run for 90 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. 8-12 rounds.

Sunday Rest

Week 8 (Race week)

Monday 8-12 rounds, 60 seconds’ rest

  • Tabata burpees: 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds’ rest
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 press-ups
  • 15 jump squats

Tuesday Run 4 miles (6.44km)

Wednesday Rest

Thursday Rest

Friday Rest

Saturday Triumphantly race your first Tough Mudder

Sunday Party/research when the next Tough Mudder is

Find out more about Glenn Higgins Fitness

NEXT: Tough Mudder Training Classes

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Use Plyometric Exercises To Make Explosive Gains

If you want bigger and stronger muscles then most of your training time should be dedicated to lifting weights. But you can reach your size and strength goals faster by also including some weekly plyometric work, which means doing more explosive bodyweight moves such as box jumps or clap press-ups, according to a study published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research.

The research found that subjects who performed plyometric exercises added more muscular size and had greater power output than those who didn’t. And the best bit – aside from not needing any equipment – is that you only need to do it once a week, because those who did just one plyometric session a week saw greater benefits than those who did four.

“Adding plyometric exercises to your routine will not only increase your athletic capabilities, it will also improve muscle mass by recruiting your fast-twitch fibres,” says trainer Alex Gildea. “Start by keeping the rep count low to perfect your technique and avoid injury.”

Do one of the following three plyometric moves before a legs session or combine all three for an quick and intense cardio workout.

Jump squat

Squat down and load tension in your legs and glutes, then jump up powerfully, swinging your arms for momentum. Push your hips forwards at the top and exhale. Don’t roll your knees inwards when you land. Do 5-10 reps for 3-5 sets, resting 60sec between them.

Jump lunge

Start in a split stance and load tension on your front leg with your core engaged. Jump up powerfully and switch legs in mid-air to land with your other leg in front. Don’t let your knees go ahead of your toes. Do 5-10 reps per leg for 3-5 sets, resting 60sec between them.

Press-up burpee

Squat down, jump your feet back and do a press-up. From there bring your knees towards your chest, then jump up powerfully. Land softly by bending your knees and go straight into the next rep. Do as many reps as you can for between 30sec and 60sec.

RECOMMENDED: The Benefits Of Burpees For Fat Loss

Illustrations: Sudden Impact

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How many calories to eat at lunch if you want to lose weight

Researchers suggest eating 750 calories for lunch to lose weight, in miracle study for those who love to go to lunch.

Photo: iStock

You pop the lid on your uber light quinoa salad or small pea soup, feeling great about yourself. Many of us make low calorie choices at lunch time and choose our larger meals for dinner to finish off the day (hello risotto, my old friend). However, new research suggests that eating your largest meal at lunchtime could yield a much better rate of weight loss.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 80 overweight women for 12 weeks. All participants (aged between 18-45) were told to eat their biggest meal (50 per cent of their daily calorie intake) at either lunch or dinner. Their weight and BMI was recorded before and after the experiment.

Not only were the participants watching how many calories they ate at each time of the day, but they were also told to follow a high carb, low saturated fat diet. Around 60 per cent of their calories came from carbs, 17 per cent protein and 23 per cent from fat. Simultaneously, the subjects partook in brisk walking and other moderate exercise for an hour five days a week.

RELATED: What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

The participants lost weight, even with the majority of their diet being carbs. However, another important discovery was that those who ate their biggest meal (750 calories for the average woman) at lunch lost more weight than those who ate it at dinner.

On average, the lunch feasters lost 13 pounds (just under six kilos) against the dinner eater’s 9.5 pounds (just over four kilos). The ‘lunchers’ also had a greater reduction in their BMI, and researchers attribute this is to their fasting insulin levels – the ‘lunchers’ had lower levels than those who were feasting at night. This thus meant that the ‘lunchers’ were able to avoid blood sugar spikes that cause hunger.

Perhaps we should be switching around our calorie intake – and maybe evern our meals completely – to drop that extra weight… so, risotto for breakfast, anyone?

RELATED: Is a 5:2 fasting diet good for the body?

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The diets supermodels swear by

How do models really eat? With tips from 3 Miss Universes, not to mention Victoria’s Secret Angels, you can bet these diets equal a hot body

The diets supermodels swear by

 

High-protein and low-carb diet

Jennifer sticks to a low-carbohydrate diet and makes an effort to eat more protein so she’s “not as hungry as often.” Jennifer says “Carbs taste good, but my body doesn’t work as well if I have too many.”

What she eats: “When I’m at home one of the meals I love to cook is really lean mince with broccoli and a nice sauce. That’s my favourite meal, I always love it. Breakfast is usually either Special K or Weet-Bix, or I’ll have eggs on toast. For lunch I have a chicken or tuna salad or a beautiful sandwich with wholemeal bread.”

High-protein and low-carb diet

Wholefood diet

Former Miss Universe Jesinta Campbell follows a wholefood diet which means loads of clean eating.

What she eats:“For breakfast, I have quinoa porridge with goat’s milk yoghurt, psyllium, nuts and seeds. Lunch is salad, a gluten-free sandwich or sushi. I don’t really snack in the afternoons. Dinner is chicken or fish stir-fry. I love dark chocolate – I have no problems smashing half a block. I don’t do it often, but if you’re going to eat it, then love it!”

Wholefood diet

The Blood Type diet

The premise of the Blood Type Diet is that certain foods are more compatible with particular blood types. Kerr’s a type A which means she follows a vegetarian-based diet which is high in organic vegetables, fresh juices and legumes. 

What she eats: “Some of my favourite snacks are organic almonds and blueberries, half an avocado with sea salt, and I also love eating Fuji apple pieces with almond butter and agave – it feels like a treat but it’s really good for you.”

The Blood Type diet

Vegetarian diet

Victoria’s Secret model Ashley Hart admits she’s a health freak and follows a vegetarian diet. She has a weakness for Japanese food!

What she eats: “When I’m home I cook a proper meal, but it’s not always possible, so I try to take healthy snacks with me when I’m working. Today I took two bananas off my mum’s bench, and I’m glad I did because I didn’t get to eat anything else all day. I take mixed nuts with me everywhere too. I try not to get too hungry because then I overeat, so I try to snack throughout the day.”

Vegetarian diet

High-protein and low-carb diet

Like Jennifer Hawkins, Shanina Shaik sticks to a high-protein, low-carb diet. The runway and Victoria’s Secret model doesn’t drink soft drinks or coffee and sticks to water and fruit juices. Pasta and ice-cream are occasionaly indulgences and she tries to avoid having dinner too late. 

What she eats: “I eat a lot of fish, eggs, chicken, vegetables, salad and brown rice…Breakfast is normally yoghurt and muesli, or an eggwhite omelette with spinach.”

High-protein and low-carb diet

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Personal trainers talk: 'The worst way I've been fired'

Trainers have feelings too y’know…

Personal trainers talk: 'The worst way I've been fired'

 

If you think about your relationship with your personal trainer it’s probably one of the most intimate interactions you have in your life – this person is literally tasked with challenging your limits and making you a better version of yourself, often through lots of sweat and tears. It’s a bond built with trust and a taste of tough love. 

So when that connection doesn’t work out it can sometimes feel like a breakup – and if Sex and the City’s Jack Berger and his Post-it note are anything to go by, some people just suck at severing ties. 

Here a few personal trainers chew the fat with Body + Soul about some of the worst ways they’ve been fired by a client. 

Mel, Sydney – The ones that got away

“I was training some clients at a park and told them to go for a jog to warm up. There were a few moans and groans but as they went on their way I watched from a distance. They ran in a pack and as they circled around I saw three of the women run off track and toward a car. I watched as they opened the doors, got in and just left – never came back. Probably for the best if they couldn’t handle the warm up.”

Harry, Sydney: Fired by text, minutes before a dawn session was due to begin

“I was training one woman who was really keen to drop a lot of weight and was really dedicated to her training – seeing me three times a week for about a month. I thought we were going well but out of the blue 10 minutes before a 5am sand dunes session she texted saying she wasn’t coming to training… ever. 

“I tried to call and see what was up but she didn’t answer and never bothered to ring me back or call me again. Totally ghosted me. It was pretty frustrating because not only did I lose money and time but I was left wondering if it was something I did. 

“Months later I heard from a friend of hers that I trained that the client just wasn’t interested in getting into shape. It all caught up on her that morning and rather than possibly having to swat away my attempts to motivate her to come back she just texted and was done with it. But, even if she felt like that, it’s not the decent thing to do.”

Tim, Melbourne – Sacked and trapped

“I have a pretty exclusive client base – some of my regulars like me to travel with them. I had one gentleman, very successful, who flew me to Asia because he had been slipping with his exercise and felt like he really needed a kick start to his year to get on track. 

“The plan was meditation, training, yoga and recovery for two weeks – but when we got there it was a different story. He basically couldn’t cope with the heat and held me personally responsible for the humidity. After three days of trying to coax him into even the gentlest of exercises we had to call it a day. 

“Being the tight-ass that he was, he was peeved that he had essentially flown me over for two weeks in Thailand – but it was no picnic for me. 

“We had some serious conversations about money, he tried to wriggle out of payment and asked me to move to a ratty hotel because it would be cheaper and we weren’t training. I told him it was not going to happen. And since I couldn’t get a flight out of there immediately I spent a few days creeping around the resort trying not to let him spot me even having to mildest bit of enjoyment. 

“The lesson I learnt was to pick my clients to travel for more carefully – and get payment before boarding a plane.”

Samantha, Brisbane – The awkward aftermath

“I had a client who decided she wanted to part ways – no biggie. She just said she wasn’t wanting to do PT sessions anymore and just train on her own at the gym. 

“It was a shame because I hadn’t trained her for long but I thought she was lovely – she really confided in me a lot about her health battles, but I could see she was keen to move on without one-on-one training so we spilt.

“The thing was though when she would then see me in the gym she wouldn’t even say hi, and I could see when she spotted me she would duck and weave behind equipment just to avoid speaking to me. 

“I didn’t need to have a big ol’ chat with her but it was like she thought because I wasn’t training her I would be mad. I wasn’t but I did annoy me that she seemed to go to such massive efforts to not be civil. It was weird.”

Dean, Sydney – Fired via Facebook status

“Well this was super awkward. I had a client who after a PT session wrote on Facebook something to the effect of, ‘Who has a trainer that they can recommend? Mine is rubbish.’ He must have forgot that when I began training him he added me so I saw it and just liked it. 

“Obviously horrified he wrote me a message saying, ‘Sorry man,’ but I just deleted him online and texted him to say if he’s got something to complain about to do it to my face. He didn’t do that and I never saw him at the gym again.”

Ian, Melbourne – Sacked old school

“This was a while ago – before the days of mobile phones. I was training a lady for a few weeks and one day I asked her to warm up and stretch while I grabbed some equipment. 

“I was gone for a few minutes and when I came back she had put a note on the mat saying, ‘It’s not working out.’ I don’t even know if she saw the humour in her words but she must have got out of the gym quick as lightening because I didn’t see her grab her stuff and leave. 

“I saw her a few times in the street after that but she always put her head down to avoid me.”

How to avoid an awful ending…

Sifting through the anecdotal evidence, one of the biggest reasons trainer’s seem to attribute to clients firing them so dramatically is because they feel the client wasn’t ready to put in the hard yards. And if the mental preparation is lacking for the gruelling fitness journey ahead then a lot of client’s tend to project their pent up frustrations about their health onto their trainer.

Personal trainer Dinny Morris, whose mantra is #toughlovenoexcuses, says the best way to avoid a bad ending to a PT/client relationship starts with a good beginning. 

“Some people are confused about the role of a personal trainer and what our realm of practice is,” explains Sydney-based Dinny. “And some of the time when you have a client who comes to you and just wants to try and talk for an hour about goals, they’re really coming to you because your one-on-one service is cheaper than that of a psychologist – which isn’t the right motivation. 

“I always make sure we have an end goal for the client at the beginning before we start training and we are measuring to ensure we are on track to hit that goal.”

Dinny adds that PT’s can avoid getting an awkward sacking by using the initial consultation as a chance for both trainer and client to assess their compatibility. 

“I’ve told clients things won’t work out between us after one session because I can see that they aren’t ready to do the hard work – when your a results driven personal trainer wanting your client to achieve their goals you must let them know this in the very first conversation. And, if they aren’t ready for the change or the process that is needed in order to succeed, they won’t get results. It’s not a happy combo for both of us.”

Read here for our guide on the best way to end it with a trainer.

*Note: Some interviews have been edited for length and clarity. 

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Don't Forget To Stretch

A workout is not complete unless you take the time to stretch, and yet many people overlook or fail to understand just how important it truly is. But here are the facts. Leading experts say you should always stretch out both before and after any exercise program. It doesn’t matter if you are an avid runner, love yoga or are simply lifting weights. The benefits of stretching at the beginning and end of these routines are numerous.

Stretching out will purposefully lengthen your muscles. Stretching will increase your range of motion and allow you to move with ease. This simple task will help you perform at an optimal level. In fact, studies show that stretching will help your body be more flexible and can even improve your overall performance. If you fail to stretch you can cause unwanted injury to your body.

Any professional athlete or trainer will tell you how vital it is to make stretching the starting and ending point of your exercise regimen. Your tendons, muscles and ligaments will gain protection when you take the time to stretch. Your body physically responds and changes when you stretch. The positive reactions are evident when we look inside the body

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Each time you stretch your body releases synovial fluid. This allows the joints to move freely. Your body will be like a well-oiled machine and it gets better than that. Stretching takes blood to your soft tissues. You’ll find you won’t tire as easily and will be able to keep going longer. A good pre and post stretch will help keep you from aches and pains after a workout.

There’s nothing worse than being sore after exercising. Many people stay away from exercise because they don’t like feeling sore and tired. Stretching can change that. Stretching is a must if you don’t want to hurt. It will help motivate you to return to your workout when you feel refreshed.

For many people getting to their activity is the goal. But when you take the time to stretch you set yourself up to succeed. You should plan on spending 7 or 8 minutes stretching both before and after your workout. This way your body will get what it needs before and after you workout.

Warming up and cooling down through stretching just makes sense. The benefits are unending and it only takes a few minutes to make a workout that much more enjoyable. So the next time you go for a run or lift up a weight make sure stop and stretch out. You won’t regret it and you’ll be able to accomplish more than you can imagine.

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The Five Most Overrated Muscle-Building Moves And What To Do Instead

Hardly any moves are completely useless – but there are definitely some you might want to stop doing. While most of the moves on this list could be useful for, say, an experienced competitive bodybuilder, you’d be better off using your (probably pretty limited) gym time doing alternative exercises that will be much more effective. Unless you’re planning to end up on a stage in tiny sparkly pants.

Calf Raise

Schwarzenegger tore the bottoms of his sweatpants to force himself to train his calves more. But he was the Terminator; you don’t need to worry so much. “Your time’s better spent working on plyometric or jumping exercises alongside walking lunges, step-ups, squats, deadlifts and sled work,” says Olli Foxley, a trainer at W10 Performance. “I love the ‘calf pump’ you get when you go from a sled push into a sled pull.”

Swap It For: Box Jumps

Jumping moves involve triple extensions, which is where you simultaneously bend your hips, knees and ankles. Because your calves, glutes and quads all get worked, you get more bang for your buck than when you do isolation moves.

Decline Bench Press

If you’re using the Bro Template to work your chest – bench, dumbbell bench, incline, decline – something’s got to give. “Using the decline bench to target your lower pecs is pretty much useless unless you’re very lean and a competitive physique athlete,” says trainer Adam Wakefield. “You’re better off getting strong on the flat bench and losing some body fat.”

Swap It For: Dumbbell Bench Presses

The dumbbell version of the bench is effective because it gives you great pec muscle activation. Using dumbbells lets you move the weights across your chest as you press up, allowing you to squeeze the pecs at the top of the move for a better muscle contraction.

Front Raise

They’re one of the most frequently performed exercises in any gym – and they’re also one of the least useful. “If you’re already doing a lot of pressing exercises in your workout, your front deltoids will already be taking a beating in your training,” says Foxley. “Adding in direct front delt exercises can push too much volume onto a small muscle group and cause it to be forever recovering and never adapting.”

Swap It For: Lateral Raises

Raising the weights to the sides instead will build more muscle mass in your shoulders and make you look broader. Just make sure you do them properly, by using your muscles rather than momentum to lift the weights and leading with your elbow.

Sit-Up

Even with the best intentions, you might be doing them wrong. “Many people can’t perform these exercises with enough intent to stimulate the correct abdominal muscles,” says Foxley. “An exercise like a roll-out will target the abs better.” Start with five sets of five at the end of your workout twice a week, and work on increasing it.

Swap It For: Barbell Roll-Outs

Kneel on the floor while holding a barbell with your shoulders over the bar. Brace your core, then slowly roll the bar away form you, keeping your abs engaged. Go as far as you can without letting your back arch or your hips drop, then return under control to the start. Quality of movement on this move is vital for avoiding injury.

Wrist Curl

You may well have already binned these, but there’s always one guy in the gym using a perfectly good bench and barbells to focus on his forearm pump. “I like people doing arm work as they work hard at it and consistency is the thing I value most, but these are a micro-targeted step too far,” says strength coach Joseph Lightfoot. Instead, go heavy. “The best way to get jacked forearms? Get a strong grip,” says Wakefield.

Swap It For: Farmer’s Walks

This simple but effective move involves picking up a heavy weight and walking with it. Do it as a finisher: grab the heaviest dumbbells you can manage, set yourself a distance – 100m is a good start – and walk it in as few “sets” as possible.

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Outdoor Fitness Training Plan

So: you’re economising in an attempt to reduce the personal impact of the post-Brexit financial meltdown. Or maybe you’ve got a lovely park near you and spend most of your time at a desk so you wouldn’t mind getting an occasional glimpse of that big ball of fire in the sky. Or you’re allergic to mirrors. All entirely valid reasons to shift your workout away from the gym – but if that isn’t enough, consider that one recent investigation saw 800 people report reduced levels of stress and anger from training outside, while another study linked it with increased energy.

And apart from fresh air and oxygen prompting the release of feelgood hormone serotonin, there are other benefits. Five to 30 minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week will improve your body’s vitamin D levels, helping you build stronger bones and a more robust immune system.

Of course, dumbbells and squat racks can be hard to find outdoors, but that’s no obstacle. “With a bit of improvisation, you can mimic any workout you’d do in the gym outside,” says trainer David Jackson of the School of Calisthenics. “So if you don’t like the gym, there’s really no excuse.”

Even if you do like the gym, it’s still worth popping your shades on and your shirt off and hitting the grass for a workout now and then. See you in the park.

RECOMMENDED: Outdoor Fitness Classes in London

Mobility Training

Mobility training: it’s the new stretching. And the good news is using a select handful of dynamic movements won’t just improve your range of motion – it’ll get your circulation going and challenge your co-ordination. Forget doing an hour of yoga, just borrow a variation on the classic sun salutation. “Think of this as a slow-motion burpee,” says trainer Rannoch Donald. “It engages almost every muscle while providing a fantastic stretch.”

RECOMMENDED: Mobility Training Home Workout

The Aim A full-body warm-up that increases flexibility, sharpens mental focus and sets you up for a successful training session.

Why “Do this three or four times a week, and you’ll see your hip, ankle and knee range of motion improve,” says Donald. “Even if you don’t want to squat or do Olympic lifts, that’s certain to improve your quality of life.”

How

  • Start with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards.
  • Squat down by bending at the knees and hips and place your hands between your feet.
  • Move your left foot backwards so you’re in a lunge position.
  • Move your right foot back to assume a press-up position with your body in a straight line.
  • From here, drop your hips to the floor while keeping your arms straight. This position is the traditional yoga “cobra”.
  • Hold the cobra position for a second, then raise your hips, do one press-up, and reverse the whole move until you’re standing up.

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Sjana Elise Earp: Instagram sensation responds to body shamers

And it might be the best response yet

Sjana Elise Earp: Instagram sensation responds to body shamers

 

In a world where health, fitness and bodies come in all shapes and sizes, there’s another group of so-called body shamers who have one set of standards — that’s it. You’re either too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, and it’s this type of labelling that we’re seeing (or reading about) nearly Every.Single.Day.

For super-leggy and lean Aussie #fitspo sensation, Sjana Elise Earp, she’s all too familiar with these types of negative body remarks, but in a recent video out of Cosmopolitan Body, she’s fought back at her haters, with a response that is so perfectly spot-on. 

“I am so much more than a body, I know that. I’m not defined by numbers or by other people’s opinions of me. And the body I have, as imperfect or as skinny or as gross as people may think it is, is my imperfect body. And I’m happy with it the despite their irrelevant opinions,” she says during her yoga sequence. “I have never and will never suggest that other people should aspire to have my body.”

She then ends with this: “You’re a soul with a body, not a body with a soul.”

Earp is just one of the many #fitspo Instagrammers/models/athletes/celebrities that are receiving hate messages for the way they look. From Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigan to our very own Bridget Malcolm and Kayla Itsines, it’s so common now, that there may as well be a hashtag for it. Some of these woman are admittedly smaller than others, but what we know (or should know) is skinny doesn’t necessarily mean not-strong. They’re publically putting themselves out there because they are proud of who they are and what they do – so who is anyone to judge?

Kayla Itsines recently told us that, woman are strong in so many different ways. “People say to me — do you lift heavy weights? And I always say, what do you class as heavy? Because what might be really light to me could be really heavy to someone else and vice versa. Your strength doesn’t come from what you can lift on the outside. Your strength comes from the inside first and then out. Actually, the first person to call me weak was my grandpa. I told him I wanted to be a personal trainer and he told me I was too weak because I was a girl and I couldn’t lift weights. I said, yes I can. Strength comes from within. Women are strong in different ways,” she said.

And earlier this week we saw yoga girl, Kerri Verna also fight back to her body haters: “Women OF ALL SIZES need to LOVE their bodies and wear white shorts if you want to! If you like it, wear it … NEVER let anyone’s opinion make you feel bad or shameful about your body.”

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