Ben­e­fits of hav­ing a per­sonal trainer

Satish Brian JP Anan­dan, cer­ti­fied trainer and co-founder of After­burn Fit­ness Stu­dio, re­veals how a per­sonal trainer can help in the dif­fer­ent stages of your fit­ness jour­ney.

Time Out Kuala Lumpur - - Body & Mind - By Lim Chee Wah

Peo­ple think by do­ing crunches, they’ll burn belly fat. That’s wrong

For the be­gin­ner

FOR A NEW­BIE, the gym is an in­tim­i­dat­ing place, es­pe­cially when faced with all the ca­bles, ma­chines and weights that you prob­a­bly have no idea what to do with. Sure, a trainer will take you through them, but more im­por­tantly, they can set up a re­al­is­tic plan to help man­age your ex­pec­ta­tions be­fore you even set foot on a tread­mill. Achiev­ing your fit­ness goal takes time, and if you’re not be­ing re­al­is­tic, you’ll very soon get frus­trated and give up.

Satish Brian JP Anan­dan, cer­ti­fied per­sonal trainer and co-founder of After­burn Fit­ness Stu­dio, ex­plains: ‘For a lot of peo­ple, all they know is if they put in the ef­fort, they should see re­sult. But there’s a lot more hap­pen­ing be­fore you ac­tu­ally see the re­sults. Get­ting you to do the ex­er­cises cor­rectly takes time; so small changes first. It’s not look­ing at the big pic­ture yet, but break­ing it down and telling you in the first month the changes your body will go through – you’ll ei­ther sleep bet­ter or move bet­ter or breathe bet­ter – and what you need to do to lose that weight, and so on.’

Satish fur­ther ex­plains that it’s re­al­is­tic to ex­pect los­ing about five pounds (about 2.2kg) in a month. ‘ Typ­i­cally, to see some phys­i­cal change, I would say about eight to 12 weeks, with an av­er­age train­ing fre­quency of three to four times a week.’ And that also de­pends on your body type, how ac­tive you are, etc.

Food in­take is also im­por­tant – be­cause to lose weight, you need to burn more calo­ries than you con­sume. A good per­sonal trainer is able to rec­om­mend a fea­si­ble di­etary plan that will max­imise your ef­forts. Ul­ti­mately at this stage, a per­sonal trainer’s mis­sion is to en­cour­age you to en­joy the ex­er­cise and not make things so com­pli­cated you feel like it’s an up­hill climb. Even­tu­ally, you’ll see the ben­e­fits to con­tinue.

For the in­ter­me­di­ate, reg­u­lar fit­ness fiend

So you’ve built up a rou­tine and you know your way around the equip­ment. But let’s face it, more of­ten than not, we find ex­cuses to skip a gym day or two. Ac­cord­ing to Satish, the trainer’s role is also to hold you ac­count­able to your goals. ‘If you’ve al­ready made that com­mit­ment, it’s a lot harder to can­cel the ap­point­ment and up­set your trainer. You’ll stick to your goals,’ says Satish. That’s cru­cial be­cause the longer you take to reach your goals, the less mo­ti­vated you’ll get. Worse if you gain back the weight af­ter tak­ing a break, only to pick up again where you left off. ‘ You just keep re­peat­ing that cy­cle. You would have wasted six months or a year.’

Of course, in your quest for fit­ness (ei­ther to lose weight or gain mus­cle mass), a trainer can make sure you ex­er­cise in a safe man­ner while mo­ti­vat­ing you. It’s much eas­ier to push your­self harder when you can get rid of self doubt, know­ing full well you have a safety net. It’s also about in­creas­ing your work­out ef­fi­ciency so that no time or money is wasted. ‘A trainer would have set you on a path where you’ll be able to eat bet­ter, sleep bet­ter, move the weights bet­ter, have the right form, and be able to con­nect your mind to your mus­cle as you ex­er­cise. All these small things lead to re­sults, which will in turn keep you on your jour­ney a lot longer com­pared to some­one who’s just train­ing by them­selves and not know­ing where they are go­ing.’

For the ex­pe­ri­enced fit­ness buff look­ing to progress

So fit­ness is now an in­te­gral part of your life­style – what next? A trainer can im­ple­ment new train­ing meth­ods to help you progress, such as short­en­ing your rest pe­riod and/or in­creas­ing the num­ber of

reps, sets, load and train­ing ses­sions. But it’s not as straight­for­ward.

‘Peo­ple think in­creas­ing the load will help. In some cases, yes, but there’s only so much you can in­crease in a short pe­riod of time. So you change the tempo of the move­ment in­stead,’ Satish says. ‘ There are many more vari­ables to change an ex­er­cise pro­gramme, like foot place­ment. Usu­ally when you chal­lenge your bal­ance by re­duc­ing your base of trans­port, your core needs to work a lot harder and that alone will make the ex­er­cise more dif­fi­cult. So you don’t nec­es­sary have to in­crease the weight. These small changes are very use­ful if you have a trainer to de­liver these kinds of train­ing meth­ods.’

For the six-pack ob­sessed

Sorry to burst your bub­ble, but it takes more than just crunches to achieve your dream six-pack. First, you need to know this about your body fat: ‘Peo­ple think by do­ing crunches, they’ll burn belly fat. That’s wrong. Thing is, when you put on weight, you can’t con­trol where your body puts on fat; the same way you can’t con­trol how your body loses fat.’

Be­fore you throw in the towel, Satish of­fers this tip: ‘If your body fat is high, you don’t have to do so much abs ex­er­cises be­cause the re­sults won’t be vis­i­ble. I en­cour­age you to go through an in­tense ab work­out when your body fat is be­tween 15 to 20 per­cent for fe­males, or be­low 15 per­cent for males.’ [ Ed: Of course, ge­net­ics is a fac­tor as well, but let’s not com­pli­cate mat­ters for now.] The thing is, abs ex­er­cises are more for sculpt­ing and defin­ing. ‘So as you lose body fat, your mus­cles will be more prom­i­nent. Then when you do your crunches or sit-ups, you’ll be able to see the bumps.’

After­burn Fit­ness Stu­dio, 18-1, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar (03 2202 2242/ fb.com/af­ter­burn­stu­diobangsar). Mon-Fri, 7am-9pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-3pm.

De­cem­ber 2017

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