I had always enjoyed a healthy scepticism of personal trainers, regarding them, essentially, as over-bearing, over muscled, judgmental disciplinarians- not far away from the marine sergeant drill instructor in Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket. The idea of paying money to be subjected to an hour of painful and possibly humiliating exercise had never appealed.
Jarrat immediately impressed me as altogether apart from the stereotype just described. Always diplomatic and non-judgmental, he carefully and intelligently interrogated me as to my medical and exercise history and condition, revealing a good knowledge of fundamental medicine, exercise physiology and nutrition. Evidently he had studied and practised in the area of sport science for some time.
He then outlined how he could assist me by designing, implementing and supervising a bespoke training program that would gradually improve fitness and general health.
Over the next months until my departure overseas he patiently put me through a training program which varied in content on each visit so the monotony of repetition was avoided. He recorded meticulously my times for, or number of repetitions of, each exercise in his iPad so that over time he could monitor whether in truth I was progressing and, interestingly, how my performance compared statistically with others. He supervised me as I trained, ensuring that I avoided any risk of over-exertion or injury. Periodically he conducted standardised assessments of my cardio-vascular, strength and abdominal fitness and so built up a record of progress.
On every visit my weight and fat content were measured; although I found this process tiresome, this more than anything else motivated me to improve my eating habits. Jarrat never commented adversely if any of these measurements showed any deterioration:-he did not need to, as I could see for myself. He left it up to me whether and to what extent I chose to change-but change I did. His whole approach was non-judgmental and for me this was most important.
Upon my return from overseas we continued as before- because of his meticulous records we were able to compare my then fitness with that which existed before my departure and he would then reframe the training regime so as to focus on regaining what I had lost.
Over time, admittedly with the aid of medication as well, my blood pressure reduced to that of a young fit man, I lost weight, my body shape changed into something of which, probably for the first time, I began to feel quite proud, my balance improved, and I simply felt better. Many of my friends commented, unprompted, upon how well I looked. My doctors expressed similar views in their reports.
Many months into my training program Jarrat employed a couple of assistants to whom he carefully introduced his training methodology. While initially sceptical whether his expertise could be repeated, Michael Bloch took over my supervision and, subject to Jarrat’s oversight, the training regime continued-without missing a beat.
As I am about to travel overseas I propose to continue training while away-this time without supervision- but at least with the benefit of knowing a range of safe exercises and techniques impressed upon me over many months of careful instruction from Jarrat and Michael. These are significant life skills which I believe can make a critical difference to one’s well-being.
Author: Jeffrey (Client since 2013)