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April 02, 2020
I started training under Gaby as a client twenty years ago, and now we play sport and train together. Health and fitness have always been important to me. But everyone has different motivations for working out.
For some it’s more about their appearance, for others; strength, flexibility and energy levels, or for that incomparable high when the endorphins kick in. For me it’s all of those but at the root of it I want to die young as late as possible.
Mankind has managed to extend life expectancy by many years over the last few generations. But if you look deeply into the numbers, the extra years of healthy life are not so impressive on average, and the extended period is largely made up of years on multiple medications and dealing with disabilities. Most of those illnesses are the result of lifestyle choices.
“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease” – Buddha
Buddha may not have met the Coronavirus. I made a choice over 30 years ago when I met Luke Gray and started what was then the novel relationship of having a personal trainer. The two weekly sessions went in the diary for the year and my commitment was that virtually nothing would get in their way. Did I always love getting up on dark cold winter mornings at 6am, to be dragged over the locked gates of Kensington Gardens for our park workout? You can guess not. But I didn’t give myself options each time, because I’d made the decision just once.
“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought, they must be earned.” – Naval Ravikant
No amounts of lie-ins or money can replace lost health. It really is the only true wealth and our bodies, the only home we really own. And so, I continued. After ten years with Luke he shared my sessions with one of his new trainers Gaby. And I continued to train under her for 13 years before we married. We continue to train together, running, cycling, yoga, tennis etc., but for personal training we both reconnected with Luke when he returned to London.
Gaby is extraordinarily committed to her exercise regime and she has helped me stay on track. Thanks in a large part to her and Luke, my recent medical report came back with a biological age 15 years younger than my passport. I’m hoping to keep that edge and God willing, enjoy good health in my latter years.
In the spirit of us all giving what we can, Gaby wanted to offer a quick and easy to follow fitness regime to keep the body strong. Though we have less geographical freedom, many people have the opportunity to get grounded and look after themselves better.
Michael Van Clarke
When I was training clients full time, I looked after all ages. From young teenagers, mothers running with prams and clients up to 88 years old.
Yes there were gym bunnies and muscle Marys too. But most people just wanted to stay healthy, get the best out of their bodies, and feel good about themselves. Exercise is an essential part of my daily routine and I never miss a day. Having an extra store of energy keeps us on the front foot in life. It helps us welcome what the day brings rather than fearing overwhelm. That’s even more important in these uniquely difficult times.
This is an easy foundation routine that doesn’t require any gym equipment. It works for all ages. We’ll include other routines in later blogs.
Gaby Van Clarke
1. Laying Hip RaiseLaying flat on your back, knees bent, feet hip width apart. Rest arms by side, palms down. Raise hips upwards and hold for a second. Slowly lower back down. x 10-15 reps
2. Single Leg Laying Hip RaisesAs above, but this time keep one leg off the floor out straight. x 5-10 reps either side
3. Glute Kickback with Bent KneeRest in tabletop position (on all fours). Hands under shoulders, knees under hips and keep abs tight. Foot flexed and knee at 90 degrees. Kick one foot up towards ceiling. x 15 reps either side
4. SupermanLay face down on a mat, arms outstretched in front. Raise arms legs and upper torso off the ground making sure head is in line with spine. Hold for 5 seconds. x 5-10 reps
On these following exercises you can hold weights or weight substitutes to make exercises more challenging. Bags of rice, cans of food or bottles all work.
5. SquatsPlace feet slightly wider than hip distance. As you squat down make sure knees face same direction as toes. Bend knees and push bottom backwards, keeping back in neutral position and abs tight. Push back up to start position. x 15 Reps
For more of a challenge – as you squat down, lift weights up to shoulder height. Lower arms down as you return to start position.x 10-15 reps
6. LungesYou can either do static or alternating lunges. Start standing tall, step forward and lunge down making sure toes and knees face forward and knee is at 90 degrees.
If static – just press up and down through the leg. x 15 reps per legIf alternating – push back up to start position and repeat on other leg. x 30 reps
7. DeadliftUse light weights. Start with straight legs, hip width apart. Bend knees slightly as you bend forward, squeeze glutes and keep abs tight. Keep weights close to shins as you lower and raise back up. This works through lower back and hamstrings. x 15 reps
8. Single-Leg DeadliftAs above but do the same exercise with a single leg, raising the other leg as you lower. x 10 reps per leg
9. Reverse LungePlace one foot (instep down) on a sturdy chair. Step slightly forward with the other. As you perform the exercise, the front knee should come to 90 degrees – not forward of the toes. Bend down keeping back straight, then push back up. x 10 reps then repeat on other leg.
10. Step-ups with Knee RaisePlace one foot on a sturdy chair. Keep back upright and abs tight. As you step up raise one knee at 90 degrees in front of you, then return to the start position. x 10 reps per leg.
As well as working legs and glutes, this will also help strengthen core and balance.
Depending on the length of workout, each exercise can be performed 1-3 times.
April 16, 2021
This transformation was for a Daily Mail makeover article. It was published as part of a three page spread on the Monday 12th, our first open day after lockdown.
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