After 12 months of training at Fortitude I’d hit some pretty cool personal fitness goals; lost 20kg of body fat and completed a half-Ironman distance triathlon.
As great as this was, I’d also noticed quite a few niggles with my 47 year old body that were hampering my performance and causing injuries. The mobility and stretching work done in the three Strength and Conditioning (S&C) classes a week I attended had initially made a huge difference to my mobility, but after 12 months I’d plateaued; my hips and shoulders refusing to increase their range of motion further leading to some niggly irritations. I had also stopped making progress with the weights I was lifting.
Speaking to Isaac and Josh, I discovered they were about to start a new program: Semi-Private Training. It combines the group camaraderie of the classes with personal programming addressing my specific goals. With two sessions of targeted training a week, plus two S&C classes I should be able to make some more progress!
The first step was a meeting with Josh to discuss my fitness goals. I’d noticed how mobile and strong my 7 and 9 year old sons were; jumping and twisting on the trampoline, running, leaping and swinging off things without fear of injury. Climbing trees and generally being little monkeys! I’m pretty sure I used to be like that into my 20’s, before desk jobs and a more sedentary lifestyle took its toll on my body.
Could Josh help me recondition my middle-aged and neglected body? Well, there’s no harm in trying…..Project Monkey was born!!
After an initial assessment Josh put together a programme that would increase my hip and shoulder mobility and strength, strengthen my core, and work towards body weight exercises such as handstand push-ups and ring dips.
Along the way, we’ve found a few limitations that needed unpacking and addressing. It turns out I’d been using my shoulders to bench-press and do press-ups, leading to an under-developed chest and poor brain-muscle connection. This meant I couldn’t support myself on the rings. My right shoulder was also pretty jammed up with very tight muscles front and back causing poor mobility.
More scapula function exercises were added to the programme to get the correct muscles working again. The real benefit here is having a reactive, bespoke programme. It gets fine-tuned as you move through it and addresses emergent issues, leading to much faster progress and less frustration.
My programme is not glamorous at all, lots of static holds in uncomfortable positions, but it’s been really effective. In 10 weeks, I’ve gone from no handstand ability at all to being able to do, reduced range, strict handstand push-ups. I can now support myself on the rings and do band-assisted dips on the bars. I’d been struggling with a groin strain from playing touch rugby. The hip mobility and strengthening work has paid dividends here, allowing me to run, twist and jump with more confidence. This is just the start; we’re going to add some pull-up progression work to the programme next and continue the other skills too.
I love it so much in fact, that I’m going to move to a full personal programme; 2 sessions training in open gym and 2 days semi-private training.
If you’ve reached a plateau with your training, I’d highly recommend talking to the coaches about a personal programme. Especially now you can still do it in a group environment, keeping that awesome Fortitude community encouragement and mutual support that sets it apart from other gyms.
Simon is more stable. more mobile and able to move well in more complex exercises such as the Snatch.