How hard to push yourself – The 3,000 revs rule
by Neil Perkins
For exercising regularly, managing my time a little better and controlling my lifestyle I am in a much more positive place. With them words echoing in your ears my next statement is little strange – I HATE BUDGET GYM WANKERS.
Recently I faced my reality and decided to start training again and employed the excellent services of two of HSG’s finest. Steve Foster is passionate about training, is a great communicator and would ensure I reach my goals. Paul Gough is one of the country’s finest boxing coaches and has coached an array of top level combat athletes. These two men were chosen to take me out of the gloom of my deconditioned state.
My end goal was ambiguous, and I suppose like many first-time gym goers I had a similar goal – I wanted to feel a bit fitter and lose a bit of weight. That is a standard response to most people when you ask them the goals for training. And I suppose they are ‘safe’ goals. I am not deluded and thankfully I haven’t told Paul Gough that I want to box professionally again, and I haven’t told Steve Foster that I am an entry for the summer CrossFit games – I think no matter how good their skill set both would struggle to get me to achieve these goals, well at least not by Summer. To say to a coach ‘I’d like to get fit and lose weight’ is a “safe” response and the reality is that I’d love a six-pack, to be able to deadlift 200kg and spank David Haye in a sparring session (again) and who knows if my journey continues I may aspire to greater goals, but for now I need to get back to some form of ‘shape’.
As an ex athlete, your fall is greater as you are aware of your previous capabilities. I recall as a teenager listening to an old man tell me how great he was in ‘his day’, now I am starting to wonder if these people were telling the truth? This bump to reality can be found at the hands of a coach, someone to take you out of your comfort zone – this is what they are employed for.
Paul Gough knows me inside out as a person, he coached me for 21 amateur boxing contests and five professional outings. He has been ringside when world champions including Tyson Fury and David Haye (I had to get the names in here) have been landing hurtful shots on me and equally when I have been dishing it back. He knows what it is like to travel back on a long car journey on the motorway after a savage KO defeat and a national final loss and equally he has shared the jubilation when I’ve had a quick night’s work and sent someone to sleep early. Paul knows when it is time to instruct me to ‘walk someone down’ and overwhelm them (push harder) and equally he was the person in 2012 who sat down with me after a sparring session that saw my teeth come through my bottom lip that instructed me that enough is enough and its time to walk away before I become permanently damaged.
Steve Foster, I haven’t had the same bonds with, but I have observed him work with clients. My concern with Steve was that he is physically superior to me. We have similar body frames and the same age and Steve doesn’t look immense – watch him train and your perceptions would change., I was concerned that I’d feel embarrassed training with Steve and I am like the countless people I speak to who would like to get fitters and stronger before training – you don’t take the car to the garage when it is already fixed.
When I looked at my options I thought about taking the solo gym user route with training. In the last eight years I have had six gym memberships. David Lloyd, Virgin Active, Pure Gym, Easy Gym and The Gym all promised so much – but over the last eight years I have progressively got fatter and more deconditioned – Why? I feel into the trap of designing my own training regime and dictating my own routines and training. I have coached elite level athletes and had a catalogue of success stories, why could I not get consistent results? ‘Going to the gym’ makes you emotionally feel better and occasionally I would push out a hard session. Generally speaking it would be a five-minute warm up and then the squat rack (if you could get on it because some twat was bicep curling in it, some pressing movements and the obligatory bicep curls before ‘fat burring’ for 20 minutes on the cross trainer. Then I’d go for the protein shake in the changing room before the male grooming in the mirror began.
When learning to drive, I was always taught that you should change gears between 2,500-3,000 revs. When you change gear, you go faster – this is the goal with exercise. You can never progress until your body starts pushing itself. A good coach knows how to push someone and when to push someone beyond 3,000 revs, the exceptional coaches can gauge when they’ve pushed them too hard. Exercise should push you beyond 3,000 revs – you should sweat, you should burn and you should achieve. Get a day pass in Pure Gym and watch the gym users toddle through their routines – one squat rack at best used badly, a lot of I-phone texting and lots of spindly arms doing bicep curls.
A gyms role should be to push someone to progress themselves. Change starts with effort and effort and motivation can be hard to achieve and your own. Gym users who get great results are the users who partake in group led sessions or who PT, having owned a gym for over 10 years, I can count on one hand the number of people who have achieved results training on their own.
I am on week three of my regime. Today I have taken a day off from my scheduled Hot Yoga Flow session – I am feeling a little under the weather and a ‘sweat shop’ will do me more hard than good. I will echo again how fantastic Yoga complements the HIIT, Lift and Boxing sessions we endorse at HSG. Paul Gough is Paul Gough – he is excellent, and I am learning all the time and been pushed to my limits, this not only improves me physically and psychologically– it improves me as a coach. Steve Foster has been immense, my level of decondition is lower that I thought it would be. A lifting session saw me deadlifting a weight that psychologically I was not happy with, but physically was my limit. If he’d have pushed me beyond this I’d have failed ad become disheartened, if he hadn’t have made me lift this much I’d have been coasting too much – gauging this is the sign of an exceptional coach. Olympic weightlifting is also great fun and the technical work and explosiveness is something I am determined I will master so as my strength base increase I can push some impressive numbers – this is engaging my mind and my body. This has created a new goal – to be at a level when I can train with Anthony Rogan and Steve on a Friday training sessions. I really enjoyed last weeks ‘Boxing Intervals’ class delivered by apprentice Scott Melvin – it was great to push through with a cracking group of people, you forget how strong the community is that we’ve created at HSG. The complement off Scott ‘You can box a bit’ definitely made me smile!
There is reason why I set up HSG was to ‘scratch my own itch’. I saw something missing and we need to offer elite level coaching for everyone. Training, eating and managing my lifestyle in enabling me to perform and function better – I will make this product better and keep sourcing quality coaches to improve. I am glad I didn’t opt to become a budget gym wanker. Training and lifestyle changes in enabling me to think like a business owner, I hope to start looking to a gym owner. With my current regime, change and improvement will come.