From Garys Desk: In a first for the not only Melbourne but the Australian Fitness Industry juggernautPT is publishing the following Blog/Testimonial straight from the keyboard of Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau, a current juggernautPT client & established young writer Anne-Sophie came to us earlier this year (2010) with a very low level of fitness, she wanted to tell you her personal view of what it is really like to train with us at juggernautPT, including the workouts, the emotions she experienced, the physical changes and the impact it has on her daily life.
Be sure to check back regularly as each week you can share in the latest chapter of her completely unedited journey with juggernautPT from her first juggernautGX - Group Personal Training session to her very latest Bootcamp workout to her 1-on-1 Personal Training sessions at the Flinders St Gym in Melbourne's City Centre!
So without further ado, allow me to introduce Anne-Sophie!!
New to juggernautPT
My name is Anne-Sophie, and I have recently started training with juggernautPT. Here, I will be sharing my personal experience with Gary and his team on my way to a fitter and better body.
I have been training on and off over the years, and have tried numerous types of sports and exercise regimens. I was a member of a large gym until a few months ago, and while I had achieved some pretty good results, my motivation was starting to wind down.
My friend Jo has been training with juggernautPT for a couple of years and always encouraged me to sign up. When I found out they held lunch time outdoor small group sessions, I thought this might just be the right thing for me.
The idea of training outside was very appealing, it’s a great way to get some fresh air during the day and it meant I didn't need to travel into the city to attend gym classes. No artificial light and loud nightclub music, just a nice patch of grass and some sunshine.
Being in a small group (usually between 2 and 5 people) also made a huge difference. Having a little rest at the back of the room is no longer an option! With a trainer watching my every move and constantly pushing me to keep going, I often find that extra strength in me to do another few push-ups, grunts or sit-ups, when it would have been so easy to just give up.
Six weeks on, I am very glad I made the switch.
Til next time!
My first session
At my first session with juggernautPT, I had to run up and down a short, but very steep hill.
I had expected to train hard, but this proved a real challenge. I enjoy running every now and then but I always thoroughly avoid hills - too hard! - although I know they can be a great way to improve your fitness level. I find that I am one of these people who need to get pushed to go the extra mile. Given the choice I would never have run up that hill, but once someone told me to, I did. And of course it hurt, but it wasn’t impossible after all.
But the hill was just one part of it. Every time I came back down, I had to do 20 reps of a kind (such as sit-ups, push-ups or grunts, my favourite!) and run straight back up. Not a break in sight. I thought I had experienced intense exercising before, but this was definitely a step up. I didn’t remember hurting this much in any gym session I had done. And sure enough, the next day, muscles I didn’t even know I had were aching.
I also found out during my first session that I had been doing push-ups the wrong way all along. I had always blamed my weak arms when I seemed unable to do more than a few in a row and used to give up almost immediately. But once Gary corrected my posture I improved really quickly, and a few sessions later, I was able to do some on my feet rather than taking the easy option and doing them on my knees.
I left that first session feeling exhausted, fairly unfit but also challenged, and found myself really looking forward to the next one.
Anne-Sophie - Getting Motivated
It only took a few weeks of training with juggernautPT to start feeling the difference. I find it incredibly rewarding to watch the results come to life a bit more everyday... Arms are toning up, abs are showing definition, jeans are getting looser... For me that is motivation enough to keep going back session after session.
You put in the work and you reap the rewards. Simple as that!
I don't even get all that sore after training anymore. Not that my muscles aren't working... They definitely are! But it just goes to show that you really can start getting into shape within a matter of weeks. It will hurt at first, but you'll see progress quicker than you expected... And it makes it all worth it!
All you really need to do is find the right type of training for you, one that you can stick to in the long run. I find that I am always full of good intentions, planning to go for a run or for a swim but the reality is that more often than not, I'll find an excuse not to go at the last minute.
At least with the juggernautPT, I have a set time and place, I'm expected to turn up and I do. It really does make a difference to me.
That's why I would definitely recommend personal or group training to anyone lacking a bit of motivation. Having a membership at a gym is all good and well, but then no one is forcing you to go... Whereas if you organise a set time for training every week, you're a lot more likely to just do it. Soon it becomes part of your routine and you don't even think about it anymore... Better yet you start looking forward to it, as you know how good you'll feel afterwards...
Diversity is Key
Another thing I love about training with the juggernautPT is that I never know what to expect. Routines change everytime and no one session is the same. Whether we're working core, doing boxing, sprint training or leg work, it's always a bit different.
This is very refreshing for me. I remember when I was going to the gym, I used to attend the same three classes over and over and not only did it get a little boring but after a while, I felt like I had reached a plateau as my body wasn't being challenged anymore.
Of course, overtime, some sessions with the juggernautPT have become favourites (boxing in my case) and others not so favourite.
I believe my hardest session so far was an early morning Saturday one that focussed on animal moves. I don't know if they are one of Gary's inventions, but he sure does like them, probably as much as I dread them. All these moves are named after the animal they mimic: there's the bear crawl, the crabwalk, the frog leap, the rabbit hop... and not only do they send your heart rate pumping, they also use muscles that don't get to play all that often, so they REALLY hurt. Walking on my hands with my bottom sticking up in the air isn't exactly my idea of fun but as long as I get a good work out, I'll trust that Gary knows what he is doing!
Sprint training is also a very tough one for me. And another one I'd never do if I was training on my own. And I guess that is the key. Training with the juggernautPT means I get diversity and I get to work all parts of my body in different ways. I know each session is designed to push my boundaries and I can go in with an open mind, knowing I'll never get bored!
In my mind
Today I take you with me to a small group lunch session with the juggernautPT. Get you gear on!
11am: Now is my last chance to have something to eat before my session. If I don't eat anything, I'll feel I have no energy during training, but if I have something too heavy, I won't be able to move. I usually go for a banana or an energy bar.
11.15am: Quick look out the window. The sky has been clear this morning, it's a good day for training. Don't fancy lying in the grass too much if it's wet, but I know Gary won't cancel the session even if it's hailing.
12.00pm: Getting changed. I strap my heart rate monitor on. I love seeing how many calories I've burned at the end of the session. It gives me extra motivation.
12.20pm: I'm off. Quick jog through the park to get to Treasury Gardens, mentally psyching myself up for what's to come.
12.30pm: The easy bit: catching up on what people have been up to while warming-up.
12.33pm: Warm-up run around the park. Argggh, why is this park not flat? I hate running up hills and I'm already way behind the other girls. I remind myself that they are a lot fitter than me and that it's ok, we can all train at our own level.
12.36pm: On today's menu: boxing combined with sprint training. Great, I love boxing. But not as much as I love the definition it's giving my upper arms.
12.45pm: "Sprint on the way there, jog on the way back. Sprint, sprint!" Gary is yelling behind me. But I AM sprinting. Or at least trying to.
12.52pm: 50 uppercuts? No worries! Uppercuts are easy! Well the first ten are anyway. Then they start hurting, burning through my muscles, up to the point when I just want to chop my arms off.
12.58pm: I manage an OK sprint. To get me through it, I keep thinking about the two kilos I've lost since joining juggernautPT and how close I am to achieving my first target set for August 1st. I picture the number I saw on the scale in the morning, a good number by my standards, and it makes me go for it just that little bit harder.
13.02pm: Now I'm up for front leg kicks and push Gary around the park as hard as I can. I find sound effects really help, but everytime I manage to push him away, he resists even more the next time. Rhaaaaa!
13.07pm: Doing a plank hold for a whole minute seems like an eternity to me. And I'm right, because it's only been 10 seconds, and my arms are already shaking like jelly. But if I collapse, I know it will be twice as hard to get back up. I collapse anyway, but Gary's having none of it "get back up, get back up, get back up, 30 seconds left!!!". And I'm back... for a whole 6 seconds. Maybe if I just lay very still on the grass he won't notice me?
13.08pm: Cool down. Fun times!
13.15pm: And we're done. I have mud on my legs, bits of grass stuck to my elbows, leaves in my hair, and I can't wait to have a shower! So I manage an easy jog home and jump in it.
13.45pm: I am ravenous! The good thing is, I never feel like eating something naughty after a session, so I just have a healthy lunch before getting back to work.
My 10 favourite excuses, and why I can't use them with my personal trainer:
1.This exercise looks too difficult, I'll just skip it. Your trainer knows your fitness level and your goals, so when he asks you to do a challenging excercise, he's not doing it just for kicks. It's all part of a plan.
2. I can't be bothered going tonight. You're paying your trainer with your hard-earned cash and he's expecting you. You may think it's ok to cancel on yourself, but you're not going to cancel on your trainer at the last minute.
3. I'll go tomorrow instead. And what will your excuse be tomorrow?
4. I can't... You can't say "I can't". If you do, you've just earned yourself five grunts. And if you "can't" do grunts, well that's another five. Off you go.
5. I'm always so self-conscious at the gym with all these fit people around me. With a personal trainer, the fittest person in the room is on your side, working at making you one of the fit people.
6. I'm doing just fine on my own. You didn't build your own house, you don't cut your own hair, you don't fly the plane when you go on holidays. Sometimes it's best to leave things in the hands of professionals.
7. These weights are heavy enough, I'll stick with that. And you'll never improve. Your personal trainer is there to push your boundaries and take you to the next level. If it's too easy, then it's probably not doing much for you. And what's the benefit in that?
8. I don't know what to do to achieve what I want. Good. That's your trainer's job. All you need to do is tell him what you want (a six-pack, lose 5 kilos, run a marathon), and he'll work out a personalised routine. Then, you just do what he says. Easy.
9. Personal training is too expensive. So is your gym membership that you haven't used for 6 months.
10. I just need a bit of a breather. Your trainer is watching your every move. He'll know when you actually need to stop, or when you just think you need to stop. And more often that not, you don't. Be unstoppable!
Swearing off holidays
Here is a reason why you should never take a holiday. Or at least not take a holiday from training. Because it hurts as hell when you get back into it, that's why!
I’m always full of good intentions though. A few weeks ago, when I was preparing for a little winter escape to sunny Vanuatu, I duly checked whether the resort I was staying at had a gym (it did) and made sure I packed my runners and training gear into my suitcase. Which is where they stayed for the duration of my trip.
Of course, there are good reasons for this. It was hot and humid, I was too busy reading, lazing by the pool, sipping cocktails or doing touristy things. And, wait, I have another excuse (I'm also always full of good excuses): I was on HOLIDAYS! Surely I should be excused for being lazy during my holiday, right?
Having said that I didn't just sit on my bum all week: I went snorkelling a few times, I climbed up a waterfalls, I walked a lot, pottered around in the swimming pool... Hell, I even played (and lost at) ping pong a few times.
So when I returned to Boot camp the following week, I was feeling vaguely confident that perhaps I wouldn't struggle too much. I'm sure you've figured out by now that I was wrong. It seems ping pong doesn't provide much of a cardio workout after all.
I asked Gary if he could go easy on me for my first session back after my break and he just laughed at me. Of course he laughed, he’d planned hill running for the entire session, my very favourite. Back and forth, back and forth, until your heart feels like it's going to explode.
And boy, did I wish these runners had made it out of the bag after all! So I made a mental note: the only way this could be ever become easier for me, even slightly, is if I never stopped exercising. Regular, constant, uninterrupted training, this is what I need. It may mean I have to stop travelling though. But what wouldn’t one do for killer legs?
Mitch, our new trainer
A few weeks ago, our small Wednesday lunch training group was introduced to the new JuggernautPT recruit, Mitch, freshly arrived from New Zealand to join Gary's team of trainers. Gary had been talking very highly of him, so I was looking forward to that first session.
And as far as first impressions go, let's just say that it was pretty clear from the start that Mitch wasn't there to make friends with us. How do I know? Well, I just know that instructing, three minutes into his very first session, an exercise involving 55 grunts could not have been a friendly move. And yes, you read correctly, that's 55 grunts!
For anyone out there unfamiliar with grunts, they are a cardio excercise that starts in a push-up position, has you leaping and then jumping up in the air with arms stretched and knees to your chest and they definitely are a JuggernautPT favourite. If you can't quite picture it, you'll just have to take my word for it: doing a couple is a breeze, you think "how hard can this be?", but once you've done 5 and over in a row and your heart is racing (not to mention how silly you look doing them), you'll start considering adding the word "grunt" to your list of dirty words, never to be mentioned again.
And, to give you a bit more of an idea, I usually consider Gary to be a pretty hardcore trainer, and the highest number of grunts he's ever asked us to do in a row would have been under 20.
So, let's get back to Mitch and his 55 grunts. To be honest, they weren't exactly in a row. Basically, it went like this: 2 straight punches - 1 grunt - 4 straight punches - 2 grunts - 6 straight punches - 3 grunts and so forth, until we got to 10 grunts and 20 punches. All this with boxing gloves on (I'm not sure if grunts are actually harder with gloves on, but they certainly don't make it easier). So, 55 grunts and 110 punches for our very first exercise with our brand new trainer.
I can honestly say that by the end of this I was feeling a little freaked out, not to mention vaguely delirious, all too aware of the fact that Mitch was also going to be my new personal trainer (more on that later).
In the end, as tough a session as it was, we all made it through and felt we had gotten an awesome workout. And maybe my first impression was wrong. After all, we were more than happy to come back the next week for more!