My Fitness Journey Part 4: The maestro who facilitated the change
May 18, 2016
At some stage of every journey you go through you get to a point where you need to stop and admit you need help. Part of being a strong and mature human being is realizing that you might not be an expert in absolutely everything (ya think?!) and that a helping hand will take you forward even further than sticking it out on your own. Such was the case in my fitness journey. After starting a full-on banting diet on 14 September 2015, I lost around 12kgs by pure willpower and no training or guidance whatsoever. At the end of October last year I met my new trainer and on November the 3rd he took me and started molding me slowly but surely. I was willing clay and sucked up every bit of information I could learn from him. He qualified as a personal trainer by the extremely high standards of the ISSA based in California, United States and is a champ in rugby, kickboxing, body building and kicks cardio ass, trust me. It is from him that I learned how to smash a 90 minute straight cardio session and barely break a sweat. Today I can say that Johan le Roux, my personal trainer, has become such a close friend and confident that I don’t know how I’ll do without him when I go off into the world and have to do this on my own. He has taught me to take back my confidence, take control of my body and take the bull by the horns and just do what seems especially unattainable. The trick with being a personal trainer is assessing your new client and quickly learning in which way you can push and where you have to ease up. Johan says it’s important to build a client’s confidence. “Help them in the beginning, make them see what they can do by themselves and as soon as the results start showing and they realize what they are capable of, watch the magic unfold”. His mindset is extremely motivating and having had to support each other through competing and training, we were both very much inspired by ‘The Secret”. By watching the movie we learned that the law of attraction, positive thinking, good energy and that thoughts become things can determine your path. Being the vivacious hooligan that I can be (some/most/okay always) of the time, Johan saw from the start that he can push me and I’ll shut up and stick it out because I.will.not.give.up. One thing I know about myself – I’m mentally extremely strong, I can handle pain and I can keep myself motivated under the most extreme circumstances. I welcome pressure. Bring it, babe.
For this feature I asked Johan to show us three quick exercises you can do at home that will pack major punch. The trick is to start slow, build up your reps, but concentrate on your form. Form is important because it will help the right muscles to be worked for the specific movement you’re doing – with better results! Take a look at the below three moves and feel free to contact me under comments if you have questions. If you want I can even put you in contact with Johan directly.
SIDE LEG LIFT (above)
In this movement you can lie on the carpet supported by one elbow. Bend your bottom leg to a 90 degree angle and do 20 full lifts with your top leg straight, 20 pulses with your top leg and 20 kicks. Start with 20 of each of the three movements but build yourself up so that you can do 5 sets of 20 each. This exercise works your core and leg muscles.
PEN PICK-UP (above)
This one isn’t as easy as it looks! Balance is key here as you lift one straight leg up backwards while the opposite arm stretches down to pick up the weight. If you don’t have weights you can use anything, it’s not about what you pick up, it’s about how you do it. The back leg must lift at least 90 degrees and will be able to go higher the more the stretched out arm drops. Do 7 pick-ups over 4 sets, each side. Later you can build yourself up to do 5 sets of 15. This move works your hamstrings and glutes.
BALL SQUAT (above)
I LOVE doing squats. At the moment I’m doing a 30 day squat challenge and I’m loving it. During one training session Johan had me doing squats while chatting away and at the end of it he proudly stated “well done dude, you just did 300 squats perfectly.” Gulp. 300 Squats like a boss! The above move can be done with or without a yoga ball. Here your form is extremely important. Arms are good for balance and can be held in any of these positions. Feet must be shoulder width, back at 90 degrees and concentrate on not leaning forward. Try keep your back curved forward, bum out and your head up. The trick is to not put your weight on the ball or side of your bed or bath when doing your squats. It’s a touch and lift! It works the butt muscles and no wonder they say squats give you a hot ass – it does work!
Now you’re asking about eating habits? Let me tell you one thing I’ve learned – health is 80% what you put into your body and 20% what you do with your body. Training will be absolutely useless if you eat wrong. Of course my level of training has increased majorly over the past months because I progress quickly, luckily. My eating plan, although technical because of my training type, is meticulously formulated by Johan and similar to a body builder – it’s BCAA’s this and Whey Protein that, peanut butter this and Omega 3, 6 and 9 that. It becomes complicated, but if you want the results, it changes your life and you get very into it. I weigh all my food, maintain an almost all protein diet, extremely little fat, no sugar, some fibre, no carbs and loads of water. I have coffee, tea (no sugar of course), coke light and litres and litres of water to make sure my kidneys don’t take any strain from supplements. I only have green salad and green veg, and snack on biltong (30grams) or almonds (x12) when I feel peckish. For the every day person who just wants to be healthy, Johan says that salads are always a good way to go, try not to eat after 7pm at night, drink a glass of water first thing every morning to kick-start your metabolism, avoid processed foods, sauces and bad sugars, if you can’t do without a carb try have it early in the day so your body has time to burn it and if you do crave something late at night, opt for a spoon of low sugar peanut butter because it’s a slow release protein and will keep you full. The bottom line is to eat clean. Question every single thing you put in your mouth and pretty soon you’ll be more aware of it’s worth.
I think personally finding the right person to do this with was fundamental for me and I can only thank my lucky stars that I met Johan when I did. He has become a big part of my life and has been such a support and motivation. He’s dried tears, listened to rants, dodged fists, spoken to me hard, brought me down to earth, made me focus but most of all helped build me back up. Like a baby be helped nurture I’m ready to go out into the world now and try this on my own. I know he’ll always be there, but dude, I’ll never forget these past six months. I wish you all the best in reaching your goal in opening your own very special training facility and your dream of rehabilitating and help training the less fortunate. All the coffee and whey, peanut butter and talks. You will forever in my mind be the Prince of Protein. Until we reach our fitness goals I’ll be there for you like you were for me. Forever in whey……Princess Protein.
A super special thanks to Johan for taking time to take part in this feature for me, it means alot, I know you’re extremely busy and probably still training clients as I’m writing this. Also thank you for the beautiful pictures Corne Greeff, no wonder one of our magazines grabbed you to work for them, you have a great eye! If any of you want to get hold of Johan or Corne, please leave me your details and I’ll pass it on.
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