The barbell – it’s simply a piece of machined steel, a useful tool to get you strong when used correctly. But if you immerse yourself and commit to training, you will find that it does more than just get you physically strong.
The barbell and the process of training teaches you many lessons, and develops uncommon character traits that will positively affect your life outside the gym.
If you’ve been training at a commercial gym for a while, pause, take a look around and observe the regulars. You’ll realise that most of them are performing or look exactly the same as they did a few months (or even years) ago.
Now, take a moment and review your own training. Have you been making steady progress or have you been going around in circles?
According to the Health Promotion Board, about one-third of elderly Singaporeans aged 60 and above have fallen at least once. We’ll discuss why strength is important in maintaining balance and why “balance training” doesn’t work.
Do you have lower back pain that’s getting in the way of you enjoying your time in the saddle?
If you’re an avid cyclist, this might sound familiar to you. You’re enjoying the ride, feeling the wind in your face and clocking in the miles. About 30 minutes in, you start to feel a little dull ache in your lower back. As you keep going, that little ache gradually gets more pronounced.
Training isn’t meant to be comfortable – it never was, never is and never will be. If you’re serious about your training and want to make progress, you must shed the mindset of ‘working within your comfort zone’ and start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
If you’re above the age of 30, it’s certain that you have experienced or are currently experiencing lower back pain.
Martin had to travel extensively as part of running a successful patent law firm and spent at least 30 hours a month on planes. Back then, he flew business class not because he wanted to but because he had to – flying economy would cause him to suffer from excruciating pain for the next few days.
Progress stalling after your novice phase ended? Constantly getting stuck and not sure which post novice program will work for your situation? Coach Shaun talks about some strategies to move from your novice phase into intermediate.
My interest in fitness started when I was around 19 years old. Being overweight for most of my growing up years, I decided to do something about it. After months of not being able to achieve the desired results, I began poring through books and articles about training and nutrition. The more I read, the more interested I became in this field, and got better results when the the newly discovered knowledge was applied. After 1 year of persistence and hard work, I lost 24kg and felt fantastic. The sense of achievement motivated me to pursue a career in working with people to help them achieve their own fitness goals.
After achieving my weight loss goal, I tried a variety of training programs for a few years, looking for a new goal to train towards. After aimlessly moving around from program to program, I chanced upon a book called Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, written by renowned strength and conditioning expert, Mark Rippetoe. Little did I know that this book was about to change my life and coaching career.
At that point, I had experience training with barbells and was relatively familiar with it but never have I come across any material that gave such explicitly detailed explanations of how to perform the barbell lifts. I devoured the book and modified my lifting technique and program. In just a few months, I was pleasantly surprised by how much stronger he had become. I now had a new goal to work towards – getting strong.
With full confidence in the efficacy of the Starting Strength methodology, I began coaching my clients using this program and got them stronger than they ever thought was possible. The consistent success my clients achieved through the program cemented my confidence in Mark Rippetoe’s teachings. I then decided to pursue the credential of being a Starting Strength Coach and I’m currently the first and only certified coach in Singapore and South-East Asia
In my 9 years of experience, I have given talks and ran programs at numerous companies and worked with a diverse group clientele of all ages with a variety of goals. Today, I specialise in coaching people in their 40s, 50s and beyond because it brings me a great sense of satisfaction to be part of the process of improving this demographics’ health and quality of life by getting them stronger.