04 Feb Personal Training in the Great Outdoors
It’s a miserable Wednesday morning late January in the standard UK rain, mist etc. The snow has melted to those annoying icy patches along the 400m running track, that I nearly slipped rear-over-head on, during my warmup lap. I have just finished a 300-rep workout using my two 20kg Dumbbells that have become my prized possessions since lockdown 27 started, with 3 laps thrown in, 1 to start, 1 in between compound and complex exercises, and 1 to end. I’m soaked, the magical outdoor training combo of rain and sweat making me feel I’ve conquered the elements and not the other way round. As in the aftermath of every workout I’ve ever done, I bask in my own reflective glory feeling spectacular whilst also struggling to fill my lungs, the latter being the result of me voluntarily running on a track for the first time since Sports Day, 1999. I’ve told students in the past how important I have found regular training, not only for my physical health, but for my mental health; it is the greatest release for me, especially in these testing times. I start to think about how I can slip a new metaphor about it into my next webinar and it’s at that point I look up and see that there is no one else at the track except me.
Where is everyone? I admit, the cold weather puts people off, even me (my sweat once froze during a cool down) but today’s not too cold so I find it crazy that its empty, not only from local PT’s (there’s quite a lot around my local area) but people in general! In 11 years as a qualified PT, I admit I have only ever trained a client outside maybe 15- or 20- times tops, at their home or in parks but now I cannot advocate it enough. Imagine this venue as a PT – no rent, enough space, fresh air, social distancing (standard), and the freedom to get creative. Worried about equipment? You’re it. Plus, if you are fortunate enough to have equipment, there are no restrictions to use it (if you don’t mind it getting dirty of course). A small investment in equipment but a massive investment into your potential income. Oh, and maybe get some waterproofs.
In all seriousness, I have read quite a few articles about people stating that they will never go back to a gym after the pandemic (my thoughts on this in the next blog!), perhaps they fell in love with training outdoors, at home or managed to complete their home gym before everyone selling equipment jacked their prices up. Or maybe they are concerned for cleanliness and hygiene. Perhaps gyms need to now change tact, could online timetables be included in some gyms make up? Or maybe we will see the first online gyms with new technology in apps to train on any terrain with anything. I can now more than ever, see the appeal of training outside – I am certainly not a runner or cyclist but the sense of freedom to train anywhere certainly entices me and I look forward to smashing a workout come rain, snow or (hopefully) shine. Whatever happens, in my humble opinion, there will always be a need for the personal touch for so many people, and as PT’s we will continue to carry the torch and adapt to our not so new, surroundings.
Keep Smashing it,