Romans Club Milano, an Innovative Wellness Concept

Had the pleasure of going to Milan for a long weekend in mid-January 2014 to attend a fitness convention held by the training system founded by Scott Sonnon and led in Europe by Alberto Galazzi (featured in Mens Health Italy last year).  However, I decided to make a long weekend of it and seeing as though the weather was likely to be miserable I needed some indoor activity to engage in.

Just so happens that I came across a place called Roman’s Club Milano on Instagram a few month ago.  This place is the most amazing little wellness clinic I have ever come across covering everything to enhance the health of body and mind.  Here you can have a workout, then go for a massage, get your hair done (maybe your nails and eyelashes too) then relax in the spa area for a steam, sauna (with a quick herbal tea break) then leave the place as good as new, feeling like a completely different person.

Antonio I believe runs the club and speaks very good English but I spoke to other personal trainers like Canadian-born Derek and Gianluca (my lookalike) and had some great chats, sharing ideas.

Italy is home to Tehnogym, one of the most established manufacturers of fitness equipment and with that inherent pioneering and innovative Italian mentality their latest inventions are designed to lead the culture and not just follow it.  Look at this example of an old technogym chest-pressing machine where you have little choice but to sit and little choice but to grab hold of the handle in a specific position.

oldkit

Now look at the new style machine where you now have the choice to stand in order to create more ground-engagement and more core-engagement.  You have the choice to slide the handles up and down so this helps create more ‘dynamic movement’.  No need for me to elaborate on that caption which seems to be the buzzword in the fitness culture at the moment.

newkit

Naturally, Romans Club is fully furnished with the latest technogym toys and I managed to play around with them.  Firstly I show you some different back-exercises going conventional, unilateral and even going across the body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD4g6bid8k4

Next, I demonstrate this new leg machine where I perform my favourite leg exercise the step-up.  Using resistance from a cable on the stepper means that my stability is constantly challenged throughout the movement especially when you only pull one side.  It also makes a difference if you pull the resistance with the hand closest to the front-leg or the opposite leg.  This exercise has great carry over to running I believe because in one single exercise you work on strength, stability, fluidity and posture.  Just see for yourself and you’ll know what I mean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOhAuUGpSmM

Antonio was very welcoming and my time with him shows how fitness is not a chore or burden but a uniting force.  If you are in Milan for a weekend in the Summer or fashion week take a trip there and email them before going and you will get treated like a guest (just to clarify you will still have to pay a fee but that can be negotiated with Antonio).

Will leave you with some more images of this beautiful facility.  Ciao!!!

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The Myth of quick-fix transformations

Bit of a contradiction in that this is a two-month photo comparison for one of my clients.  Truth is, he started with me in January and took some time before really seeing the aesthetic benefits of his training.  We see bilboards and other  adverts talking about this 60-day body transformation and my belief is that this is all a load of nonsense.  When we search for aesthetic benefits to our training we look at celebrities and athletes, people who are naturally beautiful and fit who back it up with hard-work.  Please tell me one person with an amazing body or an amazing level fitness who hasn’t been training for years.  That is what it takes peeps. years yes years.

Of course, those who have been training since a young age and have the good genetics, they can get back into training and see quick results.  These people hold a position on the opposite side of the spectrum.  They can see results in weeks, yes weeks.

Luckily, people are now realising this and don’t get fooled by such ads because they know all about photoshop, instagram and bullshit advertising.  I just want it to be known that ‘get results fast’ will not be a motto of mine.  As part of CST I will try and uphhold more profound mantras like, longevity, ageless mobility and pain-free health with the promise that aesthetics will come as a bonus.  I will not make people dependent on a personal trainer but keep my position as someone standing in the backgorund, monitoring your progress, keeping you interested through using varied methods of training.

I have been working in this one gym for over a year now and have seen three types of people.

1. The usual amazing looking regulars who keep coming to do the same old boring thing in fear of losing what they have.  The only progress they monitor is, if anything, how much they are lifitng.  There is no variety in what they do and any improvements in strength are likely to be just neuromuscular which is great if you are entering a powerlifitng competition.

2. Those that come for a few weeks then stop.  Probably because they don’t see results.  Then they see their bank balance and realise that they are still paying for their gym membership so quickly pick up their gym kit.

3.  They keep coming and try to do the same as the first group but get nowhere, absolutely fuckin nowhere.  They can’t accept that they don’t have the right genetics so need to train more intelligently.  Worse still they just lift heavier and heavier each time but still look no better.

So for group 1 keep at it but don’t spend so long training.  You have good genes, so shorten your sessions and go out and enjoy yourselves.  However, as you get older you must think of an alternative way to train.

For the other two groups, read my motivations tips and start monitoring your progress and when you don’t see changes get a professional opinion.  Maybe find a way to train which isn’t so boring.  Join a Crossfit box or something.

Above all you need to make fitness for life.  That could mean being a gym-rat but for me a holistic approach to fitness is better.  In our CST training programme we have a tri-ring approach to fitness explained in the following page

http://www.rmaxi.com/cst/

Hence, there is always something to do.  There is a way of working-in as well as working-out.  This way we can take a break from weights now and then and work on our mobility.  We can switch to circuit work or even adopting a sport or other outdoor pursuit, maybe even just walk the dog.

Raheem Sterling: Superstar

Had a great day today as I was sat with my sports massage friend from ERGOBLISS to watch our beloved Liverpool at the ARC.  We witnessed a potential new star being born in 17-year old Raheem Sterling making his first start against the best team in the country in Manchester City.

Such talent, speed, skill and above all confidence we have someone to get really excited about.  Even Carlos Tevez insisted on swapping shirts with him at the end.  A great example of a young determined individual ready to seize his opportunity when he played against Hearts in midweek.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi6-2sKqsuY&noredirect=1

But my one worry and this is why I am writing about him in my fitness blog.  We have seen a lot of youngsters coming through and failing to deliver.  I do not think this is just a coincidence.  I really believe there is something fundamentally flawed with conventional Strength and Conditioning methods in this country.  We look at Theo Walcott, Micah Richards and the injury-ridden Jack Wilshere.  Traditional S and C revolves around typical Arnie exercises like the fuckin bench press.  How is the bench press functional to football?????!!!!!!!  Explosive press-ups maybe as explosive strength may allow one to palm people away.  Squats also will just limit moblity around the hip complex.  Therefore, pistols will build leg strength and preserve the mobility a footballer needs to exercise speed and acceleration.

What I’m saying may sound controversial and one may think I have no authority to speak in such a manner but I love my football club and I don’t want the career of this starlet to be ruined like that of others.  Any football fan knows what I’m talking about with respect to Walcott and Richards.  The fact is sports science teaching in universities is flawed and too institutionlised and this will become more and more exposed over the next few years as complimentary and traditional approaches to fitness become more popular.

Mo Farah Versus Usain Bolt. Who wins in your eyes?

Usain Bolt became the first man to defend an Olympic 100m and 200m sprint double.  With legendary status already seemingly secured as well as global staredom, Bolt overcame the pressure and delivered despite his setback last year in Daegu.

Meanwhile, Mo Farah had been trying for years to reach the world class standard in distance running, constantly falling short and unable to challenge the established Africans.  Finally he broke through in 2011 becoming a world champion, so the pressure was on in London 2012.  Like a true star he delivered and tonight became only the seventh man to execute such a superhuman double.  The stadium erupted as well as the nation following this great achievement.

Whose acheivement tops your list?

Functional what?

So if you’re in the fitness industry you have probably bastardised this term ‘functional training’ (or you continue to do so, tut tut). If you just attend the gym then you may not have even heard this term. Gym management staff are now calling it ‘freestyle’ training. Sorry, but I am calling it Gimmicky training. Yes, yet another attack on gimmicks.

So we have people standing on BOSUs (the half ball) or even swiss balls and squatting crazy weights and calling this functional. In this industry the term has become very cliche. Those calling this functional can only be forgiven if they have just come out of PT school. If there was a proper definition of functional training it would be one that acknowledges how the body manifests movement through the collective working of muscles, tendons and ligaments, proprioceptors, bones, joints etc. You end up with a science that is quite vast. Every movement then can become an exercise. People out there that are said to specialise in this kind of training are affiliated with a company called FASTERGLOBAL. Their work is interesting and I did a two-day foundational course in it with a trainer called Ben Cormac and learnt a great deal. My only jibe with it is that it didn’t give me a comprehensive programme and template to work according to like Circular Strength Training does.

So as a gym regular how do you make your workout more functional. For me you have to address pitfalls of your daily activity. We sit down alot so we should perform exercises that encourage us to really pop out those hips, in which case you get off that bloody treadmill and use the rower. I would say prefer step-ups over squats and lunges. When you shoulder press, make sure you start with your elbows stabbed in and not flaring out. Then get a proper extension of your arm to stretch out the arm line. Too many of us are training in a way that compounds the postural defects acquired from our sedentary lives. This is why many yoga and pilates entusiasts frown upon conventional training and I don’t blame them frankly. As trainers we should be striving to help people achieve that balance between strength and mobility.

Can you pack it in?

So habits are making us fat and unhealthy. The third habit I mentioned relates to our nibbles. We can’t help but love our nibbles. On the computer, at the desk, you receptionists that are getting bored and stiff-legged while you’re swiping people’s cards and signing people in. What we have to learn is to control our nibbles. When the little fat version of myself decided to get into shape, I had this very habit of not being able to put the packet down. So, rather than going cold-turkey and giving up the biscuits altogether I learnt the discipline to take two and then put the packet away. Once I acquired that discipline I switched to healthier products like dates and almonds but still maintained that discipline of taking three and and putting everything away again.

So once again, don’t get too extreme by abandoning your favourite nibbles but wean yourself off it gradually. Your not an alcoholic or drug addict, you just like your treats like everbody else.

If you feel you have to abandon any form of junk then this is a section from the blog of top fitness pro Paul Chek

“The grand majority of people are eating so many inflammatory agents; their cores are being perpetually shut down by organ reflexes that are designed to help create more room for swollen organs and aid improved blood flow as a healing response.”

Tough words indeed and no doubt a holistic lifestyle will yield maximum benefit. If you’re based in London and want to find a great a holistic lifestyle coach certified by Paul Chek look no further than my good friend Rob

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR5kHqVj1NQ

So there it is peeps. Curb your habits and you’ll be closer to sorting out your diet.

Keep Well and Active

Saaj

Move like a scorpion

I remember watching CImageI remember watching coach Scott Sonnon perfoming a series of exercises centering around the crab position but moving in and out of it performing presses and going on one hand. I just thought that it was so cool and saw a lot of benefit in attempting to do the same thing. After beginning training with Scott’s Rmax international’s team of instructors and coaches and even becoming a certified instructor myself I found myself capable of perfoming the moves as well.

Here is a video of the coach in action, performing the threading scorpion himself.

http://www.rmaxinternational.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=74&Itemid=0

Soon to start a Youtube channel when I will post my lame attempt to copy the master.

Until then, keep active

Saaj

Fitness for Life


After over a year working as a personal trainer I am now ready to hit the blogging world. I have expanded my knowledge vastly through independent research, and attending countless courses including those under the guidance of Dr Scott Sonnon and his team of experienced coaches. Also established myself as a popular spin instructor, teaching in venues all over central London. I am living the dream now and feel that people can benefit from my posts and blogs. Would love for people to read my blogs and share them, even critique them.

Know me a bit more

A proud Britton of Indian origin and speaker of four languages including Arabic.  Discovered a passion in fitness and now found a way to make fitness for life.  This blog will change your view on fitness.  Some things will seem too good to be true.  Simple things to eliminate shin splints.  Toning up whilst being able to preserve and improve posture.  Safe transitions from yoga to strength training.  You will find it all.

I am a personal trainer based in North London.  Contact details can be found via my facebook page.