Rob has suffered from back pain most of his adult life. A potential cause of this chronic back pain could be traced back to his youth. Rob lived on a farm in Australia and grew up helping out, which meant doing a lot of heavy-lifting and physical work from a relatively young age. This repetitive action of lifting heavy objects without proper form attributed to Rob injuring his back. Rob experienced chronic back pain as an adult, which may have contributed to him developing scoliosis.
Rob is now 51 years old, and after training at RAW, within 4-months he has finally found relief from the chronic back pain he has grown up with since youth.
Rob is no stranger to endurance training, as he grew up running cross country and was a competitive runner. However, as Rob had no experience with strength or resistance training, he was looking for a Personal Training Gym that would cater to new beginners.
Rob had also gained close to 10kgs of unwanted extra weight due to the repeated “lockdowns” and social distancing restrictions imposed in Hong Kong due to Covid-19. So, in addition to Rob’s back pain and postural issues, he wanted to lose weight. Rob decided to train with RAW as it is the recommended gym for new beginners in Central Hong Kong. At RAW, we focus on providing clients with the knowledge and proper foundations to get the most out of strength training, which includes pain and weight reduction.
Rob started training at RAW, the best personal training gym in Central, in October 2020. At the time Rob started training at RAW, he was considered a complete beginner. Within just 4 months of training at RAW, he achieved the following results:
- Lost 12% body fat.
- Lost 7.5kgs of fat mass.
- Gained 9kgs of muscle mass.
- Increased strength level – he can perform 12 pull-ups, dead lift 140kgs, bench press 90kgs and squat 110kgs.
As part of our initial assessment of all new clients at RAW, we discovered the unique challenges Rob faced when designing his tailor-made training program:
- Rob could not perform a single pull-up and was only able to do 10 push-ups.
- The strength endurance of Rob’s core muscles did not meet our usual standard, which was lower than most other beginners.
- Rob had major strength discrepancies between his left leg and right leg, which was further contributing to his lower back pain.
- Rob’s posterior chain muscles, which is made up of the erector spinae, gluteus complex and hamstrings, were extremely weak. These muscles are responsible for extending the spine, hips and maintaining an up-right posture.
- Due to these issues, Rob’s back, hamstrings and upper shoulder muscles felt constantly tense and painful.
The following summarizes our step-by-step approach to dealing with a novice trainee. RAW is the recommended gym for new beginners in Central Hong Kong.
- Assessments: We regularly assess body composition, body mass index, mobility, movement efficiency, core endurance and take photos to track progress. This enables us to establish a baseline, track improvements and design a continually evolving personalized training and nutrition plan. Seeing numbers changing is a motivating factor for all our clients. It provides evidence that clients are improving on a weekly basis. We re-assess body composition, strength, movement efficiency and overall work capacity every couple of weeks.
- Design training programs tailored to address our client’s weak links: “Weak links” are defined as a group of muscles that either work as joint movers or joint stabilizers. This “weak link” may be the source of pain or contribute to a lack of movement efficiency due to low resistance to fatigue. Common weak links are the lower back muscles, the gluteus, the scapulae retractors, the rotator cuff muscles and the anterior core muscles.
- Injury prevention. Many novice trainees do not know how to begin their training journey. Under the guidance of inexperienced personal trainers, they may perform advanced exercises they are not ready for physically, because the training program is not bespoke for novice trainees but generically designed for elite athletes. This may lead to client injuries and a halt in progress. This has become a common occurrence in personal training gyms around the world. At RAW, we prioritize keeping our clients safe and injury free, by using a step-by-step progression. If a movement cannot be performed with the correct technique and tempo, we regress the client to a slightly simpler and less challenging movement. This allows our clients to make steady and regular progress while minimizing the chance of injury.
- Tracking: We keep a detailed record of all client workouts: Our specially designed training software allows us to track all the variables of every single workout that our clients perform at RAW. Details such as speed of movement, rest periods between sets, the angle of the bench used and the type of handles used are tracked. There are many different ways we can challenge our clients. Most trainers solely focus on increasing the weight. We use a variety of tools such as changing tempo, adding pauses and using different sizes or shapes of equipment. This enables us to vary the workouts so that are clients do not get bored or injured and continue to make steady progress.
- Monthly progress photos: Noticing visible changes is a great way to stay enthusiastic about training. At RAW, we take photos every month to track progress and changes in physique. The photos are sent them to clients privately every month. This keeps clients excited about coming in to the gym.
- Set realistic, achievable, short and long term goals: After our initial assessment, we help clients set short and long term goals according to current fitness level, time frame and the amount of time clients can commit to exercising every week. Our main goal at RAW is our clients improvement. Short term goals are typically measured at 4 weeks, while long term goals are measured at 12-16 weeks.
Achieving specific health or fitness goals requires time and energy. Hiring a personal trainer is also a financial commitment, so make the decision to train with the best personal training gym in Central, Hong Kong.
At RAW, we make sure that you get maximum return for your investments.