Dave's Gym

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Wednesday. Even a little bit of time out sucks.

Owen, squatting all the weight. Me, wondering how to spot this if it goes horribly wrong.

In my state of ever increasing decrepitude I am becoming more and more sympathetic to those of us out there that aren’t highly tuned athletes. Not that I ever was an athlete but on a few rare occasions I managed to accidentally get into reasonable shape. I’ve also been doing this exercise lark for over 30 years now and so gyms and exercise hold no fear for me. However, every now and again I am forced to take some time off from training – it could be for a holiday or for my recent brush with death (man-flu, very dangerous), and coming back to training even after a tiny lay off is daunting. What it must be like for a total beginner to walk into a gym, goggle at the strange contraptions of torture and have to ask a spotty 18 year old how to use them I can not even imagine. We try to do things different here at Dave’s but the sight that greets you upon setting foot in the gym is a phalanx of large metal power racks and legions of (mostly) men straining against bending steel bars. If you didn’t know better it resembles one of the lower circles of Hades just with chalk dust instead of billowing clouds of brimstone.

The key to overcoming peoples prejudice and wariness of training in a proper gym is down to education. It takes time and effort to explain to someone that learning how to perform barbell movements with correct technique is far more beneficial than sitting like an inert pudding on a vibrating power plate. It’s also expensive. My biggest overhead is the wages I pay to my wonderful staff. They are all well experienced, qualified and knowledgeable in all things gym related. If you took the time to listen to them and then, crucially, follow their advice then I can guarantee that you will improve in whatever area it is you wish to improve in.Which is why the big box gyms don’t even bother. A lot of the big chains don’t even have gym instructors, in the strict sense, anymore. Just cohorts of Personal Trainers that you have to pay extra for if you want to be trained. One of the main reasons I wanted to have my own gym was so that I could actually coach people properly. Of course the old adage of  You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink holds true here. I have lost count of the amount of times we have spent hours crafting fine and detailed programs for customers only to watch them doing something completely different next time you see them. Ah well.

Today was my first attempt of having a workout after a deload week and making a miraculous recovery from the vile pathogen that was rampaging through my delicate immune system. It didn’t go at all well.
So to protect you from my patheticness I filmed Rhod instead.

This is what we (Rhod) did:

Cycle – 5 mins.

Run – 3 mins.

Skip – 1 min.

Lunge walks.
Bish walks.
Military press.
Band pull aparts. All done as a kind of rambling circuit for various reps three times round.

Front squats – 3 sets 10 reps. My legs actually started cramping up on my 2nd set of these which is pitiful.

Bench press – 5/3/1 so 3 sets of 5 reps this week. I did less weight and fewer reps then I was scheduled to do because my elbow is still playing up. If I was a horse a nice, kind man would lead me out into the middle of a field, give me a carrot and then shoot me.

Romanian deadlifts – 3 sets 15 reps. Blimey, it’s been yonks since I’ve done these. Such a great exercise. The plan with these is not to go too heavy and use them as much as a developmental stretch than an out and out strength exercise. That’s what regular deadlifts are for.

Chins and dips – 3 sets of 5 reps. We are dropping the press ups for the time being and focusing on trying to get a little stronger on the chins and dips. If we can get the 3 sets of 5 reps done then we’ll strap on some extra weight next time. I couldn’t do chin ups but the dips felt fine.

Here’s Rhod doing his thing. His Romanians are particularly good. Watch and learn.

Thanks for reading.
Dave Carter.
Dave’s Gym
Cardiff.

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