Tuesday, 30 March 2010

FitCast 'Fame'

On a spur of the moment, prior to leaving the house on her Sunday run, Gym Ninja decided to email The FitCast regarding some advice she required. After all, who better to go to for advice than the FitCast?

Now for those who have never heard of The FitCast, you need to go check it out via the link I posted under their name just now, or via iTunes. It is a fantastic weekly podcast on all things health & fitness related. New exercise techniques, nutrition, supplements, injuries, latest trends..you name it, they cover it, and they also do a weekly mail bag so listeners can call in and ask the experts (and they do have some big name experts on their show). This is exactly what Gym Ninja did...she needed some advice/guidance on what type of equipment to buy for her new mobile Personal Training business and who better to ask than these guys?

So, about 37 minutes in to the latest episode, 172, imagine Gym Ninja's delight when her email was read out and they gave her some advice. Gym Ninja even signed it off with her blog signature 'Toodle Pip' that completely baffled the American guy Kevin Larrabee who presents the show.  Fantastic, lol!  It's podcasts like these that give accurate, up to date quality information that's so beneficial for anyone out there wanting to further their knowledge and stay up to date with the latest fitness industry info. You've 172 episodes online waiting for you to start educating yourself with. Scroll through and start with the topics that jump out at you, or do what Gn did and start from Episode 1. Perfect for commutes, if you have to drive for a living, or just want something to listen to as you work out or do housework/chores/gardening. It's not 'high brow' but done at a very accessible level, so even if you are just starting out on your quest to get in shape you'll understand what they say. Oh and it's funny too!  You'll learn LOTS!

Then today, again spur of the moment, Gym Ninja realised that it is Easter this weekend (duh!) and that if she wants her regular order of Maximuscle supplements to arrive in time for next week at the FitPro Spring Convention (well, Gym Ninja always travels with a healthy supply stash) she'd best place the order as it won't arrive magically of it's own accord!!!!

So Gym Ninja ordered what she deemed the 'basics' for travelling with. Gym Ninja ordered a box of Maxi-Milk (so she can quaff those during the long lectures), a box of Promax Diet Bars (again, easy to carry should she get hungry travelling or 'learning' ....and a fairly new addiction of GNs) and of course the obligatory box of Promax Crisp Bars (Happy Easter present to oneself!).  That order was placed at 11.30am today.

By 2.30pm Gym Ninja received an email..to tell her that her Maximuscle order HAD BEEN DISPATCHED!


No need to have panicked eh? Is it just Gym Ninja, or does anyone else think that is an incredibly rapid service?

Gym Ninja also decided to try and track down a telephone number so she could contact Vistaprint about her incorrect business card order. After all, what is GN supposed to do with 250 cards in the wrong colour?  After much searching, she found an 0800 number and was put through to somewhere 'far away'. Gym Ninja explained the problem...that the preview had shown a white background but the cards arrived with a blue background and GN had needed them urgently for this weekend.

The Vistaprint girl checked and saw that the preview did indeed show white..and then also found that the 'proof' document also online (what? Where IS the proof?) showed blue. The girl then went and put GN on hold for 10 minutes...oooer. This isn't boding well!

When the girl came back she admitted that for some reason the upload had caused the background to change and that as it was their fault they would rectify it and dispatch urgently free replacement cards (well, they aren't really free are they seeing as Gym Ninja paid for 250 freaky blue cards) and that they will be with Gym Ninja on Friday.
Impressive seeing as the Post doesn't get delivered on Friday (or does it?). Fingers crossed they arrive looking perfect!

So, although it is a few days away, what does everyone have planned over Easter? is it just Gym Ninja, or does anyone else see Bank Holidays as extra bonus time at the gym?  Admittedly due to the final weekend of exams (eeek) Gym Ninja cannot attend her usual Saturday Slaughter Session, so will cane it Friday instead. Let us call it a Fearsome Friday FitDay. What does that entail? Hmm, GN has no clue as of yet but will soon plan something suitably hardcore so she starts Easter in a fit and healthy way. What will you do on Fearsome Friday FitDay?  GN does not partake in chocolate (unless it's wrapped around a Maximuscle bar or in a Maximuscle shake) so Easter Eggs are not a temptation, so staying on track will be fairly easy. That'd be unless someone puts some bunny ears on a box of Promax Crisp Bars.....

Toodle Pip (!)

Gym Ninja x

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Spring Ninja

Did you remember to put your clocks forward? Did you, did you, did you?

Gym Ninja did. She'd planned to get up early and do her first outdoor run in ages. Well, it is now officially Spring. It'd be rude not to.

So, after breakfast had digested and emails been sent, Gym Ninja donned her black running gear, a cap, plus new lightweight waterproof jacket, plugged in her iPhone and off she went. She was heading to the promenade which is 5 minutes away from her home.

WHAT a gloriously sunny spring day! Gym Ninja had set off for her run with an undercurrent of bad mood, however, as she ran she could feel her mood beginning to lift. Remarkable what exercise does for you mentally, not just physically.

The promenade wasn't too busy. The usual mixture of people fishing in the River, a fair few people walking their dogs (which actually involves them strolling along whilst their over-excitable dogs cannonball from one jogger to the next, yapping and bounding up to them), couples out for a leisurely walk, cyclists pedalling everywhere except the designated cycle lane, oh and a few joggers like Gym Ninja. 

As Gym Ninja was running, she decided to start looking for suitable areas to train future clients. The promenade would be a good place, especially for cardio sessions. There was also a nearby local park that sat on the Promenade, so Gym Ninja detoured into it. How exciting! Gym Ninja hadn't been in this park since she was 8 years old. After all, Gym Ninja is neither 14 years old with a penchance for cider NOR a parent/dog owner, so why else would she need to go to the park?

My my, is this how parks are nowadays? It was SO pretty and SO clean! Admittedly it had looked bigger when she last went, aged 8, but then everything looked bigger aged 8 (especially Creme Eggs!). There were a few grassy areas GN could do circuit style exercises on, plus some steep hills to send her clients up. Oh, and most importantly, it was beautiful..

Isn't that pretty? 

Yes, that IS a bandstand and no, it has NO graffiti! 

After exploring the park, Gym Ninja headed for the exit gate, only to notice a strategically parked Ice Cream Van. Hmm, maybe bringing clients here wasn't such a good idea? No point working them hard if they then go and stuff a 99 down their throat! As GN  jogged back out, she narrowly missed
 a huge dog emptying it's bowels on the road. It's owner was dashing over, plastic bag in hand, ready to clean up. Not fast enough though! Gym Ninja got assaulted nasally by the smell! Yuk! 

On and on Gym Ninja jogged, admiring the view, and feeling as if she could have continued running forever (if only she had the time).  The River looked beautiful with the sun shining down...

Eventually, Gym Ninja turned and headed back home. Checking her watch, she'd been out running for 55 minutes and it really didn't feel that long. So, still full of energy, Gym Ninja ran to the shed, took out the lawn mower and decided that today was the day the grass got cut (much to the relief of the neighbours no doubt). 

You know when you are just tooooooo busy to sort the gardens out, yet you live next to the world's most dedicated gardeners? That's Gym Ninja's life. The thing with gardening is that you can't just 'plant & go'. This is the mistake Gym Ninja makes. Stuff gets planted, and then it wants a fuss. Plus, Gym Ninja has a cat who enjoys using pot plants as toilets, so there is something off-putting about that. That, and next door's love of stone garden ornaments. A stone hedgehog, rabbit and...the worst of the lot...a stone gnome! These tacky creatures take pride of place in the front garden of next door. Plus, as you have to go past next door in order to reach Gym Ninja's house, a quick glance up the driveway and people MAY suppose the tacky objects are actually in Gym Ninja's garden!


Why though? Why? What makes someone want stone animals? To pretend Medusa visited one day and a rabbit and hedgehog accidentally met her gaze...?

Anyhow, GN is now rambling waaaaay off topic, so had best wind up today's blog.

Hope you also had a great fit start to the Spring? Bring on the snow next week (apparently) eh? ;-)

Gym Ninja x

Saturday, 27 March 2010


You know when you just have a day where everything is rubbish? Today is that day for Gym Ninja.

Having looked forward to her Saturday Slaughter session ALL week, Gym Ninja bounced (kind of) out of bed and got herself ready for the gym.  It's a fantastic feeling knowing that you're going to be pushed for an entire hour of Spin Hell. Truly! Gym Ninja loves feeling half-dead at the end...

Bounce bounce into the gym went Gym Ninja. A quick 10 minute warm up on the Cross Trainer, and then Gym Ninja necked half a bottle of Target Energy Shot, to back up the old energy levels. Always prepared you see!

Gym Ninja walked into the Spin Studio. Dangly Cross Man was in so Gym Ninja went to set up her usual bike in front of the vent, only to find it was broken.

"The handlebars won't stay up", Explained Dangly, which makes Gym Ninja think he must have tried to nab her bike before she came in, Or else, how would he know...? So Gym Ninja sat the other side of him, spent ages setting up her bike, only to then discover the foot strap was missing. AHHHR!  Time to find another bike.

By now, Gym Ninja was sat in the middle of the room, nowhere near an air con vent. Godammit, Gym Ninja will melt in a pool of sweat without air con!  But it was now 5 minutes until kick off (so to speak) and no sign of the Fab Instructor....hmmm...the class were getting nervous. What if she didn't show up???

As if by magic, in strode a young guy, headed towards the Instructor bike, and plonked on the headset. NO Fab Instructor today then? This was rapidly followed by 6 people dismounting their bikes and walking right out of the class as his back was turned. You see, the Saturday Spin Class of one hour is a hardcore class, and they do not suffer fools....Gym Ninja felt disappointed. PLEASE let this guy be half decent...?

"I've not tried this CD before" He said, before switching on what must have been the world's most inappropriate music for a spin class. Slow thudding beat like a metronome...boom, boom, boom, boom....in time to you chanting 'one potato, two potato, three potato'..so yeh, slow!

"Let's warm up!" he cried...."In time to the beat..."
*cue one potato, two potato, three potato, four potato...*
Gym Ninja's legs wanted to go faster. Everyone's legs wanted to go faster, but Metronome (the instructor) wanted everyone IN TIME to the slow beat.

Imagine this slow relentless beat, unchanging from 90s dance classic to 90s dance classic, plodding on for an WHOLE hour and you can partly imagine the class Gym Ninja found herself in.

'Up for 8, down for 8.....3, 2, 1, go" Counted Metronome, by now starting to sound like The Count off Sesame Street...

Now usually, in an hour of Spin on a weekend, Gym Ninja has two thoughts in her head throughout the class.

1. "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die"
2. "Ffff*ckkkkkkkkk!"

Today, however, Gym Ninja managed to plan her entire day and compile a mental 'things to do' list, all whilst not breaking a sweat.

"If you're not sweating you're not working hard enough" Boomed Metronome.

No sh*t Sherlock, as they say. NO ONE was working hard enough. Even with the resistance rammed on, the beat was too slow to raise anyone's heart rate higher than maybe 65% max?

Eventually, the hour long nightmare ended. What a boring class. If Ikea wrote spin classes this would have been one of them. Very 'prescriptive' but no actual personality injected into it, nor adaptation to suit the fitness level of the class. Just lots of patterns of standing and seated climbs and 15, 30 and 60 second pyramids of sprints. Oh and time to plan a 'to do' list...

After Spin ended, and having listened to some of the others moan about the class, Gym Ninja headed downstairs to do a run (next to a man slathered in Deep Heat Muscle Rub), before starting her lower body weights session. All whilst suffering a pang of loss from not getting her usual fabulous spin session. Grrr!

Detouring on route home, Gym Ninja had a nasty 'card refused' moment at the Petrol Station. Looks like the overdraft limit had been reached, yet Gym Ninja is not due to get paid until Wednesday. Bugger! How will Gym Ninja pay for car parking to do her job next week? ARRRH!  Then, the momentary excitement at seeing that her new business cards had arrived, was ruined when she saw they'd printed the cards on BLUE  instead of white, thus making them unusable. AHHHHR again!

So now Gym Ninja is grumpy, but will settle down and hit the books. Coursework awaits for the rest of the evening, so fingers crossed everything else goes to plan eh?

See you all tomorrow...an hour EARLIER if you are in the UK as don't forget to put your clocks forward 1 hour tonight. (HOW useful is Gym Ninja eh?)

Grumpy Ninja x

Friday, 26 March 2010

Actimel, Chips & Maximuscle! Guess which of the three Gym Ninja had today?

How can Exhibition Days feel like the longest days in the world? Or is it more the company that Gym Ninja has to keep during the exhibitions that makes the day drag?

Today was another long day, interspersed by Doctors an Nurses spilling out of lecture halls, heading straight for the refreshment table and fuelling up on sugary coffee and biscuits.  Of course, due to the rapid rise and fall in blood sugar following this sugar ingestion, they will need to repeat the process during every available break. In fact, Gym Ninja spied one Doctor who opened up his laptop case on the table and shovelled in 10 packets of 'individual paired biscuits'. Supplies for later?

A fellow Exhibitor came over to talk to my colleagues who knew him well. Exhibitor man was huge. Big frame, chubby neck, chin(s) in the middle of his face, large overhanging belly.

"It's my first week working THIS year". He announced.
'Been having an op on my spine and now I've pain in my neck. Typical!"

Gym Ninja's colleagues did their sympathetic face and asked him to continue with the story. He did...

"It's the discs. Wrecked.They are gradually fixing them all the way up my spine"
*GN's colleagues did the obligatory sighing in sympathy at this*
"Of course I blame the sports I used to do and the driving in this job" He said.


Was this the Emperors New Clothes in Weight Issue format? Really? Do you not even suppose it may be the strain on the spine and discs from carrying around excessive weight around the stomach? Huh? No?

Being positioned near a Danone Actimel stand was bad for Gym Ninja's colleague Penfold. He overeats constantly as it is, but somehow sees Actimel as the answer to his prayers. 'Sorts out his guts' apparently. Why don't people perhaps stop trying to treat the symptoms and maybe try and figure out the cause?  By noon he'd had 2 Actimel yoghurt drinks and 1 yoghurt. He went off to source himself some lunch along with Whippet (another colleague) and Boss Man.

Boss Man returned with a small salad. Surprising really as he is fond of his junk.
Whippet returned with a steak sandwich and salad, plus a small cake. He is a healthy eater most of the time and eats things in moderation.

"Guess who's gone and got chips?" Whippet announced, nodding his head back in the direction of Penfold.

2 mintes later, Penfold appears with what seems an identical meal to Whippets. Sandwich and salad plus a chocolate cake.....

"Where are your chips then eh?" Boss Man booms.

Penfold looked shifty and tried to deny the chips. So Gym Ninja leaned towards him...only to discover that nestling underneath the salad was a huge pile of chips. He'd hidden them!  WIthin half an hour he was again spooning another Actimel Yoghurt down his neck, followed by an Actimel Yoghurt drink.

"OMG, you are RELENTLESS!" Said an astonished Boss Man.
"Does lunch just roll on continually until evening in your life?" He questioned, eyeing up the yoghurt.

Penfold looked at the collection of Actimel empty pots and bottles.
"Hmm, maybe I have overdone it?" He said...

After the exhibition FINALLY closed, Gym Ninja sneaked off to the gym. She could spare enough time for a decent Upper Body workout before having to return home and finish some more coursework for the PT Diploma.

Today, GN road-tested one of her new logo's tops. The one with the logo too low down so instead of reading her company name across her boobs, it read under them! Ah well, it'd look good once it was in the right place!  After a thorough warm up, the workout began...

Thanks again to the Maximuscle Creatamax 300, the session felt easy. Weights could be increased and fatigue was delayed. Perfect! Gym Ninja tried to concentrate on her incline Dumbbell Presses as a girl stood behind her, legs crossed over in a ballet-like position, before making the shape of a banana with her spine and waggling a yellow (grrr, why do they think girls need coloured weights?) dumbbell behind her head, dangerously. Gym Ninja focussed instead on her poorly aligned logo top in the mirror. Goddamit, if Gym Ninja's printer had managed to print this right, then it'd be a great workout top! But at least the error was keeping GN distracted from Wobbly Wendy behind her...

Suddenly, despite the music playing in Gym Ninja's ears, she nearly leapt off the weights bench at the sound of sudden workmen noise.


The noise reverberated around the gym. Holy cow! HOW noisy is that?

Gym Ninja put down her dumbbells, and turned around to look for the source of the noise.
T'was a teeny tiny girl who'd  revved up the speed on her treadmill and suddenly became 'Concrete Feet'.
Hmm, maybe she supplements with lead to make such a racket?

OK, talking of supplements, before Gym Ninja goes to bed (well, it IS late!), she has clocked a special offer for new customers ordering direct from the Maximuscle website.

Apparently if you order direct with them (the ads take you directly to their page) and it's the first time you have bought from them, you get a WELCOME PACK.


Well, actually it kind of is, as you get in that welcome pack a free Training Diary (so you can log what you did and when at the gym), a Get Fit Guide, and a Money Off Voucher for your next order. Oh and don't forget if you hate the taste (yeh right, you won't by the way) you can return it to them for a FULL refund. Personally, you have to surgically remove any of their products from Gym Ninja's hand...

But existing buyers from their site (aka Gym Ninja) can still get bargains. Click on the tabs at the top that show 'Special Offers' and it'll bring up some 'beauties' for you. Stock up whilst they are on offer! BOGOF on Viper drinks and £11.99 reduction on two huge tubs of Promax. Mmmmmmm, Promax....

In fact if you are not sure, then just buy it anyway and mail it to Gym Ninja.

WOW! Sudden Brain Storm!

HOW amazing if instead of usual Chocolate Eggs at Easter, that Gym Ninja (and you of course) were to make little gift boxes of sports supplements for their fitness friends and family?  Chuck in some chocolate covered protein bars, maybe a pre-mixed ready to drink shake, plus some sachets of protein, energy drinks etc. Yeh it's not quite 'traditional' but at least you aren't sabotaging the fitness goals of loved ones...

Okey dokey


Gym Ninja x

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Human, all too human...

So...Day 1 of the Exhibition and let Gym Ninja just point out that:

1.  Sometimes rage can be used to fuel a good workout
2.  If it wasn't for the crowds, Gym Ninja would be up on Manslaughter charges.

The Day 1 of the Exhibition loomed large, and Gym Ninja fuelled up at breakfast with a wheat free pitta stuffed with cottage cheese & a choc mint Promax shake.  In her bag were bottles of water, oragnic apples, some BCAAs and a couple of Promax Meal Bars. Well, one can never be too careful turning up at things like this without food supplies!

Dutchie, the MD from Holland was due to arrive today, a was GN's colleague who is studying the same fitness course (but 8 months behind). Thank GOD for the colleague! She kept Gym Ninja relatively sane, as she had to fight back the comments upon seeing her new Line Manager 'Adolf' rock up in a new tie he'd purposely colour-matched to the new company colours to impress Dutchie . Gym Ninja also had to show restraint as she watched Adolf pootle over to the Danone stand and blag a freebie yoghurt at 9.45am, and again, as 10.15am came round and out came the biscuits!!!!!  Wow, he'd only just had his fried breakfast at 8.30am!

At lunch, as expected, the catering was 'suspect' and the best option Gym Ninja and her fitness pal could find were Nicoise Salad at the salad bar.

"What's your healthiest salad here?" Enquired GN to the guy serving everyone.

"The Nicoise" He answered. "Do you want some?"

Gym Ninja nodded and watched as the guy scooped a load of lettuce plus one half of a hardboiled egg into a tiny container. £4 this was priced at!

"Er, any chance I can have a second half egg please?" Begged Gym Ninja, desperate to flesh out her lunch.
The guy looked apprehensive. Obviously he was under strict instructions to only dispense one half egg into every over-priced salad.

"PLEASE? I weight train! I can't survive on that!" Implored Gym Ninja, her cute face at the ready..

"Ahhh, I weight train too!" Announced the guy, popping a biceps pose at her, winking and scooping in an extra egg. Yippee! A fellow fitness fan!

At the counter, Gym Ninja watched as another guy rang through both salads and drinks. for her and her colleague. Gym Ninja grabbed a couple of apples too.

"Oh no! I forgot to ring through the apples!" Scowled the cashier man.

"OMG, do you think they grow on trees or something?" Said Gym Ninja.
At that, Cashier Man laughed and told her to take the apples for free.

Awww, how nice is everyone sometimes? But sadly that wasn't to last....

Mid afternoon, out of nowhere, in the middle of the exhibition stand, Gym Ninja's other MD raged at her! A deal had been delayed thanks to our office staff delaying CAD plans that the client had only just received and the MD was convinced the deal was lost.

"Why has this happened?" He raged, in front of Dutchie, the team and the passers by.

Gym Ninja explained about the delay in the office. But no, this wasn't good enough!

"WHY didn't you get a director involved then?" He screamed (Gym Ninja's place of work is somewhat management heavy!)

OK, so THAT was enough!

"I DID get a director involved. I spoke to Mark last Monday and he said 'Oh, is this going to cause a problem?' I said 'Yeh HUGE problem' and yet STILL nothing happened until Friday!"

The MD dismissed Gym Ninja's comment with a 'I find THAT hard to believe! Get in to the client tomorrow and take Adolf with you!"


So Gym Ninja was in a baaaaaad mood as firstly the delay had NOT been her fault, secondly she HAD gotten a Director involved and thirdly, why rage in front of clients and staff?

By the end of the exhibition, GN was ready to release her annoyance at the gym, and drove straight there with BIG plans on running it out of her!

However, within 10 minutes Gym Ninja's body told her that running was a no-go. It wanted to do weights. SO that's what Gym Ninja did. Flung a few weights around, working her lower body with compound movements until the anger subsided. Admittedly maybe her body hadn't so much as told her it didn't want to run, but more kind of 'you ate that last apple a bit too late and now it's hanging in your stomach like a lead weight". Ooops!

On route home, GN stopped off at a Tesco Express, home off the oddball shopper. There she picked up a small box of sushi (supplies for tomorrow), some king prawns, an onion and....oh no. NO NO NO NO NO!

Emotion got the better of Gym Ninja. In the basket went a jar of Nutella.....!

*cue dramatic music*

Once home, out came the jar and in went the spoon.
4 hefty spoons of Nutella later and Gym Ninja remembered why she never eats/buys Nutella.

It. Does. Not. Cure. Bad. Moods.


Also, as you start to eat clean, you will find that the very things you wean yourself off, make you feel like a bag 'o' sh*te the moment you eat it. As if your body is raising the alarm and saying 'Whoa whoa whoa! Invader!'

Now Nutella can be good, a scraping on a slice of wholemeal toast. But straight from the jar? NOT recommended!

So, with the jar banished to the cupboard, Gym Ninja sliced and diced until she'd made a huge vat of butternut squash, red bell pepper, soft cheese and chives soup...you know, to wash out the Nutella, ahem!

It's all very odd, as earlier Gym Ninja had been having discussions via email with Tara regarding clean eating.  Yet here, thanks to a huge humiliating b*llocking from her boss (and probably a fair bit of pressure that had built up over the past few months in terms of workload and stress), GN reached for Nutella.  Even more ironic, it made her feel WORSE!

So you see, everyone falls 'off the wagon'. Maybe weekly, monthly, quarterly even? But it happens. So if it happens to you, address what triggered it. See if you can find a way of avoiding such a response next time and LEARN from it. Then, put it right behind you and get right back on track. Gym Ninja did with a gorgeously healthy bowl of home made soup. Do not use a lapse as an excuse to throw in the towel and continue to binge. One slip up your body will forgive you for, more than one at a time and it will start to make it's voice heard!!!!

Okey dokey, GN needs to go and wash up the soup pan/blender/bowl.

You all now breathe a sigh of relief as you realise that, despite being 98% machine, Gym Ninja is in fact also 1% human...and 1% Nutella....


Nutella Ninja x

Monday, 22 March 2010

Exhibition Blues

Gym Ninja has the back to work blues.

This happens after every weekend.  In fact, it happens after every evening at home and the start of a new day. However, this week is worse, as GN is trapped at a 3 Day convention running until close of play Thursday, alongside two company MDs, a newly promoted Line Manager (who's next step is to invade Poland..) and a fellow rep who is so jaded its not even funny! Gym Ninja's only glimmer of hope is a fellow colleague who has just started her premier Training Diploma course, and has that light at the end of over 7 months of study shining dimly in the distance. That means she has a fellow health fanatic with whom to lip curl with at the various excuses of 'quality catering' aka 'Coronary Heart Disease/Insulin Spike in a bun', supplied for exhibitors and delegates.

Today Gym Ninja had to be on hand whilst the engineers came in and set up their exhibitors stand. Yawn! It's hard being enthusiastic when you just aren't!  Matters were made worse when GN found that her iPhone could barely warrant a one-bar signal, before giving up and getting a case of the dreaded 'red battery'.  Oh and that their stand was opposite a stand that had THIS cute little slogan all over it....

As per usual, her colleagues, once on site, were quick to make snide remarks about Gym Ninja's food selection.

"Oooh, can you eat that?" Asks one.

"Yeh sure, if I wanted to fill my body full of junk", Answered a curt Gym Ninja, pointing at the slogan (photo above) opposite them...

Much prodding about joining the 'team' for a night out that week were also declined politely by Gym Ninja too. In the end, to make them let go of the idea, she pointed out that she'd not eat their kind of stuff anyway, as they had plans on heading to a local Chinese restaurant and we know what stuff they add to that (MSG)!!! They get terribly traumatised by Gym Ninja and her healthy plain food choices.  One colleague shook his head and walked off, his tummy wobbling over his waistband. This guy has gradually increased his weight over the past 6 months to quite visible proportions and is constantly now suffering back problems, which he does not appear to link with the weight gain. Gym Ninja once carefully tried to point out this link between the two when he was last moaning about his increasing weight, only for him to poo-poo it (if you pardon the rather appropriate pun!). It's a shame as he would feel SO much better in himself if he just changed a few of his food choices each day. No need to go crazy! Just take note of what you eat.

On a different note, Gym Ninja received a voicemail from Stumps this morning. Stumps has another 3 horse races (or events or whatever they are) to do and left a voicemail requesting freebie advice and PT 'before you start charging me for it in a few weeks time'. 

Clever girl!

But having called Stumps back, and hearing how Mr Stumps, Stump's husband (obviously) had also now started to amend his food choices when supermarket shopping having seen (and been impressed by) the results Stumps is now getting from merely being more 'thoughtful' about her food choices, how could Gym Ninja refuse?

By the time the exhibition stand was put up and the MD had made everyone change everything to the exact opposite of what had been done (he always does that!), it was fairly late and GN could not justify a quick gym session as she had too much to do at home. Luckily Gym Ninja has had 2 days of hardcore gym sessions under her belt over the weekend so this is a legitimate rest day. With good intentions of wanting to do more study too, Gym Ninja has decided that perhaps tonight can be a bit of an evening off (as much as reaching 9pm CAN be seen as an evening off). and the studying is now on hold.

So tomorrow do look out for a blog about people's eating habits at an exhibition. Gym Ninja wonders if it will be a RARE healthy food selection, or more likely a carb heavy processed food selection....hmmm, as if we need to ask eh? Oh and more fantastic slogans if spotted at the exhibition stand....exciting no?

Gym Ninja x

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Two Days On The Trot...


Gym Ninja was back at the gym today. It's good to have the weekends to get some serious training done.  Also, thanks to next door's grandchildren and their 7am 'alarm yelp', Gym Ninja was awake anyway so may as well catch the 10am Spin Class again.

Again, Gym Ninja poured herself into her lycra. Damn you, 'Anti-Perspirant that promises no white marks'..you ALWAYS give Gym Ninja's black clothes white go-faster stripes!

With a bit of time to work her chest and back prior to the class starting, Gym Ninja had time to wake up a bit. 1 Chest and 1 back exercise at 6 sets of 8 reps (the rest of the upper body session to be continued after the Spin Class) and then she grabbed her gel seat (Princess and the pea type prevention) and headed to the Spin Studio.

It was the same fab instructor as yesterday, although the class was quieter. Maybe because it is a Sunday? Or maybe everyone was out doing Sport Relief Runs? Gym Ninja was early anyway, to ensure she nabbed her usual bike directly in front of the airvent.

Before too long, Dangly Cross, Gym Ninja's new spin buddy, had parked himself on the next bike. The room filled half way up and off everyone went...

Within 10 minutes, Gym Ninja felt the pedal strap of her left foot twang open. HOW annoying. Especially as they were mid sprint at the time. But it was ok as GN could still pedal. That was, until the strap few right off and Gym Ninja's left foot kept lolloping out of the pedal. Grr. It was no use. This was a high intensity hour of Spin. Without a foot that works, GN would be lost. That meant moving bikes to the  vacant one next to her. All well and good....except not quite in line with the air con vent. Oh and the handlebars were set for a midget and no 'key' to adjust them with.

Gym Ninja felt the blood rush to her head as it tipped downwards to reach the midget handlebars. GN felt like she was in a circus act! Luckily, the Instructor hops off her bike and strides round to motivate the class, so before long Gym Ninja had her doing a reckie of the room, returning with a key so GN could adjust the handlebars and not have a head swelling with blood!! (ooer. That sounds dodgy!). Great! Now all Gym Ninja had to focus on was keeping up! Oh that and not burning her nether regions, as within 5 minutes of being on the new bike, her gel seat cover fell off. EEEEK! Razor bike seat!

Again, the trick in keeping a class motivated and interested is to vary the routine, and the time flew. Unfortunately, Gym Ninja found herself drenched in sweat, now that she was not in line with the aircon. Like a sealion, with hair plastered to her head. Fetching! There really is no place for vanity in a hardcore Spin session! At least GN is not a Pinkie and remains the normal flesh tone she starts at. It' a shame her hair gets plastered to her head though and she ends up kind of slumped over the bike at the end....

Once Spin had done what it needed to do, Gym  Ninja finished off the rest of her upper body session, ignoring a woman attempting to do dumbbell lateral shoulder raises yet merely appearing to flap her arms instead!

Gym Ninja is now increasing to Hypertrophy sets and rep ranges, so high volume sessions in terms of sets and reps. The creatine helped of course. Gym Ninja felt stronger. FAB! She needs to look the part when attending 3 days at Fit Pro in April where all the Fitness Industry goes for lectures and a mooch at new stuff on the market.


Oh and for those who kind of know Gym Ninja and what happened today in Spin, and were expecting her to blog about it...well, GN can't as she is struck with a sudden bout of 'shyness'. Nice shyness, but shyness nonetheless.
 *cue cute smiley face*

For those who don't know Gym Ninja, it wasn't anything bad or embarrassing. Promise! ;-)

Okey Dokey, GN needs to get to where she's spread out her Case Study on the kitchen table and get that finished this evening if she is to stay on top of her PT coursework. This case study as about rehab exercise prescription after injury.

Toodle pip!

Gym Ninja x

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Creatine Queen!


Gym Ninja had a wonderful gym session today. BIONIC! The kind of session whereby you feel you could carry on all day? If only you had the time. Oh, and assuming that training ALL day was beneficial (it isn't by the way!).

Whether it was due to THINKING that having taken all of two doses of Creatine was already working, or that 2 doses are actually enough to feel the difference in endurance, Gym Ninja was FLYING today. Except on a bike. So maybe less flying, more pedalling?

Her Maximuscle Creatamax powder had arrived Friday, so Gym Ninja had taken some that night, and again in the morning before she set out for her usual Saturday Slaughter Session. Her first day off in two weeks too! Oh, and OK, so maybe due to sheer tiredness she'd downed a bottle of the 'Total' Energy Shot too. Hmm, maybe that also helped with the bionic feeling? But just in case some of you think Creatine is something big Meat Head Men take, let Gym Ninja tell you, it isn't just for them. People training for endurance and also ladies who want increased muscle tone and strength can also take this. Creatine is THE number one researched supplement out there, so is perfectly safe too. If you click on the Maximuscle links there is a section on Creatine so you can read up and satisfy your greedy info-hungry minds. It's calorie free too. Marvelous!

Anyhow, the warm up 10 minute run was a breeze. Gym Ninja had poured herself into skin tight lycra as she knew that any excess fabric on Spin Day would slow her down. It gets all sweaty and sodden and starts flapping around like dog ears! There was a fairly impressive set of arms in the gym too, which helped inspire and motivate Gym Ninja as the owner of the arms swung them around in a dynamic warm-up. Men! They DO like winging their arms about don't they?

Gym Ninja headed to the SPin Studio 10 minutes early to nab a bike. Remember there is a FAB instructor who now takes this class now, and you can tell by how full the class gets. Sure enough, some regulars were already in there.  Dangly Cross Man, Short Shorts, Clippy, Mr T...do you remember them all? Yep-they are al back. Hardcore!

Gym Ninja nabbed the bike in front of the air vent. Always a good tip! The Instructor came over for a quick chat and then, once the class had filled up, the lights went down and the music on.


T'was a far cry from the last Spin Session Gym Ninja had been to. If you recall, she'd walked out of that 15 minutes before the end. But not THIS one. No, Gym Ninja was Bionic, her legs keeping up with the demands placed on them. Good old Creatine eh? Magical stuff!  In fact, maybe Creatine gives Gym Ninja a warped sense of time too, as before she knew it an hour had passed. Woohoo!

On her exit from the class, Gym Ninja clocked Anna Rexic (remember her? The super skinny one who pounds on the treadmill, her knees bucking under the punishment of 2-3 hour plus runs). As per usual, her body seemed to be quietly signalling for help! Her bottom was all wibbly wobbly and soft too. Like a bag of kittens struggling to escape.  That's always a sign of over training you know. No, not bags of kittens, but wibbly wobbly bits...aka when your previously tight body starts to go soft on you (not just a night-time disappointment ladies!!!!-it happens in the gym too). Who wants to be all squidgy? Make sure you are in and out of the gym within an hour if possible, otherwise the cortisol that is released when you train starts to cannibalise the muscle tissue to fuel the body. That, ladies and gents, is NOT good ok? We NEED lean muscle. It burns calories!  No bags of kittens for us!!! Not on Gym Ninja's shift!

Today was Leg Training. Gym Ninja began with Clock Squats...going round an imaginary clock face (NOT digital, you lazy people!) with each foot in a lunge. Can be done with or without dumbbells and is good for stability too.  Then, some Swiss Ball Jack Knives. SUPER tough and also good for coordination and stability as you bring your feet (which are on the ball) towards your midsection as you balance on your hands in almost a press-up. Works the hamstrings and you can seriously feel it in your abs as they struggle to stabilise you. As of yet, Gym Ninja has yet to discover a ladylike elegant way of getting out of this position, and currently plops onto the floor in a heap between sets.

A few of the usual suspects followed...barbell squats, Seated Hamstring Curl, Leg Press...you get the gist. Then, moving on to Low to High Wood chops using a kettlebell, then standing AND seated Romanian Twists with a medicine ball.

Core blimey eh? (did you get the pun??? Core as in Cor?)

So, all in all a fantastic workout today. Left Gym Ninja buzzing! That and perving at the well-capped arms on show with a couple of the guys in the gym today. Mmm.

So, homework for you all. Go and take a peek at the Creatine info. Gym Ninja thinks she is correct in thinking that Maximuscle were actually the first supplier of Creatine in the UK  (unless she sdreamed it?). The link is here... www.maximuscle.com

Off you pop! See you all tomorrow!
Welcome to the new followers :-)

Gym Ninja x

Friday, 19 March 2010

Blog Slog

Gym Ninja appears to be a smidgen under the weather today.  In fact, having spent nearly 2 weeks without a day off, it's  no wonder GN is flagging somewhat. But, she will slog away at the blog today, as you all deserve it!

Last weekend, if you recall, was spent at the Assessment Centre doing practicals and having to sit an Anatomy exam, so hardly the most relaxing of weekends. Plus this week, what feels like flu has battled to take over Gym Ninja. It's not succeeded. Gym Ninja has a good old immune system on her, however because GN hasn't succumbed to the onslaught it's left GN with an undercurrent of half-cocked symptoms that just bubble away under the surface. Remember the other day when a 1 year old vintage Night Nurse medication nearly sent Gym Ninja into a coma? Well, today she's trying Blacksip, the blackcurrent version of Lemsip. She's also dosing up on juiced fruit and vegetables hoping that the nutrition boost will help too.

Gosh. What a lot of wallowing eh?  AND Gym Ninja may have accidentally reversed over a giant brown Wheelie Bin as she attempted to back the company car Blandmobile out of the driveway earlier.  Ooops! Fuzzy head indeed! Luckily most of today was spent working at home, so no one was at risk of being mown down by the car.

So, whilst Gym Ninja wonders why she puts herself through such a punishing schedule of work, training and revision at night, she is reminded that a goal worth achieving never came easy. Otherwise why would you strive to achieve it? What would be the reward if you didn't have to push yourself out of your comfort zone?

Gym Ninja's goal is to work full time, for herself, as a Personal Trainer.  To live and breathe the lifestyle, and go that extra mile to be a living 'inspiration' if you will. (Hmm, Blacksip medication is now making Gym Ninja dramatic again.)

There was a tweet by RevRunWisdom,  on Twitter that sums it up. He says, 'Dreams come in a couple of sizes too big so you can grown into them'.
If you're not following him on Twitter you seriously need to be. Always seems to tweet just what you need  to get your focus back on track.  Gems such as this:
'If you move forward, NO flinching. Stride ahead, day after day,...doors WILL open and continue to open'

Sometimes you need to hear positive thoughts. You become what you think you are. If you think you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, then you'll be more likely to make healthy choices when it comes to what you eat and how you spend your free time. See? All YOU have to do is believe in what you are doing and don't get put off by others who try and bring you down because they are threatened by what you believe in.

Why are they threatened? They don't seem threatened. Is that what you're thinking? Well, look for the signs:

Do your family or work colleagues/friends ridicule you for what you eat?
Do they moan about how inconvenient it is to plan meals out at a restaurant even 'you' can eat at?
Do they question you with a, 'What DO you eat exactly'?
Do they try and tempt you with cakes, chocolate, sweets etc and roll out the 'One won't hurt' line?
Do they cook for you, and despite knowing you like to stay healthy, cook fatty stodgy foods for you and then look all hurt if you decline?
Do they say "You don't need to lose any  more weight', when your healthy eating plan is just that: for health, not necessarily weight control.
Do they moan about the time you spend at the gym?
Do they make fun of you when you say you are getting up early for a run?
Do they start to tell you that you have lost too much weight/are too fanatical/look haggard rather than compliment you on your new fit body?

Don't allow these people to de-rail you. Deep down, they must surely feel threatened in some way, or at the very least, in a state of unease, at how you try and live a healthy life. Remember, education about how we need to eat healthily and take regular exercise is everywhere so these people are aware of it, yet choose not to do it. Maybe deep down it niggles them? Maybe they'd like to be fitter and healthier? Who wouldn't? Maybe they are secretly worried about how they live their life and you, prancing around in lycra all bursting with energy and glowing with health is just rubbing their faces in it, in 'their' opinion?

NOW can you see that these people have an agenda?  By trying to stop you leading a healthy lifestyle it makes THEM feel less badly about living an unhealthy one.  The better you look, the worse they feel they look in comparison. As women who train with weights, we've all at some point been told we look too muscular, or had comments about muscle not being feminine or a barbed 'You're not going to turn into a man are you?'.  Biology lessons aside, you need to brush these comments off. You're no more turning into a man than they are.  Don't feel you have to justify wanting to take care of yourself. Nor should you feel obliged to justify what you eat and drink either. Yes, we all find ourselves doing it, but maybe try and take a moment, collect your thoughts, and then gently explain that you eat how you eat to stay healthy and strong.  Perhaps then maybe ask them why they like to eat donuts/chips/puddings/fast food? Put the onus back onto them.

One thing you may try, is to offer them a brief yet valuable piece of advice, or a health tip. This person may just need that one thought to germinate and grow from a seed that YOU planted, into a strong  healthy lifestyle (OK, so a lifestyle isn't what grows out of a seed, but if I said they'd become a tree then that'd just be silly. Where would their conkers grow? Yuk! Imagine!). Hey, it happened to most of us. We all started somewhere with one thing that triggered off a thought that had been rattling around in our heads for a while. Why not try and be the person who nudges someone into taking better care of themselves? We can ALL be an inspiration to someone taking their first steps into a new way of life....it's a domino effect.

Before Gym Ninja disappears in a theatrical puff of smoke for the evening, she'd just like to take the opportunity of thanking her readers. Thank you for coming back every day to read Gym Ninja's ramblings. Thank you to those who commented positively about the last post. The house analogy that tumbled out of Gym Ninjas head all of a sudden? You remember it yes? Golly, yesterday was so long ago eh? You like JackaNinja, which is cool. More analogies to follow as and when 'inspiration' strikes.

Also, Gym Ninja loves seeing roughly where her Ninjarettes are...

"What up", to all you over in America who regularly read this blog.

"Bonjour" to my regular French Ninjarette.

"Hoi" to whoever it is peeking from the Netherlands...

Of course, "hello" to all in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Blighty...

If you like to read on a regular basis then please do become a follower of this blog so Gym Ninja can see who she is rambling to. Makes her feel less like she's on an express list to the Funny Farm!!!!

Toodle pip

Gym Ninja

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Jackaninja (aka Storyteller Ninja again)

Gym Ninja has to drive past a KFC on route home every night. Invariably, the traffic lights are always on red when she reaches the bend where KFC is located, which is why she is picking on this particular fast food joint today. But of course, it is applicable to ALL fast food joints .

Every evening, as she turns the corner, there, lit up in the KFC strip lighting, is a load of teenagers, or families out for dinner. Yep. At KFC.

'Well, it's chicken, how bad can it be?', Gym Ninja hears you ask.  Ok, so maybe not you at the front. You've been a regular reader of the blog so Gym Ninja knows you wouldn't DREAM of eating that stuff. GN is referring to the others.

Oh, you have noooooooo idea! See, assuming that what is on their menu even has similar DNA to chicken (oh and did you know that humans share 35% of their DNA with daffodils? Fact!), it's what is pumped into it, coating it and how it has been cooked that can take an inherently healthy basic protein into a food-shaped time bomb.

OK, so quite possibly  GN has her dramatic head on today. Deal with it. It may be a tad dramatic, but it's not far off. Actually, Gym Ninja is in a story telling mood, and shall regale you with a nice little 'metaphor' to help you get your head around why eating processed fast food is a recipe for disaster. (Oooh, 'recipe for disaster'. All the puns are coming out today eh?).

*get your Maxi-Milk chocolate protein drink, warmed in a mug, and sit down and get comfy as the story is about to begin*

You've come into some money. Woohooo! About f*cking time! The kind of money that means you're in an enviable position to build your own house from the ground up. You spend ages with the architect designing the house of your dreams. The ideal place to live. Impressive Bay Windows, a sweeping driveway, acres of landscaped gardens (well, who doesn't like a trimmed bush when given the alternative?), basically no expense spared. This needs to be the most impressive home for miles around. A real head-turner that will withstand all weathers and will look as good decades from now.  You hire a team of builders..oooh, let us call them 'Knights Fairy Castles' (did you see what Gym Ninja did with the initials there? KFC). You then bugger off on holiday, as you can afford to, whilst they build the home of your dreams...

You return from your trip and are faced with an impressive sight as you drive down the approach road to your gated home. Wow. Knock out! The house certainly looks spectacular from here. Exciting!

You pull up at the gates, and pootle up the impressive sweeping driveway. You park up and get out of the car. What do you see?

Hmm, now you're closer, you notice that the brilliantly gleaming white walls of the house that you saw down the road are maybe NOT as fantastic close up. There are dry flaking patches of paint. Pfft! Typical! Dodgy patch of paint no doubt.  Ooh, and it's peeling in places too. You are distracted by your ankle twisting as you stumble. Goddamit! That driveway has loose cobbles. You get your pen out and start to make notes so you can ask the builders KFC to follow up and sort these things out. You walk to the front door. The Bay Trees have seen better days. They are all dried out. They look half dead in fact. Maybe they haven't had enough water?  You get the key and open the door to a loud creaking sound....

You go inside. Inside the house it is really really dull. There doesn't seem to be any natural light radiating through the house. Then you realise that the windows are grimy. Eww. You go from room to room, and find something wrong in each. The kitchen, the heart of any home, is a right mess. Rubbish strewn everywhere, and the boiler is making some odd noises. Sounds like one of the pipes may be partially blocked?  You notice what looks like evidence of dry rot. How can that be? This house is newly built! That's it!

Annoyed you pick up the phone and ring KFC the builders and start raging at them. There's NO WAY this house will stand the test of time! It's really tatty and shabby close up. Badly finished. No light streaming through it. Blocked pipes and odd rumbling noises. Creaky doors and dry rot. Peeling flaky patches of paint all over the place. You'd be very surprised if it didn't need a very expensive overhaul in a few years time, with continual repair bills. If it continued to be like that then it's only a matter of time before it would be condemned!

So what went wrong? The house is new. It looked ok from a distance and yet it's blatantly not. Well, here's the thing. The builders, KFC, they used cheap materials to build the house you see. Cheapo bricks that are from reclaimed demolished buildings were used to build the walls, the paint was old and wasn't mixed properly hence the dry patches, and the boiler wasn't new and is all furred up inside. Everything else was imported in a cheap bulk-buy deal so from a distance it appears to be the real deal, yet up close either looks cheap or just isn't up to the job, snapping/breaking very quickly.

Your home is only as good as the materials you build it with. Makes sense eh? So why, WHY would your body be any different? It's constantly rebuilding and repairing itself as it's in use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with NO downtime.  It uses the food you eat and the fluids you drink to fuel it and to rebuild itself from. if you go shoving fatty chemical-ladened junk down your trap, then what do you think your body is going to look and feel like pretty soon? Yep. You got it! You're asking it to build a new you out of junk. Junk that isn't strong enough to cope with the demands of everyday life. So what will happen? It'll start to get dry patches and peel in places. Things will start creaking and pipes will get furred up with deposits. It's gonna start looking old and tatty before it's time, and things will start to go wrong. You'll have to patch up the damage, until one day, the damage will be SO huge well............yep. Bye bye you!

Home is where the heart is. That's how the saying goes... It's the only place your heart can inhabit. When it breaks down, where does your heart live then? 6 feet under. ..

Cor blimey! Jackanory never had such bad endings did it? But your story doesn't have to have a bad ending. Get with it people. Take care of your true home. The one you live in right this second. Start today. Don't build it with cheap food that is nutritionally barren. Build it out of the good stuff. Fresh fruit and vegetables, Lean proteins and meats. Health fats and dairy. Did it breathe? Did it have a face? Did it grow out of the ground? Good! If it didn't, then is it a healthy derivative of these sources?  Cut out all those microwaveable meals. Cut right down on the fast food. Stop shovelling carbs down your throat like they are about to be stolen from you. YOU deserve much more. There are enough things out there that CAN kill us, so don't give those killers a helping hand.

Are your eyes all big now? Worried? Made you think? Good good. Start to make a few changes. Don't go crazy now. A few manageable changes at a time. Cut out that half a mile long's worth of calorific Subway meal that disguises itself as healthy because it has wilted lettuce in it! Stop squirting gallons of ketchup on your meal (it's FULL of sugar!). Don't fall into the trap of thinking things like Lucozade are healthy drinks. They aren't! It's liquid sugar. Think just as much about what you DRINK as what you eat. It all adds up. Make a few changes, and 'feeeeeel' the change in you. See the change in you. Then add a few more. Before you know it, you're rebuilt as nature intended. FABULOUS darhhhling!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Are all Personal Trainers created equal...?


Gym Ninja just about survived the year-old Night Nurse medication last night. 'Just about' was definitely the operable word, as not only was GN almost coma-like for most of the morning (she snoozed her alarm twice), but she had a serious case of eyes rolling inwards aka gozzy-eyed.

In an attempt to wake herself up, Gym Ninja donned a bright red skirt suit for work today. You know, to match her eyes...*yawn*. However, after a day filled with 6 hours driving and chasing up  things her colleagues should be chasing up, interspersed with 'Hollow Leg Syndrome' due to tiredness (Hollow Leg Syndrome is where you want to eat anything and everything within arms reach you're THAT hungry), Gym Ninja was gagging for a gym workout.

Tonight, would be PHA night. That, if you recall back in earlier blogs, stands for 'Peripheral Heart Action'. A herrruge circuit if you will, of 3 compound exercises (push and pull) with no rest between exercises, followed by 3 minutes high intensity cardio, then repeat 3-5 times (or 6 times in GN's case).  As GN was working her upper body, she did the following:

1 x 15 reps DB Shoulder Press
1 x 15 reps DB Chest Press
1 x 15 reps DB Bent Over Row
3 mins fast rowing on Concept II Rower

Repeated above circuit 3 times then moved onto...

1 x 15 reps Upright DB Row
1 x 15 reps Incline DB Chest Press
1 x 15 reps Lat Pulldown
3 mins fast cycling

Also repeated 3 times in circuit manner....

Finished off with supersets of Skull Crushers for triceps and Barbell curls for biceps.

Tadaaa! Keeps the heart rate elevated and gives you maximum bang for you buck!

Whilst GN was performing her weights exercises, her eye was drawn to a club Personal Trainer across the gym (she could see him reflected in her mirror). He was training a client. Well, Gym Ninja 'says' training a client. But it is seriously a case of not ALL Personal Training qualifications being created equal!!!! There was NO WAY this guy got his certification from Premier Training!!!

The client was an older gentleman and the PT was watching him perform dumbbell chest press. The PT was stood at his head, looking down on the guy as he struggled with his reps.

Mistake number 1. As a PT you need to get down on their level with them. He should have been knelt at the head of the guy, coaching him.
Mistake number 2. The guy obviously was struggling with the dumbbells so the PT should have had his hands out spotting him, just in case he dropped the weights. Then, he should have 'regressed' the exercise as the guy was struggling SO much his form was slipping. As it was, the PT was standing above the guy and would be too far away to respond to a Dumbbell dropping situation!

Gym Ninja looked away.

A bit later, during another exercise, GN clocked the couple training shoulders. The old guy was performing standing Arnold Presses with dumbbells. The PT was standing watching him.

Mistake number 1. The old guy had his head stretched right back, his chin almost pointing upwards with the effort. This should have been immediately corrected as it is bad form.
Mistake number 2. The guy was excessively arching his lower back, which would put terrible pressure on the vertebrae. Again, this should have been corrected immediately and the importance of neutral spine and a tight core explained.  Once the 'set' was finished, the PT walked off to refer to a bit of paper, whilst the client dropped the weights, his back now curved forwards. EEEEK!

Why was the PT NOT correcting this client? He was right there, watching him. Gym Ninja could see the danger and she was at the other side of the bl**dy gym!

Pretty soon, the guy was sat on a Swiss stability ball, dumbbells in his hands. Anterior Deltoid Raises was the move. Except it wasn't. It was Anterior Deltoid swings! Good old momentum! Bounce bounce bounce on the Swiss ball, swing swing swing with the dumbbells.

No no no no no!!!!!!!!

You know, some people may get all offended and huffy at reading this. How DARE Gym Ninja correct or slate this guy and his training techniques. Who dies she think she is???  But do you know what? SOMEBODY needs to say it! This client was at serious risk of injury. Anyone with half a brain could see that. This guy was performing exercises in a manner that people who haven't a clue train. So the REASON people hire Personal Trainers is so that they can learn how to train correctly, with good form, and to get a programme that works. Simple. All this guy will get is an empty wallet and a back injury!  The Personal Trainer will then get a bad reputation, so who exactly is benefitting from this? Don't get sloppy training your clients. You are there for your knowledge, experience and expertise so SHOW you have it.

Daggers are-a-heading Gym Ninja's way (again!). Tough. You are putting someone at risk of injury. You need to get your clear head on ok?

Okey dokey. GN needs to go get some study done. Time Bandits are sneaking back into the equation. Oh, and she also needs to buy some Creatamax from Maximuscle..ramp up the endurance training somewhat. Help shape and sculpt the muscle. Gym Ninja needs to be at her peak!

Toodle pip
Oh, and to the PT who knows this was him, do NOT take this a a personal attack. Take it as a wake up call. if you don't tutor your clients properly, then another PT will!

Gym Ninja x

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Time Bandits!

Time Bandits stole Gym Ninja's evening yesterday which is why you didn't get your blog fix. Sorry about that! No sooner had GN returned from her gym workout, fuelled up and sat in front of the computer to do some online learning on soft tissue injuries, then it was BAM! Midnight!

To be fair, they are wrestling with Gym Ninja again this evening but she's logging off right after this blog. That'll teach em!

Yesterday Gym Ninja's new business cards arrived. Yippeeeeee!  Gn opened the box, in an excitable manner.
*sad face*
The cards were great...but...the red of the logo of her Personal Training company info was not as red as it should be. Think less deep red and more blood clot browny red. Pffft!
Maybe that's what happens when you order online? Not to worry. Gym Ninja can hand them out with an accompanying statement thus:
"The red is wrong. It should be MORE red"...

On route to the Gym, Gym Ninja went to pick up her trial tops she'd had printed up with her logo, to see what they looked like (plus the quality of the printing). She carefully avoided falling over the high viz step like last time..

The owner of the shop came out to talk. He explained what had happened when  he'd printed up the test fabric..

"The red came out as a horrid maroon browny red"

"Oh, did it?" Said Gym Ninja, intrigued by this as the red had done exactly the same on the cards yet looked red on the computer.

She then explained about the cards, and the shop owner became all animated.
He said that the colours used on computer screens aren't the same for print based colours, and that he had taken the liberty of brightening the red to what shade he thought it should be (based on the screen colour).

Perfect logos!

Oh how happy Gym Ninja was!

So, Gym Ninja went to the gym. She'd been looking forward to it ALL day, especially as her line manager had called her moments before with some naff 'sales ideas'. Uhhr!

Due to it being a Monday, the downstairs treadmills were full. Gym Ninja had now learned that the 1 vacant treadmill was a trap and still the broken one that had been like that for about a month. Yes, admittedly it had taken GN 3 weeks to figure this out and foolishly walked over to it every time. So instead she used one of the top floor treadmills where she could run AND perv at the muscly arms on show. AFter all, being sunny that meant only one thing...'Sun's out, Gun's out!'

Being pushed for time Gym Ninja razed up and down the speed intervals on the treadmill and then meandered over to the Hammer Strength machines, where she loaded up the incline leg press with weight plates. Today Gym Ninja would do German Volume Training. 10 sets of 10 reps, with a timed 60 second rest between sets. She'd then go fry her quads doing 3 sets of 12 on the leg extension to finish them off.  Good times.

GN was in rest period 5, focussing intently on her iPhone stopwatch when it all went dark!

"Hullooooooo mate! Not seen you for AGES!" Said a voice.

The lights came back on. T'was Lanky. He'd thrown his gym towel over Gym Ninja's face to surprise her.
Yuk. Sweaty gym towel.

Pleasantries were exchanged whilst Gym Ninja methodically timed her rest periods then bashed out some more reps. Lanky was asking after the PT business and suggested once he heard that GN planned on home visits, that he could get a home visit too!

Gym Ninja looked at Lanky. he did a nudge nudge wink wink move and turned pink.

NO. No no no no NO!

Cue the *tough love* moment. Gym Ninja tuned to Lanky and said,

"If you think for ONE second you'd even have enough energy to be thinking of doing anything else after a training session with me, you're very much mistaken!"

Luckily Lanky has a good sense of humour, so that issue was quashed on the spot! Phew!

Moving on to the leg extension, Gym Ninja fried her quads. Job done! Now to hit the hamstrings and glutes (or what was left of them) in the girly area of the gym.

Oh goody.
Women who just set up in the middle of the walk through part and start wafting dumbbells all over the place! GN nearly had a 2kg dumbbell up her left nostril at one point.  To be fair, not so many dead bodies doing ab work today Maybe the tide went out and washed them all away? At least it meant GN didn't have to worry about dropping a barbell on anyone's head today.

After deadlifts and split squats, GN did a  quick finish off with a burst of skipping, ruined by a young girl who insisted on wanting to squeeze past the peripheral area of the rope which meant GN had to stop. Then down to the changing room to quaff her beloved Choc Mint Promax shake, accompanied by the usual silent stares that say 'OMG she is a GIRL and is drinking one of those boy bodybuilder shakes', before heading off home for the evening (that'd be the evening that the Time Bandits stole!)

Now, Gym Ninja is determined to get to bed at a reasonable hour. She has the beginnings of a cold hovering about for the past 4 days. Gym Ninja hasn't had a cold since last winter (yep-she escaped all Sept-Feb flu season) so she'll be damned if it's going to get her now.

if GN disappears, then the Night Nurse that's been open since Winter 2008 wasn't worth drinking...!

Gym Ninja x

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Busy Ninja

Stumps strikes again!

OK, so by now we all remember Stumps: she of no co-ordination, balance or, as it now seems, common sense.  Bless. She won't mind Gym Ninja saying this, as she's fallen over/spilled stuff/dropped things enough times to know this herself.

Now Stumps bought a great big tub of Maximuscle Promax Diet  (see links to the right of the blog for details) and was super keen to try the new flavour (strawberry). yesterday, Gym Ninja received a phone call from Stumps....

"Hiya....er, you know this Promax Diet stuff? Now this may seem like a silly question questions about it, but........" Said Stumps, a rummaging noise going on in the background as she spoke.

"Before you say it, don't even SAY anything stupid such as..'Does it come with a scoop' because if you do then you are an absolute bimbo!" Retorted Gym Ninja.


"Er...how did you know what I was going to ask?" Answered Stumps...


"Well, in boxes of Horse Feed you can often be looking for a scoop ages and then don't find one!", She attempted to justify.

Oh please! Horse feed and quality whey protein? You link them both?

All excited about her new flavour, Stumps remained on the phone as she talked through what she was doing...

"I've just added the frozen Summer Fruits you suggested too", She explained "You know, to thicken it up like you said"......before...

*rattle rattle rattle rattle rattle*

"Hmm, maybe the shaker bottle isn't mixing it properly?" Said Stumps, all confused.


After Gym Ninja had stopped laughing, she kindly explained to Stumps that you don't just chuck in big lumps of frozen fruit and give the Maximuscle shaker a good shake. Otherwise then you get big floating iced fruit lumps in a protein shake that rattle around. You have to BLEND the iced fruit first in a blender to crush it down and THEN add the protein shake to make it super thick.

Of course, 'how was Stumps supposed to know' was the answer fired back at Gym Ninja....

Ah well, she's on the right track and apparently now addicted to the stuff! Good girl.

This weekend has been super busy as it's been another Assessment weekend for Gym Ninja. The penultimate weekend before she qualifies as a Personal Trainer. The major hurdle of the weekend was the 8.45am Advanced Anatomy and Physiology exam looming over everyone like a big black cloud.  Uhhhr. All the nasty stuff that just doesn't sink into ones head. Gym Ninja feels that once things goes 'microscopic' then she finds it hard to understand.  Oh and anything using latin too...which pretty much covered everything that this exam wanted to test the person on really.

Saturday was spent in a state of nervous anticipation as the group compared how little they all knew about muscle origins and insertions. Looks like everyone was in the same boat though!  At one point, the tutor brought out the skeleton and started prodding various parts of it as the group fired off questions...

"Where is the ischium" Asked one girl.

The tutor, who was standing behind the skeleton, reached forward and touched the ischium to illustrate where it was.....and for those unaware of it's location, it is between the legs (see this link). The curved part of the pelvis.

So he touched it, and as he talked, he stroked the ischium with his finger...and stroked it and stroked it and stroked it and stroked it in a rhythmical manner until..

"Oh please, PLEASE can you just stop doing that as it looks SO wrong!" Said Gym Ninja.

Well, the poor (male) tutor went pink!  Fair play to the guy, he certainly looked as if he knew what he was doing, but this was neither the time NOR the place...

The day flew by in a whirl of paperwork, questions, core exercise demos (the Helicopter move on a Swiss ball was particularly fun-you have arms outstretched either sides holding dumbbells as you balance on a Swiss ball and rotate your body left to right like a helicopter, working the oblique muscles), PIF stretching which takes you past your normal range of stretch by activating the Muscle Spindles to contract and relax, and Foam Rolling.

Now, Foam Rolling seems innocent enough. A small tube shaped piece of foam that you roll various parts of your body over as a form of self myofascial release (if you pardon the expression). Well, it may seem innocent, but let Gym Ninja tell you, the moment you hit a knot you feel it BIG time. Like knives!!!!!!!!! Cue lots of screwed up faces in agony as everyone rolled up and down on Foam Rollers. if you've not tried it then Gym Ninja recommends you do. Fantastic for tight areas.

That night, having had a very scary mock exam before leaving the classroom, Gym Ninja was determined to revise hard. But she detoured to Asda. Bugger. Now it was 7pm. So she got home, and prepared dinner. She then just logged on briefly to send a few emails and then...ahhh! 8.30pm. Settle down with the books....but by 9.15pm Gym Ninja was virtually in a coma she was THAT tired! So there was no other option than to abandon the books and head for bed...where her dreams revolved around someone driving her Mini Cooper into her house walls, and muscle origins and insertions!!!!!

Surprisingly, this morning at 6am,  Gym Ninja was calmer than anticipated. Perhaps because, by now, she'd given up on any last revision of muscle insertions as it scared her that every time she learned one, another one she'd previously learned fell back out of her head.  So, leaving everything in the hands of God as it were, Gym Ninja headed towards the Assessment centre.

Everyone had reached the same level of knowledge saturation, and yet everyone sat there with their books open, blankly staring at the words in the hope that some last nugget of into would stick in their brains. Nothing did. Their brains were saturated. So, in they headed for a 90 minute exam from hell.

Oh and it WAS! It was the toughest exam Gym Ninja has had in the entire 7 month course. You could see everyone visibly whiten as they read the paper. Multiple choice is only as good as the knowledge you have in your head. If you don't know, they a,b,c AND d all seem plausible.....

Hang on...NO questions on Diabetes, Asthma, Hypertension, Arthritis or energy systems as expected, yet loads more on muscle insertions, origins and joint actions (AHHHHHR!) with a load on nutrition. WHAT? Nobody said nutrition would rear it's ugly head again-not after the hellish nutrition exam 3 weeks ago which  meant that GN had NOT looked at it since (incidentally GN got her Nutritional case study back yesterday and passed with flying colours thank God!). Noooooooo! Oh and there were a few questions that GN has NO recollection of ever having studied at all!

So, sweating her way through the exam, Gym Ninja completed it in 45 minutes. Was that good or bad? Only time would tell......and thank GOODNESS it turned out to be good, with GN only getting 1 answer wrong. 1. MARVELOUS! 98% is a score no one would be disappointed with!!!!!!

Tonight  GN has a rare night off study before tomorrow the coursework begins in earnest. Programme meso and microcycles to write on endurance, hypertrophy, strength and power training. A whole load of online soft tissue injury tutorials plus case study to complete. A postural analysis and corrective programme design to do for a client. Oh and the whole book on business marketing and planning plus cash flow, business plan and so on............AHHHHHHR! Let us not forget this is to be done for 3 weeks time when the FINAL exam, the practical, happens too.

On a positive note, Gym Ninja loves feeling organised. Lists ahoy over the next few weeks. The design and marketing side GN also loves and there is plenty of that to be done. Gym Ninja knows that for the flyer design she's going to end up doing a whole DVD presentation too. Ooops! Geeky!

Okey dokey-time to log off and enjoy what is left of her weekend (nothing!).

Back at the gym with a vengeance tomorrow people. No excuses. See you there!

Gym Ninja x

Friday, 12 March 2010

Ninja Quit!

Uh oh!

Gym Ninja LEFT a Spin Class before the 'official' end! Yep! But Gym Ninja will regale you all as to why, right after yesterdays Printers escapades......

If you recall from yesterday's blog post, Gym Ninja had located a Printer that printed on logos or images onto clothing at a very reasonable £6 per top? Gym Ninja wanted to try out a few of the styles of tops she'd brought at Sports Direct, to see what would look best?

Gym Ninja pulled up into the car park. Hmmm, somewhat rough but maybe the Printer is here because rent of shops is cheap? Clutching her bag of swag, GN headed to the shop, and pushed open the door.

"Helloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" Yelped Gym Ninja, for as she pushed the door open and stepped inside, she immediately managed to trip over the built-up step right by the door. The built-up step that was heavily marked out as a hazard using yellow and black tape. 

The girl at the counter didn't look impressed! Gym Ninja explained about the tops and put them (AND the tops, snigger) on the counter so the girl would be able to say which were the best type for embellishment.  

"You cant print on these two-they are ribbed and the fabric won't stretch so that means the logo won't either"

Gym Ninja looked blank, so the girl carried on..

"Say when, you put the top on and it stretches 'here' (at this, she gestured to her boobs), then the letters will space out and won't stretch with the fabric". The girl gave Gym Ninja a 'please understand' look.  
Gym Ninja understood.

Luckily 2 of the other tops were deemed suitable, so Gym Ninja requested they print her logo on these. One across the back on one top, and the other across the chest.

"You know, so it gives that 3D effect, across the chest!" Sniggered Gym Ninja.

The girl looked blank.

"It's not 3D, as your logo isn't 3D. It's similar to screen print". She said.

"Er, no, I meant you know, because it's 'across my chest' it sticks out?" Explained Gym Ninja....

Sometimes Gym Ninja thinks her comedy genius is wasted on people it really is!.....

So now the tops are at the Printers, and fingers crossed, the results will not reflect the £6 fee!

Anyway, back to Spin.  That evening, Gym Ninja headed to the gym. The 7pm Spin Class was hosted by the girl who pushes you to an inch of your life (the same one who takes the Saturday Slaughter Session), so it's worth making the effort to attend. Gym Ninja had scheduled in some time for upper body weights first though. Time to get sweaty!

It wasn't too busy in the womens section of the gym. Admittedly, as there was a 'Y' in the day of the week, this meant that a few women had carefully laid out their mats to work abs in front of the limited mirror space in the free weights section. Great. You're ON THE FLOOR so you can't even see in the mirror. Why crunch there?  The dumbbell tree was also looking bare. What tends to happen is that the Personal Trainers come into the womens gym, pick off a few of the dumbbells for their client to use, and take them out of the room to use in the 'Personal Training Only' area. Grrr. Get your own weights! If you borrow stuff then return it afterwards. That's gym etiquette! 

So Gym Ninja worked her upper body, with one eye on the clock. At 6.45pm, having stretched out to finish, GN headed to the changing rooms, grabbed her gel seat cover and made her way up to the Spin Studio, carefully selecting the bike in front of the aircon vent.

But what is this? WHERE IS the GOOD instructor? Noooooooooooooooooooooo!
Yep-Good Instructor Girl had not turned up and instead there was a 'stand in' Instructor. 
In walks a teeny tiny women, of an age that Gym Ninja estimates to be in her mid to late 50s. Like Thumbelina but in a massive fleece. 

"Hi", Said Thumbelina. "I'm covering the class today, and if you're wondering why I'm down here... (at this point Gym Ninja expected a midget joke)...it's because I want to do the class with you rather than 'up there' (at this, Thumbelina gestured to the Instructors bike up on the platform)."

Now forgive Gym Ninja for mentioning it, but just because the bike is ON the platform, does not then render it uncyclable (if there IS such a word?). You can still 'do the class' up there! Plus, as an added bonus, we'd be able to SEE You too!

"And I bet you're all thinking, what's SHE gonna do to us eh?" Bellowed Thumbelina, just as Gym Ninja was thinking those very words. Hmmm, is Thumbelina a tad fed up of being told she's older than the usual Instructors perchance? 

"Well, just you wait! I'm gonna work you HARD! It's an hours class and we'll go flat out for an hour!"

Okaaaaaaaaay. We'll see.....

So, with the music on, Thumbelina hidden from view ('doing the class' as she likes to call it) and THE LIGHTS ON (ahhhr, MAJOR Spin Sin in GN's opinion. Turn the bloody lights off!) the class began.

Holy schmoly! This woman wasn't kidding. She was OFF, like a pocket rocket, her teeny legs spinning like rubber legs (assuming rubber legs spin?). Easy Tiger! Aren't we supposed to warm up gradually to avoid pinged muscles and tendons? But no, Thumbelina had a point to prove so it seemed. She didn't want ANYONE thinking she wasn't up to the job.  She hurtled along, with that big old fleece still zipped up, her face turning redder and redder, her hands getting all vascular, and puffing and panting as she screamed at the top of her voice (er...the microphone is up on the platform by the Instructor bike you know). Everyone struggled to keep up. Meanwhile, Gym Ninja KNEW she was slacking for the following thoughts were going through her head, and let us be honest, you need NO thoughts other than 'do not die, do not die' running through your head when in Spin)...

1. Gym Ninja was awfully concerned about Thumbelina overheating in that fleece.  Just take it off. Or if you don't want to take it off, unzip it a bit?

2.  Gym Ninja was concerned about how red Thumbelina was going. Maybe she is just one of those pinkies who turn a different colour when training? But what if it's linked to the fleece in some way?

3.  Whoa! Are her legs going to be ok moving at that speed? They are moving terribly fast and she's only tiny!

4.  Damn. Gym Ninja should have worn a different top/sports bra combo. With the lights on full beam as it were, GN felt like she had Right Said Fred down her top every time she looked down.

5.  She's going to hurt her voice screaming that loud. if she'd have gone up on the platform she'd have been able to use the mic.

6. Gosh-maybe Thumbelina couldn't reach the platform? Is that why she's down at  ant-level?

7.  Hmm, what's for tea later?

8.  God, Gym Ninja is STARVING. Ahhhr, GN needs food.

So as you can tell, this workout was anything but.  So, after 45 minutes of these thoughts, Gym Ninja feared that this may soon turn into a Snuff Spin Class if Thumbelina pushed herself any harder, so, she dismounted her bike, gathered up her stuff and walked out.

So you see....Gym Ninja QUIT the class.

However, it will not happen again. Let us HOPE it doesn't happen again....

Right, GN needs to go swot up on muscle origins and insertions for Sunday's exam and it's all nonsense as far a her brain is concerned.

See you tomorrow!

Gym Ninja x