Getting older, talking to my younger self, skipping leg day and eating too much cheese.

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Conversations with my younger self.

I’m getting older.

I hate to admit this but it’s true. I guess Ive been dodging the admittance since I hit 30, the last 5 years have literally flown by. It’s quite amazing really when I actually stop and think about it.

I started training, like most guys do, by lifting what where essentially bits of plastic covered sand on a bar in my bedroom with no real direction or focus, all I knew was I wanted to be big. I guess I felt at the time that ‘bigger equals better’.

Maybe it was the childhood heroes of Schwarzenegger and Stallone (I’m a child of the 80s), or by being called Tristan and going to private school was enough for local kids to mock and bully, or perhaps the fact that even to this day team sports and the language of Football simply doesn’t speak to me. Whatever was driving me, I was hooked. I guess the truth is, lifting weights just made sense to me.

I see lots of younger guys who can’t wait to turn 16 so they can also hit the gym like I did,  and they often do so with enthusiasm, energy and drive. However, I also see common areas that could be addressed to make their training more optimal and in turn more beneficial. I’m not saying that this blog only just applies to anyone who is 16- 25, don’t worry if you are older (like me) then you will still benefit from reading on!

As a teenager and a younger man I made many mistake, in and out of the gym. If I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with my younger self about training and life, what would I say? What would I work on?

I would tell myself:

-No matter how big you get, without working on your true inner confidence, you will always be chasing.

-Try not to worry what other people think of you, you cannot be friends with everyone. This is the same in life and in the gym.

-Calm down! In all aspects of life, life is a marathon, not a sprint.

-Balance your training, whilst you love training chest & arms (what guy doesn’t?), focus on the other areas of your body with equal focus & intensity.

-Don’t lift with your ego, you are going to get injured, trust me I am your older self, I should know!

-Do not skip leg day.

-Read more.

-The gym isn’t a place to show off with your mates, remember for some people just walking through the front door is a challenge.

-Talk to Mum & Dad & your sister about why you are training, help them understand.

-Don’t eat as much cheese!

-Don’t skip leg day!

-In your bid to get bigger, don’t allow yourself to get fatter, just because you look big in clothes doesn’t mean you are going to look good naked, again I should know.

-Listen more to those older & more experienced people in the gym. Seek professional advice when unsure.

-Stretch.

-Warm up appropriately.

-Cool down appropriately.

-Educate yourself on nutrition.

-Admit that you do not know everything about training, nutrition and life, and be at ease with that fact. It’s ok, you are not expected to know, I still do not know and I am still learning.

-The next 10 years of your life are going to fly by, seek every opportunity for happiness and be careful about how your actions impact others.

I’m sure there’s more, but knowing my younger self, I’d probably be bored by now!

Hopefully you can take away a few points for you own training and lifestyle.

As is the same in life and with training, we can all learn from our mistakes, and keep moving forward.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, if you found it useful please like and share with others.

Any questions, give me a shout on here or on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/TristanButtlePersonalTrainer

Regards,

Tristan

 

 

Not feeling myself, Steroids, & My Organs ‘packing up’.

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‘I don’t feel like myself’.

Historically I never used to understand this phrase, I mean how can you not feel like yourself? Who do you feel like? Someone else? However, as is often the case, experience can change your beliefs and recently I haven’t been feeling like myself.

You know when you just feel a bit off and something isn’t quite right? Anyway, this blog isn’t really about how I feel, I’m just setting the scene. My feelings of being off and not myself resulted in me deciding to have some blood tests done to tick certain boxes and help me to begin to feel more like me and not like someone else!

Fast forward and there I am, sat down in front of the nurse to have my blood tested, on this particular day I was wearing a hoody and wearing my standard work polo shirt underneath.

Now bear in mind that this lady in front of me is simply there to take a sample of my blood, I had discussed all confidential matters as to why I felt this maybe a good idea the previous week with my GP. As a local guy, I’ve pretty much had the same GP all my life meaning my doctor knows my full history, my job, my lifestyle, etc.

So upon removing my hoody, the nurse’s opening line to me was:

‘You don’t take steroids do you’?

This wasn’t asked in a professional manner of ‘Hello Mr. Buttle we need to ask you a few questions before we start, do you use recreational drugs etc etc’ this was 100% reactionary to what she believed was steroid use.

I responded -‘No, I personally do not take steroids’.

Nurse’ it’s just that you are quite broad and you work in the gym’.

Me: ………… (This symbolises that at this point I was speechless).

Now I admit I am not a skinny minny, and at 6ft 1, and around 16/17 stone, I’m aware that I’m not small but steroids? Really? That’s the opening question from a medical professional? Anyway, this isn’t a blog about steroid use as it didn’t stop there…….

Nurse proceeds: ‘what about those shakes’?

At this point I thought ‘ok, so we’ve gone from steroids to protein shakes in 5 seconds, should be interesting’ so I played dumb……

Me: ‘What shakes do you mean’?

Nurse: ‘Those protein and creatine shakes they all take'(not sure who ‘they’ are I guess us ‘gym’ lot).

Me: (playing even dumber) ‘I’ve heard about those shakes, I know people who take shakes….’

Nurse (interjecting): ‘Shakes are no good for you, your liver & your kidneys will pack up’.

Me: (almost laughing out loud by this point) ‘Ok, well I best stay away from those shakes then’.

Part of me wanted to ask her:

Why she believed this claim?
What grounds did she think it is ok to blanket prescribe advice that ‘shakes are no good’ and my internal organs will ‘pack up’.
What about professional athletes?
What would she recommend I did instead of these devil shakes?
What was her own eating pattern like?
Instead I just smiled to myself and allowed her to focus on the task in hand and take my blood, by the standard of advice I was given I figured I was lucky to be alive and that my organs hadn’t failed me just yet!

I have spoken before about perception of supplementation, particularly shakes in previous blogs and how to an inactive person you may as well stick a needle in your arm. However I did start to believe that things where moving forward in 2014. I would like to think this is the case and that this lady was sadly misinformed.

I wasn’t annoyed or angered; I just felt that the industry had failed her on this occasion.

Upon swiftly and efficiently taking my blood sample, I was done, quick and easy.

I put my hoody back on, and thanked her for her time, and got up to leave.

‘Don’t forget’ the nurse said as I walked out the door ‘stay off those shakes’.

I walked out, smiling to myself, happy that my organs hadn’t ‘packed in’!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog,

If you found it useful please like and share with others.

Any questions, give me a shout on here or on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/TristanButtlePersonalTrainer

Tristan

Light hearted lifestyle lessons to be learnt from Leo (our cat). Part 2.

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Light hearted lifestyle lessons to be learnt from Leo (our cat). Part 2.

Following my last blog about our ‘hairy son’, (https://tristanbuttle.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/light-hearted-lifestyle-lessons-to-be-learnt-from-leo-our-cat/), I have still been hanging out with Leo and his behaviour still cracks me up and continues to intrigue me.

I have noted another huge lesson we can learn from Leo. He has the ability to do one very simple thing that we humans seem to really struggle with….

If Leo wants something or needs help with anything, he isn’t afraid to speak up or ask!

He has absolutely no problem in speaking up and/or raising his paw (quite literally) when he needs something. Admittedly he is a VERY loud cat, and his requests are very often centred on food and attention (like father like son!) However I believe we can all learn from this.

Rather than continuing to struggle in any aspect of life, if we all admitted we need some occasional help and assistance we would surely progress through life easier and in turn reach our goals quicker?

This does take a certain level of admittance and confidence, particular when using the gym as an example. I see many gym users who are afraid to ask for help and who would rather struggle on with what they ‘think’ is right rather than asking for advice. This will lead nowhere, fast. Results breed retention and very often tweaking things such as technique and tempo can have a massive effect and play a huge part in achieving ones goals.

Very often people drop out of the gym because they believe it ‘doesn’t work’ as they didn’t achieve what they wanted, not that perhaps they maybe weren’t doing what was right for them?

The chances are, especially if you are new to the gym and/or a particular new method of training, then you won’t know what you are doing. But guess what? That’s ok! That’s normal! Do you think I or any other Fitness Industry professional could turn up at your job tomorrow and perform it efficiently and effectively without asking for any help and advice? Do you think I could I look after your kids without asking any prior questions and learning all about them as individuals? Even then, would I be successful instantly?

This not only applies to gym users but also fitness professionals. I see a lot of people in this industry who are scared to ask for help, like it’s seen as a perceived weakness, this is madness! Nobody can be expected to know EVERYTHING about EVERY aspect of fitness, training and nutrition. Part of what makes this industry so enjoyable is things are constantly evolving and new things are brought to our attention all the time, so learning and embracing the new is essential to keep moving forward.

I would suggest it’s far more beneficial for us all to confidently say ‘I’m not sure what I’m doing’ rather than under confidently say ‘I know what I’m doing’.

Speak up and you will move forward quicker.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, now go forward and be more cat!

If you found it useful please like and share with others.

Any questions, give me a shout on here or on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/TristanButtlePersonalTrainer

Tristan