Personal Trainer Adrian Collins from Collins Fitness is joining us in the Personal Trainer Zone this week. Adrian tells us about his popular Social Butterfly Program and shares lots of top fitness tips.
1) What was your inspiration for beginning a career in the fitness industry and becoming a Personal Trainer?
I was always fond of sports growing up and from high school, I was part of the athletics team.
I had some great lecturers and teachers that supported me to take the path of exercise science. This influenced me to carry on and drive for a career in the sports science world.
During this time, I suffered a traumatic knee injury. This directed me to study anatomy and injury rehabilitation to a greater understanding.
Post studying I wanted to gain more experience of training and rehabilitation. In 2007 I travelled to Australia and began my career as a Personal Trainer. I took inspiration from an array of Osteo’s, Physio’s and Personal Trainers during my qualification.
2) How many days a week do you recommend working out?
This is all down to what you are used to and what it is you’re trying to achieve with your training regime.
I see most new clients at least three times per week and they do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions around the other days. Their week will also involve a couple of rest days.
However, this routine may not suit all. I always say, do how your body feels. If for example you’re exhausted one day and are not in a good head space to exercise, do something light, but still be active.
Save yourself for the following day where you can get the most out of a good workout. Quality not quantity is key.
3) How long should you rest between workouts?
Again, depending upon your routine and how you feel, I find it is best to have split rest days during your week.
If you’re lifting weights in the gym two to three times a week maybe more… split rest days can be good to allow your body to recover and adapt.
4) What is your favourite piece of equipment in the gym and why?
I use two gyms. One is a typical studio gym with barbells, squat racks, lifting platforms, open spaces for functional training with cables, and even a boxing room.
The other is a Pilates studio which is a totally different environment.
A Pilates studio contains a number of different Pilates machines but I think the Reformer is one piece of equipment everybody should try.
With the right instructor, this machine will help you learn so much about your skeletal posture and alignment. When I first started using this machine, it was a total game changer for me.
5) What do you recommend to eat before and after a gym session?
It is important to have energy before a workout. You also need to eat afterwards to recover from the stress your body has been under.
Depending upon goals, I mostly recommend some almonds (5 for women) or an apple (half for women). I look to hit a carbohydrate and protein rich food source post training.
For optimal recovery to the muscle, you should usually consume this within a 45 minute window. You should also avoid fats during this time as your body needs quick uptake to restore its cells.
6) What is your top piece of nutritional advice for weight loss?
I find it’s about learning what your body needs.
I recommend to clients on a weight loss program to keep to their daily protein amounts throughout the day. They should ideally be consuming protein every 3 – 4 hours. This helps to crank up the metabolic system in order to burn fat and energy.
Roughly 0.7-1 gram of protein per body weight in pounds is a guide to have in mind with a good balanced training program in place.
Don’t get me wrong, its not all about slugging down on the protein shakes every few hours. I try and keep to whole foods as this not only helps with keeping to clean varied food sources, it also provides the fibre your body needs to help in the digestion of the proteins and nutrients it vitally needs.
If you stick to this, you will find cravings of sugar will drop as you will feel less hungry during your day and will feel less temptation when it comes to quick energy foods. You will also start to feel you have more energy and be less lethargic during afternoon times.
I find most clients who have desk bound jobs, often experience a crash and look to snack on biscuits or even cakes if it’s a colleagues birthday.
7) What is the most common injury you see with your clients and what advice can you offer for prevention?
Most commonly I see knee pain and issues relating to the lower back which also contribute to shoulder and neck alignment. These all tend to be in regard to hip/pelvic alignment. Incorrect hip/pelvic alignment is one of the key reasons I assess movement gait before any type of exercise prescription.
Learning and reassessing an individuals physical understanding of using core muscles, has a big impact in overcoming overuse injuries or repetitive strain injuries.
I tend to mix functional training with some mat Pilates exercises that help teach this before progressing to strength and conditioning work with weights etc.
Lifestyle also has a part to play in this. I look at the amounts of fluid someone is taking on during their day as dehydration has been known to affect tissue within the body.
8) How do you develop individualised training plans for your clients?
I always start the session with gait analyses where I watch someone’s walking pattern and steps. This gives me an understanding of how their posture is dealing with their skeletal system and how that person is holding themselves.
As walking is our everyday exercise regime, it dictates a lot. Walking shows up postural issues that may not have any effect at this time, but can come out during exercises or introducing a new routine. Over time, the body adapts to the current posture.
I find the desk bound job individual suffers with many postural issues. It is important to overcome these issues before going into a weight training program of high intensity.
I also use this method in my online training programs. The first thing I ask clients to send in is a walking gait video for me to assess and feed back on with individualised programs to follow.
This gives me a great unique approach to the growing online training I provide.
9) Your Social Butterfly Program has been featured several times in the media recently. What is involved in the program and what are the benefits?
My Social Butterfly Program is as I say on my website:
‘It’s completely personalised to your goals, focusing on your individual needs. Whether it’s a desired body type, re-alignment or shaping up for a specific event. From honing the perfect beach body to getting into that Little-Black-Dress before the Xmas party, it’s tailor made to make you look fantastic and stay motivated.’
The concept takes in to account that most city workers and social people have a lifestyle that is hard to keep under control when it comes to the treats in life – drinking, eating late, less sleep than adequate. Most training programs are set in a strict form and although they can give results in a short space of time, they are often not sustainable long term.
What I am providing is an approach that shows a greater understanding of the individual and their lifestyle. My program involves making minor tweaks that will help them along their way to achieving their desired goal. It’s about the subtle changes that help guide a more healthier and balanced lifestyle for the long term. The benefits of which will be changing bad or unhealthy habits as you go.
10) What are the main services that you offer to your clients?
With my one to one and online training, my Personal Trainer services are very much approached with individualisation to each and everyone’s needs. This can include anything from creating bespoke programs aimed at helping achieve a specific goal, to giving general lifestyle advice.
My Social Butterfly Program has really highlighted this as the most important area to focus on. It doesn’t matter if somebody is seeking a total body transformation or just a small change to themselves, acknowledging every aspect of current lifestyle is key.
About Adrian Collins
Adrian Collins achieved a BSc Hons in Sport and Exercise Science from Northampton University. Upon completing his degree Adrian qualified as a Personal Trainer in Australia under the Australian Institute of Fitness, before bringing his training back home to the UK.
Adrian is the Founder of Collins Fitness which utilises cutting edge, personal training techniques to help clients from all walks of life achieve their individual, physical aspirations.
Based in an exclusive, private studio in the heart of the City of London, Collins Fitness has helped a wide range of clients successfully achieve their desired goals.
To find out more about Personal Trainer Adrian Collins and his services, head over to Collins Fitness
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