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Fitness

fitness2PB Fitness is designed to take your performance to the next level and make your goals a reality. Whether you want to get fitter, stronger, leaner, have greater endurance, improve technique or prevent injury, our degree qualified coaches can get you there.

What is the best way to get fit?

Being “fit” has different meanings to different people and so it is important to have an idea of what fitness would look like to you. Many people just want to run a 5k or play with their children in the garden, but is this level of fitness healthy. Conversely some want to run ultra marathons or be the world’s strongest man; but we have to question again whether this level is healthy. PB Performance recommends a baseline of fitness which everyone should be capable of doing and provides a holistic solution to athletes who want to excel at their sport, whilst remaining healthy and injury free.

What is a basic level of fitness?

Essentially, a basic level of fitness would enable you to escape from a natural disaster and maintain your cardiac, visceral and musculoskeletal health. Although the likelihood of needing to escape a storm, flood or climb over rubble is fairly low in our current society, it certainly wasn’t when we were developing as a species. Our bodies are designed to move and thrive when we walk, run and lift weights - everything from our bones and muscles, to gut motility and mood is improved.
A basic level of fitness, including mobility, speed and endurance, would look something like
  • Run 1 mile in under 8 minutes
  • Run 300m in under 1 minuteeat-for-performance
  • Run for 20 minutes
  • Swim 300m
  • 30/20 press ups (men/women)
  • 15/5 pull ups (men/women)
  • Jump 30/24”
  • 1 minute plank
  • Sit in a deep squat
  • Touch your toes

How can I get stronger?

Strength is not just a result of endless sets and reps in the weight room, although repetition has its place. It is about recruiting the correct muscles at the correct time in the correct manner to move weigh efficiently and in a way which looks effortless. Strength is about moving in a controlled manner at the dictated speed - which could be slow or quick.

Your body only moves in the way it has adapted to move over the course of your life. As a result, you will need to spend a significant amount of time learning correct technique, but also unlearning, how you currently move in order to activate the correct muscles. This ensures you work your whole body equally, which will not only maximises your strength output, but also reduces the risk of injury. Many people are limited in their strength because of a particular injury rather than lack of capacity or ability.

Strength gains are made quickly by a beginner who puts the time in and varies their training between low reps with high weight and high reps with medium weight. Athletes with a longer training history may require more personalised programmes, with attention to pause or deficit lifts, speed and power drills and greater accessory work.

weight-liftingMobility also greatly influences your strength; a tight muscle is less able to contract and support the body during a lift, resulting in a reduced total force output. One Athlete during competition experienced a 30kg improvement on their deadlift, a 20kg increase on their squat, and 15kg on their over head press which they solely attribute to having osteopathy to improve their function and flexibility. These are huge gains for an athlete who have been training for strength for the past few years, but had reached a plateau in their performance. Increased work on flexibility and stability has now enabled this athlete to hold weight overhead with ease, smoothly string ring muscle ups together and do pistols with greater speed and efficiency..

What is a basic level of strength?

Baseline levels of barbell strength should include power lifting and Olympic lifting movements; technical failure will determine whether or not the lift is successful. If you make a lift but your form is horrendous and you risk injury if you repeated it, then this does not count as achieving a requisite level of strength. The basic level of strength is measured as a proportion of your bodyweight (BW), for an intermediate athlete this should look like:
  • Deadlift 2xBW
  • Squat 1.5xBW
  • Bench press 1xBW
  • Clean and Jerk 0.8xBW
  • Snatch 0.6xBW
Want to find out more?
For athletes check out Dan John’s recommendations for strength click here

To look at the CrossFit levels of untrained to elite level strength based on your bodyweight, click here

How can I prevent injuries?

exercise-injuryPain is usually the top of the iceberg, stacked on top of poor movement, mobility restrictions, overuse and previous injuries. The best way to reduce your risk of injury is to have a full body movement assessment with Osteopath Phoebe and then to work on specific areas with one of the coaches.

This will ensure that the key areas are focused on for strength and mobility. Pain is normally a result of a problem elsewhere, for example knee pain is normally because of the ankle and hip restrictions and neck pain can be because of the shoulders and thoracic spine.

The areas you need to work on may be very different to what you thought. It is also different for each individual, what worked for your friend in the gym may not work for you because you have different bodies, different jobs, different injury history etc.

Risk factors for injury are previous injury, instability and lack of recovery. It is sometimes easy to identify what is not working - an old ankle injury which keeps playing up, recurrent knee pain when running, tight hip when squatting or that pain in the front of the shoulder when you press over head. People often recognise an issue but fail to stretch, rehab or mobilise the area, despite previously having been told ways of improving their symptoms.

The easiest and simplest thing is often ignored; you cannot improve if you have not fixed your old injuries – you wouldn’t build on a broken foundation. If you shoulders are sore, stretch your pecs several times a day for a few minutes and see if it improves. If they are irritated by pressing heavy overhead a few times a week (possibly also with poor mobility or technique), then reduce the weight or the volume and see how your body reacts.

Your body is broken down during training and built up when you sleep. The amount you work out in the gym should cause sufficient muscle breakdown to illicit a response but never to the degree where it causes chronic tissue damage - more is not necessarily better. Active recovery days of zone one aerobic exercise (walk, row, swim, air dyne) are useful for keeping the muscles well oxygenated without being fatigued and should be done at least once a week. Also don’t forget the importance of an active warm up, cool down and varied choice of activity should help to reduce over-use injuries.

Manual therapy is an effective way of reducing injury. Osteopathy is a mixture of massage, trigger point therapy, manipulation and fascial work which helps release tight muscles, joint restrictions and little niggles in athletes.

medical-acupuncture-pb-performanceMedical Acupuncture and Kinesiotaping is also used get deeper into the affected area and then support the area when you next train. Hands on treatment helps to flush out toxins and work through areas of tension so that athletes are less likely to have an injury and are fully recovered to train again.

Osteopathy also helps “trouble shoot” the musculoskeletal system for potential problems which may not have been noticed by the athlete; these can be addressed before they become symptomatic. This is why you don’t have to be in pain to see an osteopath and why MOT treatments are so highly recommended, and appreciated, by the athletes.

If you would like to book an MOT or treatment please call 07912 629 350 or send us an email click here