Company Name: Lucas Studios
Company Address: 69B Anthony Rolfe Avenue, Gungahlin, Canberra ACT 2913
Phone Number: 0414 414 649
1) Can you tell us a little bit about you as a personal trainer and the services, training you offer to your clients?
I am the founder and owner of Lucas Studios. I am a fully qualified Personal Trainer and Pilates Specialist. The Studio is fully equipped to provide small (maximum nine) private group Pilates courses includingpre-natal, beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. The Studio contains a fully equipped gym for private and small group (up to two) Personal Training sessions. I conduct all Pilates courses and PT sessions myself.
I decided to establish my own Studio rather than working for an existing gym or sporting facility, after spending many years training myself in gyms observing their management styles and trainer standards. I aim to provide a high level of service with a refreshingly personalised, friendly, caring approach backed by a high level of professionalism, knowledge, experience and passion.
2) What’s the history behind your passion for personal training, how did you get started training people?
I have been an avid advocate for health and fitness and pursued this all my life, participating in many different sports, including competitive body building. However, for many yearsI worked in the private corporate sector in various professional capacities. After a number of interesting and rewarding career paths, all the while pursuing health and fitness as a hobby, I came to the realisation that my passion was indeed my hobby. So I set about obtaining the requisite training and knowledge to set up my own business as a Personal Trainer and Pilates Specialist.
3) It seems that as Australian’s we keep trying to get fitter, but not too many out there manage to achieve their goals. What is the secret behind a successful personal training program?
A successful program is one in which the client themselves takes ownership. An hour or two or even three a week with your personal trainer should be part of a wholistic health and fitness regime not the entirety.
I remind my clients regularly that this is their journey. I am here to help guide, motivate, inspire and inform, but I cannot do it for them.
Diet, lifestyle choices (such as smoking, drinking), incidental exercise, stress, sleep are all important factors that a client needs to address, as well as formal training sessions if they are to succeed in achieving their goals.
And finally I think setting realistic goals factoring in all of the above, is essential to maintain the motivation, trust and longevity of the trainer-client relationship.
4) Personal training is surely not just about “doing exercise”, what can you tell us about the physiological part behind any training? How important is the motivation and the mind set?
When you exercise, the brain communicates to the muscles via physical neural pathways. Someone who has exercised regularly in the past has already developed well worn neural pathways. So when they resume exercise it comes much easier to them than someone who has not. We used to think the body’s exercise ‘memory’, if you will, lay in the muscles themselves. We now know it lies in the actual neural pathways connecting the muscles to the brain.
A newcomer to exercise, has to deal with the unfamiliarity of the exercise environment, the strange new movement patterns and their lack of fitness for these new exercises. In addition to this their bodies need to undergo a transformation at the neural level as well as building new bone matter, stronger ligaments, tendons and muscles. This transformative process can be physically highly stressful, but also incredibly mentally and emotionally stressful as well.It can in fact be over whelming, and all too hard for some.
A positive yet realistic mind set, and understanding of the transformationrequired is essential, especially for the exercise newcomers. Someone who can help motivate that person can be critical to their success.
5) What makes a good personal trainer?
Life experience prior to becoming a trainer has made me a far better trainer. I have a number of professional clients who I can communicate with on a level that simply would not have been possible if I was straight out of school. They respect me for my education and prior success.
Education is crucial. As well as my PT and Pilates training, I have 2 science degrees and a law degree to back me up, all of which has proved immensely valuable in gaining and retaining my clients trust and respect. I continue to educate myself on the latest developments in science generally as well as more specific to the fitness industry.
Leading by example is critical – a trainer must practice what they preach. Let’s face it, who wants a fat unfit trainer who eats Macca’s- Nobody.
Communication, the ability to articulate clearly and succinctly to clients, to explain why as well as what you want them to do is essential. My experience is that if I can do this I can get clients to do pretty much anything.
Passionate Confidence is infectious.Believe passionately in yourself and what you know, do and teach, and your clients will too.
6) Tell us a little bit about your personal training sessions and classes, what type of training can someone expect while working out with you?
A typical1 hour training session includes cardiovascular sprint training on a stationary bike, rower or treadmill. Sprints are the most efficient form of cardiovascular exercise for increasing cardiovascular fitness and burning fat. The session would also include core work, and resistance training either in the form of a weights workout in the gym or a circuit in the Studio.
I pre-prepare each workout and keep a typed record of it. As the client does the workout I jot down any changes to the workout so I have a record of exactly how they performed during it.
Each session is different so clients don’t get bored with the same routine, and are challenged each workout.
There is typically little rest during the 1 hour workout. My clients tell me that my workouts are challenging and that I am a tough but good trainer!
7) How important is nutrition in the path to achieve any personal training goal?
Huge. Food is fuel for the body. I spend a lot of time discussing food with my clients. I get them to keep a food diary. I go through it and give detailed advice on what they consume, foods they should add to their diet, portion control and caloric monitoring. I revisit their diet on a regular basis.
This is a hard nut to crack as many clients are intransigent about their eating habits and simply won’t change. They come up with all sorts of excuses to justify their poor choices. These clients tend to have less success in achieving their goals, and look older and are generally less healthy than those who are more careful about what they consume.
8.) We all know there are many personal trainers out there, what do we need to ask a personal trainer before starting a program, how can we guarantee we are a good match to work together?
Qualifications – make sure they are fully qualified in PT. Also ask what other qualification they have – this will give you an idea of their life experiences, knowledge and interests.
Insurance – make sure they are properly insured.
Check out where they intend to train you – in my case a private Studio. Make sure you feel comfortable in that environment.
Ask to talk with one of their existing clients as a reference.
Ask about their target clientele and demographic, if any. Depending on the particular style of a Personal Trainer he or she may attract and be suited to a particular type of client. For example many (but by no means all) of my clients tend to be educated professional women in their 30’s-50’s.
The initial session is very important – I have a 2 hour initial session with each client to give them time to get to know me and to allow me to get as much relevant information from them as possible. This includescurrent health and fitness status, injuries, medical issues and diet. I measure their height, weight, bodyparts form neck to ankles, BMI, Resting Heart Rate and Blood Pressure. I check to see if they have any postural and/or flexibility anomalies.
I conduct cardiovascular and strength tests. We discuss their motivations and their road blocks such as time constraints. Finally a half hour workout designed to assess their general fitness level. I have found this initial session provides a great way for me to assess a client but also for them to assess me.
9) What is a normal day in your life as a Personal Trainer?
I have a lot of early morning clients so I usually get to the Studio before 6 or 7am. In the mornings I train PT clients and when I have an hour or two spare I prepare PT sessions and Pilates classes, answer emails and phone inquiries. As I also teach Pilates I give private one-on-one Pilates sessions and group sessions as well. I get in 1 hour of intense cardiovascular work each day, usually on the highest setting of my Cross Trainer. In the afternoons I have more Personal Training clients, then 3-5 hours of Pilates classes or PT sessions a night. Most nights I finish at 9pm. Sundays is my biggest day and I work without a break all day until 7pm. Saturdays I try to have off.
The life of a successful Trainer, contrary to how we may be portrayed in the media, is not sexy – it’s very hard work!
10) Can you tell us about a personal training success story that can inspire us? Maybe one of your students?Maybe your own?
One of my earliest clients was a young obese woman with medical problems. Within 6 months she had shed 25kg of body fat and is now fit and toned having reached her goal weight. She has managed to keep it off one and a half years later with significant improvements in her medical conditions.
Another of my clients came to me after suffering multiple organ shut down and being in a coma for 3 months. She could hardly walk when she came to me. She is now doing rigorous PT sessions with me twice a week. She is an inspiration.
11) Now, for the last question… we invite you to plug your personal training service. What makes you a Top Personal Trainer? What message do you want to send to anyone reading this and thinking of contacting you to start their personal training program?
First and foremost I am a formidable Personal Trainer because of my lifelong Passion for the health and fitness of myself and others. I am a Personal Trainer because I love it, not because I need to pay the bills.
I lead by example, training myself every day and eating healthily. As I am also a Pilates Specialist I hold up to 20 hours of Group and Private Pilates classes a week in which I perform all the exercises with my clients – including pre-natal, beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. So it is fair to say that I set a very high standard for my clients.
My formal education includes 2 Personal Training Qualifications, 6 Pilates qualifications, 2 Science Degrees (including a first class honours degree) and a Law Degree. Previous fields in which I have worked include post graduate research in genetics, computing, communications, management and law. I am highly educated, intelligent, articulate and have a passion for continuing to learn and educate myself particularly in the sciences of biomechanics, exercises physiology, nutrition and ageing.
I bring to my clients years of exercise experience and accumulated knowledge. To this I add my Pilates Speciality – we are increasingly realising the importance of good core function as a foundation to great health and fitness and my additional expertise in this area flows on to my Personal Training approach.
I am also the sole Business Owner and founder of my Studio. I developed the concept for an upmarket Studio offering both Personal Training and Pilates in response to the price war going on in my area between big gyms such as Fernwood, Lime, Flames Fitness, Fitness First and the like. I researched the market and decided there was indeed a substantial pool of sophisticated, discerning clientele wanting a quality service in a more friendly non-threatening environment. I was right. My business has been a thriving success from the day I opened my doors.