Going to the chapel…

In our latest Personal Training blog, gym owner, Ben Stacey has recruited fellow PT, Paul Rose, to whip him into the shape of his life for his wedding day:

Ben StaceyBen Stacey has had a lot on his plate recently. He spent last year successfully re-developing Berkhamsted's premier gym and persuading the women of his dreams to marry him to boot. No wonder our normally disciplined gym owner and experienced Personal Trainer himself, Ben, has let the training regime slip a little.

It'll come as no surprise that Ben is a bit of an adrenalin-junkie. A wake-boarding and motocross enthusiast, we are not expecting him to pick up his pipe and slippers to settle into a cosy married life once he ties the knot.

But whether amateur or professional, fit or not, no-one is immune to injury - especially when pitting yourself against the waves, or dirt riding on a rocky track. Ben is no exception to this rule, as the rotator cuffs in his shoulders know only too well. Overdoing it on the wakeboard has led to injury, which will need surgery not long after the wedding confetti has settled.

"Of course, I want to be in the best shape of my life for my wedding - I've got to look good in those photographs!" jokes Ben. "I also really need to be fit for my surgery as that will help make sure the recovery process is shorter."

Improving your fitness has nothing to do with luck though; you have to put the hard graft in. Fortunate as he is to be in a job he loves, Ben has discovered that owning a gym doesn't mean you use it as often as you should! With the clock ticking before he walks up the aisle, Ben's resolute that he'll get back in shape - but with injury and time against him, he's enlisted the help of Personal Trainer, Paul Rose.

Have a dog and bark yourself

But why does an experienced Personal Trainer need to hire a Personal Trainer? If anyone knows what to do in a gym, Ben should. "It's all about focus", says Paul, "Like anyone, work and life have taken over - but Ben knows he's booked in with me and wouldn't dare duck out of our sessions!"

Mixing it up

But Ben argues that Paul is more than just a date in the diary, "I've worked with Paul for a while - he knows the way I train and so can really challenge me by varying my training plan and pushing me out of my comfort zone. Another of my goals is to get back into playing basketball, for this I need to improve my leg strength and the explosive power I need for vertical jumping. Having trained athletes in the past, one of Paul's strong points is being able to understand the functional training needed for specific sports. I'm confident Paul will help me get back to competitive playing again."


So, with a couple of months until he ties the knot, what's Ben's training regime going to look like?

"Like anyone, Ben has to pack fitness in around work", says Paul, "So I'm going to be working with him four times a week, during his lunch hour. At this level it's not really about shifting the pounds, but fine-tuning the muscles."

The science bit

Needless to say, the sessions are pretty hardcore, so proper nutritional recovery is vital. After every workout, Ben needs to get some carbohydrates and protein into his body to recover. So, as well as making sure his day to day diet includes plenty of whole grains and lean protein, Ben is taking some sports nutrition supplements. Protein helps your body recuperate and repair muscles after exercise so Ben takes amino acid supplements, to help speed this process up, as well as creatine which aids muscle recovery. All this attention to post-workout nutrition means that Ben doesn't miss a trick and is fit and raring to go for his next PT session, enabling him to train harder, for longer!

So, congratulations to Ben! We'll be checking out his progress next month as he prepares for the big day. If you see him in the gym, please don't be afraid to offer support and advice...training tips...marriage tips...how to survive the stag night....