My candidate Ollie, seen with me on the right, couldn’t have performed better. He had two lower body sessions to perform on his own on Monday and Thursday, an upper body session to perform on his own Tuesday and an upperbody to do with me on the Friday.
By the time I saw Ollie on Friday, he already had three hard sessions under his belt with one rest day, and was feeling DOMS all over his body, walking like a cowboy as I would expect!
Unfortunately, Ollie lives/works near Cheltenham, so between us we have a good 2-3hrs of travel to cover to be able to train together that one time a week we are allowed to.
As I was lecturing at Maximuscle HQ on the Friday afternoon at 2pm, Ollie made his way to North London so we could have a session at 5pm. Unfortunately, Friday traffic played havoc and Ollie didn’t make it to the gym until about 6pm. He had been in the car since before 2pm, so obviously hadn’t had time to eat properly. We were both as frustrated as each other; Ollie as he was not only going to have to face possibly the hardest session of his week, straight off the back off a 4hr drive without having eaten properly, and then endure a 3hr drive home. Me, as training someone when they are tired, badly fueled and not mentally prepared is less than ideal when we are on a 12 week deadline! We both voiced our jealousy at Rich and James, our fellow trainer and candidate who both live in Clapham and journey time to each other is close to 4minutes not our 4hours! Determined not to let this affect our session, after a brief sit down to clear his head, we decided to press on with the session.
Ollie downed his pre-workout shake and we got on with the upper body session planned. Ollie’s programme is all about progression and laying down the groundwork before changing things up over 5-6 microcycles over the 12 week period. He worked his socks off, keeping strict form and tempo, ensuring a great range of movement and the required time under tension. I was particularly impressed that he performed the exercises to the specific instructions I had given on his programme, so that they were done the correct way. His ability to listen and assimilate information and put it into practice, was clearly visible and something that will pay dividends over the coming weeks. Ollie worked up a good sweat and found the session pretty hard, as it should be, especially the rest/pause sets.
At the end of the session, Ollie was exhausted. While I did some interviews to camera he stretched and drank his post workout shake. He was then required for interviews before he could eat his pre-prepared Tupperware of tuna, chicken and sweet potato, jump in the shower to change and then face his 3-4hr drive home. A truly gritty performance from Ollie, not just in the session, but his whole day, in terms of travel, food preparation and sense of humour in the face of adversity. I’m very pleased and couldn’t have asked for a better person to be working with.
I’ve got high hopes and think we can really work to some success over the next 11weeks. Ollie got some good scores on the fitness tests at Twickenham, but he has already shown he can not only push himself hard while training, but has the mental strength to put up with hardship, which will undoubtedly see him push through the next 3 months without missing a session or taking the easy way out at any point.
Looking forward to Friday for session number two.