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Client Spotlight - Chris Gladwell

December 29, 2017


The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing - Walt Disney.                                           



Chris was bought a training session by his Dad, Greg, as a Christmas present. After seeing Chris for a sports massage early 2017 I did not see him again until September 2017. I had been told by Greg that Chris had decided to apply for the Royal Navy. As I have trained clients to pass the physical entry requirements for the forces before we decided I would give Chris a session to see where he was at and how he would need to train in order to pass the tests.


Chris had already been training hard for 3 months and the difference was noticeable. Before me stood a new man. However, the forces are not easy to get into and the physical tests are tough. Chris didn't know it but he was in for a beasting!


1 hour later and I decided to finish Chris's session with a burpee - pull-up pyramid. He was not impressed. He had 3 pull-ups left and he just leaned against the fence and said no more! I said I was free all day so we would wait as long as it took! He did them and we went back to mine to discuss where to go next. 


As Chris left I remember thinking to myself "I pushed him hard, I doubt he will come back!". Two weeks later and we started our block of PT sessions!


The goal was simple -

Run 2.4km in under 11.09 minutes

23 press ups

39 sit ups

Jump into water clothed, tread water for 2 minute, swim 50 metres and get out unaided.


Sounds easy? First of all you have a warm up of running drills and sprints for 20-30 minutes - then you start the test. I knew Chris was going to have to work himself beyond what he was capable. Chris has improved his 5km and 10km times by over 7 minutes respectively in the 3 months we have been working together. His strength and stamina have more than doubled. His results speak for themselves. In his own words, this is Chris's journey so far.


"Hi I’m Chris, aged 21, and in 2017 I've made a huge lifestyle change and achieved great results. To date I have lost just over 4 and 1/2 stones in 6 months and for the first time in my life reached a healthy BMI score.


My journey started in June when I decided I wanted to pursue my aspiration of joining the Royal Navy. I didn’t want to apply until I had a good chance of passing the testing fitness test.


I started training by increasing my gym sessions and changing them from weights based exercise to cardiovascular exercise - particularly the treadmill. To start with I was barely able to do 10 minutes running at a jogging pace and when my 53 year old father could outpace and outlast me I knew I had to step it up considerably! Controlling my diet, as well by cutting out sugar based snacks, helped me start to lose a few pounds. I lost a stone and a half in my first 8 weeks.


However things really moved forward when I started PT sessions with Rob. He helped me to develop greater mental toughness, got me to work myself harder and take real control over what I eat and drink and when. We have done a range of activities in our intense, weekly 1 hour sessions and it’s been hard work, but always fun and very rewarding. With Rob’s help I've pushed myself far beyond what I thought was possible.


By the middle of November I was able to achieve the timed run, sit up and press up standards for the Forces and since then we have stepped it up further so I can exceed the minimum requirements confidently and do all of the activities consecutively - I can now do the test twice back to back!


Unfortunately just before Christmas I received a medical flag so my entry to the Royal Navy hangs in the balance. I am still working hard either way and whether I go for it or not, with Rob’s help I’ve found the mental resolve to over come this set back and I will continue to push my fitness levels even further in 2018. Over Christmas I did my first 15km run in good time and my goal currently is to do the 3 peaks challenge and run a half marathon while I wait for a definite decision".



Chris's journey is far from over and I know whatever the outcome of the appeal, he will continue to move forwards and smash all his goals in 2018.


 Chris's before and after photo so far.....


(Rob is a sports performance specialist with over 16 years experience in the fitness industry. Focus 4 Fitness offer expert sports therapy & sports massage, personal training, sports coaching, classes and courses in Norwich).


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