Swiss Toni training...


Charlie Higson as Swiss Toni


PT is a lot like making love to a beautiful woman - at first you throw yourself in with everything you've got (and if you've been out of the game for a while, this won't be for long). But, before long, if you're just thrashing around and not working with your head as well as heart and soul, it will either chew you up and spit you out or you'll get bored and be looking for the door.

[Before I continue, an explanatory note for my younger or non-UK based readers - Swiss Toni was a used car dealer in the sketch show "The Fast Show" who compared everything to making love to a beautiful woman. Feel free to swap the word "woman" for man/goat/whatever to suit your tastes, the effect would be the same.]

Interlude reducing my political incorrectness a notch out of the way, we can return to our tale. 

It's the end of the first week of January and a significant percentage of new gym members will already have fallen off the wagon. This time next week we'll be under the 50% mark. This sort of thing (combined with the constant talk of them) is what gets many observers' collective goat about resolutions.

New "habits" are adopted with all the enthusiasm, wonder and endeavour of an infant noticing its feet for the first time. Such is the lack of groundwork or forethought that they are approached as if the last several months/years of abuse have not happened. Swiftly thereafter the "habit" is dropped like a puritan's jaw on a visit to Amsterdam amidst a cloud of moaning and groaning.

Where am I going with this?

You need to know your limitations - not so you can give up in the face of them, but so you can either work your strengths to compensate for it or so that you can address and overcome them (I know which I would rather, remember the story of Achilles). Either route, ignoring them is fatal, they will sink you.

Remember - a little bit of thoughtfulness will take your PT past a sweaty breathless fumble towards a longer-lasting relationship.

As for me, I fell foul of the same trap and hit the squat rack like my last session was earlier this week. Fortunately my strength base saw me through but I now feel as abused as a lingerie catalogue in the hands of a pubescent boy.

What makes a difference from here is what I do to facilitate recovery. And while it is a key component of keeping this romance going, that is another story.

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