Angela Belassie talks through the process of working with Chris Hole.
When I first met Chris Hole, I had recently had a baby and had not done much exercise for some time.
I wanted to get back into the habit of working out more regularly, but was a little unsure about where to start.
I learned Chris had experience of postnatal training - in a safe and effective manner – and I decided to sign up.
We started with a consultation, followed by eight sessions, which kick-started my exercise plan.
In two months I’d noticed a marked improvement in my fitness and had started to tone up. I had even started to sleep better at night and felt a general lift in my mood.
My results showed a marked improvement – including over 100 per cent increase in my core endurance.
Chris carried out a consultation with me prior to starting work together. It helped me think about my diet, lifestyle and the exercise I was currently doing or had done in the past.
I thought I had a fairly healthy diet, apart from a sweet tooth, but the consultation highlighted that I could eat more vegetables. It also helped me to implement small changes right from the start.
I found the consultation quite encouraging, as it also highlighted my strengths. It was a worthwhile process which helped make the most of our future training sessions
- Session 1 – The assessment:
Chris got me to carry out a range of exercises and measured my ability in each one. He was then able to rate my current fitness and flexibility, noting which areas needed to be focused on. The future sessions were then tailored to my needs. We started with a gentle workout.
- Session 2 –Our programme starts:
We started to build up on the exercises where we left off. Chris had put together a bespoke programme, which was challenging but not intimidating.
We started slowly, to ensure I carried the exercises out correctly and would not cause myself an injury.
Chris then gave me some homework to carry out before our next meeting.
- Session 3 – Picking up the pace:
During this session, I was left a bit breathless as we started to pick up the pace. But Chris continued to work to my ability – assessing the right weight and number of repetitions.
Again, the focus was on carrying out the movements correctly in the first instance. When we were confident this was in place, new exercises were introduced.
I was given more homework and my progress started to pick up.
- Session 4 –Putting more work into it:
Chris was confident I knew the exercises well enough to carry them out more quickly. We picked up the pace – and this time I worked up a sweat.
He increased the weights and repetitions further, introducing yet more exercises.
I left feeling invigorated - having had a great workout.
- Session 5 –Seeing some progress:
It was during this session that I really started to notice an improvement. Before, I struggled to do a couple of planks whereas now I could do eight and felt much stronger.
Chris introduced a 20kg weight. Had I been told at the start of our sessions that this was possible, I never would have believed it.
I was beginning to feel much more confident in my own capabilities and spurred on to do more.
- Session 6 - Peripheral Heart Action (PHA):
Chris introduced Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) training. It is similar to circuit training and helps keep the blood circulating throughout the workout. It can make exercise more tolerable.
We started with a five minute bike ride at 90 rpm, then went onto weights and movement, followed by another four minute bike ride. This continued for several rounds until we had dropped to a 1 minute bike ride.
It was exhausting.
- Session 7- Picking up the Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) workout:
We continued to pick up the pace, such as increasing my speed on the bike.
When asked, Chris could explain the science and logic behind the workout. I liked understanding the reasoning and benefits to the different types of exercises.
- Session 8 – The final session:
By this point the technique came more naturally and the exercises had increased in pace and repetition.
Our exercises were varied and it felt like my whole body had a thorough workout.
Chris continued to give me homework throughout, making sure I was accountable and would not want to miss a gym session.
It also encouraged me to think more about my diet and general lifestyle.
Side Plank: Right Side 31’s Left Side 26’s
Single Leg Bridge: Right Side 36’s Left Side 45’s
Shoulder Mobility Test: Right 11inches apart Left 11inches apart
Oct-16 (8-weeks later)
Core Endurance -
Side Plank: Right Side 39’s; Left Side 45’s
Single Leg Bridge: Right Side 49’s; Left Side 1m11’s
Shoulder Mobility Test: Right 8inches apart Left 8inches apart
Breakdown of improvement:
Shoulder Mobility Test: 27% improvement
Plank: 132% improvement
Right Side 26% improvement
Left Side 73% improvement
Single Leg Bridge:
Right Side 36% improvement
Left Side 58% improvement