Richard Cross: Why I Became a Personal Trainer

RICHARD CROSS: WHY I BECAME A PERSONAL TRAINER

Despite being incredibly passionate personal trainer the fitness industry is not where I had planned on working in, in fact, quite the opposite. Most of my working life was spent in sales and business development, and I mainly got into this area of work as it didn’t require many qualifications which was useful to me as I left school at 16 with a handful of GCSEs and not much else.

However, as with most things in my life, what I lack in other areas, I tend to make up for with eagerness and childlike level of enthusiasm. I soon found out that sales wasn’t for me, but didn’t acknowledge this for many years and spent most of my time as a square peg in a round hole trying to convince myself that I enjoyed what I was doing, when I really, really didn’t.

As you can imagine, this wasn’t particularly enjoyable and forcing myself out of bed in the morning to be somewhere I didn’t want to be started to take its toll. This, along with some other factors in my life, meant I started to slip into a low mood. Then from a low mood into depression, and from depression into suicidal thoughts. I was miserable, apathetic and downhearted, yet just like my job, I also didn’t acknowledge this for many years, preferring to keep my head firmly placed in the sand rather than recognise my own problems, and the power I had to change them for the better.

However, I did have one bastion against these negative emotions: fitness.

As I found myself becoming more and more low spirited, I found keeping fit and going to the gym became a keen area of focus for me. While everything else in my life seemed to be going backwards, I found comfort in seeing progress in the gym, whether it be running faster and longer, becoming stronger, or noticing my physique change and grow. Now my enthusiasm and interest became focused on learning as much as I could about fitness. I pored over books, read blogs, asked and answered questions in forums, watched videos online and used myself as a guinea pig for the new information I had learned. As I didn’t know a great deal at this stage, I just purchased the books that had the best ratings or were ‘best sellers’ which more often than not lead me to misinformation rather than facts, but I soon started to know which names to trust and good sources to learn from.

As anyone who’s met me will tell you, I’m a pretty social and chatty person (aka I never shut up). So as I would spend a lot of time in the gym, I came to know the staff and other regulars by name and talk to them about anything and everything. One day, noticing my desire to help others and share the information I had learned a member of staff said to me ‘you know what, I think you’d make a good personal trainer’. Up until this point, I had never considered a career in fitness, but considering I didn’t enjoy my job, what did I have to lose?

I enrolled myself on a course, and 6 weeks later I was a qualified PT. I began working at a gym in Mayfair and remember training my very first client. I made a lot of mistakes early on in my career, although these have always lead to the greatest steps forward in my skill, application and knowledge as a trainer.

Helping others with their fitness journeys also helped me with my own problems, mainly my mental health. Clients soon became friends who I could talk to and confide in, and after taking some great advice from these friends, I took the step of seeking counselling for depression, which looking back now, is something I wish I had done sooner.

This was just one of the many positives I have found from working in the fitness industry. I’ve worked with hundreds of people, and have clocked up thousands of hours on the gym floor training clients from all walks of life and all with different goals: training unemployed individuals from impoverished backgrounds to billionaires, helping the overweight become healthier (my heaviest client was 162kg, losing 23kg in eight weeks) to aiding the drastically underweight in gaining muscle and strength.

I’ve also had the privilege of working alongside and learning from some of the most intelligent, talented and experienced coaches the industry has to offer such as Dr Mike Israetel who holds a PhD in Sport Physiology and is a professor of exercise and sport science (@rpdrmike). Sebastian Oreb, a renowned strength coach and educator, who trains some of the strongest men and women in the world. Andy Edwards, head of strength and conditioning for Saracens Rugby and England Saxons. Brett Gibbs, IPF world champion powerlifter, and many other seminars and educational platforms.

”If you suffer from feeling low or depression then it’s always good to talk. Ben is therapist based just outside of the city  https://benwillens.com/



Cable crossover

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Chest Supported Row

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Face Pull

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cable Lateral raise

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Dumbbell Lateral raise

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Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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Single arm row

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Richard Cross: Why I Became a Personal Trainer

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Straight arm pull down

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Pull Ups

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Seated Row

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Rfe split squat

Find yourself in a staggered stance approximately in front of a step which should be no greater than 6” high, place your toes on the step and your front foot should be flat. This would be your start and end position for every repetition.

You’re going to allow your rear knee to move towards the floor, whilst your front knee is moving in a motion forward towards your toes.

When your rear knee is close to touching the ground, pause then push through both legs to reverse the motion to the start position.

*If your front heel comes off the ground during your repetitions, adjust your stance.

Starting with bodyweight is appropriate for many on a RFE, or holding on to a squat stand to aid balance.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

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Lat Pull Down

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Push ups

Starting in a prone position, set your hand just outside shoulder width at a 45 degree angle relative to your torso.

Bring your knees and your hips off the ground, so that your body is in neutral (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Press into the ground until your arms are fully extended, then lower your body in a controlled manner towards the floor.

*Your body should be moving in a synchronised manner.

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Cable Press

Pick the handles and take a seat on your bench, your arms should be in a neutral position.

Extend your arms, so your fist is approximately the same height as your armpit but now rotate so that you’re in a pronated grip (this is your start and end position for every rep).

In a slow controlled manner, you’re going to move your upper arm towards the bench. The upper arm should be in approximately a 45 degree relative to your torso. When you’ve reached a point when your upper arm can move no further, press the handles in the opposite direction of the bench until your arm are fully extended.

*Your bench should be central of the cable station.

*Your handles should be should height

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Cable Fly

Pick the handles and take a seat on your bench, your arms should be in a neutral position.

Extend your arms, so your fist is approximately the same height as your armpit. Your elbow should also be slightly bent (this is your start and end position for every rep).

In a slow controlled manner, you’re going to move your upper arm in a circular movement towards the pulley, before returning to your start/end position.

*Your bench should be central of the cable station.

*Your handles should be shoulder height

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Incline Machine

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Dumbbell Chest Press

Sit on the edge of the bench, feet approximately shoulder-width with the dumbbells resting on your thighs then lie back so that you’re in a supine position on your bench.

Your dumbbells should be above your elbows, whilst your upper arm should be approximately 45 degrees to your torso (this is your start and end position for every rep), palms in the same direction of your feet.

Press the dumbbells towards the ceiling, until your arms are fully extended then lower the dumbbells in a slow controlled manner to your start position.

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Change This to exorcise title

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BarBell Chest Press

Sit on the edge of the bench, feet approximately shoulder-width, lie back so you’re in a supine position. Your eyes should be directly underneath the barbell.

Place your hands on the barbell with an overhand grip, approximately 1.5x shoulder width.

Extend your arms to un rack the bar, slowly set the bar to a position perpendicular of your shoulders (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Lower the barbell in a controlled manner towards your chest, your arms should be approximately 45 degrees to your torso. When you’ve reached a point when the barbell can get no lower press the barbell towards the ceiling, until your arms fully extended.

*If you’re training in a facility where you can set the hooks to your preferred height, choose a height in which when you’re un-racking the bar you’re not protracting/over extending to remove the bar.

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Can you spare us 2 minutes for some market research? If so we would like to offer you a weeks free training at the end

Y Raise

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Leg Extension

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Cable Extension

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Ham curl

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DUMBBELL TRICEP EXTENSION

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Reverse Curl

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Zotttman Curl

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Hammer Curl

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Cable Curl

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Preacher Curl

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Spider curl

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Seated DB curl

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Step Ups

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Split squat

Find yourself in a staggered stance approximately a step forward/back difference, the front foot should be flat and the rear foot should be on the toes (mobility permitting). This would be your start and end position for every repetition.

You’re going to allow your rear knee to move towards the floor, whilst your front knee is moving in a motion forward towards your toes.

When your rear knee is close to touching the ground, pause then push through both legs to reverse the motion to the start position.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

*If your front heel comes off the ground during your repetitions, adjust your stance.

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glute bridge

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Hip Bridge

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45 Back Extension

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RDL

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Trap bar deadlift

Stand in the middle of the hex/trap bar with your feet in approximately a shoulder width stance.

Maintaining a neutral spine, in a synchronised manner bring your hips towards your calves, whilst also allowing your knees to move in the same direction as your toes. You should be able to grab the handles of the bar, if you’re unable to, raise the bar by placing blocks underneath the plates. This is your start and end position

Take a tight grip of the handles and stand, reverse the movement by allowing your knees to move forward and hips down.

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Alternating lunges

With the dumbbell in your hands and to your sides, find yourself in a position where feet are approximately hip width apart

You’re going to take approximately a dynamic step forward, allowing your front knee to move forward whilst the rear knee moves towards the floor. Without pausing in the bottom position, push through the ground to return to a standing position. This is the start and end of every repetition.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

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Goblet squat

Hold the Dumbbell in a vertical manner just below your chin, your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. This will be your start and end position for every repetition.

Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reach the bottom, pause then push through your legs to return to your starting position.

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Hack Squat

Load the weight plates on to the machine, then place your shoulders underneath the pads whilst setting your feet on the platform approximately shoulder-width apart (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Your feet should be a in position which allows you to push through the centre of your feet.

Extend your knees, and take the hack squat off the lock setting. Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reached the bottom, pause then press through the platform to return to your starting/end position.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

*Focus on keeping your lower back on the back pad, if your back comes of the pad you’ve reached your end range-of-motion.

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back Squat

Have the bar behind your neck, resting on your shoulders.

Your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. This will be your start and end position for every repetition.

Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reach the bottom, pause then push through your legs to return to your starting position.

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