I count myself fortunate to work in a facility where I am able to maintain a high level of fitness. Throughout my years in the industry I have seen what works and what doesn’t and this was highly relevant when creating the MPA Fitness Centre. Pull up rigs, dipping bars, kettlebells, barbells, space etc etc were all on the list and now they are in place I don’t really want for anything. It’s all here and I use it all regularly to improve whatever my goals are at any given time. I would say we have a world class training facility.

What we don’t have (not yet anyway) is luxury: beautiful changing rooms, fluffy towels, saunas, steam rooms, pool, poolside drinks service – you get the picture. We don’t try to compete in that market though so it isn’t a worry. Remember what we do have is a world class training facility.

Now who would turn their nose up at a luxurious health spa with superb relaxation facilities? Not I that’s for sure and that’s why in the winter I sometimes take myself off to one and spend a couple of hours getting hot and steamy and falling asleep on a lounger. It’s bliss.

On my last visit to the posh health spa I decided to poke my head in the gym and have a bit of a workout and Lordy Lordy it’s like a different world in one of those places. I used to work in a major health chain so I know the set up but it seemed totally alien to be in that kind of place once again.

The biggest thing to strike me was that grown adults who manage to get up in the morning, tie their shoelaces and hold down meaningful employment for a wage, actually DRIVE to a building and run on a machine that they can watch tv on under artificial light. Of course I am aware of this practice but to see it once again utterly shocked me. It was so incredibly funny. Why don’t you simply open your front door and run outside saving yourself time, petrol, stress and instead be kind to yourself with air and sunlight?

What also hit me was the ‘Key to Fitness’ which is intensity. The average member is still hooked up on duration rather than intensity. I watched them ‘go on’ the treadmill for an hour or ‘go on’ the rowing machine. They will return home having ‘been on’ the cross trainer or ‘been on’ the bike. The point here is that absolutely ANYBODY can ‘go on’ anything. It is what you DO when you are ON such equipment that is significant. It is what you DO that will get you to reach your fitness goals. If there was a general theme of any goal then it was to go a longer time and burn more calories; not to improve speed or power for example.

There is a shift happening in the fitness world and it is far more towards a work ethic of challenging functional performance based activity rather than shiny light flashing, tv & Internet showing electronic stuff. We are slowly waking up to the facts that we have to shift heavy stuff and sprint fast.

I’ll always remember having a tour around a health club once and the girl showing was so proud of the jewel in her sales pitch – “Not only sir can you watch TV on this treadmill, you can also go online and check your emails whilst on it.” she said as she reclined in satisfaction with the delivery of the deal clincher. “Oh Wow!” I replied. “How fast does it go?”
“How fast does it go? Er….I don’t know sir.” And that just about sums it up would you not agree?

In summary, if you want to achieve anything in fitness, be it a sporting goal, milestone or to improve the way you look it is all about what you DO that will get you results and NOT about where you do it. If you do not know what to do then seek help from a personal trainer or coach. And don’t just take on the first trainer you speak to either. All of us will tell you what we can do for you but not every one of us can. Do your research. There are good and bad in every industry and ours is no exception. Speak to several and then make your decision.

Then…when you’ve hammered yourself into excellence, go get a massage. That’s real luxury.