If you have been doing strength training for many years like me, you probably recognize that at a certain point it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a certain level, let alone improve. And if you strive for progression, injuries to the shoulders will occur quickly, making training almost impossible and ultimately you’ll end up losing strength no matter how hard you train.
I started strength training quite young (at 16 years old) and after a while I developed a routine and started training at my without supervision, a lot of pyramid training interspersed with cardio and boxing training. I initially trained three times a week but that decreased until I only trained once a week due to injuries to my back and shoulders. Physiotherapy did not help and I continued to use the weights I was used to.
2 years ago I started personal training once a week to improve my motivation. I found it difficult to start all over again and to perform all the exercises perfectly with low weight and many repetitions. I missed the patience and I missed the mass with which I used to train. So I continued to train my way – and that eventually resulted in a back hernia that I sustained during warming up whilst bending over.
I had been suffering from my back for much longer by not consistently having the right posture, but then it really went wrong. I was unable to do anything for more than 3 months and despite all the painkillers I had an incredible amount of pain in my right leg. I suffered from a foot drop and was not even able to walk. In short, I thought this was the end of my passion for strength training.
I rehabilitated for 4 months by doing exercises myself and not burdening my vertebrae. Then I registered with a personal trainer again. Leroy Grau was convinced that I would be able to train normally again and even put a load on my back again. I trained under his guidance twice a week. I also had a chronic shoulder injury which prevented me from doing push-ups and such.
In short, I trained ‘around my injuries’, as Leroy refers to it, for at least half a year. Because of my many years of personal training, I have developed certain muscles too much (chest) and others not enough (back of shoulders and core). In short, Leroy convinced and encouraged me to really start from scratch.
I put my ego aside and started with dumbbells of only a kilo and started using micro loading with a lot of patience. Now, here I am over a year later – I am stronger than ever, I am injury free and I can still shape my body at the age of 53. I could not have done that on my own.
With his extensive knowledge and experience, Leroy has always had me doing the right exercises so that I not only became stronger but also more flexible by performing the full range of motion. Despite the limitations I initially had, Leroy has constantly challenged me by adding new exercises and working towards higher weights.
I enjoy training and setting new goals time and again. In my own training, I strictly adhere to the new way of training. So now I train in one way, with full attention to movement, posture, and concentration. It is very nice to be able to complete all movements without pain. I am convinced that strength training for women is very valuable for the condition of the muscles and bones. However, I did not know that you can train in such a focused way so that your posture also improves and sensitivity to injuries actually diminishes.
Many thanks to Leroy for his patience, tenacity, humor, and expertise with which he literally got me back on my feet AND back in shape!