Monty Betham is a professional boxer, and was a former rugby league player in New Zealand. He’s also known in New Zealand for his appearance on the TV program “Dancing with the Stars” back in 2008. Currently he’s a presenter on The Shopping Channel (New Zealand). He heads the Monty Betham Foundation “Steps for Life” program, set up to help youth and families live a healthy lifestyle and specifically “eliminating the many risks associated with obesity”.
Vibra-Train is a New Zealand company with head office and studio in Auckland, and licenced studios throughout New Zealand and abroad, providing Vibration Training and Vibration Therapy to paying customers and offering completely free, regular sessions to people with life threatening conditions including those with morbid obesity. Lloyd Shaw set up Vibra-Train and specifically designed the machines and safety program with just one purpose in mind, to combat obesity. As well as being an owner of Vibra-Train Lloyd is a mortician specialising in cases no-one else will handle. He sees much needless death, including so many who die from obesity conditions where they would not have died if there was exercse they really could do. He never tires of telling people of his dream to see New Zealanders forced to exercise, if necessary, and New Zealand free of obesity related deaths.
You’d think both organisations had a lot in common – I say, they do.. but it appears that Monty Betham doesn’t think much of Vibra-Train.
His comment in a recent television program offended me (I’m a hugely passionate Vibra-Train fan and Vibra-train instructor). Then I started hearing more from other people, that he “brushed off” Vibra-Train, calling it rubbish or words somewhat similar. I know Lloyd Shaw emailed Monty about what we were hearing and the reply came, not from Monty but from someone else.
My challenge to Monty is – Front Up Man; come into Vibra-Train one afternoon and let me personally put you through a workout session. I specialise in making sure the guys who come into the studio get the best session possible and I expect perfect, classic positions on the machines. You’ll do the same workout that regular clients do. Then let’s see if you have concerns about Vibra-Train being a valid training method.
Read on for the background story and if you Know Monty, tell him - I challenge him to front up.
Last week in New Zealand we watched the final of a Kardashian style TV experiement, “The Ridges”, that followed socialites Sally Ridge (interior designer, televison personality, ex-wife of Matthew Ridge) and her daughter, Jaime (model, student, former girlfriend of All-Black and Boxer Sonny Bill Williams, and daughter of Matthew Ridge, a former All-Black, Rugby League Captain, well known in NZ also as a TV Presenter). It was an exciting finish to the series that, just like the mother and daughter stars (and the Kardashians), was eagerly watched each week, or shunned.
Sally (mother) and Jaime (18 year old daughter) are well known New Zealand personalities and, like the Kardashians, you either love or hate them. They are seen together most of the time , mother and daughter at parties, restaurants, socialising together and have been the topic of many recent magazine articles. Sally seems to thrive on being at the centre of attention – good on her, I say, If you can make money and fame by being in the social spotlight and you enjoy that, do it. She does it well, catching the camera’s eye at so many functions yet manages to, mostly, keep her younger children away from media and runs a regular household away from prying eyes. Jaime is really nice, a hardworking and intelligent university student, part time model, and fanatic about cleanliness and germs (watch one of the TV episodes to see how often the Hand Sanitiser is used).
Both Sally and Jaime have been regular clients at Vibra-Train Auckland City; that is, they are regular for a few months then not seen again until a fashion shoot, a holiday, or exams are over, and then they come back again. Both gained great results from their sessions when they came regularly two or three times a week. Jamie especially gained muscle strength and toned up really well.
Then came” KFC Grandfather of All Fight Nights”.
A girls fight was to take place this year before the main event and Jaime was invited to go up against the GC star Rosanna Arkle, who said, “It’ll be great. I’ll knock her out and go get some KFC” (fried chicken). Rosanna kept public interest in the fight by saying she’d wear a bikini, the style voted by the public. Jaime came across as the quieter one, the underdog; the public’s money was definitely on Rosanna.
“The Ridges” TV series was predominantly about Jaime’s training and build up to the fight. Whilst Sally bought an old rundown house and set about rennovating it, Jaime had to share a room with her mother. She was obsessed with the general, terrible state of the house and the germs; oh, and the mouse. If you haven’t watched Episode 1, I recommend it. And along with her university work, Jaime set out to get ready for the fight. Her fight coach Monty Betham, a family friend, worked her very hard (with the television camera in her face a lot of the time). We saw her running up steep, grassy hills, punching hard into punching bags, throwing up from exhaustion and we saw her dieting in the stupidly, dangerous manner of eating and drinking nothing for two days, when she needed to lose a lot of weight in just a short time before weigh-in.
It annoyed me that the TV series showed this starvation diet. I’m hoping Jaime’s obviously distresed state will deter others. Worse was that she was on a weekend away with her mother, up the mountains in Queenstown, a place where you need to be well hydrated; even if you are just sulking and hiding away inside a ski hut. Sally’s, “Oh my gosh, that’s crazy… it’s pure starvation” comment but lack of any action must have had many women screaming at their television sets, “do something Sally, don’t just make empty comments”. Even though Jaime’s an adult I was surprised at Sally’s casual attitude to what looked to be fast becoming a medical emergency. Throughout most of the series Jaime looked pale and got upset and tearful easily; well that’s what the tv cameras showed us and no doubt it was only half of what really happened. Just having the camera in your face for weeks on end, even following you to the bathroom when you are ill, must have been like a very horrible nightmare.
The no surprise ending to the series (as the fight took place in July) showed the fight, where Rosanna comes out punching and flailing her arms everywhere and Jaime takes aim well, defends well, takes out each of the three rounds and wins the fight.
No matter how much you love or hate Jaime or Sally (the mother who thrusts her quieter daughter into the limelight at every opportunity, along with herself, of course), you have to admit Jaime has come a long way. Maybe her latent sporting genes played a part in helping her respond to heavy training through exhaustion; she trained hard, her coach pushed her and encouraged her and she won.
Congratulations have to go to Monty Beetham. He was charged with getting Jaime fight fit. He did it, she learned technique as well, trained hard and she won. There was lots of praise on twitter after the final episode screened.
So what’s the contention I have with Monty?
In part 2 of “The Ridges” there’s a conversation where Monty and Jaime talk about how he will train her. Jaime says for fitness she’s been doing Yoga and Vibra-Train. The camera focusses on Monty as he tells us, “when she said her fitness regime consisted of yoga and vibra-train I was very worried”.
Why were you very worried, Monty?
Yoga and Vibra-Train together make up a very good fitness regime. I admit there’s very little cardiovascular work and that would need to be added to make up a balanced program but for flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength Yoya and Vibra-Train together are excellent. I watched Jaime increase in strength, lose fat and tone up during the time she was a regular client at Vibra-Train. In fact, I was one of her instructors.
I’m the Senior Instructor at Vibra-Train, Auckland City and I am personally offended when someone bags what I do. More so when they work in the same industry as I do (health and Fitness) and as well as working with the healthy clients and athletes they work with those who are less-abled, overweight and those with the life threatening condition of morbid obesity. This is my passion; my job is not simply weekly paid employment, it’s what I love to do.
Vibration Training on high energy lineal machines, using an effective Safety Program, is the perfect tool for muscle strength for almost everyone. It’s used also for therapy and rehab purposes. Fat-loss happens as a result of increasing the metabolism and by developing and maintaining muscle strength. I see lives changed as people grow stronger, fitter and in many instances lose a lot of fat. I count myself amongst those who have gained incredibly from this methof of training.
I’m so over other trainers saying negative things about Vibra-Train and Vibration Training when they have not even been into a studio to check it out. They’ve never even done a 15 minute session!
These trainers are, in my opinion, exceedingly lazy! They speak against something they know nothing about. And what’s worse, is when a trainer that is good at what they do and well respected speaks out against a training method they know nothing, zilch, zero about. This can be seriously off-putting to people who are considering trying vibration training for fitness and could, (at worst but quite possible scenario) prevent a seriously obese person approaching Vibra-Train to ask for FREE training to save their life.
So what do you have to say in reply, Monty?