Archive for October, 2012

The Ridges TV series – Here’s a Challenge to trainer Monty Betham

October 24th, 2012

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?

Vibration Training – Ignorant and Lazy Personal Trainers and Customers with Attitude

October 18th, 2012
Strange title; you might ask what do “Ignorant Personal Trainers” and “Customers with Attitude” have in common?

The answer is; both have been part of my daily work life over the past three months and both make me quite angry.  Angry, not in a way of violence but in a way that I desperately want to tell them how stupid they are being, how much they are missing out on, and in the case of personal trainers how badly their comments affect others. There are, in fact, times I do tell them!

Working in a very busy Vibration Training studio I meet many people each day who tell me what others have said to them about this type of training. Some new clients come in with workmates who have experienced really good results and they are keen to get started. What they’ve been told and what they’ve seen is positive.

Some new people are confused though; they tell me their local gym personal trainer says vibration training isn’t going to do anything for them. These trainers make up the “Ignorant and Lazy Personal Trainer”  group.  They don’t want to know, don’t want to investigate, don’t want to try out for themselves, yet they have an opinion on something they are too lazy to check out – some state openly that vibration training is useless.

How dare they judge something they know nothing about, I really cannot understand. These same trainers are aware there are varying qualities in fitness machines and equipment and varying programs; maybe they’ve seen an advertorial for a cheap home vibration machine and on that they base their opinion about ALL vibration training machines and programs. Some just don’t understand how vibration machines work and can’t be bothered finding out. It’s not instantly obvious to them as it is with using weights or a weight machine. These trainers are dumb and lazy in my opinion.  Even when they see results in people they’ve previously or concurrently train they shake their heads and say no, it can’t be the result of vibration training. Too lazy to become educated, too lazy to go to a local studio and do a trial.

Well, I’m a trainer too and I’ve found a niche working with vibration machines. I’d read about them and seen a few advertisements for a Vibra-Train studio and I admit I took my time before venturing in and doing a session. This was after trying a very basic, very low intensity machine at an “as seen on tv” store; you know, the sort of machines I now speak out about, telling everyone they can be good for therapy and blood circulation use but are NOT training machines. I could “see” that vibration machines did something – I wasn’t sure what that something really was; was it just stimulation to the circulation or could you get real muscle training response, so I set out to find out. This one, first visit changed the course of my life’s work. I kept on working in a gym as receptionist and sometimes trainer and I kept on doing my studies to become qualified but as soon as I could I began working as a vibration training instructor.

My rant is not to get other gym instructors to change codes, it’s simply to say, wake up; there are valid forms of strength and conditioning, fitness and even rehab that you’ve been too ignorant and mostly just too lazy to investigate – and if that’s you, stop slamming what you refuse to learn about.

The second thing that’s been “getting on my nerves” lately is Customers with Attitude.

I have so many amazing customers, some are athletes, some busy working mums, some elderly, some have major health or disability issues and they train hard. They have great attitude, always wanting to have their pose on the machine corrected, if that’s necessary, so they get the very best from their workout.  And they keep coming back, month after month and year after year – obviously they are getting results.

But there are some people that come in regularly, want to put in as little effort as possible and still see great results. I’ve had to ask some to tune out from what they were doing previously and what they doing later in the day, take a deep breath, and then approach the machines carefully, check out the wall poster, engage brain and make some real effort to do the program correctly. These customers are a little lazy and just need firm encouragement. Some respond, others drop out. They have bad attitude, thinking they can rush in, do lazy, half-right positions on the machines, get irritated when the instructor corrects them (because they are too precious to be corrected), rush out again and still get amazing results. Well, of course for most of these people, it simply doesn’t work!  Some achieve maintenance, they are able to keep their fitness at the level it was at when they’d put in more effort but even that diminishes after a short time.

Some people come in for a few sessions and are surprised at how hard real vibration training (Vibra-Train) is. They’d hoped to easily, with no effort “shake their fat away” and decide the machines or the program are just “too hard”. Their attitude is lazy.  Real vibration training isn’t the right training method for everyone but it’s never “too hard”; it is hard, it’s meant to be.  If people don’t even bother to use up their concession card because the training is “too hard” I have no sympathy for them. They definitely don’t get a refund on their unused visits.  At Vibra-Train the instructors are always available, happy and willing to work with anyone who is struggling with getting the positions right or finding the program challenging. Some other studios do one-on-on personal training (at a cost). There’s no excuse to quit just because its hard!

Some new customers come in (or are dragged in by workmates) and they have real “attitude”. Okay, some didn’t really want to come in the first place but they, like the ignorant and lazy personal trainers, firstly tell us, this doesn’t work.  This is before they’ve even done the first 60-second position on the machine.  Some say they do real training at the gym. I’d never have guessed this with many that skite in this way. They have no muscle definition and their real training consists only of running on the treadmill and the occaisional Pump class. It takes one minute, yes just 60 seconds, to show these people how wrong they are.  The instructor will become very firm and strict with these new people and they go away most shamed at their initial attitude. They realise it’s serious training and become the best customers now they realise how wrong they were. Others don’t like being wrong and having that proven and don’t come back.

Then there are the people who refuse to eat before their Vibra-Train session. They don’t eat before they go for a walk or light run so they decide they wont listen to the instructors here; they believe they know better than people who’s job it is to train them. They outright lie when asked what they’ve had for breakfast or if they’ve had a banana or other quick-fix snack for afternoon tea – have they eaten before their sesson, No!  These people get asked to leave the studio if it’s Vibra-Train brand. No Food = No Vibration Training. The energy demands are just too high so having average or low blood sugar means people become dizzy, some pass out completely. Others get through the session but it’s so obvious they haven’t eaten as they can’t hold basic poses without small shaking all the time, they look a little like shivering when cold. And, of course, they wont get the results they are working out for.

Studio based vibration training (fully supervised) is suitable for almost everyone.  Get along and check it out.