Posts Tagged ‘Obesity’

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 – Obesity and Morbid Obesity – THE RESULTS

August 7th, 2011

Back in May 2009, I read a press release reporting amazing results of a scientific study completed by the European Association for the Study of Obesity. This controlled study was performed at the Artesis University College and the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

They stated: vibration exercise machines may help you lose weight and trim the particularly harmful belly fat from the organs. Participants of the study who were part of the vibration training group lost 11% of their body weight and retained their loss at 10.5% after 12 months. They lost an amazing 47 square centimeters of visceral fat maintaining that loss at the final follow up”.

I was very excited because the study results were verification of what we were seeing on a daily basis at Vibra-Train. We already confidently told new clients they would start to see a decrease in their waist and belly size after just three weeks of training (9-10 sessions). We warned them that initially their weight might increase due to increases in muscle mass but that they’d see small discernable change in their shape; and then it would just get better and better. And they told us we were right – it really worked!

Then along came the detractors – they reminded me that the press release was an early report and the study had not yet been peer reviewed. They said I should wait for all the information before I jumped up and down with glee. They were sure it wouldn’t all add up, when you consider that gyms have been running “weight-loss challenges” for what seems like forever. They told me the gym based group must have performed better than vibration training group; their trainers were the ones with all the experience of working with obese clients and, besides, these naysayers, thought vibration training was a fad, just like a fashion that’s popular for a short period of time and then fades away.

There were some outspoken, highly respected fitness trainers, who had never tried a vibration machine session and refused to, when it was offered, yet they held very strong views on why it couldn’t work – they couldn’t understand it, they didn’t want to even try it, yet they argued about it. They told me the study would be flawed, because it didn’t validate their training methods (gym and outdoor exercise) above using a ‘wobble machine’ (to even call a vibration platform a wobble machine showed how little they really understood).

Then a year later, April 2010, the fully reviewed study was released

It was published in ‘Obesity Facts – The European Journal of Obesity Vol 3’.

No one could argue against the full study – the results were in; visceral (belly) fat reduced the most in the Vibration Training plus Diet group compared with the Fitness plus Diet group.

For the study they used PowerPlate brand, medium energy lineal vibration machines. These machines are lower force than the Vibra-Train brand I work with and this made the results even more exciting.

Here was the proof of the claims we were making and the results we were seeing every week; the academic world vindicated us. Vibration Training on high energy lineal or, as in the study, on medium energy lineal, Vibration Machines was proven to be very effective in achieving fat loss.

Another year ahead, now July 2011

Currently I am training three very obese clients. The first is a guy who has muscular dystrophy. He uses the Vibra-Train machine that has side, vibrating handlebars. He was totally unused to regular exercise although he told me he has been a referee for cricket games in the past and his aim was to lose enough weight to do this job again. That’s his motivation; it’s what is driving him to come into the studio regularly, three times a week.

In just two months he has progressed from managing just one special, 60-second, side handlebar assisted squat position to now completing nine of these special, “ski the slopes” assisted squats. On Monday he moves onto the regular program.

Vibra-Train Vibra MachineTo help understand how hard repeating the “ski the slopes” squat position is; I can only do seven of these back-to-back before my quads and my arm muscles feel such a burn that I have to stop for a long rest before completing the final two of the set.  We use this progression, going from just one minute of this simple, aptly named “Ski the Slopes” position moving up to nine of the same, and then the person moves onto the full IVTRB Safety Program, using the side, vibrating handlebars to assist in holding all squat positions.

The facts and figures of my client’s progress: Over the eight week period he’s been doing the therapy program of assisted squats he has progressed from one squat position to nine of the same; he’s gained 2kg of muscle (this is generally thought to be impossible for people with muscular dystrophy); he has lost 2kg of fat; and has 2% less body fat overall (measurements taken by Body Composition Analyser (BCA Machine) at first session and after 8 weeks of therapy). He can now move on from therapy, onto the full fitness training program.

The second client I am working with is a morbidly obese woman. She started on a therapy program about six weeks ago. Her program started at the most basic – she sat in a chair with her feet on the edge of the machine, with a mat on the machine to prevent her feet slipping. The angle of her knees/legs was the same as the basic squat position, around 110 degrees. Three times a week she did a total of 9 minutes therapy, just simply sitting with her feet on the machine. This provides sufficient stimulation to the legs and buttocks to move fluid accumulation and improve blood circulation. This is all about saving the client’s life! After a month this lady told me how much difference this had made. She said she was able to walk easier, with less of a stoop; she felt very much “better” and so had become more active. She was better able to participate in her family life and as she had a large extended family this was really important. In a very real sense she has been given her life back.

After just one week away due to a family bereavement this client came back for her regular session and told me she was again starting to experience difficulty walking – just one weekthat’s all it took for her to lose some of the gains she’d made. She does travel often to visit family so she is hoping not to have too many breaks from her therapy sessions.

Last week she progressed to using the machine for one 60-second side handlebar assisted squat after her seated session. That’s the next step; she’s moving on!

My third client is a guy who is very morbidly obese. He is, by far, the biggest of the three and his sessions are absolutely about getting his legs moving again. He has fluid pooled in his legs and probably in other parts of his body also. If it pools around his heart he will die unless there is some solid medical intervention and as things are now he is already in a serious way for other medical problems, suddenly, at any time. He’s told us several of his relatives have died from obesity related conditions. So, he’s very motivated.

It’s nonsensical telling someone as big as this man to go for a walk or a run – they can’t, yet that’s the advice the fitness industry often gives. By contrast, Vibration Therapy and Training (at specialised studios such as Vibra-Train) offers a safe, effective way to mobilise these people, in some cases to truly save their lives. It’s up to them, really – the method is there and it’s been proven effective both subjectively and in the controlled study (noted above). What they have to do is simply turn up, three times a week, and do the sessions. Then later, when able, move onto the harder, regular training program and keep doing it.

Here in Auckland, New Zealand there are studios offering free or sponsored sessions for morbidly obese people, there really is no excuse!

It’s not too hard – it starts off too easy; later it does become very hard but that’s the price we all have to accept for fitness and health.

This very obese client has also progressed from sitting in a chair in front of the machine for 3x 3 minutes (9 minutes total) to the side vibrating handlebar assisted “ski the slopes” squat position. Last time he was in I saw him do three of these. In total that was around 7,500 rapid movements. This amount of pressure into his leg, trunk and arm muscles will bring a rapid improvement to his overall condition.

In fact this degree of improvement has been so appreciated by the people in one situation where Vibra-Train has a machine available for use by obese and immobile people that the nurse supervising their sessions has been forced to lock the door to the room the vibration machine is in. Sessions are held every second day (three times a week) with a day for rest and recovery inbetween but these people not realising how important that recovery day is, were trying to use the machine every day – they were so amazed at the results and totally happy to put in the effort to get more.

Fitness Programs for Kids – Running, Vibration Training

November 3rd, 2010

Last Sunday was Auckland Marathon Race day in Auckland, New Zealand.  My husband ran the 1/2 marathon event and placed very well, 7th in his age group, and overall coming in just about 200th of 7000 entrants. Congratulations to him!

A new event this year was a Kids Marathon. It was set up as an 8, 10, or 12 week training program in schools for 7-13 year olds culminating in the 2.195km Kids Marathon race at the Auckland Marathon event. Each child finisher received a medal and a downloadable certificate. Every finisher was a winner.

running 5km raceThe kids event was set up to help kids develop life-long fitness skills and and it will help prevent obesity as they grow.  We’ve all seen the figures – childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in developed countries and figures show that 70% of obese adolescents become obese adults.  Anything that can be done to halt those frightening statistics gets my vote.

What about the kids who are already quite overweight or already obese?  To say they are unlikey to enjoy a running program is understating the reality!

Some will, of course, do okay. They’ll plod along, literally, and if their diet has some controls they might even lose some fat and gain some fitness and, over a period of time, come to enjoy the running program.  Okay, I can almost hear some people laughing because most overweight and certainly all obese kids are not going to take to running – many will hate it!  We’ve all found ways to skip school on days there’s a class or event we really dislike so I’m imagining this happening on “running class” days for some kids.

Maybe kids running training classes will be optional but being presented as a life changing program I’m doubting that and pretty sure it will be inflicted on all kids regardless of shape, size, and the ability to even run from one lamppost to the next.

It’s good for them, it will help them, they need to do it – Really?  isn’t there another way?

I”m really against instilling into young minds that any particular form of exercise is the only way to achieve results . Running isn’t suitable for everyone and can even induce injuries in unfit, overweight people. Diet and metabolism play a part in how much muscle and fat a person has and must be a part of any real fitness program.

There definitely is an alternative form of exercise for overweight kids – it’s called  Vibration Training.

Cardio exercise like running isn’t the only way to build fitness and help with fat-loss.  Vibration Platforms are being used under the guidance of Dr Robbie Parker at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, N.S.W., Australia for children and adolsecents who are overweight or obese and have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

I believe we will see an increase in the use of Vibration Training for overweight children. It’s fun and very effective.  There’s no denying that it’s hard work but the kids like that and I’d put the parents on the machines to show them how hard it is – and anyway, they should be training alongside their kids. I don’t know of any schools with Vibration Machines; they’d need to be high quality, commercial machines that cost lots of money so for now overweight kids get forced to run, like it or not. I hope they wont be needing knee surgery from all that pounding with their heavy weight.

Overweight and obese adolescents and children are welcome to come into Vibra-Train studios. They do have to be able to hold a perfect pose, like a squat, on the machine and have to follow instructions exactly.  And we’ll look after your knees.  Who knows; you might become so strong you will want to join the running program next year.