Jon Spartan Race Competitor

From three shoulder operations and hundreds of dislocations to the best shape of his life.

ATP personal training client Jon is an avid Spartan Race competitor. However, due to his shoulder injuries he hadn't been able to compete in certain events. He knew that more resistance training would help him to be more competitive but he was unable to train safely.

With a 15 year history of shoulder injuries severely hindering his strength and mobility, Jon came to ATP looking to regain control of his body and take his performance to the next level.

By working seriously with his personal trainer at ATP, Jon was able to overcome these issues to gain muscle, strength, and in Jon’s words "lose a shedload of excess fat and have more definition than before" which enabled him to place in his best ever finish.

Read what Jon has to say about his experience at ATP:

Jon strength training for Spartan Race

What did you want to achieve by trying personal training with ATP?

My initial reason when I decided to get started at ATP was that I was looking for help with my performance in competitive races, and I thought that doing some gym work, and lifting weights could help with that.

I do a lot of running and HIIT training anyway and have a pretty good base level of fitness in terms of cardio, but I hadn’t lifted weights for at least 7 years.

I had 3 goals that I thought ATP could help me achieve.

- Increase mobility and flexibility: I have an old shoulder injury (3 operations over 15 years, and hundreds of dislocations) which has severely impacted my mobility and strength in my shoulder. Coupled with this, I am a pretty inflexible person anyway (physically!), and would love to work on my general flexibility.  ACHIEVED!
- Increased strength and muscle size. With all of my cardio workouts, I was relatively lean but wanted to gain some strength and muscle mass ACHIEVED!
- Aesthetics. Who doesn’t want to look in the mirror and look better?!  ACHIEVED!

Split squat personal training for Spartan Race

The biggest help keeping me motivated to stay on track towards my goals was…

Having constant access to advice from my personal trainer, especially outside of gym hours in moments of weakness, or when eating out, was vital to keeping me on track.

How personal training at ATP has enabled me to reach my goals…

Looking at some before and after videos and photos have really helped me to see the progress I’ve made and the journey I’m on. Just looking in the mirror, I have lost a shedload of excess fat, and have more definition than before. But more than that, by tailoring the exercises, and knowing about my flexibility issues and shoulder weakness, I can directly compare just how much I have improved.

I’ve had 9 weeks training at ATP now and I’ve been really happy with the progress I’ve made. In the first phase, we focused on losing some of the excess weight, getting my muscles used to weight training, all whilst paying attention to my shoulder positioning and mobility.

Farmers Walk Spartan Race Preparation

Has your personal training with ATP made a positive difference to your other performance sports?

I compete in various obstacle course races, Spartan Races, completing my first in November 2017.

It is really noticeable how my training with ATP has helped me. There were certain obstacles that I really struggled with (failing an obstacle incurs a fine of 30 burpees, which means lost time and increased tiredness!). Particularly the Atlas Stone (which requires grip strength and hamstring strength), the Hercules Hoist (which you need your shoulders and lats to engage) and the Olympus Wall (where you need hamstring and core strength to complete).

Having talked about these with my PT, we incorporated more and more of these muscle groups into our sessions, and this had the result of me completing Olympus and Hercules Hoist for the first time in 2019, at races in the Philippines and Singapore. Along with incredibly helpful pointers and planning for my diet and nutrition, it has left me more prepared than ever to compete.

I was racing in the more competitive Age Group category, and finished 4th in my age group (missing 3rd place by 1 second!), and 7th overall in the Philippines, out of hundreds of competitors. In Singapore, with a bigger and more competitive field, I finished 6th in my age group and 20th overall. I would class these as my greatest achievements in this short space of time.

Strength training for Spartan Race

How did your personal trainer help you with your diet?

I never used to make the time to meal prep, or have breakfast at home. Breakfast was a snack on the way to work (not necessarily unhealthy, but more on the go, like a banana), and lunch would be a sandwich, again, not necessarily junk food, but just not the healthiest.

Now, by being conscious of what I’m putting in my body, and making the right food choices, I get to have a tasty breakfast at home every day and a good quality lunch that I have made myself and is giving me the right nutrients, and at a much cheaper price than before!

What is the most significant change you’ve noticed to your fitness level?

I’m much more balanced strength-wise. Previously, my biceps and triceps were relatively strong, but hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and lats were actually quite underdeveloped. Building this strength and making me more balanced I feel makes me a more healthy individual, and I expect fewer injuries.

The best thing about the ATP experience for me is…

The personalised service. You are paying a premium price, but you really get premium, personalised, tailored service along with that. I feel that I can ask any question of my PT, at any time of day (within reason!), and I’ll get a full response which will help keep me on track. The in-gym work and plan is obvious and expected, but tailoring the plan to ME, and the specific areas I need to work on is great. Outside of the gym, the meal and nutrition planning is vital to achieving my goals, and this is an area I need a huge amount of help with.

My personal trainer, Jamie, takes the time to thoroughly discuss my habits and preferences, and work out a proper plan that I can stick to. Everyone is different, and the difference I’ve found with ATP is everything is customised to you, whether you have allergies, don’t have time to meal prep, find it difficult to cook at home etc. We work together to find a solution, which helps me meet my goals.

If I had to describe my experience at ATP Personal Training, from the gym workouts, nutritional coaching and support I’d say that...

ATP has surprised me. It is the first time I have engaged with a personal training service, and have previously been put off by the cost, and the worry that the PTs don’t really know their stuff, and you’re just seen as a number to them.

The best thing I can say about ATP is that you are definitely not just a number! The gym workouts have been amazing – hard work, but great. I get all my workouts tracked, and can see the progress, week in, week out.

The nutritional coaching is spot on – I was asked a series of lifestyle type questions, and then my macros goals and calorie goals were calculated (and constantly re-evaluated, depending on progress). Jamie checks in with me, as to how I’m doing each day, or week, which keeps me on track, and most importantly motivated.

Knowing that you need to check-in with someone is a brilliant motivational tool in itself! My personal trainer also provides consistent support as to how to help meet these goals. For example, if I have work lunches at a restaurant, or dinner with friends, I can send him the menu, or pictures of the food, and he will help me to log it and make the right choices.

This was invaluable over the Xmas holidays, which naturally consisted of too much food, but with extensive support, both before, and during the holidays, I really managed to minimise the ‘damage’ done, whilst still being able to eat and enjoy myself.

Don’t let whatever limitations you struggle with prevent you from achieving your goals. Jon overcame 15 years of shoulder injuries to achieve success, let his story inspire you to take your first step to change. Use the form below to contact us now, and let the ATP Personal Training team guide you to success.

Enter your details here to get information and to book a free consultation!