Q&A With PT Dexter Buchanan
Personal Training Tips
Q:How long have you been a PT at Elizabeth Street Fitness First?
A: I have been working at Fitness First for 18 months.
Q:What is your training philosophy?
A: My overarching and fundamental philosophy is a kin to that of Lao Tzu:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
In other words I believe that each and every one of my clients is capable of achieving their goals through support and guidance no matter where they are starting from.
Every person that I work with has individual needs, issues or requirements. This means that a ‘one size fits all’ approach will never be appropriate. I intend on helping my clients not only with their first step but all 1000 steps until they reach their ultimate goals.
The fitness industry is a hazardous place rife with false information. Education is the strongest tool for dealing with the misleading marketing present in the industry. It is so disheartening to see people waste effort and energy on “get slim quick” fads only produced for monetary purposes. Results can solely be achieved through true, consistent and proven methods. One of my core values is working with integrity as is inherent in my training philosophy. This to me includes ensuring I can be a trustworthy resource to my clients and able to provide accurate, current, scientific and helpful information.
The essence of my training philosophy is that all goals of every client can and should be achieved in the most efficient way possible. From a pragmatic perspective, in order to achieve this, I consider the practical realities of my clients and what it will take to achieve their goals.
Q: What are you focusing on with your own training and your clients training?
The majority of my clients are busy office workers with families so it is my job to provide them with effective training sessions tailored toward their needs. For office workers in particular I focus on improving mobility. This is of high importance to ensure injury risk and office pains are minimised.
For those that are able to make it to the gym a maximum of 1 – 3 times per week I usually prescribe full-body workouts. Compound exercises that include some form of squat, deadlift, lunge, push, pull and carry often form the basis of my clients programmes. Research shows that full-body work outs are more successful than split-body work outs for most goals especially for those with limited time. Compound exercises recruit multiple muscle groups in the body and are therefore the best bang for your buck.
Improving my clients overall lifestyle is a huge focus of mine. Health must be approached holistically. I regularly meet up with my clients and work with them to set goals and make realistic changes to their current lifestyle including diet; alcohol and smoking habits; incorporating therapies such as chiropractic therapy, physiotherapy and psychological therapy; sleep, and hydration.
I believe having fun and focusing on enjoyment is crucial for a client. I always ask my clients “what do you like?” whether that be food, exercise or hobbies. Improving ones lifestyle in a way which is enjoyable makes for a positive experiences and therefore a sustainable experiences.
I am currently focusing on a mixture of strength, hypertrophy, conditioning and mobility training. My aim is to lead by example and in a lot of ways I consider strength, hypertrophy, conditioning and mobility training to be the four pillars of successful, effective workouts.
I also enjoy playing in team sports especially cricket, touch and netball whenever I get the chance!
Q: What is your recommended recovery and maintanence programme for yourself and your clients?
A: Recovery is so important and is often overlooked. I do not agree with the ‘no pain no gain’ mantra. Specifically sleep, stretching, massage, and appropriate therapies (particularly chiropractic therapies and physiotherapists when appropriate) form part of a comprehensive recovery and maintenance programme. I have really enjoyed working with both Miki Humphrey (chiropractor) and Wade Lambert (massage therapist) over the past year.