Friday, 20 May 2011


PERSONAL Trainer Mike Hensman moved to Lyme Regis two-years-ago with his wife and daughter. After gaining a degree in the Psychology of Marketing, Mike worked in telecommunications before following his passion for sport and fitness. Mike worked for eight years as a personal trainer for Virgin Active in London. He is now self-employed as a personal trainer working with clients in both West London and Lyme Regis, specialising in reducing body fat through resistance training. This week Mike gave us his tips on how to stay in shape and revealed the secrets to getting slim for summer.

WHAT type of training is the best to stay in shape?
Resistance training is the best way to get in shape because nothing burns more calories than muscle, other than your brain. There is a misconception, particularly among women, that if they do resistance training they will bulk up and that is not the case. You could go into a gym and take a picture of someone on a cross trainer and go back in a year’s time and they would be in pretty much the same shape. The thing that really changes body shape is resistance training and it’s a lot more interesting. The reason most people don’t do it is because they don’t know how, they don’t know the techniques involved.

WHAT are your top three tips to get in shape?
Do resistance training a minimum of twice a week. Nutrition wise you should ask yourself ‘does it run round a field?’ ‘does it swim?’ ‘does it fly?’ ‘is it green?’. If you say yes to any of those questions then it’s fine. The third tip is probably sleep, sleep is important.

DOES it have to be expensive?
The cost of gym membership varies but if you know how to apply resistance through bodyweight exercises or through cables or dumbbells then it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve got a set of dumbbells you can do a lot with that.

DO you play sport?
I used to play rugby and cricket. Playing rugby I realised is one of those things that is not necessarily good for your health and is almost the opposite of what I do now where things are controlled and incremental. On a rugby pitch they say here is a 20 stone bloke who is going to hit you from don’t know where, you haven’t prepared yourself, here it comes. Where as in a gym you can say we are going to apply this weight to this joint with this amount of force and build it up over the weeks. It was an education doing rugby but I’m not sure I’d play it again now.

WHY do you think obesity levels are on the rise in the UK?
I think it’s lack of education with nutrition and also not understanding what is healthy exercise. I’m not anti-sport, but it’s not necessarily good for your health. It can injure your joints and that in the long term leads to less activity. One of the benefits of resistance training is that control leads to joint health. If you know how joints work and you know how to apply the force to joints then you can maintain your joints and you’re fitness as well. One thing they say is fitness comes and goes, joints go and go.

ARE personal trainers a new phenomena?
I think it’s generally seen as a more urban thing but I think people don’t really understand the benefit of how it can crossover into everyday life. If you’re prepared and your joints are healthier it puts your body into a better position to withstand force with outdoor pursuits be that paddling in the sea or walking up a hill.

WHO would be your three dream guests at a dinner party?
Andrew Motion, poet laureate, because I’ve heard him speak a few times. A guy called Greg Roscoff because he is an expert in the fitness world. The other person would be Ian Botham, I’m a big cricket fan and he’s a sporting hero of mine.

WHAT was the last book you read, film you watched and CD you listened to?
The last book was 'Small Island' by Andrea Levy, the last film was at the From Page To Screen Festival and that was Housekeeping which was very good and the last CD was probably Coldplay.

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