By Robert Wardy

Don’t be a slave to fashion!

I’m no enemy of fashion in general: in fact, I adore clothes.  

Which doesn’t mean that I’m a slave to fashion.  I worked hard and happily with Richard to acquire an impressive chest: why on earth would I conceal it within this season’s baggy t-shirt?  

Nevertheless there are some fashions that are no good on or for anybody: you know exactly what I mean, the ones we call ‘crazes’.  And some of them refuse to die, like horror-movie zombies.  Bell-bottoms and loon pants came back.  Hippie outfits.  Now kitting yourself out in loon pants doesn’t do you too much damage: you look a fool, your friends look the other way, attractive people reject your invitations to go out on a date.  Write it off as a ‘learning experience’.

But then there are the dangerous crazes, the ones all too likely to cause you injuries, maybe serious ones.  Some of the most dangerous circulate on the internet.  The fitness and workout crazes.

Here’s just one example: kettle bells.  Avid to keep up with fashion, I snapped up a set at a huge discount (anyway, that’s what the ad said).

Done right, kettle bells can be very useful.  They are free weights.  Free weights done right not only build strength, they also improve coordination and posture.  They can also be good therapy for a host of injuries.

But, done wrong …

Victims are fooled by internet videos.  They spend absurd sums for hunks of metal and waste yet more money on ‘elite’ internet training programmes.

What’s all too likely to happen?

If you swing the bells with your arms, you’ll hurt yourself much sooner rather than later: inflame soft tissue; pull muscles; or maybe you’ll even drop that expensive hunk of iron on your foot.

For starters, I didn’t know that the way for beginners to swing kettle bells safely is to let one’s hips initiate and sustain the swing: arms are strictly there for the ride, their job is to hold onto the bells.  Richard set me straight.

Typical Richard Patman.  He explained that maybe I shouldn’t have spent all that money on a set of kettle bells; and that I certainly should disregard the ‘expert instructions’.

Now they’ve been safely incorporated into my training regime: a minor component I might use at home when I can’t make it to RP Fitness.  

Richard attached a happy ending to a story that might well otherwise have ended in tears.

Of course kettle bells are only one example of intensive and aggressive marketing.  And it’s a relatively benign one, since employed under a real expert’s supervision they can prove of real use.  Unlike the breakthrough abs rollers guaranteed to produce six-packs within six weeks; miracle cardio devices (on special for only a couple of hundred pounds); cutting-edge weight loss regimes …  The net is awash with products guaranteed to take your money in exchange for doing you harm.  How can we avoid them?

Richard Patman will give you advanced professional advice on what does work; what might work; and what’s all too likely to hurt you.

So we might be showing up to train in fashionable gym outfits that are only good for making our best friends laugh.  But under Richard’s guidance we won’t be wasting money to damage the bodies we’re trying to improve.

Oh and by the way, Richard’s dress sense is immaculate.

Next time we move onto more serious things than colour-coordinating your gym clothes.


Robert Wardy