Pro Tips with Paul Millard – Fitness Trainer

On November 11, 2012 by Alan

When I tell the story of getting back in the saddle, fitness trainer Paul Millard plays a central role. Always keen to share, Paul kindly took time out to answers questions and offer pro training tips:


1. So, tell me a little bit about what you do, where you do it, and how long you’ve been doing it?

I’m a fitness trainer specialising in the use of breathing, joint mobility, strength mobility, weightlifting and body weight techniques to:

  • Rehabilitate the body after injury
  • Improve posture
  • Increase muscle power, strength, endurance, flexibility and tone
  • Build muscle mass
  • Develop cardiovascular fitness
  • Accelerate weight loss
  • Assist those suffering from anxiety, stress and professional burnout

I work out of The Berkeley Centre in Clifton, and have been a fitness trainer for over 11 years.


2. For someone, who’s maybe never been to a fitness trainer why should they go?

A good fitness trainer will help you:

    • Take the guesswork out of training
    • Establish realistic goals based on past/current ability, time available to train etc
    • Develop an achievable training schedule specific to your requirements
    • Make you aware of good nutritional practices
    • Keep you focused and motivated
    • Be able to adapt your plan if you hit unforeseen hurdles
    • Most of all, make training enjoyable


3. What are the common pitfalls of training that people need to avoid?

The most common pitfall that I see is over-training, which is the result of a number of factors, including:

  • A lack of knowledge regarding how to train
  • Working toward unrealistic goals
  • Not following a training plan, or following one that is unsuitable
  • Having poor nutritional habits
  • Not getting enough rest and sleep
  • Training for the sake of it i.e. going too long, too hard, too frequently!


4. Is getting better on the bike about spending more time in the saddle?

If you want to be good at any discipline you must devote time to learning and perfecting it. However, in order to get the most from every session and ensure constant progression you must:

  • Establish realistic goals
  • Develop an achievable training schedule specific to your requirements
  • Pre plan all your training to fit into your work and family commitments
  • Ensure good nutritional practice to optimise performance and aid recovery
  • Factor in rest and recovery
  • Cross train to improve performance, reduce injury and add variety


5. I’m a mountain biker, how do I gain power without increasing muscle mass?

Developing power without increasing muscle mass (which would effect strength to weight ratio) can be achieved with:

    • Mobility exercises
    • Olympic style weightlifting
    • Kettlebell training
    • Plyometric exercises e.g. hopping and jumping, for instance

Apart from mobility work, such exercises carry a high risk of injury without professional instruction and a sound base of mobility and strength. Get some instruction from a trainer who is appropriately qualified before attempting these methods.


6. As Winter approaches, and bikers are getting out less, is there anything that you’d recommend doing during a cold Winter to help develop condition?

In order to develop through the winter months look to:

  • Work on improving weaker skills
  • Ride long and easy to maintain and advance base fitness
  • Complete short, intense intervals (indoor and out) to enhance power and strength
  • Perform mobility to loosen up stiff joints and rectify posture
  • Work in the gym to better power, strength, endurance and flexibility
  • Cross train by running, swimming, for instance to ensure balance and add variety


7. What piece of exercise equipment would you recommend all mountain bikers have?

 A heavy Kettlebell! You can use one (following professional instruction) to develop:

  • Power
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Mobility
  • Coordination

Kettlebells don’t take up a lot of room, and when not being used make great door stops.


8. What food do you try to avoid and would you recommend for improved health and performance?

Foods to avoid include:

  • Processed foods
  • Take aways
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Too many complex carbohydrates

Foods I would recommend consuming daily are:

  • ¬†Anything natural that hasn’t been tampered with!


9. So, I’ve only got 30 minutes to get in some exercise, what should I do?

  • 10 mins of joint mobility
  • 5 min kettlebell circuit or single leg strength drills
  • 10 mins of short, intense intervals, or power and strength training
  • 5 min cool down and stretch


10. What one book would you recommend everyone read regarding health and fitness?

Easy, “The Way To Live” by George Hackenschmidt. It’s downloadable for free, in PDF format. All you need to know regarding health and fitness.

George Hackenschmidt

Aug 2nd 1878 – Feb 19th 1968

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