T Nation

A UK Gym Worthy of T-Nation

A little over a week ago, I posted on here asking if anyone knew of a kinesiology place in the UK ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/music_movies_girls_life/kinesiology_in_the_uk ).

I had several responses (including one from Eric Cressey) and from all the suggestions, I choose to head over to a place called Core Cambridge ( http://www.core-cambridge.com/ ) who, unsurprisingly, are based in Cambridge, only about an hour from where I live and work.

I knew from looking at their website that it wasn’t your average cardio bunny, treadmills-in-front-of-the-telly type place, but I didn’t realise just what kind of facility it was. After exchanging email’s with Dan, the co-owner of the place, we agreed a time and I headed over there last Tuesday for an assessment.

I’ve trained in about 5 or 6 different gyms all around the East Anglia / Cambridge area, and I must have looked at at least 20 trying to find one I’d be happy to train in, but none have made me stop and stare the moment I walk through the door (no matter how hot the receptionist is). Instead of singing the gyms praises, I found a thread that Dan created last year when he opened the place, I’ll let that do the talking ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/my_new_office?id=1493322&pageNo=0 )

Now, the assessment.
The problem I’ve got is my left knee. I’ve had it since I was a child (the problem, not the knee, well, yes the knee too… you know what I mean) and it tends to come and go. It’s a little difficult to explain, sometimes it’s fine, other times I can barely walk up stairs and any attempt to do a leg extension type movement results in a shooting pain underneath my kneecap.

Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve seen chiropractors, physiotherapists, podiatrists, osteopaths, even a knee specialist, but none of them actually took into account my body as a whole, each just concentrated on the knee.

I saw a guy called Matt at Core, and after a brief introduction, he had me standing on one leg, squatting, lunging, doing push ups, basically assessing me from every conceivable angle. To my shame, after about 5 minutes of the tests, I was breathing quite hard and could feel my heart pounding.

Over all, he tested my stability, static flexability, dynamic flexability, static and dynamic core strength and I’m fairly sure will power came in there somewhere (possibly around the time I was doing side bridges). I think I managed about 2 seconds on my left leg with my eyes closed (and that’s only because I’m so tall it took me that long to hit the floor) and 0.21 seconds on a static situp hold type test. I did manage to hold a side bridge for 47 seconds, but that was mainly me being stubborn for not doing too well on the other tests.

After all this, he sat down with me, asked me what I thought was wrong, then told me his assessment. To be honest, we were fairly close, the main difference being I put the blame at a fallen arch in my left foot, whereas he placed it around the hip area on my left side, the IT band area I think. When I took a few moments to think about it, his assessment made a lot more sense, since I’m a computer geek and tend to spend most of my day sitting with horrible posture, not on my feet standing with horrible posture.

Matt then showed me several stretches and exercises to correct my anterior pelvic tilt and improve my dynamic core strength, amongst other things.

A couple of days later, I received an email from Matt with pdf documents attached detailing the stretches and exercises he’d shown me and some he hadn’t.

Despite only having been there once, I was impressed enough with the facility to recommend it to anyone in the area who feels they need an assessment, or even just wants to get themselves checked over and make sure there are no imbalances they’ve missed. I can’t comment on their ability to write programs but hopefully, within the next month or so, I’ll be back over there getting them to put something together for me.

If you’re in the area, or even if you’re just passing through, I recommend you stop in, say hi (mention you’re a T-Nationer when you do) and see what a real gym should look like.