Gymbox member Paul Robinson, 55, started training with VPT Ray Buckton to get stronger and fitter after neglecting his fitness after two knee replacements. He has now lost a massive 18 kilos and can bear crawl with heavy weights on his back. "If Ray wasn't there to oversee my training, I'd lose concentration. Having Ray around keeps me focussed and he ensures I give 100%".
Hi Paul! We hear you've had two knee replacements. Are you a bionic man?
Yes, it's true... I had knee replacements on both knees but not at the same time, my left knee is now 7-years-old and my right knee is 3-years-old. Not exactly bionic, but sometimes I have a tough time going through the security gates at the airport!
What caused these knee replacements?
My left knee had to undergo a major operation 20 years ago. The surgeons had to saw through the top of my shin bone just below the knee, and then pin it back together. This was from a number of football injuries that built up over the years. Eventually this led to a TKR (total knee replacement), and the knock-on effect to my right knee meant that I had to have a TKR on that four years later.
How important has training with a VPT been post surgeries?
The training after surgery is crucial. It has to be well thought out, not rushed but effective. The expression "you can't run before you can walk" springs to mind. It's important to push yourself, but not too far. I had to build up the VPT sessions slowly, and be patient. I first started VPT sessions at Gymbox twice a week, and gradually worked up to four sessions plus boxing for a fifth workout on a fortnightly basis. I have an upper body workout then a HIIT, followed by lower body workout then a second HIIT to finish me off!
How has training with VPT Ray Buckton at Gymbox Farringdon helped you?
Training with Ray helps me stay focused and achieve the level of fitness that I want, regardless of being 55 and having had a double TKR! I'm delighted to be able to be a sportsman once again after years of not be able to do any physical exercise. It feels amazing. The new Farringdon gym is fantastic. It has great facilities, and lots of variation can be put in our training programme to spice things up.
What’s the client-VPT relationship like with Ray? Do you wind each other up?
To be honest, I've grown up in a very competitive environment with lots of banter, so Ray is usually the one being wound up by me! In fact, Ray used to play football for me in his younger days when I was the manager of a local football team. I think before we started training together he was a little wary of my injuries, and me! Now, thankfully, he feels comfortable with pushing me harder.
Is it important to get on well with your VPT?
Yes, I think so. I know Ray and his mates really well, as he's good friends with my daughters and their boyfriends, so we do get on well. We have lots of conversation and interaction on social media. When he posts videos of me bear crawling with large weights attached to me I get lots of texts and likes from the lads and my girls. Is fun! But sometimes when training is hard I'll moan a bit... When I make comments about not being able to do certain tasks because of my age, he just tells me to get on with it!
Why do you need a VPT to make your training work for you?
I need a VPT like Ray because I think technique is crucial to getting the most out of the exercise, and tasks set. If Ray wasn't there to oversee my training, I'd lose concentration. I'm highly self motivated, but having Ray around keeps me focussed and he ensures I give 100%.
How has improving your fitness been for someone in their mid-50s?
Training in my 50s has been great. I hardly trained at all during my 40s because of my knees. I can't see myself ever not going to the gym daily. Being physically able to do basic exercises without breaking into a sweat, and then doing cardio, feels great. Keeping fit as you get older can only help your wellbeing, and it also gives you a way forward in life, and love life! I feel much younger and fitter than I have for a long while. People often comment on how well I look after losing 18 kilos.
Congratulations, how have you managed that?
I had to change my eating habits with the help of a nutrition plan that Ray has given me. It wasn't hard to change my habits, as I really wanted to lose weight and make changes. I work in advertising, and the social schedule can be full-on, with some boozing. But I just make sure the training is hard, and I use the sauna at Gymbox to pull myself back into line...