Training for sports

Don’t be put off by the title, most of you can use this one, and it’s ultra-informative anyway so take out what you want out of this. This programme has worked well for clients i have in the pro sports arena, such as surfing and golf, and the results have been sensational.

Let me know what you think of this one!

Your key to unlimited potential and sports conditioning!

Training for strength, speed, endurance, power, agility, balance, coordination and flexibility

When my father opened a gym way back in 1957, if you did any weight-training, you’d probably get looked at daft if you said you were going down the gym to lift weights. You were told you may have a heart attack, you’d put too much stress on your bones, your growth would be stunted, it would slow you down for sports, you’d become “muscle-bound“, it would all turn to fat once you’ve stopped, it’s unnatural, it’s cheating and so on! The funny part now is the absolute reverse is true and weight-training, strength-training or whatever you wish to call it, is the most recommended activity by just about every doctor and health expert to help you in just about every area of health.


The fastest sprinters in the world all use weights extensively as well as every other major sport if they want to significantly improve their performance and health. I’ve had professional sports coaches go through this programme and they all agree on the massive benefits it offers.


 Talking about health, how about keeping away diabetes, not developing weak bones, increasing your chances of avoiding some cancers, slowing down the ageing process later on in life, having better balance for sports and life, having stronger joint and generally feeling pretty fantastic?!! Read on if it sounds good;

If you’re a male, you will see some real positive gains all round in the way you look and feel, and if you’re a female, please don’t worry about getting big or muscular, you have a tenth of the male hormone that boys have and most boys or MEN even I know struggle to put any serious muscle on, you will NOT get “too big” from doing weight-training full stop unless you purposely consumed loads of food and overdid It and lifted massive weights!

All the girls I have ever trained have seen their bodies actually get smaller. Here’s a fact for you, if you substitute 5 pounds of sagging fat of your body for 5 pounds of muscle, you’ll not only look better but burn up to an extra 250 calories a day without doing anything! That’s why have a lean, shaplier body is the EASY way of STAYING in shape, it takes a bit of work to get there but once you’re there, it becomes a very pleasant experience to be in control of your body and weight!


The workout!

I don’t believe in faddy exercise programmes, most fitness DVD’s are worthless and often use fraudulent claims on their effectiveness. The same with faddy exercise equipment, how many of you at home have a parent who’s bought some “wonder” fat burner machine, then after 2 months it becomes a coat hanger at the back of a cupboard somewhere!! If something seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is.


The basics

You have to start off slow with any exercise programme, or you‘re likely to get hurt and so stiff, you won‘t be able to get out of bed in the morning. I told you we’re going to avoid all the faddy exercises, instead we’re going to concentrate on what really works, then create variations so you’ll never get bored and really understand how to create an exercise programme yourself, anytime and anywhere, all it takes is you following the plan and following me through the programme!


I try never to do the same workout twice with all my personal training sessions, and you don’t need to either, once you master the basics and get to know how strong your body is.


For your lower back-hyper extensions

For your legs-squats and lunges

For your shoulders-shoulder presses, lateral raises

For your chest-bench presses and flyes

For your back-dumbbell rows

For your triceps (back of your arms)-arm dips, tricep extensions

For your biceps (front of arms)-dumbbell curls

For your stomach and core-sit ups, plank

Aerobic conditioning-alternate squat thrusts




Before anyone jumps in a says they can think of a lot more, I’m going to come back and tell you that I know a lot more too. All I’m saying that these exercises are tried and tested to bring massive RESULTS, and that in my job is pretty important to deliver and you’re going to get them!



These exercises look limited but really they’re not and will provide you with more exercises than you ever thought. I’m going to show you how to do these exercises on a big, comfy fit ball which will improve areas you may never have thought of but are so vital, and most can be done with just a set of dumbbells. I have a special routine that needs no equipment that’s one of my favourites, and has been tried out on practically everyone I’ve trained, and has brought massive results. I have routines that you can use in the gym that will bring big results, and we’re going to have some workouts to follow which involve speed, endurance and agility (running, cycling, jumping etc), which will come in the next section.



How to do the exercises

Hyper extensions-(lower back)

Lie flat out on stomach with hands right in front of you. When ready, raise arms and legs together slowly, so your whole body raises, then lower yourself slowly to really stretch and strengthen your lower back.


Squats (legs)

Often called the “king” of exercises, the squat not gives your legs a tremendous boost, but your stomach and lower back too. It also gets you breathing really well and can have a good effect on your heart and lungs once you get used to it and advance.


Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a bar resting on your shoulders. Keep your back straight and slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to a standing position and repeat.




Key points-never lean forward (you’ll strain your back) and keep looking up directly in front of you, never look down. Keep your feet straight and don’t let the weight come onto the balls of your feet. Keep the movement slow to be safe and have big results.


Lunges (legs)

Lunges are a great exercise that can bring tremendous results for your legs.

Hold the dumbbells by your sides, with your feet about hip-width apart. Keeping your back straight again, take a big step backward with your left foot. When the ball of your left foot touches the floor, continue the movement by lowering your hips until your right thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Your right knee should be bent at nearly 90 degrees with your right knee directly above your right foot. Gently push yourself back up into the starting position by driving the right foot into the floor, and repeat the move. Do this for 10 reps on the right leg and 10 on the left.

You can also alternate this movement by using a medicine ball instead of the weights. As you go down, you will swing slowly the medicine ball to your right, and then left. This separates your lower and upper body and really works your core area. This would be for more advanced exercisers only. I recommend this for surfers.


Shoulders press (shoulders)

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hold dumbbells in both hands and press dumbbells up above your head and return to the start position (just outside your shoulders), then repeat.




Lateral raises (shoulders)

Stand with feet apart and start with dumbbells by your side. Raise the dumbbells slowly to the side and bend your elbows slightly throughout the movement. Lower dumbbells back down slowly to your side, then repeat.






Bench presses (chest)

This works your chest, the front of your shoulders and the triceps (back of your arms). Lean back gently on the ball until you are comfortable with upper back and shoulder blades on top, making sure your feet are secure and are totally stable, lower your dumbbells down together to the sides of your chest. Then gently press up with the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended, squeeze your chest muscles for a second, then slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Aim for 8-10 reps.



Flyes (chest)

Lying back on the ball again getting in the same position as the bench press, this time push the weights together with your palms facing each other. This is the starting position of the move. Slowly, lower the dumbbells to the side in a semi-circle arc until they go down as low as you can, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Then come back up in the same semi-circle arc to the starting position. Aim for 8-10 reps.





Dumbbell rows (back)

Hold dumbbells in both hands, bend forward at your waist so that your chest is leaning forward over your feet. Keep your knees slightly bent and your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. Start with arms fully extended, lift or “row” the dumbbells up and to your stomach area. Return to the start position and repeat. Keep your head up and shoulders back throughout.



Arm dips

Using any bench literally anywhere, lower yourself down slowly with your hands with your knees bent, then come back up slowly. To make it harder, straighten your legs out, aim for as many as possible without straining yourself of course!







Tricep extensions (backs of arms)

Stand up straight with a light dumbbell in your hands and raise it straight above your head. The dumbbell should hang and be vertical, with the top of the dumbbell resting comfortably on the palms of your hands, thumbs around handle. Start off in this position, now slowly lower the weight behind your head until forearms are parallel to floor with elbows pointing to ceiling. Then raise weight slowly over your head and repeat. Always feel as if you’re pushing the weight up and never forward and really try to feel that the back of your arms are doing the work.




Dumbbell curls

You can do this standing, sitting on a bench or a fit ball. Hold dumbbells by your sides, curl the dumbbells up slowly and bring them up towards shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbells to starting

point, then repeat.



Using your forearms and toes to keep you off the floor, with your bum and back in a flat position, aim to hold yourself up as long as possible. This is fantastic for your lower back and overall stomach strength. A very difficult exercise that beginners will struggle with, but get much at with regular workouts!




Sit ups

Lie on the floor with knees bent and your feet placed flat on the floor. Support with your head gently with your hands as if you were holding a baby. Tense your stomach and then start off by raising your torso forward, raising your head and shoulders slightly off the floor and push your lower back into the floor to extra feel on the movement. Hold it for one second and then lower yourself back to the floor, then repeat.








Alternate squat thrusts

A great exercise for aerobic conditioning that’s low on joint pressure which is always good. Get in a position as if you were in starting blocks going for a 100m sprint. Hold it there, and simply interchange your legs pushing them back and forth, with your knees nearly touching your elbows. Aim for as many as possible.




The programme in practice-level 1

To get the programme really working for you, we have to get your level of conditioning up steadily but not too quick. Getting fit and healthy, and surf specific takes time, so use the following program with caution and make sure you’re doing the exercises properly to avoid any potential injuries.

For starters this lasts for 2 weeks to get you into it properly!

Monday and Thursday-? Means the maximum number you can possibly do so this will be personal to you.

After a brief warm up of 5 minutes (walking quickly, a slow jog, bike etc) rest maximum of 45 seconds between each exercise



Exercise How Reps Sets
Back extensions Floor 12 1
Squats Standing 12 1
Shoulder  press Standing 12 1
Bench press Ball 12 1
Rows Standing 12 1
Arm dips Chair/bench 12 1
Dumbbell curls Standing 12 1
Crunches Floor 12 1





Alternate squat  floor                 ?                     1













Level 2 (Third and fourth week)-Monday and Thursday

Were trying to raise the weight a bit and workout with

more purpose using different positions



If an exercise is placed with another, e.g flyes with bench press, it is to be done straight away with the other one. This caused even more progress and intensity in the workout which is always good!

Exercise How? Reps Sets
Back extensions Floor 10 2
Squats with ball Standing 10 2
Flyes plus bench press On ball 10 of each 2
Shoulder presses Sitting 10 2
Lateral raises Sitting 10 2
Rows Standing 10 2
Arm dips Chair/bench ? 2
Tricep extensions Ball 10 2
Dumbbell curls Ball 10 2
Crunches Ball ? 2
Reverse crunches Floor ? 2





Alternate             floor                    ?                       2   

Squat thrusts     








LEVEL 3 (fifth and sixth weeks)-Monday and Thursday

Aim to work with real intensity and aim to raise the weight on each exercise if possible. This time introducing your surf-specific exercises, now that your conditioning as moved on quite a bit if youve been following the program, as well as your performance nutrition guidelines!


Exercise How Reps Sets
 Hyper  extensions/

Then Hamstring lifts

Floor 10 2
Squats with ball/then rolls on ball Standing 10 2
Lunges with med ball twists Standing 10 2
Shoulder  presses plus lateral raises Standing 10 of  each 2
Bench press and flyes On ball 10 of each 2
Rows then

Knee lifts on ball

Standing 10 2
Arm dips plus dumbbell curls Bench and ball 10 of each 2





Alternate            floor                     ?                          2

Squat thrusts

Extra! Plank                  floor             as long as ?      2


Practice the plank also by putting one foot on top of the other, which will gives you a bit more out of the exercise.

Aim to use slightly more weight as you go along, as well as keeping your exercise form perfect. You can progress your workouts every week, if you really focus on raising your intensity, as well as eating properly of course and taking in plenty of water. Sounds simple but most people dont workout every week because they often let excuses become part of their life. Find a way to exercise, rather than making excuses not to! Give it a go and you may be surprised at the effects on your body, as well as the massive boost to your general fitness of course! This will seriously improve surfing and golf fitness, as well as any other sport.






“Fuel tank” workouts

The name says it all, you can be the strongest, fastest in any sport, but if you can’t go the distance, you’re going to be passed by those who have trained a bit smarter and worked on keeping their “fuel tanks” full and never being out of gas.


This can be a very demanding form of exercise so we’re going to keep it to once a week only. This has massive benefits and gets your stamina and endurance up in a record amount of time. This form of training can take place over many different distances but since peak power and speed are our goals, we’re going to concentrate on a simple method. We’ll use a rugby pitch, a local park or athletic track to start with.

Sprint for the straight part of the track/pitch/park, then walk all the way around the bends, then sprint again on the next straight, then walk again, and keep this for a total of TWO LAPS ONLY. The aim is to get to 8 laps and you’ll be in awesome shape! Remember to keep the sprints at real flat-out pace or this method won’t work so well.

Another method is to use lampposts. Jog slowly to first lamppost, then sprint to next lamppost, then jog to next one, then sprint to next and so on. You will get tired VERY quickly with this one so the workout won’t last that long! Aim to improve each time











Explode workouts (sprints for power ,speed and agility)

Most sports , the most critical movements last for only a few seconds, but need a great amount of power, especially getting through the waves and up on the board, as well as endurance and power to stay in the water for longer periods of time. These exercises will help you develop the ability to accelerate and change directions rapidly and make big gains in your fitness and feel fantastic physically, although making you feel exhausted immediately after doing them!.

To start with, I’ve selected sprints ranging from 20-50 yards which improve strength and performance in most sports. Start off with 3 to 5 reps of 50 yards so you can get used to sprinting at 100% of your maximum pace. Then cut it down to 30 yards the next week and when you’re sprinting, making sure your arm action is vigorous, your arm speed can dictate your leg speed.

After a couple of weeks of getting used to this method of running, aim to increase it to 10 to 20 reps of 30 yard sprints flat out, REST 30-60 seconds between each one or when you’re able to get your breath back.


Lateral sprints

Again, these are excellent for most sports and work your legs from different angles. You can use cones, shoes or shirts, set up a zigzag course, run straight for around 5 yards, then run left at a 45 degree angle for 5 yards, then right at a 45 degree angle. Or you could try placing 2 markers 10 yards apart. Sprint from the first marker to the second, touch it, and then sprint back to the first marker.



Backward sprinting

You have to run backwards in most sports, and this is one of my personal favourites. Backward running will develop your hamstrings and bum areas. We’re keeping it short again, I would keep it to a maximum of 30 yards and use the same way of progressing as forward sprinting.





Bounding strides

This is a great one for stride length. Measure a distance of around 20-30 yards and aim to take as few strides as possible over the distance. Aim to take bounding jumps and really stretch yourself.


High-knees fast arms

A fine exercise for sprinting power. Aim to use a sprint motion while almost standing still. Pump your arms and lift the knees as high as possible. Try to get 20 strides in just 10 yards. Try 3 sets of 10, you could after a while get up to 10 to 20 sets when your fitness level raises.


Jumping and plyometrics

Jumping exercises are excellent for building basic strength, power and speed, as well as increasing important bone density, and really getting you up on that board quickly. New research show they build bone mass in girls that will protect them in fractures as they age. It’s important to start off gradually and stop immediately if you get any pain.



Some of the main exercises include;

Tuck jumps

This is a vigorous exercise but very beneficial. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Jump up and drive your arms upward. Tuck your knees underneath you as you reach the height of the jump. As you land, extend your legs and retract your arms and get ready to jump again. Aim for 5 to 10 reps, taking as little time as possible between jumps.


360 degree squat jumps

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Jump up and drive your arms upward, spinning in the air as much as possible. As you land retract your arms and get ready to jump again. Start off by turning in only one direction, as you improve, turn to the left on one rep, then turn to the right on the other. Do 5  to 10 reps, taking as little time between jumps.


Wall-bounce push-ups

These are simple and the least stressful push-ups. Lean against a wall at a 60 degree angle. Push up from wall with force, then allow yourself to go back against the wall and absorb your fall with your arms. Immediately push off again.


Floor bounce push-ups

These are much harder than wall push-ups. Don’t try these until you can do 15 press ups. From a standard press up position, push up with force, extending your elbows until your hands leave the ground. Bounce back to your hands, then repeat exercise.


Medicine ball throws

Overhead throws

In a crouched position, grab a medicine ball and throw the ball over your head, behind you using your ankles, knees, hips and arms and jump from the ground as you release the ball


Front waist throws

Start off throwing the ball from your waist using an underhand throw, and throwing the ball in front of you as far as possible


Side waist throws

Using a partner, throw the ball from your waist but this time to the side, a great exercise especially as the ball gets heavier-they can range from 2kg to 5kg or even more. Start off light and work up.





Good flexibility is vital for your joints to function properly and to prevent injuries. You may also get even stronger by stretching as well as your strength programme. There are endless benefits to a proper stretching programme so try these stretches after each workout and before surfing.







Good-morning stretch

This stretch helps stretch the spine and shoulders.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and reach up over your head with your arms extended fully. Stretch by trying to extend your arms as much as possible, first one arm, then the other, then both arms. Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds


Hamstring stretch

Lying on your back, lift one leg up with the other one down, put your hands behind the top part of your knee and pull until you feel some  discomfort. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other leg. Your flexibility will improve with practice.


Lunge stretch

This stretches hip thigh and calf muscles

Step forward in a lunge with your right foot and flex your knee. Keep your knee directly above your ankle. Stretch your left leg back so that it is parallel to the floor. Press your hips forward and down until you feel a stretch in your thigh muscle. Balance yourself by placing your arms at your sides, on to of your knee, or on the ground. Repeat exercise on the left side.





Shoulder stretch

Stretches the shoulder and upper back. Cross your left arm in front of your body and grasp it with your right hand. Stretch your arm, shoulders and back by gently pulling your arm as close to your body as possible. Repeat stretch with your right arm.


Chest stretch

This stretches chest and shoulder muscles. Stand to the side of a wall or post 2-3 feet  away. Place arm on the wall at shoulder level and walk forward until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulder muscles. Hold the stretch, and then repeat using the other side of the body.



There are many more exercises but these are enough to get you going!





Try the resistance workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Please make sure you always have at least ONE DAY rest, when you dont do anything. This will give your body time to rest and recuperate and come back even stronger!


Once you become really comfortable with this way of working out, try and go onto the more advanced way of working out on the following page, incorporating many of the best techniques Ive previously listed.




Advanced for maximum results

Mon-resistance workout with sport-specific after week 4


Tuesday-explode workout/plyometrics




Thursday-resistance workout (optional surfing too)


Friday-fuel tank workout/plyometrics optional


Saturday-(optional sports too)


Sunday-(optional sports too)





Gym memberships, the truth

A number of years ago, i was talking to one of the manager’s of the biggest gym in the area, and he proudly boasted that they had 6000 members. I looked around at the training area and asked him, “what if they all show up”?, he replied “oh there’s no chance of that”, i then told him that at best you couldn’t fit more than 60 people (at a push) in the gym area, so asked him again, what if even 10% show up, he told me again “there’s no chance of that”! That would still be 600 people (10%)!!

I told him its a sad situation when if you get 60 people, you’re at your maximum, and that’s only 1% of your membership!!! He replied that they rarely had that and most people never showed up after their initial couple of weeks. He went on and told me that the gym machines were all rented and they needed at least a couple of thousand members to pay the overheads and staff.

They would employ sales staff to attract people in supermarkets, getting them to sign direct debits, and this was a process that happened 4-5 times per year, constantly looking for new people because a large percentage would cancel their membership once they realised they never went!

I found out over the years that this practice was common throughout most big scale gyms, and was saddened to see so many people signing up for the new gyms, only to share their dissatisfaction with me when they found out they didn’t use their membership, like i warned them before they signed.

If you’re part of my programme, or using this site to further develop your physical and mental potential, you know you’re not going to get short-changed, given “fancy” advice, or diets that are in fashion for a few weeks. YOU KNOW that you will get tried and tested advice, common sense and a programme that will last you for life!

You may have been a victim of gym mis-selling, been members of countless weight loss clubs, or just not had enough confidence to get into great shape once and for all? Whatever your situation, you can be sure this is the forum where you can get the answer to any question you have, as well as being able to write your own story/experience to inspire others!

Keep your thoughts coming in,


The one set theory

There are many theories on the best way to train out there, in fact, if you go into a supermarket or newsagent, you could probably get 100 different ways to train from all the different magazines out there. Many are flawed and most don’t take into account the talents of the individual, but here’s one theory that’s been around for many years that can really work for beginners, as well as time-crunched individuals.

I always start everyone off on one circuit. The number one reason is that starting an excercise programme is not only daunting and confusing, but you can possibly injure or at least get very stiff if you don’t do things properly.

Another reason is that one set of everything is great because it’s easy to follow and you can work every body part in one go. People often want some over technical programme, but that’s only for more advanced athletes who have mastered the basics.

So if you started off an inside workout like this with a small number of exercises;

Press ups-5

arm dips-5


sit ups-5

This would be very simple but often suitable for someone just starting off in the first week. The next week you would typically increase this to two circuits/sets, and the third week you would increase this to 3 ciruits/sets. This is also necessary to get your body used to training and by the time you have got used to three sets, you will appreciate why you took three weeks to get up to your working levels. After a couple of weeks at this level and if you become accomplished on performing at these levels, i would like to add some exercise to not only increase effectiveness, but boredom too. Changing your programme is not only to keep you fresh, but to confuse the body. Your body will get used to any workout routine, and by changing it regularly, you will get maximum results, and that’s what we all really after at the end of the day.

More advanced one set theory

Another occasion when the one set theory comes into play is when the individual is time-crunched and wants to get through the workout in a very short period of time, while still trying to get a good result. The difference this time is that the intensity of the workout must be go a lot. Like i talked about in previous postings, you should judge your workouts in terms of effort from 1 to 10. You should aim for at least a 7 and maybe a 8 to get best results.

However, if you are pressed for time AND you have a lot of experience training, you can work the one set theory. For example, if you normally do 3 sets of press ups for 10 reps each and it takes a 8 out of 10 effort to do that, try one set only and put absolutely everything into that set. You will find that you probably get 10 out of 10 for that one set increasing your reps up to around 15-16 for that set, your muscles will be working more and you will be out of breath. Then you will go onto the next exercise with the same theory and execute the same effort. Then you go on to the next exercise and so on until you reach the end of your circuit of exercises.

No doubt you will feel spent, you will finished in record time but you will definitely know you have been in a workout! This workout i say again is only suitable for advanced exercises, but can be a great alternative to going through the grind of 3 sets, and is guaranteed to still give you some decent results. I would also suggest a thorough warm-up befor any such routine, to get your heart rate up, and muscles warm to avoid any unnecessary injuries, and this would apply to any workout of course.

The advantages to three circuits are there because it is a tried and tested way to get into great shape, will keep you injury free, will not demand these huge efforts each time you train, and see you progress at a safe and gradual pace, which is highly recommended. I personally like 3 sets, but giving you more options can only increase your training variety and keep you fresh physically and mentally.

Consult a doctor before beginning any exercise programme.

Have a great workout,


Using the coastal paths

Burry Port and Llanelli was usually known as an industrial town until quite recently in historical terms. £32 million pounds later and it’s one of the most beautiful areas you could ever run in to, or run on if you pardon the pun. Excellent running areas are the obvious straight lines from loughor to pembrey, these are excellent for beginners and walkers alike, as well as distance runners who want to get some serious mileage in.

After an individual i train has worked up their conditioning quite a bit, i begin to attack some hills and a great starting point would be the hills up to the monument in sandy water park. These are a true barometer of your fitness standards and will remind you how fit you are if you’ve let your fitness slip a bit.

Simply circling sandy water park in one go on a run is a great goal to start with, walking for 20 yards, running for 10 yards, walking for 20 yards, running for 10 etc etc, until you get to walking for 20 yards, running for 20 and so on, after a few short weeks you will be up to the standard of running round the lake in one go, as long as your diet is up to scratch, and you are following the advice in the diet section.

Moving on to burry port and you have some excellent runs around the harbour, and there point to point runs you can practice. For instance, from the lifeboat end to the yacht club and back will be a big accomplishment to many to start with.

Once you have some steady running under your belt, you may want to wander over to the sand dunes. There are some really steep ones and start off by running up 10 yards at a time, walk back down, then back up, take as much rest in between as you like, when you get your breath back, just give it a go again until you reach 5. You WILL  feel your legs in a big way the next day, but this workout is for runners of a much more advanced stage.

Cycling is a very popular option these days on the coastal path, and can be seen by the sheer numbers on a sunny day. The cycle path offers great views and a nice safe track to keep things nice and easy. It would be recommended if you start off gently with your cycling programme, and take into account that you can obviously cover much bigger distances on the bike. For example, a run of 3 miles can be beyond a lot of people, a cycle though can be relatively comfortable over the same distance. Just make sure you wear a helmet, wear some reflective jacket if you’re cycling in the winter like right now, and you set your targets achieveable, but still working up progressively over the weeks. Everyone can improve, as long as they eat well and put some effort in.

Please consult a doctor before beginning any exercise programme.