“It has been a journey of self-discovery in the last few years and without PM I am sure that I would have struggled a lot more than I have. Stress and anxiety were starting to rule my life but the PM tribe helps me fight that on a daily basis. That is so important to me at the moment.” -Dale H.
Oooof. This interview with PM’s 2016 Member of the Year totally pulled on my heart strings. It’s no secret I have a huge soft spot for the guy, I mean if you’ve met him y’all will know – he’s really damn hard not to love! His genuine love for training and working on bettering himself each week is second to none. Plus, his legging game is often even snazzier than mine!
He started his PM journey nearly two years ago attending three MetAttack or Spartan classes a week. Now, 16KG lighter and hell of a lot stronger, Dale consistently attends six sessions a week where he mainly focuses on weightlifting. In just 18 months he’s gone from a 50KG deadlift to a 160KG deadlift, as well as increasing in all of his other lifts. He’s a brilliant example of what’s possible when you truly put your mind to it!
If you’re feeling demotivated or are struggling with stress/anxiety in other areas of your life, prepare to be totally moved by Dale’s interview. I guarantee you’ll be eager to set some new goals for yourself after this one…
When did you start at PM? How many times a week do you attend classes? How long did you do MetAttacks before progressing on to weights classes?
I started in April 2015 so I’m coming up to my second year of membership. I started with 3 classes a week but usually manage 6 per week now. I started with Mets for the first 6 months, Spartan as well but then added Fit Tests 1-3 and started weights classes in September of 2015. I did a Masterclass first in December 2016 and haven’t really looked back since. The learning curve (about me, my health and what I can achieve) has been exponential.
How have you changed since beginning at PM? (Physically and mentally)
Physically there was a very quick transformation. Weight loss and size changed. Lost, overall, about 16 KG. At the start of this I was 95-96 KG (I think) but went down to 77 KG within a year. It was measured weight loss in that it was through work and application of good nutrition and sensible approaches to exercise. My shape has changed as well. Muscles have become noticeable where before there appeared to be none. Physically I feel much, much better. Mentally I think I have developed a discipline that helps me eat well, exercise well and apply what I learn at PM in a lot of aspects of my life. It has been a journey of self-discovery in the last few years and without PM I am sure that I would have struggled a lot more than I have. Stress and anxiety were starting to rule my life but the PM tribe helps me fight that on a daily basis. That is so important to me at the moment.
What has been your biggest health/fitness related achievement since joining PM?
There are so many? Any time a trainer says “good work.” The nod, the pat on the back, the uncomplicated pleasure and enjoyment of a session all make me smile. That’s what PM people do for me, help me smile more. Deadlift is my favourite at the moment. Lifting enough to be described as “freakishly strong” is great. Keeping that weight off and still making progress every session is perhaps the greatest achievement. I always feel that I have done some good, for me, for others, for the trainers whenever I’m in a session.
What is your favourite exercise and why?
Deadlift just works for me. Sometimes my form is a little ‘unusual’ but I love the freedom of setting myself, pausing and just lifting a big weight. Run a close second by front squat…I love the feeling of getting things right for me. Press I am less enamoured of but that’s why I do it so often, to push myself that little bit more, to make progress on technique. I love learning new things and the fact that I am a relative newcomer to much of this still gives me that little tingle as I walk in to a session.
What is one thing you couldn’t do when you started that you’re awesome at now?
What a question! Any lifts…hadn’t done anything like this before. One of the most enjoyable is pull ups and dips. I couldn’t really do either unassisted when I started. Now I try to do some in virtually every session, no bands either. The first squat I did was 50 KG and I felt that it was huge…the first deadlift was about the same…now I’m way above body weight in squat and twice bodyweight in deadlift. I really have made huge progress and my form is also getting better, with the guidance of some fabulous people in the tribe. I’ve given myself wholeheartedly to the tribe and they give an awful lot back.
PM in three words?
YOU GOT THIS.
What is the most valuable thing that PM has taught you?
I would have difficulty in saying just one thing. However from a personal viewpoint I think that with care and consideration for yourself you can achieve a much happier state of being than simply just existing through work. I work hard at the gym but it is fun. I am happy just focussing on me, my friends and the training and I don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying what I am doing. Actually probably the most powerful metaphor that I could use is the way that we work until we fail and that this is a great achievement. I think that’s a really healthy attitude to take to see how far you can push yourself, how many little increments of progress you can make in every session. It’s not just measured in how heavy or how fast or how impressive you look but in how it works for you and the desire to push yourself beyond what you thought possible is a really valuable lesson indeed.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about progressing onto the strength sessions?
Do it! You’ll find so much pleasure from it, as well as a degree of self-knowledge and awareness about your character and strengths. I would talk to people who can help you make that progress, especially the trainers and those people that I often refer to as the PM royalty…the guys that are wonderful ambassadors for the tribe who help and talk to anyone. I think that’s what makes this a very different gym from the franchised, corporate things we’ve all been in. PM is all about the person and that personal approach means you can talk to anyone about anything. SIN/PMP are hard but thoroughly rewarding.
What keeps you motivated to keep coming to the gym so consistently?
It’s part of my daily routine now. It fits with my lifestyle and allows me to make a decent break between work and home every day I work. That is very necessary. Psychologically speaking I am sure that the positive approach I see every session simply makes me feel better. The last few years have been tough, personally and professionally, and the PM tribe have helped me deal with a lot of the issues that I have faced. I like to do new things and every session still feels like I learn something new. That enjoyment of just lifting stuff up, running around a bit and generally playing with my friends is something we all miss from childhood I think. PM restores a little bit of the genuine child-like enjoyment of doing something simply because it’s fun.
What is your most memorable moment at PM?
That’s really difficult. I was amazed at being awarded Member of the year in January 2016. It was a total surprise and I still get goose-bumps thinking about it. My first 100 KG squat was pretty memorable! (So was my first 90 KG…I folded like a pack of cards and couldn’t get back up!). Lifting 160 KG on a deadlift knowing that there is more in the tank. Hearing the words “You got this”, “Well done love”, “AWESOME”, “Good depth”, “Great work” from the trainers that I thoroughly respect and admire. Getting unexpected one to one sessions when it’s quiet! Some sessions are just lovely with great people and great work as well. I just love it all.
What is your biggest health/fitness related goal for 2017?
Making progress in the lifting I do, maintaining my healthy approach to nutrition and exercise. I would like to, at the end of my second year at PM, still be loving it as much as I did from the very first session. Oh, and 170+ in my deadlift, 120+ squat and try to get somewhere near respectable in my press….I love PM for how it has made me feel about my own abilities and achievements. As long as that continues my goal is to just keep lifting!
Are you ready to start your journey? Join our fun loving and hard working #onetribe today!