ATLETA Fitness

Sam Higham, the Perfect Trainer to Get You Moving!

Sam Higham is more than just a standard trainer. With a love for all things fitness and a passion for the outdoors, Sam certainly has the drive and desire to help see you achieve your goals and to get you up and moving.

Sam is a keen outdoors-man, and has been hand-picked to study Honours in Sport and Exercise Science at UTS. He sets big goals and is constantly is working towards them, so lets find out a little bit more about what makes Sam the perfect trainer for anyone looking to get fit and get outdoors…

I know you’re a massive outdoors person; what sports and activities do you focus your attention on currently?

I absolutely love rock climbing! I’ve been rock climbing for over 7 years. It’s great to do a sport that you can travel with, and enjoy in heaps of different locations. That is probably what also attracted me to surfing, which I picked up late last year. I also play touch football and cycle a lot so that my legs get a turn. I also regularly train in the gym, but that’s just to supplement and improve my climbing and surfing performance. I definitely prefer to be training outdoors.

Optimized-10505070_10203419986754649_8111366646603225974_oSuch a great selection of sports and activities. What do you feel you’ve learned through these passions of yours?

Climbing has definitely taught me about the role your mind plays during sport and exercise. The sport involves a lot of problem solving; if you don’t know where you are going before you start the climb, then you are bound to struggle. It is often the small things that help the most. I may be falling off the crux of a problem because my foot is slipping off, so I find that focusing on keeping that foot on the wall, pushing my toe where it needs to be pushed, helps significantly. When you overcome a problem like that as well, even though it may be small, it makes your day.

Surfing has taught me first and foremost not to be afraid of the deep blue. I’ve always been a bit of a scaredy-cat when It comes to deep dark water, but it would have been a big regret of mine if I had avoided surfing because I was afraid of getting eaten… There is no better start to a day than getting out and turning across a wave or two as the sun is coming up.

The gym has taught me that the hardest part of a training session is leaving the house. There are so many occasions where I’ve had a late night or a busy day and the last thing I want to do is a workout. However, if I force myself to get in the car and start driving to the gym, then once I’m there I don’t regret it. The workout is never as bad as I think it’s going to be.

So very true. As they say; the workout you don’t want to do is the best one for you. We now know you’re an exercise fiend! So what motivated you to become a trainer and to follow the sport and exercise pathway?

Optimized-10592977_10152641355237008_5891205156942370392_nI like the holistic approach you can take as a trainer. I don’t just have to run a client through a workout. I can also talk through any personal issues they have, give them dietary advice and guide them through other factors that affect their health, such as sleep and stress. Exercise is not the be all and end all of good health and fitness.

Great philosophy. You certainly have a passion for holistic training. As we mentioned earlier, you’re studying Honours this year. What is your project based on?

For my Honours project I am teaming up with another student to run a 13-14 week training study. We are going to look at inflammation and adherence in relation to two different exercise modes. My thesis will be on the adherence component, as I think it is important to identify modes of exercise that people actually enjoy, and are likely to stick to. You can only reap the full benefits of exercise if you do it chronically; ie longer than just a 6-week training program. I hope our research will better enable trainers to prescribe exercises that their clients will both enjoy and comply with in the long term.

Optimized-704753_4386602937522_1538160881_oThat sounds great. I’m sure it will be an interesting project, and we look forward to hearing more about it over the course of the year! What are some of your goals for the year?

My primary long-term goal for 2015 is to receive 1st class Honours. I want to pay off the car I just bought and save enough money to ride my bike over the Himalayas in 2016; No joke! I want to help at least 6 clients reach their fitness goals and I also want to compete in my first triathalon.

A good set of goals; I’m sure you’ll smash them and set yourself new heights to achieve in 2016. One more question; what’s your fitness mantra?

The mantra I always ramble on about, and it sounds quite cliché, is balance. Yin and yang. It is surprising how much you hear people talking about the importance of having a balanced lifestyle, and yet it is rarely seen. In today’s society it is usually work that takes priority, then sleep, cooking and exercise are compromised. I always remind others, and myself, about the importance of keeping a balanced lifestyle. Whether it be cooking a big Massaman curry on a Sunday to have as lunch for the following few days (when you don’t have time to cook), or going on a 30 minute run in your lunch break, there is always a way to maintain balance in your life. Don’t let work, or any other component, take absolute priority.

Wise words from one of ATELTA’s great new trainers. If you’d like to find out more about Sam, or training with Sam, get in contact today and let us help you achieve your goals and be your absolute best!

Interview by Johann Ruys

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