Tuesday 19 February 2013

Sweatshop Meadowhall review

Sweatshop review

Like many general gym users I’m not a fan of pounding the roads Rocky style racking up the miles to keep on top of my fitness, personally I prefer weight circuits and high intensity intervals or hill sprints to keep my conditioning in check. Just the thought of running anything over a 5k gives me shin splints.

My main problem is that I’m not a runner, I cannot get myself motivated to want to go out for an hours morning run, I’d rather do hiit and get better results. This is the reason I’d not changed my running trainers in 4 years, which in reality was not helping with my injury problems I had in 2012.

In the last few weeks the aches and pains of dragging my 17st+ frame through sprints have been nowhere to be seen. This I can only put down to my new running trainers which I picked up from Sweatshop in Meadowhall as recommend by my client Kell Brook as well as hall the other lads from the Ingle gym who speak very highly of the staff there. When I got there it was Steve who helped me through the buying process to ensure I had the right trainer for  my running technique.

The whole buying process was great and I learned so much about the different running styles and the advancement in trainers over the years. I went through an initial assessment which as you can see from the 3 photos below my ankle rolls in as I plant my foot through my run stride.  This assessment was simply done by standing on a pressure platform and bending my knees and flexing my toes, which replicates your foot, is you walk and run.

As Steve was happy to explain this meant that I was I putting more pressure through my ankle which in turn would affect my knee, hip and even my lower back which at the time I was having a lot of problems with, so much so that I couldn’t do much running.

Next I was matched up with an insole. Now some people might think this is not necessary, well I can tell you it definitely is important. I’ve ran with mine in and without them to assess the difference and it was huge, I feel much more stable with them in and after I have no pains at all. Once the insole was fitted I was then given different pairs of trainers to try on. The first pair I tried on (which I ended up buying were a pair of Nike’s and they felt like a pair of slippers, they were so comfortable. The others I tried on just didn’t feel as nice and so I was put on the treadmill to make sure my running was fine in the Nike trainers I’d picked out. To make sure I was given different pairs of trainers to try on but none of them felt as comfortable as the Nike’s.

Below you can see a short video of me running at the store, the camera is lined up behind the treadmill and videos your running which the staff view and assess.

[insert video]

So that was it, I was in there for 40 minutes and I the whole experience was very informative and very professional but more than anything I trusted what I was being told, the staff there really do look after you.

Now it wouldn’t be very good to do a review without actually reviewing the product and how my training has been since. As I’d mentioned I don’t like running, it bores me a lot, I do however like doing hiit, which I picked up again whilst away on training camp in Fuerteventura. The first few runs were hard on my ankles, knees, hips and lower back. This was simply because I was readjusting to running properly, which Steve mentioned would be the case. 5 weeks on and 3 hiit sessions a week and my running is fine, my stride is better, my speeds on the treadmill is higher as is the gradient I’m running at I’m pain free in the ankles, knees and hips. The lower back I’ve had since august last year which at one point meant no training at all also causes me no problems when I’ve been running and the trainers coupled with regular physio from Mark Roe in Sheffield and some key exercise from top S&C coach Dave Hembrough have all but cleared my back problems up.

The whole point of this post is to show that when you’re training intensely and regular you need to look after your body, it’s all good and well turning up to the gym 4 times a week and eating well but if you don’t take short cuts with the right kit. Make sure your trainers are fit for purpose and support your frame and running style, if they don’t then every stride you take you’re effectively putting your body in a position which could injure yourself. Take this from someone who has every bit of kit you can think of from weightlifting shoes to fat gripz but was happy to run in battered trainers which were causing me more harm than anything else!

Oh and here’s a pic of my trainers, yes they’re big I’m a size 11 as well as being 6ft 5” and 17st but as I was advised you need a size bigger to accommodate the increase in foot size as it gets warm when you run.

[insert pic of trainers]

For more information about sweatshop check out http://www.sweatshop.co.uk/details.cfm?prodid=3015

If you’re looking for some new trainers and you are in the Sheffield area head down to the shop in Meadowhall and tell them I sent you!

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