As I arrive at Johanna Janik’s personal training studio in Marratxi (just out of Palma) she’s at the door welcoming me with double high fives. This woman is radiating vitality and I immediately feel my own energy levels rise in her presence. I have come to see Johanna for a personal training session as a kick-start after several months of zero deliberate exercise and general laziness (otherwise known as summer). First impressions tell me I have picked the right person to sort me out!
Johanna is a qualified sports scientist and personal trainer originally from Germany, and offers her clients personal training in German and Spanish as well as English. Her fully equipped studio includes strength and endurance machines, as well as mobility apparatus and mat space to work out on. She has everything you could need to whip you into shape.
Getting the full picture
Firstly Johanna gives me a comprehensive assessment to gauge where I’m at physically, my overall health picture, and how I’m feeling, then comes up with an action plan for our session. This is how she prefers to work. She explains how she can of course come up with a fantastic session for someone based on their age, abilities etc., but if they walk in the door and they’ve had a shocking day, the whole thing needs to be rethought. Working with individuals’ needs, and tailoring programmes and sessions to specifically meet these is her forte.
Before we start to get active Johanna has me hop onto a nifty set of scales that spits out my body composition. Not surprisingly my body fat versus muscle mass was less than ideal, but on a positive note my visceral fat (around the abdomen) was nice and low which is good news for my organs. I was a little caught off guard to see my body’s water content was low – usually I’m guzzling water like there’s no tomorrow, however two birthday parties involving rich food and a few wines earlier in the week might have had something to do with it. The final stat – my metabolic age, could have been much better (I won’t divulge the number), but Johanna assures me that if I get on track with a good training regime and implement some healthy habits this number will surely change in no time.
No ‘one size fits all’
Even though my own goal for this session is to get the blood pumping and sweat flowing, Johanna greatly respects that this is not the case for everyone. Although I’m severely out of practice, I am well versed in strength and conditioning training, and have played a lot of sports most of my life. Johanna knows the exact approach to take with me, just as she would if you were seeing her from the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps you are fresh off the back of an injury or operation, or have never done any sport before. Or maybe you feel like your age might hinder your abilities and therefore you want to be gently guided. She’s not about shocking your system into shape and pushing you to your absolute limits – she just wants you to start feeling better!
My personal training session
For my particular session we head into the studio’s exercise area, and Johanna starts to put me through my paces. She has me squatting, lunging, performing pushups and planks – all of those exercises we love to hate, that are the foundation of functional training. But I tell you what – it feels great to be moving again. We use the TRX (a form of suspension training using your body weight), then the treadmill and then do it all over again. She stops short of ensuring I won’t be walking tomorrow, and we round off the session with some more assisted mobility moves. Apparently the latest research shows this is the most effective way to aid recovery opposed to the usual stretching we’re all used to.
I think it’s important to mention that Johanna’s scientific approach means that throughout the duration of the session she has been constantly testing my mobility and checking for areas of weakness using various tools. She has an extensive understanding of human anatomy and is always seeking out the latest research to utilise for the betterment of her clients, which is not always the case for many personal trainers.
What is obvious from my session with Johanna is that her approach truly is customised to the client. She explained to me things about my body that made some exercises more difficult than they might be for others, and areas of strength. It’s fantastic to get this kind of personalised insight instead of blindly turning up to a group session for example, and muddling your way through hoping you don’t cause yourself an injury. Johanna will discuss with you your history and goals in thorough detail. Whether you’re a teenager or in your seventies (as some of her regulars are!), whether you want to increase muscle mass, lose some weight, or alleviate pain, she will design a plan just for you.
Where and when you need
Johanna can even train you out of your own home or at a preferred outdoor spot, however I can attest to her studio being a perfect set up for training, and a great place to go to escape the stress of every day life, even for just an hour. She can also train you if you are only on the island for a short stay or holiday, and if you have a regular trainer back home she makes sure to contact them to discuss where you’re at first.
We all know that summer bodies are made in the winter, so now is the perfect time of year to embark on a new fitness regime, and Johanna is just the person to motivate and guide you to reach your health goals for 2020.