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Garth Wakeford: Our Dream Trainer and Running Coach

We met Garth at one of our favorite continuing education courses Neurokinetic Therapy and immediately bonded over our workout approach, philosophy, and hunger for knowledge.

Everyday we meet injured patients working out with trainers who have a “kill it” philosophy where more is better. We know as movement specialists that more reps, more weight, more is not better.  Efficiency, moving better and moving pain free is better. Better is better! Finding a gem of a trainer that shares this philosophy is a rare find in NYC and Garth is that gem.

Take a peek into Garth’s philosophy and workout routine over the next couple of days with Urban Wellness Clinic.

How did you first get into studying movement?

While growing up, to be someone in South Africa was to be good at sports, and playing rugby was king. I excelled at sports and dreamed of playing rugby at the highest level.

I fell off a tractor when I was 13 years old, crushed my ribs, burst a lung, and fell into a coma for a week. Coming out of my coma, I entered freshman year in high school back of the pack. I was obsessed with what the tractor accident had taken away, and learned everything I could about the body to get stronger and fitter. I refined each piece of training from the physical therapists, osteopaths, and exercise physiologists to enhance my own healing process. An accident like that humbles you immensely  but also teaches you how malleable your body can be if your mind is strong willed.

Garth Wakeford, Running Coach

How did you get into personal training?

I received a BA in human movement science and kinesiology from Rhodes University South Africa. Afterwards I played professional rugby for teams in England and South Africa. In 2000, I came to the states and met Pat Manocchia at La Palestra.

Everything I learned before Pat I kicked to the curb. He was revolutionary, way before his time in creating a hybrid between personal training and the medical world. He created an integrated multi-disciplinary approach that you find today in NYC, but 20 years ago. I was blown away.

Pat would break it down simply:

“The program is the what. The prescription is the how. The goals, data historical, and current state the client comes in is the why.”

Today you find many cookie cutter approaches to training? What is your training philosophy?

Individualization, you train to what is presented in front of you and no single routine will work for everyone. Oh yeah, Technique is King!

Productive and effective training is dependent on 3 things:

1. Consistency

2. Effort

3. Focus

How do you achieve this?

Through a training process that has these key ingredients: Learning, support, variety, practical application, challenges, respect, and most importantly safety.

What does your current workout look like?

Kettlebell swings, goblet squats, hard style planks, hard style push-ups, and I row 2 hours a week. I’m really into anaerobic intervals and pushing my anaerobic threshold.  Lately I also train at Ed Cashin’s facility in East Hampton, Exceed Fitness. He’s SFG 2 certified, he’s a beast!