Marc Torel: “I train so I can regain confidence after a knee injury”
Name: Marc Torel
Occupation: Investment Director
Personal Trainer: John Cheah
In February 2020, Marc tore his ACL and MCL during a boxing session, which led to ACL surgery and put him out of action for several months. During this time, he gained 8kg due to inactivity.
“After my accident, I did not trust my mobility or my knee. I had lost confidence and was afraid to lift heavy.”
It was Jamie, his wife, who suggested doing personal training sessions with John Cheah, a trainer at Level. Jamie had worked with John before, and she advised Marc to start training to rebuild his strength and regain confidence.
“Marc was very conscious about his injury and his limitations,” said Jamie, “so he kept letting his injury impede his growth.” She believed that if she could get him a good trainer, then Marc could start working towards a full recovery.
The most important thing for Marc was to first eliminate pain, then counter a lack of range of motion. For the first few sessions, John designed a programme with manageable medium intensity sets involving squats and deadlifts. This was designed to reinforce good movement and build confidence, before going further.
“It was John who gave me the confidence to push my boundaries a bit more.”
These days, Marc is squatting better than he was before the injury. Pre-injury, he was squatting 55k, whereas now, Marc can comfortably squat 78kg. His deadlifts have also progressed from 50+kg to 95kg. “John has never pushed my body beyond its limits and is always safe in our training.”
“I have seen exponential improvements because of John’s instruction, his close attention to detail and his consistency in drilling the perfect technique.”
Marc already had decent upper body strength, but had no knowledge of how to utilise his levers in order to use that strength to pull himself up. John stuck to very very basic movement patterns to teach Marc how to conceptualise putting joints and muscles into place. From there, the pull-ups came along – Marc is now able to do 4-5 pull-ups comfortably.
“I did not think that pull-ups would be an accomplishment, but for the first time in my life, I am able to do relatively consistent forms of pull-ups – thanks to the training.”
Since training together at Level, Marc and Jamie have both seen progress in the gym.
“For both of us, we have seen significant progress over the last four months, so we’re both very happy with Level so far. It is nice to be able to have couple time, working on our relationship and our fitness goals together.”
“Personal training is not just physical guidance, I benefited from the mental guidance as well. These days, I don’t think about my injury anymore.”
“The quality of personal training has been excellent” shared Marc, when we spoke to him. “Jamie and I see personal training as a way to kickstart our fitness journey, so that we feel safe enough to take our training into our own hands, where we are confident enough to train on our own.”
“John puts the “personal” in personal trainer, really dedicating his time and energy to remember both my own, as well as my wife’s, progress every week.”
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