Listen to the chef….

By on September 1, 2014. Posted in . Tagged as , , , , , .

Ashley hits a solid 72kg Snatch in competition.

Ashley hits a solid 72kg Snatch in competition.


This article is from Ashley Simkins who I coach in Essex. He discusses why you should listen to your personal trainer or coach, why they know best for you and the mistakes he made before he came to this realisation.


The concept of this article may seem a little obvious but it is a very common mistake made by many, many athletes in a competitive sporting environment. For many people and including myself the idea of listening to my coach and following their instructions TO THE LETTER was very difficult and did not come naturally.

Ramsey Kechacha

Ramsey Kechacha- Strength coach

The whole journey started 4 months ago when I was approached by Strength and Conditioning coach, Ramsey Kechacha who also specialises in Weightlifting coaching.  Ramsey told me that if I listened to him I would be able to compete at a high level in Olympic weightlifting. At the time I naively thought I knew my fair share and could coach myself, but as I found out It turns out I wasn’t as knowledgeable as first expected.

It took all of 3 days to realise how poor an inefficient my technique actually was!.

The training program he set me was very difficult, not physically but mentally. The weights weren’t particularly taxing and the volume of each session was not particularly high. It was all technique based which was hard to get my head around at first.

Especially coming from a rugby and powerlifting background where every session I pushed myself. It took me weeks with constant moaning, a few telling offs and at times being bared from the gym to get me in the right mind set!

In the beginning I was frustrated and ready to give up, but with a couple of chats with Ramsey during which he told me about all that he had planned for me I became very excited. We decided on both short and long term goals like to compete in my first competition, which didn’t go all to plan with a total of 172kg (72kg snatch and 100kg C&J). However I learnt a lot, the experience was priceless and will carry over to my next competition in October.

Ashley puts 100kg over his head.

Ashley puts 100kg over his head.


After the chats I found my self more motivated to work hard and succeed not only for me but for Ramsey as well.  He had invested lots of time and energy into me I didn’t want to disappoint him, so at times I added more weight to the bar and added extra sets without him knowing. Then after a while it all caught up with me and I started getting knee pain and the fatigue was killing me.

It started to affect my workouts and everyday life. I was missing weights that I should have been getting, causing me to get frustrated and over train. As you can tell it was a endless cycle. In the end it was inevitable that he would catch me. When he did he was fuming and most of all disappointed which was the last thing that I wanted.

When I was adding weight and sets I knew it was wrong, also what makes it worse is that I am doing a sports degree and knew that I was over training but couldn’t help myself. I became obsessed with numbers which was so detrimental for my training.

When the dust settled from it all I apologized and decided to actually listen. You can probably guess that my training started to get a whole lot better and I started to hit new personal best! I look back at it all I wish I did this from the start and how much better I would I could have been. As in life you learn from your mistakes.


If you are reading this right now and can relate to my experience or are thinking of add reps, weights or sets to your programme, I have one message: DON’T.

You have trusted someone else with your training so do what they say. The person or people you have confided in has your best interests at heart and want to see you succeed more than you do. So if they say do 3 sets of 10 reps do it do not add any extras.

If there is one analogy that Ramsey said sums this article up is “ I am the head chef and I knows the best recipe and if you add to the recipe you will ruin it all, so leave the cooking to me.”


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