REVIEW TIME! For anyone interested in any of the services New England Barbell provide (I think I’m currently involved in a majority of the different services) you should deff take the time to read this review! Its long, its big, but it comprehensive so if you’re on the fence, wondering what they do or how they could help you, it’s worth the time and worth the read! I could just tell you that “they are awesome and to give them a call” OR I could explain why I think that and you can make your own decision!!
First my background – I have competed in ICN (I Compete Natural) formally INBA (International Natural Bodybuilding Association) all natural and tested federations a couple of years ago with a different coach and due to health issues, I only re-commenced my desire to compete again last year! I suffer from some pretty curvy scoliosis and I have had over 4 surgeries now for pre-cancerous cells and other unfortunate health issues all while training at New England Barbell.
*Classes* - while I currently do most of my training with a 1 to 1 approach through Personal Training, Reuben has also programmed for me to attend the morning classes run by himself and/or Jonah together with the PT sessions. The morning classes are a combination of strength training, conditioning and cardio, and mobility and function with stretching at the end!!
The morning group classes can be done at your own pace however we are all there to challenge ourselves. I love the mix of people in the classes who ages range from 18 to 60 year old men and woman! I love seeing the range of ages working together, pushing each other and having a laugh! The classes are designed for anyone, at any fitness level and ANY AGE!!! Jonah and Reuben are have a real eye for detail and remind you if form is incorrect throughout the class and also work with you if you have any injuries or cannot perform certain exercises so the classes are still very flexible to each person. It is really inspiring to see people much older than me smashing these workouts and classes! It really proves that age is just a number!
*Scoliosis* - I’m curvy and I know it, just in all the wrong places! I suffer like a lot of people from scoliosis which creates a lot of uneven muscle development, poor mobility and is just an outright annoyance and can cause a high degree of discomfort and pain! Before I had even told Reuben of my condition, he had picked it up straight away with the imbalances of my shoulders!
Reuben has worked with multiple people in a re-habitation space and while I have explained my scoliosis to many other people before, Reuben and Hattie Boydle are really the only people to listen and actually tailor any plan and program to help address my imbalances and improve my mobility instead of being handed a “cookie cutter program” and being sent on my way.
A lot of coaches or PTers before Reuben where of the view of “just moving and lifting the weight no matter what” where Reuben has taken a difference approach, we have dropped the weight back and sometimes off completely to correct and execute form and even before that we addressed my mobility issues. If you have any injury or concerns, honestly, the best thing you can do is speak to someone with experience and who will listen to you and who has been through similar situations and has firsthand knowledge and can relate. Not everybody is experienced with programming and training for specific conditions so make sure you do your research and don’t just put yourself in anyone’s hands! TRUST ME!
*Nutrition* If you are looking for a meal plan or even some nutritional guidance New England Barbell can cover off on that as well! I have had a few meal plans and unlike the standard plans you may FEAR seeing (chicken, rice and greens) I am actually eating (and excited) about my meal plan! The food depending on your goal ranges but honestly I’m eating curried kangabangas with mash sweet potato, green Thai chicken curry, salted caramel protein powder in yoghurt with nuttbutter and berries, there is also a good satay chicken recipe Reuben can provide!!!!!!! Because of my goals of competing I’m a bit restricted at the moment with my food BUT seriously, if that is restricted, anyone can stick to the meal plan.
Not only will you get the meal plan but you will get guidance and understanding with making better food choices (im sure you have heard it all before but really, it is more than looking at the back of a nutrition table and being like “oh low fat cool, must be OK”. Reuben will ACTUALLY show you how to create awesome food using dry herbs and spices to still enjoy all the food you LOVE just without all the hidden sugars and other stuff they put into pre-mixed stuff etc!!
*Competing* For my goals I knew that I would need someone who understand the amount of work involved to achieve what I am wanting to achieve. Reuben actually started off as solely my Personal Trainer while I was under the coaching guidance of Hattie Boydle, WBFF Fitness Diva WORLD CHAMP and Pro. Hattie was amazing and I learnt so much through my 6 month contract with her not only about training but also mentally especially with competing!
For me, I saw the benefit especially with my scoliosis of having someone physically present to consistently observe my movements and lifting and being able to make really important “on the spot decisions” to correct form OR change up specific exercises to best suit me and help me engage the right muscles correctly, and therefore being super comfortable with Reuben’s level of knowledge and experience not only with everything from training, to nutrition, to comp prep but also dealing with and having successful experience with rehabilitation and scoliosis with other people, I made the decision and he fully took over all of my coaching.
*General* if you are looking for a change, if you are looking to surround yourself with like-minded people, if you need a push or direction or simply some guidance you should contact Reuben or Jonah. Currently New England Barbell isn’t open to the public all the time like “normal” or other gyms therefore keeping and creating a really good environment for only people who are friendly and supportive of each other, from all ages, guys I’m talking 60-year-old woman who get up out of bed each morning and come do the classes, the people who turn up to train are “everyday people” just wanting to better themselves and also support other people in our community, no one feels intimidated, I am not waking up at crazy hours to get to the gym “before all the people arrive”, I am not scared to walk in the door and have people look me, and I am really not scared to share my goals with anyone there, everyone is literally that supportive and happy for you. Everyone who walks through the doors, wants you to succeed no matter what your goal is, big or small or who you are!
PS, we are currently 26 weeks out from my return to the ICN Stage and roughly 30 weeks out from my WBFF Debut, despite all of the above, everything I have overcome and still overcoming, you’re going to want to watch this space! If anyone can make me look like I belong on the stage, it’s going to be New England Barbell.