“Stronger than ever has the knowledge required to properly build up your strength and power, and the calm to teach it without rushing anything”
Ideally I want to work out as much and as intensively as I did five years ago. Running, cycling, squashing. As long as it’s dynamic and powerful. The reality is that I spent more time with physiotherapists than I did in the saddle, running, or in the gym.
Short sessions with the physiotherapists never yielded a long-term solution and each time I lost a little bit of my performance. In part because after an injury, I wanted to do too much, too quickly.
After a few years or struggling like this, I was so tired that I went in search of a solution that would truly help me. That solution is Stronger than ever, where I started working with Martijn and Bart!
Stronger than ever has the knowledge required to properly build up your strength and power, and the clam to teach it without rushing anything (which, especially in my case, was necessary), but they also have everything they need to make training challenging and intense.
Glute and ab work (based on what I can do) alternated with intensive cardio. No two lessons are the same, and the exercises are never done two lessons in a row. It’s a chain of all kinds of variations.
The main advantage is without a doubt the personal attention. Faking and slacking are not an option. They look at your posture and form, because only then will you benefit. How often had I participated in an ab workout class and refused to admit to myself that it wasn’t my abs doing the hard work.
That is why with Stronger than ever, you quickly start feeling results in your body. In terms of strength, fitness, and balance. I am super excited!
“You’re never too old to start working with a personal trainer”
I’ve been training with Stronger than ever since 2013, and even after 5 years, I get so much benefit from it. I’m a little older, and for me, training means the difference between being able to make everyday movements with or without pain. There’s always a focus on details. Feet 2 inches further apart, shoulders back, tilt the pelvis. They pay attention to what you do and explain to you exactly which muscles make that small adjustment necessary. And that’s where you feel it. When something gets a little painful, the exercises are adjusted, to make sure I can train responsibly.
For the rest, we have a lot of fun. We talk about all kinds of things while training, and we laugh a lot. You are never too old to start working with a personal trainer!
Michiel de Vries
“Over the past ten weeks, I’ve lost 15 pounds, and when I’m sitting on the couch I can see what I’m doing when I’m tying my shoelaces, I no longer have to go by touch.”
For several years I’d been planning on working on my fitness, endurance, measurements etc., but thankfully I kept finding an excuse not to. My physiotherapist once gave me three personal trainers’ addresses, because I was convinced that without that extra push I would definitely give up, and probably never even start (which I had proved so far…). But the note with the names and phone numbers was now crumpled up and unreadable, lying between the socks in my gym bag. In late January 2017 I’d had enough and asked her for the names again.
I told myself to ‘stick with it this time’ and called Stronger than ever on a Monday. I could have my intake on Tuesday, and the first appointment to really get started was the Monday after. I had explained to Martijn during my intake that I’d rather die than do ground exercises and hated well-intentioned cheerers-on on the side lines (the ‘three more, two more, come one, you can do it, one more’ types). Once I got home, the phone rang: it was Martijn, telling me I could come over and train right away, and that this Saturday, we could do a ‘very early morning’ session at 7.00. To this day I am not sure if that session was purely meant to test my motivation.
By now, after twenty sessions, I’m doing ground exercises (thankfully he didn’t turn into the side line type!), and without complaint! I have muscles in places I didn’t know there were any. I do challenging exercises in the gym (the fact I ended up there makes my old college mates snigger; when they were working on their health and fitness in a similar place 45 years ago, I was always making fun of it).
I always go, no matter the weather, I cycle to my training hour at the most impossible times. No, I even go half an hour early. And what’s more: I’m happy to do it, to the amazement of my lifelong girlfriend, who gave up getting me to exercise 35 years ago. Over the past ten weeks, I’ve lost 15 pounds, and when I’m sitting on the couch I can see what I’m doing when I’m tying my shoelaces, I no longer have to go by touch.
Try it for yourself! I am dedicated to my possibly out-of-reach goal, which Martijn tells me is achievable.
Jeffrey Zuidmeer (26)
“Lost 66 pounds – from Obese to Athletic.”
After being heavyset basically all my life, I made a change 2 years ago. I was tired of having to lug around all those extra pounds, and despite playing football 3 times a week, I wasn’t feeling fit, and I was pretty heavy. Through the gym I was training at, I ended up with Martijn, and we immediately got to work. I didn’t have to think about it for long, and I saw it as a challenge.
We agreed to start with one session a week, and later on in the year it became once every two weeks and then once a month. We started with the basic exercises, and then combined them with more advanced exercises. After several months, I had lost over 30 pounds, and after a year, that number reached 66! People were always asking what I was doing, and I was being showered in compliments.
The combination of a weekly dose of strength training with Martijn and my changing food patterns eventually led to spectators at my football club telling me I was flying across the field. For someone who’s always been heavyset, that’s the best compliment imaginable.
I’ve reached my goal, lost 66 pounds, and I never want to go back to the way I was. Martijn showed me that you can achieve anything, as long as you make a clear plan and think ahead, step by step. An important personal achievement for me, apart from the weight loss, is running the Leiden 10k. A year ago, that would never have been an option.
And of course I set my girlfriend up with Martijn as well, and she’s had a flying start.
“Results through goal-oriented training”
When I started working with Stronger than ever, I had been working out independently for a while. I was doing group lessons, and exercises on the same machines every time, using programmes from the internet. I thought I was doing a good job! However, I wasn’t achieving what I wanted. I got to talking with Martijn, and we clicked immediately. I decided to try it with a little help.
The first time I trained with Martijn, he saw in no-time what my weaknesses were and what I needed to work on. My posture was off, and my core was weak. The foundation had to be strengthened before I could progress. He built up my schedule from single to multiple sets. Every time I was curious about new exercises, and it kept me motivated! Balance is the mantra that Martijn taught me, balance between training and recovery, balance between exertion and relaxation, and balance in your diet. Training with Stronger than ever has been an investment that I will profit from for the rest of my life, even now that I’ve moved house and can no longer work with Martijn, the knowledge he taught me is still the basis of everything I do in the gym. For everything I did, Martijn also taught me why I did it. I know what my weak points are, and how to improve them. I can recommend Martijn to everyone who wants to train more efficiently and more goal-oriented, and wants to learn more about the various training methods. Even if you have to do it yourself, you don’t have to do it alone!
“I found my balance again, and I feel stronger than before my burn-out.”
After a long period of holding onto tension and excessive stress, I got the feeling I was completely burned out by May 2016. Overnight, my energy had disappeared. Of course, I had had these symptoms before, but I’d ignored them. Ignoring it was no longer an option, because it seemed my body was giving up on me. I was also getting tingling sensations, muscle aches and I was losing strength in my arm and leg muscles. After being examined, there was no apparent cause for these symptoms, it was evident that my body was simply no longer able to keep going; I had burned out.
When I realised this, I was able to think about how I wanted to turn my life around. I was prepared to do anything just to feel better, but I was also terrified. By now I had so many ailments that I had started to shut myself off for fear of aggravating my condition. On the other hand, I knew that shutting myself off and avoiding situations was not the solution. With this in mind, I eventually signed up for an intake with Martijn and Bart.
My first goal was to re-establish contact with my body. I didn’t want to feel my body, because then I’d feel everything that was wrong with it. That is exactly what I told Martijn and Bart, and thankfully they understood. I then started training twice a week in order to feel the changes immediately.
During the first few weeks, there were many obstacles. Fear of muscle soreness afterwards, fear I wasn’t doing it right, fear I was doing too much, fear that others would see I wasn’t doing it right. What I noticed is that Martijn and Bart could read these cues and supported me in facing these fears. Together we worked to overcome those obstacles step by step, at my own speed. I could be honest about what I was feeling and thinking, and there was always room to express myself. This made me feel completely at ease, and I wasn’t afraid to be myself.
After the first few weeks of mixed feelings, I started to feel stronger both physically and mentally. I started to feel like working out now that I noticed it was really working. Of course, Martijn and Bart also realised I was doing better, and together we started looking for training challenges. What also helped was making better choices in my diet and my balance. Since 4 weeks ago, my physical ailments have declined to the point where I can do anything I want to without being limited by low energy levels or aches. The training was a major contributor in this, I’m sure of that. The things I learned during our sessions are not just for now, I will keep using them.
With every training I realise that with Stronger than ever, I have made the right choice. I am motivated the right way, the session is aimed at me as a person, at who I am and what I can do. Martijn and Bart really understand how people work, and are able to put a little of themselves into every session. Training has made me both physically and mentally fitter. I found my balance again, and I feel stronger than before my burn-out.
Works for the Leiden municipality
“I can look at my body in a positive light again”
I had been undergoing treatment for my unanswered desire to have children. This was a hard and painful process, which had negatively influenced how I saw my body. I wanted to get off the couch and experience what I could do with my body. These desires led me to Stronger than ever, where I started working with Martijn.
During the intake, we talked extensively about my desires and my experiences that had led me to be disappointed in my body. By now I feel good working with my body in a positive manner. Martijn looks at what the options are, and there is room for both sadness and humour.
Since then, a miracle occurred; I got pregnant! Now I have a new goal, to stay fit during my pregnancy!
“My sessions with Stronger than ever give me energy”
When you enjoy going to the gym every week just like I do – and have for 3 years now – that’s saying something about your personal trainer. Martijn manages to motivate me every time, and it’s thanks to several aspects. It starts with listening: he knows what my goals are and manages to flawlessly adjust every session to that. Every hour of exercise has a varied schedule, and I never feel like we’re stuck on repeat. He understood when I need to be challenged, and when to tone down the intensity a little. My boundaries are pushed sensibly. Thanks to his intelligent explanations, I now know which muscle groups have to be trained which way.
I still notice that when I work out alone, I don’t feel the results as quickly. Apparently it’s often those extra exertions, or that slightly adjusted posture, that make the difference. And it’s hard to notice that for yourself. When I ask for it, he e-mails me the exercises for every week, so I can do the same workout again for myself. And when I go on holiday, he creates an exercise routine that I can do with limited means, no matter where I am. What a service!
Thankfully, training with Martijn is a lot of fun. We often discuss nutrition, other forms of exercise and sports, and we have some good laughs. In short, Martijn is a trainer who suits me like no other. My sessions with Stronger than ever give me energy!