Adapting Through The Fear…

I’m not sure exactly when, but suddenly, the penny dropped…EVERYBODY is in here to improve..

Despite entering the gym to improve my fitness 6 years ago, without a doubt, many thoughts wondered across my mind (as I’m sure many do) as I scanned the room… how on earth do you / can you do this?
What if I drop something and hurt my hand, what if I get trapped in that press, what if I look stupid, what if they think I shouldn’t be here. I’m not sure how removed from other people’s experiences that thought process was but I remember those moments from years back.

I’m not sure exactly when, but suddenly, the penny dropped…EVERYBODY is in here to improve…The gym “doesn’t know what they’re doing” memes seemed to have gone – or certainly replaced with words of encouragement, appreciation that if you see a beginner, people acknowledge & celebrate a start of a journey.

One of many aspects that I celebrate is the ability to feel comfortable to try new ways of working. With Cerebral Palsy, I have a natural curiosity to challenge & adapt throughout many areas and the gym is no different. THIS is why I celebrate training so much for the disabled community. Everyone has a unique, equal platform to work from, different goals and obstacles to overcome. The fitness community are as one to push themselves to new levels.


My personal adaptions currently include…

– Ankle Strap for Left sided cables

– Wrist support to hold my hand in a secure position

– Liquid chalk (The position my hand sits in results in a softer palm, after discovering the use of chalk for lifts, it assists grip)

Whilst there wasn’t a manual to set me on my course, a number of early PT sessions helped me to learn form and expertise as to discover getting through obstacles.

The development of my training has never really ceased. There is so much joy to be had from testing new techniques, seeing what works for you & changing the routine to make improvements and evolve.

What ignited this blog piece was a new technique I’ve tried (inspired by Emma Hyndman, The Posing Pro…Thanks Emma!), involved changing my grips (using ankle straps) for both left and right arms for a Lat variation using cables…

Check out the video below… 


The nature of my training programmes I have used encourage and almost demand rotation (suited to my ability and goals I’ve set) 

My message here to keep trying new adaptions to train, start with a low weight and try out what suits your movement structure, seek advice if you’re not sure, but remember, everyone is there to try and make improvements, to try and see how far they can take their ability. You too, have got this!!

Published by Matt Elson

Bringing you the latest in not only my personal journal into the world of disability Bodybuilding, but a discovery into latest events, profiles, news and promoting awareness of this great sport Based in Bristol in the UK, I’ve been competing in Disability Bodybuilding for the last 3 years in a journey which has taken me all over the country to national, international & world championships and I am so so grateful for that opportunity that had changed my life. Living with Cerebal Palsy has its challenges, but everyone has their individual hurdles to negotiate. Gaining strength both physically & mentally and adapting to the surrounding is all part of this journey. This is a mission to raise awareness, to promote our great category to develop opportunities for others. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss more!

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