Glute work

Strong glutes are important for everyday life and for developing your strength and power in training – whether that is for running a 5k or a marathon, a triathlon, a hike or achieving a personal best in the weights room. Poor activation of these muscles could cause other problems such as over using hamstring or lower back muscles. Try this simple workout to get started or improve technique and strength.

Cardio Ab circuit

If you want to get your cardio, strength & core done in one workout, this circuit could be for you. Build up as you feel able, increasing weights and duration/repetitions as you start finding it easier. Working out should be fun and leave you feeling worked but not wrung out! Enjoy…

Losing 10 pounds

I am a huge Jillian Michaels fan and I thought this post on how to lose the last 10 pounds, with a simple circuit to follow, would be a good idea for January. Losing the excess holiday weight and getting your fitness back on track can be tough, so have a read of these simple tips and try out the circuit. Add it into your regular cardio (you are doing cardio?), not hours, but a few good workouts a week should help those pounds drop off.

Keep going when you get demotivated. It’s just a bad day, we all have them! Don’t dwell – you can achieve whatever you set your mind to

January challenge

It’s going to be hard to get back to your fitness routine after Christmas and New Year celebrations, so how about starting with a simple challenge like this, working on those glutes. Add in some cardio, walking, cycling or swimming, take part in a new class or get an updated gym programme. You don’t need to spend hours a day, just aim for 3 sessions a week and tweak it until you find what works for you!

Most importantly, keep active each day – sit less, move more and that will make a lot of difference.

Happy New Year!

Two years on…..

It’s been a full two years since I changed my career to become a fitness instructor, people told me I was brave, but I didn’t really think about it like that. It just seemed to be the right time to do it. So what have I learnt……

The first few months are scary, but I decided that I would stack shelves if I needed to make ends meet and, so far, I haven’t had to, but maybe that’s because I said yes to any opportunity that came my way. I applied (and got) a job at a local gym, the gym I had been a member of, so I had a monthly income, it started as cover and has become structured weekly shifts, I am still on a casual zero-hour contract, it works for me.

In less than a year I had regular clients (about 5), and a couple of regular weekly classes, as well as frequently covering classes. I hadn’t really thought about teaching classes, but with them and the mix of 1-2-1 helped me to build confidence. Which, made me set some goals, if I was going to do this, I needed to do more, so I decided on 5 classes a week and 10 regular clients, while keeping up gym shifts but also having some free time. I also completed my kettlebell training, First Aid renewal including AED training.

I also realised that my diploma had opened up opportunities for me that I hadn’t really thought about, exercise referral was one part, it’s ended up being my niche, a very rewarding one, meeting some fantastic people who brighten up my week.

It’s been hard work, but I end my second year, reaching my goals, which I am proud of, and now setting more for next year. But I wanted to look back on what I have learnt so far, to take a minute to be proud of the things I have achieved so far and what I hope to achieve in the next year.

I have learnt:

  • that if you have faith in yourself you can achieve what you set your mind to.
  • That I can do this job well, earn a living and enjoy it
  • That taking opportunities when they appear can take you in a different direction – and sometimes that is for the best

I am proudest of

  • Taking on classes when the idea of talking in front of groups used to scare me
  • Hitting the goals I set well before deadline – it gave me faith in myself – people do want to train with me
  • I passed my level 4 theory and am on my way to another new opportunity

I want to achieve:

  • Completing my Level 4 Postural Stability Instructor course
  • Teaching a couple more classes a week to keep varying my teaching skills
  • Stop saying yes to things I really don’t want to do so I get free time to do the things I do want to do

I hope this post inspires anyone taking a leap into a new direction that even if it seems scary it can work out better than you hope. Sure, there are scary times, but if you never try then you will never know.

I start the New Year with a new class (Jan 2), and a new client lined up, which means I am heading forward to my 2018 goals and while I am excited I also know that this is a fickle business and it could all change – if it does, I will change direction and keep working hard.

Merry Christmas workout

Tis the season to be jolly, so instead of a very structured workout, why not try a game with your mates and won’t take hours! Fit this in over the Christmas holiday to keep some of those extra pounds at bay….

12 exercises of Christmas:

Sing on the song, on the first day 1 sit up, on the second day 2 leg raises and 1 sit up – and so on! Make it to day 12 and you’ll have burned off some of those treats.

Day 1 – sit up

Day 2 – 2 sit ups

Day 3 – 3 glute bridges

Day 4 – 4 x jump lunges

Day 5 – 5 x press ups

Day 6  – 6 x squat thrusts

Day 7 – 7 x crunches

Day 8 – 8 x jump squats

Day 9 – 9 x jacks

Day 10 – 10 x mountain climbers

Day 11 – 11 x squats

Day 12 – 12 x burpees

It will burn but it’s less than 15 minutes work even with rest! Look up technique for any you are unsure of. Take out jumping or put in an alternative exercise if you find some of these too challenging.

Merry Christmas x

FIT in 14 minutes

While you can’t actually get fit in just 14 minutes, at this busy time, you can fit in a 14 minute workout at least once this week – maybe twice? And that will go some way to getting you fit. Give it a go!

At-home workout

Time is precious, at this time of year even more so, so why not add this at-home workout into your day, it will be easier to get it done if all you need is a spare few minutes – no travel to the gym and you can always break it down into parts.

Challenge to Christmas

The lights (and in some cases trees) are up, the party food is everywhere, so now would be a good time to get party ready. Try this simple challenge in the run up to Christmas, a little a day can make a big difference, so try to fit in this and as much activity each day as you can! Don’t forget that even Christmas shopping will burn calories and make your muscles work…

Tabata training

How about a quick tabata circuit to challenge yourself. Build up to the full circuit if you are new or find it hard, progress the time and moves as you can. Enjoy!

Walking to fitness

Sometimes all you need to get a bit fitter, maybe even lose a few pounds, are a pair of trainers and a path, whether that be in the park, along a river or just around the block. This walking plan can get you fit, try it with some friends – so you get a catch up at the same time, just don’t reward yourself with cake after!

Glute workout

This is perfect if you have limited space – you just need to get on a floor and work those glutes! Add this in to your routine, glute work is ideal for any of you who want a toned behind in that party dress, or if you are training for a marathon (walking or running). We all need strong glutes, if we don’t work them we can end up with other muscle being used and that can cause imbalances in our body – ending in possible injury. So get working those glutes!

Party season challenge

It may seem a bit too early, but believe it or not, we are rapidly heading towards party season, so lets get party ready with this little black dress 30 day challenge.

Notice I didn’t actually use the word beginning in C and ending in mas… But if you are looking to see some results before that day, you need to get moving now! A good workout routine will also help you feel great as you head into this crazy time. Enjoy.

Yoga workout

How about working on flexibility. It’s so important, but something (myself included) probably don’t do enough of. So here is a 10 minute session to add into your day, give it a go this week.

September double challenge

It’s the start of autumn, new school term and the lead up to Christmas (can’t believe I wrote that word already!). So lets have a double challenge to get us ready for the winter months.

Work your glutes and your arms with these two challenges!

Cardio challenge

For this month I thought we would add in some cardio. Go at your own pace and build it up if you’re just starting out, for the more frequent exercisers go for the harder version of each exercise. Enjoy.

Working hard but can’t shift the pounds?

I am sure most people trying to lose a few pounds have wondered why they can’t shift it. Could you change up the workout? If you always do the same thing then your muscles adapt and the body is more efficient – using less energy, and therefore burning less calories. Or maybe it’s your diet? A few tweaks could make all the difference. Work smart, eat well and be consistent.

Have a look at these tips! 

Ab blast

At the gym I work out we run hourly ab sessions, if your gym doesn’t (or you want to try something different, try out this blast.

Toned up

Toning up is a phrase every Personal Trainer will hear…. It means something different to each person, usually women want to look lean but are nervous of weights.. don’t be! read more here.

In the meantime start your ‘toning’ challenge by following this workout as part of your weekly routine.

18-minute workout

A band, some dumbbells and 18 minutes, twice a week, that’s all you need. Not much to ask… Give this workout a try, it might become part of your regular plan when you don’t have time for anything more.

Kettlebell workout

If you have access to kettlebells at your gym, you could try this out. Make sure you learn the technique. The work comes from the glutes, hamstrings core – not your back! If your back hurts then stop! Maybe get a gym instructor to show you before you start using them…

Ab workout

These ab exercises are ideal for those who may find getting down onto the floor tricky, making them suitable for almost everyone. The workout shows weights but a resistance band could do the same (just tied to a rail/door handle. Why not add it into your weekly routine!

Box away the blues

This box/kickboxing session will not only give you a cardio blast but boxing can really help you blow away the blues or stress (and who doesn’t get stressed – work, family, Christmas shopping, queues, traffic jams – I could go on).

Enjoy!

Healthy habits

Sticking to a detox/diet/clean eating plan of any sort takes lots of willpower. And at this time of year it’s even harder…

These tips show how a few simple tweaks to your everyday life can make all the difference. A bit more exercise (easy – walking around Christmas shopping!), cutting down on treats (but not cutting them out so you can still have the odd mince pie), and swapping your daily fix of coffee to a healthier option (you can still have coffee  just reduce the size or extra syrup/toppings).

And don’t forget to get your health checks done – knowing what’s going on inside will help you make the right choices for you.

2-in-1 fitness

This routine is great for when you are short on time – a total of 4 rounds will be only 30 minutes. PLUS it offers cardio and weights in one workout. Some of the moves may be a bit advanced if this is your first time, make sure you can do all the moves first (without weight) and then add in a weight that’s challenging but not too heavy.

Enjoy

Circuit training newbie

If you have never been to a circuit style class before, these pointers might highlight why you should give it a go. Note – they might not be called circuits anymore but HIIT, Bootcamp or Tabata all have the same thing in common – they are effectively a circuit.

It’s a great way to train – you can get through lots of exercises – strength and cardio – in a set amount of time, just set a timer for each station (and rest) and you’re good to go. To do a lot of strength work you may need to add in weights, but to get started just use your own body, keep it simple and you’ll get a good workout.

DIY circuit session

If you haven’t tried a circuit class before – you could give this a go! There are several options to keep your body guessing and working hard. Change it up every session and you will get a good all round workout.

3-minute blast

Perfect way to end a session A 3-minute blast – simple exercises that will make you work hard but for only three minutes. 

It’s also a perfect blast for when fitting in any kind of exercise seems impossible!

Read through the feature to make sure you understand any variations, watch the video and then give it a go! Once you’ve got the hang of this one, tweak it with other exercises (burpees, walking lunges, mountain climbers & bicycle crunches are a few examples), but keep to the format. Focus on your technique and push yourself hard – it’s just 3 minutes!

Core challenge

We all need to keep our core strong, as it sounds – it’s the core of our body, like a trunk for a tree, and if it becomes weak it causes all sort of problems with our posture and ability to carry out everyday tasks.

Here’s a great addition to your workout to keep the core strong. As with any exercise, start at your own level and progress – so you might not achieve all of it first time round but after a few times you can add in more.

80/20

The rule you hear is 80% diet and 20% exercise to lose weight, but is that right?

Well yes cutting out unhealthy options will ensure you are able to lose some of those pounds – but it’s a battle. By adding in exercise you can rev up your metabolism and help your body burn the stored fat. It also means you don’t have deprive yourself of everything you like. So the truth is you need both!

Have a read and see how you can incorporate small changes into your daily life to get you to your goal.

30 days of Tabata

Four weeks of Tabata training….. If you like your workouts short, but aren’t sure how to change it or progress it, then this 30 day challenge is for you! Enjoy!

Just remember to pace yourself if you haven’t trained like this before.

Circuits

Here’s a great circuit for anyone, it’s based on the idea of getting hiking ready….for those who are only used to gym or flat terrain. Why not give it a try, just to vary your own workout – or set yourself a goal to train towards a real hike.

Reach your goal

Reaching your goal, whatever it may be, can seem impossible at times. This article has some great tips and inspiration from people who set their goals and met them. Everyone has a different method, finding one (or a few) that work for you will help you stay on track until you get there…and you will.

Remember it will take time and effort, but if you don’t make any changes, then nothing will change. Take inspiration and beat that goal!

12 week taster

Here’s a taster of something from my 12-week programme, why not try it this week as part of your usual routine and if you’d like to see more. you can sign up here.

Upper body:

Beginner: 8-12 repetition. Intermediate: 12-16 reps. Advanced: 16-20 reps. Rest 30-45 secs and repeat another once or twice.

Make sure you choose a weight you can complete the repetitions with using good form – but that are hard enough for your last two repetitions to feel tough!

Bicep curls

Tricep dips

Shoulder press

Side raises

Push up (can be done on knees)

Bent over row or single arm row

five minute workout

Who doesn’t have 5 minutes? Watch this workout video and see if you can fit it in whenever you have 5 minutes! An ad break is 3 minutes so you could get it done in two breaks! That’s got to be better than just sitting watching ads…..

Tips for a healthy balanced life

There are hundreds of tips for weight loss, some better than others, but some of these tips are just good common sense, or helpful hints for a general healthier lifestyle, whatever your goals are.

This article does that too, some of the points such as getting more sleep, changing your workout routine and eating from smaller plates, are useful and well-known tips. However, being reminded to focus on our daily non-exercise based activities are a simple way to keep us healthier. For people who don’t like gyms, this is a godsend – if you like walking, gardening or spend a lot of time doing chores – it all counts! Just keep active!

Hard work makes you hangry

Working out first thing in the morning is not only a great way to start the day, but it makes sure you get your exercise in before the day really gets under way (and therefore less likely to skip it). But, you could undo your hard work if you get too hungry post workout.

These tips highlight the pitfalls and suggest easy solutions to fix them.  You know that pre and post workout eating is important, but what should you eat? Have you  had enough sleep and drank enough water… All these little things can help ensure you don’t eat more than you work off! Which means results will come quicker.

Making exercise your priority

We all know that good exercise and eating habits make you healthier and can improve your life in all sorts of ways – from self esteem to living longer, so I was pleased to read this interesting piece, which is well worth reading if you are struggling with your work/life balance (who isn’t), and could be worth forwarding to your manager! 

It also reminded me that I have to focus on the balance of my life too. I might train other people to make my living but fitting in my own training can be really tough and I am not alone! That’s why trainers often hire other trainers – because the commitment means you won’t forego it.  I am making that time – even if it means I have to adapt my training plan – so far so good!

Fat-busting Tabata

Tabata workouts are quick, simple but very effective. Here’s a few ideas that may surprise you! The bike, treadmill or swimming can work if you are at the gym, but so can high knees, mountain climbers or box jumping (or step) and they can be done at home. Mix it up to keep it fresh. All you need is 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of rest – repeat 14-20 times and you’ll have completed a touch workout in 10 minutes  Who doesn’t have 10 minutes?

 

Boost your metabolism

As we get older we notice many outward changes, but just as many happen on the inside. A particularly annoying one is that our metabolism slows – which can help cause weight gain. Unfortunately the usual reaction to weight gain, is to try to lose it, but a slower metabolic rate makes it much harder.

While reading, I saw this article and how to help yourself, not all of the points are groundbreaking, but there are some very interesting points which could help. Such as, lifting weights (nothing new – we are constantly being reminded we need to increase bone density, better posture etc), but what about doing it in the morning – setting your metabolism up for the day. Small changes could make a difference. Definitely worth a try!