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!

Take your abs to the next level

 

How about taking your abs to the next level.?  We all get stuck in a rut – repeating the exercises we  know, but you need to change it up if you want to see results. Easier said than done – well here’s a helping hand – some truly tough abdominal exercises to keep your ab workout fresh for a while.

Some of these may be too extreme for right now, but take a look and build up to them.

Lean tips

Who doesn’t love a list? Here’s one that has some very useful tips to keep you lean. Obvious some may be, but are you actually following them? Some more tricky than others (no. 10 for example), but most of them can be added in to your everyday life and it’s the small changes that make the difference. So have a read and see what changes you can include in your life if you want to get a bit leaner.

Perky glutes

As a trainer I have been asked to lift bums (not literally), but if you don’t have a trainer, why not try this workout instead…. Enjoy!

Try this 30-day challenge, adding in some weights (and cans from the cupboard will do) can make even a short workout valuable. Give it a try. Remember to work at your pace and progress as you feel ready, don’t over do it!

Enjoy!

Sabotage!

If you don’t feel like you’re achieving those fitness goals, it could be that something away from the gym that is hurting your progress.

If you are following your plan, your form is good, and you are mixing it up enough to keep your body guessing, then maybe you need to check your eating, sleeping and stress levels. Anyone of these could be sabotaging your goals.

Have a look at this article to help you avoid common pitfalls. 

Summer holiday workout

If you’re planning a spring/summer break soon – try this video for some inspiration. 

As with all workouts, warm up and cool down, and only work at your own level – change exercises if the ones suggested are too hard you right now, or hurt you. Feeling sore the day after is one thing, feeling pain is not ok!

Fitness motivation

Working out can be hard – even for the most committed! There will always be a day when you want to skip the gym – sometimes that’s not such a bad thing, rest and recovering is important, but so is staying on track with your goals.

To keep motivated you could try these tips, simple but effective.