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Total Personal Training

Complete fitness inside and out      07815 935147


New Years Resolutions for 2020

Posted on 31 December, 2019 at 9:15 Comments comments (137)
Hey - hope you had a great Christmas and are getting prepared for 2020 :-)

I expect you will all be laying down some major New Years Resolutions but try not to set the bar too high as you will fall at the first hurdle.  I advises clients that you have to set yourself something ACHIEVABLE and WITHIN REACH.

It's no good saying that you are just going to eat lettuce and run 10k every day as you won't stick to it.

Let me help you put an ACHIEVABLE plan together for you that you WILL STICK TO and GET RESULTS.

I am very realistic about the time pressures that we all have and I can help you with that.  Check out some of the offers that I have or drop me an email [email protected] and let's start to get you on the road to fitness.

Happy New Year chaps!!

Top tips for Energy, Vitality and Weight Loss

Posted on 26 April, 2012 at 11:26 Comments comments (40)
Follow these top 10 tips and you will start getting in control of your body:

1. Eat every 2-3 hours to prevent blood sugar dips

2. Drink 1.5-2 litres water per day to stay hydrated
* we often mistake thirst for hunger so drink before you eat

3. Go easy on the carbs, including certain fruits
Too many starchy carbs upset blood sugar so you need to control them.  Keep to the following per meal:
* 1 slice wholemeal bread OR 1/2 cup brown rice OR 3 new potatoes OR 2 handfuls quinoa OR 1 large carrot OR handful wholemeal pasta.........OR 3 chips!
* Keep to just 2 portions of fruit per day but avoid pineapple, mango, grapes and bananas

4. Include protein with every meal as it slows down energy release from food and keeps blood sugar balanced.  Buy the best quality meat and fish possible.

5. Avoid sugar
Excess sugar gets converted to FAT in the body and causes weight gain, hormone imbalances and fluctuations in the blood sugar.

6. Reduce stimulants (tea, ,coffee, alcohol)

7. Eat loads of non starchy veg and salad
* Broccoli, cabbage, kale, rocket tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, radishes, green beans - basically any veg with lots of colour!

8. Include Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) for every cell in your body to work properly, including your brain
* Omega 6 - nuts and seeds
* Omega 3 - oily fish and flaxseeds

9. Avoid additives, preservatives and chemicals
* go organic if possible
* avoid artificial sweeteners as linked with mood swings and aspartame is know to stimulate appetite!

10. Exercise at least 3 times a week - more on that in another Blog!!

Try and keep to these rules and you will start to feel great after only a short while.

Keep healthy!

How often should I exercise?

Posted on 3 October, 2011 at 7:23 Comments comments (53)
So you have decided to start on your new health and fitness regime. You have hundreds of options available to you: join a gym, start a fitness class, exercise at home or train for an event. No matter what option you choose there is still one question that must always be answered, how often should I exercise?

Figuring out how often to perform your fitness regime comes down to 3 personalized factors. Firstly, how much time you have and how much time you are prepared to commit to getting results. Secondly, how intense the activity you are choosing to perform. Finally, how quickly you recover. Lets take a look at each of these in turn.Before starting your new exercise regime it is important to ask yourself how committed you are to the cause? 

Exercising once every 2 weeks won’t get you very far. Be honest with yourself. Realistically you need to do something at least twice per week. Now it is no good saying you are going to go all out and train 5 times per week when you know that you have little time for exercise and exercise isn’t at the top of your priority list.

Once you know how often you are going to exercise you can decide on the intensity of the workout. Here you can start to get a little more creative. Intensity is key when it comes to fat loss so you are better working out harder for less days per week than lightly every day. This is a common mistake made by many people, often believing that more is better. If your goals are something less intense like Pilates or Yoga then you could perform these activities more frequently.

So you should now know the intensity and frequency of your workouts. The final thing to consider, and in my mind the most important, is how quickly you recover. Recovery is the key to any exercise program. You make progress when you recover from the exercise not when you are performing it. Our body learns from each session and through recovery makes it easier for us the next time. This is why you should always increase the intensity slightly over time. We all recover at different speeds depending on age, diet, stressors, genetics etc. Listen to your body and adjust the frequency accordingly.

Consider these 3 simple factors when planning out your exercise regime and you will get the maximum benefits from each workout. My advice would be to start exercising at a good intensity every other day. Listen to your body and take an extra day off if necessary. As you get used to your routine experiment with the intensity and frequency. The harder you work the more time you will need to recover. Don’t forget that recovery is the most important factor but that doesn’t make the perfect excuse for doing nothing.

written by Greg Brookes of GB Personal Training

The Secret to Permanent Weight Loss - How to Boost Your Metabolism

Posted on 29 September, 2011 at 12:11 Comments comments (191)
The secret to permanent weight loss is training your body to be a more efficient calorie-burning engine by maximizing your metabolism. Metabolism is the rate at which a person burns energy, and this is measured in calories. 

What Is Metabolism?

There are three parts of metabolism:
  1. The Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the amount of energy required to maintain the bodily functions and processes when you are resting and awake. Your RMR comprises about 60% of your total daily caloric needs.
  2. The Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF) is the amount of calories you use to eat and digest food and makes up about 5-10% of total calorie needs.
  3. The Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA) is the rate at which you burn calories while exercising and with normal movements. This accounts for about 30% of caloric needs.
Unfortunately, as we age, our metabolic rate slows down. Starting at about age 25, the average and not physically active person's metabolism declines between 5% and 10% per decade, which accumulates to between 20% and 40% metabolism over the adult life span. However, there is good news for those who continue physical activity their whole lives: they have only a 0.3% metabolic decline per decade. 

Boosting Your Metabolism

The most effective way to "boost" your metabolism is through exercise, especially if you are dieting. Cardio training and weight lifting exercise provides a protective effect against a drop in metabolism. This is because people tend to lose a considerable portion of muscle in calorie-reduction programs that don't include strength training, whereas one of the main benefits from exercise in weight loss programs is the preservation of muscle.

When you increase your muscle, you boost your resting metabolic rate. Weightlifting consumes calories, raises your metabolism, and builds muscle that will consume extra calories later on. This means that all other things being equal, your body will burn more calories even when you are doing nothing. Hunter (2000) did a study in which subjects did resistance training. After 6 months, subjects had increased their RMR and were burning an extra 100 calories per day.

Cardio also boosts metabolism. In a study, participants who did moderate intensity cardio exercise 3-5 days per week for 20-45 minutes for 16 months and had an average increase in RMR of 129 calories per day. (Potteiger 2008).

Including interval cardio training is another powerful method of maximizing your metabolism because it raises your metabolism for several hours after your interval workout. To do an interval workout, do a 5 minute warm up, alternate 2 minutes of moderate intensity cardio with 30 seconds of all-out effort for 10-20 minutes then cool down. 

And lastly, look for situations to be active. Take several daily 10-15 minute brisk walks and increase your activity by doing things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. This serves to increases your calorie burn even more. People who are consistently on the go can add 20% to their energy expenditure over the day. 

Interval Training for Weight Loss

Posted on 26 September, 2011 at 9:29 Comments comments (22)
Do you want to lose weight, more specifically fat?

Do you feel paralyzed after failing time and time again to lose those extra pounds?
Don’t you just get mad when you do a ton of exercise and you really don't lose any weight at all? 

You may try and fool yourself that it’s ok but every time you look in the mirror, it doesn't lie. Are you finding it harder and harder to be motivated because you are starting to feel a little hopeless?

Well If I can show you a way to lose all your fat in weeks, are you willing to spend no more than 20 minutes three times a week achieving this? What would it mean to you if you could walk around in your costume and feel fantastic about it?

By the time you finish reading this article, you will know how to consistently lose 2 pounds of pure fat every week so you can actually fit into those fantastic clothes you just bought. You are about to discover a type of exercise that causes a chain reaction in your body to burn fat…a LOT of fat, for hours...…but first let’s talk about what doesn’t work.

For years, we've been told low-intensity aerobic exercise is the best method for burning off our extra body fat. Research also indicates that the lower the intensity of the exercise the more percentage of fat is used as fuel for muscles, so in low intensity aerobic activity the body operates in a ‘fat burning’ zone which burns more fat than at higher intensity.  

Unfortunately according to modern research, this just doesn't seem to work very well. In fact tens of experiments have all concluded that aerobic exercise does nothing for large scale fat loss. So unfortunately, like you, there are thousands of people trying desperately to lose weight by doing some work on the treadmill or something similar. And for the most part, all of these people are not going to lose any fat. (If you want some proof go look at a local fun run, these people are fit but are they shape you want to be?)Not too many benefits for all that work… So what to do? 

Well, there is an exercise routine that apart from speedy fat loss has a multitude of benefits which include:
  • Losing at least two pounds per week and I am being conservative with this figure…
  • Getting a toned, athletic look - don’t just lose weight,  mould your body into a shape that will be turning heads;                                                                               
  • Tons and tons of energy - Imagine having energy for a full exciting life, you will have more energy than you know what to do with;                                                              
  • Super fitness - having a lot more cardio endurance and fitness than the guy who spend two hours on the treadmill each day;                                                            
  • Chase away disease - this exercise does wonders for lowering blood pressure and staving type 2 diabetes away; and
  • Automatically as you body loses weight, you will become aware of extra energy and vitality

How would you like it if you had dozens of people desperate to find out your weight loss super secret while they still were failing? Get used to it, it will happen a lot.And think now what will you do with that new toned body, take it to the beach, buy new clothes or shake it on the dance floor.Ok, enough trying to motivate you, the secret to this wonderful metamorphosis is a type of interval training called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).   

Study after study has proven the incredible fat burning effects that HIIT can have on the body, in fact in the first bit of research that set interval training as the benchmark for fat loss; the participants lost 9 times as much fat as those doing standard aerobic exercises.It works so well because of a process called EPOC

EPOC occurs in the body after intense exercise drains muscles of their inbuilt energy source. This has to be replenished in the body, and it can take up to 48 hours to happen. During this time your body has no alternative but to draw and burn up your fat reserves. So for the next two days while you sit at work, watch TV or have that peaceful nap, your blood cells are rushing around that belly or those thighs, grabbing as much of the fat as it can and taking it away to use it as energy, without you having to do much...And EPOC is only the immediate benefit; over time your body’s ability to convert energy directly into the muscle increases. The muscles ability to store energy increases so your demands for fat release go up, and interval training starts convincing the body to funnel new energy to the muscles instead of sending them to your fat stores. All of this increases the more you do interval training, so as you can see the better you get at this, the more of afat burning machine your body turns into.

Does this sound too good to be true?

I hope it does. I hope that today you have found something so big that it turns your entire life around. I hope that your success in finally losing those pounds motivates and encourages you to all sorts of success in your life. Great catalysts have an enormous power for making dramatic change. Clearly once you have lost that weight; your lifestyle will change in ways you can only imagine. But you must choose to act now because you don’t want to find yourself in the same place in a year from now.

Earlier on I asked you the question:"If I could show you a way to lose all your fat in weeks, are you willing to spend no more than 20 minutes three times a week achieving this?….", since you are still reading I'm going to assume you answered yes. Well, now that I have shown you how interval training can deliver on that promise, it’s time for you to act on this.  You have finally found the only thing that truly works, an exercise routine that really will lose your fat. So get motivated, get organised and give interval training a good go, stop dreaming of that flat stomach and actually get one. Imagine…in as little as a few weeks being totally fat free, fit and healthy … all because you decided to say "YES" to trying Interval Training today:    

Benefits of using Foam Roller

Posted on 16 September, 2011 at 8:23 Comments comments (21)
I've started to warm up clients with the use of foam rollers with great success so thought ought to share the secret of the roller........

Foam Rollers offer many of the same benefits as a sports massage, without the big price tag.The foam roller not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

Foam Roller ExercisesHow It Works
The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.Myofascial release is a body work technique in which a practitioner uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.
Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such asIT band syndrome and shin splints as well as improving flexibility and range of motion. 

Foam rollers are inexpensive and with a bit of experimentation you can target just about any muscle group.

5 Solutions to a Bad Lower Back

Posted on 11 September, 2011 at 12:24 Comments comments (28)
According to the British Medical Journal, most people suffer from lower back pain at some point, and while many people recover, between 10 and 25 percent of people with low back pain have long periods where they’re unable to work. Treatments for back pain include painkillers, physiotherapy, osteopathy or even surgery. Most back problems are caused elsewhere in the body and a series of 5 simple exercises can go a long way to preventing or alleviating back pain.
1. Stretch your Hip Flexors
Your Hip Flexors are a group of muscles responsible for raising your knees to your chest. They are a very active and easily get involved in movements that they are not primary designed to do. The Hip Flexors over activation and lack of stretching often results in a shortening of the muscles. As the muscles shorten they start to pull on the Lumbar Spine and ultimately create a more Lordotic curve in lower back. This posture is easily recognized with the buttocks pushed out at the back and belly protruding out at the front.
Solution: Stretch the Hip Flexors by taking a deep lunge position, rotating your pelvic bone towards your chest and bracing your abs.
2. Lengthen your Hamstrings
Following lengthy periods of sitting with bent knees the Hamstrings shorten. Shortened hamstrings attach to the bottom of your pelvis and prevent correct rotation of the pelvis during forward bending. An inability to rotate at the pelvis results in a compensation in the lower back and ultimately lower back problems.
Solution: Stretch the Hamstrings by sitting with your lower back against a wall and straightening your legs. Keep the chest up and proud.
3. Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility
The Thoracic Spine is situated from the base of the neck to the mid back and is anatomically designed for movement. The Lumbar Spine with its larger vertebrae is designed for stability and lack of movement. Most people due to repetitive seating positions have “locked up” Thoracic Spines resulting in limited movement.  The Lumbar spine is then forced to produce movement that it is not anatomically designed to perform and hence lower back issues.
Solution: Mobilise the Thoracic Spine by sitting tall on a backless chair and holding a stick across the shoulders. Brace the abs to lock the lower back and rotate slowly alternating sides.
4. Strengthen the Inner Core
The Inner Core is designed to work as a compression chamber to support the Lower Spine. The Pelvic Floor and Diaphragm are on top and bottom, the Transverse Abdominis goes around the sides and the Multifidus is at the back. An inability, through excess sitting, to activate the inner core leaves the Lumber Spine “Naked” during movement.
Solution: Strengthen the Inner Core by lying face down with the head on the hands. Breathe in deeply and push the belly into the floor, then breathe out deeply and pull the belly off the floor.
5. Use Correct Abdominal Training
The world’s obsession with flat stomachs and 6-pack Abs has resulted in a whole multitude of abdominal exercises. Unfortunately the majority of these exercises go against the true function of the Core muscles and only exacerbate existing problems. The Cores primary role is to provide stabilisation and a strong platform for other muscles to function from.  Sit ups and crunches work in the total opposite direction of the Cores true function and only increase excess flexion in the Lumbar Spine. These exercises in turn increase the hunched over desk seated position and further stimulate and shorten the over active Hip Flexors.
Solution: Work on Core Stability by holding a rigid Press Up position while slowly raising one arm and taping the opposite shoulder. The less conditioned can omit the shoulder taps.

Final Note: Some back pain cannot be fixed or alleviated with the above exercises and a professional consultation with a specialist is always advised before embarking on the above exercises.

written by Greg Brookes of GB Personal Training

The only 5 exercises you will ever need

Posted on 9 September, 2011 at 12:35 Comments comments (28)
Everyone claims to have a magic exercise that will strip the fat in days or give you that flat stomach in only 7 minutes.The truth is, the body is only designed to move in a few key ways. Include these exercise movement patterns in your workout and you’ll hit every muscle in your body resulting in quick fat loss, rapid muscle building and a workout that is totally natural.
1. Lunge – the lunge mimics the natural walking or running pattern. You can lunge forwards, backwards, sideways, and with or without added resistance from weights. The lunge works the legs and buttocks very hard and a degree of core stability is required to remain upright.
2. Squat – every time you sit down you perform a squat. Ensure you squat down so the thighs are parallel to the floor, this activates the buttocks properly. The squat hits the thighs and buttocks hard as well as raising the heart rate quickly. You can squat with or without the addition of a weight.
3. Deadlift – if you pick something up off the floor then chances are you are using a variation of the deadlift. The deadlift works the buttocks, hamstrings and back. One highly effective variation of the deadlift is the kettlebell swing, this adds a more dynamic element to the deadlift and challenges the core too!
4. Press Ups – this exercise teaches the body to push, a fundamental movement. In order to perform an effective Press Up you need good core strength to stop your body from collapsing. If you can’t hold a press up position then work on this first to condition your abs and core strength. Press Ups condition the abs, shoulders, triceps and shoulders.
5. Rows / Pull Ups – a vital movement for any kind of climbing or pulling. This movement works the back of the body and biceps. Rows are particularly important for correcting posture due to the amount of time we spend hunched over at the desk

Try putting all 5 of these exercises in a circuit one after the other for a complete all over body workout.

Perform 8 reps of each exercise and 3 circuits. When you can do 15 reps add more resistance, it is that simple!

written by Greg Brookes of GB Personal Training

If you would like any advice on training or would like to book some 1:1 Personal Training, please do not hesitate to contact Abbie on 07815 935147 or email [email protected]