Author Archive

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

What is the key to a successful training program? CONSISTENCY. What is the key to successful weight loss? CONSISTENCY. What is the key to successful muscle gain? CONSISTENCY. What is the key to successful nutrition? CONSISTENCY. What is the key to ingraining health and fitness into your lifestyle, feeling better for it and getting the best results you can get? CONSISTENCY. Can you see a pattern starting to emerge? So why is being consistent the key to all these things? Being consistent creates habit. So when health and fitness becomes a habit and an important part of your lifestyle, you’re already onto a winner. Training at the same times and days each week (when possible) is a big head start here. In terms of training, consistency is important for several reasons. If you try and do lots of different exercises every session and don’t follow a solid, structured workout plan, your body will never be able to adapt to the strain you’re putting it under, therefore you will not get fitter or stronger, and you are unlikely to lose any weight, get stronger or achieve any kind of performance related goal. If you are a beginner to exercise, or only have limited time available, doing two or three full body workouts a week with say six or seven key exercises each session will be much more beneficial to you in the long term. This consistency allows your body to get used to doing these exercises and that means you’ll slowly improve and head towards your end goal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting for one minute that you should pick a select few exercises and stick with them forever. At least try and stick with them for a few weeks though, and see yourself improve and get more confident with those exercises. Then change and throw in a few different exercises/sessions and stick with them for a few weeks. Stick to this kind of cycle and you won’t go far wrong providing you’re doing suitable exercises for your end goal. People often like loads of variety in every training session as they get ‘bored’. Those people don’t get the results they want in the end. Helter skelter training sessions with no structure or direction, might seen fun, but won’t be fun for long when you don’t achieve the results you want. You’re just wasting time, energy and in most cases money as well. In terms of nutrition, consistency is also key. Work out your macros, create a meal plan or keep a good diary and stick to it. It really is that simple. If you like eating lots of different meals, come up with a weekly food plan and stick to that. Good food prep is massively helpful in keeping you on track here. Make being consistent a priority in your health and exercise mission, and you’ll be a massive step closer to achieving your goals. Be all you can be. Sean

OLD SCHOOL FOR A REASON

“I don’t want to do heavy weights” “I don’t want to get bulky” “I just want to do cardio” “I don’t seem to be losing weight” Sound familiar? Unfortunately in the health and fitness industry, there are an awful lot of misconceptions which people who don’t have any practical experience or knowledge of seem to be certain are 100% fact. The main reason most people go to the gym, take part in physical activity or visit personal trainers like ourselves is vanity. Who doesn’t want to look great and feel totally confident in themselves? However these same people also feel like because they’ve seen videos on Instagram of their favourite celebrity training in a very exciting and glamourous way, that they know exactly what they need to do to achieve their own personal goals. It’s complete rubbish. Another problem these people have is jumping on the bandwagon when a new ‘fad’ exercise or training method pushes it’s way onto their social media feeds. It can be as pointless and ineffective as you like, but you can guarantee people want to give it a go. So what’s wrong with ‘old fashioned’ training methods? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Training methods that have been used for as long as exercise has existed (an incredibly long time), have been that long lived for one reason – they actually work. Fad exercises go in and out of fashion because they don’t have as many long term benefits as weight training and proper conditioning. So why is old school weight training and conditioning beneficial to everyone, and more effective than other more ‘fashionable’ ways to train, especially if you’re goal is to look good? Benefits of weight training include increased strength, muscle mass, endurance, improved cardiovascular health and appearance, and decreased body fat, and blood pressure. Importantly, for people who want to lose body fat, the body’s basal metabolic rate increases with increases in muscle mass, which promotes long-term fat loss. Also intense workouts elevate metabolism for hours following the workout, which also promotes fat loss. So you’ll be burning calories after you’ve finished training. The best way to get yourself into shape is a consistent and structured weight training program. It might not be pretty, but it’s very effective. By all means, people should do what they enjoy, but do those activities as add ons to a well planned weight training program and diet. That’s your bread and butter. Remember, it’s old school for one reason, and one reason only – It works! Be all you can be. Sean

THE GYM – DON’T BE INTIMIDATED

Nobody should never feel intimidated or uncomfortable stepping foot in any gym. Ever. People go the gym to better themselves, no matter what their goal is. It doesn’t matter whether you want to lose a bit of weight, build muscle, or are training to improve your performance in a sport, everyone in the gym is looking for improvements. We are all in the same boat. One of the main reasons people who haven’t exercised in a gym before and end up avoiding them at all costs, is a fear of being judged or ridiculed. If this applies to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Everybody has felt like this at some point. Just remember, we all go to the gym to better ourselves. So don’t worry about the horrendous images you might have in your head – of grossly muscular men in awful vests with terrible haircuts, throwing heavy weights around and grunting all the time. This just isn’t the case in most gyms. Most gyms are actually really nice places to be and are full of caring and supportive people. Anything you are unsure about, ask a member of staff and they (should) be more than happy to give you any assistance you may need. So be brave, get stuck in and enjoy going to the gym and taking part in physical activity.  Don’t be intimidated, there is absolutely no reason to be. Plus, the chances are you’ll make some friends and get fitter and healthier on they way! Be all you can be. Sean

GROUP TRAINING – GET INVOLVED

Most gyms offer fitness classes where groups of people can come together and exercise at the same time under the supervision of an instructor.  These classes are becoming increasingly popular, so what’s all the fuss about, and why should you get involved in them? Here’s 5 reasons why group classes are great: 1. You’ll follow the instructions of a trainer. No more thinking about what exercise to do next or how to do an exercise correctly, just follow the session and reap the rewards! 2. You’ll push yourself harder. If you train on your own, it’s quite easy to give in early or not push yourself as much as you should. In a class, you’re much more likely to work harder, and not give up! 3. You’ll feel part of a team. Taking part in a gym class can feel like a collective effort. From generally making friends and talking to other people in the class, to encouraging each other and pushing others to achieve their goals, it’s a great way of meeting new people! 4. Consistency is key. Classes tend to be on the same days and at the same times every week. Knowing you go to a class at these set times helps you develop the consistency needed to achieve any kind of health or fitness goal. As classes become habit and part of your weekly routine, you’ll get to the point where you’re lost if you miss a session! 5. You’ll enjoy it! Finishing a good/tough class will leave you with a great feeling. Knowing you’ve worked hard and pushed yourself alongside like minded people is superb, and you’ll walk out of the class in a great mood!! So there you are, gym classes are great – get involved! Be all you can be. Sean 

BURPEES – WHY?!

I don’t know anyone who really enjoys doing Burpees. Whoever invented them must have had a very sadistic personality. However I think Burpees get a bit of a bad press. They are a superb exercise (even though people have nightmares about them). So why should we bite the bullet and be at peace with the Burpee? Here are 5 reasons you should embrace one of the most effective exercises around: 1. They are a full body exercise! Anything that works your whole body can only be good, right? It’s functional fitness at it’s best. 2. They are great for burning fat! Burpees are made to burn calories and are a superb component of any HIIT session. Want to burn lots of calories in a short space of time? Burpees are for you! 3. They are an excellent way of conditioning your body and improving general fitness! Perfect for people who take part in sports or who want to increase the intensity of their training. If getting fitter and healthier is your goal, then burpees are for you! 4. You can do them anytime, anywhere! You don’t need any fancy equipment or gym facilities to be able to do them. So there is no excuse for not practicing them! That way, when the pressure is on and you’re doing them in the gym, you’ll look like a pro! 5. You can easily incorporate them into your training regime! Burpees dont take up much time to do. 3 sets of 30 seconds is usually enough to get your heart racing and the blood pumping. Therefore, you can easily slot them in between other exercises in your training routine without disrupting your usual rhythm. So there you are, burpees really are great! Learn to love them, and reap the rewards! Be all you can be. Sean

INJURIES – KEEP YOUR HEAD UP

Injuries happen to us all. It doesn’t matter whether they are really serious or very minor, injuries can have a massive effect on our exercise regimes, and our mindset towards our training. It can be extremely disheartening when you are training really well and you’re getting closer to your goals, and then injury strikes. In my years of training, I have been unfortunate enough to experience countless injuries. From blisters on my feet, pulled muscles and ligaments, right the way up to rupturing my Achilles Tendon, I’ve been through it all. It’s tough. But what should you do when injury strikes? The first course of action is to stop exercising immediately and determine what exactly your injury is. Use common sense here. Don’t go to your local A&E department with a blister! Consult a doctor or physiotherapist before you do anything if you aren’t sure. Once you have determined what your injury is, you can plan on your next move. The next thing to do is seek advice on alternative training methods. For example, if you’ve hurt your foot, running is out of the question. Try swimming or cycling on an exercise bike as an alternative cardiovascular exercise. It’s important if you pick up an injury, if possible, to keep doing some form of training. Of course, this depends on the severity of what you’re done. Nobody can carry on training in a full body cast! Carrying on with some form of alternative exercise is beneficial in many ways. One reason is that it will still keep the rest of your body (minus the injured area) in good physical condition, which will stand you in good stead when you resume your regular training. Physiotherapy will also help massively in getting the injured area back to full health. Getting a good rehabilitation program is ideal here. Another reason for making sure you continue to do some form of physical activity, and I think the most important, is that doing alternative exercise that is allowing you to recover and also remain physically fit, helps keep you in a positive frame of mind. I can’t explain the amount of times I’ve been injured in the most frustrating circumstances, and wanted to throw in the towel and call it a day on whatever I was training for at the time. Without a plan and a persitance to overcome these setbacks, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Doing an alternative training program whilst I recovered, kept me physically still heading towards my goals and more importantly, kept my mindset positive. If you experience an injury, keep your head up and work out how to over come these setbacks. You’ll definitely be stronger for it! Be all you can be. Sean

EXERCISE – FEEL GOOD 

We all know about the physical benefits of exercise. Losing weight, increasing cardiovascular performance and building muscle are all things we associate with prolonged periods of consistent exercise. We don’t often consider the psychological benefits of training and physical activity – We should do. Most of us have very busy lives, whether that be with work, education, family or anything else that takes up our time. Occasionally, all of these factors lead us to become worried or anxious, and generally unhappy. This is completely normal. Luckily help is at hand. Exercising regularly has many proven psychological benefits. These include: – Improved mood – Reduced stress – Improved ability to deal with stress – Improved self-esteem – Increased self satisfaction – Improved body image – Increased confidence in physical abilities – Reduce symptoms associated with depression These factors, combined with the physical benefits of exercise all add up to making you feel better in yourself, and able to cope with the demands of every day life. Nothing makes you feel better than a good training session. What are you waiting for? Be all you can be! Sean

GOALS – WHAT’S THE POINT?



Goal setting is important in all walks of life. In work, sport, education, or in our personal lives, we all have things we aspire to become or be able to do. It doesn’t matter what our particular goals are, if we know what we want to achieve, then we can work out the steps we need to take to get there, and ultimately succeed.

When it comes to our health, fitness and wellbeing, we should have the same view – goals are essential. Whether you want that summer beach body or you are training for a particular sporting event, having that goal in mind keeps you going when circumstances get tough and you want to stop (it happens to us all).

When it comes to actually setting a goal, try and follow the SMART principle. SMART stands for:

SPECIFIC: What is your goal?

MEASURABLE: Can you track your progress?

ACHIEVABLE: Do you have the knowledge, time or guidance to reach your goal?

RELEVANT: Is your training in sync with what you want to achieve?

TIME: When do you want to reach your goal (be realistic with this one, patience and consistency are key – Nothing worth working for is achieved over night).

You can put the SMART principle into practice by choosing your overall long term goal. Then break that end result down into shorter term goals. These are the steps we go through to reach our main goal. Reaching these short term goals helps keep your motivation up because they can provide quick feedback on your progress and show that you are moving forward towards where you want to be.

Remember, when you are setting a goal, make it challenging, but achievable. Easy goals are boring, and impossible goals are demotivating.

Next time you’re going through the motions in the gym, take a second and ask yourself “what’s the point?”. If you haven’t got an answer, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your goals and get back on track. Decide upon a goal, find your motivation and keep pushing towards it.

Good luck!

Be all you can be!

Sean