Let’s Be Honest – Things your instructor wished you did/didn’t do.

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When it comes to confessions, as a PT and Fitness instructor there are a number of things that participants do or don’t do that can really frustrate us that you may not be aware of….

First and foremost – are clients that have not prepared or able to work-out – either physically  in that they’ve not eaten, are ill or only had a couple of hours sleep or don’t have the appropriate clothing and footwear.  If you’re body isn’t fuelled and ready to work then it wastes both your time and ours – you’ll either put in less effort or will end up feeling sick or worse.  So to make sure you get the most out of your workout – make sure you have had something to eat (even just a banana half an hour beforehand is enough) and if you’re ill then reschedule, as no-one else wants to catch anything from you!

At number 2 is chatting. If it’s at the start or end of the session or during a break then it’s great way of catching up and making friends – but during the workout ?!?  We really need you to focus on the task at hand to make sure you’re putting in your full effort and concentrating on what you’re doing.  This is also important during group exercise – if there’s a large amount of people we  in the class,  that means we have a lot of people to check on and if you’re chatting away to your friends, it not only means you’re not working hard and may miss what the instructor is telling you, but you could also be putting off other people.

We also know when you are trying to avoid something! Whether you leave out a few things on your food diary, just need to “pop to the loo” or fill a water bottle, or do your own variation or a different exercise than what we’ve told you to do – whatever it is, we know it’s just you trying to avoid or delay that particular exercise or want to hide your  weak points.  We put in a lot of time creating your workout routine or diet plan and the exercises are put in there for a reason. By delaying it – you’re just wasting time and by doing your own thing you’re being a little disrespectful and may not get the results you want.  If there is something that you find difficult or really don’t like then be honest and tell us!  That way we can either try to explain the reasons for it better to help you understand why it’s been included or if you have an injury or simply don’t like it then we can offer an alternative.

To be fair there are a number of things that some instructors do that annoy clients – from being late or cancelling sessions, to spending more time looking at their phone, checking out other members or their own reflection more than what the client is doing, as well as some simply repeating the same plans or routine regardless of the clients needs/enjoyment……… and being honest, if your PT/Instructor does this regularly then it’s high time you found a new one!!

For our own confessions (and Im sure a lot of you can relate to it as well) – as much as we can come across as being extremely confident and self assured – secretly we just want you to like us – whether it’s that we can see it by the effort you put in, joining in or smiling at our  “whoops” and corny catchphrases, liking our posts on FB and twitter or just a simple thank-you at the end of the workout – it’s what tells us we’re doing a good job and that you’ve enjoyed it.

Secondly – when it comes to food and getting the body we want – we’re just like you – there’e always some part of our body that we don’t like and wish was bigger or smaller (I really want to get rid of my love handles!) and we struggle with food and our diet too – though we have the advantage of knowledge – we have to work just as hard to achieve our goals and face the same barriers and occasionally fall off the wagon – we’re definitely not saints – but this is why we can relate and understand it’s hard and as much as we try to push your limits – in turn you help us push ours!

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To The Extreme !!!

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This week I’ve been looking into the world of extreme sports in relation to health & fitness.

Now you might be asking what exactly are extreme sports? Well these are the ones that include an element of danger and so come with an increased risk of injury.

Of course, there is danger in any form of exercise—you might throw out your back playing golf or sprain your ankle jogging in the park…… extreme sports take it to the next level and are those that give you an adrenaline rush, because doing them means you could be risking death. Activities like base jumping,rock climbing, MMA, surfing, skydiving, bungee jumping, off piste skiing, mountain biking are all included along with a lot more.

If you have never tried one however, you just might be missing out.

For some people, just watching an extreme sport can make them seem too intimidating or frightening to try, but as with any sport. each of the activities can have their risks reduced. Rock climbing or Parkour can be tried in an activity centre in a controlled and safe environment, skiing and biking have safer trails where you can gradually build up experience and most other sports will have some form of beginner class where you can learn from experienced professionals.

The fact is that most of the courage you need to do these sports comes after you have started doing them. Living life on the edge and trying something new that at first seems scary teaches you, that you are stronger than you think and builds courage and self confidence.

There are a load of benefits of doing extreme sports…..

First of all  they are a great way of burning calories – helping build and tone muscle and improve cardiovascular fitness. For example, performing jumps on a BMX bike will allow you to strengthen your biceps and triceps. Riding your snowboard down a mountain slope will target your quadriceps and lower leg muscles.

Studies have shown that extreme sports can boost your mood as well as your confidence. This is because extreme sports help you overcome your fears and show you that you are capable of doing way more than you dreamed of.  It’s hard not to feel on top of the world when you have done something that scares the hell out of you and lived to see another day.  You’ll be stronger, more confident, and ready to take on a new and even more challenging task.  You will also conquer your fears in more ways than one. Once you have overcome a physical fear of say, heights or drowning, you will also be more able to overcome emotional fears such as anxiety about public speaking or fear of rejection.

If there’s an extreme sport that you’d secretly really like to try then why not do a little research into what’s available in your local area and see what they offer a beginner – check what equipment may be needed, what the risks are and  what level of fitness is required. Then weigh up the pros and cons. Always ensure that you have insurance to cover not just your equipment but also yourself and others and never go it alone.  Always make sure that you speak to and take instruction from relevant qualified professionals.

Take a deep breath and jump in!

Health & Fitness “Life Hacks”

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This week’s all about health & fitness hacks to make living healthier lifestyle a little easier.

When it comes to diet – try not to resort to using the ones that cut out certain food groups like carbs or fats. Your body has a very varied requirement of nutrients and minerals and all of them are needed. By cutting out foods groups – you are more likely to binge when you come off the diet and you will put the weight back on quicker. When you lose weight you are reducing the size of your fat cells not the quantity – something to bear in mind.

In general you should try to eat smaller meals 5 times a day – but quite often it’s difficult to fit this in so if your sticking to your 3 meals a day try to make your biggest meal breakfast and reduce the size o each meal so that your smallest meal is in the evening when your metabolism naturally slows down.  This will ensure that your body uses up the energy that the food you eat gives you throughout the day, rather than having a large meal in the evening (especially if its a couple of hours before going to sleep) where because the body doesn’t need the energy it will then store it as fat.

When it comes to eating before or after exercise recent studies have found when looking to improve fat burning potential – for women it’s best to eat before exercise and for men to eat afterwards.

Other things you can do is to use smaller plates – studies show that you tend to eat 20% less calories by using a smaller plate as your brain is fooled into thinking it’s a bigger meal and always drink plenty of water (especially having a glass before your meal) – this will not only help you feel fuller for longer but it boosts your metabolism and helps to burn fat quicker.

Sleep has a major impact on your energy levels – try to keep to 7-9 hours but if you do lack that little bit of energy for your workout – rather than spending money on expensive pre-workout drinks – a good cup of coffee or green tea will do the job as it’s the caffeine in the drinks that has been linked to better workout performance.

If you are not seeing the results you want – then mix up your routine. If you are focussing on all cardio then add in some strength training or vice versa. Your body very quickly gets used to coping with the same thing – whether that’s calorie intake or type of exercise – so by regularly mixing things up you keep your body guessing and working harder.

When in the gym try doing your bodyweighted or dumbbell exercise while on a power plate rather than on the floor. The unstable surface means your body has to recruit more muscle fibre to either keep you in position or still be able to complete the exercise – this extra challenge will help burn extra calories.

Sneak in exercises during everyday activities! Try doing calf raises or clench your buttocks while waiting in a queue, lunging while doing to hoovering regularly switching hands….. Apart from strengthening your muscles, you will also burn calories: An average person should burn 4 calories a minute for easy cleaning (e.g., dusting). That is a total of 80 calories for 20 minutes of cleaning so even just 1 hour of cleaning every week, you get a total of 12,480 calories a year! That is 3.5 pounds a year for keeping a clean house!

There’s a ton of more hacks to help get you fitter and healthier here:

43 Science Based Health Hacks