Wednesday, 12 December 2012

What is ViPR Training

ViPR pronounced 'viper' is a hollow tube with strategically placed cutouts for handles and has no hard edges. It's not designed to replace dumbells, barbells or kettlebells, but rather to enhance a workout bringing in elements of functional fitness, it is the evolution of free weights and is suitable for any fitness level.

ViPR stands for:


In the gym people do not move in the same way that they do in everyday life. You will rarely see people move a load through a field of gravity during the workout. Usually they just move the load up and down. At the heart of ViPR training is the concept of whole-body integration (WBI). WBI means that the body is more effective and efficient, while loading these movements will create accelerated improvements.

More reasons why I love them:

  1. Most ViPR exercises incorporate full-body movement patterns. Our lives are full of varied movements, so our workouts should be too. Plus, the more muslces worked in an exercise the more calories are burned.
  2. ViPR's high intensity interval workout will increase your metabolic rate throughout the day, which, with a healthy diet leads to greater weight loss.
  3. No Gym membership needed. The best place to use the ViPR is in the park and exercising outside is always better then indoors.
Want to have a play with one then get in contact and book your 1-2-1 session.

Many thanks for reading


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cellulite, Top 10 Tips On How To Conquer It!

Cellulite is the bain of many a woman's life, and if you're a woman, chances are you've experienced the down feeling associated with it.

But what is it? Cellulite is a fat-condition which only occurs in areas that carry excess body fat (note, you don't necessarily have to be overweight to have cellulite, but simply have excess fat in specific areas). The orange peel appearance of this annoying pest is the result of inelastic fibrous tracts, which, without getting too technical, leads to irregular extrusion of the adipose (fat cell) tissue into the dermis: (Poor diet, lack of exercise and some contraceptive pills all contribute to appearance of cellulite).

The good news is there is something you can do about it, but you do actually have to DO these things, and regularly, to notice the difference.

Here are my 10 tips for smoothing out those lumps and bumps;

  1. Drink 2-3 litres of filtered water a day. As well as helping to increase your metabolism by up to 30% (not to be sniffed at!), ensuring you stay well hydrated helps to flush toxins out of the body, which contribute to the development of cellulite. Flush it out!
  2. Cut out caffeine
  3. Cut out Alcohol
  4. Increase your cardiovascular exercise to burn excess calories and reduce body fat. This doesn't mean just doing more in the gym; walk to work, take the stairs, have walk-and-talk meetings - just inject more activity into your day!
  5. Increase resistance training, whether it be bodyweight exercises or weight training, to increase muscle tissue and burn more fat at rest.
  6. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, especially apples and carrots which contain Pectin; this is an important phytochemical which strengthens the immune system and detoxifies the body - a perfect ally in your anti-cellulite campaign.
  7. Take Essentail Fatty Acids (EFA) every day. These can be in a quality supplement form, or ideally from natural food sources such as oily fish, seeds, nuts, and avocados.
  8. Cut out the saturated fat in your diet. If your goals have anything to do with fat loss, cellulite loss or fitness, saturated fat is not going to help. Cut it out. 
  9. Eat as clean as possible, and by this I mean reduce processed and packaged food a much as you can. The closer to nature the foods you consume are, the easier your body is likely to be able to digest it and utilise it for energy, rather than storing it as fat, likely to appear as cellulite. 
  10. Dry skin brush. Improving circulation to your cellulite-heavy areas can really help to reduce the appearance and helps the body to flush toxins out. Even a few minutes every day is better than nothing; use a body brush and work in smooth strokes towards your heart. A decent mosituriser can also help to maintain the elasticity of the skin and improve both appearance and feel.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Battle Rope Training

I've had loads of people asking me about Battle Rope training recently, having seen me training my clients using them and seeing my Rope and Tyre Bootcamp.

I was one of the first if not the first trainer on the Isle Of Wight to utilise this incredible training tool in virtually all of my client's programmes, and other trainers are beginning to recognise the incredible strength, conditioning and endurance gains that rope training stimulates.

Training with ropes is a totally unique form of training which offers the following advantages as well as many others;

  1. Increased Power & Strength
  2. Increased ability to sustain power and strength over longer periods
  3. An incredibly intense cardiovascular workout in minimal time
  4. Increased anaerobic and aerobic capacity                               
  5. Gives it own feedback - for example if power output in the underhand wave starts to drop the   waves along the rope no longer travels all the way to the anchor, thus providing feedback to the worker.
  6. Totally unique method of training that elevates motivation and adds variety to any programme; thus helping to develop 'complete' athletes.
  7. Superb method of retaining cardiovascular capacity during periods of lower limb rest or rehabilitation.
  8. Superb upper body and core conditioning stimulus.             
  9. A true functional exercise tool; encourages the body to work as one integral unit. 
  10. Can be used in the back yard - ideal for training at home.
  11. Improves grip strength; your body is only as strong as your grip!

So give them a go it is a lot of fun, come and try Rope and Tyre Bootcamp on Wednesdays 6:30pm, Northwood Park. Get in contact to book your place!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

5 Common Misconceptions When Designing an Exercise Programme

1.              There is a Fat Burning Zone

Yes technically there is a fat burning zone, although it is misleading. In this zone you will burn a larger percentage of fat than any other macronutrient. However, in the grand scheme of things, when you exercise at higher intensities, you will burn a lower percentage of fat compared to protein and carbohydrates, but the overall amount of fat you will burn is much higher than in the fat burning zone.

2.              3 Sets of 10 repetitions are best

The concept of 3 sets of 10 reps was established by Delorme in the 1940s as a way of helping rehabilitate World War II veterans. He prescribed 50% of their 10 rep max (10RM) in the first set, 75% of their 10RM in the second and 100% of their 10RM in the third set. However, nowadays the percentages have been dropped from the sets and the loads remain consistent throughout the 3 sets.

The number of sets and reps will depend largely on your goals, training history and where abouts you are in your programme. If you keep to the same set and rep range then you will find that you will start to plateau. (stay at the same weight, size, muscle mass etc).

3.              Cardio Vascular (Aerobics) is Best for Fat Burning

This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the exercise and weight loss world. If long, slow steady-state aerobics was the key to fat loss every person who crosses the finish line of a marathon or Iornman would have very low body fat. Whilst you will burn some fat, it is not as effective as other types of energy system training such as resistance training and higher intensity interval training.

4.              Train Large Muscle Groups Before Small Ones

Yes, in theory true. However, the body does work as one synergistic unit, so in reality, you can’t isolate muscle groups anyway. The best way to work around this is to focus on the weaker areas first regardless of size.

5.              Work the Core Last

This will depend largely on your workout. If the focus of your workout is smaller muscle groups, then work your core muscles first. If your workout is focusing on larger muscle groups then you may wish to complete them at the end of the session.

If you would like a programme written specifically for you and your goals then, come and join me at PB Fitness.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

What’s the best exercise?

One question that I get asked more than any other is this one.

More often than not the question is followed by ‘….for weight loss’ and then of course there are variations of the question, ‘I’ve heard swimming is the best exercise for weight loss, is that true?’ ‘Running is the best exercise for weight loss isn’t it?’

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to spot the link, and though it makes me a little sad that so many people’s only motivation for exercising is weight loss, it’s a reality that we as fitness professionals really should embrace.

The answer to the question by the way is very simple…..the best exercise is the one you will do.

If weight loss is your goal then consistency is what you should be looking for. Is going to the gym a chore? Do you resent having to get up early to fit in a swim? Is running boring? Then stop. These are not the things that will give you the body you want because you don’t enjoy them.

Enjoyment leads to adherence (actually turning up) and adherence leads to results. Have you been a member of more than 2 gyms this year? Have you got a treadmill in your home? Have you tried going on a diet? Then you probably haven’t got the body you want. And you probably won’t ever have. Unless you make some changes.

There are two things you need to know:

1.   You can make your body look and feel great.
2.   It won’t happen just because you want it to.

So what do you want? How much do you want it? What are you prepared to change to get it? More importantly, what are you prepared to change permanently to get it? In this case you want weight loss, and you say you want it a lot, but what are you actually prepared to change. If it means giving something up, forever, or adding something new, forever, will you still do it?

If you are on a diet, or a member of a gym, or have a treadmill, ask yourself these questions:

1.   Do I enjoy doing these things?
2.   Can I really do these things forever?

If the answer is yes, brilliant. You are on your way! If the answer is no, relax. You are not alone. You are in fact far from alone but you can do something about changing this.

Eat and drink things you like. You know the stuff that’s not doing you any favours, so try and swap this for better choices. Better is better, even if better isn’t perfect. Like chips? Eat chips. But eat oven chips. As good as a baked potato? Not really, but better than those you’ll find from your local chip shop.

As for exercise, there are all sorts of games, sports and activities, that you can do. I don’t know what you will like doing but I know when you find it, you will keep doing it.

Good Luck and Enjoy.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

What Is Suspension Training?

If you haven’t used TRX suspension training before then you need to. For those of you who have yet to see this type of training, it is a rope and pulley system with adjustable straps and grips with integrated foot cradles. As long as a secure anchor point can be found, (e.g. around a tree, door frame, lamppost etc) TRX suspension fitness offers trainers many effective options to work with diverse client groups. The US Navy Seals actually developed the TRX as a way of keeping in shape regardless of where they were deployed in the world. The TRX mantra is ‘Fitness anywhere’ and ‘Make your body the machine’.

For any new piece of kit or new training modality to develop from a ‘fad’ into a mainstay of the fitness industry, it needs to have a beneficial effect to the fitness of those taking part and more so, clients need to believe in the product. To do this firstly we need to gain an understanding of how The TRX works.

The majority of the population is blissfully unaware of how we are required to move and control our bodyweight when we perform everyday tasks. TRX suspension fitness takes your bodyweight and, through the manipulation of angles, levers and pivot points, puts it to work. For trainers, suspension fitness has made free weights and resistance machines less pivotal in producing a challenging resistance workout as we can use what we always have – ourselves and gravity, Which is where ‘Make your body the machine’ comes in!!

Functional Training

The term ‘functional training’ is a very hot topic in the fitness industry at the moment and gets branded about a lot, but what does it mean? Whilst in the gym I’m always amazed at the large amount of people who just exercise in straight lines. E.g. running on the treadmill, cycling, rowing and doing your traditional weights workout of chest press, shoulder press, bicep curls etc.

Saying this we do obviously need to workout in our forward plane of movement, as this is how we achieve a lot of our fitness goals. However, I’d also like to stress the importance of exercising using the different planes of movements. Functional fitness is all about strengthening the body and keeping it flexible so that everyday tasks are a little easier to complete.

As well as helping you improve your strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness, you will also find that with every exercise you do with the TRX will work your core muscles massively, due to the fact that you are suspended. There are of course other multi plane pieces of kit that you can use, such as, the viper, kettlebells and medicine balls, which are all great ways to train but they aren’t as portable as the TRX or in my opinion as challenging and enjoyable either.

A Win Win Situation

As a personal trainer, it is a piece of kit that we’ve all been waiting on for quite some time. It is portable, cheap, accessible and incredibly versatile. For you as clients, it is new, interesting and produces results. What more could you ask for! Isn’t it great for one piece of kit to offer such a variety in exercises, and your approaches to training,

Friday, 9 March 2012

My Fitness Pal

The 'My Fitness Pal' app has been round for a while, but its a great tool to help you with your weight loss goals.

The majority of my clients want to gain some nutritional advice but find it difficult to track their calories in, versus their calories out. Look no further as this app will do this for you!

It is also surprising that the majority of people tend to underestimate the amount of calories they consume and most over estimate the amount of calories they burn.

This app will aid you in your weight loss goals.

How It Works?

After you have downloaded it, (I believe it is available on both iPhone and Android Phones), you need to add in your current weight and your desired weight, along with a few other personal details. One thing to watch out for, you may feel like you are an active person, the majority of people actually live a sedentary lifestyle. If you have a desk job and workout for one hour everyday, I would set your lifestyle as sedentary.

How to Treat The App?

Think of this app as a balance sheet.

Money In Vs Money Out
Calories in to the body (Food) Vs Calories out of the body (Exercise)

If you don't have a smart phone then no worries you can do all of this online through their website. Here is the link

For the first week it is a bit of work, but this app remembers all of your meals, snacks and workouts so it gets easier as you go. There is also a barcode scanner included so you can just scan the food packet and all the nutritional info is added automatically! As well as tracking you calorie intake, it also breaks down information on the essential food groups (fats, carbohydrates and proteins) and shows whether you're getting the right amount in your diet.

Good Luck and enjoy

Just honest, its only yourself that you will be cheating and lying to in the end!!