Busy, busy, busy!!!

I thought it was about time i did some form of update on here. I ’ve also been busy doing a first aid refresher and Boxercise personal trainer course, as well as a 20th place finish at the Liverpool 1/2 marathon back in March, in a time of 1hour 17 mins, which i was made up with.

In terms of client successes, it was good to see 5 of my female clients complete either the Sefton Park or Haydock Race for Life 5km, with times ranging from 24.37 - 34.00mins (Michelle Dutton 30.10, Penny Balfour 24.37, Kellie Burke 34.00, Siobhan Doris 27.07). The Wavertree Mystery 5km race series has been both useful and popular too, again 3 of my ladies have had a go, with times ranging from 27 - 32mins (Debra Rayment 31.24), setting a benchmark to beat next year. On a more larger scale i was delighted to see one of my newest clients, Dani Lawrence (girlfriend of Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones) finish 13, 766th out of 55,000 in this year ’s Great North run, in a time of 2h.03mins.38secs. In doing so Dani raised well in excess of £5000 for her chosen charity, Anthony Nolan.

Exercise explained.......

Exercising - what suites you? With so many classes / activities available, it is hard to know which ones are most beneficial to you. Below is a brief guide highlighting the demands and benefits of a variety of options provided by most big private or council run gyms.

Aerobics - Good all round group exercise to help tone up and stay in shape. Some classes work on specific areas, such as bums, tums and thighs, so you can pick what suits your needs.

Aqua running - A non-weight bearing activity designed to optimise cardiovascular and muscular conditioning, while minimising stress on joints, bones, tendons and ligaments.

Boxercise - High impact boxing training workout, that helps tone up, have fun and provide stress relief. Classes don ’t involve any physical contact.

Body attack - A cardio workout designed for building strength and stamina. This high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobics with strength and stabilisation exercises.

Body balance - A yoga, tai chi, pilates workout that builds flexibility and strength and leaves you feeling centred and calm. Controlled breathing, concentration and a carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses.

Body combat - An energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Strike, punch, kick and kata through calories to superior cardio fitness.

Bodypump - Barbell class that strengthens your entire body. The class challenges all your major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises like squats, presses, lifts and curls.

Circuit training - Get your heart pumping with this high effective whole body workout, guaranteed to condition muscles and burn fat fast.

Legs, bums and tums - A lower body workout specifically designed to target and tone up problem areas.

Pilates - Stretch, improve flexibility and balance, strengthen and tone the body. Learn how to breath and use your body effectively with slow controlled movements to lengthen and tone muscles.

Running - super-effective, all-round workout that gets fast results and can easily fit in to your daily routine. You can run on a treadmill, with friends, join a club or just go at your own pace.

Spinning - A great all-round workout on stationary bikes. Doesn ’t place as much pressure on your joints but its high impact and challenging.

Step aerobics - Fun workout that ’s great for those who like working out with other people to music. Particularly good for improving cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone in your legs.

Swimming - Enjoyable, low impact cardiovascular exercise that ’s great for all-round fitness and body toning. Good for those with joint problems or asthma.

Yoga - Balance your mind and improve your posture. Stretch, improve flexibility and balance. Strengthen and tone the body.

Local races available in the upcoming months for all you runners out there.

Sept
4th Blackpool 10km
5th Salford 10km / Rufford 10km
7th  Wavertree mystery park 5km
12th Accrington 5km / Blackpool 5km
19th  Chester 10km
26th Preston 5km / 10km /  Ormskirk 10km

Oct
3rd  Liverpool 10km
10th  Southport 10km
17th Lytham 5 miles
30th Standish hall trail race 10km
31st Accrington 10km

Nov
21st Preston 10 miles
27th Wesham 10km

Dec
5th  Liverpool santa dash 5km  / Guys 10 miles, Preston
27th Ribble valley 10km


Cold and snowy start to 2010!!!

Happy new year to everyone. The start of 2010 was not great for me, with the gym that I use being shut for the first week in January due to the bad weather. Normal service has resumed now though and I’m looking forward to getting back to work with my current client base and welcoming all my new clients too. As a result of the cold weather I think most of January will be indoor or gym based, with only a few brisk walks and runs being outdoors.

Can I just say what a successful year 2009 was for me. Most weeks I had 20-30 hours of personal training, which involved a varied client base, ages 16-65, male and female, looking for a variety of outcomes – lose weight, tone up, improve fitness, put muscle on etc. Obviously, all new clients are not going to stay with me forever, but I like to think that nine times out ten positive outcomes are achieved, regardless if people choose to continue or leave following their purchased block of sessions. Goals are obviously very important and last year brought many achievements, from weight losses of up to 5 stone for some people, county hockey level achieved, completion of a triathlon, regional futsal achieved and completing road races from 5km-1/2 marathon.

January is usually a quiet month for most people, with the expense of Christmas taking its toll. If you’re already struggling with new years resolutions of getting fit check out these cost effective exercise methods below to help aid any financial burden.

  1. Fitness DVDs
  2. Gardening
  3. Exercise at home – use your stairs and household goods/furniture (check www.thefitmap.co.uk)
  4. Swimming – the government has a free swimming initiative (up to 16, or over 65)
  5. Skipping (check www.skip-hop.co.uk)
  6. Walking – 30 mins brisk can be a very effective workout.
  7. Cycling – in spare time or to work and back.
  8. Wii fit – Quite expensive, but bargains can be found. Again another very effective tool.

A new year means new fitness ideas and regimes needed. I have a number of new resources to study and I will also be using my kick boxercise qualification attained a few weeks before Christmas too. I am hoping to complete the Liverpool half marathon in March, this will be my first race for over two years and I’m just hoping my shin holds up (had problems with right shin in the past when running full time). It will be great lining up alongside some of my past and present clients, with everyone having their own personal best time to beat. Anyway, all the best for 2010, I hope it is a successful and rewarding year for everyone. Below is the usual race calendar for the upcoming months.

January
24th – Chernobyl 10km, preston
31st – Garstang 10km

February
7th – Alexandra Park 5km, Manchester / Alsager 5 miles, Crewe
13th – Parbold hill race
14th – Blackburn 10km
21st – Trafford 10km
28th – Lostock 6 miles, Horwich

March
7th – Blackpool 10km
14th – Blackpool 5km
28th – Liverpool ½ marathon

April
2nd – Southport 4 miles
7th – Chester 5 miles
11th – Lancaster 10km
25th – Bolton 10km / London marathon


Anyone for a holiday???

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I have recently returned from my holiday in ayia napa, fully recovered, refreshed, re-motivated and ready to work all my clients to their maximum once again. I have also found time to plan some new sessions and fitness testing regimes, which should help mix things up and keep training interesting. In addition I am looking forward to attending an upcoming Boxercise kick course in Manchester in September to get some new ideas for cardio work.

I frequently get asked questions with regards to nutritional issues from both clients, friends and family. Below are some recent queries I have been asked about. I hope this helps when making some of your food choices, especially with regards to anyone looking for weight loss.

Is a cereal bar a good breakfast?

Eating a cereal bar is better than nothing, preventing your stomach rumbling all morning. However, it's not ideal having the same breakfast every day and a cereal bar is not really going to fill you up enough, making it likely that you will be snacking later in the morning. Breakfast is very important, so you should make time for it. Get up earlier and make some porridge and combine with fruit juice or smoothie. On alternative days try a variety of cereals with blueberries and skimmed milk or a couple of pieces of wholemeal toast. Foods with low glycaemic index (GI) provide a steady flow of energy, helping keep you full until lunch.

Are chips really that bad for you?

The nutritional content of chips depends on what they are fried in and how chunky they are. Frying in lard increases their saturated fat content, whereas using a seed or nut oil is healthier. Using the same oil over and over can increase trans fatty acid content, which is more damaging to health than saturated fats. Thinly cut chips have a higher fat content due to their greater surface area (larger number of chips). Chunky chips are therefore better than thin French fries. More positively, potatoes retain more vitamin C when fried rather than boiled though.

Can you tell me roughly how many calories there are in a standard curry and what I would have to do to burn this off?

A standard curry could contain anything between 700-1200 calories, dependent on how creamy the sauce is, type of rice chosen and what extras you have, such as popadoms, naan breads etc. In relation to activity levels needed to burn off the excess calories, a chicken tikka masala and pilau rice for example, would need the following:

  • 56 mins squash
  • 68 mins skipping
  • 104 mins aerobics
  • 113 mins chopping wood
  • 295 mins ironing
  • 339 mins brushing your teeth

(Mens Health Magazine, April 2009).

For an updated race list for the coming months check my list below. If anyone needs any further information please don't hesitate to get in touch.

  • July 18th - Burtonwood 5 mile (Warrington)
  • 19th - Aintree, cancer research race for life 5km
  • 22nd - Wirral seaside run 5km
  • Sefton Park 5 mile
  • Lancaster 10km
  • 23rd - Manchester 5km sizzler (Wythenshawe)
  • 25th - Lancaster 5km
  • August 2nd - Alexandra Park 5km (Manchester)
  • Chernobyl 10km (Preston)
  • Wagons and horses 10 mile (Lancaster)
  • Sale 10 mile (Manchester)
  • 5th - Chorley trail race 4.4 mile
  • 6th - Manchester 5km sizzler
  • 9th - Salford 10km
  • Sefton Park 5km fun run
  • 12th - Haigh Hall 4 mile (Wigan)
  • 19th - Horwich 5 mile (Bolton)
  • Wirral seaside run 5km
  • 23rd - Birchwood 10km (Warrington)
  • 29th - Lancaster 5km
  • September 5th - Blackpool 10km
  • 6th - Alexandra Park 5km (Manchester)
  • Ryder 5km (Bamber Bridge)
  • 12th - Fleetwood 10km
  • 13th - Bolton 5km
  • 20th - St Helens 5km
  • 26th - Lancaster 5km
  • 27th - Belarus Aid 10km (Ormskirk)
  • Run Preston 10km

Things are warming up!!!

We are now only a week away from the clocks changing and I for one can't wait. For me there is nothing better than being able to exercise outside with a bit of sunshine on your back. For my lucky clients there will be less stuffy sessions in the gym and more outdoor activities, as I plan to be outside in the fresh air as much as possible. If you have not already seen me, look out for me around the Sefton and Calderstones Park areas, between mid afternoon and early evening. Also, with the temperatures starting to pick up, remember to take a lot more fluid on board before, during and after your exercise sessions, you'll be surprised how fast your body dehydrates.

In the coming weeks I am hoping to do some kettlebell training, to further add to my vast array of methods of training. Purchasing new equipment is high on the agenda too, in keeping my sessions stimulating and interesting. I am also both interested and excited for the clients of mine who are taking part in upcoming events such as the Liverpool ½ marathon, Liverpool 1 car park 5km, Horwich Triathlon and the Wavertree Mystery Park 5km series. I wish them all the best, as they attempt new personal best times.

For all you runners out there, here's a list of upcoming local races, all based in and around Liverpool, or within 45 minute drive. If you have any questions or queries please don't hesitate to get in touch.

May

3rd - Alexandra park 5km (Manchester)
4th - Waterloo 15km / 5km fun run
6th - Wavertree mystery 5km
8th - Christleton 5km (Chester)
10th - Liverpool women's 10km / 5km fun run
15th - Chorley 4 mile
19th - Walton park 5 mile
20th - Wirral seaside run (5km)
25th - Sale 5 mile
31st - Mersey Tunnel 10km

June

3rd - Birkenhead 5 mile
10th - Wavertree mystery 5km
18th - Warrington 10km
20th - Lymm 5km (Warrington)
21st - Horwich 5km
24th - Wirral seaside run (5km)
26th - Chorley 4 mile

July

1st - Wavertree mystery 5km
3rd - Chorley 4 mile
5th - City of Manchester 10km
9th - Manchester 5km sizzler
12th - St Annes 5km
18th - Burtonwood 5 mile (Warrington)
22nd - Wirral seaside run (5km)

Anyone looking to be a bit more adventurous, please check out the following link - http://dev.webcreationuk.com/gurbir/AbsoluteRunning/Website/index.html. Absolute running is a new company based in Liverpool that organises race packages to big city ½ marathons and marathons all over Europe. Upcoming events include Vienna, Rotterdam, Prague, Pisa and Stockholm marathons.


A New Year, A New You!!!

So here it is the start of 2009. No doubt most of you have been overindulging over the festive period, as to have I, but can not wait to get back in to normal routine and start training again properly. There is no better time to make a start in improving your fitness, losing any unwanted weight, but overall enhancing your well being and quality of life!!! I am really looking forward to getting back to work with my existing clients, setting new goals and challenges, giving everyone something to work towards.

Prior to Christmas I undertook a Boxercise course in Manchester, so I am now a fully qualified Boxercise instructor and have already started using my new ideas within my sessions. The boxing aspect of my sessions usually proves to be very popular, as people find it a good release after a grueling day at work. I'd just like to wish everyone all the best for the upcoming year and if anyone is interested in doing some training, even if its just the odd session, then please give me a call. Also, if you have any questions or queries don't hesitate to ask, as I more than happy to give advice.

For any runners out there, here is a list of upcoming local races (all within an hours drive of Liverpool).

February 1st - Alsager 5 mile (Crewe)
Alexandra 5km (Manchester)
7th - Blackburn 10km
15th - Fighting Cancer 5km (Preston)
22nd - Burnley 10km
28th - Standish Hall trail race (10km)

March 8th - Stanley park 10km (Blackpool)
15th - Trafford 10km (Manchester)
29th - Liverpool ½ marathon

April 5th - Blackpool ½ marathon
10th - Southport 4 mile
26th - Croxteth park 10km / Bolton 10km


Combat the winter blues by getting fit!!!

Winter is now here, so why not combat the winter blues by getting fit and healthy. With my varied mixed training approach, I can help you on your way to achieving a new better feeling and better looking you!!! With Christmas on the way theres no better time to get started, so that you look your best for all those upcoming parties / socials / family get-togethers. I believe most people do know about how to keep fit and healthy, but may just need some fresh ideas to spruce up their training plan. Also, you are never too old to start getting fit again, which will greatly improve the quality of your life.

As the cold, wind and rain kicks in here's a few tips how to avoid those nasty winter bugs that tend to get passed around.

  1. Always drink plenty of water, 2-3 litres per day to flush out toxins.
  2. Increase your fruit and vegetables intake, try sweet fruits i.e. clementines and tangerines and winter vegetables i.e. carrots, parsnips, turnips in fresh warm soups.
  3. Don't have the heating on too high. Dry air increases risks of catching viruses.
  4. Get plenty of sleep, ideally 7-9 hours. We naturally sleep more in the winter.
  5. Have a decent breakfast. Porridge is a great way to start the day, keeping you full for longer, also add some chopped fruit / berries.
  6. Drink more milk. Milk and other diary products contain essential A and B vitamins to improve your immune system.