Health & Fitness


Coming to exercises classes with your friends can be a huge amount of fun. However only if they really want to be there of their own accord.  As comforting as it may be to recruit some moral support from your sister, best friend, work colleague here are some things to consider.

  • What motivated you to come to class and does your companion have a similar level of motivation?
  • What will you do if half way through the class your reluctant friend decides they hate exercise, they can’t do it or they are totally exhausted and want to leave?
  • Will you be able focus and enjoy your own workout if your companion is chatting, giggling or carrying on with you in an attempt to distract themselves?
  • Will you be able to return next week on your own or will you start the stressful process of finding another unenthusiastic guest?

We know as fitness instructors that new participants to group fitness can find it a scary place. We know you are thinking a whole variety of things eg. I’ve not exercised since school, this is going to kill me, they will all be super fit, tanned, six foot lovelies and I’ll feel like a total donkey. Yes I was a newbie once (no co-ordination whatsoever). Here are some tips to help you

  • Be brave. You don’t have to be great to start with, but you DO have to start to be great
  • Come and introduce yourselves (instructors love this)
  • Maybe do 10/15 minutes of the class, leave and when you come back the next week, do 15/20 minutes. Just keep repeating this till you can do a whole class.
  • Take all the low intensity options and concentrate on your technique for the first few sessions.
  • Be kind to yourself. The most important thing is you’ve started to make an amazing change in your life.
  • If it burns, tingles or makes you puff its working and your body is changing
  • Chances are every single person (except for the instructor) in the class has no idea what your doing or not doing.
  • Everyone in the class has stood in your place to begin with, made mistakes and probably felt a bit daft.

As instructors we are there to keep you safe, to help you achieve your goals and to encourage you to keep going even when you think you can’t. The only time we talk down to people is when we’re picking them up. Come to us before, after class, ask any ‘daft’ questions (they never are) images-50

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High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – The Simple Explanation

We’ve all had the experience of running for a bus or train. We make it, phew! We get a seat (well if your really lucky), sit down and begin gasping for air. Ever thought ‘why is that? Maybe you started some kind of internal chatter that went something like, ‘blimey I’m so unfit I must go for a 2 hour run/cycle tonight’

Well relax, this article is here to let you know, your definitely human and your perfectly normal. Sit back and let us explain how a 2-hour run/cycle is NOT the best way to help you lose weight, retain muscle or get fitter.

How would you feel about that 2 hour run or cycle if we told you that an alternative HIIT workout could take between 4 and 30 minutes depending on which High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program you use? Amazing eh? Who couldn’t do with another free hour and a half?

Let us explain, HIIT consists of short bursts of high intensity exercises, followed by shorter periods of recovery or complete rest. Participants are encouraged to perform the exercises with the best technique they can maintain and to go ‘all out’. These programs produce much the same effect as running for that bus or train, i.e. grasping for breath and fatigue.

Works a bit like this: The effects are caused by a system in your body called Excess Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). Breathing continues normally until you burst into a more explosive or intense movement pattern and so your body requires more oxygen to fuel the muscles. As the cardio vascular system (heart & lungs) struggles to keep up with the oxygen demand, the muscles start to burn. While all this is happening the body’s essential systems still require oxygen to continue, and this all creates an oxygen deficit.

At the end of your HIIT workout your body has to make a huge effort to pay back the oxygen deficit that was created and this takes a lot of energy (calories – YES!). The pay back phase after your workout is over is what sets your metabolism and fat burning systems on fire. It is also why you can continue to burn calories upto 12 hours after your finish your HIIT workout.

For more details see:

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