Some of us like to train alone, focused and motivated. We plan our diet and exercise meticulously and all of our training goes according to this plan.
For a lot of the rest of us, a personal trainer is an essential part of our regime. We need that external discipline and the kind of drive that only comes from someone else.
We’ve found the best Personal Training blogs in the UK so that you can read their advice and tips. They’re a fantastically fit and motivated bunch, so read on and get to know them.
Ironmac is the training name of the formidable Andy McKenzie. Former paratrooper Andy believes “when you combine mental with physical, you find unbreakable”.
If you’re battling with shoulder pain, have a look at Ironmac’s one hand and two hand bench stretches. You can incorporate these into your rest periods instead of fiddling with your phone, tweeting for help for your sore shoulders…
Want a back like with massive definition? Andy’s regime of 210 chin ups, 200m crawl and 200m prisoner lunges will leave you with “a body that is battered, forearms that are fried beyond belief… strong shoulders and a back that will look like a mountain range in time”. Pain in its simplest form!
Not every training session needs to be at 100% power. Sometimes going at 50% will take you to your goal more quickly. Training within pain-free ranges and loosening of muscles can result in improved movement faster than high-intensity workouts.
Trainer, Steve Bridgeman, takes a very practical approach to training and weight loss, and he’s not fooled by marketing plans for expensive trainers or costly detox programmes, telling you plainly in his blog that not only will your body largely detox itself, but that the last pair of trainers he bought for himself were only £40.
Steve also has some fine advice for those trying to stay on track with a diet. Planning your meals, and leaving your cash at home so you can avoid giving in to convenience are just two of his great ideas to help you keep focused on your diet.
Senior Personal Trainer and former Rugby player Olly Foster understands an athlete’s lifestyle, and doesn’t hide from the fact that achieving and maintaining a fitness model’s ‘cover look’ is hard work.
If you’ve ever trained, you’re familiar with pain. Olly’s advice for managing pain starts with developing your technical ability before lifting huge weights. He also recommends a sports massage once a month. It’s no fun at the time, but the feelgood factor afterwards is phenomenal!
Looking for some new fitness tips? Olly tells you that breakfast is king (he likes a protein-heavy start to the day). He also points out that the final responsibility for fitness lies with you – so stop with the excuses!
Adam Cochrane always wanted to be a personal trainer, and has spent the last 12 years following his vocation. Training business people, celebrities and even kids not getting enough PE at school, he’s built up a wealth of experience to share.
If you’re really trying to lose weight, Adam says that interval training is best. Going flat out for 45 seconds on the bike followed by going easy for 45 seconds is one interval, and it’s an effective way to burn fat. Adam does recommend, though, to be sure you don’t go for too long, and to work at the right pace for your fitness level.
Still wondering about fat loss? Our favourite of Adam’s tips for shedding the pounds is to hang out with other people that are taking their diet and exercise seriously. You’ll be faced with temptation everyday so distancing yourself from individuals who have no intention of getting slim and healthy is advisable.
“I’m too busy to be healthy!” This is a cry that Anne Iarchy hears a lot. She never believes it, though. With good planning and preparation, you can balance your work, social and family lives healthily! Simple reductions in calorie intake (it’s easy to skip a dessert!) can have great benefits.
Want to get rid of your cravings for sweet foods? Just make sure you have three balanced meals a day, and stick to healthy snacks, and Anne assures you those cravings will be a thing of the past!
If you want to lose weight, flatten your tummy, and have more energy, then sugar should be off the menu. Anne’s tips for cutting sugar out are to avoid buying it in the supermarket so it’s not in your house, and to prepare as much food as you can from scratch. You’ll lose weight, have clearer skin and feel fantastic, too – and we like the sound of that!
London trainer Anthony Mayatt is nuts about nuts! They’re good for your health, your fitness, and for staying slim. Anthony recommends either adding portable, versatile and delicious nuts to foods you already eat (like your morning porridge) or using them to replace unhealthy snacks like crisps or chocolate.
Cutting out sugar but want to keep sweetness in your foods? Anthony suggests some healthy alternatives like raw honey or agave nectar to keep that sweet tooth happy!
Anthony often gets asked which cardio exercise is best for losing fat. Whether it’s running or the bike, his answer is clear: “Do what you like to do”. Doing an exercise you enjoy means you’re going to be more inclined to do it for longer, and get even more benefit from it!
Warm ups should warm you up. That’s not to say that you should be left sweating, or that you should use all the equipment in the gym. It’s the part of the workout where you check your muscles and joints feel ok, and there are no niggles to watch out for in the main workout.
Wise words from Richard ‘Ham’ Williams, who goes on to remind you that different people warm up differently, and that if your warm up leaves you with fatigue that detracts from your workout performance, then you have gone too far.
Want a quick workout at home with minimal equipment? Ham’s devised a great circuit for you, with 10 press ups, 30 squats and 5 chins for 15-20 minutes – or until you’re just too tired! Check out the video of his circuit and feel the burn with him.
When you’re at the point where you think ‘I can’t do any more’, ask yourself this: ‘What if I could? What would that look like?’ Julia Buckley has been using this mind trick for years, and she writes that nine times out of ten, it gets her further than she thought she could go.
Are 5-minute workouts the ‘magic bullet’, enabling you to get a super-lean fit body with almost no investment of time? Quite simply, no. But Julia tells you, though, that moving around for five minutes every couple of hours in addition to your regular workout could really accelerate your progress.
Diet tips, fitness videos, and ways to stay motivated and inspired are big parts of Julia’s brilliant blog. She’ll inspire you with her own hard work, and you can believe her when she says the best way to deal with not feeling motivated is to… work out!
Matt Goddard Fitness
Long stretches of the day spent seated, working at a desk inevitably results in stiffness and lower back stress. To combat these, former boxing pro Matt Goddard has devised a series of office exercises for you to keep your blood flowing. Seated forward crunches and flutter kicks might raise some eyebrows, but they’ll help keep you fit!
If you prefer the gym, Matt advises that when you plan your sessions, you’re always prepared to challenge yourself, and that you’re not scared to try something new.
Did you know that to exercise every muscle in your body, you only need three pieces of equipment? A medicine ball for upper and lower body strength, a kettle bell for full body exercises, and a pull up bar for that vital upper body definition. None of us have any excuse now!
The team at Raw Strength have developed their methods after thousands of hours of training, so they know their stuff. It really shows on their blog, which is packed with advice and hints on how to get the best results.
Want to take control of your body? Head Coach Anthony Shaw says you should set a bedtime – and stick to it. Under-sleeping makes your body release cortisol – which causes fat storage. So give your body the sleep it deserves!
Anthony has some good tips to expand your mind to unlock more strength and power. Take a walk to reflect on your day, write down your goals to reinforce them, and ignore your brain when it’s telling you to to stop and take a rest on the last stretch of that 5k. He says “You just have to convince your mind that you can achieve MORE than you are right now.”
Swansea Exercise Scientist Richard Clarke knows that sometimes life can feel like it’s taking over from your exercise plans – but he recommends that you just stay in the game, even if you’re not playing well. Eat as well as possible, and do one exercise session a week, just to maintain your fitness.
Richard’s advice, once you’ve decided on a diet plan, is to stick to it, no matter what other great-looking ideas come along. His own lesson in how not to get distracted by shiny things came from a glue-sniffer, of all people!
There are three ways to ruin a good diet, according to Richard. Inconsistency and changing things you ‘just don’t fancy’ are two crimes, and the third – too much of a good thing! Eating too much avocado, nuts, or sweet potato can bring all of your weight loss plans to a grinding halt! Go easy on some of those health foods!