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Too hot to take your run or sprint session outdoors? Like it or not, the ‘dreadmill’ could be your BFF (best fitness friend). Here’s three effective treadmill high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that bust boredom and get you noticeable results.

Exercise Early or Late? When Is The Best Time to Workout?

by Adriana Albritton

Best time to workout: Exercise isn’t optional. It’s not only good for aerobic conditioning, muscle strength, and athletic performance but it improves your blood glucose levels, as well as your respiratory, cardiovascular, joint, and emotional health. Yet many people wonder when is the best time to work out to get the most benefits out of it. We are all unique and different. We have different genes, predispositions, lifestyles, and goals. Therefore, there is not a specific time that is the most beneficial for everyone.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the factors to consider when scheduling your workouts, when exercise timing is irrelevant, what are the benefits of working out in the morning, and the pros of exercising in the afternoon or night.

Factors to Consider When Scheduling Workouts

There is not a time that works for everybody. So, you should keep in mind different factors when scheduling your workouts. Take into consideration your availability and identify your body’s internal clock. Think about the following questions and be honest with yourself: are you a morning person or is your energy level higher in the afternoon? When does working out feel better for you? When is the best time in which you can realistically exercise?

When Exercise Timing is Irrelevant

Sometimes the time of the day in which you exercise doesn’t matter. If you have a condition, exercise training should be a regular component of your healing protocol. But if you are dealing with a health condition or not, the best time to work out is the time in which you are actually gonna do it.
  • Exercise is beneficial for everyone and, many times, the time of the day doesn’t play a significant role. Research has shown that exercise plays an important role in the prevention of many diseases, the promotion of healthy longevity, and the treatment of conditions such as depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease among others.
  • If you have cardiovascular issues, you benefit equally from exercising in the morning and in the afternoon.
  • Exercise timing doesn’t seem to have a great impact on general fitness performance. Studies show that performance and VO2max (the maximum capacity of the body to take in, transport, and use oxygen during exercise – this reflects cardiorespiratory fitness) don’t seem to be significantly affected by the time of the workout (AM vs.PM).
  • The time in which you exercise doesn’t appear to affect food consumption either. Studies show that morning exercise can have an effect on satiety levels (feeling full) in comparison with afternoon exercise but appetite and food intake are not affected by different workout times.
  • Exercise timing doesn’t seem relevant for people with asthma. A study compared the effects of regular asthma treatment (asthma medication and education) along with supplementary physical training at different times in asthmatic children. Children were divided into a morning exercise group, an afternoon exercise group, and a group with no exercise. Children in the training program showed improvements at many levels (respiratory muscle strength, resting heart rate, running distance, and sit-up performance) in comparison with the children who didn’t exercise. However, there were no significant differences between those exercising in the morning compared to the afternoon.
That being said, working out in the morning and working out in the latter part of the day have both unique advantages. Read on to identify what’s the best time of the day to exercise according to your specific circumstances. Learn all the benefits associated with working out in the morning and the pros of exercising in the afternoon.

Benefits of Morning Exercise

The following are some reasons why you should exercise in the morning:
  • If you don’t necessarily love working out, it may be better to do it in the morning so you get it done. Many times, afternoon workouts get postponed or canceled because people prefer to engage in other activities more enticing to them.
  • If you have high blood pressure, you may want to work out in the morning. Moderate-intensity exercise early morning (7 a.m.) has shownto evoke optimal changes in blood pressure and improve sleep overall. Another study showed that post-exercise hypotension occurs at different times of day, but the systolic hypotensive effect and reductions of cardiac output are greater after morning exercise.
  • If you have sleep issues, you may want to work out in the morning. A studyshowed that morning exercise decreases the number of wake stages, helping improve nocturnal sleep quality.
  • If you want to feel energized and uplifted throughout the day, you may want to train in the morning. Exercise has a positive impact on your energy, confidence, and mood. So working out early can positively impact your day.
  • If you want to increase your activity levels during the day, working out in the morning can help. Research shows that exercising in the morning increases non-exercise physical activity throughout the day.
  • If you are a teenager or have adolescents, morning exercise has great effects on them. Research has shown that early workouts are great for their body but also help improve cognitive function during school.
  • If you have a sporting event or want to enhance exercise performance in the afternoon, you may want to engage in low-intensity exercise in the morning. Astudy showed that doing low-intensity cardio in the morning produced higher physical fitness test scores and anaerobic power in the afternoon.

Pros of Working Out Latter in the Day

The following are some reasons why you should workout in the afternoon or night:
  • If you want to release some stress from your day, you may want to exercise in the latter part of the day. Research shows that working out improves the way your body handles stress by affecting hormonal responses and neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin) that influence mood and behavior. Exercise, also, serves as a break from stressors and provides a calming effect.
  • If you have issues with stiffness or conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid, or osteoarthritis, you may want to work out in the evening. Studiesshow that evening exercise decreases stiffness and increases mobility the following day.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes, you may benefit from exercising in the afternoon. Astudy showed that high-intensity interval training was more efficacious than morning HIIT at improving blood glucose in those with type 2 diabetes. Anotherstudy showed that blood glucose rose during fasted morning resistance training, whereas it declined with the same afternoon workout. Hyperglycemia and blood glucose concentration were also more frequent and higher after fasted morning exercise than after afternoon sessions.
  • If you feel very overheated when working out, you may want to exercise in the afternoon because the body’s ability to remove heat load is higher in the late afternoon. Research shows that, compared to morning sessions, skin blood flow is higher and body-temperature-increments during exercise are lower during afternoon sessions.
  • If you play basketball, you may want to do your strength and conditioning training in the afternoon. A study showed that basketball players had better performance (jump height & power), and reported better sleep duration when engaging in training in the afternoon versus in the morning.
Exercise helps you to avoid disease, live longer healthier, and maintain a positive state of mind. There is evidence to advocate exercise at different times of the day according to specific situations. In the big picture though, there are no humongous differences between morning and afternoon training. The main factor making a difference in your desired results is staying consistent with exercise. The best time to work out is the time of the day in which you are actually gonna get it done, whether you do it in the morning or in the afternoon.
To a Healthier Fitter You,
Adriana Albritton
The Fitness Wellness Mentor

Hating on cardio is so passé,

especially when there’s no shortage of ways to make it fun and challenging – yes, even on a treadmill.
“I encourage people to view it as a tool and to train with purpose when you’re on the treadmill,” says Jacob Puzey, an ultra marathon athlete who broke the world record time for an 80 kilometre run on the tready in 2016. “It’s an incredibly effective way to train.”
Mindful, focused treadmill sessions not only help you to increase your fitness levels for high-intensity work, but they can also bring you closer to completing endurance goals, as they develop your aerobic capacity and muscular endurance. A light jog on a treadmill is also a great way to prime the body for an endurance strength session or to cool down after you lift. It’s a HIIT If a no-fuss, fat-scorching sweat sesh is your jam, you’re in luck. Fortunately for you (and your short attention span) HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, lends itself perfectly to treadmill workouts. HIIT also happened to make the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) top three fitness trends three years running, with its combined effectiveness and efficiency being likely factors, according to a study published in August 2019 in PLOS ONE. Keep in mind, though, that interval intensity often peaks at an eight out of 10 on a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale, so less is usually more. “When it comes to HIIT, adding volume doesn’t deliver better results, it actually hinders,” according to researchers in a Les Mills study published in May 2019. They advise capping HIIT workouts that are above a 90 per cent maximum heart rate at no more than 30 to 40 minutes per week to net maximum benefits. Cardio cut down Puzey recommends making one of your weekly treadmill runs a progression workout. Start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase the effort as you go. You can do this organically and increase the speed as you adjust to the effort, or incrementally, increasing the speed a little at a time every 400 metres. “I went from couch potato to marathon runner in four months doing progression runs for an hour per day. I got fit really quickly,” says Puzey. He also lost over 11kg in the process.
Do this as a standalone workout or a warm-up before your strength session. Exception: if you’re training purely for strength using explosive movements that require a large power output, this treadmill warm-up isn’t for you, cautions Puzey.
TO BUST TREADMILL BOREDOM, we enlisted Puzey to put together three HIIT routines. Whether you’re into plyometrics, speed drills or muscle burning hill climbs, there’s something for everyone. Just limit your all-out efforts to no more than 40 minutes per week to avoid overtraining

WORKOUT #1: PLYO TREADMILL HIIT WORKOUT #2: HILL DRILLS WORKOUT #3: SPEED DRILLS

Prep your muscles with this routine prior to an intense lifting session, says Puzey. “You’ll warm up the body and lungs for a good session just by performing [a few bodyweight] exercises really quickly.”
WARM-UP:
WORK INTERVALS:
RECOVERY INTERVALS:
COOLDOWN: 10 to 15 minute jog, four to five RPE*
One minute run, six to eight RPE
Choose five to 10 full-body plyometric moves and perform 20 reps of one at each interval (e.g. squat jumps, push-ups, burpees, lunges, box jumps, etc.)
10 to 15 minute jog, four to five RPE
Hill climbs should be a staple in every repertoire – you’ll know booty and leg burn like never before. “Running uphill also reduces the impact on your joints,” explains Puzey, thereby reducing your risk of injury.
This classic workout, known as Fartlek training (Swedish for ‘speed play’) alternates all-out bursts of speed with recovery jogs, preparing your body and mind for the demands of longer and harder efforts. S
WARM-UP:
WORK INTERVALS: 10 to 15 minute run, four to five RPE*
60 to 90 second run, three to five per cent incline, seven to eight RPE. Shoot for six to eight intervals, depending on your fitness level
RECOVERY INTERVALS:
COOLDOWN: One minute jog, four to five RPE. You can choose to lower your incline or your speed
10 to 15 minute jog, four to five RPE
WARM-UP:
WORK INTERVALS: 10 to 15 minute jog, four to five RPE*
60 to 90 second run, six to eight RPE. Six to 10 intervals, depending on your fitness level
RECOVERY INTERVALS:
COOLDOWN: One minute jog, four to five RPE
10 to 15 minute jog, four to five RPE S
*Know your RPE: The rate of perceived exertion is a numerical scale to measure how difficult or intense an exercise feels. The scale begins at 0, which represents no difficulty, and goes to 10, which represents very, very difficult.

Tips to Boost Growth Hormone

Being in the fitness and mental health field for years as a coach and mentor, I hear some people over forty complain about their discomfort with certain bodily changes. They complain about mood changes, a decline in energy, strength, muscle mass, sex drive, as well as their lower ability to burn fat as they used to. Those are issues that can’t be ignored. They are not only physically uncomfortable and bothersome symptoms but emotionally distressing. In actuality, these symptoms are associated with lower secretions of growth hormone (GH).
Below we’ll take a deeper look into growth hormone and cover the following topics:
  • What’s growth hormone?
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Benefits of growth hormone
  • Growth hormone-raising exercises
  • Supplements to raise growth hormone
  • Lifestyle tips that improve growth hormone levels
  • Foods that boost growth hormone

What Is Growth Hormone?

Growth hormone – GH (also known as human growth hormone -hGH- or somatotropin) is a peptide hormone made by the pituitary gland and secreted into the bloodstream. It stimulates growth, cell reproduction, cell regeneration, and overall human development. Additionally, GH is used for performance enhancement and as an anabolic agent.
GH influences other hormones as well. It stimulates the production of IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1 – a hormone similar to insulin involved in growth and anabolic states) and testosterone (this hormone helps increase muscle mass, fat loss, energy, strength, libido, and it’s involved in mood, cardiovascular / bone / brain health).

GH Deficiency

Unfortunately, hormone production declines over the course of the years. By age 55, growth hormone levels have declined one-third of what they used to be between the ages of 18 to 35. Some people experience growth hormone deficiency even younger, which brings a wide range of symptoms. Severe deficiencies can reduce people’s ability to function – both physical and psychological, deteriorating their quality of life.
Symptoms associated with GH deficiency:
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Diminished strength
  • Increased body fat
  • Cholesterol abnormalities
  • Issues in the blood and circulation
  • Poor bone density
  • Low energy and stamina
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Lowers testosterone levels

Benefits of Growth Hormone

A recombinant form of hGH called somatropin is used as a prescription drug to treat children’s growth disorders, adult growth hormone deficiency, and growth hormone decline.
GH injections have several benefits:
  • Denser bones
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Helps burn more fat
  • Improves strength and power
  • Lower risks of heart disease
  • Increase positive feelings and sexual drive
  • Better ability to fight cell degeneration – important for antiaging and immunity

How to Increase Growth Hormone Levels Naturally

Fortunately, there are different ways in which you can increase growth hormone levels naturally as well. You can create huge metabolical changes by modifying your exercise routine, diet, and daily habits.

Growth Hormone-Raising Exercises

One of the greatest growth hormone boosters is exercise. Studies show that there is a linear relationship between the magnitude of the increase in GH release and exercise intensity. However, not all types of exercise affect your hormones equally. Research shows that endurance training /prolonged exercise, such as long-distance cardio, results in decreased resting GH, GH, and IGF-1 levels. Resistance training, on the other hand, results in significantly higher growth hormone stimulation.
Here are some of the protocols needed to elicit higher GH responses:
  • Weight training using short rest intervals, heavy loads, and exercise intensity above lactate threshold for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIITT): In this exercise strategy, you alternate between short periods of intense activity with periods of recovery – 2:1 ratio of work (30-40 seconds) to recovery (15-20 seconds) is the most common.
Higher intensity exercise and strength training are not only beneficial for your health and training outcomes but they help reduce the impact of aging. Just be mindful not to overtrain in order to avoid affecting GH negatively.

Supplements that Help Raise Growth Hormone

Supplementation can aid to raise GH levels. The following are some of the supplements associated with higher GH release:
VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is essential for proper cell replication, immunity system, mood, as well as for prostate, bone, joint, colon, and digestive support. Additionally, research shows that Vitamin D increases circulating IGF1, which as you learned, influences GH.
MELATONIN
Melatonin is a hormone that’s involved in sleep and blood pressure regulation. Additionally, studies have shown that melatonin supplementation increases basal GH release. You take 1–10 mg 30 minutes before bed, getting started with a lower dose.
ARGININE
Arginine helps to build protein, release nitric oxide in the blood, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, and ease inflammation in the digestive tract. Additionally, arginine enhances exercise performance and boosts GH. A study showed that taking 1,500 mg of arginine significantly elevated GH during resting conditions.
GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID (GABA) 
GABA is a non-protein amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter. It has a calming effect on the brain and helps ease anxiety, stress, insomnia, and balance blood pressure. Research shows that ingesting GABA elevated resting and postexercise GH by about 400%.
BETA ALANINE
Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that can help increase muscle endurance and training volume, and reduce fatigue.
A study compared the effects of creatine and creatine plus beta-alanine on strength, power, body composition, testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, and IGF-1. The group taking beta-alanine presented significantly greater improvements in strength, lean body mass, and body fat percentage.
CREATINE
Creatine is a natural supplement used to boost energy, athletic performance, and build muscle and strength. It can promote brain health and the stabilization of blood sugar. Research shows that 20 g of creatine enhances GH secretion.
 L-DOPA
L-Dopa (or levodopa) is an amino acid produced from the amino acid, L-tyrosine. It’s a precursor of dopamine that plays a role in epinephrine and norepinephrine and has even been used to treat Parkinson’s Disease. Besides increasing dopamine in the brain, research shows that L-dopa stimulates growth hormone secretion.
GLUTAMINE
Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in human blood and is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It is crucial for your immune system, as it fuels white blood cells, and for intestinal health. Glutamine also contributes to gaining muscle and performing physically. Research shows that 2 grams help increase GH levels.
ORNITHINE
Ornithine is a nonprotein amino acid important for conditions that involve an excess of ammonia – liver conditions or prolonged exercise. It has an anti-fatigue effect and even helps with hangovers. Paired with arginine, ornithine helps improve lean mass and power output. Studies show that taking ornithine 30 minutes after strength training increases GH.

Lifestyle Habits that Improve Growth Hormone

SLEEP
One of the factors that promote the natural boost of GH is sleep. Growth hormone is secreted during the delta wave part of sleep and follows your circadian rhythm. It is recommended to get a good night’s sleep since most GH secretions are released by the brain into the bloodstream while you sleep. This is the time in which your body repairs itself.
STRESS
Another factor related to inadequate GH levels is stress. It has numerous negative effects. Stress not only has devastating effects on your emotional health but disrupts bodily functions and systems. Additionally, it affects the production of growth hormone and many others.
FASTING
Fasting, or refrain from eating, has huge benefits. It helps to lose weight, decrease inflammation (which is associated with chronic disease), improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and great for heart and brain health, as well as for longevity. Fasting has even produced great results in delaying tumor growth in animals. Furthermore, fasting enhances GH secretion.
HEALTHY HABITS BEFORE BEDTIME
Since sleep is directly related to GH, it’s wise to instill habits that facilitate deep sleep. Eating can spike insulin levels which disrupt sleep patterns as well as the release of GH. This is why you should avoiding food right before bedtime. At the same time, sleeping with the phone, computer, or TV on, and heavy alcohol/drug use disturb your sleeping cycles. Try to eat at least 2 hours before you go to sleep and turn off the electronics in your bedroom.

Foods that Boost Growth Hormone

Now that you understand the types of training that increase the release of GH into your system, it’s time to address your diet. The food you consume plays another vital role in your hormonal system. But it’s not only about what you consume, it’s also about what you remove from your diet. Read on to find out what foods stimulate growth hormone.
One of the compounds that negatively affect GH is sugar. The regular consumption of processed sugar, commercial sugary snacks, sugary drinks, and baking goods should be avoided because they increase blood sugar levels and decrease GH levels, facilitating fat storage. Additionally, try to avoid sugar post-workout and before sleeping so you can obtain the GH boost that exercise and sleep can give you.
WATER
Water is not a food but it’s an essential compound for survival. Hydration is necessary for proper hormone functioning.
COCONUT OIL
Coconut Oil is very unique since it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid, which are easily converted to energy. Coconut oil has anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. Research shows that MCT increases circulating growth hormone.
RAW CACAO OR DARK CHOCOLATE
Cacao, unlike hot chocolate or a chocolate bar, comes directly from cold-pressed cacao beans and has no added sugar. It is high in healthy fats, magnesium, potassium, iron, and theobromine (a healthy stimulant like coffee). Cacao contains serotonin, phenylethylamine (a neurotransmitter known as “the love drug”), anandamide (a natural antidepressant), and tryptophan (which stimulates dopamine and HGH production). You can get cacao’s benefits by consuming dark chocolate, cacao powder (making a hot chocolate or adding it to smoothies), or cacao nibs (adding them to smoothies, oatmeal, or kefir).
ARGININE-RICH FOODS
Arginine is one of the amino acids that boost GH synthesis. Arginine-rich foods include dairy, red meat, eggs, chicken, turkey, seeds, nuts, legumes, and brown rice.
Whey Protein
Whey protein is made from whey – the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. Whey protein combined with resistance exercise has shown to have a significant effect on growth hormones and muscle strength.
Colostrum: This is the milk secreted during the first few days after a mammal is born. Colostrum contains not only nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals but also bioactive components like antimicrobial factors and growth factors, such as insulin-like growth factors I (IGF-I).  IGF-I can mimic most effects of GH and GH’s effects on skeletal muscle are mediated by IGF-I. Studiesshow that colostrum increases blood IGF-I concentration, positively affecting GH.
Raw Dairy
As you know whey and colostrum are dairy products high in nutrients. Other great dairy options that help boost HGH production are greek yogurt and kefir but you must consume high-quality clean sources to get all their benefits. Commercial milk processing (pasteurization, homogenization, and centrifugation) denatures bioactive proteins and RNA molecules and alters the bioavailability of fat-soluble components. It also contains antibiotics, pesticides, and synthetic growth hormones. On the other hand, raw milk is very nutritious because it has bioactive components, including whey proteins, transcription factors, immunoglobulins, omega-3 fats, and microRNAs. Raw milk consumption is associated with hormonal, gut, and lung health, and a lower incidence of asthma and allergic diseases. Check out a US listingof raw milk near you. If you can’t find raw dairy products, at least choose organic.
Grass-Fed Organic Beef
Beef is powerful, containing beneficial fatty acids (CLA- conjugated linoleic acid), iron, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B12, B3, B6, and E filthy. However, not all beef is the same. Conventional beef, unlike organic beef, contains harmful pesticides, genetic engineering (GMOs), bacteria, antibiotics, and the animals live in filthy confined factory farms and are fed corn and soy. Additionally, there is grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Grass-fed animals are fed grass most of the year but can receive supplemental grain feed while those with a grass-finished label graze on grass in the summer and alfalfa in the winter. The beef is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished, organic, and free-range beef.
Eggs
Eggs help provide the good cholesterol needed for hormone production. Eggs are also loaded with vitamins, amino acids, DHA, and EPA that help promote HGH secretion. It’s best to buy free-range organic eggs instead of conventional.
Algae
Various algae that you find in the ocean are consumable and highly nutritious. They help alkalize and detox your body, have anti-inflammatory properties, and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and essential amino acids. These algae help amplify GH release as well. Some of the most powerful algae are spirulina, chlorella, or blue-green algae. These algae help amplify GH release.
Nuts
Nuts provide a boost of L-Arginine to stimulate HGH and testosterone secretion. They are very convenient and easy to incorporate into your diet.
Legumes
Legumes are a great plant-based source of protein, fiber, and arginine. Fava beans are rich in L-Dopa and a powerful options for increasing HGH levels.
MELATONIN-RICH FOODS
Foods rich in melatonin increase melatonin secretion at night. Melatonin helps you sleep longer and deeper which is associated with enhanced HGH production. Melatonin-rich foods can increase GH release by up to 157% and they include milk, eggs, fish, mustard seeds, tomatoes, nuts, grapes, tart berries, goji berries, pomegranates, watermelons, raspberries, and pineapples.
Goji Berries
Goji berries are at the top of the HGH-producing food list. Goji berries contain vitamins, 22 minerals, essential fatty acids, and 18 amino acids.
Watermelon
Watermelon is high in L-Citrulline amino, an amino acid that converts to Arginine and promotes GH.
Pineapples
Pineapple is not only high in melatonin. It’s a great source of serotonin – a feeling-good neurotransmitter that can relax you and help you sleep. Having some pineapple at night 30 – 60 minutes before bedtime can increase GH and testosterone production.
In the quest to get the benefits associated with growth hormone, you should take specific steps. Boost growth hormone levels by following the suggestions above. Integrating GH-enhancing workouts, the right foods and supplements, sleeping enough, fasting periodically, and dealing with stress adequately can elicit hormonal responses that raise GH. In this manner, you will be more apt to gain more muscle, lose fat, remain strong, have a healthy sex drive, be in better spirits, and experience more antiaging properties.
To a Fitter Healthier You
Adriana Albritton
The Fitness Wellness Mentor

 

WHEN BUYING SECONDHAND GYM EQUIPMENT  FOR YOUR HOME GYM ????

Buying used fitness equipment may be a great investment for your health and your wallet as long as you know what to look for before handing over your cash.
You can save a lot of money buying used fitness equipment. Used treadmills, exercise bikes, rowing machines, and weight equipment are a fraction of the cost compared to the same equipment brand new. If you are planning to set up a home gym buying used equipment can save you thousands of ££££££
Not all used fitness equipment is worth the savings, however. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for used fitness equipment.

What to Buy

The variety of equipment available is endless. The specific pieces of used fitness equipment you choose to buy should be based on the type of exercise you enjoy doing, as well as pertain to your fitness goals. You may only need a stationary bike to ride during the evening news or a few dumbbells to add to your running routine. If, however, you are planning on setting up a basic home gym, make a list of must have items.

Try Before You Buy

It’s a good idea to shop for used fitness equipment that you have previously used at a gym, a retail outlet , or a friend’s home. Make sure the equipment is something you are not only familiar with, but that you like enough to actually use on a regular basis. Avoid buying something just because it’s a good deal or it may end up in your garage sale next year.

Choose Quality Brands

Even though you are buying used equipment, don’t think you can’t buy brand name items. When it comes to electronics and fitness equipment, purchasing name brands will generally save you money in the long run. Buying a cheap heart rate monitor, motorized treadmill, or other fitness equipment may result in a lower quality item that is poorly made and more likely to break than a well-known and trusted brand.

Check for Excessive Wear

Before buying any used fitness equipment, be sure you inspect the items for any kind of damage, excessive wear, cracks, rust, or other defects. Thoroughly test out the equipment before you buy it to ensure that everything works as it should. If it needs any parts cleaned or replaced, make sure they are still available for purchase and are reasonably priced.

Check Safety Features

Another important aspect of buying used fitness equipment is to ensure that the equipment is safe to use. This may mean checking the emergency shut-off switches, and inspecting the electronics and wires for fraying or other signs of damage. Any rubber or plastic parts should not show signs of cracks or excessive wear and tear. Iron dumbbells should not be rusty, and stationary bikes should pedal smoothly and stop easily.

Check the Warranty

Used fitness equipment will likely no longer be under warranty, but it’s still a good idea to check. If this is a high-end item, contact the manufacturer to ask about the product and ask if they offer any service or support. It also can’t hurt to ask about purchasing an extended warranty plan if there’s one available. At a minimum, check to see if the equipment had any recalls and if replacement parts are easy to get.

Where to Buy

You can find used fitness equipment almost anywhere depending of course what your budget is and what you are looking for. The Internet is the best way and always accessible. Make sure that the person your buying from is a verified buyer to avoid the numerous scammers.

How Much Should You Pay for Used Fitness Equipment?

The easiest way to know what the equipment is worth is to first check the retail price at an online site such as Amazon or by going directly to the company’s website. You could also peruse the classified ads to find out the going rates for the used equipment in your area. This will give you a good idea of the market value of the item. From there, you can negotiate with the seller and get the equipment for a fair price you feel good about.

Is There Any Fitness Equipment You Shouldn’t Buy Used?

Some people may say that you should avoid buying used electronics or shoes. While it’s a good idea to thoroughly check out any of these items before you buy, you can still get some great used heart rate monitors and even sports shoes if you know what it is you’re looking for. The best advice on these items is to do thorough research, refrain from impulsive purchases, and ask a lot of questions of the seller. If you have a bad feeling, aren’t getting straight answers to your questions, or see any inconsistencies between the product and the seller’s story, move on. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

It can take months of hard work to build up fitness, but while your strength can quickly fade if you stop exercising, you might not have to start from scratch again.

Getting in shape isn’t easy. But after all that hard work, how long do we actually maintain it? It turns out that even after the great effort we put into training, taking a bit of time off can mean that we become “unfit” much faster than it took us to actually get in shape.
To understand how the body becomes “unfit”, we first need to understand how we become fit. The key to becoming fitter – whether that’s improving cardiovascular fitness or muscular strength – is to exceed “habitual load”. This means doing more than our body is used to. The stress that this has on our body makes us adapt and become more tolerant, leading to higher fitness levels.
The time it takes to get fit depends on a number of factors, including a person’s fitness levels, age, how hard they work, and even the environment they exercise in – heat & pollution can affect the physiological response to exercise, for example. But some studies do indicate that even just six sessions of interval training  can lead to increases in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) – a measure of overall fitness – and improve how efficiently our body is able to fuel itself using the sugar stored in our cells during exercise.
For strength training, some gains in muscle force can be shown in as little as 2 weeks, but changes in muscle size won’t be seen until around eight-to-12 weeks.
Cardiovascular fitness
When we stop training, how quickly we lose fitness also depends on many factors – including the type of fitness we’re talking about (such as strength or cardiovascular fitness).
As an example, let’s look at a marathon runner, who is in peak athletic fitness and can run a marathon in two hours and 30 minutes. This person spends five to six days a week training, running a total of 90km (56 miles). They’ve also spent the last 15 years developing this level of fitness.
Now let’s say they stopped training completely. Because the body no longer has the stresses of training forcing it to stay fit, the runner will start to lose fitness within a few weeks.
Cardiorespiratory fitness – indicated by a person’s VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise) – will decrease around 10% in the  first 4 weeks f after a person stops training. This rate of decline continues, but at a slower rate over longer periods.
If they stop exercising, runners begin losing their cardiac fitness within a few weeks (Credit: Getty Images)
Intriguingly, though highly trained athletes (like our marathon runner) see a sharp decline in VO2 max in the first four weeks, this decline eventually evens out, and they actually maintain a VO2 higher than average. But for the average person, VO2 max falls sharply, back to pre-training levels, in less than 8 weeks.
The reason VO2 max declines is due to reductions in blood and plasma volumes, which decrease by as much as 12% in the first 4 weeks after a person stops training. Plasma and blood volume decrease due to the  lack of stressl being put on our heart and muscles.
Plasma volume may even decrease by around 5% within the first 48 hours of stopping training. The effect of decreased blood and plasma volume leads to less blood being pumped around the body each heart beat. But these levels only drop to where they started – meaning they won’t get worse.

The number of muscle fibres used during exercise decreases by around 13% after just two weeks of no training

Of course, most of us aren’t marathon runners – but we’re also not immune to these effects. As soon as we stop exercising the body will start to lose these key cardiovascular adaptations at a very similar rate to highly trained athletes.
Strength training
When it comes to strength, evidence shows that in the average person, 12 weeks without training causes a significant decrease in the amount of weight we can lift. Thankfully, researchr shows that you maintain some of the strength you gained before you stopped training. What is intriguing is that despite the significant decrease in strength, there’s only a minimal decrease in the size of the muscle fibres.
The reason we lose muscle strength largely has to do with the fact that we’re no longer putting our muscles under stress. So when we’re no longer working our muscles hard, the muscles become “lazy”, leading the number of our muscle fibres to decrease, and fewer muscles being recruited during an activity – making us less able to lift the heavy loads we used to.
The number of muscle fibres used during exercise decreases by around 13% after just two weeks of no training – though this appears not to be accompanied by a decline in muscular force. This implies that the losses observed across the longer periods of detraining are a combination of both this initial decline in the number of muscle fibres we use, but also the slower decline in muscle mass.
The average gym goer who lifts weights would experience a drop in the size of their muscles and over time find it harder to lift heavy loads as they have fewer muscle fibres being recruited.
So, even after all that effort to get fit, we start losing cardiovascular fitness and strength within 48 hours of stopping. But we don’t start to feel these effects for at least two to three weeks for cardiovascular fitness and around six-to-10 weeks for strength. Rates of “de-training” are similar for men and women, and even for older athletes. But the fitter you are, the slower you’ll lose your gains.

Square off to one of our picks of the best punching bags and you’ll have a ringside seat for improved stamina, strength and endurance

Adding some boxing time into your training schedule with the help of a punching bag comes with plenty of benefits. If you don’t fancy stepping into the ring for some sparring action (we are just coming out of a pandemic, after all), setting up a punchbag at home means you’ll still be able to roll with the punches of Covid-19 and still get that one-two fix you so crave.

Throwing on some gloves and wraps in order to fire off jabs, hooks and uppercuts to a punchbag helps to fine-tune those more technical skills in the ring, but it will also help build strength, deliver a hefty cardio blast, increase stamina levels and let you blow off steam all the while.

But, alas, if you were of the impression that all punchbags were designed equal, you’d be wrong. Not only do different punchbags vary in terms of how it feels on impact with your fists, but also how it stays put when you strike it and even whether you can add some kickboxing into the mix.

So, to avoid being sucker-punched by a bad investment, here’s our blow-by-blow account of what to look for…

What should a punching bag be made of?

The materials used to form the surface of the punchbag will drastically alter its feel on impact.

One made from leather tends to be easier on the eye, but it will also be more durable and comfortable to strike. It’s a similar story for synthetic leather punchbags, only these tend to cost less.

There are also bags made from plastic, usually filled with water, which provide a very different striking sensation. Canvas bags are also a durable option, but, again, feel different to hit compared to striking the surface of more commonly used leather or synthetic leather bags.

What shape of punching bag is best?

Bags come in several different styles, meaning you can pick the one that’s best suited to the kind of work you’re planning to do with it. The standard offers a consistent look from top to bottom and are built for basic punch work revolved around hooks and straights, either hung from a ceiling or free-standing.

An angled bag narrows in the middle to make it more suited to uppercut work and combinations, while you’ll also find bags that more closely mimic being in front of another person to give you a more realistic target for when you’re ready to step into the ring.

What are the best punching bags to buy?

Decathlon Punch Bag
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DECATHLON
This ceiling-mounted burgundy bag is shaped to offer a more body-like target for jabs and straights, with the angled design making it well suited to an array of punching styles. It’s made from recycled fabric padding to reduce the post-punch carnage on your hands and is easily wiped down to clear away the sweaty signs of a tough workout. £99.99. decathlon.co.uk

 

Everlast
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EVERLAST
Everlast’s bag doesn’t need to be attached to the ceiling, letting you drop sand or water into the base so it stays put as you get to punching work. The Omniflex neck gives you a target that can absorb heavy hitting and you can adjust the height of the bag to make that target easier or more challenging to strike. £139.99. At Argos. argos.co.uk. At amazon.co.uk

 

Hatton heavy bag
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HATTON
This all-leather bag measures in at three foot and is built for heavy hitting. Hatton has filled it with a material it says is unique to its bags to make sure it can withstand big punches and kicks while keeping its shape over time. Coming with a six-hook chain to attach it to your ceiling, you shouldn’t have to worry about this one budging. £152. At bestgymequipment.co.uk

 

Mirafit
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MIRAFIT
Mirafit’s freestanding option has the look of a big battery, built with high rebound foam to absorb punches and PU leather to make sure it stays in good shape. The base can be filled with sand or water to keep the bag rooted to the spot and is one to step in front of to hone boxing skills or to aim kicks at for MMA work. £99.99. mirafit.co.uk. At amazon.co.uk

Taurus Boxing Target Tree
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TAURUS
Instead of firing off shots at a traditional heavy bag, the Target Tree lets you work on punching precision and letting fly with more accuracy. All five of the strike zones can be adjusted and the base is the kind that you fill to make sure the tree doesn’t shake as you land a big combo. £599. At powerhouse-fitness.co.uk

 

Reebok Punch Bag
6/8
REEBOK
Reebok’s five-foot punchbag is one to level your best shots at, built to soak up heavy strikes. Being made from leather, it’s especially satisfying to hit and should mean it holds up for years of training. Just be sure you have the space for it: this one you’ll need to hang from the ceiling or use the accompanying straps to hook it up to a boxing platform. £495.99. At sweatband.com

 

Body Power Striketube XL
7/8
BODY POWER
The Striketube stands tall, at well over six foot, giving you a big target to rain punches down on to. Made from foam and PVC, it’s sure to soak up every punch you can throw, while the spring system and base is designed to make sure it won’t budge when you get to putting more power behind those punches. £449. At fitness-superstore.co.uk. At amazon.co.uk

 

Carbon Claw
8/8
CARBON CLAW
Carbon Claw has been making solid boxing gear since the 1970s and this heavy bag is primed for uppercut work. The four foot tall option features a tough leather surface to ensure it’ll hold up with regular punching action. It also doubles up on stitching to make sure it stays strong even at the apex of your Rocky training montage. £334.99. At sweatband.com

 

The UK’s fittest man’s eight steps to overcoming setbacks

Zack George wanted 2021’s CrossFit Open to be a glorious run all the way to the Games, but an injury put him out of action. Here, he talks GOM Magazine  through his setback and how you can overcome yours.

Zack George is no stranger to a complication, but 2021’s CrossFit Games hopes were dashed by a very different enemy: after Covid cut numbers last year, this was supposed to be the year the UK’s fittest man hit the world stage. Instead, he had to pull out because of an injury.

“I’ve been training for a year and a half for this,” he told GOMM from his home, a few weeks after pulling out of this year’s Open. “I felt great the whole training season for the last year. Then a couple of weeks before leading up to it, I was getting a little niggle in my hip flexor.” He rolled with it and pushed through – “probably ignoring the signs” – but after a few of the Open workouts it really hit. “There was a lot of squatting in the third workout and it basically just gave way. There was this massive shooting pain down my leg from the hip to my knee. And from then on I wasn’t able to squat.”

He fought through a few more but, faced with a workout that contained 180 pistol squats, front squats and more besides, he finally had to pull out. “I think I had four days of just sulking on my sofa, watching movies, eating about eight chocolate bars a day.”

It’s very easy, especially as men, to feel like failure needs to be pushed aside and proactivity used as a remedy. But George wants to remind you that wallowing is a vital part of hitting a wall. “It’s a process that’s important for your body to go through, physically and mentally, because if you try to bounce back the next day and start setting goals, it’s going to catch up with you at some point.” Whether your setback requires a physical rehabilitation like his, or some other recalibration, we need to get better at combining a sulk with a new game plan. Hell, if Zack George can sit on his own and eat junk food for four days, shouldn’t we all cut ourselves a little bit more slack?

As he recovers from his latest knock-back, we asked George, in his own words, to take us through his advice for picking yourself up and dusting yourself off.

Everyone’s character is different, so they deal with setbacks in different ways. But I think there are some pretty common themes in what people go through in the process of coming back. It’s a very manly thing to just keep on trudging forward and not let anything affect you.

For me, I’ve never been ashamed to just say, “I’m not OK. I just need four days of not talking. I’ll be fine after those days, but just during this time I just need to be on my own.” I need to wallow and I need to sulk for a couple of days. I think if more people openly admitted they’re not OK and that they need some time, the process would be so much more beneficial. People would come back from setbacks a lot stronger.

What this looks like is different for everyone. For me it was sitting in on my own, not speaking to anyone and just eating rubbish. Whereas for someone else, they might love being surrounded by people. You’ve got to recognise what sort of person you are and how you go through that stage. My girlfriend, Sam, if she went through a setback? She would hate being on her own. She’d want her family around her and want to be talking to people constantly. You might want that one best friend, might go out and go shopping, but just find what your thing is to make you feel better and allow yourself just to sulk and just not be OK for those couple of days.

Then know that it’s not going to last forever and don’t fall into the trap of making those couple of days last for weeks and months. I find it really beneficial to set a timeframe on it. Allow yourself three days, whatever it is, just to do that activity that is going to make you feel better. But after that timeframe, get right back into setting goals and a positive attitude.

Be vulnerable

I had to really push myself to openly speak about it and not just shut down the conversation and say I’m fine. When I’m going through a setback, I tend to just go within and just want to be on my own. I came off my phone and didn’t go on social media. It’s hard, because you have so many people who want to speak to you, but I needed to be on my own.

But then you just fester in your own thoughts. You’ve got to hold back that natural urge to just say, “Oh, no, I’m fine.” You’re just holding it in. I had to openly push myself to talk about it and say “Yeah, it’s been really tough, but now I feel good.” I spoke to a lot of people about it. Having lots of other people around you to implement different ideas made me feel really good: everyone’s there to help you and everyone’s there to see you get through that setback. After speaking to them I was ready to get back with my team and start goal setting for the rest of the year, start getting a plan in place for rehab.

Identify what went wrong

Injuries are so common; it’s always going to happen to some people at some stage in their life. That’s just what happens when you train. You’ve got to make sure that you are looking after your body in the best way possible so that you can carry on training injury-free.

Speak to a specialist in that field, find out what went wrong, what caused it and what you can do to prevent this happening again. If it’s physical, a lot of injuries occur due to muscle imbalances, not warming up correctly or lifting too much weight. So first we’ve got to identify what caused the issue. If it’s about overtraining, identify that and then once you’re fully recovered, make sure that doesn’t happen again.

If it’s a muscle imbalance, your injury might have always been destined to occur because of the way you lift, or because you might train your chest too much and that means your back muscles are really weak. You’ve got to identify the reason for the injury and make sure you are changing your training in the future so that doesn’t occur again. Once you’ve identified that, make sure you’re doing the right rehab exercises so you can get back towards training.

Train around your injury

If you get an injury, a lot of people’s default reaction is “oh, I’m out of training now”. But you’ve got to be willing to change your training programme – speak to the experts and learn how you can train around that injury. For me, I’ve got this hip injury, so I can’t do many squat movements. But there are so many other movements I can do and so many other weaknesses I can work on, which will allow me to be a better athlete when I come back, even though I couldn’t squat for eight weeks. An injury might be an opportunity to work on weaknesses that you’ve always put off, because you don’t like doing them, and now you can dedicate the time towards them.

Tell people if you’re injured

Some men think that it’s a weakness if you’ve got an injury. If an instructor asks, “Has anybody got any injuries in the class?” and you’re the only one who puts your hand up, a lot of people feel like they’re being a wimp letting the instructor know.

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CULTURE

That’s not the case: you’re just being smart, you’re being realistic, you have an injury and you need to train around that. Injury is not a weakness or a sign of weakness, because everyone, including the top athletes in the world, gets injured. It’s just a thing that happens in life and you just need to break that barrier and stop thinking you’re a bit of a wuss. That’s not the case at all: you’re trying to improve your body and trying to improve yourself and you don’t want that injury to happen again. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about saying you have an injury. That mentality can save you months and years of repeated injuries.

It’s OK to have bad days down the line

After an injury, you’re going to have a couple of days of feeling sorry for yourself and then you’ll have a great couple of weeks of feeling really motivated. You’ll have good goals that you’ve set ahead, have a great couple of weeks, your rehab will be going really well. And then all of a sudden you try to push it a little bit too much and you feel like you’ve gone back a week.

That often happens with injuries: you start to feel really good so you try and push a bit too much. And then you feel an injury again, when you just thought you’re getting on track. Those days are 100 per cent fine to have. You will have them, just like if you’re training at full capacity for a couple of months, you’re going to have days where you walk into a gym and you just don’t feel like training and the session was rubbish and you couldn’t lift near as much as you could lift the day before. It’s not that you’ve got weaker or more unfit, you’re just having one of those days where you’re just not on top form.

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You’ve got to be dedicated, but you’ve also got to be realistic and know that not every day is going to be a breeze. Just because you have a bad day doesn’t mean you turn that into a bad week. Just know that bad days are part of training. It’s part of the journey of achieving a fitness goal. When you have those, allow yourself to have those days. If you ignore them and push through it as hard as possible and not allow yourself to have that rest day when your body’s telling you you need it, that’s when I feel like those days can extend into weeks.

Maybe step back the training or maybe have a rest day. Speak to the people around you and say, “Today’s not feeling too good.” Maybe speak to your physio and they can assess what you’ve done the last couple of days and figure out where you may be pushing too much. Take it back a little bit, push forward in a slightly different direction, and change the programme slightly.

There’s more than one goal

After you’ve had those days of sulking, you’ve got to sit down with your team and say, “The goal I was aiming for is no longer achievable.” You’ve missed your training window, you’ve missed certain competitions, you may have missed a deadline for work, but you’ve got to identify what went wrong. The goal has to change and you’ve got to let that sink in.

It doesn’t mean you’re never going to achieve that goal, because you can always try again next year. For me? I’m going again next year, but I’ve had to identify the situation right now and then set new goals. I think that’s so important in being positive and moving forward for the rest of the year, because that one goal you’ve been working towards for so long is no longer achievable in this year. We sat down and we straight away found some competitions that I wouldn’t have aimed for if I was still competing in the Games. So there are good opportunities to compete in a competition that I wouldn’t have competed in before.

Find the positives in retrospect

If I have a setback, I want to make sure I get every positive aspect out of the situation that I possibly can. If I’d been competing in the Games, I would have been very militant and very dedicated with training and not focused on other aspects of my career. I would have turned down different opportunities because I was so focused on my training. Whereas now I’ve said to myself: Right, I’m not able to compete in the Games any more. I’ve got a big competition I’m aiming for in October, but that gives me three or four months of time where I can try to get my profile out there as much as possible. I want to try to turn this negative situation into a positive and hopefully get a lot of work done.

When we get to five months down the road, I want to be in a situation where I think, “We’ve done a lot.” I want to be in a position where I think, “If I was training for the Games, I wouldn’t have achieved all of this.” That will make me feel really good about the situation, because I’ve turned the negative setback into a positive and achieved a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t have achieved otherwise.

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In the ANTELOPE.APP, you can choose between special training programs such as Strength, Endurance, and Recovery, which run on different frequencies to optimally work your muscles. The stimulation intensity can be individually controlled via the ANTELOPE.APP, thus allowing you to specifically target your workout. Do you want to get the most out of your workout? Then get an ANTELOPE Wireless EMS Suit for yourself and experience fitness on a completely new level! Our ANTELOPE.APP you can also assist you in targeting specific muscle groups so that you can flexibly pursue your individual training goals. That means your weekly training schedule can be based on days, just like with conventional training – sometimes training the thighs, other times the back or the arms.

 

Best core workouts to boost your all-round strength

If there is a symbol of fitness in modern culture, it’s the six pack. But you don’t need to have your abs on display just to have a strong core and there are much greater benefits to a firm trunk than looking like a hunk. “Your core muscles are used in every single movement you perform,” explained trainer James Middleton, “from squatting in the gym to carrying your shopping bags and wiping the kitchen table.”

“A well-developed core will improve posture and increase strength output, as it is the body’s primary energy transfer system,” added coach Arby Keheli. “The core also protects the body from injury, due to its role in stabilisation and balance, as well as, from a structural point of view, protecting the organs.”

We spoke to some of the biggest – both physically and symbolically – names in fitness for a guide to getting your core up to snuff. If you feel you’ve given it a good once over and are ready to see how much that work is going to improve your other workouts, feel free to check out our guides to the biceps, triceps, chest, shoulder, glutes, legs or forearms.

Chris Magee, head of yoga at Psycle London

These four exercises work all sections of the trunk evenly for maximum effectiveness, stability and balance within your body.

Exercise one: low boat pose
Press your lower back firmly into the ground and pull your navel towards your spine.
Lift the legs, arms and shoulder blades from the floor. Stay as low as possible with good control over the lower back.
To simplify the movement, bring the knees towards the chest. To make it more challenging bring the biceps to the ears, reaching the arms behind your head. (Feeling extra strong? Hold a weight or yoga block here.)
Perform by holding or rocking for five sets of 60 seconds (or ten slow breaths) each.
This is great for the transverse and rectus abdominals and prepping your handstand.
Exercise two: arrowhead lunge
Starting in a standard lunge position with your arms reaching overhead, actively pull your navel in and begin to lean your torso and arms forward to a 45-degree angle hovering over your front thigh.
Hold the position for ten seconds, before slowly returning to the lunge.
The key here is keeping the neutrality of the spine. If you notice you are rounding forward, try to decrease the range and improve your control. Make life easier by bringing your arms alongside your body. Give yourself an extra challenge by holding a small weight/yoga block between your hands.
Perform three sets of five reps, with a ten-second hold in the end position on each leg.
This is great for torso stabilisation, transverse abdominals and lower-back strength.
Exercise three: arrowhead side-angle pose
Start at a side angle (warrior two legs), with the right forearm resting on the right thigh and the left arm reaching on a diagonal. Your bicep should be by your ear.
Spin your chest towards the ceiling and draw your navel in. Lift your right arm away from your leg and bring it parallel to the left.
Hold 30-60 seconds before repeating on the other side. Not only is this fantastic for the strength and integration of your side body, but has the added bonus of helping build isometric strength in the legs.
Perform four sets, holding for 30-60 seconds (or 5-10 slow breaths) on each side.
Exercise four: Superman plank crunches
Starting from a strong plank position, reach the right arm forward (bicep by the ear) and lift the left foot off the ground keeping the leg lengthened and engaged.
Maintaining the balance, use an exhale to bring the right elbow to touch the left knee (squeezing through the navel and side body) and an inhale to lengthen back out to the start, repeating 5 to 10 times before switching to the opposite arm and leg.
This is an amazing exercise requiring great concentration and control of both the body and the breath. It’s great for the transverse, rectus, obliques, scapular strength, balance and coordination.
Perform three sets of 5-10 reps each on both sides.
To simplify, allow your big toe and fingertips of the lifted limbs to brush along the mat/floor. It takes away some of the balance element and could give you greater success when you first try it.

Arby Keheli, strength and conditioning coach

Exercise one: hollow hold
Lying flat on the back, from here lift the feet and peel the upper back off the floor. To ensure the core is engaged make sure the lower back is on constant contact with the floor at all times. If the lower back starts to lift bring the knees into a flexed position to reduce the lever length.
Exercise two: Superman hold
Lie flat on the floor with the chest down and arms extended. Think about lengthening the body creating as much distance from the toes to fingertips.
Rotate the wrist so that the thumbs are pointing up to the ceiling. Lift the arms and feet off of the floor engaging the glutes.
Hold this position. If you are struggling bring the arms down to your side with your palms facing down towards the floor.
Exercise three: rotational plank
Start movement in a low-plank position with the chest pushed away from the floor (protraction through the shoulder blades), glutes engaged and weight shifted forward.
Lift the elbow off the floor and rotate the torso upward maintaining a bridge position in the trunk (keeping the ribs away from the floor).
Bring the elbow back down and the torso with it. From here, begin to thread the elbow behind the supporting arm.

Exercise four: tuck crunch
Load initially into a hollow-hold position with arms extended and the legs lifted. Ensure that the lower back is kept on the floor throughout.
Draw the knees into the body while simultaneously drawing the chest towards the knees compressing through the core.
Extend the legs and arms out again into a hollow position ensuring that the lower back stays grounded.
Exercise five: beast shoulder taps
Start in a table top/beast position. The shoulders, elbows and wrists are in line, the back is flat and the hips are stacked directly over the knees.
From this position lift one arm off the floor and touch the opposite shoulder. This movement should be done slowly and the beast position is maintained throughout.
Exercise six: bicycle crunch
Lie flat on your back with the shoulder blade peeled off the floor and the chin tucked into the chest. Draw the opposite elbow into the opposite knee keeping the tension through the core.
Ensure that the lower back remains in contact with the floor for the duration of the movement.
Exercise seven: lateral shoot-through
Start in a tabletop/beast position. The shoulders elbows and wrist are in line, the back is flat and the are hips stacked directly over the knees.
You will then extend the leg and draw the arm back like you are pulling back the string of a bow. Keep the hip close to the ground but lifted, hold for a second and then return to centre back into that beast position.
The lateral shoot-through should be performed slowly with a focus on movement quality.
How to build these into a workout
Do 30 seconds of each of the seven workouts in a row, with ten seconds off in between. Do five rounds of the seven exercises, with 30 seconds in between each round.

George Palmer, personal trainer and fitness instructor

Exercise one: hollow hold
Lie on your back with your legs extended and pressed together and arms extended behind your head.
Exhale as you lift your legs and arms five or six inches off the floor by tightly tensing the abdominal muscles. Making sure shoulder blades are lifted off the ground, core is staying engaged throughout and the lower back is pressed into the mat, imagine you’re sending your belly button towards the floor as you contract the abs.
Hold for 30-45 seconds and slowly come back down to the starting position.

Exercise two: hanging leg raises
Grasp pull-up bar with an overhand grip, keeping hands shoulder-distance apart.
Forcefully breathe out through your belly as you start to contract the abdominals, slowly raising your legs in front of you while keeping them as straight as possible. Shoulders are pulling downwards throughout the movement.
Upper body stays still and shoulders remain directly below the bar as you start to curl the pelvis up by tensing the abs as you get towards the top of the movement – this gives the abs an extra squeeze.
Breathe out as you slowly bring the legs back down in a controlled manner to the starting position, before repeating the move again.

Exercise three: tabletop crunches
Lie on your back, bringing the legs up so that your knees are directly above the hips, with a 90-degree bend at the knees. Make sure the knees are hip-distance apart and feet are pointed with toes coming to touch. Bring the fingertips to touch the side of the head and elbows pointing outwards.
Breathe out as you begin to tense the abdominal muscles, bringing the upper back off the ground, now coming into a crunch position. Keep the neck neutral and shoulders free from tension throughout the exercise.
Pulling from the core muscles, hold at the top for a second or two and slowly make your way back to the starting position to repeat.

Exercise four: high-to-low plank
Come into a high-plank position by bringing the hands to the ground directly below the shoulders. Keep weight in the balls of the feet and hips lifted by bracing the abdominals and glutes. You should have a straight line going from the head, through the hips, down to the ankles.
Breathe in as you bend at your right elbow to lower the forearm down to the ground. As you lean on your right forearm, now do the same with the left arm. You are now in a low-plank position.
Breathe out forcefully as you straighten the right arm again to place the hand below the shoulder – now partially into a high-plank position – then do the same with your left arm to come to the full starting position. Keep the core and glute muscles tight throughout, not letting the hips drop, even during arm movement.
Alternate leading with the left and right arms as you continue to repeat this movement.
Exercise five: starfish crunches
Lie down on your back and extend your arms overhead wider than shoulder-width apart. Spread legs so that feet are also now in line with the hands – you will now resemble a narrow star shape (which is, of course, where the exercise gets its name from).
Now, exhale as you start to simultaneously lift the upper back of the ground and bring one arm and the opposing leg to reach across towards each other – fingertips come to touch just above the foot. Remember to lead with your abdominal muscles by contracting them and keep the lower back grounded throughout the movement.
Hold at the top for a second and then slowly lower the upper back, bringing the arms and legs back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side of the body.
Exercise six: side-plank pulses
Start on your side with feet together – one foot stacked side-on to the other – and elbow directly below the shoulder. Your free hand comes to rest on the hip with elbow facing towards the ceiling, as you tighten your core muscles solidly. You are aiming to have a straight line running from your head, through the hips, down to your ankles.
Now, in your starting position, start to lower your hips towards the ground until they are just off the floor and then drive them up as far as you can.
Bring the hips back down and keep repeating this movement with pace while keeping it controlled by having the core muscles engaged throughout. Once done with the desired amount of reps on this side, repeat movement evenly on the other side of the body.
How to turn these into a workout:
Try doing two rounds in total, with 45 seconds on each move and 15 seconds’ rest in between – then, one-and-a-half minutes’ rest between each full round. Focus on the left side of the body for the first round during moves such as the side plank pulses, and then change to target the right side of the body for your second round. You can also reverse the order of the exercises to start on the side-plank pulses and finish on the hollow holds in the second round (this can prevent it from feeling too repetitive).

Remember to do a five-minute warm-up at the beginning with exercises that will get your heart rate up and dynamic stretches targeting core muscles (such as torso twists). Cool down for five minutes at the end. This should in total equate to a time-efficient 25-minute session. If you want an even spicier workout, do the moves for longer and/or take out some rest time in between moves – this works visa versa to make it easier.

6 STEPS TO HOME WORKOUT SUCCESS

By ADAM KIANI,

FOUNDER PT ACADEMY, The UK’s Largest Fitness Education Company
With tight new lockdown legislation, gyms have shut across the UK forcing the UK’s population to work out at home. Whilst its challenging, it also creates an opportunity for creativity.
Those that trained at home before did so out of necessity and will not struggle at all in adapting to the current lock down. Those that nearly always trained in gyms may find it challenging.
At PT Academy we thrive in challenging times and environments and we have developed this 6 Steps to Home Workout success. A simple guide of what to do to keep fit at home;
  1. Follow an online program
We always recommend following some kind of program. If you are unsure on how to create your own, there’s loads available online that you can download for free. There’s also subscription-based ones available such as Beach Body that literally has hundreds, many with progression meaning that you will never get bored or have to the same workout twice if you don’t want to. Following a program will ensure you get better results. If you are writing your own make sure you program with progression and be willing to adapt the program to any given environment. At PT academy we have an amazing online program design course that we are allowing people to jump on for free to help them learn how to program specifically during lock down, if you would like more details please visit https://ptacademy.com/cpd-courses/programme-design
  1. Tune into a live work out
There are several celebrity influencers who are hosting online live workout programs on Instagram and Facebook pages. Joe Wicks had over two million people tune into his first live workout following the lock down. The key thing with tuning into live workouts is variety, tune into two or three different trainers as they will no doubt offer you variation in exercise and technique. At PT Academy, we offer live sessions for you to join in on our Insta live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8am. We would also recommend you check out the following online sessions on Instagram and Facebook: Street Gym and Barry’s Bootcamp.
  1. Be Creative
Lockdown should be forcing you to think outside of the box, especially if you have access to no gym equipment. Take a look at the things you have in your house and decide which ones could aid you in your training. Think of solid objects first such as chairs and stools. Chairs are great to do incline and decline press ups from, foot stools and coffee tables can also be used for reverse dips. Depending on how creative you are you could turn allot of household items into gym equipment. And on the odd chance you happen to live on a farm and you have chickens, nothing can beat a good old Rocky workout chasing an catching chickens. Due to hygiene, we recommend you avoid using food items as any form of gym props.
  1. Hire A Trainer
Just because gyms are closed doesn’t mean personal trainers have retired. A lot of successful trainers have continued to coach their clients remotely using technology. Apps such as zoom, WhatsApp and skype have been employed to deliver success full workouts. I’ve had the privilege of being invited to some online sessions and I was not one bit disappointed. The best thing about hiring an online trainer is you no longer have to be geographically close to them, you can literally choose a trainer who is offering distance pt sessions from anywhere. Just ensure you and the trainer have good wifi or mobile data connections and ensure you do some kind of online consultation with them first to test that connection. The last thing you want is your trainer’s wifi signal to drop in the middle of your session.
  1. Change your environment
Your under lockdown so what do we mean by change the environment ? Simply change the place you do the workout, (as long as its safe to do so). Try everywhere in and outside your house – literally. Your garden, your lounge, your garage, your bedroom, your kitchen etc. Switching your environment keeps your motivation levels higher and can challenge you, especially if some spaces are more confined and tight than others.
Try our round the house challenge where you repeat the same circuit in 5 different rooms in your house on the same day.
Circuit 1 in your lounge first
10 x Burpees, 10 x Sit ups, 10 x press ups, 10 x squat thrusts, 10 x close grip press ups, 10 x leg raises, 10 x ab crunches, 10 x mountain climbers
And then repeat the same circuit in 4 different rooms in your house. That counts as one lap.
Then
Go back to room 1 and do
9 x Burpees, 9 x Sit ups, 9 x press ups, 9 x squat thrusts, 9 x close grip press ups, 9 x leg raises, 10 x ab crunches, 9 x mountain climbers
And then repeat in 4 different rooms in your house and then repeat the circuit by reducing the sets all the way down to one.
You can of course build it up if needed and just do one lap of your house to start with and then increase the number of laps day by day.
  1. Set yourself an exciting target
Ever wanted to do a handstand press up, or try a clap press up or master the spin kick, well now’s your time to learn. Lockdown is presenting us with allot of time to spend at home and I strongly suggest you use this time wisely. Allot of the amazing body weight exercise you’ve seen people do weren’t learnt over night. Some have taken weeks to learn and some take months. But the learning process is always based on repetition.  Simply find a you instructional you tube video on what you want to learn, watch the steps being taught and practice. Then practice again and again. Remember, for something to become a skill you need to do it at least 30 times a day for 30

EMD UK teams up with Fisikal to offer instructors a no-fee, revenue generating, digital platform

EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise, and Fisikal have joined forces to offer a no-fee digital platform that will allow group exercise instructors and personal trainers to stream chargeable digital content. This will support fitness professionals through this period of extended physical distancing imposed by the government to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The platform, designed and delivered by Fisikal, will provide many instructors and personal trainers with a financial lifeline,” explains Brett Pearson, Head of Sales and Marketing at EMD UK. “With leisure facilities now closed, most instructors have lost any ability to earn money in a physical environment, creating a high level of anxiety and stress across the sector.

“EMD UK joined in the Government lobbying in collaboration with the Sport & Recreation Alliance to ensure freelance instructors and personal trainers got offered some financial support but, this funding will not be made available until June and our members are keen to access income streams now.

“Through Fisikal, a valued EMD UK Supplier Partner, we are able to offer our group exercise and personal trainer members new opportunities to reach their audiences through professional, digital means. In addition to enabling the maintenance of a connection to their client and participant network during these times of social distancing, the solution also provides a way of generating income through the provision of online classes and training programmes.”

The digital platform is available free of charge and opens up a huge array of functionality, including class scheduling, booking and payment systems which class participants and clients can access via a free to download app.

Instructors and personal trainers have the ability to pre-record and upload their own, bespoke content or, take advantage of a huge selection of quality class and workout content, stored in the Fisikal library, provided by Escape Fitness Equipment and high profile Master Trainers, including Matt Gleed.

“ We have opened our library of more than 250 exercise videos to provide users with a professional means of compiling bespoke workout programmes and training plans,” explains Matthew Januszeck, Co-Founder at Escape Fitness. “Instructors have been hit hard. For most, continuing to work and generate income is dependent on them being able to move their business online, at very short notice.

“This partnership with Fisikal enables us to make our content available, quickly and effectively to those who need it. We really are all in this together. The team at Escape Fitness is pleased to be able to play its part in offering instructors an opportunity to continue to service the thousands of people who want to access fitness services despite being confined to their homes.”

Instructors can also stream live workouts via an integration with YouTube Live, helping to connect their community via in-the moment experiences whilst fully respecting physical distancing rules.

Rob Lander, CEO at Fisikal, says: “The platform provides fitness professionals with a means of delivering a chargeable service, without the need for an upfront payment at a time when many are already financially challenged. The solution is super simple to set up. We have created a number of online step-by-step tutorials, ensuring even the most tech unsavvy can be up and running in a matter of hours.”

The platform is free and available to any individual exercise to music instructor or personal trainer, even those not currently an EMD UK member.

Pearson, adds: “EMD UK members taking advantage of our insurance policy will be covered to deliver online fitness content via this platform. Sadly, not all insurers cover all aspects of online fitness content delivery. We urge anyone considering migrating their services online, to check their terms and conditions carefully before embarking. Should instructors need our insurance, included in our membership package, they should use the code ‘FISIKAL’ to get a discount on membership “

Due to the complexities of global music licensing, instructors will need to ensure the music they use is either licence free, or due to the YouTube integration, all original artists songs purchased via another EMD UK  Supplier partner, FitMixPro, can be used in live streaming classes. Please visit https://www.fitmixpro.com/music/browse;ref=EMDVIP#keepmix

 

The platform is available now. To find out more information and how to access the solution, either visit the Fisikal website www.fisikal.com or the EMD UK website www.emduk.org/virtual-instructor-platform

 

The Prison Workout! What It Is And Why You Should do It:

It was a claustrophobic backdrop that inspired ex-Pentonville prison inmate LJ Flanders to get creative. According to him, there are only so many press-ups and sit-ups you can do in an 8×6 foot cell. Especially when you’re in there 23 hours a day. And so started his decision to write the Cell Workout book, which, since his release from prison, has developed from a programme designed out of restrictive necessity to become a burgeoning men’s fitness trend.
The prison workout’s ethos centres on the need for minimal space and zero kit. As a result, it has become the go-to training plan for men short on time and who therefore regularly renege on their well-intentioned gym plans. Instead, armed with Flanders’ expertise, they are well-positioned to build muscle and burn man boobs from  the relative discomfort of their living room.
The principles that guarantee its success are a focus on compound movements (those that use multiple muscle groups) to ensure maximum muscle-gain from each rep, and explosive plyometric movements to spike your heart rate and melt through more calories than more pedestrian exercises. It’s this combination that guarantees Flanders’ Cell Workout success in your quest for a better, healthier body.
So how can you take the prison workout and freely deploy it in your own living room? We collared Flanders and asked him to detail the ten moves you need to unlock the training plan’s full potential, as well as how to stitch them together to create the perfect workout that will stimulate muscle growth faster than a fistful of protein powder. Take note.

The Prison Workout

“The workout should be done as a descending pyramid circuit, for five rounds in total,” says Flanders.
That means you should start by doing each of the exercises for 12 reps back-to-back. Rest for two minutes. Then, for the second round, do each exercise for ten reps back-to-back and rest for two minutes. Work down until you reach four reps. That final round may not sound like a lot, but the volume you will have already got through will make the reps burn. But pain in this instance means progress, so push on until the end.

Plyo Star Jump

How:
Bend at the knees to lower yourself into a narrow squat, until your thighs are parallel to the floor and hands by your feet. Explosively jump up, raising your arms and legs outwards diagonally to form a star shape. Continue the movement, decelerating with soft knees as you lower into a squat while returning your hands to your feet. Go again.
Why:
The first exercise is crucial. This incorporates every major muscle group at high intensity to activate muscle fibre and prime you for the rest of the workout. The squat hits your lower body while the extended arms target your shoulders. Once your muscles are switched on they will more effectively power you through the rest of the workout, which will come in handy in round five. Start strong.

Pike Shoulder Press

How:
Assume a standard press-up position, with your arms straight, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and with your feet hip-width apart and toes tucked under. Raise your hips up high and lift on to your toes to form a pike. Maintaining the position with your body, bend your elbows outwards to lower your head to the floor. Stop an inch from the floor and press back up to return to the start position.
Why:
Your shoulders are a large muscle group that have an immediate impact on the way you look. Add inches to them and your silhouette will broaden to help you look bigger, faster with minimum work. The extension of your arms also works your triceps, the larger muscles of your arms, so that you fill out your shirt sleeves more quickly, too.

Plyo Staggered Hand Press Up

How:
Assume a standard press-up position. Place your hands facing forwards, one slightly in front and one slightly behind your shoulders. Slowly bend your elbows, pointing them outwards, as you lower your body towards the floor. Explosively pressing up with enough force so that your hands come up off the floor. Switch your hand positions mid-air, landing with the opposite hand in front. As your hands touch back down onto the floor, decelerate to lower your body down in a controlled movement. Repeat, alternating hand positions as they land.
Why:
Much like your shoulders, working your chest with a press-up also serves to bulk up your upper body and help you to look bigger in fewer reps. The reason for exploding off the floor, rather than sticking to standard press-ups is that it incorporates more muscle fibres and develops power. This power will then transfer to your gym sessions and help to add extra kilos to your bench press. Expect a new PB and new bragging rights very soon.

Down Dog Up Dog

How:
Revert to a standard press-up position. Push your hips up and backwards, bringing your chest towards thighs. Straighten your legs and flatten your heels to the floor. Relax your head between your shoulders. Lower your body, bending your arms, keeping elbows close to your sides. Push through your arms, lifting your body up and forwards, coming onto your toes. Raise your head and chest to look upwards, stretching your neck and arching your back. Reverse the movement and push your hips back up to the start position.
Why:
After targeting growth in specific areas, this moves taps into the trend of mobility. The fluid reps help to open up your chest and your shoulders, as well as build strength. Extra mobility in your upper body will reverse the inevitable hunch that comes as a side-effect of your desk job and, by pulling your shoulders back, will also broaden them. You’ll look better without actually getting that much stronger. For those exercising to look better with minimum effort, it’s the perfect cheat move

Vertical Toe Reach

How:
Lie on your back with your legs extended straight up towards the ceiling and feet flexed. Extend your arms straight up. Engage your abdominals and slowly raise your shoulders off the floor and reach your hands towards your feet. Continue the movement, slowly lowering back down to the start position.
Why:
This is the first of three core-specific exercises as the circuit works its way down your body. By lifting your arms and legs in the air, this exercise removes your ability to use momentum and cheat the reps. The crunch movement also targets your rectus abdominis muscles (that’s your six-pack) rather than your core as a whole. It won’t make you much stronger, but, when you’re sat poolside this summer, you won’t mind.

Side Plank With Opposite Oblique Crunch

How:
Lie on your side resting on the forearm of your lower arm on the floor, with your elbow directly under your shoulder and place the hand of your upper arm by your temple. Engage your abdominals and lift up your hips to maintain a straight line from your head to your toes. Bend the knee of your lower leg and bring it up towards your chest. At the same time, bend your upper elbow down to touch the knee. Continue the movement, returning to the start position. Repeat with the opposite side.
Why:
This second abs move combines the six-pack-friendly crunch with the instability of a plank. As your core struggles to stop you from falling over it switches into overdrive to build strength in your mid-section, but it’s the twist of this move that’s most important. Working from side-to-side targets the muscles down the side of your abs called the obliques. Work them until they pop and it’s what can turn your six-pack into the impossible 24-pack of a magazine cover model. Really.

Full Side Plank With Leg Lift

How:
Assume a full side plank with straight arm position. Lift the upper leg up in line with your hips, keeping the rest of your body still. Hold for three seconds, release the tension slowly and lower to the start. Repeat with the opposite side.
 
Why:
Take out the crunch and this move is all about instability and finishing off your core. Focusing on your mid-section will give you the transferable power when you move from bodyweight to squat rack. While the press-up powered up your bench press, a strong core is the difference between you and a champion barbell squat. If you’re struggling to keep your hips off the ground, clench your glutes to reset your pelvis and power through the final few reps.

Prisoner Squat

How:
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outwards. Place your hands behind your head. Pull your elbows and shoulders back. Maintain a straight back and engage your abdominals. Sit your hips back until your thighs are level with your knees, parallel to the floor. Reverse the movement, slowly raising back up to the start position. That’s one rep.
Why:
As you hit your lower body, the intensity will start to ramp up. Working your larger muscle groups will spike your heart rate and send your calorie burn soaring. Which is important if you want to maximise the six-pack benefits you were working on in the previous rounds. There’s no point having strong abs if they’re swaddled in a spare tyre. Burn through the blubber with lower body squats like this and you’ll earn the Instagram-ready definition that makes the sweat worth it.

Glute Bridge With Calf Raise Toe Tap

How:
Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Engage your glutes as you push through your heels to raise your pelvis upwards to form a straight line with your knees. Lift both heels up off the floor. With heels raised, lift one foot off the floor and then the other, in a marching action. Lower and reverse the movement to complete the rep. Complete 11 more and that’s your first round. Only four more to go.
Why:
As you raise your hips up off the floor contract your butt to maximise the benefit of each rep and build power that will win your new PBs in all squats and deadlifts from here on out. They’re also the biggest muscles in your body and so will keep your calorie burn well and truly ticking over. And finally your calves. They may seem unimportant, but they’re also the muscles that men often struggle to develop. Bulk up yours and wear shorts with pride this season.

Wall Sit With Bent Knee Lift

How:
Stand with your back to a wall and sink down until your legs are parallel with the floor. Position your feet shoulder width apart and far enough out that your shins are perpendicular. Press the small of your back into the wall to engage your abs. Slowly and under control to maintain balance, lift your right foot six inches from the floor and lower. Repeat on the other side and alternate. Lots.
Why:
The plyometric elements of this circuit will get your heart rate up, so use this move to catch your breath. But more than that, a static isometric hold like this will light up your lower body and is an excellent change of stimulus to build leg strength. Lifting one leg will for the grounded one to work twice as hard, while also adding a level of instability to tax your abs. This one is going to burn.

Home Workouts

Erick Hudson is a CF-L2 Trainer based out of San Diego, California who has been teaching the CrossFit methodology every day for 6 years. Over the span of those years, he has worked with a wide aray of individuals ranging from young teens looking to become better at their school sports, competitive athletes looking to maximize their athletic potential, all the way to senior citizens looking to fight off the assisted living homes. With each new member joining the gym and asking the same routine questions like, ” How do I get butterfly pull ups” or ” What are some clean tips to help me hit a new PR”, Erick decided to create Constantly Varied Fitness.

The reason Erick became a CrossFit trainer is due to his love for helping other’s become better versions of themselves. That’s why creating a YouTube channel in order to reach as many people as possible and help them during their fitness journyies only made since. CVF is a meme page on Instagram making his following of 70+ thousand people laugh every day, but on YouTube, is a source of all and everything functional fitness and health related. You’ll find things such as rope climb techniques, how to improve your Olympic lifts, the principles of CrossFit Programming, and much more.

Due to the current situation troubling the entire world, forcing people to limit their time spent outside and with others, Erick saw the fitness community hurting due to them not being able to go to the gym and do what they love. He quickly started to produce videos of workouts people can perform at home with only a set of dumbbells, or if they have absolutely nothing, a backpack with some heavy books loaded in it. Even though the channel doesn’t have a huge subscription base, the videos are all receiving several hundred views a day and receiving lots of positive feedback. Check out the videos and give the workouts a try, or use them as inspiration to create a version of your own.

Backpack Workouts

30 Exercises you can do with just a backpack to create a full body workout

 


An effective upper body workout that will pump your muscles up fast!

 

Dumbbell Workouts

Grab your dumbbells for a 15 minute AMRAP that will get your heart rate up quick

 

Test your grip and grit with this difficult dumbbell complex

 

Need a serious sweat? This workout can make that happen.

 

This chipper workout is no joke and will have the muscles burning

 

Body weight Workouts

No equipment? No problem. Here’s a bodyweight EMOM workout to get your body moving

 

Follow Erick’s channels for lots of content to entertain, and provide knowledge during this time being spent in doors. Feel free to reach out to him at constantlyvariedfitness@gmail.com for any questions you have.

Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/constantlyvariedfitness/

YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS6JxKa6MgHMyMK0WwxzU2g

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ConstantlyVariedFitness/

 

HFE partners with fibodo to take on Covid-19 battle

Leading sports training provider promotes fit4thefight

Activity-based e-commerce booking platform fibodo, and the initiative, fit4thefight, have partnered with Health and Fitness Education (HFE), to help raise awareness of fit4thefight among the nation’s fitness professionals.

fibodo created fit4thefight to help grassroots fitness professionals to continue to offer their services to new and existing clients during the current national health emergency. fibodo’s usual £9.99 monthly subscription fee has been waived for all fitness professionals during the pandemic, encouraging full and part-time trainers to meet the UK’s demand for online fitness sessions.

HFE, a leading UK supplier of fitness courses, training and qualifications, will promote the fit4thefight campaign and free access to fibodo to their qualified and student trainers. HFE has delivered more than 25000 qualifications since 2017 and are providing over 200 new qualifications every month.

The partnership will also enable HFE to list courses on the fibodo directory, giving new entrants to the fitness industry the ability to access the very best courses and to begin operating their business in one easy to use platform.

fibodo’s e-commerce and business platform will also be introduced to HFE’s qualified and in-training instructors to enable them to commercialise their skills.

Anthony Franklin, founder and CEO of fibodo, commented: “I’m delighted to add HFE as a partner and welcome their qualified and in-training fitness professionals to fibodo and fit4thefight. The fibodo platform allows personal trainers and instructors to digitise their business within minutes. We look forward to working with HFE to make sure their fitness professionals get all the required tools to engage their clients in these difficult circumstances and secure their digital futures.”

 

Josh Douglas-Walton, marketing manager at HFE, said: “Giving our graduates access to a cutting edge e-commerce platform which allows them to build and grow their business digitally is game-changing. We aim to help increase industry standards and empower our graduates to make a lasting difference to peoples’ lives. A large proportion of fitness classes are viewed online, but fibodo will give our fitness professionals the ability to commercialise both interactive 1-2-1 and group fitness sessions with increased visibility.”

 

To find out more about fibodo, visit www.fibodo.com, and for further information on its new fitness initiative, visit www.fit4thefight.org.

To find out more about HFE visit www.hfe.co.uk

 

 

Creative Ways Fitness Businesses Are Approaching Life with  COVID-19:

The fitness industry is in turmoil . Because of this now is the time for you to ACT.
So, how can we as business owners do this when we’ve limited our schedules or closed altogether? We’ll have to get creative. There are certain initiatives we can all take—from marketing campaigns to online classes—to stay engaged with customers and continue to bring in potential clients even if they can’t meet with us face-to-face.
Coronavirus may have closed our doors, but it doesn’t mean our businesses have to close. With the help of our fellow fitness businesses, we’ve compiled a variety of ways to keep our members connected and revenue coming in.
  1. Keeping your client’a  active with livestreaming classes. Offer classes live, and if you’re a personal trainer, you can do one-on-one or small group training on a conference call or FaceTime.

  2. Offer on-demand workouts for clients to watch (and re-watch). If you prefer a more polished look, pre-record workouts to share with your members. That way they can sweat with you from home whenever their schedule allows it.
  3. Create workouts just for kids. With kids home from school, parents everywhere are feeling a little bit stressed. Whether you livestream, record on-demand, or simply share a printable workout, both parents and children will appreciate movements that can be done together or specifically with kiddos in mind. Make it into a game use your imagination and get those kids engaged. It’s a great way to burn that extra energy.
  4. Network and cross-promote with your neighbors. All our small businesses are feeling the pinch, so talking with one other and sharing ideas will help the entire community and put us in contact with businesses who can help promote your online classes.
  5. Let your local media know what you’re up to. Pitch your live stream and/or your on-demand workouts and provide all relevant details. Our studio was grateful to be featured on the local news paper / radio along with other local businesses offering online workouts.
  6. Use social media to connect with customers. If your members follow you on Instagram, use stories as an opportunity to showcase what you’re up to and local resources available to them (including those businesses you’re cross-promoting). Social Media is the perfect platform Instagram / Tick Tock  & LinkedIn. Add  Live content daily by keeping your client’s and community motivated.
  7. Create a members-only Facebook group. Again, use social media to your advantage. Make it private and encourage members to engage by sharing healthy recipes and Netflix recommendations, coordinating FaceTime workouts, and offering exclusive content from your business. Consider marketing your Facebook group as a perk of being a member to help maintain autopays during this time.
  8. Start an at-home challenge. Challenges help keep clients motivated throughout the year—and in a time like this, an extra dose of motivation will be just what your community needs. Have fun with an at-home plank or squat challenge with rewards like discounts or free swag. Our studio is hosting an at-home bingo challenge to keep our community engaged. To get the word out, we used our members-only Facebook group.
  9. Do a review campaign. Your loyal customers want to help you, and getting more reviews is a great way to engage them while strengthening your brand (and your SEO), too
  10. Let your customers pre-buy packages, memberships, or services. Loyal members will feel good knowing they’re helping our businesses in the short-term so they can receive the services they love (hint: our workouts) later down the line.
  11. Discount  packages. Ideal? No. But if discounting is a sort term measure to drive in revenue for a month or two then do it. At least you have cash flow coming in , and at the same time build your client base and brand
  12. Ramp up retail. Whether it’s offering to send swag packages, opening an online retail store, or both, our clients will be looking for gear to wear and use while at home. Our studios can help them out with branded sweatpants, bands, or other equipment, and more.
  13. Pick up the phone and call, text, or FaceTime your members. That’s right, we’re talking good old-fashioned connection. If our clients aren’t seeing us in person, they’ll miss those interactions. Make their day by contacting them directly and letting them know you’re thinking of them. It’s a simple gesture that means a lot—several of our clients told us so.

 

The best multi-gym 2020: multi-gyms to workout all muscle groups at home

Is a multi-gym the ultimate home workout purchase? It’s certainly the most versatile

The best multi-gym is not exactly for the faint hearted, or Fitbit step-counting folk. Not to be confused with the best home gym, which can include multiple machines, weights and wall fittings, the best multi gym is a single self contained unit. If you’ve got limited space at home but would still like to see some muscular development and strength gains, the humble home multi-gym could be the answer.
Plus, if you speak to any fitness expert worth his or her salt, they will almost unanimously agree that targeted strength training (when performed properly) is one of the greatest weapons in the war against flab.
These compact lever and pulley systems (and the more sumptuous Bowflex alternative) pack a lot of features into an extremely compact get-up, with the ability to adjust various sliders in order to work a multitude of body parts.
Granted, the spread of weights in the more affordable models might be a limiting factor for some, but it’s amazing the progress that can be made with a multi-gym rig, some well-planned workouts and good form.

BEST MULTI-GYMS: SUPPLY IS SHORT

There is, for obvious reasons, a lot of interest in multi-gyms right now and it has obviously taken brands and retailers by surprise, as many have sold out. The Gym will never be the same again, time to invest?

HOW TO BUY THE BEST MULTI-GYM

Multi-gyms cover a number of muscle-sculpting bases, with numerous levers, handles and pulley things used to tone and bulk up. As a result, they tend to take up a fair amount of room.
They are also heavy, difficult to set-up and can err on the really bloody expensive side, but for those with the space, patience and budget, they can literally be all you need to obtain that dream body.
Part with upwards of £10k and you will receive a multi-gym that wouldn’t look out of place in a professional establishment.
A still-very-good compact home multi-gym (the kind that works both upper and lower body) can be found from around £600 at entry-but-not-rubbish level to more complex and sturdier versions at about £1,500.
The main considerations you must make is how much space you have to spare at home, how much time you have to assemble the thing, how heavy you need the weight stack to be in order to achieve your fitness goals and how many different muscle groups you want the machine to cater for. Oh, and how fussy you are about the smoothness of the workout.
Insider tip: the more affordable units tend to use cheaper pulley systems and, as a result, the resistance motion can sometimes feel a little jerky and unnatural.
However, the best multi-gyms will offer everything from a lateral pull down to a weighted leg press and pretty much all in between, negating the need to visit a dank and sweaty gym ever again. Bonus.
Second insider tip: make sure your floors can cope with the amount of mass contained within some of the heavier multi-gyms. Repeatedly slamming a weights rack could lead to unexpected falls through the ceiling.

LIFE FITNESS G7 MULTI GYM

The best multi-gym, when it’s available

WEIDER 8700

Chunky multi-gym unit for crafting chunky human units

BOWFLEX XTREME SE HOME GYM

The smarter home multi-gym

MARCY ECLIPSE HG3000

Best, more affordable and compact home gym

NORDICTRACK FUSION CST

Super high-tech machine for versatile workouts

 

Best Crossfit Workouts Done Even at Home.

By Mary Joy Lacson
Crossfit workouts are workouts that put together strength, stamina, agility, flexibility, power, speed and balance. It is a kind of training where you combine heavy workouts with just being fit workouts. This is what the military are using to make them strong and fit. Fitness trainers also choose to have this training instead of any program out there since this is proven true a lot of times by a lot of individuals. Men and women who wanted to have a strong and fit body prefer to use it since it will make you work your whole body and not just a part of it.Well if you wanted to have just a fit body then this workout may not be for you. This is for people who just do not want to be fit without any fat in their body but also wanted to build muscles and tone them firm. Crossfit trainers need to have certificates in order for them to train people who wanted to be taught. But you can do Crossfit training even without a trainer. How?

These are just samples of trainings you can do at home:

1. Sprinting. Sprinting can also be known as running. Since we are referring to CrossFit training, we are going to do sprinting or running constantly for 20 minutes. You can use your own backyard or your neighborhood to do this. It is very costless yet very effective. When you start running, you can start with a very low speed. Then you can gradually change to a faster and faster space until you finish it within 20 minutes. If you are just a starter, you can do it first in 10 minutes then add time on the next day or next training. This will not just tone up your lower body muscles but can teach you to improve speed, stamina and agility.

2. Squats. Same as sprinting, you must do this also constantly in 20 minutes. This will help your butt muscles become toned and firm. It will also reduce the amount of cellulite in your bottom area. This will also help strengthen your muscle thighs. Do this as many rounds as possible within 20 minutes.

3. Powerlifting and weightlifting. Powerlifting and weightlifting as we all know builds muscles all around your body. Muscles will become larger especially on the arm part and the thigh part. Muscles will also build around the tummy and form your abs.

4. Jump rope. Jump rope is not usually done as training but in this kind of training, jump rope is very important. It will train you how to jump faster and higher. Yes, also jump higher. This training is so much easier than powerlifting or squats. You can also do it easily at home.

5. Pull up bars and climb rope. Just install a rope in your place that you know can carry your weight. Same as for pull up bars, look for a good iron bar that you can install that can hold your weight for a long time. Pulling yourself up will also strengthen most of your muscles and you can see the difference after a while of doing it.

There are still a lot of trainings out there that can be added to Crossfit trainings. These are just simple and very effective workouts that you can do at home. Crossfit workouts will definitely give you the muscles and fitness that you like as long as you do it in a right way.

 

Premier Global NASM Launches New Prenatal and Postnatal Course

Premier Global NASM, the leading provider of health, fitness and wellness training in the UK, has launched a new course to help Qualified Personal Trainers, Gym Instructors, Yoga Teachers, Group Trainers and more address the unique biomechanical and physiological demands of prenatal and postnatal clients.

The 6-week, self-paced course is led by Premier Global NASM’s team of Success Coaches and Tutors, who are experts in prenatal and postnatal fitness and nutrition. Students will explore 6 modules of information, including a section on overcoming barriers to exercise for new and expecting mums, the importance of balanced nutrition, and crystal clear guidance on safe and effective program design.

The programme also includes a 74-page manual, 9 hours of live webinars, weekly discussion forums, an exercise library and interactive lectures with 7.5 hours of content. All are delivered via a flexible and easy to use live learning through digital technology platform. A platform that allows personal trainers to fit learning into their busy client schedule.

“Through our new Pre and Postnatal programme, we are proud to provide the highest level of support for this extremely important area of focus,” said Dan Rees, Commercial Director for Premier Global NASM. “It ensures our trainers are collecting accurate client information and designing the safest exercises for new and expecting mums.”

Premier Global NASM’s Prenatal and Postnatal Programme is available through its website at https://www.premierglobal.co.uk or by calling 0203 873 7512.

 

The Secert To The Six – Pack – Abs

The secret to the six-pack abs you’ve always wanted goes far beyond 100 situps a day. But that doesn’t mean it takes hours upon hours of ab work.

No, the chiseled core you’ve always wanted has long been about more than a few daily minutes of workout — and it’s always been about more than merely “training” your abs. In fact, ab training is the least of your worries.

Truth be told, you don’t actually need that many ab exercises to build the abs you want. What you need is a holistic approach to fitness, one that takes into consideration your diet, some smart core training, and fat-incinerating total-body movements, too.

It’s an approach that isn’t easy, but it isn’t as extremist as you may think, either. No, you don’t have to say “no” to every M&M in sight, and you don’t need to drip buckets of sweat every single workout. You don’t need to train 365 days a week, and you don’t need to do core moves until you can’t feel your midsection. In fact, you can probably build the midsection you’ve always wanted in an hour or so a day, 4 to 5 days a week.

The key: A smart, targeted approach that includes equal parts discipline and hard gym work—and some occasional dietary freedom too. Follow these tips below to get started on the road to a six-pack.

Start in the Kitchen

Abs aren’t just made in the weight room — the real work starts in the kitchen. You’re going to need to approach your diet with the same discipline you bring to your workouts.

Some experts recommend eating six small meals a day, instead of the more conventional three, cutting out added sugars and processed foods, and loading up on dependable sources of protein to help build new muscle in your midsection. Before you commit to any new diet, though, speak to your doctor and/or a nutritionist to see what they believe will work best for you.

You’ll also want to drink plenty of water; aim to drink upwards of a gallon a day if you can. Keeping your body hydrated can help control hunger cravings.

Work Every Single Muscle

“Muscle is your body’s primary fat burner,” said Rasmussen. Your muscles require energy to contract, which is why you burn calories when you exercise. But resistance training, unlike running or cycling, also causes a significant amount of damage to your muscle fibers. And that’s a good thing.

“Your body has to expend energy to repair and upgrade those fibers after your workout,” Rasmussen continued. “And a single total-body weight-training session can boost your metabolism for up to two days.”

So you shouldn’t neglect a single inch of your body. That goes double for the legs because, when you train legs, you’re essentially training your whole body. Think about it: A squat or deadlift doesn’t just tax hamstrings, glutes, and quads, but it also challenges your core (and those abs) to maintain stability and stay braced tightly.

No wonder Syracuse University researchers determined that people burned more calories the day after a lower-body resistance session than the day after they worked their upper bodies.

Your lower half houses more muscle. The upshot: “A busy guy’s smartest approach is to train his entire body every other day,” says trainer Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S. “That allows you to elevate your metabolism maximally all week long, even though you’re working out only three or four days a week.”

Build your workouts around complex, multijoint movements like squats, deadlifts, and cleans, and watch the abs gradually show.

Don’t Max Out On Crunches

“You can do lots of crunches and situps and still have a weak core. “We see that all the time.”

The reason: Classic ab moves like crunches and situps work the muscles that allow you to flex (that is, round) your lower spine. True core exercises, on the other hand, train the muscles much, much more than that. “Your abs can rotate your torso, fight against rotation (anti-rotation), and brace your torso, in addition to flexing your lower spine. “You should work to train those other traits too.”

And you can do that with better core exercises than crunches. Planks are solid (and we’ll come back to that soon), mountain climbers and ab-wheel rollouts work, and Samuel loves hollow body hold and rock variations.

“You can do so much with hollow body holds and rocks,” he says. “They seem like mere bracing moves, but you can train anti-rotation and rotation from that position too.” We will continue with even more facts and exercises in our June issue.