Consistency - the key to unlocking your fitness potential

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Want to know the secret to achieving your fitness goals?

One word , CONSISTENCY.

Today was weigh-in day for one of my long-term clients. He has been training with me for 2 years so we dug out his first weigh-in to see  just how much he has progressed.

He has lost a modest  1/2 stone of total weight. BUT, he's dropped from 27.1% body fat to 18.5% and his visceral fat is down by almost 4%, so you can imagine the inches he has lost around his waist, not to mention the smile on his face. He has gone from a bit over-weight and very unfit to positively healthy.  His bone density has increased, he is burning 200 more calories a day (even at rest) gained  a stone of muscle mass and his metabolic age has gone from 59 to 32!! (he is  47). And these are just the boring numbers. More importantly,  when we started he could not do a single press-up and needed a break after the warm up. Now he can sprint, smash out continuous press-ups, burpies, squats, kettlebell swings,  you name it...you get the idea! It's not just about the numbers on the scale but they are a good visual guide to make sure things are going in the right direction.

Obviously my client is more than pleased with himself but sadly not everyone achieves this.  Why? What has he done differently? In a word, consistency! Yes there have been holidays, Christmas, festivals , 'entertaining and socialising' but he has always been as consistent as possible, turning up and giving it his best shot every week and if he was going to miss his regular time , he re-schedules and made up for it by getting into the gym and doing what he could. I have loved watching him progress, getting fitter, stronger, faster and even sorting out his ridiculously tight hamstrings.

So to be completely honest, you don't have to have a fitness programme made by an Olympic gold medallist to achieve your goals. In fact,  even if you do but are missing the single most important ingredient of consistency, no amount of money can buy you health and a body you are happy with.

Yes, your programme needs to be tailored to your ability, enjoyable and consist of the right type of training specific to your goals but without you actually showing up every time and doing the workouts with 100% effort and eating the right food there will be very little progress, a loss of motivation, a slump in confidence and ultimately a waste of time and your hard earned money.

This is why gym memberships soar in January but my March the gym is half empty and the only ones remaining are the people who have been there consistently, getting results.

We understand this is easier said than done. That is why we dedicate ourselves to helping you be consistent, achieving your goals and feeling  epic for doing it! With over 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry Inergise Training understand that the single most important ingredient requires some support, know-how and lots of encouragement and holding you to account.

So, if you want results and need a progressive programme that interesting, enjoyable and keeps you coming back for more,  give us a call or send us an email.

 

The importance & benefits of pre/post workout stretching

importance of mobility and stretching

If you're trying to improve your performance in the gym there is one simple thing you may skipping that would make all the difference - a proper stretch! Most people go to the gym to workout. Raising the heart rate and getting a sweat on is the main goal. A lot of people are also trying to juggle time, with the most important things taking priority. This leaves stretching to fall by the wayside because it doesn't seem as time-productive as a good workout. However, focusing on moving and stretching gently before and after exercise has many benefits, especially on improving your performance. 

The main reason we mobilise and stretch is to reduce injury. When we exercise or stretch cold muscles they are far more likely to tear. Before a pre-workout stretch it is important to do a quick warm up, followed by dynamic, moving stretches that mobilise the muscles you will be using in the workout. This helps to make muscles more pliable, preventing tearing. It can also be helpful to practice the movement patterns you will be using in your workout. 

If muscles have been contracted a lot during exercise it is important to lengthen them after your workout through maintenance stretches, which should be held for 10-15 seconds. This prevents muscles and joints from straining, especially in problematic areas such as lower backs. A good stretch also helps to reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which otherwise can last for days! Reduced injury time or DOMS also means more time in the gym. A few minutes before or after each workout could save you days or even weeks out following an injury. 

Aside from injury prevention, mobilising and stretching are the best way to increase range of motion (ROM). This can have a massive impact on your exercise ability, especially when it comes to lifting weights. Increasing hip mobility to move deeper into a squat,  being able to straighten your arms for that push press or snatch and stretching your hip-flexors so you can move into a lunge or front squat whilst keeping your body upright all make a huge difference to your performance.

Stretching increases body awareness and proprioception, which again helps with your form during exercise and builds muscle memory. Being able to feel the position of your body in space, from your feet through to your head, is critical to maintaining optimum body positions. We don't always have a mirror to tell us what our body is doing! 

Spending time focusing on the whole movement and muscles involved and stretching clearly has many benefits, not just to your body but also to your performance. Make the most of this time and you will reap the rewards in your training. 

Join us this September for a workshop dedicated to functional mobility and stretching, where we will guide you through key movements to prevent injury and improve your performance so that you get the most out of your training, maybe even increasing your max weights.

Top tips for motivating yourself to exercise

fitness motivation

Despite being fitness professionals, we do know how hard it can be to motivate yourself both to do a workout and to do it properly! We have struggled to put our trainers on and get down to the gym, often snowed under by a pile of work that seems more imortant than our health and wellbeing. Here are our top tips for keeping yourself motivated to exercise:

Have a goal: without a goal, it can seem like there isn't any point. Whether it's to beat your personal best at running 5km, lifting a heavier weight or running a marathon, from long term goals to short term ones, keeping your eye on the prize definitely helps to get you in the training zone. 

Have a routine: Although it is important to mix up your workouts so that your body doesn't plateau, it's also beneficial to have some structure to the days you workout - what you do during those workouts is a different matter. Whether you go to the gym every Tuesday evening, head out for a jog every Thursday lunchtime or go to a yoga class every Saturday, sticking to a routine can help to keep you on track, especially when you feel like curling up under the duvet. 

Remember that exercise releases endorphins: Those wonderful hormones that get us buzzing are easy to produce. All you need to do is move your body! Sometimes we avoid exercise because we feel tired, and there are times when it is really important to listen to our bodies and respect this. However  often at the end of a long day, especially if we have a sedentary job, we feel tired because our bodies have gone into a mini-hibernation. Waking ourselves up with a bit of exercise can give us a new lease of life at 6pm. Rememeber this when you feel like avoiding the gym! 

Know your bodyclock and your priorities: Some people are wide awake first thing in the moring (me) and others and sloth-like until lunchtime (Ross)!! Know yourself and when is the best time for you to workout. Personally, whilst I find that I am alert in the mornings this is the best time for me to do admin, answer emails and get myself sorted for the day ahead. If I have time once I've done this I will do some exercise, but I find it easier to dedicate the time at the end of the day when I have tied up work and can relax. We are all different - work out what works for you, and try to stick to it. 

Have a training buddy: Whether a best friend or a personal trainer, having someone there to keep you motivated when you are exercising can be crucial to helping you stay motivated. Plus they tend to make things more fun! 

Join a class: Exercise classes can be a great way to keep you motivated. If you have commited to a course it will make it a little harder for you to skip sessions, which in the end is what you want. Having some flexibility is great, but we see all too often people making a start and then letting life get in the way before the habit of exercise has taken hold. When we exercise in groups we are also spurred on by the others, encouraged to push ourselves that tiny bit further... and it's these moments that make all the difference. 

If you feel like you need some extra motivation to get you started or keep you on the fitness wagon why not join one of our group fitness classes, or get a proper kick-start with personal training?! 

The benefits of group exercise

benefits of group fitness

When you go to the gym, do you end up doing the same routine? Or do you get distracted before you even leave the house and put it off till tomorrow? It may well be time to find some fitness companions! 

From an industry perspective, group exercises refers to a fitness session coach by a qualified instructor. This can be anything from a yoga class to a running club. There are many benefits to taking part in group sessions, most notable the social interaction. Having others around helps to make exercise fun, and let's face it if we enjoy something we are more likely to carry on doing it.

When it comes to working out on your own it can be difficult to keep the momentum up. Whether it's a personal trainer that you feel accountable to, a workout buddy or an exercise group, having other people around is one of the biggest motivators that often prevents you from falling off the fitness wagon.  It also encourages you to push yourself further and get more out of your workout. 

Group exercise lets you be guided by the expert, taking part in safely constructed, balanced fitness sessions that will really help you to get results. Going to the gym is one thing, knowing what to do when you are there is another! Sessions allow you to switch off as you are told what to do, which for many can be more relaxing. It can also give you ideas to then take back into your gym or home workout and do yourself. 

For many, exercising on your own gets boring. Without a constant supply of new workouts or running routes your own sessions can quickly become repetitive. It is easy to reach a plateau if you are not varying what you are doing in the gym and you soon find you are doing the same workout each time and yet seeing no weight loss or muscle gain. Classes help to overcome this as they should be carefully programmed to help you to develop. 

Whilst we do a lot of 1:1 sessions at Inergise Training, we also love working with groups and seeing the enjoyment it brings people. Above all, it is an affordable way to get a professional service, sharing this with others. With group fitness sessions running in Worthing, Littlehampton, Arundel and Horsham plus the option of creating your own group with some friends, there is no excuse not to join us! 

 

 

 

 

 

How do I take up running safely?

running

Running is one of the simplest forms of exercise and, when done correctly, a great way to keep fit. Without gym fees and the need for fancy kit, it's a great activity for anyone to take up. But how do you start running and ensure you don't hurt yourself? 

Injuries from running are common! As a yoga teacher as well as a personal trainer, I hear A LOT of people tell me "I used to run, but I hurt my knees". However, I also see veteran runners going well into their 60's, injury free. So what is the trick? 

Know your injury threshold. This will be different for everyone, but we all have a limit. Studies have identified thresholds at 11, 25 and 40 miles a week, and exceeding the limit that is right for your body will result in injury.

Don't try to run before you can walk! A lot of people take up running with a specific goal in mind, such as a long distance race. However, going from 0 to 41 miles in a few months does not give your body enough time to build up the correct strength and adapt. Running experts have recognised this and suggest the 10% rule, building up an additional 10% each week. For example, if you run 10km on week, run 11km the next week. For some, this may still be too fast. It's better to start slowly and make running a regular habit before trying to take on big challenges like marathons!

Know your injuries. If you have old injuries these could be aggravated by lots of running, or indeed any new exercise. Do some research and be aware of what you need to do to protect the injuries you have recovered from. And when you do have an injury, or even just a niggle, rest! 

Stretch. Releasing tight muscles after a run will help them to recover. Save the longer, deeper stretches for post-run recovery and stick to dynamic stretches as a warm up. 

Strength train. This will build all-round, balanced muscle, helping to improve your running performance and posture. It also gives your body a rest from running, which is needed as too much of anything is not good.

Listen to your body. Each body is different, we have our own thresholds and limitations. Nothing can tell you what is best for you other than your own body, and when it says 'ouch' it's time to stop. 

If you are interested in grabbing your trainers and heading outside, why not join our next Beginner Jogging & Fitness group, starting in March. Our 6 week course will get you outside and running confidently and safely. Contact us for more information