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.

 

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?! 

How do I take up running safely?

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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

Top tips for sticking to a fitness routine

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It's that time of year again; the gyms are packed and everyone is out running in the evenings, adorned with their new lycra and gleaming trainers. It's great seeing so many people getting active and making positive lifestyle changes after the indulgence of Christmas. But how do you make sure these habits stick past February? Here are our top tips:

 

 

Find something you enjoy!

Without a doubt, when you are doing something that makes you happy you will want to continue to do it. Exercise can be fun, but sometimes it takes thinking outside the box to find something you really enjoy. There are plenty of alternatives to the gym, from salsa dancing to bouldering and the main thing is that you are moving your body, getting the endorphins flowing. 

 

Make the time for IT

It takes at least 3 weeks to form a habit, but realistically 8-12 weeks gives you a good chance of that habit sticking. Often we don't give things enough of a chance as work and family commitments begin to overtake before the routine has fully cemented itself. Why not build your fitness into your work and family life instead? Try cycling or running to work, or take your kit and get out for a little run around at lunchtime. Make a point of avoiding the lifts and escalators and even incorporate some desk exercises into your tea break. If you want to spend more time with your family why not get them involved? Schedule your exercise into your diary so that you won't fill the space with something else. 

 

have a plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail! It's normal to decide to get fit and simply spend half an hour on the treadmill plodding along a few times a week. This is far better than sitting on the couch doing nothing, but it may not give you the best results in the quickest time... and let's be honest, if we don't see results we loose interest fast! A personal trainer is the obvious way to get some advice and guidance about the best way to approach your fitness and most will also give you workouts and plans to follow. They will also help you to highlight your goals, making sure you are working out effectively to achieve these. If this isn't your thing, set yourself a timetable and try to stick to it, varying the activities and workouts you do to ensure that your body is continuing to adapt.

 

commit

By far the most important tip when it comes to sticking to a new fitness routine - commitment. As mentioned, it takes a few months for a new routine to become habit and you need to be in it for the long game. There are no quick fixes, no magic pills and no fast tracks (despite what lots of people might try to sell you!) We find a good way to commit is to sign up to an event, whether a 5km fun run or an ultra-marathon. Be realistic about your ability and what you can safely push your body to. Being locked in to an event gives you the motivation to train; the sense of achievement that comes from completing the event encourages you to continue. 

 

you can't out-train a bad diet

Most, but not all, people decide to take up exercise because they want to loose weight. This is great because it has so many positive effects, helping to boost the metabolism, burn fat and tone muscles including the heart, all of which help to improve mood and self esteem. However, the biggest influence on weight loss is diet. As they say, it's 20% exercise, 80% nutrition (or there abouts), meaning there's no point in running every evening to loose weight if you're going to come home and eat fish and chips! If you want to make your fitness routine a habit and you are starting it because you want to loose weight then you really need to address what you eat so that you achieve your goals - otherwise, again, you will not see the results and will loose interest. The topic of nutrition is a big one, not to be overlooked, and definitely in need of it's own blog post!... tbc... 

 

For those of you wanting a bit of guidance, we have a handful of spaces left for our New Years Resolution package, the perfect way to kick start your fitness and make sure the habit lasts. Contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation! 

 

The hidden benefits of exercise

This week I have done consultations with 2 new clients and when it came to asking them WHY they wanted to take up personal training my face lit up at their answers

"for my mind", "to de-stress from work" and "for fun"

The health and fitness industry bombards us with images and slogans that cement an idea of fitness being a way to get your summer body, get stronger, get slimmer, all whilst pushing/punishing your body. Perhaps because it's easier to sell something visual, the 'other' outcomes are often ignored. However, in light of Mental Health Awareness week I thought I would highlight these hidden benefits of exercise.

Happy - It's a well-known fact that exercises releases endorphins, those wonderful hormones that make us happy. Just 10 minutes can make a massive difference, especially over time. How often have you dragged yourself to the gym despite feeling a bit flat, only to leave feeling better?

Connected - even if the air isn't that 'fresh', being outside and feeling the elements on your skin is an amazing way to feel connected to where you are. Our lives often revolve around computers, virtual worlds, smart phones. Turning everything off and getting outside brings us back to our reality, in a good way.

Alive - there's nothing quite like the feeling of your heart beating and sweat dripping down your back to remind you that you are alive. Sometimes life can get monotonous, but adding a challenging workout can help break the day to day grind. 

Accomplished - fitness and exercise are a great way to challenge ourselves. Whether it's a 5km run or lifting a weight you never thought you could, that sense of achievement adds to our inner confidence and feeling of self worth. 

De-stressed - it's almost an oxymoron! How can something make you feel more alive, energised and 'pumped' yet also de-stressed? Exercise can be almost meditative - whether you are on bike, lifting weights, doing a HIIT workout - whatever you are doing, you are co-ordinating your mind, body and breathing in order to do it correctly. Your brain doesn't have the time to worry about work or life, it's too busy trying to do the exercise. This time out of your day to day thoughts gives your mind a rest and allows those stresses to melt away. 

The list could go on...! 

It's no secret that we live in a culture that is growing in size (width ways!) and tackling this with exercise is important. However, focusing on the benefits that aren't so visual help to move that motivation to something internal. This is when the changes you make become long term and when you can really become fit for life, for the rest of your life!