An Insight Into the FS Team: Why Do We Workout?

An-Insight-Into-the-FS-Team---Why-Do-We-Workout

At Fitness Superstore, working out to hit new targets and achieve new goals is something of which we all share a passion for. On observation, we noticed just how much workouts and training regimes vary from person to person, particularly with so many options out there to choose from. To get a better insight into this, we got chatting to a few members of the team to find out the reasons behind their regular training sessions, which workout style they prefer and their ultimate piece of kit.

First of all, we spoke to Louise…

Why do you work out?

I work out on a regular basis to feel healthy, to be able to enjoy cake and chocolate guilt free, to improve my endurance during long walks at weekends, and of course for that added sense of satisfaction!

What does your typical training session involve?

I like to work out at home for around twenty minutes every day, mixing up cardio and strength exercises. For cardio I like to use a skipping rope the most, and for a lot of exercises (e.g. jumping jacks) I’ll hold onto some dumbbells to make the moves slightly more challenging. For strength, I’ll opt for the likes of push ups, crunches, kettlebell swings and dumbbell rows. I believe in mixing it up to keep the exercise interesting!

If you could only work out with one piece of equipment, what would you choose?

I’d have to choose something like the Bowflex MAX Trainer M5. This is a machine that makes the absolute most of the time you have, which for me can occasionally be limited due to a hectic schedule.

Next, we heard from Amit…

Why do you work out?

I work out because its gives me significantly more energy throughout the day, and also boosts my self-confidence. I don’t necessarily want to lose weight or gain weight, I simply want to build muscle and feel good about myself. Plus, nothing beats the pumped feeling after a good workout!

What does your typical training session involve?

I generally start with a ten minute warm up session on the bike, and then move on to the weights. I try to hit two muscle groups per session, while keeping it varied by using both weights and machines, which keeps my body guessing and builds muscle far quicker.

If you could only work out with one piece of equipment, what would you choose?

I think I could manage most of my workout on a Cable Cross Over Machine, if I were to choose just one item. By using the right accessories, you can work almost every body part. So much can be achieved with the right tools.

Last but not least, Katie gets involved…

Why do you work out?

A couple of years back I began devouring chocolate, ice cream and meals big enough for two on a daily basis. An additional stone in weight later and I called it a day! Though I am still not as slim or as lean as I’d like to be, I have gone from the girl who did whatever she could to get out of PE at school, to the girl who gets up an hour early every single week day to smash a workout. I’ve also learnt that diet is a huge part of success, which is something else I now take pretty seriously!

What does your typical training session involve?

My typical day at the gym has developed from a boring thirty minute stint on the Cross Trainer, to a full blown twenty minute HIIT session, finished with both bodyweight and weighted exercises. I do this three days per week, alongside a bodyweight HIIT workout at home and twenty minutes of outdoor sprint intervals on the two remaining week days. HIIT is the way forward for me!

If you could only work out with one piece of equipment, what would you choose?

A kettlebell, every time! When I first picked one up I didn’t know what to do with it, but now they are incorporated into every single workout. I used to brave nothing more than a 4kg kettlebell, whereas now I’m using kettlebells between 12kg and 20kg – which proves that you become stronger without necessarily realising it.

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Should Men and Women Train Differently?

So, what’s the verdict, should men and women train differently? PT Carly Tierney shares her views on the topic…

Should-Men-and-Women-Train-Differentl

My opinion is no, they shouldn’t, and I certainly don’t treat men and women differently when training. In a general sense men and women should apply the same principles to training – heavy weights, cardio, a balanced diet and rest.

The only difference, perhaps, is the mind-set. Some women opt for more cardio based workout as they believe that cardio is the way to go, avoiding heavy weights, though this isn’t necessarily the best option. Cardio is great for health, but in terms of achieving an aesthetic look, fat loss and shaping your body, it’s not the best option. To make real changes to body shape, weights are the way forward.

With this in mind, I do a full consultation with all of my clients to understand their goals, lifestyle and preferences, and design a training routine that’s a best fit for them as an individual. This could involve circuit training, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), a split body part weights routine or sports specific training. There really is no one size fits all, and gender rarely plays a part!

Do men have more bravado and try to ego lift?

I think that this is something that many gym goers do, regardless of their gender. More and more women are using weights in gyms these days, so it’s not just a male issue.

What I would say about men though is that women tend to ask questions when they don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, men on the other often train without seeking professional advice. I see the worst examples of lifting using sloppy form and some downright dangerous lifting from guys, who aren’t necessarily ego lifting, but quite simply just don’t know what they’re doing.

Arguably, almost anyone can move a heavy weight, however moving it correctly and using the correct muscles, tempo and range of movement is another thing entirely.

What are the main differences when training men compared with women?

Honestly? I find that women tend to ask a lot more questions and perhaps aren’t afraid to, given that training is still often not seen to be something ‘that women do’. Women want to know why they’re doing things, and women also seem to have higher pain thresholds than most men. I don’t know if that’s just the women I train though, they’re beasts!

In general, I don’t think there are many differences between training men and women. Some women want to lift heavy and build muscles, and equally some men want to avoid heavy weights because they don’t want to ‘get massive’. What I try to explain is that diet is more of a contributing factor to size gains, and that lifting heavy doesn’t mean you’ll become Arnie overnight, or probably ever in fact!

What about food?

Diet is the area where men and women do vary quite massively. Men have slightly different dietary requirements than women, including a higher recommended daily calorie allowance for example, though most guys that I know don’t eat enough. When it comes to women, they have a more emotional relationship with food, whereas men tend to view it more as something practical. Men are also more likely to be able to stick to a designed nutrition plan in comparison women.

I think a lot of men underestimate their nutritional needs and eat too little protein. A lot of men also don’t snack, which is not necessarily a good thing for fat loss or muscle gain, given that a male body needs more calories than a female’s!

A common complaint from men relates to fat in their abdominal area, which is largely down to diet. I’d suggest reducing consumption of simple carbs such as white bread, pasta and cereal, and limiting alcohol intake. Vitamins and minerals are just as important for men and women, so adding veg and salad to meals is not just for the ladies!

Simple advice for men AND women…

If you are looking to lose weight – reduce alcohol consumption and eat regular, balanced meals five to six times per day. Eating less is not more. And lift weights, because they’re not just for bodybuilders, they’re actually really effective for fat loss!

If you want to build muscle – ensure that you’re fuelling your workouts correctly with the right nutrition. This includes eating the correct ratio of carbs, good fats and lean proteins to support goals. Also, change up your training every six weeks or so to continually challenge your body.

If you’re training for an event like a marathon or Ironman race – include some strength training to your training regime, as this will reduce risk of injury and enhance your performance. Also ensure that your nutrition pre, during and post training is adequate. These types of events are demanding and food and hydration play an essential role.

Read more blogs from Carly Tierney.

Carly Tierney Personal Trainer

Carly Tierney is a fully qualified Personal Trainer, Pilates instructor, fitness feature writer and is also the new DW Sports Fitness Expert across social media. In 2014, she became Ms Bikini Tall Miami Pro champion and is sponsored by BSN, Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc. Carly was also a finalist for Gym Based PT of the year.

Visit Carly’s website, and check out her newsletter!

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Press Release: National Strongwoman Event 2016

National-Strongwoman-Event-2016

For the third consecutive year, Northampton is playing host to the biggest strongwoman title in the country, Britain’s Strongest Woman. The athletes have all qualified for the event at national events held in England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales, and now the strongest ladies in the country will battle it out over six gruelling events to test strength, speed, power and just pure determination, to see who will be crowned Britain’s Strongest Woman 2016!

The event is split into 3 different weight class groups: under 63kg (around 9.5 stone), under 82kg (around 12.5 stone), and then the open weight ladies that do not have a bodyweight limit. Each category will compete separately, so there are actually three winners! The top three from each class will be invited to compete at Europe’s Strongest Woman in December this year.

In recent years the event has made fantastic progress since Faye Jordan, Northampton’s Most Inspirational Woman 2015, took the reins in 2014 and made it her mission to improve and grow the sport for both the athlete’s and the fans. The event is gaining increasing publicity and recognition in the world of Strength Sports, with this year’s event being the biggest yet.

The event will be held at the Northampton Casuals Rugby Ground on 21st August and is looking to be a great family day out with local and small businesses featuring and providing, BBQ, Stalls, Bouncy Castle, and of course the main event, Britain’s Strongest ladies – showing epic feats of strength, courage, sportsmanship and passionate determination.

Let battle Commence!

Spectator tickets are on sale now at http://www.inspirestrength.co.uk/?page_id=78 or via paypal to BritainsStrongestWoman@gmail.com.

Event sponsors:

Inspire Strength Personal Training: http://InspireStrength.co.uk/.

Stronglands Apparel: http://stronglandsapparel.com/.

J G Marine Services: http://www.jgmarine.com/.

R J Hawkins Fleet Cleaning Services: http://www.rjhawkins.co.uk/.

Move Freely 1000 Sports Therapy: https://www.facebook.com/Movefreely1000-338757282959576/?pnref=lhc.

The Words Workshop: http://www.thewordsworkshop.co.uk/.

All Out Athletics: http://www.alloutathletics.co.uk/.

Britannia Reeves & Britain’s Strongest Removalist Competition at the Movers & Storers Show.

Press release by Faye Jordan, Northampton’s Most Inspirational Woman 2015.

National-Strongwoman-Event-2016_1

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Why the Olympics are the Ultimate Motivation

Whether you’ve been watching the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio or not, there’s no escaping the constantly evolving news of the latest medal wins, defeats and of course – that bizarre green diving pool. Aside from celebrating the success of Team GB so far, because six medals in one day is pretty fantastic, there’s actually a lot of inspiration and motivation to be utilised here…

Why-the-Olympics-are-the-Ultimate-Motivation

The Olympians

Come on, just look at them. Their impressive physiques are something to be admired! If you need motivation to put down that Happy Meal and hit the gym, this is surely it. Admittedly, yes, they train seriously hard-core, but they all started somewhere… right?

The Team Spirit

Every team competing in the Olympic Games supports one another throughout training, cheers each team member on when it’s their time to shine and then celebrates each individual’s medal win like a proud parent. Team spirit is where it’s at! Use this to boost your friends, family and fellow gym buddies while you train. Everyone needs a bit of support when things get tough, and working out is no exception!

The Results

Whether they snatch up a bronze, silver or gold medal, or alternatively head home without a win to their name, their dedication to the sport, their passion for the competition and their motivation to keep going is outstanding. Apply this to your fitness progression and you’ll win your metaphorical medal when you take that ‘after pic’ and see just how well you’ve done. And hey, if you’re seriously motivated, perhaps we’ll see you in a future Olympics..!

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The Ultimate Olympic Wish List

With the 2016 Olympic Games kicking off this Friday in Rio, we thought we’d share 10 of our top Olympic products with you!

The-Ultimate-Olympic-Wish-List

OLYMPIC BARS

Jordan Fitness 7ft Ultimate Men’s Bar

Our solid 20kg 7ft Ultimate Men’s Bar from Jordan Fitness is complete with a hardened chrome finish and 8 needle bearings. Tested to 1500lbs/750kgs, this bar is ideal for heavy weight lifting in both the home and gym environment, win win!

Retails at £211.99 (price subject to change).

Jordan Fitness 6ft Ultimate Ladies Bar

Don’t worry ladies, we haven’t forgotten you! Similar to the above bar, we also offer a 15kg 6ft Ultimate Ladies Bar. Its robust construction features a hardened chrome finish and brass brushing, and has been tested to 1000lbs/450kg.

Retails at £211.99 (price subject to change).

Raze 7Kg Aluminium Olympic Technique Bar

Our Raze 7kg Aluminium Olympic Technique Bar is ideal for Olympic weightlifting beginners. Made from aluminium with machine-knurled handles, it gives the feel of a real bar at the fraction of the weight. Suitable for use with a bench or full-sized power racks and able to hold a maximum load of 65kg, this bar is a great option for your weight training!

Retails at £100 (price subject to change).

Body Power 5ft Olympic Bar

Last but not least, our Body Power 5ft Olympic Bar is precision engineered for balance and durability, with a compact design that fits anywhere in the gym or home. With this bar you can perform a full range of free weight workouts from easy to challenging, up to a maximum weight of 800lb.

Retails at £41.99 (price subject to change).

The-Ultimate-Olympic-Wish-List-BAR

OLYMPIC WEIGHT PLATES

Body Power Rubber Encased Tri Grip Olympic Weight Plates

What’s a bar without the weights, right? Here we have our Rubber Encased Trip Grip Olympic Weight Plates. Available in 1.25kg x 2, 1.25kg x 4, 2.5kg x2, 2.5kg x4, 5kg x2, 5kg x4, 10kg x2, 15kg x2, 20kg x2 and 25kg x2, these plates are perfectly suited to Olympic Bars and feature an easy pickup hand grip for a more convenient usage.

Retails at £4.75 – £93.99 (price subject to change).

Body Power Solid Rubber Olympic Disc Weight Plates

Our Solid Rubber Olympic Disc Weight Plates, available in 5kg Black, 10kg Black, 15kg Black, 20kg Black and 25kg Black, are ideal for performing Olympic lifting movements with correct technique. Additionally, the bumper plates provide excellent protection for flooring as they reduce noise and bounce if dropped.

Retails at £15.99 – £56.99 (price subject to change).

Eleiko Olympic Weight Lifting Competition Plates

Finally, our Eleiko Olympic Weight Lifting Competition Plates. See yourself as a bit of a pro? Then these are for you! Available in 0.5kg White, 1kg Green, 1.5kg Yellow, 2kg Blue, 2.5kg Red and 6kg White, you’re spoilt for choice. Complete with a sophisticated colours, a high energy absorbing synthetic rubber compound and a practical gripping edge, you will have a hard time letting go…

Retails at £19.20 – £62.40 (price subject to change).

The-Ultimate-Olympic-Wish-List-plate

OLYMPIC POWER RACKS/BENCH

Body Solid Commercial Power Rack

Our Body Solid Commercial Power Rack features a wide ‘walk-in’ design, ideal for both home and commercial use – alongside 20 adjustment levels, 3″x 3″ vertical support columns and a 41″ wide knurled chinning bar. Pair this with one of our 7ft Olympic Bars, or our Body Power 6′ Olympic Bar, and you’re good to go!

Retails at £569.00 (price subject to change).

Powertec Workbench Power Rack

Complete with a smart, black (or yellow) finish, our Powertec Workbench Power Rack is perfect for performing chin ups, triceps dips, squats, push ups, and more. With adjustable height bar rods and multiple adjustment height holes, you can customise the set up to suit you. Again, pair with one of our 7ft Olympic Bars, or our Body Power 6ft Olympic Bar, and get lifting!

Retails at £489.00 (price subject to change).

Body-Solid Pro Club Line Commercial Flat/Incline/Decline Utility Bench

To round this wish list up nicely, we have the ultimate bench. Our Body Solid Pro Club Line Commercial Utility Bench allows you to position yourself in a flat, inclined or declined position, leaving you with endless workout options. 1000lbs/453.6kg tested, this beauty is a durable, sturdy piece of kit, perfect for your home or commercial gym.

Retails at £349 (price subject to change).

The-Ultimate-Olympic-Wish-List-bench

And there we have it! 10 of our top Olympic products, designed to perfection for the use of those with a passion for weight lifting. Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you’ll be watching this year’s Olympic Games!

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The 80:20 Rule

Fad diets are just about everywhere. Books, television, social media, you name it, these diets are being advertised as though they’re going out of fashion – which slowly but surely, they are. Now, eating intuitively is becoming a far more popular trend for those trying to earn themselves a healthy lifestyle. More specifically, the 80:20 rule. This way of eating is taking the world by storm after numerous influential icons, celebrities and health and fitness bloggers have praised it to the high heavens.

the-80-20-rule

WHAT IS IT?

The 80:20 rule is considered more of an approach to healthy eating, rather than a ‘diet’. To put it simply, the idea is that you eat wholesome, nutritious foods 80% of the time,  therefore allowing yourself to indulge in your favourite treats (in moderation, of course!) for the remaining 20% of the time.

WHY ARE PEOPLE DOING IT?

Let’s be honest, fad diets aren’t helping anyone. They allow you to lose a fair amount of weight relatively quickly, but alas, the weight soon returns. Think about it this way. If you cut out sugary foods all together, not only are you going to struggle horrendously as you fight the persisting cravings, but when that celebratory Birthday cake or ice-cream on holiday passes your lips, your body will basically say “what the hell is this? I don’t like it, I’m going to protest, cause you pain, make you feel slightly ill and chuck on a few pounds while I’m at it”. Not ideal, in other words.

HOW CAN I DO IT?

So you eat well all week and you’ve worked your butt off at the gym, you want to reward yourself a bit, right? Good news. With the 80:20 rule, you can. For example, you get to Sunday and you look back on just how well you’ve done for the previous six days. Tonight’s the night you get to enjoy your favourite pizza and glass of wine – guilt free. Why? Because you earned it! The key here is that you get right back on track the following morning. Go to your favourite gym class, make yourself a healthy breakfast, and drink two to three litres of water throughout the day. Et voila. Zero guilt, a satisfied tummy and a fresh outlook on what will be yet another successful week!

WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE FOR EVERYONE

Ok, so not everyone will have the required willpower to be able to spring back from the treat meal the night before, or perhaps you’re 100% dedicated to your goals and simply don’t want to let 20% worth of what you consider to be metaphorical bollards getting in the way of your weight loss journey. That’s fine! The beauty of the 80:20 rule it that it can be customised to suit you. Not about that 80:20 life? Try 90:10, or if you’re mega dedicated, 95:5. See what we’re saying? YOU make the choices to get what YOU want out of it in the long run.

With the likes of Mirander Kerr, Jessica Alba and Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) living by the 80:20 mantra, it would appear that this intuitive eating method is replacing more and more of those dreaded fad diets every single day. The beauty of nutrition is that it is completely trial and error. If it doesn’t work for you, there will be something that does. Research it, try it and most importantly, enjoy it!

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How to Overcome an Exercise Plateau

As PT Carly Tierney explained in our last blog post, an exercise routine that becomes boring or less challening can lead to an exercise plateau. If you feel as though you’ve hit a wall with your workouts, Carly’s 13 top tips will help you to overcome the phase you’re in and give your routine that much needed boost…

How-to-Overcome-an-Exercise-Plateau

Invest in a personal trainer

This is a great option, even if it’s just every now and again. Booking a session every 4-6 weeks can be used as a motivational tool, as when you work out alone you can think you’re pushing yourself – but training with a PT takes it to a whole new level. A good trainer will inspire you, teach you new tricks, check your form (you’d be surprised how many people have poor form which can hinder progression), and encourage you to push for that last rep or that heavier weight. It’s that point when you think you can’t push any harder and break out of your comfort zone that the magic begins!

Target your muscles from different angles

As an example, if you always perform your bicep curls standing, take a seat and switch to hammer curls or lie on an incline and use the cables instead. Changing angles and grip can make a huge difference.

Switch up your reps

Try paused-reps, partial-reps or bottom-half-reps to maximise your gains in the full range of motion version. Changing how your reps are performed can help you get through those sticking points and build new levels of strength.

Address your muscular imbalances and weaknesses

Regular massage treatments or using a foam roller can address soft tissue issues. A proper warm-up consisting of light aerobic exercise can not only prepare you for the workout ahead, but can also address range of motion issues. This will add strength and function to your body.

Stop hitting the gym when you’re exhausted

If you’re just going to the gym and putting in 50%, you’re never going to progress or see results. Instead, take a rest day. If you’re tired but still want to train, ensure that you’ve eaten a meal with carbs and protein, such as sweet potato, cottage cheese, a banana or a pre-workout supplement. These help you to focus, aid endurance to help you push through barriers and give you an energy hit.

Revamp your training programme

Vary your intensity, change up your rest periods, change your rep range, perform your exercises in a different order and take more rest days. Or, if you’re really serious about progression, consult an expert. Writing your own programmes is unlikely to get you the best results. Don’t wing it.

Check your life outside of the gym

Too many late nights, a poor diet and a lack of hydration are all lifestyle factors that will impact your training. You can’t out train a poor diet and your body can’t repair itself without adequate rest.

Progress effectively

You need to make sure that your form is absolutely flawless before adding more weight, or the simple fact is that you’ll likely be recruiting the wrong muscles to assist the movement, which will be counter productive. You can’t just keep adding weight regardless of your form.

When it come to weight loss, many people tend to do the same exercises because they’re comfortable with it, and think that eating less is the way to continue their weight loss. The fact is that the intensity of your workout should go up and your food (which is fuelling the extra work) should remain regular and balanced. The less you eat, the less you can achieve at the gym. The more your metabolism slows to compensate, the more weight you’ll gain long term.

Fuel your fitness

Results are made in the kitchen! As your body changes, your nutritional requirements need to also. If you’ve gained ten pounds in muscle and have progressed from training four days a week to five, you’re going to need to eat more food to continue to progress. Equally if you’ve lost a lot of weight, your dietary needs will change as your body does.

Many people train without fuelling their body correctly, either by not eating enough or hoping that a poor diet can somehow be compensated for thorough training. As a general rule, aim to eat clean, healthy, natural foods most of the time. Eat a balanced diet of healthy carbohydrates, good fats and protein, drink plenty of water and limit alcohol. Another tip is to ensure that you’re aiding recovery post gym by using a protein shake, because the quicker you recover, the harder you can train next time you’re at the gym. If you’re unsure, contact a professional to review your diet. It’s what we are here for!

Stay motivated

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Your mind 100% controls your body. The fact is that the more you want to progress, the more mentally tough you must become. As you advance and your body adapts to training, every last push counts. Not only that, but it takes a ton of mental strength to consistently eat well and train hard.

Remember your ‘why’

It’s easy to forget why you started when you’re tired, when training hurts and when you have to prepare another meal for work the next day. Ensure that you know why this is important to you. Make goals, stick to them and keep them in the forefront of your mind from the moment you step into the gym – until the moment you leave. This could be a wedding, a photo shoot or simply your health. Everyone has a reason. Find yours!

Believe in yourself

Whether you are someone who is needing to lose weight for health purposes, a competitive bodybuilder making huge lifestyle adjustments, or a mum wanting her pre-baby body back. You can do it, and you will as long as you believe in yourself and your ability to progress. It won’t be instant, so you need to stay motivated. Next time you find yourself saying “I don’t know if I can do this, I can’t do this”, hit the stop button and get into the correct mindset. You’ll be surprised at the difference in power, strength, and desire created by positive self-talk. Telling yourself “I can” will help you feel empowered and mentally tough. If you think you can, you can.

Surround yourself with positive people

As your lifestyle changes, so might your community. Rather than surrounding yourself with negativity, find people who are going through the same changes that you are. I’ve created a team environment with my clients. They are outstanding people who always have good, positive things to say. Their support has made a world of difference to each individual’s success. Talking to people who seem happy and are able to find the sun beneath the clouds is great, as is discovering people with drive and ambition who are willing to share it with you. Having people like this in your corner will allow the belief you have in yourself to grow tremendously. Remember, a positive mind equals a positive body!

Read more blogs from Carly Tierney.

Carly Tierney Personal Trainer

Carly Tierney is a fully qualified Personal Trainer, Pilates instructor, fitness feature writer and is also the new DW Sports Fitness Expert across social media. In 2014, she became Ms Bikini Tall Miami Pro champion and is sponsored by BSN, Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc. Carly was also a finalist for Gym Based PT of the year.

Visit Carly’s website, and check out her newsletter!

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