4 November 2018

‘Walking’ the Lycian way


When we booked the 4 day walk I was thinking how lovely it would be to walk the “Turquoise coast” in the autumn sunshine as a sort of chilled out break away from the impending UK frosty winter. I certainly didn’t think it would be physically challenging, but I was very wrong!!

We were given a route map by a local company who arranged for our bags to be transferred by taxi to the B and B we would walk to each day. On the face of it the walks, although reasonably long (15-20km) didn’t look too challenging, but if you add bouldering, vertical climbs, picking your way through rock gardens, sharp shards of loose shingle underfoot and about 28 degree heat to the mix it suddenly takes a whole different look!

By the end of day one (after a 7.5hour ‘walk’, a twisted ankle, lots of blisters and a few crossed words) we felt toasted and fell into bed soon after we arrived. By the morning however, and after a very plentiful fill at breakfast, the pain of the previous day wore off and we felt able to tackle day 2. This was a walk up one side of a mountain and down again the other side; total ascent = 1000metres (again!!). We missed the entrance onto the path from the village so started the day with a climb up the rock face to hack into it 2 km down the path. It was exhilarating as it was stupid really, but anyway I am not sure we were in the mood for back tracking to cover extra mileage to start the ascent in the prescribed manner! We climbed all day until about 3pm and spent a couple of hours in the afternoon coming down again, the climb although difficult was actually less painful than the treacherous descent as the gradient was so steep and the ground so poor that the knees took an absolute hammering. Queue day 3; an undulating route taking us up and down 3 peaks of 200, 500 and 300 metres respectively – another 7+ hour day which was hotter than the previous 2 but somehow as we were over half way through and acclimatised both in the temperature and psychologically not as bad as it sounded. At points we chose to swim along the coast as oppose to walk where it was feasible on this portion but on the whole the day was good, possibly the best of the lot albeit a tough one. Day 4 was relatively easy, only covering 8km in total and most of the gradient was down hill, really an amble in comparison so we took advantage with as much swimming, and photographs as possible….

The 4 days were extremely tough, our legs took a battering and the blisters are still evident; our muscles took a couple of days to recover and walking has taken on a whole new meaning to me! Before we go again (which we have already vowed to) we will definitely do some physical preparation. For these kind of walks I am planning on a couple of months of long distance hiking once or twice a week in combination with: squats, deadlifts, lunges, Bulgarian lunges, side lunges, weighted step ups, single legged squats and a few plyo exercises in like wall balls, split jumps and some mountain climbers only because they are so aptly named!

2 July 2018

Looking for a new challenge in 2018? Take part in a Tough Mudder for Charity Feed the Minds and help put an end to FGM.

tough mudder

Each year, fundraising fitness and health challenges are being thrown out at us from every angle; Veganuary, Stoptober, fun runs and triathlons. But nothing can compare to the grueling obstacle course that is taking the world by storm. Whether you are swimming through icy waters, dodging electric shocks or just trying to struggle through the 12 mile mud laden track -Tough Mudder will test you further than ever.

But this event isn’t just about testing your fitness. Already the course has raised £3 million in the UK for charity. Feed the Minds is recruiting now for Tough Mudders in Sussex and needs your help to transform people’s lives through education. Here are just a few reasons on why you should sign up…

Fundraising for Feed the Minds gives you a purpose

Although you may gain some satisfaction from finishing a Tough Mudder, it cannot be denied that fundraising for us will enhance your motivation to train for and complete the course. By taking part in the Tough Mudder in West Sussex for Feed the Minds you will help women and girls around the world, like Bridget (pictured), to say no to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM), to stand up for their rights and transform their own lives.

When you join our team, we ask that you set yourself a goal to raise a minimum £350 for Feed the Minds. To put this into perspective, just £25 could support one girl in Kenya to complete our Girl’s Education Program, providing them with knowledge on their rights, building their confidence and helping them to stay in school, without going through FGM.

Although fundraising can be daunting, you don’t need to worry as Feed the Minds will be there to support you throughout your campaign. Often, all it takes is a few emails to friends and family with your fundraising page, which we will help you set up.What better way to do it than for a brilliant cause? Signing up for a Tough Mudder can help to transform the lives of more vulnerable women and girls like Bridget

The Challenge of Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder is more than just a race that gets you muddy- it is a combined test of stamina, endurance and determination. There are 25 obstacles overall, all placed strategically on the 12 mile mud track of the various rural locations that this event is hosted at. From the brand new ‘Kong Infinity’ obstacle, described by Tough Mudder as a legionnaire style challenge, to the icy waters of the ‘Arctic Enema’. There is even the small matter of running through a field of hanging Tasers in the aptly named ‘Electroshock Therapy’. Not only do you have to have strength, but you must also be prepared to push past a further pain barrier that cannot be tested in most endurance challenges.

Therefore, it will stretch not only your physical abilities but it will also take all of your mental grit to finish. Tough Mudder pushes your perseverance and resolve right to the edge.

Support network during your training

You may want to take part individually or with others, but either way Feed the Minds will provide you with a constant support network for both your fundraising and advice on preparation. Unlike any run, cycle or even triathlon this obstacle course takes teamwork and unity, akin to a military training course. You are not racing others but challenging yourself to simply do one thing: finish. Feed the Minds will offer whatever assistance you may need throughout the build up to Tough Mudder. Sign up here today

23 March 2018

Brightonfit personal trainer workouts

Ever wondered what kind of workouts we do? Well the answer is we do all of the workouts we ask you to do! Otherwise how would we know what to ask of you and where the difficult sections were and how to coach you through and design a balanced program?

This Brighton personal training session is designed for intermediates. It should take you about 45mins and some of the exercises use a weight (ball, kettlebell or dumbell), you should be able to perform this at home, in a park or your gym.

The session is split into 3 x 15 minute sections. Each section contains 5 exercises. You should aim to complete each exercise 10 times each side (ie split jacks) or 20 time if using both sides of your body together (ie a box jump). You must not rest between exercises and when you get to the end of the first 5 you rest for up to 60 seconds before repeating 4 more times. That will be the end of the first section and you may rest for up to 3 minutes before repeating the same format for the second and third section.

This is a fast paced session, each exercise must be performed with the focus on form, power and speed with the goal of keeping your heart rate as high as you can for as long as you can whilst maintaining form.

The explosive exercises (tucks, jacks, jumps, squats and thrusts) are very important to make sure you are really jumping/pushing hard and fast in combination. These are the plyometric sections of the workout and improve the power capacity of your muscles in a slightly different way to some of the pure strength based ones.

This workout can be repeated as often as you like. Remember not to train on sore muscles. You will develop lean muscle and burn excess fat very effectively training like this, but remember even as personal trainers doing these sessions we don’t rely on just one type of training and we mix these sessions up with running in Brighton and Hove, pure strength training and training specifically for the sports we play and recommend that you do the same. Watch this blog for more training sessions.

Click on the photo below for a link to a bigger image you can print out if you like.

Let us know how it goes….any questions, get in touch.

brightonfit personal trainer workout

28 June 2013

In my humble opinion yoga alone doesn’t cut it……

yoga for weight loss

Firstly let us assume that we are talking about the people, women predominantly, who want to lose some weight-perhaps as much as a couple of stone. Next let’s assume that they go to one or two yoga classes a week but otherwise don’t do much in the way of physical activity.

Is this you? Do you drive the kids to school before driving yourself to work where you spend most of the day sitting (i.e not expending calories nor using muscles) before reversing the process and finishing up on the sofa each evening?

Of the 168 hours per week, if you are anything like the nations average you probably sleep for 49 of those hours leaving 119, sit behind a desk for 56 more leaving 63, watch TV and/or sit in front of the computer at home for 24.5 leaving 38.5 hours, drive your car for around 14 more leaving 24.5 hours.

If you read my last post you will know that being active for a minimum of 21 hours a week is a good starting point in order to begin chipping away at musculoskeletal and metabolic change. So you have the time its just that somehow you only find a poultry 2 of those 24.5 hours to exercise!

If you spent those 2 hours doing 6 x 20min HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions per week you could almost be forgiven because at least you would be using the time you were able to find intelligently. But yoga? Seriously, this should be an addition not your sole pursuit. Yes it can facilitate introspection, steady and calm you, no it won’t burn off 2 stone of adipose tissue on your bum and thighs “like Madonna and Sting” And the reason is that it isn’t physically challenging enough.

Now if you overhauled your kitchen cupboards and stopped eating anything that came out of a packet, contained more than 20% fat by calorific volume and enough to boost your metabolism out of its sluggish state AS WELL as spent 24.5hours a week doing yoga then you could expect to see some of the changes you want.

The yogis who sell what they preach will often practice for hours and hours each day, they eat a clean pure well balanced diet devoid of preservatives and additives generally, often they won’t drink alcohol or meat and they drink plenty of water. Their cortisol levels are usually healthy as their day to day stresses are well managed, they wont binge and select low GI and low fat foods.

The actual yoga practice when done at high intensity with great form in most of the styles can be tough but the average overweight female in a UK yoga class isn’t this person and their class probably wont even get them into their aerobic training zone. Added to which there are very many repeated muscle group recruitments in some of these classes at the beginning level.

As a final warning spinal compression, torsion and hyper extension at both lumbar and cervical level seems crazy to us fitness professionals-who take a joint health approach-but there’s who whole nother can of worms to discuss next time….

10 August 2012

A day at the Olympics feat. Babyface Adams and da crew worldwide

Nicola Adams Olympic gold

I bought tickets to watch the boxing finals at the Olympics last year, more accurately they were bought for me as everybody knows how much I love boxing. I was so chuffed to be going and that the tickets were for the final of my favourite sport one in which I competed moons ago. But I didn’t actually put it all together in my mind until I got close to the Excel centre; An Olympic final, a historical first and what was to turn out to be a GB gold to boot!

Katie Taylor's fans London Olympics 2012

You couldn’t help but notice all the green shirts…. thousands of Irish supporters as apparently there was some tasty boxer from those shores on the same bill!! Walking up to the Excel centre they swarmed the streets and bars exuding pride and adulation from every one of each of their millions of pores. I wondered how they had ALL managed to be so successful in their ticket purchase despite the debacle here. But was hoping Katie would wipe the floor with Sofya as I thought she had fabulous shoulders.

Excel centre at the London Olympics 2012


The Excel centre looked cool, Ive never been to anything held here before. There were some people sitting in umpire chairs en route to the front door on megaphones. They had to repeat one line of text every 2 mins, I began to feel relieved I didn’t get sucked into the middle class wash of excitement to apply to be an Olympic volunteer last year. There was few rouge volunteers on megaphones; notably the guy on the DLR getting us all to chant “everybody in da house say hooooooooooo haaaaaaaaaaaa” and sticking the V’s up at his script. I noticed also that the British have a different…dare I say it clearer understanding of what it means to queue. I didn’t mind too much the pair squeezing in front of me to get their stuff on the scanner through security, but when they practically head butted me to get past ticket check I shot their chi with my Vulcan like dagger sonic boom meridian and that stopped them in their tracks.

Olympics boxing finalsInside the holding area of the Excel there was very little of interest apart from an even more condensed sea of green shirts….more rowdy and shouty than outside, I was both amazed and impressed that Katie had managed to orchestrate such a party and that the Irish were so strong. It made me think more about the glory of unification sport could exacerbate or even generate.

In a quiet corner away from the bars I found this stand (maybe because it was by the treat shed?) along with other Olympic boxing memorabilia. When I was boxing Nicola had pricked my consciousness….she was winning everything and I relished her skill and focus. In those days though I only had room for one idol; Lucia Rijvek, but Nicola did  a sterling job of coming second to her for me!!

Boxing for me now with BFC is a much better life balance than actually having to train like a dog….as the ones like myself who cant find the guts, determination or commitment to make it to Olympic platforms can still flounce around the gym pretending to know what we are talking about yet still have dessert and a drink.

London Olympics 2012 womens boxing final

Despite not really being interested in anything at the Olympics except the spectacle of the sporting events I thought this picture summed it up pretty well. I travelled from Brighton on a few trains where I had a seat and once in London found the Olympic navigation really well sign posted. The DLR was quick and easy and the navigation and facilities and helpfulness of the organisers and volunteers couldn’t have been better. If I was to be picky I would like to mention that I detested travelling on the tube. I hate travelling on the tube so much I would rather put sand grit in my bra, but on this particular occasion in mid August on one of the hottest days we have had so far this summer to be trapped underground in a pod full of people looking at the floor with B.O and attitude hurtling along at a zillion miles an hour through a back hole is the last place I wanted to be. Oh and arriving off the DLR in East London is pretty skanky too.

Female boxerOnce inside a yummy mummy asked the queen whether she enjoyed boxing. The Queen turned out to not actually be the Queen and was infact an old school female boxer who had paved the way for all of us lot.

I thought it was amazing that she ended up looking like the queen and what royal family member I may end up bearing resemblance to.

I loved the tone of retribution in her voice against all those who said “no” to her in her day and the way she preserved her dignity and femininity and thought if I seriously did end up with any of her traits I would be a very very lucky old bird!

Olympics 2012 ladies boxing finalFinally the show started. The girls touched gloves and the first round was under way. The atmosphere was electric, Nicola was boxing brilliantly and it struck me how great and yet weird at the same time it must have felt to have the entire stadium chanting your name. We were all at it, stamping our feet and bellowing like warriors in a tribe at her. She was so light and nimble flick flacking all around the ring; popping in to say hello to Ren’s left cheekbone then quickly darting out again to twizel to the left and then faint to her right before another dazzling flurry of punches.

olympic scoreI am aware my boxing commentary is special,  the next thing to occur was camera malfunction rendering me pretty useless as an Olympic reporter. However I have a memory of that night that I will never lose. Forget history in the making, forget national pride….lets talk about me for a minute here: I trained and trained and trained all my life. Im nearly 40 and still training all the time, I don’t fight any longer due to a disc problem but I pump iron, swing heavy things and run till myolympic score 2 lungs pop out of my earholes. When I was fighting fit, literally, and training all the hours under the sun I managed to get myself into the ring to kickbox for a British title and the same lack of fire in my belly that I still respect now in people I couldnt muster. I never cared for a belt, for people to say well done or she has this sash or that grading, all I ever wanted to do was train and spar. Its probably why Ive got a bulging disc in my neck and definitely why I absolutely totally wholeheartedly respect to the max those whoNicola Adams

get up and say “I’m prepared to put it on the line” “I want to test myself” “I want to show the world I am ready for anything”  Nicola Adams on the night of Thursday the 9th of August 2012 didn’t need a camera or a microphone, she doesnt need a sports reporter….you only had to watch her heart and show to see what stuff she was made of and what this occasion meant to her. Nicola Adams, I salute you.

Katie Taylor



Later that night there was plenty more tribal action amongst the crowd which I enjoyed surfing on. Katie Taylor won her bout, I was standing on my chair next to a hunchbacked ageing Irish man shouting ringside advice from the middle of a packed stadium like an old coach. I was amazed at how much plyometric energy she had left in her tank, when the judges called the final score.

After these amazing fights there was a middleweight contest and the best woman won. We went to the Southbank and had some lovely food before getting back onto the disgusting pod train which made me sweat on the back of my hands the humidity was so high.

This weekend the Olympics is over and normal life resumes; telly wont be on silent in the background 24hours a day and conversations will be far more diverse. I have been impressed with the Olympics and dare I say an iota of national pride has crept in it has been amazing to touch the world in this way from my door step and inspired me to get Rio tickets, I’d love to follow Nicola Adams story and watch her defend her Olympic title. I’d love to see Natasha Jonas again, did she come outa nowhere or have I had my eye off the ball too long?

London 2012 women's final boxing victory ceremony