29 August 2018

A Brighton personal trainer walks around England

personal trainer brighton

Yup this is my goal! I plan to knock off chunks of the England coastal path on bank holidays and in time off until I’ve walked the whole coast. The England coastal path scheme aims to join up all existing coastal path sections with new paths by 2020. I started this project in 2016 in a relaxed format but have increased the length of trip and miles per day walked each time I’ve attacked it (mainly through fear at the scale of the task every time I go away!)

The coast path is 2800miles and I had originally wanted to add Wales coastal path bringing the total to 3670miles, although this is now under review given that in the 5 trips I have done I’ve only knocked off 200miles!!

However I do have human and canine company (see pic) which makes the whole thing much more pleasurable which is our main goal; the novelty factor for me is participating in a form of exercise that isn’t full on and focuses more on wellness and health.

Perhaps its because I’m a personal trainer in my 40’s now that this is so enjoyable, I certainly think it takes a certain mind set to chip away at something this mahoosive without wanting to run or bike sections to get to the end before I’m 50!!

And it’s been very revealing so far – coastal towns and villages attract an interesting cross section of life from the bohemian to the 2nd homeowners and everyone in between, yet across the board everyone has been welcoming and hospitable to us arriving bedraggled, sometimes soaking wet and cold or sweaty and smelly with dog in tow. Its been a real comfort to meet such a nice cross section of humanity and enjoy the beautiful land that we live on.

18 August 2018

Is the wait worth the weight?

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting, what is it?

There are a number of ways of achieving the same goal here but simply put this is a period of fast in your eating. Common ways of introducing a break in eating are introducing a 14-16 hour fast into a 24 hour period, whilst this may sound like a long time one way people find relatively easy to achieve this stretch is by including the 8 hours of sleep at night time into this and skipping breakfast in the morning. Other ways you may have read about are the 5:2 diet, the 24 hour fast, alternate day fasting, the warrior diet, spontaneous meal skipping and many more!…

The 5:2 diet has previously been discussed here , the 24 hour fast is tricky for a lot of people as the fast window is so big, on the alternate day fasting it is recommended to eat 500kcals on your fast day, the warrior diet proposes a period of fast during the day and feast at night, and so on…

Q: What do the marketeers promise from the results of intermittent fasting? and what do some in the fitness industry (marketeers?) promise from the results of intermittent fasting?

A: Weight loss and improved athletic performance respectively


Firstly throw away anything you read that promises you anything, you want to read only information backed by peer reviewed scientific study; this will ensure you receive objective, unbiased information not motivated by your cash. You will be offered statistics to prove or disprove a hypothesis made in the publication followed by a conclusion based on the stats, i.e. simply offered the scientific results.

We often hear from people that there is too much confusing and conflicting information out there, this is because you are reading information from the wrong source! The majority of people writing online are doing so because they are making a living doing so and therefore need to influence you!.A good place to start if you do not have access to scientific papers through a university is Google scholar. Fortunately I do have access to a University library (I am completing my doctorate as we speak!) and have filtered out some relevant papers on this subject to clarify the debate:

The subject of weight loss as a result of intermittent fasting (IF) is inconclusive. Testing hundreds of fasting protocols across many species in many research groups has not led to the guaranteed weight loss solution that is punted by get rich quick marketeers. The weight loss results from IF are no better than the results from calorie restriction and have actually been shown to increase sleep disturbance and reduce concentration/accuracy result when tested with patients in a Ramadan fasting study (similar to the warrior diet). What this means is that whilst you may lose weight as a result of IF it may not be directly due to the metabolic and hormonal changes that IF induces, instead probably being the results of a reduction in overall calorie intake.

Reducing your overall calorie intake has been proven scientifically to reduce weight, however this is only maintained long term under certain conditions for example; reducing calorie intake (generating a calorie deficit) by a small amount (a percentage of your daily BMI is usually the way we calculate this) over the medium term, ensuring you still hit your daily macro nutrient split (although varying these is reputed to have effects on satiety, which we will discuss in another post) and then gradually increasing your calories after the period of deficit. These results will be maximised with a balanced exercise program, but significantly the weight loss gains you make have been proven to be best in those who engage in regular exercise after the period of calorie deficit as well as during.

What the studies do agree on with IF, however, is that of gut health improvements leading to lifespan extension, it ameliorates the clinical course and pathology of Multiple sclerosis (MS) and can counteract other disease processes, has profound beneficial effects on many different indices of health, can improve functional outcome in a wide range of age-related disorders including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease and stroke. All due to a cascade of reactions related to the gut flora changes.

So that’s the science. Now you make up your own mind

31 July 2018

Macro’s 101

online macronutrients

You’ll hear this term a lot if you read anything to do with food and balance; in the fitness industry we use it in the same way as they do in the nutritional industry. Which is to say that a diet is made up of macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients, or macro’s are your carbohydrates, fats and proteins whereas micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals.

In biochemistry a macronutrient is any substance such as carbon, hydrogen or oxygen that is required by the body in relatively large amounts and it is the same in botany (plants) for nitrogen, hydrogen or phosphorus.

Macro, from the Greek makros, means large and so we use it to describe fuels that are required in large amounts by the body.

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are made up from molecules and these in turn are made up from atoms of carbon, hydrogen or oxygen in different combinations. It is how these atoms are put together and with what bonds between them that determines their function in the body. Essentially, the break down of molecules releases energy and this energy is used by the body to function.

The body operates a priority system whereby the first source of energy is derives is from the glucose circulating in the blood. This is a small molecule that is easily accessible and easily broken down to be used for energy, however there is only a certain amount of circulating glucose one can store in ones blood and so the body then must turn to its second choice. This usually happens after about 20mins of aerobic exercise and is one of the key factors we consider when, as online personal trainers or Brighton personal trainers, we are creating weight loss plans for clients. Because what happens next is crucial; the body looks for its next favourite energy source and as a result of prior planning it is able to accesses the molecules of fat it has stored for just these occasions.

These are converted to glucose to be used for energy, in fact the number one goal of the body is to serve the brain with energy so this is the first place the body will check if it needs fuelling. In an exercise session the energy will quickly then be directed to the working muscles via the pumping blood flow to ensure they can keep operating at the level needed.

So that’s it in a nutshell! If you have any questions about any of this or anything else just drop us a line as usual…

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

2 July 2018

Have fun in the sun workout

summer workout

Do you remember when you were a kid and you played outside for the whole summer holiday? The sun and the summer went on forever and ever, well why does it have to be any different because you’re all grown up? This weekend we spent on Dorset’s Jurassic coast, on a Famous Five themed birthday weekend. No one thought consciously about getting exercise in or burning calories but we all spent the day outside charging around in the sunshine. We biked up and down hills and kayaked in the sea, the sun shone and we all had a jolly spiffing time.

What does it take to get 15 like-minded adults away from the grind of family, work and city lives to enjoy these simple pleasures? A few months of planning a big birthday and a lot of logistical juggling to get the kids sorted….and how often to we get the opportunity to do this? And should it be this hard?

Really we should join up these precious moments in the wonderful tapestry of our rich an diverse modern lives instead of them being peppered with days like these every 10 years! We need to remember what is important and include more of this in our day to day. How can we get together more often with those friends who make our cockles warm and get outside and run and laugh in the sunshine? Why do we have to be serious and mundane and how did that become what we are most of the time.

The train grinds to a halt as you get off into the rain on the platform and fight with the swell of commuters for a bus or cab to your grey concrete office building where you sit in front of a fluorescent screen all day. Punctuated with a rubbery lunchtime sandwich in plastic wrapping and a weak coffee from the machine in the hallway your cortisol levels steadily rise throughout the week until you hit Friday and decide to ‘treat’ yourself with sweet alcholic beverages and saturated fats until Monday arrives….OK so this is a bleak version of most people’s weekly reality but why are we mainly revolving around this format, why cant it be more like:

The week starts with an early morning jog along the seafront with dogs breathing in the fresh air and an effort at lunchtime to at least walk around town before heading home after work and making an effort to engage with people who you are stimulated by so that we don’t fall out at the end of the week feeling lucky and grateful to have got there but instead comfortably arrive at Friday with a full sense of wellness and all around health…..We all make choices, is it time to re-frame yours?

30 May 2018

Food and Exercise made simple

food and exercise

What if you could combine the services of an expert in nutrition and dietetics; someone who could take account of your personal food likes and dislikes, who understood your work routine and time restrictions and could plan all 3 meals a day for you – down to the gram!

….Along with an expert in health and fitness; someone who could plan an exercise regime for you whilst noting your biomechanics and fitness levels, who considered your injuries and body type along with your exercise loves and hates.

Not just people who have gone off and done weekend courses or online training but genuine experts who have spent years studying and working with people like you. Who understand how you tick, when yes means no and when to push and when to give you space. People who actually like people, people who have learned as much in their academic pursuit as they have in clinics and studios around the world. Experts in their fields who give talks, seminars, teach and train others and who are quite rightly highly respected.

What if these people talked to each other, altered their prescription for you based on your feedback and response. What if they incrementally pushed you along a clear and planned path whilst continually communicating with you and listening to your wants each step of the way?

Would you fall of the wagon then? Would ya? Well would ya?


But what if those same people picked you up, helped you dust yourself off and provided a push up back onto the wagon, without pressure, without patronising you but instead with a very fair, kind and firm hand until you were well seated and gently started nudging you along again.

Would that work for you? Would it give you the boost to get your own drive back? Could it buy you the precious… oh so precious time you need to sleep/think/plan/catch up/take control/ and eventually walk, head tall away from them in control, with all the confidence in the world?


Well what’s stopping you?

Here you go: https://brightonfit.co.uk/weight-loss/



12 May 2018

E biking in Sardinia

Finally the sun has arrived on our epic (400km) cycle ride from the North (Alghero) to the South (Pula) of Sardinia. I have been too depressed until now to document our trip as the weather has literally drained our spirits away:

mountain biking

This was supposed to be our cycling path; we had to carry our bikes across the river that formed as the the rains have been torrential. Last week many of the roads were washed away, towns and businesses flooded, we found Sky news reporting in one we rode through as locals were frantically sand bagging their shop fronts!

We have hired electric bikes before and although it is a complete cheat in many ways it does really allow you to cover huge distance and see much more than you may ordinarily do….and they are so much fun…so we were delighted to see the sunshine yesterday at last:


Note my ‘delighted’ face!

The bikes mean that even if you are not a confident cyclist it is still possible to explore and get a real sense of adventure. They look like a normal bike except although they are significantly heavier with the motor and the battery on board; we had 10 gears which act like ordinary bike gears. Added to the gears you have an odometer into which is built a control for the amount of assistance you would like (eco, tour, sport or turbo). The odometer will also inform you of the range you have left in the battery if you were to drain it using the selected assistance level so that you can gauge how much or little you can rely on it until your next charge.

In eco mode the pedal assistance is quite mild but still noticeable, in particular up the hills where the assistance just takes the edge of the puff and pant. The assistance on any mode cuts out over 25km/hr which is to try and avoid you going uncontrollably fast (and a legal requirement I think as the brakes are only normal bike small disc brakes). As you increase the assistance level you can really feel the motor tugging you along and there are times where you feel like you really put very little in for example in sport or turbo modes on the flat! Which makes it really fun as you can accelerate very fast from a spot in these modes, added to which up a hill in turbo at 25km/h is hilarious! Especially when you overtake very serious road cyclists!!

The island is extremely varied; quite undulating and a mecca for off road mountain bikers with many short and long single tracks and cross country routes. But we have been mainly sticking to smooth tarmac paths and minor roads which has taken us through some sleepy towns. We stop when we see a nice cafe or restaurant, the food is wonderfully fresh and the people are very friendly, before hopping back on our steads and heading off….I highly recommend this form of transport, the mild exercise and the Italian food of course!

25 April 2018

Should you run a marathon?

Related image

With Brighton and London marathons now complete those involved can go back to normal life that isn’t consumed with worry about how many miles they have managed to fit in this week or whether they need to carb load, foam roll, do some hill training or generally be a slightly crazed obsessed running human!

I’m painting a warped picture of course there is the monumental sense of accomplishment, pride in oneself and general admiration from everyone you know at having achieved the toughest running challenges known to (wo)man.

So you should you sign up next year?

Here are some things to consider:

  • You will need to prioritise – that’s a definite. The training sessions are time consuming and believe me its hard to keep a full time job and family running smoothly without dropping a ball to get some of your longer weekly runs in.
  • You will need support – Your family will feel the hit as you depart for hours on end. You should ensure everyone is 100% behind you. You will need them to kick you out of the door on many occasions throughout the winter when it is dark and wet outside.
  • You should plan your training out very carefully – don’t rush the preparation, do include strength training, sprint work and mobility/flexibility work. If you are unsure how to do this all our Brighton personal trainers will be very happy to help you
  • Its a good idea to work out how you are going to motivate yourself. The Brighton marathon is in the spring, so you will be building up miles in the winter and it wont be appealing every session, who do you want to run for, show devotion to or honour. Maybe it should be enough that you want this for you. Certainly for some people this is true
  • You will be digging very very deep mentally, the runs are long and the devil on your shoulder will be wanting you to stop at every mile. How are you going to shut him up and plough through the mental barrier? There are some great mind control tricks that we Brighton personal trainers can show you, but different things work for different people so you will need to try a few before you work it all out.
  • And talking of your mind. You will need to still it. This is a long and steady feat and you will need to harness all your mind control possible

Whilst this all sounds very challenging and time consuming and a bit serious! i would hate to put you off. Running a marathon is one of the greatest achievements you will (if you follow the advice here) accomplish in your life. Decades after you have run your race, even if only the one, you will recall sections of it with such clarity it will surprise you, and you will feel chuffed and proud and amazed with yourself all over again.

2 April 2018

Brighton 10km training plan

So you ran your first Brighton 5km and decided you really liked it? You’re body feels stronger and fitter and you’re feeling like you can tackle the next challenge?! How about a Brighton 10km run, and perhaps this time how about setting a time to achieve it in and working carefully towards it?

Here is an 8 week training plan to run a 10km race either for your first time or for those of you who are more experienced at running in Brighton and Hove. Remember to take it easy and don’t set yourself an unrealistic target and to aim to stick to the plan as faithfully as is realistic for you. Don’t kill yourself to fit a session in if you are feeling unwell or your body is too sore, but do push yourself if it is simply that the weather is grotty or you have had a bad day at work. Getting outside and pumping blood around the body is a fantastic way to repair self esteem or bad moods and you will be amazed at the transformation compared to when you left the house (and your family will be thankful too!).

Please remember that these running plans are only part of the picture and that you will need to ensure you maintain a balanced strength and conditioning program to bolster the demands running in Brighton places on the body. Next week I will post a good training session to achieve exactly that, which you can perform at home, here is one from a couple of weeks ago that is also really good – one of the workouts that us personal trainers in Brighton actually do ourselves.

Good luck with your running, if you need some advice or help from one of us Brighton personal trainers please get in touch, otherwise click the picture below to get a full size printable version or download the PDF version of this plan here


10km brighton training plan





27 March 2018

An 8 wk Brighton personal trainer 5km run plan

If you are new to running, 5km run is a great target, as your personal trainer in Brighton, my advice would be to train with plenty of preparation up to and over 5km. Use all the tricks like hills and speed variations to get you to your goal but just scale according to your ability. Make sure you train frequently but don’t train every day and definitely don’t train if your body is sore and most importantly make sure that you are prepared enough to enjoy the experience. I hope this is the road to many happy running races for you in the future!

If you know what you are doing here is an 8 week training plan based on your target time. Its a good idea to not aim for sub 20mins in 8 weeks if all you can achieve at the moment is a 30mins 5km! what i mean is try and set realistic goals that you will be able to succeed at, the next time you prepare for a race you can shave off some time and so on….8 weeks will fly by!

A personal trainer would build something like this for you and very often run these with you or at least make sure that you are performing each session optimally. If ou would like one of us to run you through this program or any other just get in touch, otherwise good luck…click the photo for a larger version to print:

personal training in brighton