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

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

5 March 2018

Make the most of your time in the gym

brighton personal trainers


When the weather is bad it’s a great time to bank some sessions at the gym. But it can be difficult without a goal or program to follow to know where to start. If you’re only hitting the gym 2 or 3 times a week this is what you should be aiming to cover at the end of each week:

  • Try to move all of your joints through all degrees of freedom. This is a fancy way of saying that you should mobilise your joints in all directions. So for example a hip joint is a ball and socket; it moves forwards, backwards, left and right but it can also pivot clockwise and anti clockwise AND you can combine by say moving it left and back and anticlockwise!!
  • As well as mobility training be sure to include Strength, Cardiovascular fitness/explosive training, Flexibility and Speed/agility/coordination work

As Brighton personal trainers we would recommend you aim to train more than 2-3 times each week in which case you could probably start splitting the sessions up quite nicely and still get everything covered each week but if you’re only hitting the gym on the weekend you may need to get everything in on each session.

We like high paced, explosive and weighted circuits to achieve this; you will need to have a think before you dive in and make sure that your exercise selection taxes the body’s musculature in a balanced way. A good way to do this is pick 5 exercise’s and repeat them 8-20 times (depending on the exercise) without stopping, then repeat these 5 exercises in the same order 4 more times. Then take a short break and select 5 more exercises and do the same and repeat this for as many times as you can.

If you are super fit and can keep this going for over an hour you should be able to fit in 5 circuits with at least 2 plyometric exercises in each circuit and a 2 heavy weighted exercises plus one body weight exercise.

If you are a beginner start with one circuit and stick to body weight exercises focusing on getting the techniques correct. You may find a few sessions of personal training in Brighton a help to begin with.

If you know what you are doing and are an intermediate then aim for 45 mins for this keeping your heart rate as high as you can and resting for as little as possible. You should be able to fit 3 or 4 of these in.

The next blog will give you a few examples of these types of circuits

13 February 2018

Sleep and how it can help you loose weight

sleep for weight loss

We sleep to restore our bodies and minds; it is an active period where we synthesis hormones, develop muscles and repair tissues. It also is the time where memories are ‘consolidated’; this is a process where by short-term memories are moved to longer-term memory vaults in the mind. One of the hormones typically associated in people with weight control issues is cortisol and yup you guessed it, a lack of sleep leads to an increase in cortisol levels. As a double whammy sleeplessness also leads to the synthesis of more ghrelin, which essentially stimulates appetite and, even more depressingly, encourages fat storage.

Many of us (myself included!) suffer from un-rested nights (approx. 60%) with some of the first signs including irritability and mood swings, leading to more serious conditions like apathy and memory loss. Very often the cause can be something minor like the temperature of the room, noise, light levels etc… but with ‘stress’ being the biggest cause of short term sleeping problems there are usually more subtle issues at play. Even if the underlying problems are subsequently resolved and that stress is removed, the sleep pattern may not resolve itself and may turn into a longer-term problem so it is important to be fully aware of what is going on. This can be very difficult and frustrating for someone to rationally quantify in a state of irrational sleep deprivation so it is useful to have support around you to help you identify the issues here.

There are other reasons that can lead to sleep deprivation too such as alcohol/caffeine consumption in the afternoon/evening, shift work, travel/jet lag, some medications (decongestants, anti depressants) and mentally intense activities before bed to name but a few. Having a cool calm room without gadgets after a wind down period before getting into bed is usually a good start to giving you the best chance of drifting off.

Longer term sufferers may get some relief from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which helps retrain our minds. Many people use the quiet of the night to solve their problems and as their mind races they become less and less rested, CBT can help challenge this thought process. Other people get fearful of not being able to sleep at night and CBT might be useful to break this cycle of insomnia by restructuring the thought processes to break unhelpful sleep beliefs and/or patterns.

Of course like most of these things a balance is key. So retraining your mind and body to live a healthy and active life will help infinitely; taking regular exercise, drinking enough water, putting mental boundaries between work and home life, and a couple of tricks for you to try would be to aim to get to bed earlier and earlier every night and to sleep without an alarm clock…your body will hit its natural circadian rhythm (nature’s alarm clock) and you will get the exact amount of sleep (and all its restorative benefits) you need and feel GREAT!!

18 December 2017

How to be injured. Well

sports injuries

If there were one negative to an active lifestyle it would be that you push your physical self through barriers and in doing so you may negate safety momentarily. Sometimes a fraction of a second lapse in concentration is all it takes to pick up an injury that can plague you a lifetime!

Lets say you’re here now, and you know what went wrong and sure as dammnit ‘aint going to repeat the same mistake in the future…that is if you ever get up without your injury complaining ….and if you ever get back on to that blooming football field/running track/bicycle.

The first battle is the mind. As always.

Here is what you need to do: Get up, and get on with what you can do.

Here is how to do that: Get some professional advice. Physio’s and Osteo’s are my preferred clinicians; Chiropractors are yet to convince me.

Here is what not to do: Feel sorry for yourself and lounge around moaning.

Here is also what not to do: Ignore your pain and train like you did before on your injury.

What will happen if you follow this advice is one some days you will feel like your injury is improving and you have made headway in the gym/field/road. But on other days you will feel demoralised and like your injury will never go away and you may end up fat and riddled with pain and ‘what ifs’. BUT panning out your overall progress month by month will be that in a positive healing direction and in time you will have less of the bad days and more of the good days until the bad days become a distant memory.

By the way if you don’t follow this advice you probably will suffer more pain, get fat and continue to get injured through musculoskeletal compensations, get more unfit, get fatter more injured, more unfit, fatter, even more injured, until finally one day you will not even notice because as you waddle down the street having finally given up you see they are having a sale in the mobility scooter shop and this will be the highlight of your day…after your Mcflurry breakfast… *disclaimer: gains and successes vary from person to person

4 October 2017

The sit stand debate uncovered

standing desks

We know the perils of sitting all day; which culminate in bad posture, tight weak muscles, poor core strength and back pain. But did you know there are also physiological responses to being seated as a result of fat deposition and burning less calories compared to standing relating to cardiovascular and kidney disease?

The case seems strong for getting up off our butts and working at a standing desk, however it isn’t all as clear cut as that:

Firstly given the choice to work at an adjustable height workstation studies have shown that after 1 month the majority of people are sitting! Why would this be? Perhaps because fine motor skills are easier to control when sitting because being seated helps stabilise the body? Or because standing in one position without movement isn’t very comfortable?

Actually standing without movement is not what we should be aiming for, it has long been known to cause varicose veins by putting greater load on the cardiovascular system. 20% more energy is required (calories) to stand so it should be a good argument for the case but most research points to movement being necessary whilst standing. Recently treadmill and bike work desks have found favour on mobility websites and the like, however sales are low and the desks are not receiving good feedback. Tests show that computer performance decreases (ie more mistakes are made) using this type of arrangement.

So whats the answer?

Well no need to go out and buy an expensive adjustable height desk, instead keep your seated desk but make sure you get up from it and perform some movement for a couple of minutes every half hour. Oh I’ve known this for ages I hear you say! Yes but the problem is that people get so engrossed in their work it becomes impossible to pull themselves away from the desk.

Sometimes a simple linking trick works for example every phone call needs to be taken/made whilst standing. Or every time a cup of tea is finished you need to stand up to take the cup to the kitchen and wash it. And for others this just isn’t enough, I have found a great website here  that has a selection of PC, mac or phone apps to download to remind you in various ways to get up and move about a bit…

22 August 2017

Stuck in a rut

gym training rut

The first thing to remember is DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP!!

You’re here now and for whatever reason your routine, motivation or satisfaction has taken a knock and you’re not training at all or far less than you want to. Maybe you have now run the marathon you’ve been training for all year, maybe the seasonal changes have affected you, maybe you got a new job, maybe maybe maybe….it could be a zillion things but you are better spending your time looking forwards than back.

I speak from personal and professional experience. You may hear people say ‘if you can identify the cause you can prevent it from happening again’ but that will not help you out of this rut. That may help you manage your life but to be honest if you identified the cause this time I betchya there would be a different cause the next time, and the next and the next….you are best to roll with the punches. Understand that life will toss you around a bit and that your training regime will take a knock and just get on with working out how to get stuck back in again.

All that said, how do you do it?

OK so lets assume you are mainlining Hagen das cookies and cream on the sofa binge watching Netflix; watching your recently gained weight loss/muscle definition/new trousers/delete as appropriate go to pot. You’re thinking ‘Ah well, I know I can do it because I’ve been achieving these gains over the past 6 months so I’m just going to enjoy myself whilst I can and then when the motivation hits me again ill get back on the wagon’

In this moment I want you to truthfully answer me this: Are you actually happy sitting there? How many of you can say that your stomach doesn’t feel bruised from all the fat and sugar you’ve been throwing down there, or that you don’t miss the DOMs and the post workout euphoria. Can you actually admit to feeling better slobbing out there than the agile, light, strong, lean person you feel (or are getting towards feeling) like when you are working out. Can you say that you are in control, that you have made the choice to sit on your behind shovelling one handful of food after another into your gob? Wouldn’t you prefer to feel on top of your game? Doesn’t it make you feel more virtuous, more in control, better at work, more productive, happier, more positive and upbeat?

Right so we’ve got an admission, and that is that your subconscious mind is playing a trick on you and actually you are much happier when you are working out. Stop immediately what you are doing and stand up. Go pack your gym bag and put it by the front door then place a healthy food order to be delivered to your house/work the next day; set your alarm for an hour earlier, fill your glass up with lots of water and go have a soak in the bath. Physically cleaning yourself may only be a psychological aid but it’s a cute trick to shut your subconscious devil up!

Go to bed early, feel excited, give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve broken through and tomorrow you’re going to reap the rewards. Don’t think when your alarm goes off, grab your bags and get to the gym/out on the road/your bike/your class…..its much better to get the first few sessions done first thing in the morning than after a day at work, it is less likely you will find an excuse to miss the session. Once you are back in the swing of it you can flip your times to suit you but I would suggest for at least the first week to aim for early morning sessions every time. That evening cook some healthy food, maybe even a couple of dishes to split out into Tupperware so you have some for the next few days and there is no excuse to slip. Start planning throughout the first week how you are going to attack your training and food this time, write things down, read about different training regimes. You may even want to start having a look now at what went wrong last time and put some measures in place. But don’t whatever you do BEAT YOURSELF UP!!