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!!

25 July 2017

Gym etiquette part 2

how to use a gym

Further to my last post I have included some further unwritten rules of the gym!

‘Mirrors’ – why are they there and how to not use them? The answer is pretty simple; people like to watch their form. Its easy when someone is telling you to tuck your elbows in or keep your back flat but most people don’t have the luxury of a personal trainer with them for each session and need to keep an eye on their form. Therefore whilst they are moving a very heavy weight if you were to block their line of sight by walking in front of them to collect your weights from a rack or have a chat or perform your own lift or even stand behind them distractingly so they can see you in the mirror – then this is understandably considered VERY inconsiderate.

‘Giving and receiving advice’ – A very common occurrence in gyms is for a so called experienced lifter to try to give advice to what may appear to be a less experienced lifter. In reality what this means is a bigger guy telling a smaller guy how to train. Or a man telling a woman. Because the currency in gyms is muscle size, those who are ‘rich’ feel the need to inform the ‘less well off’ how they got to their impressive size without even being asked for advice. If this happens to you my suggestion is to respectfully nod and shut the chat down and carry on with what you were doing. On the other hand if you are being given a piece of safety advice (or giving safety advice) for example – you are going to snap if you keep bending your back like that when you deadlift etc.. then you would be wise to listen. It is up to you to decide whether the advice is real or ‘bro science’

‘Dropping weights’ – why would you do this if not to alert attention to yourself or because the weight is too heavy for you to perform your last rep eccentrically do place the weight on the floor? Its pretty simple; unless the weight you are lifting is comprised of Olympic plates (aka bumper plates) then DON’T drop them! Bumper plates have a special rubber coating and are used in Olympic lifting; they do get dropped at the end of some of these types of lists to enable the lifter to get out of the danger zone quickly after a lift. If you are not doing this with this kit and dropping weights then you are doing it wrong, damaging, kit, and the gym floor as well as looking like a complete idiot.

‘Its too heavy for you’ – the last point today is less of an etiquette and more a reminder: you will develop more lean muscle if you overload your muscle fibres using the muscle groups the exercise is designed for compared to a bit of gravity, a bounce and/or jump. What do I mean? Unload the bar, move the pin down the stack, take a lighter set of dumbbells and perform the lift with perfect technique for your prescribed number of repetitions….then and only then move up to the next weight.

17 July 2017

Gym etiquette – part 1

weight lifting in gym etiquette

If you are new to the gym environment this post is probably worth a quick read. If you go regularly to the gym there are about 50% of you who need to read this too!

  1. The most reported gym etiquette fail by gym owners and staff is that of the ‘Untidy lifter’ – the one who does not place all the weights back onto the racks and stands after he/she finishes with them. Don’t be this person, its rude, thoughtless to staff and other gym users and can be enough to deter others from using a machine if you are a strong person, as less strong gym members can sometimes have a workout unloading a machine you left fully stacked with 20kg discs!
  1. ‘Working in’ – my personal hatred and the most misunderstood rule of gym etiquette. It came about because gyms usually have very busy periods between 6-8pm where they cannot commercially justify fitting enough gym equipment to service all members. To avoid dead time in a session weight lifters decided on an approach where you ask the person using the machine if you can work in with them. This means that during their rest you lift and vice versa. Hypothetically this works well in a ‘lifting’ focused gym with 2 people lifting a similar weight, training at about the same pace, performing simple sets (i.e. – a lift followed by a rest period then a lift and a rest etc…). In reality you often see young hench guys butting into smaller guys or gals sets in a ‘health club’ type gym. They need to change the weight every time they want to lift, getting in the way of the flow of the less strong person and eventually pushing the less strong person away through embarrassment or because that person cant be bothered with all the fiddling about and has lost their focus.

There really isn’t any excuse for this, the gym is a place for everyone and this working in approach needs to be handled with an etiquette, here’s how to do it right: The first thing to ascertain is: ‘is there anything else I can do that will replicate that lift instead?’ if the answer is no and you absolutely need that piece of kit ask yourself this ‘ how is the person on it currently using it?’ if the answer is as a simple set and in-between they are staring into space or poking their phone then things are looking good, but if they are super setting or timing themselves or using the kit for a different exercise in a rest period or any number of other types of protocols that involve precise timing they need to get back onto that piece of kit then respect that and WAIT.

Next, check what weight they are lifting, if the weight is very different to yours then WAIT but if you think you could work in without too much faffing changing weights, or none at all then maybe it could work.

So if at this stage all is looking good the next move would be to stay away from them until they have a rest, do not float around close to them staring at them (see next point), simply ask them if they would mind if you worked in. Allow them the opportunity to refuse you.

And then work in quietly without disturbing their flow, make eye contact, perhaps smile or say ‘yours’ every time you put the bar down so they know you are finished.

  1. ‘Waiting’ – for kit is an art. Obviously if there are a few people who need the kit after the current user is finished, you will need to use it in the order you came to wait…..like a very British queue system! But you need to achieve this without putting off the person who is using it, so you must NOT circle him/her, hang around in the corner of their peripheral vision staring at them, or stand next to them or in front or behind them! You must wait (or better still find another exercise to do to fill the gap) patiently without making the user feel intimidated or like they must rush and without breaking their focus. If needed you can even say to the others who might be waiting to use it; “I am waiting for this piece of kit next”

I could write a lot more here, but I will keep this post short (ish) and continue in a second post…

10 July 2017

How to train in hot weather

brightonfit training in hot weather

There are a number of reasons why you might want to train outside in 30+ degree heat. Firstly it being that hot in this country would indicate summer; in other words shorts and t-shirt weather so of course you would want to ensure your bikini body is buffed, honed and ready for the season! For the vast majority of us we try not to let weather, good or bad, affect our training too much. In this country its often motivation we require to get out in the lashing rain, however at the moment its more like sanity we require to get us out in the heat! So how do you best achieve your training goals without overheating or collapsing?!

There are a few methods that work, you can adopt these on hot holidays too, training at the crack of dawn is the one that most consistently delivers a good session without impacting too much on quality or the rest of your day! At the moment (July) sunrise is approximately 5am; if you are an early bird this is the best time to train, however if there is no chance of getting yourself out of bed this early you probably have 3 hours realistically before it heats up to about 25 degrees and is a little too hot to train in the sun for most people. If your session is a circuit or mat based, obviously if you find a shady spot you can probably train at most points throughout a hot day, in particular if you find a breezy spot. But I am really referring to an outdoor running, cycling, rowing or tennis type session. Once the temperature rises beyond 25 degrees your performance in the heat for a sustained period of time is going to be detrimentally affected, even with an adequate level of hydration you will be unlikely to perform optimally.

Evening training sessions also have the advantage of being a cooler part of the day to train in, however you will need to wait until after 8.30pm really for the sun to down and the heat stored in the land to begin to dissipate before you can really push yourself without feeling ill effects of heat. Even then, I find the morning coolness is much easier to train in than the evening coolness.

If these guidelines are not possible to stick to and you find yourself in the heat having to train then DO:

  • Wear a hat ideally with a peak to shed your forehead and eyes
  • Wear sun cream
  • Hydrate with water or an isotonic fluid to replace sweat, drink every 20mins
  • Try to keep your session under 90minutes
  • Wear wicking clothing to take the sweat away from your body
  • Wear as much white clothing as possible to reflect the heat
  • Try and find a breezy location to train so that the sweat can evaporate more quickly and cool the body most effectively
  • Try and keep moving; at the very least the air resistance with allow more sweat to evaporate rather than standing still in an airless spot.

20 May 2017

Why setting goals is important

brightonfit training plan


There are two ways to incorporate exercise into your life. The first is as a pleasurable pastime; the idea that you get joy from using your muscles and working your heart. The second is in the pursuit of a fitness or strength related goal for example a marathon.

When you incorporate exercise into your life for pleasure you sub consciously build in the flexibility to cancel…. why? Because you can. You have no one to meet, no one to be accountable to, no frequency of attendance or measure of intensity is built in to your exercise, you simply exercise for the pure pleasure of it and lets face it there ‘aint many of us who can attest to that being very motivational!! Especially not if you are reading these pages!!

If you’re setting a goal there are some tricks to make sure you are successful. The first and most important is make sure you factor in enough time to sensibly train for your feat. It doesn’t matter how massive your goal is, if you don’t plan enough time to get there you aren’t going to get there. The next thing about goal setting is to make sure you don’t train for a goal more than 3-4 months in advance; why? Because you simply cannot stay that focused for that long. So what if my goal is massive and I need a year? Well the answer would be to break it down into 3 smaller goals each on building up to the big final goal. That way you just maintain focus for a third of a year per goal.

And finally; make sure you pick a goal that means something to you, don’t use someone else’s goals, make your own. You have to want to get to the end so bad that when its raining outside and you’ve planned your sprint session you don’t have any excuse not to get out there and do it.