26 April 2016

Softer Running

Running brighton

I first heard the concept of running on a softer surface versus Tarmac while at school. This is the reason for our year group always having to wait until being on the field before we were allowed to start running.

It used to drive us crazy! But were their reasons valid?

According to Dr Rebecca Robinson, consultant in sports and medicine at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, there is no evidence that running on a soft surface such as grass is better for the body than running on a hard surface such as tarmac – and here are the reasons for it…

It boils down to bone being a living tissue which is constantly remodelling.

The key is to start GRADUALLY – there’s no surprise there, but the surprise may lie in the possitive response it can create. When started gradually and built up, it can cause the laying down of new cells, making the bone matrix stronger.

For running beginners, starting on softer ground is a good idea; it’s lower impact and good for developing balance and bounce in a new runner’s technique.

So combining the benefits of both involves a good mix of surfaces in a training programme, including road, grass, trail runs and even sand runs if possible. They all have their own stimulus on the body, helping to create stronger ligaments, muscles and tendons. With the uneven surfaces and direction changes promoting ‘whole-bone loading better’.

Running itself, compared to cycling and running, has been shown to be more protective against conditions such as osteoporosis in which bone loss causes an increased risk of fractures.

So keep up the running, use it sensibly as a training tool along side plyometric (explosive/jumping) training; mixing up the terrain and be smug in the knowledge that for all your hard work, you’ll be enjoying the wealth of health benefits in the long term.

26 March 2016

Hit the ground running


Running is an activity and sometimes sport we are all familiar with and running injuries are all too common amongst those of all abilities; and it is precisely this which we at Brightonfit try to address.

The reason for this is already known: technique, or the lack of…running itself won’t injure you, but the way you run can.

Looking closer it’s all too easy to see why, when the classic running ethos is backward. When a regular person decides to start running, their approach will often be; get the miles in, build these up steadily, maybe do some shorter distance runs and then worry about technique later down the line – which again, often never happens.

The approach we instill in our clients turns the previous approach on its head. Firstly we look at ‘skills & drills’ of running technique, followed by shorter distance and even sprint work as intervals, then finally adding stamina runs for distance or tempo runs on a timed basis, based on ability to keep a pace.

Perhaps look at the reason like this; if you took up weightlifting, I am sure any reasonable person would want to master the technique prior to lifting the heavier weights, to prevent injury. However when looking at a far more accessible activity such as running, the temptation to by-pass this crucial first step is almost standard.

Brighton is a very active city, we even have our own marathon! I personally love the fact there are always runners everywhere you look, I’m often one of them. We at Brightonfit and are here to help. We are passionate about the same sports as you and strive to impart our knowledge and experience to help build on your current ability, be that beginner to expert.

Book through us or for more specialist packages and barefoot techniques see our dedicated running school site here


9 March 2016

Tips for getting ahead

tips for getting ahead


Everyone wants a shortcut, but more often than not the only way is the long way. Luckily for you you have a shortcut.

Okay I’ll level with you, this does take work on your half; In fact the same amount of work you’re always giving and I’m always seeing from all my clients.

The shortcut lies in making the most of what’s on offer to you. Think of it like this; you’ve got the baseline of fitness and the decent food plan you stick to…what’s left? The extras that’s what’s left; the almost minor points which 9/10 get ignored.

Let me give you some examples:

  1. Using coconut oil for cooking, not olive oil
  2. 3L Water p/day
  3. Rotating types of protein
  4. Having a protein shake post workout with protein and carbohydrate
  5. Within 90mins post-workout having a protein/carbohydrate/fat meal
  6. If eating fruit post-workout, then eating within 60mins

If you’re seeing this as a long route to healthier living, then you’re thinking about it the wrong way.

You’re here *gestures hand at chest height* and if you implement some comparatively small changes then you’ll be here *dramatically gestures hand over all heads*

Let’s look at some more prosaic examples; when was the last time you went to bed early, not because you were tired but in readiness for you next session?

Treat everyday like pre-race day (minus the carb loading…) knowledge is power and we at Brightonfit are here to give you just that.

25 February 2016

Keep on rolling

Foam roller

Photo Note: I make no apologies for the carpet, some patterns are timeless… Many fads come and go; I wouldn’t blame you if you have found a way to switch off to them…but not all fads were created equal.

Today I’m here to talk to you about the ‘foam roller’. A cylindrical object, which one lies on and rolls on, to massage the muscle group in question.

Some may see it as a convenient way to ‘faff’ (my name for procrastinating) before warming up in a session, however the more utilitarian amongst you will know that when used properly, it’s true purpose is to make you more supple and a bit richer…. That right, I did said richer.

Richer than having to pay a Physio’s hourly rate when injuries occur, which they will, if you do not pay attention to maintaining your body. Think of if like time spent preventing injury, or perhaps prehab, to avoid the potential rehab; and any injured athlete could tell you that’s time well spent.

How does it work a hear you think; well it’s effectiveness goes some way towards partially doing what a physio tries to do – (To many caveats? Well, I did say this is the cheap way!) – Self-myofascial release/self-massage, aids recovery through mobilising restricted fascia (the soft tissue portion of the connective tissue in the muscle that provides support and protection) back to normal after overuse or inactivity and which can also help improve range of motion.

So let’s get down to the crux of the matter.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Pick a muscle group: e.g. Glutes
  2. Spend 2 minutes on left side of that area, then another 2 minutes on the other.
  3. Alternate between; applying a wave of pressure across the area – hunt out the tight areas i.e. Painful spots, and; applying direct pressure to those tender areas to work deeper into the muscle tissue.
  4. Move on to target another muscle group.

I know this sounds like a lot of time spent on ‘rolling around on the floor’ (potentially in agony for those less supple creatures) all in the name of prehab, but we all strive for prevention, right?

29 January 2016

Working 9 to 5

I’ve been there, when you’re not stressing about the work and deadlines, you might get a moment to hate the damage sitting down for hours does to your body.

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to choose a job which doesn’t require sitting for many hours during the day, but what you can choose is what you do with the other parts of your day to offset that potential damage.

At Brightonfit we harp on about ‘mobility’ and ‘flexibility’ quite a lot, but with good reason. The more time you spend sat down the more time you must make to stretch. We always carve out time in a session to focus of flexibility, but it needs homework too.

Here’s an idea which might work for some of you. Stretching at your desk might incur the occasional ‘funny look’ but I promise you, say it’s helping your back pain and no boss will want to stop you from preventing a sick day through your own diligence.

A few ideas then:
•       Glute crossover – cross your legs but hug your knee to chest with a twist towards the knee.
•       Hamstring reach – use anything under the desk to prop your straight leg on and reach forward – with your back straight – to use your keyboard
•       Hip flexor sitting – similar to the glute stretch, with heel on knee but push the knee downwards to bring the leg parallel to the floor.

However, within reason this can all be done without drawing too much attention to yourself. First thing is, as I say to all my clients, find out what works for you: what I mean here is there are tons of stretches and variations of stretches out there, best bet is to choose 3 or 4 which work (I.e. hurt like hell) and stick to them – be consistent…once a day is better than 1 solid hour a week when/if you remember to.

If Yoga and Pilates aren’t your cup of tea, that’s fine, forget thoughts of spiritual connections here and remember the reasons for bothering to do this: to become a more supple, stronger and (most importantly) less injury prone human being.


28 January 2016

Getting the best results

jamie food blog

Most of us know we should eat more healthily and we are big advocates of healthy eating, however we also know the pain it can be to keep on the straight and narrow when it comes to diet.

The best advice I can give anyone is – Preparation. Sometimes easier said than done, but with repetition comes good habits. To help get you started I’ve made this (very familiar to many) recipe of Sweet Potato Cottage Pie.  

The idea is simple but there are some changes to be aware of so you can replicate the principles in other meals. The most important ingredient in this recipe is Sweet Potato; a sweet potato is important because it has a lower GI (Glycemic Index) meaning is a less ‘starchy’ carbohydrate, and therefore your body will be able to digest it more rapidly – which all leads to a better digestive system, and more widely, a healthier body.

Learn to replace the more carb dense potato, pasta and even bread with sweet potato, and you’ll be onto a winner. So onto the cooking: This is all about preparation, so it’s essential to make enough meals to be useful.


  • Onion x2
  • Garlic X1 head
  • Carrots x250g
  • Mushrooms x250g
  • Beef mince x1kg
  • Sweet potato x 2


  1. Cut up onion
  2. Crush up garlic
  3. Put in mince meat
  4.  Add chopped up carrots
  5.  Add chopped up mushrooms
  6.  Add tomato (sieved/sliced/chopped)
  7.  Stir on low heat and allow to simmer (longer the better)
  8.  Microwave 2 or 3 sweet potatoes for 10minutes
  9.  Cut open and scoop out

Final product:

Very simple yet 100% healthy. You’ve put so much effort into finding time to train and working hard during your sessions, this is an idea to make sure you get the best results from your hard work.

2 January 2015

2015 Won’t change anything unless you do

…..Fairly obviously

But how do you do this and make it last? The answer is in such small changes that on a daily basis you almost don’t realise you are making change. That way you will get to your goals and although it may take a little longer they will at least stick and you can make new ones for 2016 instead of re-hashing these ones again.

Continue Reading

4 April 2014

DietBet weight loss game – now that’s what I call genius!

Simply put this is the most amazing weight loss tool that I have ever come across. Forget gizmo’s that monitor your heart rate, measure your run gradient, forget trainers with arch technology and stride support struts, forget poncy gym memberships where you spend more time in the treatment rooms and saunas than you do on the treadmills. DietBet has the solution. 

Continue Reading

19 March 2014

Turning 40

It’s happening to me this year:

So I need to get over myself! Actually after a mild shock when I turned 39 that “it” was just around the corner I have come to see the huge benefits of wisdom and insight – the only thing is that what I live and breath i.e sport, fitness, flexibility, agility, coordination and so on – are deteriorating at a rate of knots!!

Continue Reading

27 December 2013

Women’s European kickboxing title fight summary

So that you don’t have to scroll through this post to the end ill give you the details at the start; I lost on a split decision. This means that we didn’t knock each other out nor were the judges unanimous in their scoring. In fact of the 3 judges one had me win and 2 had my opponent win the fight.

Continue Reading