23 December 2021

Fit in your 40s with an office job?

brightonfit bike commute

I write this post from many tried and tested methods to integrate a full time desk job with a desire to retain a fully fit and functionally strong body. Having spent 20 years on my feet all day every day at work, I found the transition to a desk job extremely challenging. At the start I could not even sit for more than 1 hour without an aching pain in my buttocks! After some time (about a year) this discomfort eased and I was able to sit for a day, around the same time I began experiencing lower back pain. Flashbacks of my clients complaining about lower back pain over the previous 2 decades popped into my mind and I realised I had gone from someone whose body was not subjected to the physical restrictions that modern life and work choices brings to someone that very definitely was….and in an amazingly short period of time.

I then tried all sorts of training schedules and styles in order to regain what I had lost which was predominantly functional strength and a decent fitness level. What ended up becoming a sustainable pattern for me combines an active living approach with sessions I dedicate to exercising. I ride my push bike (pictured) into work every single day (5 miles) come rain or shine (having invested in some Gortex waterproofs!); I aim for speed without stopping. I go straight to the gym and workout for an hour predominantly weight lifting except for one weekly HIIT session I put in on a day that I feel energetic! After work I ride home for food and maybe to tie up some work hanging over from the day. I try and get out every evening after this; I will take my mountain bike out alone or with friends or go to my local indoor climbing centre for a couple of hours. These types of fun, social sessions are best for me at this time of the day since I’m tired and it’s often dark and wet/cold so it takes something like this to get me out of the house. Of course once I’m riding around in the woods feeling alive and connected to the earth doing what I love, the thought of sitting on the sofa seems like a crazy alternative.

Weekends are a mixture of active and relaxing activity but intentionally without the routine of the week. The result has been that I have returned to pre desk job fitness and strength levels and I feel that both my brain and body are fuelled in an equal way. Of course I realise that having kids would make this much harder but not impossible if motivated enough….the key message here is that I encourage you to find something that works for you. If it means getting up earlier, preparing bags/food the day before, getting bike tyres pumped or climbing wall sessions booked it will all be worth it once you are in the groove – you really can have it all!!

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

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.

1 October 2013

Cyprus International 4 day challenge


Training in earnest has begun now for November’s Cyprus international 4 day challenge. The race is in it’s 9th year and looks really cool. You run 4 different races on each of the days; day 1 is a 6km time trial, day 2 is an 11km hill race, day 3 is a half marathon and day 4 is a 10km city run.

I am looking forward to some bright weather there – the event seems to be blessed with sunshine historically and I’m pretty sure ill be sick of the mud and clouds in here by then!

Training is going well; I’m feeling pretty fit and just want to work on my speeds. I’ve got my eye on a sub 1hr 30min half marathon time, however as many of you who know me already are aware, despite running practically for a living I rarely race. What this means on race day is that I will need to be very careful my mental state isn’t affected too adversely by my nerves.

I have run a 1hr 47min half marathon without any training before so I don’t feel the goal is unrealistic, however the course was a flat road race and this one undulates with an overall climb of 400 metres.
Currently I am lifting weights using compound movements, running 4 x week mixing up intervals, hills and tempo runs with longer ones and am just building up some mileage to get into my stride a little. And I have been kickboxing again after nearly 10 years out of the ring for the past 6 months which is totally unrelated but muchous fun and partly attributing to my current fitness levels.

So im feeling good and aim to keep a log here of how things are going over the next couple of months until race day on the 21st Nov…..watch this space!

7 June 2012

Make the change work part II: Understanding the seven stages of change


You are still unconvinced of the need to change

  • Read about the health consequences of inactivity and obesity
  • Read inspirational stories of those who have successfully changed their lives
  • Speak to others who have changed successfully
  • Talk to your docotor about the health consequences of inactivity and the benefits of exercise

2. Belief but uncommitted:

You believe you should be more active but cannot get started

  • Visualise yourself as a new person: what you will look like, what you will weigh, what clothes you will fit into, how energetic you feel, how much younger you look. Contrast this with the old you.
  • Tally the health benefits: how exercise will reduce your chances of heart disease, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, etc…
  • Visualise new social possibilities
  • Be realistic about the alternatives: TV watching, more work, watching life pass you by as opposed to active engagement and meeting new challenges

3. Active planning:

You are actively planning the new you

  • Set a start date
  • Set small, achievable goals even minutes a day, 3 to 4 days per week.
  • Make a detailed plan including scheduling your exercise time into your daily planner for at least the next 3 months.
  • Be specific; when, how long, and where you will exercise, what back up plan you have for bad weather or unforeseen events including heavier work loads, illness and holidays.
  • Enlist support; let others know that you will be exercising, see if friends want to join you.
  • Set goals. Think about training for short races or even a half marathon if your a runner.
  • Believe in your self and let nothing stand in your way. Its your life!

4. Active engagement:

You are currently engaged in a training routine

  • Keep a training journal
  • Reward yourself every week, it could be a good movie, concert or another activity you really like
  • Maintain a positive attitude towards your progress
  • Be consistent
  • Dont worry if you miss a session, make it up the next day

5. Image creation:

You are not only training, you are creating a new image for yourself. You see yourself as a “walker” or a “swimmer”

  • Visualise this paradigm shift. You should be trying to define yourself by your actions-you are a “tai chi practitioner”, you are a “marathoner”.
  • Subscribe to magazines or journals that reinforce your new image.
  • Seek out others who are involved in similar activities

6.Image maintenance:

You have a new self image and only severe setbacks such as illness or injury will deter you from keeping up your training.

  • Make a backup plan for setbacks
  • Continue to refine your goals.Are you training for fitness only? Would you like to set a weight loss goal? Would you like to enter a competition?

7. The new you:

You are a new person

  • Expand your horizons by seeking more knowledge about your fitness pursuits.
  • Help others to become whole by introducing them to your techniques.
  • Consider writing about your experiences.
  • Maintain your training diary