Benefits of joining a gym.

Wow, where to start on this topic!

Gym’s are bitter sweet for so many people, some love them and visit them frequently, for others perhaps it’s some form of torture!

Before going over the benefits, quick whistle stop at some of the worries….

We total understand the intimidation factor, it’s easy to imagine everyone watching the new person, judging the exercises you have chosen and knowing somehow via a telepathic ability that you are thinking these things!

In reality, everyone is thinking about their own workout, their own day, wondering what to cook for tea or if they should have skipped the lunchtime latte.

Now, it’s easy to say this, and reading the above sentence won’t magically make going to a gym any easier. What will make it easier is going with a friend, if you can go at a time when it’s less busy, starting with a basic program to let you adjust to the environment, the equipment and the people there.

Often once we’ve been to a gym a few times, we get to know the faces, then comes the headphones, in gym nods or the occasional chat at the water fountain. We’ve succeeded and been accepted into the pack!

To keep myself from writing a small dissertation, we’ll look at 3 areas for the benefits of joining a gym:

  1. Time to concentrate on yourself
  2. Improved fitness
  3. Equipment and expert advice

Concentrating on yourself – this can mean many things to different people, time to unwind from the day, allowing yourself to vent or spending time on your goals.

Setting time aside for ourselves is so important, it can give us clarity, improve our overall health and improve our mood, once we get to stretching at the end of course!

Improved fitness – going to the gym increases our chances of getting fitter, at Spike Fitness we offer programs for our members to follow, this allows you to switch off – well concentrate on form rather than spending time figuring out what to do.

Equipment and advice – wouldn’t it be nice to have a sweet home gym *comes back from the daydream* gyms have a variety of equipment to work your whole body, in multiple different ways.

Combine this with having experts on hand to help and assist will ensure you are getting the most from your sessions and that the machines aren’t referred to as ‘looks scary’ and ‘how do you even get into that’

SF offer a complete walk through of all programs and always have a qualified Personal trainer in the gym to help you get settled, for more information contact us on info@spikefitness.co.uk

The Benefits of a PT

When starting out on your fitness journey, it can be a bit overwhelming, what exercises are going to work best for you, how often to train, how much to eat, and the list goes on and on.

Having a PT in your corner, all the mystic of programming, calculating and timing can be removed, we are also really good at booking workouts in!

There is so much information available to us, understanding what works for you can be difficult, even when looking to alter your workouts, what is going to provide the best outcomes for you.

Having a personal trainer to guide you in the right direction allows you to focus on working out rather than working out what to do.

Ensuring our form is correct and understanding how particular exercises are assisting in our progress, reviewing and updating your workouts to ensure you are always challenged and offering options when you reach your goals.

Offering accountability, programs that are tailored to you as an individual and towards your goals. We know when to push you and when to ease off, ensuring that you work to your maximum potential during sessions.

These are just a few of the ways a PT can help you, we also help our clients to understand body measurements, such as body fat, muscle mass, visceral fat and overall mass.

We can help you work around any concerns you may have, such as previous injuries and if you have any health issues, Team SF are also qualified for GP referral.

For more information, contact Team SF on info@spikefitness.co.uk

Using all the tools at your disposal.

Setting ourselves up for success can take many forms, and with that, there are also several tools that we can lean on.

So why is it important to use different methods to help us? – in short, to increase our chances of success!

We looked at the breaking down and writing of goals, this can be taken a bit further, in that we could schedule our workouts in our calendars, this gives both a reminder and allocates the time for it.

Scheduling is a small but very significant part of overall organisation, ensuring we have the right options in front of us for those times when we may be less motivated. We have covered several areas before, so a quick mention should help jog the memory:

Pre-preparing meals and snacks, if we have good food options available, we are less likely to hunt out ones that are detrimental to our goals

Packing our gym bag or laying out gym clothes the night before, once less thing for the morning and a good positive re-enforcement of the action we are going to take the next day.

Coaching/Programming will ensure we have a plan to follow when we are training, much like scheduling our workouts into our diaries, having a set program to follow will ensure we are focused when we start training. Now whilst the program might have to flex depending on how we feel/perform, having something to adhere to will both keep us on track and give an extra sense of achievement when completed.

Recording progress is important, let’s say we are in a 2–3-week plateau with weight loss, recording how much further/faster/stronger we have become will continue to help us stay on track. Plateauing is normal, progress is not linear, no matter how much we would want it to be! All improvements count, use those as reasons to continue and not give up.

Ultimately, using all the tools available helps to make our goals easier to achieve, removes the likelihood of us veering away from our plan and continues our progress.

If you would like help with understanding what tools will best help you to reach your goals, contact Team SF on info@spikefitness.co.uk

Motivation, habit and training

Motivation gets us started and habit keeps us training, sweet, sorted!

We all know that it’s not quite that simple, there are so many other life events that can get in the way.

Whether that’s work, family or other things, it’s easy to get side-tracked and fall into the notion that one missed workout won’t matter and whilst in the singular this is true it’s the potential for this to become the start of a pattern that we should be aware of.

Some of the tools we like to get peeps using include:

  1. Scheduling workouts
  2. Pre-preparing meals
  3. Organising the next day
  4. Turning up

Scheduling workouts sounds like a hammer to a nut, however, having a dedicated time to train, and a reminder set will help make it part of that day and set the importance of it. It’s so much easier to skip something that doesn’t have a place in our calendar…

Pre-preparing meals for those times when it would be so much easier to just grab something from the cupboard because time to prepare….. We’ve all been there. Having some bits prepared helps keep everything on an even keel.

Organising the next day, having things prepared doesn’t mean that they automatically happen, but gives us many more chances of that being the case! – having to hunt around for your trainers makes going to the gym a lot less appealing than them being out ready, same applies to food as well.

Turning up, probably the most important one of all, so many times I’ve started a workout not feeling it, only to complete it and feel great, wasn’t anywhere as bad as I thought it would be.

Whilst there might be a legitimate reason for easing back during a workout, the large majority of the time it isn’t so much that we can’t do it, more that we are low key looking for an excuse to skip it.

There’s a chance that we’ve encountered some of the above, at the end of the day nobody is perfect, we aren’t looking to point fingers, more notice the trend and take action to correct it and stay (or get back) on track.

If you’d like help with forming positive habits and reaching your goals, speak to one of the team at SF on info@spikefitness.co.uk

Efficient Programming

In the ideal world everything we do is immediately the quickest and fastest route and solution, what a wonderful place that would be indeed!

Alas, we know that the first couple of times we undertake a task, create a solution it is always superseded by a faster and more efficient method…

You know, like sending a letter, weeks into days into instantly.

We went from posting letters, to next day delivery to email, the first solution of posting wasn’t and still isn’t bad, it’s just that email is that much more efficient.

In terms of programming, we can use it to get results faster but maybe not next day and certainly not instantly! I always refer to this as people expecting an Amazon Prime body!

Efficiency in programming can be looked at in a few different ways, as a brief example, this could be having complimentary workouts, a lower body and upper body routine for example. Allowing for workouts on concurrent days.

We could also have a time based solution, for example a short, medium and full program if we have a client that cannot guarantee the amount of available time to train.

Additionally, we can vary the intensity to match other aspects of peoples lives, a good example would be someone who undertakes an activity at a specified time. This could be triathlons, football, swimming, where the activity is at a confirmed date and time. The program would have to work around this and have higher and lower intensity sessions based on those predetermined dates and times.

So in a nutshell, the makeup of our program(s) needs to dovetail into our goals, activities and available time.

Efficiency is therefore paramount to successfully reaching our goals.

To see how we can help with programming for your goals, contact us on info@spikefitness.co.uk

MAPPING OUT YOUR GOALS

When looking at our goals, whether this be for our New Year’s resolutions or at any other time, writing them down has proven to increase the chances of success.

Along with this, having a clear plan can help keep us on track, assist with motivation and ultimately building habit – a bit more on that later in the month.

Breaking down the term mapping out, in its most basic form, would see it in a very clinical and/or linear light. What we really mean is the how….

Let’s look at an example:

Run 5k in under 35 minutes

So, we would like to get faster at running, we get faster at running to meet the goal – simple, next example or maybe not so fast!

In order to achieve this goal, what do we really need to do? Or in this context, how do we meet this goal?

We can:

  • Train X amount per week
  • Mix our training to adapt to running faster (e.g. hill work, speed work, endurance work)
  • Incorporate some strength work to assist with the training volume and help prevent injury
  • Possibly lose any extra weight we may be carrying

There are plenty more we could add, however, this gives us a good idea of the goal not being one single activity.

By looking into the goal and then breaking it down, we can begin to see the parts that must align to allow us to reach that goal.

This directly feeds into other area’s such as habit building, for example, putting our running gear out before bed, if you are a morning runner or when you get up, if you are going after work.

Having a structure to our training, so we are incorporating elements that will allow us to move towards our goal, or in other words using all the tools at our disposal (another shameless plug for a future blog post!).

Understanding the parts that make up the goal can allow us to build a solid plan and make it much more achievable, realistic and successful.

If you have a goal and are looking for some help with mapping it out, contact us on info@spikefitness.co.uk

New Year New Me

It’s an age-old saying and one that carries with it lots of jokes, particularly in the fitness context. Yet every year there are many that stick to their New year’s resolutions and get to their goals. 

New year is actually a great starting time, start of the year, festivities behind us (maybe just a little tired from welcoming in the new year though….). 

All the positive optimism, turning over a new leaf with the New year can get us looking at changing everything, we typically see this a lot, people wanting to 180 their lives and work out 5 times a week whilst flipping the script on their diet etc. 

Maybe this is maintainable for a few weeks, a month even but after that…… we all know what happens…. 

So how do we avoid the a-typical pitfalls of our resolutions? 

I personally think that change a few small things every month allows us to slowly introduce positive steps and more importantly bed them into our normal routines. 

A quick example could be that for the first month I’m going to eat a nutritious breakfast every day and hit 10,000 steps each day.  

With some very simple planning, this can be easily managed. From there things will start to move forward in positive ways with little effort, after starting our day right, we will be less likely to want a naughtier lunch, we’ll start to automatically walk more than 10,000 steps becomes our normal daily count. We could go on, however I think we get the idea. 

So going back to our successful New year, new me peeps how do they manage to do it? 

  • They create goals that are mapped out and usually written down (we have a much higher rate of success if we write our goals down). 
  • They use efficient programming, this is that they have a structured workout routine which they follow. 
  • They create a habit of exercising and gibe themselves the best chance of success 
  • They use all the tools at their disposal. 

We’ll be covering all of these over the next few weeks with some ideas and tips to give you the best chance for your New Year’s goals. 

If you want to get a head start, pop us a message on info@spikefitness.co.uk, and we can help to work through your goals and aspirations with you. 

Healthy Living

Whether it’s a crisp winter stroll, a long dog walk with the family, housework or a session in the gym, physical exercise plays a huge part in living a healthy lifestyle.   

Health, Wellness and Wellbeing is a combination of a physical, social and mental state, exercise is a great way to target all three of these, you will have physical activity, attending one of our small group classes is a great way to socialise and exercise in general is a great stress reliever and has great benefits to help with mental state.  

Not everyone wants to run a marathon, cycling 100’s of miles or lift large weights! If you do though we take our hat off to you! 

Sometimes, especially in the current day and age, we assume that we should be doing this, that and the other to be of ‘average’ fitness – I’ve already given my thoughts on that so consider it parked! 

Getting outside, going for a stroll is wholly underrated, it’s available 24/7 open to everyone. Not only is it a great workout, but we can also use it to unwind, think over the day and keep our heart healthy. 

Stretching, so often associated with the end of a workout, it’s benefits for our body are also overlooked. Stretching helps maintain mobility and flexibility of our bodies. This can be used to assist us as we age and increase our performance whether that’s walking or resistance training. 

Being active is just that, active. Find activities that get your heart rate up and that you enjoy. We are much more likely to continue them if we do. Consistency is key and enjoyment will make it all the more easier. 

 For more information contact a member of team SF today. Call 07597215652 or email info@spikefitness.co.uk 

Workouts over the festive period

The Christmas period is one of the best of the year, but it is also one of the hardest to stay fit and healthy. You are at your busiest socially, your spare time is taken up with Christmas shopping and getting everything ready for the big day. The pounds pile on and progress toward fitness goals is lost – it’s why everyone hits the gym in January after all.  

But it doesn’t have to be this way! By keeping fit during the festive season, you’ll keep up with your goals and you will be in a much better position come January.  

We got a few ideas below, obviously these come with all of the usual caveats, you should ensure it’s safe for you to exercise and perform these prior to starting…. 

Advent stairs challenge 

Each day of December climb and descend your stairs to match the day number. No stairs? – 20 high knees for each day  

No rocket science needed for this to work out that NYE will be 31 trips up and down! 

Remember, this can be a simple walk or made a bit faster, we draw the line at suggesting safety equipment during this task, just ensure you are travelling at a safe speed and mind out for small humans and animals. 

Step to it! 

350,000 steps in a month? – that’s and extra 1300 (ish) steps a day. 

Aim to complete your 10,000, then the extra, or add a walk in with family/friends. You could take the long route to the shops or work (if you can walk). 

Even better you could plan it out to be ahead of schedule and see if you can get over 350,000! 

Squat a-lot 

Let’s keep that Bum in good shape over Christmas! Follow the below table to increase you squats and work those glutes. The daily amount can be broken down into sets if doing them all together is challenging. 

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 
10 15 20 Rest 20 25 30 
       
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 
35 40 45 Rest 45 50 55 
       
Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 
60 65 70 Rest 70 75 80 
       
Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25 Day 26 Day 27 Day 28 
85 90 95 Rest 95 100 105 
       
Day 29 Day 30 Day 31     
110 115 120     

So there is a few ideas that can help keep you on track over Christmas that are easy to fit in or that other can join in with. 

You could even pick a couple of them such as the squats and step challenge if you wanted to do a little more. 

If you would like something tailored to you, contact Team SF on info@spikefitness.co.uk 

Finding time to exercise

We get it, so many parties, so many extra’s going around at work and it’s the most hectic time for us socially. So how do we fit it all in? 

Small, frequent exercises that we can add in or use whilst doing other activities such as: 

Morning walks 

Bedtime stretching  

Making use of classes 

Getting our exercise in first thing will mean it’s ticked off and out of the way before the day starts and the tasks start piling up! 

Aiming to get 10,000 steps per day is a great way of keeping up activity levels without having to carve out lots of time during the day. 

Getting those closest to you involved, catch up over a walk or even do mini circuit together – just make sure to do more circuit than talking…. 

We’re not saying that everyday must be a workout day, or that you need to earn your Christmas dinner before you have it, more so, to help stay on top of our exercise to ensure we are able to get back into a normal routine once the festive season has passed. 

Having a plan to enable us to fit some moderate activity in will make return to normal easier, help us to feel less guilty about the extra food and keep that spring in our step 

For more information about how to stay active over the festive period contact Team SF info@spikefitness.co.uk