How To Exercise When You Don’t Want To

Let’s face it, if we all just exercised when we wanted to then we’d sweat maybe once or twice each week, which is fine if you’re not working towards anything but if you have goals (whether physical, mental, challenge-based etc.) then chances are you’re going to need to be training more than this.

It’s not just the volume of training that’s important (or not, depending on what you’re working towards) but it’s the quality and diversity. Some of it is going to hurt, some of it is going to be within your comfort zones and other bits are going to be plain boring.

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Summer Kit Lust List

With the warmer weather and that lovely sun starting to make an appearance my mind has turned to summer workout gear so that I can work on that runtan (because everyone loves sports bra tan marks right?)

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Things Personal Trainers say

So you’ve taken the big step and got a
personal trainer. Congratulations! You’ve booked in your first session, you’ve
told everyone how hot you’re going to be in approximately 2.5 weeks time and
you bought a load of expensive lycra that will DEFINITELY mean you can bench
press like 100lbs.

It’s time for that first session and your
trainer is about to send lots and lots of buzzwords and jargon your way. The
problem is how do you know
you’ve found a good trainer? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Things PTs will/should never say:

–      
‘Yes, it’s a really good idea
to do a juice cleanse and then come for a session. A little bit of dizziness is
fine’

–      
‘No problem we can take it easy
today and have 5 minute rests between each rep because you’re a bit tired’

–      
‘Just do everything as fast as
you can it doesn’t matter that your form is all over the place’

–      
‘Oh well if it’s tough we
better stop, let’s just do things that are easy and won’t make you sweat’

–      
‘I can make you lose 10lbs in a
week. Easy’

–      
‘It’s totally true, just by
signing up to the gym you’ll get fitter, you don’t ever actually have to go’

–      
‘Oh you’ve got a cold? That’s
ok, come for your session anyway and spread your germs all over the equipment’

–      
‘I love your new Nike Air Max,
they’re perfect for running and lifting’

–      
‘Definitely go for an
extra-large stuffed crust with double pepperoni after your session, you’ve
deserved it’

–      
‘Our 1 hour each week will
make all the difference. Eat whatever you want and sit around for the rest of
the week, we’ll have you bikini-body ready in no time at all’

–      
‘The 15 minutes that we spend
chatting at the beginning of every session counts towards getting those abs’

Can I suggest that if you hear your trainer
say any of these you get the hell out of there and find a professional?

Review of Moreno Boxing Lunchtime Classes

I’ve been interested in boxing since the lovely Kate of Form Fitness introduced me to it in her weekly classes. Even back then I always felt better after sweating and punching for an hour, it does wonders for the brain!

Fast forward 18 months and I’ve started going to weekly sessions with Carlos Moreno from Moreno Boxing. His new studio is conveniently opposite my office meaning that there’s no excuse to get down there during a lunch break.

I mean, it’s literally about 50 yards from my desk….

Carlos is an internationally competitive boxer and currently holds the Portuguese national champion title as well as numerous others. What more could you want from a trainer?

Each class starts with a warm up consisting of skipping (which I can confirm that I’m getting better at luckily), shadow boxing, lunging, footwork and some dynamic stretching.

Then onto the boxing. Firstly, technique, which is something that I need to work on as although my offensive movements aren’t too bad, I have no defence at all, as Carlos showed me by pointing out exactly where he could punch me. Not that he did but lesson learned anyway.

We then did some 3 minute rounds (I have no idea how many, I got into the zone and lost track) of sparring, mixing up punching and defensive manoeuvres which equated to a serious cardio workout. The sweat was real.

Trying to concentrate on lots of new things all at the same time can be a bit daunting but it’s brilliant for clearing your head of all other worries as you focus 100% on where the next punch might be coming from and where there might be a chink in the armour that you can take advantage of.

Then followed 3 minute rounds on the punchbags, alternating ‘freestyle’ minutes with all-out 1-2s to keep the heart rate up.

My face says it all…

Each session is then ended with taking the gloves off and getting stuck into something a bit different, whether it’s TRX, circuits or something else to mix it up. Yesterday we did a circuit of heavy deadlifts, battle ropes and sit ups with a ball to isolate the core. With 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest this circuit was a killer.

To finish everything off you can look forward to a series of planks, just in case you haven’t had enough.

This is exactly the kind of class that I love because it’s tough, works you hard but also dedicates some time to technique. There’s nothing as satisfying as that thwack when your glove connects with a pad correctly. You also know that you’ve worked hard because the next day everything is that right amount of sore.

Details

What? Moreno Boxing Lunchtime Sessions

Where? 1 Bailey Place, Dalston, London, N16 8BA

When? Check out the timetable here

How much? Classes are normally £12 but you can get your first class for just £6. Or for those on ClassPass, they’re included in your monthly fee! If you’re interested, sign up here for £50 off a month’s membership, total bargain!

ClassPass Hits London

The lovely folks at ClassPass in the US have launched their service in the UK today, starting with London. Watch out, they’re about the revolutionise the way that we exercise… 

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So here’s the basics:

Concept – You pay a fee each month (like a gym membership) but you can go to unlimited classes at over 175 different studios that are signed up. You can go to up to 3 classes at each studio in the month but apart from that, there’s no limitations! You can even put your membership on hold for £19/month and still go to 1 class in that month.

Cost – £89 for one month (or £79 if you sign up now on the link below!), £69 for 3 months or £59 for 6 months, which is a TOTAL bargain if you really take advantage of all of the classes

Which studios are signed up – Psycle (spin), Triyoga (yoga), Boom Cycle (spin), Moreno Boxing (boxing), Frame (all sorts), TenPilates (Pilates) and LOADS more 

Where to sign up – http://classpass.com/buynow?utm_source=tpblog&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=lon&utm_content=5287

What I’ve signed up to (so far) – Boom Cycle, Moreno Boxing, Edge Cycle, Stretch London

If the brilliant launch event at Barry’s Bootcamp last night was anything to go by then ClassPass have got their stuff together and there’s going to be a whole lot of energy spent in London in the coming weeks! 

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Could you tell we were a little bit nervous about the prospect of a Barry’s class? 

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The view from treadmill 18. Oh god did I hate that treadmill after about 10 minutes… 

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But these incredibly tasty protein smoothies put the smiles right back on our sweaty faces.

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The best bit about ClassPass is being able to work out with your friends without the problems of guest passes to gyms or lack of funds. Just pay once and off you go! As much as you want!! 

Who’s with me? 

Disclaimer: I was given a free month’s membership to ClassPass but don’t worry, I’ll be signing up for a full membership as soon as it runs out,  these views are my own and I think it’s a great idea. Affiliate links included.

It’s Time For A Spring Clean

The 1st of March is technically spring although I don’t believe it because it’s still FREEZING. But the crocuses are coming out in the parks and it’s now light by about 6:30am which makes those early morning training sessions all the more bearable. 

My brain has start to motor forward to summer and those lovely warm mornings when we can run with the sun on our backs and lazy evening swim sessions. Remember that summer bodies are made in winter, it’s not a quick fix that you can do when you realise that you’ve got to be in a bikini in 3 weeks. Put in the work now and you’ll reap the benefits when you look fit as f*ck in summer. 

Start with your mind, it’s time to blow out the cobwebs of winter:

– Go out for a walk or if you’re not fortunate enough to live in the countryside then jump on a train until it looks green out of the window. Take a load of snacks and water, plot a route that sounds manageable and off you go. It’s great exercise for the brain as well as the body

– Try reading a new book that you might not have picked up before, it’ll wake your brain up if you’ve spent the winter hibernating with Game of Thrones or Mad Men. Try Us by David Nicholls, The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins or Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese, all books that I’ve enjoyed recently

– Sign up for a challenge, physical or otherwise. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish or learn to roller skate? Now’s your time to push yourself with the longer days and promise of sunshine!

Now for the body:

– Try and cut out refined sugar for 30 days. I know, it’s a toughie but you’ll feel the benefits very quickly. Things like biscuits, chocolate and cake are out but if you start looking into it there are healthier alternatives. There’s still some sugar in things like agave nectar, coconut sugar or raw honey but they go through less of a process than white or brown sugar so there’s less chemicals hitting your system. Give it a go!

– If you’re a caffeine fiend now is the time to start cutting down. By removing stimulants you’ll learn to listen to your body more and read your ups and downs. After a few days any headaches and cravings will disappear, especially when you realise how much more balanced and level you feel

– Step up your high intensity cardio (alongside your weight sessions) to torch any hibernation body fat, now is the time to start ‘leaning out’ before bikini season. By starting early and slowly your summer body will be much easier to maintain throughout the season of BBQs and ice cream

Who else is doing some spring-cleaning? 

The Benefits of Weight Training

There’s so many different types of exercise out there so how are you meant to know which one is best to shave those inches off your butt? Or how about if you wanted to beef up your back? Or even if you’re in training for a triathlon? 

It’s tricky and to be totally honest, the best answer is…. Mix it up. 

This post is going to be the first in a series of helping you to understand the benefits of different types of exercise and break down some of the mystery surrounding them. 

I’m starting with weight training, my favourite. 

Firstly, let me debunk the biggest myth about weight training. Ladies, if you lift weights you’re NOT GOING TO TURN INTO A MAN. That’s because we women simply don’t produce enough testosterone to grow manly muscles. Yes, we can increase our muscle mass and decrease our body fat to look toned but you’ll never be ripping out of your tops, don’t worry. 

Here are the benefits of lifting heavy things and putting them down again:

1) Increased muscle mass will speed up your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories when at rest because muscle burns more calories than fat. It will also allow you to eat more food without putting on weight. Result

2)  Everyday activities will become easier as your body gets stronger. Just think, you just might be able to carry all of your shopping bags into the house in one trip

3) Bone density is improved by putting heavy loads onto your bones through activities like weight lifting. This is particularly important as you age and you can  actually reverse the early signs of osteopenia or osteoporosis through weight lifting

4) You’ll get lean, that all-encompassing golden fitness goal. While you might not see any difference on the scales, your clothes will feel looser and you will be tighter all over as 1lb of muscle takes up a lot less space than 1lb of fat

5) Your posture will improve, instantly giving the illusion that you’re taller and slimmer. By strengthening your core (including your back) you’ll be able to pull your shoulder-blades down your back, elongating your neck and pulling in your waist

6) Improves motor skills like balance and coordination. If you can clean and jerk like a boss then your everyday life will be a breeze

7) Decreases the risk of injury through strengthening bones, ligaments and tendons. Say goodbye to back pain, twisted ankles and twinges in your knees

8) Weight lifting, like any exercise, releases endorphins which will instantly lift your mood and make everything seem better. Remember this one when you can’t be bothered to go to the gym. 

9) It allows you to focus very specifically on muscles and areas that you want to work. For example, you can work on bulking up your calves or ‘toning’ your upper arms by working on your biceps and triceps. I seem to spend an unnecessary amount of time on my glutes for some reason…

When you start weight lifting it’s a good idea to have a session either with a Personal Trainer or Gym Instructor so that they can show you the proper form and technique on the resistance machines and free weights. Technique is so important when you’re loading your body with heavy things as it can be very easy to do something wrong and not work out the part of your body that you’re trying to target or get injured. 

Get in touch if you have any questions or if you want to start lifting heavy things with me!

It’s Not All About Working Out

One of the biggest things that I’m learning is that fitness, health and exercise doesn’t always come in the form of a plate of salad and an hour in the gym. There’s more to feeling good and there’s definitely more to life than just that. 

This past weekend I visited friends in Plymouth, Devon and we stayed active all weekend whilst indulging our foodie faces in lots of great food (and ice cream!). 

I finally got to try paddle boarding in Cornwall which has been on my list of goals for a while. My balance was better than I thought it was going to be, mainly because the board is so big and wide that it was like standing on a door, but also because my core is getting stronger. I loved it and will definitely be looking to do it whenever I can!

We walked a few miles back along the coast to Devon which was very beautiful and included a few hills which was a brilliant quad and glute workout. I attempted to swim in the lido the next day but for a pampered London girl it was a bit too cold… I jumped in and jumped straight out again! 

Anyway, my point is that exercise can fit into your life in more ways than just pounding the treadmill. Try going for a walk with some friends, swim somewhere new or give something that wouldn’t normally think of a go and see where it takes you!

Race Report: Run Hackney 5K

I’m not what you’d call a ‘natural runner’ but then I also thought that I wasn’t the kind of person who would enjoy kale in the mornings. I got that wrong.

I see running as a challenge, one to be conquered and therefore I’m going to try and overturn my aversion to running by… well… running. 

As a Hackney resident I was getting massive FOMO about the Run Hackney half marathon until they announced a 5k to be held the day before the big race. I immediately signed up. 

The Training

I didn’t do anything extra on top of my normal 4-5 weekly fitness studio sessions and the odd run so yes, the training went swimmingly

The race

Saturday dawned bright, hot and sunny. So I had a green smoothie and then went back to bed. By the time Simon and I finally left the flat, the sun was burning and we drank plenty of water on our 1.5 mile walk down to Hackney Marshes.

The race village was very well set up with lots of space, a clear bag-drop (which we didn’t use) and a smattering of food stands selling sushi, burgers, smoothies and coffee.

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We quickly lined up at the start having missed the warm up and waited nervously with a couple of hundred people of all shapes, ages and sizes. 

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And off we went! The first 1.5km was along a nicely shaded path and I smashed out my first km in 06:20. Although I was quickly being overtaken by a lot of people, I stayed steady at my pace as I didn’t want to burn out too quickly. 

The next 2 kilometres were run in a horseshoe around the football pitches. This was hell. It was very hot with no shade and all you could see was how far down you had to run before you could make the turns and run all the way back up. Torture.

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Once we’d finished the horseshoe of hell we turned onto the canal and ran in its delightful shade all the way back down to the entrance to Hackney Marshes. With Simon pacing me, we sped up as I wanted to make sure that I completed the run within 34 minutes (my previous unofficial PB). 

I’d somehow kept a bit in reserve as I started sprinting when I hit the plastic matting leading to the finish and powered through the finish. 

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The Results

As this wasn’t a timed race I used my Runtastic app to time myself and allegedly the course was 230m short of 5km! I felt a little cheated because of this BUT my average pace was 06:32 which is my fastest yet. 

I’m well on my way to hitting my goal of sub 30 minutes for a 5K so I’m using this as practice before I do Run To The Beat 10k in September. Eeek! 

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My weekly workout schedule

A few people have said to me recently that it’s impressive how I’ve stuck to eating healthily most of the time. My reply is normally ‘it’s easier when you exercise’!

If I’ve worked out I feel much more inclined to eat proper nutritious food. I’m also more likely to fuel properly before a workout because working out after eating junk food is a straight road to chunderville. Not cool.

Also, if you eat carefully and don’t workout, then yes you’ll get skinny. But I’d rather be lean and strong. Because I’m basically in training to be Wonder Woman. 

So here is a snapshot into my typical weekly workout schedule:

Daily commute (5 miles total) – walk/cycle/run

Monday: 19:30 – 20:30 Mash Up with Kate

Tuesday: 8:00 – 08:45 Circuits with Rowan OR 20:00 – 21:00 Warriors with Rowan and Sapan

Wednesday: 19:30 – 20:30 Boxing with Dave

Thursday: 19:00 – 20:00 Personal Training with Sapan

Friday: Active rest day (walk 4-5 miles or swim 30 minutes)

Saturday: 11:00 – 12:00 Booty Camp with Sapan or 5km run

Sunday: Rest day (lots of sofa time and TV)

And this schedule, paired with eating clean 80% of the time is slowly giving me the body and strength that I’m after! If you’d like to join me for some/any/all of these classes at London Fields Fitness or runs then let me know and you too can look completely gormless in post-workout selfies…

Warriors Assemble

I like to think of myself as someone who could handle themselves in a fight. Whether this is actually true or not I’ve (luckily) never had to prove and long may it continue that way.

But when the opportunity came up to start working out like a fighter and training in boxing techniques I was far too excited… Introducing ‘Warriors’ from those lovely people at London Fields Fitness Studio.

I dragged a friend (Kristina) along with me to the first class because I had no idea what to expect and I was oddly terrified! Quite rightly…

We started off with a gentle group warm up before getting stuck into the first circuit – 15 reps, 5 stations, as many circuits round as you can do within 15 minutes.

Circuit 1 (cardio): burpees, military press + triceps with 5kg plates, crossover star jumps, stepper, sprint up the road and back

I pushed myself hard and managed to fit in 4 complete circuits. I might have pushed myself too hard based on the muscle soreness today.

Circuit 2 (strength): abs + obliques, knee + arm blocks, jump squats, slow push ups, punches with weights

My weak back and I were rubbish at this circuit as I really struggled with the ab work – very frustrating!

At this point Kristina and I were dripping sweat and looking at each other in terror contemplating what was coming up next.

Luckily, next was some boxing technique which gave us a brief breather before we were skipping round the gym working on our footwork. Every time ‘don’t cross your feet’ was shouted, all I could think of was ‘don’t cross the streams’. Particularly useful, thanks brain.

The session ended with a 3 minute round of sparring putting into practice our newfound punching and blocking techniques. We walked out into the fresh air feeling on top of the world (if not quite like Rocky yet…).

Details

When? Every Tuesday 8-8:45pm

Where? Railway Arch 379, Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, E8 3PH

How much? £5 per class, no booking necessary

Back to the grind

I’ve just spent the weekend in Brighton with some great friends and my lovely boyfriend and I completely relaxed my diet and exercise regime. I ate:

– Crisps

– Chocolate

– Biscuits

– Curry

– Bread

– Rice

– Ice cream

Oh and I drank rather a lot of prosecco in the sunshine…

But rather than feeling guilty about any of it as I would have done last year, I relished it and enjoyed every single mouthful. Sometimes you just need a blow out!

However, it’s back to the grind this morning with an intense 45 minutes circuit session at my favourite place in East London, London Fields Fitness Studio followed by some delicious chocolate protein oats with chia seeds and berries. It’s time to shift that last stubborn bit of weight and tone up for summer…

Mulitpower Nature’s Power Bars

I was sent some Nature’s Power bars by the lovely people at Multipower to try out and I’ve got to say, I was pretty impressed…

These bars are designed as pre and during training snack made with natural ingredients that contain fast and slow-releasing carbs. 

I got 2 each of the salty cocoa, honey & seed and strawberry & cranberry bars and I obviously started with the salty cocoa flavour. 

It was crispy, chocolatey and salty (obviously). Perfect! I don’t have a sweet tooth so I’ve found other nutrition bars to be waaaaaay too sweet in the past. The honey and seed bar was also delicious and much more chewy which I found more satisfying. The strawberry and cranberry bar was my least favourite bar but that’s just because I don’t really like dried fruit! I know, weird. 

I had one before each of my last 3 personal training sessions and I have to confess that I didn’t feel particularly invigorated during the session but I wasn’t really hungry afterwards (which I always am).

They’re relatively high in carbs (around 25g per bar) so these are probably not suitable for anyone on a strict low-carb diet. However, I would definitely choose these as a healthy and tasty pre-workout snack. In fact, if these were repackaged into some funky organic and natural packaging, you wouldn’t realise that you were eating a sports nutrition bar!

Details

What? Multipower Nature’s Power bar

Flavours? Salty cocoa, honey & seeds, strawberry & cranberry

Where can I buy them? Only online at the moment

How much? £32.99 for 24 bars

Disclosure – I was sent these products to review but all opinions are my own

learning how to yonce

Have you ever seen a baby elephant trying to take its first steps? Well imagine that. On ice. And that is largely how I look when I dance. 

However, part of my new healthy lifestyle is to try out new fitness classes and so when a friend asked if I wanted to learn how to dance like Beyonce (one of my favourite ladies), I was in. 

We booked in with Seen On Screen Fitness who offer dance-based classes all around London and went along to a Why Don’t you Love Me class at the YMCA club on Tottenham Court road. 

Bonnie, the founder of SOS, welcomed us in and warned us that for the next 90 minutes we had to channel our own personal Sasha Fierce. I was nervous.

We went straight into a dance-like warmup which had our heart rates pounding and a ‘sexy’ sheen of sweat covering our faces. Then came the choreography. 

Bonnie was great. She explained each section in full, taking us through the steps over and over again until we got it. After each section we would run through it at full speed with the music, adding the new section one each time. My apparent inability to coordinate my legs and arms was cancelled out by the massive very un-Beyonce like grin on my face. And don’t get me started on trying to do body rolls or ‘graining on that wood’….

At the end of the class we split into groups and performed the whole dance for each other with cat calls and shouts of encouragement. It was delightful. 

Details

When? Every weekend

Where? Canary Wharf, Tottenham Court Road & Clapham

How much? £18 for each class. It’s not cheap but it’s a great workout and so much fun!

Also, here’s Beyonce being amazing for nearly 15 minutes. You’re very welcome.

My Fitness kit list

It should come as no surprise to you that I’ve been a big fan of shopping, spending money I don’t have and coveting other people’s clothes for years. My only problem now is that this obsession has turned to fitness kit.

Seeing as it’s something that I put on at least once a day, it’s not really that much of a shock!

Here’s a round up of my current kit list, guaranteed to make you look fitter, sexier and like you know what you’re doing…

1)      Saucony Kinvara 5 LDN trainers

I’ve been a big fan of Saucony’s for a few months now since I was paired with a beautiful pair of Omni 12s that stop my annoying over-pronating feet from doing too much damage to my knees. However, these new Kinvara 5s are something else… Made specially for the 2014 London Marathon, they’re an eye-catching red, black and gold and they’re obviously limited edition. Get yours at the Neal Street pop-up store 3rd-21st April and hurry, sizes are selling out fast! RRP £105

 

2)      Forever 21 leggings

There is plenty of activewear on the market that is overpriced (IMHO) but Forever 21, everyone’s favourite American version of Primark, has introduced a great range of affordable activewear. The leggings are my favourite as they do plain ones, crazy patterned ones, yoga ones, harem ones and lounge ones. So many types… Not only do they look good but they also come with moisture-wicking tech and performance designs. Pick them up online or in store at one of eight stores around the UK. RRP from £8.25 – £18.75

 

3)      Marks and Spencer sports bras

Although I’ve come some way from that first embarrassing bra fitting that my mum dragged me to, I still haven’t found a sports bra that can beat M&S on comfort and durability. Granted, I’m right towards the smaller end of the scale in this department but the elasticity and support that these simple crop tops provide is perfect for moderate impact exercise. Find them online or at most M&S stores, RRP from £12.50

4)      American Apparel tank tops

Call me old school but I like to wear a bit of cotton when I workout. These American Apparel tanks, while not the cheapest, are definitely the best feeling. They’re light, come in a good range of colours and the racer back cut is very flattering. Always a bonus when you’re looking your best with sweat pouring down your face… Get yours online or at any American Apparel store round the UK. RRP £16.00

 

5)      Yoga mat

A yoga mat is an essential piece of kit, even if you don’t always use it for yoga! I use mine to do my home workouts/yoga/pilates on as well as taking it to picnics and using it as a sleeping mat (when I camp. Which is hardly ever…). Mine is a USA Pro mat and is very basic but for a RRP of £6.99 you can’t go that wrong!

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a photo of me trying to look fierce before my Seen On Screen Beyonce dance class… Review coming soon!

Be:Fit London – my highlights

Last weekend was Be:Fit London, a 3 day health and fitness event aimed purely at women.

Now, as a woman who is just starting on her health and fitness journey and is somewhat confused by all of this talk of macros, protein bars and tabata, I decided it would be a useful thing to go to. And it was.

I recruited my mum (who has been doing pilates for the past 15 years and has dodgy knees) and my friend (who is getting fit for her June wedding) to come with me and so, dressed in our snazziest workout gear, we headed down to Old Billingsgate Market on the Thames.

As soon as you walk in, you’re assaulted by a huge number of companies giving out tasters and wanting to talk to you about their products. It was a little overwhelming so here are my highlights:

1) Chia Pods – I’ve heard a lot about this supposed wonder-seed but have never found them cheap enough to warrant trying them! These little seeds soak up a lot of moisture making you feel fuller for longer as well as giving you 10% of your daily Omega3 as well as 25% of your daily fibre. And they taste pretty satisfying too! 

2) Quest protein bars – These are everywhere online and everyone keeps talking about the #chunkporn… So I had to find out for myself if they’re as good as everyone makes out. I got 2 free samples, the cookies and cream bar and the peanut butter supreme bar. They’re very sweet which is good if you’re having a sugar craving but they still have that slightly synthetic taste of protein which puts me off. Still, for 180 calories, 21g of protein and only 3g of carbs you can do a lot worse.

3) Eat Water – This company is tagging along on the back of the supposedly miraculous Zero Noodles which are calorie free noodles and pasta. Eat Water’s offering is made from the konjac plant from Asia which contains high quantities of soluble fibre meaning that it’s easy to digest, keeps you feeling fuller for longer and prevents some fat from being absorbed. Mixed with a simple tomato and vegetable sauce, the testers that we had at the event were delicious! The texture is a bit weird as it’s nothing like pasta but for a quick low-cal meal (only 7 calories per serving!!) mixed with some sauce and protein these are a great idea.

4) The Reebok Fitness Studio – Be:Fit paired up with Reebok to provide 30 minute tasters of some of the hottest classes around. Seeing as we’d done a killer PT session that morning and we were totally preoccupied with trying as many freebies as we could, we only made it to one class! We tested out The Body with Carly Newson which was a hardcore hiit class that didn’t stop for the entire 30 minutes! Within seconds we were sweating and our legs were groaning as we worked our way through a strengthening routine to pumping music. 30 minutes later, we staggered out and had some frozen yogurt to cool down. 

I would definitely come back next year although I would come with a bit more of a plan as to which classes to do and then explore the stalls in between each session. 

Details

When? March 2015 TBC

Where? Old Billingsgate Market, EC3R 6DX (TBC)

How much? £18 per adult although you get a £5 ticket for a friend if you buy full price. Bargain! 

Mash Up – circuits and boxing all in one… ouch…

This week’s new class was Mash Up with Kate from Form Fitness at my favourite place in East London, London Fields Fitness Studio.

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Picture credit: Kate Stewart (http://www.formfitness.co.uk/about-me/)

It’s an hour’s worth of circuits, boxing and some core work. Now, I like circuits because you get to work lots of different muscle groups and just when you think you’re about to pass out from effort, it’s time to move on to the next exercise.

I’ve always been a bit sceptical about boxing because my upper body strength is largely non-existent. However, that is one of my aims for 2014 so along to the class I went.

The circuits were a great combo of squat jumps, skipping, punching with dumbells,  slips to tuck jumps (yeah, I had no idea either) and some core-activating downward dogs to plank moves.

By this point everyone was glowing nicely and I was sweating heavily. As usual.

We paired up, put on the gloves and pads and got down to some serious padwork. Kate paired punch combos with sprints and core work which was great for hitting some cardio as well as conditioning.

By the end we were all glad to lie down on our mats and do some quick core blitzing.

Overall this was a great class. As it is split into sections the time flies by but you’re working hard all of the time. Kate helps to count down the sets and keeps everyone laughing and encouraged.

The most important things that I learnt were that I punch like a baby, I have less than no strength in my puny left arm but I bloody love boxing!

Details

When? Mondays 19:30 – 20:30

Where? London Fields Fitness Studio, Railway Arch 379 Mentmore Terrace, Hackney. E8 3PH

How much? Only £5 for a right a**e-kicking!