icon-account icon-glass

Join the community!

We'll keep you up to date with interesting news, product information and offers so you never miss out.

No boring newsletters and we'll never share your address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Popular Products

The Lean Protein
Whey protein powder for weight-loss.
The Energy Booster
Pre/intra-workout powder with BCAAs.
The Glow Booster
Collagen supplement for skin.

Fitness: Workouts, Performance, Movement, Body

Fun Workout Activities for Couples: Strengthen Your Bond While Getting Fit Together!
7 Expert Gym Tips to See Faster Results at the Gym
From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more
The Science of Post Workout Recovery: How to Maximise Muscle Growth and Repair
Strength Training 101 Webinar
You may have heard that we recently held a Strength Training 101 webinar. Within this webinar, we talked all things strength training, from its benefits to how to get started with weight training. One thing we touched heavily upon were some common strength training myths and why you should stop believing them. If you missed our webinar and would like to catch up, check out the video below. But if you're short of time, read on for a run down of some of the most common strength training misconceptions.  What Is Strength Training? Strength training, also called resistance or weight training, is a type of exercise that aims to make your muscles stronger and improve endurance. It typically involves using weights or resistance to achieve this. The main purpose of strength training is to improve your muscles' ability to produce force. This leads to increased muscle mass, better tone, and improved overall fitness. When you use external resistance like weights or resistance bands, it causes tension in your muscle fibres and microscopic tears. During the recovery phase, your body starts repairing these tears by creating new proteins and muscle fibres, which is what makes your muscles stronger. 4 Common Strength Training Myths: The buzz around strength training doesn’t come without common misconceptions and myths, and I’m sure you have heard many reasons as to why it might hinder your health or just not be of benefit to you.  1. Strength training can make women bulky This myth is  so prevalent within society but seems to be slowly decreasing. Actually, a balanced strength training program with a good diet gives you a lean and toned physique. Numerous studies have shown that genetic and hormonal differences between ourselves and our male counterparts, such as testosterone levels, make gaining large amounts of muscle a greater challenge for women. Studies have also shown that strength training in women tends to lead to an increase in lean body mass, which is associated with improved metabolism and fat loss and contributes to a toned and athletic appearance rather than bulkiness. 2. Cardio is better for fat loss Strength training actually plays a significant role in shedding fat by boosting metabolism and promoting lean muscle mass. A 2019 study by the Institute of Sports Sciences found that muscle is more active than fat -  a pound of muscle can burn anywhere from 10 to 20 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns only 2 to 5 calories a day. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Sports Science also shows that your metabolic rate is increased for up to 72 hours after strength-training exercise. This means that you’re still burning additional calories hours and even days after your workout. Not to mention, combining strength training with cardio creates a more exciting and enjoyable fitness routine than just doing cardio alone. 3. Strength training isn't for older people: It's commonly believed that strength training can injure older people, but research suggests strength training is actually a great activity for older adults. Research shows that after the age of 30, adults can lose 3-5% of muscle mass per decade, so strength training helps to combat this age-related muscle loss. It also helps to maintain bone density, improve joint health, and enhances overall functional fitness. So strength training could actually help prevent age-related injury and promote a higher quality of life as we age.  4. Strength training is time consuming: Lots of people think strength training takes up a lot of time but you can actually achieve effective strength training in short, focused workouts, even 30 to 45 minute workouts can yield significant results. In fact, according to the British Medical Journal, a period of between 30 to 60 minutes of strength training per week is all you need to reap the benefits of strength training. As cliché as it sounds, it's very much quality and consistency over quantity.  In terms of needing a gym, strength training can be a very versatile practice that you can do anywhere, living room, local park, or even the garden. The main key is completing more bodyweight exercises, and adding things like resistance bands. Benefits of Strength Training Now that we've unpacked some truths about strength training, we want to turn our attention to the science behind the holistic benefits that strength training provides. 1.Mental health: Regarding our mental health, current research suggests regular strength training sessions reduce symptoms of both anxiety and depression regardless of age or health status. One way this occurs is through the release of hormones called endorphins which act as a natural mood enhancer and stress reliever, and are part of the reason why when you exercise you feel a little buzz. Our mood can also be improved by the feeling of accomplishment you get when you complete your strength-goals- like upping your squat by a few kg, holding a new yoga pose or just pushing yourself to do a few more reps.On top of this, a systematic review that studied 754 adults showed a significant link between strength training and positive body image, including body satisfaction, appearance, and social anxiety around how you look. 2. Cognitive benefits: A lesser known benefit of strength training is improved cognitive function and neuroprotective effects. Those who engage in strength training may have better brain health and protection against age-related cognitive decline. This is because strength training improves blood flow, reduces inflammation, and increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is basically what’s linked to memory and learning. Multiple studies have also pointed to other significant cognitive improvements after participating in strength training, like processing speed, memory, and executive function. Executive function is like the CEO of your brain—it's the boss that helps you plan, organise, manage your emotions and get stuff done. It's what makes sure you remember to grab your keys before leaving the house, helps you follow a recipe, and stick to a schedule without procrastinating or binge-watching TV. 3. Physical strength: It may seem like stating the obvious, but it’s an equally important benefit, and that’s your physical strength. As Shiv talked about earlier, as you progressively challenge your muscles with resistance, they get better at generating force by bringing in more muscle fibres after those microscopic tears. This allows you to lift heavier weights and perform more challenging exercises. This doesn't only mean the benefit is you can squat more or deadlift more, but also translates to completing more mundane tasks more easily like bringing the shopping in or climbing the stairs at work.  Strength training improves posture and reduces lower back pain by enhancing the strength and endurance of core muscles. When the muscles supporting the spine and lower back are strengthened through exercises like squats and deadlifts, they provide better support and stability. This, in turn, helps maintain a more upright posture and reduces the strain on the lower back, which alleviates that pain and improves your spine health. 4. Metabolic and chronic diseases: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), strength training has been associated with a 20-30% reduction in the risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and arthritis.  This is because it’s been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, so your body is able to regulate your blood sugar levels more effectively. It’s been linked to improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also improves joint function and overall mobility.  5. Better sleep: Engaging in regular physical activity, including strength training, has been shown in research to improve sleep quality and duration. That research shows that 60% of people who weight train get an average of 7 hours or more of sleep per night. The exertion during workouts, coupled with the positive impact on stress levels, promotes more restful and rejuvenating sleep.   In summary, there are numerous myths surrounding strength training and if you're ever confused about anything you hear about it, you should do some research before disregarding weight training entirely, or simply get in touch on our website for some quick advice. Beyond physical benefits, strength training has many benefits for your overall health, from improving cognitive function to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, strength training enhances overall well-being. Embrace the power of short, focused workouts and discover the joy of achieving strength goals. Strengthen your body, elevate your mood, and foster a healthier, more fulfilling life through the enduring practice of strength training. Read more
Insider Q&A | What Does It Mean to be Strong?
8 Strength Training Myths You Need to Stop Believing
Let's debunk the myths surrounding strength training and pave the way for a more inclusive and informed approach. From dispelling fears of bulking up to challenging the notion that strength supplements offer a shortcut, we unravel the truths that empower individuals to embrace the transformative benefits of building strength. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer, understanding the reality behind these myths is the key to unlocking the full potential of strength training. It's time to break free from stereotypes, embrace the versatility of strength exercises, and step into a healthier and stronger lifestyle. 8 Strength Training Myths You Need to Stop Believing  1. Bulking Up: One common misconception about strength training is the fear of "bulking up." In reality, a well-rounded strength training program, when combined with a balanced diet, contributes to a lean and toned physique. Women, in particular, don't need to worry about becoming 'bulky' or overly muscular, as hormonal differences make it challenging to achieve a bulky appearance without specific training and nutrition protocols. 2. Strength Supplements Are a Shortcut:While strength supplements can be beneficial, they are not a shortcut to success. Many people believe that these supplements alone can replace a well-rounded diet and consistent training. The truth is, supplements are meant to complement a solid foundation of nutritious food and proper exercise. It's essential to prioritise a healthy lifestyle over relying solely on shortcuts. 3. Cardio Is Superior for Fat Loss:One prevalent myth is that cardiovascular exercise is the only effective way to lose fat, and strength training is only for building muscle. In reality, strength training can play a significant role in fat loss by increasing metabolic rate and promoting the development of lean muscle mass [1]. Combining both strength training and cardiovascular exercise creates a well-rounded fitness routine that maximises fat loss and overall health [2]. 4. Strength Training Is Only for the Young People: Some believe that strength training is exclusively for younger people and that older individuals should avoid it due to the risk of injury. However, strength training is particularly beneficial for older adults. It helps maintain bone density, improves joint health, and enhances overall functional fitness, promoting independence and a higher quality of life as individuals age [3] [4]. 5. You Can Spot-Reduce Fat:Many people believe that performing specific exercises targeting a particular body part will result in localised fat reduction. Unfortunately, spot reduction is a myth. Fat loss occurs systematically across the entire body through a combination of a calorie deficit and regular exercise [5]. While strength training can tone and define specific muscle groups, it does not selectively eliminate fat from those areas.6. Heavy Weights Bulk, Light Weights Tone:Another common misconception is that lifting heavy weights will lead to bulking up, while lifting lighter weights with higher repetitions will result in a toned physique. The reality is that both approaches have their place in a well-rounded strength training program. The key is to adjust the training variables, such as volume and intensity, based on individual goals, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach. 7. Strength Training Is Time-Consuming:Some people shy away from strength training because they believe it requires long, gruelling sessions in the gym. In truth, effective strength training can be achieved in relatively short periods. High-intensity, focused workouts that target key muscle groups can yield significant results in as little as 30 to 45 minutes. Quality and consistency are more important than quantity when it comes to strength training. 8. You Need a Gym to Strength Train: Let's set the record straight. You don't need a gym membership to embark on a powerful strength training journey. Effective strength training is not tethered to fancy equipment or elaborate setups, it's a versatile practice that can unfold anywhere – your living room, a local park, or even the garden. Bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, and creative use of everyday items are your tools to sculpting strength without the need for a gym. To Weigh it Up: By busting these common myths, we pave the way for a more inclusive and informed approach to strength training. Ultimately, it's an accessible practice that benefits individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Embrace the diversity of strength training exercises, tailor your approach to your specific goals, and enjoy the numerous physical and mental rewards that come with building strength. Remember, knowledge is power, and understanding the truth about strength training is the first step toward a healthier and stronger you.     [1] https://pure.bond.edu.au/ws/portalfiles/portal/36134364/AM_The_effect_of_exercise_interventions_on_resting_metabolic_rate.pdf[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34957791/[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6279907/[4] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269215515610039)[5] https://www.termedia.pl/A-proposed-model-to-test-the-hypothesis-of-exerciseinduced-localized-fat-reduction-spot-reduction-including-a-systematic-review-with-meta-analysis,129,45538,0,1.html Read more
Strength Training 101
Let’s talk strength training, where beyond pumping iron the pursuit of overall wellbeing takes centre stage - or should we say platform. In this article, we'll explore the multifaceted benefits of adding strength training to your weekly routine, and just how you can do so effectively. What is strength training? Strength training, also known as resistance training or weight training, is a form of physical exercise focused on improving muscular strength and endurance through resistance or weights. The primary goal of strength training is to enhance the ability of muscles to generate force, promoting increased muscle mass, improved tone, and overall functional fitness. It works by inducing controlled stress on our muscles to prompt physiological adaptations. When external resistance, such as weights or resistance bands, is applied, it creates tension within the muscle fibres and microscopic tears. During recovery, the body initiates repair processes, forming new proteins and muscle fibres to rebuild these tears and adapt the muscles. This results in increased muscle mass, strength, and endurance over time. What equipment do you need for strength training? Strength training can use a whole host of various equipment, including free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines, and typically involves performing sets and repetitions of specific exercises. Can Anyone Strength train? Strength training is an inclusive and adaptable fitness option suitable for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Regardless of gender or prior fitness experience, everyone can benefit from incorporating strength exercises into their routines. From beginners focusing on form to advanced lifters pursuing various techniques, strength training accommodates diverse fitness goals. The supportive community environment, both in-person and online, ensures an inclusive space for sharing experiences and motivation. Ultimately, strength training goes beyond building muscles; it fosters strength, confidence, and well-being for everyone.    What are the benefits of strength training?  The Mental Health Boost Strength training is not just about physical gains; it's a holistic approach to health that extends to mental well-being. Engaging in regular weightlifting sessions has been linked to reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression [1]. The release of endorphins during exercise acts as a natural mood enhancer, helping to alleviate stress and improve overall mental clarity [2]. Easier Everyday: It may seem like stating the obvious, but beyond the broader spectrum of benefits, the fundamental advantage of strength training lies in … you guessed it … enhanced physical strength! As you progressively challenge your muscles with resistance, your muscles become more efficient at generating force, allowing you to lift heavier weights and perform more challenging exercises [3].  This improvement in strength not only empowers you within the confines of the gym, but also translates into a newfound capability to tackle everyday tasks with greater ease and confidence. Increased Metabolism: Strength training isn't just about building muscle; it's a metabolic powerhouse. As you engage in resistance exercises, your body works hard to repair and build muscle tissue. This process consumes energy, boosting your resting metabolic rate. Over time, this heightened metabolism becomes an ally in maintaining a healthy weight and supporting fat loss goals [4]. Improved Posture, Joint Health & Bone Density: Strengthening the muscles that support your spine and shoulders helps maintain an upright posture, reducing the risk of chronic back pain [5]. Additionally, targeted exercises can enhance the stability of your joints, contributing to overall joint health and flexibility [6]. Weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone growth and remodelling, making your bones denser and more resistant to fractures [7]. This is particularly significant as you age, helping to combat conditions like osteoporosis and promoting long-term skeletal health. Enhanced Insulin Sensitivity: Regular strength training has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity [8]. This means your body becomes more efficient at utilising insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This is not only beneficial for individuals with or at risk of diabetes but also contributes to overall metabolic health. Better Sleep Quality: Strength training could also be a natural remedy for those struggling with sleep issues. Engaging in regular physical activity, including strength training, has been shown to improve sleep quality for some [9]. The exertion during workouts, coupled with the positive impact on stress levels, promotes more restful and rejuvenating sleep.  How to Strength Train like a Pro Strength training for beginners: Start with the basics – master proper form and use lighter weights. Focus on fundamental exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses to build a strong foundation. Don’t be afraid to ask your local personal trainer for help (that’s what they are there for!). Equally, if you’re practising at home, recording yourself and watching it back can be a great way to assess your technique - along with getting to grips with your mind to muscle connection, and making sure to feel the burn where you should! Begin by doing 12 reps of each exercise and go through the routine for 3 sets, taking a 30-second break between each set. Aim for a weight that gives you a good challenge, making the last two reps of every set extra tough - you should be too tired to try a 13th repTop of Form! This initial phase will trigger neuromuscular adaptations, enhancing your body's ability to recruit muscle fibres efficiently for strength-based tasks. Level Up:  When you’ve got the hang of it, it’s time to intensify your routine. Gradually increase the weight, reps, or sets, and add variations of different exercises to keep challenging your muscles – this is called progressive overload. Consider split routines, which target specific muscle groups on different days. This will allow for more targeted training and effective recovery. A common split routine divides training sessions into upper and lower body workouts. On upper body days, exercises concentrate on muscles like the chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Lower body sessions then emphasise exercises targeting the legs and glutes. Another approach is the push-pull split, where one day is dedicated to pushing movements (e.g., chest and triceps), and the next focuses on pulling movements (e.g., back and biceps). Advanced Strength Training: Now in the big leagues, strategies such as periodization come into play. Periodization involves cycling through different phases of intensity and volume to prevent plateaus and optimise performance [10].  Advanced lifters may experiment with techniques like drop sets and supersets to induce greater muscle fatigue and stimulate further growth. Recovery becomes paramount at this stage, so listen to your body, prioritise recovery, and make sure to fuel yourself properly for optimal results. Summary In the world of strength training, we've discovered its broad benefits, going beyond muscles to mental well-being, enhanced functionality, metabolism, joint health, and better sleep. Progressing through your strength training journey involves mastering form, intensifying routines, and strategic approaches. Whether you're starting or seasoned, the key is personalisation, consistency, and recovery. Building strength isn't just about weights; it's about a healthier, resilient you. So, grab those weights, start your journey, and watch transformative benefits unfold! [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137526/[2] https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eric-Hall-4/publication/325652029_The_acute_effects_of_resistance_exercise_on_affect_anxiety_and_mood_-_practical_implications_for_designing_resistance_training_programs/links/5b1ee1ab458515270fc46b0c/The-acute-effects-of-resistance-exercise-on-affect-anxiety-and-mood-practical-implications-for-designing-resistance-training-programs.pdf[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892859/[4] https://pure.bond.edu.au/ws/portalfiles/portal/36134364/AM_The_effect_of_exercise_interventions_on_resting_metabolic_rate.pdf[5] https://bmcsportsscimedrehabil.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13102-020-00181-0[6] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269215515610039[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6279907/[8] https://www.bewegenismedicijn.nl/files/downloads/tresierras_et_al._2009_-_rt_in_the_treatment_of_diabetes_and_obesity.pdf[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341978/[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3438871/#:~:text=Periodization%20is%20the%20planned%20manipulation,the%20onset%20of%20overtraining%20syndrome   Read more
Beginners Guide to the Gym
Beginner Workout Advice Embarking on a new fitness journey can be both exciting and challenging. To get you motivated, we're here to help you understand the science and benefits of joining your local gym or fitness club and to provide you with a basis for a beginner gym workout plan to help you understand how to start working out in the gym. Benefits of getting started in the gym: Regular exercise has many benefits for both the body and mind. On the physical front, getting started at the gym and completing consistent workouts can contribute to enhanced cardiovascular health, promoting a healthy heart and aids blood circulation. Regular exercise is also great for maintaining a healthy weight, managing muscle tone, and strengthening the skeletal system.The cognitive benefits of regular exercise is equally impressive. Scientifically, physical activity of even just 10-30 minutes can stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins, which contribute to an improved mood and reduced stress levels. Exercise is also associated with the growth of new neurons in the brain, fostering enhanced cognitive function, sharper memory, and better overall mental power. A basic beginner workout for the gym: Basic Bag Prep: Double check you’ve packed everything you need for your new gym-venture. Think: water, lock, music, towel. Cardio Warm-up (10 minutes): Start with a brisk walk, jog, or cycling to elevate your heart rate and warm up your muscles. As a little hack, this should be at a pace you still feel comfortable to talk at. Follow this up with some basic dynamic stretches, if your stuck on ideas, there’s some great programmes and YouTube content out there. The worlds your oyster! Resistance Training (20-30minutes): Try an incorporate compound exercises like squats, lunges, and bench presses for a full-body workout. Begin with bodyweight exercises if you're new to resistance training and focus on nailing technique. Cardiovascular Exercise (15 minutes): Engage in activities like running, cycling, or rowing to boost your endurance fitness. Choose activities you enjoy to make it more sustainable, and even pair it up with a new gym playlist to help you enjoy getting a sweat on. Cool Down and Stretching (10 minutes): Conclude your first gym session with some additional stretches to improve flexibility and reduce any muscle soreness you may feel the next day. Focus on major muscle groups and hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds.   Things to remember as a beginner working out in the gym: Nervous is normal: Stepping into a gym for the first time can be nerve-wracking. Understand that it's normal to feel a bit anxious, as you're pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. With consistent effort, confidence will naturally grow.Quality over quantity: This is crucial in fitness. Short, focused workouts can be highly effective. Overtraining can lead to burnout and injury, so prioritize consistency and rest for sustainable progress.Motivation fluctuates for everyone: Acknowledge that it's normal to have off-days. Even a lighter workout is better than none. Remember your initial goals and the positive impact exercise has on your well-being.It's Okay to Fail: Failure is an integral part of growth. If a workout doesn't go as planned, view it as an opportunity to learn and improve. Embrace the challenge, for it is through overcoming failures that true progress is made.Gaining a helping hand: Don't hesitate to ask for help from gym staff or fellow gym-goers. Asking for help is a smart way to learn the correct techniques, making your workouts more effective and reducing the risk of injury. Risk, Reduction, Repeat… Making sure we are keeping ourselves safe in the gym is king, especially when getting the most out of our new regime. Begin each session with a dynamic warm-up to increase blood flow, preparing muscles for activity and reducing injury risk. Prioritise technique over weight, ensuring proper form to prevent strain and reduce the risk of injury. Incrementally increase exercise intensity and duration to avoid overexertion and reduce the risk of injury. Follow a structured program that gradually challenges your fitness level, preventing overtraining, and ask your local personal trainer for what this might potentially look like if you’re unsure. Allow adequate time for rest and recovery to prevent overtraining, reducing the risk of injury. Listen to your body, pay attention to early warning signs, and schedule rest days between intense workouts. Remember, consistency is key. Begin with manageable intensity and gradually progress to more challenging workouts. Always consult a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. Enjoy the journey to a healthier, stronger, and sharper you! Read more
Top 3 Benefits of Interval Training
Do you ever feel like your fitness routine is stuck in a rut, or that you're not getting the results you desire? If so, it might be time to shake things up and give interval training a go. This science-backed workout strategy has taken the fitness world by storm in recent years, and for good reason too. Interval training (IT), offers a dynamic and effective way to transform your fitness level, but how do we get the most of this approach and how’s best to use IT to get fit? Understanding the Science of Interval Training: Interval training is all about alternating between short bursts of intense exercise with brief periods of active recovery or rest. This cycle is repeated, and is what makes this training a powerful way to improve physical fitness, physiological functions and cardiovascular disease risk. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), whereby efforts elicit ≥90% of maximal oxygen uptake or >75% of maximal power. Sprint interval training (SIT), a more intense version of HIIT with efforts above VO2 max or maximal power. Repeated-sprint training (RST), characterised by performing a high number of sprints with a shorter recovery interval. The Top 3 Benefits of Interval Training: 1. Fat Burn Furnace: Current research is in favour of the elevated burning of calories in HIIT based exercise to that of its steady-state counterparts, especially if it combines both weight based and aerobic activities. This is thought to stem from the effect of HIIT on our metabolic rate, and it’s pretty neat ability to shift our body’s metabolism to burn fat as opposed to carbs even after we’ve completed the workout. Meaning along with a healthy-balanced diet, the inclusion of this super strategy couldbe the perfect accomplice for weight loss. 2. Cardiovascular Supercharge: Interval training is not just about torching calories; it's also a bonus for your heart health. Those intense intervals help improve your cardiovascular fitness by bettering your heart rate and strengthening your heart's ability to pump blood effectively. This translates to improved cardiovascular function and decreased risk of disease. 3. Time-Efficient Workouts: In today's fast-paced world, time is precious. The beauty of interval training is that it offers these great results in a short amount of time. A typical session can range from just 20 to 30 minutes, making it a highly efficient choice for busy individuals. With it being so short and snappy you are also more likely to get a sense of enjoyment out of this training type, with its constantly changing stimuli and short length. Getting Started with Interval Training: So, how can you harness the power of interval training for your fitness journey? Here's your action plan: 1. Warm Up: Always begin with a thorough warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for theintensity ahead. A warm-up session of 5-10 minutes can include light jogging, dynamic stretching, or mobility exercises. 2. Choose Your Intervals: Determine the duration and intensity of your high-intensity intervals.These should push you to around 80-90% of your maximum effort. The recovery periods should be less intense, allowing you to catch your breath. 3. Variety is Key: Keep things interesting by mixing up your exercises. Whether it's sprinting, cycling, or bodyweight exercises, the key is to engage different muscle groups to prevent monotony and keep your body challenged. 4. Safety First: Pay attention and listen to your body. While pushing your limits is essential, safetyalways comes first. Ensure proper form and alignment to reduce the risk of injury. 5. Cool Down: Wrap up your session with a cool-down period to gradually lower your heart rate and prevent dizziness or fainting. Stretching and controlled breathing are excellent ways to achieve this. Adding an interval-based training to your weekly workout can revitalise your fitness routine and improve overall wellbeing. The science-backed benefits and the time-efficiency of interval training makes it an ideal choice for today's busy lifestyles. So, gear up, embrace the intensity, and let interval training unlock your fitness potential. Your body will thank you, and you'll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.   Read more
Woman kickboxing with coach
The 4 Steps To Take Immediately After A Workout To Aid Recovery
9 Easy Stretching Exercises That Will Increase Flexibility