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Posted on August 17, 2017

350 calorie 35 minute workout


350 calorie 35 minute workout

I write this 5 days after doing this workout and my calves are still in pain. I hope they are busy building.

I love this type of exercise as it really gives me a bit of variety between doing weights and then slogging it out on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I find I burn more calories in a short space of time while doing both cardio and weights.

350 calorie 35 minute workout

This is a workout I do in the studio at the gym and used the following equipment:

  • Step
  • 8kg medicine ball
  • 15kg barbell

You can make this workout harder or easier depending on how high you have the step and the weight of the medicine ball and barbell.

I went through this workout twice and dropped down to a 12.5kg on the second round which took me just over an hour.

The workout is simple. 6 moves, 3 sets of 8 reps. You start each round holding the medicine ball and doing 8 step ups starting with your right leg and then 8 starting with your left leg.

In between each set, you do the 8 step ups on each leg.

This keeps your heart rate up to burn more calories.

My heart rate was between 150-170 through this whole workout.

Here are the exercises:

  • Barbell curl
  • Squat
  • Overhead press
  • Bent over row
  • Lateral raise (with 2.5kg weights)
  • Medicine ball slam
  • Chest press

I do the chest press laid on the step and do not do the step up sets in between just because it’s a faff getting up and then laying back down.

Aim to spend around 5 minutes on each exercise. If you have the energy to go through it again, make sure you lighten the load a little bit!

Posted on August 3, 2017

Get Fit With These Les Mills Classes


Les Mills Classes

Yesterday over on my lifestyle blog I spoke a bit about Les Mills, the fitness classes that can really change your life. From all over the world, including Leeds and Yorkshire – you can easily find a class for you.

I wanted to take some time to talk about the classes they offer, so if you’re interested in trying out any of them you know what you are getting yourself in to.


This is a barbell workout to help you get lean, toned and fit. You use light to moderate weights with lots of repetition in this total body workout that can burn up to 540 calories! There’s great music involved and you can’t leave this class without a massive sense of achievement.

You can do wither 55, 45 or 30-minute BODYPUMP classes.


Les Mills Classes

BODYBALANCE is a yoga-based class that will improve your mind, your body and your life. You bend and stretch through a series of yoga moves that also incorporate some Tai Chi and Pilates. There’s focus on breathing and you’ll strengthen your entire body.

BODYBALANCE is available as either a 55, 45 or 30-minute workout.


Les Mills Classes

This high-energy class is great for both beginners and addicts. You’ll be put throgh moves such as running, lunging and jumping as well as push-ups and squats. It sounds a bit bootcampish, but can burn up to 730 calories!

BODYATTACK is available as either a 55, 45 or 30-minute workout.


Les Mills Classes

This is an addictive dance workout for anyone to join in, no matter your ability. There’s no shame here, just get in there and have fun while getting fit.

SH’BAM is available as either a 45 or 30-minute workout.


Les Mills Classes

I love step classes at the gym – I find the burn loads of calories as well as tone your legs and bum. This class also uses the dreaded burpee, push ups and weight plate exercises to work the upper body. You can burn up to 620 calories in this class!

BODYSTEP is available as either a 55, 45 or 30-minute workout.


THE TRIP is a fully immersive workout experience that combines a 40-minute cycling class with a journey through digitally-created worlds. There’s a cinema-scale screen and sound system, and although it’s not available in loads of places yet, I’m hoping it will be soon.


Les Mills Classes

This high-energy martial arts-inspired workout is a great way to punch and kick your way to fitness and burn up t740 calories. You use moves from Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Capoeira and Kung Fu.

BODYCOMBAT is available as either a 55, 45 or 30-minute workout.


Les Mills Classes

CXWORK is a 30-minute class that exercises the muscles around the core, which is great for getting a stronger body. You do bodyweight exercises like crunches and hovers to work the stomach, hips, bum and lower back.


RMP is spin class where you can control the intensity while spinning along to great music through hill climbs, sprints and flat riding. You can burn up yo 675 calories in this session.


Les Mills Classes

BODYJAM was choreographed by Gandalf Archer-Mills in Auckland, New Zealand and is the ultimate combination of music and dance. It’s full of tracks you love right now to get your heart pumping.

BODYJAM is available as either a 55, 45 or 30-minute workout.


Les Mills Classes

This workout is a mix of strength, cardio and core training. It is a mixture of lunges, squats, running and tubing exercises to help you burn calories and increase fitness.

BODYVIVE 3.1 is available as either a 55, 45 or 30-minute workout.


LES MILLS SPRINT is a 30-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout on the indoor bike. It’s short but intense that will push you to the limit. The high intensity training will give you great results in just 30 minutes, leaving you burning calories for after the class is over.


This is a 30-minute HIIT workout that will improve strength and build lean muscle. It uses a barbell, weight plate and body weight exercise to get your muscle groups working hard and fast.


This is a 30-minute HIIT plyometric-based workout that will make you perform like an athletic. Using a bench, you’ll be combining explosive jumping with agility training to get a lean and athletic body.


This is another 30-minute HIIT workout will improve your cardio fitness using a variety of body weight exercises.

Which one takes your fancy?



Posted on February 28, 2017

The Beginner’s Guide to Protein Powder

exercise/ food

The Beginner's Guide to Protein Powder

Protein powders can be a great way to top up your protein intake. They’re versatile, convenient, and can be easier to digest and absorb than solid food proteins such as meat. They can be particularly beneficial if you struggle to get enough protein in your normal diet, whether this is due to poor appetite, poor digestion, or greater need – such as an intensive exercise programme, or recovering from illness or injury. 

So if you’ve decided to try a protein powder, or to change things up and try a different type, the next question is, which one? There are so many different options out there and it can all be a bit confusing! Cassandra Barns, Nutritonist, is here to give us her lowdown on all things protein powder.

Whey protein

Whey protein from milk is still the most widely available and popular type of protein powder. It contains a very high percentage of protein – usually 90% or more – and it has an excellent profile of amino acids (the individual ‘building blocks’ of protein), which means they’re present in more or less the exact proportions our body needs. Whey protein is also quickly and easily digested and absorbed compared to most other proteins. All these factors make it a top choice with gym-goers and those who are want to build strength or gain muscle.

There are also a few downsides to whey protein, however. It’s not suitable for vegans, of course. Those with a milk allergy can’t take it, and some people who are intolerant to dairy foods (without having a true allergy) also find that it doesn’t suit them. What’s more, a lot of whey proteins on the market – especially those aimed towards fitness or muscle-building – contain additives such as sweeteners and flavourings. So if you do go for whey, look for as natural a product as you can find.

Soya protein

Being plant-based, soya is an easy alternative for those who can’t have – or prefer to avoid – whey protein. Out of all the plant-based protein powders, it has two primary selling points that mimic the benefits of whey: it can contain a very high percentage of protein (up to 90%), and it also has a good amino acid profile, being a ‘complete’ protein. Some of the other plant proteins do not reach these standards!

And as an advantage over whey, unflavoured soya proteins are also quite versatile and can be used in savoury foods – stirred into soups or stews, for example – as well as in smoothies or shakes.

Soya powders can also contain more phytoestrogens – natural plant substances that can act like a weak oestrogen. This could be beneficial for women, especially around or after menopause. But for the same reason, there’s a potential that using soya protein powder regularly and long term may not be the best choice for men’s health.

Another downside to soya protein is that it can be less well tolerated than some of the other vegetable proteins (see below) for those who have food sensitivities or allergies.

Pea protein

Pea protein is an increasingly popular alternative to soya and whey. Again, it contains a relatively high percentage of protein – around 80% – so you need only a small amount of powder to get a good serving. Like unflavoured soya protein, it has a neutral flavour and mixes well into both sweet and savoury foods. Its advantages over soya protein are that it tends to be better tolerated by those who have food sensitivities or intolerances, and that it doesn’t contain the phytoestrogens that soya contains.

Pea protein powders are generally free from sugars and unnatural ingredients such as sweeteners and flavourings, so tend to be a good natural option (but check the label or product details before you buy!). 

Brown rice protein

Rice protein has several similarities to pea protein. It’s also well tolerated by those with food sensitivities. It can have a similar protein content, although sometimes a bit lower: 65–80%. It has a neutral flavour, mixes well and can be used in sweet and savoury foods. Another good choice.

Hemp protein

Hemp seed protein is quite different to many of the other options including soya, rice and pea. It’s usually less refined, making it a more natural or ‘whole food’ alternative. This also means it contains more of the other nutrients found in hemp seeds, including fibre and essential fatty acids. Hemp protein can also be a great source of magnesium from the hemp seeds – a nutrient that many of us are deficient in, even if we eat a healthy diet.

On the downside, this greater content of other nutrients means a lower content of protein – which is generally around 50%. So you get less protein for your money and relative to the amount of powder you need to use. Hemp protein also has a stronger flavour than most of the others – and is an acquired taste for some!

Sunflower seed protein

Sunflower seed protein is the latest newcomer to the plant protein market. Like hemp, it tends to be less refined than some of the others, and closer to a ‘whole food’. But again, this makes it lower in protein, at only around 50%. As an advantage over hemp, it has a milder flavour and, like pea and rice protein, mixes easily with many foods. Worth a try if you’re looking for an alternative to hemp protein or just a natural and mild-tasting protein powder.

Casein, or whey-casein blends

Lastly, you can find casein protein powders (sometimes called ‘micellar casein’). Casein is another protein from milk. It is often found in combination with whey in protein powders aimed towards muscle gain. Casein is digested and absorbed more slowly than whey protein, so the combination is said to provide both immediate protein replenishment to the muscles and a slower ‘drip-feed’, which makes it better for supporting muscle growth and a more effective protein to take in higher doses.

As it’s also from milk, casein protein is not ideal for everyone. It can, in fact, have more drawbacks than whey: it can be difficult to digest, and it’s more likely than whey to cause problems for those who are dairy-sensitive. If you can take whey but want a casein-free combination of fast-absorbing and slow-absorbing protein, try instead making your own mix of pure pea protein and whey.


Posted on February 15, 2017

More tips from a personal trainer


tips from a personal trainer

It can prove difficult to make the most of a new gym membership without professional guidance. K West Hotel & Spa’s Personal Trainer, Clifton Goldson (who has trained the likes of Calum Best, Made in Chelsea’s Proudlock, and England and Southampton footballer Ryan Bertrand) has lent his top tips for achieving fitness goals and how best to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Don’t be Afraid of the Weights

What’s the secret to achieving the highly-desired dancer physique? Step off the cross trainer and pick up a pair of kettle bells. Whilst cardio develops overall fitness levels and stamina, using weights in compound exercises – such as squats and burpees – is the key to building long, lean muscle mass. Clifton advises high repetitions of back-to-back exercises using a low weight, followed by 30/60- second rest.

A Balanced Diet

80% of how we look is related to diet, so despite endless hours in the gym, you really are what you eat. Try to avoid fad diets and instead opt for a portion-controlled, balanced diet.

R & R: Rest and Rehabilitation

On a mission to get fit, overtraining may seem like a good idea, whether it’s a 2/3-hour session or two workouts a day. However, resting your body is just as important as exercising, as without rest progression can plateau. Schedule two rest days each week, and a full week out every three months. Getting a full 8-hour sleep each night will also ensure maximum results.


Too much of a good thing can be bad. The optimum amount of water needed to keep you fully hydrated is two litres, as much more than this can dilute sodium levels in the blood. Similarly, coffee has great health benefits as it helps speed up the metabolism and aids in fat-burning, but should be enjoyed only once a day.

Defining Targets and Measuring Results

Do you want to feel fitter? Or look great on the beach? Whatever your aim, it’s vital to set targets to stay motivated and to measure your progress. Steer clear of regularly using the weighing scales and instead quantify your progress using a measuring tape or before/after photos.

Enjoy the Process

Fitness is a 50% physical, 50% mental challenge, so it’s important to enjoy what you do. Wear comfortable gymwear as you’re more likely to exercise for longer, and don’t forget your headphones if music is your big motivator. Clifton advises to always finish your training with one exercise that you really love, as you will leave the gym feeling great on a post-workout high.


Posted on January 3, 2017

Sundried launch recycled activewear

clothing/ exercise


In 2017 Sundried will launch its new recycled activewear, which is currently being developed to continue their ethical ethos. 

I’ve been a fan of Sundried since they first contacted me months ago try to one of their tank tops. Since then I’ve worked with them a few times promoting their ethical activewear.  

Sundried’s new collections has a strong focus on triathlon, cycling, functional fitness and the ‘all day active’. So if you want a new tri-suit or just something to lounge about it, there’s something for you. Curious about how it’s made? Then see the below information:


2017 will see Sundried taking fabrics to a new level. Using recycled plastics and used coffee, Sundried has been developing a sustainable technology suitable for activewear. By utilising coffee’s natural ability to block odour, the fabric is the ideal choice for some of our new garments. Partnering with coffee shops and collecting their used coffee grounds has provided a very sustainable route to supply raw material. Once thought of as garbage, now can be looked at as “trash to cash” while we continue to collect used coffee ground and plastic bottles from landfills by giving it another life.

Low carbon Info (audit from the Low-carbon Innovation Fund):

Sundried is a sustainable active wear brand focused on creating low-carbon, stylish and functional garments. Part of the company mission is to ensure that sustainability is at the core of everything we do. 

Our clothing range delivers C02e savings in a number of ways. Firstly, there is a carbon saving as a result of our low carbon freight policy which avoids using air freight to/from clothing manufacturing destinations (e.g. China/India etc.). Instead, we use land freight to ship goods to Southend. This action alone has resulted in avoiding 7179.1km of air freight travel displacing 7,725.22kg C02e. 

Secondly, our clothing range is designed to be washed at cooler temperatures. Between now (July 2016) and December 2020, this will help contribute toward a saving of 25,163.424 kWh in electricity consumed displacing 11,630.28 kg C02e. 

Thirdly, our products are produced with a unique cotton and polyester fabric which is extremely durable and designed to be re-worn/re-washed numerous times without damage to the fit or colour. Based on our calculations, without our garments the user would purchase 5 individual garments over 4 years. This would result in the disposal of 4.888 tonnes of fabric with a carbon impact of 2,158.872 kg C02e. 

Lastly, just as the disposal of garments is avoided with our products, the production of the garments of the same tonnage is avoided resulting in the displacement of 87,254.41 kg C02e. In total, Sundried help to displace 108,768.782 kg C02e or 108.768 T C02e.

Plastic showing up in water supplies is a huge concern and Sundried have been supporting Surfers Against Sewage for several years now.

womens-3quater-legging womens-ls-seamless womens-seamless-leggings womens-seamless-merino-wool womens-vest-1


Posted on December 7, 2016

Where will fitness take you in 2017?


exercise in 2017

Hello December! Can you believe it’s the end of 2016?

That brings us closer to 2017. With new years comes to goals. A lot of us set goals around fitness. Rather it’s to shed a few pounds, get healthy or run a 10k.

Fitness doesn’t have to be about going to the gym and slogging it out on the cross trainer for an hour. Routines like this get boring quickly and then we end up making excuses not to go to the gym.

So why not make 2017 a bit different and do something new? Try adding a bit of variety to your routine, we often forget exercise can be fun!

PicMonkey Collage

So why not try some of the following:

  • Join a local boot camp and make friends.
  • Look into joining a cross fit gym.
  • Try every fitness class at your gym.
  • Sign up for half a marathon.
  • Set yourself the challenge of doing 10 push ups.
  • Buy some Proline Skates and re-live your childhood.
  • Buy one of those big trampolines and spent 10 minutes a day on it.
  • Do a squat challenge.
  • Take snowboard or ski lessons at your nearest slope.
  • Do a 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube.
  • Get a Fitbit and challenge your friends to who can do the most step in a week.
  • Start geocaching.
  • Try out Zumba.
  • Take an adult ballet class.
  • Just dance – get the Xbox Kenect out and play active games.
  • Cycle to work – also saves on bus fare or petrol.
  • Get a workout buddy to keep you motivated.

What new things will you try in 2017?

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Posted on December 2, 2016

Rehydrate with Herbalife CR7 Drive


 Herbalife CR7 Drive

These types of carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks saved my life during my half marathon training. They’re designed to help you absorb more water during exercise to help maintain endurance performance. I could tell the difference between using them and not using them in my training.

They’re under 100 calories a serving and give you that extra push you need during a long workout. I wouldn’t recommend these for going to the gym for weight loss, but if you are training for something or doing long exercise sessions, you’ll really see the difference.

I was happy to see these in my fit kit that Herbalife sent a few weeks ago!

 Herbalife CR7 Drive

 Herbalife CR7 Drive

 Herbalife CR7 Drive

 Herbalife CR7 Drive


Posted on November 16, 2016

Getting back on track with Herbalife


herbalife fitkit

Every so often, I get a blogging package that is a bit more special than the rest.

That’s what happened a couple weeks ago, when Herbalife sent me a fitness kit complete with nutrition supplements, protein bars, a foam roller, a massage ball and even an over-the-head top all packed neatly inside a gym bag.

I’m going to use this as motivation to get me back on track. I’ve only been working out once or twice a week over the past few weeks as I’ve been really busy and I want to get back into a more regular routine.

I’ll post individual reviews of my favourite products, but you can find them all here if you want to check them out yourself now.

Have you ever tried any Herbalife products before?

herbalife active herbalife active herbalife active herbalife active herbalife active herbalife active herbalife active herbalife active


Posted on October 21, 2016

CSX Walking 3D Pedometer

exercise/ review


Tracking activity is something that seems to have taken off quickly over the last few years. Fitbits, iWatch, apps on your phone. All these things are helping people see how much they’re moving, often giving a reality check to those that spend most of their day still.

Of course, most of these things are expensive. There are free apps you can get for phones – but these rely on your having your phone on you at all times .

If you’re looking for something simple and less expensive, get yourself a CSX Walking 3D Pedometer for only £13.99 from Amazon which I was sent to review.

It’s easy to slip in your pocket or wear around your neck with the lanyard. It would make a perfect addition to a hike or a trip out somewhere to see how far you’re walking!

  • Monitor your activity: Daily steps, distance walked (miles or km), calories burnt, average speed, activity time
  • Pause Feature: Stop the pedometer counting steps for any activity you do not wish to be monitored, such as driving in the car, so you get a very accurate record of your steps per day
  • Active Series: 15 Step Buffer – Gets you fitter, you have to walk 15 steps continuously before it registers steps in the pedometer and then counts 16, 17, 18 etc.
  • 7 Day Memory: Automatically resets at midnight and stores all data into memory so you can track your fitness progress
  • Easy to setup and use: accurate and reliable 3D silent sensor with 18 month warranty, includes neck lanyard.

How do you track your activity levels?


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Post contains affiliate links.

Posted on October 14, 2016

Are you allowed to use your phone between sets at the gym?


using phone at the gym

As you may know, I use my Instagram account mostly for posting fitness updates. I log my exercise with a picture, usually some sort of gym selfie or a photo of my heart rate monitor, etc.

A few days ago, I woke up to a couple of comments on my post. A post that was meant to be a positive way to motivate me and others.


As you can see, two guys decided it would be a really cool move to laugh at the fact I’m taking a selfie and tag each other.

Seemingly this is because I was using my phone.

Because I used not even half of my rest period between sets to take a photo.

I have a pretty awesome sense of humor. My friends can vouch for this and I’m the first person to laugh at myself. But something I cannot tolerate is someone coming onto my social media account to take the piss when I’m trying to better myself and my health. It takes 3 seconds to take a photo on a phone.

It takes 3 seconds to take a photo on a phone. You don’t even have to unlock the damn thing.

I tweeted the images out of frustration and was met with mixed reaction.

A lot of people said this is typical of men in the gym and it’s a reason why women feel intimidated to go into the weights section.

In case they’re judged for not being able to lift much, for doing it wrong, for being a girl, for looking at their phone.

I just want to get one thing straight here – if I want to take 3 seconds out of my workout to take a photo of myself to upload to my fitness Instagram account, then I will. I pay gym membership the same as everyone else. They also spend a few seconds between sets checking their phones. Sometimes they’re texting. Sometimes they’re taking photos. Sometimes they’re updating their workout on a fitness app. Who cares?

I had some heated conversations with others. One guy said that people share equipment between sets to avoid rest periods where it’s not being used. Which is all well and good, but nobody has ever asked me to share and I’ve never asked anyone else. I never will either. I’ll use something else until it’s free.

There are 5 racks at my gym and it’s very rare they’re all full when I go in. It was 10am when I took the photo in question, there were hardly any people there at all. I don’t bother trying at peak gym times because I hate that feeling when someone is watching you, waiting for you to finish. I plan my weight sessions in quiet times.

Someone told me I should expect people to be dicks to me if I post a photo in public. I’m sorry, but this is the argument I hate the most.

I should accept strangers taking the piss out of me because I posted something on social media? What? How about – people shouldn’t be cunts. Both in real life and online. Oh, I said the c word. I don’t even care.

Nothing gives someone the right to say awful things to others. Just because someone posts public things on the internet, doesn’t make it okay for people to slate them. I mean, I expect it because I know people are horrible creatures. But should I accept it? No. I shouldn’t.

Neither should all the other people that have terrible things said about them. Celebrities, YouTubers and more.

Another person said I was being oversensitive. That I needed to get over it. It’s just two guys joking.

Fair enough if they want to joke with their friends, amongst an audience they know, but don’t get strangers involved in your petty jokes that are designed to laugh and take the piss out of others.

Because that’s what it was. Agree with them or not that I shouldn’t take photos of myself in the gym. They made a joke at the expense of someone else.

It’s not about what they said. It’s about how messed up it is that in this day and age, people feel they have the right to comment terrible things about other people.

They couldn’t have said a lot worse, some poeple get a lot worse and it’s awful to see.

None of it is right, none of it.

So I just wanted to say that I’m going to carry on posting my gym selfies, regardless of what people say. But I’m never going to accept negative comments about this, or about anything.

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