The Decathlon Blogger Community

When I’ve heard friends and bloggers talk about Decathlon, and when I’ve briefly popped into, or passed a store, I’ve assumed its for outdoorsy people and runners. How wrong I was! When I finally looked into the company, I found that not only is their company ethos ‘Making Sport Accessible For The Many’ but they stretch far beyond hiking and running. A multi-brand empire, they cater for all things gym, cycling, swimming, running, trekking and much more. So when I was then invited to be part of Decathlon’s Blogger Community, I jumped at the chance to learn more about the company, and also spread the word about what Decathlon has to offer.

As an introduction to the brand, and as a meet up for the Decathlon bloggers, I recently headed to their Canada Water HQ for an evening of sport and trivia. Aside from having a catch up with some of my favourite blogging buddies, and meeting new ones too, it was a chance for me to explore the Decathlon enterprise.

And what an enterprise it is! With stores in 40+ countries across the world, and 33 (and growing) in the UK, Decathlon has big ambitions for the future. Championing quality brands such as Domyos – for fitness, Quechua – for outdoors and camping, Tribord – for anything water based, and more, their strive for excellence and a wide range of options. As I mentioned before, their company ethos is all about making sport accessible, but they’re also innovative, having won numerous awards for their own products. These include Best Tent and Best Road Bike to name but a few.

The evening itself was a team circuit training session and sport quiz. Did we get competitive?? I’d be lying if I said no, but we’re all sporting people in one way shape or form, so perhaps that was to be expected. Fun times aside, the Decathlon Bloggers Community is as varied as the company itself (famously there are 350 different sports played among their staff), from me the yogi/PT, to marathon and ultra marathon bloggers, active travel and everything in between, check out the rest of the crew on Decathlon’s website.

Stay tuned as I share more about the brand and their products in the future. Thanks Decathlon for including me in your growing community, I can’t wait to get more involved!!

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Train Hard with Everyone Active

Who out there, male or female, found the gym intimidating when you first started training? Yup, thought so, my hand is raised too. Row upon row of cardio machines with complicated computer screens, torturous looking resistance apparatus with various attachments, and not to mention the grunts coming from the weight area. Yes, gyms can be an overwhelming space to walk in to, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s where Everyone Active comes in. Being one of the UK’s leading Sport and Leisure Management companies, their aim is to get as many people off their sofas and getting active as possible.

everyone active, gym, leisure centre, fitness

Whilst we’d all love to be able to afford regular 1-to-1 personal training sessions, Everyone Active understands that this isn’t plausible for everyone. That’s why, after an introductory session with one of their Personal Training experts, you’ll be free to train by yourself, at a time that suits, using a tailor-made programme, created just for you.

Once you become a member of one of Everyone Active’s 140 gyms around the UK, you’ll be able to book in for a gym induction and discuss with a PT your personal goals and targets. With their help, you’ll be set up with a training programme to follow every time you come to the gym. Whether it’s training for a race, shaping up for a holiday, or simply gaining strength, they’ll have a programme to suit you. What’s great about Everyone Active’s plans, is that you don’t have to worry about remembering that dog-eared slip of paper each time you come to the gym, or digging around in a filing cabinet for your plan, simply download the Everyone Active app, log in, and see you training plan for the day. Complete with pictures, videos and descriptions of what to on each exercise, you’re good to go, but if you’re in any doubt, someone is always on hand to point you in the right direction.

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Taking the fear out of going to the gym is so important for getting, and staying active. It’s so tempting to stick to those same few exercise you know and trust, but the body can get complacent, and that’s when plateaus start to occur. With Everyone Active’s app, you’ll not only find your own personalised plan, but you also have access to a library of videos, general training plans and group class bookings, to help you achieve your goals.

I’ve been checking out Everyone Active’s Central London location, the Marshall Street Leisure Centre recently, as you’ll have seen in my recent post about getting back to swimming. The gym, currently being refurbished, has everything you need to follow one of their programmes and trainers are nearby if you need them. As well as the 30m pool, there’s also a spa on site and separate changing rooms for wet and dry areas.

everyone active, gym, leisure centre, fitness

Head over to Marshall Street’s page for information on pricing, and to learn more about what Everyone Active has to offer.

I have been gifted a membership to Marshall Street Leisure Centre in return for this post. All opinions my own, see Disclaimer for more information.

Review | Myprotein

Right now, I’m not a huge expert on protein, the different types, and when to take those different types. I know the basics, and when I finish the Sports Nutrition module of my nutrition course I’ll be a guru, but for protein queries, The Blonde Ethos is the girl to ask! I experiment with various different protein powders on my never-ending quest to find one that doesn’t taste chalky in a shake, and most recently tried Myprotein Micellar Casein powder.

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Now, when I received my delivery from Myprotein, I had all these wild ideas of making amazing protein mug cakes, fudge, treats etc, and while I am working on these recipes (I’ve had a few disasters), I realised that there’s nothing wrong with just going simple for once. The best thing is, I was pleasantly surprised!

The Science

Protein is a macronutrient, an essential dietary requirement like carbohydrates and fat, as it contains amino acids required for muscle repair and growth. Protein supplements are popular among those wishing to increase their protein intake, particularly those wishing to increase muscle mass. In the market today, whey protein (a by-product of milk and cheese production) is probably the most prevalent, but there are plenty of options for vegans. Micellar Casein is a, slow release protein also from cow’s milk. It’s differs from whey in that it’s absorbed slowly by the stomach prolonging the delivery of amino acids to the muscle. This makes Micellar Casein the ideal protein supplement for between meals and before bed, whereas whey protein is best taken before or after exercise.

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Myprotein Micellar Casein – Vanilla

Having a little internal fear of chalky, powdery drinks, I always begin by mixing protein powder into a fruit smoothie, as casein is a slow release protein, incorporating it into my post-workout afternoon smoothie is perfect!

My favourite smoothie:

  • Handful raspberries
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop MyProtein Vanilla Casein Powder
  • Coconut milk depending on your preferred consistency
  • Blitz in your blender and enjoy!

Making a lovely fruit smoothie isn’t always convenient after a workout however, nor is it everyone’s idea of a bedtime drink! Being out and about one day, I came prepared with a portion of protein powder in my SmartShake ready to brave a water only shake after a TRX session at the gym. As I mentioned earlier…I was pleasantly surprised! With a good shake, the powder blended into a smooth drink, with NO powdery residue! It’s literally the best drink powder, protein, green or otherwise, I’ve tried!

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Myprotein Oats & Whey Bars

I’ve also been trying the rather tasty Chocolate Peanut Oats & Whey Flapjack Bars. With 22g whey protein per bar, they’re fab if you prefer to eat your protein as opposed to drink it! Although whey is best for post-workout, I’ve been grabbing these bars as an alternative to breakfast before teaching early morning classes. One bar, or sometimes even half (they can be a little heavy) will keep me going for three hours of classes no problem. They’re tasty, chocolatey, not too peanutty with well blended oats. Not the type of bar that disintegrates and gets stuck in your teeth! My next to try of these is the chocolate chip flavour.

myprotein, protein, whey, fitness

So I might have found my protein brand of choice! I am working on some recipes, including a protein ice-cream treat, so look out for those coming up soon! I’ve also got a cheeky discount code for you all, simply enter DANCEFLOW at the checkout for 10% off your order (until 30th June 2015).