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.

everyone active, gym, leisure centre, fitness everyone active, gym, leisure centre, fitness everyone active, gym, leisure centre, fitness

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.

Join The Dance Fitness Revolution

Got a passion for dance and movement? Miss the dancing days of your youth and want to share your love of movement with the world? #StandAtTheFront and Join The EMD Academy’s Dance Fitness Revolution

EMD Academy, dance, fitness

EMD Academy

The Exercise Movement and Dance (EMD) Academy offers high quality training to help fulfil your potential as a dance fitness instructor, whether you’re a former professional dancer, an exercise lover with great rhythm, or simply someone who loves moving their body and wants to pursue a new career. With The EMD Academy you can get the training you need and run a successful business doing what you love!

Level 2 Dance Fitness Qualification

This is the only national qualification available in Dance Fitness, this Level 2 training program combines both ETM (Exercise to Music) and EMD (Exercise, Movement and Dance) making it a unique programme for dance enthusiasts and professionals alike. The courses cover not only the appropriate fitness training, but choreography as well.

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Photo: EMD Academy

Courses consist of online-learning as well as training days, and additional courses are available such as Level 3 EMD, and the option of combining Zumba to existing programs. All EMD Academy training courses are quality assured by awarding organisation YMCA Awards as well as the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

EMD Academy, dance fitness

Photo: EMD Academy

Alongside being able to train for the career you’ll love, The EMD Academy provides a supportive community to nurture those that are passionate about dance fitness including in-house training grants, flexible payment options and certain courses even allow for additional funding, making training with them an affordable option. The Open Bursary gives financial support to teachers and instructors who want to expand their career by qualifying in a new dance fitness style or approach. You can apply for up to £100 of funding towards short courses and workshops and up to £150 towards recognised qualifications.

EMD academy, dance fitness

Photo: EMD Academy

If you are a fitness professional looking to widen your teaching repertoire and hold a Level 2 or 3 recognised teaching qualification, you can apply for recognised prior learning for EMD Academy courses. This reduces costs and you only need to attend the practical elements of the course.

Emma Forward, Chief Operating Officer, says:

“The EMD Academy offers nationally recognised qualifications that provide the essential knowledge, confidence and understanding to deliver fun and inspiring dance fitness classes.

As the interest in dance fitness continues to grow, our high quality training is helping drive up standards within the sector and gives trainees a first-class learning experience. Over the last 12 months, we’ve received some fantastic feedback from graduates who’ve gone on to have flourishing teaching careers and are helping to encourage more people to join the dance fitness revolution.”

EMD academy, dance fitness

Photo: EMD Academy

To find out more about a career in dance fitness or to develop your existing skill set, please visit www.emdacademy.org. Alternatively, follow them on Twitter @EMDAcademy or visit their Facebook page.

I was compensated with a goody bag in return for this post. Please see disclaimer for more information.

Affordable Activewear #1 – Trespass

I love to look and feel smart and stylist when I’m training or teaching, and as I’ve said before, sportswear is my work uniform, which I wear 6 days a week, so I am willing to spend decent money on it. That doesn’t have to be the case however, and I’m running a short series of posts on where you can find affordable activewear, starting with outdoor clothing company; Trespass.

trespass, fitness, sportswear

Known more for outdoor trekking, walking or snow apparel, I wouldn’t have thought of looking at Trespass until they approached me for some opinions on their website and sportswear range. I was so surprised by the price, it’s inspired me to find more affordable yet functional fitness clothing.

Glimmer Vest Top (£23.99 now £9.99)

trespass, fitness, sportswear

I spotted this top on the Trespass website immediately. I love anything with an unusual back, so I like the little keyhole. A lovely bright blue, it features delicate flower detailing on the side and the drape of the top is really flattering, even on a bloated day!

trespass, fitness, sportswear

The fabric is lovely and soft, and has quick drying properties which make it perfect for high intensity, sweaty workouts. For me, the length is perfect, just sitting on my hips and staying put.

trespass, fitness, sportswear

Strut Running Leggings (£44.99 now £15.99)

trespass, fitness, sportswear

With thin, lightweight fabric that feels like a second skin, these leggings are most certainly for running. I personally wouldn’t wear them for yoga or teaching, as I found them too thin for the amount of stretching I do (oops, hello butt)! Perhaps they’d work better in a darker colour, but I actually like the lime green against the grey. The pop of colour will brighten up any gym or running outfit.

trspass, fitness, sportswear

So perhaps not my most favourite leggings, I prefer a thicker fabric with a little more ‘holding in’, but they’re by no means a bad pair of leggings if you’re on a budget. Coming up high on the waist, they’re really comfortable and feature a tie waistband for extra adjustment. If you were wearing these for running, you’d certainly have freedom of movement without chafing and restriction.

trespass, fitness, sportswear

The sportswear from Trespass is great in terms of affordability, especially now that a lot of items are reduced. I’d like to see more of a range that matches, or coordinates, as I wouldn’t wear these two items together. My favourite was the top which I can’t fault for style and comfort. The leggings just aren’t a style or fabric I’d normally choose.

Exploring different brands for sportswear is always interesting, and you never know what gems you’ll find. Spending more pennies might get you added features such as hidden pockets, reversible fabric or ultra-compression, but there’s nothing wrong with getting the basics if you’re just starting out. Stay tuned for more in my Affordable Activewear series, and tell me your favourite brands on a budget!

Activate Nutrition Diet Protein Plus

When choosing a protein powder to complement your training, the seemingly endless choices can be daunting. I’ve written about protein previously if you want to know a little more of the benefits of taking a protein supplement.

I know I speak for many when I admit that I don’t always know what’s best. Whey? Hemp? Pea? Low-Carb? Diet? I tend to stick to the brand that is most convenient as it’s stocked in the studio I teach at!

Just recently Activate Nutrition contacted me asking if I’d like to try their new product, being a bit of a newbie when it comes to protein powder, I thought I’d give it a go! I chose a favourite flavour of mine; raspberry, and began adding it to my smoothies and shakes.

protein powder, muscle gain, post workout

The Consistency

My one complaint with most powders I’ve tried is that I usually experience a sandy consistency, no matter how much I blend or shake. I was surprised with Activate Nutrition that making a simple shake of powder and water, a vigorous shake and the drink was lovely and smooth. As for when I made my usual breakfast smoothie; a combination of milk, oats, banana and powder, it was perfectly blended despite my slightly rubbish blender.

protein powder, muscle gain, post workout

The Flavour

Of the few I’ve tried, I sometimes find that powders give a false, chemical flavour, so I was slightly wary of the raspberry, as such a distinct flavour could be easy to get wrong. I was surprised however as the flavour was very subtle. Almost too subtle, but I’d rather that than a strong, chemical substitute.

The Product

Not your average protein powder! Activate Nutrition have added green tea and acai berry extracts to boost antioxidant levels. It is also low fat with 30.8g protein containing only 148 calories and 1.1g fat and contains taurine which helps with stress and maintains insulin levels.

ActivateNutrition

I was impressed with this protein powder, although I don’t have a lot to compare it to. To drink, it felt lighter and smoother than the others I’ve tried. I’ll definitely keep using it! For Activate Nutrition’s full range of supplements, head to their website.

I want to start experimenting with using protein powders in snacks and treats, not just drinks. Feel free to post your favourite protein recipes in the comment box!

I received this to try for free but all opinions are my own. Please see disclaimer for more information.

FITmas Gift Guide #5 Wearable Tech

Christmas is just around the corner! There are just a couple more to come in my series of gift ideas for the health and fitness lover in your life. Stuck for ideas for yourself? Maybe these posts will give you some ideas for your wish list too.

fitmas gift guide, christmas, fitness blogger

Each new post will feature

Stocking Fillers <£25        Special Treats £25 – £75         Super Splurges £75+

There are so many devices to aid your fitness journey these days, and here are just a tiny selection of ideas for the fitness techie in your world.

FITmas gift guide, christmas, fitness

Pedometer

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The most simple way of keeping track of your every day steps or distance. Great for someone just beginning their fitness journey. This one Karrimor one from Sports Direct is a steal at £5.99

FITmas gift guide, christmas, fitness

Fitness Tracker

fitmas gift guide, christmas, fitness tracker, workout

This year, fitness trackers have fast risen through the ranks of the most must-have item in your gym bag. Misfit devices Flash and Shine (appx £50-£80 depending on type) track distance, activity, goal setting and links to a smartphone app. The more expensive Shine also tracks sleep. Depending on the accessory, it can be worn on the wrist, on clothing or as a necklace.

supersplurges

Advanced Fitness Tracker

fitmas gift guide, christmas, fitness, workout, fitness tracker

Wearable tech, varies in price and technological specification. The Garmin Vivosmart includes all the usual specifications; sleep tracking, steps, calories, and at around £140 also send notifications from your smartphone to your wrist!

Be sure to check out my other FITmas Gift Guide posts!

Disclaimer: I have not been encouraged to feature ANY of the items shown throughout my FITmas Gift Guide. All opinions and gift ideas are my own.

Workout Wednesday – Speedflex

Happy Humpday! It’s Workout Wednesday time again and I want to share with you my most recent discovery in the fitness world…Speedflex.

speedflex, fitness, health

Tucked away behind the banks and law firms in the City of London, Speedflex is a dynamic workout aimed to burn more calories than ever before. High intensity but low impact, short sessions of 30 or 45 minutes are designed to suit anyone of any age or fitness ability.

When I was approached to try Speedflex out, I’ll admit to being a little apprehensive. The name Speedflex conjured up images in my mind of military style training, fast, intense and after a long week (well, month) or training and teaching, I wasn’t sure my delicate body would cope

My introduction to Speedflex was split into two sessions, one as an induction to the studio, machines and way of working, and another to try a full 45 minute training session. The first session also included a health assessment, which appealed to the side of me that loves biology and anatomy.

The Health Assessment.

As part of the Speedflex induction, a Level 1 Health Assessment is given. This uses state-of-the-art equipment to read muscle mass, target weight, BMI, percentage body fat and visceral fat.

speedflex, fitness, health

With a body fat percentage of 14% I’m just on the bottom end for women. Any lower and I risk disrupted menstrual cycles etc. but with 14% I’m actually pretty pleased, especially considering I’m not super lean. What was most pleasing is that my Visceral Fat Area, the fat that surrounds vital organs which can be dangerous if too high, is only 31.5cm2 which right at the bottom for my age. All the other measurements were normal with no red flags. Just goes to show that hard work really does pay off…I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been and a little smug too!!

Anyway, bragging aside. Having the body composition analysis does help put things into perspective and gives each client of Speedflex targets to work towards.

Speedflex Training.

Now, lots of workout trends claim the ‘burn more calories than ever’ accolade, but without having your own heart-rate monitor, you sort of have to take their word for it. Speedflex have thought of that, and heart-rate monitors are provided and assessed at the end of each session. No escaping there!

In a 45 minute session, I burnt 560 calories. The heart-rate monitors also show how long each person spends in their fat burning zone, and shows this on a big screen throughout. A great way to tap into people’s competitive sides and really get participants to push themselves.

speedflex, fitness, health

I reckon anyone could manage a Speedflex session. Even with my joint hypermobility, impact injuries to my lower legs and general fatigue (it was a really long month), I managed the full session with no problems…no problems in terms of pain I mean, it was certainly a hard workout!

I needn’t have been nervous for my first session. The team are friendly, helpful and attentive. The group environment is great, you can feel the camaraderie and I really enjoyed my session! Squats, military presses, rows and similar movements are executed on the resistance machines, followed by lunges, medicine ball work, or abdominal work on the floor.

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I guess I’d describe it to anyone as circuit training with a difference.

Now for the science….

Speedflex uses a specific set of resistance machines that use hydraulics to work the muscles in a concentric way, where the muscles are shortening but without the eccentric load when lengthening the muscles. Eccentric load is where the muscles are lengthening (eg. after a bicep curl) with the stress of holding a free weight for example, this tears muscle fibres and leads to that familiar post-workout soreness – DOMS.

Speedflex promotes little or no muscle soreness post-workout due to the resistance machines putting no eccentric load on the extension, and therefore the muscles can lengthen without tearing the muscle fibres. This gets explained fully in a video on the Speedflex website.

Did I feel any DOMS the day after? In my arms, well no actually! Just a little in my legs, and I was told that could be expected.

Overall a great workout!

Thanks to Entice Communications and Speedflex for my free trial. All opinions are my own, see disclaimer for more details.