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TRAINFITNESS Personal Trainer & Fitness Blog

The team of personal training and fitness professionals at TRAINFITNESS post regular articles with news and updates about the fitness industry. Our news and articles offer a great resource for all fitness professionals, from Personal Trainers, Group Exercise Instructors, Pilates and Yoga Teachers, or anyone interested in teaching any aspect of fitness.
  • Written By

    Matt Bowen


    General Fitness, Nutrition

    Posted On

    26 April 2017

    Spring is finally and fully upon us and with the change in the weather comes a change in produce that we should all be eating. Along with more sunshine, sun burn, dodgy swimmers and even dodgier BBQ skills, April brings some really tasty food for you to play with.  Here are some suggestions and ideas for April. Go on, treat yourself…

    Oysters – Oysters are low in calories, low in fat and an excellent source of protein, as well as vitamins A, E and C. Oysters offer a healthy dose of zinc and iron, as well as calcium and vitamin B12. It’s no myth either that these nutritional bad boys can raise the stakes in the bedroom. To eat, simply drizzle with some lemon and a spot of Tabasco. Job done.

    Crab – An undervalued protein, crab is absolutely ram-packed with the muscle builder and without the levels of saturated fat found in red meat. Crab is also a great source of Omega 3 (100g of crab provides a third of the UK recommended weekly intake) - important for the heart and the head. Crab provides good doses of vitamin B2, selenium and phosphorus (important for teeth and bones) too. We recommend it with some linguine, garlic, onion, chilli, a spot of parsley and some fresh basil.

    Related Content: Healthy Eating Tips and Tricks

    Rocket – With a little bit of bite, this peppery leaf can elevate any salad, but there’s more going on with this salad green than just flavour.   Rocket is full of folic acid and antioxidants like vitamin C, K and A, making it a great aid in the fight against free radicals. It’s also packed full of minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium - key components of a healthy diet. Rocket can also have a positive impact on eyesight as it’s a good source of carotenoids. There’s a whole host of other benefits, so make sure you add plenty of it to your meals this month. Perhaps add it to a salad, or mix it in with some pasta.

    Wild Garlic - The smell of wild garlic is something we love over here at TRAINFITNESS and we think it should absolutely be on your menu this month. The health benefits of this leaf are well known. They’re basically ‘anti-everything’; antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral. Wild garlic contains high levels of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and copper – all essentials for a healthy and strong body.  Studies have shown it can help to reduce blood pressure and thus help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.  Use it with some oil, walnuts and parmesan to make up a fresh pesto. Yum.

    Lamb - Spring means lamb. Sunday roasts in April should have a cut of lamb at its centre. Nutritionally, lamb is packed full of the good stuff. It’s full of high quality protein and all the essential amino acids, making it perfect for post-training re-fueling. From a mineral perspective, its surprising just how much lamb has to offer as it comes packed with vitamin B12, selenium, zinc and iron. Lamb also contains good amounts of creatine, CLA and taurine. All in, lamb is a great meat for improved performance and recovery. Simply have a rack with some roasted sweet potato, a pinch of salt and pepper, rosemary, some veg and you’re good to go.

    Related Content: Vegan Diets as Part of a Training Regime

    Morel – The morel is a relative of the truffle, which is a good thing because who doesn’t like to indulge with a little truffle? The health benefits of the humble morel are wide ranging. It comes packed full of vitamin D and antioxidants. In fact, the antioxidants found in the morel have been show to inhibit lipid peroxidation; tissue damage that can lead to inflammation and cancer. Morels can help support your immune system and help protect your liver too - more reason to give them a go. Finally, like wild garlic, morels are found in the wild, so to enjoy them you have to venture outside to find them. Anything that gets us outside more is a good thing.

    Other foods to think about -

    • Watercress
    • Cockles
    • Sardines
    • Spring onion
    • Venison

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  • Written By

    Matt Bowen



    Posted On

    24 April 2017

    In a perfect world, we’d be spending our Sunday’s prepping a weeks' worth of meals and topping up with fresh options during the week. But given the nature of modem day lifestyles where we’re always on the go, it can be a struggle to have homemade healthy food every day, let alone a fridge to store it all in.

    Without those homemade meals, it' very easy to make poor nutritional choices. To help you make slightly better ones we've compiled a list of healthier options you can find on the high-street. They might not be to everyone's taste, but they do at least offer variety, flavour and meals more aligned to your goals of healthier, happier and fitter living.


    Leon have a range of options and a menu that is regularly updated. Nutritionally, the food is up there with your own meal prep exploits. If you want good hearty lunches from a company that cares about its food and where it comes from, then Leon is the place for you. Leon only source meat from farms that they trust and most of their menu is low GI, dairy-free, wheat-free and gluten-free.


    A little trickier to find, but well worth the effort in hunting them down. They have a range of salads, wraps and hot meals that are made fresh on the day. You won’t see a microwave and they use responsibly sourced and seasonal ingredients. The Smoky Three Bean Chilli is a particular favourite.

    Related Material: The diet you’ve never heard of is the best of 2017


    CRUSH know what they’re doing, offering what it calls ‘Fit Food’. They’ve hot and cold options, each packed with healthy ingredients. They use British ingredients and source their foodstuffs from London markets, rather than buying from large scale distributors. The food is clearly labelled and lets customers know if it’s suitable or not for certain intolerances or allergies. We particularly like the Super Grain Beef Chilli Hot Pot with Spelt.

    Planet Organic

    With a promise of Eat Well. Live Better. you know you’re going to get something clean and healthy from Planet Organic. There aren’t many stores, but they’re worth finding. The food is organic, natural, sustainable and the ingredients are seasonal.  There’s a wide range of salads and hot foods to enjoy. Our current favourite is the Thai Green Vegetable Curry and Mexican Quinoa salad.

    Whole Food

    Much like Planet Organic, Whole Food offers a range of fresh, organic options.  Dependent on the size of the store, you can expect to find a deli, salad bar, sandwich bar, sushi and/or seafood bar. There are hot and cold options available and you can mix and match your food stuffs to create your own ultimate healthy lunch.

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    If the idea of a pre-boxed salad doesn’t appeal, you can always head over to Vital where you can mix and match salad items to create your own perfect salad of the day. This idea lends itself to variety, which is important when it comes to eating.  Simply select your size of salad, your base - which can consist of leaves or spiralized vegetables or pasta - then select ingredients from a wide range of options. Salad on the go just got a lot tastier.


    Finally, sushi, because what lunch on the go list would be complete without it? Itsu offers a wide selection of sushi, hot noodle dishes, miso, salads and snacks. There are plenty of sites too, making it easy to find. The health and happiness box goes down well with us with a simple miso. Healthy, convenient and satisfying.

    Whilst not always ideal, it’s good to know that there are healthier choices when eating on the go.  Forget the stodgy (and dodgy) sandwich from the supermarket and give yourself the health-enhancing food you deserve.

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  • Written By

    Colin Gentry


    General Fitness

    Posted On

    24 April 2017

    Want PT clients and employers to Like you? Give your social media a workout

    Social media is a chance for employers and future clients to know more about you, or at least the “you” you want to present. A CV can only tell an employer or client so much. You can almost guarantee they will choose to look you up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see if you really talk the talk. Follow these five steps to stand out on social media:

    Have a presence

    These days, it is uncommon to not be on social media, to the point where it can make some people ask, “what have they got to hide?” If you’re a very private person or just don’t want to invest the time, then social media may not be for you. But, having a presence on social media can tell future employers – and personal training clients – more about you. A well-written Tweet might a potential client you are fun and informed, or a short video clip on Instagram can show you a gym manager that you can perform squats as well as you teach them. 

    Think about what channels are right for you. You may be able to maintain them all at once, or you may opt to build a presence just on Instagram or Twitter.

    Decide what to post

    Think about the image you want to project. Perhaps you are a powerlifter, and so images of you training in the gym and motivational memes may work for you. Perhaps you are more about a holistic approach, and so avocado on toast with a Valencia filter may get you lots of Likes. The key is being authentic.

    Try and have a mixture of videos and pictures. Clients and employers may appreciate seeing you perform some weightlifting techniques, for example, to prove you know what you’re doing.

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    Think about what not to post

    Before applying for jobs or promoting your PT services, have a look at your social media accounts. Most, if not all, will be open to the public. Consider how people might perceive some of your posts – swear words, posing in your underwear and un-PC status updates may be best deleted. What you say socially to your friends can be perceived very differently in black and white on a screen. Once it’s online, it can be very hard to retract.

    Go easy on the Photoshop

    There are so many apps and software available that allow you to look perfectly airbrushed. Some let you go beyond flattering, however, and give you the options to do anything from increasing the size of your arms and slimming down your waist to making your veins pop off the screen. If you look so far removed from reality, however, you may look disappointing - and dishonest - in the flesh. Keep it real!

    Engage with your audience

    Social media isn’t a one-way street. All those Likes and shares and retweets want something back. If followers ask you a question – e.g. how can I get a chest like yours? – reply professionally. It gives an insight into your personality and shows your passion for fitness and educating others is genuine and not only rolled out when there is money to be made. 

    If you need any further persuasion, a recent study by University of California, Irvine, found that taking selfies can make you happier!

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  • Written By

    Colin Gentry


    General Fitness, Nutrition

    Posted On

    24 April 2017

    New year, new you? If you’re embarking on a diet this year, make sure it’s one that will deliver results

    The results are in and the best – and worst – diets have been announced. The annual Best Diets report by US News sees the appearance of both old favourites (e.g. Weight Watchers) and obscure newcomers (e.g. Engine 2 Diet). The winner, however, is one that - until now - has probably been under your radar. 

    The Best Diets report is compiled through consulting with medical journals, government reports and other resources before being reviewed by a panel of experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease. Each diet was judged based on how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, its nutritional completeness, its safety, and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease.

    So, before you sentence yourself to a month of salad leaves, take a look at what these experts deem to to be the three “best” diets – and two of the worst:

    The DASH Diet

    Voted the best diet of 2017 by US News, the DASH diet hasn’t exactly been hogging the limelight. This is largely due to the DASH diet being less about looking good in your bikini, and more about reducing your sodium levels. The catchily named Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is aimed at helping people lower high blood pressure. high blood pressure can lead to heart and kidney disease, strokes and blindness.

    The DASH eating plan requires no special foods or complex recipes. Instead, it calls for a certain number of daily servings from various food groups. Low in saturated fats and cholesterol, rich in nutrients and high in fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains, it is a heart-healthy approach to eating.

    US News says: “For a 2,000-calorie diet, you should shoot each day (unless otherwise noted) for six to eight servings of grains; four to five each of veggies and fruit; two to three of fat-free or low-fat dairy; six or fewer of lean meat, poultry and fish, with one serving being equivalent to an ounce; four to five (a week) of nuts, seeds and legumes; two to three of fats and oils; and five or fewer (a week) of sweets. DASH suggests capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day and eventually working to stay at about 1,500 milligrams.”

    It has also been noted that, though not its primary goal, the DASH diet can achieve weight loss. Participants in a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, lost on average 19 pounds in four months.

    The Mediterranean Diet

    In second place in the US News Best Diets report, the Mediterranean Diet is a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in healthy fats, nuts and seafood. It aims to help keep the weight off as well as ward of chronic illnesses.

    A British study found that the Mediterranean Diet cut the chances of early death from heart disease by 37%. The findings are so remarkable that the diet is considered more effective than pills.

    The MIND Diet

    A diet geared towards brain-heathy foods is third place on the Best Diets report. Designed to help fight against Alzheimer’s disease and mental decline, the MIND Diet emphasizes eating from ten food groups, including green leafy vegetables, beans, whole grains, poultry and even wine. Five groups to avoid, however, include red meats, butter and fried food.

    The MIND diet is a fusion of DASH and the Mediterranean Diet, so perhaps it is unsurprising to follow quickly behind them in the list.

    Otherwise known as Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, a study by Rush University Medical Center found the MIND diet lowered Alzheimer’s risk by up to 53% for those who adhered to it rigorously.


    These three diets certainly got the seal of approval from US nutrition experts, and should be considered for those who want to lose weight and have a healthier heart and mind. Other diets, however, were less popular with the US News judging panel:

    The Dukan Diet

    Coming in second to last, the Dukan Diet failed to win over the panel with its claim of helping dieters lose 10 pounds in a week by eating as much as they want from an approved list of foods.

    Rigidly structured over four phases and heavy on the rules, the Dukan Diet expects you to adhere it to 100%.

    Not convinced? In 2014, the diet’s creator Pierre Dukan was removed from the French medical register. Not a ringing endorsement.

    The Whole30 Diet

    In last place – out of 38 diets – the Whole30 Diet received the least buy-in from US News.

    The 30 in the name is the number of 30 days that followers of this diet are expected to cut out all traces of sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy and legumes. Slow reintroduction will then help to pinpoint what foods are the cause of a whole wealth of ailments, ranging from bad acne and digestive issues to low energy levels and allergies.

    While the diet does not require calorie counting or standing on the scales, even the slightest slip-up will send you back to Day 1 while your body recovers from alleged inflammation.

    The verdict from US News? “No independent research. Nonsensical claims. Extreme. Restrictive. The slams against Whole 30 came in strong from our panelists, and it tied with the Raw Food Diet as the worst of the worst for healthy eating.”


    At TRAINFITNESS, we understand that making sensible eating choices can be difficult, and personal trainers who aren’t qualified nutritionists are limited on how much they can responsibly advise a client. Our body fx CPD course helps give personal trainers the knowledge to deliver a 16-week transformation with a “metabolic tune-up” grounded in sound science rather than trends or fads.

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  • stomp fx V17.1

    The aim of stomp fx is to increase the heart rate so that at some point in the workout, or several points, we work in the anaerobic training zone. The more often we do an exercise, the more the body adapts to it. This means that it gets harder and harder to get into the anaerobic training zone by doing the same exercises. In this release of stomp fx we once again introduce you to some new movement patterns to challenge you in ways you’ve not been challenged before.

    “Shadows of Love” is the Mobilisation track where Neil gradually increases the intensity of each exercise each cycle so the heart rate and body temperature increase accordingly.

    Track 2 continues to see the intensity increase in “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. We start by teaching the basic Lunge and the Shuffle on the floor. This then builds in intensity with Double Jump Lunges and Shuffles on the step into Mountain Climber. By the end of the track everyone should be almost working anaerobically.

    “Boom, Boom, Boom” is our PHA track. We alternate between legs, Fast Feet with Lunges; and then alternate upper body moves, Crawling with Underhand Grip Press-ups. The cardiovascular system works hard as it moves the blood with oxygen and nutrients from the working muscles in the lower body to the working muscles in the upper body.

    We then keep the intensity up with another High Intensity Athletic track, “Into the Night”. The intensity and complexity of the moves are gradually increased each cycle. Watch the phrasing on this one; you do 10 Shuffles and then hold. The hold eventually turns into the big jump on the “Wohoa”.

    Our second PHA track is next with “Good Life”. We teach the Walking Burpee with a Press-up. Listen to the music to get the rhythm because it’s not a regular pattern. We use the unusual rhythm to transition to the floor. Lunges off the front of the step target the lower body.

    The intensity needs to come up again now so we move onto speed and agility. First of all, clear the area. Make sure there are no objects lying around anyone’s step. Fast Jogs, Turning Jumps and Sit Down Stand Up make this a great workout track.

    We move onto balance next with “I Want You”. This is a dynamic Balance track where we not only balance in a standing position, but take it to the floor as well. Remember to get right up on your toes in the Sumo Balance.

    The next track is called “Jump”, and that’s what we do - jump! It’s propulsion time so when you hear the word “jump”, you jump as high as you can. The heart rate will increase rapidly and the aim is to hit that anaerobic training zone.

    We wrap up the workout part of v17.1 with a moves-style track and “Blu”. Here is a cute and simple combination that starts with the basic moves that are slowly layered to create a nice combo that acts as a post workout recovery.

    The Active Recovery track is “Mr Reggaeton”. The angles of the movements change each cycle to ensure we hit all the muscle fibres and prevent the shortening effects of the workout.

    The Fitness Test happens in track 2 this release, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Three exercises - do as many as you can. Neil’s scores are below so let us know if you do more!

    • Dbl. Plyo Lunges – 30
    • Underhand Tricep Press-ups – 29
    • Jump Over & Sit – 15

    We hope you enjoy stomp fx v17.1.

    4 MIN READ

    pump fx v 17.1

    Written By



    fx - Group Exercise Programmes, pump fx

    Posted On

    1 March 2017

    pump fx V17.1

    In v16.3 we introduced pre-exhaustion where we work an assisting muscle group first to fatigue it before we target the major muscle group. The aim is to overload the major muscle group more than we would normally. We use this methodology again in v17.1 however rather than doing pre-exhaustion in a single track, we do it over multiple tracks. In this release we perform the Triceps track before the Pectorals track. The result is our pectorals have to work harder as the triceps have already been exhausted. We then fatigue the biceps in our Biceps track before we go into our Back track with the aim of focusing more on the Latissimus Dorsi.

    We’re also very pleased to announce that pump fx and blast fx now have separate sound tracks. pump fx v17.1 now has a unique playlist which allows you to keep the music even fresher.

    Mark starts of off with mobilisation and “Hungover By a Dream”. While the aim is to increase the body temperature and mobility of the joints, we also want to introduce the rhythm of the Lunges which we use later in the workout as well. It’s a challenging rhythm, so practising in the Mobilisation track will increase everyone’s chance of success later in the workout.

    We move straight into the Triceps track and want to give them a great workout before track 3, Pectorals. “U Move U Rock Me” includes the Reverse Grip Press-up which forces the elbows to stay close to the body, thus focusing in on the triceps. This is followed by Tricep Kickbacks and Tricep Extensions to ensure that we hit the triceps from every angle.

    With the triceps now fatigued, it’s time to hit pectorals in “Home”. As we do fewer Bench Presses this release than we do in a regular Pectorals track, encourage your group to load the bar up as much as they can. Using the heaviest weight they have ever used in a Pectorals track is going to give the best results. We combine the Bench Press, done in Bridge to engage the core, with Asymmetric Press-ups which allows us to target the pecs at different angles. The more angles of pull, the more coverage of the muscle group we get.

    Moving onto our Deltoid track with the coolest song in the list, “Down Like the River”. We continue on with an asymmetric movement pattern and introduce the Handbag Row (or Man-bag Row if you prefer). This targets the lateral head of deltoid first and allows freer movement through the shoulder than a traditional Upright Row. We then focus on anterior and lateral heads with a Shoulder Press and finish of by targeting the anterior head of deltoids in the Reverse Grip Front Raise. Ask your group to do as many Front Raises as possible; however, throwing in the occasional Bicep Curl when/if needed gives just that little bit of rest which may be required. Only two rounds in this one, so try to keep it moving.

    Bicep tracks almost always include the same old exercise, the Barbell Bicep Curl. In this release we wanted to vary that so we included Plate Curls in a seated position. Sitting down allows us to do Concentration Curls which, if you’re a regular weights lifter, are similar to a Preacher Curl. We can focus right in the biceps with this exercise. Finishing off with Speed Curls ensures the biceps are worked just as hard, if not harder than a barbell-based track.

    Having fatigued the biceps, the lats are ready to be worked in “Keep Pushin’ On”. The entire posterior chain is targeted in this track and it’s also the track that pushes the intensity up the most. Starting with Dead Lifts, we move into the High Pull. This is a dynamic exercise that requires explosive power. As the biceps are tired, the hamstrings, glutes, lats and posterior delts all must work harder to get the lift needed. We finish with the Dead Row to Clean to keep the heart rate up and hopefully hit that anaerobic training zone.

    With the heart rate already high, we want to keep the intensity up and begin the leg blitz; Squats followed by Lunges. “We Are We Are” starts with slow 4/4 Squats and gradually builds in intensity and power and finishes with the Box Jump Squats. This is an advanced exercise and is best taught first as a Squat, and then a Squat Jump and finally the Box Jump. Some participants may feel more comfortable sticking with the regressions, which is perfectly fine. Encourage the power in the lift part of the Squat though to ensure they are working the explosive power of the muscles rather than just endurance as they normally would.

    The quads will be tired but there’s no just yet. “Queen of the Disco” continues the leg blitz on quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. The rhythm of the Lunge was taught in the Mobilisation track, but we travel it this time over the top of the step. This requires greater control and therefore more muscle recruitment and in turn, we burn more energy. Changing the plane of movement in the Lunges works the body in a slightly different way than we have in previous releases as well. Great track – we love it!

    The structure of this release has been quite different to previous ones and due to the amount of core stability required in “Queen of the Disco”, we wanted to leave the Core track till the end. In “Le Temps Passe” we introduce Windscreen Wipers on the step. The height of the step allows us to position the body in such a way that we maximise the range of movement, thus working the abdominal muscles through the greatest range possible. We finish the cycle off with a Plank Role which requires full contraction of all core muscles.

    Feeling exhausted, we stay seated on the step for the Active Recovery track, “Runnaways”. As we varied the angles of movement in the workout, we continue to vary them in the stretches. The pattern is simple with a few slight variations each cycle in order to target all of the muscles worked.

    We replace the choreography of track 6, “Keep Pushin’ On” for the fitness test in weeks 1, 6, 11 and 16 in this release. There are three exercises which your members will perform as fast as they can with the aim of doing more repetitions each time they do the test. Mark managed to do:

    • 20 x Single Row to High Pull
    • 41 x Reverse Grip Push-ups (WOW)
    • 21 x Box Jump Squats

    See how your members go and let us know if they beat Mark’s score!

  • groove fx V17.1

    groove fx has always been about adding your style to our choreography. The aim in v17.1 is to highlight this which we’ve done by having three groovers in the video. Michael is joined by Lisa Welham and Katy Moore, and you’ll see that they all have very much their own style of dance.

    When you watch the video you’ll see each of the team move very differently, even though the choreography is the same. If we were to isolate the presenters and then compare, it would be easy to see that each move looks quite different when performed by each of them. When learning the moves, feel free to add your own style and personality to the moves. If a move doesn’t feel right for you, remember pro-choreography: make it your own.

    We start with “Shadows of Love” and a great little arm pattern that’s used later in the workout. Watch the phrasing because the arm pattern happens on counts 1-8 and then again on counts 25-32. We then repeat it, so it may feel a bit odd at first.

    “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is our second track. Once again we have arm patterns that follow the words of the song, which is a bit of a theme in v17.1.

    The music style changes to more of a Hip Hop feel in “Boom, Boom, Boom”. Relax the arms, relax the shoulder and “whine” that body.

    “Into the Night” feels like a Steps music video. Get your best musical face on and swing those arms all the way ‘round.

    Track 5 is a good-old dance-style track, “Good Life”. The challenge here is in the second combo where you always step back on the back leg and then bring the front knee up on the circles. We gradually build the pattern and it may be week 2 before your group masters the pattern. Feel free to leave the arms out until they get the feet.

    Then we’re back to Hip Hop in track 6 with “How It Goes”. We take part of the arm pattern we used in the Mobilisation track and add a different style to it. Get a high Jump Back in the third combo.

    Bollywood-style is next in “I Want You”. The arms follow the words, so get the group to sing-a-long; it will help them remember. This is a high intensity track, so really get the group to travel.

    We keep the intensity up in “Jump”. Even though it’s a slower track, the big movements keep the heart rate up. Practise the Pas de bourree into the Heel Flicks because they form the basis of most of the moves in this track.

    Movin’ into the ‘20’s with another great dance track, “Blu”. This is a nice easy track to finish off with and will certainly have your group smiling.

    Sounds like Rihanna, but it’s not: “Mr Reggaeton” is our Active Recovery track. A nice, simple routine designed to gradually reduce the heart rate. Remember to remind the group to stretch once they’ve finished.

    And that’s groove fx v17.1.

    Until next time, have fun, let go and dance!

  • blast fx V17.1

    New exercises, new movement patterns and new challenges are what we aim to give you in blast fx. Katy & Leanne are going to do just this in v17.1. We start with a whole new, UNIQUE (different to pump fx) playlist. Yes, we have separated out the soundtracks for pump fx and blast fx. In terms of new moves, we see a progression of the Shrimp Squat which was introduced in v16.3 and an amazing Plyometric Plank in our Core track. Deep breaths now, and begin.

    We start with “Turn Up The Music”. Katy introduces us to some flowing movements to mobilise the joints and warm up the body. The style of this mobilisation is quite different to previous ones and aims to give greater mobility through the hips in preparation for what’s to come.

    Leanne then delivers the Plyometric/Propulsion track with “Mighty Real”. The big move here is the Feel Good Leap. Step into it, sit deep and jump high – always on the “…you make me feel.”

    We continue to increase the intensity with HIIT and “Into the Night”. We add our first sports conditioning-based move here with the Slam Dunk. Jump high, pull those arms down hard and fast as you throw the ball through the hoop. Parachute Overs are next. Ignore the beat and do as many as you can. We then finish our 45 second work cycles with the Gridiron (American football) Run. The aim is anaerobic training, so no stopping. You really want to hear you group puffing and panting by the end.

    After HIIT, we drop the intensity down (kind of) for the Core track with “Lift Me Up”. The Plyometric Plank requires a fast contraction through the core muscles to go from elbow to palms. This is a full-body core workout that requires both stamina and control.

    Katy then introduces us to PHA and “We Are Family”. Every time you hear “We are family” or “Get up everybody and sing”, you squat. The instrumental is the killer hold. We then drop for a couple of sets of Push-ups to allow the quads to recover, but not too much. Everyone will be gritting their teeth on this track.

    After PHA, we need to give the legs a little bit of a break so we move onto the Balance track with “Hallelujah”. This is a dynamic Balance track where we move through different positions including a Knee Squat and a Single Arm Leg Plank. We start though by teaching the Extended Shrimp Squat. Transfer your weight onto that front leg as much as you can, then lift the back toe if you can, before you do the lift. Control!

    Track 7 is “Burning” and is our Agility track. Starting in Beast with knees just an inch off the floor, we gradually build a small combination that sees us get up off the floor and change directions quickly. You must be agile to get it all done in time to the music.

    As the release draws to a close, we aim to increase the intensity one last time with HIIT and “Tell Me”. Leanne uses Ski Jumps and Jogs to hit that anaerobic training zone.

    We finish off the workout with “Riot” as our second PHA track. We alternate between Lunges coupled with Walking Get Up Get Downs and Upper Body Breakdance. A bit of agility is required with both upper and lower body endurance.

    Wrap up the workout with our Active Recovery track, “I Give You All”. Simple 3D stretches following similar flowing movements as used in the Mobilisation track. Everyone will need a good stretch, so at the end recommend your group targets the calves, quads and glutes in some static and developmental stretches after the workout.

    Our Fitness Test is done in place of track 3 in this release, “Into the Night”. As always, the exercises are practised every week and then you conduct the Fitness Test in weeks 1, 6, 11 and 16. The aim is to do more repetitions then you did in the previous test. Here are Leanne’s scores. How do yours compare?

    • 19 x Thread the Needle Right
    • 12 x Parachute Overs
    • 35 x Jump Squats
    • 16 x Thread the Needle Left

    Like everything in life, you’ve got to get into it to get something out of it. Get into blast v17.1 and let us know the heights you scale!

  • Written By



    fx - Group Exercise Programmes

    Posted On

    1 March 2017

    fight fx V17.1

    As the excitement builds towards the release of another brand-new version of fight fx, I wanted to take a moment to breakdown the structure and rationale behind v17.1.

    Our Mobilisation track, “Home is Where the Heart Is”, sets the scene by creating an authentic fight workout atmosphere. We start with a traditional kata and slowly build the basic strikes and kicks to form a nice combination achievable for everyone. This track is about getting the technique right before we move onto faster movement patterns later in the workout.

    Track 2, “Funky Radio”, is upbeat and certainly lifts the heart rate through a combination of shuffles and fast jabs in a total-body fight combo. Starting with the basics, movement patterns are built upon through layering to give everyone the opportunity to perfect foot placement and develop awesome technique: it’s a great Kickboxing-inspired track!

    “Should I Stay or Should I Go” has a traditional Karate feel, with an extra special agility challenge in the Shoulder Roll. As the instructor, you’ll need to dig deep into your coaching skills toolkit to offer the 2 x Side Step regression. This is a fun track that will have your members smiling.

    “Long Time” is our first PHA track with upper and lower body targeted, and it’s an absolute beast. From a Plyometric Plank where you jump from elbows to hands to Plyometric Lunges, your heart rate will be through the roof and everyone will be left with serious “jelly legs”.

    We then introduce our first full Capoeira track in “Mesa Verde”. It includes some basic Capoeira moves performed to a beautiful piece of music to create what we think is a great introduction to Capoeira. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of fight, acrobatics, dance and music. It was developed in Brazil mainly by Angolans in the 16th century and in 2014 it was granted special protected status as ‘intangible cultural heritage’ by UNESCO.

    Track 6 is “Hello”, our Boxing-inspired Skipping and Speedball track. Boxers will often use a jump rope (skipping rope) as their first exercise when they hit the gym to train. This is usually for around 10-15 minutes prior to their main training session. Our 5 min track hopes to give you an insight into the demand placed on the body when training for Boxing. This form of training will help your conditioning, rhythm, footwork and power, along with challenging your balance, therefore enhancing your ability to hang on in the later rounds of the fight!

    There is not a regular sit-up in sight in the Core track, “You Don’t Know Me”. Using the Beast as the start and end position of every move, every single core muscle plays a huge part in keeping the spinal column braced through slow, controlled mat work before moving into high intensity, Propulsion Kick Burpees! Enjoy

    “Stella”, another Fight track, starts with a breakdown of the lower body positions including foot placement, strike surface and stance. Basic upper body strikes are then layered in before we give it some speed. This track will keep you thinking on your feet and challenge your agility.

    Our final Fight track, “Suga”, has the feel of Taekwondo with kicks, knees, direction changes, tempo changes and fast strikes. There is no room for mistakes in this track; fire up that muscle memory and use visualisation for perfect mastery.

    “Moving On Up” brings us to active recovery. Starting the track with the kata from our mobilisation, we move onto our 3D stretches creating a real calm; almost Tai Chi-like feel as we let the moves flow. Relax, rebuild, recover.

    Luan shows us the Fitness Test which replaces track 9, “Suga”, in weeks 1, 6, 11 and 16. Speed is the key so ask you group to get in as many reps as they can in the allocated time. Here are Luan’s results.

    • 17 x Alt Walking Planks
    • 25 x Side Kicks Right
    • 25 x Side Kicks Left
    • 52 x Alt Prisoner Lunges (OMG)

    See if you can do more and let us know.

    We hope you enjoy this release as much as we do!

  • Written By

    Colin Gentry


    General Fitness

    Posted On

    19 January 2017

    Want to train your brain while you run? Swap the beat for some knowledge bombs

    Working out to music has been scientifically proven to have benefits. But, if you’re sick of hearing that Clean Bandit song or want something to give your brain a workout as well as your body, podcasts could be the answer.

    Music with a high bpm and uplifting lyrics can help you workout harder for longer. However, during a lengthy cardio session sometimes letting the mind get distracted from the task at hand can help see through to the end.

    Podcasts are a great opportunity for some brain training. There is a whole wealth available to download for free online, ranging from intense political debates to live comedy shows. If you want to absorb some training tips during your session, then we recommend giving the follow a listen – and we’d love to hear about your own favourites in the comments.

    Mindset over Muscle

    Described as the “ultimate podcast for getting your mind right and motivating you to achieve success in anything you do,” this comes from personal trainer Jamie Alderton and best-selling author of the Mindset over Muscle book. Podcasts include how to get comfortable being uncomfortable during endurance training, and how obsession can good for you.

    No Meat Athlete Radio

    Whether you’re a vegan bodybuilder or a wholehearted carnivore, this podcast provides food for thought on both what you eat and how you run. Host Matt Frazier has run multiple ultramarathons so the guy knows what he’s talking about.

    Related content: Read our Blogger testimonials

    Mark Bell's PowerCast

    Powerlifter Mark Bell interviews big names in fitness every week. From the extremely influential trainer Charles Poliquin to bikini model Meg "Megsquats" Gallagher, the conversation is diverse and full of practical advice.

    Another Mother Runner

    A great podcast not just for busy mums but anyone who needs some inspiration and motivation to improve their time management and pound the pavement. Host Sarah Bowen Shea is not only a mother of three but has found the time to run 12 marathons as well as complete podcast interviews with the likes of triathlete Liz Lyles and clean eating chef Jacquelyn Grandy

    TEDTalks Health

    TEDTalks have become synonymous with engaging, thought-provoking presentations by an array of speakers and personalities. This collection of health-focused podcasts are no exception. Topics include whether how we speak can lead to psychosis, to life after cancer and why we really, really should wash our hands.


    Find out how to become a personal trainer with our guide

    The diet you’ve never heard of is the best of 2017

    Watch our webinar about becoming a great T3 coach