Monday morning. New week. Here’s some reminders if you are looking to get fitter, slimmer, healthier.

  1. Aim to exercise 2-3 times. Block out 5 times in your diary, if you miss a couple no harm, if you make all 5 appointments with yourself you’ve over achieved.
  2. Try and add an extra 10 minutes walk into each day this week to increase your steps a little.
  3. Drink a glass of water once every hour.
  4. Track what you eat in MyFitnessPal, see where you are in comparison to your calorie goal.
  5. If you aren’t in a calorie deficit try and reduce your intake by 200-500 calories a day.
  6. Hit five portions of fruit and veg a day. Try to mix it up, eat a range of colours.
  7. Eat 1.5 x your body weight (in kg) in protein a day.
  8. Struggle to get to sleep? Try drinking your last coffee at midday.
  9. Stretch. For a few minutes day, when you’re watching TV or at the very least once this week.
  10. Identify one thing you struggle with and decide on one small change you can make to improve.

A Quick Guide to Non – Exercise Activity Thermogenesis


  • Burns more calories per day than exercise
  • Measuring your daily steps is an easy way to monitor / increase your NEAT
  • Generally a goal of 10,000 steps per day is considered to be good for the average person
  • 20,000 steps a day would be considered active
  • If 10,000 currently seems unachievable look at your daily average right now and try and increase it by 10% for the next week. Keep doing this every few weeks as you adjust to the change.
  • Each 1,000 steps added to a person’s day reduces risk of mobility loss
  • Don’t just focus on steps though, think about moving more in general (dancing, playing with the kids, housework, shopping)

Therapy or Therapeutic?

Ask a lot of people who are into fitness why they train and you’ll get an answer that refers to mental health. There’s been a massive shift in recent years from people training purely for aesthetics to people training for how it makes them feel.

Exercise is a great stress relief, moving more literally releases endorphins, it can improve confidence, possibly get you outdoors and getting fresh air. So yes training can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health.

Viewing training as what your body can do and something that makes you feel better makes exercise a positive action rather than a form of punishment, where you train to eat more or change your appearance and size.

What exercise isn’t though, is therapy. It can be therapeutic of course it can. If I’m a bit stressed or anxious going to the gym or for a run can help alleviate the symptoms. If i don’t train for a few days I can feel the difference to my mood, largely because I actually enjoy the time I’m running or lifting, it makes me feel good, is a break from whatever is going on and a chance to blast some music and focus on me.

But exercise can’t replace therapy or solve actual problems. If training is literally the only thing keeping you sane or making you feel better it’s time to look at the issues exercise is acting as a sticking plaster for. The issue when you get to this point, is if you can’t train for whatever reason, you end up feeling terrible. When you feel like training through an injury because that would be better than how you’d feel if you took some time off, or rest days sound like a terrible idea because even though you’re knackered and burnt out a day off would make you feel guilty.

The benefits of training for mental health can’t be denied but we always need to remember that for it to be a benefit it needs to complement our life rather than dominate it, which means knowing when to rest even if you really want to train, when to pull back, when to take it easy and then appreciate what you are still able to do when you can train.

Project 40- Week 19

My cough has still not gone.

I’ve had a clear X-ray and other things ruled out which is positive, overall I’m pretty healthy. I just. cannot. shift. the. cough.

It’s tiring, i have a constant headache, my ribs hurt, my throat is sore and whilst I know my lunges are clear I feel like I’m drowning and my breathing is terrible.

Starting to get a bit concerned about running the half marathons I’ve signed up for. I’m not running fit and training at the moment feels impossible, I can run for about 5 minutes before I feel breathless so getting any long runs in prior to May is starting to feel doubtful. My aim for these half’s hadn’t been time based but I wanted to get to the start line confident I could get round comfortably and actually enjoy it (as opposed to last May when getting round by any means necessary had been the baseline) and I’m annoyed with myself that I’m not going to get to that point in time because my body is not playing ball.

It’s not just that, I teach classes and at the moment I just can’t do it – I can’t do cardio for myself let alone talk, and think and focus on people and what they are doing at the same time as trying to stand upright whilst exercising.

I’ve got some more steroids to see if that helps shift some of the build up and hopefully make it possible to actually exercise but at the moment I’m just generally feeling sorry for myself, I know exactly what I’d say to a client in my position but self enforced rest is incredibly hard when you’re used to training most days!

International Women’s Day 2023

Rather than being a day where people post pictures of women with hashtags hopefully there will also be posts focusing on this years theme (if you’ve read my blog for a while you’ll know every years there’s a theme).

This years International Women’s Day is about embracing Equity. So what does that mean?

For years women have campaigned for equality – being given the same opportunities as men. But equality relies on us all starting from the same point to begin with. In reality that doesn’t happen. It’s not just that girls and boys tend to have different experiences growing up and face different challenges to one another but even amongst women we all start from different places and have different levels of advantage or disadvantage and that means even two women given the same resources won’t be on an equal playing field to one another.

The idea of equity is that to create equality we need to ensure people have what they need to succeed. People with past advantages may need less now than their peers and rather than that being seen as unequal it should be embraced to allow others the same opportunities they have had. Of course beyond International Women’s Day this message counts for all. Where can this fit into the world of fitness though?

Gyms can be intimidating places, especially for new people, people with injuries, those coming back from illnesses, people starting back again after a long hiatus. For people who for whatever reason might need to take more tests, modify their movement, need a little more help in whatever way. Male or female it’s the fitness community and instructors / PTs role to help anyone who doesn’t feel like they’re in a position to just start exercising and provide the tools and a safe environment for them to train in a capacity that works for them.

International any day can end up being lip service but days creating actual conversations that help people think about things in different ways or consider different ways of thinking of things can have lots more benefits to a nice photo and a hashtag.

Hybrid AF

Are you Hybrid athlete?

Recently this phrase has become a full on trend on social media. So what is a Hybrid Athlete? Well officially someone who excels simultaneously in both strength and endurance activities, but essentially someone who trains for multiple disciplines or in multiple ways.

Is it really a new thing? Honestly, no. Lots of people have always done a mixture of heavy lifting and cardio, things like Crossfit where multi functional fitness is the aim, lifted and ran. It is however getting more attention now and with this new (not new but trending i guess) name gaining more recognition.

People who maybe once almost exclusively lifted might now consider running as a bigger part of their training or add in other types of exercise rather than being of the mindset ‘I do this and this is the best form of training and all other types of training are inferior’ mindset.

In this sense the growth of the Hybrid Athlete is a good thing. Multi functional programmes with variety and a mixture of cardio and resistance fitness can help people become more robust overall, not just leaner or stronger, but generally better equiped to live a healthy every day lfe.

When we talk about functional fitness or say a workout contains functional moves, we are essentially saying it will help up in every day life (carrying things, picking up kids and so on). Not focusing on one form of movement can help benefit you in the same sort of functional way as you are working on being more robust and fit overall rather than excelling in one particular way.

The other benefit i see from this type of training is the mindset benefits, in terms of confidence as you try new things, get used to stepping out of your comfort zone and expand you skill set. It also takes the idea of training away from being a means to an end to lose weight or achieve a certain physique and makes it a more feel good about yourself thing

The chances are you do already train Hybrid without really thinking about it, but you can use the new buzz word as a reminder to try new exercise trends, train outside the box, give new things a go and see where they take you.

Project 40 – Week 18

So I haven’t posted an update for a few weeks (since week 14 to be precise). My cough is back.

Well technically it didn’t actually leave it just eased for a while in December and January (so it was like I had something caught in my throat) and then all of a sudden BAM, I sound like I smoke 20 a day again. Honestly, it sounds like I’m trying to cough up a lung again.

I’ve coughed so much everything hurts, including my throat and then after trying to suppress the cough because I know how much I’m annoying everyone with the never ending noise, I lost my voice and sounded like I was trying to communicate in secret with some alien life form who can only hear incredibly high pitched squeaks.

Really struggling to train or run right now because I can’t control my breathing and everything feels heavy, which is apart from anything else mentally tough.

Hoping that by the end of this week I’ll have a better idea from the doctor of what I can do to get rid of the cough so that I can get back to some semblance of normality. I’m signed up for two (yes two because I’m not that bright) half marathons in May so really need to be back to full health so I can get some decent long runs in soon!

Should you Train When Ill or Injured?

Above the neck – OK

Below the neck- No

Chest Congestion – No

Hacking cough – No

Upset Stomach- No

Fever – No

Slight cold- OK (this Might temporarily ease congestion)

Runny nose- OK

Slight sore throat- OK

Hungover- Maybe (but you might be better to rest)

Injured with swelling – No

Injured and in pain – No

Injured but you are able to avoid using affected area- OK

Ideally when ill, injured or hungover you’ll rest and recover, but if you do feel like you need to train for whatever reason try and consider your intensity, what you are doing and modify where you can to avoid training having a negative impact on your health.

A Brief Guide to the Interweb for Les Mills Instructors – Updated 2023 Version

  1. There’s a file on the official page on the Book of Face telling you all the launch dates. If you ask for the launch date on the inter web chat pages you will be directed to the file and a huge debate will ensue.
  2. Launch dates are recommendations only and you should probably follow your clubs guidelines. Or you could ask for advice on the inter web and a huge debate will ensue.
  3. You can just mention the words Ongoing Development Point or Pandora’s Box and a huge debate shall ensue. They don’t really need to be in any particular context.
  4. If an instructor does something that you don’t agree with you could message that instructor direct about it. Or you could post a vague post on the inter web and a huge debate will ensue.
  5. The number for the office can be found on the Google and if you ask for it on the social inter web pages people will simply redirect you to this page or tell you to use the chat box and a huge debate will then ensue.
  6. You should not rely on the app as a teaching tool (which confuses me because it has a playlist button but what do I know). If you do rely on it and it doesn’t work and you mention this on a social inter web page a huge debate will ensue… and you’ll be told you should also take another fifty two alternate ways to play music in case the first fifty one all fail. One could be a violin on which you could play the release on yourself if the app fails because let’s face it playing a violin whilst doing a burpee (sorry a sprawl) is probably more reliable than using the app, which is only a learning tool. I repeat it is only a learning tool…
  7. Does anyone like the new releases? Ask on the inter web if you would like a huge debate to ensue.
  8. When do you start to mix? Now you could go off LM guidelines or feedback from your classes, or you could ask the inter web and a huge debate will ensue.
  9. How do you book a webinar you wonder? Surely that could be asked on a inter web page without causing a debate… try it…
  10. You could also ask why there are no face to face quarterlies anymore on the interweb should you wish a debate to ensure (it’s in no way a cost cutting measure by Les Mills one can be assured).
  11. If you decide to ask why there are no face to face quarterlies anymore you will be told by at least 326 people that they far prefer online webinars. Remember on the social pages of the interweb that some people have not yet realised that they can like something and someone else can like something else and that these things can in fact co-exist.
  12. You should probably have by now bought an entire wardrobe of Adidas and burnt all your Reebok on a bonfire with a Reebok clad Guy on top. Please remember to thank Adidas for your new clothes that you did in fact pay for on the social interweb or it doesn’t count.
  13. Where’s Dan?

* Please note this intended to be a joke and not to cause offence or start a debate on the inter web in any way.

* Also if anyone knows the best trainers for Body Attack now that Reebok trainers are awful please let me know…