I’ve just recorded my latest podcast.
This is all about my thoughts on recent conversations surrounding fitness.
I’ve just recorded my latest podcast.
This is all about my thoughts on recent conversations surrounding fitness.
It’s not unusual to review your life at the start of a new year and decide what you are happy with, what you want to change, what you would like to achieve within the coming year.
Often we want to lose weight, earn more money, travel more and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things being motivators.
It’s understood by most people who work in any kind of field where motivation is key (fitness is a great example) that people are more likely to meet those goals when they genuinely want them for a real reason that they feel some real passion or connection to.
So if you want to lose weight you’re more likely to achieve that when the reason is improved health or to be able to play with your children than because you think you probably should be a size 10.
Not only are you more likely to achieve a goal when there’s a purpose behind it, it’s also more likely to make you happy.
What about when one of your goals is to help other people?
As a society we are sceptical of anyone offering help, the saying you don’t get something for nothing springs to mind. When people offer things for free we tend to immediately assume there’s a catch.
But sometimes, some people’s purpose does involve, in part, just helping people.
Again fitness is a great example of this. It’s an area that many of us who work in it feel real passion about. We want to help people, bust misconceptions and encourage. Now of course we need to earn money too, so we have to charge for some things. But equally a lot of us want to help and will happily provide a lot more for free than you may get in other sectors. Hell, it’s a little selfish because the feeling you can get for knowing you made a difference is some people’s purpose in itself.
So today I wanted to highlight one fitness professional who does just that, and this year has (in my opinion) stepped it up even more.
Lauren McDowell is a Les Mills instructor, who has long been a Tribe Coach (a position where instructors volunteer time to mentor other instructors) and is well known on the instructor social media groups for providing technique videos and feedback.
This year she seems to have stepped it up a notch. After asking on Instagram what people wanted help with she has already produced videos on Body Combat kick technique which anyone can view (check it out here).
But beyond that she has also started producing regular simple and practical tips aimed at people starting out or getting back into a fitness journey.
None of this makes Lauren any money, but she believes and is passionate about encouraging others to participate in fitness and doing it in a way that you enjoy and makes you feel good.
I have the pleasure of working with Lauren as part of Jump 4.2, which has a massive support network for instructors, all helping each other out, and she is also always available to support everyone in that group.
Lauren is of course one of many fit pros I know who provide so much help to others beyond the selling of their services, and they do this because part of their purpose is to help others. They can keep helping people even when they get nothing concrete out of it because it serves their purpose and they feel they get value from it regardless.
So back to my original point, there’s absolutely zero issue with your goals being money motivated or weight orientated but to achieve them you need to be motivated, and to stay motivated those goals need to mean something to you. Sometimes what you realise means something to you might not make sense to anyone else, sometimes the value you get out of a goal may not be physical but mental. Having a clear idea of your purpose will however help you make 2020 a year you get closer to your goals and those goals making you happier.
Equally, your goal really doesn’t have to be what you’d normally expect. Could it be to help more people or help specific people, rather than get a promotion or drop a dress size? Would that create a fire in your belly that pushed you to achieve your goal?
You can of course have a mixture of goals and I’m not suggesting becoming Mother Theresa here, but thinking beyond the norm of New Years Resolutions could help you find something your truly passionate about.
I’m pretty confident one of Lauren’s goals is helping more people this year (I’m sure she has others). You can help her teach more people by checking out her Instagram here, and if you do Combat do check out her technique videos!
So you have decided you need a PT.
Time was that meant going to your local gym, now though there are other options as more and more PTs offer online training too.
So which should you pick? This is my opinion on the pros and cons of live v online PT (note I do a bit of both so perhaps that makes me biased, perhaps more objective I don’t know!)
– If you’re new to training a PT with you as you train will help build your confidence
– They can review and correct your technique
– They can keep you motivated
-Making an appointment with someone makes you get to the gym
– Expense – you are paying for an hour of that persons time, if you want to do that three times a week that’s going to cost a bit
– If you have experience in the gym you may not always need someone with you
– You have to fit training around both your schedules so it’s not particularly flexible
– You are limited in options as you need to train where the PT works
– If you are confident in the gym it provides you the coaching and guidance you need without someone watching over you – you can still get feedback on lifts, advice
– Complete flexibility as to when you train
– Often cheaper than live PT
– Can be completely tailored to you – giving you as much or as little support as you desire
-Allows you to pick a coach from anywhere and train anywhere
– If you aren’t sure about training this option can be harder (although not impossible with many coaches offering videos etc for guidance)
– You need to motivate yourself to get to the gym and train and be honest about what you are doing.
January 1st is the day where traditionally people go on ‘a diet’.
The word ‘Diet’ conjures up images of restriction, lettuce leaves, starving, no chocolate, cakes or sweets, cutting out carbs, cutting out fat … the list goes on.
What ‘Diet’ actually means is the sum of food consumed by a person – what we actually put in our mouth.
Some diets may be more health focused than others, some may promote weight loss and others weight gain, but we all have a ‘Diet’.
So if you were planning on starting a ‘Diet’ in 2020 – good news- you’re already on one and have been for the last 365 days!
So actually all you need to do is make some small improvements to that current diet to see weight loss.
If you have booked sessions with a trainer, signed up to a programme or plan (in person or online) then you know you will get the advice you need to do this sensibly.
If you are planning on making the changes yourself then don’t look to quick fix diets or plans that promise you a six pack in six weeks.
Work out how many calories you burn daily, take 20% off this and aim for that number of calories each day. This will create safe and sustainable calorie deficit which will allow you to reduce body fat steadily.
You can eat whatever you want as long as you stick to that calorie allowance. Perhaps you will want to make more sensible choices and eat less junk but overall the way to reduce body fat (which I am assuming is the goal) is to consume a little less than you burn.
Overtime you might want to start fine tuning what you eat, but to start just focusing on hitting a calorie deficit is a great habit which will make a huge difference to how you feel and one small change to your diet at a time will have a longer lasting effect on your health in 2020 than any quick fix fad diet.
This time last week I went to Les Mills Tribal Gathering in Twickenham (London).
I’d ummed and ahhed about going, booking a space but not booking travel until the week before. I like going and trying the new releases and meeting people (and to be fair now unlimited CPD is now included in the price of your music I kind of think why not go to as much as possible, I’m quite keen on self development and learning). Equally however I always feel a bit apprehensive going to these things alone.
It was interesting to read on some social media forums this week that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Logically you know it isn’t the case that everyone has gone with a massive group of people and knows everyone, but when you walk into a room of chattering noise alone it can feel that way.
I’m fortunate I know quite a few Les Mills instructors around the country and have spoken to so many people via social media over the last couple of years that there’s always people I know pretty well without having ever met who I can catch up with, and it’s brilliant to put real faces to names (this is another reason I love travelling a bit further to these events – getting to meet those people). Equally, I’m naturally quite a shy anxious person so, even with all those absolute positives, there can be moments in the day when it feels a bit overwhelming and you just want to see a familiar face.
I was planning to write a blog on the topic and then saw the posts bringing the topic up and I think it’s really positive that people feel they can have these conversations and highlight those feelings, because sometimes there’s an urge to hide them away for fear of looking weak or like a billy no mates. In highlighting that it’s common for people to feel a bit nervous and alone at these events it encourages you to make the effort to speak to strangers, go up to people on there own and say hi and generally make a brilliant event even better.
I know, even though I get a bit nervous at these things, I can make conversations with people I’ve not met so it’s manageable for me, but for some people perhaps we need to be the one to go and break the ice and that’s a great reminder for us all. Equally, some people may look quite confident (I will go and chat to people I don’t know which may make me appear more outgoing than I feel) but be anxious behind that, so just smiling and saying hi to everyone is a great way to go.
It also made me remember how our new participants feel when they first walk into class. That feeling that everyone seems to know everyone and what they are doing and perhaps they don’t really belong here. It’s a great reminder of the care we need to take to make them feel welcome.
It is also worth while remembering what we would say to that participant and applying that to ourselves in a situation like this.
Ultimately, I know that it’s ok to feel uncomfortable sometimes, it’s good to make yourself do those things you’re a bit scared of sometimes even. I also know by going and enjoying the day, even if there were times I was a bit lost or nervous I overcame those feelings a bit. I had a great day, met some brilliant people in real life who I’ve known via Facebook for a while and next time I go to a Tribal Gathering alone I have a couple of positive experiences of doing so behind me to help me reduce the nerves (I also travelled to Glasgow alone).
What can I suggest you do if you’re nervous about going to the next Tribal Gathering alone or if you want to try a class at your gym but are anxious about making that first step?
2. Find out whose going who you do know and arrange to meet before hand so you have someone to walk in with – those first few moments are normally the ones that are the hardest and once you’re moving it’s not so bad.
3. Take some time out if you need to during the event. Grab a coffee and a quiet spot and regroup (but Tribal specific that one!)
4. If you’re new to a class let the instructor know you’re a bit nervous – they’ll help ease those nerves and make sure you have a good first class… now if you’re at Tribal you might not be able to speak to the presenter beforehand but you can chat to those around you – let’s face it they too are all instructors!
5. Remember it’s always ok to leave. I can almost guarantee once you’re there you’ll have fun and decide not to, but knowing that at the start of the day / the class can help get you through the door.
Sometimes doing things you actually want to do is still hard because our brains get in the way of us – there’s ways to get over that though!