Jump 4.2 – Week 2

Today I’m entering week 3 of Jump 4.2.

Yesterday I finished two weeks of eating a Paleo based diet and having spent last week reviewing my TDEE I am about to embark on a week where I track my calorie intake to help me see where I am food intake wise and hat I need to change to stay on track.

I do feel quite comfortable on a Paleo based diet and have in the past done 4 days on / 3 days off for long periods of time, so for me fourteen days wasn’t too tough, although weekends are still tough when you are used to being able to relax your diet a bit and social occasions require thought and planning if you want to stay on track.

The reward for sticking to it however was worth it.  Yes I’ve lost  little weight (around 4kg but my weight fluctuates a lot anyway so this number doesn’t mean lots) and my body fat went down whilst muscle mass increased (according to my scales I would add so again take that as you will depending on how you feel about scales).

More importantly for me I feel better- less bloated, more energetic and like I’m fully back in the habit of eating homemade, fresh food over processed foods.  I think you can see a difference around my waist and I feel like my skin looks brighter.

Today I’ve had toast with my breakfast (which also contained plenty of protein and veg) and a really nice slice of homemade coffee and walnut cake courtesy of a colleague, my lunch has still essentially been chicken and veg.  Mentally I’ve noticed how much I’ve enjoyed adding foods back into my diet without feeling guilt, instead focusing on how much I’ve enjoyed what I’ve eaten today.

Training wise I’ve largely stuck to my normal training routine, although where I’ve had time I have tried out some of the sessions (I’ve done three so far), and these have been challenging but fun.  I like the fact they have all taken less than an hour to complete and that each one has a clear focus and is easily adaptable to your own current fitness levels and equipment availability.

There is also a strong mindset focus each week and this week the focus has been on morning routines.  I have long felt I need to work more on my morning routine as I often feel rushed in the morning.  This week has made me realise that in order to get my shit together in the mornings I need to get a better night time routine to help me get to bed earlier ad get a good night sleep so I’m less desperate to snooze come morning.

A week with a trip to Edinburgh and being away from home over the weekend wasn’t the best week to get into regular night and morning routines but this week I am making it my one goal to really develop a more positive morning routine.

The thing I like most about this programme so far is being able to read through the downloads and listen to the audios and videos when it suits me rather than having to be in a particular place at a set time.

All in all I’ve enjoyed the first fortnight and am looking forward to week 3, and to keep me accountable I will update you again next week!

Jump 4.2 – Week 1

This week I started two weeks of Paleo based eating.  I’m currently on day 5 and feel like I’m starting to get into a rhythm with it.  The first couple of days I find hunger always hits a little no matter how much I eat and I often feel a bit of a drop in energy as my body adjusts to not having some of the things it’s used to.

I’ve tried to keep my meals varied with eggs, chicken, pork, salmon, different vegetables, salad and fruits as well as nuts and so far haven’t missed chocolate too much- although all the nice cakes and biscuits people keep leaving in the kitchen at work don’t make this easy!  Thankfully I normally drink black coffee so the lack of milk isn’t too much of an issue.

The reason I’m doing this is that I’ve decided to work through the 8 week Jump 4.2 Programme with Ricky Long.

I’ve trained with Ricky for a couple of years and his coaching has always extended beyond simply giving you a training plan, so he has encouraged the formation of numerous habits and mindset shifts for me in that time.

This has allowed me to be in a position where I am able to be involved in helping support those who are going through (and have previously gone through) Jump.

I realised however that what I haven’t yet done however is actually fully work through the full 8 weeks from start to finish in the format and order the programme lays them out in myself.  This is something I felt would be both useful in allowing a greater understanding of the challenges within the programme so I can provide more support whilst also continuing to work on my own mindset, habits and fitness.

I haven’t started the workouts or mindset work as yet but plan to get going with that this weekend.

I’m committing this down on my blog to hold myself accountable to you for the next 8 weeks and plan to keep a regular diary of my progress on here over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about what I’m doing please contact me and I’ll be happy to answer anything you may want to know.

My Favourite (Fitness) Websites (and why)

My Protein

Affordable protein and supplements with quick delivery times and regular offers.

My favourite product is the Whey Protein Powder in Vanilla which you can use in cakes and smoothies as well as on it’s own. I’m not a huge fan of protein shakes and tend to use them as an addition when I need a quick boost of calories and / or protein but I am a fan of adding protein powder to homemade muffins, energy balls and smoothies so a plain flavour like vanilla works well as it complements most recipes.

Added bonus if you do like drinking them as a stand alone drink and want to experiment this product comes in a wide variety of flavours so you don’t have to get bored.

I also really like their seamless leggings rangewhich have a gym shark feel without the same price tag- definitely squat proof, look good and are super comfy and long (useful for long legged people like me)!

Check them out here – My Protein

Muscle Food

Good quality meats for an excellent price (and let’s face it meat is expensive).

Buy one of their bulk packs and freeze!  I like the chicken in particular because it doesn’t shrink when cooked!

They also do nice protein packed cheat style meals (like protein pizza) – now generally if I’m going to have a pizza I’d prefer to have a full on stuffed crust loaded one, but if you want to get the taste at a fraction of the calorie cost these could be a good alternative.

Check them out here – Muscle Foods

They have also recently started doing a meal prep style offering where they deliver your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks weekly and also provide you with workout plans and an online support group.

You can opt to get 5,6 or 7 days worth of food.

I haven’t tried this so my opinion on this service i purely based on looking through their website.

I think I would want to add some extra vegetables and fruit to this plan personally (and tend to prefer and recommend homemade / freshly made meals wherever possible) and I haven’t tried the exercise plans so can’t comment on them, but if you are struggling to meal prep and find yourself buying a lot of your meals off the shelf / living off ready meals this could be a possible way of staying in control of your calorie intake that is quite cost effective.

Have a look below.  They are currently offering £10 off your first order using the code UNTHINKABLE

Muscle Food Meal Prep

What are your favourite fitness product websites and why?

My Guide to Body Pump – Re-Blog!

I wrote this back in April but it’s all still relevant so if you are looking to start Body Pump have a read!

If you have ever looked into taking a class at your local gym chances are you will have seen Les Mills Body Pump on the timetable.

It is probably the most successful group exercise programme in existence. I love teaching it and still take it as a participant once a week.

Done regularly with challenging weights it will give you results.

Most people who want to lose weight / tone up do lots and lots of cardio. Cardio is good for you BUT you also need to do some resistance work to shape your body. Body Pump is great because it works the whole body in 30-60 minutes using a low to medium weight and a LOT OF REPS – all whilst moving in time with some good music. If you have never used a barbell before it is also a safe introduction into some basic lifts / moves.

However if you have never used weights before it can also feel a bit intimidating. I remember my first class and the confusion at everyone collecting lots of different sized plates and changing them quickly in between tracks and my bemusement at how everyone seemed to know what move was coming next!

So this is my ‘what you need to know’ guide to taking your first Body Pump class:

  • Arrive at least 10 minutes early and introduce yourself to the instructor so they can help you set up and so they know that you are new. This can help them tailor their teaching, ensuring you have a good first class.
  • Stick with light weights for your first couple of classes and concentrate on getting the hang of the tempos and the moves. Body Pump works because you are doing large numbers of reps, so whilst you want to use a challenging weight eventually, it’s ok to start off light – 3.75kg each side might be a good starting point for most.
  • The instructor will give you a guide of what to put on the bar at the start of each track (e.g. double the weight, take 1/3 off etc.). Listen carefully to this – they will normally give two options – one for regulars, one for new people but do not be afraid to stick with the same weight all the way through on your first class.
  • The structure of every class will always be the same:

60 minutes

  1. Warm up
  2. Squats
  3. Chest
  4. Back
  5. Triceps
  6. Biceps
  7. Lunges
  8. Shoulders
  9. Core
  10. Cool down

45 minutes

  1. Warm up
  2. Squats
  3. Chest
  4. Back
  5. Lunges
  6. Shoulders
  7. Core
  8. Cool down

30 minutes

  • Warm up
  • Squats
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Core

So when the whole class looks like they know what is coming they do for a reason-

and after a couple of classes you will too!

  • Talking of continuity – we get a ‘new release’ every 3 months. So at that point, every instructor will teach this new set of tracks for 4-6 weeks. That is why when you do your first class some people will look like they know what is coming – they have probably done the track lots of times before! After about 6 weeks, the instructor will probably start to ‘mix’. This means they will bring back some older tracks to keep things interesting and keep your body reacting well to the class.
  • As a new member, you can take advantage of something called Smart Start. This means that if you want to try a few tracks (we suggest up to the back track) and then leave you can do. Leave your stuff out and the instructor will put it away at the end of class. Then next week you can stay for a couple of extra tracks, and a few more the week after until you can do a whole class. This is optional and you can stay for the whole class if you want, but it does provide an option to try the class out and build up week by week if you are new to exercise.
  • With Body Pump technique is more important than weight so don’t worry too much at first about what you are lifting – instead work on getting the moves. Doing them well will bring better results than just picking up a heavier bar!
  • The tempo is also really important in Body Pump. You will hear the instructor ask you to move at different tempos (3/1, 2/2, bottom half pulses). These aren’t just to make it more interesting. The different tempos help to work different muscle fibres and maximise your results so try to work with the instructors pace.
  • You aren’t moving or jumping (well occasionally you might be jumping but rarely!) but you will sweat and you will get out of breathe. Body Pump will burn calories as well as shaping your body.
  • Don’t be worried if you wake up the next day and climbing the stairs or tying your hair back hurts! This is your body reacting to new training and will pass in a few days. After a few classes your body will take less time to recover!
  • If you have done weights in the gym before you may be confused by a couple of the moves we do in Body Pump! Be aware that some moves (Deadlifts for instance) are modified for the studio environment. This is for safety reasons as a) we move at a fast tempo and b) the instructor needs to make sure a large group of people are all moving safely.

I hope that the above tips have made the idea of trying a class less daunting! If you do decide to give the class a go, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Buddy Box Review

Earlier this month I received the September Buddy Box in the post.

Buddy Box is one of those subscription boxes a product which has grown in popularity recently often boxes filled with the latest beauty products – that you get in the post once a month, filled with products you don’t know you’re getting until they arrive.  The appeal here coming from not knowing what you will receive ahead of time, and getting to try new and different products you may not otherwise.

These boxes have a different purpose however.  They are designed to promote self-care, with each months box having a theme related to looking after yourself and taking some time out for you.  You can buy the boxes on a subscription basis or as a one-off box.

I first came across the company, Blurt, a couple of years ago when I was going through a period of severe depression and a friend gave me a subscription to these boxes – now every now and then I buy one and it gives me a little push to look after myself a bit more than normal.

Blurt, in their own words “exists to make a difference to anyone affected by depression. Being diagnosed can be overwhelming – there’s a lot to learn and plenty of prejudice to battle. Telling people is tough, and not everyone will understand. That’s why we’re here for you, whenever you need us, for anything at all.”  One of the ways they do this is by their subscription self-care boxes.

https://www.blurtitout.org/

This is what I got in the September box:

https://www.blurtitout.org/product/grotty-times-buddybox/

  • Bath bomb for the shower – I’ve not tried this yet but the Lavender smell is designed to help you sleep – something which can help you feel better when you’re stressed and down. I’m not a huge fan of baths so I like he idea of  a bomb for the shower.  I’m saving it for the next time I want a chilled early night – possibly this weekend.

  • 54 Self Care Idea Cards – A set of 54 cards- each with a self-care idea on them. The idea is when you need to take a moment for yourself you can pull out a card at random and try the idea on the card.  I’m not sure how well this will work if your already feeling unmotivated but I like th idea of small actions creating self care and it does take away the need to have to think of what to do away from you- which during low periods can help in iself.  These might live on my bookcase so I can grab them as and when.

  • How To Grow Your No map – A map guide of how to learn to Say No! Not sure how I’ll use this but it’s an interesting little guide into how you can build up slowly to saying no when you really don’t want to do something – a great tool for those who suffer from anxiety and find themselves saying yes a lot.

  • Peopled Out Door Hanger. Pretty self-explanatory but a cute little door hanger to brighten up a room.

  • 365 Days Self Care Journal – This is Blurt’s second book. A journal which you can use in any way you wish with the idea that every day you jot down how you feel to help you work through any low periods. I’ve not started using it yet but plan to get into the habit in spending a few minutes each day jotting to see what impact it has.

  • Magazine and Postcards – little extras to read / use as you wish.

If you’re looking for a little pick me up, or even a nice gift for someone else who could do with a bit of a mental pamper these make a great buy – whether it be a subscription or one-off purchase.

Systems

The week before last I hit a bit of a slump – my training and nutrition has slipped and I was eating far too many calories and not nearly enough fresh food. Hello sugar!

When this happens I find the easiest way for me to reset is to have a week of no ‘rules’ but decent food and for me the simplest way to do this is order in some meal prep.

I’d love to be able to afford to buy meal prep every week but it’s a bit beyond my budget however for a week to take away stress, add variety without having the stress of cooking it’s a really good idea.

I used PerfectPrep. They deliver nationally (UK) and I got 14 meals for £72. They were delivered Tuesday and lasted me until the end of Sunday (on Wednesday and Thursday I had 3 meals).

I added in my own breakfasts and snacks and by the end of the week with zero effort or proper planning I’d hit my calorie target and my protein targets for the week. I felt better and this week have eased back into my normal eating habits feeling like my mind has re-see itself.

Have a system that allows you to eat well but accept that sometimes you will need to mix things up for a bit and having some back up plans, like I had here, allows you to re-set without just saying sod it and eating everything and anything you can lay your hands on.

What happens at Tribal Gathering … goes on my Blog

My plan was to take a photo diary of what really happens at a Tribal Gathering whilst at the Liverpool Tribal Gathering this Saturday.

Turns out I’m rubbish at taking photos though and then even more rubbish about getting around to using them.

So here is the written version of what a Tribal Gathering / One Live / Les Mills Live/ GFX is really like:

  • You will start the day in your best Reebok, hair washed cleaned and down (maybe straightened), there may be make up- all of this will last approximately one track into your first class.

  • After this it’s endless top changes and baby wipe showers and an increasingly messy pony tail – depending on your mascara choices you may end up resembling Alice Cooper.  The toilets start to resemble your bedroom

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  • Except for some girls who somehow manage to maintain perfect hair and make up even as they are coming out of a GRIT session – these people are aliens
  • There will always be ladies cooking small humans who make exercise look more effortless than you do (respect here!)!

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  • Noone wears Nike… or Adidas
  • In fact 90% of people will be in not only Reebok but the exact same outfit- picking people out of a crowd will be like playing Where’s Reebok Wally
  • Body Pump is the first class of the day… for everyone… it’s the law. Unless you opt for Body Balance first… the Body Balancers are odd and us Pump people don’t really understand them… why would you stretch at the start of the day?????

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  • Everyone has a Polar or Fitbit… otherwise I’m pretty sure your training doesn’t count
  • Everyone will have a bag half the size of them. It will contain every piece of gym kit they own plus enough food to feed a small nation
  • Bumbags and bands on water bottles- say no more

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  • Everyone brings some form of sweets- Jelly babies, Haribo, pic n mix… it’s actually the law to consume sugar on days like this (normally whilst sat on the floor exhausted by life)

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  • 20% of your day will be taken up with eating said sweets plus buying and inhaling coffee
  • We gather in packs for this refueling and create much mess

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  • You spend another 20% of the day running past people you haven’t seen for months whilst yelling greetings
  • With the odd catch up towards the  end of the day when you’re now too tired to dash to classes and accept you might be late for Combat

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  • Another 20% is taken up with selfie taking (often on other people’s phones ahem)

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  • There obviously also has to be a picture on stage after a class so it looks like you just taught it… here’s Lou pretending she just taught Sh’bam….

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  • 10% of your time is spent trying to work out where room 2 is
  • In the rest of your day you may do some classes! Perhaps … just one or two…. Or y’know – 5…
  • Then you will get the required group selfie- otherwise you put all the calories just burnt back on plus 10%

  • If you’re me you will not do a single class you booked onto but end up in random things like Barre because you got over excited and followed someone. You may not even know the person you followed
  • You meet at least one person for the first time even though you’ve been Facebook friends for 3 years
  • You find out your friends have hidden talents during Sh’bam then force them to perform for you whilst you take photos

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  • All of this is done in the knowledge that you will be able to eat the mother of all cheat meals that evening (before the cake in this bag I had an immense hot dog and chips!)! All fitness instructors basically train to eat.  If they tell you they don’t they are lying.

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My Beginners Guide to Dance Classes

I teach Zumba and Les Mill Sh’bam. I’m not a natural dancer but that’s ok. I think I’m actually an excellent example of how anyone can enjoy dance based exercise classes.

I’ve written in the past about how classes that look tough can be scary to start- but I totally get that for many dance classes are maybe even more off-putting. A lot of people put themselves into the two left foot category and think they will look stupid.

But – hand on heart these classes are so much fun.

Tough day ? Try going to a dance class and I challenge you not to leave smiling. The benefit of having exercised is almost just an added bonus.

So if you’ve been debating giving a class a go but haven’t been sure here’s my what you need to know tips so you walk into the room with some idea of what to expect (because let’s face it the unknown is always the scariest thing)

  • First – Don’t worry about whether you think you can dance or not – just go and try
  • This isn’t going to be learning a complicated routine to perform in front of your friends and family this is using dance moves to get the body moving and the heart rate up to burn calories and feel healthier and fitter
  • It is still exercise so you may find the odd squat disguised as a dance move – it will help you tone up without even realising!
  • Nobody cares what you look like – the other participants are going to be too caught up in what they are doing to watch you
  • Likewise – there is a lot less technique to worry about in dance classes than some other classes out there so the instructor probably won’t mind if you are freestyling or doing something differently to them!
  • It’s supposed to be fun – you are allowed to smile!
  • If you get a move wrong you can just laugh and carry on – honest
  • No instructor I know takes these classes so seriously that they will be offended if you freestyle a bit- if you aren’t sure about a move do whatever feels right to keep dancing – If you love a part of a track and go want to add your own style – do it. In fact I love it when regulars bust out their own moves on certain tracks
  • Don’t think you won’t sweat- it sounds bonkers but my Fitbit normally tells me I’ve burnt more after teaching Zumba or Sh’bam than Body Pump! I put this down to enjoying it so much I forget how hard I’m working and so keep the energy high all through the class. It doesn’t mean you are unfit – it means the class is working as it should!
  • Like all classes there are levels you can take. If your new or have any little niggles(back, knees etc.) you can walk moves through and take out the jumps (in fact you can do this just to get used to the class)- as you get more used to the routines you can take the energy as high as you like
  • Don’t worry if everyone seems to instinctively know the moves and you feel like a fish out of water- we tend to repeat routines so regulars will know what’s coming – in a few weeks time you will too and the new person in the class will be looking at you thinking how do they know what’s coming!
  • You can wear any gym kit that feels comfortable – do wear trainers though. We will not let you join in in bare feet (unless the class specifically says it is to be done this way!) – this is to stop you getting injured so don’t be offended by this

So which class should you choose?

I am obviously a bit biased towards the ones I teach! Honestly though – best thing I can suggest try all the ones on offer at your local gym and see which one you enjoy the most. There’s so many different styles there will be one for you and the best way is to give a few a go.

Your options include:

  • Zumba – probably the best known dance class. These classes are all based on some key steps and contain a mixture of international music and rhythms. Each song is its own little self contained routine. The instructor won’t speak but will direct you with hand gestures and their movement. Every instructor will put their own spin on the class and prepare their own routines so if you can try a few different instructor’s classes to find one you gel with – and be aware if you go to someone elses class it may feel like starting Zumba all over again a bit!
  • Les Mills Sh’bam – Different to Zumba in that it is choreographed, so whilst every instructor will bring their own personality, whichever you do it the moves will remain the same. New routines are introduced every three months for variety and there will be a variety of styles of dance and music but again each track will be it’s own little self contained routine – normally containing a couple of basic steps which are built up into a little dance combination.
  • Les Mills Body Jam- Another pre choreographed class which means it will be the same whoever takes the class. Unlike Sh’bam and Zumba though this class builds up into one big routine. Each track will focus on one part of a routine which you dance through towards the end of the class. Slightly more dance focused whereas the moves in Zumba and Sh’bam tend to be more dance based exercises (in my opinion)
  • Freestyle – Classes where the instructor designs the choreography and may use a mixture of styles or specify a type of dance (e.g. Street Dance) – these will all be different so don’t let one put you off trying another until you find your fit.
  • Other choreographed classes e.g. Beachbody Cize, SOSA Dance – all with their own style and formats.

As well as being great exercise these classes can be freeing and massive mood boosters so I’d urge you, if you’ve been thinking about it, to give it a try. Remember nothing you do will be wrong and anything goes and just have fun!

What (I think) you need to know before you do your ETM / First IMT

I don’t mean how the course is structured, what it will cover or what you need to do to pass.

This isn’t what you need to know.

I mean the important things – the things no one tells you – the things I wish I’d have known the first time I went on each of these!

ETM

  • You will spend approx 6 weeks grapevining. Constantly.
  • To bad music.
  • And by bad music – I mean the type of music I love- I loved the sound track for my ETM. I believe I am in a minority of one on this.
  • You will get DOMS – specifically in your calf’s (blame the above grapevining).
  • On day one you will realise that moving to the beat is one thing. Talking at the same time? Different matter.
  • It’s ok though because on day 2 you’ll start to get the hang of this.
  • You will start putting together your assessment class and decide a knee repeater is the best move ever and design your whole routine around it. It’s going to b the most creative ETM routine EVER. A masterpiece.
  • Then you’ll realise how hard it is to find five progressions for a repeater knee and pick another move. Any move.  Probably the box step.
  • In fact you will have a grapevine and box step in your routine – I’m willing to put money on it.
  • The practical days are long.
  • On day one you will take a packed lunch of spinach and carrot juice. Because fitness instructors are healthy.  And role models.
  • On day two you will take bread and Haribo. Because bread and Haribos will ensure your survival.
  • You will start to consider injecting coffee into your eyeballs as the weeks progress.
  • You will bribe friends into letting you practice on them.
  • They will tell you how amazing you are doing. Even though you’re still shit at this stage.
  • You will cry. At least once.
  • And by once I mean probably at least once a day.
  • On the assessment day you will do your assessment plus take part in several others. Everyone there will be slightly shell shocked with how hard 3 hours of old school aerobics actually is.  I return to your calf’s.  You will probably cry.

IMT (Les Mills)

  • You will spend more time learning your allocated track than you ever spend learning entire releases going forward.
  • You will write a script that Shakespeare would be in awe of ahead of your first presentation.
  • During the first morning you will realise you need to say completely different things to what you’ve scripted and have to start again.
  • You are going to have to introduce yourself and your mind will go completely blank when you try to recall an interesting fact about yourself. Everyone else will do the same and you will think you are the most boring group of people in existence.
  • You will remember the magic powers of Haribo (pic n mix also works well as do Jelly Babies) from ETM and will have come prepared this time.
  • Remember coffee? Yep still vital.
  • You probably signed up to do this course because you thought you were OK at the class right? Wrong – the technique session will convince you otherwise.
  • You will second guess any answer you go to give to any question – What is a layer 1 coaching cue for a squat? What would you say in a class introduction for Body Combat? What is your name? No idea mate.
  • You will feel like you are about to fall asleep around about 3 pm both days – hello Haribos.
  • You want to be perfect. You will panic because you aren’t – you will probably not pass because you definitely don’t move like Lisa O or Rachel.  You do not need to panic about this.  I mean you don’t move like them but you don’t need to.
  • There is an exam on Les Mills on day 2 (kind of)!
  • You are going to have to get used to group selfies. Because these are part of instructor life and if you don’t have a selfie at the end of a course they don’t update your result on the portal so

DVD Submission (Les Mills)

  • Passing the IMT will definitely be the hardest part right? Erm sorry mate but no.
  • Nobody likes filming for certification – but there’s no way round it, not even bribery, I’ve tried!
  • You will practice and script this release to the point you will be able to teach it off the cuff for the rest of your natural life- and probably for several years after you die.
  • Then as soon as the camera is on you will mess up the first rep of the warm up. Even though you can teach this in your sleep.
  • You will film on average 276 times before you are happy with it to submit for your first programme. This number reduces dramatically as the number of programmes you teach grows.
  • Someone will walk in half way through the warm up. They will probably position themselves in front of the camera.
  • It is the law to wear full on Reebok for these filmings. If you wear Combat gear for a Pump DVD or vice versa you will be put on a special watch list and may not pass.
  • The camera will probably stop recording half way through the class- this will be the class that is perfect and you would have definitely submitted on.
  • It may take you several weeks to get a filming you are happy with. It will then take you six months to upload it onto the portal.
  • During this time you will come across Jon from the office. We like Jon.
  • When you pass if you don’t post your certificate on Facebook with an Oscar Style thank you speech they withdraw certification (perhaps).

*Please note some of this “may”be a bit tounge in cheek

Shopping Locally

I love fruit.  I don’t think there is a single type of fruit I don’t enjoy and it’s one of those foods that makes me feel better when I eat it (I know some fruits can be naturally quite high in sugar but, right or wrong, I work on the basis that unprocessed foods are probably ok for you in moderation).

I try to buy a variety of different types of fruit each week and then have at least two different types each day- so I’m getting variety and a range of different nutrients and tend to have it as a mid morning snack.

This can be expensive!

This blog isn’t about the scandal that is fast / processed food being cheaper than the stuff that’s naturally good for you, or a lecture about how, if you value your health, paying more for food is an investment.

It’s about local markets.

I’m probaby a bit late to the game with this one- you may already buy your fruit from local market stalls.  I live in Manchester City Centre (in the UK) and don’t drive and there aren’t lots of lcoal markets so I’ve always relied on supermarket fruit- which tends to have a short shelf life and if you want a nice variety is not cheap.

I recently discovered the fruit and veg stall in Picadully Gardens on a Staurday (I think there is also a fruit stall in the indoors Arndale Market too aong with a fish monger and butchers- all of which I’ve yet to try but I will).  I’ve been going weekly for a fews now and last Staurday I got a punnet of strawberries, punnet of blueberries, punnet of blackberries, box of grapes and tub of apricots for a fiver.  That’s good value- plus it doesn’t go off really quickly so I can make it last the whole week and the Blackbrries were HUGE and really juicy.

It’s actually also really nice to get served by the same people every week rather than using the self scanner at Asda!

I need to shop locally more often and fully intend to test the value for money of the other market stalls inside the Arndale over the coming weeks.  If you don’t already, I can highly recommend finding your local market and giving them a go, because eating well can be expensive – so if helping out local business also helps your own wallet it’s a win all round.

On another fruit related note –  it’s been bought to my attention that I may eat Kiwis strangely. 

I eat them with the skin on!

Now I’ve been led to believe this provides more fibre and vitamin C than eating the flesh alone but apparently it creeps some people out!

I can’t be the only person to do this?