Body Combat for Beginners – Reblog

One of the classes I teach is Les Mills Body Combat. This was the class that made me want to become an instructor so I really enjoy teaching it and always encourage gym members to give it a go.

I do get that it can be a bit intimidating for new people the first time they come to class. The moves are fast and the terminology can be confusing! But it’s also great fun and punching a kicking the days frustrations away can be incredibly satisfying!

If you are thinking about trying a class for the first time but are nervous and unsure of what to expect here’s a few things that I hope will help ease those uncertainties and allow you to have a great first experience:

  • It might sound obvious but tell the instructor you are new at the start- it will help you feel relaxed and they will be able to make sure you’re ok throughout the class and will make sure you have a good first experience.
  • There are three formats of the class- an hour class (10 tracks so sometimes it will be shorter as the length of a track can vary depending on intensity), a 45 minute class and a 30 minute class. The tracks in the shorter (express) versions are selected to still ensure you get maximum benefits from the class despite the shorter time frame.
  • Body Combat is mixed martial arts inspired. You will experience tracks based on a variety of martial arts throughout the class as well as incorporating some MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) training.
  • Don’t worry it’s non – contact. You will be punching and kicking an imaginary opponent or bag (so the air really!)
  • You don’t need any equipment – just you, your gym kit and trainers (and some water!)
  • The moves are choreographed to the music but don’t worry if you aren’t great at following a beat at first- you will still be getting your heart rate up even if you don’t get every combination of moves straight away. Following the music and combinations will get easier and when you do nail that combo to the beat you feel amazing!
  • You are mirroring the instructor’s movements. If they say right foot forward, they will put their left foot forward so if you imagine they are your reflection in a mirror and mirror their moves you will find you are soon putting your right foot forward without even having to think about it! Don’t worry if you new to group exercise we know this takes time to get used to!
  • Once they press play the instructor will generally not pause the music unless you need time to grab a mat. This is to keep the heart rate and intensity of the workout high. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break if you need one- listen to your own body – the instructor won’t mind, just come back in when you are ready.
  • It is a tough cardio workout. You are going to burn calories. You will get out of breath- that’s ok it’s why you are there. If you need to take a break take one, grab some water and come back in when you are ready.
  • There are always opportunities to work within your own personal limits. The instructor will give different options throughout the workout to either dial the intensity up or down. So if you don’t want to jump there will always be a move you can do instead that doesn’t involve jumping but still provides lots of benefit. Equally the instructor will be able to guide you in how to improve a move to increase the intensity if you are ready to challenge yourself a bit more.
  • If you are new there is something called Smart Start. Effectively it means you are allowed to stay for a few tracks. When you feel like you have done enough you can leave (make sure you stretch before you leave the gym!) then each time you try the class, see if you can stay for one extra track until you can do the whole class. New exercise classes can be tough, we know that, but you don’t need to be put off from trying them because you aren’t sure you are ready for a full class yet.
  • There is a lot of terminology that may be unfamiliar – jab cross, uppercut, hook, roundhouse kick etc. It might take a while to remember what each move is but don’t worry you can watch the instructor throughout and over time you will start to take on board what each strike is so you can react quickly to cues.
  • When you strike imagine your opponent is your height! The instructor will tell you which body part to aim for with each strike – if you imagine the opponent is your height you will get the most effective workout. Possible.
  • It doesn’t matter if you can’t get your leg to head height when you kick (I certainly can’t!)! You will probably find as you attend more often your kicks will get higher, but the range of your kick will have a lot to do with your flexibility so don’t worry if you can’t kick as high as the person next to you – work within your own range of movement and just challenge yourself to kick a bit higher as time goes on.
  • If you have done martial arts training some of the moves may feel ‘wrong’. Some of the moves in Body Combat are modified to ensure they are safe and effective for a group exercise environment. It’s a martial arts inspired class – not a martial arts class.
  • Combat is an amazing core class. All the moves involve massive work through your core and your instructor will coach you how to effectively work the core throughout the class. So as well as burning lots of calories and increasing your CV fitness you will also find the workout does great things for your waist.
  • If you have a question about a move, go and chat to the instructor at the end of the class. We generally love talking to people and want you to get the most out of the class. If you aren’t sure if you are feeling a move ‘in the right place’ ask and we can spend a few minutes on your technique to ensure the following week you are confident you are getting the most out of that move / track / strike / kick.
  • Instructors get a new track list every three months- at which point they will teach this in it’s entirety for around 6 weeks. After that they will ‘mix’ older tracks into a playlist to keep it interesting for you and keep challenging your fitness levels until they get their next playlist. In other words – you won’t ever get bored.
  • Finally- it’s an exercise class and it’s meant to be fun. Don’t worry if you struggle with a move or aren’t great at certain kick- ultimately it’s all about moving and having fun whilst doing it so try not to take yourself too seriously.

Benefits of paying someone else to programme a fitness plan for you

I’m a fitness professional and could quite easily programme my own gym workouts without the help of an online coach.

Instead I get a personalised programme every month.  There’s a number of reasons why working with someone else, whatever your level of knowledge, can be beneficial and this is why I think it’s a good idea to work with someone on your gym programming, even if you don’t want or need a PT to physically be with you during your sessions.


If you programme for yourself the urge to stick to the exercises you like and avoid those you find tough completely is strong.  If someone else does your plan for you, you will probably find yourself doing a wider variety of sessions and mixing in those moves you find challenging allowing you to get better results.

Another Perspective

Letting an outsider look at your goals and provide advice can be hugely beneficial to your results as they can often see your areas of weakness more objectively than you can and provide ideas on training that you may not have thought about.


Checking in with a PT can provide enough accountability to keep you committed to your workouts.


Having someone to check your technique or movement patterns or discuss concerns you might have can help you progress in a way you may not on your own.   A coach / PT can give you that kick up the bum we all need sometimes.  Likewise, having someone to cheer your successes and push you to reach your goals is equally as useful.

Online Training can provide great value and an alternative to face to face PT sessions (of course these are also super useful) and it allows you to work with someone outside your local geographical area.  This means you can select someone with a particular specialism, to suit whatever your goals may be.

If you are looking for support for your training next year this is a great option to consider and if you need advice on how to pick someone I’d be happy to help!

When Should I Train?

You work in a 9-5 (or even longer shifts) job?

Fitting in training can feel tough.

So when is best to train?  This is going to be different for everyone – some people love a workout before work, others couldn’t think of anything worse.  If you’re like me when you train could vary depending on the structure of your week and what training you’re doing that particular week.

Here’s the Pros and Cons or training at different times of the day

Morning Workouts


  • You’ve got your workout out of the way before the days really started, reducing stress
  • Leaves your evenings free to do other things
  • You’ll be that super annoying person at work greeting sleepy colleagues with a bundle of energy because you’ve been up for several hours already
  • Breakfast tastes better after a workout!
  • The gym is often a little quieter at this time
  • If you do classes you’ll get to know all the other regulars as it tends to be a more consistent group of attendees in the morning
  • You start the day feeling energised


  • If you hate mornings this isn’t going to be for you
  • Getting ready for work takes more organisation if your going straight from the gym

Lunch Time Workouts


  • Can help stop you overeating at lunch time
  • Time efficient – leaving your mornings and evenings free
  • Having limited time to train can keep you focused
  • A lunch time workout can increase energy levels for the afternoon and help avoid an afternoon slump


  • If you don’t have a gym nearby this is tough to do (but still possible if you have shower facilities)
  • Workouts have to be short (not always a bad thing)
  • You don’t get much time for showering / changing after
  • You have to fit eating in somewhere else in your day – how possible this is depends on your job
  • You need an hour lunch break to make this work ideally
  • If you’re northern you don’t get lunch break because you have dinner!

Evening Workout


  • Potentially more time to train so less pressure
  • Your brain can switch off now it’s the end of the day and you cn focus on your workout
  • Can help de-stress


  • You can be tired by the end of the day
  • Gyms are often busy- Monday’s especially.

Weekend Workouts


  • You might be able to dedicate more time to a session
  • Less stress means you can relax and enjoy training without watching the clock and needing to be in work soon
  • The gym might be quieter so easier to get on the equipment you want


  • Reduces the time you can relax away from your working week (although for some training helps relax them)
  • If your gym is near work rather than home the travel time could be prohibitive
  • It may be hard to fit regular workouts into your weekends depending on what you like to do / if you travel a lot etc
  • If you fancy a drink on a Friday or Saturday night training the next day might not be much fun

I personally like to do different types of session at different times to suit my mood. Experimenting and finding the time you feel best working out at can make a huge difference to how committed you stay to a training plan.


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!

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ****

I’m not a fan of treadmills but I do enjoy getting outside in the fresh air, so whenever I get running in my training programme I try to do it outdoors.

The first time I got a session that mixed running with body weight exercises that I would normally do in the gym I was torn.  I didn’t really want to do the running on a treadmill but how else did I mix it in with Bulgarian Split Squats? The answer was I got a bit creative and used tree stumps and park benches I found along my run to mix them in (body weight squats obviously).

Since then I’ve adapted lots of my running plus body weight sessions so they can be done outside and they are often my favourite workouts of the week.

When I tell people about these workouts I am often met with slight horror at the idea of doing a squat or a burpee in the middle of a park or along a cycle path.  Some people don’t even like the idea of running in public so the idea of adding in body weight exercises just seems too embarrassing.  What is people see me?

I would say, don’t worry, nobody is looking at you, but actually that probably isn’t true.  It’s a bit different so sometime people do look.  Last Friday I went out on my lunch break to a nearby park which is right next to a main road.  I did some sprints mixed in with body weight squats and half way through a set of squats a couple of blokes in a van felt the need to shout their ‘feedback and encouragement’ in my direction.

To be honest though this didn’t bother me and certainly didn’t stop me finishing the workout.  Of course I felt a bit silly the first time I trained outdoors but now as long as I finish my workout and get to do it in the environment that makes me feel good (and running outside does that) I don’t care whether strangers watch me or even take the piss.

Because there’s one thing I’ve learnt from doing these workouts outside.

If you are doing what works for you it doesn’t matter what other people think, especially people you have never met, and those people that feel the need to judge you not only don’t matter but are probably holding themselves back from doing what they really want to do because they are too insecure to stand out from the crowd.  Essentially it’s ok to be different.

I’m also pretty confident that the odd person that walks or jogs past as I’m doing mountain climbers on a patch of grass in a park would like to have the confidence to do the same and rather than looking at me to judge they are perhaps just curious or even a little impressed.

A few months back I was in the middle of set of jump lunges on a cycle path in between runs and two elderly ladies stopped and asked what I was doing and why.  I explained and they asked a few more questions about what they could do at home that was perhaps a little less jumpy and then went on their way.

I appreciate that training outside isn’t for everyone and if it isn’t for you fair enough, but if there is a type of training you would like to try but are holding back for fear of what others might think then stop.  Give it a go and pretty quickly you will coem to see that even if people do judge you it matters very little.

Training outside has been like my own little version of learning the subtle art of not giving a shit!

How to Travel and Train

Travelling can throw you off your training routine, whether it be for a holiday abroad or at home or a short break or work trip.

However, there are a variety of ways you can keep active whilst travelling: 

  • Hotel Gyms

Many hotels now have gyms – albeit the quality of equipment can vary from a full gym worth of equipment to a couple of pieces of cardio equipment and a single dumbbell.  If you are staying in a hotel with a gym then taking your gym kit and an open mind can be one option.  You may be able to get an idea of what equipment the facility has from their website beforehand so you can plan a workout ahead of time, but if not you can probably work with what is there to keep moving- even if it means departing from your normal routine.     

  • Running

Free and something, you can do anywhere.  Often if I’m staying overnight, in a hotel I’ll just take my running gear and go for a 15-20 min run in the morning.  No checking gym opening hours required so you can fit it to whatever your schedule is.  The added bonus is running somewhere different to usual can be interesting – a run around the city’s sights or along the beach is often more inspiring than running round your local park (or for me down the local cycle paths) and the fresh air first thing can set you up for he day.

  • Yoga

Something which you can do in even the smallest of hotel rooms without worrying about people complaining about you jumping up and down and making noise!  If you already practice yoga you can probably run through your own sequences of moves but if you need inspiration, You Tube has lots of free guided yoga sessions which you could follow.

  • Virtual Services

There are lots of workouts you can do from home now- think Les Mills On Demand and Beach Body.  Some of these require equipment but plenty do not.  If you travel a lot it could be worth a subscription so you can workout in your hotel room when you are away.  If you don’t travel that often many services offer week long trials for free which you could utilise whilst on holiday.

  • Local Gyms

A great option to consider – especially if you are travelling in the UK.  Check if your current gym membership allows you access to any gyms in their chain, as you may be able to access without additional charges.  If not gyms such as The Gym Group and Pure Gym tend to do day and week pass options / trials for less than a tenner.  The benefit here is you can pretty much guarantee the gym will have all the equipment you need to stick to your normal workout routine without having to make changes.  You may even be able to get to a few classes if that floats your boat.  I did this when I went to my mums last Christmas – visiting the local Nuffield (I have a Nuffield membership) on Christmas Eve and then getting a day pass for The Gym on Boxing Day.  Managed to get my workouts in for an extra £7 without having to make any adjustments to what I wanted to do.

  • Body Weight Workouts

You can put together an entire cardio and / or resistance workout using body weight only (think push ups, burpees, lunges, squats, jumping, plank work).  This can be done indoors or outdoors to suit you.  I’m quite keen on short bursts of running (say 500m) with sets of jump lunges, squat jumps, burpees and press ups performed after every run- gives you a quick all over workout and lets you take in some fresh air. If space is tight you could focus on core stability moves and work the trunk of the body, taking out impact work.

  • Tabata

My favourite HIIT tool- 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest x 8.  You can do any moves you want.  7 rounds gives you about a thirty minute workout which will elevate the heart rate.  The ability to do any moves means you can do it anywhere with any equipment you have or just your body.  Type tabata timer into the app store and you will find lots of timers you can use.

  • Tennis / Golf

If you are on holiday abroad there will often be tennis courts or similar at your hotel.  Getting involved in some sports whilst you are away is a great way of getting exercise in – beach volleyball, tennis, golf- without really thinking about exercising.

  • Sight Seeing

Walking might seem less intense than your normal training sessions. But if you are on holiday and planning on visiting lots of sites remember that the walking you do will count towards keeping moving, so perhaps you want to leave the gym kit at home and just get in lots of steps whilst away.

  • Rest

If you travel all the time finding a system for training whilst away is a good idea.  However, if you are only away for a week or two on holiday there is no harm in deciding to just take a break from training completely.  This could be the perfect time to let the body rest so you are eager to go again upon your return.

I would love to hear other people’s ideas and methods of staying active whilst on the move.

Core Stability Classes

Core Stability Classes.

There are lot’s of benefits to having a strong core.

For instance it allows you to carry out every day tasks with more ease (picking things up, carrying things etc.), reduces risk of injury, makes you stronger, means you can lift more.

I teach one class per week.

A lot of people come thinking ‘Abs class’.

In some gyms they may actually be listed as Abs classes to be fair.

But mine is listed as Core Stability.

So I do some targeted work to the abs (crunches and their variations, back extensions etc.).

But 80% plus of my 30 minute class focuses on bigger moves that target the whole trunk of the body however (shoulders, back, glutes, hamstrings and quads as well as the mid section).

So we do a lot of plank work, squats, lunges, use resistance bands to work through the shoulders.  I’m also quite fond of burpees (teaching them, less so doing them).

Sometimes I do circuits where we may deadlift, use medicine balls (ball slams, wall balls), use Kettlebells (Swings, Turkish Get Ups) etc.

Essentially though whilst I do teach Core Stability as a class in it’s own right I believe that you can (and probably already do) work on core strength within your current training regime.

Deadlifts, overhead squats, lunges, push ups amongst others will all work on increasing core strength.

Classes such as Les Mills Body Combat will work your mid section almost without you realising.

So go to a ‘Core’ class if you enjoy them (most centres have their own versions and there are brands such as Les Mill CX Worx) – they definitely have their place – and most classes now are more functional and less about doing moves which work only a few targeted muscles.  However, the core is the trunk of your body and you can strengthen it effectively through many types of training and without doing 30 minutes of pure isolated crunches.

One thing to note.  The thing I get asked most often after my core classes.  How can I get a 6 pack?  Now I don’t have a 6 pack so I can’t really claim to be any form of expert here.

The answer almost definitely lies in your diet though. No amount of 30 minute ab classes alone are going to create one (sorry).

But you can get stronger, fitter and feel great by adding some functional core training into your life (it’s just I think if you already go to the gym you probably already do some without even thinking about it!).

Top Tips-

If you are new to classes and want to try a Core Class:

  • Like all classes don’t worry about being new- say hi to the instructor and they will watch out for you.
  • Still take water- they can be tough still
  • Wear normal gym clothes and take trainers- some parts may be fine to do in bare feet but as I’ve indicated above not all sections of a core class will be lying down!
  • In this class there will always be options – I give more options in Core class than any other. Really really really don’t be afraid to take the options.  Here we want to focus on technique so it’s betetr doing what you can well than trying to do a ‘harder option’ and losing form.
  • Control is also key – soemtimes instructors will use the beat (it’s Exercise to Music after all) but if you need to slow it down to do the reps properly do it.

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!

Today’s Workout

Just because it was a good one…

Bent Over Rows

9/7/5/3/5/7/9 with 30/35/40/45/45/40/40kg

Chest Press

9/7/5/3/5/7/9 with 30/35/40/45/45/40/40kg

Pull Ups (assisted) followed by Thrusters

21/15/9 with (30kg up to 35kg for 9)

5 Front Squats / 10 Thrusters / 20 Back Squats

x 5 with 30kg

Thank you to @rickylong42 for the workout. You can get ideas for workouts in his Facebook Training Room

What I did for Lunch Today

Well obviously I went to the gym.  This blog is about the gym so I was hardly likely to be writing about anything else!

I like using my lunch times for a workout.  I’m lucky to have a basic gym onsite at work so I can do some form of training instead of just sitting on my bum and eating cake.  Sometimes I’ll go for a run instead, and today I was tempted because we are having the first nice weather in months but in the end I decided to train inside.

This was largely as I’ve had a tough week mentally.  Work has been stressful, learning new Les Mills stuff has drained me and time wise I’ve been limited and so I have got to Thursday without having done a single workout (I’ve taught 8 classes but no actual ‘me’ training to speak of) so I felt I needed to do a decent weights based session to avoid falling into a slump and went in with just the intention of getting myself moving again.

I had 45 minutes – this is what I did:

Alt Lunges 10/8/6/4/2/15/15- two 12kg dumbbells.

I hate lunges – I suspect I have at some point in the past broken my left toe and so the range of movement in it is poor and I struggle with range on that side.


12 Cleans

9 Rows

6 Cleans

3 Push Press

X 10  sets with 60 seconds rest between sets – 25kg bar

This was a forearm killer.  Although it wasn’t a heavy bar the sheer number of reps (180 cleans, 90 rows and 30 push press) took me to the point of fatigue and by the end of the session I was sweating without doing a single second of cardio.   

Now I’ve got a proper workout in this week I feel so much better.  It’s made me want to eat better today compared to the last couple of days and coupled with the weather I feel so much more brighter an positive.

Life lesson- if you are feeling a bit rubbish getting moving (and by moving I mean whatever type of activity you enjoy and will make you feel good) and eating some decent food is a great way to start making yourself feel better.

*Workout designed by Ricky Long @rickylong42