Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Les Mills Evolution

Wow what a weekend, every three months I get to go to a Les Mills Super Quartely Workshop for a day to check out the new releases. These days are generally a day of pure awesomeness, which put me on a complete high and every time I leave saying ‘I want to do it again tomorrow’. Well, this time, we got to do just that.

On Saturday September 3rd the Les Mills UK Presenter Team stormed into Wigan to present the new batch of releases. Starting bright and early at 8am with the delightful Phil and Carl who always manage to deliver a seemless performance to kick off the day. First up was RPM with Carl, Delores and Washington. Admittedly I went into the session saying I might hold back a bit in RPM to save my legs for the rest of the day, did I? No. Within minutes of the warm up finishing I was dripping with sweat, panting for breath and gulping down water. This release is intense, the music keeps you going, and with a fun presentation from the team the session was definitely effective! Straight away from the pack ride I knew the music was going to rock in this release!

Session 2 was Body Attack! After a slightly dodgy technical start the hour absolutely flew by with presentation from Vanessa, KC and Tanya. Music was fab, the chore simple, the workout HARDCORE. I came out as I always tend to do after a quartely saying I must book onto the attack module (one day I will follow through) I’m looking forward to perfecting my hair whipping for the aerobic track, and my word I will have the strongest legs in the world after doing track 4 a few times! Now, when I normally take part in Body Attack I don’t tend to really like doing the agility track but this one was great, I liked the skiing theme from it and it really did beast the legs. My favorite part about the running track at quartelies is that this is the time of the day when you see loads of people you know so it’s a very sociable track. I almost lost my teeth in this running track with all the sprint starts and abrupt stops.

Session 3, Body Jam. I haven’t got much to say about this if I’m honest other than I absolutely LOVED it!! All of it, every second!  I hadn’t seen the tracklist for  this release before attending the quarterly so was delightfully surprised when ‘Party Rock Anthem’ came on and we got to shuffle away, literally every time a new track started I turned to my friend and said ‘man I love this song’ especially when we hit turbulance!!! Such an amazing hour, the Shey, Phil, Em and Linsey were on form! This is the first time I have seen Shey, Linsey and Em teach Jam and I thought they all smashed it…still missed Sarah though :(

Next up was the Body Step class of my life. Vanessa and KC took it above and beyond introducing the new initiative The Athletic Circuit that will push you to your absolute physical limits giving you a very sick feeling (in a good way). My legs by this point were beginning to give up so we got a very welcome break for half an hour.

Straight after lunch (which I ate too much of) Dave, Tanya and Phil rocked in with Body Combat 49! Musically, very strong, physically, quite tough, although the legs don’t get as much of a beasting as in Body Combat 48. Track 2 is a keeper, giving you a chance to give someone a kick in the teeth, I never thought I would like to hear Barbara Streisand again, but I enjoyed track three, it has a different feel to it like in 48 with the step over upper cut and my new friend ‘Bob’.  Track 4 is awesome, I can’t wait to play with that one in my classes. Track 5 is the best 5 ever! I probably said that about the last one but this one is even better. Track six feels similar to the one in 45, and track 7 is a happy rocky Muay Thai which is a nice change although I love the intense moody ones. Track 8...they nailed it this time round! This completely wipes the floor with 48’s.

Body Pump showed up next with a wicked release, with a smashing tracklist. Watch out for the back track, but…get those weights up! 
Dave, Niamh and Howard definitely delivered, with a cheeky lil surprise halfway through where they popped out into the crowd to finish the bicep track.

And last but definitely not least, Body Balance 54. What a beautiful release, the choreography in the Tha Chi warm up is so uplifting with the birds tail, the sun salutations track is a blast from the past! The music just gets better and better finishing off the hamstrings with a beautiful song by the one and only Leona Lewis.

Every programme has got such a strong release, the team in NZ are really outdoing themselves! This quarter is going to get the whole world trim waists  with the sheer amount of side planks! Bring on the SQW in November!

Kia Kaha

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Kickboxing Grading Day

On Saturday I had my first ever kickboxing grading and am now a red belt! I actually quite enjoyed the grading, it only took 25 minutes, I can honestly say that I have never sweated so much in 25 minutes before in my life! 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Need a Lift?

I have been doing lots of resistance training recently, lifting weights and using machines, and am loving it! I have devised two workouts and do both twice a week alongside my running, kickboxing and the classes I teach, it is a tight squeeze but I am managing it. Now where has that rest day of mine gone?

Thursday, 21 July 2011


I've been having a re-shuffle on this blog-

The homepage will now show only one tips post, at the bottom of the homepage there are links to all previous tips posts. Hopefully this will make the homepage quicker to load and put a stop to the formatting issues on the page aswell. Check back monthly to see the new tips posts!


Since doing my Body Combat Advanced Instructor Module (view post here) I decided to take up kickboxing in order to improve the authenticity of my teaching. I can honestly say that I am absolutely loving it! I enjoy working my body in a different way to what it is used to and kickboxing is such a great workout! The organisation I joined is called Titan Kickboxing. I am going twice a week (work permitting) and am due to do my very first grading on the 30th of July. I started out at the women's only classes and have more recently started a mixed class. It is at times really tough but the instructors Emma and Sam are lovely and are really encouraging, they work us extremely hard but give us all the praise we need to keep us going. I would highly recommend taking up kickboxing for whatever reason, be it weight loss, fitness, self defence, whatever the reason...just do it!
Women's only class (yes the doughnut on the end who doesn't match is me)

Beats To Make You Move Your Feet

Still Can't get over this song, I love it, I have just added it into my latest Zumba playlist as the warm up (not very latin I know). I have also mastered the dance routine in the video, chuffed to bits!

New release launch

A few weeks ago we launched the new releases of the Les Mills Programmes at the David Lloyd Club in Eastbourne. The launch lasted for three hours, and was an army themed event, we taught half an hour of each new release and as the weather was so nice we got to do it outside!
The day went like this
9am Body Attack with Kayleigh
9.30am Body Jam with Julie
10am Body Pump with me, Annalee, Kayleigh and Hannah
We ran out of weights so I had to share mine, ran out of steps so I gave mine away, and we ran out of mats too!
My knees after doing tricep kickbacks...ouchies!

10.30am Body Step with me and Annalee
11am Body Combat with me, Emma, Hannah and Kayleigh
11.30am Body Balance with me, Annalee and Kayleigh

We all had such a great day and got some pretty strange tanlines, I can't wait for the next one although it will not be outside...Eastbourne is September doesn't get particularly great weather if I'm honest.

Summer Sport Tanlines

I love this picture, it really sums up the look of a summer sportsman/ woman. I myself have a lovely sports bra tanline on my back. It looks great with a strapless dress!

I'm Baaack!

So summer is officially upon us, early morning runs and walks along the beach are what its all about. I am lucky enough to live on the coast so have access to the beach all the time and at the end of our walks there is a lovely little beach cafe which sells looovely bacon and brie baguettes!

I find myself struggling to force myself into the gym in the middle of the day when its so lovely, warm and sunny. I spent a 10 days in La Manga with my boyfriend and my parents at the beginning of June, it was wonderful to get away and give my body a well deserved rest, lounging in the sun and drinking Pimm's was pretty much all I got up to. As soon as I got back I was reenergised and ready to get back into a workout routine. I have lots of fitness weekends booked up, I have the next Les Mills Super Quartely Workshop in September followed by Les Mills Unleashed the next day, then at the beginning of October I have the Les Mills AIM2 over a weekend and then Fitness Fiesta in Camber Sands. I can't wait!

I'm going to be busy, busy, busy!

My Zumba Teaching Experience

I have been teaching Zumba since April now and absolutely love it! Its so much fun to teach, admittedly I don't find it hugely enjoyable to participate in, but hey that's why I teach it I guess!

I actually feel like I get a really good workout from it, and yes my waistline is benefitting from it! My ladies all have their own individual dancing styles and come along to have a great time, their such a beautiful bunch. As neither of my classes are held at peak times there is always plenty of room for you to shake and shimmey your way to fitness, and I have the opportunity to connect with everyone on a personal level. Although we were told not to, I do break down some of the trickier moves as there is nothing more irritating than being unable to follow a move, sometimes the visual cues we are encouraged to use just aren't enough to enable everyone to know what they are doing. I have so much fun with my Zumba Queens, I really hope this isn't just a fad and that it does hang around for a while longer! Not only is Zumba a great workout but it builds peoples confidence up to eventually attend a class at a gym, it has also reawakened fitness in the community which particularly where I am from has been practically non-existant!

FitPro Convention Day One

After completing the Body Combat AIM1 I had the pleasure of attending the Fitpro Spring Convention. This is my first convention, I had a look around the trade stands last year but didn't get to attend any sessions so I have been looking forward to this for a veeeeery long time. The convention was quite convenient for me as it was held at Loughborough University where I study so I didn't have to travel far. I kicked off my first convention with 10am Body Balance with the Les Mills Presenter team. 
Sarah, Giovanni, Lee and Andrew.
This was the perfect way to start the convention especially considering how much my body was aching from the course the day before! I had every intention of going to Body Jam at 11.30 am which was held at the EHB however, when I read where it was being held I was talking and didnt read it properly...there was no Body Jam in the ECB where I went! So I went to watch the TRX in the sun instead

"The TRX system harnesses your own body weight to create resistance as you train. That's all you need - the TRX and your own body - no additional weights are required to give you a complete workout, anywhere!!" (www.trxfitness.co.uk)

TRX looked really fun, I've seen it before in gyms but I've never seen it in a group exercise format before, they were doing it to music and everything! Definitely something to look into. 

I then went to work looking after the Hebbs building and assisting the presenters with their lecture rooms. One of the lecturers was Douglas Brooks, he really is one of the nicest men I have ever met. Douglas delivered a lecture on varying your strength programme, the feedback I got from his lecture was great, I would have loved to have the opportunity to sit in on it. We also had Ben Pratt in from Premier Training delivering a lecture called Dumbbells Remastered and Fully Functional.
Over in the other Hebbs room there was PowerPlate and Vipr (yes mixed together) classes running, I had a peak in on the classes and the looked really good, as soon as I get back to Eastbourne for Easter I'm going to try out what I saw, as the club I train in back home has both Vipr's and Powerplates, whereas the club I'm in up at Loughborough has neither.

Check back tomorrow for Day 2 of the Convention!

Body Combat AIM1

Warning: The Les Mills Advanced Instructor Module (AIM) will make you the best instructor you can be!(fitpro.com)

Last week I took part in the BODYCOMBAT™ AIM1 (Advanced Instructor Module). I am not exaggerating when I say that I had the time of my life! The day started with registration at 8am where we were each allocated a track to present. My track was Track 3 from BODYCOMBAT™47 an uplifting power training track, with lots of opportunities for fitness magic. With 26 of us on the course we got split into 3 presenting groups, mine was with the one and only Phil Harrison. We pretty much presented straight away and got instant feedback for us to think about and work on for our second presentation at the end of the day. The feedback was really helpful and simple, I was commended on my coaching and had to correct my stance as it was a bit too wide, bringing it in a little bit allows more hip rotation and therefore more power in the punches.

We did a workshop in each of the martial art styles used in BODYCOMBAT™; Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. It was really helpful doing these workshops as I learnt alot about each martial art which I didn't know before and genuinely do believe will help me in my teaching. My favourite was the kick boxing, I was absolutely annahialated after the pad work we did, there was a point where I completely 'unleashed' myself, went a bit nuts and nearly passed out much to the ammusement of my partner, so what did I do? Give up? Noooooo I had a sip of Powerade and got back on it oooooooushe! (as the training team would say) 

The final presentations came round so quickly! As a whole I think everyone in my group performed much better this time round, I had to really concentrate on letting my hips go but I think after practice it will come as naturally as doing it wrong does! The next few months are going to bring lots and lots and lots and lots of practice for me! Mirror work, fitness training, pad work and the newest regime to my training...Kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do! I am so excited to start these and incorporate them into my teaching in order to truely teach in the essense of BODYCOMBAT™

It was a really intense day, lots of hard work but we had such a laugh too. I ached for days after this, my lats, shoulders, legs, shins, core, everything just hurt for about three days. If I could I would do it all over again, and again and again! I am booking myself onto the AIM2 in October so fingers crossed that I will have improved to a high standard and come out as an Elite Instructor (I am crossing everything and will work morning, noon and night to do this!)

Thankyou Tanya, Dave and Phil! Kia Kaha/ Ooooooushe

Healthy Shopping Tips

Many people say that they would find it easier to eat healthily if there was less unhealthy food around in the house, so why do they buy this unhealthy food and put in the house in the first place? The most common reason I hear; 'I was just too tempted when I saw it in the supermarket'.

Two simple tips as to avoid this is to firstly 

- Eat before you go shopping so you don't get tempted
- Write a list of what your going to buy before you go

Further tips for healthy shopping are;

Aim to have at least half of your shopping to be fresh produce, T

he fresher the food the more nutritious.

-You may find that there is are more options early morning or late evening, I find in the middle of the day that I can’t always get Pink lady apples, which I love, no other apple will ever compare!

- Go wholegrain! Purchase wholegrain products such as bread, pasta, rice, pitta bread and rolls as a healthier option.

Why not try porridge instead of cereal, it will make you full up for longer. To add a bit more flavour to my morning bowl of porridge I add a teaspoon of honey and a chopped banana. (I also use soya milk).

- Choose w
hite skinless meat rather than red meat. I don’t actually like meat as I don’t enjoy the texture but I do eat chicken, I often find chicken breast hard to swallow so I get chicken breast steaks as their thinner, which I can randomly only find in Sainsbury's.

Fish is great for essential oils such as omega 3, but avoid fish with high mercury content. If like me you don't like fish either, you can take omega 3 supplements available from most pharmacy's.

Go for a low-fat salad dressing, you know when you go out for dinner and someone says ‘oh I’ll have a chicken ceasar as I’m cutting out fat’ uuuum you may aswell have a pizza! In other words, salad=good ceasar dressing=bad!

Choose a salsa dip rather than a creamy one, as seen in 'Party Tips below'.


Save the planet, take your own bags :)