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More pain than gain - when you aren't getting the endorphin rush.

I'm always banging on about the benefits of exercise.
It's what I do.

One of the best ones is how it makes you feel good when you've done it. That post exercise endorphin rush where you feel like you're the boss of everything and your body feels like a good place to be.

I've written before about how I use cardio as a way of moderating my fibromyalgia pain.



Exercise and pain relief
There's a proper word for this, it's called post exercise hypoalgesia - which literally means you get a decreased response to pain after exercising. Magic!

We know a bit about how this works. We don't know exactly what the mechanism is, but it's understood that the endocannabinoid system is involved - which is nice.

We also know that cardio exercise is great if you want a whole body pain relief situation, while resistance exercise tends to produce a localised result. This is super useful information for me as a Personal Trainer, because it helps me write really helpful pr…
Recent posts

What did you expect? The stumbling block that could be holding back your fitness.

Getting your mindset right to optimise your workout
Mindset is absolutely key in sport and fitness. We know that races are won and workouts are completed based on the mental engagement of the individual.

We talk about positivity, visualising success, motivation, accountability - all of those things are important.

Today I'm going to talk about expectations.

As a coach, I know that managing the expectations of my clients is absolutely key to them getting the most out of their training in the moment, and also their long term resilience. It's really easy to get thrown off your game when you experience something you weren't expecting, and it's good to know what's normal, and what's not.

When I introduce an exercise I tell people how it should feel in their body. If I tell you that your glutes are going to be working, your mind goes there, and we build the mind-muscle connection that is an absolute game changer in terms of progress. More broadly, when I introduce a …

Confused about your online fitness options? I'm here to help!

Isolation fitness is the new gym (for now)
With Covid-19 measures limiting our movement at access to fitness, the internet has become a chaotic explosion of workout options. All the online retailers are sold out of home fitness equipment (ask me about my quest to find a pair of 20kg olympic plates...) and there is a definite shift in consciousness - I have never seen so many people talking about their exercise - and I surround myself with fitness people!

In a way it is heartening to see a universal shift where people are becoming very aware of their health. It's necessary when, in all likelihood, many of us will have to fight a respiratory virus - the healthier you are to start with, the better your chance of a full recovery. Doctors have suggested we should prepare ourselves as we would for surgery.

As a fitness professional it is always in my mind that I am "the front line of preventative medicine". Fitness, nutrition, recovery and a balanced mindset make measurable d…

How staring at your phone could be causing your weak ankles.

Our bodies are incredible.
They are mad feats of improbable engineering with bone, muscle and connective tissue working in balance to move smoothly and with accuracy.

We have pretty much the same bones as a llama, a bat or a seal. Variations the lengths, tension and kinematics mean that we move and function completely differently. That's awesome.

I've been fascinated by movement since I was a teenager. I remember being a precocious 17 year old at my university interview. I had taken a trip out to the Equine Sports Medicine Centre to look at the high speed treadmill. It's an amazing (and very expensive) bit of tech that allows a horse to gallop while being relatively stationary, so accessible for all kinds of diagnostics. My interviewer asked what I thought of it. I said it was pretty impressive but I wasn't sold on how the horse moved on it. They still offered me a place. I still don't like to assess movement on a treadmill, you don't see natural locomotion.

A…

Why I won't take weight-loss clients.

When I tell people that I am a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, the conversation inevitably turns to weight loss.

When I started out my business, I was told that I should gear my advertising towards weight loss, because that's what people are looking for, even if it's a case of drawing them in with a short term fix and turning that into a long term programme.

One of my specialisms is nutrition, and that brings the automatic assumption that dieting and weight loss is my bag.

And for a long while, I have had this uncomfortable juggling act going on. Knowing that my credentials and ability to help people lose weight is valued, but also knowing that this isn't how I feel comfortable operating.

You see, I don't appreciate weight loss as a singular goal. Eating more nutritious food and moving towards a healthier weight, yes, love that. Doing more of the exercise and activities that you love and finding you need a size smaller jeans? Smashing. Centring a diet and exerci…

Gym myths: The fitness foods stalling your progress.

Eating for your goals.
We all know what fitness people eat. If you are at all interested in sport or fitness you are undoubtedly being bombarded with adverts for "performance foods". Shakes, bars, teas, all kinds of stuff.

And you could be totally forgiven for thinking that including these in your diet means faster fat loss, better performance etc. So it's very disappointing when this doesn't happen.

Why are some foods and supplements, like protein shakes, so cool, when others, like a tin of fish are completely overlooked?

Let's break down my top overrated fitness foods....

Peanut butter.
Peanut butter in itself isn't a terrible food choice. The decent ones aren't heavily processed (go for the ones that are just nuts, no sugar and oil added). But there is one thing about peanut butter which is overlooked....

PEANUTS ARE A FAT RICH FOOD, NOT A PROTEIN RICH FOOD.

Bodybuilders and some strength athletes eat a lot of peanut butter *when bulking*. Its purpose…

Fitness goals for women...

...That don't involve getting smaller.
I've been thinking about body positive personal training again (OK, you got me, I never stopped...)

Specifically because Lift the Bar (a CPD provider for fitness professionals) brought it up recently.

It brought me back particularly to goal setting.

Goal setting for women.
It's often assumed that the reason a woman takes up any kind of "fitness" is to lose weight "tone up", get rid of a body part or otherwise alter the look of her body to one that is normatively considered correct for a women.

Often women turn up at a facility and have goals of this type thrust upon them, because that's got to be why they are there, right?

But more and more, it's not. Plenty of women are fed up with people telling them to get smaller, and whether you are one of those women, or someone trying to help those women, I'm going to throw you a primer.

Not sure what your new goal should be? Not sure what to offer a client who …