GYM & TONEIC

5 tips to overcome gym fear!

5-Ways-to-Crush-Your-Gym-Fear

The gym can be an intimidating place. This is felt by many… you’re not alone! The feeling that you’re the novice newbie that knows nothing, compared to the die-hard gym junkies who seemingly know it all! Don’t beat yourself up and put yourself off, before you’ve even begun. Everyone (every pro) was once a beginner, also very often the die-hards are doing it wrong…

I recently devised a gym programme for one of my good friends, Clare, and trained her through it, which made me consider this fitness fear notion in more detail… Now I’m not implying that Clare is scared of the gym, she’s been a member for donkeys! But she is was a self-confessed cardio queen, that didn’t feel confident or comfortable using weights (until last Sunday, when she smashed our session!), and also didn’t have a structured programme to follow. So didn’t really know how to train efficiently and effectively, and succumbed to being a slave to the treadmill.

Here’s 5 top tips to crush the fear

  • Take advantage of your gym induction and ask for help – a gym induction is mandatory in most facilities, for health and safety. This is where an instructor takes you around the gym, showing you how to use the equipment before you go it alone. Now these tend to be quite whistle stop, as in you’re not shown every single piece of equipment and all of the different programmes you can do. But you should come away from this knowing basic set-up of CV (cardiovascular) kit and weights machines. If you still feel unsure of anything ask, and keep asking for help until you do feel confident. That’s what instructors are there for and are more than happy to help.
  • Ask for a gym programme or PT sessions – these are either included in your membership, you get a few free PT sessions or it’s worthwhile investing in that support and guidance. You’re there for a reason, you have fitness goals you want to achieve, make sure you’re training efficiently and effectively to reach those goals. Otherwise you end up wandering aimlessly from piece to piece, not really working or doing anything other than passing time.
  • Focus on you, only you – in a gym full of junkies it’s sometimes hard to zone out and focus on you, you’re watching what everyone else is doing, or are paranoid thinking that everyone else is watching and judging what you are doing. They’re not! They’re in there for the same reasons as you – to workout, get the job done and leave (on an endorphin high!). Zone out and focus on your workout, having a banging playlist can help with this.
  • Bring a buddy – for many it’s the fear of going it alone, safety in numbers is the name of the game. Bring a friend and become the best of gym buddies – support, encourage and motivate each other to smash your fitness goals.
  • Treat yourself to some snazzy exercise clobber – if you look good, you feel good and new exercise clobber or funky kicks can be just the ticket. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a small fortune either, you can pick up great gear at most supermarkets nowadays, in discount sports shops and online; and with the summer sales in full swing now is the perfect time to bag yourself a bargain!

Fear… forget everything and run… or face everything and rise!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Bank Holiday Hike

Bear Grylls and Ray Mears Malham adventure

How many weeks ago was bank holiday… procrastinating Pete over here has been meaning to write this since then! I did write a blog about what to wear when exercising (or more like what not to wear) post hike, I felt compelled to write that! But I never got round to writing about the actual walk itself, so here goes…

The hike was going to be up Mount Snowden, but the weather was hit and miss over in Wales that weekend, so Snowden is still on my bucket list for now! My friend Nicola (Botty, the one that doesn’t drink enough water) joined me in the fresh-aired fun. Completely out of character for us both to be getting high on endorphins, as opposed to alcoholic beverages on a bank holiday, a sign we’re becoming ‘sensible adults’, that can’t hack 3 day hangovers anymore.

Much of the day before our hike was spent racking our brains and Googling best places to go, a big decider on location being our likelihood of getting lost (with us both being beyond crap at geography and map reading). It was my dad that suggested a trip to Malham, a familiar name/place but I couldn’t think why initially, then it dawned on me, we’d been there on a high school trip many moons ago…  After taking a look online at the stunning scenery, terrain and relatively simple routes (that two simpletons could navigate), we set off to cross the border, Yorkshire bound.

It took us just over an hour to get there from Ramsbottom, we found it no problems at all *high-five us*, the drive taking us through stunning Yorkshire scenery. None of which was familiar from our high school trip; clearly we were ignorant, careless teens that didn’t give a damn about the countryside way back when. We parked up, got our walking boots on and headed straight to the visitors centre to get a map and a talk over the route (to minimise all chances of calling mountain rescue). With our map in hand and route roughly sketched, we were told to follow the masses, the sun was shining down on Yorkshire and Malham was packed with plenty of visitors, and off we went on our merry way.

First stop, Janet’s Foss, a small and wonderful waterfall and pool, nestled in woodland along the footpath from Malham Village toward Gordale Scar.

First stop, we made it, no detours or deviations!
First stop, we made it, no detours or deviations!

Gordale Scar was our second landmark, a spectacular gorge with waterfalls cut into the towering limestone hillside, it’s true size and scale only fully appreciated once in the scar. We took the advice from the very nice chap that sketched our map in the visitors centre, and didn’t climb up the waterfall. He warned us of the dangers and the number of accidents that happen there year on year; we didn’t want to be the idiots making headline news that day… Although there were a few people that were climbing it, I know I keep banging on about clothing, but these people definitely weren’t dressed to climb cliffs, brave and reckless souls!

Gordale Scare
Gordale Scar
Scaling heights... braver than me!
Scaling heights… braver than me!
Crazy people climbing the waterfall - in inappropriate clothing!
Crazy people climbing the waterfall – in inappropriate clothing!

Our third and midway stop was Malham Tarn, a nature reserve area, owned by the National Trust. This was the longest section of our circular walk, the stunning scenery almost lost on us, with a near death experience… we had to cross a field full of crazy cows, that I swear were going to go for us, which Nicola found highly amusing (at first!). I hate cows and their murderous eyes, my heart was in my mouth and we were both getting ready to jump a stone wall to avoid them. Our fearful fate behind us, we had a quick rest stop at the Tarn, to take in the views of England’s highest freshwater lake, and treated ourselves to a 99 – we’d earned and burned it!

FullSizeRender (8)

Look at those eyes - killer!
Look at those eyes – killer!
Earned and burned!
Earned and burned!

Homebound, we headed back down towards Malham Cove, a huge curving amphitheatre shaped cliff formation of limestone rock. Which boasts impressive views down the dale towards Malham and beyond (if you can stomach getting close to the cliff edge that is!).

FullSizeRender (12)

IMG_3549

That's as close to the cliff edge we dared to get...
That’s as close to the cliff edge we dared to get…

Four hours and 8.6 miles later, we made it back to Malham and headed straight to the pub! We’re Lancashire lasses, we know very well that’s how all outdoor expeditions should end… We had awesome pub grub at The Buck Inn, both of us opting for their famous Malham and Masham Pie – it was goood pie and the gravy…! With pie lining my stomach and a G&T in hand, I was happy as a pig in… mud! What a way to end of a great day.

Good job!
Good job!

If you’re seeking some fresh-aired fun, I can’t recommend Malham enough, simply stunning scenery that made trekking 8+ miles feel like a breeze. If you don’t fancy the hike, but want a trip out and bloody good pie, just go for that!

Find out more about Malham here.

Go Explore Outdoors

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Life update of late: June

life-update

I’ve been crap at blogging of late… I’ve got a list as long as my arm with ideas and topics I want to blog about, all noted down in a little black book (that’s red), that I carry around with me everywhere I go, also jotted down in my notes on my phone – I need to get more organised and STOP procrastinating!

I was on fire a month ago, studying and stressing over my PT exams, like my life depended on it (well it kind of did), no stopping me. I had my life mapped out, *massive LOL* that’s a total lie; I’ve ‘winged it’ every darn day! But in my head, I was quitting my full-time job to become a PT and buggering off into the sunset, to be a fitness instructor by a beach somewhere hot, sunny and exotic.

Feels like I’ve hit a wall over the last week or two, with regards to the next phase of my master life/career plans… I think it’s because I’m getting way ahead of myself, dreaming about where I want to end up, visualizing/fantasizing about my end goal, as opposed to focusing on the here and now, and the baby steps I need to take to make it happen. That or I’m too focused on what other people are doing, that are doing a similar thing that I want to do, but have 5/10/15+ years more experience than me in the fitness profession. I need to get back to focusing on me (the here and now) and get shit done!

What I have been up to since passing my PT

Lots of gym instructing, swimming instructing, shadowing PT’s, and more studying and swotting wherever I can. I’m loving being in the gym so much, devising exercise programmes for people to help them achieve their goals, being around so many supportive and encouraging PT’s and fitness professionals, that have been more than happy to share their experiences and knowledge with me, and not forgetting the awesome public, clients and customers, the Joe Bloggs gym users who I’m getting to know so well. Joe Bloggs no more… it’s amazing all the things you end up talking about, with what starts out as a complete stranger. I do have a tendency to talk for England and share waaay too much, but by opening up and sharing some of your story it creates a bond, and encourages others to do the same. You connect with people, find similarities and common ground, share experiences and offer support and advice, and this works both ways.

Shout out to some of the awesome people I’ve met so far… 

Martin; an awesome PT (ex-military) at The Gym Group in Bolton. I did two days training there whilst studying, Martin was my guinea pig. He offered to help and let me at him with callipers, showing me how to do body fat testing and so on. He offered to help me wherever he could, and since qualifying I’ve been back to shadow him PT and deliver his gruelling bootcamp sessions (military style!), the shadowing was active that day… I got a beasting, with two classes back-to-back.

Barry, Chantelle, Sophie and Zoe; the first few customers I devised exercise programmes for. Sorry again Chantelle for beasting you with squats and lunges, and making climbing stairs feel like climbing mountains! Your programme has been revised, we will regress and you will progress to be a squatting superhero!

Dave; a legend of a guy that I opened up to about all of my life plans and he gave the best advice ever, Mr Motivator! Gave loads of great tips on the best ways to apply for jobs and get yourself seen and heard, based on his own experiences. Said I should just go for it, pick a place and go, stop being so cautious and take more risks… not to wait until I have solid plans in place, make it happen along the way.

Phillipa; a new member that has recently moved to Ramsbottom, she works as a fitness instructor at Virgin Active. She’s been an instructor for many years, and as soon as I told her I was newly qualified she took me under her wing, offered me training tips and advice, and suggested we should train together. I have to admit when she told me she was an instructor my gut wrenched a little, with a feeling of intimidation, like I know nothing! But she couldn’t have been more encouraging and supportive.

img2

To do list…

  • One thing at a time – stop thinking about 20 things to do at once, doing little bits of everything and finishing nothing, getting way ahead of myself too soon!
  • Blog content plan – get my marketing head back on, get organised and pull together all these ideas in one place, Gantt chart stylee!
  • Draft a business plan – a loose plan at least, the what, where, when, how and who of what I want to achieve and do, to give me direction and more focus.
  • Decide on a location/s and be more focussed and specific with my quest for the sun and sea, or do what Dave said and just pack my bags and go!
  • Take more pictures to accompany blogs and use on social media – I am rubbish at this, major blogger faux pas. I need to invest in a decent camera at some point too, all recommendations welcome??

Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination… it will sink in!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Don’t stress the SAT’s

IMG_3471

I’m late to the party with this post in terms of SAT’s, they’ve been and gone… but my point with this is to do with education and exam stress, and the unnecessary pressure placed on children today. Which personally, I think is ridiculous. The title’s just got a good ring to it!

I know this will cause heated debate and disagreement with my teacher friends (as I proceed to rub them up the wrong way!), but I think in many cases the education system/schools are more concerned with results, reputation and ranking (marketing), than genuine development of pupils. Pressure is placed on teachers to churn out results, like corporate cutthroats. Children have got a letter above their head, in the same way as employees have a figure.

A few weeks ago the papers were full of stories about children feeling extreme exam pressure, children as young as 10 getting totally stressed out and nervous over SAT’s, thinking that if they didn’t achieve high marks it would set them up for failure in life, in life! I watched a programme the other day too, where a girl came out from a GCSE exam and had a full blown panic attack… crazy! Children shouldn’t know or feel this kind of pressure. Adults know (teachers know), that these exams are not the be all and end all. They are the basic foundations for future, but by no means do they define it!

This is exactly my point… this is what should be taught in school. Your exams are a foundation, they open doors, but as you go through life (live and learn), you’re likely to change your mind, thought processes, career goals, dreams and aspirations a hundred times! Unless your one of these annoying people who know what they want to be and do from day dot. Like my incredibly talented and clever friend Alison, who knew she wanted to be a marine biologist and work with great whites from being 5 years old, and guess what… she’s done exactly that and works/lives in South Africa studying, tagging and tracking sharks every day. However, most of us, like me for instance, don’t know. I’ve gone through the education system not really knowing what I wanted to do and recently jacked my job in to retrain and do something that I could’ve done without going to Uni. I don’t have any regrets with my degree, but I do have regrets not studying more creative subjects at college, which was what I enjoyed doing. Instead I chose subjects that I thought I should do to get on in life… business studies! Amongst other generalised subjects.

IMG_3472

You spend a long time in education and then a bloody long time in employment… so how about promoting and encouraging children to do what they enjoy throughout school, FE, HE and beyond… if you love what you do, you’ll put your heart and soul into it, the pressure will be passion. Don’t pick something that you think you should do just because; everyone else is doing it, your parents say you should do it, you think it will lead to a ‘respectable career’. When it comes to options, subjects, projects and so on… simply pick the ones you enjoy doing!

This post doesn’t really sit well within any existing category on my blog, it’s more of a personal rant and airing of my views, as I so like to do! What I’ve seen in the news, on TV and reflecting on my own experiences in education, makes me want to go back in time and tell all of the above to my teenage self, challenge my teachers (which me being the gobby girl I am, I definitely would’ve done!), and most importantly tell children to stress less and enjoy carefree life more. Don’t stress the SAT’s, GCSE’s and so on… they aren’t the be all and end all, they won’t define you!  

Do what you love. Love what you do.   

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Scroll To Top