GYM & TONEIC

Gin jaunts… lack of!

Drink more gin

Must drink more gin! There has been a serious lack of gin love in my life of late and that NEEDS to change! This blog is supposed to be about gym and gin love, in equal measures… I’ve been cheating on gin with gym for too long! Time to get planning, sipping and supping…

Looking back at the gin goals I set back in January, I’ve only ticked off 1! I went to Manchester Gin Festival back in March, you can read all about that here – awesome event! I haven’t got round to the other two I set, going to the Old Bell Inn and embarking on Manchester’s Gin Journey. I must tick both of these off and add to the list…

My Friday has been made very happy indeed this week, with the news that another gin festival is coming to Manchester city centre in September AND Manchester’s first gin school and distillery is opening next month!

Manchester Three Rivers Gin school and distillery opens its doors for the first gin experience tour on 18 August. Based under a railway arch on Red Bank, on the edge of the city centre, the craft distillery is already in action producing new small batch spirit ‘Manchester Three Rivers Gin’, and I can’t wait to sample it!

The Gin Society Festival is taking place at Manchester Cathedral on 2-3 September, day before my Birthday (4 Sept) – all my Birthday wishes come true at once! Tickets for this got purchased with my gin guzzling girls earlier today… can’t think of a better way to celebrate turning 30+2!

All suggestions for gin jaunts most definitely welcome… share and suggest on a post below!

I LOVE gin

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Gym bag essentials

Sport shoes and clothes on wooden background

Pack your bag and check it twice! We’ve all been there… Monday morning comes around, and after a BIG weekend of partying hard the guilt sets in – you freak out about all the calories you’ve consumed over the last 24 hours, so much booze and greasy late night food, followed by the obligatory McD’s hangover fix the following day. So there’s only one thing for it… Gym; that’s where you’ll be living for the next 5 days!

You’re too hungover to move from the couch all day Sunday, so you quickly pack your gym bag before you leave for work on Monday morning, and low and below you get to the gym and you’ve forgotten an essential item – it’s the most annoying thing ever, your workout is ruined before you’ve even begun!

IMG_3940

Here’s 5 gym bag essentials you can’t be without, pack your bag the night before and be sure to check it twice:

  • Hair bobbles – you buy these things in the hundreds, but when you need one they’re nowhere to be seen, where do they all go?! Forgetting these and having to put up with your hair flying all over the show when you’re going hell for leather on the treadmill is the worst! Then sweat starts pouring and you look like a wet dog, with hair stuck to your face, neck, chest and back. Scrape your mop up top guys and girls, get your long locks out of the way!
  • Sports bra – in my opinion this should be number one priority ladies! Whatever your size, big or small, you need to invest in a decent sports bra – keep your rack stacked and packed! Read more about the importance of a sports bra here.
  • Headphones – ARRRRRRRGGHHHH! You’ve got the gym and you’ve forgotten your headphones, you’ve got to listen to whatever crap they’ve got on in the gym, or to that annoying person grunt, moan and groan like a crazed wild boar on the piece of kit next to you – your head falls off and you can’t get in the zone no matter how hard you try. Worst workout of the week, all because you forgot your headphones!
  • Water bottle – this should be by your side at all times people, drink more water! 2-4 litres per day is what’s recommended, more so when you train. Read more about the importance of drinking water here.
  • Gym leggings – so obvious, probably one of the first things you should pack, but I’ve forgotten these a few times! One particular occasion when I forgot said gym leggings, I was wearing black everyday leggings; you know the thin ones that are pretty see through (that shouldn’t ever be worn as pants, too many girls make that fashion faux pas and do). Well it was my knickers that were on show that day, leopard print naturally, I got lots of funny looks but chose to play dumb and crack on.

Other things to consider packing…

A hand towel, weights gloves, arm band for your phone/music, face wipes, dry shampoo, deodorant, padlock/change for lockers.

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Life update of late: July

boss-lady

I’m a boss lady! Biggest news in July is that I bought and registered a business…

Brooks Fitness Ltd

Something that I’d been thinking about before I’d even started my level 3 PT course, before I had my mad midlife crisis moment and quit my job at British Cycling. Me being me, I have a tendency to get way ahead of myself, caught up and carried away with the day dreams; in my head I’d created a bestselling fitness brand and business empire before I’d even got the qualifications!

To operate as a PT I need to set up for myself… I wanted to set up a business that had the potential for growth, that a number of services could be offered under, and that my family could be involved with; so naturally I went with the surname. Not exactly original, but using my surname means a few things…

Brooks Fitness - sisters that sweat together!
Brooks Fitness – sisters that sweat together!
  1. The Brooks name will live on; we’re a family dominated by women (strong women) #girlpower! If/when my sisters and I get married the name will cease to exist within my immediate family. Also I want the business to focus solely on women’s specific training and fitness; all that girl power needs to be utilised and maximised to its full potential!
  2. Brooks Fitness will be a sister duo affair, run by myself and my sister Ruth (pictured above, on the left), who is also a qualified PT (amongst other things). This is something we discussed doing before either of us had the qualifications, with us both having very similar ideas and values about how we would want to operate as a business and as personal trainers.
  3. It’s generic enough to be used against a number of different services that both of us, with a list of qualifications as long as our arms, could/can/will offer.
Forget Carlsberg... if Lanson did life-winning Wednesday's!
Forget Carlsberg… if Lanson did winning Wednesday’s!

So on a not so summery July weekday night Brooks Fitness Ltd was established, with a glass (bottle) of fizz in hand. Now there’s lots of business planning, plotting and scheming going on behind the scenes to get Brooks Fitness off the ground – watch this space!

What else have I been up to…

  • The blog content Gantt chart has been created – lots of ideas for things I want to blog about… if you’ve got any suggestions for content you’d like to see featured let me know and post below!
  • Bridesmaid duties; planning and sorting things for my sister Ruth’s hen do next weekend… she gets married on 26 August.
  • Instructing and teaching; I’m still working at various leisure facilities on a casual basis wherever I can, loving every minute of my time in the gym!

Ladies lift: benefits of resistance training

Break the stereotype

Women that lift are… manly, masculine, bulky, strong! 

Following on from my previous post ‘5 tips to overcome gym fear‘, I wanted to bust the BS and dispel fears around resistance training (lifting weights, heavy weights!). Lots of women (and many men) give weights the wide berth in the gym, fearing that lifting will make them ‘bulky’. I’ve been working as an instructor for 5 minutes and I’ve heard this a hundred times… with images of the incredible hulk in their head, it’s all the stereotyping that puts people off.

What lifting weights will do is help you to live in a healthier, stronger body. There are so many benefits of strength training, and it most definitely should be included as part of your fitness regime! Here’s a few reasons why…

It’s more effective for fat loss. Weight training increases your metabolism, it’s more effective than cardiovascular exercise for burning calories both during and after exercise. Also as you increase strength and lean muscle mass your body uses calories more efficiently; the more muscle contractions you have in a day, the more calories you burn.

Creates killer curves. As you build muscle your body composition (shape) changes. Muscle takes up less room in the body than fat, strength training helps create killer curves and definition.

It’s so important for bone health. As the skeleton ages it loses calcium and bone mass, which increases the risk of osteoporosis (increasing risk of fractures). This happens earlier for women. Weight training increases bone density and reduces risk of osteoporosis.

The term ‘bulky’ should also be considered, what does bulky actually mean?

It means different things to different people… it’s subjective. One mans bulky is another mans buff! When it comes to our bodies, desired muscularity is personal preference. I appreciate muscle definition; I want to put on a good gun show, improve strength and increase muscle size. What I consider desirable may be considered ‘too big’ to someone else.

Everyone has different goals and aspirations. When it comes to resistance training it should be specific to the individual; whether it be for endurance, hypertrophy (increasing muscle size) or strength.

There’s literally hundreds of people and publications that have written about the benefits of resistance training and busting the many myths surrounding it. Do a Google search to read and find out more, and speak to a fitness professional about your fitness goals and incorporating weight training into your workouts.

Act like a lady. Lift like a boss.

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