Pulling Your Weight

Pulling Your Weight

What thoughts are conjured up when you hear these words? –

‘pumping iron’

weight training

resistance training

‘throwing weight’s around’

For a long time, lifting weights was something women wanted to avoid and these were the reasons normally given:

  • ‘lifting weight’s will make me bulky! I don’t want to look like that’
  • ‘I want to lose weight so I need to do cardio right?- Can you show me how the treadmill works?’
  • ‘a lot of the weights I want to lift are in the “Men’s Section” and I’m just too intimidated to go in there
  • ‘those resistance machines look way too scary! I can’t use them. Plus I’ll look silly using them’

Now these may sound ridiculous to some, however for those women they were totally legit reasons at the time.  But, things are shifting as more women become better educated on the benefits of weight training and gym floors are becoming more user friendly and offering more options when it comes to lifting weights.

Resistance training with a ViPR

Resistance Training Doesn’t Just Mean Lifting Dumbbells or Barbells!

Resistance training can include anything which causes your muscles to have to work against a force resulting in improvements in strength and endurance. This can include resistance bands and even your own bodyweight! But, the chose is wide and varied. We now have Kettlebells, TRX – suspension trainers, ViPRS, weighted bags alongside the more common dumbbells and barbells. If you haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about take a look at some of the images on this page.


Benefits of Weight Training

For those who are still unsure as to whether weight training will benefit them, here are some really good reasons why you should add it to your workouts.

  • better weight management – for those who think that JUST cardio will help them shift the weight, consider this. The more muscle you have, (and I don’t mean bulky) the more calories you will burn at rest.
  • improved bone density – decreases your risk of osteoporosis.
  • improved posture – this will not only make you look taller, it will also help with breathing better and this has a direct link to your pelvic floor and core function!
  • prevention or control of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity
  • better stamina – as you get stronger you won’t tire as easily
  • improved mobility and balance – key as we get older and we want to prevent catastrophic falls
  • helps reduce or prevent cognitive decline – again super important in older people
  • improved muscle strength and tone – not only does it make us look good but helps protect the joints from injury.

Now that you have seen the benefits why don’t you give weight training a try. You and your body won’t regret it – well maybe after the first couple of sessions you may, but it does get better I promise!

Resistance training using the TRX – suspension trainer

Advice Before Lifting A Weight

In order to gain the benefits outlined above its important you follow the advice  below:

  • If you are new to lifting weights, check with a health professional that you are okay to do so before starting
  • As you do with any exercise, warm up the muscles you plan to use before you start
  • Start off with lighter weights and then build up gradually. Increase your repetitions and then sets before moving up to the next weight. Then repeat.
  • Rest between each set. If looking to tone, you would lift lighter weights with shorter rest periods, approx 20-30 secs. If lifting heavier to improve strength and muscle size you would require longer rest periods between sets, about 60-120 secs.
  • Keep your workout to between 30-45 minutes, no longer. There is no benefit to training tired muscles.
  • Ensure you stretch after you have completed your workout.
  • Rest for a day or two between workouts so that your muscles have a chance to recover.

If this all sounds a bit overwhelming and you would like some support with this type of training I have two personal training packages that would suit your needs. ‘Lose the Lumps’ or ‘Spring into Star Jumps’ both use light resistance and body weight to help strengthen and condition the body. For details, please click here. 

Sessions are available in either blocks of 3, 5 or 10 x 1 hour sessions.

The Virtual World – Our New Reality

The Virtual World – Our New Reality

A few months ago, technology for some people was one of those things you could decide to embrace or not. ‘Take it or leave it’ as they say. My parents are amongst those group of people. No smart phones, no internet connection, can only just about manage the Sky remote control. But boy oh boy this pandemic really smacked us in the face and made us appreciate technology and its ability to connect us with the rest of the world.

Across the planet people were strongly advised to ‘stay at home, to help slow the spread of the virus, protect their respective health services and therefore save lives’. That meant no longer being able to meet up with friends and family. If you wanted to stay in touch, see and speak to your loved ones you needed to dial up, Zoom or Skype. Hand ups? Who had actually heard of Zoom or Houseparty or any other chat room prior to the lockdown? I definitely hadn’t heard of Houseparty but now have the app sitting merrily alongside all my other apps on my smartphone.

To think that 10 years ago we didn’t really have the video calling / live streaming technology we have now. There was Skype but that was about it. Zoom was launched in 2013 and Facebook didn’t introduce their ‘live’ capability until 2016! Can you imagine how things would have been if we had been hit with this virus back in 2010? This technology is proving very popular, very useful and very necessary. And I feel it is set to stay for a while yet!

Virtual Fitness World

This pandemic has completely shaken up the fitness world. Before gyms, studios, sports halls and outdoor fitness facilities were shut down, everyone was happily doing their thing, blissfully unaware of how this virus was going to affect them. Heading to classes, diligently going through routines either by themselves or with a trainer, meeting up with friends for a game of tennis or squash, or maybe heading out to have a kick around in the local park. This was all swept out from underneath our feet within a matter of 24 hours. People needed a new way of staying active BUT what if you didn’t own a bike or running wasn’t your thing?

Instead, we turned to PE with Joe! Overnight, the demand for online workouts rocketed, and the sales of home fitness equipment grew by 170% according to ReasearchandMarket.com. You just couldn’t get your hands on dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells! People’s garages or living rooms turned into make shift home gyms.

As a personal trainer I had to think on my feet and fast! My whole 20 year career I had only ever worked face to face, never virtually. And I had only just opened my brand new studio, now sitting empty with no clients being able to train in it. I had to change my approach, learn new skills and adapt my way of working. I had intended to work virtually at some point but the time needed to be now!

So, I went and purchased the Facebook Portal and signed up for a free Zoom account. I can’t even tell you how many workouts I have filmed, edited and placed on the video hosting site Vimeo. But, the main thing is it has worked! Not just for me, but for my clients and those who have taken part in the courses initially intended for face to face contact.

And, crucially I’ve enjoyed it! Clients have loved it to! They have been able to continue on with their training, had a bespoke program written for them and have me watch over them.

Heading Back to the Gym?

It will be interesting to see how many people will return to gyms once they are allowed to open back up. Here is a list of how gyms may be operating when they can re-open:

  • having to book a slot to visit the gym so that people can adhere to the 2m social distancing rules in the changing rooms, classes, swimming pool and on the gym floor
  • less capacity in classes so as to ensure social distancing
  • times of classes changing or being removed entirely so that cleaning of studios can take place in between.
  • greeting your reception team and bar staff behind a screen
  • no socialising after your workout or class
  • no childcare facilities

This new way of operating may not be feasible for some or just not appeal. Yes, there will be the welcome return of face to face contact however it won’t be the same as before and may not be for a while. And whose to say this won’t happen again! A second peak has not been ruled out and even if we do thankfully avoid one we should not get complacent. In my lifetime there may well be another pandemic. Everyone should be prepared. This virtual world may just be our new reality.

Online Services Available With Bumps Lumps and Star Jumps

I am currently offering a range of services online including the following:

HIIT – Will you hit it off with this popular training strategy?

Holistic Core Restore® Heat launches next month so I thought it would be good to put the training strategy that the programme uses , HIIT, under the spotlight.

If you’re a member of a gym or watch those fitness videos on YouTube or Instagram, you may well have heard of the term HIIT. But do you know what it is, what HIIT stands for and whether it is a training strategy suitable for you?

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and became popular at the beginning of this decade. It is a popular form of interval training that alternates between short bursts of high-intensity exercise with periods of low-intensity rest periods.

Though there is no universal HIIT session duration, these  workouts typically last under 30 minutes, with times varying based on a participant’s current fitness level.

What are the benefits to HIIT training?

For those of you out there that believe more is more when it comes to exercise  you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that HIIT training has all the benefits of endurance training but with only about 10% of the total exercise volume. Its no wonder then that this has become a popular training method for those who are a little time poor.

Aside from time saving, you will see improvements in:

  • cardiovascular health
  • muscle tone
  • cholesterol levels
  • fat burning potential both during and after exercise

‘Fat burning after exercise?!’ Yes, you did read that correctly. So how is this possible? Its possible due to something called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). When the body is recovering after exercise, our oxygen consumption is elevated. This is because the body must work to repair any muscle damage and restore cellular function back to pre-exercise levels. This requires energy and so fat stores are broken down to help fuel this.


Is HIIT training suitable for me?

HIIT is suitable for most people from those that have not exercised for years through to athletes.

Generally, HIIT is dubbed as an intense workout, and in order to get results, it needs to be. However, the beauty of it is, it can be adapted to an individual’s fitness levels and ability. It does not need to be a high impact workout. You can still do low impact exercises and get results. It’s about the individual working at the speed and intensity suitable for them. As the individual gets fitter and stronger, the level at which they work can increase to.

As mentioned at the beginning on this post, the Holistic Core Restore® Heat programme uses the HIIT training principle. The class is no longer than 45 minutes and uses low impact, pelvic floor friendly exercises. This makes the class ideal for all abilities and is especially good for ladies who have had pelvic floor issues in the past, and are looking for an exercise protocol that works with their needs in mind.

For further details on where Heat classes take place and when, click here.


Why September is the New January!

At the moment you’re probably sensing a change in the air. But why?

Is it the fact that as of September 1st we were officially knocking at the door of Autumn…..maybe? It certainly wasn’t a change in the weather judging by the Met office stats for the UK this summer with their website stating ‘this summer has been the most notable across the UK for being wetter than average…Broadly speaking, June was wettest in the North and July was wettest in the South’. Although we could be having it worse, with Hurricane Irma causing death and destruction across the Caribbean and the state of Florida in the USA.

Back at home though its not the weather or the seasons that I’m referring to when I talk of change. It’s a change of a different nature. One of new beginnings, or fresh starts. But as the title of my blog infers, it’s not January, the time of new year’s resolutions and making promises to ourselves we will be better this time with our diets or fitness regimes. So what’s going on?

For some of you it’s ‘Back to School’, with your children getting back into the swing of things after the long summer break. For me personally, it’s a special time, as my daughter Izzy is starting school for the first time. For her it’s a time of big change and adjustment as she learns to get up early in the morning, get into her school uniform and be packed off for a full day at school. She will be meeting new friends, taking on new experiences and learning new skills. All things she hasn’t truly experienced before. She’s excited but I don’t think either of us are prepared for the physical and emotional toll it will take on her and myself over the next few weeks. It’s a time of CHANGE, new beginnings.

But you don’t have to be a parent to experience change at this time of year. Some of you may have been lucky enough to have had a vacation this summer. In fact as I wrote this blog I was sitting on a sun lounger in Ibiza. Now I’m back at home it feels like a fresh start. I’m relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to go. For all of us it’s this feeling that steers us towards wanting to do something new or do something better, or start again. That ‘Back to School’ feeling.

It could be buying a new coat in readiness for the colder months, or a new pair of shoes. For those who know me well it’s normally a pair of trainers! I get called the Imelda Marcos of trainers. Or on a more brain functioning level it might be an evening class or signing up for a course to learn a new skill or try something fun.

We may also be thinking about the months ahead, planning for things to do in the colder months once the dark nights set in. In the health and fitness industry this is a key time as people re-set their goals or establish new and healthier habits. If you’ve had a busy summer looking after the children and keeping them entertained you may have neglected yourself and over indulged with a few naughty treats or enjoyed the longer evenings alfresco with the odd alcoholic beverage. This no doubt has probably left you feeling a little heavier and a bit flabby and you want to do something about it!

It could be you cut the booze, decrease the chocolate, do a few more walks around the park or take the stairs at work rather than the lift or escalator. Maybe you desire a little more structure, something specific and bespoke to your exact needs and wants and want someone to guide you through it. It could even be to have a little more TLC in your life, a massage, helping the body be rid of niggles that have developed and stopping you from moving freely and joyously.

At Bumps, Lumps and Star Jumps we have all the services you need to start feeling renewed or re-born. It doesn’t matter whether you have exercised before or never given yourself some time for a little love.

We have developed “Back to School” packages that suit everyone. Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced, including some lovely massages to begin that self care.

Just Starting Out – £180

6 x 30 minute 1-1 exercise training with 3 head, neck & shoulder massages

Getting There – £180

3 x 60 minute 1-1 exercise training with 3 head, neck & shoulder massages

Seasoned Pro – £340

6 x 60 minute 1-1 exercise training with 2 x 60 minute bespoke body massage

Email info@bumpslumpsandstarjumps.co.uk for further information or to book.


                                                      Be the Woman you Deserve to Be