New month New Challenge

The start of a new month brings an opportunity for new challenges and a great time to establish your next fitness goals. If it’s completely new territory, however, starting a fitness regime can be a daunting task for anyone. You may feel self-conscious about going out for a run for the first time or wondering if you are actually doing the right exercises to get the results you want. You might also be thinking, ‘how am I going to stick to this new routine?’

If this is you, we have put together some helpful, straightforward tips on how to incorporate a fitness regime into your life and to ensure it becomes a lifestyle change that will last!

1. Set your goals

Think about where you want to be at specific milestones, working your way back (for example, one year, 6 months, 3 months). Then you can reverse engineer how to get there. If you're trying to get back to looking like you have done in the past, find a photo for inspiration or otherwise write down what your goals are and put them somewhere you'll see every day (like on the fridge!).

2. Establish the support around you

Make sure the people around you know what you are trying to do and are there to support you and also to make you accountable. (For example, asking if you have done your exercise today, how you getting on? etc.)

3. Book in some fitness events

If it's a fitness goal, book in for events you would like to do. Start small, like a 1k, 3k or if you 5k run, or a short swim, bike ride, obstacle race, walks etc. Or organise a challenge for yourself and let everyone know when you'll be doing it. Book in for a series of increasing difficulty events over the course of the year to keep you going.

4. Find a training buddy

Try and find a training buddy - someone in a similar situation to join you in some of your training. This is a good website:

5. Plan your training

Make sure your training matches your goals and is varied and increasing in intensity with each workout. Write a schedule with specific times and days for training and stick with it as much as you can. 

6. Get an expert to assess you goals and training

Consulting an expert will ensure your goals are realistic and that your training is safe and effective.

7. Don't forget nutrition

Start by making one change a week. Week one could be drinking 2-litres of water a day, week two could be to cut out bread 3 days a week etc. Consult an expert if you need further advice on how your nutrition can support your goals.

8. Reflect on what you've done

Each week assess what you have achieved and celebrate it by sticking to your new regime. That’s the hardest part. Re-assess goals every fortnight to ensure you are being adequately challenged.

Ensure your goals are about making YOU happy and fulfilled and that you surround yourself with positive, supportive people - it's tough to start new challenges without the support of others, especially those you live with. Get people on board, I would even suggest a family contract that you all sign to say you are committed and that they are committed to helping you.

Finally, don't forget you need to learn to love the journey. If you don't, then you'll be forever chasing happiness. Learn to enjoy where you are and it will become much easier to make lasting changes.


Posture Correction

Posture Correction

Sports massage and correcting posture

Since working at cross fit Chiltern I have treated a number of different patients due to their life style and type of work. Firstly, I would like to speak about office workers and the KYPHOTIC pose, as an office worker you are spending anything from 5 to 8 hours a day sat at a desk and feel a lot of strain on the upper body. When I mention the Kyphotic pose it is most common in office workers as sitting in an abnormal position will push the shoulder blades forward and getting an excessive curve in the thoracic spine, start of the kyphotic pose, meaning you will get an aching pain around the mid back (thoracic spine) and the shoulders and of course this will then be moving towards to neck and can cause a lot unnecessary stress on our body’s. To help keep the body in a natural position we need to think about how we sit with the correct posture, so remember to be upright and try to keep the core muscles activated as this will help with your posture problems. Myofascial release (foam rolling) is one of the best tools we can use to help with any sort of problems. Kyphotic pose , the myofascial release we ease the tension on the back by simply foam for 5-10 minutes a day thus easing strain on the back and shoulders.

If you are finding it hard to keep on top of the myofascial release then why not try a Sports Massage, I have regular clients that book in to help release with stress and physical training. Sports massage and Deep tissue massage has been proven to help maintain good posture, stress relief and to boost for performance in sports activity. I have been working as a sports massage therapist for many years and even I go to see another therapist for deep tissue every 2-4 weeks to help release tension and general better feeling within myself. If any members are suffering from aches pains or even any form of stress I’m available any evening during the week and Saturdays from 9am to 12pm.

Exercising in the theatre of War

Exercising in the theatre of War

I was 19 when I first enlisted into the army and the journey I experience was both exciting and challenging to say the least. For 3 years, I trained for an operation theatre and in 2008 I finally got to chance to go to Afghanistan.

Preparing for this was both physically and mentally challenging, cross fit was just about to explode on the fitness scene and I wish I had the chance to start my physical journey before I want to war.

I’ve always trained in big compound movements such as deadlifts, squats, shoulder press and bench press, these are the fundamentals of a good starting base.

My next challenge was keeping fighting fit whilst on operations in the middle east. Little did I know that I was already doing this with workouts such as Cindy Simple Body weight exercise with a 5,10,15 complex. I hardly had time to work out but 20 mins of simple WOD kept me going.

Nutrition was key I was carrying heavy equipment and engaged in contact with the Taliban for up to 6 hours at any time. Also of central importance was hydration as it was reaching 40 degrees in md day heat and 90% of the time the water I had to drink was hot -  but after months we grew to like it.

I always worked with a phrase in mind – EVERY WHERE IS A GYM. Well in Afghanistan we made the best of what we had.

I have had experiences that most will never get to see but thankfully I am still here and am striving to earn a degree in sports rehabilitation.

Finally, I would like to take my time a give thanks to those brave men and women that did not come home and made the ultimate sacrifice to give their life so people today can live theirs. God bless the servicemen and women there are still there serving queen and country.

 My minds telling me no, but my coach is telling me go

 My minds telling me no, but my coach is telling me go

 How to change your mindset to push through the tough workouts:           

 Few years ago I decided to become quad-bike instructor. I remember thisas near deathexperience. The Seniorinstructor dragged me through the forest up hill, down hill and through all sorts of obstacles..I pictured myself being crushed by the quad- bike rolling down the hill.. At this point instructor stopped and said these memorable and awfully obvious words: ‘Quad bike is able to drive everywhere -the only restriction is your mind’. It was like a strike of the lightning. The change in my performance was immediate. Why?

 I understood that everything depends on me.

We often block our own potential by not even trying. Your brain loves comfort zone .No wonder that instead of doing 100 burpees it will choose sofa&pizza. But in the long run- will it really make you feel good?

To cut to the chase:  you come in to the box for the session. On the white board you see the worst  ever WOD scenario, everything that you are afraid of.

Let’s stop here for a moment. What happens in your head? Panic attack, stress ,resignation maybe?

Stay calm. Cut the flow of negative inner dialogue .Control the situation.

1. Know your limits:

Choose your level -the  one that is still a challenge but will allow you to sustain high intensity &good technique with  the full range of motion.

2. Remember that it was your choice to come to the box, you’re doing this for yourself to become more fit & confident person.

3. Always listen to your coach - my personal favourite!

Your coach will always push you towards-having your skill level in mind. If you’re advanced he will push you towards RX, if you’re beginner he will keep you on high intensity on scaled version of WOD.

4. From the physical point of view (psychological as well) you always have backup energy storage ’ just waiting to be released by your mind.

You feel extremely tired. Barbell becomes heavier and heavier. The mind vs body battle is on:I can’t do it. I’m exhausted. It’s too difficult etc..And suddenly you hear the voice:  YOU CAN DO IT! KEEP MOVING! ONE MORE! COME ON! Coach and your mates cheering you on, believing in your abilities.  I’m are not alone. It’s not that bad. If they can do it I can. BOOM. Your potential is released  and comfort zone boundary is moved once again. It really doesn’t hurt much more if:  you try to row bit faster, the breaks between reps are little bit shorter.

Focus on the task, on each movement, on your breathing.

Useful tip: Example: You have 100 push press to do. Don’t focus on the number. Plan the WOD as it is only 5 times 20. Sounds better? Keep up the pace and believe in yourself.

‘Worst ever WOD ‘ is over. You’re lying on the floor ,out of breath but really proud of yourself. Invincible. After all : it wasn’t that difficult or impossible.

 It was a matter of attitude.