Showing posts with label Fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fitness. Show all posts

Friday, 4 November 2016

Let's Feast! Christmas Prep with Results with Lucy

Which of the below is you on the 25th of December?
Or...
The first image is me at Christmas. Stuffing my face, not giving a fuck, enjoying life. Although I like to think of myself as much, much, more classy than that the truth is I can just about haul myself out of bed on Boxing Day after the sheer amount of food I consume.

As many of you will know I am taking part in the Hiit Harder programme with Results with Lucy, after finishing Wobble to Model earlier this year. This year, RWL and Lucy herself are inviting us all to indulge in a 'guilt-free' Christmas by working out and eating well hard before the big day, then enjoying a week of indulgences over the festive period! 

The average person eats around 6,000 calories on Christmas Day and who can blame us? We are surrounded by delicious foods and lots of alcohol and that’s not even counting the endless office parties, family get togethers’ and chocolate treats! For me, it's Twiglets, Roses chocolate boxes and endless supplies of mince pies. Oh, and red wine. Yes please. 

Results with Lucy is now the UK’s leading online fitness and nutrition site for women. Using the Results with Lucy OnDemand programme, you can access 350+ workout videos and 400+ healthy, nutritious and festive recipes. Simply click, log-in and workout from the comfort of your own home with Lucy Mecklenburgh and her PT, Cecilia Harris.


Pick and choose your favourite videos and workout at a time that suits you, without worrying about getting to the gym and fitting in classes! Plus, you will get their best ever Guilt Free Christmas Guide, showing you exactly how to achieve a healthy, happy self.

The key to indulging this festive season is committing yourself to work hard before and also kick-starting again come January. Results with Lucy will keep you on track with motivational videos and tips for the festive season to make sure you stay on track!

You can follow my progress on Twitter and Instagram. Let me know if you join the challenge too! 


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

FITNESS: Results With Lucy Week 3

Well! It's been three weeks since I started the Wobble to Model plan with Results with Lucy so time to check in with my progress!

If you've been following me on Instagram then you'll have been my 'baby abs' post. This was so weird for me to post but do you know what, I'm so proud of those little guys. They've disappeared again now after a weekend of painting and eating shit, but hey ho - I know I can do it now so there is no excuse.

In terms of fitness, I have been able to 100% commit to doing three out of the four days of exercise but I have also incorporated up to 120 minutes of walking a day, to and from work, to compensate for the missing day. Each set of workouts, I have found, is really engaging and you can't believe the cool down has arrived when it does. I love the 360 training but I'm much less of a fan of the 'warm up to music'. I like the whole body training and the arms workouts, but I struggle sometimes with those thousands of press ups. The cool down is always really good and mean's I don't die the next day!

The food has been really fun! I have found the menu planning unbelievably helpful, from shopping lists to daily lists of ingredients. This has kept my fridge fully stocked and my belly very happy. I wish there were snacks incorporated into the plan as I need to eat a little more than three meals a day to keep up my brain function, but Omega 3 tablets have really helped there. I have also been replacing the meat with plenty of fish, eggs, yoghurt and pulses thanks to added advice from Louise - the nutritionist at Results with Lucy. 

Here are my 'before-after' shots for Week 1 and Week 3!

Week 1:


Week1 / Week 3:

The last shot is my favourite!


I will update you all again at Week 6 but please feel free to follow me on Instagram for regular updates! 


Thursday, 11 August 2016

FITNESS: Wobble to Model with Results With Lucy

Long time no speak!

It's been a while but my god life has been crazy. I've moved into an exciting new job that means I am eating out on a more than regular basis (often with little notice!), Alex has graduated with a distinction (so proud) and we have been travelling a lot for family events. My sister in law turned 21, my nephew had his first birthday and my sister was recently in hospital. To say the least, life has been busy these last few weeks.

And while I am sure there is more and more change to come I am embracing it with open arms. Change is scary because you're not in control, but maintaining control over such massive events in nigh-on-impossible. Something I can control, however, is my dedication to my health and fitness. No, I'm not talking crazy diets and working out at 4am; I'm talking about keeping up a healthy attitude towards my diet and working out on a regular basis. 

I've followed the Results with Lucy page on Instagram for months and been astounded by the 'transformations'. To be fair, on the surface RWL doesn't seem my style; following a celebrity programme to lose weight, but in all honestly RWL seems different. The programmes are professionally developed and tailored towards different goals. There isn't a cheesy DVD, there are no magical claims, there are no shortcuts - it's all about being dedicated and following the advice. 
I was invited to give the Wobble to Model plan a bash. I'm relatively active already and feel confident in my fitness abilities. I don't want to lose weight but I do want to tone up and highlight those muscles I work so damn hard for, so this was the right plan for me. It's six weeks long and I'll be sharing updates along the way. To kick things off here are my goals:
  • To tone my entire body with particular focus on my arms, shoulders, stomach and booty (yep, classic);
  • To feel comfortable wearing my striped M&S crop top at the end of these six weeks;
  • To learn new workout techniques and constantly challenge my brain to adapt;
  • To commit to a healthy eating plan, allowing for treats and work events;
  • To squat at least 20kg - I'm on 12.5 at the start of the plan!
Here's my starter selfies - it's part of the plan and will certainly help to track my results. I'm not going to be doing any bikini shots on here (sorry, but no) so here's my ultra-stylish TK Maxx gym kit. Seriously it's the best place to get gym stuff!

Wow, my face is awkward!!! 
I don't talk about fitness anywhere near enough on this blog but in all honesty, it's something I love. Since quitting Class Pass and heading miserably back to my local gym it's been really hard to stay motivated and push myself to go four times a week. I work moments away from Regent's Park now so I can get in one or two 5km runs a week which is great, but being non-showered at work is pretty gross. I'm excited to start this new journey and to take you along with me!

I'll be sharing updates on the blog, on Instagram (follow me here) and on Twitter. Stay tuned for workouts, progress pics and plenty of food - greens galore!

Until next time...



Friday, 4 March 2016

FITNESS: Speedflex London, Bank

Last week I attended one of the hardest classes of my fitness life: Speedflex. Based in Bank in Central London, Speedflex uses weighted machines to provide a high-intensity, low impact training regime that absolutely kicks butt!  Speedflex machines which work by creating resistance to applied force, meaning that anyone can use them with no need to adjust weights or levels. The group circuit sessions provide a combination of cardio and resistance training however, they also have more targeted sessions which are applied to certain areas, including Coreflex for a core workout. Speedflex group training sessions have been designed to offer a full body workout to improve fitness levels, enhance strength, power and speed; all with the added benefit of little to no post workout muscle soreness. I can vouch that I had very little soreness the next day (but my thighs were knackered).

Recently Speedflex have introduced new 'themed' sessions that will shake up your workout routine. In addition to the original Speedflex Classic sessions, which combine low impact auxiliary exercises with circuits using the unique Speedflex machines that automatically respond to and create resistance based on the force you put in, Speedflex has introduced six new session concepts including:

  • SPEED4LEX - Designed around the Tabata training theory, Speed4lex 30 minute sessions will be structured around four minute blocks to offer a variety of strength and cardio-based exercises, with an emphasis on intensity for enhanced fat burn and results.
  • FLEXTREME - The most challenging Speedflex experience to date, Flextreme offers an array of new complex and compound Speedflex and auxiliary exercises which involve more resistance and are more focused on strength. These sessions will be more demanding on the body and have been designed to truly take your training up a notch
  • PUREFLEX - 30 and 45 minute sessions comprising of Speedflex only exercises without any auxiliary stations. PureFlex has been designed to take interval training back to basics, utilising the Speedflex machines to take you to high intensity training zones, followed by rest periods to lower the heart rate. 
  • BODYFLEX - 30 minute sessions which focus on the use of your own body weight and interval training using the Speedflex machines, followed by 15 minutes of core work. 
  • COREFLEX - Challenging 30 minute sessions which combine Speedflex training with abdominal focused exercises to help achieve a flat and toned torso. CoreFlex sessions have been designed to improve your strength, posture and spinal stability. 
  • FUNDAMENTALS - Designed to perfect your Speedflex form and technique, Fundamentals sessions will teach you how to improve upon core Speedflex exercises including squats, deadlifts, pushes, swings and presses. 

All Speedflex sessions are led by experienced personal trainers who push you to work to your maximum, encouraging you to sustain your heart rate in a high intensity zone above 85% for increased fitness, stamina and results with a reduced risk of injury. Each person uses state-of-the-art heart rate monitors to track their heart rate during the session and find out an accurate calorie burn at the end. When compared against my FitBit the heart rate monitor certainly won. 

Speedflex also offer a detailed body analysis, which is free for first-time clients or paid for by current members. Carried out on the InBody720, the body composition health assessment gives you a real insight into what your body is made up of. This involves you standing on a very fancy set of scales which sends gentle electrical currents through your body. Body composition is one of the most important assessments to establish a starting point and verify the progress of your training efforts. The analysis demonstrates what the body is composed of in relation to muscle, fat, water levels and visceral fat – to name but a few.

I have shared my InBody stats with you, not to show off, but to show how incredibly detailed each assessment really is. My weight on the day was 57.8kg (around 9st 1lb) and my body fat percentage at 12.6. This really surprised me as I eat a lot of fat in my daily vegan diet (um, hello avocados!). This body fat percentage in perfectly healthy and is something I would love to maintain. Typically the bulk of my weight is carried in my trunk (no surprises there) but it was interesting to see that my lower body is also disproportionately stronger than my upper half. These sorts of readings are really helpful in guiding my training and directing my work. 
 Overall my time at Speedflex was pretty awesome! I have learnt so much about my body and how I can train it more effectively. I have also experienced a killer workout that doesn't leave you dead the next day. I cannot wait to start my two week trial so be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for more updates!
I was invited to Speedflex to review their training system. This post is not sponsored or paid for. All opinions and images are my own. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

SERENESocial x LFW: Yoga Brunch at Hoxton Hotel, Shoreditch

To celebrate London Fashion Week this year I was kindly invited by May of Red Velvet London to a beautiful VIP event with SERENESocial. Since attending my first SERENESocial class over a year ago I have remained a fan of their work. Their classes combine the beauty of yoga with the wonder of women socialising together. They host a variety of events in London, Los Angeles and New York that bring a wide range of people together to practise yoga and enjoy brunch.
This month's Raising The Vibration event was hosted at the incredible Hoxton Hotel. When I lived in Shoreditch I used to drink (a lot) at the Hoxton Hotel and never really appreciated the beauty of the space. The large building not only plays host to a bustling restaurant, cosy bar, work space and bedrooms for guests but has a number of rentable spaces 'out the back'. The courtyard is pretty awesome too!  The Raising The Vibration event was packed with mindfulness and wellness events including a beautiful but intense yoga session hosted by Davina and Tegan and DJ'ed by Chelsea Leyland (like yes, really), meditation with Kaja Wunder, group hypnotherapy with Chloe Brotheridge, and panelists including Goldenmylk entrepreneur Zoe Lind van’t Hof, and nutritionist and author Chantal di Donato. May and I took part in the yoga session and after tucked into a delicious brunch.

Yoga is such a delicate art and when you mix incredible teachers with incredible music the practise is something magical. At my last SERENESocial class it actually rained the moment we began savasana which was absolutely mind blowing. At the Raising The Vibration event I was able to experience DJ'ed yoga. This sounds like a really weird concept but actually it has changed my whole view on the relationship between yoga and music. I attended a Kundalini Yoga class at Triyoga last year which was not initially set to music. Although the class was intense and deeply spiritual the overwhelming silence was actually quite difficult to experience. We were so lucky to have had Chelsea Leyland as our DJ for the Raising The Vibration yoga class. Each beat was so perfectly in tune with the movements we were actioning and, in the same way that house music can make you spin harder, the choice of sound really impacted on how deeply each move was made. 

I was also so happy to see the wonderful Tegan Bukowski up and teaching this class. Tegan and I met at my last SERENESocial yoga session and struck up a great chemistry. Since that time Tegan has become a qualified teacher and her passion for yoga practise continues to inspire me. Hey, her outfit from RUYI was pretty sick too. I found Davina Wellesley's teachings at the start and end of our session really great bookends. Her soft voice and clear instructions were effortless to follow and she is clearly well practised in getting the best of our her students.



Thank you May for this one!


After our yoga session we were treated to a family-style brunch in the courtyard at the Hoxton Hotel. It was here that I finally met Carly from Project Hot Bitch! I have been stalking Carly on Instagram and Twitter for months -  I told her, she's cool with it - and was so happy to have finally got the chance to meet her. Carly, May and I sat together through brunch enjoying delicious avocado toast with tomatoes, fresh fruit salads, mini croissants and pancakes with fruits and maple syrup. The brunch was absolutely delicious and I am keen to return to the Hoxton Hotel to review their brunch offering soon. 






Overall it was a pretty awesome day! Thank you to May for inviting me and to SERENESocial, The Hoxton Hotel, Class Pass and RUYI for hosting the beautiful event. 



Monday, 7 December 2015

#FitnessFirstDropIn at Fitness First, Tottenham Court Road

Since leaving Class Pass (extreme sad face) and moving back to my local gym, I have been craving the incredible facilities and excellent classes that the Class Pass service provides. Enter, Fitness First. Recently re-branded for a younger, modern audience Fitness First now offers a plethora of gym classes lead by industry experts plus an extensive amount of equipment for daily use. Whether you opt for a Tier 1 gym such as Tottenham Court Road or Hammersmith, or a Tier 4 such as Angel, the experience at Fitness First has massively improved. 
#FitnessFirstDropIn at Fitness First, Tottenham Court Road

The Tottenham Court Road location offers not only a fully equipped gym floor and Olympic lifting area, but classes such as hot yoga, spinning and swimming lessons. Plus, the Tier 1 gym boasts a steam room and sauna, complementary towels, personal training and a beauty room to fix up your look after a hard workout. To discover your closest Fitness First and the facilities it has, click here. 

May from Red Velvet London and I were recently invited to try out the new Tier 1 gym at Tottenham Court Road as part of their #FitnessFirstDropIn. We were treated to a complimentary class (Pilates) and an exclusive PT session with the gym's trainer Musty. The Pilates class was a joy, and although we arrived late (awks) we had the full sweaty experience. Oooh, sounds lovely right? The instructor took us through a series of postures and tiny movement to exert the smaller muscles within our core which certainly hurt the next day. I really enjoyed having a series of 8, 4, 2, 2 movements whereby each pose was executed 8 times then change sides, 4 times then change sides etc etc. This not only built up the movement memory within the mind so that you could focus on your form, but helps the pain to pass quickly!#FitnessFirstDropIn at Fitness First, Tottenham Court Road
After Pilates, May and I indulged in a little PT session. I say indulged, we definitely were dying at the end. Musty took us through HIIT training with a mix of weights (8kg dumbbells), body weight exercises and sprint bursts. We may have only had a 20 minute session but it completely killed us - which is obviously what you want from a PT. We ended the night with a cheeky sauna break and then bowls of veggie ramen over the road at The Japanese Canteen.

Learn more about Fitness First TCR here. Thank you to Fitness First for hosting us. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

FITNESS: 1Rebel, Liverpool Street

I am currently on my flight back from Paris when this post goes live, so hopefully it actually appears on screen!

1Rebel is one of London's hottest fitness studios, despite the fact it only offers two classes - Ride and Reshape. 1Rebel was founded by James Balfour, the son of Fitness First owner Mike Balfour. Determined to create something completely different to Fitness First, Balfour junior made 1Rebel the gym for people who hate gyms. From its luxury changing facilities to state of the art equipment, 1Rebel is an experience not just a work out. 
Image from GQ.
I have experienced both classes and trust me, they kick your ass. There's no calming yoga or low intensity exercises here. 1Rebel is about getting the most bang for your buck and achieving results quicker than you could have imagined. Classes range from 30 to 45 minutes of what feels like torture and always end with a sweat drench stretch off to help heal your muscles. After that you can wander on over to the stunning changing rooms and indulge in GHD hair dryers and straighteners, complementary hair spray, cleanser, toner, moisturiser and body lotion and even manicures once a month.
But before we all start dreaming of the spa-like changing rooms, lets get down to the classes. For £10 a session you can chose from Ride or Reshape. Ride is essentially a spinning class on crack. Using state of the art bikes and clip-in shoes for added support, the 45 minute session is perfectly timed to the curated playlists. From hill climbs to speed races, the class feels like it ends so quickly but there is always a next-day burn. 1Rebel also offers Live Rides, where you spin to live music - i.e. its like being at da club but on a bike. 

Reshape on the other hand is a full-throttle bootcamp experience. I compare Reshape to Barry's Bootcamp but smaller. Although I am torn between which class I prefer, 1Rebel definitely has the upper hand when it comes to their lunchtime Reshape classes. These 30 minute sessions and broken into six 5 minute segments, swapping between treadmills and Rebel Boxes containing weights. I generally start on the treadmill working through hill climbs (they are hell), sprints and dynamic mode racing. The floor section of the workout features heavy weight lifting, planks, crunches, burpees, frogees and so many more torture-like moves. Although this all sounds very painful it really does go by so fast and the results are amazing - just make sure you hit the showers after your workout!

Let me know if you head to 1Rebel anytime soon. Lunchtime classes also come with a complementary juice or smoothie from the in-house Roots & Bulbs bar.

Monday, 29 June 2015

FITNESS: BARRECore, Mayfair

It would appear that barre is the one exercise class that just won’t go away this year. From supermodels to Fulham mummies, barre classes are loved across the UK and US. The class is inspired by the beauty of ballet and the hardcore training that ballerinas go through. As my first barre teacher once said, “ballerinas need abs”. Yes, yes they do.
One of London’s best loved barre classes is held at barrecore. With several locations across the city including Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea barrecore certainly fits the yummy-mummy stereotype. However, I actually found the class and whole experience very relaxed, calm and comfortable. Never once are you expected to know every move or be wearing the latest Lululemon clothing. The class is a mix of different body shapes, weight, ethnicity and ages which gives the experience a really inclusive feel.

Though the Mayfair location is the most central for barrecore it is really tiny! Hidden away in a basement on Cavendish Square, it’s possible to miss the studio completely. The reception area features boxes for shoes, a single white desk and a selection of healthy snacks and essentials. Oh and a juice fridge (duh). The receptionist I spoke to on the day was so lovely in a way that just can’t be faked. She even let me use her phone charger whilst I was in class. This kindness extended into our instructor Chiara. She was enthusiastic, engaging and encouraging throughout the whole class with boundless amounts of energy and love. This was incredibly motivating and made us push ourselves even harder. No scary shouting here.
 The class features a mix of floor and barre work, exploring balance and strength to create a beautifully sculpted physique. According to their posters four classes a week is the ideal number to aim for if you want to maintain that ballet-beautiful body. The classes certainly kick ass so I don’t know if I could reach that number, but I like the challenge. The class starts with a busting warm-up of floor work and mini cardio gently waking up your major muscle groups before moving into the finer muscle groups. Each major set of moves is repeated on each leg and then followed by deep stretching to encourage muscle strength and agility.


My favourite part of the class was the savasana at the end! It was so unexpected and a really calming way to end the fabulous class. I visited barrecore through Class Pass and you can learn more here.

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