Category Archives: Personal Training

Free total body monitoring

I now offer free total body monitoring for my personal training clients in Pool in Wharfedale, North Leeds, Harrogate and surrounding areas.

A couple of years ago, I was given the chance to tour the Football Association’s new coaching centre at Burton on Trent. It’s a magnificent complex with 13 pitches, one of them that is indoors.

There’s also a great medical centre there two and the public can go to St George’s, stay in one of the two Hilton hotels on the site and get themselves checked out by the same people who do the England team.

While touring the centre, we came across a Tanita Body Composition Monitor and all of us on the tour were allowed to have a go. The monitor sends impulses through your body and works out your weight, bone mass, lean mass (how much muscle you have) and your body fat percentage. It also calculates, based on all those figures, just how old your body is on a metabolic level – I’m glad to say I came up as 31, not bad for a 46-year-old man a few months short of moving up the categories list when I fill in age-related forms.

The fact I come up 15 years younger comes from my regime: I train hard, eat well most of the time and enjoy the odd blowout and occasional drink. It’s not rocket science but there are so many barriers to getting started on an exercise programme that many people never get round to it.

They’re too busy, too stressed, can’t afford it… I’ve been there. In fact I spent most of my late 20s and all of my 30s there, so I know just how hard it can be. Sometimes though, all you need is the push and the support that can be offered by someone who has been in your position to help you along and away you go. I know that when I made the decision to get fit, it was the best decision I made in my life. Not because other things are less important, but because I now know that I can enjoy those other things, like family moments enjoying my daughter’s grow up, for longer.

The Body Composition Monitor at the FA Centre can be booked by people as part of a larger programme that can cost 100s of pounds – this is private healthcare after all.

But I’ve purchased a portable version of my own and am now offering total body monitoring as a free add-on to consultations for clients wishing to embark on a block of personal training sessions.

If you want to find out how old your body is, come and see me for a consultation. The good news is, whatever the result, we can start immediately on making the number much, much smaller…

How to lose an inch from your belly

I suppose instead of How to lose an inch from your belly, this article could be called How to put on an inch on your belly!

We’ve just returned from a family holiday in Tenerife. The weather was gorgeous and the hotel was great, it was the perfect solution to a busy December and a great way to let our batteries recharge in the sun.

The problem with our break was we were staying at an all-inclusive resort – a great way to budget but not great on your waistline when you can go to the restaurant or bar and eat and drink what you want, when you want.

In less than a week, I managed to put on almost 1.5kg in weight – that’s almost four pounds in old money. Imagine if I’d not been going for a daily run!

So how does it work?

Well, in its simplest terms, weight gain is a purely mathematical concept.

Of course, some people have faster metabolisms or different body shapes than others and this can affect the maths, but as a general rule:

  • take on more fuel more than the energy you expend and you will put on weight,
  • take on less fuel than the energy you expend and you will lose weight.

According to Runner’s World, researchers have found that an inch of belly fat equates to around 14,000 calories – and believe me, it’s not hard to put that on in a month.

We need a basic calorific intake to maintain our bodily functions if we remain sedentary or largely inactive – that figure is around 2,000 calories for a woman and 2,500 for a man. Anything over this is excess and will make us add weight, anything less will make us lose weight.

In weight terms, 3,500 calories is roughly equivalent to a pound of fat – if you take on just an extra 500 calories a day more than you expend, it would take just a week to put on a pound, and just a month to put on four pounds (2kg) and an extra inch of belly fat (four weeks at 3,500 calories is 14,000 calories).

So what constitutes an extra 500 calories a day?

Well, take your pick: two cans of Stella, a glass and a half of Bailey’s, three glasses of champagne, two small Danish pastries, 100g of chocolate, a Big Mac… any number of things that can easily slip into your diet and soon add up.

Equally, of course, you can expend an extra 500 calories a day, eat your regulation daily amount and you should lose an inch around your belly (providing you are not cheating!)

What can you do to burn an extra 500 calories?

For a 180lb man, an hour of shadow boxing, walking with a rucksack, light cycling or football training will all burn more than 500 calories.

Plus there’s an added benefit to exercise – the fitter you are, the more calories you burn when resting (muscle needs more fuel than fat), so the benefits last much longer than just the hour in which you will have exercised.

If you’re finding it hard to banish the new year blues, stick to your fitness resolution or need some tips on nutrition, drop me a line via the contact form and I’ll give you the push you need.