Pack a workout into your summer holiday

EASY demonstrated by Hudsons Core Fitness – Upright Rows / Supported Squat Thrusts / Elevated Knee Push Ups / Lunges / Reverse Ab Crunches
HARD demonstrated by LaW Personal Training – Frontal Raises / Advanced Squat Thrusts / Decline Push Ups / Overhead Lunges / Double Leg Raises

Summer is here! Yay that glorious time of year when the sun hides from the onslaught of school free kids and the only way to find it is to get on a plane and journey to exotic lands. You’ve starved yourself for the last 2 weeks preparing your beach bod and it’s time to show the world (and facebook) how great you look in your swimwear. You’ve worked hard, you deserve a break. You deserve to relax by the pool, to drink cocktails in the moonlight and to speak extra slow, shouted English so the bar staff can understand your order. You deserve it, you’re earned this break. But, that doesn’t mean you have to take a step back from your fitness goals. Not at all in fact.

I recently met up with our Solihull based personal trainer, Dan Hudson (Hudsons Core Fitness) and we devised this simple and effective holiday workout for those spare 15 minutes you have a day to help keep your fitness regime ticking over while away. We call it the suitcase hotel workout (name subject to change if we can think of something better). All you need is a suitcase and a small area of space -like your hotel room.

The workout is made up of 5 exercises. Complete 5 reps of each exercise back to back, take 30 seconds recovery and repeat 4-5 times. You will notice on the video that we have provided ‘easy’ and ‘hard’ options. Pick the appropriate exercise for your ability level (mix and match if necessary). And the best part is, as the holiday progresses it gets increasingly easier! Does the suitcase get lighter, or do you get stronger? Stronger obviously says the glass half full advocates.

Interested in training with our Birmingham and Solihull home training specialist Personal Trainers, Darran and Dan, click here

Eccentric calf raises for achilles tendinopathy recovery

I’ve recently had a couple of clients come to me asking for advice on sore achilles tendon*. It’s an area I’ve had a fair share of problems with myself. Achilles tendon injuries are often brought on by over exerting through exercise – namely running. Very common with long distance running. The continual stress running on hard surfaces has on your ankles can cause issues. In my case it was down to training two separate clients for marathons at the same time. I was essentially doing marathon prep twice over and the time on my feet running was too much and I ended up suffering with chronic achilles tendinopathy for nearly a year. Under the impression that the only way to cure the problem was through rest, I resigned myself to thinking I was just going to have to live with it – as rest isn’t exactly an option for a mobile personal trainer. Luckily, I couldn’t have been more wrong! Continue reading “Eccentric calf raises for achilles tendinopathy recovery”

Skipping: The total body workout. A jump rope story


Workout with words

This is a simple and fun workout that works great as a super-fast, 15-minute, squeeze a workout into your busy day session.

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Catch a good warm up


5 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight

  1. You’re eating too much. I know I know I’m stating the blindingly obvious right off the bat, but obvious for a reason. Occum’s razor states that when presented with multiple theories the simplest is the best and most likely. Your body requires food to operate. In order to function properly you need to eat. But, there is a limit as to how much food your body requires. Put simply; if you lead a sedentary lifestyle with the only activity being moving from your desk to the sofa your calorie requirements will be significantly less than someone who cycles to work and goes to the gym 3 times a week. If you are eating too much, you won’t lose weight. The National Health Service recommends daily calorie intake to be 2000 calories for women, and 2500 for men to maintain their weight.

Continue reading “5 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight”

The Importance of Sleep

We all love our bed. It’s a comfortable, warm sanctuary, a place of temporary escape. We can relax, unwind and let the noise of the day drift away. Our bed is our friend. A friend that we (probably) spend too little quality time with.

Continue reading “The Importance of Sleep”

Eating moderately well is good for you, actually

Nutrition awareness has improved dramatically in recent years. We are bombarded with healthy recipes from celebrity chefs. Every man and his dog tells us, on a daily basis, to cook and eat fresh. We all know by now what we should and shouldn’t eat. Right? But do we listen and put it into practice? Continue reading “Eating moderately well is good for you, actually”


Women and Weights

If I had a pound every time I heard “I’m a woman, I don’t want to lift weights cos I don’t want to get bulky muscles” (or words to that effect) I’d be writing this blog sat on a sunny beach somewhere, sipping a cocktail with a crazy straw and an outrageous amount of fruit, singing ‘time of my life’ until a concerned citizen comes over to save the dying cat they think they can hear… Or I’d at least have considerably more money.

A significant proportion of my clients are either gym-adverse or feel they lack the knowledge to be confident enough to exercise themselves. One of the first obstacles I face as a personal trainer with women is their reluctance to embrace lifting weights. They think it will give them big bulky muscles, or they don’t understand the value. They’ve been previously misled into believing that weights build muscle and cardio helps lose weight. Experienced gym goers know this is no longer the established truth. Unfortunately, I have found that the general population still live in a ‘weights are for men world’. Today’s mission is to help dispel that notion and help celebrate women that lift.

My top 5 reasons why men AND WOMEN should embrace lifting weights;


The more muscle you have, the more efficiently you burn fat. On top of that- you even continue to burn calories long after you’ve finished exercising. In a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, women who completed a 60 minute weights based training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than those who stuck to solely cardio focus exercises.


We all get stressed from time to time. Oftentimes this stress makes us feel like all we want to do is curl up in a dark room and watch Peep Show on a loop (maybe that’s just me). Poor choice (not watching Peep Show – it’s a classic that will stand the test of time). Relieving stress through exercise increases the production and release of endorphins according to studies by Harvard health. Working out will, actually, make you feel less stressed and more energised. So, pick up the weights and put down the TV remote.


Women produce only 5-10% testosterone in comparison to men. As a result the potential for creating that body builder physique is limited. Instead women who lift, build strong lean muscle. While the scales might show an increase in weight, your clothes will tell an entirely different story. Let’s face it, dress size and fit trumps smiling scales every day of the week. Here’s the science; according to the National Institutes of Health, the normal range of testosterone is 30 to 95 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) for women and 300 to 1,200 ng/dL for men. Of course, that doesn’t preclude women from achieving the muscle-bound bod, but it does make it much more difficult to do it naturally. Great news for my regular clients.


According to a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, participating in regular muscular endurance activities helps strengthen your heart. Your heart is a muscle too- don’t ignore it.


Regularly lifting weights can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This is a slightly debatable point as not all studies agree. However, it is worth considering as it’s supported by a significant amount of research (including researchers at University of Missouri-Columbia) to suggest that lifting weights does increase bone density. So, you aren’t just working out for present day you, you’re also supporting future you. How very forward thinking!

How to avoid the dreaded plateau

You’ve been training for a few months now and it’s been going great. That is until the last couple of weeks. Recently you’ve noticed the scales are not giving you the positive reinforcement you’ve become accustomed to. Runkeeper hasn’t congratulated you on breaking another time or distance record. Maybe your food reward days are becoming more tempting and frequent. Frustrating? Yes. Time to give up and accept the new status quo? Hell no!

Here’s 5 ways to get you back on track:

Continue reading “How to avoid the dreaded plateau”

There’s Snow Circuit Like A Snow Inspired Circuit

It’s snowing!

“Do you want to build a snowman?…”* Ok maybe I’m a bit excitable here, but it’s that special time of the year when holiday planning changes focus from sun, sea and sand to snow, snow and more snow.

To celebrate I’ve outlined a simple training plan to help ensure you’re ready for ski season and your physique is more ice sculpture and less fluffy snowball.

Continue reading “There’s Snow Circuit Like A Snow Inspired Circuit”

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