lose a stone in a week

Be afraid – be very afraid – if you read this title and thought “lose a stone in a week – brilliant – I’m going to try whatever they say!”  Please have a serious word with your logic brain, and really think about the consequences or the sense of anything that gives you even the slightest chance to lose a stone in a week.  The scary thing is though that 3600 people searched for that phrase on Google last week.

Every January we tend to write a similar article.  One that champions the slow, achievable, and sustainable lifestyle change, rather than an all or nothing starve yourself, beast yourself, look good for 4 weeks, then get fatter than you were before approach. 

Funnily enough every year it is the same.  The body transformation coaches suck in the most January clients for that golden 6 or 12 weeks of restriction.  However, we tend to get clients all year round at the same rate, and when they come, they tend to stick around for the long term because what we do is fun, enjoyable and becomes part of their life.  Friendships are made and lifestyle changes stick.

Lose a stone in a week – January Weight Loss top tips – what’s new?



This January, as usual magazines are churning out the same old articles rewritten for 2022.  The supplement companies are in full force with detox plans, and the fitness industry is coming up with new post Covid offers for you to join their shiny gyms packed with socially distanced and disinfected facilities and lots of classes to attend. It’s the same every year, with a twist on the latest angle or fad. This year we sense the trend is for a big dry January possibly after the nation drank its way through Covid for the last 2 years.

When we searched for detox and weight loss tips and found hundreds, nothing we read is anything you don’t already know. Here are a few examples…

  • Drink more water
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Cut back on sugar
  • Cut back on carbs
  • Exercise more
  • Walk 10,000 steps every day

We could go on and on but there won’t be one thing we list that you don’t already know, and it is lists like these that make health establishments like us (if we choose to promote their worth) look like idiots. What do you want to pay a personal trainer or lifestyle coach for help for? It’s all common-sense stuff and all you need to do is have the willpower to stick to it right?

So why do you always fail?

Or why do you never ‘maintain’ the initial weight loss you initially achieve?

When someone books to see us at the Northwich gym, there is nothing that makes us happier than when we sit with a potential new client, and they tell us that they are thinking about their long-term health; that they are willing to invest time and effort to achieve a life that is full of energy, confidence, strength, fitness, and happiness. A life that is pain free without medication and an expectancy to reach a minimum age of 100 years old! That’s when we know we are sat with someone who’s got a chance, someone who might achieve a six-pack without even chasing one! Our heart does genuinely sink when we get ladies wanting to get back to 8 1/2 stone, hoping that happiness will finally be theirs at this magic number. Come and train and compete in a competition with our ladies – and we guarantee not only will you look amazing in your dress, but along the way you will change your attitude, outlook and mindset.

Over recent years we have come to despise the current approach to weight loss & fitness. It is a shambles and a con and it largely delivers no return for the little work you are expected to put in. We see many phrases designed to entice us like…

  • Drop a Dress Size in 4 weeks
  • 6 Week Body Transformation
  • Rock Hard Abs Whilst Still Enjoying Takeaways
  • A Six Pack for just 20 Minutes per Day
  • Big Biceps in a Month
  • Lose a stone in a week (There are 260 people searching for this term in the UK right now!)

Yes, you may achieve some of the above if you stick rigidly to the instructions set out in the detailed plans, but we can tell you now 100% that the day the programme finishes you will be sliding back to your old self faster than you can order a Pizza Hut delivery lying on your settee watching reality tv. Unless you are a movie star or athlete needing to make weight for a film or competition those plans are of no use to you.

Why? Because you want LONG TERM results. Movie stars and athletes look 100% great for a short period of time, but you want to look 70-80% great ALL of the time, yes?

All these plans are a farce that are focused on short term misery and deprivation which asks nothing of you to challenge your inner self or purpose in this world.

Have you got what is needed to make a permanent change and step away from the fad diet or plan?

None of these plans ask you to question the life that got you to the state you are in before you started. None of them are interested in where you see yourself in ten years’ time and none of them educate you about your physical and mental health. And if that sounds a bit spiritual then you’d better get used to it because we will tell you now, you won’t achieve anything from your effort unless you are prepared to work on self-development too!

We tell you something else about these quick fix “lose a stone in a week” style fitness and diet programmes; they’re easy! Yes, easy! Getting up at 6am to go for a run or hit the gym followed by a scam powder juice that tastes like garbage, a salad for lunch, followed by a low fat, low carb, low whatever ‘sensible’ meal in the evening and finally another scam powder juice that tastes like garbage before bed six days a week for six weeks is easy! EASY!

Anyone can muster up the willpower to stick to this scheme for 1-3 months because there is an end date, and it is on that end date you are set free! Free to do all the things you used to do and because you know you have achieved it once; well, you can achieve it again. Tell me something though – just how easy is it to achieve again? If you don’t know yourself then it’s not difficult to find somebody who has lost a ton of weight but regained it all and more within five years.

Personal trainers who showcase their success stories are ten a penny but the job they have often done, any old monkey could do. Instructions to jump up ‘n’ down followed by burpees, press ups and God knows what else followed by instructions to have a dry January is the easy stuff. Get any of those trainers (if they have even been in the industry long enough) to show you their success stories after five years and it is likely to be a worse picture than the one that initially came to visit them. We are very confident in saying that.

You know what’s not easy? What is difficult? Facing up to the fact you need to make some wholescale changes to your life that are permanent.

Why to lose a stone quickly can’t be continued indefinitely – the willpower conundrum

Facing up to the realisation that you need to look at the bigger picture and your lifestyle. We all know those standard fat loss tips and every one of them is correct, but we have to study WHY we don’t stick to them. It is not a case of willpower. Willpower is a very interesting topic if you study it and the most significant point, we will make about willpower is that it is not an infinite resource. For example, if it’s taken you all your willpower to get to the gym four days this week, you probably will run out of willpower to stop drinking wine every night or whatever else it is that is your weakness.

Just like strength in the gym which doesn’t last all day – neither does willpower!

What is challenging is facing up to the real issues centred around why you are failing to adhere to the real weight loss tips which might be…

  • Exercise 3-5 per week, EVERY week for the next 50 years.
  • Start walking locally or hiking or even better get rucking!
  • Vastly reduce alcohol consumption for the rest of your life.
  • Vastly reduce sugar consumption for the rest of your life.
  • Stop watching so much television and scrolling social media.
  • Get to bed by 10pm every night.
  • Read books that will help you develop all areas of your life.
  • Visit a local counsellor to work on those issues you know are unresolved.
  • Get rid of your loser friends.
  • Meet new people to expand your circle socially and professionally.
  • Quit your job that you hate.
  • Start the business you’ve always wanted to.
  • End the toxic relationship you are in.
  • Forgive those you still carry hatred for.

That’s the challenging stuff! Facing up to that lot is what will give you a fighting chance of achieving a six pack that’s here to stay. That’s the stuff ‘they’ don’t tell you about because that’s uncomfortable to hear. Best to do the things that let you pretend you are making a difference like going to Weight Watchers or joining a soulless corporate gym for £15.99 a month, then when you fail you can lay the blame on their advice or your lack of willpower. But we are afraid that ultimately………

IT’S ALL DOWN TO YOU! YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU…

and if deep down you know that you are only going to achieve long term success by addressing those issues, then addressing those issues you must! 

If you can keep it up for a year then it would be the best money you ever spent

So will you leave this article and continue to search for that rapid 1 week weight loss? One of the main reasons that we set up Team Training was not to help someone lose a stone in a week of course!  It was to help our clients with their willpower and changing their lifestyles in the long term. Once you establish new healthier friendships, regular exercise habits:  lifestyle changes start to become incrementally easier. We want people in the team forever – not just for 3 months before they go on holiday and eat and drink themselves bigger than they were before they came to see us.  

Imagine this January finding that support network and healthy group of friends and still hanging out with them and doing this next January.  Imagine completing a whole year of regular exercise and healthy eating.  Imagine next January, feeling fit and full of energy. With the support of one of our amazing personal trainers in the private gym, or with the fun and welcoming Northwich team training group, you will have the best chance of achieving the goals that you have set yourself this year be they mental or physical.

everest

“Each year 11,190 men in the UK die from prostate cancer. 11 grams is the average weight of a prostate. 1190 x 11 grams is near as damn it 130 kilograms. We’ll carry 130 kilograms somewhere and we have to make it somewhere tough. No point carrying it somewhere easy. Up and down Snowdon it is then.”

“What about those who can’t make that day?”

“They’ll need to do something else. I know – ascend the 8,848 metres height of Mount Everest on foot or bike, indoor or outdoor over the course of November.”

“Sorted.”

And that was pretty much the conversation surrounding this year’s Team Training challenge to raise money for the Movember charity which amongst other things raises funds for research into prostate cancer. 

The next challenge:

The next challenge was to fix a date for Snowdon, find out who was doing it and to decide what form the 130kg would take. 10 men committed for Remembrance Sunday the 14th of November and it was decided that the 130kg would be split between them in rucksacks – roughly 13kg each made up from weight plates, sand and water. 

Note: Carrying 13kg on your back 9 miles up Snowdon and 9 miles back down is hard. Go carry 13kg to the end of your road and back to get an idea. Rough terrain plus a steep incline and descent makes it all the more difficult but we love stuff like that, and integrated into a structured fitness programme it can be very beneficial too. More on the benefits of rucking here.

The day arrived and all made their way to the foot of the Pyg Track to begin the ascent. 5 men from our Team Training group plus another 5 willing friends and associates. The descent was down the Llanberis Path. I’ve got to mention at this point that unfortunately I didn’t take part in this climb. I’ve got a knee injury that’s preventing me from certain activities and this is one. Onto what I did for Movember later….

Back to the mountain

The weather was as good as they could have hoped for and visibility was great.  They had a very special remembrance service at the summit “For me, the best bit of the hike was getting to the summit 5 minutes before 11am on Remembrance Sunday and witnessing an emotional tribute with 1 minute silence on the top of Mount Snowdon above the clouds” said Amit. Many thought similar. 

Prosecco, thanks Ben, and samosas, thanks to Amit’s wife, were consumed at the top to fuel the descent.

It’s events like this which are so important for many of us at the gym.

As Andy mentioned, “…it was having a laugh and getting to know the guys better” which was the best for him. Part of Movember’s charity work is to help men with mental health issues and prevent suicide and what Andy said there is so important to what happened that day and what we try to do every day; get guys to hang around with each other, have a laugh and share in the struggle. Yes going to the pub and getting drunk is bonding and having a laugh but it’s not the same. Alcohol is a depressant where uniting in hard work to achieve something of significance only results in happiness and feeling good.

It’s the whole ethos of what we do at Team Training

James echoed similar words. “Having never climbed more than a flight of stairs, the achievement of overcoming a new challenge and pushing beyond my comfort zone was great. The best thing though was the amazement on my little boy’s face when I showed him a picture of me above the clouds at the summit. Having that experience and sharing it with a great group of men was made all the more special by the kind donations to a wonderful charity picked up along the way.”

What else did we do:

As mentioned earlier, for those who didn’t climb Snowdon that day, there was the option to ascend the 8,848 metres which is the height of Mount Everest. It could be done indoors or outdoors on foot or bike and this is what I chose. Before any of you reading this give me a drubbing when I tell you how I did it, I’ll give it myself first. I climbed on the Wattbike on Zwift. Yes I sat on the bike indoors, switched on a computer and linked my bike up to ascending a hill. I didn’t get wet, I didn’t get cold and I stopped whenever I wanted. It wasn’t “really” hard. It was tough because I set speed challenges for certain climbs I did over the month but I always knew I was going to achieve it. 

Man of the Match

One man who deserves particular credit here is Glyn Knight because he went and did it the proper way; well not as proper as climbing Everest in shorts and vest but still good enough. 

Over the course of many mornings in November, Glyn drove to a local steep hill called Old Pale in Delamere Forest where he ran up and down it until the height of 8,848m had been completed. There was rain, snow, darkness and and many times he really didn’t want to do it but he did. Oh and he was in the Snowdon climb too. He gets my vote for man of the match. 

We raised a huge amount of money again and it is still coming in.  Last count we were at £3,650 raised for Movember and a further £2,319 for Macmillan Cancer support. In total it will be another £6,000 raised from a small group of men.  Thanks to Stephen’s company APC Cardiovascular Ltd too as it matched funding to a pledge of £500 per fundraiser, a total contribution of £1,000 this year.

It is amazing what we can do when we have a challenge and get together as a team. It makes any project far more doable unlike tackling a huge project on your own. 

Thank you to all our sponsors and of course the team :

Stephen Law-Lyons arranged this great event with the following men:

• Amit Patel

• Andy Firth

• Ben Flynn

• Ed Jackson

• Glyn Knight

• James McEwen

• Kris Ellis

• Matt Westmoreland

• Paul Connor

• Wayne Hasselby

movember

Movember 2021 Report Written by Stephen Law Lyons – Team Training Northwich Member

I have been raising funds for and awareness of men’s health issues for 9 years with Movember UK.  The last 2 years, the covid years, I have had the honour of enlisting the support of men in Team Training Northwich through my gym with Paul Connor, and Northwich Round Table.

In 2020 together we had Rowvember where we indoor rowed and ran more than the Land’s End to John O’Groats distance, 1,500,000m and raised almost £6,000.  It helped us all with the lockdown and gave us a purpose to build up our kilometres together, virtually.

Inspired by that success we wanted another challenge for 2021.  FEELING TOP OF THE WORLD – Individually virtually climbing the equivalent of Everest as a month-long goal.  As part of the Everest challenge, we included a standalone real climb team activity goal of climbing Snowdon.  Paul Connor raised the bar and challenged us to carry weights up and down.

The team rose to the challenge and 10 of us climbed Snowdon with around 15kgs each in our backpacks.  The weight had a significance for Movember – it was to be in total at least 130kg which is the total weight of the prostates (11g average) of the men who die each year from prostate cancer.  That is 1190 men that die each year from a treatable cancer.

We all had our different motivations – one team member shared “My motivation is that I’ve always wanted to climb Mount Snowdon but more so ever since my wife was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer and my brother with testicular cancer. I also know family members and friends who have prostate cancer so this trek was in honour of them.”

The climb was spectacular, we climbed the Pyg Track and descended the Llanberis path.  The weather was as good as we could have hoped for and visibility was great.  We had a very special remembrance service at the summit “For me the best bit of the hike was getting to the summit 5 minutes before 11am on Remembrance Sunday and witnessing an emotional tribute and 1 minute silence on the top of Mount Snowdon above the clouds” said Amit.

Prosecco, thanks Ben, and samosas, thanks to Amit’s wife, were consumed at the top to fuel our descent.

We raised a huge amount of money again, and it is still coming in.  Last count we were at £3,650 raised for Movember and a further £2,319 for Macmillan Cancer support.  In total it will be another £6,000 raised from a small group of men.  Thanks to my company APC Cardiovascular Ltd too as it matched funding to a pledge of £500 per fundraiser, a total contribution of £1,000 this year.

It is amazing what we can do when we have a challenge, and we gang together as a team.

Thank you to all our sponsors and of course the team:

  • Amit Patel
  • Andy Firth
  • Ben Flynn
  • Ed Jackson
  • Glyn Knight
  • James McEwen
  • Kris Ellis
  • Matt Westmoreland
  • Paul Connor
  • Wayne Hasselby

In 2022 I hope to be a Sports Ambassador for Movember and we aim to raise more money and awareness for this fantastic charity that helps men’s physical and mental health issues.

fit for life

Would your ultimate Christmas gift be to get fit for life?


We all know that’s going to take a bit of effort to be fit for life, but we have a few ideas to ease you in gently and help you on your way this December.

If you are lucky enough to have people asking what you would like for Xmas, and you are still struggling to think of anything – this article is perfect for you!  Well, we say that….. but these presents are going to be items that might change your health game for the long term.  So, if that is something that you really don’t want, then ditch this article now and get yourself back on the Selfridges website!!

At Xmas even the healthiest of us like to let our guard down and overindulge just a little bit.  Even if daily exercise is still a big part of December, it is a very impressive person who shuns the special edition Xmas crisps and Quality Street, and turns their nose up at the pigs in blankets and Yule tide log!

We think here at Team that December is all in the planning.  When you are fit for life, you keep your exercise game strong every month, but you don’t forbid yourself fun.  At team we say let your hair down and have a little bit of what you fancy, because it really does you a lot of good…..and come January hit the ground running with a healthy positive outlook and surround yourself with people who have a similar mindset.

To really start 2022 with a great health and fitness plan and on your “fit for life” journey, here are our top 5 Christmas presents we think you should ask your loved ones for:

1. Nutri Ninja

Anyone who has been part of Team for a while will know that Catherine loves her smoothies, and we agree. 

Benefits of smoothies:

  • Very quick and easy to prepare
  • Great for taking to work or on your commute
  • Simple way to eat lots of veg (we even tried raw courgettes and broccoli)
  • Add protein powders and good fats like avocado for a really filling meal
  • Smoothies include all the skins from fruit and veg – so plenty of fibre too stopping the sugar spikes.

The larger Ninja also comes with a bigger jug attachment where you can blitz raw cauliflower which works so well as a filling substitute to rice.

2. The Book: Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

Paul is sleep obsessed and if he has not mentioned this book to you – then you are lucky – because he really really loves it!

At Team we really believe that everything starts with sleep, and if you read this book then you will probably start to understand why.

In the quest to be fit for life then sleep is the cornerstone of success.  If you are currently not sleeping great, or consistently sleeping after alcohol or too much sugar thereby impairing your sleep quality, and you are really finding it a challenge to lose weight, then please read this book. It may change your life or certainly get you back on track to achieving success.

Of course, it’s a double whammy when we read.  Not only are we learning loads of great things, but we relax and have some “me time”, which is too often neglected in the modern world of technology, schedules and 24-hour communication. This January we recommend falling asleep with the sleep book.

3. Metcon Trainers from Nike

We really do love these flat weightlifting shoes at TEAM.  So many people are a little intimidated by weightlifting, but as you age the benefits for it are unquestionable.

  • Makes you stronger
  • Burns calories efficiently
  • Decreases abdominal fat
  • Can help you appear leaner
  • Decreases your risk of falls
  • Lowers your risk of injury
  • Improves heart health
  • Helps manage your blood sugar levels
  • Promotes greater mobility and flexibility
  • Boosts your self-esteem
  • Makes your bones stronger
  • Boosts your mood
  • Improves brain health
  • Promotes a better quality of life

Weightlifting as you get older is important for your bone health.  By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  The osteoporosis risk skyrockets following menopause for women (oestrogen is needed to help lay down bone) and as we get older for men, strength training is especially vital.

Strength training exercises will help to build bone and muscle strength, burn body fat, and rev up your metabolism.

The more muscle mass you have the more calories your body burns at rest.  The more muscle mass you have the easier it is to keep doing the simple things in life like walking up a big hill and carrying the shopping and digging up the garden, and it’s all these great activities that are going to keep team members fit for life and therefore living long and healthy lives.

Anyway, we digress……back to the trainers!  These beauties last for years and just perfect for all the strength training activities that we do in the gym.  They are not cheap but a definite must for the Xmas list. 

A word of warning is not to buy these for your partner who you think “should join a gym and lose some bloody weight!”. Probably best instead to save your money for the January divorce papers and get yourself along to team sessions with us when you are single and ready to mingle and ready to start the rest of your life!

4. Hiking Gear

The age old saying there is no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes, is so true.  As the winter hits it can be really tempting to stay in a curl up in front of the fire with the Deliveroo man’s number on speed dial wearing elasticated trousers and a smock top!

However, come the spring as you try on your jeans and reality hits, and you realise that you just compounded your COVID stone with another one! We say don’t flaming do it! Set yourself some simple achievable goals right now to get out walking everyday come rain or shine. 

Some great walking shoes or boots, a reliable waterproof coat and some waterproof trousers can really change the way you see a Sunday afternoon. You can even go a bit posh and get some expensive waterproofs if you want to feel stylish while you are bracing the elements.

At team we never say that the joys in life such as drinking red wine on a Sunday afternoon or having a chippy tea on a Saturday night should not happen. We just talk about ways to allow life’s pleasures to be a regular occurrence by committing to regular high-level exercise to get fit for life for the long term.  There really is no better feeling that a walk in the pouring rain followed by snuggling on the sofa with a nice glass of red and if you haven’t done it – then get the waterproofs on the list for Xmas and join us in learning one of life’s new pleasures.

5. Protein Powder

Who doesn’t love a banana milk shake or a cinnamon danish from the coffee shop?! Who also doesn’t love defined arms, ripped abs and a peachy behind? How can you possibly have both we hear you cry!?  These two protein powder flavours from My Protein really are the best that they do and can be a great quick go to snack to stave off the hunger pangs during the day.

Protein powder is not something that we recommend you substituting real food for, but it can be a handy go to, to have in the cupboard.  Protein powder can be expensive, so why not ask for a bag for Xmas and see how you get on?

Suggestions:

  • Protein powder with full fat milk as the perfect post workout snack
  • Mix with unsweetened almond milk and a dash of double cream as a low carb evening sofa treat
  • Stick a scoop in your smoothie as part of a filling balanced meal on the go

If you are looking to build muscle and lose fat, then introducing more protein into your diet can be a real game changer.  Studies suggest that eating 0.7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is what is required to gain and maintain muscle.

Conclusion – How to get fit for life?

If you are serious about getting fit for life in 2022 then the suggested presents above, can really help you achieve your goals. Regular exercise though, is really going to be the main game changer. 

The best way to incorporate exercise into your life for the long term is to find something you love doing, ideally with a group of people that you love doing it with. Team training has a supportive and fun community where you can dip in and out of our sessions as many times a week as you like while having a great laugh with a group of professional people on the same mission as yourself. 

If you are not a Team Training member yet, why not register your interest for our January classes now and take advantage of the first month half price offer? Or better still put our 3-month membership on your Xmas list too? 

This way you will already know, that as you are eating your mince pies and Christmas pudding this December, you have a plan:  and that 2022 is going to be the year that you finally make those changes to become fit for life – and what a long, healthy, and happy life it’s going to be.

Row Series X

Row Series X Report:

When people look to join a gym or have personal training, the overwhelming reason given when asked the question “What do you want?” is along the lines of “I want to look good naked.” There are others too of course such as to become fitter, stronger and healthier but most of the time we get really excited if we start to look good. And with good reason! Looking good leads to self confidence and once we have confidence we can rule the world!


A challenge both coach and client face however, is to stay continually motivated and enthused once the initial 3 months of struggle comes to an end. We have watched so many trainers fail to keep a client interested with their incessant banging on about calories and fat loss week after week. It’s boring and everyone can feel it, but client with their inexperience in how a result is to be achieved believes that is what has to be done – restrict calories and do 3 sets of 10 reps of this, that and the other exercise. Week after week, month after month. Boring! 


How do we retain interest? Ladies and Gentleman, today and for the rest of your life we give you….SPORT and Row Series X!


Sport gives us an ongoing interesting challenge and if you join our gym or train with us you will likely be encouraged to step outside of your comfort zone (remember the only way you will achieve is if you feel uncomfortable) and try something other than counting reps. 


A very simple, easily accessible and non exposed way to get involved with sport was the latest Row Series X competition and Row Series in general; an online indoor rowing competition you can perform from home if you have a Concept2 machine or in the gym. This competition is open to everybody across the world and lasts 4 weeks. Each week a workout is released and you have one to complete it then submit your scores online. The person with the fastest scores wins.

Row Series X


Why did we encourage people to participate in Row Series X?

The reasons are numerous but here are a few that might help you with your fitness goals:


  • Because this race series is online, it is 100% private. You race in the gym or at home either with your friends or on your own. No crowds, no public exposure. It is completely away from watching eyes so is a wonderful sport to introduce you to competition.
  • You might think you work hard when you train in the gym. When you are racing however, you will go to new levels you never thought you were capable of because yours and the team’s pride is at stake.
  • By studying the data from your performances you get to realise your limits. It feels incredible when you burst through plateaus.
  • It feels good to see which people are placing close to you. You have your own private battles and attempt to beat your rivals who may come from anywhere in the world.
  • Sport teaches discipline and commitment.
  • It will take you out of your comfort zone and make you feel uneasy. I’ve said 100+ times, you won’t achieve anything unless you feel uneasy along the way.
  • We work hard together for the team prize.
  • When the 4 weeks is over you get to celebrate with your fellow team members who have all worked so hard too.
  • Fitness and being healthy is for life, not for 12 weeks. This breaks up the year!
  • You will row yourself into tremendous fitness. As well as racing, Row Series is also 1st class training. 

So what happened in Row Series X?

So many outstanding results came from it. From our team, our own Andy Firth won the open male lightweight category. He beat athletes from all around the world to do this. It was an outstanding achievement.

But beyond winning categories there was so much more achieved by everyone who took part on a personal level. Two of our members who had not entered before gained their prestigious TEAM tops from not only competing in the full four weeks – but actually by pushing themselves to new limits of excellence. Both members are always amazing additions to any class, but by challenging themselves through this competition they both took themselves to another level.

Anyone who has ever taken part in a challenge such as this will know that the growth in self esteem and confidence that comes from achieving outside of your comfort zone is immeasurable in the benefits gained in all aspects of life going forward. Often when we work together through a competition such as this, the priority is that of individual growth, team bonding and confidence building. There is plenty of time to focus on technique and perfection for those who want to outside of the competition.


What made us even happier though, was that our own gym – Team Training Northwich came 3rd in the overall competition. We were the 3rd best team in the world. Little old us! This was amazing and it happened because everybody worked so hard to achieve it. Well done to our amazing team at Team Training Northwich.

Becoming champions of the world is not an unrealistic target and it is what we will be striving for next time. 


YOU could help with that. YOU could be part of a team that becomes the best in the WORLD. 


To conclude, this is what we talk about with sport. IF you become champion of the world, what do you think you’re going to look like? What do you think you’re going to feel like? Where will your confidence be? How magnificent will you become? Exactly!


Row Series XI will be coming soon. If you feel like giving it a go we’d be delighted to welcome you on board, just drop us a message today?

In my research for writing this piece, the articles I’ve read come largely from the financial media and associated economists. The general narrative talks of statistics relating to longevity, GDP, the age of the population, NHS funding, socio economic status and taxes. Mostly matters in which I have no expertise. The advice then follows to have your health and wealth assessed annually by suitable professionals and after that to take action on the advice you receive. The final point there being extremely important – taking action!

Where I will come from is to talk about what I see going on with people who are similar to me. How shall I describe this bunch? British, middle class, middle aged, suburban, German car driving types! Will that do? Not offended anyone yet have I? If you’re reading this then you probably fall into that bracket, at least with two of the entry requirements anyway.

So what is the state of your health and fitness and how much money have you got? It’s worth knowing because it’s likely that these two will most influence what you are able to do and how long you are able to do it. Or, how long you can keep doing everything you love for as long as possible before you snuff it. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. A lot better than “Get a beach body for the summer” or “Triple your wage in just 3 hours a week from home” that’s for sure!

Not 5 years ago I would have ran a mile from talking about health and wealth and the reason was because I had tons of one but not the other – you can probably guess where the scales tipped. I’m still a lot healthier than I am financially secure but the reason I feel confident to talk about this now is because yes I know lots about health and fitness and I action it to help me daily but I now understand money more and I have a plan to get more of it. For 45 years I winged it. “I’ll be alright. I’ll have money for my future, it’ll happen sooner or later.” I spoke like this (if I was forced to think about it) but honestly? I had no clue how to get money or what to do with it if I got any! I never had any advice and felt too embarrassed to seek it.

My biggest fear was picturing the future me, strong as an ox, indestructible but at the same time 100 years old sat in a council flat in front of an electric fire with only enough money to set the heat to one bar. The fear increased and became the third force that kicked me into action to DO something about it. So I did.

As I mentioned, I still haven’t got sufficient money, not enough to support the lifestyle I want in my old age, but I now know how much I need, I have a plan on how to get it and how to make what I’ve got grow.

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Every single invention that ever happens is designed to make life easier for us. Why would anything ever be invented to make life more difficult? Let’s go back to what is considered the best invention ever – the wheel! Can you imagine the joy when that one arrived in everybody’s cave! Revolutionary. The spear, the shield, the plough…I promise you as I’m typing these words, a truck has pulled up outside with a fork lift truck attached to the back.

Everything is invented to make life easier and we keep going at an alarming rate. If you don’t agree with me, perhaps this evening you could think it over while you’re eating meat and plants that somebody has hunted, grown, prepared, cooked and delivered to you in a car after you’ve pressed a button on your phone!

Is it so good on every level that we do this? Is there a cost? Is it so amazing that we keep making life easier and easier with every single idea that materialises?

Let’s look at what’s happened to us as a result?

  • We are fatter than ever.
  • We are more sick than ever.
  • Cancer is at an all time high.
  • Heart disease is killing us more than ever.
  • We are more depressed.
  • Suicide is up.
  • Childhood obesity is rocketing.
  • We aren’t as happy.

I haven’t put links to studies with all those facts but they are there. Go search for them and you will see they are all on the up. You may even be in one of those categories or have a loved one that has died as a result.

All that of course is correlation and not necessarily causation but we could use an example to illustrate my point. Take what I said earlier about someone delivering cooked food to your door. This cooked food by the way is ALWAYS highly processed, highly calorific junk. Nobody has ever had broccoli and cauliflower cooked and delivered. Compare that to growing, picking, hunting, carrying back home and cooking that food and you’ll see so much energy expenditure goes into the latter option. It’s clearly obvious then that we will be fatter as a result and if we keep eating nutritionally devoid foods then we will be sicker too.

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Latest tv commercial from the NHS begins…

“After the year we’ve had, many of us are carrying a few extra lockdown pounds. All that comfort eating and treating has made a mark.” It then goes on to say “Now’s the time to turn things around. Let’s shop smarter, eat better and move more. For free help and support to lose weight search better health.”

Hold on a second. Rewind please. What was it she said at the start? “After the year we’ve had, many of us are carrying a few extra lockdown pounds. All that comfort eating and treating has made a mark.”

Does that mean locking down has increased obesity? Sounds like that to me? The one condition that is crippling the NHS has increased because of lockdown? Locking down was to lessen the burden on the NHS and we’ve long term increased it as a result?

Don’t forget the stats:

  • 30,000 obesity deaths in the UK a year. That’s 82 per day.
  • 78,000 smoking deaths. That’s 213 per day.
  • 7,500 alcohol deaths. That’s 21 per day.

Because of lockdown this has INCREASED???

We’ve tried to lessen the burden on the NHS by stopping people working, keeping them indoors and sending important key workers round with kebabs, chips and San Miguel? Obesity has increased as a result of this? Whoops! Didn’t see that coming!

Here’s the thing (and I’m qualified to speak on this because it’s what I do for a living. I’ve got like thousands upon thousands of hours experience in dealing with it). Simply saying “It’s time to shop smarter, eat better and move more” ain’t as easy as that and if you are overweight or obese you only know it too well. YOU are the authority on this as well. Once you get to that state, all sorts of stuff happens like you withdraw, you lose confidence, your mental health suffers, you can’t cope. And what do you do to feel better? You take more drugs (pizza, chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes) to cope because that’s what you know gives you a high.

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rucking

First off, what is it? Well we have standard “walking” which I’m not going to explain what that is. Hiking – going for an extended walk in nature and then we have “rucking” which is going for a hike with a rucksack on but it is with the intention of loading that rucksack with weight for the purpose of carrying a heavy load.

At time of writing this article, I am a novice to rucking so what I write here today is by no means the bible. It is my thoughts on my new hobby plus what I know as an experienced fitness coach. I’ve only been out probably 10 times with weights ranging from 16kg to 35kg and times from one hour to 4 but in that time I’ve experienced a few things and I know this hobby is here to stay because of them.

On the 5th of June 2021 I met my daughter Fern by Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Macclesfield. I got there half an hour before her and parked at the bottom of Buxton Old Road in order to walk up and meet her for when she was due to arrive. Cyclists reading this will know the start of Buxton Old Road is steep! I heaved my 18kg rucksack on and began the ascent. After the first few steps I thought “Whoops! Might have made a mistake here!” Immediately ascending with a heavy load was certainly an introduction to this kind of walk and I knew the day was going to be tough. Those of you who know me though will know one thing – I like tough! Tough is where happiness lies.

After about half an hour I met Fern and we meandered our way, one direction or another up to the Cat & Fiddle, turned around, came back and stopped for a pint of Diet Coke in a pub we passed along the way. That was my first ruck and I learned several very valuable lessons that day. The first…

All are equal

All are equal in this case means everyone is on a level playing field. I wanted a workout that day and I wanted it to feel tough. I also wanted to see my daughter. If we’d have gone for a walk together it would have been very nice, but I wouldn’t have gotten all I wanted from the day. This way we both got to hang out and I had a workout. What I discovered here was that everybody can have it the same way.

You want to walk with your kids and you’re frustrated it’s too slow? Sling some weight in your pack?

You want to walk with your mum but she lags behind? Load a few more kilos in then you’re both the same!

You want to workout today but you feel mean not walking the dog? You guessed it!

Sociable

This reasoning can apply to every single hike or walk you do from now on because rucking is extremely sociable. You can have great conversation with whoever you’re with above what you would achieve from other endurance sports; running, cycling, rowing, swimming etc. Yes of course you can talk during those (maybe not swimming) but conversation can get hard and groups can get split. With the ruck you can stay together easier and interchange between walking partners more frequently along the route depending on how many are out. This reason becomes especially important given our changing world at the moment and the amount of time many of us are spending isolated at home. Human connection is vitally important. It is actually a matter of life and death as many studies show people literally die from loneliness.

Fitness

Almost daily I see people out walking for fitness and I can see a frustration on some of their faces. The frustration is that they want just a little bit more out of that walk but maybe running hurts or maybe they feel self conscious running or maybe running is just horrible. Now they can have more. As much as they want. The feeling of self consciousness is removed with this approach. Many people feel embarrassed running because they are breathless and slow and don’t look graceful. Another problem with running is if we stop we feel like we’ve failed and every motorist is laughing at us. When rucking a heavy weight, nobody gives two hoots if you stop or not, plus you will be less likely to stop because it isn’t as aerobic as running.

We “kind of” have two components (there are 8 more) to exercise which are strength and endurance. Power lifters have strength but lack the other, marathon runners the opposite. What often let’s us down running is our lack of endurance. Rucking gives a lot of structural strength but it isn’t so hard on the lungs which means you can go for longer. What I discovered though is if you ruck uphill you are able to put a jog in if you want and by golly! If you put an effort in there you’ll be blowing your heart and lungs out by the time you finish.

Since that day, another ruck session I’ve done is to visit a hill that takes around 5-7 minutes to ascend – Old Pale in Delamere Forest. I ran/jogged/rucked up it as fast as I could and walked down. After doing that 5 times I could barely watch tv the rest of the day! So aerobic junkies you can have a hit from this no problem!

Extra bonus! All this aerobic work is accompanied by permanently carrying a load. That interval session at Old Pale had me carry 18kg for 2hrs and 3mins, removing only 3 times for a drink for around 4 minutes each. Just think of the calorie burn going on here. I don’t have evidence to publish right now but look at it from a common sense standpoint. You can run up a hill unweighted and hit high heart rates blowing hard or you can run up a hill, reach the same heart rate AND be carrying an 18kg load! It’s another “6 Pointer”.

Price

It’s affordable to everyone. I’m a cyclist. It frightens the hell out of me when I add up the money I’ve spent on bikes and the stuff that’s “needed” to accompany bike riding. It’s actually obscene at times.

Rucking: strong rucksack perhaps £40

20kg Bag of dry kiln paving sand £5

To begin with you already own enough clothes and shoes to get started so we can move right into this for £45. There isn’t a fitness hobby that comes cheaper. Let’s move on!

Get Outside

In my early days of rucking, the final benefit I can think of is to be outside. There is no argument that the world’s health is worsening. Despite improvements in medicine, we are becoming fatter, sicker and more depressed than ever. A large reason behind this is similar to I mentioned before, we are isolated in rooms with artificial lights, electronics and screens that are taking all our attention. Forget human interaction, even if you get outside on your own you will be improving your physical and mental health no end.

Vitamin D is a buzz at the moment. You don’t get it just because the sun’s shining and you pop to the shop in your car for a loaf. You get it by exposing large areas of skin to daylight for prolonged periods of time. Ruck!

And for mental health, try performing this experiment on yourself with the task of finding out what makes you feel happy and content. Walk or run on a treadmill indoors then walk or run outside in nature. You will find the latter makes you happy for reasons such as you are away from all stressors and are exposing yourself to clean air and seeing wildlife.

One major benefit of feeling happy is that you are then less likely to seek pleasure from other substances such as alcohol, sugar or drugs because you are content.

For now then, there we have it. Fill a rucksack, get outside and get marching. I guarantee you will love it. And if you don’t, you can always give me a shout and we’ll go together. You can’t fail to enjoy yourself after spending time in my company!

personal training cheshire

I think the first point I’d like to make is that everything I do I enjoy immensely. I wouldn’t do any of it if that were not the case. Exercising the way I do makes me FEEL amazing. The fact that I look good as a result is a bonus. Think about it – we do the things we do with our leisure time because they make us feel good. Where I win over overweight unhealthy people is that what they do to feel good, comes at a cost to their health and most importantly there is always a negative come down e.g. hangover or remorse from a binge.

Unfortunately, not enough people say the same as me when it comes to why they exercise and they do certain things because they feel they have to or have been told to. This is what I do and why I do it.

  • I lift heavy stuff.
  • I move fast over various distances.
  • I combine lifting reasonably heavy stuff and moving fast.

Those 3 points above sum up what I do.

What is lifting heavy stuff?

Lifting heavy stuff is using as many muscle groups as I can to shift a heavy object. Squat, push, pull, lunge, bend and rotation are all the movements involved in moving heavy objects. The possibilities and number of exercises literally is endless. Not 30 minutes ago I finished a workout in my garden and invented 6 new exercises I’ve not done before in that workout alone.

Why do I lift heavy stuff?

Three reasons:
  • To build a lot of muscle and become strong. The more more muscle that is built, the more fat I will burn at rest. The stronger I am, the healthier I will be with a greater chance of increased longevity. The moves I do help by saving time on the amount of exercises needed to be performed. For example, if I perform a clean and press with a kettlebell, barbell or sandbag, the amount of muscles used is tenfold the amount used if sitting at a machine using one limb.
  • To promote mobility. By lifting heavy objects in such a variety of planes of motion, I take my body into many different shapes. The human body was meant to get into lots of shapes. Believe it or not, we were built to do more than sit looking at a screen!
  • It makes me feel good. By lifting heavy things multiple times, feel good chemicals such as endorphins are released and make me feel happy. There is a distinct difference between happiness and pleasure which I could go into much more in depth but basically if you are happy you do not need to seek as much pleasure. If you aren’t so happy, you are more likely to seek pleasure. Pleasure seeking most often comes in the form of eating and drinking.

So in summary as to why I lift heavy things: it makes me feel good, look good and it increases my health and lifespan.

Why do I move fast over various distances?

Here is should explain what that means. Rowing, cycling, running, swimming and cross country skiing are great examples. I like to get from point A to point B as fast as I can. It does not mean going as FAR a distance as I can although this is also good when I have time on my hands.

  • To increase the strength of my heart and efficiency of my lungs. As with strength training above, the more heart healthy I am, the longer I am likely to live. It’s no good having a heart attack if you haven’t got a heart that isn’t ready to defend itself!
  • To test myself and see if I can become better. Achieving a personal best or beating somebody in a race basically shows “I’m the man!” and “I’ve still got it!”
  • It makes me feel beyond amazing. High intensity aerobic training feels so good because evolution designed it that way. Think about it – a lion chases you and you evade it. Wow! That felt so good I think the next time a lion chases me I’ll run fast again! The whole “cardio” system the world is sucked in by – to travel slowly for a long way is boring to so many. Look at children playing – they will race, not try to run a long way slowly!

Why do I combine lifting reasonably heavy stuff and moving fast?

  • Camaraderie. It’s a type of workout we often do as a group. We may race individually or in teams and all these sessions are tremendous fun that leave us discussing what we’ve done at the end for a long time. They bond and strengthen our community.
  • Variety of workout. The possibilities for these types of workout literally are infinite so there is never a chance of getting bored with a gym visit. This is such an important point as so many people hate exercising. The primary reason for this is because what they are doing is about as entertaining as watching paint dry.
  • Makes me feel amazing. Yep! Here’s that reason popping up again. The one that has zilch to do with how impressive my chest and arms look but the more I do all of these things, the more the mirror rewards me!

So there you have it. That’s what I do and why I do it. It is the basis on how I coach everybody who comes into contact with me and is the foundation for our Team Training programme. This model delivers outstanding fitness results and virtually everybody who trains with us reaps the rewards for doing so. It is a system I am highly unlikely to change but continue to evolve and I would recommend it for anybody to try.

Give me a shout if you feel like having a go.