concept 2 rowing machine

FIRST OFF, WHAT IS ROW’D ROYALTY? An online indoor rowing competition. Each week for 4 weeks, a rowing workout for the Concept 2 Erg is announced. Competitors have 4 days to complete the workout and submit their scores online with a picture of the monitor. At the end of 4 weeks the Kings & Queens […]

How to build resilience
personal trainer
self growth

The power of impulsivity on progression

So, we just got through Blue Monday, but January is a long month often sat waiting for the holy grail of payday.  How are you feeling? Are you down and depressed or happy to be through the expense and excess of Christmas?   I wonder if people fall into two camps.  People who love Christmas and get depressed in January, and those who hate the festive season and embrace the new beginnings and clean living of January? I know that I am the latter.  I hate Christmas. The added pressures, the waste, the pointless extravagance, the food, and the drink.  I wonder if because I am controlled, and Christmas is all about being fun, letting go and going crazy, that is why for me, January is up there with my favourite months!

January sings the blues

January means that everyone is skint.  No one is going out! There is no pressure to eat cake and stay out past 9pm. For a month or two I am in the majority as the masses descend back to the gym, for this to be the year they finally lose the weight and get happy. Yes, in January most people are living their lives the way I live mine most of the time and that means I am finally normal!

Is there an argument to say that many who look forward to Christmas enjoy the escapism that can be found in that write off month of the year?  It is funny and seems to have become more and more so over the years, that December has become the invisible month.  The month where you can eat as much, drink and even spend as much, and sleep as little as you want, and it really does not matter in the moment because it’s Christmas! Of course, the issue with this is if the same happens every year.  Each December if you get fatter, more ill, and poorer, then no wonder January continually sings the blues and some.

So, this January are you excited to be back to normal and gaining back the control of your health and finances or are you down and miserable because you have a huge credit card bill to pay and and an even bigger belly. Are you living in the only pair of jeans that still fit having just joined weight watchers or pure gym to “sort yourself out?

Reframe January

January though, in my mind, is not to be feared.  January can be a great time for measurement and seeing how far you have come. Each year it can be a positive exercise to look at what you have achieved in the last 12 months and quite often you will be astounded.  We can all be hard on ourselves and self-critical finding all the reasons why we are failures. However, by just having a quick glance back at where you were this time last year it can be quite powerful to see that you have progressed far more than you thought.

So, from the first part of this blog, I have probably come across as quite boring, and in the everyday I pretty much am. I eat the same food nearly every day.  I only drink the same drink when I go out….and if I do go out, I like to be home by 8pm.  Bedtime is a beyond boring 9pm and my boyfriend and I even sleep separately in the week to make sure our sleep quality is tip top.

F*&K it – Let’s do this

However, what I lack in everyday excitement, I make up for in abundance with my impulsivity over my biggest life decisions. I have left a marriage, had a third baby after a 10-year gap, and quit three jobs all with a determined “f*&k it, let’s do this,” mentality.  Certainly, when I have followed my sixth sense and trusted my gut life has not been dull. In fact, so far life has been a flaming blast.  Full of twists and turns and nothing, “so far so good” that I regret.

When I look back over where I have come in the last year and indeed the last 5 years since my 20-year marriage, ended there have been many highs and crashing lows, but wow I have grown is so many ways. Highs include visiting Thailand (a childfree holiday for the first time in 18 years), buying my first house and making it a home, and competing in a national sporting competition in London.  Lows are becoming less since I have a committed boyfriend, but certainly the loneliness and anxiety that comes from being single and over 40, have provided some difficult days and nights.

Out of the darkness comes self belief

Looking back though from where I was, I am so happy for the dark times because they challenged me, made me grow and have helped to build my self-esteem.  I am still a work in progress but reflecting like this each January really helps me to keep being brave, pushing and challenging myself to do things that scare me and that I don’t enjoy, because I know if I stay inside of my comfort zone that looking back next January will be boring and disappointing.

In life, business, relationships and especially weight loss, progress can often be a slog. When we have bad habits, self-limiting beliefs, or a critical parents voice firmly implanted in our brains, making long lasting changes can often be an uphill struggle with numerous peaks and troughs.  If long term life changes will involve breaking down all the negativity, sometimes self-loathing, and irrational voices planting hurdles in your mind, then it is important to allow yourself the time to make the full journey.

Leaving a relationship because you want more, leaving a job to start a business you are passionate about, tackling health issues when you know there is a huge struggle ahead, all take huge courage and can be life changing decisions that are easy to keep putting off year after year.

Create your own third force

In these instances, a f*&k it impulsiveness act now and worry about the consequences later can be a blessing.  It can add that third force that facilitates action.

Force number 1:  I want to leave my job, or I want to lose weight or I want to do the same thing as my friends.

Force number 2:  I can’t leave my job because I must pay bills, or I can’t lose weight because hate exercise because I am so unfit. I can’t join in with my friends because they are all so much better than me.

The Third Impulsive Force:

I handed my notice in now I must raise my game and figure something out.

I paid upfront for a long-term gym membership – I have attended now, or I will be annoyed I wasted my money.

I entered an indoor rowing competition with my really fit friends – I have to flaming do this now!

Committing to something on an impulse can really force you to get out of your comfort zone and rise to the challenge.  When there is only force 1 and force 2 involved, it is easy to stay in limbo year after year knowing you want to make changes but talking yourself out of them because you are scared.

F*&K It and allow yourself to grow

If you look back this January and think life has not changed since last winter. If you look back this January and think that you are as miserable this year as you were 5 years ago, then it’s time to do the uncomfortable work and make some radical changes and find your inner “f*&k it.”

The journey that might mean you getting exactly where you want to may be a long one, but there will be aspects of that journey that you will enjoy when you take the pressure off and commit to the challenge in the long term.

Don’t fear the pain of change.  Make an impulsive gut driven decision to do something that is important to you, and you will make it work.  The sooner you start that journey, the sooner you’ll get the successes that you long for. You have no idea how high you are going to soar once you start putting yourself in new uncomfortable places with challenges to terrify and excite you.

Your potential is infinite if you just have the confidence to say, “f*&k it” and let yourself grow.

easy ways to live well

If this January, like last January you are feeling rubbish, then surely there is nothing simple or easy about living a healthy life?

Certainly January 2021 was the month we emerged from a difficult first year of Covid, many of us, with an extra stone or two we needed to lose. If you have spent the last couple of years praying for vaccinations and boosters thinking that it is the only way to keep yourself safe, then do also have a good long think about your exercise and overall health. Yes, this option may take some work and new lifestyle habits, but we have got some really great suggestions in this article of easy ways to live well and simple changes that you can make, that might just get you heading in the right direction before the spring.

Working Out

  • Find Something to do that you enjoy. You don’t have to go to the gym and wander round machines in order to look good and feel fit. In fact quite often if you take that approach in January it’s likely to make you more miserable as the place will be very busy and you might not get to use what you want to. Lots of other options are available like taking up a sport, Zwift bike riding/racing, home workouts with a kettlebell or get rucking in the countryside with a weighted backpack at the weekends.
  • Get the Most Bang for your Buck: Far too many gym based fitness programmes focus on working individual body parts. This is fine if you’re a full time bodybuilder or figure competitor that has 8 hours to train every day but the real world doesn’t allow for that. To build muscle mass quickly and burn more calories, try to choose exercises that involve multiple muscle groups such as deadlifts, squats, cleans and snatches. A question we often ask in our group sessions is to count the number of joints you are using; the more joints used, the bigger the exercise and more muscles are used. 
  • SPRINT! Jogging/Running is a very popular choice for New Year fitness campaigns but it all too often ends in tears with abandoned campaigns. If you’ve failed to keep up a running programme then you don’t need me to tell you this. If you are determined to run then try sprinting once per week as part of your routine. A session such as warming up first then running 10 sets of 3 lamp posts as fast as you can with walk back to the start for recovery can leave you feeling strong, powerful and with a high revving calorie burning body for several hours after.

Motivation

  • Join an Exercise Group. This is a really good way to keep motivated and become accountable for your workouts. Every evening we send a group message to the people in our Team Training group to ask who is attending the next day. Once you commit then there’s no going back! What’s more, the encouragement you give and receive can be enough to cement meaningful friendships with people on the same mission as you. This change can be a really easy way to live well for the long term. As the friendships grow, the gym becomes your social and not your chore.
  • Buy Yourself Some New Fitness Kit. Anything goes here from a £5 skipping rope to a £10,000 bike. Buy it with the money you’ve committed to save from the nights off the booze and food and make sure you’re up to use it in the morning. Get so much use from it that you can look back in years to come and remember this “thing” was the turning point. 
  • Workout 1st Thing of the Day! There’s literally no time to find excuses. Life is constantly changing and where we think we might have more time because of labour saving devices such as smartphones and delivered shopping, research shows we have less and less because we are taking on more tasks. So many times we have known people to abandon an exercise session because something “more important” has cropped up but that won’t happen if you put your trainers on 1st thing. The best bit about working out the moment you get up though is that you will feel amazing and be far less likely to make poor choices with food and drink for the entire day. 

Mental Health

Often the New Year can leave us feeling low. The high of Christmas is over, we’ve spent too much money, we’re stuck in the same job and relationship and it’s still dark and cold. 

  • Sleep: sleep is the foundation for everything that is good in life and when anyone joins the Team Training group the first book we advise them to read is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Get yourself 8-9 hours every night (how you do it may be a challenge but if you achieve it you will not regret this) and try to get to bed and wake up at the same time every day including weekends.
  • Get Outside and Walk Every Day: January is the thick of winter and we will rightly spend most of our time indoors because it is dark and cold. Make it a priority to leave the house or office in daylight hours for at least 15 minutes a day to go for a walk. Just the fact of exposing our skin and eyes to daylight and feeling whatever the weather of the day is releases chemicals in the brain that will make us feel happy. Happiness is something unobtainable from food, drink, smart phones or tv and the happier we are, the less we will crave the others. 
  • Be with Positive Upbeat People: Positive upbeat people are usually found exercising first thing in the morning so once again this is advice to get up, get your PE kit on and get physically active with other people. More and more of us are working from home these days and if we go through an entire day without leaving the house or seeing anyone it only has dire consequences for our mental health. We always tell our home based workers to get in the gym for the early sessions as it’s often enough to make them feel a lot happier for the rest of the day once they’ve had a laugh with others. 

Building Fitness Resolutions 

  • Set Realistic Targets: Yes you’ve heard that a million times but it’s true. If you’ve tried big resolutions and failed then you know aiming big immediately doesn’t work. Examples of realistic targets could be:
  • If you know you need to reduce your alcohol intake then reduce it – don’t ban it! If you currently get drunk out of your mind 3 times a week, try getting drunk out of your mind twice per week. Once you’ve adapted to that, try for once! You must see it through though.
  • Forget trying to lose 3 stones in weight, go for half a stone. If you get there, aim for another half stone and so on. You will see so many positives and successes rather than a huge misery if you fail to reach the big number. 
  • If you are new to or resuming exercise then hitting hard ferocious workouts every day will not end with the body of your dreams, it will likely end with injury. Try for a day on day off approach until you feel strong enough to add consecutive days. 

Gym Myths

  • Men – Stop Bench Pressing for a Big Chest: If we had a pound for how many times we have seen men make a beeline for the barbell and bench in a quest to obtain dinner plate pecs… An impressive torso and chest requires so much more than that exercise alone. It requires a distribution of effort all over the body and very importantly it needs exercises like deadlifts and squats in the programme to create a bigger anabolic response. Deadlifts and squats though? Yes because they require hard work and people that work hard are more likely to have impressive pecs!
  • The Treadmill Won’t Make You Lean: Ever since the marathon boom in the early 80’s we have believed that jogging slowly for long periods of time will make us thin because that’s what marathon runners do and they are skinny. Running long distances won’t make you skinny – skinny people like running long distances! Being in a calorie deficit will make you lose fat and although the treadmill can help, basing your entire hopes of a stunning body on persistently running a long way is not where the answer lies. Vary your workouts but spend most of your time in the weights room creating lean defined muscles which will look fantastic if given the right nutrients to grow. 

Nutrition

  • Don’t be too restrictive. If you have spent the last 4 or 5 weeks eating whatever you like and want, changing to eating just salad is too much too soon. In January it is really difficult to not have any comfort foods or take aways. So be kind and allow yourself some foods that you love, just eat less of them. If you increase your exercise then you are still progressing. You are just making changes that are more sustainable.
  • Try to focus on making all of your meals full of nutrients. So if cutting out all sugar, carbohydrates, fat and basically everything that you have ever read in a food article is bad for you, is too extreme, then don’t do it! It might be that if you are completing more regular exercise, then swapping out some of your favourites treats for healthy options might be a gentler way to start your health journey. Think about swapping your Saturday night takeaway for a nicer nutritious homemade meal.

    Swap your fish and chips or curry for home made burger and chips. A high meat content burger is full of filling protein. Make your chips from sweet potatoes and olive oil which are full of healthy fats and vitamins. A good portion of peas will once again provide vitamins and protein as well as carbohydrates to get you to the gym the next morning or out on a nice Sunday morning hike. You can even go crazy and still have a wholemeal bun. Think about making an enjoyable meal that gives you nutrients, but will be ten times better than a take away. It is changes like these that are more likely to become good habits because they are not too extreme.
  • If you are determined to lose fat then it really is a matter of calories in versus calories out. Move more, burn more calories and eat less. Please though, do not reduce your calories too quickly. If you cut down to 1200 calories per day, you will lose weight quickly for sure, but it will be really hard to keep eating so little. Once your body gets used to surviving on so few calories, you will need to eat even less to continue the weight loss. Start off with a health 1600 – 2000 calories per day. See how you feel after a week or two. If you are not losing around 1 pound per week, then reduce or increase your calories by 100 per day.

If you haven’t let yourself go over Christmas then make sure you do in the future! It is a time for consuming more and sharing good times with friends and family. Enjoy yourself, it’s not a crime. Come the New Year though, it is time to do the work.

If you are struggling with your fitness and health and don’t know where to start then get in touch. We have the support network and expertise to help you make the changes this year, that will see you feeling far better next January than you do now. A warm private gym awaits so what are you waiting for?

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?