Tag: fitspo

An Introduction to my Travel Fitness Workout Log

An Introduction to my Travel Fitness Workout Log

Welcome to FlexFit’s travel fitness workout log! This is where I’ll be keeping of all (well, most) of my workouts whilst Tom and I are travelling around Asia and Australasia.

Before we left, people kept asking me how I was going to keep up with my training whilst travelling, and to be honest I never really knew how to answer. It was just as much a mystery to me as it was to them.

All I knew was that as two Personal Trainers, who spent our London lives counting macros and making programmes, addicted to protein and peanut butter and slaves to the squat rack – we were not going to do without. We’d find a way to train.

So this will be a bit of an experiment to find out how we manage. Whether it’s a hiit workout on the beach, a trek through the jungle or even a Thai boxing class, this is the place to see how we manage to adapt our training to suit our new backpacker lifestyle.

And if we can do it, anyone can. So, enjoy – you can read the very first workout right here.

Travel Fitness Workout Log

Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

As a Personal Trainer, you learn to get inventive. Sometimes because clients can get bored easily and you need to spice things up. Sometimes because someone has an injury that you need to adapt for. Usually though, a PT’s skill at improvisation and invention comes from just not having the equipment necessary to perform a certain exercise.

That’s where cheap, portable equipment such as resistance bands come in really handy. If you know how to use them, you can replace- perhaps not all- but definitely a huge portion of common weight training exercises with a simple resistance band.

When I PT in a gym, I regularly use a cable pulley. They’re so versatile. The sheer number of exercises and exercise variations you can perform on cables is vast. They’re great for pushing the limits of advanced lifters – and they’re also brilliant for smaller exercises that help with things like technique and muscle imbalances. I was pretty stuck the first time I PT’d in a gym with no cable pulley. There were certain exercises that I really wanted to teach my clients and I just couldn’t think how to do so. It’s different to when you train clients outside. For outdoor training, I’ll plan an entirely different type of session around the equipment that I know that I have.

Anyway, I’ve had to cope a few times now without the cables. And I’ve learned more than a few brilliant Resistance Band variations for some of my go-to cable exercises.

These are some of my favourites.

 

Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

 

Face Pulls

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie the band to a sturdy pole just above head height. Take the bottom of the band with both hands and pull towards the bridge of the nose. Keep the back straight and bend the arms, keeping the elbows high.

Muscles: Deltoids, biceps, rhomboids, trapezius

Rear Delt Cross Overs

Band Strength: Light

How: Loop the band around a sturdy pole at chest height. Make sure each end crosses over. Take the ends of the band in each hand. Standing straight, open the arms (keeping the elbows straight) and pull the band back as far as you can, squeezing the shoulder blades together.

Muscles: Rear deltoids, rhomboids, trapezius

 

Tricep Extensions

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light

How: Tie the band to a high surface, letting it dangle down. Both hands should hold the bottom of the band. Start with the elbows bend and pull the band downwards, straightening the arms.

Muscle: Triceps

Seated Rows

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Loop the band around a sturdy pole, around chest height when standing. Sit on the floor and take one end of the band in each hand. Start with straight arms, reaching forwards then pull the band back, bending the arms and tucking the elbows in.

Muscles: Trapezius, Rhomboids, Biceps, Lats

Glute Kick Backs

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie one end of the band to a sturdy surface at floor level. Loop the other end of the band around the ankle. Standing on one supporting leg, raise the other leg in a diagonal-backward direction.

Muscles: Glutes and Hamstrings

Hamstring Curls

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie one end of the band to a sturdy surface at floor level. Kneeling one leg on a bench, loop the other end of the resistance band around the foot. Keeping the thigh as still as possible, squeeze the hamstring, bending the leg up towards the bum.

Muscle: Hamstrings

Woodchops

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: The band should be looped around a sturdy pole and you should stand side on. Keeping the arms as straight as possible, use both hands to pull the band across the body.

Muscle: Obliques

 

For more resistance band exercises, check out my Summer Workouts post. Have you ever had to get inventive in the gym, or is there an exercise that you really want to know how to do without the equipment? Let me know in the comments- I do love a challenge!

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

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Be:Fit Festival 2017: The Breakdown

Be:Fit Festival 2017: The Breakdown

At the end of last month I experienced London’s Be:Fit Festival for the very first time. Maybe it’s because I’m “in the industry” now, but I swear that until this year I hadn’t heard of it. Apparently Be:Fit has gone from strength to strength since the inaugural event in March 2017. (It was held at Olympia and, according to the people I’ve spoken to that were there, it was just a bit sh*t).

This year, all of a sudden, everything in my social media feed was about the lead up to this event. “Europe’s only health and fitness festival dedicated to Women”.  April 2017, Be:Fit Festival at Islington’s Business Design Centre was the place to be for any female fitness fanatic.

I was obviously thrilled when I won complimentary tickets to attend the full weekend this year. The chance to check it out for myself without overly worrying about filling a tote bag with enough bitesize freebies to make up the cost of the £25 ticket. Kerching!

I dragged Tom along with me on the Saturday. There were other men there, despite it being a ‘woman’s’ festival, although a couple of people did remark on how brave he was! In retrospect, I do think that around 18,000 girls parading their sports tights, crops and freshly braided hair, high on endorphins…well yes that must be pretty intimidating. I went with friends on the Sunday, Tom having politely declined the invitation…

Be:Fit Festival Breakdown 2017

The Be:Fit Breakdown

The Classes

Well…the class. I wish I could have spent two days doing back to back classes, but a) I don’t think I could’ve handled it and b) with the way that Be:Fit’s booking system works, it would have been pretty impossible. 50% spaces for the classes are booked in advance (and obviously get taken up within seconds). The remaining 50% are reserved for on the door. Which obviously means you have to plan your day down to the T and get queuing a good hour in advance if there’s a class you’re desperate to go to. Even then, VIP members get priority so there’s no guarantee still that you won’t be turned away.

The team from Rebound UK had the right idea, – running 5 minute ‘drop in’ classes on the mezzanine. Literally a hop-on hop-off exercise class. Their instructors were absolutely full of beans the whole day, even throwing trampoline flash-mobs into the crowd every few hours or so! It fitted perfectly with the festival set up and really gave a great atmosphere to the whole event.

I did manage to do a class with Un1t on Sunday. With bases in London Bridge and Fulham, Un1t specialise in High Intensity, Functional classes – a bit like F45. It was kind of intimidating because there were 5 instructors running around and “motivating”, rather than just one. Their motivational phrases ranged from “Yes, keep going, you’re doing great!” to “Don’t you stop now I need to see you sweating“. I don’t know, maybe they were just going for the “something for everyone” approach. It was less of a community feel than what I experienced going into F45…but I guess that’s hard to achieve in a one off class at a festival. Still, I left the studio with that satisfying exhaustion of a great workout!

Be:Fit Festival Breakdown 2017

The Stands

I had to work at a similar event once upon a time when I worked at the Royal Academy of Dance. I spent all of three hours (nothing) stood at their stall and it honestly drained me. Which is why I have so much respect for the owners of small business at these sort of events. They spend the whole weekend behind their stands promoting and selling their products. Plus even more time planning, setting up and clearing away. It takes a lot of effort, organisation and energy. You can really tell when the people behind the stand are genuinely passionate as well.

There was a decent range of brands available, some that I’d heard of before and other’s that I hadn’t. I was always going to get my fair share of samples from Pip and Nut and CocoPro – but finding a delicious and genuinely healthy Ice Cream brand (Oppo) was an unexpected surprise!

Be:Fit Festival Breakdown 2017

Overall

To be honest, looking back now, it’s all a bit of a blur. I remember being very overwhelmed, particularly on the Saturday when it was busiest. Festivals are strange places – I was reminded a lot of my university fresher’s fair where you go around armed with your email address and a bag full of freebies signing up to things you have no intention of committing to. It’s an interesting experience with a brilliant concept. I’m glad I’ve been once but would I go again? I’m not so sure…

 

I have not been endorsed by any of the companies featured here – even if I were, all opinions would be a) true and b) my own. Life’s too short to speak other people’s words.