Posted by & filed under Health.

Most of us started attending the gym or getting active because we have a goal in mind.  Something we want to achieve through the process of getting up and moving more. The goal might be trying to lose some weight and tone up, or it might be for a challenge like a big run or obstacle course. Or could be something as simple as relieving a bit of stress and spending some time on yourself. All very valid reasons to get yourself off the sofa!

After some time, it does get frustrating that after all your hard work, you still haven’t achieved that goal you set yourself at the beginning. It can be very demotivating and often the reason why many of us stop all together because, what’s the point?!

The majority of the time there are very simple reasons as to why you haven’t achieved your goal…

Your goal is unrealistic!

Smiling Motivated Gym Couple

You’ve gone too big too soon! Change takes time, and whether it’s losing weight or running a marathon, you won’t be able to lose a stone overnight and you won’t run a marathon without plenty of training. Break your goals down, make it manageable, smaller changes for the bigger picture. Make sure your goals are SMART.

Not making yourself accountable of your goals.

When we don’t achieve our goals, we are often quick  to pass the buck and look to external matters as to why we aren’t where we want to be. Take more responsibility of your highs and lows. Committing to the whole process will help maintain your good intentions throughout the journey. We all fall out of line occasionally, don’t beat yourself up about it! Sort yourself out and get back on track the next day! You’ll thank yourself when you get there!

You’re aren’t fuelling or recovering!

So you’ve made it down the gym four times this week and have hit your steps every day. However every evening when your favourite TV show is on, it’s led to a couple of late nights and some late night snacks too. Your meals have also been good Monday to Friday, but over the weekend you’ve treated yourself a little bit too much and undone all that hard working during the week!

What you eat and drink as well as the amount of sleep you get on a daily basis will be the fundamental factor in achieving your goals. You can’t out-train a bad diet! Fuel yourself with good, whole foods. If you’re trying to lose weight make sure you eat in a calorie deficit and getting plenty of rest. When you sleep, you recover, which is crucial to prevent burning out and making it to your goal.

REMEMBER! You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. Be realistic, take responsibility for your actions and make sure you are doing everything you can to get you to where you want to be. It’ll happen, just be patient!

Outdoor fitness area at The Marlow Club as part of the Fitness Fest weekend

Posted by & filed under Fitness.

With many of us working long, busy days, when we make time to get down to the gym, we want to make sure we are optimising our time and getting the most out of our training. Should we spend our time lifting in the weights room or stick to the cardio equipment for that big sweat? If you’re sat on the fence about weights or cardio, hopefully this short blog will help!

If you’re looking to get in shape and shed some fat, the most important component to get right before you even step in the gym is your diet. Make sure you’re in a Consistent Calorie Deficit (burning more calories than you consume) and drinking plenty of water. Once your diet is in-line you will naturally start to lose weight. Check out our nutrition tips to get started!

Weight Training Advantages

Lifting weights builds muscle, which in the long term, increases your overall calorie burn as the maintenance of muscle burns more calories than fat.

Weight training can boost metabolism following your workout meaning you’ll continue to burn more calories, even when you’re not exercising! This is sometimes called  ‘The After-burn’.

Muscle is the deciding factor in how you look. For both men and women, looking good is the reason most of us go to the gym. Ladies, putting muscle on won’t make you look bulky, it’ll be difficult to get bulky due to your genetic make-up. Lifting weight will give you greater definition in areas like your legs, bum and stomach.

Cardio Advantages

Cardio is highly beneficial in the terms of your physical health. Most importantly making sure you have a healthy heart, strengthening your it’s muscles so they’re able to manage greater physical stresses.

Cardio is also said to improve hormonal regulation, releasing ‘good hormones’ that reduce stress and improve overall health.

When considering weight loss and changing your body shape, cardio should be used to increase your calorie burn throughout the day, creating a negative energy balance. If you don’t enjoy spending time doing cardio to burn calories, consider the number of calories you consume. Find a happy balance between doing cardio and restricting calories. Remember, it’s all about sustainability!

When you start looking into choosing weights or cardio, weight training will always come out on top.

However, the most important factor to consider when training is the enjoyment you get from it. Do something that you find enjoyable, something you happily dedicate your limited time to! Don’t go lifting weights if you find it boring. If you enjoy running, stick your trainers on and hit the road! Enjoying what you do will be the key to your success during your fitness journey.

If you’re struggling to find your passion, how about booking in for an enhancer taster session? Try something you’ve never done before. We’d recommend the ‘Big 4’ compound lifts, enhancer session!

Partner Work Out

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Isn’t it just crazy how we’re almost half way through the year?! A lot of us tend to start our health kicks at the beginning of the year or just before we decide to go away on holiday for obvious reasons. But there is never a bad time to try and change a lifestyle, whatever motivates you to start. What we all need a little helping hand with is staying motivated, to keep going, even when those cravings start to creep in or when the gym is the last place you want to be! So here are our best tips on keeping motivated all year round.

  1. Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself!

If you’ve worked hard all week, eating well and training hard, when it gets to the weekend, don’t stop altogether and binge all weekend. Reward yourself for your hard work during the week with one of your favourite treats whatever that might be. Don’t let that hard work go to waste. Just remember it’s okay to enjoy yourself a little bit, just not a lot! Equally, don’t restrict yourself to the extent of starvation! You’ve got to fuel yourself throughout the day and especially if you’re working out. Being reasonable with your calorie deficit will benefit you in the long term than overly restricting your calories.

  1. Be patient! Change won’t happen overnight!

It must be one of the biggest reasons why people stop exercising and eating healthy, they don’t see the results they want straight away. The time it takes for body shape to change, through either gaining muscle or losing fat, is different for every individual. You might not see the results as soon as you hoped, but if you carry on what you’re doing, you will see results.

  1. Stay off the scales!

Weighing yourself on a regular basis to keep track of your journey isn’t the best measure of progress. Your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis due to many different factors; you will be lighter in the morning, heavier after meals, lighter when dehydrated and even lighter after the toilet! Focus more on how you feel on a daily basis, how much energy you have, how you look in the mirror, are you happy? Those changes are the ones that count the most. One piece of advice if you do decide to weigh yourself is to be consistent. Weigh yourself the same time during the day, the morning when you wake up is usually best and make sure you’re using the same scales.

  1. Set reasonable goals from now on.

One fault we all make is we set unachievable goals, usually expecting too much, too soon. The best way to stay on top of your progress is to set small goals within short time frames. For example, instead of setting the goal to lose 2 stone before March (which is a lot!) break that down, aim to lose a 1lb  or two every two weeks. Making smaller goals with smaller changes will help to keep you motivated; the bigger changes will sort themselves out.

  1. Keep your exercise programme varied.

We encourage our gym members to make use of all of the club facilities including swimming pool, squash courts, spinning, classes, gym and our functional training zone. Variety is the spice of life and sometimes it’s good to mix things up! Not only does it get you exercising different muscles groups it also helps to keep you motivated. If you’ve been doing a gym programme for at least 6-8 weeks, changing it up with different exercises or rep ranges will help keep you engaged whilst keeping your muscles guessing.

  1. Get involved in a gym challenge or sporting event to keep yourself in check!

This gives you another focus and brings a bit of fun into working out. Ask our gym team about our latest fitness challenge and how you can get involved. Have a look into entering a 5k run or something like a Tough Mudder as an end challenge to top off all of your hard work?

  1. Find a motivated friend to workout with.

Getting to the gym is easier when you have set an appointment to meet a friend there – you wouldn’t want to let them down! You’ll also have more fun, have someone to chat to and share your progress with.

If’ you need some extra motivation please ask The Marlow Club Fitness Team all about our brand new Gym Enhancer sessions which are free to members. These are 1-2-1 sessions that complement your programme and help you achieve your results quicker.

Posted by & filed under Fitness, Health.

Check out The Marlow Club’s top nutrition tips for six pack abs! Achieving six pack abs is a very committed process that requires a strict diet and exercise regime. However if you tidy up your diet and start focusing on some core movements in the months leading up to the summer you will see some changes in the appearance of your stomach and waist line.

We all know the saying that abs are made in the kitchen. Even if we exercise our core on a daily basis, if we aren’t eating in nutritional, consistent calorie deficit our abs won’t show through.

Tips for six pack abs

Consistent calorie deficit!

If we want to lose body fat, we need to be consuming less calories than we are burning on a daily basis. If you’re not sure on the calories you should be eating, try one of the many calorie calculators online (IIFYM is a pretty good one).

Don’t eat too little.

When you calculate your calorie intake which maintains your current weight, a deficit of 10-15% will be adequate to lose body fat. If after a month you don’t see much change, keep with it, maybe knock off another 5% and see how that fairs.

High protein is always a winner.

Ensuring a high protein intake whilst in a calorie deficit will definitely help you towards the goals you want. Taking in protein will contribute to the recovery of your body post exercise. It will boost your metabolism and reduce hunger levels whilst increasing the calories we burn through the thermic effect of food (TEF). Basically we burn more of the calories from protein whilst it’s being digested!

Drink plenty of water!

Hydration is a key factor to our diet. It helps boost our metabolism, keep us feeling fuller for longer and also contributes to reduce bloating.

Max out on veg!

Vegetables are brilliant to pack out your protein source, full of nutrients but shy on the calorie side. Think about volume to prevent food craving. Always try and go for something that’ll fill you up but not dent your calorie intake too much during the day.

Remember you don’t need a new diet, you already have one, you just need to make some adjustments! To help you make the right food choices we have colour coded each item of food on The Marlow Club’s lounge menu. Each coloured square relates to a particular goal. For example, if you are looking to lose fat, select foods which have a red square next to them, as these foods are shown to increase fat loss. Don’t forget that food is available to eat in or take away making it easy for you to eat healthy on the go!

If you would like to sharpen up your current diet and eating plan, why not meet with The Marlow Club’s Fitness and Nutrition Manager Ash Wright? Drop him an email at Ash@themarlowclub.co.uk to book your appointment. We hope you liked our nutrition tips for six pack abs. If you missed our Blog on top exercises for six pack abs click here.

Posted by & filed under Fitness.

Check out our top tips for six pack abs for losing weight and tightening up that stomach seems to be the goal for everyone at the moment.

One of our top fitness trainer’s has put together some top tips of exercises to help get those six pack abs showing!

Try out each exercise, starting off with 3 sets of 8-10 reps with about 30 seconds rest in between each set.

Comfortable? therefore increase the number of reps and/or incorporate a pause and squeeze into the movement!

Top Tips To Six Pack Abs

1. Sit up

Focus on keeping your feet planted, pulling your shoulders towards your hips.

     

2. Plank to press up

Try to keep your shoulders, hips and knees in line through the whole movement, don’t let that back arch!

     

3. Sit up with reach

Sit ups too easy? Extend upwards at the seated position, try not to use any momentum! Don’t cheat!

     

4. Reverse crunch

Hit those lower abs, keep your lower back flat to the floor, pull those hips off the ground at the top of the movement!

     

 

These are great exercises to add to your gym workout and what’s even better is that if you can’t make it to the gym one day you can still do these at home!

If you’d like to incorporate even more Ab exercises into your gym routine or are unsure about how to perform these exercises please speak to a member of the fitness team. Keep a look out for next week’s blog – nutrition tips for six pack Abs.

Avoid the work weight gain

Posted by & filed under Fitness, Health.

Work weight gain can be difficult if your daily working routine is predominantly desk based. Our level of activity on a weekly basis therefore tends to be relatively low. We might be able to make it to the gym some days but often end up being too busy or too tired. Diet and exercise is key to our weight management, however our working environment can sometimes mean we have to pay extra care to what we’re putting in our body! The Marlow Club’s fitness and nutrition advisers have put together some tips to avoid the work weight gain!

5 Top Tips To Avoid Work Weight Gain!

  1. Be Prepared!

One of the main reasons why we eat poorly at work comes down to not preparing enough food for the day. This means we end up in the café with some serious hunger cravings, making it very hard to make good food choices!

We’re not saying you’ve got to have every meal covered Monday to Friday. Maybe for 3 or 4 days you bring your own lunch in that’s got a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats along with some low calorie snacks. This will help get you through those hunger cravings during the day.

  1. Pay attention to your Hydration

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water! A lot of the time when we start getting hungry it’s actually because we’re dehydrated! Always have a glass of water or a bottle with you and sip it throughout the day. Be careful you don’t drink too many calories. Be wary of the sugars and calories in certain drinks and coffees.

  1. Minimise Stress levels

Work can get pretty stressful at times with deadlines and projects. Increased stress levels can lead to levels of the hormone Cortisol rising which has been found to trigger sugar cravings. There are many ways to reduce stress; getting a good nights’ sleep, enjoying an invigorating gym workout or any physical activity or certain relaxation exercises, try these to avoid the stress snacking!

  1. Get Active

One of the best additions to your working day is getting active. Not only does it get your heart rate up and you burn more calories, it will energise you and help you through the rest of your day! Anything from a short walk around the office block to getting a quick lunch time gym session will relieve stress and make you feel better. It also keeps you out of the office café which never tends to end well!  Check out The Marlow Club’s 30 minute HIIT classes for those that live or work locally and are short on time.

  1. Take The Stairs

Next time you have a meeting with a colleague on a different floor – try taking the stairs. As well as giving you the chance to stretch your legs, walking up the stairs will get your heart rate going and your energy levels will enjoy a healthy boost as well.

Remember, changes to your body don’t happen overnight. Good or bad, changes develop over time as a result of the choices you make on a daily basis. Focus on the small changes each day, like what you’re choosing for lunch, the bigger picture will handle itself! The Marlow Club supports local businesses with a variety of corporate health, fitness and nutrition packages. Please get in touch with Alice@themarlowclub.co.uk if you would like more information on what we can offer. We understand the importance of diet in living a balanced lifestyle and offer our members a nutrition service to support their exercise programme.

 

Inside Training Outside

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Although ‘the beast from the east’ extended our chilly winter all the way into the early days of March, those chilly winds seem to be a thing of the past. The temperature is on the rise and it seems to be getting lighter by the day, it’s no wonder that our Inside Out fitness classes have been growing in popularity.

Maximise that feel good factor from your workout and take your exercise session outside. Not only are you getting a great workout, you’re benefiting from the fresh air and (fingers crossed) some sunny weather to really boost those endorphins. If you can’t make one of our gym team’s HIIT based circuit classes, don’t worry! Our gym staff will be adding new workouts to our display boards to keep you topped up with great ideas to add to your workouts every day. Training in our outdoor functional fitness zone (Inside Out) also means you’ve got the extra space and equipment making training with a partner a lot easier than in the gym when it gets busy!

We asked Lewis, one of our gym staff what his favourite HIIT workout is and why he thinks everyone should try and get inside out!

“I’d have to say my favourite HIIT workout would be the descending pyramid, you start off with 10 reps of a circuit of exercises and each round knock off a rep all the way down to 1 rep of each. It’s the mentality of it, starting off difficult and getting easier as each round finishes. The Inside Out classes allows for plenty of variation for your training with the space and different equipment available to keep it fresh“- Lewis Goodman, gym staff.

If you’re looking to mix up your weekly workout routine, jump in on one of our 7am morning HIIT class before work or the 12pm lunch time circuit classes, we know you won’t regret it! Take a look at our timetable for information.

Partner Work Out

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When it comes to trying to enhance your workout experience, there aren’t many better additions to a workout that will turn it from a good workout into a great workout, unlike training with a partner.  Here are our Top 5 reasons why you should train with a partner in 2018!

 

  1. Partner Motivation

One of the most important aspects of any fitness regime is to stay motivated throughout! We all have low moments in our fitness training and miss the odd day or two, it’s okay to give yourself a break. However, when you’ve got someone to turn up for and also someone to rely on, you’re more likely to attend those 50/50 sessions. Encourage each other through every workout, it’ll become easy once you’re in that routine.

  1. Healthy competition is good competition!

Having someone who on a daily basis is going to push you to achieve your best is going to be a good addition to your training. Find someone who has similar goals to you and who will keep you on your toes. Keep your fitness fun and keep it safe, enjoy pushing each other!

  1. Form Check

Most gyms have mirrors that help you correct and focus on your form, however looking at yourself whilst doing a movement, might not be helping your form in the first place! Having a partner will allow you to focus on the movement and let your partner assess your form. Give each other pointers and areas to focus on. Having a partner is also great for safety too. If you’re lifting weights slightly heavier than normal, have your partner spot you during the movement to prevent you from getting stuck or hurting yourself!

  1. Keep it fresh!

A training partner will bring in loads of new ideas and exercises for you to try out. You might end up doing something you’ve never done before, or some exercises you don’t like doing normally! Either way, this will help prevent you from getting too comfortable within a gym programme and prevent plateauing during your workouts.

  1. Up the tempo!

We can all be guilty of taking to larger breaks between our working sets or exercise, going onto our phones, catching our breath! Whilst training with a partner it’s much easier to up the tempo. You rest whilst they work, work simultaneously during a circuit. This will help as it starts to get harder!

 

The Marlow Club is a really friendly health club to workout and we enjoy lots of social member events. If you’re looking for a workout buddy, come along and I’m sure we’ll be able to pair you up with someone to help keep you motivated.

Smiling Motivated Gym Couple

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Are you still motivated? If you’ve made it to the end of January with your new year’s fitness resolutions still intact, you’re doing well! It’s estimated that almost 50% of us break our new year’s resolutions within only a month of starting it! Now that would be a waste of all that hard work and strong intentions you started with. If your motivation to exercise is dwindling or you haven’t seen the results you’ve wanted so far, here are some top fitness tips to keep you on the right track!

  1. Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself!

If you’ve worked hard all week, eating well and training hard, when it gets to the weekend, don’t stop altogether and binge all weekend. Reward yourself for your hard work during the week with one of your favourite treats whatever that might be. Don’t let that hard work go to waste. Just remember it’s okay to enjoy yourself a little bit, just not a lot!

  1. Be patient! Change won’t happen overnight!

It must be one of the biggest reasons why people stop exercising and eating healthy, they don’t see the results they want straight away. The time it takes for body shape to change, through either gaining muscle or losing fat, is different for every individual. You might not see the results as soon as you hoped, but if you carry on what you’re doing, you will see results. It’s always worth assessing your diet and exercise regime every 8-12 weeks to prevent becoming complacent and reducing those last few unwanted inches!

  1. Stay off the scales!

Weighing yourself on a regular basis to keep track of your journey isn’t the best measure of progress. Your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis due to many different factors; you will be lighter in the morning, heavier after meals, lighter when dehydrated and even lighter after the toilet! Focus more on how you feel on a daily basis, how much energy you have, how you look in the mirror, are you happy? Those changes are the ones that count the most. One piece of advice if you do decide to weigh yourself is to be consistent. Weigh yourself the same time during the day, the morning when you wake up is usually best and make sure you’re using the same scales.

  1. Set reasonable goals from now on.

One fault people make is they set unachievable bigger goals, usually expecting too much, too soon.

The best way to stay on top of your progress is to set small goals within short time frames. For example, instead of setting the goal to lose 2 stone before March (which is a lot!) break that down, aim to lose a 1lb  or two every two weeks. Making smaller goals with smaller changes will help to keep you motivated; the bigger changes will sort themselves out.

  1. Keep your exercise programme varied.

We encourage our gym members to make use of all of the club facilities including swimming pool, squash courts, spinning, classes, gym and our functional training zone. Variety is the spice of life and sometimes it’s good to mix things up! Not only does it get you exercising different muscles groups it also helps to keep you motivated.

  1. Get involved in a gym challenge for extra motivation.

This gives you another focus and brings a bit of fun into working out. Ask our gym team about our latest fitness challenge and how you can get involved.

  1. Find a motivated friend to workout with.

Getting to the gym is easier when you have set an appointment to meet a friend there – you wouldn’t want to let them down! You’ll also have more fun, have someone to chat to and share your progress with.

 

If’ you need some extra motivation please ask The Marlow Club Fitness Team all about our brand new Gym Enhancer sessions which are free to members. These are 1-2-1 sessions that complement your programme and help you achieve your results quicker.

Achieve Fitness Results

Posted by & filed under Fitness.

Getting fit and healthy remains one of the top New Year’s resolutions on everyone’s list, but while no-one plans to fail at getting fit, many fail to plan a fitness programme that is achievable, trackable and most importantly – keeps them motivated. That’s why we are excited to launch our brand new ‘Made To Measure Programme’ that is personally tailored, fits around your lifestyle, is so easy to track and offers ongoing support and motivation throughout membership at The Marlow Club.

Our Made To Measure programme starts with a Lifestyle Assessment and a unique Body Composition Analysis which uses Boditrax precision technology to get to know your body like never before. This quick, non-evasive test using the world’s leading system, provides you with 20 body metrics such as muscle mass, fat percentage, bone density, hydration levels, BMR score, body type and much more. This is a great starting point for tracking your fitness progress and the changes to your body over time. From there the exercise begins and you can start to you enjoy a fitter, more in shape you!

Quote from Ash Wright

Ash Wright Personal Trainer at The Marlow Club, says:

“Our aim at The Marlow Club is to get you results. Based on the Boditrax data, our team creates a bespoke health and fitness programme just for you. In addition to tailored advice regarding general lifestyle, the team also prescribes an exercise plan to suit your activity preferences. Whether you prefer the social aspect of group exercise, training in a gym or swimming, we can develop a made to measure plan which you will find motivating and, most importantly gain results.

After a fitness programme has been agreed, we advise you to check in with one of our trainers every 4-6 weeks to run through a new Boditrax body composition assessment to measure the health effects of your training effort.”

 

Made To Measure Programme

1. Health Check & Lifestyle Assessment – 60 minutes

Includes a Boditrax body composition analysis to discover up to 20 body metrics plus a health questionnaire and in-depth lifestyle review; looking at your goals, work, life and sleep pattern, exercise and eating habits.

2. Made To Measure Fitness Induction – 60 minutes

 The fitness team will train you in your made to measure fitness programme designed around your ability, your limitations and your goal. The aim is to ensure that you are able and confident to complete it on your own. This may include a range of health club activities including classes, gym programme, HIIT training, swimming, spinning, Yoga and more!

3. Enhancer: Boost Session 30 – 60 minutes

Gain extra fitness advantage with a 1-2-1 trainer session free of charge. Try something you haven’t before, and choose from boxing, TRX training, kettlebell, or even try the Wattbike to learn the different tests and workouts you can take yourself through to mix things up this year.

4. Enhancer: Masterclass 30 – 60 minutes

Learn from some of the best trainers to fine-tune your technique for best results. We have the option to have a personalised HIIT session to maximise fat burning, the ‘Big 4 Compound’ session to up your strength or give 60 minutes of specialised Body Building programming a go for some serious hypertrophy burn.

5. Enhancer: Motivator Session 30 – 60 minutes

 Keep motivated by trying something new and a workout session with a trainer. Especially in the New Year, you want to feel as though you are creating habits that last and one way to stay motivated is by understanding your training style or programme more. We have many different forms of analysis and reviews that ensure you are keeping to your progress, such as the Lifestyle Review or Sports Specific Conditioning if you have a specific sport in mind.

6. Result Tracker & Re-Programme – 60 minutes

A session with a fitness trainer to map your progress from day one and re-set your programme to keep achieving. This session is available whenever you feel you need it.

This is available to new and existing members and is just as beneficial to both. We recognise that keeping motivated with fitness over a longer period of time can be challenging. Our new Enhancer Sessions are designed to help keep you on track for longer.

If you’re interested in learning more about the programme and would like a tour of the club click here, we’d love to invite you down.