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There’s often a lack of clarity when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. Information can be out-dated and at times, conflicting. What we now know if that often, exercising during pregnancy can be advisable. While you should always seek a professional and personal recommendation from a medical professional before exercising, the majority of mums-to-be will benefit hugely from exercising during the build up to child birth.

Here are a few reasons why…

Be fit and Strong for giving birth

Giving birth can be a long and tiring ordeal; a variety of suitable yet challenging cardiovascular and resistance work can be a very good way to prepare yourself for the task ahead. If you can control your body and are very aware of how to contract and/or relax relevant muscle groups then you’re much less likely to waste energy during pregnancy. There’s some evidence to suggest that exercising during pregnancy allows a mum-to-be to significantly reduce labour time.

Faster road to recovery

For anyone that has exercised regularly and then taken a holiday, they will understand the discomfort that exercise causes after just a short break. Imagine the discomfort and loss of physical capability if you take a full 9 months off! Your road to re-building your former body and athletic capabilities will be a much smoother and shorter journey if you continue to exercise throughout the entirety of your pregnancy.

Functional Strength for when baby arrives

Your life will change significantly in terms of day-to-day tasks once you give birth. Lifting, carrying, holding and moving this new bundle of joy doesn’t come easy. Gaining suitable, functional strength during your pregnancy can help to prepare you for the new tasks at hand.

Avoid Postural issues caused by your changing body shape

As your baby grows a huge strain begins to be placed on your spine and hips. This paired with increasing levels of relaxin (a hormone released during pregnancy that makes your joint less stable) and many women will experience spine discomfort and, often, more serious spine and hip issues. Improving your core strength and practicing maintaining correct spine alignment can significantly reduce the chances of complicated spine problems and lengthy rehab.

Get comfortable with your quickly adjusting body shape

Pregnancy is likely to be the fastest you have ever gained such a significant amount of weight. Your centre of gravity will slowly move forwards and therefore, it can be feel very difficult and uncomfortable to move your new-sized body confidently and safely. Instead, unless encouraged otherwise, a heavily pregnant lady is likely to create their own, convenient and alternative ways of moving and carrying out previously simple tasks like sitting and getting out of a chair. Exercise can be a great way to be more familiar with how your body is changing and adapt your movements to suit your size and capabilities.

Have some “me time”

Everyone is likely to be talking nothing but babies once you become more noticeably pregnant. Why not get some “me time”? Escape the constant tending, fussing and questions; let of some steam and feel happier and more confident throughout pregnancy. Add some endorphins to all of those other new hormones floating around in your body.


As I said at the start this is general advise for the majority of pregnant ladies. Before exercising during pregnancy you should always seek approval from your GP. There are a number of contraindications to training and pregnant ladies with things such as high blood pressure, weight issues, previous birth complications (to name a few) should not exercise to a high intensity during pregnancy.

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Many women can be very unsure what sort of exercise they can do while they’re pregnant; or, if they should exercise at all during pregnancy. There seems to be lots of contradictory and out-dated advice available which can be difficult to sift through.The good news is, exercising safely while pregnant has a number of benefits for mums-to-be.

Benefits may include: Improved circulation, reduced swelling, reduced leg cramps, easier and shorter labour time, improved body awareness, quicker post-natal recovery, reduced maternal weight gain, reduction in labour pain, offset postural imbalances and lesser risk of lower back pain or spinal issues, practical strength for when baby arrives… to name a few!

But, how much is too much? What kind of exercises are suitable? How many repetitions and sets? What should you avoid? What impact will changing hormones have? How much more should you be eating? How much weight should you expect to put on?

All is explained here…


Additional Calories Needed Each Day: 0 (RDA)

Expected Total Weight Gain by End of Trimester: 7-11lbs

Sets & Repetitions When Exercising: 3-4 sets, 8-15 reps

Hormone Issues and Things To Consider:

A mild level of relaxin (a hormone which creates more mobile joints in order to allow baby to grow freely and a relaxation of blood vessels) is released in the body and causes a lowering in blood pressure known as vascular underfill. As a result, fatigue and dizziness or nausea can be experienced after a relatively short spell of intense exercise. Heart rate is likely to become elevated during a lower intensity of exercise than pre-pregnancy.

Avoid: Working to fatigue, circuit-style training or high intensity training that doesn’t allow for rest or changes muscle groups quickly such as a legs and shoulders super-set. “Hard work” can still take place, but be aware of how you feel and don’t push if you feel nauseous or light headed. Avoid laying on your back for extended periods.


Additional Calories Needed Each Day:150Kcal (RDA)

Expected Total Weight Gain by End of Trimester: 11-22lbs

Sets & Repetitions When Exercising: 2-3 sets, 10-15 reps

Hormone Issues and Things To Consider:

Water retention is increased and as a result heart rate and blood pressure is normalised. Many experience a new lease of energy towards the end of the trimester. Relaxin release surges so be mindful of placing large loads on vulnerable joints, particularly hips, lower back and shoulders. Improvement in body temperature regulation – a much earlier onset of sweating. As weight increases there is an increased chance of thoracic kyphosis (rounded/arched upper spine).

Avoid: Assisted stretching for extended periods or stretching beyond a normal range of motion. Avoid training for extended periods without hydration breaks and continue taking

on fluids throughout the day. Don’t allow for improper posture to be held during exercise; emphasise a strong, braced and neutral spine at all times.


Additional Calories Needed Each Day:300Kcal (RDA)

Expected Total Weight Gain by End of Trimester: 23-33lbs

Sets & Repetitions When Exercising: 1-2 sets, 15-20 reps

Hormone Issues and Things To Consider:

Fatigue is experienced much earlier. Balance becomes an issue and relaxin is at it’s highest. Weight may increase by as much as 1lb per week at this stage. As a result, avoid exercises that rely heavily on balance or place an unnatural pressure on joints such as sumo stance squats and dumbbell flys. A more suitable variation would be body weight squats and chest press machine. Trimester blood volume increases by 30%-50% and cardiac output by 20%-30% so pregnant mother will begin fatiguing sooner due to increased workload. Overheating should be considered at this stage so use suitable clothing dependent on your environment (cold gyms, direct sunlight etc). It may be difficult to elevate the heart rate during this trimester.

Avoid: Working in direct sunlight for extended periods, balance-based exercises, standing for extended periods and placing pressure on the front of the body. Avoid laying on your front or static holds such as planks for lengthy periods.


Of course, pregnancy is a very personal experience and no two pregnancy experiences will be identical. The advice and guidelines above are general guidelines that you should aim to follow. However, if there are any unpredictated adjustment or conditions that occur then always seek medical advice.

There are a number of contraindications to exercising while pregnant – especially if you aren’t already a regular exerciser. Before attempting to exercise during pregnancy always seek clearance to do-so from your GP. Then, seek a pre/post natal qualified trainer to guide you through the ever-changing process and take away any of the guess work.

NB: Not ALL qualified personal trainers are qualified to train clients during their pregnancy.

Always keep in mind “Mum knows best” – don’t be encouraged to do anything that you feel very uncomfortable doing. Some pregnant ladies will run throughout pregnancy and other will feel uncomfortable doing it from a very early stage. Do what you’re happy to do, now what you “should” do.

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Most of us have heard about Pilates, but how many of us actually know what it is and why it’s so good for us? Through a series of precise & controlled exercises; Pilates offers a full body workout with the goal to improve core strength, flexibility and posture. Classes embed a connection between the mind and body, with a strong emphasis on breathing control and relaxation.

Here are our top 3 reasons why you should incorporate Pilates into your weekly routine!

1.  Improves posture through core strength and stability

Having poor posture can lead to the development of other physical ailments causing muscle and joint pain. Making adjustments to your posture early is far better than seeking therapy later down the line due to neglecting the fundamental issues!

2. Low impact, Low risk

Pilates, being predominantly floor based means the risk of injury is greatly reduced. Controlled movements build strength and mobility contributing to injury prevention whilst building a relationship between the mind and body.

3. Narrows your focus

Pilates requires focus to be on your breathing, body and movements. Take the time during the class to relax! It’s time dedicated for you to focus, enjoy it!

Jon Williams, Chief Operating Officer at The Marlow Club says:

“The addition of this purpose-built Pila Yoga studio will create a facility unlike anything else on offer in the Southern Counties. The studio will have its own dedicated entrance and will incorporate a tranquil waiting area, enabling members to gather and wait in comfort before the start of their class”. Click here for more information about the refurbishment!

Pilates is for everyone. Whatever your age, body type or fitness level. If you’re looking for improvements in fitness, well being, pre/postnatal support or injury rehabilitation. Pilates at The Marlow Club is perfect for you!

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We all try and fit some cardio into our weekly routine, even if we aren’t a massive fan. A lot of the time cardio can be quite tedious, especially if it’s the same old treadmill stint or pedal on the bike. So if we can find something that is fun to do AND gets us sweating, it’s a win, win!

We give you, boxing for fitness!

Now we don’t mean getting into a ring and doing 12 rounds with a heavyweight boxer. However, whether it’s with a partner or solo with a punching bag; getting on some gloves and having a hit out is a brilliant cardio alternative if you aren’t up for a run on the treadmill.

Boxing provides you with a full body workout. It’s a great way to build your stamina, boost your cardiovascular system as well as working your entire body, balance and core! Boxing is great for all abilities and fitness levels. You can work as hard and as fast as you like, or slow it down, work on technique and hand-eye coordination.

What’s on offer?

  1. At the club we’ve got a designated area in the Insideout with gloves, pads and punching bags. Whether you want to take on a bag or do a session with a friend, we’ve got the gear for you. The gym team’s pad-work enhancer is great for those who want to practise some technique work, combinations and drills before going on to a bag. Email the gym team: to book yours.
  2. We are bringing back two classes onto the timetable, Boxfit and Cardio Box. Both are heavily based around pad work drills, boxing combinations and short bursts of high intensity cardio. These sessions are a great way to get an energetic workout in whilst learning new skills at the same time. Boxfit will be with Hayley on Wednesdays at 7pm. Cardio Box will be with Mel on Mondays at 12:50pm!
  3. Danny Maka is our in-house personal trainer who specialises in boxing. Danny’s sessions focus on core strength, fitness and boxing skills and are great for all levels of fitness and ability. Danny is currently offering a free session with him as an introduction into the training style. All you need to do is ask at reception and fill in an enquiry card to get booked in!

Click here to check out Danny’s website for more information!

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Going on holiday is the best time to relax and unwind, especially in our busy lives, so make the most of it and chill out! A lot of us take advantage of a holiday to show off the hard work we’ve put in during the months leading up to the couple of weeks away. So it would be a shame to let it all go to waste in a big blowout whilst we’re away. Of course we need to enjoy ourselves; just remember to treat yourself, not to cheat yourself. We’ve put together a quick tip sheet to keep on top of that hard work you put in before jetting off.

Top 4 Nutrition Tips

Limit the Snacks

Whether you go fully inclusive or you cook yourself, try to limit the snacking in between meals. If you do want to pick, go for the low calorie options. Things like fruit, carrot or cucumber sticks with dips would go down a treat!

Drink Lots of Water

Obviously it is super important to drink up if you’re out in the sun all day. Staying hydrated is crucial for your health but will also keep you feeling full between meals. Enjoy a beverage or two but remember about the calories in alcohol and juices.

Prep for Your Days out and About!

If you’re heading out for the day to a local town or the beach, prepare some food to take with you. A small packed lunch will help you avoid eating out and/or overeating if you’re keeping an eye on your calories.

Don’t Stray; Keep to One Treat a Day!

Who can resist an ice cream on holiday? Just make sure you aren’t having one morning, noon and night! You’re on holiday and it’s hot, so treat yourself. Just don’t go overboard every day!

Top 4 Exercise Tips

Get Out and About

It is lovely to just lie around by the pool for hours on end catching rays. However, it’s always a good idea to walk as much as possible when you can. It won’t be too strenuous in the heat and will increase your daily calorie burn, earning that ice cream to cool down after!

Make a Splash

The pool is great to cool down after a stint of tanning on the beds. Take advantage of the pool and get a couple of lengths in whenever you get in to cool off. You’d be surprised how many you can rack up throughout the day.

Fasted HIIT is a Great way to Kick-Start the Day!

You don’t have to do one every morning, but try and get in a quick Tabata style workout before you go down to breakfast. Pick 4 exercises and do 20 seconds on 10 seconds off, 8 times. That’ll wake you up!

Take the Stairs!

It’s simple but effective! If you’re in a hotel, don’t always rely on the lift. Those extra few steps will make all the difference after your time away. Think about increasing your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis­). Your NEAT will make up the extra wiggle room with your calories throughout the holiday.

REMEMBER, you’re on holiday! Enjoy it and have a good time. Don’t compromise on the holiday lifestyle for the sake of a small fluctuation in weight. Just make sure you get back on track when you’re home!


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At The Marlow Club, we aim to ensure every member receives everything necessary to achieve their goals during their time with us! Our gym team offer an exclusively personal, made to measure programme for members to utilise whilst using the club’s facilities. Alongside the gym team, we have put together the finest team of trainers and coaches for our members to ensure maximum results! Our personal trainers cater for all levels of fitness and experience, incorporating a wide range of skills and areas of expertise to ensure you achieve the results you’re after.

Our PT team are on hand to help with;

  • Weight Management
  • Fat Loss
  • Increasing Strength
  • Biomechanics Coaching
  • Rehab from Injury or Illness
  • Flexibility
  • Corrective exercise for Posture
  • HIIT training
  • Olympic Lifting Coaching
  • Nutritional Coaching
  • Group Training

If you’re not sure if personal training is for you, here are our top benefits for incorporating personal training into your weekly schedule;

  • Creates habits!
  • Personal trainers aren’t their just for the gym. They can help you establish a new, healthier lifestyle. Ensuring you are training right, eating right and recovering right are all areas a personal training can help you with.
  • Keeps you motivated!
  • One of the hardest aspects to training is staying motivated for long periods of time. Having a personal trainer will ensure you give you a reason to get down to the gym. If you miss a PT session, you’re not just letting yourself down!
  • Gets you the best results, fast.
  • We all know roughly what we’re doing in the gym, however having someone beside you who knows exactly what you need to do to get your results will definitely get you moving faster in the right direction.

Not sure where to start?
Drop our head PT, Olly Jones an email. Olly will be able to assist you in finding the right PT for you!

For more information on our team, check out our website!

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Early in the mornings, the thought of putting away several coffees seems like a breeze, as does 3 or 4 drinks on a Friday night. Yet why does it seem like the impossible task when it comes to drinking enough water?  The amount of water we drink on a daily basis is fundamental to our overall health, mood and daily function. Staying hydrated plays an even greater part during the day as temperatures rise during these summer months. So why should you drink up and stay hydrated?

Improved energy levels and brain function! 

Even mild dehydration (between 1-3% of body weight) can impair brain function. It can affect our mood, memory and concentration. It can even increase the frequency of headaches. With correct hydration, we are capable of faster thinking, better memory and increased creativity.

Drinking water can improve weight loss!

When trying to lose weight, along with eating in a consistent calorie deficit, ensuring you maintain hydration levels throughout the day will help you along the way. Drinking water can decrease hunger, whilst keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Staying hydrated also boosts your metabolism. Drinking just 2 litres of water a day can also increase your overall calorie expenditure by 96 calories… That’s basically an extra KitKat!

Hydration improves overall performance!

We always try to make sure we are drinking plenty of fluids during sport. However on a daily basis, whether we’re working out in the gym or just have a busy day at work, staying hydrated will maintain energy levels until clocking off time. Dehydration can lead to early fatigue, lack of motivation and increase the difficulty of exercise, so keep sipping throughout the day. But is simple H20 enough? If you’re taking part in physical activity, it’s worth drinking some form of electrolyte drink that replenishes your cells with the nutrients lost through sweat. If you haven’t already, try our two week trial with Hydro+!

The best way to stay hydrated during the day is to associate drinking a glass of water with everyday tasks. For example, when you brush your teeth, have a coffee or finish an email, have a glass of water. If you can, always carry a bottle with you. Fill up in the morning and keep on it all day. You’ll notice how much better you feel! Try and aim for at least two litres of water during the day.




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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

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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.