Fitness Trends Set to Take the UK Market By Storm in 2018

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that the UK health and fitness industry continued to grow throughout the year. The significant growth was primarily driven by the private sector which boasts more clubs, members, and a more impressive market value than before. Last year saw more than 9.7million fitness members in the UK, boosting the penetration rate to an all-time high of 14.9%.

During 2017 UK consumers were presented with more fitness choices than ever before. Old favorites such as Zumba and yoga found themselves competing with German volume training and calisthenics, while multi-purpose training equipment and nutritional supplements all evolved at a similar break-neck speed. While 2017 was considered to be one of the best for the wellness industry, 2018 is bringing with it a variety of exciting fitness trends that are bound to appeal to the multitude of exercise enthusiasts in the United Kingdom.

Fitness trends to look out for in 2018

While spin and climbing classes were very popular during 2017 we can expect to see a hybrid class that combines incline training methods with cardio. Performed on VersaClimbers the classes are performed to music and use interval training, speed and incline to mix up the workout. An added bonus to this workout is that there is less impact on the body than what is experienced during a spin class. The upright standing position will also do wonders for your posture.

Artificial Intelligence workouts

Like personal trainers in your pocket, AI is starting to infiltrate the fitness world in 2018. From slaying playlists to audio workouts, these apps will learn from and adjust to your preferences and progress to enable them to offer you tailor-made training plans that suit your own personal needs and goals. Amazon is said to have invested in body-mapping technology that will be able to monitor your precise movements when you exercise.

Changed rules for recovery

Stretching, massaging and foam rolling have always seemed to be merely an afterthought but this year a lot more focus will be placed on the fascia – the connective tissue that ensures we stay flexible and mobile. While Australia may be leading the way in terms of super physio’s it is also starting to trend in the UK. According to Zanna van Dijk, a Balance Festival ambassador the UK will definitely start to see a rise in recovery-based classes towards the second quarter of 2018.

Moon rituals

While gong therapy made it big last year, this year is all about the moon. Full-moon sound baths, guided moon rituals and new-moon ceremonies might sound like something straight out a Hollywood movie but more and more UK residents are looking to consult the planets as a guide for everything concerning their health and well-being. Women especially are becoming intrigued by the various prophecies of the moon cycle as it is said to be heavily linked to the menstrual cycle.

As a rapidly-evolving market, the remainder of 2018 is bound to see many more advancements within the fitness-related industries of the UK. As long as consumers remain open-minded and level-headed with regards to the imminent changes they will be able to embrace all developments with ease.

Once again, thanks to Jane Sandwood for this great contribution

Getting your Recovery right is essential

The time you spend working out is only one part of the equation you need to achieve your fitness goals. Exercise is the process of applying a physical stimulus to the tissues of the body. One thing that is often forgotten is the fact that your body becomes stronger and fitter after you exercise .. during recovery. The right type of recovery, will help you maximize the results and help ensure achieve the best results.

So it’s important to understand the types of recovery. Short-term, which occurs immediately after a set to allow the muscles to eliminate the waste products of contraction; and longer-term, which refers to the period of time between workout sessions. Short-term recovery can be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and is important to ensure that you replace energy stores after each set. The longer recovery period between workouts is the one to focus on because it is the time period after the workout when the body adapts to the stimulus applied during the exercise session. The proper care of your muscle and connective tissue, consuming the right type of post workout nutrition, the quality and quantity of sleep and, believe or not, the types of clothes you wear, can all promote the post-workout recovery necessary to help you maximize the results from your time spent sweating.

COMPRESSION CLOTHING: You may have noticed a recent trend of athletes, (especially the long distance runners) exercising while wearing knee-high socks, tights on both their legs and upper bodies, or sleeves over their calves or arms. Wearing compression clothing before and after a tough workout is a relatively new form of recovery treatment that, according to the research, may be an effective solution. The pressure from the tight clothing can improve circulation; specifically, the return of blood back to the heart, which helps remove metabolic waste from muscle and promotes the flow of oxygenated blood to help the tissue repair and rebuild.

MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: Foam rollers, compressions balls and rolling-pin-like sticks all help reduce muscle tightness, and at least one of them should be a part of your regular recovery program. If a muscle doesn’t experience a proper cool-down, or is held in a shortened position for an extended period of time, collagen, which are inelastic fibers that are a component of the connective tissue surrounding each muscle, can bind between layers of muscle and create adhesions or knots. Traditional massage therapy works by manually manipulating muscle tissue to break up adhesions, allowing the layers of muscle to slide against one another without restrictions. The pressure and motion of a muscle moving on a foam roller can help break up adhesions and realign muscle tissue to be able to function normally. In general, foam rollers provide the greatest response when an individual places a body-part directly on top of the roller and moves rhythmically to apply pressure to the underlying muscle and elastic connective tissue. Breaking up adhesions can help reduce muscle tightness and improve joint range of motion. Because it is not practical to hire a massage therapist after every workout, foam rollers, rolling sticks or compression balls can be used to apply the necessary pressure to break up collagen and promote optimal muscle recovery.

SAUNA OR HOT TUB: The heat from a sauna or hot tub increases the body’s circulation, which removes metabolic waste products like hydrogen ions, while also carrying oxygen and other nutrients necessary to help repair tissue used during the workout.

ICE, COOLING BATHS OR CRYOGENIC CHAMBERS: Another less comfortable, but extremely effective option for recovery is the use of cold treatments. Ice baths, ice packs or cooling vests. Cold treatment can help cool down the body’s core temperature, which is essential when exercising in hot weather, and can reduce inflammation and promote healing in tissue that was used during the workout. The cold from the application of ice to a sore muscle or joint brings more blood to the area, which brings nutrients and oxygen to help promote healing.

POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION: During exercise, your muscles expend energy and experience physical stress. Recent research in the field of nutrient timing suggests that when nutrition is consumed relative to exercise may be as important as what is consumed. After exercise, the body needs to replenish energy with carbohydrates and repair tissue with protein. Having a post-workout snack or drink with a proper ratio of carbohydrates-to-protein can help with both needs. The carbohydrates refuel energy needs and increase insulin levels, which helps to promote the post-exercise utilisation of protein for muscle repair. Proper nutrition is especially important after high-intensity exercise. Evidence indicates that having a snack or drink with a 3 to 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio within 30-45 minutes post-exercise can help you recover from the day’s activity and get ready for tomorrow’s workout.

SLEEP: Sleep is probably one of the most important components of a total wellness program that can help improve your overall health and fitness levels. Your body produces most of the hormones needed for tissue repair during the deep REM cycles of sleep. If you are planning a high-intensity workout, it is important that you have the ability to get a full night’s sleep to allow the endocrine system, which produces hormones, to play its role in the recovery process.

In summary, too much exercise without proper rest and recovery can lead to injury or illness, both of which could keep you out of the gym for lengthy periods of time. Insufficient rest and recovery does not allow for optimal muscle protein synthesis and could lead to an accumulation of energy-producing hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol, which can reduce the ability to generate new muscle tissue. Loss of sleep or appetite, lingering illness and cessation of gains from exercise are all symptoms of overtraining, which can significantly affect your ability to achieve your fitness goals. If you have a busy period of work, travel or family obligations, adjust your exercise program accordingly and do low- to moderate-intensity workouts until you can return to your normal sleep patterns, which can support higher-intensity exercise.

Some tips on successful outdoor classes

So the weather seems to be getting better and we all know that the warm sun and blue skies create a perfect backdrop for outdoor workouts. There’s some great health benefits to being outside: like boosting immunity, mental health and even increasing satisfaction with the workout – great for your clients, their fitness and your business. With so many advantages to outdoor exercise, you don’t want to miss out on taking your training sessions to the park or even the beach.

Just remember to keep in mind that heading outdoors to train clients can bring some unique challenges. Here are four tips to ensure the safety and success of your outdoor workouts:

  1. CHECK LOCAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

The idea of outdoors fitness classes has growing in popularity, boosted by Bootcamps and the likes of British Military Fitness. Before starting an outdoor fitness class or boot camp you should just check with your Local Council to see if any permits or licenses might be needed – or if there are any restrictions on what you can do, where and when. Policies can vary and we’ve all seen the challenges Park Run have had recently with some Councils trying to start charging them to use the park. Most will be free, but worth not getting caught out.

  1. BE PREPARED

Safety is the most important aspect of any type of group training, and taking workouts outdoors poses a few extra considerations. Once you have found a location, familiarise yourself with the space to locate any available medical and safety resources. Locate and avoid any hazards or debris that may interfere with your program or potentially injure your clients. It is also important to bring safety equipment with you, such as first aid kits, water and a mobile phone.

  1. BE RESPECTFUL

When running your outdoor class, you should always abide any restrictions. You must respect the park’s landscaping and fixtures by using exercise equipment that is portable, does not attach to trees and limits the wear and tear of the space and its resources. Remember there are a lot of other people who have equal rights to be there and want to enjoy the open space—parks and public spaces are intended for the use and enjoyment of the entire community. Don’t abuse it and avoid busy areas. When you’re finished the class, be sure to remove all equipment and rubbish that you and your clients may have left behind. Don’t do anything which will risk future use of the area for other trainers.

  1. BE PROFESSIONAL

Just be professional. Do what you have been taught to do and do it in a safe and respectful manner and the outdoor class will be a great success. That professionalism should also extend to ensuring your professional liability insurance is up to date. What if that member of the public trips and hurts themselves on your equipment?

Converting Potential Clients to Paying Clients

OK, so you’ve got great reviews, a killer website, and you’re spending a pile of money on marketing, but you’re still not converting all those leads and potential clients into paying clients. Its tough, but there are some real lessons to be learnt from others and we’ve tried to pull these into 5 Top Tips for any Personal Trainer or Exercise Instructor.

  1. Give away some free high-quality content. This establishes value for potential clients by allowing them to see what using your services would be like and getting to know your expertise as an individual. This could be in the form of videos, blog posts, live streams, newsletters or more. This offers great exposure for your business and is generally the first experience potential clients will have with your services. The goal here is not necessarily to provide content with the intention of signing new clients, but to be genuinely helpful. Top Tip: Don’t market too heavily during this stage, it may make your efforts seem disingenuous and desperate.
  1. Be known as a trustworthy and likeable person. Each potential client must be able to connect with you on a personal level, know who you are and what you stand for, they must trust that you have their best intentions in mind before they will consider paying for your services. And most importantly, feel happy and motivated spending time with you. Get across your best and true self in all interactions, online content, and in-person relationships; what your clients see is what they’ll get.
  1. Entice potential clients with low cost, low commitment offers rather than full-priced long-term ones. Two of the greatest obstacles in converting clients is the financial and time commitment required. Committing to months of training, hundreds and even thousands of pounds is pretty scary when you aren’t entirely convinced that it’s for you. They’re thinking “Sure, others have seen results, but what about me?” Instead of marketing expensive “core” packages to potential clients, try offering a low-commitment package. A general rule of thumb is to keep these packages less than 30 days in length and less than £100 in total. Once your clients have seen the results for themselves, then you can offer your core packages. In general, a low barrier offer allows potential clients to try your services with low-commitment without devaluing your services with “completely free” marketing techniques.
  1. Over-deliver results. Once you’ve had the opportunity to show your clients your services, you should aim to go above and beyond their expectations. Simple gestures such as a “thanks for training with me” card, a heartfelt message, a freebie training session, or a free ebook really goes a long way in helping your clients feel valued and important. You don’t have to spend extra money during this stage or compromise your integrity–just make sure you’ve done your due diligence to provide the best service possible and your clients leave feeling positive about their purchase.
  1. Offer Incentives for referrals. If you’ve provided awesome service to your clients and they’ve seen great results, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral! Most people are more than happy to refer you to a friend or family member if they’ve seen personal value in your service. Offering incentives such as 25% off a monthly membership when they refer a friend is a win-win situation; they save on the training they love and their loved one gets to see the results for themselves. You can even make this stage fun! For example, you can enter your clients into a raffle when they make a referral. Every month one winner gets a free month of training, a sports bottle/fitness gear, a sports supplement, a fitness tracker, etc.

So give these tips some thought and see how they fit with your business and ambitions. Remember, it’s all about delighting clients who will come back again and again, happy to pay the money and happy to bring their mates. That will go a long way to helping build your business into a successful and profitable one.

Group Exercise is More Effective

Group exercise is typically described as exercise performed by a group of individuals led by an instructor. There are a wide range of group exercise classes available and many can be found with a simple web search. Studies have shown that group exercise is much more effective than going to the gym and working out alone. Could this be true? Could working out in a group setting be more effective and provide better results? We decided to take a look at this study and see why group exercise is being hailed as the best way to get in shape or lose weight.

Group exercise offers exposure to a social and fun environment, a safe and effectively designed workout, a consistent exercise schedule, an accountability factor for participating in exercise, and a workout that requires no prior exercise knowledge or experience.

  1. Group exercise keeps you interested in the workout and helps to avoid the boredom of working out alone. It also offers camaraderie and accountability among participants, as well as between the participants and the instructor.
  2. Group exercise shows you what to do and what not to do. Most people avoid going to the gym because they don’t understand the machines or they don’t know what they should be doing. Group exercise offers a workout for all levels, ranging from beginner to advanced and you don’t have to have any experience at all.
  3. Group exercise offers structure, something many people new to the gym want. Group exercise classes often follow a particular structure which includes a warm-up, workout and a cool down period. People who work out alone don’t often follow these steps and they end up getting injured.
  4. Group exercise classes offer consistency in scheduling and are perfect for those on a time constraint. Many classes last 30 to 45 minutes and offer a full body workout.
  5. Group exercise offers diversity. From boot camps at a local park or yoga on the beach, to trekking on the bike trails or fun fitness classes for seniors, group exercise offers people a chance to try new things and get in shape with others in a social setting.

Are you looking for an exercise class in your area? Try My Fitness Times and find one today!

Changing careers to become a personal Trainer! UK Fitness Certification explained

With 2017 now upon us, it is not just the time of the year to start picking those weights back up or hitting the treadmill, but it is also the time of the year where you may evaluate what we are doing with your career and where you want to be come the end of 2017.

The fitness sector is no different, more and more people enrol onto a personal training diploma in January than any other time of the year as the festive fun closes and New years resolutions kicks in. If you are dreading going back to work, fed up of working the mundane 9-5 and want a career that yields your passion for fitness, then becoming a personal trainer could be just what the doctor ordered. Before jumping head first, you need to know what you are actually looking for and to fully comprehend how fitness qualifications work in the UK, so you can find the right course for you.

Our guest Blogger this week is Luke Hughes, the Managing Director at Origym who will help you navigate your way to a new career. Visit https://origympersonaltrainercourses.co.uk for more info.

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BECOME A PERSONAL TRAINER?

One of the most commonly typed in phrases in Google each month is “how to become a personal trainer”? Often companies’ websites are loaded with marketing jargon, inaccuracies and frequently there are terms that mean effectively the same thing, which causes confusion on what you actually need to get personal training qualified and what the best route to take is.

Well, this is where I am going to simplify things and show you what is needed to become a personal trainer and what fitness accreditation and level of certification that is required to start your career the right way.

There are two fitness certificates you need, your level 2 gym instructing qualification and your level 3 personal training award. This is the minimum requirement needed to be able to qualify as a personal trainer, whether you want to start applying for jobs, set up your own online personal training service or run freelance circuits classes, you need these two certificates to bring your aspirations to life.

You might be wondering though, where is the level 1 fitness qualification? Well, there is such thing as a level 1 course in physical activity, however you do not need this qualification to progress onto your level 2 gym instructing course also known as level 2 fitness instructing. Once you have achieved level 2 gym instructing you need to progress in chronological order up through the tiers of certificates on offer e.g. you can’t skip from level 2 gym instructing to completing a level 4 course in lower back pain management for example.

 

WHICH IS THE BEST PERSONAL TRAINING CERTIFICATION?

Firstly and most importantly, you need to know the accreditation you actually need in the UK to be able to get yourself insured and be in the knowledge that you are fully certified and can start legally conducting one to one personal training sessions.

There are four major awarding organisations within the United Kingdom, Active IQ, YMCA Awards, City & Guilds and OCR, there are a few other awarding organisations that provide fitness certificates, but these are the most common for the fitness sector. The awarding organization is the company that is actually being printed on your certificate, not the company you actually purchase your personal training course from. The company you actually purchase your personal trainer course from is an approved test centre of one of those awarding bodies, called training providers, who deliver the training in correspondence to the guidelines set by the awarding organization. To maintain the approval of the governing body they have to undergo vigorous checks, sampling of work and regular visits to make sure they are delivering the fitness courses the right way. Always, always, always check the website of the training provider to see which governing body is stamped on their website as this is what qualification you will receive. The UK has a standardized the fitness qualifications about 10 years ago to ensure every personal trainer has covered the exact same core modules irrespective of which awarding organization or training provider of those awarding organisations you elect to do your course via.

Most fitness education companies tend to use Active IQ or YMCA awards as they are the most well known for fitness certification and are very industry specific governing bodies. This being said, this does not mean that City & Guilds, OCR or any of the smaller awarding organisations are not equally as valid or recognised by prospective employers and you will have no trouble gaining employment from certificates from those governing bodies.

 

WHAT STAMPS OF APPROVAL SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?

You may have heard or someone has mentioned the name REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals) to you as an awarding organization. This is a very common mistake, REPs are not a an awarding organization, REPs provides a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed National Occupational Standards.

REPs is owned by SkillsActive, which is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning. It has been established by Employers in Sport and Recreation, Health and Fitness to sustain quality in training and qualifications in the UK. When you hear the term “REPs recognised courses”, this means that training providers that have had their courses regulated from REPs and SkillsActive get a stamp of approval and with every major gym chain in the UK partnering with REPs you need to pick a “REPs recognised course”, otherwise when going for employment you will be turned away, regardless of the level of qualification you present.

If you ever need to check if a course provider delivers REPs recognised courses, you can contact REPs themselves or view SkillsActive’s list of approved centres and also a list of centres claiming to be approved. Spending some time doing your due diligence may save you a lot of heartbreak in the long run.

 

WHY DO PERSONAL TRAINER COURSES FLUCTUATE VASTLY IN PRICE THEN?

If personal training qualifications are standardized then why is there such a difference in price from one company to the next? Firstly, although the core modules are exactly the same within every personal trainer course, this does not mean that add on courses and extra modules are not included, which can influence the price you pay.

Secondly the service you receive from the training provider varies vastly, in terms of quality of tutoring, level of help and support, speed of support, quality of learning resources, if they have an aftercare program such as helping with interviews with gyms, the list goes on to what is going to determine the value that course provider concludes their service is worth to how much you are going to pay for that service. Think of it this way, if a Ferrari is the same price as a fiesta, you would buy the Ferrari every time, right? Why is that, they do the same job, get you from point A to point B. The reality as we know is very different and a Ferrari is about hundred times the price yet people still pay it. This is because of the quality it provides and the intrinsic value it generates and fitness qualifications are no different. Although the fitness qualification you come out with can be the same, the experience and quality of service you receive can be completely different from one provider to the next. As a general rule of thumb the more expensive the provider normally the more qualifications and higher levels of service you will receive. This being said, like any walk of life you can find personal trainer courses vastly over priced at one end of the spectrum or completely undervalued at the other end.

The third and most important reason that determines cost of personal training qualifications is the actual study method you choose to learn via. You can’t contrast the price of one provider that only offers full time personal trainer courses with an online personal trainer course. Full time courses will always cost more regardless of service or anything else for that matter, the provider would need to supply a tutor everyday and a venue everyday; therefore they cost significantly more. With online personal trainer courses, apart from paying for certification and registration to the awarding body, the overheads for a provider are minimal, hence why the course is normally less than half the price of a full time personal trainer course.

Finally you will find “personal trainer courses” on the web that have no accreditation, no stamps from any authority organisations and are not regulated by any governing body. These ”qualifications” unfortunately are not worth the paper they are written on and no employer or insurance company will legally back you.

 

Author Bio

Luke Hughes

Managing Director

Origym

Luke is the Managing Director of fitness education course provider Origym. He is passionate about everything education and fitness. As a cycling enthusiast he can often be found cycling up and down the hills in the lake district.

Are you a FITNESS INSTRUCTOR running BOOTCAMP classes with spaces to fill … you should really read this.

My Fitness Times is a FREE online Classfinder and Class Management system designed to help you build their business. Not only does it allow you to focus more time on your clients (and not the annoying admin), but it will make it much easier for new and existing clients to find your Bootcamp classes and book straight onto them.

There are some great reasons to give www.myfitnesstimes.com a go.

  1. Gives you and your Bootcamp classes access to 1,000’s of potential clients searching for the right class near to where they live – if you’re not on it, they can’t find you.
  2. FREE class management. You can build you profile, list your classes, communicate with clients, take bookings, manage class participants and even accept online payments straight to your account.
  3. Builds your personal brand, allowing clients to find your profile and see a professional forward thinking instructor, able to provide them the services they need online.
  4. Helps you find local class cover from instructors willing and able to cover your classes in the event of an emergency.
  5. Full support from a dedicated Instructors smartphone App, allowing you to manage classes and communicate with clients on the move.
  6. If you already have your own website, don’t worry. You can even embed all this directly into your website, so you have a fully functioning Class Management and booking system on your own site – with the added benefit of classes being available within the overall class finder database.

Almost everything is free on My Fitness Times. However, if you to elect to accept payments online, which is entirely up to you, we do take a small 25p admin charge for each payment. So we only get paid on you successfully getting a client.

I think you’ll find its worth giving it a try.

Good luck

The My Fitness Times team

Exercise Classes to Gym Buddies: 5 Weekend Tips to Stay on Track

Sick of spoiling all that hard work with a Friday night on the town and a lazy Saturday in bed? From socialising at the gym to drinking plenty of water, here are five tips to help you have a healthy weekend.

We’ve all been there; working super hard during the week, planning and prepping all your meals, attending exercise classes regularly and making serious progress. Then Friday night comes along and, before you know it, you’re drinking alcohol and eating greasy kebabs, followed by a hungover day eating pizza and watching Netflix in bed.

So, how do you stay motivated at the weekend? Here’s five tips to help keep you on track.

1. Meet friends at the gym
tips for exercise classes

 

Instead of catching up with friends at the pub, why not book on an exercise class and do a fun workout together?

Research shows that having a gym buddy helps you enjoy your workouts and keeps you accountable. What’s more, you can avoid all the empty calories from the alcohol you would consume at the pub while having a laugh with your friend and getting fit at the same time – winner!

2. Plan your meals

In the same way that booking on an exercise class means you’re more committed to your workout, having your meals planned means that you’re less likely to reach for the takeaway menus on a Saturday night.

3. Get back into it

There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks IF you still get up the next day and work out. Instead of staying in bed, get up and get moving! This means setting your alarm and going for a run, attending that exercise class or doing an at-home workout. Whichever activity you decide on, make sure you do it!

4. Stay hydrated

Drink lots of water. It can be easy to see the weekend as a ‘treat’ time to drink sugar-laden, carbonated drinks, alcohol and high fructose juices. However, the best thing to nourish your body and aid your weight-loss is to drink lots of H20. It might sound boring, but if you’re serious about reaching your goals, it’s worth it.

5. Get eight hours sleep

Rest is essential for muscle rehabilitation, so use the weekend as a time to recuperate. However, avoid sleeping in for too long, otherwise you will be left feeling groggy and lethargic. Eight hours is the optimum amount of time that most adults need to recharge their exhausted batteries.

Why not find an exercise class near you and sign up this weekend?

Motivating Yourself to Go to the Gym

We’ve all been there – you’ve got all the best intentions of getting up and motivating yourself to go to the gym, sticking with it and becoming the toned god or goddess you’ve always known was inside you, but somehow it never quite seems to happen because life gets in the way. Check out some of our top tips for getting motivated:

Our Top Tips on Motivating Yourself to Go to the Gym

1. Fitness Classes Near Me!

Fitness classes are a great way to ease yourself gently into gym-going, but don’t expect them to be a walk in a park. The motivation of being in a class full of people can be very powerful; all but the least competitive people find it hard to stop for a breather when everyone around them seems to be doing fine.

Find fitness classes near you to maximise your chances of attending; even better, find some that are near your work. That way you’ll have no excuse not to swing by for a bit of cardio on your way home from work, or attend yoga classes in the morning before you start.

Once you’re attending a class regularly you’ll build a relationship with the instructor and feel bad about letting them down by not attending, which is always good motivation. Even better, add other members of your fitness class to your social circle for added accountability.

2. Buddy up

If you’ve got a friend who’s also looking to get fit, going to the gym together can be an excellent way to stay on track with fitness goals. Your friend will be able to give you a pep-talk when you can’t be bothered, and you can do the same for them.

Someone to talk to could also help to make the gym more interesting for you because you can help one another out and work towards common goals – you might even find yourself looking forward to your sessions on the treadmill.

3. Create a personal reward system

We all respond well to rewards, and it’s a good way to psychologically programme yourself to enjoy the gym if you’re looking forward to a treat at the end of it. Why not book yourself in for a facial or a massage after every 10 or 20 gym sessions?

You’ll find yourself working towards it with much more enthusiasm – just try to keep your treats healthy and don’t make them all about food – sabotaging your exercise with too many sweet treats could cause your progress to stall and may create an unhealthy relationship with food.

If you’re looking for fitness classes near you to help you keep on top of your fitness goals, take a look at our yoga, pilates and zumba options, all of which will help you to burn calories in a fun environment.

Gym Hacks: Find The Right Personal Trainer To Get The Most Out Of You

Have you ever tried to commit to a regime with a personal trainer and it hasn’t stuck? A personal trainer can be a fantastic asset to changing your lifestyle for the better, or simply to hit a new fitness target, but if you don’t find the right person, it can actually do more harm than good.

Searching online can be overwhelming, so to help you on your journey, we’ve put together some of the most useful gym hacks to help you find the right personal trainer! After all, you have to be able to spend a lot of time and energy with a personal trainer – so you have to get it right!

With My Fitness Times, half the work is done. By cutting out the middle man, you can book in with the personal trainer that you choose, rather than blindly searching online or checking in with different gyms.

5 x Gym Hacks

1. Make Sure they are cert-ainly certified

Believe it or not, the term personal trainer isn’t protected. That means that anyone can call themselves a personal trainer and take money from prospective clients. A good, successful personal trainer should be able to show you their qualifications from reputable organisations, and should come with plenty of recommendations from others like you.

2. Know your own motivation

It’s no use lying to yourself or to your trainer. If you need someone to be quite hard on you, and push you, then that’s the type of trainer you should be working with. Some people respond better to positive reinforcement. Whatever works for you, start from there, and be very clear with your instructor.

3. See the results

You wouldn’t buy flat pack furniture without seeing what the end result looked like, and when you’re shopping around for a personal trainer, it’s fair to ask if you can see the before and after results of their work with clients, whether that’s photos or stats.

4. Choose someone with the right expertise

If you’re looking to become better at a particular discipline, like intense fitness classes, choose someone with relevant experience in that area. Similarly, if you want to bulk up, you’re going to be looking for that six foot two bodybuilder!

5. Develop a strong working relationship

If you can’t communicate effectively with your instructor, it may be time to find a personal trainer who is on your wavelength. To get the best from you, you need to gel – do you feel motivated or punished by their constructive criticism?

The most important thing is to be honest with yourself, and to be honest with your personal trainer. You need to feel challenged, but not pushed beyond your limits. Fitness is about getting healthy, and giving yourself a great quality of life, so your personal trainer needs to add, not detract from that!