Thursday, 29 January 2015


High Intensity Interval Training

Whenever someone asks me what is the best way to get fitter and burn fat quickly? I’ll always respond with high intensity interval training (HIIT). Anyone can try HIIT training as you need very minimal equipment to get going so it works well in the gym or outside. HIIT also only requires you to work for a 10-20 minute period and you will still definitely feel like you’ve worked hard!

The benefits to HIIT are:

-          Increased fat metabolism.

-          Short term increase to your metabolic rate. (You’ll burn calories after you’ve finished)

-          Increases in human growth hormones (HGH) responsible for metabolism regulation and the ageing process.

Not only do you get these benefits when you regularly perform HIIT but it will also make you a lot fitter. Research has shown that doing HIIT increases muscle oxidative capacity by almost 50%, increases glycogen storage by 20% whilst improving cycle endurance capacity by 100%.  The University of Nebraska found that thirty second intervals were better for building endurance and aerobic capacity than intervals lasting three minutes. Therefore short intense interval training is an effective proven way to quickly build fitness.

It is tough though as you’re working above your aerobic threshold for extended periods of time and I would not recommend it to a complete beginner.

Example HIIT Workout

If you want to do it in a gym then find a treadmill, bike, cross trainer etc. and set your total time limit. If you haven’t done HIIT before start with about 10 minutes. This total time will comprise of 30 seconds “rest time”: 30 seconds “work” time. During your work time you need to focus on hitting a percentage heart rate of at least 80-90% of your maximum and during your rest time you need to focus on recovering to get ready for the next interval. If you feel you need more time to recover in between intervals then increase your rest time and decrease your work time slightly and vice versa. That’s the beauty of HIIT training you can play around with the work rest ratio until it suits you. Remember the whole point of HIIT is that you’re working above your aerobic threshold during the work times; you should be breathless and building up lactic acid in your muscles so don’t be afraid to work hard. You can also do this outside following the exact same principles as above obviously you will be limited to bodyweight exercises like running, burpees or cycling presuming you own a bike.

I hope you can incorporate HIIT into your training programme. Whether you’re looking to get fitter, faster or stronger it will definitely be of benefit. Start by doing it once or twice a week at the start or at the end of your session and if you need any more assistance or guidance please feel free to ask a member of the gym team to show you!

Thank you for reading,


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Habits & Goals

Habits & Goals
It’s that time again when people start setting themselves goals and resolutions for the upcoming year… Why not take a second, read my blog post and hopefully you’ll be a lot more likely to achieve some of your aspirations this time round.
Typical New Year resolutions:
  • Lose weight.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Train more regularly.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
These are all perfectly good goals, they’re realistic, they’re achievable so why are the majority not achieved? Firstly, they’re too broad. If there’s no plan of action inevitably after a few weeks you may lose track. One way to increase your chance of success is to begin by implicating good habits prior to working on a goal. These small stepping stones will help with overall progress and make the larger end goal more achievable.
For example: If your goal is “eat healthily” compile a list of all of the ‘smaller’ habitual changes you need to make in order for you to achieve this:
  • Eat at least one to two pieces of fruit a day.
  • Eat at least one to two vegetables a day.
  • Drink more water/cut out juices and fizzy drinks.
  • Eat at least two portions of oily fish a week.
  • Increase your quality protein intake. (Chicken, Beef, Eggs, Salmon, Brazil Nuts etc.)
  • Replace starchy carbohydrates with complex varieties. (White Bread à Brown Rice etc.)
Now these are just a handful of points you can implement every day which will ultimately move you closer towards your end goal. More importantly when you create your list the points should be specific to your lifestyle. Hopefully you’ll start consistently achieving these smaller points and it will become second nature to you.
Finally, don’t give up! Just because you’re not seeing progress on whatever your goal may be it doesn’t mean you’re not working hard for it. Some goals are short term and some are long term. Think of the small habitual changes as laying the foundations to achieve long term success. You need to determine your long term and short term goals then, break them down, plan them out, improve your habits and finally you can begin to put a time frame on the project.
I’m personally planning my goals for the 2015 now, breaking them down and seeing whether they are short term or long term. For any more advice and help on goal setting, why not arrange a free consultation with one of our qualified personal trainers.
Thank you for reading.
Simon Passey -