Fitness & Health

Lots of up to the minute Fitness, Health & Nutrition tips along with exercise programs to help you reach your potential

Friends 2 Fitness

Training hints and tipsPosted by wayne Tue, October 25, 2016 12:39:26

Friends2fitness Caithy Walker



She fought through pain to make it to the final - Please vote for her?

Caithy Walker - the body 2016 - Womens health UK

After being diagnosed with an incurable back condition, Caithy Walker fought through the pain and taught herself to run again.

AGE: 33

FROM: Manchester

JOB: Secondary school teacher.

Want to know more about Caithy? Watch our interview with the fitspo at this year's judging day.

read more:

Tweet Caithy Here

Weight and Why.

As the nation and in some cases the world gets larger, by which I mean it's people, US.

The health, wealth and general condition of all of us is affected by body weight or more accurately BODY FAT.

Life expectancy now is still an awful lot longer than many years ago but not due to the way we live. Imagine how long the caveman may have lived with current medicines available and advanced clinical technology? This on top of their more natural diet and exercise needed to survive. Most of us now live longer despite our life styles not because of them.

I'm not going to harp on about the obvious cost to our health service etc, but you only have to spend half an hour at your local hospital to view the thousands of people seeking treatment. What percentage of these have ailments at least influenced by lifestyle choices if not caused by them? The smokers crowded around the doors, youngsters with sugary drinks and obese young couples in mobility scooters queuing for their Greggs.

So why, when we all clearly know the positive and negative impact of diet and exercise, do we largely ignore them?

Instead of listing some, take my example. Right from my early twenties I have been prone to add or lose body fat in short periods of time. In fact, I am writing this now to change my mindset and kick start a good few months of positive actions, purely because of other life episodes recently allowing my focus to drop. But when you think that my cardiologist has told me many times that my exercise and lifestyle have kept me alive, why would I let things slip? Even more importantly, why when I have studied and learned all that I have on fitness, would I allow myself to add BODY FAT?

The simple answer is living. Life is always going to throw in a curve ball; stress, work, women, men, kids, adults. Socially, these days life is so much about drinking and eating. How many times have I written Food is for Energy not Entertainment? Well, many of my close friends and family will seriously disagree with that statement and I am a little inclined to agree but still we need a balance. It mustn't just be about consuming as much as some of the fashionable buffet style establishments are willing to allow us to. Quality should always surpass quantity.

If, with all my knowledge and experience in these areas, I can allow myself to lapse into overindulgence and under activity, then why should I deem myself fit to judge any of those people at the hospital I talked about previously. Every minor detail of daily life affects how our brain and body functions. Some of those people could have recently lost someone special, have a terminally ill child or even a less drastic, broken limb. Think back to how a major event in your life, be it positive or negative. Has had a massive effect on your weight. Lots of us lose or gain body fat either during or after similar times.

How to lose body fat.

Before I go into the details of exercise, diet and routine. I want to touch on some points from a book I have just read. I never expected 'No Nonsense', an Autobiography by footballer Joey Barton to have anything like as much thought provoking material in it as it did. Before, during and after digesting this fantastic account of a young scouse guys journey though early adult life in and out of football. I still can't decide if I like or dislike him. But that's just it. I can't, won't and don't need to.

Can't because I don't know him well enough from his book, social media and general media. Won't for those same reasons. But more importantly don't need to. One of the important points Joey makes in his book is our need to judge others. Forget the glass houses scenario. What I mean is why do we need to like or dislike and form opinions on people we know so little about. This not only takes me back to the people at the hospital whom we so often judge but more often the people a lot closer to us. Use your wife, husband or partner now as an example. Do you love or even like every single thing about her or him, all of the time? Of course not, you don't even love every aspect of yourself.

What we do is love the important parts and forgive the differences. The same needs to be applied to others. Take the pluses from people around you and except the differences. From that life will be so much more positive and with so many more acquaintances you will broaden your horizons and knowledge.

I will reflect on other aspects of the book soon but the relevance of the the last paragraph to me are these 3 points.

1. Friends encourage positive thoughts and actions. See my website

2. Knowledge is key. From people, people learn.

3. A happy mind makes for a happy body.

Right then. Down to the facts. How to lose BODY FAT.

This is where we come back to the quote. Food is for energy, the fact is, the only way to lose body fat is to consume less calories than you burn. It doesn't really matter where your calories come from, as one calorie is one calorie. Well, perhaps not as simple as that, and using the car analogy again, the better the quality fuel you put into the engine, the better it will run. By now we should hopefully all be aware of previous misguided information given to us by government medical officials concerning fats and sugars. If not then please, take time to read the article at the end of this paragraph .Fat in foods is not so much the negative substance we were lead to believe. The biggest cause of body fat is SUGAR. We need good fats such as nuts, avocado and dairy product for our body to survive. Even more scary is the fact that the body is so clever that if we deprive it of fat then it will hang on to any stores it has, hence that muffin top over your jeans you never seem to shift. Simple carbohydrates (sugars) found in most pre-produced products,our body uses the energy required and then stores the remainder as fat. 

What’s worse for me: fat or sugar?

BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:

This question has been a hot topic in the press, with arguments raging back and forth, but it shouldn’t be a choice between the two.

We have good evidence that there is a link between saturated fat and raised cholesterol levels, while there is also an issue in relation to the amount of sugar we eat and our weight. This means that, as well as cutting down on foods high in saturated fat and replacing saturated fats like butter with unsaturated fats like rapeseed, olive or sunflower oils, it’s important to keep an eye on the amount of added sugar we are eating, or that is in our drinks, so that we don’t end up consuming too many calories.

A healthy diet consists of foods from five different food groups: fruit and vegetables; bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates; meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein; milk and dairy foods; and foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar, and it’s better for us to focus our attention on the overall balance of these.

If we are eating too much of one food group, then it means there is less room for another in our diet. So rather than focus on cutting out, think about what you could be eating more of.

Swap your fatty and sugary snacks for fruit and vegetables and have good helpings of these at mealtimes too. Go for low-fat milk and dairy products, ditch the white starchy carbohydrates for wholegrain versions, and choose pulses and fish instead of processed or fatty meat, for example. You will be well on your way to a healthy balance that is low in saturated fat and added sugar.

See our list of surprisingly sugary foods

See our infographic showing how much sugar is in different foods

Read 6 things you didn't know about sugar

Meet the expert

Victoria Taylor is a registered dietitian with more than ten years’ experience. Her work for the NHS focused on weight management and community programmes for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. At the BHF she advises on diet and nutrition.

Related publications

More useful information



Going back to Joeys book quickly. A friend of his, Steve Black, introduced him to Kaizan, a Japanese concept mainly used in businesses like Toyota. I was previously made aware of this means of continuous improvement, back in 2006. I have dipped in and out of the concept but really wished I'd have used it more. Kaizan is is all about continuous improvement using short incremental steps, making minor adjustments for small improvements. Take this out of business and into everyday life, so for example, how easy would it be to do 10 press ups a day ? Or 15 Squats. What about cutting out one weekend night of drinking or dropping a takeaway once a week. Small steps towards a bigger goal.

Another key point is planning. My clients best results come from a plan or program, in fact so do mine. How often have you walked into the gym without a clue of what you intend to do, these sessions become disjointed and miss directional. With a program, its structured, pre-prepared and you are ready to go. The same goes for food, plan and prepare your food. All these things are small incremental steps towards a bigger goal. You probably didn't add the body fat in a few weeks so don't expect to lose it in days.

Now for calorie counting, every man and his dog seems to currently use a Fitbit or similar device to count steps or calories burned. If I had a £ for every person that says to me " I've only burned 200 calories on that treadmill, that's not even a kitkat ," or similar,I would be a rich man. Rubbish,

1. The devices are only as accurate as the information you put into them.

2. Even more importantly, exercise and your metabolism is well compared to an oven. Turn up the heat by exercising and your body continues to burn more calories after you finish and start to recover. Repairing muscle can use more energy for hours after training. Just like the oven stays hot, your body continues to recover. So those 200 calories burned on the exercise machine can turn into 400 or 500.

I recommend you ask a local pt or nutritionist to work out your metabolic rate and apply a current rate of exertion. This gives you a good starting point to your recommended daily energy intake. Then gauge you calories consumed using my fitness pal or similar. Drop 200 or 250 off your daily intake and guess what? Over a week that's between 1400 and 1750 calories. SMALL INCREMENTAL STEPS.

One of the easy ways to lose those few calories daily is by substituting something not so calorific for some of your high calorie foods.


So many peoples weight and fat problems are caused by the sugars in alcoholic drinks, empty calories with no nutritional value at all. A perfect example of the fat/sugar argument. Beer, wine or spirits contain little or no fat but we all know how they affect the belly area. My best time for weight and body fat management came when I had a 3 year spell of alcohol abstinence, completely tea total.

So why would I start drinking again? The simple answer again is life, parts of life for me became boring. Party's or social events were not really the same and friends said "you've changed." Originally it was a few beers, once a month maybe but more recently and yet again due in my eyes to major life events, Personal reasons not for this blog. But things like House moves, holidays etc, My social activities have also increased, with which comes alcohol as well as food. So believe me, I'm no different to anyone of us and yet again I need to change. Not so drastic this time but small incremental steps towards the bigger goal. This is easy done by restricting myself to small amounts of alcoholic drinks for social nights not every weekend night or even every night.


We all think we know what exercise is and how to exercise but I disagree. Many times I am asked, "why can't I lose weight? I walk 4 miles a day with the dog." Or very similar questions. That is an activity our body should do naturally. We are designed to move, not to sit or lay. Exercise is about building up a sweat and getting the heart rate elevated. Optimum fat burning is estimated to be at about 80% of our maximum heart rate, your rarely achieve that walking the dog. There are basic equations to estimate maximum heart rates. See below but again, one session with a PT doing a stress test or similar will give you more accurate assessment.

The art is to exercise smart rather than long. I am not necessarily selling my services here but taking out an exercise plan with a good PT can be hugely successful. Even if you think you exercise well, a professional trainer can get you those hard to reach results. Jessica Ennis or Mo Farrah hire their trainers not because they are better athletes than them but because they have the knowledge and skills to improve performance and results.

Training smart to me, means HIIT, high intensity interval training. Don't get me wrong slow steady state exercise has its place, especially when training for an endurance event and I love nothing better than my Sunday run club 10km or more, but on its own the benefits are limited. Unless you incorporate some hill sprints or similar the heart rate will probably only be about 50 to 60 %. HIIT allows you to get the heart rate elevated to a higher level that you couldn't maintain for longer periods, short periods of rest then allow you to go again. A 20 minute high interval session can have as positive an affect as an hour out cycling or running.

My next 4 weeks training plan.

Sunday. AM Run club. Slow steady state fasting run.

Sunday PM 20 press ups. 25 lunges each leg. 30 squats. 10 minutes

Adrian James six pack abbs workout.

Monday AM 20 minutes treadmill sprints.

Monday PM. Chest Session.

4 sets flat bench press dumbbells. Heavy 30 plus kg

4 x 25 reps pec deck endurance sets. 65% 1rm

8 x 8 reps cable flys.

4 x 10 reps Arni pull overs.

4 x 10 reps standing chest press cables.

4 x 8 reps incline bench press.

Tuesday. AM 20 press-up. 25 lunges each leg. 30 squats. 10 mins Adrian James 6 pack abbs. (See above Link)

Tuesday PM 10 minute Wattbike challenge. Leg session.

4 x 15/12/10/8 heavy reps. Leg press

4 x 10 sets calf raises.

4 x 25 reps leg extensions 70% 1rm

4 x 10 reps each leg. Bulgarian split squats.

4 x 25 reps seated hamstring curls.

1 x 100 reps body weight squats.

Wednesday AM 4 x 25 reps press ups.

Wednesday PM Back session

4 times wide arm pull ups too failure.

4 x 25 reps latte pull down. Wide over hand grip

4 x 25 rep inners underhand grip

4 x 8 reps dead lift. Heavy.

8 x 8 reps reverse cable cross overs.

5 x 25 reps seated row.

Thursday AM 4 x 25 reps. Sit ups.

Thursday PM 10 minute Wattbike challenge.

Small muscle groups. Biceps and triceps.

45 minutes Tabata.

Friday AM 25 press ups. 20 lunges each leg. 100 squats

Friday PM. Active recovery, 20 minutes walk, cycle or swim.

Saturday AM. Shoulders session.

4 x 8 reps seated dumbbell shoulder press heavy.

3 x 10 rep shoulder circuit light dumbbell. Continuous, front raise,lateral raise. Rugby balls, crucifix, standing press.

4 x 8 reps superset. Barbell press 8 behind head 8 in front.

4 x 25 lateral raise cables.

3 x 8 dumbbell shrugs. Heavy.


The Man In The Glass

Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self

And the world makes you king for a day

Just go to the mirror and look at yourself

And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife

Whose judgment upon you must pass

The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest

For he’s with you, clear to the end

And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test

If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Why not become a Personal Trainer with Focus Training ? click the link

Interested in a relaxing day at the Welcombe Spa?

Train in the Hi- Spec gym, attend one of my classes or just have a swim ?

Link to Welcombe Hotel and Spa.

Hope you enjoyed the read and good luck with your training.

Wayne Martin Personal Trainer