Month: April 2012

Bootcamper Darren Changes His Body in 6 Weeks!


I’ve just had a top indoor bootcamp session, and the effort, the music and intensity was all super high! It always makes me smile when a woman says ” I didn’t know you could get such a sweat on with JUST WEIGHTS.’ (The intervals at the end were the icing on the cake).  I think we all know by now that to shape your body – you have got to incorporate some weights – even if just once per week.  🙂


Todays Blog

Darren has been coming to my bootcamp at Your Next Level Fitness in Hessle for a while now. Not long after I started with my Bootcamp classes way back in 2009! 

This is pretty much the ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP in Hull   (Have you noticed that they seem to be everywhere now?!  Often, they are just the same crappy old classes called something else……I remember predicting this in prediction 3 of my post back in December of Last year —>  )  In that post, you ll also find that I predicted gym prices getting cheaper – which they have, and with some gyms this has become a problem.

Anyway, enough digressing! On with Darren’s story!

Darren has made decent progress, but here’s the thing.  Darren LOVES to cook and eat…….like we all do!  We share a love for olives with caramelised onions!  🙂

It was often the meals here and there….and the odd night out with a few drinks that stopped him seeing that big change.

So This Lent……he decided to do something different.  Here are Darren’s own words and photos………….


I have been training on a semi regular basis for the last two years and, while my weight hasn’t changed dramatically I have been pleased with my increase in overall fitness. However, I was still disappointed with my ‘midriff obesity’ as I liked to call it. John, my trainer,  had continually mentioned / suggested it was down to my alcohol intake so eventually I decided to prove him wrong!


For Lent this years I decided to enrol on a ‘gut buster’ –  45 days of no alcohol, bread, potatoes, takeaways – along with a workout a day. My workouts had to be a minimum of 20 mins if I classified it as a recovery session or 15 mins in it was more intense, interval sessions for example. 
Here is my first pic:
It seemed a tall order at first but as I got into a routine of runs, rows, bootcamps and little Swiss circuits I actually started to enjoy it.
 There were only possibly two tough days and both were when i decided to leave my workout until after tea – sitting in front of the TV and dosing knowing that you still have a session to do is not a great feeling……!

The no drinking wasn’t a problem apart from on a few occasions…..but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs! 

My ‘Before and After’ pic:
I am pleased with the end result but the effects are so much deeper than that. I have actually started to enjoy exercise and my new increased level of fitness. 
I have also realised that :
1) If you want to you can always find the time to train – my shortest workout was 12 x 30 sec intervals on the rower – 15 mins in total – but just as effective as a 60 min routine.
2) You need to have different workouts available so if you don’t have time to complete your planned 60 min session you can do a shorter more increased intensity routine in a limited amount of time. 
3) You need to make a declaration of intention – share your goals/targets. I put all of my workouts on Facebook not to annoy or show off but so that if I stopped / gave up everyone would know ! If I hadn’t have done that I would have possibly missed at least two sessions! 
4) That if you do something enough it becomes both a habit and enjoyable ! – trust me!
5) That to achieve your goals you need the support of your friends and family 
6) That you need to plan your meals a week ahead – if you don’t shop, defrost or prepare your meals in advance it is so easy to have something that you shouldn’t ! 
7) That you should do your workout as soon as possible in the day – don’t put if off to later – there is nothing better than finishing your Saturday morning bootcamp is there ? Knowing that it’s only 9 or 10 o clock and your done! 
For all those bootcampers who toil on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday and think that they are not getting anywhere – you are fitter than you think ! – try bringing a friend or family member along and see how they get on! 
Thanks to:
John C – for your enthusiasm, guidance and support.
Matt – for flogging me around little Swiss.
Fellow bootcampers – for your support and positive feedback ! 
Darren continues to work hard……….and the difference is really noticeable. From his face/neck to his stomach – you can really tell.  He actually did not lose much weight, but you can literally SEE THE DIFFERENCE!
What I found interesting, was that I didn’t see it happening that quickly – and then BAM! The day we met up for a PT session, and the photos were there to see…… was like night and day!
Darren is now in a place that he can find it much more easy to enjoy his foods an drinks that he missed for a short while – but the main thing is that he did the hard work first. 
He said this to me a while back:

“You pay the price………..And then you enjoy the price.”

Much like anything, the work has to come first 🙂


Well done Darren.



PS If you haven’t seen the other ‘before and after’ successes of many others – you may want to CLICK HERE!

Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

I have had quite the weekend, learning from some of the world’s top coaches, and having a blast doing some exercises –  It’s fun being a bit of a science-fitness geek!

However, today I am letting David Haas write with a guest post.  This is to highlight the positive effect that exercise can have on patients – so I will let him speak his words……

Cancer—-just saying that word produces pictures in the mind of losing one’s hair, being so tired it’s nearly impossible to get up out of bed, and of course, feelings of almost constant nausea. It conjures up fears both real and imagined. One wonders, “How will it change me? What will I look like after treatment? How will I ever get back to where I was before I was sick?”

While there’s not one right answer to all of these questions just like there’s no one right treatment, there is a relatively simple thing that a person can do that will not only alleviate some of these feelings, but help the person feel physically better.

It’s exercise, and whether a person has prostate, colon, or mesothelioma it provides both relief for the physical as well as the mental symptoms that come along with the diagnosis.

Findings from new research, which was published in U.S. News and World Report, indicate that women who have contracted breast cancer benefit when they engage in regular exercise.

What the study uncovered was that regular physical activity balanced out depressive feelings, helped patients boost their energy levels, helped the cancer survivors access an inner sense of well-being. The assumptions drawn from the study conclude the participants were able to transfer the feelings of strength that they drew from their regular exercise routines and bring it to other areas of their lives like work, family responsibilities, and social interactions.

However, people with other types of cancer like mesothelioma or prostate are helped as well by exercise. According to some more general findings by the National Cancer Institute, physical activity during treatment makes a huge difference in a person’s outlook. In fact, exercise is seen as such an important part of recovering from cancer that there is now a recommendation that it become a regular part of treatment much like a heart patient would go to rehabilitation.

Said Dr. Courneya of NCI , “We’re finding that patients can do a lot more than we originally thought they could do, even when they’re on chemotherapy or radiation therapy.”

This is promising news for those undergoing treatment for mesothelioma, breast, and other types of cancer.

Additionally, because cancer changes people both physically and mentally, one of the goals for recommending exercise during treatment is to help people improve their body image and composition. Physical activity helps rebuild muscles and strengthen bones, which when weakened by illness tend to point toward a person’s illness. The effect is that the outside world notices the illness and not necessarily the person.

Finally, lest it begins to seem overwhelming to think about exercise when there are so many pressing issues involved with recovery, physical trainer Marilyn McAllister had this to say about exercise and cancer treatment:

 “Everybody benefits from exercise, but it can be so dramatic in cancer patients. It doesn’t take much training to produce big results in their lives.”


I hope you found David’s word useful.  Many people have all have been affected by Cancer in some way – or know someone that has.  Sometimes the simplest things could help a great deal.  You can learn more by visiting Davids blog .



The Truth About Fat

We all know the stats are not good.

Obesity rising in both adults and childen. Click—->

Its all over the TV!!!!!

The Biggest Loser

Supersize Vs Superskinny

……………..And about 3 or 4 others that escape my attention right now. There was even a programme Horizon did a few weeks ago entitled “The truth about Exercise” – and I did a review of the findings HERE (Click)

 (By the way, it was just like they were finding out about interval training, which, if you’re a member of my site…you ll know is quite an accepted method of losing fat in the least amount of time)


Anyway, Horizon did another show ‘The Truth about Fat’ ……….here’s my review:

The Start

It was funny because the clip started with sprinters……….I thought the programme was going to focus on them as they are some of the leanest athletes in the world… guess what? They do high intensity sprints with weight training.


Turns out I was wrong about the content of the programme!

(But there’s a clue for how to train to get lean like Tyler Durden in Fight Club)


Very interesting programme. They spent the begining talking about hormones that influence APPETITE.

 Ghrelin works with another hormone called leptin to balance hunger and satiation (‘fullness’) levels.

What Happened???

First off, they took some blood tests, and got the researcher to eat a feast, and then not eat for 24 hours. A few hrs later, She felt hungry, less alert, and then had to go shopping!

Talk about torture!


The next day, another blood test, and another feast.

The prof then decribed in a graph displaying her hunger and ‘fullness’ hormones……and showed how they can be different in obese people.

So Is it Genetic?

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that while I think genetics definitely do play a PART………the environment and our choices are things that can be controlled and have a MASSIVE influence.

They then looked at IDENTICAL TWINS, who also had the unusual situation of living really close to one another, and had really similar lives.

Yet one one clearly holding more body fat than the other.


They thought that they were unique……….until they researched further. They have now found more and more sets of twins that still look the same…………but have quite DIFFERENT body fat levels.

Even with one set of the twins, one womans weight gain was down to moving away from family and caused by a stressful situation.

While Genetics obviously play a big role – I’m not a massive fan of the genetics-fat link when it comes to changing behaviour….for a number of reasons.



Explain it to Me Mr Cammish!

 1) Often, an overweight parent will have a plate loaded full of food. They will serve this to their children.

 This starts the habit.

“You are what you do every day” is what a client once said to me – this is sound advice.

2) Stress can cause people to eat more. This has been documented in that people in poorer areas often show higher levels of obesity. If you were struggling to make ends meet, You’d go for the cheap chicken nuggets and chips instead of the expensive salmon – im sure you would!  They then looked at childrens obesity rates and what happened to the mothers diet during pregnancy.

 What was the deciding factor?

The mother’s diet.

This is something you can control, so it is your choice to control it. I ve always thought that if a mother smokes, has tons of sugary stuff, and perhaps even drinks………….it’s like a baby being addicted to something addictive like cocaine from the start……and then at birth its instant withdrawal!!!

 Instant pain!

They then talked about gastric bypasses. I know these are different from gastric bands (which showed promise 15 years ago or so). I know people who have had gastric bands fail miserably (and leave them terrified from surgery)……but these gastric bands may be different. Either way if this works for some people…….I know that any first diagnosis for weight loss should focus on low energy-high nutrient foods, lower portion sizes, and some weight training with some high intensity intervals for that indiviual.

What else did they do?

 Brain scans and emotional responses to food was quite interesting. One person’s brain reactions to high-fat foods were quite large compared to the researcher……who was lean.

Does this mean that some of us are pre-determined to eat more as we are addicted? One thing that concerns me is this: If someone is addicted to high fat food, are we suggesting that the right thing to do is to operate on them?

There are a lot of alcoholics out there…..and they are simply given support groups to help change their behaviour.

What’s the difference? Is it a case of both are addicted to something that can be potentially harmful?

 Why the different diagniosis?


So what can we do?

1) Get more sleep to manage our ghrelin and leptin levels – or to manage our appetite.

2) Exercise daily (or for 3-5 hours a week) which will manage our other hormones (insulin and glucagon manages sugar)… surprised the program didnt even touch upon this.

3) If pregnant – make sure this is a time of your life when you eat good nutrient dense foods like vegetables, lean meats and fish, berries.

4) Exert your CHOICE where possible. Every time you eat, you have a choice.

5) Dont go shopping when hungry! Sometimes we need to stop and think before we make conclusions.

6) Learn to filter out what you agree with and disagree with. Only then can we sometimes make progress.


 ‘Til Next time,



PS We rocked some indoor Bootcamp yesterday, with some weight training and high  intensity cardio intervals.  If you want to change your body shape and don’t fancy the outdoor bootcamp – I suggest you book your trial session for a Tuesday morning at 9.30am. Summer is near…….

Running For a Good Cause

Good afternoon! Proper Spring weather today………..and last nights bootcamp was decidely ‘fresh(!)’



 This mornings class was indoors as usual, and we got a good sweat on using some resistance training and finished with some high intensity intervals 🙂


I like to try and help out charities when I can. Check some out:

We raised over £450 for Motor Neurone Disease with our Charity Bootcamp  =  (Including bootcamp pics!)

Bootcamp sessions have raised over £200 for Help for heroes the past 2 years =


So for this weeks blog, I just wanted to leave a story today about one of my friends, and an event thats been a while coming.
My good mate and fellow team mate at 5-a-side Lee Phipps is running the london marathon in about 3 weeks (22nd April). While I like the odd run of about 5-10k from time to time, I would rather work harder for less time!! 

I take my hat off to someone who can devote this much time and improve to be at a good standard.

Heres his words……
After years of watching the London Marathon on TV I finally decided to take the leap and apply for entry through the ballot system. Three years later and another failed ballot entry I found out about the Good For Age system where if you run a certain time (which varies depending on your age and sex) in a marathon you are guaranteed entry to the following years London Marathon.

Check the Good-for-age-system out here
So I looked this up and found out that for me this would mean running a Marathon in under 3.10 which I knew would be a huge task. With this in mind I started to look for a Marathon the following year and decided on the Stratford Upon Avon Shakespeare Marathon in May the following year.

I had been running for a couple of years before this point but only really running 5k and 10k races so in the January I began my Marathon
training Schedule. This mainly involved about 4/5 runs per week and also playing 5 aside football. I usually tried to include at least one
speed session per week and 2 longer runs of between 7-9 miles during the week and one long run usually on a Sunday starting at 10 miles and
reaching a peak of 22 over a 14 week period. I found the longer training runs really hard work and really struggled with the runs of
over 20 miles (of which I managed 5) as I tried to run them all at roughly my marathon pace(MP) (7mm) and this really took it out of me.

After looking at other schedules I realised that maybe just running sections of those longer runs at MP would have left me in better shape
for my other training runs each week. Anyway after a tough 5 months I finally arrived at the start of the Stratford upon Avon Marathon. I
felt that I paced it pretty well and went through the Halfway point at 1.31.30 and Finished in 3.06.24. I felt pretty good until 20 miles
then slightly slowed for the final 6 miles but only by about 20-30 seconds per mile. So this meant that I had managed a good for age time
and had to do it all over again!

So after getting my application in and having everything confirmed I thought this time I was going to have a much better training plan and
did a lot of research into this. I came up with the plan below starting at the lower distances and adding about 10% per week until
reaching the top distances.

Monday – 4 miles
Tuesday – 8-10 miles with 8/10 x 500 meter intervals at 1 minute 45 (5k pace)
Wednesday – Football
Thursday – 8-12 miles (at Marathon Pace 6:52 mm)
Friday – 4 miles or rest day
Saturday – 6-8 miles (7:10 – 7:20 mm)
Sunday – 16 – 23 miles (second half at MP)

I decided that my aim for London would be to run a PB and if things went really well to sneak under the illusive 3 hour barrier. Training
went really well and I purchased a Garmin forerunner 110

Garmin Forerunner 110


which really helped out with my pacing and made it a lot easier to complete interval sessions. My long Sunday runs also felt a lot easier this
time around; I think the increased mileage throughout the week and the 12 miles at MP during the week really helped this. I also focused a
lot more on recovery after the harder session I tried a number of different things and found what worked best for me was to try and have
a recovery shake (I liked the SIS Rego – SIS Rego Recovery within 30 minutes of finishing a hard session and then to wear compression socks for 6-8 hours after the session.

 Also along with this, lots of stretching before and after every workout seemed to really decrease any aches and pains that I
felt the day after the session.

After completing 16 weeks of hard training I had my final long run of 22 miles last Sunday. I have now began a 3 week taper which involves
reducing your training to 75% then 50% to 25% in the week leading up to the Marathon.

I have decided to run the Marathon for the British Heart Foundation as my Dad had a heart attack 5 years ago and the work that was carried
out was truly amazing and without their work he wouldn’t be here today.

I have created a ‘Justgiving’ page and any sponsors would be much appreciated.



It’s John again ……I’m passionate about this cause as my dad also had heart problems.

Good look Lee!  Hope you beat that little boy too, he looks a dark horse 😉


Here’s that link again