I’ve never really enjoyed going to the gym, and have always preferred running and exercising at home or outdoors, whenever the weather permits.
But ever since I joined Market Sports, I’ve started to enjoy going to the gym, which I thought would never happen. I used to force myself to go to the gym lately just so I can become super toned again, but thanks to the amazing staff at Market Sports who are very motivational and friendly, and the instructors I’ve had, the classes I’ve attended etc.. the experience has actually become satisfying and fulfilling.
I started yesterday’s workout with Tom McDaid, fitness manager at Market Sports. Tom did the induction, sorted out the paperwork, took my blood pressure etc and showed me how to use the TRX and the Power plate. I find the TRX quite fun to use, and using one’s own body weight to draw resistance is a great way of toning up one’s muscles.
The power plate is quite fun and I always tend to giggle (which often draws amused glances and questioning grins from fellow members!) when using them due to the vibration. Sometimes your cheeks jiggle!
We also ended up doing boxing. I’ve never really been into boxing but I got into it eventually. Although it did take me awhile to get my stance right, I was careful not to whack Tom across the face! My constant giggles might have been infectious. Tom couldn’t stop laughing either. I wonder if this is why people give me strange looks when I walk into the gym?
Tom managed to cram in as much as he could into our short session (managing the most popular gym in the area isn’t an easy task!) and then Chis took his place. (Continued..)
Christopher James-Miles is full of Essex charm and a warm and friendly personality to match! A qualified personal trainer, Christopher is a fitness instructor at Market Sports. He said he wanted to move to London so badly he grabbed the first opportunity that presented itself. I’m glad he did as he is very good at what he does. Although I wonder, does anyone ever get tired of living in Essex? Maybe Essex isn’t all TOWIE as I imagined it would be!
Anyway.. so we decided to exercise my upper body this time, and well.. let’s just say that not having done weight training for a long time, I did find it hard, but I pushed myself as much as I could, silently chanting “I want my super toned body back, I want my support toned body back.” Well, given the fact that people already give me weird looks (maybe they’ve secretly nicknamed me The Giggler?) I didn’t want them to think I was completely weird and eccentric when they heard me chant my mantra!
Christopher showed me a series of exercises to work my chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, back, lats and abs. The abdominal exercise was difficult but I felt the burn for 2 days afterwards! I hadn’t done such an ab workout before, and it was interestingly intense.
Although this was an upper body workout, I couldn’t resist trying leg push ups after I saw this hulk of a guy doing it with one leg first and then alternating to another. Well, I had to use both legs and found it an interesting exercise as it works your calves, thighs and glutes.
We went back to the upper body exercises and I did bench press for the first time in my life. I absolutely hated it at the beginning as it was very difficult. My arms kept shaking and Christopher had to help me a few times. But I did it, gradually learning to stay steady and I was very proud of myself when I managed to complete the exercise. I only did 2 reps, but that was enough for me. The resistance is a good thing, and Christopher was motivational and encouraging rather than being pushy or aggressive. That’s what an instructor should be like. He’s a very talented and skilled fitness coach!
He also gave me a lot of advice on Diet and Workout patterns, so I’m sharing some them with you below. (Continued..)
Christopher’s Diet Tips! (with some of my input);
Eat a healthy breakfast. Oats and fruit is good and will provide you with sustainability for the morning. Scrambled eggs with mushroom and red pepper is my favourite. I sometimes have an avocado with it. Porridge is also good. It all depends on your preference really.
Allow at least an hour after breakfast, before exercising. Once you’ve finished exercising, Christopher recommends that ideally you should eat within the first 20 minutes. This might be difficult as after stretching, you will have to shower etc. If you live within close proximity to the gym, then it is best to prepare a meal before you go to the gym. Or you can take something with you and have it at the gym. If you find it difficult to rush to eat within 20mns of finishing your workout, then try to do it atleast within 45mns.
Your post workout meal should ideally contain carbohydrates and protein. “Mixed vegetables and a piece of lean meat (grilled or fried, steamed is ok too),” says Christopher. I usually go for mixed vegetables with seafood; either prawns, mackerel, salmon or mixed seafood. Sometimes I have steamed vegetables with a piece of grilled chicken (organic free range!).
Use rapeseed oil or coconut oil for cooking. Christopher advices against using sunflower oil or olive oil for cooking as the heat changes the structure of fat in these oils. Olive oil is meant to be drizzled over salads. Did you know that olive oil can also make you feel fuller? This is because it contains Serotonin, a neurotransmitter chemical that influences brain cells related to appetite. Diet has a strong influence on serotonin levels, and this study highlights olive oil’s role in boosting serotonin. I use coconut oil as it is the King of all oils! Google its health benefits. It’s also very good for your brain and populations that have coconut as part of their diet are among the most healthiest people on the planet.
When it comes to small snacks, palm sized amounts of nuts, berries, fruit or beef jerky are all goods etc, says Christopher. I personally love opening a can of sardines, and having it on rye bread with some lemon and pepper!
“A lot of it is common sense,” he adds. “Watch your diet. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Smoking, as we all know, is bad for you!” Well, I think it is going of fashion too, fast.” It is no longer seen as something cool or hip, is it?
For the average Londoner professional and city dwellers, the jobs you do are a lot less physically demanding than those of your ancestors. So a lot of you tend not to get a lot of exercise while on the job. Include the travelling time and you’ll see how work and getting to and from work takes up a lot of time. You may not be able to change your job just like that! But you can change the way you eat. That I think is a great piece of advice, Christopher!
So make sure you prepare, pay attention to what you eat and try and avoid ready-made food and microwaveable meals as much as possible. I guess these types of foods can be had on an occasional basis, in moderation. I personally prefer to cook or make something for myself and rarely eat food on the go from shops. Dining out every now and then is nice though! “What you put in makes the difference for what you get out of it,” is one of Christopher’s many brainy quotes!
You can choose how to exercise, depending on your time and schedule. A full body workout can be followed by a day when you do not exercise. Day on and day off! Or you can do your upper body one day and the lower body the next day. Christopher recommends all compound lifts; lifting weights using more than one muscle group; squats, dead lifts etc.
I like to mix up my exercise routine with classes; circuit training, pilates, yoga etc. Try ending your week with meditation. Your local borough, community centre etc might have some going on, and you can also learn to meditate for free at your nearest Buddhist temple. Join a meditation class and once you’ve got the hang of it, you can even meditate at home. Meditation will be a great way to end your week of exercise and work and it will make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
“Don’t be intimidated by the gym,” says Christopher. Just go at your own pace. Remember, everyone there is workout out to achieve their own goals. He also has some advice for some of the young guys. If someone older gives you advice, don’t shrug it off. Someone who has been working out for longer than you have is bound to know a thing or two.
I often tell my younger male friends not to over do it. Yes, a lot of you want to look muscular and strong, but don’t take too many risks. Muscles develop gradually, so listen to your body and don’t be afraid to ask advice from the instructors, and listen to other more seasoned workout members who’ve been doing it for longer than you have!
I would also advise guys against taking steroids or worse, testosterone injections! I’ve seen what this does to men and it isn’t pretty! Stick to a healthy diet (some protein supplements out there are good too, but talk to your gym instructor/trainer first before buying anything) and tailor made exercise routine, and you’ll be fine. Leading a clean and healthy lifestyle is the way forward, but don’t hesitate to treat yourself to your favourite beer, guilty-pleasure junk food, night out with friends etc every now and then. Do it in moderation so you can enjoy it more!
Here’s a special offer for you readers, from Market Sports.
Contact manager Luciana Ramos on 020 7739 6688 and quote “Emmanuel Ray.”
You will only pay half-price joining fee.