Why do we ‘push & rest’ in class?

( just in case you thought I was being mean by making you work hard)

In pretty much every fitness session I offer, I use an approach of encouraging clients to push and rest. It works equally well in my online fitness for women classes and in my 1:1 personal training sessions because it gives a really effective, time-efficient workout and helps you to build lean muscle and burn fat.

Sometimes I will put together moves which are deliberately challenging, not because I’m nasty, but because I want you to reach the point of needing to rest!

So what does ‘push & rest’ mean?

The idea is to use a weight which is moderately challenging for your body, but still manageable enough so that you can do the work.

In other words, you can perform the movement pattern well, with good technique, but as you keep going you will reach a point where you will need to have a quick rest, before you can continue again with good form.

So you push yourself as hard as you can, with good technique, for as long as you can, and then you rest until you feel ready to go again.

Typically, at the start of an exercise/workout you will be able to keep going for longer, and then as you begin to tire you will maybe have shorter gaps between rests. So if we’re doing four rounds of a circuit, on the first round you might not need to rest very much; on the second round the rests might be more frequent, but quite short; on the third round the rests might be frequent and slightly longer; and by round four they might be a bit more frequent still.

If your dumbbells (DB) are not heavy enough you will be more likely to ‘coast’ through the workout, never really feeling your muscles burn, not feeling that your heart rate is elevated and not actually needing to take a rest. Whilst this might sound (& maybe feel) like a nicer option, it will not deliver such good results for your body. Sometimes we all need an easy workout session, and there’s nothing wrong with taking one, but it’s not the best long-term strategy if you want to build/maintain lean muscle mass, which becomes more important as we get older.

Find out more about this approach to training here

For some exercises, your ideal weight will be heavier than it is for others – eg. you’ll always be able to use heavier DB for a deadlift than you will for a side raise – so you might need a couple of weight options for your workout OR we can use some different training techniques to even things out…

Different ways to train to keep the intensity high:

Hybrid moves –

As well as encouraging you to push and rest, I will usually have you doing ‘complex’ or ‘hybrid’ moves, which involve using several muscle groups or two areas of the body at once – eg. squat & biceps curl or lunge and shoulder press. This helps to make your session very time-efficient and higher intensity because you’ll be packing in more moves in a given time than you would if each move was separate.

Performing hybrid exercises also helps to give you a cardio element to your workout without needing you to add impact to your moves.

Continuous format –

The exercises are also done one after the other, without any defined rest breaks, so that you can keep going at an intensity that suits you, rather than working with the clock. If you feel ok to move on to the next move right away, you do that; if you need a quick breather, you take one. It puts you in control of your workout and makes sure that it is truly self-paced as well as rest-based.

Pace –

We can also vary the speed that you move to vary the intensity of your workout. Generally speaking, if you have lighter DB, you will be more comfortable moving faster, so what you miss in load you gain in repetitions – although heavier would still be more effective overall! On the flip-side, slowing your movements down keeps your muscles under load for longer so sometimes that will give you a better training effect.

Range of movement –

We can also play with the size of our movements for each exercise that we do. Sitting deeper into a squat will obviously give you more work than staying higher up, and so long as it doesn’t cause any joint pain, it might be the most effective option. Sometimes we might change the range of movement by using bottom-half or top-half variations, or mixing up these two options!

What’s the best way to exercise?

With exercise there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ but it is probably good to vary your workouts as much as possible, to cover all bases and keep on giving your body new challenges.

  • vary everything – pace, ROM, weight, choice of equipment, length of workout, exercise selection – often
  • push yourself, but also tune-in to your body so that you can rest when you need to (& know that if you never need to rest, you’re not working hard enough!!)
  • aim to feel all of these things while you’re working out – feel hot; get out of breath & feel your muscles burning
  • don’t be afraid to pick up heavier DB – you can always put them down again but you might not need to!!

And if you’re still unclear about what is the best way for you to move your body, always find a suitably qualified trainer and let them help you. This is Archie. He is not a qualified trainer, but he’s happy to help also!

Click on the links for information about my online fitness classes for women and 1:1 PT sessions.

& let me know if I (or Archie?) can help you

online fitness for women

What started out of necessity in March 2020, soon become a real benefit to my clients, and so I have continued with an online fitness class timetable.

Classes are designed with women in mind, promoting cardio-vascular health, mental wellbeing, strength, core stability, lean muscle tone and bone density, all of which become more important as we age.

Online classes give us the benefits of regular exercise, in the comfort of our own homes (with the dog for company perhaps?!) and the convenience of joining in when it suits. Clients can participate in real-time via Zoom or using the recordings at a later date.

I recently changed my timetable to offer a rolling schedule of classes so that clients get more variety in their exercise routine. And all classes are just 30 minutes long so that we can get a workout done & dusted and then get on with the day.

Exercises are low-impact so that they are kind to your joints and pelvic floor muscles. Exercise variations are offered throughout each class so that you can enjoy the moves which are best for your body.

online fitness

There are three class formats available:

  • Total Body – a 30-minute body-weight class focusing on low impact exercises without dumb-bells (DB). Sometimes there will be more focus on a particular area of the body, such as core or legs, but regardless of the focus, these sessions are great if you want an equipment-free workout
  • Functional Fitness – a 30-minute class designed to increase your heart-rate and strengthen your body using a single DB and single-arm/single-leg movements to replicate and strengthen you for day-to-day activities.
  • Metabolic Fitness – a 30-minute high intensity, low impact, fat-burning fitness class using a pair of DB. It is a self-paced workout which is ideal for maintaining lean muscle and bone strength, as well as improving cardio-vascular health. It is a super-effective, time-efficient workout which will help your body to burn more calories both during & after the class.

As a reminder, metabolic fitness needs two DB, functional fitness needs one DB, total body needs zero DB. Your DB don’t need to be heavy but obviously your results will be different with different weights. That said, if you tend to hold lots of tension in your neck and shoulders, heavier DB may make things worse so going lighter might be right for you on some moves. I will always respect your choice.

As well as the rolling programme, which moves the classes to a new time each month, I have also added ‘graded’ sessions for each week of the block:  

  • week one classes will tend to include more basic movement patterns – it is a great chance to focus on great technique, but don’t think that will make it any easier!
  • week two may include some different timings or some pulsing movements for extra overload, but always with the option to stay with single reps if that is better for you
  • week three will tend to involve more variations eg. a different class structure such as an accumulator
  • week four might be more dynamic or use more complex sequences of moves linked together

Here is a look at the current timetable:

Classes are currently available to book here on a class-by-class basis so I hope to see you on screen soon!

I also have a new monthly membership option which goes live on 2nd May, giving you unlimited access to the online fitness classes every month. I’ll be sharing more details soon, but if you would like to know more in the meantime, please get in touch.

As always, let me know if you have any questions at all about my online fitness classes.

which class is right for me?

Sometimes it is hard knowing where to begin so here is a quick overview of my online fitness classes. Hopefully it will help you to make up your mind if you are undecided which one is best for you.

At present, all classes are live-streamed to your home via Zoom so that you can stay fit and stay home at the same time. If you miss the live-streaming, you can access a recording of your class at a time to suit you.

Here is my latest timetable:

online timetable

Classes can be booked in one of two ways:

  • one-off bookings can be made here
    • from £6 per class
    • book and pay individually for each class
    • after your class has ended, you will receive a copy of the Zoom recording which is available for 7 days
  • a monthly class pass subscription can be purchased here
    • £38 per month
    • unlimited live-streamed classes each week
    • a copy of the Zoom recording for any classes that you book (available for 7 days)
    • your own membership area where you can access recordings of all classes longer term

If you have any questions at all about classes or booking options, please email me for advice.

I look forward to seeing you in the virtual studio very soon Jx

#togetherapart

updates to online classes

And just like that we are 7 weeks in with online classes! I think we have all adapted so well to this significant shift in how we exercise, together-apart.

Thank you so much for staying with me as we have navigated through the technology along the way. For those of you that prefer to follow the videos rather than joining live, I miss seeing your face but I’m so happy to hear that you’re still moving.

For me, this is about so much more than keeping my business afloat. In the early days I felt like I wanted to offer something to the world without knowing how to offer it. I soon realised that the best help I could offer was to keep doing what I do, supporting you with fitness and movement to help keep you well. On one level it is a relatively insignificant thing, but actually I believe it is important for us all to keep active and keep some sort of routine in place. The enormity of the current situation is too huge to process and I hope that ‘coming’ to class helps you to step-away from it all for a while and re-connect with yourself on a regular basis.

Revised online class timetable:

Our online class timetable has evolved gradually over the past few weeks (and will probably continue to evolve) and I have made a few more changes this week. Classes on Mondays-Wednesdays are unchanged but I have changed things on Thursdays & Fridays (see details below).

online timetable

The 7am classes are designed to give you the chance to fit in some movement before you get busy with your day – if you are working from home or home-schooling, I hope it is early enough to fit around your working/schooling schedule, and if you’re not currently working, I hope it gives you a hint of a work-day routine and something to get up for.

Do please let me know if there are any other class formats or any one-off sessions that you would like me to add.

How to book:

All classes are booked online.

Payment can be made as a one-off booking or via a monthly class pass subscription which gives unlimited access to all sessions.

  • class descriptions can be found here
  • subscription details can be found here
  • classes can be booked here

When you book a one-off class, you will also receive a link to access the live recording afterwards so that you can ‘attend’ at a later time if your prefer. Live recordings will be available for 7 days after the class.

If you have a monthly class pass subscription, you will have access to recordings of all classes via your membership area, as well as all the ‘live’ sessions.

Let me know if you have any questions at all – I look forward to seeing you in the taylor-made fitness virtual studio very soon Jx

If you need to set yourself up for home exercise, read my guide about what you might need here

metabolic effect bootcamp online

In a nod to the early days of taylor-made fitness, I have added a bootcamp session to my online timetable. We will be using some of the Metabolic Effect protocols to create super-effective, time-efficient workouts to fire up your metabolism and set you up for the day ahead.

The advantage of online classes is that you don’t have to drag yourself outside on a cold rainy morning – you can do it all in the comfort of your home instead!

For anyone not familiar with Metabolic Effect or bootcamp-style training, I have created a couple of videos so you’ll know what to expect from this class.

Introduction to metabolic effect bootcamp online:

metabolic effect bootcamp sample class:

A note about weights:

I’m using two pairs of dumb-bells in the video above but you can improvise with whatever you have available at home.

Dumb-bells give the greatest flexibility but a barbell or barbell plates would work too. A kettlebell will also work – we won’t be swinging it, but it will serve as a useful weight. Soft, sand-filled weights are another option.

If you’re buying equipment for the class, please go heavier than you might normally! This is rest-based training. If your weights are too light, you will never get to the point of needing a rest. For metabolic conditioning, we want to push ourselves, so be brave. But also be sensible and make sure you can actually pick your weight up to start with.

You can find some suggested equipment & suppliers here

This workout may be short & sweet but I can still feel my glutes from filming two days ago!! Join me in our ‘Zoom room’ to feel the benefits for yourself.

You can find all the booking details here

Please let me know if you have any questions Jx