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The best thing about working on this mag is the interesting people we get to meet. This month, we interviewed Alanna Baker, who’s currently touring with Cirque de Soleil Ovo. Hers is an amazing story. She wanted to work in a circus from a young age and she’s now doing just that. Find out just how fit you need to be to follow in her footsteps. Clue: there’s a lot of hard work required! Then there’s Adam Gemili, the GB sprinter. We met him while he was attempting to beat a racehorse over 10m (which he did!), but it was fascinating finding out how he’s attempting to fill the shoes vacated by Usain Bolt. And then there’s Ben Coomber. Ben has been one of our columnists from the start of this magazine and we’ve loved having him as part of the team. Ben’s story is also inspiring. Overweight when he was younger, and bullied, he’s now a machine (see the pics for yourself). See the last part of his transformation, and see how you can change your life too. Also in this issue: how to eat healthily on the high street; where to go wild swimming; what to buy friends and family for Christmas; tips to survive the winter, two workouts, and more. And finally, meet Kelvin Fletcher, formerly of Emmerdale. He’ll be helping us relaunch BESTFIT TV in the new year. More on that in next month’s issue…


Former gymnast Alanna Baker reveals all about life on tour with Cirque du Soleil Ovo


W www.bestfitmagazine.co.uk @bestfitmagazine






DISTRIBUTION mike@bestfitmagazine.co.uk

CONTRIBUTORS Andy Thompson (design), Will Hughes (subbing), Ben Coomber, Jack Coomber, Jess Davies, Richard Edwards, Rohan Gunatillake, Emma Storey-Gordon, Unsplash, Pixabay, RF123, Mark Laws, The Lean Machines, Leigh Purves, Kurtis Stacey

TEL 0113 322 4400 BESTFIT is published in the UK by BESTFIT Media. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. While every endeavour has been made to maintain accuracy in the magazine, BestFit can take no responsibility for errors. All opinions expressed are the opinions of the


Adam Gemili is faster than a horse, and he’s looking to win big in 2019... and beyond!




ritain might be well-known for its cold and damp climate, but that doesn’t stop us getting outside for some exercise. New research from Selkie Swim Company found that one in three Brits who enjoy the outdoors refuse to let the weather stop us, and one in four said running and cycling made them the happiest. According to the study, we average almost two hours each time we head outside for a walk, run, cycle or even some wild swimming. What might not be surprising is the fact that most of us (56%) prefer to do our outdoor activities alone, although group exercise is on the rise. Is it time to leave the cramped, stuffy gym behind and venture outside? Winter is coming, so we’re not too sure.






s the days get colder, we start to crave warm oats and hot toast for breakfast, and coughs and colds start taking over. Public Health England have stated that honey is a great remedy for coughs – and should be favoured over antibiotics – so we were delighted to come across a tasty range of infused honey from deep within the Irish countryside. Sarah Gough runs a family business creating her eight different natural honey flavours, including Ginger, which is a fantastic option to help battle a cough or cold, as it possesses many benefits that help fight off pesky illnesses. We’ve already stocked up, have you?

t’s our guilty pleasure and our lifeline to the outside world, and most of us cannot get enough of what it has to offer. That’s right, we’re addicted to our smartphones. Why? We constantly expect to see something new like a notification or message, which makes us want to check it all the time. And if we do get a like or another good comment, we get that external validation we’ve been craving. No wonder we can’t put them down! Problem is, we’re running out of free time now that we’re so busy with our smartphones. We’re also more likely to develop anxiety if we don’t get enough likes, or fatigue from trying to like and see everyone else’s stuff. So what can we do about it? Firstly, turn off your notifications – having to actually check each individual app may deter the constant checking. Secondly, set aside times that you can’t use your phone, like before 9am or during meal time. Finally, resist spending ALL of your money on the latest and most snazzy smartphone. Those features may sound cool, but they’ll eat away at whatever free time and sanity you have left.



octors have been banging on about cholesterol for decades (and rightly so) but do we know what it is? Why is it both good and bad? Can we enjoy our breakfast eggs or not? Cholesterol is made in the liver. It travels around the body in two forms: LDL goes to our cells and HDL goes back to our liver. Too much LDL is trouble, because cholesterol gets stored in our artery walls if it can’t be taken back to the liver, causing blockages and heart disease. The good news? You can keep LDL at bay by doing exercise, reducing your stress levels and stocking up on the right foods. This includes foods with soluble fibre, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Think seaweed, garlic and walnuts. Unfortunately, you’ll also need to cut back on the booze, caffeine and sugar. Less fun, maybe, but at least you’ll be alive.







id you know you’re most likely to bump into a vegan if you’re in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Brighton, and that there is an increasing number of people in the UK that are choosing to eat a vegan diet? The in-depth findings come courtesy of a report that examines the customer behaviour of over 20,000 Mindful Chef customers, tracing their preferences when signing up for the recipe boxes when asked to choose between balanced, plant-based, pescatarian and protein-packed boxes. The city with the highest percentage of those choosing ‘plant-based’ is revealed to be Glasgow, with a quarter (24%) of the city opting for the vegan regime. Close behind is sister city Edinburgh with a fifth (21%) of customers revealed as vegans, followed by Brighton & Hove (17%) and Leicester (17%). From the vast array of options available to Mindful Chef customers, the research was also able to show that those in Cambridge (9%) are the most likely to be pescatarian, followed by Brighton & Hove (8%) and Bristol (7%). Just goes to show that more and more people are ditching the meat…


t’s no secret that those of us with office jobs are at risk of falling prey to a sedentary lifestyle, if we don’t put some time in for exercise outside of our 9-5. But which workforce is struggling the most? AXA PPP Healthcare created the ‘FIT-SE’ Index to rank the UK’s fittest industries, ahead of Flying Start campaign and National Fitness Day. It might come as no surprise that our farmers are the fittest, doing 2 hours 44 minutes of daily exercise and staying up past 10pm for work. At the very bottom of the list however is estate agents, who get only 42 minutes of daily exercise, even though the average across all industries is a solid 1 hour 23 minutes. According to the index, we exercise to relieve stress (43%) and control our weight (48%) and even to find a partner (17%). And once we have one, almost a quarter are more than happy to count sex as part of the regular exercise routine.



magine a world where meat is off the menu, recycling is more important than cost and extreme weather has caused a global food shortage. This is not a new dystopian novel, this is how we think 2030 will look. New research from ThoughtWorks shows British adults are wide awake to how their relationship with food will change. 44% think they will at some point no longer use a supermarket while 62% said reducing food packaging would be a top priority in future. Our health and wellbeing will also be highly prized, as 38% said nutritional value will shape their decisions on food buying in the future. We’ll be much more switched on to ethically sourced food too, with 18% of us even suggesting that future Brits will no longer eat meat, a prediction that may cause a stir among some Sunday roast traditionalists.


of those surveyed say they’ll pay more attention to where their food is grown, sourced or reared.



You have a plan, you’re eating well, but having the right mindset is crucial not just when training, but in life, says Ben Coomber as he concludes his own 12-week transformation Having been a coach in the fitness industry for 12 years I can say, hand on heart, that most people, including myself, don’t have a lack of knowledge to achieve their goals. We largely know what to eat, we know we should exercise a few times a week and generally stay active, and we know we should sleep well, drink lots of good quality water and live a lifestyle conducive to good health. Give or take a few details, the fundamentals of health are understood by most. So, if we kind of know what to do, what’s the issue? The make-or-break aspect of getting started, keeping going, and maintaining your results, is your mindset. In fact, can anyone disagree with me that success in any area of life, be it your body, your relationship, your career, anything, comes down to your mindset? Sure, you might have a knowledge gap, you might need to know a few more things, but if you have the right mentality you go

looking for the answers, you keep trying, and eventually find what you are looking for. I’ve been successful in my life because, firstly, I’ve chosen to, then I’ve spent time and effort building my mental fortitude to sustain those changes and create habits that constantly support the outcomes I seek. This is why this article, part three of my transformation, is the most important. Anyone can get a diet and training plan, heck there are many on the internet you can simply research or download. Your success simply comes down to your mindset approaching your transformation, during your transformation, and after it. If you want to go on a diet for eight weeks that’s fine, do it, but what about the diet after the diet? The one you need to keep for life to be healthy, strong and maintain your weight? It’s statistically true that most people fail with their diets. Buy why? All diets work, period. They all work by putting

you into a calorie deficit. Whether they cut carbs, or fat, or make you fast for two days a week, they all put you into a sub calorie state, which causes fat loss. There is no other magic with diets, it is all about a calorie deficit, eat less than you burn. This has been known for many years, companies and people just like to try and package it up into some newfangled way that ultimately leads to the same result. Now many of us know this, deep down, and if you didn’t know this, you do now. So our success is now hinged on a few other things. The diet you embark on needs to be sustainable. We need to see ourselves making these changes not just for 4-6 weeks, but for life, otherwise what’s the point? We need the right environment to foster and maintain these changes in our habits, and we need to know the reasons why we’re making these changes so we are empowered and motivated to keep them. People often ask me, “Ben, how do you have and maintain such a strong desire to hit the gym, eat well and go to bed on time?” In my head I’m wanting to say back: “How can you not?” But I don’t. The reason I say this is because you only get one body. And let me tell you from a man who’s been obese, been bullied, suffered with ADHA, IBS, asthma and eczema. As a result, I have zero desire to return to that life. I love what I have now, I love how I feel, why would I go backwards? Ask yourself right now, what’s stopped you achieving your body transformation before? It might have been the

diet or the training, it might not have been sustainable, you might have gone too hard too soon, you might have been low on energy, or ill, or been tripped up by something. And that’s fine, if you’re willing to sit back, be a bit more objective and make a newer, better plan for yourself. In my experience most people trip up because they haven’t made changes to their environment and home life to support the initial changes. They haven’t had that long-term shift in their mindset and moved past the original blocking factors that keeps them overweight, tired and unmotivated. They just pushed them aside for the six-week diet, but they are still there, waiting. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, that’s the definition of insanity. Change is needed, not just for eight weeks, for life. Many of us are living very sedentary lifestyles. Many of us are short on time or have busy work and family lives. Many of us are not in the ideal environment, but let’s be honest, we’ve all got stuff going on and we can all make whatever excuses we want. That doesn’t change what needs to be done. So make whatever excuses you want, it won’t change anything. As a coach I can only help someone as much as they are willing to help themselves. I’m great at writing and coaching a plan, I’m great at helping people with their mindset and blocking factors, but that person has to want to change, without that we are destined to fail. Even if that desire is small, I can work with that. You can work with that. The biggest mindset shift you need is to take ownership of everything in your life. You need to choose to own the situation, or how you think about it. When you take ownership, you take control. Too many people are living in a state of no control because

you blame others or the world for the way things are. That’s false. Now this might all seem idealistic and nice, and you might be thinking: “Yeah yeah Ben, that’s easy for you to say, try living in my shoes for a day”. If you’re thinking that right now, that is the problem right there. Take ownership. When you take ownership you take control. Too many people are trying to find the perfect diet, get the perfect balance, do the perfect workout, and comparing themselves to others (often on social media). Step back, stop trying to live in someone else’s shoes and live in your shoes, cause they’re the ones you’ve got and you’re not getting any others. We’ve all got our own problems, our own challenges, our own things that hold us back. No one’s life is perfect, so stop wishing it was, or hoping for a divine intervention on your circumstances and get stuck into making your situation better. No more excuses. It gets you nowhere, it disempowers you. Instead, take ownership and do what you can, and over time you build up to be able to do more. Work to improve every day, focus on the good stuff and make progress. The body transformation I did for this magazine wasn’t easy. I decided to get leaner for this magazine, for this photoshoot, to show people what can be done in a short space of time. The reason this wasn’t easy is because I didn’t want it, my mindset wasn’t there. I was getting leaner for someone else, for the photoshoot, to show other people. The reasons were not internal and self-driven, they were externally driven. Day to day, I’m happy with my body. I have 13-14% body fat, am as strong as I need to be, I sleep well, I have good balance, enjoy my training, play sport at the weekends and

“AS A COACH I CAN ONLY HELP SOMEONE AS MUCH AS THEY ARE WILLING TO HELP THEMSELVES.” enjoy a balanced and varied diet. But to do this photoshoot for this magazine, for this project, I had to eat a little less, do some extra work in the gym, forgo a few things that I wanted to eat, and sacrifice some stuff when I was already in a place I was happy with. I say this because it’s true. I don’t compare myself to anyone else. Doing this project for the benefit of this magazine was tough, and the results came slower than I wanted to or expected it to because I was being driven by external expectation. When a goal is internal, for your reasons, for your desires, then you can be eternally successful. So, I ask you today, what needs to change with your mindset to get the ball rolling? The penny doesn’t have to drop for you today. But it has to start, you have to start to make decisions and choices that will start to move you one step closer. Tie up those laces on your shoes and take the first step out the door. Then we are able to build momentum, you build strength and confidence from the initial progress you get, and then that’s how we become unstoppable. Are are you going to choose to change, or make excuses you cannot change?


Warm up Mobilisations, activation work, core holds and boxing on the bag (increasing in intensity) Weights session A1: Barbell Push press 4x6 10s rest A2: Chin up 4x6 1.5 minutes rest 4 sets B1: Kettlebell backwards lunge 3x8 10s rest, swap arms keep going until fatigued AFTER

B2: Kettlebell single leg RDL 3x6 2 minutes rest 3 sets C1: Dumbbell shoulder snatch 3x8, 10s rest C2: Dumbbell row 3x12 1.5 minutes rest D1: Barbell hip drives 3x12 10s rest D2: Barbell Roll out 60s rest E1: Side plank 3xmax 0s rest E2: Straight arm plank 1.5 minutes rest 4x150m ski erg sprints to finish

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Nest Smart Thermostat We’re constantly looking for ways to save energy, save money and help out the planet. The Nest Smart Thermostat is one of these ways, helping you to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Since 2011, this little gadget has saved over 8 billion kWh of energy in millions of homes across the globe and has undergone some improvements of its own. The latest version is a must have for anyone looking to be savvy about their energy. It takes a week for Nest to learn when you like the heating on and off, and what temperature suits you best. After that it does it for you. It’ll remember that you need the heating on before you get out of bed on those cold winter mornings, and the temperature that won’t interrupt your sleep. It uses sensors and your phones location to know when you’re out, to set itself to energy saving Eco Temperature mode. The latest feature allows you to control your hot water tank using the Nest app, setting a schedule and boosting hot water when you want it. Nest will remember when to turn it on and off, so you don’t have to. £279 (with installation) www.nest.com

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Boostbox advent calendar The first protein-packed advent calendar that includes products from PhD, Dr Zak’s, Battle Oats, Mountain Joe’s, Pulsin, Pandy, Boostballs and Bounce. You’ll find flavours to suit all tastes, and protein in every format, like cookies, crisps and chocolate. A fitness lover’s festive dream. £39.99 www.getboostbox.co.uk

An award-winning Kegel trainer designed to strengthen the pelvic floor, improve bladder control and postnatal recovery and enhance intimacy. Simply place it in, do your exercise and watch the app for real-time guidance and progress tracking. £169 www.elvie.com

Casio G-Shock GBD-800-4ER A new addition to the G-Shock collection, this watch comes with energysaving Bluetooth technology for power-saving data transfer and smartphone connection. It’s also got a Super Illuminator to light up the display in a colour of your choice, and is of course shock resistant. These are just the tip of the multifunctional iceberg that this new addition offers. £100 www.g-shock.co.uk

Blinker Bike Light A multi-functional bike light that serves as an automatic brake light and turning indicator. Use the wireless remote control on your handlebar to switch between the different modes of light, including a powerful red rear light so all vehicles around you will know you’re there. £89 www.amazon.co.uk

BOSE SoundSport Free Headphones The first truly wireless headphones from Bose that promise clear, powerful sound technology packed into these super comfortable earbuds. Designed using water-repellant mesh to make sure these buds work no matter how much you sweat, or how much it rains. ‘Tis the season for these headphones. £179.95 www.bose.co.uk

PLAYR Tracking System The only FIFA-approved wearable GPS tracking system. Wear the weather-resistant smart vest and smart pod while you play, and check the PLAYR app for real-time results on 1,250 data points. It also promises a batterylife to last three matches and seamless bluetooth connection. £199 www.playsmartcoach.com


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of movement, not letting your partner wake you up when they move. It also includes scientifically-proven Medical Grade Foam, and a removable, breathable and washable four-way stretch cover to make sure you enjoy the best sleep hygiene. All of these features, plus their ten-year warranty, will help you get a great sleep each and every night. £1,199 - £1,869 www.mammothmattress.com




eight is often the primary and sometimes only measure used to monitor progress, but scale weight has its limitations and does not always represent fat loss. Gauging your progress solely from scale weight can lead to lack of motivation and adherence to the diet.

A weekly average of daily measurements is more productive and will open your eyes to the fact that weight fluctuations will happen and are unavoidable. Some days you will weigh more, some days you will weigh less, even if you are sticking to your diet. Numerous factors influence scales weight including hydration, food volume, menstrual cycle, salt intake and water retention.

Using the scales as a measure of progress can be great as they are cheap, readily available and easy to use. But they do not represent short-term changes in body fat levels. So, no, you haven’t put on 2kg of fat over the weekend!

If you’re not losing weight over time, you’re likely not consistently in an energy deficit.

To increase the reliability of scale weight ALWAYS measure first thing in the morning on the same scales – no food, no drink. Be consistent.

For this reason I always recommend using multiple measures to track progress – dress size, progress photos, energy levels, gym performance, measurements and

If you’re not losing weight day to day, you’re normal. Weight fluctuations are inevitable.

“Numerous factors influence scales weight including hydration, food volume, menstrual cycle, salt intake and water retention”

“Dieting can be especially hard when the weather starts getting cold and you’d much rather be wrapped up inside by a fire than outside being active” mood. Remember that you are on this journey to look and feel better. How much you weigh is a good measure of fat loss progress long term, but do remember it is not your sole goal. Don’t become fixated on it. What you can do, how you look and most importantly how you feel, is far more important than what you weigh. Winter fuel Dieting can be especially hard when the weather starts getting cold and you’d much rather be wrapped up inside by a fire than outside being active.

Hunger tends to increase during the cold weather too, which makes sense from an evolutionary stand point, as staying warm in the cold demands more energy. We also tend to crave comfort foods to keep us warm. But these don’t have to ruin your diet. Good options are: • Soups • Stews • Roasted vegetables Conveniently, these are all easy to prepare and can be made in bulk and then heated up and eaten throughout the week. Add seasoning to make your food extra tasty without the extra calories that


Fish is good for us, we know this. Here Amy Wright (Itsu) reveals six ways salmon can improve our overall health. Chow down! Transform your skin “Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which assist moisture retention in the skin barrier. Salmon is also a very hearthealthy form of protein, essential for skin repair.” Kiss stress goodbye “The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help to boost our ‘good mood’ serotonin levels and protect the nervous system. Its B vitamin content also helps to support brain function, energy, memory and fight stress.” Healthy happy hair “Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for scalp and hair health. Salmon also contains vitamin D. The role of vitamin D in the human hair cycle is still unclear, however vitamin D deficiency has been linked to female hair loss.” No more afternoon slumps “Salmon is a vitamin-dense food and its omega-3 fatty acids are not only beneficial for your wellbeing, but also for your brain. A healthy brain influences many aspects of our wellbeing, including our energy, mood, mental health and motivation.” Slow down the process of needing specs “Salmon is a rich source of antioxidants, carotenoids and one of the key omega-3 fatty acids, DHA. All of these contribute to optimum function of the eye.” Heart friendly fish “Salmon is often referred to as one of the ‘heart-friendly’ fish and rightly so. It’s full of healthy and essential fats and nutrients.”




hether you’re a fitness fledgling, regular gym goer or a competitor, Power Plate can help you Prepare Faster, Perform Better and Recover Quicker. It makes you feel better by stimulating natural reflexes, increasing muscle activation and improving circulation. Built on decades of in-depth science and research, training on a Power Plate enhances any movement, simple or complex, typically performed on the ground, muscles become more active, more often. Trusted by athletes, celebrities, health professionals and fitness enthusiasts, Power Plate has been linked to a wide range of health benefits. Try our range of advanced exercises designed to help build strength, balance, and flexibility, plus a recovery exercise for the quads.

• Rotate hands one way to a comfortable distance while bending the front knee dropping slightly deeper into the stretch. • Return to start position. • Rotate hands in opposite direction. • Repeat on other leg.

1. Time – 45-60 secs.

MUSCLES WORKED – QUADRICEPS, ADDUCTORS, ABDOMINALS 1. Time – 30-45 secs. 2. Setting: low.

QUAD MASSAGE - RECOVER Quad massage increases circulation and blood flow; triggering the immune system to promote tissue healing.

3. 1-2 sets.

BENEFITS INCLUDE: Optimises recovery and reduces muscle soreness, promotes effective and efficient movement, can be used before or after running, cycling, squatting or any activity to enhance results.

4. Rest between sets: 30 seconds. EXPLOSIVE PUSH UPS WITH MEDICINE BALL – PERFORM Medicine ball exercises are primitive but use loads that were developed by the ancient Greeks to improve strength and conditioning, along with better health, speed and explosive power.

STANDING DYNAMIC HIP STRETCH WITH ROTATION – PREPARE This dynamic flexibility movement targets the front of the body, specifically the hips and quads, perfect preparation for any workout, activity or class. BENEFITS INCLUDE: Total body flexibility and mobility. HOW TO EXECUTE Stand facing away from the Power Plate with back foot on the platform. Take front leg forward to stretch the hip. • Begin with hands forward at shoulder height.

2. Setting: low. 3. 3 -4 sets. 4. Rest between sets: 30-45 seconds MUSCLES WORKED – WHOLE BODY – CHEST, TRICEPS & CORE

HOW TO EXECUTE • Lie face down with hands or elbows on the floor, with your thighs placed on the Power Plate surface, bend knees. • Relax, breathe rhythmically and slowly allow your legs to rotate in and out throughout the massage. MUSCLES WORKED – QUADRICEPS & LOWER BODY 1. Time - 60 secs. 2. Setting: low or High.

BENEFITS INCLUDE: core stability, power and speed development, improved balance and enhanced coordination. HOW TO EXECUTE • Start in a push-up position with one hand on the medicine ball, and feet shoulder width apart. • Lower into a push-up position, then press your body up and over the medicine ball, rolling the ball across to the other hand. • Repeat the sequence continuously under control and to a self-selected range of movement.

3. 1-2 sets.

For more information on where to buy a Power Plate for your home, visit WWW.POWERPLATE.COM or call 0207 317 5000

BODY FIT ONLY £39.99 £29.99











CIRQUE DU SOLEIL IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE CIRCUS. MOREOVER, BEING PART OF IT REQUIRES EXTREME LEVELS OF FITNESS, AS OVO STAR ALANNA BAKER REVEALS PEOPLE THINK CIRCUS AND THEY MIGHT IMAGINE CLOWNS AND JUGGLERS. CIRQUE DU SOLEIL IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT, OF COURSE… TELL US ABOUT OVO… WHAT IS IT, AND WHAT DO YOU DO? Ovo is one of the many shows that Cirque Du Soleil has. It’s a very fun, colourful, lively and familyfriendly show including high-level acrobatics, live musicians, great projections and an easy-to-follow storyline. It’s about the day in the life of an insect, showing acceptance of others (as we’re all from different insect families) and, of course, a love story evolves throughout the show too. I play the black widow of the colony. I’m an acrobatic character, so I’m on stage the majority of the time, supporting other acts, dancing, charactering, bending, climbing, aerial… you name it. At one point, I fly high above the audience in my hoop, contorting, twisting, spinning and hanging… it brings me such joy to perform.

THE SHOW HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS A ‘NON-STOP RIOT OF ENERGY IN MOTION’. YOU NEED TO BE SERIOUSLY FIT AND FLEXIBLE TO DO THIS, SO HOW DO YOU TRAIN FOR IT? I’m actually a bit of a fitness fanatic. I love to keep fit and work out, it’s part of my lifestyle. Everyone’s different, we all know our limits and boundaries within our bodies. Some people train a lot, others will do what they need to for the show and that’s good for them. We have training sessions three times a week roughly, give or take depending on the week of shows and other rehearsals. I also like to workout on top of that. So I’ll go get my work out in first thing in the morning, then head into work for training rehearsals and the show. YOU’RE STRONG, AGILE… YOUR TRAINING MUST INVOLVE WEIGHTS, CARDIO, YOGA… ALL SORTS? I love to do weights! And cardio. I’m also a fitness competitor, so my training varies depending on my goals at the time. For example, right now, I’m in a building phase, so I’m doing no cardio. The show is my cardio session! I don’t need to do yoga, but I do a lot of stretching when I’m at work as I need to keep flexible. A lot of my role is upperbody work, so throughout the show I’m on a climbing wall, climbing up and down a rope. It keeps me fit, that’s for sure.

WE CAN SEE SOME OF YOUR TRAINING ON YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED (ALANNABAKER). HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN FLEXIBLE, OR IS THAT THE RESULT OF YEARS OF TRAINING? I’ve always been quite naturally flexible, but I also started gymnastics from a young age, which definitely helped. Flexibility for me is a huge part of my job, so finding that balance between gaining muscle and keeping flexibility is interesting. HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRQUE DU SOLEIL? I was a competing gymnast for GB until 2012. Talent scouts were always present at the major completions, so they knew who was out there. Then there was a closed audition held at my gym towards the end of my competing career and from there I got put into this huge database. Six months after finishing competing I actually then got a call asking if I wanted to go to Montreal to do a general training programme for three months, not guaranteeing a contract. I actually ended up being the only one of three that got offered a contract, there and then. It was the best three months of my life! WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING AT A CIRCUS? I never feel like I’m working. I’m literally living my dream. Every day is a new challenge, but you’ve got to be willing to create that yourself. I always say as artists we should never stop growing. We’ve got to learn to feel

comfortable in the uncomfortable! That’s when it starts to separate the best from the rest. I also find that I’ve got so used to working with the other artists around me that I forget how exceptionally talented everyone is, because we see it every day. But my god, I work with some incredibly skilled, mind-blowing artists. YOU TRAVEL THE WORLD BUT WORK VERY HARD. IS IT HARD EATING WELL AND TRAINING WHILE ON TOUR, OR IS THAT PART OF THE JOB? We actually have a catering team which travel around with us. It’s the best thing ever. They take such good care of us, always providing us with nutritious foods but also treats, as it’s not just artists eating there, it’s the whole team of people who work on our show. I don’t find it that hard keeping on track whilst on tour, but I’m a very strongminded person and when I put my mind to something I go all in or not at all. For me, eating well makes me feel amazing and gives me all the energy I need. So I’m very specific with what I eat knowing it’s going to fuel me. All the training I do also just makes my job easier, the stronger I am, the easier I make it for myself. YOU FIRST WATCHED THE CIRCUS AS A KID AND YOU SAID THAT’S WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO WHEN YOU GOT OLDER. HOW DOES ONE START THAT JOURNEY? So I was training gymnastics from the age of five. My parents then took me to see my first Cirque Du Soleil show at the Royal Albert Hall at the age of eight. That’s where the spark first started and I had a fire burning inside of me to get on that stage and perform. I continued to train, day in, day out, for years and years and then here I am today living my dream. It didn’t come easy, let me tell you that. Through a lot of hard work, dedication, patience, successes, failures, sacrifices… everything taught me and brought me to where I am today. After all the years of paying to do what I love I’m finally being paid to do what I

love and I get to travel the world. I couldn’t ask for more. I have a lot to thank my parents for, always driving me back and forth to training, paying the fees... they were so supportive and I wouldn’t be where I am right now without them. YOU WERE INTO GYMNASTICS AND TRAINED WITH GB, EVEN WON A EUROPEAN MEDAL. AT WHAT POINT DID YOU SWITCH YOUR ATTENTIONS? WERE YOU NOT TEMPTED TO CONTINUE COMPETING? I became European champion in 2011 with my partner Poppy Spalding, and we were bronze medalists at the World Championship 2012. I already had in my mind that my time with competing was coming to an end. I was 19 years old and I was ready to try and push further towards my dream. THAT MUST HAVE GIVEN YOU AN EXCELLENT LEVEL OF FITNESS AND FLEXIBILITY, THOUGH. THE SKILLS ARE VERY TRANSFERRABLE! Oh for sure, a lot of my strength, flexibility, technique and even characteristics come from that sport. It teaches you so much without even realising. Trust. Hard work. Determination. Patience. Commitment... the list is endless. One thing that does change is going from an athlete to an artist. When you’re an athlete you’re preparing yourself for maybe two major competitions a year. However, as an artist you have to be on your A-game 24/7, doing 7-10 shows a week, so you have to really know your body well, to know when to ease off or when to push more. But when performing on stage I get that exact feeling I used to when being on the competition floor! It’s amazing. I still have to pinch to myself to this day, telling myself it’s real.

GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO A TYPICAL DAY’S TRAINING…. For me at the moment, I have a lower and upper-body split. But usually I’ll lift weights in the morning then head into work where I’ll have anywhere from 1-3 training sessions/rehearsals/choreography sessions before doing a show. I’m also the dance captain of the show, so I make sure the choreography is up to scratch and teach people what they need to know. When we get new artists I’ll teach them until I think they’re ready to be put on stage to perform. COULD YOU GIVE US A TYPICAL WORKOUT INCLUDING REPS AND SETS SO THAT OUR READERS COULD FOLLOW IT AND GET CIRCUS FIT? I’ll give you the actual workout I did yesterday, which has left my legs and glutes sore today! I love to feel sore after a workout, if I don’t then I don’t feel I’ve worked hard enough. Lower body: Back squats 4x6 Good mornings 4x10-12 Leg press 4x10-AMRAP Bulgarian split squats 4x12/leg Sissy squats 4x12 (a favourite of mine) Leg extensions 4xAMRAP WHAT’S THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING IN THE CIRCUS? I am constantly on the road, so on arena tours we do 10 weeks on, two weeks off. We’re only usually in each city for a week. Every Sunday after the show we transfer to the next city, by bus or charter flight depending on distance. So I practically live out of a suitcase. I’ll unpack certain things, but some stuff never leaves the case. Because it’s so fast paced I sometimes (regularly) forget where we were or even are. People ask and I have to remember the hotel and then the walk to work and then you remember the city, it’s terrible! But I love to travel so it’s also the best thing, I get to see a new city every week. So much exploring and adventuring to do.

HOW DO YOU FUEL YOUR TRAINING, WHAT WOULD YOU EAT WHEN TRAINING OR WORKING ON TOUR? I like to eat very wholesome and nutritious foods. I’ll always be eating clean proteins, (chicken, fish, steak, eggs), carbs, (brown and white rice, sweet potato, rice cakes, oatmeal), fruits and veg (berries, bananas, pineapple and vegetables anything green goes), fats and sugars (peanut butter, honey, nuts). YOU’RE TOURING THE UK, IT MUST BE NICE TO BE HOME? It’s so nice to be touring the UK, especially as a lot the cities I actually

have never been to. It’s nice to actually feel close to home for once too and be able to have friends and family visit so easily. WHERE’S THE NICEST PLACE TO VISIT WHILE TOURING? That’s a tough question, I’ve been to so many nice places since I’ve been touring. I’ve been lucky. I started in Australia, then Taiwan, then Japan, North America and now the Europe tour and then onto South America. It’s nice because I get to visit places I wouldn’t necessarily visit. For example: Japan, I don’t know if I would have ever chosen to go there, but now I can’t wait to go back!

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they relieve stress, but they don’t. In the long run they are disadvantageous, so where possible try to reduce or eradicate any dependence on cigarettes and alcohol.

From a psychological point of view, 61% of people say they often feel anxious, 51% feel depressed, 37% feel lonely, 32% have suicidal thoughts and, sadly, 16% of all adults have self-harmed.

3. MOVE Physical activity and exercise are brilliant for reducing stress levels. Maybe a trip to the gym, a game of squash, anything that you enjoy that doesn’t include sitting at your desk. Even if it is just a walk to get some fresh air… but leave the phone behind and give yourself a chance to clear your head.

2018 Mental Health study has identified that 74% of UK adults have felt so much stress that they have been ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’. 46% of respondents admitted turning to food when they feel stressed, 29% turn to drink and 15% turn to cigarettes.

You are not alone. The majority of people that you come into contact with are suffering the effects of stress, anxiety, depression and all kinds of other psychological troubles. Last month saw Mental Awareness Day on 10 October, which undoubtedly did great things to highlight these issues, but I couldn’t not bring up the topic with BESTFIT readers to offer a helping hand where it may be needed. 1. EAT WELL Food can affect our mood and a lack of adequate nutrients, essential vitamins, minerals and water can affect the way our brain operates. A healthy diet can go some way to minimising these problems. If you are not sure what constitutes a ‘healthy’ diet then stop buying your lunch from petrol stations and start cooking meals from scratch… that will be a start! 2. MINIMISE FAGS & BOOZE They may make you temporarily feel like

4. RELAX Don’t fall into the trap of being too busy to take time off. You aren’t so important that you cannot take a day or half-day off now and then. Nothing is SO important that it cannot wait a few hours to be dealt with. Have you heard the analogy of the woodcutter? The harder he worked, the more blunt his saw became and the less effective he was at his job. Stop to sharpen your saw more often. 5. LISTEN TO YOURSELF Your mind and body will tell you when they are not happy – listen to them. ‘No pain, no gain’ is for idiots. Pain or discomfort are your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, so listen to it. Don’t be afraid to slow things down and try yoga, or meditation, or just stop doing some of the things that your body doesn’t enjoy. 6. SLEEP Spend a couple of hours relaxing in the evening with friends or family,

getting into bed by 10pm, ignoring your phone after 8/9pm and maybe reading until you nod off for a good 6-7 hours at least. Ignore your devices and distract yourself with the company of those you love. 7. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK Try not to be too hard on yourself. You are going to have bad days, you are going to make mistakes and you are going to get yourself into trouble now and then. Don’t beat yourself up every time this happens – learn from it and move on. Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and give yourself a much-needed pep talk, ensuring to tell yourself how good you are and how much you are appreciated. If you think you are struggling with any mental health issues, please remember that it is ok to ask for help. In fact, it is imperative. Implementing these tips above is a start but it is just the tip of the iceberg. A problem shared is most definitely a problem halved, so if you aren’t sure which way to turn then chuck me an email (mark@marklaws.co.uk), I have been there, done it and bought the t-shirt. Don’t suffer alone.


WINTER HEALTH HACKS As the weather worsens it can be tough staying motivated to train. For others, it can exacerbate existing depression or anxiety, or result in SAD. Here are 13 ways to fight back Switch up your snacks “Tryptophan is an important amino acid for mood and depression,” says Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist. “Your body makes serotonin (the ‘feel good’ brain chemical) from tryptophan. Tryptophan occurs naturally in foods such as dairy products, fish, bananas, dried dates, soya, almonds and peanuts. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin unlike conventional antidepressants which don’t ‘supply’ serotonin but act as SSRIs, serotonin reuptake inhibitors which keep the level of serotonin high in the brain,” explains Dr Glenville. Keep your energy levels up The cold weather and lack of sunshine often leaves us feeling tired and unmotivated. Ensure you’re getting the correct nutrients: “This includes fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh or tinned fish, free-range eggs, unprocessed meats, unroasted nuts and seeds, whole grains such as oats and brown rice, beans and pulses and dairy products,” says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “Ultimately this means limiting your intake of high-sugar foods, refined foods and most things that come in a packet.” Look after your joints and bones In the colder months especially, it’s important to pay attention to your joints and bones. You may be able to relate when someone says they can feel the cold right through to their bones, as many people with joint problems find their symptoms flare up at this time of year. Luckily, Sense* have expertly designed a superfood supplement for joint and bone health, available in capsule form for convenience (£14.99, www.boots.com) or in a powder form (£21.99, www.boots.com), which can be added to your

favourite smoothies, juices or stirred into food. Work out with friends Chilly weather can definitely knock your motivation down but falling off the wagon with your exercise routine can dampen your motivation even further. When it’s cold sometimes the last thing we want to do is put on our gym clothes and go for a run – but the endorphins from exercise can help give you that extra boost. Manage the cold and flu season In the chillier months, our increasingly busy and hectic lifestyles often mean our health can take a hit in the way of colds and flus. Dr. Glenville explains how getting enough sleep can help. “Sleep is important for your health as it gives your body time to recharge its batteries and repair cells,” she says. “When you don’t get enough or you have a restless night you can feel irritable, lack concentration and can become more vulnerable to infections as your body does not have the strength to fight its own battles.” Don’t rely on the sun for Vitamin D “You may be more affected by SAD because of a lack of vitamin D, as it is thought of as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Vitamin D receptors are present in your central nervous system and vitamin D can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are linked to depression.” If you can, get a liquid vitamin D3 and drop it under your tongue. It will go into the blood vessels under your tongue so it is absorbed quickly, rather than having to be digested if you take a capsule.

Laugh all year long Having a laugh is one of the best remedies for stress and low mood – it triggers healthy changes in our body. “Many studies show that laughter boosts our energy, decreases stress hormones, improves immunity and diminishes pain. But what’s very important for anyone, who is stressed or feeling down, is that laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed,” explains Dr. Glenville. Cheer up your mind through your gut “We’re learning more about the importance of the ‘friendly’ bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut. Our gut is often referred to as the body’s second brain as it is teaming with billions of bacteria that help influence immunity, mood, digestion and even brainpower,” says Barns. Try natural food supplements that provide expertly targeted nutrients, supporting gut membranes, digestive enzymes and healthy stomach acids by replacing the harmful bacteria with nutrients that help to heal and maintain a healthy gut. Bring the light to you “If you feel especially down on dark mornings, consider using a special light lamp alarm clock. The lamp gradually turns itself on (and gets brighter and brighter) to mimic natural dawn sunrise, to wake you up slowly before your alarm goes off. Research has shown people feel more positive and find it easier to get out of bed in the darker months after using this kind of device,” says Barns. Everyone is going hemp crazy and rightly so Hemp is a natural ingredient that contains phytocannabinoids. They’re natural substances found in cannabis sativa plants. When we absorb them, they interact with our nervous system, brain and immune system. They do this by mimicking – or helping to increase – the activity of natural chemicals produced in our own body known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids have effects on many systems and processes in our body, including digestion and appetite, mood, stress response, sensations of pleasure and pain, our immune system and reproduction. When life gives you lemons… “Drinking a glass of lemon juice with water every morning is the perfect way to kick-start your digestion,

and boost your immunity at the same time,” says Dr. Glenville. “This is because lemons contain bioflavonoids, a group of nutrients, which boost immunity by protecting the cells of your body against environmental pollutants.” Don’t let central heating wreck havoc on your skin “Dehydration and dry skin are common during the winter season, due to the effects of central heating and the harsh weather. Drink plenty of water and top up the good fats in your diet such as oily fish, nuts and seeds. Warming soups and herbal teas also help rehydrate. You may need to switch up your skin care regime to products that are richer and more moisturising to compensate,” explains Jacqueline Harvey, wellness expert. Give your health a hand – with reflexology The colder months can have a negative impact on our mood and you may feel find it harder to control your stress levels. “Try hand reflexology. Reflexologists believe that massaging key points in your hand can ease stress and tension. Try pinching the area between your thumb and forefinger about two centimetres into the palm to combat stress. This point is thought to correlate to the adrenal glands, responsible for releasing stress hormones into the body. Pinch the point firmly for three seconds and repeat three times, or massage the area with circular movements,” says Dr. Glenville.




ometimes it’s good to take a step back and simplify things. Whether you’re a gym member or not, one of the most effective ways to get results can be to simply use your body and your surroundings. No equipment, no machinery, just you, your body and the floor. So, time to get down and dirty…

THE WORKOUT Set the timer and see how long it takes to complete the sequence on the right. Beginners: just do what you can. Break all exercises into smaller sets, for example 5 rounds of 10 burpees, or even 10 rounds of 5. Intermediate? Take a small break after each set, and break some of the more challenging exercises (such as burpees) into smaller manageable sets. Expert? Do the whole thing through with no breaks between sets.

• 50 chest to floor burpees • 40 jump squats • 30 suicide planks (high plank to low plank) • 20 press ups • 10 dynamic lunges • 1 minute plank • 2 minute rest • 1 minute plank • 10 dynamic lunges • 20 press–ups • 30 Suicide planks • 40 jump squats • 50 chest to floor burpees Repeat once a month and look to reduce the time.


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PRAMA: THE ALL-NEW FAMILY WINTER WORKOUT Take quality time out together with this upbeat class


S we battle our work-life balance and attempt to grab some quality family time together, it seems our Fairy Godmothers have sprinkled some dust! Forget just grabbing the Sunday lunch as the main family gettogether â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in between checking work emails and driving the kids back and forth to classes or playdates. Time together is precious, which is why David Lloyd are bringing families together, with

yet more inventive ways. After new research revealed a growing trend towards families exercising together, a new family workout is in full swing, which can be tailored to any level, aged five and above. Forget rowers, treadmills and spin bikes, PRAMA reacts directly to feet hitting the floor, hands pressing the walls and equipment slamming into the ground. Even the studio is exclusively adapted for these

sessions, with pressure-sensitive flooring, walls, and interactive lighting, that guides members through their workout. In a similar format to a circuits class, the PRAMA studio is set out with stations which allow you to move between them at specific times. And as the brightly coloured, interactive floor lights up, class members will run, skip and even lunge across the studio, chasing the lights and dropping to the floor to touch light-up stations. Just watch out for the giggles!

Carlie Barlow, Group Family Support Manager for David Lloyd Clubs explains: “PRAMA combines great instructors, lights and music with workouts designed for all levels of fitness. There’s a combination of interactive screens and pressuresensitive flooring and lighting, tracking your heart rate and guiding your movements, to put the play back into training. From energetic five-year-olds to our sassy senior members, the class is designed with all ages in mind.” And you can’t put a foot wrong. Throughout the workout, the moves are shown on LCD screens, so everyone knows exactly what to do and when. There’s even a countdown clock which lets people see how long they have left at each station. PRAMA is now timetabled at several clubs and is free for members. It’s due to roll out to further David Lloyd Clubs in 2019. For more information go to www.DavidLloyd.co.uk






SWEET POTATO LASAGNA SERVES 5 You will need: 1kg lean ground turkey, 400g sweet potato, 1 egg white, 125ml low fat cottage cheese, 125ml reduced fat mozzarella, 2 small tomatoes, 1 400ml tin tomato sauce, 1/3 cup mushrooms, 1/3 cup red onions, 1 tbsp garlic paste, 1/2 cup chopped coriander, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, sea salt, pepper Method: 1. Set oven to 200C. Slice sweet potato using a sharp knife and separately chop up tomatoes, onions and mushrooms. 2. Mix cottage cheese with egg white and set aside. SautĂŠ red onions with garlic paste, then add the meat, tomatoes, cilantro, mushrooms and tomato sauce. 3. Add Italian seasoning. 4. Build lasagna. Add sweet potato slices, meat sauce and cottage cheese and then repeat. Top with mozzarella. 5. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes. 6. Serve with crisp salad and balsamic glaze. If you do not like sweet potato you can replace sweet potato sheets with thin sheets of egg omelettes.

EASY PEASY CHICKEN MEATBALLS (SERVES 3) You will need: 600g minced chicken, 4 spring onions, finely sliced, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped, 4 tablespoons lazy chilli, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Method: 1. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, spring onion, ground coriander, fresh coriander, lazy chilli and lemon juice. 2. Using damp hands, form the mixture into evenly shaped balls that are either small enough to eat with your fingers, or large enough to use as burgers. 3. Heat the fry light in a large frying pan over a medium heat. 4. Pan fry the chicken meatballs in batches until well browned all over. 5. Serve hot or cold with salad or sweet potatoes!

River Thames, Marsh Lock, Henley-on-Thames, UK

FANCY A Open water swimming is one of the oldest sports in existence, dating back as far 2000 years. Now an Olympic sport, it can take place in seas, lochs, lakes, rivers, canals and reservoirs, as long as they are deemed to be safe. Turns out swimming outdoors is much better for burning calories than indoor pool swimming, too. Swimming in colder water makes you work every single muscle and means that your body is trying to keep you warm at the same time. And apart from giving your body a good workout, openwater swimming can also increase your blood circulation, boost your immune system and improve your skin. Here, Jeremy Laming and Tom Kean, founders of sustainable swimwear brand Selkie Swim (www.selkieswim. com), who offer all the apparel and equipment needed to prepare for the open-water swimming season â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including swim skin, swim robes, shirts, hoodies and much more â&#x20AC;&#x201C; showcase their own pictures of the best places to swim outdoors.

Perast, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Old Harry Rocks, Studland, UK

Open-water swimming is growing quicker than you can say ‘brrrrr’, and for good reason. It’s good for you, and enables you to swim in such locations as these shot by the guys at Team Selkie… Selkie. Peraia, Thessaloniki, Greece

Domuz Adasi, Aegean Sea, Turkey

Lovran, Crystal clear Adriatic, North Croatia

Langdales, Lake District, UK


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STRENGTH PROGR A MME Short on time as you chase your career goals? Fear not, Brendan Chaplin knows that feeling all too well, and has devised a workout just for you Fifteen years ago, as a martial arts and gym fanatic, I regularly trained for hours every day and loved every minute of it. My gym sessions would often be a couple of hours and I would be there each and every day grinding out rep after rep. Nowadays itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little different! With a family at home and running two companies there is more responsibility and less time to spend anywhere, let alone the gym! One of my clients a few years ago said to me that your bank balance

and your waistline are directly proportional. The richer you get, the fatter you get. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disagree more with this and vowed to not let the pursuit of business growth get in the way of my health and wellness. The CEO strength programme is designed for individuals that want to buck the trend and challenge the notion that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t achieve great things in business without compromising your health and wellness. Very likely we are time poor, but we have a strong desire to maintain or improve our strength, fitness and health.

THE WORKOUT It’s a simple workout consisting of 4 x 30-minute weekly sessions. Two of these are weights-based, and two are endurance sessions. The results of this programme will be rapid body composition improvements, improved strength and greater endurance, and aerobic health. The sessions are no longer than 30 minutes in length, so you can get in and out of the gym quickly. The weights sessions consist of five exercises done for 30 reps in as few sets as possible. The way to do this is one warm up set, then into your working sets beginning with a weight you can lift for no more than 10 reps in one go.

Your rest between sets is no more than 2 minutes. That way you lift heavy and get through the work quickly, which develops strength, size and metabolic conditioning. The endurance sessions are best done on a treadmill. However, you can do them on a rower if you prefer. They are performance-based, which gives you something to chase in the gym just like you’re chasing your profits outside the gym! You will be knackered from these sessions and it will take effort and hard work. But remember, you’re in and out of the gym in no more than 30 minutes.


DAY 1:

THRUSTERS Start with the barbell on your back, descend into a deep squat, drive up and press the bar overhead.



Warm-up with barbell squats, lunges and overhead presses for 40 seconds each, then do the following: • Thrusters • DB Rows • Chins (see over page) • Dumbell Clean and Press • Rockbacks

Start with a 5-minute run followed by some light stretches, then: • 2.4km run as fast as possible (target under 11 minutes for beginners, under 10 for advanced) • 10 x 30s work: 30s rest done in a pyramid format

Thrusters SS1 (strength session 1)

DB ROWS Using a bench for support, flatten your back, pull the dumbbell to your ribs and lower to the start position.


DB Rows (SS1)


DAY 2:





Chins ES2 (Endurance session 2)



DAY 3: STRENGTH SESSION 2: Warm up with barbell squats, lunges and overhead presses for 40 seconds each, then: • Back Squats • Close grip bench press • Pullovers • Curl and press • Aleknas

DAY 4: ENDURANCE SESSION 2: 5km run or row. Target sub 25 minutes, run sub 20 minutes row.


CHINS Start from a dead hang and pull yourself up getting your chin up to the height of the bar, and lower.

ROCKBACKS Start with your feet on a swiss ball, keeping your arms straight rock back until your nose touches the floor.



Rockbacks (ES2)

D C&P (ES2)


DUMBELL CLEAN AND PRESS Start in a slight squat, pull the dumbells up your body, drop and press the dumbells overhead.



Brendan is a performance coach working in sport and business. He is the founder and CEO of Strength and Conditioning Education, the Youth Strength and Conditioning Association and Strength and Success. Give him a shout on Instagram @brendanchaplin or contact him through https://strengthandsuccess.co.uk. This workout was photographed at David Lloyd, Leeds. “David Lloyd is a great place for me to base myself as a business owner,” says Brendan. “The gym is high quality and has the space to train productively, the spa and pool area is fantastic for recovery and regeneration after a hard week of work and the club room, cafe and business lounge is the perfect environment to get work done whilst having the healthy food options to keep me focused.”



BESTFIT spoke to GB sprinter Adam Gemili on filling Usain Bolt’s shoes and why it’s time to start winning medals



t’s a beautiful autumnal morning in London and we’re doing what most people would be doing in such conditions; watching humans attempting to outrun a horse.

BESTFIT has been invited to a press day promoting QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse, and five athletes of varying sports are attempting to beat equine star Battaash over 10m in a race. Among the hopefuls are England rugby player Danny Care and former cycling whizz Victoria Pendleton. Yet the main man is world and European 4x100m relay champion Adam Gemili, the great British hope of sprinting at next year’s World Championship and beyond. Not surprisingly, he’s the only human quicker than the horse, and he’s in bullish mood when it comes to talking about his hopes for the 12 months ahead, and the Olympics in 2020… SO, ADAM, HOW EASY IS IT TO OUTRUN A RACEHORSE?! Ha, it was a lot of fun but tougher than I thought! I can’t believe, considering how big and heavy they are, how quickly a horse can move from a standing start. They don’t have the benefit of using blocks or fancy footwear, so they’re absolutely amazing animals. CAN DOING STUFF LIKE THIS ACTUALLY MAKE YOU THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING MARGINAL GAINS TO GET QUICKER? This is what sprinting is all about. It’s about data, and using it to find out how you can gain small margins to become quicker. For me, it’s great to get some numbers and use them to adapt to my training. HOW DO YOU TRAIN FOR THAT ELECTRIC START YOU NEED OVER THE FIRST 10M? HOW DO YOU DEVELOP THE POWER? It’s about combining power, strength and technique for the greatest efficiency, and making sure every

“STRIDE LENGTH, CADENCE, BODY POSITION AND BREATHING WILL MAKE YOUR RUNNING EASIER, MORE EFFICIENT” movement is as powerful as it can be. Each movement requires loads of force, and you need all that core strength just to keep you from falling over! It requires loads of plyometrics, gym work and drills for technique. Everything has to be on point at the same time. TELL US HOW YOU’RE PREPARING FOR 2019? I’ve got a long winter ahead. The World Championship isn’t until next October, so that gives me time to work on a few different things. Injuries have been a big part of my last few seasons, so I’ve got time to rehab properly, get strong and try and get it right next year before going into the Olympic Games in 2020. TELL US HOW YOU SPLIT YOUR TIME BETWEEN THE TRACK AND THE GYM… I train six days a week. Three of those days, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, involve being in the gym as well as on the track. They’re intense sessions and cumulatively I can spend six hours working. We do Olympic lifts, bench, snatch, squats etc. Then we do a lot of glute activation, hamstring and hip work. On the track, we do a lot of work from the blocks, or longer ‘repeats’ of 250m/300m. It’s intense, and on those longer repeats you get a lot of lactic acid. DO YOU THINK SPRINTERS LIKE YOURSELF FEEL THERE’S A HUGE OPPORTUNITY NOW THAT USAIN BOLT HAS GONE? Usain going has meant that we’ve

WHAT DOES A SPRINTER NEED TO EAT EVERY DAY TO FUEL THE TRAINING? For breakfast, I might have some oats or a couple of boiled eggs. For lunch it’ll be a stir fry, so not many carbs, and then some salmon, chicken or steak in the evening with loads of vegetables and quinoa, for example. I’m a snacker, so I eat a lot of fruit, quark or Greek yoghurt before bed. I have to be careful because I only have to look at a cake and I put on a couple of kilos! I’m not built to be a sprinter genetically, so I have to work quite hard at what I eat. Weight isn’t the biggest thing for me, it’s just about feeling good.

all moved up a place, and there are a lot of young athletes looking to fill those awfully big shoes of his! I think you’ll start to see closer races. Usain at his peak was impossible to beat. Now there are loads of athletes who can win, and that’s really exciting for the sport. I always used to go into a race thinking I could win, as unrealistic as that sounds, so in that respect nothing changes for me. DO YOU FEEL UNDER PRESSURE AS THE HOPE OF GB’S SPRINTING? I never really put pressure on myself like that, I just make sure I try and perform as best I can and make my family and friends proud of me. I’ve been in the sport a long time and I’m really experienced. I took part in the Olympics when I was 18 and that was crucial. I just try to enjoy it, and I think you can see that from the smile on my face when I’m racing! YOU’VE BROKEN 10 SECONDS OVER 100M AND YOU’RE THE SECOND FASTEST BRITAIN OVER 200M BEHIND JOHN REGIS. IS IT JUST ABOUT WINNING NOW? You never run for time, you run for position. I always aim to be the best. YOU’VE MENTIONED IN A PREVIOUS INTERVIEW THAT MERELY MAKING FINALS IS NO LONGER ENOUGH BOTH FOR YOU AND THE BRITISH TEAM, IT’S TIME TO START WINNING… CAN YOU DO THAT? I think so. I think for Great Britain, with where we are at sprinting, getting to finals isn’t enough, we have to medal. We have some of the best sprinters in the world. We’ve also got to step up because elsewhere Jess Ennis-Hill has gone, Greg Rutherford has stepped down, Mo Farah has left the track… and these were the guys bringing in the guaranteed medals.

IF YOU HAD ONE TIP FOR THE AMATEUR SPRINTER LOOKING TO INCREASE THEIR SPEED, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Have patience. That’s what Tyson Gay taught me. People develop at different rates. You might be the second or third fastest growing up, but just keep working hard and believe in yourself. Things level out, so whether it takes one month, one year or longer, it doesn’t matter. Keep believing. QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES RUNS FROM MAY TO OCTOBER EACH YEAR, CULMINATING ON QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS DAY AT ASCOT. FOR INFO, GO TO BRITISHCHAMPIONSSERIES.COM MAN AND WOMAN v HORSE Battaash, World’s top rated equine sprinter Adam Gemili, World and European 4x100m relay Champion Danny Care, England and Harlequins rugby player Victoria Pendleton, Olympic Cycling Champion Oisin Murphy, Qatar Racing’s retained jockey

1.71 seconds 1.47s 1.88s 1.93s 2.03s



DRINKING FRUIT JUICE You might think you’re being healthy, but be aware that some of the brands are boosted with unnecessary sugars and man-made chemicals that can seriously affect your health. Even if you select a brand that says ‘100% pure fruit juice’, it can still – astoundingly – contain the same amount of sugar as a glass of your favourite fizzy drinks. On top of that, you’re consuming the fruit without the fibre. The best bits of the fruit have essentially been left out of the product, leaving you with the rapidly digestible sugar. My tip? Avoid them.

NOT READING FOOD LABELS Be honest; how many of you actually take the time to read the labels on products? Do you actually just look at the front of the packet and assume the product is as it appears? Products, and packaging, can be misleading. For example, if it has added omega 3’s, it neither makes the product healthy nor does it make up for the high quantity of sugar contained. Take the time to read what you’re eating.

NOT FOCUSING ON REAL OR UNPROCESSED FOODS We live in a modern world of pre-made and processed foods. I appreciate this can assist with our fast moving world of convenience, but food in its original form hasn’t had nutrients interfered with or removed. If you can include as many in your diet as possible, your intake of micronutrients will inevitably be more complete.

NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN This is one of the biggest mistakes I come across with my nutrition patients. Health authorities advocate a relatively low amount of protein, setting the target at 56g for men and 46g for women per day. Be aware, this is the minimal requirement for your intake to prevent a nutritional deficiency, not the optimal amount for health. If you can increase your protein you could enhance your fat-burning capacity, reduce your appetite – as it has a high satiety effect – and improve your muscle mass and overall health.

BEING AFRAID TO EAT FAT In the 1960’s and 70’s scientists lead us to believe that fat made us fat and caused heart disease. This belief lead to the low fat, high-carb ideas that most Americans were encouraged to follow. By 1977 it was common knowledge that fat was a bad thing and should be avoided. There have been multiple studies since that have shown this system doesn’t work; that it doesn’t cause heart disease or cancer and neither does its removal from your diet assist with weight loss. You should endeavour to cut out man-made fats and remember it is not necessary to avoid eggs, meats and coconut oils, which are natural fats.

BELIEVING THAT CALORIES ARE ALL THAT MATTERS FOR HEALTH OR WEIGHT LOSS It is a common misconception that counting calories is sufficient when it comes to weight loss. Granted, a simple formula of calories in versus calories out is okay in theory, but different foods and macronutrients go through different metabolic pathways, and can affect hunger and hormones in different ways. Counting calories or portion controlling are systems that can and do work for some people, however, for a large number of people, this system fails. For a general rule of thumb, try reducing sugar and processed carbs and increasing your protein.

NOT EATING ENOUGH This is always difficult for patients to understand. When you have to explain that the reason they’re not losing weight is because they’re not eating enough, patients can really struggle with this concept. It goes back to the simple formula: Kcal in versus Kcal out. If you eat less you lose weight, right? Well yes, but not if you starve yourself, certainly not a healthy weight loss anyway, it really isn’t the answer. A secure foundation for long-term weight loss is to build muscle. Use a calorie counter to work out the amount you should be consuming daily to cover your minimum needs. A good guide to follow is to split this amount into 30% calories from fats, 40% calories from carbs and 30% calories from protein. If you are being coached or you are in training for something these amounts may vary, so please stick to what you have been advised.

CUTTING OUT CARBS It is true that many people should probably be cutting back on the quantity of carbs consumed, especially if that source is a hand-cut, triple-fried chip. However, going carb-free has several consequences including a lack of fuel for your workouts either pre or post. More worryingly, I am seeing more and more people that are carb free but who are experiencing stomach problems or who have hit a plateau in their training, changing their shape or weight loss. The stomach issues are becoming increasingly apparent with what appears to be the development of amateurs competing in fitness shows or having a desire to ‘hit the stage’ without taking good advice on training and diet. Please seek the advice of a professional before undertaking anything more extreme, but try to reduce white processed carbs or alcohol varieties and, if you can, aim to eat your carbs around your exercise programme.

PICKING BROWN EGGS INSTEAD OF WHITE How many times do you open the egg box and see the white eggs inside, put the box down and take home the box of brown eggs? Is this because we believe that the brown eggs are better for us? Just as with white and brown bread, or white and brown rice. The truth is that there is no difference in the proportions of white and yolk between the two. Neither is there any significant difference in the nutritional values. The sole differences are that they’re from a different breed and cost different amounts, with brown eggs costing up to 25% extra.

USING YOUR FAVOURITE PEANUT BUTTER AS YOUR OMEGA SOURCE I know plenty of nut butter addicts. I am partial to a good nut butter myself, but if you are relying on this as your source of nutrients you are probably not consuming a sufficient amount in your diet. Enhanced and fortified foods can be brilliant and very useful, but they can also be enthusiastically marketed, too. One cup of fortified peanut butter is equal to the amount of omega in a single serve of salmon. That is 1,520 kcals versus 200 kcals. In short, don’t rely on this as your source, use a good quality nut butter (some cheap varieties are in fact depressingly lacking in good macro profiles) and ensure you still have a balanced and varied diet.


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Kelvin Fletcher After 20 years on Emmerdale, Kelvin is pursuing pastures new, including working on BESTFIT TV! Welcome aboard Kelvin, you’ll be presenting the next series of BESTFIT TV! You’re massively into your fitness aren’t you? Definitely. From my late teens, I’ve always been playing sport and I started doing weights with my rugby team on a Tuesday and Thursday night. We would do a weights session as young 15-year-old kids and it just sort of went from there. A lot of my friends went onto play professional sport and so there were obvious benefits to having a good strength and conditioning element to your skillsets. As an actor that wasn’t needed so much, so it became more of a social thing for me, really. I would train with friends but more than that, it was good to have some head space. How has your routine changed over the years? Now I train in the mornings and by 8.30/9am I’m done and I’m feeling on top of the world. For anybody, it’s what you want to take out of training. It’s not about getting a beach body or anything like that, it’s more about the endorphins – all the things that have a positive impact on the rest of your working day. I know if I’m training I’m eating better, I’m

sleeping better and my general self-esteem is better – I have a more positive mindset and I have a bit of a spring in my step. Do you notice a difference when you’re not training? You always notice when you’re not training, that’s when you feel a little bit under the weather. Whether it’s running, rowing, yoga or weights – you really notice it when it’s not in your life. I think as you get older it’s more important as well. How is life post- Emmerdale? It’s very different in many ways. Time-wise, I can apply myself to other projects now because I’ve got so much more time. Emmerdale was so consuming. There are so many other things away from acting and now I’m able to apply myself that much more – I’ve got more balance in my life. Acting-wise, it was great to take a year out anyway and I’ve been writing a lot of my own material. I’ve got a couple of little script ideas that I’ve got in with

a production company at the minute, which have hopefully been given the green light for commission. I did a bit of presenting for Channel 5 at the start of the year and then did a new show for Netflix up in Edinburgh, which I think I’ll be back on at the end of the year. Then I’ve got my first musical starting next month – we’re in London for four weeks and then up north for four weeks. That has kept me pretty busy. How important is fitness to help you shape the way you go about your week? It’s just important to keep an active hand on the fitness side of things because, with a family and when you’re busy with no set working hours, you can lose that routine and go three, four, five days or sometimes even two weeks without training. You feel the adverse effects of that. With more time, that lack of schedule and lack of routine can hit you a little bit harder. Things are very different but I’m happy. I still feel exactly the same as I did when I left the show. I’m glad I’ve got the freedom I’ve got now. Talk us through your regular fitness routine.... I do try and mix it up as often as possible. For me, training has to be something that’s fun and engaging and something that you can stick to and that you enjoy sticking to. I spend a lot of time over in the

States at the minute and Crossfit is huge over there. It’s a really big thing and it’s something I really enjoy. It’s quite cool but there are limits to what I do. A lot of the time you’re lifting quite a substantial weight, at least body weight-type stuff and there’s a lot of movement that, if not done correctly, you’re asking for an injury. When it’s done with an element of time and when you’re fatigued then form goes completely out of the window, you just try and get through the rep. That, for me, is what a lot of Crossfitters do and that’s where I draw the line because I don’t want any injuries. I’m all about form, and I’ll try and do three sessions a week at 6.30am in the morning. It’s a discipline, I know I have to be there at a certain time and it’s an opportunity for me to challenge myself and buzz off whatever little gremlins I have from the previous day. They’re awful workouts! But I love that element of competitiveness. How do you supplement your crossfit? I still like to keep up the weights as well and do anything between two to four weight classes a week. That’s just general – a couple of upper body and a couple of lower body, just simple. I’ll mix it up as well. Every month I’ll go from high-rep volume stuff to low reps – just to keep my mind engaged. There’s only so many exercises you can do and people get obsessed with it, but it’s the diet that’s the big thing – that’s 70–80% of how you look and the way you feel in your body. How important is fitness for the GT4 racing you’re currently doing? The racing is more mental fitness. Mental fatigue is the toughest thing during a race, really. It’s extremely hot in the car and I can probably lose two kilos in a race. It’s pretty taxing in that sense. I’ve never worn a heart monitor but on the startline I would be 160, 170, I’d be up there – the adrenalin will be kicking in. Once the race starts, though, you’re just simplifying your inputs really, but

the mental toughness is the thing, that’s the most difficult element in the car. BESTFIT TV resumes in the New Year, so what will you be doing until then? I’m the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz throughout November and I can’t wait. It’s just a great time of the year to be on stage. My little daughter and my family can come and watch me and I’ll be in a completely different capacity to what they’ve seen me in before. I’m looking forward to that. I’m in the process of trying to source a gym in London – I wouldn’t mind a bit of group training while I’m down there. I’ll probably bring the bike down there too, so I’ll be doing five miles a day to and from the theatre, which will be good.



THE LEAN MACHINES Social media is incredibly powerful, motivational and inspirational, but it can also have a very negative affect on us. One of the issues with social media in the fitness realm is the obsession with always being super ‘healthy’ and eating nothing but avocado, quinoa or kale! Obviously these foods are all actually quite nutritionally good for you, however they are also the ‘in’ healthy foods, which means it’s all everyone wants to post about on Instagram and other social media accounts. So your feed ends up being full of the same type of meals, and so well presented so that it looks like a surgeon put them together! The problem with these recycled and recreated perfectly arranged meals and pictures is that it makes people feel they have to live this way, eating just these ‘in’ foods in order to consider themselves healthy or to fit in. Having this constantly reinforced via images and videos could lead some down the path of orthorexia, which is an obsession with eating healthy and that in itself is not a healthy way to live. Life is to be lived and enjoyed, you can one hundred percent still look and feel great while still enjoying foods you love that may not be perceived as healthy. Life is about balance. Fitness on social media has a very

“WE THINK USERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH A LARGE FOLLOWING, NEED TO SET AN EXAMPLE…” powerful effect on viewers because so much of it is obviously about how you look. This leads to an influx of what many would call perfect bodies or physiques. Now, while the majority of these people should be commended for their hard work and the way in which they help and inspire others to achieve their goals, many are more fickle with their approach and often you’re left to feel it’s more about them than their audience. This side of social media is literally the definition of judging a book by its cover. We think users on social media, especially those with a large following, need to set an example; a positive, encouraging and accepting example that leaves viewers feeling positive about their bodies, their goals and their lives. The same applies with just posting highlight reels of life. Sure, we want our pages to be cheerful and positive but I feel it’s important to also let people

know that we have bad days too. Life will always have its ups and downs, it’s what gives us contrast and allows our highs to be high and our lows low. Without one you can’t have the other. So when you are constantly comparing yourself and your life to someone who seems perfect then it’s only going to make you feel less adequate; both those posting pictures and those viewing them need to be aware and consider this. We as creators need to consider how we affect and motivate our viewers and all of us as viewers need to be aware that all is not always as it seems, often the creators feel many of the same pressures to keep up as the viewers. Ultimately, social media is about being social and bridging the gap between creator and viewer; honesty and vulnerability is what makes us real and approachable. Let’s have less of the perfect and more of the perfectly normal.


GOOD NEWS, Y’ALL. WE CAN REVEAL THAT THE IDEA OF NOT BEING ABLE TO EAT OUT WHEN ON A DIET IS A COMPLETE MYTH. GET IN! HERE’S WHY… Terri Ann Nunns is a mum of four who believes being healthy and having fast food or enjoying a restaurant meal is actually easier than you might think. To prove it, she’s launched the Healthy Happy Mum Plan, Restaurant and Fast Food Calorie Guide, alongside Strictly Come Dancing’s Katie Piper. The pair have teamed up as part of their Healthy Happy Mum Plan venture to help mums and those trying to lead a healthier, happier lifestyle to enjoy fast food and eating out guilt-free. Check out the healthiest options at your favourite haunts… To see the full guide, visit www.thehealthyhappymumplan.co.uk/restaurantfast-food-calorie-guide

TGI FRIDAYS Anyone wanting to feel like they’ve really indulged without feeling the guilt of having a carb overload should head to TGI Fridays. You can enjoy treats like the Hibachi Skewers and BBQ Chicken Flatbread, to the Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites and the Jack Daniels Flat Iron all for under 600 calories.

NANDO’S If you’re looking for a healthy treat, Nando’s is a great shout. There are over 50 different dishes under 600 calories, with dishes such as 3 chicken wings, ¼ chicken breast and Naughty Natas coming in at under 300 calories.

KFC The range of low-calorie options available at KFC might surprise some, but if you’re smart about your menu choices, you can enjoy a range of chicken dishes from their menu. From BBQ Wraps and Popcorn Chicken, which come in under 300 calories, to the Fillet Burger and Original Recipe Ricebox, both under 500 calories, there’s plenty of options for those look for a chicken fix without going overboard on the calories.

McDONALD’S Despite popular belief, there are actually loads of options on the McDonald’s menu that can be enjoyed as part of a low-carb diet. For under 300 calories you can indulge in a Cheeseburger, Chicken McNuggets, Egg and Cheese McMuffin or Cheesy Bacon Flatbread.

STARBUCKS Now autumn is here, many of us will be heading to Starbucks for some winter warmers. For less than 300 calories you can enjoy a Starbucks almond biscotto or shortbread biscuit, a butter croissant or a pain au chocolat.

SUBWAY You’ll be amazed by the number of items under 300 calories on the Subway menu. Enjoy a Cheese Toastie, Pepperoni Pizza, Steak and Cheese or Big Beef Melt guilt-free. And if you feel like a real treat, the Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt and Spicy Italian both come in under 400 calories.

PIZZA HUT Finally, if the only thing that is going to cut it is a good old-fashioned pizza, then Pizza Hut should be your first point of call. With favourites such as a Margherita, Meat Feast and Chicken Supreme all coming in at under 200 calories a slice, you can treat yourself whilst knowing your limits.











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OUT&ABOUT YOGA, PROSECCO + BRUNCH WITH YOGAVIBESLDN. EARLY BIRD OFFER! YogaVibesLDN has teamed up with the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn to offer you a Sunday morning packed with three weekend essentials: yoga, prosecco and brunch. Come hang out with friends, stretch and energise with 75 minutes of mindful yoga, and then tuck in to a banging breakfast and a glass of fizz. They’ll serve you a wellearned brunch after your session, including smashed avocado, basil and chilli, grilled plum tomatoes, scrambled


It’s time to grab your old goggles, fish out your bathers and jump in your local swimming pool. The Aspire Channel Swim challenge is back this year, having convinced over 6,000 swimmers to take part in the 22-mile challenge over 12 weeks in 2017. This year will mark the 17th anniversary of the challenge, and hopefully the biggest year yet. Aspire provide practical help to people with injuries, some of whom are keen to take part in the challenge. You can tackle the distance in your local pool at your own pace, and use the challenge calculator on their website to see how many lengths you’ll need to do each week to complete the challenge within the 12-week time frame.

eggs, field mushrooms, smoked streaky bacon and Cumberland sausages. Let’s not forget the tea, coffee, fizz and mimosas, of course. Anyone with any level of experience is welcome, from first timers to those with a daily practice. YogaVibesLDN knows the best ways to unwind and destress, and the best new foodie venues across London. Merging these elements together makes for a damn good time. Find them on ‘the gram’ @yogavibesldn, or email them at yogavibesldn@ gmail.com if you want to find out more. Oh, and make sure you’re free on Sunday 25 November!

ALSO THIS MONTH... EVENTS LISTINGS London Landmarks Half Marathon

RESTAURANTS FRESS Cafe, Restaurant & Bar

24 March 2019


Back for its second year, the London Landmarks Half Marathon is a closed road, central London run and is the only half marathon to go through both the City of London and City of Westminster. Starting at Pall Mall and finishing up on Downing Street, you’ll be able to see all the major sites while raising some money for charity.

Fresh is the name of the game in this glassy eatery, situated in the Northern Quarter. The chefs make everything from scratch, including the ice cream and the chilli sauce. They serve brunch classics like eggs benny and smashed avo, too.

Charity Tandem Skydive Various dates

Pay £50 and then raise the minimum fundraising amount, before strapping yourself in and jumping out of a plane. You’ll join the 2,000 people who skydive for charity each year, sending money to hundreds of good causes. Race to the Sea 2–4 November

A survival, strength and stamina test that will take you on foot and by river from the rugged wilds of Dartmoor to the stunning coast of Dartmouth. It’s back to basics with this one – no phones or GPS tracking, and expect to forage your meals and build your shelters. Winter Skills Various dates

If you’re a keen hiker looking for something a little more challenging, sign yourself up to learn about navigation and security on winter terrain over two days. Snowshoeing holidays Various dates

A range of getaways that will guide you on an exploration through the snow, to discover stunning landscapes and beautiful French scenery. Snowshoeing is perfect anyone that loves hiking and trekking. Jurassic Coast challenge 8/9 June 2019

Walk, jog or run the spectacular Jurassic Coast that has been a world heritage site since 2001. You’ll start at Poole Harbour and will make your way through Corfe Castle, Lulworth Cove, and Chesil beach before finishing up in Bridport.

Humpit Leeds

With a tag line like ‘making hummusy dreams come true since 2014’ it’s no wonder these guys have managed to open three stores, after being titled ‘Virgin Start-Up Street Food Winner 2015’. Their menu is simple: hummus, pita and hummus salad bowls. But they do all of these things extremely well. Apres Food Co. London

Not just a cafe, but a healthy-eating and wellbeing movement. Having set up shop in London, Apres offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that will leave you feeling great. They also offer a free(ish) lunch deal – £35 for three days of breakfast, lunch and snacks. All you need to do is give your feedback. Bargain!

OTHER EVENTS Winter Funland Ice Rink Manchester 7 December – 1 January

For the first time ever, Winter Funland will be setting up a massive real ice skating rink to hike up those Christmassy winter vibes. Book your slot during your four-hour funland visit and you’ll get to show off those slightly clumsy/well-practised moves. Leeds Hidden Christmas Festival 14-16 December 2018

Dance, sing, eat, drink and watch the show! Dance to the tunes of the Sugar Plum Fairy and marvel at the Christmas cheer unfolding around you, as the festive Nutcracker-themed extravaganza explodes across the magical setting of Kirkstall Abbey this December.


Mizuno Endure 24, Bramham Park Leeds - 28th/29th/30th June 2019


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24 hour team relay race - Teams of 2 to 8 runners Endure24 is all about a weekend away with friends, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be super fit, anyone who can jog or even walk five miles can take part. Camping, showers and parking for runners, friends, family and supporters is included in the entry fee.

Teams, all female, all male or mixed Friday Night Party Free Technical T-shirt Massive Medals 24 Hour Catering 24 Hour Massage Music Entertainment Free Camping Starts 12.00pm Saturday 29th June





his month, myself and the team attended the annual Liverpool Let’s Ride event and Street Festival. Now, personally, I don’t cycle very often but this was something that I really wanted to be a part of as the whole event was aimed at healthy living and overall fitness. Plus, who wouldn’t love an event full of

positive people encouraging one another to live a better and healthier life? As a team, our goal was to set up an outdoor circuit and Zumba class for anyone and everyone attending the event. What surprised me was how many people actually wanted to join in, more so the younger generation!

Nowadays there is so much negativity about the rise in obesity, and how not enough people live a healthy lifestyle. So, I wanted to dedicate this column to the people out there who are living healthy lifestyles and inspiring others to do the same. The event was a massive success! Hundreds of cyclists took to the tracks around Sefton Park, and our circuit was full of people of all ages getting stuck in. At one point, I even found myself doing a few laps! I want to encourage all of our BESTFIT readers to take a look at what is going on in your city, whether it be a cycling, running or fitness event, and get involved! Even if it’s taking the kids down for the day or just interacting with others, I promise it will change your outlook on health, fitness and even people! Cycling is great for a number of factors – cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, joint mobility, posture and co-ordination. Seeing as this column is mostly about cycling, I’ve written a short 15-minute cycling circuit you can try in the gym, or outdoors, if you wish.

CYCLING EXERCISE TITLE • 2 mins seated • Increase resistance • 1 min standing • 2 mins seated • Increase resistance • 1 min standing • 2 mins seated • Increase resistance • 1 min standing • 2 mins seated • Increase resistance • 1 min standing • 2 mins seated • Increase resistance • Seated as fast as you can until failure!



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Profile for BESTFIT Magazine

BESTFIT Magazine issue 41  

Alanna Baker (Cirque du Soleil), Adam Gemili, Kelvin Fletcher, Ben Coomber, guilt-free fast food, winter hacks, wild-water swimming, workout...

BESTFIT Magazine issue 41  

Alanna Baker (Cirque du Soleil), Adam Gemili, Kelvin Fletcher, Ben Coomber, guilt-free fast food, winter hacks, wild-water swimming, workout...