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Lifestyle, Health & Fitness Manual

Welcome to the Fitness Focus manual About us

Who are Fitness Focus? Fitness Focus is an independent company dedicated to promoting healthy living and fitness in the community. It is our aim to make the very best fitness services, advice and products readily available, accessible and affordable to the public.

What we do We offer advice and support through our panel of approved experts. We provide introductions to the best service providers to help you with a range of health and fitness needs and goals. We provide this free health and fitness manual. The manual contains tips, advice and special offers. Whatever your goals this manual will serve as a useful how-to guide and point of reference. Through the use of technology, the manual has been integrated with a powerful online portal and mobile app.

Discounts and special offers: Fitness Focus members will receive many discounts on gym memberships, classes, personal training, chiropractors, alternative and holistic health therapy and much more.

Membership: Membership to Fitness Focus is completely free to the public and a very simple process. Simply visit and subscribe via the website. Alternatively, contact our team on 0843 289 7285 and join over the telephone. If your mobile device is equipped with a QR scanner such as red laser then scan the code (right) to subscribe quickly and easily:


Fitness Manual

From our Editor Welcome to the Fitness Focus manual! This manual has been written with the assistance of some of the best mind, body and spirit experts in the business. We have attempted to cover everything that you need to know as a beginner, intermediate or advanced fitness and health enthusiast.

From our Editor Welcome to the Fitness Focus manual! This manual has been written with the assistance of some of the best mind, body and spirit experts in the business. We have attempted to cover everything that you need to know as a beginner, intermediate or advanced fitness and health enthusiast.

As an ex professional fighter and current self defence and extreme fitness instructor, I have spent my life around fitness . It is my passion and way of life and I am keen to share it with you. The journey towards fitness and health presents many obstacles and we are here to help in every way that we can... Reece M Coker

As an ex professional fighter and current self defence and extreme fitness instructor, I have spent my life around fitness . It is my passion and way of life and I am keen to share it with Join Fitness Focus now and explore a range of exclusive offers, you. discounts and free fitness and health advice. • Yoga classes The journey towards fitness and health presents many obstacles and we are here to help in • Pilates • Weight loss and weight management every way that we can... • Nutrition advice • Chiropractors and health professionals • Massage and therapies • Fitness classes • Personal trainers • Martial arts clubs • Gyms, health clubs and memberships

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Contents Essentials

08 14 18 22 24

Getting started Self assessments Goals

26 30 31

Human Body The systems of the body Body types (Somatotypes) Body shapes

Training principles Warming Up



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32 34 36 38 40 42 46 48

Nutrition Introduction Nutritional therapy Food types explained Super-foods Shopping list Calories Supplements A - Z Stress, food & PMS

26 52 54 56

Men & Women Men training routines Building strength & size


Women training routines Toning & weight loss

Telephone 0843 289 7285 Email Online subcriber service

Editorial Website


28 64 66 68 70

Fitness Classes Introduction & Comparison Aerobic, dance & fitness Mind, body & toning Combat, martial arts & high impact

59 60 61 62 63 73

Healthy activities What you should be doing

Management Team

The gym

Chief Executive Officer: Stephen Cowley

Martial Arts

Editor: Reece Coker


Business Development Director: Laurence Hamilton


Operations Director: Ben Babbington

Exercises Selecting exercises &

exercise library

74 76 78

Bodybuilding & strength Toning & definition Fat burning

Aston Court, Kingsmead Business Park, Frederick Place, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP11 1LA

Marketing Manager Naila Mughal

Expert Contributors Daniel Jackson (Events) Kirsty Shields (Nutrition) Jenny Phillips (Nutrition) Mike Ker (Massage Therapy) Hazel Hussey (Pilates) Steve Langbridge (Martial Arts) Matt Lovett (Fitness) Nia Pearce (Fitness) Sheena Ki (Chiropractor)

Advertising & Promotions Telephone 0843 289 7285 (option 1) Email

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Foreword The aim of this manual is to provide answers to many common questions , solutions to problems and support to overcome the many obstacles on the road to health and fitness. Fitness means different things to different people and we appreciate that people come in all shapes, sizes, levels of ability, and health and fitness. In this manual you will find many different training programmes that consider different goals and levels. Fitness Focus can put you in touch with the right experts and advisors in your local area. Let us do all of the hard work for you and simply tell us what you want to achieve and we will do the rest. No health and fitness programme would be complete without a holistic approach that considers nutrition and underlying health or injuries that may happen along the way. This manual is full of information that teaches you how your body responds to exercise and how to manipulate this to achieve your goals.

How to use this manual The Fitness Focus manual has been designed to be fully integrated with a powerful online portal and supporting mobile app. The health and fitness industry is continuously changing and growing and as such the manual provides a good basic foundation of information and knowledge. The Fitness Focus website provides much more information and content which is live and updated regularly. On the site you will find articles, tips, tricks, fully printable workouts, new fitness classes in your area and many special offers, free services and discounts. With so many classes and experts out there it can be confusing and daunting trying to find the best advisors. Fitness focus has done all of the searching for you and located the leading and most effective classes, services, supplements and products in your area. Our expert advisors have a wealth of knowledge and offer discounts and special offers to our readers and subscribers. Our experts are fully independent and chosen by Fitness Focus for their industry expertise, outstanding value and customer service. We recommend our experts safe in the knowledge that they will help you achieve your aims and support, motivate and educate you along the way. Use this manual as a point of reference whatever your level of fitness or goals. Download the mobile app which will allow you to find fitness, classes, clubs, and gyms right from your mobile phone. Visit the website and subscribe to the Fitness Focus newsletter to receive the latest updates, news and advice every week.


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Find the best fitness classes in your area By downloading the Fitness Focus app which is available from the i-store and google play, you can easily locate the best fitness classes that are running near to you. Each class is run by a fully professional instructor who is approved and endorsed by Fitness Focus. To get started quickly simply scan the QR code and your journey towards a healthy life will begin. You will find many amazing offers and discounts to readers - together with support in achieving your goals.

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Overview FREE printable workouts... Visit our website to download full exercise plans, workouts, diet plans and recipes.

Find the best sports clubs and activities near you

Fitness experts required...

Fitness Focus has produced a fully vetted and approved directory of local fitness, health, sports clubs and activities for all ages in your local area.

Do you run fitness classes? Do you offer advice or personal training? Do you operate a sports or fitness club? Are you the best at what you do?

We have specific activities and clubs for children, women, men and the over 60’s age groups.

If the answer is yes then we want to hear from you. If you become a Fitness Focus approved expert - we could be referring clients to you right now.

The service is available by telephone on 0843 289 7285. One of our advisors will recommend the best activities near you. Alternatively search via our website or mobile app:

*Terms and conditions apply

What body type are you ? Achieve your training goals by fully understanding your body type. Discover the importance of eating and training the right way for you, and increase your results. Approaching your training according to your body type could unlock results that you have never seen before! Pages 30 & 31

Test your strength Use our fitness and health tests on pages 14 - 17 to measure your current fitness and strength levels. Discover the power of setting goals from your starting point to where you want to be. Work with our experts to achieve your goals.

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What is exercise? and why is it important?

“If you don’t use it - you lose it� so the saying goes. The human body has evolved as a primal survival machine designed to endure many stresses and strains. Never before have we had to stress our bodies less in this convienient age of technology... 8

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Maintaining your body for maximum health The body needs to be exercised to remain in peak condition. Without stresses on the body we would waste away and the muscles, bones and connective tissues would degrade suprisingly fast. Astronauts in space - in a zero gravity environment - can lose up to 5% of their muscle mass in a week and 2% of their bone mass every month. Back down to earth - we lose an average of 5 percent of our muscle mass every 10 years after the age of 35.

When we lose muscle - we gain weight! Muscle is metabolically active tissue. In plain english, the more muscle you have on your body - the more calories your body requires at a resting state. Conversley, when we lose muscle we need less calories to maintain our weight. Muscle loss could be

a factor in middle age spread and of course linked to a more sedentary lifestyle. A common concern that women have when considering weight training is the idea of “building muscle” and getting “bulky”. This is a common misconception as the first thing that will happen when you start lifting weights is that your muscles will become more dense - almost like growing internally with fibres becoming thicker and more densely packed together. The results are a significant change in the firmness and tone (no sagging bits). And now for some science: In the bodybuilding and fitness community and even in some academic books skeletal muscle hypertrophy (growth) is described as being in one of two types: Sarcoplasmic or myofibrillar. According to this theory, during sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, the volume of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscle cell increases with no accompanying increase in muscular strength, whereas during myofibrillar hypertrophy, actin and myosin contractile proteins increase in number and add to muscular strength as well as a small increase in the size of the muscle. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is characteristic of the muscles

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of certain bodybuilders while myofibrillar hypertrophy is characteristic of Olympic weightlifters and athlete’s. These two forms of adaptations rarely occur completely independently of one another; one can experience a large increase in fluid with a slight increase in proteins, a large increase in proteins with a small increase in fluid, or a relatively balanced combination of the two.

What do I need to do? It is important to do three types of exercise to achieve maximum health and a fully balanced body:

Cardiovascular exercise For the health of your heart, circulatory and respiratory system. Exercises such as jogging, spinning, many fitness or dance classes, cycling, team sports and games all fall within the cardio category providing they are done at the right tempo and for the optimum time.

Muscular strength and endurance Important for the composition of your body (more muscleless fat). Helps ward off the ageing process. Supports the immune system and improves mood and positivity. Some research even suggests that this type of exercise boosts brain power, memory and cognition.

What are my options ? The aim is to build a balanced and sustainable programme that fits around your goals and your life. This manual provides an insight into the support and opportunities for training, sport and healthy living that are out there. Fitness Focus can also put you in touch with the best local health, sport, nutrition and fitness practitioners in your area. In many cases we have negotiated special offers and discounts to our readers and free Introductory sessions on fitness classes or consultations.

There are so many fitness activities, clubs, sports, experts, products and services out there it can be hard to know where to start. Fitness Focus will guide you every step of the way to achieving your goals 10

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Why exercise? Exercise can have profound positive psychological and physiological effects. In summary: • Make your heart and circulatory system work more efficiently • Re-balance your internal systems • Strengthen muscles • Improve coordination • Improve stability and function of the joints • Strengthen bones • Reduce body fat

• High blood pressure • Osteoporosis • Back and joint pain • Heart disease • Stroke • Some cancers • Type 2 diabetes

What next ? Read through this book to discover the range of ways that you can make a positive and permanent change to your life. Visit the Fitness Focus website to keep up to date with the latest articles, tips and advice. On the website there are always special offers and new fitness classes springing up so don’t forget to subscribe to the news and mailing lists.

Support We are here to support you through every stage of your journey to health and well-being. Whether you want to run a triathalon, play professional or competitive sports, have fun and meet new friends - make us your partner. We can’t promise it will be easy - nothing worthwhile ever is - we promise to support you on your journey.

Advice We can help by recommending the best fitness services, products and advice in your area. All of our experts and service providers are selected as they are the best. Being the best means best service, best qualified and best value. Our service providers are all vetted and approved by Fitness Focus and will be issued with the following seal of approval:


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Exercise can help fight diseases and conditions like:

You can use any of our experts safe in the knowledge that you will be completely safe and looked after. Visit to start your search.

Respecting the stages of life In your 20’s

You will be in pretty good shape generally and this is an ideal time to lay the foundations of a great physique and fitness level for many years to come. Treating your body right at this age will determine or avoid many problems later in life.

In your 30’s

Ensure that you are doing enough cardio and taking a holistic approach to training as this is the age where you can start to accumulate fat around the middle. Fat in the abdominal area can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disorders.

In your 40’s and 50’s

Keep up your cardio and make sure you do plenty of resistance training to counteract bone and muscle loss. Regular exercise can also help with certain sleep disorders and some of the symptoms of menopause. In men - this form of exercise can help to keep testosterone levels high and assist with some of the common male issues such as libido and erectile function.

In your 60’s and beyond

Keeping up with exercise whilst taking care of the joint and mobility is crucial at this age. Yoga, Pilates and swimming are all excellent to avoid impact on the joints.

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Getting started training principles

Before you start on an programme of exercise you need to fully understand where you are now and where you want to be. An honest assessment followed by realistic goals is vital to success. In this chapter we have provided some useful guidance. Make friends with exercise

Get a nutritionist

It is important that you select exercises and activities that you actually enjoy. This helps when you need to motivate yourself. Mixing exercise with a social aspect can be a great motivator. Perhaps join a team or get a training partner - that way you can motivate each other. When you have committed to training with someone else it is not easy to let them down!

The fuel that you put in your body and amount of calories consumed should be one of the focal points of your programme. It may surprise you to hear that whether you are looking to slim down or build up, food is often over 70 percent of the equation. Getting a nutritionist to help you is highly advised. Fitness focus can put you in touch with a nutritionist in your area. Visit our website for further details and read more about nutrition in the nutrition section of this manual.

Plan when you will exercise Keep an exercise calendar or wall chart and use visual feedback to motivate yourself. Treat your workout like an appointment and don’t be late. This approach helps you to become more disciplined.

Shut out the outside world Turn off your mobile phone and get into the zone! The results that you achieve depend on the amount of effort and focus that you put in. Concentration, dedication and focus do not come easily to everyone. Talent without dedication rarely amounts to anything and failure, lack of progress and giving up on your resolutions are all linked to your mental attitude.

Work with a personal trainer Working with a personal trainer is the best way to solve dedication issues. Good personal trainers become a big part of your life. They advise you on all aspects of your program and tailor your regime to ensure that you achieve your goals. All you have to do is turn up! That said, the best personal trainers will be on your back if you don’t turn up.

Attend fitness classes Attending structured classes could be one of the best moves you make. Not only will you get a first class workout every time, you will get consistent results and your motivation will be far higher. Fitness Focus recommends a range of fitness classes on pages 62 - 69 and further information on the best fitness classes in your area can be found on:

When should I train ? How often should I train? How much should I eat? What exercises should I do? How long will it take before I see results? These are all common questions that will be answered in this chapter...

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where are you now? Cardio fitness test Before you start an exercise programme, you need to establish your current level of fitness. Fitness is not one dimensional and there are many aspects. Cardio vascular, body fat levels, flexibility, muscular strength, endurance all need to be considered.

How often should I re-take the test? You should re-take this test after 4 weeks of regular progressive cardio and you should see some good results. Testing every four - six weeks ongoing can be highly motivational and will be a good indicator of your progress.

Cardiovascular or aerobic fitness is a measure of how efficient your heart is at pumping oxygen around your body and how efficient your body is at absorbing that oxygen and ridding itself of carbon dioxide and other bi-products. You can test this by measuring your resting heart rate or by measuring how rapidly your heart rate returns to normal after exertion.

Heart rate recovery time test Step 1: Establish your resting heart rate (see right) Step 2: Step up and down a high step for three minutes or run at a pace faster than jogging for an equivalent time. Step 3: Sit down for thirty seconds then check your pulse again to establish your new heart rate. What do the results mean? The lower your heart rate in step 3 the shorter your recovery time and therefor the higher your cardiovascular fitness level. Visit our website to reveal the results of your fitness test:

Establishing your resting heart rate (RHR) Your RHR is how many times your heart beats per minute when you are at rest. It serves as a useful way of checking your cardio fitness at any time and acts as a base-line marker when you are performing the heart rate recovery test (see left) How do I measure my heart rate? Hold one hand with your palm facing upwards and with your middle and index fingers feel at the base of your thumb at your inner wrist (radial artery) feel for a pulse. Move your fingers around or press harder until you feel one. Count it for 15 seconds and then multiply by four to get your RHR beats per minute (BPM) When should I check my RHR?

By understanding how fit you are now - you can set goals for improvement and enjoy the positive feedback of achieving the milestones in your journey towards your goals... 14

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First thing in the morning is usually good as you are at your most relaxed. Any time you have been at rest for ten minutes will also suffice. What do the results mean? Generally speaking, the lower your RHR is, the fitter you a re from a cardiovascular point of view. Optimum RHR levels vary with age, gender and weight and the results can be reviewed on our website:

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Resting heart rate and heart rate recovery test results tables can be found on the website:

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Strength test Upper body strength It is important to keep your body strong as the muscles form part of a support structure which can help to resist injury or to play sports and team games. Strength is measured in different ways: Upper body, Core strength and Lower body. It is important that you have an all round balanced development. Imbalance is often the root cause of many injuries. In the tests following, you will test in all three areas by doing as many repetitions (reps) of an exercise as you can until you feel like you can’t do any more - this is the Point of Perceived Exertion. You will then continue to push yourself to do a few more - this is the Point of Challenge. The half push up - (on knees) Step 1 Get on the floor on all fours. Place your palms on the mat with your hands level with your head slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Move your knees backwards looking down so that your neck and spine form a natural straight line. Inhale to prepare. Step 2 Lower yourself under control until your chest touches the floor. This should be to the count of 3 seconds. Now push up to the count of two exhaling as you do so. (Once you can complete 25 - 30 reps of the half push up - try the full push up below) The full push up Step 1 Get on the floor on all fours. Place your palms on the mat with your hands level with your head slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Move your knees backwards and push up onto your hands and feet - looking down so that your neck and spine form a natural straight line. Inhale to prepare. Step 2 Lower yourself under control until your chest touches the floor. This should be to the count of 3 seconds. Now push up to the count of two exhaling as you do so. What do the results mean? The more reps you can do, the stronger you are. Detailed results analysis tables can be found on our website: How often should I re-take the test? You should re-take this test after 4 weeks of regular progressive training and you should see some good results. Testing every 4 - 6 weeks ongoing can be highly motivational and will be a good indicator of your progress. 16

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Point of challenge = POC Point of exertion = POE

The Crunch

Strength test results tables

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Core body strength Core strength plays a vital part in supporting the body through every movement. A strong core protects your back from injury and makes you stronger in the long run. Step 1 Lie on your back with your knees pointing up and bent at a approximately a 90 degree angle. Knees are to be about hip width apart. Place your hands across your collar bone rather than behind your head to prevent you from jerking your neck upwards. Your head should be resting comfortably on the floor. Step 2 Pull your belly towards your spine to engage your abs and inhale as you do so. As you exhale, raise your head and shoulders off the floor as far as comfortable. Hold for a couple of seconds engaging your abs fully. Inhale and slowly lower yourself. Do as many reps as you can to the point of challenge (POC) then do a few more taking it to the point of exertion (POE). Once you can complete 50 reps, try extending your arms fully over your head and repeating the movement to make it more challenging.

Lower body strength The wall squat Step 1 Stand against the wall with your feet hip width apart. Your arms should be parallel and by your side. Walk your feet away from the wall so that you could bend your knees to a right angle without moving your feet. Adjust your position so that you can accomplish this. Inhale to prepare. Step 2 Bend your knees and slide your back down the wall as if you were sitting down into a chair. Once you are at right angles, exhale and return to standing making sure that your back remains against the wall. Do as many as you can to the point of challenge (POC) then attempt a few more and reach the point of exertion (POE) Once you can complete 50 wall squats - try keeping your legs bent at the top so that the pressure remains on your legs throughout the exercise.

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where are you right now Now that you know where you are in terms of general fitness levels, you can consider where you want to be. It is important to set goals and it is important for those goals to be achievable. Using the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, action centred, realistic, timed) you can ensure that your goals are met and you get where you want to be.

An honest look at where you are now against a realistic goal shows a gap that can be bridged with an action centred plan...



Be specific with your goals. Eg. “I want to fit into my wedding dress” or “I want to drop three dress sizes” For men it may be “I want to lose the beer belly” or “I want to bench press 100Kg” . The more specific you are, the better.

Phrases like “I want to look my best for my holiday are not measurable. Weights and measurements are. Work out your target weight or key measurements and make them part of your goal

Action-centred Realistic Dropping 3 dress sizes in a week isn’t realistic. Building 3 stone of solid muscle in 6 months is also unrealistic. Break your goal down into achievable milestones. A good tip would be to work out how much you can lift, or how many reps you can do of a certain exercise and look to make small gains. For example: I want to increase my bench press from 50 Kg x 10 reps to 50 Kg x 12 reps in the next two weeks. This is achievable and small gains like this add up to big gains in the long run.


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Create a timetable or use a diary and stick to it. Make appointments for your sessions and classes and make sure that each action is keeping you on target with your goals and objectives.

Timed It is crucial that you set a time frame to everything you do. Open ended goals just keep rolling on and you never seem to get there. Say what you want to do and when you want to do it by. You can even go further by setting a main goal and time frame - then breaking it down into smaller milestones. Our downloadable Fitness diary and goal setting charts on the website will help you to set smart objectives and achieve them. The team at Fitness Focus are also here to help and just a phone-call or click away. Visit to find out more and download your free training diary and toolkit now...

Setting SMART objectives is a sure way to get to where you want to be and achieve your goals...

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where do you want to be There is nothing more satisfying than getting closer and closer to your goals and vision. Keeping track of your progress through a training diary and regularly testing yourself will keep you on track. If you start to stray from the course, it is far easier to take remedial action as early as possible.

Most people have been in the familiar situation of setting New Year Resolutions which involve joining the gym, losing weight, giving up smoking or any number of motivation/ willpower related goals. A high percentage of those same people have also been in the familiar situation of giving up before realising their goals.

Personal trainers:

If there was a small pill that we could take, perhaps a “will� pill, then life would be easy. Unfortunately there is no magic pill, there is however hope and help at hand.

Weight loss and dietary goals:

Training centred goals: Get a personal trainer or join a group or club. Whilst there are some tips and tricks to do with motivation, many people will not be able to motivate themselves to continuously follow or adopt them. By joining a group you will benefit from the highly motivational social and group dynamic. Human beings are social creatures and group training is a proven way to motivate yourself and stay on track.

Are you fed up of going on diets and starting exercise plans only to give up? If you want to stop this cycle right now then contact us right away for your free consultation. 0843 289 7285

Personal trainers will take care of your training and motivation for you. Good personal trainers will provide first class training and lifestyle advice. They will also motivate you when you need it.

Get a nutritionist because you WILL fall off the wagon with any diet that you set. With a nutritionist re-enforcing the rules and motivating you will be back on the wagon in no time. Reaching your goals is easy: Provided that you stay on the diet recommended and complete the training and exercise required - you will reach your goals. It is really as simple as that. Where it all goes wrong is when you skip workouts and slip from your nutritional plan. Slipping is fine and par for the course - giving up is unacceptable and stops right here!

To find a nutritionist and personal trainer or exercise class in your area simply contact us on or visit:

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goals for her

Goals For Her 2 1




Get rid of those bingo wings

Many people have “wobbly bits” that they feel conscious of and no matter how hard they workout, they can’t seem to shift them. Starting to up the intensity and train progressively could be the answer. Perhaps you have always wanted to try a boot camp or get a group of friends together for a regular PT session. Fitness Focus can help.


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Learn to cook more healthily

Make that change by learning to cook more healthily. Involve the family and completely change your junk food culture. It is very difficult for one person in the family to stick to a healthier eating culture if the rest of the family aren’t behind it. Why not get one of our nutritionists to come out to you and the family for a free consultation.


Lose weight and drop a dress size

You may be surprised at the reasons behind why that little black dress doesn’t fit anymore. You may even be eating well and exercising. Intrigued? Want to find out a little known secret about bloating and water retention? visit: The weight that you thought was fat may actually be water retention...


Feel and look fabulous and turn heads

Do you want to feel and look absolutely fantastic? You will be pleased to know that you have already started on this journey as a reader of the Fitness Focus Manual. To achieve this goal a holistic approach towards exercise, nutrition, supplements and sleep is required.

goals for him

Goals For Him 1 2



Get fit for playing sport at the weekend

Is it getting harder to recover from those weekend rugby and football matches with the lads? We can show you how to exercise to take your playing performance and fitness to the next level. Amaze your team mates with your speed and physical prowess on the pitch.


Build muscle and strength

Have you always found it difficult to put on weight? Perhaps you have always carried too much weight and want to look more muscular. Unlocking the secrets to understanding your body type and fast-tracking your gains starts right here. The men’s training section of this manual has the answers you need.



Look like a cover model

Are you already fit and want to take your fitness to the elite level? Do you want to look like a cover-model and release your full potential? If you have ever fancied training like Rocky Balboa or hard-core military style boot-camp then we can help. Fitness Focus can put you in touch with the right trainers and clubs near you.


Lose the beer belly

When was the last time you saw your toes - or anything south of your belt? Enough is enough say goodbye to that beer belly and put a smile back on the wife’s face. Read this manual and let us help you write a plan of action to say goodbye to that unwelcome guest! Read our exercise plans on pages 71 - 79 and subscribe to our website:

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for training the right way

Frequency How often should I train? This is one of the most common training related questions. Training frequency depends largely on the type of exercise programme you are doing and your goals. Losing weight, building strength, building muscle, training for fitness, training for sport require very different training programmes and will have very different impacts on the body. Read this section for an overview of the various considerations and explore the exercise and workout sections of this manual for more detailed goal-specific advice. Intensity of exercise will determine the amount of time needed for recovery and therefore the frequency of training. Cardio exercise generally requires less recovery time than heavy lifting. The exception to this rule is extremely long distance running which can have an impact on the joints, ligaments and tendons. A balanced exercise programme of three days per week is an ideal standard to aim for. In the case of bodybuilding - the frequency depends on how the workouts are arranged - a three day per week system can work well providing that adequate recovery is possible.


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Understanding the following principals and using them will transform your workouts and ensure that you keep making progress towards your goals...

Recovery Full recovery is crucial before your body will make any strength and performance related gains. Surprisingly, many people train too much. This is particularly true of men trying to build strength and muscle. It is easy to forget that gains are not made in the gym. The gym is a place where the body is challenged and responds by improving. The body needs many things to make those improvements and recovery is one of them.

Refuel The body will not function at its optimum level, nor will it improve without the right fuel. Your body has to replace all of the spent energy after a challenging workout before any improvements and gains are made. Following a workout, the body searches for sources of energy. If you control the calories you put in your body during this stage - the body will burn fat as a stored source of energy. On the other hand, if you are looking to gain weight - you must refuel fully following your workout!

Overload Progressively overloading the body by increasing the intensity of exercise is important to continued gains. Many people go to the gym week after week and become de motivated when they don’t see continued gains in either performance or shape and weight loss. The body adapts! This fact can be your best friend when training but at the same time, if you don’t continuously change your workouts and up the intensity - the body will simply get used to what you are doing and it will not respond.

The body adapts - if you don’t keep it guessing it will simply get used to your workout and stop responding...

Read the exercise section of this manual for some challenging workouts and training plans. Subscribe to our website for brand new workout plans every week and keep your progress steady.

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Warming up It is very important to warm up the body before exercising. This aids the performer in preparing physiologically and psychologically for exercise, reducing the chance of joint and muscle injury. Warm up exercises prepare the body for exercising by increasing the blood flow to the muscles allowing them to loosen up, which can raise the flow of oxygen to the muscle cells. Doing this gradually increases the body’s temperature. This then increases the speed and force of muscular contractions, because nerve impulses travel faster at higher body temperatures, and muscles become less stiff and more pliable. They also help to gradually increase the heart rate and ensure that the demand made on the circulatory and metabolic systems is gradual as well. In a safe and gradual way they allow blood to be diverted away from other parts of the body such as the digestive system to the muscles being exercised. This initial part of your exercise session helps to improve neural function and co-ordination, protect major joints as it takes time to increase the supply of lubricating synovial fluid and to thicken the articular cartilages – the body’s shock absorbers. The warm up’s intensity should cause perspiration but not cause fatigue. The type of warm up needs to be appropriate for the activity planned. It also needs to be appropriate to the age range and fitness level of the participants, usually lasting for 5-10 minutes in duration. 24

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The following examples cover a warm up: • walking or jogging to increase the body’s temperature • dynamic stretches to reduce muscle stiffness • specific stretches for muscles that will be used during exercises So in warming up thoroughly, we are preparing the body and the mind for the more energetic demands to come. For printable warm up, cool down and exercise plans use the QR code below or visit:

The cool down period of an exercise session is just as important as the warm up. The aim is to decrease the intensity of the aerobic session and to return the body to a state of rest. The cooling down has the effect of:

exercise principles

Cooling down

in your workout will return them to their normal length, reduce the delayed onset of muscular soreness, aid recovery and assist your body in its repair process. Don’t forget to include some deep breathing as this will help to oxygenate your system.

• Preventing blood pooling, returning the blood back to the To find out more about dynamic stretches and other exercises heart rather than allowing it to pool in the muscles that have that you can use to warm up and cool down - visit the Fitness been worked. Focus website: • Bringing the heart rate back down, gradually. • Preventing fainting by ensuring that the brain continues to receive a sufficient supply of blood and oxygen reducing the blood lactic acid levels. Once you have completed the main component of your session you can then focus on the cooling down phase. The key here is ‘gradual’. Use the first three - five minutes by walking, or jogging if you have been running, which will bring your breathing under control and back to normal. Once your heart rate has returned back to a state of rest you can then follow this with some stretching. Stretching the muscle groups you used

Don’t skip the warm up and cool down. You will get much more out of the workout and it can increase your performance and reduce stiffness afterwards. Make your workout more effective with our printable exercise routines: Fitness Manual


the human body

The human body and how it works The human body is an amazing and resilient machine. Like any machine, maintenance is vital to prevent a breakdown. If one vital part of the engine is not functioning at the optimum level there will be a direct impact on the ability of the whole organism to function. For comprehensive advice and support to keep your engine running visit:

Digestive System The liver has a vital role in the body which is to cleanse the system of toxins and produce bile which breaks down the fats in the body. Exercise has been proven to have a positive impact of liver function. We should also try not to overburden our livers with eating too much and the wrong types of food.

The Kidneys also play a vital part in the human machine. The Kidney’s are small bean shaped organ’s which lie either side of your body. The blood which travels through the kidneys deposits the waste the blood has gathered on its journey through your body. Small filters, filter out the impurities from the blood, the impurities travel to the middle of your kidney which develops a liquid called urine. The kidneys help us to get rid of waste in our bodies through producing the urine which travels on to our bladder. 1. Salivary glands These secrete saliva, an alkaline fluid, to soften food, moisten the mouth and help swallowing. An enzyme called amylase starts to break down carbohydrate. 2. Oesophagus Food is pushed through the oesophagus by muscular contractions and relaxations. 3. Stomach The stomach is a holding tank. Special muscles enable it to move food around


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and break it down into smaller pieces. The stomach lining secretes acidic gastric juices to digest carbohydrate and protein. Stress, the speed and types of food that we eat have an impact on how well the stomach and digestive system can cope with the demands that we place on it. Chewing your food properly can reduce the stresses we place on the stomach and eating the right combinations of food is important. Low alkali foods place relatively little stress on the digestive system whereas red meat, which is more acidic, can place considerably more stress on the system. Understanding this and getting advice from a qualified nutritionist can have many benefits. 6. Liver and gallbladder Incoming blood from the gastrointestinal tract brings glucose from food breakdown which is stored as glycogen. Bile, which is involved in digestion and absorption of fats, is made in the liver. The gallbladder, a small sac located on the under-surface of the liver, stores and concentrates bile. The consumption of fatty foods triggers the release of bile

the human body

By understanding how the human body works - you can fully appreciate how a holistic approach is necessary to keep it functioning properly. Exercise is important but only one part of the equation. Nutrition and rest are equally as important.

from the gallbladder into the intestine via a series of ducts.

prevent food from going down into the trachea and the lungs.

Intestines The large intestine is made up of the caecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon and rectum. Undigested food passes into the large intestine. This is essentially all the waste products. Poor digestion caused by the wrong foods or stress, can lead to a build up of undigested food and gases causing bloating, wind and stomach pains. Faeces are stored here and eventually they pass through the colon and are excreted through the rectum.

The heart & Lungs The heart pumps blood needing oxygen to the lungs.

Respiratory system

The heart is just a big muscle which pumps blood around the body. Like all your

This blood goes to the lungs where it is loaded up with oxygen and sent back to the heart. The oxygen-rich blood enters the left side of the heart which then pumps it around the body to where it is needed.

muscles, the heart needs oxygen to work. This oxygen is brought to the heart by the coronary arteries. If the coronary arteries become narrowed by fatty deposits in the lining of the arteries (atherosclerosis) then the flow of blood to the heart muscle may be restricted. If the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood it doesn’t get enough oxygen to work properly.

Blood which has delivered its oxygen to the muscles and tissues then returns back to the right-hand side of the heart to start the cycle again.

The respiratory system supplies the oxygen needed by the cells of the body and takes away the waste carbon dioxide. Air is taken in through the nose and mouth and down the airway (the trachea or windpipe) into the lungs where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide from the body’s tissues. The carbon dioxide is then exhaled out of the lungs and out of the mouth or nose. When you breathe in, air first passes through the nose and is warmed to body temperature. It is also moistened as it passes over the damp mucous membrane of the inside of the nose. Then the air passes down your throat into the voice box - the larynx. From the larynx, air passes down the trachea which then branches into the left bronchus and the right bronchus (collectively known as bronchi). A flap of tissue called the epiglottis covers your larynx when you swallow food - to

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the human body

The human body and how its systems work Endocrine system The endocrine system includes all of the glands of the body and the hormones produced by those glands. The glands are controlled directly by stimulation from the nervous system as well as by chemical receptors in the blood and hormones produced by other glands. By regulating the functions of organs in the body, these glands help to maintain the body’s homeostasis. Cellular metabolism, reproduction, sexual development, sugar and mineral homeostasis, heart rate, and digestion are among the many processes regulated by the actions of hormones. Anatomy of the Endocrine System Hypothalamus The hypothalamus is a part of the brain located superior and anterior to the brain stem and inferior to the thalamus. It serves many different functions in the nervous system, and is also responsible for the direct control of the endocrine system through the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus contains special cells called neurosecretory cells neurons that secrete hormones. By eating and training correctly, you will be assisting your endocrine system and we see much better results. Too much training can put stress on this system so recovery and refuelling fully is essential.

Cardiovascular system The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood vessels, and contains approximately 5 litres of blood that the blood vessels transport. Responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and cellular waste products throughout the body, the cardiovascular system is powered by the body’s hardest-working organ the heart - which is only about the size of a closed fist. Even at rest, the average heart easily pumps over 5 litres of blood throughout the body every minute. Cardiovascular System Anatomy The Heart The heart is a muscular pumping organ located medial to the lungs along the body’s


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midline in the thoracic region. The bottom tip of the heart, known as its apex, is turned to the left, so that about 2/3 of the heart is located on the body’s left side with the other 1/3 on right. The top of the heart, known as the heart’s base, connects to the great blood vessels of the body: the aorta, vena cava, pulmonary trunk, and pulmonary veins. Many people neglect the cardio part of their training. This is particularly true of men looking for bodybuilding and strength gains. By not training your heart you could be limiting your gains.

Nervous system The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, sensory organs, and all of the nerves that connect these organs with the rest of the body. Together, these organs are responsible for the control of the body and communication among its parts. The brain and spinal cord form the control centre known as the central nervous system (CNS), where information is evaluated and decisions made. The sensory nerves and sense organs of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) monitor conditions inside and outside of the body and send this information to the CNS. Efferent nerves in the PNS carry signals from the control centre to the muscles, glands, and organs to regulate their functions.

Nervous System Anatomy Nervous Tissue The majority of the nervous system is tissue made up of two classes of cells: neurons and neuroglia. Neurons, also known as nerve cells, communicate within the body by transmitting electrochemical signals. Neurons look quite different from other cells in the body due to the many long cellular processes that extend from their central cell body. The cell body is the roughly round part of a neuron that contains the nucleus, mitochondria, and most of the cellular organelles. Small tree-like structures called dendrites extend from the cell body to pick up stimuli from the environment, other neurons, or sensory receptor cells. Long transmitting processes called axons extend from the cell body to send signals onward to other neurons or effector cells in the body. Making a strong mind - muscle connection can rocket your gains in the gym. Olympic weight lifters make one of the strongest connections of all and can utilise an incredibly large volume of muscle fibres in one maximum lift. The central nervous system functions become impaired with age but with the right exercise and nutrition plan you can have a positive effect on this essential system. Explore this manual and visit the Fitness Focus website:

the human body

Skeletal system The skeletal system includes all of the bones and joints in the body. Each bone is a complex living organ that is made up of many cells, protein fibres, and minerals. The skeleton acts as a scaffold by providing support and protection for the soft tissues that make up the rest of the body. The skeletal system also provides attachment points for muscles to allow movements at the joints. New blood cells are produced by the red bone marrow inside of our bones. Bones act as the body’s warehouse for calcium, iron, and energy in the form of fat. Finally, the skeleton grows throughout childhood and provides a framework for the rest of the body to grow along with it. Skeletal System Anatomy The skeletal system in an adult body is made up of 206 individual bones. These bones are arranged into two major divisions: the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton runs along the body’s midline axis and is made up of 80 bones in the following regions: • Skull • Hyoid • Auditory ossicles • Ribs • Sternum • Vertebral column

The appendicular skeleton is made up of 126 bones in the following regions: • Upper limbs • Lower limbs • Pelvic girdle • Pectoral (shoulder) girdle. The muscular system is responsible for the movement of the human body. Attached to the bones of the skeletal system are about 700 named muscles that make up roughly half of a person’s body weight. Each of these muscles is a discrete organ constructed of skeletal muscle tissue, blood vessels, tendons, and nerves. Muscle tissue is also found inside of the heart, digestive organs, and blood vessels. In these organs, muscles serve to move substances throughout the body.

Muscular system Muscular System Anatomy Muscle Types There are three types of muscle tissue: Visceral, cardiac, and skeletal. 1. Visceral Muscle. Visceral muscle is found inside of organs like the stomach, intestines, and blood vessels. 2. Cardiac Muscle. Found only in the heart, cardiac muscle is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. Cardiac muscle tissue cannot be controlled consciously, so it is an involuntary muscle features also help

to spread electrochemical signals quickly from cell to cell so that the heart can beat as a unit. 3. Skeletal Muscle. Skeletal muscle is the only voluntary muscle tissue in the human body - it is controlled consciously. Every physical action that a person consciously performs (e.g. speaking, walking, or writing) requires skeletal muscle. The function of skeletal muscle is to contract to move parts of the body closer to the bone that the muscle is attached to. Most skeletal muscles are attached to two bones across a joint, so the muscle serves to move parts of those bones closer to each other. Skeletal muscle cells form when many smaller progenitor cells lump themselves together to form long, straight, multinucleated fibres. Striated just like cardiac muscle, these skeletal muscle fibres are very strong. Skeletal muscle derives its name from the fact that these muscles always connect to the skeleton

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the human body

Body types

what type are you? Somatotypes Discovering what body type you are could make a positive impact on the results that you get from your diet and training. Tailoring your approach to work in harmony with the natural way your body is designed can be a powerful methodology. Before you start, it is important to understand that no one person is any pure body type, rather we are all combinations of the three types being - ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph.

Ectomorph • A high forehead • Receding chin • Narrow shoulders and hips

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A predominantly ectomorphic individual is long, slender and thin, and therefore power and strength sports are perhaps not suitable as their slight build leaves them susceptible to injuries. While they can easily get lean and hard, their lack of musculature severely limits their chances in sports requiring mass. Ectomorphs dominate endurance sports and gymnastics. They can achieve low levels of body fat which can be detrimental to health and for females in endurance sports it can result in a cessation of periods and iron deficiency. Sports Benefits • Light frame makes them suited for



• A narrow chest and abdomen • Thin arms and legs • Little muscle and fat

aerobic activity like gymnastics • Smaller body surface area also enhances their suitability for endurance activity • Their body is better at thermo regulation, important in endurance based sports

•Mesomorph • A wedge shaped body • A cubical head • Wide broad shoulders • Muscled arms and legs • Narrow hips • Narrow from front to back rather than side to side. • A minimum amount of fat A mesomorphic individual excels in

Sports Benefits • Respond well to cardiovascular and resistance training • Can sustain low body fat levels • All muscle groups can be used to derive positive training adoption • Dependent on the sports’ needs they can easily gain or lose weight

Endomorph • A pear shaped body • A rounded head • Wide hips and shoulders • Wider front to back rather than side to side. • A lot of fat on the body, upper arms and thighs An endomorphic individual typically has short arms and legs and a large amount of mass on their frame. Their mass hampers their ability to compete in sports requiring high levels of agility or speed and perform sustained weight bearing aerobic activities such as running. Sports of pure strength, like power lifting, are perfect for an endomorph. They can gain weight easily and lose condition quickly if training stops. Sports Benefits • Size benefits sports such as rugby where bulk is useful, provided it can be moved powerfully • Tend to have large lung capacity which can make them suited to sports such as rowing

Understanding your Somatotype Understanding yourSomatotype and training with this in mind can produce much faster results and keep progress consistent. Visit our website: for more detailed information.

Apple or V shape

Pear, spoon, bell

(triangle downward): Apple shaped women have broad(er) shoulders compared to their (narrower) hips. Apple shaped women tend to have slim legs/thighs, while the abdomen and chest look larger compared to the rest of the body. Fat is mainly distributed in the abdomen, chest, and face.

or A shape (triangle upward): The hip measurement is greater than the bust measurement. The distribution of fat varies, with fat tending to deposit first in the buttocks, hips, and thighs. As body fat percentage increases, an increasing proportion of body fat is distributed around the waist and upper abdomen. The women of this body type tend to have a (relatively) larger rear, thicker thighs, and a small(er) bosom.

If you are an apple shape then it all starts with the right nutrition plan for you - combined with plenty of cardio and lower body resistance training. To download our “apples for apples workout” visit the Fitness Focus website:

the human body

strength, agility, and speed. Their medium structure and height, along with their tendency to gain muscle and strength easily makes them a strong candidate for a top athlete in any sport. They can sustain low body fat levels and find it easy to lose and gain weight.

Hourglass or X shape

Banana, straight, or I shape

(rectangular): The waist measurement is less than 9 inches smaller than the hips or bust measurement. Body fat is distributed predominantly in the abdomen, buttocks, chest, and face. This overall fat distribution creates the typical ruler (straight) shape.

(triangles opposing, facing in): The hip and bust are almost of equal size with a narrow waist. Body fat distribution tends to be around both the upper body and lower body. This body type enlarges the arms, chest, hips, and rear before other parts, such as the waist and upper abdomen.

Train for your body type Tailor your nutrition plan and training according to your body type to achieve the maximum results. Look for our advice online for nutrition plans and workouts that match your body type:

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nutrition 32

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food for thought... Every health and fitness programme should be supported by the right nutrition plan and advice. Eating the right foods and making the right choices doesn’t have to be boring and when you understand the importance - the motivation will come.. When the word diet is mentioned, everyone thinks of weight loss. In actual fact, your diet is simply the food you eat. A balanced, healthy and calorie conscious diet will result in weight loss and a dramatic effect on your health and body shape. Western culture has never before seen so many overweight people, ranging from mildly overweight to morbidly obese. This epidemic is a symptom of people living convenience focussed and sedentary lives. Diet is not solely important to those who are overweight. On the contrary, there are many average and underweight people who are chronically unhealthy due to a poor diet. The symptoms include: bad hair and skin, problems with bowel movements, lack of energy, mood swings and more. These can all be symptoms of a bad diet. When you start on a course of rigorous exercise, putting quality fuel inside your body is crucial. In the case of people wanting to gain strength or size through weight training, it will be impossible to make significant gains without eating the right amount of quality calories from complex carbohydrate and protein sources. As you get fitter and stronger, your workouts will get harder and will start placing more stress on the systems of your body. Good nutrition is your main weapon against this wear and tear and will assist you in making a full recovery. Fad diets keep cropping up from time to time and range from zero carbs to not mixing carbs and protein in the same meal. They always have fabulous names and become trendy for a while then eventually the next big thing comes along. Whilst it is possible to get some results in the early days of a

fad diet, it is far better to eat a balanced combination of food types from a variety of sources. Generally speaking, if your food looks like it used to run or grow, then it is not far from its natural state and will be healthier for you than something that is a processed combination of food sources. For example: meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish should form the bulk of your diet rather than breads, pasta, pies and so on. The different food groups are explained in this section as are the vitamins, minerals and nutrition that your body needs. Further advice is available on our website and we have highly skilled and qualified nutritional therapists on hand to discuss any aspect of your diet going forwards. Whether you are interested in food allergies, weight loss or weight gain, we can help. Contact us on: 0845 289 7285

Many people start exercising to lose weight or get stronger. For both of these gains, nutrition plays a vital part and neither will be possible without getting this part of the equation right. Don’t waste all of that training in the gym by getting your nutrition wrong...

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therapy - an introduction what is nutritional therapy? Nutritional Therapy Nutritional therapy is a science based complementary therapy and is relevant for anyone, of any age, who wants to achieve optimal health. Nutritional therapy works by looking at how someone’s current diet and nutritional status may be impacting on their health and contributing to their symptoms. It can benefit those with long term health issues, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing. It seems that so many of us today suffer from a variety of complaints such as digestive discomfort, low energy, weight issues or hormonal problems. Whatever the issue, nutritional therapy offers an individualised approach to health and well being and involves creating a food and lifestyle plan that works for each person

and their specific health goals. So what happens after an initial appointment? Your nutritional therapist will: Review your complete health history including your family history, past and current symptoms Review your food and lifestyle diary Assess your nutritional status Recommend functional testing when appropriate to look at digestion, adrenal stress etc. Work with you to create a food and lifestyle plan of manageable changes guided by scientific evidence which may include foods to focus, foods to avoid, lifestyle recommendations and a supplement programme if required. How many appointments will I generally need?

The number of consultations is dependent on the complexity of the case and the health goals which are being worked towards. Some clients require up to 3 appointments whereas others may need more. This reflects how individual we all are. Do Nutritional Therapists run tests? Sometimes, depending on your individual health needs. Examples could be food intolerance and various other functional tests with recognised laboratories to assess your body from a nutritional perspective. Your Nutritionist should be confident working with your GP, with your permission of course. How do I find a qualified Nutritional Therapist? Choose a therapist who is a member of BANT, the professional association for nutritional therapists, and is registered with the CNHC. The CNHC is the government sponsored regulator for nutritional therapists.


Superfood soup Ingredients 1 large white onion, chopped 1 medium leek, sliced 1 clove garlic 1 head of broccoli, (approx 300g) cut into rough pieces 40g ground almonds 1 litre of vegetable stock Toasted flaked almonds and natural yogurt to garnish


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Preparation: 1. In a large pan, sweat the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. 2. Add the leeks and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and ribbon-like. 3. Add the broccoli, and the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. 4. Take off the heat, add the ground almonds and then blend in a blender until smooth. 5. Season with black pepper and serve with toasted flaked almonds and a spoonful of natural live yogurt on the top.



Superfood muesli Ingredients 25g or 1/3 cup of whole oat flakes 1 dessert spoon of raisins 1 small handful mixed chopped nuts 1 large handful of blueberries 1 desert spoon chia seeds Sprinkle of cinnamon to taste Preparation 1. Add the oats and raisins to a bowl and cover with apple juice ideally overnight or even 10 minutes before breakfast. 2. In the morning, stir in the mixed nuts, chia seeds and blueberries. 3. Serve with a small pot of natural yogurt, milk or milk alternative such as almond milk and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Making your own muesli with a base of natural muesli, rather than buying a pre-prepared concoction is the way to go! Making home made muesli allows you to have total control over the nutritional content of the finished product – think sneaking in a serving of fruit, adding extra protein and even nudging in some omega-3 in chia seeds. This recipe is designed to give you maximum nutrients and slow release carbohydrates. The extra protein and healthy fats from the nuts also slows the absorption of sugars and lowers the chances of an insulin spike. Breakfast is now truly the best meal of the day!

For more amazing recipies visit:


Superfood salad Ingredients 1 cup quinoa 2 cups of water 20 pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped 1/2 cucumber, sliced and quartered 1 clove of garlic, crushed 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 1 little gem lettuce 100g feta Black pepper

Preparation: 1. Add the quinoa to boiling water, for 12-15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed or the quinoa turns translucent and the white germ separates from the seed. 2. Add all the other ingredients to a bowl and mix well. 3. Once the quinoa has cooled, mix all the ingredients together 4. Season with black pepper and serve with little gem lettuce and crumbled feta.

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Healthy eating

components of your diet food types explained Carbohydrates

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide the body with a source of fuel and energy. To be used by the body, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose - which it uses as an energy supply. They are particularly important as an energy supply to the brain. There are two types, complex and simple carbohydrates.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are made up predominately with sugars and starches and are often sweet in taste. They come from fruit, some veg, such as potatoes, sweet processed foods in the form of added sugar, milk. The sugar in these foods will release energy rapidly into the body causing that familiar energy rush. They are classified as high glycaemic index, which means that they spike your insulin levels. This spike can send your body into fat storage mode. Because the energy is used so quickly, many people experience an energy low after consuming simple carbs.

Complex Carbs

These consist of starches and dietary fibre. Because of their more complex structure, the body takes longer to break them down. As a result, energy is released more slowly and is longer lasting. Complex carbs do not spike the insulin levels like simple carbs. Foods such as green fibrous veg, certain fruits, whole grains, some dairy products and pulses. There is also a distinction between “heavy carbs� such as white bread and white rice which have all of the structural fibrous part of the plant removed. It is this structural part which makes the substance more difficult to digest and therefore provides a slower


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release of energy.

Carbohydrates and insulin response

In the past our diets were much higher in starch and dietary fibre. There is evidence to suggest that there is a link between giving the body simple sugars and constantly stimulating that insulin response. Insulin is a hormone which basically impacts upon the metabolism of your body and several other body systems including your heart. In simple terms insulin encourages your body’s cells to drain glucose from your blood and store it as glycogen in the liver and muscles of your body. This is then used as an energy source for your body as and when required and stops the body burning fat to create energy. If your insulin levels are lower, your body will start to look towards burning fat. There is also a link between constant consumption of sugary foods and the development of type 2 diabetes. There are other links between being overweight and type two diabetes.


Good fats are vital for energy production, skin and hair health, immune system and hormone production. The body needs these fats as an energy source and they actually help metabolise the food we eat from other sources. They are found in: Olives and olive oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish, and eggs. These fats have been proven to help in the transportation of vitamins, purify the blood and fight many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and other joint problems.

Bad Fats

These fats are classed as saturated fats. Generally they are hard or solid at room temperature. Often used in processed foods such as pastries, fatty meat, lard and butter and some cheeses. Bad fats slow the metabolism, clog up the arteries thicken the density of blood and have been linked with high blood pressure and heart disease. Fats in your diet can be visible and invisible. It is easy to identify the fats in margarine or butter but not so easy so see the fats in cakes, biscuits and crisps..

Anyone looking at getting fit and starting a healthy lifestyle will automatically think of fats as being the enemy. The truth is that there are good and bad fats. Some of the healthiest diets in the world are based on fairly high fat content (good fats). Many Asian diets and Mediterranean diets are high in good fats.

Hydrogenated fats

Good Fats

Olive oil is a good base oil when it is at room temperature and used on salads as a dressing. As far as cooking is concerned, when any oil reaches its smoke point (about 410 degrees for olive oil), it will degrade,

These fats include: polyunsaturated oils and fats, monounsaturated oils and fats. These fats are classed as unsaturated and they are generally liquid at room temperature.

Many margarines contain oils that have been hydrogenated. This means they have been treated to turn a liquid fat into a solid fat. This process alters the chemical structure of a good fat so that they have the characteristics of a bad fat. Many of these fats are hidden in processed food.


food facts oxidize (a process that damages the fat molecules), and partially hydrogenate, creating harmful trans fats. You don’t need to get oil that hot to sauté vegetables (300 degrees) or even to fry breaded items (340 degrees). Although those lower temperatures may damage some of the flavonoids, the loss will be trivial. And by starting with a healthy oil, your dish will still be more nutritious than if you cooked with, say, butter


Protein is the building block of the body. The body is constantly repairing an renewing itself and this process is all down to protein and its component parts “amino acids”. Excess protein can also be used as a source of energy but should never be used as the main source as it is not the body’s preferred source of fuel. Protein can come in a variety of sources including nuts, dairy, fish, white and red meat. Consideration should be given to the source of protein and gravitation towards protein without saturated fat should be your focus. Fish, white meat and nuts are excellent sources of protein.


The essential minerals in your body can be obtained by a healthy diet. They are essential for the growth and maintenance of your teeth, bones, immune system and healthy blood. Among the mineral are: Calcium: forms teeth and bones helps clotting. Sources include: dark veg, meats, cheeses and pulses. Chloride: transports nutrients. Sources: include most veg. Copper: helps the production of haemoglobin, improves blood quality, skin and hair. Sources include: liver, fish, nuts, sources: mushrooms, prunes.

Chromium: regulates insulin and metabolism. Sources: whole grain, meats, brewers yeast. Magnesium: forms body tissues and bones and supports hormone production. Sources: fish, seeds, pulses, cocoa, leafy dark green veg. Phosphorous: forms teeth and bones, maintains pH balance of blood. Sources: fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, yogurt. Potassium: regulates blood pressure, nerve and muscle function. Sources: bananas, red wine, fruit, juices, nuts, veg.


Your body needs vitamins to regulate bodily functions, maintain bones, skin, blood, nerves, brain tissue and the immune system. Vitamin A: essential for good eyesight, healthy skin and body tissue. Sources: leafy green veg, milk, cheese, fish, liver. Vitamin B: essential for energy production, detoxifying alcohol, metabolising amino acids, red blood cell health, and nerve function. Sources: wheat germ, eggs, peanuts. Vitamin C: maintenance of connective tissue, immune function, effective antioxidant, supports repair. Sources: Leafy veg, citrus fruit, tomatoes green peppers, strawberries. Vitamin D: health of bones, assists calcium supply in the blood. Sources: cod liver oil, oily fish, eggs. Vitamin E: strong antioxidant, health of skin, may slow the ageing process. Sources: leafy dark veg, seeds, nuts, avocado. Vitamin K: blood clotting function. Sources: leafy dark green veg, cereals, milk, yogurt, eggs.

Acid and alkaline foods

Acid forming foods are those that cause more toxins in the body as a result of being harder to digest. Alkaline foods are far easier for the system to digest. For a full list of low glycaemic index alkaline foods see page or visit the website:

Glycaemic index of foods (GI)

We have classified foods into low, medium and high glycaemic index. A full list of suggestions of the low GI foods that you should be eating can be found on pages 40 & 41 The Fitness Focus website has a section dedicated to nutrition and you can download sample diet plans or simply search the site for answers to common questions.


There is always a debate as to whether the body needs supplements. Most nutritionists would argue that the body gets all that it needs from a health balanced diet. Whilst this is true, the lifestyle of many people today means that they are unable to cook from scratch consistently and so are relying on packaged and processed foods more and more. Because of the nature of mass production of fruits and veg out of season, much of the nutritional value of our fruit and veg has fallen over the years. To aid you in your choice of supplements we have prepared a list for you on pages 44 & 45 A full list can also be found on:

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unlock hidden secrets top ten superfoods Broccoli The ultimate super food. This cruciferous vegetable is packed with a powerful range of phytochemicals such as glucosinolates, which has cancer preventing properties, and lutein, an antioxidant which may be helpful for eye health.

Oats A whole grain rich in beta glucans which help stabilise blood sugar levels, make you feel fuller for longer and help lower LDL cholesterol.

Ginger Not only has ginger been used to help digestive complaints, it also contains potent anti inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Add to stir fries or add a couple of slices of ginger with a slice of lemon to a mug, pour on boiling water and hey presto you have your own fresh ginger and lemon tea!

Blueberries Whether fresh or frozen, blueberries are rich in vitamin C and contain high levels of antioxidants thanks to the anthocyanins, a pigment which occurs naturally in the skin.


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Alfalfa bean sprouts As well as having high levels of vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals such as zinc and manganese, they also contain phytoestrogens which can help to balance hormones.

Quinoa This naturally gluten free grain has a high protein content compared to other grains and is a good source of many minerals such as magnesium and manganese.

Chia seeds A nutty tasting little seed, packed with anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids which can be sprinkled on salads or cereals.

Beetroot As well as containing antioxidant properties, beetroot also contains high levels of nitrates, which when converted in the body, produces a substance which helps to circulate blood round the body more efficiently.

Cinnamon This natural sweetener has antioxidant properties, and helps to balance blood sugar levels.

Garlic Garlic’s active ingredient called allicin has immune boosting properties and is anti bacterial so it can ward off germs as well as vampires!

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Your shopping list make sure they are on it... small changes = big results... Fish Introduce fish into your diet as a regular protein staple. The omega oils in fish and the high levels of protein make it an ideal accompaniment to a salad. Eat more fish and less meat.

Make the switch

It’s so simple, really, but this is probably the most powerful change that you

Swap your white bread for brown as it’s full of whole grain which makes it a complex carbohydrate for a slower release of energy. Brown bread doesn’t spike your insulin levels like white bread. Read page 42 and 43 for information on carbs and insulin.

can make in your diet. Much of the research on the benefits of fish stem from research on Inuit natives and their high consumption of salmon with a correspondingly low rate of heart disease. Over time we’ve come to understand that this is because they are eating fish that are high in monounsaturated fats, especially Omega 3 fats. There’s lots of research on the power of fish to prevent heart disease. This means fatty fish or “dark fish” like tuna, salmon, sardines, swordfish, mackerel or bluefish, which are all high in Omega 3 fatty acids. There is now evidence that the salmon you’ll have for dinner tonight can actually treat heart disease!


Vegetables (complex) Veggies are an important part of everyone’s diet. They contain dozens of important nutrients and have loads of dietary fibre. And just by getting your daily quota of five to nine servings, you help build your body’s immunity to things like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. So what are the top veggies you should be eating to boost your disease-fighting potential?


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Broccoli: Few foods measure up to the disease-fighting potential of broccoli. Carrots: These orange-wonders are loaded with eye, skin and hair-enriching nutrients. They’re also the richest vegetable source of some important antioxidants, like vitamin A Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are packed with dozens of heart-healthy nutrients like lycopene and folic acid. And recent research suggests digging into a pepper every day may lower your risk of developing some cancers.


Go nuts for nuts...

Peanut butter

Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can be good for your heart. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and

Eating peanut butter on bread can slow the absorption of carbs and reduce the insulin spike as well as providing a protein hit and many unsaturated fatty acids.

Beans and pulses

other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. They’re inexpensive, easy to store and easy to take with you to work or school. The type of nut you eat isn’t that important, although some nuts have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than do others. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts - you name it - almost every

Pulses are a good source of iron. Pulses are also a starchy food and add fibre to your meal. The fibre found in pulses may help lower blood cholesterol, so they are good for your heart.

Pulses include beans, lentils and peas. They are a cheap, low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and they count towards your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

Pulses are often bought in tins. If you buy tinned pulses,check the label and try to choose ones that have no added salt or sugar.

What are pulses?

Pulses count as one of your five recommended daily portions of fruit and vegetables. One portion is three heaped tablespoons of cooked pulses.

A pulse is an edible seed that grows in a pod. Pulses include all beans, peas and lentils, such as: • baked beans • red, green, yellow and brown lentils • black-eyed peas • garden peas • runner beans • chickpeas • broad beans • kidney beans • butter beans Why eat pulses?

type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny package. If you have heart disease, eating nuts instead of a less healthy snack can help you more easily follow a heart-healthy diet

This means you can use less meat, which makes the dish lower in fat and cheaper.

Pulses are a great source of protein. This means they can be particularly important for people who do not get protein by eating meat, fish or dairy products.

Pulses and ‘five a day’

However, if you eat more than three heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses in a day, this still only counts as one portion. This is because we need a variety of fruit and vegetables to make sure we get all the important nutrients. This does not apply to green beans, such as broad beans and runner beans, which can count as more than one portion a day.

CONTACT US For more recipies and tips online visit our website:

However, pulses can also be a healthy choice for meat-eaters. You can add pulses to soups, casseroles and meat sauces to add extra texture and flavour.

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how much should i eat An introduction to calories Not all calories are equal For decades, we’ve been taught that weight loss comes down to the simple idea of “calories in versus calories out.” This equation is simple and cannot be escaped. To lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you consume, whether this be achieved by creating a calorie deficit via a reduced-calorie diet, an increase in physical activity, or a combination of both (which has been proven to be the most successful method). Employing basic, simple, maintainable strategies to reducing total calories has been proven to be the most effective for successful long-term weight loss. The basics include watching portion control, limiting high-calorie foods, and increasing exercise. While it’s still true that a calorie is a calorie regardless of what food it came from, not all calories are created equal in the sense that foods will have different effects on your

body - even if two foods are identical in their calorie contents.

the time it takes for food to move from your stomach to your intestines, helping you feel full longer. Additionally, getting adequate protein ensures that you build and maintain muscle mass, which incinerates calories. Protein also curbs your appetite by stabilizing blood glucose levels. Rapid rises and drops in blood glucose levels that occur after consuming simple carbohydrates sends your hunger soaring. Consuming protein with meals prevents this.

Fibre For example, consider foods that contain fibre. Fibre-rich foods, which include fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and legumes, require more chewing. This helps prevent overeating because it slows down your eating, giving your brain time to recognize that you’re full. Fibre isn’t fully digested by your body, so this nutrient contributes health benefits without adding significant calories to your diet. Additionally, fibre has also been proven to help improve gastrointestinal function, lower blood cholesterol, and reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fibre may also prevent some types of cancer. Protein Your body burns more calories digesting and metabolizing protein than it does digesting other nutrients. Protein slows


Fats While consuming too much fat in general can lead to weight gain, it’s important to consume enough calories from healthy, unsaturated fats. Saturated fats and trans fats, found mainly in fried foods and animal products, can clog your arteries, increasing your risk for heart attacks and strokes. So while a gram of fat contains 9 calories regardless of the type of fat, unsaturated fats are healthier for you.


How many calories should men consume daily?

How many calories should women consume daily?

Men looking to increase muscle mass need to consume a large portion of their calories from lean protein and quality complex carbohydrates. Rigorous exercise may require additional calories

Women who take part in rigorous exercise need to up their protein levels and ensure that they are up on vitamins and minerals. There are also time of the month considerations. Rigorous exercise may require additional calories.

Guide for men living an active life: 2500 per day Guide for men living an inactive life: 1800 - 2000 per day.

Guide for women living an active life: 2000 per day Guide for women living an inactive life 1500 - 1800 per day


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good and bad calories Frequently asked questions Calorie counting FAQ Q: How do I determine how many calories I really need? A: Actually, you shouldn’t have to think about it, because your digestive tract does the counting for you. It has a complex set of nerves designed to give you a gnawing feeling in your stomach and scream, “Feed me!” when you need more food. These nerves signal you again when you’re full. Just as your lungs know when to breathe, your digestive tract knows when you need to eat. For the most part, the system works pretty well, which is why people eat nearly the same amount of calories each day, without counting. On average, women consume roughly 2,000 calories each day, men about 2,500, although these numbers vary from person to person, depending on body size and activity. Unfortunately, certain foods defeat this system. Chocolate, for example! We don’t eat chocolate because we are hungry; we eat it because we love the taste. It also triggers a release of opiates within the brain, causing a slight feel-good sensation. So even if you are completely stuffed after a wonderful dinner, you may still want a piece of chocolate. Ditto for sugar, cheese, and meat. They have very mild opiate effects, causing them to tempt us for reasons other than hunger, often leading us to overdo it. Q: Should I cut calories if I am trying to lose weight? A: To lose weight, you do have to eat fewer calories than you burn, but you

don’t have to do it through willpower. If you change the type of food you eat, it happens more or less automatically. Here are three tricks you should know: First, bring on the high-fibre foods. Fibre holds water and tends to fill you up, tricking your stomach into thinking you’ve eaten more than you actually have. The fibre champions are beans, followed by vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Second, keep fats, including oils, to a bare minimum. Fats pack 9 calories into every gram (compared with only 4 calories for a gram of carbohydrate or protein). Steer clear of fatty foods, and you’ll tend to eat fewer calories. Third, avoid sugar. Although it has nowhere near the calories that fats have, sugar is the “stealth” nutrient. It hides in all manner of foods and drinks such as the 150 calories worth of sugar lurking in a typical can of soda. Q: Do my caloric needs change if I am more or less active? A: Yes, but less than you’d think. Your brain, muscles, heart, liver, kidneys, and every other part of you are busily burning calories when you’re completely still even while you sleep. These basic functions account for 60 to 75 percent of all the calories you burn. You burn another 10 percent of your calories in the process of digesting foods. Routine physical activity accounts for only 15 to 30 percent of our daily calorie burn. So if you suddenly were flat on your back with a broken leg, your calorie needs would fall only slightly. And if

you lace up your sneakers for a race, you do not need a lot of extra calories. Sceptical? Go to the nearest gym, jump on a treadmill, and run flat out for a mile. Then push the little button that tells you how many calories you’ve burned. It turns out to be only about 100. Caloric intake for serious athletes is another matter. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps works out five hours a day, six days a week. To keep up with his intense workout, he takes in thousands more calories each day than you or I would ever need. Q: Does it matter when during the day I get my calories? A: Yes, it does. People who skip breakfast and pack their calories into the later part of the day tend to weigh more than people who eat earlier in the day. Whether the issue is some sort of hormonal effect of late-night eating, or because late-night food choices tend to be especially fattening is not yet clear. Q: Is my body’s metabolic rate genetic? Is there anything I can do to rev it up? A: It is genetic, to a large extent. But, yes, you can rev it up, to a degree. First of all, the after-meal calorie burn that comes as you digest foods can be increased by a low-fat plant-based diet. The reason, apparently, is that such a diet causes the body to be more sensitive to insulin, which pushes nutrients into the cells where they can be burned. So, more of the calories you eat will be liberated as body heat, rather than stored as fat.

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Supplements a - z and their uses

The benefits of taking supplements Acidophilus Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract and vagina.

Capsaicin cream Primarily used to relieve pain and itching including: Back pain, Bursitis, Fibromyalgia, Joint pain, Muscle pain, Nerve Pain, Osteoarthritis,diabetic pain.

Ginko Used to improve memory,Tinnitus, Alzheimer’s disease, Peripheral artery disease, Macular degeneration and Glaucoma.

Apple Cider Vinegar Can help with the following health conditions: acne, allergies, arthritis, chronic fatigue, diabetes, flu, heartburn, gout, cholesterol, sore throat.

Chromium Picolinate (side effects) Chromium was first identified as an element that enables the hormone insulin to function properly. Since then, chromium has been studied for diabetes.

Goji Berry Used to protect the liver, help eyesight, improve sexual function and fertility, strengthen the legs and boost immune function

Arginine Necessary for the production of protein, L-arginine also helps rid the body of waste. Can assist with erectile disfunction and high blood pressure.

Creatine Creatine is involved in the production of energy in the body, in the form of adenosine triphosphate. Approximately 95% of the body’s creatine ends up being stored in skeletal muscles

Glucosamine Needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Production of glucosamine slows with age.

B. bifidus • Inadequate dietary fibre • Oral antibiotic therapy • Infant formula feeding • Ingestion of environmental toxins

Damiana Damiana has been widely used as an aphrodisiac in Mexico for men and women.

Green Tea Used for speeding the metabolism to lose weight, to prevent heart disease and types of cancer.

Beta-Carotene •Prevention against cancer and heart disease •To slow the progression of cataracts

Devils Claw Used for thousands of years in Africa for fever, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, and conditions involving the gallbladder.

Kava A herb shown to promote relaxation, kava may help tame your anxiety naturally.

Bitter Melon Bitter melon is used primarily for type 2 diabetes, although studies are needed to prove its effectiveness.

Echinacea Widely used to support the immune system and in treating colds.

Kombucha A popular natural-foods-store staple, Kombucha tea is touted as a natural cure for conditions like insomnia, headache, and even cancer.

Bromelain Called a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain is believed to help with the digestion of protein

Fo-ti In Chinese medicine, fo-ti is a longevity tonic that is used for greying hair, premature aging, weakness, vaginal discharge, and erectile dysfunction.

Liquorice Used in Eastern and Western medicine for thousands of years to treat health troubles like heartburn, eczema, and menopausal symptoms.


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Lipolic Acid Natural anti-aging supplement

Red Yeast Rice Red yeast rice contains naturallyoccurring substances believed to be converted in the body to a substance that inhibits cholesterol production.

Tribulus Tribulus is most often used for infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. In the last decade, it has become popular to improve sports performance.

Melaleuca alternifolia Tea tree oil contains constituents called terpenoids, which have been found to have antiseptic and antifungal activity.

Rheum palmatum Rhubarb root is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a laxative. Rhubarb contains powerful laxative compounds called anthraquinones, which irritate the colon and stimulate bowel

Valerian Used as a folk remedy for a variety of conditions such as sleeping problems, digestive complaints, nervousness, trembling, tension headaches and heart palpitations.

Mexican Yam Traditionally, wild yam was used to help with coughs, morning sickness, digestive upset and nerve pain.

S-Adenosylmethionine S-adenosylmethionine (pronounced “Sam-ee”) is a molecule produced naturally in the body from the amino acid methionine and ATP, the body’s main energy molecule.

Witch Hazel Witch hazel has a long history of traditional use as a topical for skin conditions.

Milk Thistle Preliminary studies suggest milk thistle supplements may be beneficial for people with cirrhosis. It may improve liver function.

St. John’s wort St. John’s Wort has been touted as the safe, natural alternative to Prozac and used as an anti-depressant.

Yellow Dock Thought to benefit the digestive tract, liver and skin. Used for skin conditions associated with poor digestion, poor liver function or “toxicity”.

Peppermint Indigestion Colic, Gallstones, Irritable bowel syndrome, Tension headache, Small intestine bacterial overgrowth

Saw Palmetto Treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty starting urination, dribbling after urination.

Yohimbe Widely promoted online and in health food stores as a natural aphrodisiac to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction.

Propolis Rich in flavonoids (a class of antioxidants), propolis has a long history of use as a natural treatment for a host of health problems.

Tart Cherries Used in the treatment of: arthritis, gout, muscle pain, back pain, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases.

Consult your doctor when taking any supplements and do not take during pregnancy or during lactation. Fitness Focus provides the above information for reference only. Take advice from one of our qualified nutritional therapists is you are unsure about any supplements listed. Supplements can support a health balanced diet.

Visit the fitness focus website on: to find out more about where to purchase supplements locally. alternatively scan the above QR code

Consult your doctor or a qualified nutritionist before taking supplements. Consideration to underlying health conditions or allergies must be given.

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and why to avoid it

Stress and PMS

hormones can be re circulated into the body and cause more hormonal disruptions. Make sure your diet includes soluble fibre such as oats, pulses, fruit and vegetables to keep your bowels regular.

For many women, dealing with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is an unavoidable fact of life on a monthly basis. Symptoms, which can vary from month to month, include bloating, water retention, tender breasts, migraines, food cravings, acne, tiredness and mood swings. They usually start to appear in the two weeks leading up to woman’s period, and usually disappear when the period starts.

3. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol. Your liver is like the

The changes in the levels of hormones oestrogen and progesterone during a menstrual cycle are thought to be responsible for the appearance of symptoms, but certain lifestyle factors such as diet, lack of exercise and stress are also thought to aggravate the symptoms of PMS.

4. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good”

Top PMS busting tips 1. Making dietary changes can often have a big impact

on improving your PMS symptoms. Certain nutrients such as vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc and good fats are essential for healthy hormone production whereas a diet high in processed, sugary food is nutrient depleted. So, eating a well balanced, nutrient rich diet is the way to go to help balance hormones.

2. Regular bowel movements are vital for achieving healthy hormone balance as old hormones have to be excreted from the body. However, if you suffer from constipation, old 46

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processing plant for a big factory. Your liver not only has to process toxins but everything you eat and drink and old hormones too. If you consume lots of caffeine and/or alcohol then your liver is put under extra strain and can fall behind in processing all the old hormones, causing hormonal disruptions.

chemicals so incorporating exercise into your weekly regime is a good way to help lift mood symptoms associated with PMS. Furthermore, exercise helps to balance levels of free hormones in the blood so may be helpful to reduce the severity of PMS.

5. Stress can disrupt the production of hormones, causing

changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels, and interfering with the regularity and length of your cycle. Get on top of your stress levels by devoting 30 minutes a day to call your own, whether it be having a relaxing bath, reading a book or learning some relaxation techniques such as meditation. PMS is not therefore inevitable and there are ways to help address PMS naturally. To step up to a new way of thinking about food, or for help with improving your hormonal health naturally. Contact our team on or visit our website for further information:


Beating stress with healthy food Mackerel

The acid it contains provides mood-elevating effects by blocking feelings of anxiety and stress.


The amino acids it contains beat your anxiety and regulate your stress hormones.


Peel your way to the magic of vitamin C locked inside a juicy orange. Stress can delete your storage of vitamin C, which is something your body doesn’t produce naturally. Vitamin C helps your immune system function under stress more efficiently.

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Losing weight Perhaps you are of the endomorph body-type, or maybe you have just made the wrong choices with your diet. Whatever the reason, you have found yourself in a position where you want to lose weight. For many people the catalyst is looking at a holiday picture of themselves and thinking “is that me” ? Perhaps you want to lose weight for health reasons. For some people, reducing body fat down to reveal an exquisite physique is the goal. Getting toned Getting toned is all about shaping, lengthening, refining and firming up the muscles in the body. Some people don’t want to stack on slabs of muscle, they would rather have that lean, sculpted cover model look. Working the muscles in this way has tremendous health benefits which will carry over into your everyday life. From bounding up the stairs, to playing your favourite sports like a true weekend warrior - if getting toned is your aim then we will guide you on your path. Building strength If building strength and muscle appeal to you then it is no easy task. It requires careful planning, dieting and lots of rest and recovery. If you do it right, the strength and muscular development will come. Many people of the ectomorph body type struggle to put on weight. Despite following the routines from their favourite bodybuilding magazine, they just can’t seem to accumulate any real mass. If you are an ectomorph, the way that you train, eat and rest is of the highest importance. Most people actually overtrain and this is the reason why they fail to see results. Combine this with choosing the wrong exercises and eating badly and you have a recipe for failure. Let Fitness focus guide you through the rocky road that leads to mountains of muscle...


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training routines Resistance training is simply pushing your muscles against a resistance. This can either be body weight, machines, or free weights. There are benefits with all of these training methods. The key is “progressive resistance” which we will explore... Key training facts Muscle fibres. Have you ever wondered why some people are better longdistance runners and others better sprinters? It is because our muscles are made up of two main types of fibres - slowtwitch and fast-twitch. Not all muscles in the same person are one type or the other, and particular muscles such as postural muscles are always slow twitch so they can serve their function. Slow-Twitch Slow-twitch fibres contract slowly and can be used for longer periods of time. Postural muscle of the back are composed of mostly slow-twitch muscle fibres. Athletes who run long distances need more slow-twitch fibres in their legs. Slowtwitch muscle fibres rely on oxygen as their main energy source. Fast-Twitch Fast-twitch fibres contract quickly and provide strength and speed, though they also fatigue more quickly. Sprinters require short but intense bursts of energy and therefore need more fast-twitch muscle fibres. Fast-twitch muscle fibres rely on ATP and glycogen as their main energy source. As ATP sources can be rapidly depleted, lactic acid is a by product of the breakdown of glycogen, fast-twitch fibres can only be active for a short period of time. Sets and repetitions Sets are the number of times you do a particular exercise and repetitions (reps) are the number of times you perform the actual movement within that set.

Will lifting weights make me bulky? To become “bulky” you have to eat and train in a certain way. Putting on muscle is extremely difficult and is among the hardest physical training objectives. Your body type also plays a large part in the relative ease in which your muscles will grow. If you stay within the 15 and above rep range with your exercises and look to increasing the number of reps as your prime concern, you will not become bulky. Conversely, if building muscle is your aim, you will want to stay within the 8 to 12 rep range. For strength and size gains we recommend the rep range of 6 -8 reps. Spot reducing Many people have a particular part of the body that they are unhappy with. Resist the temptation to focus on this area and instead, focus on the body as a whole to achieve balance. This is particularly true with ab workouts where people want to reduce fat to the mid-section. If reducing fat is the aim then there are far better ways than crunches which work the muscle under the fat!

Decide what your aim is then train for that goal. If losing or gaining weight is the aim them much of this will happen outside of the gym with a first class nutrition plan. If toning is what you are looking for then it is all about a balance of the most effective exercises. Visit for downloadable workout plans and tips. Fitness Manual



Workouts mass building workout 1

Overhead press Clean the weight and push over head to a lockout and lower again to the chest. Your back should be straight and eyes straight forward. A powerful muscle builder for the entire upper body with emphasis on the shoulder, triceps and chest. The back also gets a workout to a lesser degree.

Squat Bar across the upper back, eyes forward, feet pointing outwards slightly, legs shoulder width. Squat down until your thighs are parallel and return to standing. Be sure to keep a neutral head position with eyes looking up slightly. A powerful size builder for the legs and whole body due to the hormonal response.

Deadlift A powerful size builder for the entire body. This move recruits the legs, back and core. Due to the amount of weight lifted and massive muscle recruitment, the body responds by producing testosterone and growth hormone. Technique should be as per picture with care to lift with the legs and keep the core tight.


Mass building meal plan








100g Oats dry weight 1 banana 200ml skimmed milk Juice

100g Turkey Breast Mince 150g White Rice Fruit

100g Chicken Breast 100g Brown Rice 100g Mixed Vegetables Tomatoes


3 boiled eggs or meat choice. Salad & potatoes or 100g mixed vegetables

1 Avocado 1 can Tuna in Brine Protein shake

500 kcal

500 Kcal

500 Kcal

500 Kcal

500 Kcal

500 Kcal

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Protein and energy shake


Workout 2

Wide grip chins A great mass builder for the back and biceps. This is a natural body weight movement which can also be done with weights by using a harness. A variation of this can be done on a lat-pulldown machine.

Bench press Known as the king of upper body exercises, the bench press will put slabs of muscle on your chest, triceps and shoulders. The back is also worked to a lesser degree as a supporting muscle. You should attempt a weight that you can do with strict form and resist the temptation to lift big without good technique.

Rules, reps and sets Do each workout once per week on different days. With all of the above exercises the aim is lift within the 6 - 12 rep range with 6 - 8 being slanted towards maximum strength gains with size and 8 - 12 reps as being aimed at maximum size with some strength gains. The aim is to reach failure at the targeted rep range in one maximal working set with three sets being performed. After a warm up, perform the first set of the exercise to about 80 percent failure, the second set should see you stretch it at 90 percent failure. The final set and your true working set will be taken to complete muscle failure (where you cannot perform another strict rep) This final working set will be recorded in your diary and your mission every time you perform this exercise is to do at least one more rep. Once you hit the maximum rep range (12 reps for size and 8 for strength) you will increase the weight and the reps will fall back within the appropriate range and you will start the process again.

Dumbbell snatch A fabulous exercise which is not often seen, although becoming more popular through MMA style workouts. This move gives you truly functional power and strength and fits within the “strength cardio and power” bracket. The shoulders, trapezius and legs will receive the bulk of the impact with back and biceps also getting a good workout.

By adopting this principal (progressive resistance) you will keep those gains coming. If there is one week where you are unable to perform another strict rep, you should pause and rest for 20 seconds then squeeze out another couple (on your working set only) This is called the rest pause principal and is used to keep the progress coming. The next week you should see gains without applying the rest pause principal. Only use it for the weeks that you don’t see any natural progression. Other principals are “assisted reps” where a spotter helps you through the positive part of the movement for a couple of extra reps and the “cheat principal” where you use some momentum for the positive part and then strict form on the negative portion of the movement. (Positive is pushing or pulling under exertion, negative is returning back to the start) You can always manage more weight on the negative than the positive which is why this system works. For further details and more workouts visit the Fitness Focus website:

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Losing weight Weight loss is a big motivator for many women, even women who are at relatively healthy body weight can be preoccupied with it. It is far better to think less about weight on the scales and focus on health and body fat levels. The problem with weight and BMI which has become a bit of a buzzword is that is doesn’t account for natural body type and build. For example, a lean and powerful female athlete could weigh around 11 stone or more at 5 ft 5 inches. This would make them obese on any BMI chart, although the athlete may have very little body fat on them. Doing crunches will not remove body fat from your middle, it will tone the muscles underneath. Cardio exercise is far better for burning fat and resistance exercise can increase your metabolism so you are burning fat even when you are not at the gym. Let us put together a perfect programme for you. With Personal trainers and nutritionists on your doorstep, we could put you in touch with the right people for the right results... Getting toned & fit If you are reasonably happy with your weight and overall frame but not so happy with saggy or wobbly bits then one of our toning programmes is for you. Designed as high impact, high intensity workouts that you can even do at home - time is no longer a constraint. All of our online workouts are fully downloadable and printable and we have experts on-hand by email, telephone and in person to guide you in your journey to a firm, toned body this year. You may even be training for an event, be it a triathlon of a fun-run, we have experts on hand and workouts online design specifically for you. Building strength Whilst not usually associated with the female form, strength training goes beyond tearing the top off a jar with strength to spare. The benefits to the muscles, joints and bones, particularly in females is huge. Conditions like osteoporosis are fended off with resistance training, not to mention the positive effects on your metabolism and the density of you muscles (no saggy bits). Discover the benefits of strength and resistance training and the production of human growth hormone naturally to fend off the ageing process.


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training routines Getting results is all about seeking variety in your exercise regime. From cardio through to resistance and strength training, more women than ever are looking at free weights, machines and plyometric exercises as a replacement to the treadmill. Burn fat even when you are not in the gym An elevated metabolism is one of the many benefits that you will receive when you lift weights. The increased density in your muscles will also create a dramatic firm, full and toned effect. Look younger Lifting weights stimulates the production of growth hormone naturally, fending off the ageing process. Shorter workouts and better results Ambling along on the treadmill watching the gym TV or your ipod in for over an hour at a sedate pace will do little more than burn off the muffin you ate this morning! A half hour intense session on the weights will burn calories and keep burning them throughout the day. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue and more of it means that you will burn more calories at a resting state. Improve coordination Resistance training improves that mind muscle connection and can increase your coordination for playing other sports. Increase your mood and positivity As with all forms of exercise, the effects on mood are enormous due to the release of endorphins (feel good hormones). The trouble with losing weight purely through cardio like running, is that often there will be an accompanying saggyness and softness to the physique. This is sometimes due to the muscles becoming somewhat depleted. Resistance training can give the body a firmer and fuller look in the right places. A common issue with women who are already fairly slim, is that by focussing purely on cardio - they can lose weight in the areas like bottom and bust where they actually

want to keep some shape. This is where resistance training comes into its own. Sets and repetitions Sets are the number of times you do a particular exercise and repetitions (reps) are the number of times you perform the actual movement within that set. Will lifting weights make me bulky? To become “bulky� you have to eat and train in a certain way. Putting on muscle is extremely difficult and is among the hardest physical training objectives. Your body type also plays a large part in the relative ease in which your muscles will grow. Spot reducing Many people have a particular part of the body that they are unhappy with. Resist the temptation to focus on this area and instead, focus on the body as a whole to achieve balance. This is particularly true with ab workouts where people want to reduce fat to the mid-section. If reducing fat is the aim then there are far better ways than crunches which work the muscle under the fat!

If losing or gaining weight is the aim them much of this will happen outside of the gym with a first class nutrition plan. If toning is what you are looking for then it is all about a balance of the most effective exercises. Visit for downloadable workout plans and tips. Fitness Manual




toning and weight loss Workout 1

Dumbbell Squat A exercise which will challenge the whole body and chew through calories working the largest muscles in the body. Opting for the dumbbell version actually hits the legs, outer and inner thighs with less strain on the back. Keep your eyes facing forwards and lower the dumbbells until your thighs are parallel (weights do not touch the floor).

Dumbbell row Great for the posture and for a shapely back and rear shoulders - important to look great in a dress. The glutes and hamstrings also get some work.

Dumbbell clean, squat, press complex A truly challenging move. With the weights by your side, first curl up hitting the biceps to the first position, then squat into a deep squat position. Next stand up and when upright press the weight overhead. This exercise is four moves for every rep which means 10 reps is the equivalent of 40 reps.


Slimming meal plan








Oats Fruit

Dried fruit Protein bar

Chicken salad Yogurt Fruit

Smoothie Granola bar

Meat or fish Steamed veg

Protein shake or nuts and yogurt

300 Kcal

200 Kcal

400 Kcal

300 Kcal

400 Kcal

200 Kcal

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Workout 2

Lateral pull downs This move is designed to widen your shoulders and upper back and will hit your biceps strongly as well. A great move for pear shaped women as it broadens the shoulders to compensate for wider hips.

Walking lunge This exercise hits the thighs and glutes like nothing else. Try to gradually increase the reps until you can do 50 reps total then begin adding weight by either a barbell across your shoulders or dumbbells by your sides.

Rules, reps and sets You will be working to the rep range of 15 to a maximum of 20. The aim is to pick a starting weight where you can just about hit 15 on any given set. You will perform 3 sets and attempt to beat 15 in each set. Once your rep range for any given set hits 20 - it is time to add more weight so that your reps fall back down to 15. Every workout you should try to increase the number of reps and amount of work you do. This should be recorded in a diary so that you gave a target for each workout.

Interval training complex The dumbbell snatch is challenging at the best of times as it involves being explosive. Try completing a circuit of 20 reps at a comfortable pace followed by 10 reps as fast as you can with proper form. Repeat this twice then rest for one minute and repeat again from the start. This move will torch fat!

This is the principle of “progressive resistance”. If you keep doing the same workouts week in week out, your body will have nothing to adapt to. Remember, every time you add reps or increase weight, you are using more energy. If you diet is constant, that energy will be taken from stored fat. Even an extra rep each week can add up to a massive amount of extra calories burned. Visit to download printable workouts or exersise videos straight to your mobile device. Alternatively, scan the QR code to visit the workout page now.

If there is a workout where you fail to beat your target, simply rest for 20 seconds and squeeze out a few more reps. This is called the rest/pause principal. By doing this you should hit more reps in your next workout. If you still don’t see an improvement then you have reached a plateau and it is time to change that exercise for another. There are plenty of exercises and workout plans available online. Visit the exercise library at the back of this manual and scan one of the QR codes to reveal a new exercise, workout, or challenge.

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healthy activities

Healthy activities recommended by us

A selection of healthy activities that combine a balance of aerobic, anaerobic and movement / flexibility. Enjoy this section and remember to visit to find all of the best activities and clubs running in your area. Alternatively, scan the QR code below and start searching online immediately through our online app.


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healthy activities


and why you should... Have you ever looked at swimming as a way of enhancing your fit and healthy lifestyle? Maybe you’re looking to start a healthy lifestyle? Are you looking for a low impact activity for your children? Are you of a more mature age and looking for a relaxing and enjoyable past-time?

Who should Swim? The answer is very simple - Everyone! Mums, Dads, Babies, Toddlers, Children, Grandmothers and Grandfathers. You can take your baby swimming from a very young age. The NHS says there is no need to wait until they are vaccinated. Not only is it a very fun activity for parents and their babies, but also a great bonding experience too. As children grow, their bones and structures are continually developing and growing too. Swimming is an ideal sporting activity due to it’s low impact on joints, not to mention the benefits of teaching children to be safe around water from a young age. It’s never too late to start swimming either! Again, due to it’s low impact nature, it is an ideal activity for older people or those recovering from injury. Most pools and leisure centres will have an OAP swim timetable, allowing the swimmers a more relaxed environment to enjoy getting in the water.

Many athletes from other disciplines see swimming as an essential part of their training. There are a number of reasons athletes decide to include swimming in their training. Some are rehabilitating injuries, while others are looking to change up their workout. A study carried out showed that triathletes that include a swim as their next workout after running, showed a 14% improvement in a VO2 peak velocity run time. The study also found that the triathletes also showed lower levels of c-reactive protein, which is a key biomarker of inflammation, 24hours after the run. That’s a huge difference just from swimming.

How Can I Get Started? To find your nearest Fitness Focus Recommended Swimming Expert, just visit our website or give us a call on: 0843 289 7285. Alternatively visit the website on: and we will find the nearest Fitness Focus Recommended Swimming Expert to you. If you are suffering from any injuries or illnesses, always consult your doctor before taking up any new fitness activities.

Benefits Of Swimming Swimming is an all-over workout that strengthens, tones and provides cardiovascular fitness with little impact on joints. Regular swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

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healthy activities

The gym the benefits Introduction You’ve made the decision! The wobbly bits just have to go and you’re determined to restore your body to its former glory. So, you go online, Google “gyms near me” and are met with a long list of possible choices. There’s no doubt about it, one of the best ways to get the results you are looking for is to join a gym. But, which one should you go for? Which one of the many available is going to deliver the health and fitness results you seek? Gyms come in all shapes and sizes and not all are created equal! A gym that works well for one person may prove a total disaster for another. This article offers some practical guidance on choosing the gym that works for you.

the members

day that is convenient for you.

• Look for testimonials from existing clients

One more thing to be aware of is the cleanliness of the gym. If a gym is dirty, you could be susceptible to illnesses as they spread among members at the gym. Good gyms provide antibacterial products to wipe down the machines after workouts. A dirty gym is also a sign that the staff and owners don’t really care about their business.

• Look for the qualifications of the staff

The first question that people usually ask when they phone up or visit a centre is “How much does it cost to join?” While this is an understandable concern, it is the wrong question!

Remember, you’ll want to be sure that you’re working with someone who is experienced and can help you to reach your health and fitness goals as quickly and as safely as possible.

Good gyms are results driven - they help their members to achieve real and lasting fitness results. So, a better question would be, “How can you help me to reach my fitness goals?” This question shows that you understand what is important and are serious about getting help.

Another thing you should pay close attention to is the equipment that is available for your use. It is not necessarily important that this is the latest and shiniest equipment but is it in good working order and is there enough of it available for the numbers using the gym?

Remember, your ability to stick with a training programme will be far more dependent on the results you are getting than the price you pay!

A gym that only has one treadmill or a limited number of free weights may not be your best choice if you find yourself having to stand in line during busy hours.

Central to your success are the people working within the gym. Unfortunately, not every “instructor” is well qualified and not everyone will be interested in helping you!

Convenience is also very important. People tend to stick to their training programme if getting to the building is easy and convenient. Do the hours that the gym is open fit well with the times you can use it? If they don’t fit into your schedule you may find that you have a ready excuse to miss a session and that is never good! It is very important to find a place that will allow you to have a great workout at a time of

Here are three tips that can help you choose a gym with the right people: • Look for a gym were the staff interact with 58

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The last thing you should check out is the price. Some gym memberships require that you pay by the year while others charge your credit card or send you an invoice every month. Some gyms will require that you sign a contract, with money being taken from your account each month. If they do, be sure to read it carefully - find out exactly what they require from you and what happens if you cancel your membership before your agreement expires. The most important thing to remember is to join the gym that you feel comfortable in and one that you can see yourself attending for many months. A gym with a great atmosphere and people who really care is much more likely to deliver results than a cold, impersonal, facility with disinterested staff. To finf the best gyms near you visit:

healthy activities

Martial Arts the benefits What are Martial Arts? Martial Arts is a multilayered discipline that can and is available for all age groups and abilities. The problem is that there are so many different styles and clubs and it can be confusing to know which one to choose! We felt that we would give our readers a hand in how and what type of group that they should look for. Martial arts is if you were look up the term in the dictionary: The meaning of “Martial”“characteristic of war”. The meaning of art” Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.” So it literally means the “art of war” and most martial arts are represented by disciplines from Asia.

Where do martial arts come from? Martial arts come from various areas of the world and the most recognised today are from Japan, China and Korea. Karate uses defensive and aggressive moves
that centres on building strength and endurance. It uses chops, punches, kicks, strikes, blocking and sparring. Karate also uses a variety of weapons. Jujitsu is a martial art that uses defensive and aggressive moves like strikes, locks and throws. Jujutsu uses an opponents force against them. It has techniques that work against armed or unarmed opponents. Aikido is a more “spiritual” and harmonious style in redirecting the aggression of the attacker as the form of defence, using throws, pins, rolls etc. Taught on the premise of disabling an aggressor without attacking, through your individual inner

energy Judo is a “wrestling-like” system that is also recognised as a sport and considered one of the safest methods of martial arts. It emphasizes physical control of an opponent through locks, pins and holds. Kung-Fu which literally means “hard work” involves attack movements as well as defensive techniques. 
It teaches kicks, punches, chops, throws, falls, grappling, forms, leg sweeps and blows among others. Taekwondo is Competitive in nature and recognised in the Olympics, involves techniques using elaborate footwork and unique high kicks. 
It has emphasis on strength, force and attack methods and engages in lots of sparring and competitions.

Which martial art suits you? If you are a young fit individual and competition is something that inspires you then first of all decide what you would prefer. If you like the idea of kicking high and scoring points then a good suggestion would be Taekwondo or “sport“ karate. If you fancy something that has a little more contact then maybe looking at kickboxing, boxing and Thai boxing. If you like the idea of something a little more personal and having more control over the use of strength then Perhaps Judo or Jujutsu could be more for you.

If you want a good tough work out and to test all your skills in a competition then the newest trend is MMA, which is less traditional and now has become very popular. It takes aspects from lots of different martial arts and is not for the faint hearted! If you want something a little more traditional and more technical then Aikido or certain forms of Kung Fu could be right for you. They both still require an element of physical ability and there are even competitions within certain clubs. As a more technical martial art the length of time to learn aspects of the discipline can take many years and can still be practiced into later life. If you are less able or maybe a little older and the prospect of contact doesn’t really appeal to you then maybe Tai chi could be the route for you. There are groups out there that even have specific lessons for those that have mobility considerations or disabilities.Tai chi has many health benefits and is practiced by millions and is a great stress buster! For younger members and children then the best suggestion is to find one of our experts in your area and they try a few groups to see how they fit in the group. Children are not as easy to channel, as their understanding of what they are looking for has to be discovered and determined. Children will fit in most groups and we suggest that they are better placed in the competitive groups depending on the child’s personality and nature.

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healthy activities


the benefits Cycling How many times having you been driving along in your car, or stood at a bus stop and a cyclist goes past on their bike? Whether they’re old or young, you may get that envious feeling, followed by the guilt that you haven’t got round to going out on your bike yet this year. Or maybe it makes you want to go out and purchase a bike so that you can start cycling. Either way, Cycling is a great activity to get you out of the house, or place of work and enjoying the scenery the UK has to offer. Alternatively, if you just want to beat the morning jams in your town, and chuckle at the drivers stuck in their metal cells as you breeze past on your bike, then it’s time to take that step.

What Types Of Bikes Are There? It would be almost impossible to list every single type of bike available to the public, but here is a list of the more mainstream ones. Road Bicycles (Used for travelling on


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road at high speed) Touring Bicycles (designed to cover long distances on road) Mountain Bikes (including downhill etc) Hybrid Bicycles (a cross between road and off-road) BMX Bicycles (used for racing over jumps, or for stunts on a set course)

Is It Expensive? The level you want to go to with Cycling will ultimately have an impact on the cost. Adult bikes range from basic bikes at around £100 right through to carbon fibre road bikes over £10000! If you are just starting out don’t forget to factor in the costs of safety equipment to your budget. When you’ve bought your bike and selected your safety equipment, what ongoing costs are there? Well, you’ve got maintenance of your pride and joy. The more technical the bike, the more expensive your servicing could be. Equipment like hydraulic brakes and expensive gear sets mean regular servicing. If you have a basic bike with no gears, suspension or hydraulic brakes, you still have problems such as

punctures to think about. Don’t let these issues put you off though, if you look after your bike properly you will keep maintenance costs to a minimum.

Benefits One of the main draws of cycling is that you can ride a bike almost anywhere and all year through. Cycling is great for muscle tone and endurance. As cycling is another low impact exercise, it can be used for injury recovery and by people of any age. In recent studies, steady cycling resulted in an average of just over 300 calories per hour! This makes it a very efficient and effective way of exercising.

healthy activities

Walking the benefits Is walking man’s best medicine? The famous Greek physician Hippocrates, from whom modern doctors still get their Hippocratic Oath, said it best: “Walking is man’s best medicine”. Humans are designed to move, specifically to walk! For most of us it is the most natural of movements and yet our modern lifestyles have taken away the necessity of walking anywhere – we hop in a car, take a lift, and spend hours in front of computer or TV. There is a simple formula for improving our health and wellbeing and it can be summed up in four words “Move More, Eat Less”! Walking is an excellent start in getting you moving more. It will get you into better shape, tone muscles, help you to lose weight and achieve better health and increased vitality.

and make sure they fit you well.

to compare it with.

3) Plan what days you are going to walk. Make it a goal to work your way up to 5 days or more a week of about 30 minutes walking time.

It is really important to look after your feet, so make sure your shoes are the proper fit to prevent injuries. A good walking shoe needs to be firm enough so that it holds its shape to keep from turning and twisting your ankles. They should have a good tread on them so you don’t slip on water or ice. Make sure yours shoes are a good fit to your feet so you don’t get corns or blisters.

4) Add 5 to 10 minutes for a proper cool down stretch time. 5) Be prepared to walk in different kinds of weather! Get some wet weather gear and don’t let “bad” weather put you off - you really won’t melt and there is something quite exhilarating about plowing through the rain! 6) Be clear on your goals - are you walking for health reasons, to lose weight, or just for the general exercise that we all need? Track your progress towards your goal. You won’t know whether you are winning if you don’t keep score! 7) Do you need to consult your doctor for health reasons before you start on your walking programme?

The great thing about walking is there is no need to buy expensive equipment or pay out for gym fees. The only thing you are really going to need for this fitness programme is a good pair of walking shoes.

8) Consider joining a walking club or getting some friends together to walk with. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that people who exercise in a group setting are more likely to stick with their programme.

Here are a few points to help you get started:

When making your plans start with a goal that gives you something to look forward to as you progress. Do you want to lose 3kg? Drop a dress size? Look good for your holiday? Defining something tangible will help to keep you motivated and keeping a journal is a fun way to record your progress. Once in a while look back in it to see how much you’ve actually achieved. You’ll be so proud of yourself when you hit your goal! It is a really good idea to take a photograph of yourself before you start too - you will really notice your changing shape if you have something

1) Write down your fitness goal and set yourself a realistic plan to get there. You cannot expect to undo 15 years of relative inactivity in a few short weeks. Break your goals down into achievable chunks and get started. 2) Get some good quality walking shoes

Maintaining consistency is one of the most important aspects of any fitness programme. Have a clear idea what days of the week you are planning to walk on and work your schedule around your walking time. Life is full of distractions but this is for YOU - so stick to it come hell or high water. Be prepared for different kinds of weather needs, because you never know what it’s going to be like on the days that you’ve planned to walk. Deciding on how far you want to be able to walk in your 30 minutes is important. Remember, the faster you walk the more calories you will burn. Competing with yourself over a certain distance is a great trick to keep you motivated. When you start being able to cover more distance in the same time you know you are getting fitter. The great thing about walking is that it is a really natural activity for humans. We are not asking the body to do anything that it is not designed to do - this makes it the king of all exercises and one that really good for both fitness and weight loss. The old Chinese proverb says it well “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”! So get out there and take that first step.

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fitness class directory

fitness class directory

Fitness Classes comparision

The difference between fitness classes can be significant. Some classes will suit you and others will not. The next section compares all of the best fitness classes and assesses their benefits and what they will do for you. The first thing you need to consider when choosing a fitness class is what do you want to achieve. If you have read the section on goal setting earlier in this manual then you will have a good idea of what you want to achieve. The right classes can help you on that path and see you to the finish line. Fitness Focus recommends that you choose a selection of classes that will each have very different impacts on your body and health. For example, some classes are completely about fitness whilst other focus on calorie burn and weight loss. There are even classes that emphasise flexibility and movement, whilst some focus on strength. There are classes that hit all of the spots and this is particularly true of the Martial Arts as they are aerobic and anaerobic with a considerable amount of stretching which resembles yoga and Pilates and actually has its origins rooted in these forms. Martial Arts also teach coordination and technique. Classes like Boxercise and Taebo are hybrids of Martial Arts and high impact fitness classes. They contain many of the moves and exercises without the sparring and combat that takes place within a Martial Arts class. There are also some unconventional but highly effective classes such as pole fitness which focuses on exercises that are highly practical and impact the entire body. We have listed a huge selection of classes overleaf split into sections:

Aerobic, Dance, movement & Fitness

Mind Body and Toning Yoga, Pilates, Tai-chi and much more in this section

Combat, Martial Arts and High Impact For high impact and combat classes including the Martial Arts and classes for those who really want to push their fitness to the next level. Finding the best classes and best instructors can also be difficult and time consuming. Fitness Focus have taken the pain out of your search by preselecting the best classes in the local area. Visit the website or scan the QR code listed overleaf to start searching for the best classes near you. After reading the next section, if you are still unsure which classes to choose then simply give us a call and we will work with you to recommend classes and instructors who will be perfect for your goals and needs.

Search our class directory overleaf to find the best classes for you. If you would like further assistance then contact us on 0843 289 7285. Alternatively visit:

This section lists all of the classes that are dance and movement based

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fitness class directory

Fitness Class Directory

Aerobic, dance, movement & fitness Aerobics


Body attack™




• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

Body combat™






• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

A class which can truly fit all needs from low through to high impact. This is not a class that you will grow out of. As the exercise gets easier - you can just up the intensity. A good all rounder for all levels

This fiercely energetic program is inspired by mixed martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai.


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Doing any movements in water increases the resistance whilst supporting your body. This can be particularly good if you are suffering from any injuries or have had injuries or back issues in the past.

BOKWA® is Different. It is not really a dance workout – there is no choreography and no counting steps. Participants draw letters and numbers with their feet, while moving together to music in free form rhythm.

BODYATTACK™ is the sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina. This high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises.

A class which can truly fit all needs from low through to high impact. This is not a class that you will grow out of. As the exercise gets easier - you can just up the intensity. It is a non contact combat/ exercise hybrid.

fitness class directory



Street dance

Pole fitness




• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

Tae bo


To find the best classes near you visit our website:

Salsa dance has been around for several decades, but many gyms have recently started offering salsa dance classes. Salsa dancing involves a lot of spontaneous movements that can work a variety of muscles in your body,

Tae Bo was designed as a different type of aerobic and cardio workout concept which is focused on the soul, mind and body and so the benefits of Tae Bo are both physical and mental. Tae Bo has been characterized as an excellent cardiovascular workout.

Street Dance Fitness is an exciting new exercise discipline. Street Fit harnesses the aerobic and muscle-toning aspects of street dance to create fun, highenergy Street Dance Fitness® routines.

A fun and energetic dance based class for all levels of fitness. Dance styles include: cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, hip hop music, axé music and tango.



• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

A fusion of fun and truly practical fitness. Pole fitness is very different from the associations with pole dancing and focuses on all over body fitness, movement and toning. Highly recommended for anyone serious about getting fitter, stronger and more toned.

If you prefer to call us: 0843 289 7285 or scan the QR code below

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fitness class directory

Fitness Class Directory

Mind, body and toning Alexander

Ashtanga yoga

Hatha yoga




• Develops posture • Can rehabilitate • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Develops posture • Can rehabilitate • Tones muscle • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Develops posture • Can rehabilitate • Tones muscle • Builds flexibility • Health

Lyenga yoga

Pranayama yoga




• Develops posture • Can rehabilitate • Tones muscle • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Builds flexibility • Coordination • Health • Builds Flexibilty • Relaxation

The Alexander Technique is a study of causes not symptoms. There is considerable and growing evidence that learning the technique helps you to address the underlying causes of functional problems such as back pain, neck pain and discomfort caused by tension.

Aside from the basic benefits that any yoga practice gives us, Iyengar uses props that can benefit in a number of ways: they help with precision, put less stress on your muscles, and are helpful if you’re recovering from an injury.


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Ashtanga yoga is a powerful form of yoga which has an emphasis on strength and stamina. In Ashtanga yoga the breath is synchronised with the postures in a process that detoxifies the body. The benefits are a strong body, calm mind and better circulation

Pranayama refers to the breathing technique in Yoga, which can work wonders in improving the overall health and the function of all the organs in the body. Pranayama is also closely linked to meditation, a crucial aspect of yoga.

Hatha Yoga is an almost-perfect fitness routine, which gives people of all ages the means to get and remain in shape. Further, it helps develop balance, coordination, not to mention, a sense of Self-awareness.

Great for the mind and concentration. A meditation class can have a tremendously positive impact on your mood and outlook on life. The benefits you receive will have a positive impact on how you approach the rest of your training.

Benefits • Concentration • Relaxation • Health • Mood • Builds flexibility

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There’s more to pilates than developing “strong abs” or “core strength”. Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, musclestrength, flexibility and posture. It incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.

Benefits • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Builds flexibility • coordination • Health


Stretch and relax



• Tones muscle • Builds flexibility • Coordination • Health

• Tones muscle • Builds flexibility • Coordination • Health

Qigong works with the muscles quite differently than the typical exercises practiced by Westerners. Aerobics and vigorous stretching build strength and flexibility; qigong and other internal exercises build effortless power and looseness.

A class which can truly fit all needs from low through to high impact. This is not a class that you will grow out of. As the exercise gets easier - you can just up the intensity. It is a non contact combat/ exercise hybrid.


A class which can truly fit all needs from low through to high impact. This is not a class that you will grow out of. As the exercise gets easier - you can just up the intensity. It is a non contact combat/ exercise hybrid.

Benefits • Burns fat • Tones muscle • Builds flexibility • Coordination

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fitness class directory

Fitness Class Directory

Combat, martial arts & high impact Boxing


Jeet kune do




• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination







• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • coordination

• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

Boxing classes tend to provide a great workout for all ages and stages of ability. You do not always have to spar or fight and most clubs now open themselves up to beginners or people who want to have the workout without the fighting element.

A style based on leverage rather than strength. The emphasis is stopping an opponent from striking you whilst using their strength against them. Very good as a self defence style and for people who are smaller and weaker.


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A highly acrobatic and movement based martial arts style. With origins in dance-like movements this style can improves flexibility in beginners or take your martial arts to the next level in advanced students.

A style based on leverage and the power of the hips over muscular strength. Because of the lack of strikes, Judo has been considered as one of the softer styles. This has made it no less effective as it is possible to neutralise a much larger opponent.

A style created and made famous by Bruce Lee. Based on real world self defence and the natural movements of the human body - this style is one of the forerunners to modern mixed martial arts. Very effective as a self defence based style.

A great all round Martial Art with kicks, punches, locks, blocks, throws and a range of strikes. Karate combines techniques from many other styles. As a discipline it is a very complete fighting style.

fitness class directory




MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)




• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

• Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

Tae kwon do


A modern Martial Art meaning the way of the sword. Kendo uses wooden swords and armour to teach the art of swordsmanship. Modern clubs are great fun and provide a great workout whilst learning a skill.

A style based on kicking and use of the legs. Taekwondo also incorporates strikes and throws. Very good for flexibility and development of powerful kicking techniques to keep your opponent at a distance.

Benefits • Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility • Coordination

Widely considered to be the sport version of Karate - Kickboxing is exactly as it sounds with elements of boxing incorporating use of the feet (padded). There are various styles from non to full contact . Great for adults or children.

The term given to an eclectic style which mixes the best of many other Martial Arts. Karate, Jujutsu, Judo and Wrestling are all used. Whilst many people associate MMA with cage fighting, there are many lower impact clubs around for all levels and abilities.

Wrestling is a sport recognised by the Olympics and practised widely in schools in the USA. Becoming more popular in the UK largely down to its success within MMA and its ability to control an opponent who is using strikes.

Benefits • Burns fat • Builds muscle • Tones muscle • Aerobic activity • Builds flexibility

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exercise selection

exercise selection


selection and info Selecting the right exercises to create the best workout is essential. Once you understand your goals and objectives and have assessed your body type - you can begin to create a workout that hits the spot and gives you the results you desire. Within this section are some of the best all-round exercises for each body part. There are literally hundreds of exercises and if you look around any gym you will see many variations of the same exercise. Sometimes simply making a slight change to the width of your stance during squats can completely change the emphasis on the muscle group you are working. The same can be said for the width of your grip when you are working your upper body. Leverage machines, cable machines and free weights all have a different effect on your body and all have their place within a balanced workout regime.

Free Weights Most experts within the fitness industry all agree that the use of free weights is essential. Free weights are barbells or dumbbells that are not attached to pulleys or cables. They are moved against gravity and free to move around unless stabilised by the muscles of the body. It is this process of stabilisation where the benefits lie as the act of stabilising them uses small muscles which are not used when a weight is attached to a leverage machine where the path of movement is locked into a set path.

Machines Machines have their uses in working weak points of a muscle and in supporting the body and helping to prevent injury recurrence during rehabilitation. Machines can also be particularly good for beginners starting out and looking to develop their physique to progress to free

weights. Machines can be leverage based such as a leg press machine or cable based as in the lateral pull-down machine. Both of these machines are useful for overall development.

Body Weight Exercises Exersices such as Pushups and walking lunges are particularly beneficial as they promote movement and core strength. Pilates uses many movements that use nothing other than the body and gravity. At Fitness Focus we recommend a balance between machines, free weights and body weight exercises. We have an extensive panel of expert personal trainers on hand in your local area who can assist you in tailoring a programme that suits. We also work closely with the best local gyms and fitness centres who provide in-house trainers to structure programmes. The Fitness Focus website contains a wealth of information and we have provided an exercise library at the back of the manual where you can simply scan a QR code from your mobile device and see the exercise performed correctly and explained online. We also provide printable exercise catalogues and workout plans.

Don’t forget to register on the website for special offers, downloadable exercise toolkits, workout programmes and many special offers and discounts on fitness & health products. Fitness Manual


exercise selection

Exercise selection

Bodybuilding & Strength Bench press Known as the king of the upper body exercises, the bench press is a great size and strength builder for the chest, triceps, shoulders and back (to a lesser degree). Correct form is essential and using a full grip for safety. Because you can go heavy with this exercise always have a spotter on hand to assist when you need them.

Benefits • Builds size • Builds strength • Is a compound move (uses more than one muscle group)

Squat One of the all round best exercises. Squats do more than build the legs, they can stimulate growth all over the body by causing a reaction at a hormonal level. The squat is an absolute must for ectomorphs who find it difficult to put on weight, on the other hand, if the squat is done with a lighter weight and performed for higher reps it is superb for fitness and calorie burning.

Benefits • burns fat • builds muscle • tones muscle • aerobic activity • builds flexibility • coordination


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Deadlift One of the number one strength building exercises. Similar to the squat in its ability to stimulate all over body development. Deadlifting does require strict form because of the weights involved and potential strain on the back.

Benefits • builds strength • builds muscle

Chin up A class which can truly fit all needs from low through to high impact. This is not a class that you will grow out of. As the exercise gets easier - you can just up the intensity. It is a noncontact combat/exercise hybrid.

Benefits • burns fat • builds muscle • tones muscle • aerobic activity • builds flexibility • coordination

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Exercise selection Toning Press-up A great toning exercise for the upper body. It works all of the areas that bench press does, with the added impact on the core.

Benefits • tones muscle • builds strength • works the core

Walking lunge The walking lunge will hit the entire leg, hip and glute area. This exercise can really be felt when it is done properly.

Benefits • tones muscle • builds flexibility • coordination


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Curl to press This movement is a two in one complex where one rep is essentially doing two reps. Doing the exercise this way can sometimes mean that you can do more reps on each portion of the movement then if you were to just curl or press alone. Part of the reason is that the biceps are being rested whilst the press part is performed. Whilst the rest is only momentary, it will allow you to get a few extra reps. If you choose to do the movement rapidly, you will get the kinetic transfer from one movement to the next. This gets your body into the cardio zone as well.

Benefits • burns fat • builds muscle • tones muscle • aerobic activity • coordination

Crunches An exercise which works the core. Core strength is important to stabilise your body through the rest of your workouts. It can also help to prevent back pain. The benefit with the crunch over a sit up is that sit ups can put a strain on your lower back. Crunches work the underlying muscle, they are not a fat burner in themselves.

Benefits • builds muscle • tones muscle

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Exercise selection Fat burning Get up The get up is one of the most taxing cardio workouts you will have. Try doing 50 of them and see how you feel afterwards. This is a great all rounder. Your levels of fitness will soon increase with this movement and you can even try throwing a push up into the mix when you reach push up position.

Benefits • burns fat • builds muscle • tones muscle • aerobic activity • builds flexibility • coordination

Squat press A great two in one complex where you perform two great compound movements. The effects are a great all over workout. If you perform this movement before your cardio session you are sure to burn more fat. The reason behind this is the speed at which this complex depletes the stored energy from your body. Performing cardio in this state means that your body has to use your other stored energy - in the form of fat.

Benefits • burns fat • builds muscle • tones muscle • aerobic activity


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Interval training Pick one of the cardio equipment set-ups in the gym, for example, a treadmill. The concept is simple: Run at a comfortable pace for 5 mins, sprint or run as fast as you can for one min then repeat the recovery run pace for 5 mins and so on. Do as many cycles as you can and even play with the times. Perhaps shorten your recovery run to 3, 2 or even 1 minute. The benefits of this approach are many and include an after burn effect where you will continue burning fat all day due to the effect on your metabolism.

Benefits • burns fat • aerobic activity

Skipping Skipping is a great all round cardio, coordination and fat builder. Practice is required to master it and ensure that you can start to increase your pace. Skipping is also quite versatile as you can apply the interval training approach to it (above)

Benefits • burns fat • tones muscle • aerobic activity • coordination

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Excersise library

scan and go QR codes Simply scan the QR code relating to the exercise and you will be immediately taken to that page of our website where you can see demonstrations and descriptions of the movement together with suggestions on how to incorporate it into your routine.

upper body

Clean & press

Bench press

Dumbbell snatch

Shoulder press

Wide chins

Bent row


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exercise selection

Lower body


Split squat

Walking lunge

Calf raises


Combat 250

Combat 500


Fat burner

Strength & power

Mass & strength Fitness Manual


Lifestyle, Health & Fitness Manual

Fitness Focus Registered address: Aston Court, Kingsmead Business Park, Frederick Place, High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 1LA Website: Email: Telephone: 0843 289 7286 80

Fitness Manual

Fitness Focus Manual  

Fitness and health magazine

Fitness Focus Manual  

Fitness and health magazine