New partnership supports weight loss

We are proud to announce that we are working in partnership with the NHS to offer an exclusive clinic for both doctors referrals and for Gym & Tonic members. This new partnership is offering local people access to specialist weight management advice! We will be hosting weight management groups run by the Specialist Adult Dietetic Service, which is provided by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The partnership with Gym and Tonic will involve Mark Inman, Dietetic Physical Activity Practitioner, meeting with patients of the Specialist Adult Dietetic Service at the gym. The weekly groups will include a weigh in aimed at achieving 5% weight loss over 10 weeks or an alternative goal suited to the individual. Attendees will also complete food diaries and exercise plans and join an educational session on subjects such as sugars, the Eat Well Guide and benefits of exercise. As part of the service patients will also receive assessment and support from a Registered Dietitian over a 12 month period. Patients can be referred to the service via their GP or other health professional.

Following the session for those being seen as part of the Specialist Adult Dietetic Service, Mark will be available for a ‘drop in’ session for members of Gym and Tonic who may wish to ask questions about healthy eating and weight loss.

Mark Inman said “We are committed to helping people with weight loss and management and working with Gym and Tonic means we are able to hold sessions in an accessible, local venue. We can also provide extra sessions for gym members who are concerned about their weight”.

Alex Jones, Director at Gym and Tonic Uttoxeter added, “We are really pleased to be working with the NHS and hope the new clinics will make a real difference to people needing help with weight loss and management”.

For those interested please get in contact with Alex for more information and to reserve your space: uttoxeter@gym-tonic.net

Your first session at The Ladies Centre

So you want to lose some weight, tone up or increase your fitness but the thought if stepping foot in a gym is daunting? We hear you. We've all been there. Everyone's first day is a little overwhelming especially when we don't know what to expect. That's why we thought we would put together a guide of what to expect when you come down for your first session at The Ladies Centre.

Your first session at The Ladies Centre

The main thing to remember is that everything is on your terms. Our instructors are here to help you! We aren't going to try and get you to do anything you're not comfortable with. We don't expect you to be super fit when you come through the door; it's our job to get you to that point!

Discuss your goals

The first thing we will do before we do any exercising is have a chat! We feel it's important for our instructors to get to know you; what you want to achieve, do you have any injuries, any health problems you want us to be wary of. We will discuss your needs and a brief plan of action.

Find out what works for you

Once we have an idea of where we're going its time to start finding out how to get there. Our instructors will use their knowledge to find out what exercises are going to be most effective to you and your goals. They will explain each exercise to you including the benefits as well as how to correctly carry it out. The aim for the first session is to get you familiar with using the equipment so you won't be working too hard. We will build your fitness as you progress through your sessions.

Make your plan

After we've been through all of the exercises we will start making your plan. This will be what we've already been through with you and explain how often to do the exercises as well as how long you need to carry on with this plan before getting you booked back in.

Sart making progress

Once we've been through everything with you its time to start changing your body! You will have your own copy of your fitness plan and can work through it at your own pace. If you forget anything or are stuck just come and ask a member of the team and they will be happy to take you through any of your exercises again. Your instructor will check in with you every now and then and let you know when to book back in for a new fitness plan but this will usually be after around 6 weeks.

A few final tips

When you first start it is important to remember not to push it too hard in your first few weeks. It is easy to get carried away and try to fast-track your results but it is slow and steady that wins the race! If you push yourself too hard in the first few sessions your body will more likely get injured or fatigue. Focus on building the gym into your weekly routine, once you have cracked that you can slowly increase the intensity whilst you are at the gym.

Whilst it is important to remember that consistency is key, it is equally important not to punish yourself too much if you have a bad day. We all have them but it is how we deal with them that is most vital. Having a bad day or few days is often not as detrimental to our progress as we think. Come in and have a chat with one of the team if you are feeling down or disheartened; we can focus on getting you back on track as well as reassure you that everything is going to be okay making you feel more positive about your training!

Holly’s Story

After being referred to Gym & Tonic by one of our current members, Dee Beveridge, back in January 2017 Holly decided to book some personal training sessions with PT Ian Brown whose expertise and guidance enabled Holly to start her incredible journey.

Since joining in January Holly has gone from a size 14 to a size 10!

After gaining confidence and changing her life with a healthy balanced diet and exercise program, Holly now enjoys working out on a regular basis. Her determination and positive attitude is truly inspiring. Holly is looking forward to the future and her main goals are maintaining her weight and toning up.

Holly with gym manager Clare

An absolutely awesome effort from Holly and a real inspiration to everyone working towards their own health and fitness goals! Holly has also been named this months "Member of the Month" receiving a free month with her membership.

If you have any motivational stories then we'd love to hear from you! Alternatively if you're struggling to achieve what you want or need some help get in touch as well: call us on 01889 564671 or email us at uttoxeter@gym-tonic.net!

Fitness instructor doing squat

Build that booty!

Build your booty with these simple exercises! Each exercise is great for building the perfect butt and can be done either at home or in the gym so no equipment required. The workout really makes your bum burn and makes you feel amazing as well!

Some tips

Before we jump straight into it here are a few tips to remember whilst working out to make sure you don't injure yourself and to get the best results for your booty workout!

Make sure your movements are slow and controlled, this gets harder as you get tired but try and keep your form as best you can.

When squatting and lunging make sure your knees don't go over your ankles and keep the weight going through the balls and ankles of the feet not the toes.

It is important to consume enough protein for your butt to build itself so make sure you have enough in your diet, protein shakes are a great way to supplement if you are struggling.

The Workout

Weighted exercises or body weight alternatives

Squats 10-15 or Bodyweight Squats 15+
Sumo Cable Squats 10-15 or Sumo Squats 15+
Standing Lunge 10-15 or Walking Lunge 15+
Weighted Hip Thrusts 10-15 or Hip Thrusts 15+
Cable Kickbacks 10-15 or Kickbacks 15+ (Each leg!)
Cable Hip Abduction 10-15 or Hip Abduction 15+ (Each leg!)
Cable Glute Press 10-15 or Glute Press 15+ (Each leg!)

Try to do each set of exercises 2-3 times with a rest in between.

Be sure to let us know how you get on or if you have any tips for building your butt!

Large bicep plastic model

Top 5 lifting mistakes

Avoiding these 5 simple mistakes could have big impacts on your muscle gains.

Overtraining

Muscle is built outside of the gym, not inside.

This is the most common one we see. Whilst we all want fast results it is often easy to try and put "too much" work during training. Your muscles only grow outside of the gym whilst you give them rest. During the gym you are actually preparing your muscles to grow so if you keep preparing and never actually let them rest and grow then you are actually slowing your progress down.

Too much pushing, not enough pulling

Neglecting the back can lead to serious problems.

Whilst chest press is an incredibly important exercise, without balancing it with the reverse pulling exercises you are doing huge damage to your body. The neglect of the back in comparison to chest can be staggering and the consequences are more serious than simply aesthetics. Training this way causes a hunched posture with a tight chest pulling your shoulders forward. This causes huge back pain problems and complications, just ask Chiropractor Chris. To help reverse this process, focus more on your back as well as stretching your chest to loosen the tight muscles.

Ignoring warm ups

It's more than just a warm up set.

Jumping straight in to a set? Bad. Doing a warm up set? A bit better. Doing a proper warm up? That's going to save you injuries, increase your range of motion and severely increase your performance in the gym. As mentioned in the previous mistake, stretching is hugely important and doing this before your warm up set will have a big impact on your training. We recommend doing some light cardio to warm the muscles up before stretching depending on what you are training. Check out this handy guide for stretching each part of the body.

Not eating enough

You need to eat a calorie surplus to gain weight.

Okay so maybe this should be not eating enough of the right foods. What you do in the gym is only a fraction of what gets results, you need to be very focused on what you do outside of the gym. As mentioned with our point about getting proper rest, your muscles only build when you AREN'T training. Your training regime requires a huge amount of calories and it's important for you to calculate how many you need for you to build muscle as you will only gain with a calorie surplus. You then need to see how this is should be split into macro-nutrients (macros) try using an online calculator like Bodybuilding.com for an estimate and then adjust depending on your needs. As a guide you need consistently high protein and then on training days high carbs and low fats and non training days you're going to want to switch that and have high fats low carbs.

Not having a plan

Plan your goals. Be realistic.

If you want to see results then it is really important that you have a plan of action. Start out by setting your goals and a time frame. Be realistic. Once you have a goal its time to plan how you are going to reach it. You need to work out how many times per week you can commit to exercising and then build your training programme around that. When you're training make sure you are recording your results; this is key to make sure you push yourself each time you train and it also allows you to monitor your progress.

How many of these mistakes are you guilty of making? We hope this helped those who needed it and provided a good read for those who know about them already. If you have any more questions about building muscle please send us a message to stafford@gym-tonic.net or uttoxeter@gym-tonic.net.

Fitness instructor doing HIIT workout

Keep the family fit this summer!

As we juggle work and family sometimes in the school holidays we struggle to keep our fitness goals on track & as we know consistency is key, so we’ve come up with a few tips for both adults & kids so you can spend quality time together and keep active as a family.
The Heart Association recommend that children age and over participate in an hour of moderate activity every day. While an hour each day might sound like a large chunk of time, there are many ways to incorporate activity into your daily family routine.

Get Moving

Adding a new twist can make mundane things super fun and healthy!

Go for pre or post dinner walks - Stroll around the block with the dog or make it a bit of a game of an evening walk, take it in turns to pick a goal, hop to the red car, job to the next lamp post etc.

Crank up the music and boogie - Move the furniture aside, pick all your favourite tracks and dance!

Turn TV advert breaks into fitness breaks - Pick an exercise to do at each TV break, make them simple: squats, press ups, sit ups. Alternatively play COACH: take it in turns "ordering" each other to "drop and give me 5" or "follow the leader".

Have a weekly sports night - go out and pick a sport to do together, go swimming, play badminton, go to the driving range!

Make your own FIT CARDS (This can be HILARIOUS!) - Create a series of cards featuring family friendly exercises, such as bear crawling or ape walking, shuffle the cards and each person picks a card and performs the exercise

Helping with the chores - Washing the car, sweeping the patio, hoovering the lounge, cleaning the windows: put some music on and sing away!

Family Fitness Ideas in Staffordshire

No need to travel far!

Take a walk up to Stafford Castle

Cycle the Isabel trail (the old railway line)

Exhaust yourselves at Flip Out indoor trampoline park

Go to the Town Park

Play Laser Tag at Tenpin

Go on an adventure at Cannock Chase (take a picnic)

Row a boat at Trenham Estate

Top tips to get your family moving

Take it in turns to pick your favourite!

Play hide and seek or be creative and create your own game

Play your favourite sport

Go pick-your-own fruits (apples, strawberries) at a local farm

Go on a bike ride or a hike

Go swimming and see who can tread water the longest or dive under each others' legs

Create an obstacle course

Squirt gun/water balloon fight

Go swimming

Try skating, rollerblading, skateboarding or even ride a scooter

Do your own garden Olympics, create your own events

Summer family workout

And here is our quick no equipment workout that can be done anywhere! It doesn't require any equipment so is perfect for the whole family to do together!

Let us know how you get on with our suggestions and be sure to send any photos or videos of the family keeping active over the holidays to stafford@gym-tonic.net or uttoxeter@gym-tonic.net; we'd love to hear from you!