Do I Need a Personal Trainer?

Going to the gym and working out on your own is completely fine, however a lot of people prefer to have someone keeping them on track and personalising what the gym offers to suit them more. Therefore, some gym goers also have a personal trainer. It’s proven that gym goers will work 5 times harder with a personal trainer. Here’s a list explaining why:

Good For People Who Don't Know Where To Start

It can be really intimidating to join a gym and not know what to do to help you get to where you want to be. Staff members will be able to point you in the right direction; however, it can be hard to ask again and again. If you really are struggling, speak to someone about getting a personal trainer, so you can talk to someone about how you feel and where you want to see yourself in a few years. Personal trainers know what works and what doesn’t for different people, if you really want to make the gym part of your daily routine, a personal trainer is a good place to start.

Help Clients Achieve Their Goals

Personal Trainers truly do want to help their clients. It’s their job, and they wouldn’t have chosen to do it if they didn’t know about fitness or enjoy it. At some point, they must’ve been unhappy with their body to want to start going to the gym and learning more about working out. They know how to help the people they work with get to where they want to be.


Working out on your own can be nice as you’re able to go at your own pace and stop if you need to, but this also allows you to stop when you want to. Having someone with you can really motivate you to keep going and see the change over a shorter amount of time. Having someone to motivate you pushes you to work harder and get closer to your goals.

Personalised Training Plans

A personal trainer does exactly that, trains you personally. Depending on your body type, goals, and anything else, these people will be a trainer for you, rather than a group or a gym as a whole. It can be hard to know what to do to kickstart your fitness journey and keep it going, so having someone who know what to do as well as making it personalised to you, makes having a personal trainer worthwhile.

Continues Outside of The Gym

Even though a lot of people stay healthy outside of the gym, some people workout in the gym and then don’t continue that when they leave. People then wonder why they haven’t yet achieved their perfect weight, however with a personal trainer, the gym becomes a life style, rather than a choice for every now and then. Personal trainers offer plans for their clients, from eating schedules and recipes to lifestyle changes, to help their customers get the most out of their sessions and new lifestyle.

Obviously personal trainers aren’t for everyone, but why not speak to us at Gym & Tonic, or your local gym to find out how you can benefit from one!

The Importance Of A Good Breakfast

The early bird catches the worm.
Eat breakfast as a king, lunch as a merchant and supper as a beggar.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Ok, we get it. Breakfast is important. But why?

After sleeping for 7 to 9 hours, your body has basically been fasting. You need to eat in the morning to essentially ‘break the fast’, which gives breakfast its name. Without food in the morning, you are effectively a car with no petrol. You are empty, and need to fill up.

According to nutritionists, breakfast should be eaten between 1 to 2 hours after waking, and should be able to provide 20%-35% of your daily calorie intake. That seems a lot, but breakfast really helps to kick start your day, and keep your energy high until lunchtime. Traditional breakfast choices such as cereal contain iron, a good source of fibre, vitamin B, and so much more, helping your body refill after rest.

It’s essential to eat breakfast if you are looking at weight loss, as filling up on healthy foods in the morning, stops you from reaching for fatty and sugary foods later in the day. Research shows that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight, so it’s a no brainer for health and fitness reasons to make sure to eat something each morning.

However, if you don't always fancy breakfast, what then? Try and drink some water or fresh fruit juice, just so your body can begin to wake up and restore levels of things you may have lost whilst sleeping. Your body may then crave something more substantial, so try toast, cereal, or a bowl of fruit. Even if you’re not hungry, it’s important to give your body something.

It has also been proven that eating breakfast can restore glucose levels, which help the brain to function, lowers stress, and makes us happier for the upcoming day. Therefore, it’s important for children to eat breakfast before school, so that they are able to retain information better as well as improve attention spans. So, eating breakfast really is important, especially if your plan is to work out or do something that will use lots of your energy.

What do you eat for breakfast to keep you full until lunch?

What Is Functional Training?

Functional training may be something you haven’t heard of before. It is a range of fitness exercises that allow you to train your muscles to work together and prepare them to perform everyday tasks more easily and without injuries, whether at home, work, or during sports sessions. Functional training mainly uses weight bearing activities targeted at the lower back as well as the core muscles of the abdomen.

Body building normally uses machines which isolate certain muscles, which may be un-beneficial to most people who want to train their whole body rather than just certain sections. Functional Training is NOT that. Functional training uses equipment that helps train your muscles to be a whole, which is fantastic for sport, general life, mobility, and much more. This type of training also allows you to work at your own pace which most people prefer, especially in a gym environment.

Types of functional training equipment you may find with us and other gyms can include:

Functional Rigs

Described as ‘the ultimate piece of strength and conditioning equipment’, functional rigs allow fast and effective whole-body workouts that deliver results. As these rigs are often quite large, more than one person can use the equipment at one time, and are perfect for anyone of any skill level and regardless of ability.

Olympic Lifts

These can be difficult to learn, however once acquired, these ranges of lifts with weights can improve athletic performance, strength and power, balance, stability, and coordination.

Hiit Mill

Unlike a standard treadmill, the Hiit Mill is self-powered to build speed and strength, especially during a Hiit (High-intensity Interval Training) workout.


Free weights, such as dumbbells, can be found in most gyms, but are brilliant for functional training as they can be used for a huge range of exercises to build muscle.

Medicine Balls

These are a great choice for developing strength, coordination, and endurance. Medicine balls engage your whole body and can add intensity to a range of endurance and strength exercises to get your body working harder. During functional training, many people use them whilst performing squats and sit-ups.

Functional training relates to real people for real life. It’s great for elderly people who want to strengthen themselves for things they may now find difficult at an older age, such as climbing stairs, picking things up, and mobility. It works. So many people are now talking about it, and how great it is to workout your whole body, rather than just certain parts.

Do you think you will give it a go?

2018 Fitness Trends

We are now in 2018, and looking back over 2017, it’s so interesting to see how the gym has changed, as well as fitness and working out in general. Looking at that, here are a list of things we feel will become trends at the gym this year!

Virtual Reality Workouts

When we think of Virtual Reality sports, Wii Sports comes to mind, and trying to get a strike whilst bowling on the TV. However, this technology has evolved so much over the years that you can now wear headsets that place you in a 3D world. WE feel that workouts through these VR headsets will be introduced, to try and encourage children, teenagers, and people who spend their days gaming to get active. It may also be the route people take if they are worried about going to the gym so want to try it at home. Even though this sounds exciting, it could be expensive if you don’t already own a VR headset, and it could encourage people to spend even more time using technology!

Group Personal Training sessions

People want personalised workouts; however, they can be expensive if they are one to one. This may turn to group workout sessions, so people can save money, yet still have a personalised workout experience. Classes at the gym are so much fun, but people are looking for something more individual and focused on them, so these group sessions may become more of a thing in 2018.

Gym Technology

Even if they don’t go to a gym, most people own a smart watch of some kind, which tracks their steps and even calories consumed for the day. The technology we have right now is phenomenal, and only keeps getting better. This may lead to everyone owning a smart device to track their workouts and progress soon. Even though the devices can be expensive, they are motivating, and great for the gym!

Outdoor Workouts

Especially coming up to the summer, working out outside will really pick up. A lot of people jog outside, but we think exercising outside will become a thing in 2018. Using walls, benches, and anything else you can find, this essentially free “equipment” is available to everyone, and can be used for wall sits, press ups, bench steps, and so much more. This could be done with a few people, and be really fun in warm and dry weather. That’s the downside though, if the weather changes, your workout might have to also.

Wellness Coaching

Learning about and looking after your mental health is so important, and as a result of this, we think that wellness coaches will be wanted more. People will be able to speak to wellness coaches as well as personal trainers to aim towards having a healthier body and leading a healthier life. We don’t think this will change people’s general goals, but wellness coaches will help how people get to where they want to be, physically and mentally.

We wonder which of these five ideas will become a reality over the upcoming year? Maybe none of them will, but if they do, you heard it here first!

The Benefits of Eating Fish

As everyone should know, fish is an important part of a healthy diet. Whether you are looking at eating better for your body, or looking to continue your workout even outside of the gym, fish is a staple food in a fitness conscious diet, and here’s why:

Fish Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease

When working out, it’s important to focus on your insides, as well as what your body looks like on the outside. As fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, it’s brilliant for protecting your heart and reducing inflammation. If you look after your heart, it will look after you. Omega-3 acids are also essential for your organs and cells to work properly.

Fish Is A Brilliant Source of Vitamin D

If you’re really focusing on getting into shape and want to be in the gym as often as you can, make sure you’re eating fish to make sure your body is getting enough Vitamin D. This is important for keeping your bones healthy and strong, as well as keeping your body strong during long resistance training sessions. Being in the gym is important, but resting your body is too, or you won’t see results. Vitamin D aids sleep which will help your body to rest and repair after working out, and to keep your body as healthy as it can be.

Fish Speeds Up Your Metabolism

As you may know, having a high metabolism helps break down your food even faster when working out, helping with weight loss. Like mentioned, fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have a positive effect on your metabolism, helping you get closer to your weight loss goal.

Fish Is A Great Source of Vitamin B12

Your body needs vitamin B12 to function at its best. It is a nutrient that helps the blood cells and the nervous system stay healthy and create DNA. Vitamin B12 also aids in the prevention of anaemia, helping your body not feel so weak and tired, and overall assisting your fitness plans.

Fish Helps Injury Recovery

Even though the gym and being sporty in your life style can really help your body, it can also be dangerous through accidents and if your body gets hurt. Again, omega-3 fatty acids in fish are brilliant for aiding muscle regeneration, and vitamin D in fish aids with recovery also.

So, as you can probably understand, fish is a superfood in the fitness world. Eaten in proportion, it can really do the world of good for your health, and help you on your fitness journey. To group together as many of these points as we can, and to recommend which fish are best to introduce into your healthy diet, we looked at the fish available at a local fishmonger, Parkers of Stafford. Parkers stocks high quality fish and game, and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable, if you wanted to gain some more information. You can find out more at:

Source of Vitamin B12 – Salmon and Trout

Source of Calcium to Aid Healthy Bones - Sardines

By having 2 servings a week, these fish can reduce the risk of heart disease by 36% - Herring, Mackerel, and Anchovies

Hopefully you’re able to add fish to your shopping list and get your healthy eating on the right track.

Laurie’s Story

It can be scary taking your first few steps into a gym. This is how Laurie felt when she joined us just over a year ago. Her goal was to lose weight, tone up, and just be happy with her body. She settled in, and has achieved her goal, which we think is incredible.

When joining the gym, Laurie weighed 12 stone 2. She had already lost a stone and a half before she joined, but wanted to achieve more, and reach her goal at a quicker pace. Within the past year at Gym & Tonic in Uttoxeter, Laurie has lost another 3 stone, getting her to an incredible 9 stone 1. When she started, Laurie’s aims were to lose a stone of fat, begin to build muscle, and become leaner. She has now achieved this and so much more, through learning about different areas of her body and what kind of exercise she needs to focus on.

Laurie has said how welcoming Gym & Tonic is, especially with the regulars, friendly staff, and great opening times. She was initially filled with nerves, but now calls the gym a second home. Laurie is an incredible inspiration for anyone wanting to achieve their goals, as she shows that you can.

Will you take the first step to achieve your goals?

New Years Motivation Guide

Getting back to a normal routine after the rush of the Christmas holidays can be difficult. After getting used to fun foods and fizzing drinks, it feels almost impossible to be able to start eating healthily. Getting the motivation isn’t the hard part, but keeping that motivation high is! It’s 2018, a new year, time for a new you. Here’s how to keep the motivation going until 2019, rather than just the second week in January...

Be Realistic

It’s easy to say you want to lose a certain amount of weight and eat healthily, but if you are going from no working out to wanting to be in the gym every day, your body won’t appreciate that. It can be simpler to set smaller goals along the way, so that by the end, you are in a place you are proud to be in. If you truly believe you can lose a lot of weight or build up tonnes of muscle, go for it, but try and be realistic towards your current situation to see more success.

Outline Your Plan

After choosing your resolution or goal, organise a plan or your routine so you know exactly how you are going to get there. Whether you plan on going to the gym three times a week and eating healthily, or choose to do a workout every morning at home and then food prep rather than eat out, by writing down your plan, it will make it so much easier to see what you have to do, when, and that you will be sure to see results at the end of it. If you don’t see results straight away, don’t worry, stick to what you have written and keep working hard.

Track Your Progress

It’s so inspiring to see your weight change or photos of your changing body over the weeks to really see the change occurring. Whether you use your phone, or write down your results on a piece of paper, checking this can motivate you to keep going and do even better. This also helps you to see how far you have come since setting your goal as well as how much more you have to go.

Use Imagery

It’s been proven that the brain retains visual imagery rather than text, so purchase some fitness magazines, scroll through workouts on Pinterest, or even make a motivating collage. The more you see these inspiring images, you will be more likely to get to the gym and get to your goal, no matter how big!

Make It Fun

Doing something you don’t enjoy can get boring quickly. Join a sports class, go to the gym with your friends, or find a certain workout you really enjoy. You will quickly stop aiming towards your goal if you let yourself be uninspired, so keep the energy high and stay happy. What you’re doing will get you to a place where you will be happy with yourself, so make the journey their a happy one too!

Talk About It

Keep your goal in mind and talk to others about it. They may have similar goals or be able to give you some tips to be able to work harder or keep you inspired, even when it gets tough. Talking about your goals also makes the idea seem real, rather than just a concept in your head. Talk about it, inspire others as well as yourself, and keep aiming for what you want to achieve.

Make It Part of Your Daily Routine

After going back to work and sorting out the rest of your routine, why not squeeze a few workouts in their too? By having the gym part of your weekly or even daily routine, it becomes normal to do it as often as you do, helps your body adjust, and makes it easier for you to get on track.

Reward Yourself

Don’t drain yourself completely! Make sure to treat yourself (and take care of your body) by having a day off, or eating unhealthily one night. By rewarding your hard work, it makes what you are doing worth it even more, and motivates you to keep going to get your goal.

Join Forces With Family Members or Friends

It can be difficult at times to motivate yourself, so why not find some friends who have similar goals and try and complete them together! It can be inspiring to see people you know getting to where they want to be, and by having someone else there, it will motivate you to work harder and see better results.

Don't Quit After One Mistake

We all know how hard it is to get back on track after making a mistake or two, but don’t let this stop you completely. You have already worked so hard to be where you are at, continue to work hard. We are all human, none of us are perfect. If something happens, take a day or two to re-motivate yourself, and then get back on it. Believe in yourself!

I think the best advice I have is to think of why you chose that resolution in the first place, and the idea behind it will spark up the motivation in you, and fuel you for the year to get to a place where you feel confident and happy. Hopefully these tips help you achieve your new years resolution, or any goals that you want to aim towards, fitness related or otherwise.

We want to wish you a happy and healthy 2018!

New Extension

If you are a regular at Gym & Tonic Stafford, you may have noticed some building work or loud drilling noises whilst working out. If you are hoping to join us in the near future, don’t worry, this won’t last long. We can explain. Well, it’s still a little secretive, but here’s all you need to know right now.

With a substantial investment, a new area is being added to Gym & Tonic, and we are all excited. This new addition to the existing gym space means new equipment, as well as a new and exciting class timetable.

This space, not only will create a much-needed extra room, but also it will cater to a diverse group of people from 16 to 80+ year olds. Furthermore, it will give all it's users, new and existing, the opportunity to improve on their general fitness for a better lifestyle, not just weight training or general gym work which looks at parts of the body, rather than it as a whole.

Talking more about the new timetable, with a new space and new equipment, we look at expanding our current classes and introducing new ones that apply to existing and new members of our community. Whether you are at the gym every day, once a week, or haven’t signed up just yet, we hope you’re ready for a new outlook at our new room to help you get a body and a lifestyle you are happy with. We have also added some brand new pieces of equipment in our main mixed gym so make sure you come and check those out as well.

The extension will be open from January 2018, and we hope to see you there. The new space will be open to all members, and any newcomers. In the meantime, the management and each member of staff, would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding during this time, and we look forward to be working with you in the near future.