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5 Tips to kickstart the Summer body plan

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Can you believe we are already in April?! 2019 is absolutely flying by!

As beautiful as this month can be – weather wise – it’s also a crucial month when it comes to getting Summer-ready. April gives us a lifeline. It tells us that Summer is close, but it also gives us enough time to get back on the right path and start making them Summer improvements.

So, if you’re ready to get fit for Summer, take a look at our 5 tips. These are perfect for getting you back in the mix!

 

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Set a (realistic) goal and stick to it.

Goals are great for getting you on the right path. They help to give you something to work towards, rather than just doing things casually. When setting your goal(s), be sure to keep them realistic. We’d recommend also setting small bite-sized goals. This way you can reach milestones more regularly, which will keep you motivated and make it easier to reach the ultimate goal!

 

Get inspiration from Instagram.

Social media has become a big part of our lives and it can be used for some great motivation, especially when it comes to getting fit.

Instagram is flooded with fitness profiles, to help give you tips, tricks and inspiration. Take a look at our recent article on Top Instagram Fitness Accounts to Follow.

 

Team up with a friend.

Working out is more fun with a partner. It makes the workout more like a social event and will also help to push you beyond your limits.

If you can’t find anyone to join you, then don’t worry, our classes are full of new friends and workout buddies! Feel free to come along and meet some new faces.

 

Get some apps!

Another great thing to come out of the last 5 years are the amazing fitness apps available. We can now track everything from our workouts to how many calories we are eating!

We recommend trying Nike Run and MyFitnessPal – two great apps. Nike Run is great for keeping track of your cardio run/walks and has some big athletes to help motivate you through your headphones.

MyFitnessPal is hugely popular for counting calories and ensuring you’re eating correctly. Super easy to use!

 

Reward yourself!

Remember when we mentioned the bite-sized goals? Well, each time you hit one of them goals, treat yourself. Whether it’s buying those summer clothes you’ve had your eye on, or just simply rewarding yourself with that chocolate bar you just love (our favourite – KitKat Chunky!) – give yourself something you want. It will help to keep you motivated on reaching the next goal and, let’s face it, you deserve it!

 

Ready to get started?

Book in for a class with our expert trainers today and start your Summer body this week!

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6 effective hacks to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau

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Trying to reach your target weight can be tough – especially if you hit the dreaded Plateau. We tend to lose weight quite quickly at the start, but unfortunately, after some time, we find ourselves in front of a wall – and it’s a big one.

Plateau can be discouraging and make you want to just throw in the towel. However, there are a number of little hacks, which can help break down that wall and allow you to keep running towards your goal weight loss!  

 

Change up your routine.

Quick question – how long has your workout routine been the same for? If it’s anything longer than 4 weeks, then, it needs changing.

When you shake up your workout, it will help to wake up your muscles and give you a new lease of life. When it comes to burning fat, look at circuits and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Both are known to burn body fat effectively.

One thing to remember – don’t try too much too soon. The last thing you want is to get injured.

 

Increase water  

When your body becomes dehydrated – even if it’s only a small amount – you may find your body craving food. The reason for this is that both dehydration and hunger have similar symptoms – easy to confuse the two. We recommend drinking around 2.5 – 3 litres of water a day.

 

Eat more protein.

A little bit of science for you – protein burns the most calories of food intake. The more protein you eat, the more you burn. Protein also contains amino acids and studies have suggested that they help well with burning fat.

 

Try Intermittent Fasting

I’m sure many of you have heard the term Intermittent fasting. It’s become quite popular over the last year or so. If you haven’t heard of it – it involves going for long periods of time without eating, typically between 16–48 hours.

Intermittent fasting helps to boost fat loss within your body as well as other health benefits. It also helps to put your body in shock – another big quality for overcoming plateau.

 

Sleep

One of the most vital parts to help us get healthy and lose body fat comes in the form of sleep. Yes, we know – sounds crazy right?! But sleep is where your body recovers. Regularly having poor sleep can increase your stress hormones and elevate body fat, especially around the stomach.

 

Don’t Let The Scales Fool You

When trying to lose weight, you may find yourself hopping on the scales A LOT. It can actually become a bit of an addiction. However, it’s important to remember that, the scales aren’t always a great measuring tool.

Losing fat isn’t all about getting to the lowest number of the scales. We want to look toned, too. To do this we need to add muscle and muscle weighs much more than fat. So, if you don’t see much change in the numbers on the scales one week, don’t see it as a bad thing. You may have still lost fat, but gained muscle.

The best solution here is to use pictures. Take one every week or two and measure your progress. They will help to keep you motivated, too.

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If you’re looking for some professional help to boost your fat loss, then book in for a FREE consultation with one of our expert team members today!

taekwondo bristol

Martial Arts for Kids: The benefits of getting into it young

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It seems to be everywhere we look – from Conor McGregor everywhere we look, to computer games and movies. It’s safe to say that martial arts is now more popular than ever!

Though there are many different styles around the world, one that’s remained a big favourite is the art of Taekwondo. Formed in Korea, during the early 50s, Taekwondo is arguably one of the most stylish forms of martial arts – with cool-looking kicks and smooth transitions. But, the beauty of Taekwondo is that everybody can enjoy the martial art – including children!

At MYGYM Bristol, we’ve been teaching Taekwondo to countless amount of people from all shapes and sizes – and that includes youngsters, too.

So, what are the benefits of Taekwondo for children? Let us tell you…

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Physical Activity

It’s sad to say, but childhood obesity is a growing problem in the UK. Just like with obese adults, obese children often struggle with the desire to exercise and sometimes just don’t know how. Enrolling in the MYGYM Taekwondo classes will help to give your child a structured activity every week, helping them to stay fit and healthy, as well as giving them an enjoyable activity every week.

 

taekwondo bristol

Boost Self-Esteem

Feeling amazing about yourself is one of the greatest joys in life, right? Well, boosting self-esteem in children is vital for them to develop into their best life. When your child reaches new goals, you will see their confidence grow. They will be more happy in life – something we all want to see in our kids.

We’ve seen many children come to our classes, who simply have low self-esteem or none at all. Within weeks, both our instructors and the parents have noticed huge differences. They become more confident and you can actually see it on their face – they’re happy! It’s a great thing to see.

 

They will become more social

Another common struggle in children is with socialisation. This can come in many forms, whether your child is shy, has trouble keeping hands to himself, or just finds it hard communicating in general. Everyone benefits from being involved in a martial arts class, both young and old.

During our Taekwondo classes, we also run partner drills and light sparring, which helps children communicate and also observe. Before you know it your child will be able to stand in front of a group of people and communicate their message clearly.

 

Self-Discipline

Obeying what is right – that’s the definition of self-discipline. Something we think we can all agree on is that it’s just know how it used to be. The culture of youngsters, today, allows them to receive instant gratification – from simply watching a certain movie on Sky/Virgin, to playing their favourite music. It can be done pretty much instantly.

Students at MYGYM’s Taekwondo learn to discipline themselves toward achieving each new belt rank.  Belt ranks are not given, they are earned through hard work and self-discipline.

 

It’s so fun!

And finally, the best benefit of the MYGYM Taekwondo training is that we simply have fun!

Our students love coming to class and being with their peers because they are always participating. Each child moves at his or her own pace. Plus, we also feature in competitions and events that children can aim towards.

When you are thinking about giving your child a new activity, we would definitely recommend Taekwondo. Feel free to try a taster session with us – click here to get started.

Top 5 Instagram Fitness Accounts for Men

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A couple of weeks ago, we published an article on the top female fitness Instagram accounts to follow in 2019. Now it’s time for the men!

As you already know, Instagram is now one of the go-to places for fitness. In just a few click and scrolls, you can find inspiration by the pound.

Following the right people on Instagram can help boost your motivation, change up your workouts for extra success and help to pass the last hour sat at your work desk. So, without further adieu, here are the Top 5 Instagram Fitness Accounts for Men

 

top-fitness-instagram-2019Steve Cook

One of the OG’s for Instagram fitness, Steve Cook is a veteran and has been posting awesome quality content to his Instagram profile before it was cool. Another beautiful thing is that Steve is one of the most real fit pros on the social media app. He doesn’t only share fitness tips and workouts, he also shares snippets of his personal life too.

 

top fitness instagram 2019Ulisses Jr.

Arguably one of the most shredded beasts on Instagram right now. Ulisses Jr. posts workouts by the bucketload and shows how he stays so ripped throughout the year. So, if you’re going through the shred phase, following Ulisses is a must.

 

fitness instagram 2019Corey Gregory

Many of you might not know how powerful Cory Gregory actually is in the fitness world. He is the co-founder of MusclePharm and Max Effort and actually brought the the “Squat Every Day” challenge to Instagram. Corey is of the older pedigrees, but take a look at his posts and you will truly see that age is just a number for sure!  

 

fitness instagram 2019Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Needing no introduction. The Rock has been one of our fitness heroes since the days of Wrestlemania. Now a Hollywood beast, Johnson mixes up his posts from work life to workouts and feeds. His workouts are pretty brutal and sometimes damn right crazy, but he’s huge in life and on Instagram for a reason.

 

Matthew Fraser

When you are considered one of the fittest men on earth, it’s only right that we add you to this list. The Winner of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games, Mat Fraser is the real deal. His commitment to fitness is amazing, so, if you feel that motivation slipping, go follow Mat and let his posts inject you with the strength you need for the months ahead.

 

Don’t forget to follow us too!

You can find news about our gym, workouts, upcoming classes and a few BTS shots too! Go follow us: MYGYM Bristol

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4 Ways to Avoid Getting Fat While Bulking

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It’s a common question in muscle building – how do we stack on gains without becoming fat and then have to work our butts off to burn it off? It’s no breaking news – losing fat is hard work – yet, gaining fat is much easier. For instance, eating pizza every day and you’ll be sure to pack on fat fast.

So, how do you actually do it? How do you pile on pounds of muscle with minimal fat? Well, in this article, we will give you 4 tips on how to avoid getting fat while bulking.

 

#1. Don’t Ignore Cardio

It’s tedious and a pain at times and we’ve all been tempted to ditch the treadmill from time-to-time, but to keep the fat at bay, cardio is a must. First of all, cardio is extremely healthy for your cardiovascular health, so much so, that we should all do cardio in one way or another.

Furthermore, studies have shown that doing at least three twenty or thirty minutes of cardio post workout will help to balance bulking muscle without getting fat.

We must stress, however, not to overdo it with the intensity of your cardio as you may lose muscle rather than gain.

 

#2. Cheat Meals, Not DAYS

The day we all love – when we are allowed our cheat meal. But, let’s just say that again – cheat MEAL. Not cheat day.

Look, it’s ok to eat a cheeseburger or that large pizza every once in a while, but it’s all about moderation. We recommend keeping your cheat meals to a maximum 2-3 times per week. This will help to keep you from over indulging as well as keeping the fat at bay.

If you let yourself have cheat days, rather than cheat meals, you will not only experience fat gain, you may find it harder to keep on track.

 

#3. Make Your Cheat Meals Smart

Following on from our last tip, if you time your cheat meals correctly, then they can actually work in your favour. Cheat meals often involve a carb load and a protein load at the same time. With this, you will fuel your muscles for growth.

We recommend timing your cheat meals as close to post workout as possible. Team them with protein shakes throughout the day and you’ll be packing on muscle like you wouldn’t believe!

 

#4. Add Low Carb Days

One of our golden tips for building muscle and burning fat is incorporating low-carb days into your week.

Having a low-carb day at least once per week will help your body reset and keep body fat under control. Yes, carbs play a vital role in post-workout recovery and muscle growth, but, eating carbs at the wrong times will cause them to store as fat – something we don’t want. . Carb cycling is a way to get the best from both worlds – weight loss and staying lean on one hand, and supporting muscle growth on the other.

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Looking to build muscle for summer? Join our class workouts and we will help get you in shape ready for the beach!

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The MYGYM Playlist: 6 Best Songs For Deadlifts

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They say music is one of the best remedies for certain moods. Well, it can also turn you into a savage beast with the right selection. But what are the best songs for deadlifts? Everybody has their own taste – granted – but, here are 10 songs for deadlifts that we believe will want you to lift heavier, go faster, and crank your training to the next level.

Get your Spotify ready…

Eminem – Lose yourself

A BIG tune to start off your workout! We’re huge fans of Eminem, but, Lose Yourself is definitely one of our favourite go-tos when warming ourselves up for a gruelling session. Just the first few seconds inject motivation.

 

 

Don’t Stop me Now – Queen

An oldie but a goldie – there aren’t many bigger icons that Queen, for belting out those vocals. While you’re feeling strong and happy – stick this one on loud and you’ll be bouncing towards your next set.

Eye of the tiger – Survivor

Let’s face it – if it’s good enough for Rocky to kick some ass, it’s good enough for you, too! American rock band Survivor’s most famous pump up song still packs a powerful punch that can help you power through the peak of your workout.

Power – Kanye West

Ok, he may be a bit crazy and let’s just say – we aren’t the greatest fans of his clothing line. But, Kanye’s Power song is a must for pushing yourself to new limits. Not only will this tune get the blood pumping, it will help make you feel like a warrior and push further! Let’s go!

Big for Your Boots – Stormzy

One of the biggest artists in the UK right now – and with good reason. Stormzy’s tunes are full of hype and this particular one will definitely help bring that hype to your workout. Hood up, get a grip of that bar and smash through your set!

Snow – Red hot chilli peppers

A gym favourite for when our workout is coming to an end. The tempo of this Red Hot Chilli Peppers classic is great for winding down and bringing your workout down a notch.

Are Squats The Best Exercise EVER?

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So, you’re looking for a powerful way to boost your overall fitness and get some serious results, right? Well, look no further than squats!

This exercise has grown in popularity over the last 10 years – and with good reason! But how beneficial are squats? Obviously VERY benficial – it’s an exercise, which can be performed any place at any time. Not only this, but it’s epic for the gains, too! But, if that doesn’t convince you, here are a few reasons why you should add them to your workout regime…

 

Increase Your Entire Body Strength & Muscle

We are sure you already know that squats build strong legs,  but they also promote strength and muscle building in other areas, too.

When you squat (correctly may we add!) your body will release testosterone and  growth hormone, both of which are necessary for building more muscle.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to squat super heavy weights to achieve this – because you don’t. Studies have shown that deep squats with a lighter weight are super effective at improving strength.

 

Shed the fat!

Squatting probably isn’t on the top of your list, when you think of workouts for burning fat. But, squats are awesome for burning fat. The beauty of squats is the fact it keeps burning fat after the exercise has finished!

Then we have the added bonus of “the more muscle you gain, the more your calories your body burns.”

So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you can burn up to 500 more calories per day than you did before the gain. Crazy!

 

Get Rid of Cellulite

It’s something all women have to endure – the dimpled skin on the back of your legs and butt – delightfully described as being like ‘cottage cheese’. Well, we have some good news – squats can banish cellulite!

What causes Cellulite? There can be a number of factors, one of which is poor circulation in the body.

Squatting boosts your blood flow, which will mean better circulation, thus decreasing your cellulite. Win-win situation!

 

The benefits of squats are numerous

The final benefit – is that there are so many more benefits! Yes, it would be crazy of us to name every single benefit squatting brings. The list would simply go on and on and on. You have other things to be doing!

So, let’s compromise. Come down to the gym and we will show you some more benefits. You won’t look back!

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Top Female Fitness Instagrams to Follow in 2019

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As we put the Christmas holidays behind us and settle into the New Year, we begin to really focus on our health and fitness once again. Some of you may have set resolutions to drop a few pounds or smash that deadlift goal. Well, to help spur on your motivation, we have conjured up our favourite fitness females to follow on Instagram.

We’ve compiled a short list, from badass deadlifters to former pole vaulters, containing awesome content to help motivate you throughout 2019.

Scroll on to discover the best female fitness Instagram accounts to follow in 2019…

 

fitness instagram woman

Elisabeth Akinwale

A perfect place to start for inspo is with five-time CrossFit Games athlete, Elisabeth Akinwale.

The athlete, from the windy city of Chicago, posts videos of herself doing what we love – Olympic lifts! But in our opinion, the best part has to be that she puts motherhood first. Her videos are often filmed by her son – showing that mothers can be strong and lift like a badass!

 

Morit Summers

Looking for some body positivity? Look no further than Morit Summers. The NSCA-certified personal trainer is based in New York and has an Instagram feed flooded with body positivity, health-at-any-size advice, and weight-lifting videos.

She also trains the celebs too – she must be doing something good!

 

Alex Silver-Fagan

Let’s face it, sometimes we feel down and get tired of the usual motivational posts. When this happens, we recommend turning to Alex Silver-Fagan. Silver-Fagan is a certified personal trainer, also based in the Big Apple, and specialises in both fitness and yoga. Ok, granted, some of her posts are a bit out there, but she’s full of great advice and wisdom!

 

Nora Minno

When it’s cold outside, getting your butt into gear can seem like the last thing you want to do. Well, enter Nora Minno. Minno’s Daily Burn workout posts will make you want to get up and move!

We especially love Nora’s food posts. She loves to keep it green and – with her being a registered dietitian – her food is always good for you.

 

michelle lewin 2019

Michelle Lewin

Arguably one of the most famous fitness females on the gram, Michelle Lewin (or “The Body” as she likes to call herself) is hugely popular for many reasons; super bitesized workout videos, healthy eating posts, and hot booty shots to go with it!

If you’re looking for ab and booty motivation, hit Lewin with a follow.

 

amanda bisk

Amanda Bisk

The former pole vaulter and now-exercise physiologist looks like she lives in a beach-y dream, thanks to the stunning backdrops in her yoga snapshots. But even if you can’t work out in the same place, you can listen to the same workout jams—her music suggestions will inspire you to move wherever you are.

4 Apps to Help You Get Fit in 2019

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Can you believe it’s 2019?! Seriously, it seems like just a couple of months ago it was like – 2008! Time really does fly, but one of the slowest months has to be January.

The reason January seems to drag is because we simply struggle to get back into normality. Christmas seemed like it lasted a lifetime and yes, we are carrying some holiday weight! So, if you’re like us and want to hit 2019 with a bang, then here are the 4 best apps, we recommend to get you back into a fit and healthy routine this January.

Ps. They’re all FREE – Booya!

For Weightlifting: Stacked.

We came across stacked a couple of months ago and with such great ratings, it was definitely one we had to try. In simple terms, the app tracks what you lift, how often, and what areas of your body you’re working – perfect if you’re looking for weightlifting progress this year. Stacked also allows you to set goals, create custom workouts or try one of their set plans if you wish.

So, if you’re looking to add more weight to that bar in January, Stacked is a must.

 

best fitness apps 2019

For the runners: Nike Run Club

Arguably the best app on the market for running, Nike Run Club is turning couch potatoes into 5km beasts within weeks! It’s an innovative app, tracking your runs via GPS, which allows you to get an accurate report of your distance, calories and even a snazzy little map layout in case you get lost!

Our favourite feature on this app has to be how community focused it is. You can connect with friends, go head-to-head and even get coaching plans from the experts.

One you won’t regret using…just do it!

fitness apps 2019

For Rest and Recovery: Sleep Cycle

One of the most important aspects of being fit and healthy is your sleep. To allow muscles to grow, we recommend 7-8 hours of sleep a day. But, let’s face it – sometimes our hectic schedules (or that new series on Netflix) lead us to having some late nights.

To tackle this, we’ve found a nifty little app called Sleep Cycle. Sleep Cycle uses your phone’s accelerometer to monitor and record your movement and quality of sleep. When morning approaches, it uses sleep cycle theory to wake you up during light sleep (within a user-defined window of time) rather than deep sleep, so you feel refreshed and ready to tackle your daily tasks and your workout!

fitness app 2019

Stress relief – headspace

As we mentioned earlier, it can be difficult getting back into the swing of things in the New Year. Pushing your fitness goals as well as work and home – it can get a bit stressful.

Stress can be a cause of many unwanted walls – including weight gain and lack of motivation. So, to defeat it and clear your mind, we recommend Headspace.

This app offers some great meditating courses – from mini 3-minute sessions to much in depth courses lasting 30 or so minutes. Because meditation can reduce stress, improve focus and promote better sleep, you’ll recover faster, work more efficiently and – bonus! – probably be a more patient, mindful person.

Let us know if you have any other favourites by commenting below!

4 Myths about Olympic Weightlifting

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Olympic weightlifting. Just the name of it sounds quite daunting and scary, doesn’t it? The Olympic bit doesn’t help! But, it’s actually not as scary or dangerous as it sounds.

In fact, there are many Olympic Weightlifting myths that have people avoiding the exercise at all costs. But, today – right here, right now – the MYGYM team are going to debunk 4 of the most common misconceptions when it comes to Olympic Weightlifting.

Ready? Let’s go…

 

It’s a man’s sport!

We will start with the most common myth, which we hear on a daily basis. Ok, yes we understand that Olympic Weightlifting has been mostly dominated by men, since it began, but women are certainly making themselves heard in the modern day!

Since the early 80s, females have been lifting weights at both national and international level. Fast forward to today and you have the likes of Jessica Lucero, who has become an inspiration worldwide!

It’s safe to say that Olympic weightlifting is a female sport too. Don’t believe us? Come down to our gym and you will see women of all shapes and sizes throwing that bar high. Girl Power!

 

Lifting is Going to Make You Huge

Lifting any sort of weight can help build muscle, but there seems to be a myth surrounding olympic weightlifting – that it will make you huge!

At MYGYM Bristol, we practice weightlifting everyday – and it’s safe to say that none of the team are the size of The Mountain (one for you GOT fans!)

This myth seems to concern women mainly. Don’t worry ladies, your testosterone levels won’t allow you to become huge naturally. Olympic weightlifting will help you build muscle and burn fat, yes. But, you will be at the right size for your frame.

Don’t be afraid of how your body is going to change. You’re going to be in better shape than you ever imagined.

 

Weightlifting is boring

When it comes to Olympic lifting, the main actions consist of the snatch and clean & jerk. Doesn’t seem like much, so we can understand why this myth exists. But, take it from us experts, there is more to weightlifting than you think.

Aside from the countless variations of both lifts, there’s an endless amount of accessory work involved, squats, bodybuilding, balance, stretching and not to mention the hunger to beat your own personal best every week! Olympic Weightlifting is exciting and challenging – join the hype!

 

It will stunt your growth – shorty!

We overheard this myth a few months back and it nearly made us spit out our coffee! But then we realised, people actually believe this myth!

We won’t go into too much detail, but, the Olympic Weightlifters you see on the TV are short in height because they were to begin with. That’s all there is to it. We can happily say that, there has been no evidence or proof that lifting heavy weights will stunt your growth.

Want us to debunk some more myths about Olympic Weightlifting? Come into the gym and we will tell you some more…