Wonder Woman Fitness

Archive for April 2011

Never give up – How to motivate yourself


 “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” Beverley Sills


Anyone who watched the US Masters recently will have realised that it can all fall apart for the best of sportsmen/sportswomen.  It was too painful to watch, Rory McIlroy’s meltdown as the media were calling it.  So what happens when you are aiming towards something, doesn’t have to be the famous green jacket, maybe you are aiming to lose weight, to gain fitness to complete a half marathon, so what happens if you fall off the wagon? How will you stay motivated?

Rory Mcilroy 

My theory to this is a never give up attitude and set yourself goals.  I have on plenty occasions slipped up with my training by giving myself cheeky wee days off when I shouldn’t, eaten much more than I needed on my binge days and suffering from injury and illness which have all set me back.  But no matter what is thrown at me be it my troublesome achilles, my colitis or my pathetic food will power I have always stuck in and tried my best.  The reason?  Probably because I have a lifetime goal in mind and small goals to get me there, plus I secretly enjoy the pain and torture with fitness.  My goal is to complete triathlons and to be at my physical best in 2 years.  This blog is written to inspire you and help you set goals for yourself and how to stay motivated.

 “You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone” Percy Cerutty

 I will start with one of my favourite inspirational sportsman stories of all time by one of my favourite sportsmen.  Like Ali without a world heavyweight championship belt, Red Rum without the famous grand national wins, the world of motor racing without Michael Schumacher or Jack Nickalaus without the green jacket this man needed a grand national triumph to mark his already sporting greatness.  However it was not without trying.  I am of course talking about AP McCoy. The 14 time champion Jockey who has ridden more than 3000 winners, yet a Grand National win still remained out of his grasp that was until 2010.  AP McCoy claimed a famous victory that year after his 15th attempt on board Don’t Push It.  Although you may argue that it’s his job to race horses, this man was at the time 35 years old racing in a very dangerous sport where broken bones are the norm and where you have to be hard, brave and unbreakable.  It meant everything to him to win the national and he always believed in himself that he would win it but also trainers and race horse owners believed in him too or he would never have been given a mount that day.  So it took this highly talented sportsman 15 years to win the Grand National, to get his hands on that elusive prize, how’s that for not giving up! And in the words of the man himself ‘If you get enough goes at something and you keep going, once your in there you’ve always got a chance’

 Tony McCoy

Keeping motivated and sticking to an exercise and diet regime can be hard with demanding lives, exercise burn out, and illness being a few of the things that may interrupt our training programmes.  Do you feel that you work hard but don’t ever seem to get anywhere? If you are struggling with motivation it can be as simple as following a few simple rules of goal setting.  Whether it is running a 10k, losing a stone or increasing your strength, you have to figure out how you are going to reach your goals.  Goal setting is a process where you think about your ideal future, how you will achieve your results and how to motivate yourself to turn your vision into reality.  However goal setting doesn’t work if you don’t know what you precisely want to achieve.  So what is your ultimate goal?  Got one?  Then read on….

 “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, but hard to beat” Herschel Walker

 Goal setting is used by top athletes, successful business people and achievers in all walks of life.  Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short term motivation.  It helps you to organize your time and focuses on your goal so that you can make the very best of your life.

 How to set your goal:

 Ask yourself this: Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve? Do you want to lose some weight? Or do you want good health in old age? So, what steps are you going to take to achieve this? Well……..

 First you create your ‘big picture’ of what you want to do in your life (or even over the next year, 5 years etc) and identify the large scale goals that you want to achieve.  For example by the end of next year I would like to have done some triathlons so I can call myself a triathlete lol

Then, you break this down into smaller manageable chunks and targets that you can reach.  For example I have to be able to swim the distance in a sprint triathlon comfortably, I have to buy and test the kit, I have to work on my leg strength for cycling, I have to be able to complete the transitions smoothly before I enter a competition etc.

Finally, once you have a plan you start working on it to achieve these goals

 “Nothing will work unless you do” John Wooden

 Once you have set your lifetime main goal then you need to set smaller goals to achiever your ‘big’ goal.  Create a one year plan, 6 month plan and a one month plan of progressively smaller goals that should allow you to reach your ‘big’ goal.  I actually do this every month, things I need to do to reach my goal both in my career and my training and it really helps.  If I don’t manage everything that month I just put it into next months to do list.  However I try not to have more than 5 things on this list so that my mini goals are achievable.  Sometimes you may want to do weekly and daily to do lists that will help you get closer to your dream.

Kelly Holmes

A useful way of making small goals is to do SMART goals:

 Specific or Significant goals

Measurable or Meaningful goals

Attainable or Action-orientated goals

Relevant or Rewarding goals

Time or Trackable goals

 State each goal as a positive: Express your goals positively “Work on losing 2lb this week” is a much better goal than “Stop eating cake”

Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts that you have to do and try and measure them.  Keep a diary, jot everything down and when you have reached a certain goal you will feel complete satisfaction from achieving it.

Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority of importance.  This helps you to avoid being overwhelmed with too much to do and helps direct your attention.

Keep small goals small: Keep the low level goals that you are working towards small and achievable.  If a goal is too large then it can seem that you will never achieve your small goals never mind your ‘big’ goal.  Plus if your gaols are small and achievable = more rewards for you.

Only set goals that you have as much control over as possible.  It can be quite disappointing when you fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control.

Remember don’t underestimate your ability and your determination.  You can make goals too easy as well as too hard.

 Here is an example of how my goals will hopefully pan out for me:

 2 year goal: To have completed a few triathlons and be able to call myself a traithlete

12 month goal: Be able to complete all 3 disciplines together without exhaustion

6 month goal: Increase leg strength, leg power and core strength

3 month goal: Drop 7-10kg to become lighter for racing (following a diet)

1 month goal: Be able to ride my bike without falling off, be able to swim more than 2 lengths of front crawl without passing out, sort foot injury out

1 week goal: Follow new eating plan, train 4 times this week

 So maybe use the above plan for your own goals.  Change the timescale if you wish and elaborate on how you are going to achieve each goal.  Try your hardest to stick to your goal and timescale and it will give you focus and purpose.


“Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking your potential” Liane Cardes

 So if you have a wobble like Rory McIlroy just keep going at the end of the day your end goal is all that matters if you have to take the long road to it with a few pit stops then so be it, but never stray from your dream and from your goal.

Keep active folks………………………………….

large easter egg
mmm chocolate

The Easter Egg Calorie Buster

 Are you going to treat yourself to an Easter egg this year???  If you are don’t feel too guilty I will be too.  The fact is if you do treat yourself (or overindulge) then do something about it.  Burn those unwanted calories away and get back into training.  An average hollow chocolate Easter egg can contain 200-300 calories so that technically isn’t really a treat on its own it’s a small meal!  If you work hard in the gym you will know how hard it is to work off 200 – 300 calories so I have put together a calorie busting treadmill session that will help you burn in the region of 200 – 300 calories in 20 minutes.  So if you have a treat or two time for a trip to the treadmill.  Have a look and have a go……


This is a 20 minute walk-run treadmill session:




0 – 2.00 3mph/4.8kmph 3%
2.00 – 3.00 3mph/4.8kmph 4%
3.00 – 4.00 3mph/4.8kmph 6%
4.00 – 5.00 4mph/6.4kmph 8%
5.00 – 6.00 4mph/6.4kmph 10%
6.00 – 7.00 4mph/6.4kmph 1%
7.00 – 8.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 3%
8.00 – 9.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 5%
9.00 – 10.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 6%
10.00 – 11.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 1%
11.00 – 12.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 3%
12.00 – 13.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 5%
13.00 – 14.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 1%
14.00 – 15.00 4.0mph/6.4kmph 1%
15.00 – 16.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 3%
16.00 – 17.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 5%
17.00 – 18.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 2%
18.00 – 19.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 4%
19.00 – 20.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 2%


You can increase/decrease the speeds if you like or increase/decrease the incline but keep the time the same.  You are looking to come off that treadmill feeling like you have worked very hard.  This 20 minutes treadmill session will help you burn calories quicker and more efficiently.

treadmill cartoon 

Keep active folks…………………..

Let’s race for our life with Race for Life

Ladies please read this



Ladies, this year we celebrated 100 years of International Women’s Day in March (don’t worry I missed it too!) so why not celebrate being a women by joining thousands of women in the Race for Life.  Race for Life is the largest women only fundraising event in theUK.  Since 1994, women of all ages and fitness levels across theUKhave come together at these inspiring events to walk, jog or run to help beat cancer.

 I have done a few of these events with my friends and with my mum.  My mum and I did theEdinburgh10k Race for Life last year and talking from personal experience these events are great.  You are inspired and encourage by the other women taking part for all types of reasons also.  Some people walk it, some jog and some race it, it is completely up to you which category you fall into.  These events are very friendly and non competitive, I would recommend them to anyone.  In this blog I will tell you about the Race for Life series and where your nearest event is and also give you training programmes to train to be it a 5k jog and run.  So ladies read on be inspired, find something pink to wear , join in the fun, join the revolution and help beat cancer.

Join in the fun

Some of the women at these events take part in celebration of surviving a cancer experience themselves.  Others take part in memory of a loved one or to give hope to a cancer free future.  But every woman from all over theUKshares a common goal at Race for Life: to raise money for Cancer ResearchUK’s groundbreaking work and to help them save more lives.

 Since Race for Life began an incredible 5.4 million participants across the UK have raised over £362 million to fund the work of over 4000 researchers, doctors and nurses dedicated to helping more people beat cancer. 

 Cancer ResearchUKis the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research.  Their groundbreaking work in finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer has saved millions of lives.

 They fund research into many aspects of cancer through the work of more than 4000 scientists, doctors and nurses across theUK.  Their vision – Together We Will Beat Cancer – is only achievable thanks to people taking part in and supporting Race for Life events.  You too can be part of this and help change the future.

 Their work in entirely funded by the public so the money you raise at these events can help them achieve their goals and give hope to people affected by cancer both now and in the future.

Wear something pink!!

 Amazing women like you can help Cancer ResearchUKfund important research.  Amazing women like you can build hope to thousands of people affected by cancer.  Amazing women like you can do this by taking part in Race for Life and raising as much money as you can.  Inspired? Let’s see how you can train for one………… 

All ages and all fitness levels can take part

 Race for Life events are not competitive.  They are all about women of all ages and fitness levels coming together to raise money and also to have fun.  Whether you plan to walk, jog or run your event this blog can help you prepare for your Race for Life.

 Top tips for your event:

 Wear comfy shoes and make sure your feet are well supported

It is good idea to wear a sports bra!!!

If you are a beginner, concentrate on increasing the time you walk, jog or run for and build up gradually

Get the girls to train or enter a race together.  It’s a great excuse to have a good blether while motivation each other to go that little bit further and faster

Remember to warm up and cool down before and after exercise.  Taking time to stretch properly at the end of training or at the end of the event will help reduce chances of injury.

It is important to drink (water!!) before, during and after the event or your training – please do not wait until you are thirsty.

 Training for your event:

Below are 2 training programmes that you can follow if you are entering the 5k event.  One of the programmes is if you would like to jog it and one is if you would like to run it but most of all enjoy it and have fun…..

5k jogging plan (can be used by complete beginners to jogging)

6 weeks to go:   Monday – 30 mins/3.1k = 3 min walk then 3 min jog x 5Tuesday – REST

Wednesday – 20 min/2.1k = 10 min walk then 10 min jog

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday – 30 min/3.5k = 3 min walk then 3 min power walk x 5

Sunday – REST

5 weeks to go:    Monday – 30 min/3.6k = 2 min power walk then 4 min jog x 10Tuesday – REST

Wednesday – 30 min/3.8k = jog

Thursday – 30 min/2.4k = power walk

Friday – REST

Saturday – 3k time trail

Sunday – 30 min/3.8k = jog

4 weeks to go:    Monday – 30 min/3.8k = 15 min walk then 15 min jogTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 30 min/3.8k = jog

Thursday – REST

Friday – 20 min/2.5k = jog

Saturday – REST

Sunday – 40 min/4.6k = 2 min walk then 6 min jog x 5

3 weeks to go:    Monday – 40 min/4.2k = 20 min walk then 20 min jogTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 20 min/2.5k = jog

Thursday – 30 min/3.8k = jog

Friday – REST

Saturday – 5k time trial

Sunday – REST

2 weeks to go:    Monday – 30 min/3.8k = jogTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 40 min/4.2k = 20 min walk then 20 min jog

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday – 30 min/3.8k = jog

Sunday – 30 min/3.4k = 10 min walk then 20 min jog

1 week to go: Monday – 30 min/4.2k = 15 min walk then 15 min jogTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 30 min/3.8k = jog

Thursday – 30 min/3.1k = 15 min walk then 15 min jog

Friday – REST

Saturday/Sunday – Race for Life event = Enjoy!!!!!

5k running plan

6 weeks to go: Monday – 20 min/4.4k = 10 min jog then 10 min runTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 25 min/2.3k = 8 x 100m run (1min walk recovery) then jog 15 secs

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday – 30 min/3.2k – 2 x 200m run then 4 x 100m run (with 1 min recovery in between) then 20 min jog

 Sunday – REST

5 weeks to go:    Monday – 30 min/3.8k = easy runTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 30 min/4.7k = 5 min jog then 5 min run x 3

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday – 3k time trial

Sunday – 30 min/3.8k = easy run

4 weeks to go:    Monday- 30 min/3.8k = easy runTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 25 min/4.2k = 10 x 100m run (1 min walk recovery)

then 20 min jog

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday – 30 min/3.2k = 3 x 200m run then 5 x 100m run (1 min

walk recovery) then 20 min jog

Sunday –   REST

3 weeks to go:   Monday – 30 min/3.8k = easy runTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 27 min/3.2k = 400m run then 2 x 200m run then 5 x 100m (all with 1 minute recovery) then 15 min jog

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday – Time trial = 5k

Sunday – 30 min/3.8k = easy run

2 weeks to go:  Monday – 35 min/4.5k = easy runTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 26 min/3.3k = 2 x 400m run then 2 x 200m run then 2 x 100m (all with 1 minute recovery) then 15 minute jog

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday – 30 min/3.8k = easy run

Sunday – REST

1 week to go: Monday – 35 min/4.5k = easy runTuesday – REST

Wednesday – 20 min/2.6k = 400m run then 200m run then 100m

run (all with 1 minute recovery) the 15 min jog

Thursday – REST

Friday – REST

Saturday or Sunday – Race For Life event = enjoy

 Race For Life events near you:

 Edinburgh(HolyroodPark) – 5k Sunday 19th June 2011 starting at 12

Edinburgh(HolyroodPark) – 10k Sunday 19th June 2011 starting at 10 am

Edinburgh (South Queensferry) – 5k Sunday 8th May 2011 starting at 11 am

Glasgow– 5k Sunday 5th June 2011 starting at 9.30 am

Stirling– 5k Sunday 29th May 2011 starting at 11 am

 There are a few more events in Scotlandso please check out the website www.raceforlife.org

 Keep active folks…………………..

Personal Training – What’s all the fuss about?

Personal Training

 Have you ever wondered what its like to get some personal training?  If you are training for a specific event, need extra motivation or are stuck in an exercise rut personal training can be the answer for you.  Depending on their experience they will design programs and sessions around your own personal goals, give dietary advice, do specific types of training, motivate you and make your sessions fun and worthwhile.  As a personal trainer myself I really enjoy my job as I can let my clients see their own potential, its amazing how people do not realize their own ability until pushed.  I have a great time with my clients and I try to make it as fun as possible, well if I’m going to train you hard then lets do it with a smile on your face.  So if you have ever thought about personal training and want to know what goes on then read on….

 I have asked one of my Personal training clients to make a blog of her sessions and her experiences with me:

Session 1:

“I have tried various types of exercise in the past, but as the date to my civil partnership celebration approached, I realised I needed some more expert help to help me feel in better shape.  I did a series of sessions with Kelly, and although it was a bit late to make a significant improvement, it did make me feel more confident for my big day.  It also left me wondering what if I continued?  Could I actually get rid of my wobbly bits, and even tone up my belly? 

So I’ve submitted myself to the rigours of Kelly’s sessions again.  Kelly has designed a programme I can work on my own, and also comes up with different things to do with her each week. This week she got me running uphill, which is quite an achievement given my lifelong avoidance of running!  I felt a good sense of achievement in managing to complete the run, even if my face did match my pink top afterwards!  By interval training, the minute walking gave me the respite I need to continue, and the target to not need them in the future! There was also exercises on the Swiss Ball, which test my poor sense of balance to the limit, but I can feel it working!  I make the most ridiculous noises while attempting things I never thought I could do, but Kelly makes it fun and while it’s challenging, it’s not totally impossible!”

A bit of boxing

Session 2:

“Kelly has a wide range of tricks up her sleeve, which means the sessions always seem to go quickly, and there’s often something new to try.  This week, there was an emphasis on legs.  I’ve always thought my legs were reasonably strong, but that running uphill made me realise they need a bit of attention too!  So, just to make squats more difficult – and effective! – I was holding a kettle weight in the air while doing big forward squats, and then backwards.  Deceptively difficult, and one I’ll need to practice before I can actually manage it without making increasingly strange noises, and feeling it for days afterwards!  Back to working on my stomach, Kelly introduced another new exercise, stretching a band across the body, which gets those side muscles working – I like it when I can feel the right muscles working, it reminds me what this is all about!”

Session 3:

Kelly really tried to make me think this session, with the co-ordination challenge known as spotty dogs, followed by boxing to different counts – but when I’m thinking so much, it distracts me from how hard work it is! 

 We then tried peak running – when I was attempting to run longer and faster than before, but I didn’t quite manage to get up to 12, given I was running at 10 and 11 for a few minutes beforehand, and Kelly warned me there was more hard work to come! 

This included lots of steps – which started off not too bad, but soon my legs got pretty shaky!  So then there were sumo lunge, while heaving a medicine ball about, followed by arm weights, and more medicine ball action, while doing sit ups.  We finished with more arm weights, although at least I got to lie down this time!

Altogether it was another varied and challenging workout, and I’m pleased to have managed it!

Bit of fun

Session 4:

Circuits were the name of the pain this session!  Mixing up the cardio work with resistance type moves meant just as I was about to give up on one, we moved to the other!  Each set concentrated on one area, so we started with squats and lunges, interspersed with rowing – my legs certainly felt it!  It was then time to work my arms, lifting weights which felt pretty light to start with, but seemed to get heavier as I did more!  Just as my legs had about recovered, it was time to run!  We tried running faster, with slower jogs in between.  This is not something I could even have attempted a few weeks ago, and I was chuffed to find it not entirely impossible!  Running has always been one of those things I just didn’t do, but now I find myself wanting to see if I can go fast, go uphill or more – not that I’ll be running marathons any time soon, but maybe I managed to run continuously for  12 minutes the other day!

 The circuits continued with steps challenging my co-ordination to the max!  The last set combined the cross trainer with mat work working on my stomach – the Russian twists are getting easier and although my interpretation of “as fast as possible” is probably a little different to Kelly’s, I did get through the cross trainer as well. 

 Session 5:

We did various circuit type exercises, including leaping over a bench in practice for those movie chase scenes, as well as pull ups and press ups – also seen in movie scenes!  Hadn’t done any lunges in a while, and they didn’t seem as bad as I remembered!  After my legs had had just about enough, it was time for the treadmill. And still I managed to run slightly faster than before, even if it was for a very short time. But I did manage to jog and then run faster, which is one target – just need to keep going longer and not get quite so out of breath! But it is a definite improvement from earlier sessions. There was still boxing to go, and this time there were combinations that required me to think even when my brain was mush! I managed not to miss the pads and avoided inflicting too much unnecessary damage to Kelly- a certain amount is payback for all those push ups! Boxing is really satisfying, even when I’m knackered!

 Over the time I’ve been working with Kelly, I’ve noticed an improvement in my strength and there is now some definition in my arms, but had I managed to change my eating habits and get the the gym more often in between sessions, I’m sure it would have made more of an impact.  I have definitely worked harder during sessions with Kelly than I would do on my own, and I enjoy the variety and challenges that she puts me through!

 I may be biased here as I am a personal trainer, however, I really see the benefits that my clients get from my sessions.  They change in shape, they increase their strength and they increase their fitness as well normally all without them realising. 

You will be worked harder than ever

Give personal training a go I promise you will not be disappointed.  They will push you harder than you will ever train on your own, if you train harder then you will hopefully reach your goals quicker, so seriously give it a go.  Keep active folks…………..

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