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Gym memberships vs personal training

It is a known fact that most gym’s have more members than they could actually facilitate, this is because they know most of their members won’t show up on a regular basis. Many of us will sign up to a year long membership contract but most of the time our membership card will just collect dust!

Personal training at Hamer Fitness is not a year long commitment with an upfront fee. Most of our clients are long standing and have been with us from the beginning but we offer one off sessions to get you back into the way of training and will help you build yourself up to becoming the best version of yourself!

We don’t have an entrance that looks like a hotel lobby, a restaurant or a spa but what we do have is a functional training space that is designed to suit the needs of every client. Our trainers will work around your hours so you will never have to worry about being too busy or missing out on any of your social engagements again.

Too many times gym members will refrain from using the gym when they have minor ailments or painful joints but at Hamer Fitness we promote active recovery and with specialists in ante/post natal and lower back problems, our personal trainers can adapt all training sessions to suit.



Our most precious commodity and one we wish we had more of.

How often have you used the words, “I can’t go to the gym, I don’t have time?”. If you can manage your time, you will be more efficient and accomplish a lot more in your days. Below are a few helpful tips to gain some more time and hopefully you can use it to help improve your health, both mentally and physically:-

  1. Plan your meals for the week. This will not only reduce your snacking but will save time each meal deciding what to eat.
  2. Order a weekly shop to be delivered at a convenient time to your house. That way you will have all the ingredients at your finger tips for your meals and don’t have to nip out to get more.
  3. Write a ‘to-do’ list to ensure you don’t forget about anything important. Running out to do a errand and getting home, only to find that you had forgotten will waste a lot of time.
  4. Keep a diary of social/work commitments. This will allow you to identify gaps in your day that could be used for a fitness activity, to run some errands or to complete items on your to do list.
  5. If you can incorporate your training into routine, i.e. cycle/run to work, then do!


I hope this helps and thanks for taking the time to read it 🙂


New year, new you!

New Years Day resolutions included going to the gym, no alcohol, no smoking and eating healthy.

So we are now 11 weeks into the new year and how many of these resolutions have to maintained?! Have you lost your motivation? Here are a few tips to try and get that motivation back:-

  1. Set small goals – there is no point in saying you want to loose 5kg in 3 months and leaving it at that. Split this into loosing 1/2 kg a week and give yourself two weeks as a buffer incase of illness or injury. This 1/2 kg a week is a much more realistic goal and is easy to measure on a weekly basis to see progress
  1. Find your inspiration and never let go of it – whether it be a picture in a magazine, an old picture of yourself, a holiday or to improve your health to become a role model for your children.
  1. Meal plans – on a Sunday afternoon, decide on your meals for the week and do a shop to accommodate these ingredients. This will stop you snacking or ordering take away.
  1. Take pictures – take regular pictures of yourself to see progress. Sometimes your weight may have stayed the same or even increased but your clothes are fitting better, this might be because your body shape is changing so don’t be scared to have a look!
  1. Train with a friend – a little bit of competition can be good for you. If you have someone that you would like to train with, speak to the team at Hamer Fitness and see what options we have for training with others.
  1. Don’t beat yourself up – we all have a cheat day once in a while so don’t worry about it if you do! If you train hard you don’t have to feel guilty about little things, we are all human at the end of the day!

Turn that frown upside down!

Did you know that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile? You might not think that a personal training studio would feel the need to blog about smiling but when you are trying to help individuals achieve health and well being, psychological positivity is key.

A smile cannot only lower your heart rate but also your blood pressure, whilst providing a natural pain relief. The act of smiling releases a mixture of dopamine, serotin and endorphins, all of which will help to:

  1. Be more positive
  2. Relieve stress
  3. Decrease depression

All of the above will lead to less illness and a happier place to be.

Just think about every time someone smiles at you, it is hard not smile back!


The unused muscle….. the Gluteus Maximus

What do Beyonce Knowles and Kim Kardashian have in common?

That’s right, a rather nice bum! However, for too long our gluteus maximus (bum muscles) have been seen merely as an area of the body to be googled by the opposite sex, envied by the same sex or as a seat. What most people don’t realise is that the gluteus maximus play a vital role in spinal and pelvic stabilisation.

As a nation, our sedentary lifestyle has lead to a weakening of our gluteal muscles which has led to being the key driving force behind pain in the lower back. It is imperative to get this large muscle group working correctly for the following reasons:-

  1. Elevate back pain
  2. Create a bigger calorific output in order to see results of training

Don’t let your bum get saggy, activate those glutes before every gym session and reap the benefits.


21 days

21 days

How many bad habits do you have? You might not even realise these habits have been established… a much needed glasses wine after a hard days work, poor posture when sitting at your computer or taking the lift rather than the stairs?

As a nation especially we should really be looking to change our bad habits to not only look aspire for a healthier life but also a happier life….

A habit takes at least 21 days to form but the hard work will pay off. There is no such thing as a quick fix or an easy way out, if you fall into the trap of these quick fixes unfortunately you will relapse and be back in your old ways before you know it….just think about it, how many times have you started a diet or even a crazy exercise routine (that is unrealistic for your lifestyle)?

Yes you may have seen what is perceived to be a fantastic result but then let it slip away and before you know it your back where you began or even, dare I say it, worse?

If you want life changing results, you must focus on creating good habits (whilst beating back the old bad ones) and incorporating these into a healthy lifestyle.

Remember, a habit takes 21days to form…. persevere!


Exercise during pregnancy… tips

Part 3 of 3

As long as you have the thumbs up from your doctor, there is no need to stop training while pregnant.  Gone are the days when pictures of pregnant women exercising focused on a host of yoga poses and 2.5kg dumbbells.  Women can basically maintain their normal weight training routine with a few minor tweaks:

  • Ensure you warm up and cool down properly, staying hydrated throughout your workout.
  • Avoid overheating and humidity, especially during the 1st trimester when the foetus is undergoing its most important growth and development.
  • Never exercise to the point of exhaustion.
  • Lift what you are comfortable with to achieve 8-10 sets, with each set containing 12-15 repetitions. You want to keep it challenging while not letting your heart rate get too high for too long (140 bpm max).
  • After your first trimester steer clear of lying flat on your back. In this position your uterus could potentially compress the vena cava, resulting in lower blood pressure, dizziness and nausea. For example, adapt your bench position.
  • During pregnancy Relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments, is released. When you begin to notice your flexibility increase, take a step back from your heavier free weight movements and engage with a trainer for support.
  • The most important one of all is to listen to your body – if something is painful or just doesn’t feel right, stop immediately!

Why not book in a session with Vicky, one of our ante/post natal specialist trainers?

Good luck!


Exercise During Pregnancy … Why? 

Part 2 of 3

Your body is changing in all kinds of weird and wonderful ways during pregnancy and your entire life will be transformed, a daunting experience for any excepting mother.  A regular exercise routine can offer you control, consistency and the knowledge that you are doing something great for you and your baby.  It helps build self-esteem, allowing you to fully embrace that ‘pregnancy glow’ and additional confidence which can be taken into motherhood.

During pregnancy your blood sugar levels can rise, putting you at an increased risk of developing Type II diabetes and your newborn being overweight. Staying active through regular exercise you can help manage your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes by 36% (The International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology).  This will also help lower your changes of developing preeclampsia, the number one cause of premature birth and the result of a combination of high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine.

As you move through the trimesters you will have more challenges but the good news is exercise can help:

  • Mood swings –  Get that ‘high’ after stepping out of the gym or an exercise class. The endorphins released post activity will help derail pregnancy blues and keep your mood swings at bay throughout your pregnancy, allowing mum to be to feel more positive and happy.
  • Lower back ache – Your growing bump puts additional pressure on your back and other other areas of the body. A frequent resistance programme will strengthen your core abdominal muscles, taking pressure off your lower back and easing pain.
  • Restless sleep – Burning off excess energy with a good gym session can improve your sleep patterns allowing a peaceful night sleep before the midnight feeds and early mornings begin.

As long as you have been given the thumbs up from your doctor and you seek advice as required from a pre and post-natal certified exercise professional you are safe to grab your trainers, lift those dumb bells, pump those legs and get active.

Ensure you stay connected with Hamer Fitness as we will shorty be releasing hints and tips on the best exercises during pregnancy – the ones providing best results and the ones to avoid!


Exercise During Pregnancy … Why?

Part 1 of 3

Being ready for your little bundle of joy to come into the world is an exciting time for any expecting mother, but what does it mean for your body and fitness routine?

We are here to help you sift through the conflicting information on social media, the internet, your friends and our ever protective mothers about the if’s, maybe’s and definite no’s of being active whilst pregnant.

It’s time to take a step back, breathe and prepare to keep those trainers on as we provide you with the information you need on the benefits of exercise during pregnancy and safe exercises for you.

I’m pregnant … congratulations, now you should sit back, relax and put your feet up.

For some people this is music to their ears but what if you want to stay active? Well the good news is recent research and subsequent advice has proven that regular exercise whist pregnant provides great benefits for you and your growing baby. You have the green light to begin or maintaining an active lifestyle.

Regular exercise (at least 20minutes, 3 days a week), whether pregnant or not, helps to keep you happy and healthy. But regular exercise while pregnant provides so much more.

  • It increases your chances of a natural birthing experience
  • It helps shorten and ease labour
  • It prepares for your body and your mind for the demands of giving birth
  • Strong abs and a healthy cardiovascular system aid the pushing stages of giving birth
  • Healthy weight gain*

* Research shows women put on an average of 10-12.5kg / 22Ibs-28Ibs (NHS2011). It is thought that women who exercise during pregnancy can still maintain a healthy weight gain as recommended by their doctor and midwife but on average gain 7Ibs less than women who don’t exercise.

Hamer Fitness has personal trainers fully qualified in pre and post natal exercise. Lets work together to help you stay active during your pregnancy!

Stay connected with Hamer Fitness for part 2 of this article, released shortly.


Exercise is essential

Exercise is essential. Agreed? Good, glad we’re off on the right foot! I would also have to agree with you that the type of exercise you do should be something you enjoy so that you continue to do it. That being said, my second question is this: Why should everyone (regardless of size, age and gender) lift weights?

Whether it’s bulking up, getting ‘ripped’, slimming down or simply maintaining a general level of health; integrating weights into your training is hugely beneficial. For the purposes of this article we’ll concentrate on its direct correlation with fat loss.

There is a massive misconception that aerobic exercise (long distance jogging) is the best way to burn fat. Don’t get me wrong, it does, however it also eats away at your muscle which is why long distance runners have a wiry body composition. Compare them to the likes of sprinters who have minimal fat and a good amount of lean muscle. Naturally, if you’re thinking of elite athletes then you might be thinking “well I don’t want to look like that”- don’t worry, they train everyday and need to peak above the next phenomenal athlete; you won’t get like that unless you truly want to! I divulge..

There is an optimum level of hormonal balance that enhances the utilisation of your fat stores; it is called the metabolic effect. High intensity exercise and repeated sprints tap into a more optimised balance than that of running for hours on end, therefore increasing fat loss while maintaining lean muscle mass. This is relevant to circuit style training as well. Why would you want to run for hours on end if you can achieve better physiological results in 20mins of actual work?!

Lifting weights pushes your body mentally and physically to a whole new level. Strength training increases lean muscle density (not necessarily size) and burns more fat during the session than any other form of training, and continues long after the session finishes, due to the stress it puts your body under. It also increases your resting metabolic rate which, in turn, also increases the amount of calories your body uses whilst doing nothing! This is not your opportunity to justify consuming guilty pleasures, such as chocolate etc! Eating correctly is highly important as well.

Other benefits of lifting weights are as follows:

• Increases endurance in endurance athletes and regular folk (yes, this is true).
• Decreases blood pressure and improves heart function.
• Reduces cardiovascular disease.
• Improves sleep/reduces chronic pain.
• Prevents disease, particularly diabetes (and cancer in women due to decreased oestrogen production).
• Improves hormone levels and reproductive function.
• Builds stronger bones.
• Enhances the nervous system and gene pathways.
• Improves self-confidence.

Hopefully by now you have understood the importance of weights. There are an abundance of benefits of training with weights, that cardio cannot provide, for all ages and gender. Now then, who wants to come and shift some tin?!

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