What is ABSs?
Aim Big Start small is a bespoke personal training business.
Many people wanting to improve their fitness aim big, a majority of these people will fail to reach what they set out to achieve.
The aim of ABSs is to ensure all clients make small but pivotal steps to achieve their ‘Big’ aim ensuring motivation and individuality is kept paramount through specialized programs and classes.
Jack Mitchell is a West Wiltshire based fitness professional, specializing in helping people to tone up and lose body fat, using various techniques and unique exercise styles, so if you want to enjoy exercise whilst improving your health & fitness then ABSs is for you!
So now the festive season is well and truly upon us with christmas day less than a week away. The ABSs team celebrated their second christmas get together last night at the Well @ Bulkington which again delivered the most delicious food, fantastic venue and wonderful service.
But there is one thing that crosses all of our minds…..How can i eat & drink what i like over Christmas and New Year without piling on the pounds??.
We shouldn’t see christmas and New Year as an excuse to go mad and binge on foods and drink that we wouldn’t normally go to excess on during the other 11 months of the year, this being said you shouldn’t feel you cannot enjoy festive social occasions inclusive of food and drink. Believe it or not there are ways to enjoy all the festive fun without worrying about adding an extra notch to your belt.
5 simple ideas to follow over the festive season
1-Plan when you indulge in the sugary foods and alcohol, Making sure your meals before your “treat days” are on point. Good hearty breakfast for kings/queens (which does not include muting on the quality streets 8am), suitable lunch (not a liquid lunch) and a decent dinner so that your not heading out to your christmas party on an empty stomach. By doing this you wont be drinking with low blood sugar which in the grand scheme of things wont help your waistline and intern will want to make you overindulge on the party food on offer. Preparing home cooked meals in advance will ensure you have something to reach for if the temptation takes over.
2-By fuelling your body in the correct manner you have set yourself up for a “winner”…..Metabolism is booming, energy is on a high and the extra calories are starting to be burnt. This in turn will put you in a far happier place and set you up to have one wicked time.
3-Keeping your energy and fitness up over the festive period can also be helped by increasing your energy expenditure, lets be fair….your more than likely to consume the odd extra calorie…..ok a couple of extra hundred calories, so by increasing your energy expenditure this can help counter balance the increase in calories along with the preparation with our meals. This can be done by walking that extra couple of meters instead of driving, the odd squat here or there……or even that extra burpee whilst you wait for your turkey to cook. Stuck for ideas ABSs Fitness Facebook page has some quick HIIT workout ideas to make you sweaty.
4-By having a “treat” or “cheat meal” this doesn’t have to ruin your whole day nutritionally wise, put it to the back of your mind and start again with the good meals/snacks……
5-The main thing over this festive period is to enjoy yourself but by also making the right choices, lets not be one of “january gang” that make the step into health and fitness….lets be part of the “whole year crew” who continue throughout December (having the odd treat here and there) and keep up what we’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Aim Big Start small…
Aim Big Start Small…
Two years ago when I passed my personal training and fitness instructing qualifications with The Training Room. The lecturers asked us what our business plans were. By this they meant would I be working in a gym or be going mobile. I naively answered going mobile. I did not want to part of a franchise I wanted to make a name for myself. I had Big aims but was reminded by the people around me I had to start small. That was the birth of ABSs Fitness.
Similar to the birth of a child, this was just the beginning. How did I get ABSs fitness from a vision in my head and into a fully functional business? I did what any amateur would do. I developed a basic webpage, printed some business cards from vista print and got my partner to make some leaflets. I needed a venue!!! I contacted the local community centre and was able to secure two nights a week to hold fitness classes.
The two classes were filled with people who knew me or trusted in my vision. When I stepped into ABSs Fitness circuit class on Monday 6th January 2014, I was overwhelmed. People who knew me then would have known I am not an extrovert so standing there in front of approx 28 people knowing that they were waiting to follow my clear and precise instructions made me shit myself, but I knew that this was the turning point of my career and I had to make it work. Lets just say despite a few teething problems ABSs fitness first class was a success.
Additionally people began to share the classes with their families and friends which meant more people were interested in Personal Training and attending classes. I can honestly say ABSs Fitness has grown as a family. Without the support of amazing and inspiring people I would have not been able to expand ABSs Fitness.
However like a child you have good days and bad days. Last summer I decided to take a risk doing what most personal trainers dream of……opening their own fitness studio. I was finally able to see where I wanted ABSs Fitness to go. The premises was not ideal as it did not have the floor space I required by it was the next step of the ABSs journey. It was located on the first floor of an old sewing mill so after a trial period it proved not structurally sound for the services ABSs Fitness offered. I did not have the financial backing to purchase/ rent a purpose built studio so in the end I made the tough decision to re-evaluate my business dreams and revert back to carrying out five classes a week from Paxcroft Primary school hall. I cannot thank the core group of members (now friends)enough. They have stuck by ABSs Fitness through thick and thin.
With 2015 coming to a close and the marking of my two years since ABSs Fitness began. I have a pure sense of satisfaction that I have managed to help, encourage, inspire and relate to people from all walks of life and fitness backgrounds into making that first step into fitness and equally encouraging a motivated, happy, healthier, determined, fitter person. I have recently developed ABSs Fitness website which will encourage members new and old to interact more easily and efficiently and there are many more exciting plans in the pipeline. It will be only a matter of time before I get them off paper and into the real world.
Thanks for reading…
Aim Big Start small…
In England, 61.9% of adults and 28% of children aged between 2 and 15 are overweight or obese. People who are overweight have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Excess weight can also make it more difficult for people to find and keep work, and it can affect self-esteem and mental health.
When most adults think about exercise, they imagine working out in the gym, running on a treadmill, or lifting weights. But for kids, exercise means playing and being physically active.
Children and young people aged 5 to 18 should do at least 60 minutes (one hour) of aerobic activity every day. This should include a mix of:
• moderate-intensity activities: this means your child is working hard enough to raise their heart rate and break a sweat
• vigorous-intensity activities: this means they’re breathing hard and fast, and their heart rate has gone up quite a bit
As part of your child’s 60 or more minutes, they should also do activities that strengthen their muscles and bones.
Here are 10 reasons your child should engage in exercise:
- Kids who exercise are more likely to keep exercising as an adult.
- Exercise helps kids achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Regular physical activity helps build and maintain strong, healthy muscles, bones and joints.
- Exercise aids in the development of important interpersonal skills — this is especially true for participation in team sports.
- Exercise improves the quantity and quality of sleep.
- Research shows that exercise promotes improved school attendance and enhances academic performance.
- Kids who exercise have greater self-esteem and better self-belief.
- Taking part in regular physical activity prevents or delays the development of many chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension) and promotes health.
- Children who are active report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and a better overall mood.
- Exercise helps improve motor co-ordination and enhances the development of various motor performance skills.
So with all this in mind i have put together a exercise programme for children to encourage them into the world of health & fitness from a young age.
These session will have an element of a typical exercise class that most adults are used too,
an enjoyable atmosphere which will encourage your children to be active and energetic whilst having fun and getting fit.
You never know…..they may even give you a run for your money???
“You don’t have to be great to start, you have to start to be great.”
We live in an era of specialists – a cleaner tidies your home, a landscape gardener cuts the grass, a car valet shines the car. There’s no point in doing something you don’t enjoy if you’re not great at it, when somebody else can do it for you…
So how are you progressing with motivating and organising yourself to exercise? Maybe it’s time to call in a specialist!
Personal Training gives you the best value out of your gym membership. A personal trainer will focus your goals, availability and the types of things you enjoy, Then a plan can be put together. A good tailored programme has the right mix of exercise types and recovery periods, avoiding over-training.
Using ABSs for personal training makes your hour at the gym more efficient. You don’t have to worry about which exercises you’ll be doing, how many sets or reps, how to adjust the equipment or whether you are doing the exercises correctly. You have my full attention and your fitness program is customised for any injuries or health concerns.
Having one-on-one training gives you the ultimate flexibility in how you meet your goals. Most people see me once or twice a week. There is no penalty for cancelling a session outside of 24 hours if something else comes up. If you have a lower body niggle I can focus on the upper body. If you’re a slightly under the weather i will monitor your intensity carefully.
Group fitness classes are great but the times may not suit you. As a personal trainer, i am available to meet your needs at your convenience, all you need to do is show up and the rest is done for you.
We all know it’s important to exercise, but it can be hard to position exercising into the “important” category. There will always be a pressing domestic or professional task that gets in the way. Making an appointment with your PT makes your exercise “important”….. so you are then committed and it’s easier to attend than it is to cancel!
Booking block sessions is an perfect kick-start to your fitness journey. You may find you can go it alone after that…Or you may find that once you start enjoying your sessions and the benefits ABSs provides…….it’s something you just can’t live without!
Aim Big Start small…
So now I turn my focus to…..The importance of sleep to complement a healthy lifestyle.
Get Your Sleep!
Sleep….. It’s always one of those things I don’t realise affects me so strongly until I don’t have enough of it or it is disrupted. Lately I’ve been able to sleep more and most importantly, I’m sleeping solid throughout the night. I’ve been able to have a more consistent schedule that has allowed me to go to bed and rise at the same time during the week.
Sleep has been a constant challenge for me throughout my life, whether battling with insomnia or my work, being up early and late to bed, I’ve witnessed first hand the negative side effects of sleep deprivation.
We all want to be healthy. We work hard in the gym and we pay attention to our food but how often do we take our our sleep for granted?? Lets take a look at sleep from an overall health perspective….
Research indicates that people who get less sleep…six or fewer hours a night, have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature ageing. If we think about it even further, we ask a lot of our bodies in the gym, causing inflammation through movement. If we aren’t sleeping, we aren’t recovering.
Many researchers found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat, than those who were sleep deprived. Also the deprived lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)
Dieters in the study also felt hungrier when they had lack of sleep. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same parts of the brain, when you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite. I’m definitely out of control, regarding my nutrition, when I haven’t slept well. It is very noticeable to me when I am tired……I will eat anything and everything.
Another study found that sport stars who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
Testosterone levels and growth hormone levels elevate during sleep, This is part of the bodies physical repair system. These hormones assist in recovery and strength & fitness gains. These hormones release after being asleep for about 30 minutes. The hormone levels elevate every time you go through a certain phase of your sleep cycle. The longer you sleep, the more cycles you go through, the more of these recovery promoting hormones pumping through your body. Even getting a 30 minute nap is a big bonus because now, instead of getting this hormone advantage one time a day, a nap makes it twice in a day! (I had a nap today!!)
So now that you realise how important it is to prioritise your sleep, let’s review a few things that will help you improve the quality of sleep you are getting.
Even though a nightcap may help you relax and fall asleep faster, it’ll make the second half of your sleep cycle restless and unsatisfying. Alcohol decreases deep sleep and increases arousals from sleep. If you like a glass of wine in the evening, have it at dinner, around 6 p.m….rather than 11 p.m, and drink in moderation, so it’ll wear off by the time you lie down.
2. Hot Bath
Surprisingly, a hot bath might make it harder for you to drift off. Doing anything that raises your body temperature too close to bedtime can actually hinder you from falling asleep, because your body needs to cool to a certain temperature in order to reach the land of nod.
3. Technology Free
Put that phone down!! So when you do unplug, it will be harder to fall asleep. It’s possible that even the vibration of your phone could disturb sleep if you are a person cued to hear or respond to it.
Disconnect an hour before bed, turn your smartphone off, and put any gadgets in an out-of-reach place or in another room so you won’t be tempted to grab it if you get the late-night urge. Also, invest in a real alarm clock (using your phone will only give you another excuse to keep it close) and get ready to wake up feeling so refreshed that you won’t even need to press snooze.
Getting in a gentle stretch before jump in bed can help put your mind at ease, steady your breath, and reduce muscle tension without revving up your heart. I’ve found it very beneficially to foam roll before bed, taking the days tension away.
5. No Caffeine in the evening
We all know caffeine is a stimulus that helps keep us awake, but what about that evening cup… Check the labels on your favourite drinks, if possible, stop drinking them by 2 p.m, so there’s time for their effects to wear off. Naturally, coffee drinks pack a real wallop, so stay away from them after lunch.
Now go get some sleep!!
When lifting any kind of weight, Good form/technique is essential. This will enable the use of the appropriate muscle groups & reduce the risk of injury. Poor form/technique can sometimes result in injuries such as muscle strains and tears, serious back problems and joint pain. These injuries take weeks or months to heal properly, may require surgical repair. Using good form throughout the exercise makes muscles work harder, creating better results.
The Risk of Using Poor Form
Whilst most of us are aware of the short term risks of using more weight than we can handle (e.g. joint injuries, tendon and ligament strains and muscle tears), we mustn’t forget that just because your poor form doesn’t hurt today, doesn’t mean you aren’t damaging your body in ways that will make itself known in the future. Poor lifting technique can in time result in rotator-cuff damage, nerve damage, lower back and knee joint degeneration and a multitude of other bone and muscular injuries. These are the kind of injuries that often result in surgery and at the very least they will keep you out of sessions for a considerable amount of time whilst you recover.
When you’re weight training…..DON’T:
•Skip your warm-up. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than warm muscles.
•Rush. Move the weight in an uncontrolled fashion. Taking it slow, This helps you isolate the muscles you want to work and keeps you from relying on momentum to lift the weight.
•Over do it. For most people, completing a set amount of Reps/Sets of an exercise to the point of complete failure is enough to stimulate muscle growth. Additional working sets may only eat up your time and contribute to overload injury.
•Work through the pain. If an exercise causes pain, STOP!!!
In the coming weeks i will be rolling out a series of “Specialist” workshops, 1 session a week for 6 weeks, these sessions are for those of you that want that little bit extra and to push yourselves to the next level …
By breaking down a variety of exercises stage by stage you will be able to correct form, learn from cue points of when and how to move. This will then enable you to build your confidence in how the human body functions.
The first 6 week workshop will be focused on Barbell movements, some of the points focused on will be:-
- Barbell from the floor to your shoulders (Clean)
- Shoulder press (strict press, push press & push jerk)
- Squat (front, back & overhead)
- Feet position
- Hand position
- Barbell row
These block sessions will be limited to 10 people per workshop.
Non ABSs class/PT clients welcome.
First come First serve basis.
£30 Per person.
To register your interest contact through the following threads….
Website contact form
Heres to a Strong & Mean 2016…
Aim Big Start small…
Setting goals and creating fitness plans is easy, following through is the hard part. How do you move from idea to action to success……and how do you know where you are in the process? A fitness log/diary is an excellent tool for keeping track and staying on target to achieving your fitness goals.
What is a Fitness Log?
A fitness log is a record of your workouts. In reality, a fitness log is so much more than a simply making note of exercise achieved. A fitness log contains an abundance of useful information regarding your fitness levels, progress, patterns, and plateaus. Committed fitness trackers know the value of the fitness log, it can show you where you started, where you’re heading, and how you’re getting there.
Fitness logs can include a variety of information, such as:
•Type of exercise performed
•Duration of exercise (and/or distance)
•Time of day
•General state of health (tired, energised, sick, injured, etc.)
•Mood before and after
•For strength training: weight used and number of repetitions
•Food: what you eat & drink before, during, and after
•Additional information related to exercise, For example: left ankle started hurting after 4 miles – swollen after run & sleep pattern.
There are countless ways to log your workouts. You may choose to keep a simple notebook dedicated to your fitness or use a specialised workout chart. The more information you choose to include…..the better.
Benefits of a Fitness Log
A fitness log is one more tool in your fitness toolbox. There are several benefits to tracking your workouts:
• Accountability: It’s one thing to set a goal and quite another to develop an implementation plan for achieving it. A fitness log can help keep you accountable to your long-term goals. It provides a record of measurable progress, which is critical for achieving your goals.
• Motivation: A fitness log is an excellent motivational tool. When you feel your enthusiasm drop, look back through your workout history to see your progress. This will help create a sense of pride in what you have accomplished and motivate you to keep going.
• Information: A fitness log paints the big picture for you. By tracking your workouts, you’ll be able to identify fitness plateaus and see what works and what doesn’t work for you. Furthermore, it can provide critical information regarding overtraining and injury. A detailed fitness log can help you understand how sleep and food affects your performance and how you can adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Following on from this, the week commencing Monday January 11th i will have a workout log sheet for you all to fill in for that week at each class, this will enable you to fill in how many reps you completed in a certain time frame, what weight was lifted etc etc….
We will then revisit the same sessions in 6 weeks time to see if any progression was made (100% sure there will be 🙂 )
This can then be used as a tool for myself to plan sessions but also for you, so that you know where you stand at the start of 2016 to where you want to be towards the end of the year.
It is my goal to help each and every person that steps foot through the ABSs Fitness door whether it be for classes, Personal training or Online coaching get to the exact point they are striving for, by tracking our fitness this will see that we are heading in the right direction…
Aim Big Start small…