Hello, my name’s Matt Boyles, I’m a Personal Trainer based in South West London – I’m also proud to be a Sundried Ambassador. In addition to this, I run the Male FitWear Style Blog, Xythlete (www.instagram.com/XYthlete) but today I’m going to talk about my other company, Wireless Fitness.
You might not know the name, but you’ve probably come across the concept in the last couple of years: silent disco fitness. You might even have seen us on Dragon’s Den 18 months ago…!
With my business partner Dom, we realised that fitness instructors needed to be able to run their music-based classes in the park, however, council noise restrictions mean you can’t just play music out loud via a speaker. So we took the best parts of silent discos (lots of people hearing the same music through wireless headphones), and made it better by adding a microphone to the transmitter, meaning that with our Wireless Fitness kit, instructors can now speak to their class and transmit music at the same time, in crystal clarity, without disturbing anyone nearby.
We sell the equipment to fitness instructors and boot camp owners who want to add a major USP to their classes in a cluttered market. We also sell lots of kits to Spin studios and gyms (often in residential areas) who have had, or are nervous about receiving noise complaints – once they use the equipment, it reduces the risk of being shut down by the council to 0. Our third main customers are instructors who are tired of paying £60 to hire a studio every time they want to teach: grab our kit, head outside and away you go – better still, they never have to turn away anyone from a full studio!
As I’m a Personal Trainer and I love music – I really love music – it made sense for me to start running my own class with the kit as well… So I did!
I live and work mainly in Clapham, so I run it on and around the bandstand on Monday nights at 7pm and Friday mornings at 9.30am – there’s more info on www.fitteryou.net/silent-disco-fitness.
I curate amazing, themed playlists each week, covering musical themes such as animals, Easter, one-name musical icons (e.g. Cher, Coolio (!) Prince, Lorde, Rihanna, Madonna) and most recently, summer (and amazingly it didn’t rain during that class).
As a nice extra benefit to attending the class, I send out the playlist each week, so the members can re-live it in their kitchens the next day!
What I love about running the class is the energy I get back from the attendees. The class itself is a high energy mix of strength training, HIIT and a bit of endurance, so it really works you hard all over, however everyone always says the headphones distract you from the exhaustion, while simultaneously helping you work a bit harder – it’s win-win.
We’ve got a great group of regulars now; it’s a really friendly bunch with no attitude, just supportive people enjoying getting fit in the sun with amazing music and my terrible puns.
However, there is always space for a few more, if you would like to come down and try it out, it’s just £10 for the best hour of exercise in the UK – email me on email@example.com if you’d like to know more beforehand.
What better way is there to spend your Sunday lunchtime encased in a world of pain for an hour or more?
To be honest, other than Yorkshire puddings and roasties, I'm sure you'll agree not much beats a Sprint Triathlon (right?)
Southend-on-Sea provided a great location for the first Sundried Triathlon. The town really welcomed the event and a whopping 2500 people came out to support the 300 athletes, many of whom were competing in their first triathlon.
The swim took place in the Thames Estuary with a refreshing midday start, due to the tide times. 1 hour before the start all we could see was mud flats for miles. I'm familiar with a non-wetsuit swim, but a non-water swim? That would be a first.
There was no need to worry. A mini tsunami came in as scheduled and the bay rapidly filled with clean salt water. We flip-flopped our way 500m along the sea front to the start, (flip-flops were then deposited back at the start for us), and the swim was simply point-to-point parallel with the beach: great for nervous swimmers who didn't have to venture far out their depth, and nice for spectators who could walk along and see the race unfold.
After failing to hold the fast feet of the lead man who set off beside me, I found another set, then decided to have a go on my own and make it hurt. The speed that is easy in a draft becomes really hard when in front, and I probably should have stayed where I was, but as this was a training race there was no need for energy conservation!
A smooth transition and we were quickly on to the fast, flat but quite technical bike course. The organisers are talking about a closed-road multi-lap affair for next year which I think would really draw the crowds in further and give it the buzz of a French Grand Prix tri: something the UK scene could really benefit from. I lost one place to another fast boy through the 20km bike leg, finishing up that bit in 4th; feeling rather power-deprived throughout. Some days you're the firework, some, the damp squib.
The run was out and back along the sea-front where people out for their Sunday stroll probably wondered why all these lycra-loving lovelies were self-flagellating themselves upon this Day of Rest, but they were giving great words of encouragement and seemed really into the spirit of the event: Southend seems to be a perfect match for a triathlon.
So, back to the run. 2.5k in a straight line does seem a long way, and to turn around and repeat the feat was another painful prospect, especially when you could see the Sundried finish banner over a mile away in the distance, not getting any closer...
Coming into a shorter triathlon as a longer distance athlete, you have visions of it 'being over quickly' and being 'no big deal' but I tell you what, Sprint is long and Sprint is hard! And I could only seem to muster limited speed anyway, but it was hurting as much as I could make it, so will hopefully prove an excellent training session as part of my preparation for the European 70.3 champs in 3 weeks’ time.
Coming to the finish, I didn't have much time to celebrate the female win and 3rd place overall as I was very aware of the clock ticking close to 60 minutes, and I always enjoy dipping under an hour in a Sprint. Sadly, I was 25 seconds too fat, but this will come in the next few weeks as I start to sharpen up for my first peak of the season. A couple of kilos makes a lot of difference to speed!
I would like to thank Sundried for their support of me as a pro triathlete this year, providing great PR opportunities as well as beautifully crafted clothing, and now adding another string to their bow: by producing a fantastic first event. Sundried really does stand for quality through and through. I look forward to seeing how the Southend Triathlon develops in years to come, and will definitely be back for that sub 1 hour in the future!
About the author: Alice Hector is a prolific elite professional triathlete, having already won the Volcano Triathlon in Lanzarote earlier this year. She is also a professional fitness model and has done lots of work with Sundried as an athlete ambassador.
Read more about the inaugural Sundried Southend Triathlon and see more photos by following the links below
Ride to Recovery across the whole of Great Britain.
A trio of ex-servicemen is in training for an epic 1,400-mile bike ride through Britain to raise thousands of pounds for their wounded comrades. Former Royal Engineer Steve Craddock, Naval veteran Lee Patmore, and retired Royal Marine Brian Kilgannon will cycle from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall in a bid to raise money for Help for Heroes. But when their feat begins in May, the former warriors will not be content with the challenge that has tested the mettle of cyclists for decades. Instead of taking the usual 960-mile route through the western spine of Great Britain, Steve, Brian, and Lee have set themselves the added challenge of visiting seven military bases along the way. These diversions will add almost 500 miles to the route and will mean cycling up hills, totalling a whopping 63,000ft – the equivalent of more than twice the height of Mount Everest.
This is a tough ask of anyone, let alone for Steve and Brian who both suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from their time in services and will be fighting their own mental demons along with the physical toll the route will take. However, Steve and Brian will get inspiration from Lee who suffers from Fibromyalgia, a condition that causes heightened pain and extreme tiredness.
Lee, from Essex, is now mainly confined to a wheelchair and will take on this mammoth journey on a custom-made cycle he will power by his arms. He works as a disability fitness instructor at Brentwood Leisure Centre and qualified as a personal trainer after completing several courses with Help For Heroes.
Retired Sergeant Steve, from Chatham in Kent, said: “I hope you can begin to appreciate the sheer effort, guts, and determination that will be needed for Lee to complete this challenge. Lee will be in pain and discomfort the whole time. He will not know from one day to the next how his body is going to cope. However, Lee has his Band of Brothers with him, and we will be doing whatever is needed to get him to complete this truly amazing challenge."
Former Colour Sergeant Brian is no stranger to endurance cycling. He has already cycled from the most northerly part of mainland Britain to its most south westerly point via (as he puts it) ‘the easy route’. In 2006 he set a world cycling endurance record on an indoor turbo trainer, clocking up a staggering 1,017 miles in 60 hours.
Brian said: “I have volunteered to assist Lee and Steve in this epic ride, having cycled for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines for the last twelve years. Since leaving the Marines I found that I had personal problems both mentally and physically, therefore the thought of doing this challenge with Lee will also give me fulfillment. Having already cycled from Land's End to John O’Groats and holding a world record for distance riding I am fully aware the problems we are all going to face.”
The planned route is as follows:
- John O’Groats.
- Livingstone (Gore Bike Wear).
- Catterick, North Yorkshire (Phoenix House).
- Colchester, Essex (Chavase House).
- Brentwood, Essex.
- Brompton Barracks, Chatham, Kent.
- Tidworth, Hampshire (Tedworth House).
- Plymouth, Devon (Hasler Company).
- Land’s End.
The Band of Brothers are hoping to complete the challenge within 30 days and are aiming to cover between 60 or 70 miles per day, with three rest days if required.
For more information on this epic challenge, please visit www.ourcycle2recovery.co.uk.
For more information on Fibromyalgia and its symptoms please go to www.fibroduckfoundation.com.
Garmin Inc today announced the vívosmart 3, an activity tracker with an ultra-slim design and a hidden display that’s only on when you need it. The vívosmart 3 brings high-end fitness monitoring tools such as VO2 max and fitness age, and wellness monitoring with all-day stress tracking, to the popular vívosmart family. The vívosmart 3 also provides 24/7 heart rate monitoring and automatically tracks activity including steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes, sleep and more. The vívosmart 3 boasts a battery life of up to five days and can be worn while swimming or showering.
The vívosmart 3 introduces exciting fitness monitoring tools designed to provide customers with a better understanding of their body’s overall physical performance. It’s the first product in the Garmin vívo family to estimate VO2 max, a measurable indication of aerobic performance previously available only in higher-end Garmin running watches. Users will see their VO2 max score translated into a fitness level, ranging from poor to superior. VO2 max is also used to calculate fitness age, a relatable metric that puts a user’s fitness level in terms of an age. Through hard work and exercise, users can increase their VO2 max and reduce their fitness age. The vívosmart 3 also includes a new Strength Training activity that lets users stay focused on their form and does the rep counting for them. Strength Training keeps track of reps, sets and even rest times during user’s free weight and bodyweight exercises. This data gets sent to Garmin ConnectTM where it can be reviewed later in greater detail.
For those seeking to live a healthier life, improving one’s emotional well-being can be as important as increasing time spent at the gym. To this end, the vívosmart 3 adds wellness monitoring with the all-day stress tracking feature. When users are not on the move, the vívosmart 3 tracks heart rate variability, which in turn is used to calculate and measure stress level, displayed as a wedge graph right on the device. Stress levels high? The vívosmart 3 features a breathing exercise that users can access from the device to encourage relaxation and help lower stress level. A longer timeline of stress level is accessible on Garmin Connect which can help customers identify patterns and make lifestyle changes to avoid or better cope with stress-inducing situations.
The vívosmart 3 automatically syncs with the Garmin Connect mobile app throughout the day to save stats for easy access later. In Garmin Connect, a free online community, users can track their workouts, strength training activities, stress levels, sleep patterns and join online challenges to compete against friends and earn virtual badges. They can also receive Garmin Connect Insights, smart wellness insights personalized to each user that provide cues to help them reach goals, a pat on the back when milestones have been met, and relevant healthy tips from experts. For extra motivation, Insights also show users how they stack up in comparison to other people like them.
Connection meets convenience with smart notification vibration alerts delivered right the wrist for emails, texts, calls, calendar reminders, app alerts, social media updates and any other notification from a compatible smartphone2. Users will also benefit from the ability to control music on their smartphone from the vívosmart 3, send an alert to locate a misplaced smartphone, and remote control a Garmin VIRB camera (sold separately).
With its inconspicuous band and new slimmer profile, the vívosmart 3 complements every athleisure style. The device features a hidden display only visible when activated via gestures, alerts or notifications. When not in use, the screen disappears from view. Available in black (small/medium and large) and purple (small/medium), the vívosmart 3 is the perfect companion for the office, the gym, the pool, the studio and everywhere in between. The vívosmart is available for purchase at a retail price of $139.99 which is around £112.
"Cyclists can now easily view their data and receive alerts during a ride without needing to take their eyes off the road ahead."
The first in-sight cycling display from Garmin, Varia Vision enhances your road awareness by putting the cycling information you want right where you want it — in your line of sight.
Varia Vision’s versatile mounting attaches to cyclists’ sunglasses and displays key data from a compatible device, including performance, turn-by-turn directions, incoming smart notifications and more.
When paired with the Varia rear view radar system Varia Vision can also warn users of traffic approaching from behind.
“We’re extremely excited to announce the next device in our line of innovative Varia cycling awareness products – the Varia Vision in-sight display,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “Cyclists can now easily view their data and receive alerts during a ride without needing to take their eyes off the road ahead.”
The Varia Vision makes it easier than ever for cyclists to keep focus while riding with it's adaptable mounting which allows it to attach on either arm of the users glasses, with 8 hours of battery life and glove and weather friendly touch display.
Vision also features vibration alerts for performance, navigation, or cycling awareness prompts, as well as incoming smart notifications allowing riders to receive alerts for incoming calls, texts and more without taking their eyes off the road.The in sight display retails at £319.99 and can be purchased on www.garmin.com