• 20 Minute Beach Body Workout

    Tehillah Mcguinness

    Want to get beach ready? The snow is finally melting and spring is on its way, so there's not much time left to get beach body ready in time for summer. Hit the gym or the park with this 20 minute workout to torch the fat and attain your dream body in time for the best time of year.

    The aim is to complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes, with every round followed by a sprint. No rest, just give it all you’ve got for this high intensity workout.

      Summer Beach Body Workout

      10 Walkouts

      Stand with your feet hip width apart. Bend over and place your hands on the ground in front of you, as close to your feet as possible. Now walk your hands out until they are underneath your shoulders and you’re in the full plank position. Reverse the exercise by walking your hands back towards your feet, bum in the air and then standing back up when you can’t walk your hands back any further.

      10 Skaters

      Start in a small squat. Jump sideways to the left, landing on your left leg. Bring your right leg behind to your left ankle, without letting it touch the floor. Reverse direction by jumping to the right with your right leg. Swing your arms to help build momentum to propel you further, like you were ice skating. A jump in both directions counts as 1 rep.

      10 Lateral jump burpees

      Start by completing a regular burpee, but then instead of exploding back to your start position, launch yourself sideways. Keep your feet together and jump laterally before completing the next burpee.

      10 Roll back sit ups

      Lie on the ground and curl your legs up towards your chest, using your bent legs as levers roll up onto your shoulder blades. Rock forward into a sit up, using the momentum to carry the movement on until you are stood all the way up. Jump at the top of the movement and then lie back down ready for the next move.

      10 Split leg thrusters

      Start in and extended plank with your hands under your shoulders on the ground. Jump your legs forward towards your hands, splitting them to land towards either shoulder and then jump to return them to the start.

      10 Hindu push ups

      This move looks like a cross between a yoga flow and a push up. Start in a downward dog position. Hand under your shoulders, legs straight and bum in the air so your body forms a V shape. In a swooping motion, leading with the head, drive your head through your hands and lower your stomach, arching your back so you finish in up dog. Reverse the fluid movement leading with your bum. Try to keep the entire movement smooth and fluid and don’t hold your breath!

      10 Mountain climbers

      Start in an extended plank, hands under shoulders. Run your feet into your chest as fast as you can. One rep counts as each knee moving forward and back.

      10 Jump squat reaches

      Start by coming onto all fours and then hover your knees off the ground. From this position jump your feet into a wide squat, they should land either side of your hands. Once your feet land, sink all your weight back into your heels and reach both arms up towards the sky. Pause in this deep squat reach, before bringing your hands back down to the outsides of your shoulders and jumping your feet back to all fours. This move requires good flexibility as well as balance.

      Sprints

      Option 1: Sprint as fast as you can between two markers for 30 seconds.

      Option 2: Got no room? Sprint on the spot, bring your knees up higher to add intensity.

      That’s one round complete, the aim is to do as many as you can in 20 minutes.

      Repeat

      Posted by Alexandra Parren
    • Gym vs Outside: HIIT

      sprint track outdoor running

      Is your HIIT training better done inside or outside? Our Gym vs Outside series weighs up how we exercise indoors and outdoors.

      Outdoor Sprints

      Hills, stairs, roads, the park or simply up and down your street, sprints can be done anywhere and everywhere and are one of the best ways of cranking up your heart rate.

      A simple and easy way to take your HIIT outside is by doing sprints. Doing sprint intervals on a treadmill can be great, but it can also be dangerous. Running on a treadmill always comes with a caution as you could slip or miss your footing and end up flying off the end of the conveyor as it carries on spinning. By taking your sprints outside you are making your training safer and you also benefit from the fresh air and freedom of the open road.

      Related: Benefits Of Outdoor Training

      Outdoor Training: 100m Sprints

      The simplest way to measure out roughly 100m without a tape measure is to walk 130 steps. Mark your start and finish with something you have on you, such as a jacket and a water bottle.

      Aim to complete 10 rounds. Exploding off from your start point and running as fast as you can.

      Rest 30 - 90 seconds or until your heart rate recovers to around 130 bpm.

      Take advantage of your surroundings; if you have stairs or a hill, crank up the intensity and push yourself all the way to the top. Sprinting outside on uneven ground is far more challenging than the flat of a treadmill.

      sprints track running trainers

      Posted by Alexandra Parren
    • Popular Fitness Terms Explained

      dumbbells weights gym

      If you’re a keen Instagrammer you may well see all number of crazy fitness terms thrown about, especially in lists of endless hashtags. You may also be trying to find articles of weight loss or muscle building and struggle to understand half of what is being said! That’s why we're here to explain a few of the more common fitness terms which you may not have come across before, and which may help you to reach your fitness and nutrition goals once you understand what they mean!

      Endomorph

      Endomorph refers to a specific body type. There are three basic body types: endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. These three terms describe different body types and their distinguishing features. Someone who is an endomorph will generally store more body fat and will have a thick or stocky build. Endomorphs have a low tolerance to carbohydrates and will easily gain weight and muscle but struggle to lose body fat. Other characteristics include wide joints and hips as well as shorter limbs. Endomorphs make great bodybuilders or powerlifters due to their short levers and blocky stature.

      muscles back strength

      Ectomorph

      An ectomorph is the opposite of an endomorph. People with this body type are characterised by a smaller frame and physique and a lower body fat percentage. These people will struggle to gain muscle mass or even fat and will have a higher metabolism. Characteristics include narrow hips, small joints, and long limbs. These people are well suited to endurance sports such as marathon running due to their long legs and light body weight.

      Mesomorph

      A mesomorph is essentially a balance between an ectomorph and an endomorph. People with this body type will have a typical ‘hour glass’ figure and will find it easy to both gain and lose weight. You can also be a combination of mesomorph and one of the other body types, as many people do not fit into one single category. Your training should be based upon what works best for you and your body type as you cannot change your genetics! For most people, it is clear which body type they fit into just by looking at them.

      Macros

      This is a very common term in the fitness industry. It is short for macronutrients, which are simply the building blocks of our diet. There are three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and these are the only sources of calories for humans (although alcohol is sometimes considered ‘the fourth macro’). Fat is the most calorie-dense macro, providing 9 calories per gram, with carbs and protein both providing 4 calories per gram. This means that a 500 calorie meal made of fatty foods will be smaller than a 500 calorie meal made of carbs and protein. However, each of the three macros are just as important as the next and none of them should ever be cut out of your diet completely. You can adjust the ratio of macros that you consume according to your training and physique goals.

      IIFYM

      This term stands for If It Fits Your Macros which is a trend in the fitness industry claiming that so long as you stick to your calorie and macro goals, you can eat whatever you want and still see results. However, this is something that is subject to a lot of criticism and certainly would not work for everyone. People who glorify this lifestyle may find that their micronutrient intake (vitamins and minerals) may suffer and other factors such as fibre, sodium, and sugar are not taken into account either.

      BCAAs

      BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acid and these are the building blocks of protein. There are 9 essential amino acids and 11 non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and as a result must come from food. Non-essential amino acids can be made by the body and so it is not as important to consume them in your diet. Eggs are considered the ‘perfect’ protein source as they contain all 20 amino acids and are high in protein and fat which allows your body to absorb them well. Other sources of all essential amino acids are whole foods such as quinoa and hummus. You will often hear about people taking BCAAs as a dietary supplement, which just means they are increasing their intake of essential amino acids to better aid muscle repair and growth as well as promoting healthy circulation and blood pressure.

      HIIT

      HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is a very popular form of training at the moment. It consists of short bursts of intense activity such as sprints, burpees, or mountain climbers. It promises to burn fat more effectively than low intensity exercise and to increase your metabolism in such a way that you will continue to burn fat long after you’ve stopped exercising. It is popularly used by people who want to burn fat fast and improve their cardiovascular fitness and explosive power.

      LISS

      LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State and is essentially the opposite of HIIT training. This type of training consists of longer duration workouts at a much lower intensity, such as uphill walking. This type of training is sometimes favoured by bodybuilders as it is less likely to tap into the body’s muscle stores. It is also good for endurance athletes such as those who compete in half marathons and marathons.

      Fasted Cardio

      Fasted cardio is simply a cardiovascular workout such as running which is completed on an empty stomach. It is usually done in the morning before breakfast and promises to burn fat more effectively than if you train after a day of eating. However, it has never been scientifically proven that fasted cardio is more beneficial than non-fasted cardio, and different people will see different results. It does work for some people, but is not as effective for others.

      Posted by Alexandra Parren
    • Rachel Boothman Personal Trainer

      Rachel Boothman Cycling
      Rachel is a prolific triathlete who has achieved incredible accomplishments, racking up thousands of miles over the last few years. She shares some insights into her training and tips to stay motivated.

      Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.

      I ran numerous half marathons in my 20s and have taken part in many marathon-distance charity walking events in my 30s. I decided I wanted a new challenge and went on to cycle Lands End to John ‘o' Groats for my 40th. I cycled London to Paris the year after, and have completed numerous cycle events on the back of that. My biggest challenge was The Wall: a 69-mile run to be completed within 24 hours! My first marathon was Chester marathon.

      I’ve completed a long course weekend (2.5m swim, 112m cycle, 26.2m run over 3 days) for 3 years in a row. I’ve completed triathlons of various distances: sprint, standard, middle, and 70.3. I will be doing Ironman Mallorca 70.3 in May 2017.

      Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

      Diet and exercise have always been an important part of my life. After having children, I used exercise to get back into shape.Over the last 20 years I have also enjoyed teaching various forms of exercise and, more recently, Pilates.Sharing my passion and inspiring others brings me huge satisfaction.

      What are your training goals now?

      To increase my speed, push harder through interval training, and diarise weight training sessions. I want to maintain my body fat percentage now I have got into the teens! I’d also like to increase my flexibility.
      My biggest goal is to complete 3300 miles, running swimming cycling.

      Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

      In the last 5 years I have covered over 11,500 miles which would have taken me to New Zealand!

      What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?

      Don’t substitute food for sugar-based snacks!

      Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

      I try to eat a healthy, balanced diet. I’m a big believer in keeping a food journal; planning ahead helps curb any food cravings.

      What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

      I write personalised workout plans for my clients, including a varied challenging movement to create body awareness. A little time spent daily is better than none, never put off training for another day!

      Talk us through your training regime.

      I keep a training journal, which always includes at least one rest day.
      An average week for me consists of:
      10-mile run
      40-mile cycle
      5-mile walk
      1-mile swimming
      3 weight sessions
      Daily Pilates

      How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

      I attend courses to complete further training, constantly keeping up-to-date with new research which allows me to learn more about the biomechanics of the body.

      What are your top 3 trainer tips?

      1. Use your full range of motion
      2. You can’t outrun a bad diet
      3. Your body needs sleep for recovery

      If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?

      Pilates Superman - this movement has many variations that will work every muscle group.

      What are your training goals?

      To accomplish a headstand

      Why work with Sundried?

      As they offer premium ethical activewear created responsibly with a low carbon footprint, trialed and tested by leading athletes around the world.

      Favorite fitness quote:

      “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase”

      Posted by Alexandra Parren
    • Sarah Outen MBE Adventurer

      Sarah Outen MBE Adventurer Running

      Sarah Outen MBE is an adventurer and British athlete, she was the first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean and also the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Alaska. She completed a round-the-world journey, under her own power, by rowing boat, bicycle and kayak, on 3 November 2015. We find out more about our new ambassador.

      Tell us how you came to be an adventurer:

      I have always been curious and loved being outside and journeying, one way or another. As a child I spent hours playing outside, exploring and climbing trees and riding my bike. Through school I had the chance to try some small expeditions and I kayaked with a local canoe club. That curiosity and journeying love has always been there.

      What has been your toughest challenge to date:

      My London2London journey was physically, emotionally, and financially challenging. It took 6 years from the first idea to returning home. Even now, over a year on, I am still processing it and hope to produce a film on it next year.

      How did you motivate yourself through your 4.5 year journey?

      Curiosity about what lies around the next corner and what lies within are good motivators. So too is the idea that if I don't carry on I won't get home! I have various tricks which work for me when the chips are down.

      What was your favourite ration whilst you were away?

      I loved the smoked salmon from Alaska. We were given lots of locally harvested and smoked fish while we paddled through Alaska  - that was some of my favourite food.

      Favorite place you’ve visited?

      Alaska and the ocean - for their wilderness, beauty, energy, and wildlife.

      Sarah Outen Outdoor Jumping Mountain

      How seasick do you get?

      I am a terrible seafarer for seasickness. I always spend a few weeks being sick at the start of the voyage. Except on my Atlantic row where I was given some different drugs to try and they worked a treat - no sickness at all.

      What was your scariest moment rowing?

      I have had some really frightening times at sea. From being capsized while out of my cabin, to going under the bows of a container ship, to experiencing the power of a tropical storm. Falling in the water as I climbed from my tiny boat to a 200-metre long cargo boat which was picking me up ahead of a hurricane was pretty terrifying too.

      How does it feel to have an MBE?

      I'm proud to have been awarded the MBE and like to think it is in fact for all the people who have helped make my journeys and projects a reality.

      Will you do it again?

      I will always journey and wander but I will probably never do anything quite like London2London again. At least not on my own. I am married now and my life is with my partner Lucy. We would like to sail around the world together one day.

      Posted by Alexandra Parren