• Guide to using microgoals in your training

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    Have you ever started a long run and thought, ‘I am never going to get through this!’ Or finished the first effort of a turbo session and wondered, ‘how can I do this over and over again?’ 

    Ultimately, it can be really difficult to motivate oneself when the finish seems so distant and the effort to get there is so great. The good news, however, is that there is a way to ‘trick’ your mind into thinking that the end is near.

    Micro-goal setting is something that I have been unknowingly implementing into my training for many years. The act of breaking up a workout into more manageable chunks really helps to alleviate the daunting prospect of having to work hard for a prolonged period of time. 

    Below, I have detailed some examples of micro-goal setting that you can try out for yourself. You will be amazed by just how long you can keep your body moving when your mind has mini targets to hit.

    Micro goals for a long run

    Next time you are heading out for a 90 minute run, why not think about it as six 15 minute chunks that feel infinitely more doable. Or perhaps you might find that three 30 minute chunks is more approachable. The way you break down a run will depend on your personal preferences and the way your mind works.

    Micro goals for a turbo session

    Sitting on the turbo and repeatedly hitting the correct wattage for a specified period of time can be both physically and mentally challenging which is exacerbated when fatigue sets in. If your session entails nine 3 minute efforts, break the nine efforts up into three. Three lots of three 3 minute efforts certainly sounds more doable than nine 3 minute sets!

    Making sure you have the right kit can also play a huge part in getting you through a difficult session. Try Sundried's Cycle Kit today, suitable for all abilities.

    Micro goals for open water swimming

    Plunging into open water is possibly one of the most daunting scenarios a triathlete faces but micro-goal setting can make things seem much easier. When swimming, concentrate on getting to the subsequent buoy in the loop and once there, focus on arriving at the next. 

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     Micro goals for a race 

    You can use this same strategy in a race too. After logging all those training hours and miles, you should have a good idea of your goal race time; use this information to break things up. For example, if you plan to run 40 minutes for 10k, then split it into four 10-minute chunks. 

    It is amazing just how long you can ‘trick’ your mind into carrying on by focusing on the next mini goal. Remember to try out different approaches during training so that when it comes to race day, you know exactly what method works for you. 

    Connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app for more advice, workout tips, training plans and more. 

    About the author: Laura Smith is a high level athlete and has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • No equipment home workouts for all ages and abilities

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    Get your daily dose of movement with home workouts that require nothing but motivation to get them done. No matter what your goals or preferred method of exercise, we know that there is something for everyone.This guide also includes a general warm-up and cool-down that should be done before and after to any high intensity or strengthening workout, retrospectively.

    All of the following workouts include adaptations, progressions, and regressions to suit all abilities.

    Please note that this guide includes official names of exercises/moves. If you are struggling with what an exercise entails,then You-Tube have some great tutorials on how to execute them. Just type in the name of the exercise to find a demonstration.

    Shop Sundried's home training accessories to take your workout to the next level.

    10 minute pre-workout warm up

    Do each exercise for 60 seconds.

    1. March in place
    2. Jumping jacks
    3. Butt kicks
    4. Mountain climbers
    5. High kicks
    6. Side to side squats
    7. Alternating side lunge
    8. Big arm circles
    9. Hip circles
    10. Shake it all out

    10 minute post-workout cool down

    Do each exercise for 60 seconds.

    1. Alternate side toe touch
    2. Glute stretch on each side
    3. Quad stretch on each side
    4. Side bend stretch on each side
    5. Over-head triceps stretch on each side
    6. Chest-cross arm swing

    Workout 1: 10 minute Ab Blast

    Depending on your level of fitness you can choose to do anything from 30 seconds per exercise with 30 seconds rest, to 50 seconds per exercise with 10 seconds rest.

    Exercise

    Regression

    Progression

    Plank

    Push your bum up to the ceiling to create a V shape

    Rocking plank

    Side plank with one arm support

    Balance on your knee rather than the side of your foot

    Balance on one leg

    Slow dead bugs using alternative arm to leg

    Only extend 1 arm or leg at a time

    Hold in extensions for 5 seconds

    Slow bird/dog

    Only extend 1 arm or leg at a time

    Hold in extension for 5 seconds

    Slow aleknas

    Only extend both legs or both arms at one time

    Hold in extension for 5 seconds

    Slow bicycle crunch with both legs raised above the ground

    Keep one leg on the floor

    Hold in tucked position for 5 seconds

    Slow leg raises

    Bend the legs

    Add in a hip lift at the top of the leg raise

    Cross-body mountain climbers

    Go onto your knees

    Increase the speed

    V-sit hold

    Feet on the floor

    Straighten legs and lean further back

    Knee to elbow in high plank

    Go onto your knees

    Spider man push ups

    Workout 2: 10 minute Glute Activation

    Depending on your level of fitness you can choose to do anything from 30 seconds per exercise with 30 seconds rest to 50 seconds per exercise with 10 seconds rest.

    Exercise

    Regression

    Progression

    Squats with a single pulse at the bottom

    Remove the pulse

    Hold in a squat position and pulse

    Alternate leg reverse lunge with a single pulse at the bottom

    Remove the pulse

    Hold in a reverse lunge position and pulse

    Alternative leg side lunge with a single pulse at the bottom

    Remove the pulse

    Hold in a side lunge position and pulse

    Alternate leg curtsy lunge into a side kick

    Remove the side kick

    Make it quick and springy

    Pile squat with alternative heel raises

    Remove the heel raises

    Hold in position with heels raises

    Alternate leg glute bridge marches

    Glute bridge hold

    Single leg for half the time and then swap to other leg

    Side clams, half the time spent on each leg

    Lie on your back and drop alternate knees out to the side

    Add a band around your knees

    Side lying leg raises keeping the working leg raised, half the time spent on each leg

    Return to rest after each raise

    Hold leg up and pulse

    Donkey kickbacks, half the time spent on each leg

    Alternate legs

    Hold at the top of the kick and pulse

    Fire hydrant, half the time spent on each leg

    Alternate legs

    Hold at the top of the movement and pulse

    Workout 3: 20 minute HIIT Session

    Complete each exercise for 35 seconds and take 12 seconds rest before moving onto the next movement. 

    Repeat the entire sequence 4 x.

    1. Drop lunge
    2. Burpee crunch
    3. Plank jack hop
    4. Step to jump squat
    5. Pop jacks
    6. Triceps press back

    Regression: Take 30-60 seconds additional rest in between sets if needed.

    Progression: Increase working time, reduce resting time, or both!

    Fancy some new workout wear to help motivate you? Shop Sundried's Gym Collection today. Both men's and women's options available.

    Workout 4: 45 minute Full Body Strengthening Session

    Exercise

    Sets

    Reps/time

    Adaptations

    Squats

    4

    15x

    Banded around the knee, weighted, single leg, eccentric, or jump

    Press ups

    4

    10x

    On feet or knees, weighted, narrow stance, eccentric, incline, decline, triangle, or single arm

    Single leg RDL on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, eccentric, or raise the knee

    Triceps dip

    4

    10x

    Straight or bent legs, weighted, or eccentric 

    Bulgarian split squats on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, extended, or eccentric

    Extended plank shoulder tap

    4

    10x

    On feet or knees, wide or narrow stance, single leg

    Glute bridge

    4

    15x

    Banded, weighted, eccentric or single leg

    Super man with arm extension

    4

    10x

    Weighted

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    Workout 5: 30 minute Lower Body Strengthening Session

    Exercise

    Sets

    Reps/time

    Adaptations

    Squats

    4

    15x

    Banded around the knee, weighted, single leg, eccentric, or jump

    Pulses in squat position

    4

    20x

    Banded around the knees or weighted

    Forward, side and reverse lunges on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, eccentric, or jump

    Wall supported sit and hold

    4

    60s

    Banded around the knees or weighted

    Step ups on each leg

    4

    15x

    Weighted, knee raised, or explosive

    Single leg standing calf raises

    4

    20x

    Weighted or unsupported

    Workout 6: 30 minute Upper body Strengthening Session

    Exercise

    Sets

    Reps/time

    Adaptations

    Press ups

    4

    15x

    On feet or knees, Weighted, narrow stance, eccentric, incline, decline, triangle, or single arm

    Inchworm

    4

    10x

    On knees or feet

    Triceps dip

    4

    15x

    Straight or bent legs, weighted, or eccentric

    Side triceps side push on each side

    4

    60s

    Weighted, eccentric or single arm

    Rocking plank

    4

    15x

    Weighted, single arm, or single leg

    Scapular wall reps

    4

    20x

    Weighted



    Workout 7: 30 minute Vinyasaa Yoga Sequence

    Before you start this workout make sure you have a comfortable flat space to use. Use a yoga mat if you have one or just a softer floor. If you're looking to purchase a yoga mat, shop Sundried's eco-friendly offering here.

    Starting Meditation (10 minutes)

    In a seated position, close your eyes and fold the sides of your tongue inward for Sitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath). Inhale through your curled tongue like a straw. Close your mouth and exhale through your nose, creating a “ha” sound in the back of your throat. Concentrate on your breathing, and try to keep your mind clear of distractions. Repeat this cycle for several minutes.

    Yoga Sequence

    Pose

    Time

    Breaths

    Seated cat-cow Pose

    1 minute

    8-10

    Seated half-moon pose

    1 minute

    8-10

    Seated spinal twist

    1 minute

    8-10

    Seated forward with mudra

    1 minute

    8-10

    Cat-cow pose

    2 minutes

    16-20

    Downward facing dog

    (adho mukha svanasanna)

    1 minute

    8-10

    Low lunge 

    (ajaneysanna)

    1 minute each side

    8-10

    One-legged king pigeon pose

    (eka pada rejakapotasana)

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side

    Wild thing

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side

    Warrior II

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side
    Warrior II variation

    1 minute each side

    8-10 each side
    Childs pose

    (balasana)

    2 minutes

    16-20
    Bridge pose

    1 minute

    8-10

    Concluding Meditation (5 minutes)

    Extend both legs and lie comfortably on the floor, turning the palms open. Press the back of the head into the ground as you deeply inhale and focus on sinking into the group. On an exhalation, gently close your eyes and soften. Observe the breath as you absorb the benefits of this practice.

    About the author: Laura Smith is an athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more home workouts at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • 5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Gym Sessions

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    It’s common to find going to the gym a chore. It’s also common to feel like you’re floundering with no real direction and not making any progress. Follow these 5 expert tips so that you can make the most of your gym sessions and waste no more time in achieving your goals.

    1. Write your session plan in advance

    You'd be surprised at how many people get to the gym without knowing what they’re going to do. In the end, they wander over to a treadmill and do a few minutes of running. Then they lift a few weights and maybe copy a few exercises that other people are doing, have a chat, and then go home. Have you ever done this?

    If you’re serious about making progress and want real results, this is not the way to achieve that. In order to really maximise your time at the gym, write out what you’re going to do in advance and make sure it’s a coherent session that will take you in the right direction. You could write your session on a piece of paper, in a small notebook, or write it out on your phone which may be the most convenient.

    Make sure the session makes sense with regards to what you’re going to train; don’t wear yourself out doing sprints on the treadmill and then expect to be able to do a good weights session as well. If you're training for a running or cycling event, don't spend lots of time working your upper body.

    If you need advice, ask a personal trainer or find a pre-written session plan online. Make sure the session also makes sense in the bigger picture of what else you’re doing that week and how tired you’re likely to be when you get to the gym. If you’re doing an evening session after a busy and stressful day at work, you’re unlikely to hit a new squat or deadlift PB, so save those sessions for the weekend.

    rower gym fitness CrossFit activewear UK

    2. Time your nutrition

    There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym feeling ravenous and not being able to focus on your session, then spending £5 on a sugary shake from the vending machine just so that you can make it through your workout. Plan your nutrition in advance, especially if you intend to come straight from work. If you are going to go to the gym on a work night, try to eat a bigger lunch and then time a snack just before you leave the office so that you get to the gym feeling pumped and ready without being too full.

    If you’re training at the weekend, eat a filling and nutritious breakfast but leave yourself enough time before you hit the weights or cardio area. If you drink coffee, time this so that you can reap the benefits before they wear off.

    What you eat after you workout is also important. You have a 2-hour window in which it's the optimum time to take on some protein and carbs to refuel you and repair your muscles after a tough workout. Try to eat a healthy, balanced meal as soon as you get home so that you can maximise your results and make the most of the time you've just spent in the gym. If you do not eat at all, a lot of your efforts will be wasted as your body will start to break down the muscle you've just worked so hard to build in order to recover.

    Read more: Nutrient Timing

    fitness workout sportswear

    3. Talk to a fitness professional

    If you really have no idea what you’re doing at the gym, you’re far more likely to quit and never achieve the results you want. It’s natural to find the gym a daunting and scary place and if you don’t have anyone show you how the machines work, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d have no idea where to start!

    Most gyms will offer a free induction when you join, but if you’ve missed that opportunity, you will still be able to get one if you ask as there are always fitness instructors on hand to help. Not only this, most personal trainers will offer a free taster session as part of their services, so take advantage of this and ask them all the questions you’ve been wanting to ask. Get them to show you how the machines work as well as how to safely perform free weights exercises like squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses. With this as a foundation, you will be able to build a great workout routine.

    boxing padwork personal trainer

    4. Don’t workout with a flaky friend

    It can seem tempting to go to the gym with a friend as it’s more social and is less intimidating. However, if you go with a friend who doesn’t share the same goals as you or who just wants to chat, you’ll never get anything done. Additionally, if your friend is at a very different level to you, you might end up spending the whole session explaining things to them and just helping them rather than making progress yourself.

    It may seem selfish and unsocial, but hitting the gym alone can potentially be the best way for you to make the most of your time there. That said, if you have a highly motivated friend who can enhance your session, this is of course fantastic and you should make the most of it. It can just be very easy to realise you’ve spent 45 minutes chatting or texting and not doing any exercise! Don’t fall into this common trap.

    Not only this, if your friend is flaky and often cancels on you, you’ll be less likely to go yourself. If you were relying on them for a ride they could be letting you down. You are better off relying only on yourself and setting your own goals so that you can be in charge of hitting them.

    5. Make your workout fun

    Doing the same boring routine week in week out is a recipe for disaster and you are far more likely to stop going to the gym after a short time. Once you know how to write a killer workout routine, make sure you mix it up frequently and keep it interesting so that your motivation stays high. Having a fun workout to look forward to is a great way to stay motivated and you'll end up working harder because you're enjoying yourself.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Can You Exercise When You Are Sore?

    workout sore muscles 

    If you're on a roll with your training or on a plan for a specific event, sometimes it's tempting to train even when your muscles are sore and achy. We look at whether it's a good idea to still train when you are sore.

    Are sore muscles a good sign?

    Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, is common among those who exercise regularly and is nothing to shy away from. Especially if you have recently increased your training intensity/frequency or you are a complete beginner to exercise, you can expect DOMS to last up to 72 hours after your workout. 

    Our muscles feel sore after a workout because when we train, we develop tiny 'satellite' tears in the muscles. Your muscles get stronger not when you exercise but afterwards, when you are eating and sleeping. This is why consuming enough protein and getting good quality sleep are both key to recovery and improving performance. 

    Sore muscles are a sign that you have worked hard and that your muscles are on their way to becoming stronger and more efficient. If your DOMS lasts over 72 hours, however, it's time to look at what you might be doing wrong. Perhaps you're not resting enough or not eating enough/the right nutrients. Once your body gets used to a certain training regime, you will find you don't get DOMS as often, if at all, which can be a signal it's time to crank up the intensity or change up your routine. 

    Read more: Are You Overtraining?

    Read more: How Often Should I Take A Complete Rest Day?

    Read more: Fitness Recovery And The Importance Of Rest Days

    achy sore muscles pain relief

    Is it OK to work out if your muscles are sore?

    In general, it is a bad idea to workout if your muscles are sore. Your muscles need time to repair and grow and it is only while you are resting that this can happen. However, this is not to say you cannot train at all.

    If you train certain body parts at a time, you can easily train a different part of your body that is not aching that day. For example, if your chest and triceps are aching, you could still do a leg workout. 

    If you practise a sport that focuses mostly on one muscle group such as running or cycling, there are still ways to get around skipping workouts. You could do your speed session on a Monday, followed by a hill session on a Tuesday and then rest on Wednesday. Then, you could do another speed session Thursday, a gym workout Friday, and your long run on Saturday with another rest day on Sunday. This sort of plan allows your legs to rest after the toughest sessions when they are most likely to ache. 

    In another sense, sometimes it's actually a good idea to train when your muscles are sore. Many runners will do a 'recovery run' the day after a particularly tough training session, which means doing a short and easy run to shake out any lactic acid still sitting in the legs and keeping active to stop your legs getting too stiff. 

    In summary, it's only bad to do an intense or tough workout when your muscles are sore. It can actually be beneficial to do a light workout to ease achy muscles.

    Read more: DOMS Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

    Read more: How To Reduce DOMS In The Legs

    running recovery training DOMS

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Q&A With Dancer Lucie Palfreyman

    Lucie Palfreyman Sundried

    Lucie Palfreyman uses fitness to further her career. As a professional dancer, it is essential she exercises regularly, focusing on flexibility and endurance. When choreography gets intense, Lucie tells Sundried how her training complements her sport. 

    How do you use dance to keep fit?

    Whilst rehearsing and dancing in shows I keep fit just through the intense choreography and usually long rehearsal days. Between dance contracts I maintain my fitness through attending advanced dance classes and also doing my own workouts.

    Sundried Breithorn Bra

    Do you do any other training outside of dance?

    Outside of dance, I enjoy jogging outdoors and practising my Pilates at home. I also love to attend Bikram Hot Yoga when I can find the time.

    What are your fitness goals?

    My fitness goals are always to push my own strength and flexibility. I am constantly working on my weaker areas. Every dancer has a stronger/more flexible leg and I am trying to even myself out. Cardio is very important for dancers too as some shows can be very physically demanding.

    Sundried activewear stretching

    Where do you find your training motivation/inspiration?

    I have looked up to certain dancers and choreographers since I started my training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2005. Also, whenever I work on dance contracts with new dancers, I take their strengths and can be very inspired to apply this to my own practice.

    How did you find the Sundried activewear?

    I was extremely pleased with my Sundried products, the quality of the garments is of a very high standard. I particularly love the women's leggings, they are the most comfortable leggings I have ever trained in! The material is very soft and easy to stretch in and I like the height of the waist. The sports bra is also very comfortable and I have been complimented on it every time I have worn it.

    What advice would you give our readers to stay in shape?

    My advice would be to maintain a healthy diet alongside exercise and to always drink lots and lots of water! The body is the most important thing we have and it is vital to look after it. Finding exercise that is enjoyable too is very important. Exercise should be fun and not a chore!

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    Posted by Alexandra Parren
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