Monthly Archives: August 2015

Aug 30

Eddie Hall, Staffordshire Oatcakes and Nutrition

By fit2fight | The Blog

personal trainers in stoke

The Staffordshire Oatcake.

The Staffordshire oatcake is quite a mystery to anyone just outside the Staffordshire area and the heart of the Staffordshire oatcake is sunny Stoke on Trent, where you will find numerous oatcake shops selling breakfast delights wrapped up in the not so famous Staffordshire oatcake.

After doing some research on these local delicacies it seems that the oatcake originated as a result of some of the soldiers of the North Staffordshire Regiment that had been stationed in India, and during the early 1900s they had acquired a liking for chapattis so when the troops finally came home they wanted something like these Indian flatbreads they had become accustomed to, and so they gave their wives and mothers the task of trying to create what had become a firm favorite in their diet, and because they had no chapatti flour, the Staffordshire oatcake was born in all its various recipes, and the way an oatcake is cooked and prepared, is really not too far away from a chapatti.

personal trainers in stoke

I know not too long ago now the Hairy Bikers came to Stoke on Trent and fully indulged themselves in sampling the Staffordshire oatcake, and they appeared to be very impressed, actually attempting to make oatcakes and enjoying them in the same way that we have in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire for years, you can see right here the recipe that the Hairy Bikers went by to make their own version of the Staffordshire oatcake.

Basically, they are a fine replacement for bread, and can be eaten hot, cold or fried, and can be filled, folded over or rolled, with things such as bacon, cheese, sausages and eggs, any of these items of food used in any combination is very typical of the use of the Staffordshire oatcake here in Stoke on Trent. At this point in the article I’m getting quite hungry.

Here in Stoke on Trent the locals will get through hundreds of oatcakes every day, after all the oatcake is a very popular delicacy in these parts and I’m sure you will all agree with that, but to people from outside the area they may not look as appetizing at first, but once its filled with nice lean bacon and an egg and maybe a bit of cheese, well, I’m sure it would convert most people. But, are they good for you? Do you care if they are good for you or not? Do you just love the oatcake for what people in Stoke on Trent take it for, the almost, if not the perfect breakfast?

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the nutrition of the Staffordshire Oatcake, Approximate amounts per Oatcake;

Calories 120 Sodium 0 mg
Total Fat 3 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 22 g
Polyunsaturated 1 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 1 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 4 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

They are low in cholesterol, they are high in Manganese (an important mineral used throughout the body) and they are high in Selenium (which has antioxidant properties, vitamin E and helps to regulate the thyroid to help with your immune system. So I suppose the million dollar question is, do Staffordshire oatcakes have a place in a healthy balanced diet? Of course they do, everything in moderation right?

Dan Jervis of INFERNO fitness, a circuit class that is held at Dimensions on Scotia Road, someone that helped me to get my nutrition plan right and taught me to count my macros in my food, says that he can’t see why the Staffordshire oatcake can’t be included into a healthy nutritional plan, and here’s the trick, providing you can keep it within your daily macros a Staffordshire oatcake is fine, now I'm sure Dan would be only too happy to help you out with that, INFERNO fitness is a complete package as far as circuit training goes, or any of the personal trainers out there could help you to squeeze an oatcake or 2 into your daily diet plan.

personal trainers in stoke

I managed to speak to one of the most popular oatcake shops in Newcastle under Lyme, Lynne at Castle Oatcakes very recently became a very proud Nanna, and has owned Castle Oatcakes for the last 27 years so she has plenty of experience in the subject of oatcakes, and has sold more of the Staffordshire oatcake than I have probably had hot dinners. Lynne tells me that the most popular filling for these is bacon and cheese, and that’s from somebody that knows her breakfast fillings.

One of the biggest names to come from Stoke on Trent, the world record holder and king of the deadlift, Britain’s strongest man, Eddie Hall goes to visit Lynne at Castle Oatcakes at least twice a month to tuck into the humble Staffordshire oatcake and they have even created a signature dish for Eddie, which he has every time he goes there, many have attempted this house special but very few have completed it. 

personal trainers in stoke

The Eddie Hall Special consists of, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, double portion of cheese and a double portion tomatoes all stacked between 3 delicious, freshly cooked Staffordshire oatcakes made at Castle oatcakes. Apparently Eddie Hall has two of these!

In doing the research for this article I managed to speak to Eddie Hall and asked for his reasons why we should be eating the Staffordshire Oatcake, I should have seen the answer coming, this mountain of a man and he just grinned at me, winked and said, "because they make you into a beast of a god damn man".​

personal trainers in stoke
personal trainers in stoke

Now, anyone may be hard pushed to finish that lot, maybe with a bit of brown sauce and a nice cup of hot sweet tea it’s certainly possible, but, do you think that we could put anything on the Staffordshire oatcake to make it a healthier option? Greek yoghurt perhaps? Maybe some blueberries? Of course you could, the Staffordshire oatcake is so versatile and delicious hot or cold that you can put almost anything in them and they would still be amazing but for me? I think I’ll stick to my favorite of bacon, sausage and cheese, the Eddie Hall special, like my deadlifts, I’ll have to build up to.

Aug 23

The Great Outdoors- Train for Free in Stoke

By fit2fight | The Blog

personal trainers in stoke

The great outdoors, after doing a bit of reading it seems that most of us spend around 90% of our time indoors which really is quite shocking. For many people the time they spend outdoors consists of miniature walks from one closed space to another, We live in our homes, we jump into our cars, we drive to more closed spaces and at the end of the day, we come back home. We were never designed to spend the amount of time indoors and hide ourselves away from the natural outdoor world that we actually do, although its great to get home sometimes and just relax, the great outdoors offers so much more than just rainy days, honestly it does!

People who train outdoors experience higher levels of post exercise endorphins, these endorphins are endogenous opioid compounds, this comes from our pituitary gland and hypothalamus during exercise. They are basically natural pain relievers and produce a feeling of well being. The name endorphin comes from the words endogenous and morphine. So what this means to us, is that training outdoors has been and can be associated with higher levels of these feel good chemicals that your body produces.

personal trainers in stoke

Fresh air is refreshing and invigorating and high oxygen levels increase the efficiency of almost all the reactions in your body, from losing weight and body fat, sleeping better at night to reducing anxiety and lowering your resting heart rate, fresh air is a key component.Training in and exposing yourself to the great outdoors can help boost serotonin levels, which helps you to feel calmer, more alert and more capable, you also hopefully have the added bonus that its a nice day, sunlight helps supply the body with Vitamin D which helps the absorption of calcium, provides strength to bones, reduces systemic inflammation and boosts the immune system. unfortunately too many of us fail to get enough sunlight and synthesise enough vitamin D, and looking at how the weather has been this may be a little optimistic but, everyone would like a tan, wouldn't they?

Training in the great outdoors gives you a great deal of flexibility for your training sessions and a good personal trainer will know exactly what to do with the surroundings, and it allows you to perform different exercise routines to that you may find in a gym. Examples might include sprint training, multi directional running, crawling and hill sprints but I'm sure your trainer will come up with some great exercises, that's why we use them and a good personal trainer will know exactly what to do once they see the terrain and what the venue has to offer.

There are many places that we can train for free in Stoke on Trent, that's right, free places to train in Stoke on Trent where you and your personal trainer can meet up and exercise, and all you will pay is the cost of your session to your trainer, you don't have to be a member at a gym to train outside. Why restrict yourself by thinking that you have to go to a gym to get healthier and fitter, and most if not all of these places will require little to no equipment to be taken.

We have plenty of open recreational areas, city parks and other more unlikely places like large stairways in which a good personal trainers can find loads of "interesting" exercises to make sure their client is getting their moneys worth, ​these parks and recreation grounds are perfect for training in the great outdoors, personal trainers in Stoke and Newcastle under Lyme will know these areas and be able to make full use of them. Below are just a few of these areas, I'm sure you'll recognise most if not all of these.

Central Forest Park. 

This is just outside Hanley has a great open space, A large lake, maybe not so much for swimming, this might draw a few frowns and I wouldn't recommend it, but for running around its an idea size. On the far side of the park there is also an area that has some good sized steps and climbing equipment and I'm sure your personal trainer will be able to use the areas very well.

personal trainers in stoke
personal trainers in stoke

​Tunstall Park and Burslem Park

Both these parks have great open areas in which to train including some nice steps and small hills and banks to challenge you in your training and they are very nice places that you can find right in the middle of our hectic city and our hectic lives that take you away from the hustle and bustle for a short time and they really do look quite relaxing, comfortable and nice places to exercise which, should help to make it easier when you are trying to catch your breath during your workout.

personal trainers in stoke
personal trainers in stoke
personal trainers in stoke

​Lyme Valley Park in Newcastle under Lyme

​Lyme Valley Park just down on the A34 in Newcastle under Lyme is another great area that lets you know that there are places that you can go to unwind in this big city, its also another great area for personal trainers to go with clients and give the client a great workout. It has a massive open area and some great hills and banks on the far side so I'm sure a good personal trainer might want to make full use of these area's.

personal trainers in stoke

​Westport Lake

​Everybody should know Westport Lake, its one of the most famous landmarks in the Stoke on Trent area, I'm sure everybody will know that it has a great open field right next to the new car parking area and of course the famous lake itself which many people use to run around for exercise anyway, but there is also a canal that runs alongside Westport Lake that is at the top of a bank, this bank is just the right size for some great hill sprints and if its a hot day and your macros will allow it, you could always have a sneaky ice cream from the shop that overlooks the lake, make sure you declare it to your trainer though, they may want to help you work this off next time.

personal trainers in stoke
personal trainers in stoke

The "Crem" Steps 

These are a massive set of steps that lead up, and down of course, the side of Bradwell Crematorium and many people that I know use these steps for health and fitness, as you can see from the picture these would be quite a challenge for many just walking up them. They have a smaller set of steps that are not as steep that lead around the other side and many that go there will do certain bodyweight exercises at the top and at the bottom, then maybe taking the steps 2 at a time or sprinting up them 1 at a time, quite a challenge for any fitness level.

personal trainers in stoke

​There are many more area like these in Stoke on Trent and Newcastle under Lyme, I have just been through a few of the more obvious places that we can all use with our personal trainers that are completely free to exercise in, we don't all need to be members of a gym in order to make use of personal trainers and a good personal trainer will make very good use of the surrounding for all these locations. Just because I have highlighted these areas it doesn't mean that they have to be used, just looking at these places will maybe jog the memory to other places that are similar to these. You may prefer to get your beasting or should I say personal training session at any number of different locations within the city that are more than suitable? Wherever you decide to go training, work hard but make it enjoyable and make sure you have fun while your at it!

Aug 16

Circuit Training in Newcastle under Lyme

By fit2fight | The Blog

personal trainers in stoke

OK, firstly, what is Circuit Training?

Circuit training is a fast paced high intensity class that is run by experienced personal trainers where you will do one exercise or one station for generally around the 1 minute mark and move on to the next station. It's a bit like a game of musical chairs that has you feeling the burn after a short space of time. At the start you would go in and choose your starting point, choose whatever station you feel good with, you'll get taken through a warm up, return to your starting point and as soon as the instructor yells TIME, that' your cue to start training, after the minute the personal trainer will yell TIME again and everyone moves to the next station and gets stuck straight into that station for the next minute, I think you can see where this goes for the next 28 minutes.

Some classes alternate an aerobic activity with a muscle strengthening activity like using free weights or bodyweight exercises. Others focus exclusively on muscle toning or aerobic exercise. What circuit training does for you is increases your strength and aerobic fitness and it will burn a lot of calories. Circuit training tends to be intense, but it’s completely adaptable to the individual. As a beginner you will just use less weight and perform simpler moves like smaller box jumps than the more experienced, but everyone will still gets a good workout.

Who is circuit training good for? The answer is simple, anyone looking for a good sweat and to shake out of a training plateau, anybody with a busy schedule that wants to combine a strength and aerobic routine in one intense workout. Basically anyone who wants a really fun and fast paced workout will like circuit training classes, and in all the classes I have seen and been involved in, the personal trainers are a great bunch that want to help you as individuals along your fitness path.

The personal trainers are excellent and are aware of each class members fitness level so they know how far you can be pushed, and even though you're moving quickly from station to station, the instructor still needs to focus on proper technique and form. A word of advise for any beginner is to pay attention to your body and how you feel, many people are surprised by how challenging a good circuit class can be. As I have been close to this kind of training I have been hearing constantly good things about the following circuit training venues so, here they are.

Caveman Training

Adam Pugh is the founder of Caveman Training and it all started in 2001 through the rehabilitation of a life threatening leg injury. Adam and his team of personal trainers that run caveman training are very passionate about helping people achieve their goals of fat loss and muscle building, this message comes across very clearly and, anyone that goes to caveman training will tell you that the support and encouragement you get from the personal trainers is incredible, the atmosphere is excellent for training, its relaxed yet you know you are there to work as hard as you can, its fun and enjoyable.

Adam Pugh says "What is important to me is to give you professional advice and knowledge from my hand picked team to create the fastest results possible", and what else could you ask for? This is exactly why anybody would want to go to this kind of training venue, this style of training mixed with the dedication of the personal trainers will work for clients that are willing to work with the personal trainers. Caveman training is unique to generic fitness systems, each class experience is different from the last therefore you will never get bored doing the same fitness routine.

personal trainers in stoke
personal trainers in stoke

The half hour workout which is designed to boost your metabolism in a short time period utilising Aerobic and Anaerobic energy systems which is likened to the old school methods of training. The caveman classes are basically modified strong man/woman workouts which push you mentally and physically, leaving you feeling empowered and strong. Classes also incorporate Olympic lifting, gymnastic training, power lifting and functional fitness.

There is so much on offer at Caveman training, they hold 8 and 12 week challenges that are designed to get you working hard at the sessions and thinking about what you are eating to get to your goals very fast, on these challenges you are closely monitored and all your progress is marked down so you know exactly where you are in your particular journey of the challenge, they do Bioprints which give you all your body stats such as body fat %, muscle mass %, weight and much more that keeps you involved and motivated during the challenge. 

They have 2 sites at the moment but Adam is always looking to expand this, one in Fenton, which is the HQ, and one in Newcastle under Lyme. The Fenton site being the HQ is very well equipped with plenty of gym equipment ranging from squat racks to leg press machines and single free-weight benches with ample floorspace so they can set up the stations for the classes safely. The Newcastle site is also very well set up with all the equipment needed to make sure every class and personal training session that happens there will make sure you as the client get a full and thorough workout every time and you will have worked as hard as you could have done.

I can personally say that the kind of training on offer at Caveman Training mixed with the great atmosphere you get at the sessions is fantastic and if you are prepared to do the work at home with your nutrition then Caveman training will get you the results you want as a client. But you just have to ask any of the regulars that attend the classes what they think of Caveman Training and they will all give you the same answer, its as it should be, fun and hard work!

Warrior Fitness

Warrior fitness is a recent addition to the choice of circuit training venues in Newcastle, Mat Bailie and Tom Quinn have only been open for a short space of time but are becoming so popular that they have already had to seek out fresh new premises in the centre of Newcastle, purely because they are growing and are gaining a very good reputation for themselves from their own group of "Warriors". They have also had to increase the number of classes they can hold due to the catering for all the people that have seen what Warrior Fitness have to offer. The people that go to Warrior Fitness are coming away from the sessions feeling happy and that they have had a great workout at the same time.

I have done my research for all the venues in this article and have been to see what these guys deliver in their circuit training classes and they have a great mix of weights, bodyweight exercises and cardio exercises in every class, which is exactly what you would expect from a good circuit class. The clients all have smiles on their faces, and when your breathing hard due to a good workout, that's not too easy unless you are in the right environment, and these guys deliver just that! Hard training in a fun and enjoyable way.

Between these two guys Mat and Tom at Warrior Fitness they have bags of experience in fitness and training and are qualified instructors. These two guys are very passionate about bringing new people into the world of health and fitness and helping them to achieve the goals they are looking for. As well as the circuit training classes these guy also offer something different to the community, they organise local mud runs which are held at Bradwell called "Woodland Warrior" and I know quite a few people that entered this event earlier in the year and when we went to it the community spirit was great and everybody there, like the classes that these guys run, were happy and smiling, keen to get on with the challenge ahead, I thought the weather was perfect, drizzle and quite damp, after all they don't call them "mud runs" for nothing. They organise 6k runs and 8k runs and are fun for everybody to have a go at, it doesn't matter if you want to challenge yourself and make a good time in the run, or just have a crack at it for the fun of it these events are great. These guys also have on offer their own version of the 8 week challenge, these challenges are hard work but with the help of Mat and Tom you are helped through the full 8 weeks with masses of encouragement that keeps you going and going.

Mat has done some of the toughest runs in the country including the "born survivor" marathon and has rowed the English channel, Tom has been involved in fitness for years teaching physical education in schools and running his own football club, even doing this over in America for a number of months, all this great experience they bring to Warrior fitness.

4FITT

4FITT was started only very recently, these guys have only been open for 4 months but in that time they have grown and are gaining a very good reputation for themselves through word of mouth alone.

When I spoke to Callum who has a degree in sports and coaching, he tells me that all the guys there are fully qualified PT's, all at level 3 and level 2 for gym instructor, they all have masses of experience in nutrition and have completed First aid courses and are fully up to date with health and safety. Between the 3 that are there, Callum, Mark and Haydn, they have 9 years experience working as fully qualified PT's and are very passionate about bringing new people into the world of health and fitness and a gym environment.

Anybody that is new to training of any sort can be confident that these guys are going to make sure that you are lifting well within your weight and that you are lifting correctly and safely, they also offer a circuit class for everybody that is just a little different, ill let you find out what that is for yourselves, they have told me and I think its a good twist on the circuit to help personal development.

So as well as circuit training what do they have? They have a nice gym area downstairs and offer PT's at very reasonable rates and at times to suit you, the client. They also have upstairs that has plenty of room for PT's and a good amount of boxing equipment around including bags, focus pads and gloves which, from what I have seen they use with their clients very effectively. These guys too are offering a 6 week challenge, and I have seen the results of the clients that are taking part in this challenge and they are all doing very well, a sign that the guys here are getting the right message across in the right way to their clients.

The bonus with this circuit venue is that it doubles as a gym, therefore it is open from very early in the morning for anyone wanting to use the gym, or to get that early morning beasting to get the day off right for them, until late in the evening, so there is plenty of time to get down there and exercise. They are a good bunch of guys that are very keen about health and fitness and want the client to achieve the goals they want in a short a time possible through hard work both in the sessions and at home with nutrition.

Guerrilla Training

Guerrilla training has been open for 2 years now and Mark, Gary and Andy are all time served and fully qualified personal trainers and gym instructors that can offer a complete package, their circuits are designed to deliver constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity, they also offer personal training sessions at reasonable prices and at any time of the day.

The kind of training on offer here is a mix of aerobic exercise, interval training, body weight exercises and Olympic weight lifting geared towards inspiring people to reach their personal goals whether that be weight loss, toning or increasing muscle mass. Guerrilla describes its strength and conditioning program as "Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements for all fitness levels designed to change your outlook on exercise." This is exactly what you should be looking for in a good circuit class.

personal trainers in stoke

The staff at Guerrilla training are really good guys, friendly and highly qualified staff that will guide you through their constantly varied circuits that include movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, flipping tyres, weightlifting, carrying heavy objects, and many bodyweight exercises.

There is great experience between these guys totalling around 30 years in the fitness industry and they have been involved in a number of sports that range from golf to football and rugby, all this experience they bring to the classes and sessions to pass on this knowledge and experience to their clients in the form of great classes and great personal training sessions.

As well as the circuits and the personal training sessions these guys offer a sports massage with Andy, one of the personal trainers, they also have a 6 week challenge where they will take body measurements at the start of the 6 weeks and at regular intervals through the 6 weeks giving help and motivation to those wanting to knuckle down and get to those results a lot quicker. This involves a nutrition plan and a minimum of 2 sessions in the circuit classes. They also have on offer for those that don't mind working out in the fresh air, a bootcamp that is held on Wolstanton marsh every Saturday and offer a discount for bulk buying classes.

personal trainers in stoke

All the above circuit training venues are completely different and although they all offer circuit training, they all do this a little differently to the next place, all these venues I can recommend and have included these circuit training venues in Newcastle under Lyme because people are saying good things about them, people are excited about what they are experiencing while they are training at these venues and all their clients are talking about how good these places are, and because they all have a different approach to the same kind of training there is something at any of these venues for everybody after all, not everybody likes the same thing, find what's right for you, and you can find that at any of these venues.

Aug 10

Personal trainers and nutrition

By fit2fight | The Blog

personal trainers in stoke

A personal trainers job is becoming increasingly more complicated and is requiring more from the personal trainer than just to be able to give the client a good workout, or a good beasting as personal trainers so affectionately like to put it. Although this is still a very big part of what the client expects from a training session the bulk of the journey to fitness comes when the session finishes and the client then goes home to repair the body after the session, and it will most definitely need repairing, and the only way you can make sure you are making the most out of how your body repairs itself is by making sure you are eating the right food, and at the right time.

Regular personal trainers are becoming a thing of the past and just taking clients through workouts will more than likely end up losing business through lack of results, more commonly personal trainers are having to give nutritional plans, exercise instruction, and change the clients approach to his or her training sessions in order to transform the lives of clients and build more rewarding lives for all involved. More often than not a personal trainer will not only be coming up with a variety of exercise routines but more importantly a full nutritional program to go with it. Personal trainers use exercise and nutrition combined in order to change the lives of their clients, without one or the other the clients goals are a lot less likely to be reached and probably never will be.

personal trainers in stoke

To all you personal trainers out there, think about the last time a client came to you, what did the client want? Did they want an exercise program alone? Did the client expect results from exercise alone? I'm willing to put my neck on the line here and say the answer would have been a no to both of those questions, just how often would a client come to you and say "I want to do squats, press ups and burpees please", now,this may disturb a few people out there, clients and trainers, but some personal trainers are quite happy to write a program for their client and take them through a few sessions a week, the personal trainers in stoke website is here to make sure the personal trainers on here can be trusted to give their clients 100% of the service possible, this includes full nutrition advice. What nearly all clients want though is a positive change for the better. They want to change their body from whatever condition it may be in now to their version of the body they want. And they're asking for you, the personal trainers to help them do it. This is a huge ask from a person, basically, a client is prepared to spend their hard earned money on a personal trainers time, knowledge and experience to help the client get the results they are looking for so why not give them everything a personal trainer has to offer? This way if the client isn't getting the results they are looking for they only have one person to look at.

With the right tools, knowledge and experience, you can deliver that change for every client that walks through your gym door. So, for the client to get the results they want, you need to manage your clients when they are with you in one to one sessions and help them to manage their lives when they're not with you. Any personal trainer will tell you that exercise alone simply isn't enough to achieve body transformations.

personal trainers in stoke

There is no doubt that exercise is a crucial ingredient on the road to a clients body transformation, but what is your client doing for the rest of the week? Eating and sleeping and this is why an exercise program alone is never going to be enough to be able to see the kind of transformation that a client expects from the sessions they have with their personal trainers, and so knowing how to change the way your client eats is one of the biggest advantages you can have as a professional personal trainer.

People who come to use personal trainers want to look better and feel better about themselves and they want to change their lives and lifestyles, but these people may also have a lot of excuses that are preventing them from being able to make these changes to their lives under their own steam.

Eat well, live well, be well.