This Week's Exercise

Battle Rope Workout

Check out this YouTube video byJoe Haywood of Not Your Average Joe's Fitness Training, in which he demonstrates 23 battle rope exercises.

Joe uses a 50 foot 2 inch battle rope, which he anchors to a basketball post. Exercises include: high alt, low alt, wave, hip toss, power slam, alt side lunges, squat, squat jumps, alt stand to knees, knees, BOSU, unstable BOSU, swiss ball, star jumps (aka jumping jacks), in waves, out waves, side to side, inside circles, outside circles.

What work/rest rate is best. Joe recommends a beginner does 20 seconds of each exercise, followed by 40 seconds rest, then on to the next. Build up to intervals of 1 minute exercise, 1 minute rest.

More and more gyms in London have battle ropes. My gym, Fitness First Bishopsgate has a great area for battle ropes. It's a really intense exercise for whole body muscle conditioning and cardio combined.

Gym Injuries

If you train with a personal trainer, your risk of injury is much reduced. But if you train alone, here's a summary of the top 10 gym injuries and how to avoid them.

Great piece of kit for Self-Massage: The Rumble Roller

Check out the Rumble Roller, sold online by PhysioSupplies (simply click on the banner at the top of this page and it will take you to their website). This piece of fitness equipment is new to the UK, and it's a more advanced version of the foam roller. What's unique about the Rumble Roller is that it's covered in bumps which mimic the thumbs of a massage therapist. Get rumbling!

For details on chest muscle anatomy, see This Week's Muscle page.

Key Tips for Running 5K

Running is a tried and tested method to increase your cardiovascular fitness, and 5K is a good distance to aim for.  I'm not a big fan of long distance running, but 5K is an ideal distance for fitness, and fits more realistically into your busy life. Don't rely exclusively on running for your fitness, or your fitness regime will become a bitrunning in London unbalanced. Running is a great part of any training programme, but only as part of a wider fitness schedule which should include lots of different things.

If you Google 'parkrun' you'll find good 5K routes in London.

Are you new to running? Find a circuit in London that is around 1K, so you can time yourself and measure your progress over time. A great 1K lap is Highbury Fields in London N5, so 5 laps makes 5K. For a beginner, just get round the full 5K at a leisurely pace, it may take you 40 or 50 minutes at first, but you'll soon speed up.

Your next goal is to achieve a pace of 6 minutes per lap. If you average 6 mins per lap, that's 5K in 30 minutes. As you get fitter, you can start to increase your speed, so you're eventually averaging 5 mins per km. There's a huge difference in being able to do 5K in 30 mins, and doing it in 25 minutes, so don't be surprised if it takes you a while to improve your times. Elite 5K runners complete the course in 20 - 22 minutes. There's a massive difference between 25 minutes and 22 minutes, believe me! Most recreational 5K runners average around 26 - 27 minutes.


Tennis star Rafael Nadal's workout

Ever wondered what  Rafa Nadal's workout regime includes? Shoulder strength and stability is a major feature of his workouts, particularly the muscles of the rotator cuff. And he makes use of the Power Plate for leg strength, particularly to build up the muscles round his knees. For more info about the workout regimes of the top tennis players, see my blog.

If you're looking for a personal trainer in St Johns Wood, London NW8, get in touch.

Bicep exercises

If you're looking for a personal trainer in London to help you burn fat, build muscle, get fit, and gain more energy,  click the link.

The biceps are a favourite body part to build muscle, particularly among men. Don't forget to develop the triceps too, as they are responsible for 2/3 of the muscular bulk of the upper arm.

The image to the right shows a guy performing a bicep curl. He's also forgotten his shorts.

Keep the movement really controlled, smooth and slow, with no assistance from the rest of the body (ie no arching of the back), in order to isolate the biceps. This ensures a safe and effective execution of the mov

personal trainer in London


You'll probably have to reduce the weights a bit at first, in order to execute the movement with strict form. So for example if you're doing bicep curls with 20 kg weights, but swinging your body, arching your back, and twisting your torso (every London gym has guys doing this from time to time!), swallow your pride and ego and use 15 kg dumbbells instead, until you're ready to advance to 20 kg dumbbells with good form.
ement, with greater time under tension which recruits more muscle fibres. Try it next time you're in the gym!

When's the best time to perform bicep exercises? After you've worked out the bigger muscles. So for instance your workout could be: back, shoulders, biceps.
And your next workout that week could be chest, triceps, core. I had a personal trainer in north London who mixed up the content of his workouts every 4 weeks. Here are some variations for a one hour workout:

chest, shoulders, biceps

chest, back, core

back, biceps, triceps

back, shoulders, core

legs, core

shoulders, biceps, triceps

Remember to warm up at the start of your session, and cool-down (5 mins) then stretch (10 mins) at the end of every workout.

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