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Foresight Fitness Blog

Some great kettlebell exercises

April 19th, 2015

Hi guys,

Been working with some Personal Training clients this weekend with the good old Kettlebells, so here is a little video I found on You a Tube to spread the love!

Enjoy, comment and share!,


Tom Godwin in PT Magazine

September 16th, 2014

As some of you are aware I am now writing a regular column in the industry leading magazine for personal trainers, PT Magazine. I thought even though these articles are aimed at personal trainers that a number of you out there may find them interesting!

Please share and ask any questions you may have!




What is blood pooling?

July 15th, 2014

Blood pooling is a condition were blood gathers normally in the lower limb (leg), this can be for a number of reasons but can be caused by exercise.  When this blood gathers in a blood vessel it places excess stress on the small values that prevent the blood being drawn back down to the feet sue to the effect of gravity.

The diagram below shows how this then places pressure on the valves, over time this will force the valves back on themselves opening the wrong way.  Over time this will result in lasting damage to the valves increasing the chance of varicose veins or DVT.

Blood Pooling

As these non-return valves have an important part to play in ensuring that blood returns to the heart effectively, the posh name for this is venous return.  So in terms of exercise if you have been working at an intensive level and fail to cool down effectively and fully, this will result in the build up of blood in the limbs.  This then means that the heart may not fill before each contraction, this often leads to a dizzy and faint feeling.

For these reasons it is very important that you take part in a full cool down, normally it is advised that you do some form of rhythmical exercise for 6 minutes at a low intensity.  This allows the systems of the body to work to help to return the blood back to the heart.  This can also be aided by a full stretching routine and partner stretches can be great for this as gravity will help to return blood back to the heart.

Review: Body Refinery Fat Burners

July 10th, 2014

I recently was asked to take a look at some fat burners that have been formulated by Body Refinery, a Manchester based personal training and emerging supplement company.  They have a growing and effective range of sports supplements.

Fat Burner Review

The first thing to look at is the formula, here is what I found… The Body Refinery fat burners have a number of key weight loss ingredients, that most importantly are all legal and proven!

Caffeine Anhydrous 200mg – This well used ingredient helps to boost energy levels and a great deal of research supports the use of caffeine as a pre workout energy boost and general stimulant.

Bitter Orange 150mg – this ingredient is a documented metabolic booster and helps to indirectly mobilise fat.

Green Tea 40% Extract 10mg – this is a widely used metabolic booster and more recently has been shown to help, particularly men tackle obesity.

Guarana 10mg – described as an extra powerful coffee is a great source of caffeine and therefore boosts energy.

Niacin N-Act 16mg – is a form of vitamin B-3 and acts as a powerful energy booster, tis vitamin helps to allow your body to more effectively produce energy.

N-Acetyl L-Carnitine 2mg – this helps to oxidise fat and therefore fight body fat.

Next I looked at the reasons why they work, most fat burners (including the Body Refinery ones) work on a number of levels. Firstly they tend to have metabolic boosting properties, next they tend to increase energy levels with the aim of increasing activity, finally they tend to work to help to mobilise stored fat. These three things come together to form a powerful fat fighting tool used as part of an active lifestyle and a healthy diet.

So finally to look at the product itself, it is packaged well and has strong and distinctive branding. One of the most reassuring things about this product is the detailed instructions regarding use, this unfortunately is often lacking with many supplements. The instructions clearly outline pre-workout, and general weight loss usage. The standard sized pack comes in 30 day supplies, so 60 capsules.

The Body Refinery capsules can also be used as a great pre-workout supplement, just take 2 capsules approx 45 minutes before training.

Have a look at the Body Refinery Website for more information on the Fat Burners or their range of CLA and Proteins.

To help maximise results, use with Body Refinery Diet Protein + and Body Refinery CLA.

Why use a personal trainer?

July 2nd, 2014

Why use a personal trainer

As an active personal trainer I am often asked by prospective clients ‘why should I use a personal trainer?’ and  this is never an easy question to answer as the reasons often vary greatly from person to person.  The main over riding reason why a client starts to work with a personal trainer is that they are looking for results.

Results are a very important, many people have tried a number of different ways to achieve their fitness goal, mostly under their own steam.  In most cases people will find it hard to stick to the plan and results in failure and then de-motivation.

This is where a personal trainer can come in to motivate them, provide accountability and ensure you are doing everything right. If we look at each of these reasons in detail:-

Motivation, a experienced personal trainer will be an expert in getting the very best out of the clients that they work with.  Most of this comes down to having a true understanding of what drives a client and then applying appropriate behaviour change strategies to help them keep on track!

Accountability is a simple concept, this is where by having a personal trainer on hand to monitor your progress and ultimately you need to explain any deviations from our new behaviour patterns.  This has a massive positive impact on the likelihood of you achieving your goals!

There are a number of other key reasons why people use a personal trainer include:-

  • Lack of exercise experience
  • Need help with technique and motivation
  • Tips on nutrition and weight loss
  • Creates a schedule and discipline
  • Would rather work out with a trainer and not need a gym membership
  • Access to expert advice on nutrition and exercise

If you would like more information on personal training and how it can help you get RESULTS just give us a shout!

Working in fitness talk at MMU

May 21st, 2014

Manchester Metropolitan University

As a proud Alumni and current student (adding a second degree) I have always been happy to help out the university, its students and staff.  At the beginning of this year I was approached to see how I could help the careers service, particularly at the Crewe site to help students on sports and exercise related degree programmes to prepare for the inevitable day when they have to start work for real.

On the 9th May 2014 I had the massive honour of giving a talk to some students at Manchester Metropolitan University, the subject was Working in the Fitness Industry.  It was great to interact with the students and members of staff who attended and help them to better understand what working in the fitness industry was all about.  The key one being dispelling some of the myths that surround the word ‘personal trainer’.

The talk covered a number of subjects but started off with a bit of my history and some stories of the wide and varied jobs that I had held within the fitness industry.  The talk then moved onto any analysis of the fitness industry and the various job roles open to graduates.  Finally we discussed the range of training that was available to graduates and how this can help them find a job that suits their personal circumstances.

I has a great day at the Crewe site and look forward to this talk being a regular fixture on the careers calendar. As usual if you have any questions about how to get into the fitness industry or anything in general please feel free to comment, e-mail or social media me!



Why does my heart rate go down as I get fitter?

May 14th, 2014

Cardiac Output

I am often asked about the relationship between heart rate and fitness level, this very simple physiological reading can provide a good guide of of how fit an individual is.  On a basic level as a person gets increasingly cardiovascularly fit you would expect to see a reduction in their resting heart rate.

I am going to make an effort to explain the technical reasoning behind this relationship.  To fully understand how this works we need to grasp three main terms stroke volume, heart rate and cardiac output.

Stroke Volume

This is the amount of blood ejected from the left ventricle per contraction.  The average adult has a stroke volume of approximately 70-80 ml per contraction, where as in a more trained individual it can be as high as 100-110ml per contraction.  This increases with the level of activity you are engaged in  and can get as high as 200ml.

Heart Rate

This is the number of times that your heart beats per minute, in a healthy adult an average resting heart rate of 60-80 BPM (beats per minute) would be considered average. This can decrease to 35-50 BPM in more well trained individuals. As you exercise or increase the demands on the body this will increase, and over time with age your resting heart rate will increase year on year.

Cardiac Output

This is the amount of blood pumped out of the left ventricle into the aorta per minute.  This meas that it cn be worked out using a simple equation:-

Cardiac Output = Heart Rate x Stroke Volume

If we look at the average person with a stroke volume of 70ml and a heart rate of 75BPM at rest, so if we work this example through:-

Cardiac Output = 75 x 70 = 5,250ml/min (5.24L/min)

To answer your question

As you get fitter your heart becomes a more efficient pump as this happens your heart increases the amount of blood it can pump out per beat (stroke volume).  So to maintain a given cardiac output the heart does not have to beat as often, thus reducing the heart rate.

So in our example above, if our client increased their cardiovascular fitness levels and achieved a stroke volume of 80ml. This would correlate to an increased fitness level, to maintain the 5.24L/min that they require at rest their heart would only have to beat approx 66bpm as opposed to 75bpm that they needed in their less fit state.

Ultimately this reduction in use of the heart and increased efficiency means that there is less wear and tear on the heart itself and translates into reduced risk of a range of heart related conditions.


Become a personal trainer

May 9th, 2014

As you are all aware I am an avid fan of social media, oh and writing… Over the last few years as I have become more widely known in the fitness industry through my regular columns in PT Magazine, REPs Journal and many other industry publications.  I often get sent questions from those who are already working as personal trainers and also those who would like to get into the industry.

So I thought I would pop a post up here to answer the most common question I get…’How do I become a Personal Trainer?’

It is really a two step process:-

Get the training

For the last 5 years I have been involved in the training of personal trainers as an tutor/assessor/IQA and course writer/developer.  This allows me to have a detailed insight into the training of personal trainers.  In my experience there are a number of things to consider when looking at training, and finding the right course for you.

Initially you need to make sure that any training provider you are looking to use is REPs approved.  What that means is that your course has been recognised by The Register of Exercise Professionals, ensuring that the course meets the minimum industry standards set out by Skills Active, is transferable (now across most of the world) and will be recognised by employers.  It is easy to spot REPs approved courses by looking for the REPs logo on the literature of a training provider.  For more information about REPs and what they do have a look at their site here.

You then want to make sure that the training company is well recognised and experienced in the delivery of the qualifications that you are looking to get.  You should look into the length of time that the company has been operating and check things such as social media and try and interact with existing and past students and find out their experiences.

A key aspect of your enjoyment of the course is the person who will be teaching you, they can make or break a course.  If possible you should try and meet the tutor before enrolment, this can normally be arranged by contacting the training provider or by attending open events at the training venue.  This will also give you a chance to ask any questions you may have fact to face with a representative of the training company.

As a personal trainer the minimum qualification level that you will need is a level 3 personal trainer qualification, this allows you to work in a gym as a personal trainer or to work on a freelance basis for yourself.  Many of the training providers also offer a wide range of additional qualifications as part of training bundles to allow you to work with a wide range of clients.  The qualifications you chose should be considered carefully as you want to make sure that you get the right qualifications for the specific job role you are seeking to get after you have completed your course.


Get employment

You also need to know a little bit about the various job roles in the industry, I will be doing a short article on the subject over at my blog on for any of you that might be interested.  This should be up in the next few weeks, when it is I will post a link here!  But in shot the fitness and wellbeing industry is growing and through a recession has seen a sudden spurt with new gyms opening up around the country.  There is also still a massive demand for personal trainers, and most importantly the results that they can get clients.

As many of you know for the past 5 years I have been teaching new Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors, I have worked for a number of companies but the one that I tend to recommend due to the fact that they tick all the boxes on the points mentioned above is Fitness Industry Education (, they are well worth a look if you are interested in training to become a personal trainer.

As usual if you have any questions or would like to chat about the industry, your training or anything really do give me a shout!


Why do I get pain after exercising?

April 9th, 2014


Many of you out there will be used to the burning sensation and stiffness that is sometimes experienced after a good exercise session.  This normally is experienced 24-48 hours post exercise and can last up to a few days, this state is commonly knows as DOMs… or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  Some people love this feeling as it signifies to them a hard workout, others struggle with it a little more, finding it painful and it effects their life.  Either love it or hate it, every so often a spell of DOMS will crop up and it is worth understanding it in order so you can minimise the effects on your life.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) normally comes on particularly with those who are new to exercise or those who have introduced a new routine (often when it targets previously little used muscles).  So here is the science… the key reasoning behind why people get DOMS is that during intense exercise microscopic tears appear in muscle fibres or connective tissue. This then results in a level of cellular degradation and a resultant  inflammatory response.  This is then experienced as the pain and stiffness that is DOMS!

So is there a way to avoid DOMS? First thing to consider is to look at how much DOMS you can cope with if at all, for example if you are a brain surgeon and will be operating in the next few days, having stiff or un moveable arms might be a very limiting factor for your work!  In these kind of cases you should be aware of the key things that may lead to higher levels of DOMS.

One of the key training methods that can lead to higher levels of DOMS is the use of eccentric training, this is where you spend longer in the negative phase of a lift.  Additionally if you engage in very high intensity exercise such as hill sprints or if you progress through a programme too fast this may lead to a higher level of discomfort post exercise.

There has been some discussion that correct hydration, post workout nutrition and full cool downs can help to reduce the effects of DOMS.  As your training age increases (the number of years you have been training, so basically your experience level) you are less likely to get this sensation as your body increases its ability to cope with the demands of your exercise programme.

All in all you will either love or hate delayed onset muscle soreness… some of you will even hate to love it!  But it is all into the management of your training programme to make sure that your training not only gives you the results tat you want but also fits into your life and does not cause any problems that might stop you training and constantly striving towards getting the results that you desire!

As usual if you have any questions please do ask them and if you enjoy the articles on here please do share them on social media!


Institute of Personal Trainers

February 1st, 2014

We have just been listed on the Institute of Personal Trainers website, head over to http://www.instituteofpersonaltrainers to check out our listing!