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Archive for March, 2010

Alan Holl Interview (Fitness First)

Monday, March 29th, 2010

This week I had the great pleasure of interviewing Alan Holl.  Alan has an wealth of knowledge within the wellbeing industry and is currently in charge of the personal training product for Fitness First.  We talked to him about the industry and how he feels that  people can make a change in their own lives.


TG: Hi Alan, thanks for being interviewed.  Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

AH:  I was originally a Physical Training Instructor in the Royal Navy until leaving and joining Fitness First.  I have been part of the National Fitness Team for 5 years now holding various roles including National Group Fitness.  I now head up Personal Training in the UK for Fitness First and I truly believe we are at a stage where we are leading the UK in our innovation and career opportunities with our Personal Training brand.

TG: What are the top 3 traits of a great personal trainer?

AH:  Personality, Be approachable and Dedication.

TG: What would you look for in a personal trainer?

AH:  That they are a people person…  They need to be able to inspire the clients that they are working with to go on and do things that they could not do alone.  A Personal Trainer needs to be dedicated to their clients and not to their own training and education, the training and education comes because they want to improve their clients chances of reaching their goals…. This sometimes gets overlooked.  There are some great training providers in the UK industry, notably Faster Global and we are starting to rival the US in some of our education, something I love about the UK industry.

TG: What is it that a personal trainer can give a client as opposed to the client working alone?

AH:  Motivation, empathy and that little extra push when times are hard.  When working out alone we all have off days, even I do.  With a trainer you almost become responsible to one another.

TG: In your experience what would you say are the 3 most important ground rules that should be set between clients and trainers?

AH:  Honesty, Integrity and most of all be able to laugh, even in the hard times.

TG: What would you say are your top 3 tips for weight loss?

AH:  Eat sensibly, Focus on your training sessions and rest.  Too many times people cut out all the things they are not supposed to eat and then fail, moderate things.  When you are training, give it your all just for that hour or so in the gym, it will soon be over.  Get to bed at a reasonable time and cut down the stress levels, this will help control your cortisol levels which is a huge reason why people don’t achieve.

TG: If you were the Prime Minister what would you do to get the nation back on the road to health?

AH:  Educate the nation properly.  Don’t just tell them to eat 5 a day, tell them why!!  The whole 5 a day thing is ok but when you are eating 3-5 pieces of fruit high in natural sugar you are sending your insulin levels into freefall so proper education into the reason why you should eat healthier would be better.

TG: How important is it that an individual sets themselves realistic weight loss goals?

AH:  Very.  The big mistake people make is measuring their achievements by weight.  Muscle is almost twice as heavy as fat so when you use weight as a gauge you can get disheartened when you don’t achieve and quit.  It is all about what you look like and how happy you are with yourself.  Pick a jean size and buy yourself some, there is your motivation!!

TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you Alan?

AH:  To continue to support and inspire Personal Trainers to being the best they can be.  To grow the Fitness First Personal Training brand to be the obvious choice for every trainer in the UK.

TG: Thanks for your time Alan, and we wish you all the best for the future!

Have a look at!

Free ‘Seven Day’s to a Healthier You’ Guide

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Hi All,

If you would like a FREE copy of our new ‘7 Days to a Healthier You’ Guide sign up below! FUll of great info for all those who want to loose weight and improve thier health, with action steps to get you to your weight loss goals!

Sign up Now for your FREE ‘7 Day’s to a Healthier You’ Guide



Sweet Misery Trailer

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Hi All,

Here is a trailer for a great new docufilm, all about the dangers of some of the sweetners that go into our food. The big one to watch out for is Aspartame, look out for a blog post on this in the near future!


Is this you?

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

HI All,

Just found a great video from one of my favorite YouTube posters, Wellness Mafia!

Think this video says a lot about how many people view fitness as something they just have to pay lip service to, rather than a lasting lifelong change!

It is not hard folks, eat well and  move more, these two things will massively improve your health!


Interview with Malcolm Armstrong (Virgin Active)

Monday, March 22nd, 2010


TG: Hi Malcolm, thanks for being interviewed. Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

MA: I started at a Fitness instructor in September 2000 at Holmes place, Nottingham. I held the positions of Personal Trainer, Gym Supervisor and then Fitness Manager at the club.

In January 2006 I was promoted to Regional Fitness Manager covering 14 clubs from North London, Essex, West London and the North.

In November 2006 I then took on the role of Regional Fitness Manager for Virgin active when they acquired the Holmes Place business, I covered all of the Northern and Essex clubs (16 in total)

In January 2008, I was then promoted to National Personal Training Manager for Virgin active, the position I currently hold, managing the strategy for PT across 72 UK clubs.

TG: What would you look for in a personal trainer?

MA: I look for personality first and foremost, technical skill and knowledge can be taught…a desire to help and a commitment to get a client the result they crave is most important to me

TG: What are the top 3 traits of a great personal trainer?

MA: 1) Confidence & tenacity (without arrogance)
2) Passion & energy for people & life
3) Disciplined and organised.

TG: What differences can a good Personal Trainer make in a clients life?

MA: Everything….a client wants or needs to change, the client puts their trust in a better future with the help of a PT. When a client hands over money, they receive absolutely nothing, how many times do we pay £300-£500 and only receive a plan, a dream? Very rarely,…there is a lot of trust put in a Personal Trainer, trust that we will help change and improve/lengthen their life…..a good PT takes that responsibility seriously…..that level of accountability makes a real difference.

TG: What is it that a personal trainer can give a client as opposed to the client working alone?

MA: Regular Motivation, un-parrelled support and clever coping strategies. These 3 factors help maintain focus, belief and confidence of success.

TG: What are your top 3 tips for weight loss?

AH: 1) Healthy balanced diet is the most important factor
2) Regular cardiovascular and resistant training
3) Variety – most wt loss clients get bored and de-motivated quickly…..if the sessions and weeks are varied, clients stay committed for longer and longevity is critical

TG: How important is it that an individual sets themselves realistic weight loss goals?

MA: Crucial, weight loss isn’t about quick fixes, it’s about building an exercise and lifestyle habit with understanding good, regular nutrition.

Long term goals are critical in understanding why the client wants what they want, realistic short term goals keep them on track and help understand what works and doesn’t work

TG: What would you do to get the nation back on the road to health if you were the Prime Minister?

MA: I would focus my attention on our children first and foremost…prevention is much better than cure and if we are to make a long term impact we must promote regular activity along with a healthy diet from an early age.

VA offers family memberships and there are lots of things for our Junior members to get involved in….If we can get families active, then we would kill 2 birds with one stone.

TG: What role do you think that the chain gyms have to play in helping communities get fitter?

MA: I think they have their place in providing a rounded offering to all, however I don’t think they are critical in getting communities fitter as they may not be ‘local’ enough for the majority… clubs are inclusive and have everything under 1 roof, however if a community needs to improve then simple non gym activities like walking, team sports or day to day activities like walking the dog or gardening are sound ways to make a real difference.

TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you Malcolm?

MA: I plan to continue to grow the Virgin Active Personal Training product and program to be the best in the World, we have over 650 Personal Trainers and the best employee model in the business….I want to recruit and train the best in the industry, who subsequently help more and more VA members in achieving their lifelong goals.

TG: Thanks for your time Malcolm, and we wish you all the best for the future

How important is sleep?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Hi all,

Here is a great video from Wellness Mafia, he is talking about a 20% day where!  The video also covers the importance of sleep, well worth a watch.  Many people underestimate the importance of good quality sleep.


Review: Underground Wellness TV

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


Hi All,

As most of you are aware I am a massive fan of Sean Croxton, of Underground Wellness. If you have not seen, heard or read any of his stuff, where have you been? Sean is a man with a massive amount of passion for the truth behind nutrition and physical activity. What really works, what are the lies we are being told by the large food companies.  He is all about getting the truth across to the people, and best of all he makes it highly entertaining.

So Sean has already got the massive You Tube Channel, his Blog Talk Radio Show, a fantastic site, and now he has his own on-line TV Channel!  Where do you find the time to fit it all in?

The TV Channel like all Seans other media outputs has a fantastic look and feel to it.  Best of all it is so easy to navigate it is untrue!  The site has so much potential, within a day of being launched there are already three videos up.  Over the coming weeks this will swell to make a massive on-line resource for anyone who is interested in thier health and wellbeing. On-line video is such a popular media, the idea is a simple one it will take the form of a daily video blog covering areas such as cooking, nutrition, workouts, and all things wellbeing, under the banner of ‘Where TV is Good for You’.  As usual I am sure that there will be no taboo subjects and Sean will talk about anything and evrything wellbeing related.

Sean has the massive goal of the shows being viewed by 1,000,000 by 2012.  If anyone is going to do it Sean will!

Great content, great personality and massive passion.  A recipe for success in my book!

Don’t just take my word for it pop over and have a look at underground Wellness TV.

Good luck Sean!


The Wellbeing Genie

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Hi All,

Came across this awsome video by Josh Trent, a great meassage of how important nutrition is to overall wellbeing.


Boxing Circuit

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Hi All,

Found this great little YouTube video of a circuit designed for boxers.  Well worth a try if your in any combat sport.

Remember to check out No Frills Fitness!

Underground Wellness TV!

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Hi All,

Just when you thought Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness could not possibly fit any more into his day, he has gone ahead and proved you wrong.  He has just launched the awesome, a on-line TV channel dedicated to what Sean does best, wellness, nutrition and fitness!

Well worth having a look! It debuts on March 15th!

Here is a clip from one of his shows

Look out for a review of the site in the next few weeks!