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What does it mean TO BE FIT?

Ask yourself this one question…what does it mean to be fit?

Many people will have their own opinion on what ‘being fit’ actually is. If you were to ask someone randomly, they may reply with one of the following… ‘it’s about how you look’ 

‘it’s about your body shape and how much fat or muscle you have’

‘it’s about how far you can run or how much exercise you do’


To me, fitness means ‘to be able to complete daily tasks without getting tired easily or getting out of breath too quickly’


So Nicky, what does that mean? 


Well, everyday we carry out basic tasks. Some include, walking up and down the stairs. Some include standing in a queue at the bus stop or at the shop. Pushing a trolley around a supermarket. Running around after your young child. These are just some examples where we need to be fit. As we get older, we will not be able to do some of the above, because we are not fit.


When we do any form of movement or exercise we are working our circulatory system, where blood is pumped around the body by the heart. The blood contains oxygen which gets transported to our muscles to help us move. Our lungs also play a part here by helping the body to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. 


If were were to focus on our Cardiovascular system, by doing exercises or activities that raise our heart rate, we will then see our fitness improve. 


Below are some tips which you can do to improve your fitness levels…

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Stand up every 30 or 60 minutes 
  • Go for a walk to stretch your legs every hour
  • Perform a brisk walk, faster than your normal walking pace 
  • Run, cycle, swim once a week
  • Walk up 20 steps every day


Initially, you might find yourself getting out of breath from doing some of the exercises above and that’s ok, as long as you are not feeling too faint or tired. You know your body better than I do, so make sure you don't over exert yourself. A good way to measure this is using the ‘Rate of Perceived Exertion scale’ 


This is basically a scale of 1-10 where 1 = easy, very light and 10 = exhausted, can’t do any more need to stop.


When you are performing any exercise, you can ask yourself this question ‘on a scale of 1-10, how do you feel?’ From the answer, you will be able to judge whether you are working too hard or too light. Then you can increase the speed or the amount you do. It is important to note, everybody is fit. Some more fit than others but fitness can change if you work at it!!


Check out my Instagram page for more tips and videos @nicky__fitness 

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Common Mistakes - Top 5 tips

Top 5 tips

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There are many rules and regulations that we should follow and many decisions we have to make on a daily basis. So many that we often get bombarded with so much information, we don't know what to do with it. The important points are sometimes overlooked.

What are the key points?

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In this article, I have highlighted 5 key points which can be categorised as 'Common Mistakes'


  • Food shopping

Don’t go food shopping when you are hungry. This can be a big test of willpower as we are more likely to overindulge when we are hungry. Therefore we put more of the ‘bad’ foods in our trolley, more of the foods we want but don’t need. 


  • Intermittent fasting

We starve the body all day, then eat one big meal at night. This causes us to increase portion size and doesn’t give out body enough time to break down the food before we sleep. The digestive system can only break down food quickly if we eat often, which affects our metabolism. If we don’t exercise, this food will then be stored as fat.


  • Hydration

We don’t drink enough water or fluids. We wait until our body tells us we are thirsty before drinking, which is the way our body tells us we are dehydrated and need to drink.


  • All or Nothing approach


From experience in years of Personal Training, people will either be really good, training hard and eating clean or…really bad, not exercising and eating anything and everything. Small adjustments are needed for sustainable results.


  • Results 

We expect results too soon. Usually, on average it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to adapt to exercise. Therefore our fitness will improve. It takes 6-8 weeks for our strength to improve and 8-12 weeks for our physical shape to change. Trust the process, be consistent, results take time.

Where can I get more tips?

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Each month a new topic will be written which will help to give you invaluable information, that can change your mindset and help you get more positive results. 


If we take these tips board, we are more likely to see better results. Health is important and we need to look after our bodies order to live longer. Avoid these common mistakes and by combine a well balance nutrition plan with an exercise programme can help you get the results you want.


Check out April's edition of Outdoor UAE magazine for a better read.

Summer body

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Want to get in shape for Summer? Get what you want!

It’s that time of year again where the sun makes an appearance and we are frantically trying to lose the extra pounds gained during the winter months. We want to look good and feel good about ourselves when we are out sunbathing or on holiday. 


We’ve all been there and its not an easy process…But, this article will highlight some key tips for you, which will help you be more confident in your body. Follow these steps to get results.


Let’s dive right in, with one of the most anticipated questions which, as a Fitness Professional, I get asked the most…


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What is the quickest way to lose weight or change body shape?

Some people believe that starving the body or not eating will lose weight, then if they exercise, that will help lose even more weight and speed up results. Yes and no. I’ll explain…

First of all, starving is never a good idea, it’s not healthy. Your body needs food as it uses it as energy to function. Think of it like fuel for a car. A car needs fuel to go, however it is your choice how fast you drive. Just like the type food you eat and how much is your choice. We all know the foods that make us put on weight, such as fast foods and take aways because they are high in fats and high in carbohydrates. So reverse this by staying away from fast foods and eat more protein. 


I believe the most reliable way to lose weight is by being consistent with your daily intake and understanding your Macros. Macronutrients are the amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats in our diet.


How can you do this? Write down what you eat everyday and keep a food diary. Include meal times and also portion sizes. From that you can estimate your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) also known as your daily calorie intake. The app MyFitnessPal is great for this as you can input and scan foods, then it calculates it for you. Once you know your BMR, you can try to reduce this number. Smaller sized meals, eating more frequently throughout the day will mean your body is constantly breaking down food, which means we feel fuller and are less likely to overindulge in bigger meals, with bigger portion sizes that contain higher calories. Try it!! If you aim to reduce your daily BMR by -500 cals, then by eating less, you create a negative. This is known as a calorie deficit. Exercising on top of this will speed up your results.


The next question that I get asked the most is…

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What type of training should I do?

Cardio is important. That doesn't mean 1 hour on the Treadmill everyday, as that’s just boring, but you should mix it up by doing Cardio-Strength training. My clients tend to get the best results when they do this.


Strength is resistance, so what type of exercises should you do?


Use compound and functional exercises. This activates a series of muscle groups, working more than one muscle and joint at a time, rather than isolating just one. The big muscle groups will also work the smaller ones so it will save you time and give you greater benefits. Below are the best exercise techniques you can do to lose weight. However, cardio alongside these is key such are running, rowing, cycling, jumping, skipping  and swimming. You can start with the following exercises for x3 sets of x10 repetitions.

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Pull Up
  • Push Up
  • Plank

I hope this will give you a better insight into exercise and nutrition, whatever your goal may be.  Eat less calories and exercise more. 


Check out my Instagram page for more tips and videos @nicky__fitness

Ladies...watch this!

Leg's, Bums & Tums workout.


Myself & Chiara put together this workout for YOU. 8 Exercises targeting Legs, Bum, Arms & Abs.


1a) Jump Squats into Bodyweight Squats 1b) Lateral walk with Resistance band into Leg Kick back

2a) Tricep dips 2b) Tricep Kickback with DB

3a) Leg circles 3b) Sit ups

What Women Want...

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Have a target, a goal, a vision...

One of the main downfalls in people achieving their goals is that they don't see themselves achieving them. That could be down to the Goal being set unrealistically due to the amount of work needed or in the timeframe it takes to achieve it. Alternatively, it could be down to the lack of confidence and self belief. Remember, results don't happen over night. You need to be consistent.


This article will be able to help you with that.


Many women want to look good. They want to feel confident going out with friends, fit into that tight fitted dress, they want to make people jealous when they wear a bikini on holiday and walk along the beach. They want heads to turn when they elegantly walk passed in a nice restaurant. I'm sure you can all relate.


Like being a man, it's not easy. I'm joking. What we experience is actually a viscous circle. We train hard to look good for an event, a wedding, a holiday etc then afterwards we let ourselves go a little bit by putting on weight, then we start to train hard again to look good. In an ideal world we would remain the same bodyweight and keep our perfect body shape all year round...but that's not the case.


In reality, women are faced with obstacles such as falling pregnant, being ill, not having the time to train to name a few. But we can still achieve a good physique and be happy with the way we look.

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The Perfect shape

What is the Perfect shape?

What does that mean to you?


Close your eyes and visualise what you want. Think of what you look like now and imagine the perfect you, what would you like to improve?


People will often choose to be like the models or celebrities they see on TV or in magazines. This is down to the misconception that we see. We are lead to believe, that the person looks like that 'all year round' which is not true.


For example, people don't see the intimating fasting, hardcore dieting, double PT sessions, make up and grooming, airbrushing, liposuction etc that takes place before appearing on TV or for a magazine shoot. 


What have I learnt?


In my years of experience as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Professional in the industry, I have worked with lots of women of different ages, sizes and abilities. The majority of them that I have trained, want to lose weight or tone up. The area's where they want to target and focus on are -


  • Legs (Thigh's)
  • Stomach
  • Arms (Back - Triceps)

They want their legs to be thinner, their stomach to be flatter and the back of their arms not to be saggy. 


However, recently, women want to gain too. They want a bigger, more curved, peachy bum. The narrow waist and bigger bum look means 'Growing the Glutes!'


Therefore, you must understand that as a woman, if you lift weights, you will not get big and muscular. This is a fear which puts people off resistance and weight training. In order to become muscular, you must first increase your calorie intake and you must perform weights at a high volume. This is called Bodybuilding and takes years of practice, which will not occur when you are lifting weights or following this programme.

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Training Programme

Here are some exercises which you can try, that will help you get fitter and stronger. It will also help you target the areas women want to improve.


You can do this workout on your own or with a partner. 


Warm Up: 5-10 mins 

  • Bike
  • Treadmill
  • Cross Trainer.

Stretch: All main muscles


Main Session: 15-20 mins Cardio

  • Treadmill: Incline walk min of 5km/h at 3-8% gradient
  • Rower intervals: 100m row 30 secs rest x10 sets
  • Cross Trainer: Steady pace Level 5-10 at 120spm

Resistance

Legs 

  • Squats: 15-20 reps x3 sets. Start Bodyweight then progress to barbell
  • Glute bridge: 20 reps x3 sets, using both legs. Progress to single leg
  • Split stance single leg Lunge: 10 reps each leg x3 sets. Start Bodyweight then progress to dumbbells in each hand

Stomach

  • Plank: 30-45 seconds hold x3 sets
  • Side Oblique crunches: 10 reps each side x3 sets
  • Scissor Crossovers: 20-30 secs x3 sets, straight legs

Arms - Triceps

  • Tricep dips: 20 reps x3 sets
  • Overhead extensions: 10-15 reps x3 sets with 5kg plate or dumbbell
  • Tricep kickback: 10 reps x3 sets each side with 3-5kg dumbbell

Now to grow the bum or tone your Gluteus Maximus, you can follow the exercises below:

  • Lateral half squat walks: 10 steps right then 10 steps left x3 sets. Start Bodyweight then progress to using resistance band 
  • Curtsy squat: 10 reps x3 sets each leg. Start Bodyweight then progress to using barbell 
  • Kneeling reverse leg kick back: 10 reps x3 sets each side. Start Bodyweight then progress to resistance band.

Rest period between sets should be 30-60 seconds. When completing the resistance exercises, focus on the area you are working. Think about contracting the muscle each rep so you feel the movement and isolation. Keep the reps controlled and challenge yourself so you feel the burn on the last few reps or toward the end of the set.


Follow me on Instagram for more Fitness Tips and Videos @nicky__fitness


What keeps you active?

Health

Training tips

Find out if you are training right. Are you performing the best exercises in relation to your goal? Is your technique correct?


Read more for training tips

Health risks

Many of us work long hours and have jobs that make our lifestyle sedentary. This causes heath risks as we put extra strain on our body. Our posture, workload, stress, depression takes a negative turn, unless we do something about it.

Along with those variables above, our blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat and heart rate will increase, whilst our flexibility, fitness and range of movement will decrease.

Exercising releases hormones and endorphins which not only helps us look and feel good but keeps our body in working order.

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Discover new training methods and nutrition guidance. Training programs and Nutrition plans are also available

Why is Health important?

Invest in your health, to save your wealth. Train smart as you get older and reduce the risk of injury, high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease.

Know your individual balance between exercise and nutrition to maintain good health. 

Read about the other variables that affect our body such as posture, workload, stress, depression and how to improve this.


You should take your body for a Fitness MOT. This will identify any concerns based on the following parameters.

  • Height, Weight, Age, Gender
  • Body Fat %
  • Muscle Mass
  • Blood Pressure
  • Water Retention 
  • Segmented Fat
  • Overall Fitness score

From these, a Fitness Professional will be able to help you with your goal and improve your overall health.

Invest in YOUR health

How the body changes?

The human body is very powerful. As we age, our body changes...our skin, our fitness, our hormones. It is inevitable as we get old that the body starts to slow down, but it is in our control and we can do something about it.

Also, our lifestyle changes. We become less active which also has an impact on our health, mental and physical well being.

Little and Often

It's much better for our body to eat and exercise consistently well. The 'Little and Often' approach will keep our organs ticking over and we will remain fit and healthy. Balance is key so make sure you are committed and driven as they say...every little helps.

Make the most of now

It's never too late to start or to put things right...

Get in touch for a tailored General Health & Fitness Training Programme specific for you. 

nicky-fitness@mail.com

Training Programme

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General Health & Fitness

There is no doubt that exercising along with eating healthy, will help us live for longer. Our General Health & Fitness can vary from individual to individual. However, the more that we can do to stay fit and healthy, the better we will look, feel and the better our health. 

Below is a basic training programme you can follow.

Warm Up

The aim of a warm up is to raise the body temperature, get the blood pumping around the body to the working muscles and to prepare the body and mind for exercise. 

  • 5 mins - Any cardio equipment, gradually increasing the level and speed
  • Stretch - All main muscles, dynamic movements 

Main session

Now that we are warm, the main session is where we specifically focus on the area we want to work and improve.

As this programme is for General Health & Fitness, the following exercises are for a total body workout.

  • Squats x15-20 reps x3 sets
  • Stepper 30 secs up and down x 3 sets
  • Push ups x10-15 reps x3 sets
  • Mountain climbers 30 secs x3 sets
  • Lat Pull down x10-15 reps x 3 sets
  • Kettlebell Swing 30 secs x 3 sets
  • Sit ups x10-15 reps x 3 sets
  • Plank hold 30 secs x 3 sets

Cool down

The aim of a cool down is to lower the heart rate and return it back down to resting. 

  • 5 mins - Any cardio equipment, low level, low speed
  • Stretch - All main muscles worked. Hold for 10-15 secs

The above workout is a good way for you to work all the main muscles of the body. Some of them may get you out of breath as it elevates the heart rate. The recovery time and rest period between exercises and sets is completely down to you based on your fitness levels. If you feel any pain then stop immediately.


For more training programmes or a customised programme for your and your goal, get in touch today!

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