Can Magnesium Spray Enhance Your Recovery?

Can Magnesium Spray Enhance Your Recovery?

I’ve tried out a lot of products in the past that are said to aid muscle recovery and reduce soreness, from bath soaks to arnica creams. None of them were noticeably effective at all, and in any instances where I detected a negligible difference in my recovery, I could never say with any kind of certainty that my recovery was down to a single product; it could just as likely have been due to eating better or getting more sleep.

Except for one.

But first, here's what you need to know about transdermal supplementation....

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The Need-To-Know on Your Pelvic Floor + How Elvie Helps You To Do Your Kegels

The Need-To-Know on Your Pelvic Floor + How Elvie Helps You To Do Your Kegels

Ladies, do you do pelvic floor exercises? 


I’m sure, like me, you’re aware of how important they are. Yet, also like me, when it comes to training these muscles, you’ll probably remember that they exist every fortnight or so, and exercise them by squeezing ‘down there’ how ever many times you deem useful (10, 15, 20 times?) before getting distracted by something else.

Needless to say, there are lots of things wrong with training your pelvic floor muscles in this way:  
* You don’t really know if you are squeezing the muscles correctly  
* You aren’t sure if you are squeezing for long enough, hard enough, or a many times as you should  
* You don’t have any way to measure your progress  
* It’s boring as hell, making it very easy to become distracted

Thankfully, some very clever ladies out there have designed a sleek little gadget and app called Elvie to overcome all of these problems.

But first, here's why doing kegels is important in the first place...

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The Complete Guide to Heart Rate Training

The Complete Guide to Heart Rate Training

Your heart rate (HR) is a useful measure of your activity level and training intensity when exercising. When your exercise intensity increases, your heart rate also increases to match the increased rate of energy expenditure and oxygen uptake. 

Heart rate can be expressed as the absolute number of beats per minute (bpm) or as a percentage of your maximum heart rate (% HRmax). 

Knowing your heart rate in bpm at any point in time may not be a very useful measure on it’s own. So, to put it in context, it’s a good idea to have some ideas of where you sit across other heart rate measures...

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Speedflex Review + The Need-To-Know On Eccentric Muscle Contractions

Speedflex Review + The Need-To-Know On Eccentric Muscle Contractions

I love the concept of heart rate training (more on that coming soon!) and since I tried Orangetheory last year, I’ve been on the look out for more fitness studios that offer heart rate training.

One such place is Speedflex. However, while I was drawn to this studio by my fascination with heart rate monitoring, I found that Speedflex had some far more unique qualities to be discovered...

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My Training Programme

My Training Programme

A lot of you have asked me about how I train when I’m in the gym, so I wanted to give you a look at a training programme that has been working really well for me since January. 

I also wanted to give you a breakdown of why I do what I do, so that you understand the choices that I have made in my training, and the principles that I have applied. Basically, I didn’t want to share my training programme without making it as useful to you as possible.

I designed this training programme based on my personal strengths and weaknesses, my personal goals, and the way that my body responds best to training. If you were to try this programme, you may not enjoy it as much as I do, or see the same results that I have done. 

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Orangetheory Review: Heart Rate Monitored Metabolic Workout


Orangetheory is a workout that very explicitly fuses fitness and science to create an amazing exercise experience.

When I first heard about Orangetheory, it was as if my prayers had been answered.

I really love the idea of monitoring my heart rate, but it’s something that I think requires a little guidance from a professional in order to use the information that you’re fed to its full potential.

I’m so glad that I’ve found a fitness concept and dedicated studios to do the hard work for me.

Well, not all the hard work...


The Orangetheory Concept

Orangetheory® was developed in the US by Ellen Latham and is a high-energy, interval training based group training class.

What’s particularly unique about it, besides the super sleek, state-of-the-art studio and equipment, is that it is a heart rate monitored session.

During the workout, you wear a chest strap with a heart rate monitor. Your heart rate, along with everyone else’s in the class, is displayed on screens in the studio, which tell you your heart rate, % of max heart rate, and colour indicates which heart rate zone you are working in. You can also see an estimate of calories burned.

Getting such immediate, visual, data-driven feedback on your workout is incredibly motivating.

The session aims to take your heart rate to a target zone - the Orange Zone - to stimulate metabolism.

Here’s how it works:

“Backed by the science of [excess] post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), our heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that spikes metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra fat and calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout!”


The Orangetheory Workouts

Each workout is divided into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training.

The workout that I did alternated between time on a treadmill (one of the few treadmill sessions in my entire life that I have enjoyed) and resistance training using a mixture of freeweights, TRX and bodyweight. There was also an option to use the rowing machines (added incentive: David Lloyd clubs use the WaterRowers, which are a dream!).

All classes on a given day will be the same workout. However, they change from day to day in terms of what equipment is used, what exercises are performed, and what the split between cardio and resistance is.

The studio doesn’t advertise what focus any of the classes are scheduled to take. This prevents people from only booking on to classes that they favourite and training in ways that they are probably already pretty used to (something that I would most likely be entirely guilty of).

Instead, the Orangetheory trainers want people to benefit from all-round fitness training.


My Verdict

I absolutely love Orangetheory.

My only tiny criticism is that without undergoing lab testing, calculations of your max heart rate, and therefore heart rate zones, can’t be 100% accurate. Here, they are based on a standard formula. But, taking all of the awesomeness of this workout into account, it’s damn close enough!

The concept of a heart-rate monitored group workout is brilliant. I love getting immediate, genuinely useful feedback based on actual data. It’s a great motivator during class, and enables the trainer to respond to you more personally, too.

During class, there are lots of names on the board, but it doesn’t matter. Your heart rate zones won’t be the same as anyone else’s, so the only person that you’re competing against is yourself.

It’s so easy to become completely immersed in the experience of the class.

It’s great that the workout design is based around the physiological theory of EPOC. It makes the sessions a brilliant choice if you’re looking to lose weight.

I’m not looking to lose weight, so the instructor estimating how many calories I was going to burn post-workout was slightly terrifying (I struggle to eat enough calories anyway!).

However, knowing that this was due to pushing myself into higher heart rate zones was thrilling. My goals are to really improve my aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and this workout gives me a very visible and stimulating structure with which to do that.

I also like that I was emailed a report following the session, so that I can also compare data across classes and aim for improvements.

I wish that I had a studio closer to where I live or work so that I could go more often!


Where To Find Orangetheory

I attended a class at David Lloyd’s Islington Orangetheory studio. There are also studios in Aldgate, Enfield and Winchester.

What're your thoughts on Orangetheory?