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Our Expectations From Our Coaching Clients

Speaking on behalf of all professional personal trainers, we become personal trainers because we are dedicated to guiding individuals towards their goal. Nothing gives us a more rewarding feeling than seeing someone change in their health, habits and body. I believe it’s essential for both client and coach to have a clear understanding of what we can expect from each other. This article aims to illuminate what I, as a personal trainer, anticipate from you as my valued client, and what you can anticipate from me as a coach in return.


What I Expect From You, My Valued Client:


  1. Wholehearted Commitment: Just as I’m invested in tailoring a fitness plan that suits your needs, I expect you to be wholeheartedly committed to the journey. Your consistent presence during sessions and your dedication to putting in the required effort are crucial for achieving your goals.
  2. Transparent Communication: Your fitness journey is a collaborative effort, and open communication is at its so important. Share your fitness history, preferences, and any concerns openly with me. This information helps me create a plan that’s not only effective but also aligned with your capabilities as an individual and goals. This also allows me to adjust anything along the way.
  3. Eagerness to Learn: Fitness isn’t just about getting a good workout in; it’s about understanding the principles behind each exercise, learning about proper form, each exercise is a skill and grasping the significance of nutrition. Your willingness to learn gives you the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions and embrace a healthier lifestyle.
  4. Trust in the Process: Sometimes the journey might not seem straightforward, and results may not be immediate. I urge you to trust in the process and the plan we’ve crafted. With dedication and consistency, you will see progress and positive changes over time.
  5. Dedication and Perseverance: We design workouts to challenge you, to help you discover your strengths, and to push your limits. I expect you to give your best effort during our sessions and to persevere even when facing tough moments. Your commitment directly influences your progress. Some days you won’t feel like training, and that’s ok I have those days also, you can still come in and do your best just let your coach know the status on how you are feeling.

What You Can Expect From us as Your Personal Trainer:

  1. Personalised Guidance: Your goals and you are unique, and so should be your fitness plan. We will provide you with personalised guidance that takes into account your goals, fitness level based on an assessment that we have taken you through, and any limitations you might have. Any professional coach worth his salt will never throw a cookie cutter program at a client. A professional coach will assess first then design a program and a strategy tailored toward you as an individual.  
  2. Support system: You coach is here to encourage you, celebrate your successes, guide you and to provide a support system during the more challenging times. Your victories are mine as well, and I’m committed to helping you stay inspired throughout your journey. There’s nothing more that we want than to see you succeed and be a stronger healthier version of you!
  3. Expertise and Knowledge: As your personal trainer, We are dedicated to continuously upgrading our knowledge to provide you with the best guidance. Expect high quality control on all exercises, nutritional strategies that work for you and your lifestyle, and full support outside of sessions.
  4. Adaptability: Life is unpredictable, and circumstances might change. We are prepared to adapt your fitness plan when needed, whether due to shifts in your goals, injuries, lifestyle stress or any challenges that may arise.
  5. Positive Environment: Our training sessions will be conducted in a positive, non-judgmental environment that encourages progression, growth and self-improvement. We are here to listen, to address your concerns, and to make our sessions enjoyable yet productive.
  6. Progress Tracking: I will help you track your progress, providing insights into how far you’ve come. Regular assessments/check ins will guide our journey and enable us to make any necessary adjustments for optimal results. The fitness journey is ongoing and there is no end, we all need to keep ourselves strong and fit throughout our lifetime, as we embark the journey of life our fitness journey may also change along the way, as your coach we are here to help you every step of the way.

The journey together as personal trainer and client is built on a foundation of shared expectations. By understanding and respecting what each of us brings to this partnership, we can create an environment that fosters growth, transformation, and achievement.

I have been fortunate to personally coach individuals for over a decade and take them through many stages of their lives it’s a huge honour to have been part of many journeys and the best thing about it is building lifelong relationships and friendships built on trust. 



Saw Palmetto and Its Benefits for Night Time Urination

Night time urination, also known as nocturia, can be a bothersome issue for many individuals, especially as they age. Working as a personal trainer coaching clients we try and optimise sleep and minimise stress, if an individual is getting up frequently to urinate in the night then this is going to impact these areas massively. While there can be various underlying causes, one natural remedy that has been recommend by Madalina our local herbalist has brought to our attention for its benefits in managing night-time urination is the saw palmetto complex.


Saw palmetto has been traditionally used to promote prostate health and alleviate urinary symptoms. In this article, we will explore how saw palmetto complex can may help with night-time urination and its potential mechanisms of action.

Understanding Saw Palmetto:

Its fruit contains various bioactive compounds, including fatty acids, phytosterols, and flavonoids, which are believed to contribute to its medicinal properties.

Reducing Prostate Enlargement:

One of the key factors contributing to night-time urination in men is an enlarged prostate gland, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Saw palmetto is thought to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that plays a role in prostate enlargement. By blocking DHT, saw palmetto may help prevent or reduce the enlargement of the prostate, alleviating pressure on the urethra and reducing night-time urinary frequency.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties:

Saw palmetto extract contains compounds with anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the prostate gland and surrounding tissues. By doing so, saw palmetto could relieve pressure on the urethra and improve urine flow, leading to decreased nocturia.

Smooth Muscle Relaxation:

The smooth muscles in the bladder and urethra play a crucial role in controlling urine flow. Saw palmetto is believed to have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle tissue, which could help ease urinary urgency and improve bladder emptying. This relaxation may result in reduced nighttime trips to the bathroom.

DHT-Related Benefits:

Beyond blocking DHT synthesis, saw palmetto may interact with specific receptors in the prostate, potentially reducing the gland’s sensitivity to DHT. This action might provide further relief from urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.

If you are experiencing frequents visitors to the bathroom during the night and it is disruptive to your sleep, it is well worth giving this herb a try. Speaking with a natural health practitioner to take a deeper dive into your current state of health would be a good idea. Alongside this getting regularly exercise especially resistance training as been know to have have great benefits with prostate health, and of course reducing your alcohol consumption and cleaning up your nutrition. We may explore the benefits of these areas in further detail at a later date.


Why Cardio Alone Isn’t Enough

As a professional personal trainer I find myself having interesting conversations between individuals who may solely commit themselves to one modality of cardio for example cycling, and the meat heads who just love to lift, I however see more meat heads doing cardio than cardio enthusiasts doing resistance training. I believe it’s worth having the conversation especially when it comes to deciding between cardio and strength training for longevity and long term progress. The debate of which is better for your health and fitness goals can leave you confused and unsure of the best approach.

However, the truth is that relying solely on cardio is not enough to achieve optimal results. To truly maximise your fitness potential, it’s crucial to understand the benefits of combining both cardio and strength training into your exercise routine.

Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, or brisk walking, undoubtedly offers numerous health benefits. It helps reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. Additionally, cardio is an effective way to burn calories, resulting in reduced body fat and weight loss not to mention to improve your recovery in between sets of your strength training. These advantages make cardio an important component of any exercise program.

However, solely relying on cardio for your fitness regimen may hinder your progress in the long run. Our bodies are incredibly adaptable, and over time, they become more efficient at performing specific activities. This efficiency means fewer calories burned during the same cardio exercises, which can stall your fitness journey. When the heart becomes stronger through cardio workouts, it works less and burns fewer calories. Eventually, your body adapts to the routine, leading to a plateau in your results. Another detail that is often missed is cardio activities such as cycling require your body to remain in a certain position for a large length of time, strength training can help iron out postural and muscular deficiencies that may be caused by this. This is where strength training becomes a valuable addition.

Strength training, often feared by beginners and cardio athletes due to misconceptions about bulking up, actually offers a wide range of benefits. It enhances sleep quality, improves stability strengthens bones, reduces the risk of arthritis and injuries, and increases lean muscle mass. One pound of lean muscle can burn anywhere between 5 and 35 calories at rest, making it an efficient calorie-burning asset. By incorporating strength training into your routine, you challenge your body in new ways, and if you have been stuck on a bike for hours throughout the week you definitely want to be working the opposing muscles that you have been using. Breaking down muscle tissue that requires energy for repair which leads to increased calorie expenditure, even during periods of rest, which can contribute to weight loss overall metabolic health and a more desirable body composition.

Research from the American College of Sports Medicine reveals that adults who neglect strength training will experience sarcopenia and may lose 4 to 6 pounds of muscle tissue per decade. This loss of muscle mass results in a lower resting metabolic rate, a higher tendency for fat storage, decrease in bone density and a reduction in stability that can lead to a fall which can cause a bone fracture. By engaging in regular strength training, you can counteract all of this muscle loss, maintain a healthy metabolic rate, and support sustainable weight management.

It’s important to note that both cardio and strength training offer unique advantages, but combining them provides a synergistic effect. By integrating both into your routine, you can experience enhanced fitness and health benefits and even improved sporting performance if you are a keen cyclist or runner. If you’re unsure about where to start or how to incorporate cardio and strength training effectively, seek guidance from a qualified professional, such as a Personal Trainer, who can tailor a program to your specific needs.

A simple yet effective routine could involve strength training 2-3 days per week, focusing on all major muscle groups with 2-3 sets of 6-10 exercises and 6-12 reps. Additionally, aim for 2-3 days of quality cardio workouts. You can choose to perform both cardio and strength training on the same day or alternate between them on different days, depending on your schedule if you where to perform your Cardio in the morning you could perform your resistance training in the evening. If time is a constraint, consider supersets minimising rest periods between sets.

Achieving your fitness goals requires patience, dedication, and finding the right balance between cardio and strength training. By combining these two vital components, you can maximise your efforts, attain your goals more efficiently, and experience lasting results. To learn the skills of resistance training hiring a professional personal trainer to coach you and also structure your schedule to get the most out of your training.




Personal Trainers Tips for Overcoming the Obstacles to Achieving Your Physique Goals

Achieving the desired physique requires dedication, effort, and a strategic approach to training and nutrition. As a personal trainer, I have noticed several common key areas that often hinder individuals from reaching their physique goals. In this article, we will address these obstacles and provide practical solutions to help you overcome them and transform your physique.

Insufficient Effort:

One of the primary reasons individuals fail to achieve their desired physique is the lack of effort. Wanting it badly enough is crucial for success. It’s essential to set clear goals, why do you want to achieve those goals, what would it mean to you? Create a plan, and commit yourself wholeheartedly to the process. Embrace the mindset that hard work and consistency are necessary for real progress. Without putting in the right amount of effort consistently you will continue to fail to achieve the physique that you desire

Lack of Belief:

Individuals fail to progress because they do not believe it is possible, if this is you go an look at some real before and after photos and see the true powerful potential of what consistent training, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes can create. Look at the Paralympic competitors do you think they lack self belief, these individuals are a true inspiration and we should look at them and use it to increase our belief to the power of what is possible. Our unconscious beliefs can often hold us back, I am personally a strong believer in daily action towards your goals will help dispel any unconscious beliefs you may have about your ability, absolutely anything is possible when you take persistent action even if you stumble shake your boots off and carry on. The old Japanese saying ‘fall down seven times, get up eight.’ Believe me your going to make mistakes and progress will never be linear but if we can address our mistakes when they occur and implement strategies to overcome them once the stimulus for them reoccur on our path then that is only going to help us grow.

Neglecting Resistance Training:

While cardio and HIIT workouts are beneficial for overall fitness, neglecting resistance training can hinder your progress. To achieve a well-rounded and aesthetically pleasing physique, it’s crucial to work on all muscle groups. Resistance training helps build muscle, increase metabolism, and improve overall body composition. Your body will always look better with more muscle mass on your skeleton, we always get clients telling us within our personal training facility that they haven’t lost much scale weight but their clothes now fit and waist size has reduced, body composition is not the same as weight loss and weight loss will not always help you achieve and aesthetic physique. Get serious about using your muscles under resistance and watch your body transform.  

Weekend Setbacks:

Many individuals find it challenging to maintain discipline and healthy habits during social gatherings or weekends. It’s common for one day off to turn into a week of unhealthy choices. Avoid this trap by planning ahead and making conscious decisions about your food and drink intake. Moderation is key, and occasional treats are fine, but ensure they don’t derail your progress.

Allowing Bad Habits to Persist:

To achieve your goals, it’s essential to address and eliminate bad habits that counteract your efforts. Be mindful of your choices throughout the day, including nutrition, hydration, and overall lifestyle. Consistency and commitment outside of training sessions are just as important as the work you put in at the gym.

Focusing on Load over Quality Reps:

As a personal trainers, when we are coaching our clients through movements, the first thing we are there to do is quality control. It’s not about how much weight you lift; it’s about the execution of each exercise how stable are you in certain ranges of the movement, can you access the full range of the movement are you intently using the muscles required for the movement or are you mindlessly just moving through space. Focus on proper form, tempo, and muscle contraction to maximise results. Quality movements lead to better muscle recruitment, a more effective workout and more importantly you will see massive changes in your physique. I cannot tell you how many times I see individuals throwing weights around in the gym even individuals that are been coached by personal trainers, swinging, bouncing and using momentum to move a weight around uses minimal muscle recruitment, if your goal is to build a physique then this is a major NO from me my friends. 

Underestimating the Importance of Nutrition:

Transforming your physique requires a comprehensive approach that includes proper nutrition. Two to three sessions per week with a personal trainer alone won’t be sufficient if you neglect your diet. Pay attention to your calorie intake, macronutrient balance, and the quality of your food choices. As personal trainers we tend to to develop a personalised nutrition plan based on what your needs are and also based on what you can do consistently for a long period of time. Find a starting point that you can keep consistent and read the first point on insufficient effort because this is the area that most individuals fail with. If you find that you cannot keep your nutrition under control then I strongly recommend that you hire a meal prep company to prep your meals for the week so they can take the effort of preparing your meals from you.     

Fear of Bulking:

The misconception that resistance training will make you bulky is prevalent among both males and females. In my personal training career I cannot tell you how many times I have been told by both males and female clients that they do not want to become to bulky, I wish it was that easy! It’s important to understand that achieving a muscular physique requires specific training protocols, a nutritional surplus of calories over time, a small amount of genetics and also all bodybuilders male and female who have large amounts of muscle mass are on a lot of hormones and drugs to achieve that and it is impossible to achieve those levels of muscle mass without these enhancements . Resistance training is essential for sculpting and toning your body, improving overall strength, and boosting your metabolism to create a good looking physique. 

Insufficient Intensity in Training:

To progress and break through plateaus, you need to continually challenge your body. Applying progressive overload using the combination of mechanical tension and metabolic stress as a means to increase the intensity of your workouts. Incorporate techniques like drop sets, rest-pause sets, or supersets to push your limits and prolong your sets. Work with a personal trainer to develop a well-structured program that gradually increases intensity over time when they can qualify your quality to ensure you can progress loads in a safe manner. If your coasting through your workouts its likely you need a kick up the back side to increase your intensity and progress your physique. 

To achieve the physique you desire, it’s crucial to address and overcome the obstacles that stand in your way. Embrace the mindset of hard work, commit to a well-rounded training program that includes resistance training, prioritise nutrition, and maintain consistency and discipline both in and outside of the gym and more importantly put in tons of effort. Remember, transforming your physique is a journey that requires dedication, but the results are well worth it. Believe in yourself and put the effort in and you will reap what you sow!!


Reclaiming Your Body Post-Pregnancy


Working as a personal trainer for the past 17 years I have been blessed to be a part of some life’s wonderful journeys with my clients. I have seen whole families created as I have trained mothers both during pregnancy and post pregnancy.


The journey of pregnancy and childbirth is a miraculous experience, but it can also take a toll on your body. As you embark on the beautiful phase of motherhood, it’s natural to desire a reclaim your pre-pregnancy body. However, it’s important to approach post-pregnancy training with patience, understanding, and a focus on your overall well-being to be the strongest healthiest mum possible. In this article, we’ll discuss effective strategies to help you regain your strength, tone your body, and address some common post-pregnancy challenges.


Embrace the Healing Process:


Your body has just undergone a remarkable transformation and 9 months of creating a human being and giving birth to one, so give yourself time to heal. The first few weeks after childbirth are crucial for recovery. Focus on rest, hydration, and high quality nutrition. Allow your body to adjust to its new normal before embarking on any rigorous fitness routine. Remember, being a mum is a full-time job in itself, and self-care is essential for both you and your baby.


Pelvic Floor Strengthening:


During pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles undergo significant strain. Strengthening them is vital for post-pregnancy recovery. Simple exercises like Kegels can help re-engage and tone your pelvic floor muscles. Gradually progress to exercises such as squats, lunges, bird-dogs, glute bridges, and planks, with the guidance of a qualified personal trainer. Strengthening your core will also improve your lumbar spine and pelvis stability after the surge of relaxin hormone that is produced to relax your muscles and connective tissue to prepare your body for pregnancy. Stable pelvis and spine muscles not only improve bladder control but also provide a solid foundation for other exercises as you progress your movements.


Cardiovascular Fitness:


Low intensity aerobic capacity is excellent for shedding post-pregnancy weight and boosting your overall foundation of aerobic fitness levels. Building your aerobic base will help you with your recovery in-between sets when you get back on the gym floor and allow you to have the capacity to progress to higher intensities. Begin with low-impact activities like walking, stair-master, swimming, or cycling. These activities are gentle on your joints and work well at lower intensities. As your endurance improves, you can incorporate more challenging exercises like running or HIIT. Remember to listen to your body and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.


Resistance Training:


Regaining strength is crucial for a strong healthy, toned body. Resistance training not only improves muscle tone but also helps with weight loss and bone density, resistance training is the most powerful way to improve your physique and the aesthetical appearance of your body. If you’re training at home start with bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and modified planks. Ideally you want to get into a gym where you have access to more tools to help you with a job but I understand that can be difficult when you have a new born baby in the house. If you are training at home invest in some dumbells and resistance bands so as your strength increases, you can incorporate your resistance training using dumbbells and resistance bands. Keep your tempos controlled of each movement and focus on the quality of your reps over quantity. Consult a personal trainer to ensure proper form and exercise execution and to prevent injury. Keep your reps controlled and progress your movements as your body adapts to the stimulus it’s important to be patient and allow for enough recovery in between your sets and also your sessions.


Mindful Nutrition:


Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is key to post-pregnancy weight loss. Focus on nutrient dense foods, variety of proteins (fish, chicken, red meat) fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid crash diets or severely restricting calories, as they can negatively impact your energy levels and milk supply if breastfeeding. Focus on your training and increased calories till you build your strength and fitness back up before allowing for a calorie deficit. Opt for smaller, frequent meals to maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. Stay hydrated and consider consulting a personal trainer for a more personalised and bespoke strategy.


Building a Support System:


As a new mum, it’s essential to have a support system in place. Reach out to other mums, and seek guidance from a qualified personal trainer. Within our private facility we have the opportunity to perform group sessions with a few local mums which has worked really well for them and provided them with a solid support network. Having a network of like-minded individuals can provide emotional support, motivation, and a safe space to discuss common challenges faced during this phase. If it’s your first time find some more experienced mums and pick their brains for ideas and troubleshoot with them.


Balancing Motherhood and Fitness:


Finding time for yourself as a new mum can be challenging. A common strategy that has worked for some of our clients is incorporating fitness into your daily routine by utilising small pockets of time. Include your baby in your workout by going for walks with a stroller, doing baby-friendly exercises little and often while at home. Remember, even short bursts of exercise can have a significant impact on your physical and mental well-being. Using your baby to do squats and lunges is a great way to bond with your baby and teach them from a young age the importance of exercise.


Reclaiming your pre-pregnancy body is a personal and unique journey for every woman. Approach post-pregnancy fitness with patience, self-compassion, and a focus on overall health. Be patient and listen to your body, be consistent with your efforts, and celebrate the milestones along the way. Remember, you’re not just working towards a physical transformation, you’re nurturing a strong and resilient body that will support you through the beautiful journey of motherhood. If this article is resonating with you at this moment in time all the best of luck on your journey with motherhood.



Navigating the Female Menstrual Cycle


As a personal trainer, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with numerous female clients, witnessing the impact of hormonal phases on their fitness journeys. Understanding and adapting to these fluctuations is key to achieving long-term habits the lead to success. In this article, I’ll share my experiences as a personal trainer and provide guidance on how to understand your body and navigate each menstrual cycle with a strategic approach.


Understanding Your Body:


The first step in successfully navigating hormonal phases is understanding your body and recognising the unique patterns and challenges it presents throughout the menstrual cycle. Take note of how you feel during each phase, such as changes in energy levels, mood, and physical sensations. By gaining insight into your body’s signals, you can make informed decisions regarding your training and nutrition and develop a strategy that can work for you and your goals.


Developing a Strategic Approach:


Once you’ve familiarised yourself with your body’s patterns, it’s time to develop a strategic approach to optimise your training and overcome potential obstacles. Here are some key strategies to consider for each phase of the menstrual cycle:


Follicular Phase:


During the follicular phase (right after menstruation), energy levels tend to be higher. Capitalise on this by scheduling more challenging workouts around this phase and set more ambitious goals. Use this time to focus on building strength and pushing yourself through your sets, as your body more geared up for progress and tougher workouts.


Ovulatory Phase:


The ovulatory phase is characterised by an increase in estrogen levels, which can enhance mood and motivation. Take advantage of this phase to push yourself further, both mentally and physically. Incorporate more high-intensity workouts, advanced sets like drop sets and rest pause technique’s, and include the more challenging exercises that you may find difficult like a pendulum squat for example and capitalise on your peak performance.


Luteal Phase:


The luteal phase, which precedes menstruation, may come with increased cravings and mood swings. Combat cravings and emotional eating by prioritising balanced meals, including plenty of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Opt for smaller, more frequent meals to help stabilise blood sugar levels and manage hunger levels. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as breath work or meditation can also support emotional well-being. Low intensity cardio with nasal breaths can be a great way to assit with recovery and reduce stress. Reduce the intensity within your resistance training, use more controlled tempos with your reps and don’t try and break any PBs.


Menstrual Phase:


During the menstrual phase, listen to your body and prioritise self-care. While some women may find that exercise helps alleviate menstrual discomfort, others may benefit from gentler activities like restorative yoga or light walks. Give yourself permission to adjust your training intensity and focus on recovery. Adequate sleep, hydration, and nutrient-dense foods will aid in replenishing your energy levels. Be kind to your partners they do still love you!


Strategic Check-ins and Weight-ins:


To monitor progress effectively and align with the hormonal phases, consider scheduling check-ins and weight-ins strategically. Aim to schedule weight-ins during the early follicular phase to minimise the impact of bloating and water retention. When I was a younger personal trainer I made the mistake of keeping the check ins and weight ins consistent which made matters worse for my clients as the combination of emotions and seeing scale weight creep up slightly was doing them more harm to their progress than good.


Navigating hormonal phases requires understanding your body, developing a strategic approach, and optimising your training and nutrition accordingly. By recognising the unique challenges and strengths of each phase, you can adapt your approach to maximise progress and overcome obstacles. Remember, your journey is personal and may vary from others, so listen to your body, be kind to yourself and your partners, and consult with your personal trainer if needed. With a strategic approach, you won’t allow your menstrual cycle to get the better of you and hinder your progress, it’s important to accept it and stick to the plan you make to get through each stage.


Common Cholesterol Misconceptions and Promoting Heart Health

Within our personal training facility we often come across clients with high cholesterol and their main strategy commonly seems to be avoiding all foods with cholesterol and consuming more plant based foods, depending on the contents of these plant based foods it may not be the best strategy for overall health. As personal trainers we try our best to educate our clients and create healthy habits to ensure the long term health and well being of our clients what ever their aesthetic goals may be.  

Cholesterol has long been associated with heart health, and the mainstream medical establishment has often perpetuated certain misconceptions surrounding this vital lipid. In this article, we aim to dispel some of these misconceptions, explain the differences between good and bad cholesterol, shed light on the importance of cholesterol in the body, discuss the damaging effects of vegetable oils on the cardiovascular system, suggest steps to take before considering statins for high cholesterol, and provide a list of natural nutrients, herbs, and supplements that can help manage healthy cholesterol levels.

Differentiating Good and Bad Cholesterol:

One of the most common misconceptions is that all cholesterol is harmful. However, it is important to understand that cholesterol itself is not inherently bad. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol, plays a crucial role in transporting excess cholesterol from the arteries back to the liver for processing and removal. On the other hand, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often labelled as “bad” cholesterol, can contribute to the formation of plaques in the arteries when present in excessive amounts.

The Importance of Cholesterol in the Body:

Cholesterol is an essential component of cell membranes, aiding in their stability and fluidity. It is also involved in the production of several vital substances, including hormones like estrogen and testosterone, vitamin D synthesis, and bile acid production. Without cholesterol, our bodies would struggle to function properly.

Vegetable Oils and Their Impact on Cardiovascular Health:

Contrary to popular belief, many vegetable oils marketed as “heart-healthy” may actually have detrimental effects on cardiovascular health. Certain vegetable oils, such as those rich in omega-6 fatty acids (e.g., soybean oil, corn oil), when consumed in excess, can cause inflammation in the body, potentially leading to an increased risk of heart disease. Instead, opting for healthier fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil can provide more favourable lipid profiles.

Steps to Take Before Considering Statins for High Cholesterol:

If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is crucial to explore non-pharmacological interventions before resorting to statins. Lifestyle modifications, such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress levels, and quitting smoking, can significantly impact cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to develop an individualized plan.

Natural Nutrients, Herbs, and Supplements for Managing Healthy Cholesterol Levels:

While dietary changes are fundamental, certain natural nutrients, herbs, and supplements may also support healthy cholesterol levels. Some examples include:

Nutrients and Supplements 

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in fatty fish and grass fed meat (e.g., salmon, mackerel, grass fed beef), omega-3s can help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Soluble fibre: Incorporating sources like oats, legumes, fruits (e.g., apples, berries), and vegetables (e.g., broccoli, carrots) can help lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Plant sterols and stanols: These compounds, found naturally in nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts), seeds (e.g., sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) can help reduce LDL cholesterol absorption.
  • Garlic: Known for its potential to modestly decrease LDL cholesterol levels, garlic can be consumed fresh or as a supplement.
  • Coenzyme Q10: Statin medications may deplete levels of CoQ10, so supplementation can help maintain proper levels and support heart health.


Arctium lappa 

Commonly known as burdock root, burdock root offers various potential health benefits that may indirectly contribute to cholesterol management.

Antioxidant properties: Burdock root contains antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can contribute to the progression of heart disease, including high LDL cholesterol levels.

Fibre content: Burdock root is a good source of dietary fibre, which can aid in lowering LDL cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol and promoting its excretion.

Liver support: Burdock root has traditionally been used to support liver health. A healthy liver plays a crucial role in cholesterol metabolism and production, and supporting liver function may indirectly contribute to healthy cholesterol levels.

Blood sugar regulation: Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is important for overall cardiovascular health. Burdock root has been studied for its potential to help regulate blood sugar levels, and better blood sugar control can positively impact cholesterol levels.

Anti-inflammatory effects: Chronic inflammation is linked to the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. Burdock root contains compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, which may help protect against cardiovascular damage and promote heart health.



Improves cholesterol metabolism, Research suggests that curcumin may influence cholesterol metabolism by promoting the expression of genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis. It may enhance the production of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol, which can help remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.


By understanding the misconceptions surrounding cholesterol and implementing lifestyle changes, individuals can take action and charge of their cardiovascular health. Prioritising a heart-healthy diet, avoiding excessive intake of vegetable oils, and considering natural nutrients, herbs, and supplements can all contribute to managing healthy cholesterol levels. However without conscious action of your health and well-being then you will be stuck with taking medication for the rest of your life.

If you are interested in becoming strong, healthy and improving your fitness then contact us to find out how you can begin working with a personal trainer.


⬇️7.5 Kg at 60 years of age!

Nick has been dealing with a chronic knee injury for quite some time but that hasn’t stopped him from taking control of his health and fitness.

When he began training with coach Jonny he was struggling to walk properly and had the goal of losing some weight.

Nick is one of coach Jonny’s hardest working clients in the gym, and pushes himself every single session however in the early stages his nutrition was letting him down over the weekend.

The inconsistency with his nutrition outside of the gym was keeping his weight stagnant however after this was addressed Nick locked in and was ready was to make the changes necessary.

A plan was made that was realistic for him to allow for him to still have a social life and still hit his targets.

⭐️Lost 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs)

⭐️ Can now walk properly with increased strength and stability.

⭐️Increased understanding on how to follow and bespoke training program x 3 sessions per week.

⭐️Deeper understanding of nutrition and how he can still socialise and stay on track.

⭐️Better posture, increased strength and lean muscle mass.

⭐️More enjoyment of his training now he is pain free.

Are you located in the Hale and Altrincham area or close by and wondering how to get started with losing weight and feeling great?

Are you struggling with achieving your health and fitness goals and find that you do not know where to start?

Are you struggling finding the energy to get yourself in the gym?

Contact us and we can get you booked in for a FREE Consultation with our personal training team who can explain to you the steps it will take to get you to where you desire to be. Our personal trainers will guide and coach you along the way helping you to create the habits required for you to have a strong and healthy body and bags of energy.


Are Low Carb Diets better for losing body fat?

A common belief is that a reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates will directly result in a reduction in body fat. Generally, the rationale behind this, is that less carbohydrates in their diet will result in less insulin, the ‘fat storing hormone’, being released and thereby storing less body fat.


In the context of fat loss/gain, caloric intake is important and carbohydrate intake is not.

Although studies have shown that those who consume more sugar gain more weight (Ruanpeng et. al. 2017), these studies do not compare groups consuming high carbohydrate diets and low-moderate carbohydrate diets with equal caloric intakes.


When calorie intake is controlled, i.e. both groups consume the same number of calories, differences in weight loss are not significant. (Te Morenga, 2013)


Understanding Energy Balance:

This is because weight loss is determined by energy balance. When we consume more calories than we expend then this puts us in a calorie surplus, meaning there is an excess of calories i.e. energy. When this occurs, this surplus of energy is stored as increased weight. Other factors determine how this weight is added. For example, if protein intake is high and someone is regularly resistance training, then more of the added weight is likely to be gained as an increase in muscle tissue. However, if someone is not resistance training, protein intake is low and sleep duration and quality is poor, then the vast majority of this added weight will be an increase in fat mass.


Satiety Matters:

People often over consume on calories due to their diet involving many foods that are not satiating. This can be why people have successful results when reducing carbohydrates out of their diet, because their over consumption of calories may be due to their previous diet having many low nutrient, low satiating sources of carbohydrates, such as sweets. Where some people then go wrong, is blaming all carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and fruit, which have been shown to be much more satiating.


Overall, selecting meals to consume on your diet when fat loss is your goal, the only significant factors should be calories, protein (amount needed will be determined by your age), satiety (how full it leaves you feeling), nutrient density (the amount of beneficial nutrients in a food) and most importantly, how much you enjoy the meal. This is because adherence to a plan is going to be crucial. If you don’t believe you can eat like this for the rest of your life then it’s simply too strict.



  • Ruanpeng, D., Thongprayoon, C., Cheungpasitporn, W., & Harindhanavudhi, T. (2017). Sugar and artificially sweetened beverages linked to obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine110(8), 513-520.
  • Te Morenga, L., Mallard, S., & Mann, J. (2013). Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. Bmj346.


Ryan came to us for our personal training services after spending years feeling intimidated to join a gym believing that people would place judgement on him.

He reached out to us at Soma for our personal training services to help him with his body composition goals and with the focus on building some lean muscle mass and improving his posture.

To his own disbelief he never thought that he would actually enjoy his training sessions, due to our coaches professional approach to programming to all of our clients requirements to succeed.