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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.




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.


10 Signs That Indicate You Need to Hire a Personal Trainer

In the pursuit of health and fitness, many individuals find themselves at a crossroads where they question whether they should hire a personal trainer. Making the decision to invest in a personal trainer is a significant step towards achieving your fitness goals, as it provides you with guidance, motivation, and expertise tailored specifically to you and your needs.


In this article, we will look into 10 signs that indicate it may be time for you to hire a personal trainer. We will also delve into the psychological aspects people often consider when contemplating this decision.


1. Lack of Knowledge and Guidance:


One of the primary reasons to hire a personal trainer is when you lack the knowledge and guidance necessary to create an effective fitness plan. Understanding proper form, exercise techniques, and program structure can be challenging for beginners. A personal trainer can provide valuable education and guidance, ensuring you perform exercises correctly and safely and create an effective program for you that you can progress.


Psychological Approach: Hiring a personal trainer in this situation signifies a desire to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become more self-sufficient in your fitness journey. It demonstrates your willingness to learn and develop expertise.



Imagine you decided to hire a personal trainer in the past, but the service you received was subpar. The trainer lacked the energy, knowledge, failed to provide proper guidance, and didn’t address your specific needs and tailor the program bespoke to you as an individual. As a result, you felt frustrated and stagnant in your progress. This experience highlights the importance of finding a trainer who operates at the highest standards, like those here at Soma Fitness, where we consistently strive to improve our service that our clients experience.


2. Lack of Motivation:


If you find it challenging to stay motivated to exercise regularly or push yourself during workouts, hiring a personal trainer can be a game-changer. A personal trainer acts as an accountability partner, motivator, and source of encouragement. They can create personalised programs that align with your goals, keeping you engaged and enthusiastic about your fitness journey.


Psychological Approach: Seeking the assistance of a personal trainer in this scenario suggests a need for external motivation and accountability. It demonstrates your acknowledgment that you may benefit from having someone to inspire and push you beyond your comfort zone.


3. Plateauing in Progress:


Experiencing a plateau in your fitness progress is discouraging. If you find that your workouts have become stagnant, and you’re no longer seeing improvements, a personal trainer can help reignite your progress. Trainers have the expertise to introduce new exercises, adapt and adjust your training intensity, and modify your workout routine to overcome plateaus and achieve new breakthroughs.


Psychological Approach: Considering hiring a personal trainer when facing a plateau reflects your desire to break through and progress. It shows that you’re open to change, willing to explore new strategies, and committed to reaching higher levels of fitness. This stage will require some discomfort which will be extremely rewarding.


4. Specific Goals and Challenges:


Whether you’re training for a marathon, aiming to lose weight for your holiday, or rehabilitating from an injury, hiring a personal trainer who specialises in your specific goals and challenges can be invaluable. Trainers possess the knowledge and experience to design customised programs that alight with your unique needs, ensuring optimal results are achieved for the time frame available and reducing the risk of injury.


Psychological Approach: Seeking a personal trainer in this situation demonstrates your commitment to achieving your specific goals. It signifies your recognition that professional guidance is essential to navigate the complexities associated with your desired outcomes in the time frame that you have available to achieve those goals.


5. Limited Time and Efficiency:


Modern life is often hectic, leaving little time for exercise. If you struggle to find the time or struggle with inefficient workouts, hiring a personal trainer can help optimise your training sessions. Trainers can create time-efficient workouts that maximise results, ensuring you make the most of the time you invest in your fitness. I always say to our coaches we have to be like snipers, what this means in ensuring the quality of each rep and each set is at the best of your ability. As personal trainers we are here to assess and progress the quality of your training.


Psychological Approach: Contemplating hiring a personal trainer due to time constraints indicates your prioritisation of fitness and well-being despite a busy schedule. It showcases your desire to find efficient solutions and make the most of the time you dedicate to your health.


6. Lack of Confidence:


Many individuals feel self-conscious or lack confidence when exercising, especially in crowded gyms. Hiring a personal trainer within a private faculty provides a supportive environment where you can work on your fitness goals without fear of judgment. Trainers offer guidance, reassurance, and can help you build self-confidence as you progress. Confidence is like anything else the more time you spend doing a thing, the more skills you develop which then increases your confidence.


Psychological Approach: Considering a personal trainer in this context showcases your desire to overcome insecurities and build a positive relationship with exercise. It signifies your willingness to step out of your comfort zone and embrace a supportive environment for personal growth.


7. Inadequate Progress Monitoring:


Tracking progress is essential to gauge your fitness journey accurately. If you struggle to measure your progress effectively or lack the tools to do so, a personal trainer can help. Trainers implement assessment methods, monitor your progress, and make adjustments to your training plan accordingly.


Psychological Approach: Contemplation on hiring a personal trainer for progress monitoring indicates your commitment to achieving tangible results. It showcases your desire for accountability, tracking, and measurement as key elements in your fitness journey.


8. Safety Concerns:


Injuries can be a significant setback in any fitness program. If you have concerns about performing exercises safely or have a history of injuries, a professional personal trainer can guide you through proper form, technique, and injury prevention strategies. They can create a program that takes your unique circumstances into account, reducing the risk of injury.


Psychological Approach: Considering a personal trainer due to safety concerns demonstrates your commitment to taking care of your body and minimising the risk of injury. It indicates your recognition that professional guidance is crucial to maintain your long-term well-being. Just in the same we may hire a Golf coach to improve our skills on the course, it’s equally important to hire a coach to improve your skills in the gym.


9. Lack of Support System:


Embarking on a fitness journey alone can be challenging, especially if you lack a support system. Hiring a personal trainer not only provides professional guidance but also offers emotional support. Trainers are invested in your success and provide the encouragement and support necessary to keep you motivated and accountable. We are an ear to listen and we will give you our honest feedback to help you progress.


Psychological Approach: Reflecting on hiring a personal trainer to fill the support gap suggests your need for a positive influence and a source of encouragement during your fitness journey. It shows your recognition that having someone in your corner can make a significant difference in your progress and mindset. Together we can go far!


10. Long-Term Lifestyle Change:


If you desire a long-term lifestyle change and not just a short-term fix, hiring a personal trainer can be instrumental. Trainers help you develop healthy habits, provide nutrition guidance, and offer ongoing support to ensure you maintain your progress and make sustainable changes for a healthier body long term. It’s all good going monk mode and doing a 12 week transformation however the true wins are in the sustainability of the good habits you can create in the pursuit of health and longevity.


Psychological Approach: Considering a personal trainer for long-term lifestyle change demonstrates your commitment to lasting transformation. It showcases your recognition that investing in professional guidance and support is essential to achieve sustainable results and maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long run. Quick fixes don’t last and are usually detrimental to long term progress.


Hiring a personal trainer is a decision that should be considered carefully, taking into account both the physical and psychological aspects of your fitness journey. The signs we have discussed serve as indicators that a personal trainer may be the missing piece in your pursuit of optimal health and fitness. So stop contemplating and take action today. At Soma Fitness, our coaches operate at the highest standards in the industry, continually reviewing and improving our service to ensure our clients receive the expertise, support, and guidance they deserve. Remember, investing in yourself is a worthy investment, and a personal trainer can be a valuable partner on your path to success.


⬇️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.


Why you are FAILING to achieve results.

As a personal trainer working with a wide rage of clients for over 17 years, I have seen many individuals fail to achieve their fitness goals. While there are a variety of reasons why someone may not reach their desired outcome, there are some common boundaries that tend to hold people back. We will explore these boundaries and how to overcome them.


Lack of commitment:


One of the most significant barriers to an individual’s success with their fitness goals is a lack of commitment. Many people set goals without truly committing to them, which can lead to failure. They like the sound of the outcome however neglect to put in the work required to achieve it. To overcome this barrier, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals, and to create a plan to reach those goals. As personal trainers we have to explain to our clients what is required to achieve the goals desired by the client, a lot of the times clients who hear what is required they are not willing to do what is required so we may then set them a more realistic goal to help them build the skills and progress them as we build trust with them.


Lack of accountability:


Another common barrier to success is a lack of accountability. Without someone to hold you accountable, it can be challenging to stay motivated and on track. A personal trainer can help with this by holding you accountable to your goals and providing support and guidance along the way. Discussing any pitfalls and building strategies to overcome them. You can also create accountability by sharing your goals with friends and family on a WhatsApp group or Facebook group with likeminded individuals. Together we can go far!


Poor nutrition:


It’s not a lie when people say Abs are made in the kitchen. Nutrition plays a significant role in achieving body composition goals. Poor nutrition habits, such as overeating or consuming high calorie low nutrient foods, can hinder progress. To overcome this barrier, it is important to create a healthy eating plan that includes a balance of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). You should also stay hydrated and avoid consuming processed and sugary foods. With some of our personal training clients who struggle with hydration we set hydration targets for the day and build on it as the individual adapts to consuming more water.


Inconsistent exercise habits:


Consistency is key when it comes to achieving your goals. Inconsistent exercise habits can hinder progress and make it difficult to see results. To overcome this barrier, it is important to create a consistent exercise routine that includes both strength and cardio training. Add your workouts into your weekly schedule and class that time as a non negotiable important meeting. Set yourself a realistic frequency that you can adhere to consistently within your weekly schedule.


Lack of support:


Support from friends and family can be a significant motivator when it comes to achieving fitness goals. Without this support, it can be challenging to stay motivated and on track. We have seen many people fail to achieve their goals due to a lack of support from their partner or family members. To overcome this barrier, set goals together so you can be in it together. You can join a support group with like minded individuals, find a workout buddy or with your partner, or work with a personal trainer who can provide support and guidance along the way.

We work with many couples in our personal training facility who work together to help each other achieve their goals, this can be very powerful when both individuals are all in as it helps with a positive home environment, healthier lifestyles habits, and with the consistency of adhering to the plan.


Having the weekends off:

You can spoil all of the hard work done throughout the week by having the weekend off. Individuals who like to socialise need to plan ahead and calorie bank in preparation for the weekend if they know that they will be consuming alcohol or consuming more calories during the weekend.


Getting into shape and achieving your goals is going to take a level of dedication and consistency that’s going to require you to dig deep, learn and grow to overcome bad lifestyle habits. If we don’t change the things that are keeping us overweight and unhealthy then our body won’t change. As personal trainers a large amount of our work is not only done on the gym floor, we try and coach individuals on how to conduct themselves outside of the gym, this is where most of the battle is either won or lost.

Should you track your nutritional intake?

Firstly, I would like to say if you’re serious about driving fat loss or muscle hypertrophy then absolutely yes you will have more chance of success in the initial phases at least if you are tracking your consumption. If you have long term success tracking calories and macronutrients, then you will know how effective it is in dialling in on your goals. However, from personal experience of managing my own and clients, nutrition, tracking calories and micronutrients day by day there can be some flaws to this method to help one stay on track with your nutrition.


The first, and main, reason I am not a supporter of tracking in the long term is that it requires a lot of time which many people often cannot fit into a busy schedule. For example, many people at work 9-5, have children to look after around that, as well as trying to make time for exercise and a healthy social life. If you are already stuck for time, the last thing you need is to be compelled to open up an app and make a diary entry every single time you eat.


Secondly, along with time, there are certain times where it’s simply inconvenient. If you are enjoying a few drinks at the weekend with your friends, not many people want to open MyFitnessPal every time someone gets another round in. Not only that, you’re probably going to forget to do so after the 6th!


Thirdly, it’s unnecessarily complex. Many apps will have you tracking calories, carbohydrates, protein and fats and lead you to believe that you need to hit each to the exact figure recommended. In reality, for anyone with body composition goals (building muscle and/or lose fat), carbohydrates and fats consumed do not significantly influence one’s results. As long as you hit your daily calorie target within 100kcal and have at least 2.2g protein per kg of bodyweight, then grams of carbohydrates and fats consumed simply does not matter (for body composition, for overall health it can but that’s a topic for a different blog).


These reasons are often the cause of many people giving up on tracking their nutrition. This in turn gives them a sense of failure and exhaustion towards making healthy nutritional choices, sending many back to previous bad habits




Aside from the impractical element of tracking, there’s the inaccuracy that often comes with it. Unless you are weighing every single food and drink that enters your body to the gram then you are not going to be 100% accurate. This is a big issue with more calorie dense foods. For instance, ‘A splash of olive oil’ is a subjective term. To some, this could mean 15ml and for some it could be 50ml. The difference in calories for this 123kcal vs 410kcal. This difference of almost 300kcal is enough to tip someone from a small calorie deficit back to their maintenance, without realising. Learning the skills of how to track and be accurate with is something that requires an element of coaching in itself and we have recently begun to provide out clients with guides on how to track using my fitness pal which is probably the most user-friendly app.


Lastly, another reason I do not like the tracking method is that it does not take into account micronutrients. These essential vitamins and minerals make a huge difference to overall health, helping you stay clear of chronic diseases. However, on tracking apps, 500kcal from a small pizza is the same as 500kcal from a chicken breast and vegetables.


So how do you ensure you’re making the correct nutritional choices for your goals?


Personally, I find that the most effective method for this is to plan ahead. Organising your nutrition on a Sunday for example, or whenever you get time, formulate yourself a meal plan for the week ahead. Plan out what you are going to eat and when, use tracking devices and labels to help you calculate protein and calories, forget about carbohydrates and fats if a change in body composition is your goal as a beginner if you are new to tracking keep it as simple as you can. Also, plan each day to have at least 5 different portions of fruit and vegetables to ensure you are consuming all the micronutrients you need.


If you keep note of how many calories and protein meals you often consume contains, then a few weeks in, you will have a menu of all of your meals with the portion sizes for each meal and you can continue adding meals to your plan for the week, as protein and calories will already by noted, saving you a lot of time in the long run. If you want to smash your goals this method of creating your menu based on your protein and calorie requirements will in the initial phases be a little bit of work and planning however after a good 4 weeks of doing so you will have all the tools required for you to keep your nutrition consistent which in the world of weight loss or building a physique is the most important driver in which will determine lasting success.


As for going out socialising, 100% accuracy cannot be achieved. However, knowing how many calories are in 1 glass of your chosen drink, and knowing roughly how much you drink will be much better than failing to track at all. If you know that you will be going out over the weekend you can then reduce calories in the week to make up for it. (Check out our blog on calorie banking for more on this).


Similar to training, planning ahead often yields much more effective results than being reactive day to day.

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.

Personal Training Tips | Resistance Training Benefits for Females

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance Training can be defined as a form of exercise, whereby external weights provide progressive overload to skeletal muscles in order to make them stronger and often result in hypertrophy (growth in overall size of muscle cells) (Alix-Fages et. al, 2022; Phillips and Winett, 2010), which can lead to several benefits.

Mental Health:

Firstly, Ramirez and Kravitz (2012) looked into the benefits of regular resistance training and found that it has been shown to improve numerous aspects of mental health including: lessened anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, self-esteem, memory and cognition. The way in which resistance training helps achieve this is not yet clear, but the benefits to mental health could well be consequences of the physical benefits that resistance training provides. For example, when we start training regularly, our sleep may improve. In turn, we see a reduction in stress hormones (Maggio et. al, 2013), which then can have a positive effect on our level of anxiety.

Fat Loss:

When wanting to lose weight, we need to be in a calorie deficit. When in this calorie deficit, weight can be lost via losing body fat, water, and muscle tissue. Regular resistance training helps preserve muscle mass when in a calorie deficit (Miller et. al, 2018). This, in turn, results in more of the weight lost being from body fat tissue, as opposed to muscle tissue. It is important to note that protein intake and sleep must also be sufficient to maximise muscle preservation, and therefore fat loss, in a calorie deficit. (Nedeltcheva et. al, 2010; Stokes et. al, 2018)

Frailty and Functionality:

As we age past the age of 35, we experience a gradual loss of muscle mass of around 1-2% per year, this is known as sarcopenia (Cruz-Jentoft and Sayer, 2019). Once we reach our 60’s and older, sarcopenia may contribute to a loss of functionality in daily tasks such as climbing stairs with ease, or playing with grandchildren.

Resistance training in elderly populations has been shown to increase their ability to go from sitting to standing with less postural sway and more proprioception, which is linked to more functional ability and lower risk of falls. (Faigenbaum and Myer, 2010)

‘I Don’t Want to Look Bulky’:

This is a common worry with female clients. Fortunately, there is about as much chance as accidentally adding significant amounts of muscle mass accidentally as there is as taking driving lessons and accidentally ending up in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Putting on significant amounts of muscle mass requires consistent training on a hypertrophy focussed plan, being in a calorie surplus, and consumption of adequate protein for a number of months before noticeable increases are seen. Overall, resistance training can be used as an excellent tool to improve one’s quality of life, regardless of age or goals.

Reference List:

  • Alix-Fages, C., Del Vecchio, A., Baz-Valle, E., Santos-Concejero, J., & Balsalobre-Fernández, C. (2022). The role of the neural stimulus in regulating skeletal muscle hypertrophy. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 1-18.
  • Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., & Sayer, A. A. (2019). Sarcopenia. The Lancet393(10191), 2636-2646.
  • Faigenbaum, A. D., & Myer, G. D. (2010). Pediatric resistance training: benefits, concerns, and program design considerations. Current sports medicine reports9(3), 161-168.
  • Maggio, M., Colizzi, E., Fisichella, A., Valenti, G., Ceresini, G., Dall’Aglio, E., … & Ceda, G. P. (2013). Stress hormones, sleep deprivation and cognition in older adults. Maturitas76(1), 22-44.
  • Miller, T., Mull, S., Aragon, A. A., Krieger, J., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2018). Resistance training combined with diet decreases body fat while preserving lean mass independent of resting metabolic rate: a randomized trial. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism28(1), 46-54.
  • Nedeltcheva, A. V., Kilkus, J. M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D. A., & Penev, P. D. (2010). Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine153(7), 435–441.
  • Phillips, S. M., & Winett, R. A. (2010). Uncomplicated resistance training and health-related outcomes: evidence for a public health mandate. Current sports medicine reports9(4), 208.
  • Ramirez, A., & Kravitz, L. (2012). Resistance training improves mental health. IDEA Fitness Journal9(1), 20-22.
  • Stokes, T., Hector, A. J., Morton, R. W., McGlory, C., & Phillips, S. M. (2018). Recent perspectives regarding the role of dietary protein for the promotion of muscle hypertrophy with resistance exercise training. Nutrients10(2), 180.




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.


Personal Training Tips | Upper Body Workout

Our personal trainers present your free upper body workout, please try it out. If you have any questions fire away!!!


A1) Cable External Roatations @ 90 degrees

10 reps x 3 sets

B1) Half Kneeling Ipsilateral Pull Downs

8 reps x 3 sets

C1) Cable Chest Press

8-10 reps x 3 sets

D1) Single Arm Dumbell Row

6-8 reps x 3 sets

E1)Pronated Grip Upper Back Row

10 reps x 3 sets

F1) Lengthened Position Bicep Curl mechanical drop set into Mid Range Bicep Curl

8-12 reps x 8-12 reps x 3 sets

G1) Shortened Position Tricep Extension mechanical drop set into Mid Range Tricep Extension

8-12 reps x 8-12 reps x 3 sets