NEW YEAR, NEW YOU - GET BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS

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NEW YEAR, NEW YOU - GET BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS

Happy new year everyone. 

If you're anything like us, your training and diet have gone out of the window for the last week or so (and more for some!) and you desperately need to get back on the wagon. Here are a few tips to help you get back in the swing of things, and to help keep it up too. Whether you are new to training and want to start the new year with a bang, or returning to training and struggling for motivation, these simple pointers can help anyone. 

Set Goals

Setting goals in a correct way can be a huge motivational tool along your journey. I'm not going to bore you with an explanation of the 'SMART' principles, as every man and his dog has heard or read about them (if you haven't, search it on google!), but integrating these principles in to your goal setting will have you off on a good start.

Make Small Changes

I've seen it a thousand times, people start the new year and totally change their lifestyle. They've suddenly gone from training once every couple of weeks to 5 times a week, and gone from eating takeaways or ready meals most night, to the perfect diet. Surprise surprise, it doesn't last. Make small changes every couple of weeks, and over a few months these will become habits. 

Make A Plan

It's much easier to stick to a workout routine when it's all planned for you. Turning up to the gym not knowing what to do usually results in a rubbish session with very little intensity.

Hire A Personal Trainer (Hint hint)

Hiring a personal trainer can make the world of difference, especially for those who are new to training. Following a programme you've read in Men's or Women's Health won't be specific to you and won't concentrate on the aspects of training you need to be working on. It also won't teach you how to do exercises safely and with correct technique. Also, the nutrition plans that you find in these magazines, or on the internet will be very general and again, not specific to you. This is where we can help you. We will tailor the training and nutrition plans specifically with YOU in mind and help motivate you throughout the journey.

Myself and Sarah will post blogs with our fitness goals for the year in the next few days. Until then, go find out about the 'SMART' principles, and begin your journey towards a healthier, happier, better you in 2017!

CHRISTMAS OFFER

BE YOUR BEST PERSONAL TRAINING CARDIFF

DOUBLE THE FUN, HALF THE PRICE - CHRISTMAS OFFER

It's December, and that can only mean one thing...IT'S CHRISTMAS. If you're anything like myself, you haven't put much thought in to presents and now running out of time. Well, look no further. Do they really need a new TV or a new phone that works exactly like the old one? Why not get your loved one a gift that will truly make a difference to their life....

We are offering 50% off group personal training packages!! All you have to do is buy a block of sessions for your friend and you can join in ABSOLUTELY FREE! 

DOUBLE THE FUN, HALF THE PRICE.

Alternatively, we have other offers available for Christmas presents if you do not wish to join in the fun. We are offering a 25% discount on a block of sessions to be taken as 1:1.

Christmas is just around the corner.....what are you waiting for?

BE YOUR BEST WITH.....JASMINE JOYCE

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BE YOUR BEST WITH.....JASMINE JOYCE

Jasmine-Team-GB-620x350.jpg

I'm delighted that my first guest as part of the series 'Be Your Best With.....' is Jasmine Joyce. Jasmine shot to fame in the summer, being the sole Welsh representative in Team GB's Women's Rugby Sevens Squad. Jasmine made an immediate impact, scoring a try within seconds of her first appearance. She ended the tournament with two tries to her name, and came agonisingly close to a bronze medal. I was honoured to be joined by Jasmine to chat about her journey, which you can find below. 


Hi Jaz. First of all, congratulations on the Olympics, it was amazing to see you carrying the Welsh flag and having such an amazing performance. Can you just tell me, how did your selection come about, being the only Welsh girl in the middle an otherwise England squad?

It started from me playing for Wales and getting involved playing in places like Dubai, Russia, France and Ireland. After our tournament in Ireland, two of us Welsh girls got selected, both myself and Laurie Harries. We were firstly offered a three month contract to go and live in London and train professionally with the England girls which were the team who qualified us as Team GB to compete in Rio. When the three months was up, we had a tournament in Dubai to show what we had learned and to see if we were in contention to be part of the squad that goes to Rio. When we got back from Dubai we sat down with our team manager for Wales who was Caroline Spanton at the time, and she was the one who would make the call to see if we would get the opportunity to carry on and fight for a place in the final 12 who would jet off to Rio. Luckily enough, both Laurie Harries and myself had the nod to say we had the opportunity to carry on competing and being professional up in London. Then I was up there for the whole year, competing in competitions and training flat out. Selection was so close between every individual and you had to be constantly performing well as everyone was pushing each other. Simon Middleton had a hard choice to make when selecting the squad. On the 24th of June we were expecting an email at seven on the dot, and we did indeed receive the email at seven with the attachment 'Squad for Rio'. It was the most nervous and exciting email I have ever opened in my whole entire life. I went on to open this email and the attachment and there was my name on the team sheet, I didn't know what to do with myself, I wanted to cry but I was the happiest girl ever, so many different emotions going through my head. It was a dream come true that I would be going to an Olympic Games and all the hard work from the last year had paid off.

I reckon I would have cried! Leading up to the Olympics, how did life change for you? I presume you had to put uni to one side for that year? Also, how did you find the adaption to professional rugby and training full time?

Leading up to the Olympics, I had to defer my second year of uni so I could purely concentrate on getting the most out of being professional and doing everything I could to be in that 12 to go to Rio. I loved training pretty much every day and then having the evenings to chill out and prepare for the next day. Of course it was hard but that's what it's going to be like when you're training for the Olympics.

So, leading up to Rio, once the squad had been selected and you knew you were on the plane, what was life like inside the training camp? What would a typical day consist of?

It was quite tense as the training squad was still a squad of 28 ish players. Everyone was supportive though, whether you had been selected or not. Days would still be exactly the same, training Monday to Friday, and still intense until a couple of weeks before we flew.

How much specific gym training did you have to do in the lead up, and what exercises were the main ones you had to concentrate on?

We would have two or three weights programmes a week, depending on if we had competitions coming up. There wasn't really main exercises to concentrate on, they are all as important as each other.

How did the training change once you were in Rio?

We tapered down and focused on specific plays and getting used to the heat out there. It's a lot different training in British weather to then going to compete in boiling hot weather. We got some training in this weather, such as when we went to Dubai.

I bet it was really hard to get used to?! So, was it more concentrated on adapting to the heat and tactics, more than hard gym sessions etc?

Yes, that was exactly it. We had already done the hard work of getting fit and ready for the physicality, now we just focused on team play.

Some days you would have to play two or three games a day. What was the routine like in terms of recovery/meals etc. on those days?

Yeah, some days we would be playing three games a day. This was hard as you don't get too hungry between games but you need to eat to refuel your body. We needed to make sure we got protein back in to our bodies and recover well after every game. We would leg drain after every game and rest up as much as we could.

Did you have time to go back to your rooms and have a proper rest, or did you have to wait around and do best as you could?

No, where our tournament was, it was a long drive back to our rooms in the hotel, so we would chill and rest up in a 'relax room' somewhere in the ground.

You scored a try with your first ever touch of the ball in an Olympic Games. What was going through your head when you were running through for that try? 

When I knew I had scored the try, there was so much going through my head, I just jumped up and all the girls came running in. I can just remember thinking "I've just scored in an Olympics game".

That must have been an unbelievable feeling. And then you went on to score again in the bronze medal match! That must have been quite a bitter sweet moment?

That was also amazing and for me, both my first and last touches of the Olympics, I scored. To be able to say that is something that not many people can say. I loved every single moment of it.

I really enjoyed the sevens in the Olympics and thought it was an amazing inclusion. Which do you prefer, 7's or 15's, both from a playing point of view, as well as being a spectator?

I much prefer sevens for both playing and watching as it's much more of an exciting game. Sevens is more suited to the way I play rugby and I'm able to use my strengths more within the sevens game, such as my speed and fitness. I prefer watching sevens too, but 15's is also a very exciting game, especially with the Six Nations and World Cup.

I agree that it's much more exciting to watch too, so I'm glad you said that. How has life changed for you now that you've returned as an Olympian?

Life as itself hasn't changed that much, I've gone back to uni now and studying my second year, so back down to reality now. I have a lot more media and activities going on now, and more photo shoots and things like that than before I went to Rio. I get noticed a lot more around the streets and walking down to my local shop should take five minutes, but I don't get back to the house for a good 30 minutes. My parents wonder where I have gone.

Haha, amazing. I saw on twitter that you scored an impressive hat-trick of tries for Cardiff Met a couple of weeks ago, so you've obviously taken your Olympic form in to the new season. Do you find that any of your team mates and/or opposition treat you differently now?

No, they don't treat me any differently, it's just like I had never gone away.

How about the opposition? Do you find they target you more as a danger player now?

I'm not sure really, I just concentrate on playing my game, and focus on our team performance.

Where do you see yourself in the coming years? Are your sights now firmly set on Tokyo (Olympics 2020)?

My end goal is to be there in Tokyo, but there is a lot going on before that, in both the 15's and sevens, such as Six Nations and World Cup for 15's, and Commonwealth Games and World Cup for Sevens. So I would like to be involved in each of these events. 

And finally, which do you prefer, cats or dogs?

I certainly prefer dogs, they are much more cuddly.

It was a privilege to be able to start this series interviewing an Olympian and getting a real insight in to life in the Olympics. Jaz's enthusiasm for her sport is to be admired, and we at Be Your Best Personal Training wish her the very best in her future career.

EURO 2016 - THE BEST SUMMER OF MY LIFE

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EURO 2016 - THE BEST SUMMER OF MY LIFE

We were sat there, at the Stade des Lumieres in Lyon, Portugal fans all gone. Welsh fans still singing "Men of Harlech", which had been roaring out non-stop for the last 20 minutes of the match, and about half an hour after. It was over. Would I ever experience such a journey again? Probably not. Would I ever see Wales, the underdogs, see off all competition to reach a semi final of a major tournament again? Probably not. Will I find myself thinking "What if Ramsey wasn't suspended?" at least once a week for the rest of my life? Probably, yes.

The journey started over 2 years ago, with non-stop highs, something that can't be said about Welsh football too often. But this was different. The feeling in the games was that of excitement and optimism. This was our year. 

Fast forward 2 years of qualifying, and we were there. We were ready to take part in an international tournament, not watch on from the sofas as England fail year after year. We would be a part of it.

Paris & Bordeaux

Paris Fanzone - Opening Ceremony

Paris Fanzone - Opening Ceremony

My brother's stag. I was best man. I had organised the stag for the opening weekend of the Euros, so off we set, a 22 strong group of Welsh fans, just happy and excited to be there. The first night was incredible. The Paris fanzone seemed like something you'd only dream of seeing on TV. Under the setting of the mighty Eiffel Tower, we drank the night away, watching France win their opening match, with thousands of French fans, but it was the next day that the journey really began......

Wales 2-1 Slovakia

Wales 2-1 Slovakia

Bordeaux. What a city. What a place. "We'll always have Bordeaux" quickly became the motto of Welsh fans throughout the tournament. What this city now means to Welsh fans can't be described, unless you were there. I remember thinking before the tournament, 'I just can't wait to sing the national anthem at a major tournament, that would be enough, and IF I can experience a goal, just a single goal, to celebrate, my expectations of the tournament would be met'. A Ben Davies goal line clearance, a Gareth Bale free kick goal, and a gloriously bad winner from the legend Hal Robson-Kanu meant that there were genuine tears for the first time this tournament (and certainly not the last). Hugging and kissing strangers seemed like the most normal thing to do. The locals LOVED the Welsh, and the Welsh certainly fell in love with Bordeaux on that day.

The stag group in Bordeaux

The stag group in Bordeaux

Biarritz (a little break...kind of)

"Quiet time" in Biarritz...

"Quiet time" in Biarritz...

We hadn't managed to get tickets for the England match, so took a little trip to Biarritz for, what was meant to be a relaxing 4 days, however, the weather didn't get the memo. This "forced" us (Mark and I were particularly happy with this) to go to the local pub and watch 3 games a day. So, 4 days later, too much wine consumed, a horrible crushing last minute defeat to England, a lot of sore heads, and we were heading to Toulouse with spirits slightly dampened from the ecstasy of Bordeaux...

Toulouse

We'll always have Bordeaux quickly turned to "We'll always have Toulouse". Wales v Russia. A must win, to presumably come second in the group behind England, or a draw to maybe sneak in through the new rule of best 3rd place. Revenge from 2003, when a performance enhancing drug taker took our place in Euro 2004. A late kick off, a glorious sunny day. This only means one thing when away watching football - a whole day drinking leading up to the game. We were having such a good day, singing and laughing in the streets of Toulouse that I had genuinely forgotten about the game at hand. 90 minutes later, arguably the best performance ever seen by a Wales team, a 3-0 victory and we were guaranteed a second place finish. If this was a joyous moment, the moment the other results came through on the big screen was something else. England 0-0 Slovakia. We had only gone and bloody won the group. "Wales won't even make it out of the group", "Stop Bale and you stop Wales", "You can't count on one man to take you through a tournament", "The group will be a warm up for England before the real tournament starts" they said...What we were singing can't be repeated...

Wales 3-0 Russia

Wales 3-0 Russia

Paris (again) 

A win's a win. Wales 1-0 Northern Ireland.

A win's a win. Wales 1-0 Northern Ireland.

Back to work for a few days, then a nice easy drive out for the second round in Paris where Northern Ireland awaited us. It was a nervy day. Wales were favourites, something we haven't dealt well with in the past. The day after Brexit, so spirits were low. Early kick off, so not much time to even drink the nerves away. Saying that, we made the most of our time here, and weather was stunning, so the amount of time we had leading up to the game was great fun. It was an awful game, full of mistakes, and Northern Ireland thoroughly deserves to win. It speaks volumes that it was an own goal which eventually decided the match. 1-0 win. Take that and move on....

Lille

My bed....

My bed....

Lille...LILLE! My God. "We'll always have Bordeaux", "We'll always have Toulouse". No no no. "WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE LILLE". We were warned that Lille was small and rubbish and had no night life. Whoever had given these memos were definitely in a different Lille to us. After I drove the whole way there (from Cardiff) in one day, we parked up and headed out. We found a street that was more like Ibiza than a "quiet, boring town in France". Arriving home at 7am and sleeping in the bath was not in the plan....Somehow we managed to get up and have breakfast ready for game day. Another late kick off - perfect. Wales v Belgium. Belgium, ranked second in the world. Lille, right on the border of Belgium. This felt like an away match such was the dominance of Belgian fans in numbers. This didn't stop it being an amazing atmosphere on the street of Lille, and being another late kick off, again, with all the fun, I had forgotten that we were about to play in the QUARTER FINALS OF A MAJOR TOURNAMENT. It was fine, I was happy for the journey to end here. We'd had much more than we had ever hoped for. As long as we gave a battling performance, defeat today was fine...

1-0 down in less than 10 minutes, being absolutely battered. Maybe a battling defeat was even too much to ask for? Even though the stadium was 80% Belgium fans, all you could hear was the huge repertoire of Welsh songs, filling the stadium. Then, just before half time, 1-1. Captain Ashley Williams. The celebrations are a blur. I had, I don't know how many pints thrown over me, and I ended up about 10 rows in front of where my actual seat was. This was the pinnacle of supporting Wales, a goal in a quarter final of a major tournament....until about 20 minutes later. Hal Robson-Kanu, who didn't even have a club at the time of the game, pulls off the most ridiculous skill you'll ever see. It left 4 defenders for dead, so much so that I presumed play had been stopped for some reason. I have never seen scenes like this in my life, and most likely won't again. This time, I ended up in the front row (we were in row 20 something), and when I got back to my seat, I realised I had lost my shoe, and there was lots of blood quickly seeping through my jeans....Where on earth was my shoe?? I didn't care. (I found it later in the front row). Time went so slowly after this, until, a third goal. A. THIRD. GOAL. Against the second best team in the world. In the quarter finals of the European Championships. Again, I found myself in the front row (I found me shoe!!). There were literally tears on every face. Grown men, football fans, sobbing like babies. I walked back to our seat, and found my brother inconsolably crying and hugging some random man, who was trying to hold him up. This wasn't normal. This must have been a dream. Except, I would never ever had dreamt of a moment like this.....

Wales 3-1 Belgium

Wales 3-1 Belgium

Lyon

Another fantastic day, with Welsh fans dominating the streets of Lyon. Lyon was a gorgeous city, definitely the nicest one we had been to on our travels, and the fact the temperature was in the 30's certainly helped this day to be brilliant. Just like Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lille before, the party had started early with the 'Red Wall' taking over another French city. But this was one step too far. It took Ronaldo, the best player on the planet to stop us, after more than matching the Portugese, the eventual champions for the first 45 minutes.

Lyon - a beautiful city

Lyon - a beautiful city

And now we're back to where I started this blog...I sat, and cried, the first tears of sadness along this amazing journey. I'm going to take the next quote from another blog I read, as it described the feeling of that moment absolutely perfectly.

"I untied my flag, sat in the seat and cried my eyes out. I've cried tears of joy a few times during this campaign, but it was the first time in years and years I had cried because I was sad. When Germany lost their semi final the next day, they knew they would have another one soon, and they'd win a trophy soon, probably more than one. For us, maybe we won't even qualify again. Despite the huge amount of pride I felt, and the amazing memories that will live with me forever, I couldn't help being just really really sad". (Supporters Not Customers - Allez les rouges).
Portugal 2-0 Wales

Portugal 2-0 Wales

Wales had come as underdogs, as a one man team. It's quite telling we had two players in the "Team of the Tournament" and not one of those was our "one man", Bale. We left France as heroes. The country had fallen in love with us. No longer would I go on holiday and people thought Wales was a part of England. I went to Borneo, Malaysia a couple of weeks ago and was asked by a taxi driver where I was from. When I answered "Wales", his reaction was excitedly saying "YES YES, Gareth Bale. Do you know him?". Wales are firmly on the map.

World Cup, Russia, 2018....maybe, just maybe?

TIME MANAGEMENT

BE YOUR BEST PERSONAL TRAINING CARDIFF

TIME MANAGEMENT

For a lot of us, fitness training is a hobby - something we enjoy. We also have other hobbies that may facilitate or be facilitated by our gym training, such as sports, music or art (to name only a few examples). Many of us have other important relationships that we need to organise time for, such as friends and family. Unfortunately, most of us have to work in order to continue enjoying these hobbies and relationships.

If we take the average 9 'til 5 job; that's 40 hours a week in work. If we add an additional hour on to each day for travel time, we spend 45 hours a week on work related activities, disregarding any after-hours 'work activities'. This leaves a total of 123 hours for non-work related activities in a 7 day week. 

123 hours!!!

It seems like a lot of time to do everything that needs to be done, and then take part in those things you enjoy. But, in order to function as adult human beings, we must complete a lot in this time; sufficient sleep, cooking, eating, cleaning, washing, laundry etc. Once this list has diminished, do we really have time for those things we enjoy; training, sport, music, art, socialising, GBBO (Great British Bake Off for those of you who've lived under a rock the last few months). At the best of times, we are left with little time to enjoy ourselves, and to truly get the most out of our fitness training.

During normal periods of your life (no stress), you can devote a little longer doing those things you enjoy. For example, you can spend that little extra time exploring new exercises, different ways to load an exercise in your sessions or really critique and improve your technique. These are the best times to do these things, as you won't be thinking excessively of any stressful triggers.

In times of greater stress, however, we tend to spend less (if any) time training. Yet, we still have time to watch the Bake Off..... At these times, most of us put training last as it is seen as a luxury. These are the times that our eating habits turn to complete rubbish too. Overall, our health and fitness takes a back seat. Cut a long story short....it shouldn't!

During times of stress, you should make exercising and eating well a priority. It may seem like that least important part of your life at the moment, but doing so will actually make you feel less stressed and more energetic. 

To conquer training and eating well at periods of high stress, try and do the following:

  • PREPARE most of your meals in advance. Most of us have at least one day off work a week which we use having a bit of a lazy day and catching up on all the TV we missed that week. Try taking a bit of time to prep a few meals for the coming week and pop them in the fridge/freezer until you need them. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes.
  • TRAIN hard. Take time with your warm up, but in the belly of your session, really vamp up the intensity. Shorter rest times and faster movements will reduce the length of your workout, whilst still leaving you feeling sufficiently tired. Remember though, to reduce the weights appropriately to avoid injury.
  • PLAN ahead. This goes for meals, as well as your training sessions. Try and plan what you're going to eat and when so that you can remain focused on the more important things in your day. Also, plan your training sessions ahead so you can go in and get it done without adding anything or wasting any time thinking up your session when you get in to the gym.

    Hope this can be of help to you when trying to juggle all that life has to throw at you.

    Sarah  

INCOMING....

Be Your Best Personal Training Cardiff

INCOMING....

Be Your Best Personal Training Cardiff New Blog

Hello everyone (probably not that many of you so far, but hopefully after all the shares of our wonderful articles, this will change) and welcome to a sparkling new website. I'll do my best to update the website very often, so keep your eyes peeled for some awesome Cardiff Personal Trainer deals. 

This is just an introductory blog post to whoever may be interested in the ramblings of myself (Rhodri) and Sarah. Between us, we will be aiming to bring you some fresh, exciting content on a weekly basis. These blogs will cover anything from moaning about the fitness industry, praising the fitness industry, our training, recipes, and further down the line hopefully some very exciting features once a month. 

I'll be jetting away to Borneo for a fortnight on Thursday, to trek through the rain-forest, but upon my return, we will kick start the blog page. This, presuming I survive....I am genuinely terrified of house spiders and wasps (and moths..and fly's..and you get the point) so spending close to a week trekking up Mount Trus Madi might actually just finish me off.

Keeping today short and sweet.

Rhodri