Authentic Workouts at Comfortable Xercise4Less Gyms

An Authentic Fitness Experience at Xercise4Less Gyms

Finding a gym that’s right for you and right for your fitness goals isn’t easy. But at Xercise4Less Gyms you’ll always find an authentic gym that will make you feel right at home and at ease when you’re working out. We want you to get fit and feel great while you’re getting into shape. Not only do we provide all the exercise equipment that you need to transform your fitness, but we create a comfortable environment for you to work up a sweat.

Joining a gym and working out on a regular basis can be uncomfortable at first but our perky Front Desk staff and our encouraging Personal Trainers will soon put your fears to rest. An Xercise4Less gym is for everyone no matter your fitness level or gym experience. We offer a workout environment that is non-intimidating for the beginner but fully authentic for the experienced gym bunny. For our female members too, you can work out in comfort in our private ladies-only gym zone.

We know that the more comfortable you are in an authentic gym, the more you’ll work out and that makes us very happy!

A Real Gym for Real Bodies

To help you start getting into your best shape, all our new gym members enjoy a FREE one-to-one Personal Training session. We’ll help you get comfortable around the gym and around the equipment so you can get the most from your workout sessions. Our Personal Trainers will also work with you to plan realistic targets for your normal body shape and to get the most from an authentic exercise session at Xercise4Less Gyms.

But that’s only the start. No matter how experienced a gym goer you are, our Personal Trainers are always on hand to explain, guide and motivate you to really ramp up your fitness. You can also take advantage of all the FREE group exercise classes you’d expect from an authentic fitness centre like Xercise4Less Gyms including the world famous and fabulously effective Les Mills workout sessions. Don’t miss out either on our intensive Boot Camps or our incredible and life-changing Transformation Camps. Alternatively, you can create your own circuit training routines to burn off calories or gain muscle in the huge space available in a real gym like Xercise4Less.

All the Right Equipment for an Authentic Gym Workout

As an inclusive gym [LINK to Inclusive blog] Xercise4Less Gyms [LINK] aims for an authentic workout vibe where you’ll feel comfortable both exercising and asking for help when you need it. The feel of a gym is determined by the quality of people working out and the people working in it. At Xercise4Less Gyms you’ll find friendly approachable people including our Personal Trainers and your fellow members ready to support and motivate you. We want you to be comfortable so if you’re not sure how a resistance machine operates or how our Transformation Camps work, all you have to do is ask someone in our gym.

However, at an Xercise4Less gym it’s not just the people that build an authentic atmosphere to deliver your health and wellbeing ambitions. You’ll also find the right equipment to take you to a higher level of fitness. In our great value gyms, you’ll find as much exercise equipment as your quivering muscles can stand. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced power lifter or completely new to resistance training, you’ll the right fitness kit to hone your muscles or blow away your body fat. You won’t need to queue for machines either even if you work out at peak times. We provide twice the number of fitness machines of a normal gym. We’re want you excited to come back as often as your tired body can handle!

A Comfortable Environment for All Our Members

Part of being an authentic gym is allowing everyone who exercises to be comfortable when they work out. That’s why we emphasise the Ladies Only gym zones available in all Xercise4Less Gyms around the country. We won’t stand for any gymtimidation in an Xercise4Less gym and we understand that some female members are just more comfortable working out with other women.

Feeling intimidated at the gym isn’t restricted to just our women members though, everyone can feel judged about their workout form or their current body shape. We’ve made it our mission at Xercise4Less Gyms to make you comfortable in our authentic gyms. Our approachable staff are there to assist you whatever your fitness targets are. Whether you need an encouraging word or motivating advice you’ll find it from our Personal Trainers and fitness staff in your local Xercise4Less gym.

Trust in the Authentic Fitness Community of Xercise4Less Gyms

We want you to get comfortable starting on your life-long journey of fitness improvement. We work at building an authentic and supportive workout environment that will keep you coming back day after day. We’re an exercise community that is there for you on every step of your fitness journey. You’ll never be intimidated or frustrated by the lack of help and support that you get when you join Xercise4Less Gyms today. For us, that’s what an authentic gym is all about!

Everyone’s Welcome at Inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms

all year fitness xmas dinner blog

Everyone’s Welcome at Inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms

We like to think that working out is the right step for every person who walks through the door at Xercise4Less Gyms. As an inclusive gym we want to make you feel good about exercising whether you’re a first-time gym goer, an experienced work out machine or an occasional gym visitor. There is no perfect gym shape or mould of how you should look or how fit you should be to work out at any of our Xercise4Less Gyms. We are as welcoming towards gym newbies as we are towards power lifters and provide a friendly exercise environment that works for both female and male gym members.

At Xercise4Less Gyms we work with every type of body. It doesn’t matter your size, your gender, your athletic ability, your age or your physical condition. We work with you to reach realistic goals that fit your ambitions. Accommodating our Xercise4Less gym to your fitness needs means innovations like ladies only gym zones so everyone can build your body confidence in comfort and security. Xercise4Less gym members include everyone from people suffering from illness to members shy about working out on a regular basis. We provide a friendly and inclusive space so you can focus on your fitness and leave your body anxiety behind. 

 Join X4L Gyms Today

Join an Inclusive Community Which Supports You

Finding a supportive community to workout with is really straight forward with Xercise4Less Gyms.

We provide a huge variety of FREE group exercise programmes to include you in our community. You’ll get your training off on the right foot thanks to an initial one-to-one fitness class with our friendly Personal Trainers. You get to know us, and we get to know your fitness ambitions.

Having a safe and inclusive fitness space is vital to make you feel comfortable working out and to help build a positive relationship with your body. Xercise4Less Gyms works hard on creating a gym that is fully accessible. Everyone from the friendly front desk staff to the motivating Personal Trainers are focused on making your workout experience as positive as possible. We don’t want you feeling self-conscious or intimidated when you visit a Xercise4Less gym. We really want you to pick up the exercise bug and we’ll do whatever it takes to get you fitter. You’ll still get the heart racing but in a non-intimidating or non-judgemental workout space.

A Safe and Encouraging Workout Space for Men and Women

Xercise4Less Gyms has a reputation for accessibility and that means we build an environment that works for all our members no matter their fitness level or their gender. We provide all the kit an experienced body builder could need and all the cardio and resistance machines a beginner requires to start their fitness journeys.

Our gyms also accommodate the needs of female members who fear gymtimidation and are more comfortable working out with other women. As an inclusive gym we provide our female members with a ladies-only gym zone that is separate and private. You can still work out at maximum capacity but with maximum support from like-minded women and without any anxiety. Whatever you need to supercharge your fitness wise, Xercise4Less Gyms will accommodate your ambitions.

The Personal Side of Getting Fit

Plenty of gyms claim to be welcoming exercise spaces. But at Xercise4Less Gyms we make inclusivity and accessibility a real priority. That’s why we value the role of our Personal Trainers in addition to the amazing range of equipment and the fantastic welcoming space that is part of your local Xercise4Less gym.

Our Personal Coaching programmes are a key factor in making you feel welcome and feel part of our exercise community. The highly qualified trainers that you’ll work with at an Xercise4Less gym are super motivated to help you achieve the fitness goals you’ve set while feeling good about doing it. They’ll guide you through your workouts and they’re always on hand to provide encouragement when you need it most. What more motivation could they need than seeing our gym members make real progress in their fitness levels?

Join an Inclusive Fitness Community at Xercise4Less Gyms

At Xercise4Less Gyms we’re determined that your workout experience will keep you coming back for more. We’re an inclusive community of gym goers who are there to support and motivate you towards the ambitious goals that you’ve set for yourself. That includes everyone from the Personal Trainers to the General Manager to the other gym members.

We want to make you feel comfortable and relaxed so you can feel at home in a Xercise4Less Gyms. We want you to gain self-confidence in your fitness as well as gaining muscle! We accommodate our fitness ambitions to your exercise needs and empower you to reach your goals.

Sign up to an inclusive gym like Xercise4Less Gyms today and turn exercise into a positive and fun habit as part of the most inclusive support network possible.

 Join X4L Gyms Today

Dumbbells Fitness Guide Upper Body

stock image dumbbells-upper body workout

Upper Body Dumbbell Workout Guide from Xercise4Less Gyms

With the Xercise4Less Upper Body Dumbbell Workout Guide you can really work your chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, and core. An upper body dumbbell workout is as useful for gym newbies as for more advanced trainees. Whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user, you’ve got to make sure dumbbells are part of your upper body workout plan at your local Xercise4Less gym.

You can use these dumbbells exercises for a proper upper-body workout. By using dumbbells you’re forcing every target muscle and surrounding muscles to work hard and help you add muscle and shed fat.

Work Out Your Upper Body with This Dumbbell Workout

Really target your upper body muscles with this Xercise4Less Upper Body Dumbbells Workout Guide. For the recommended number of reps and sets, see the detailed instructions below. Our guide to an upper body workout with dumbbells contains the following exercises:

 
Repeat these upper body dumbbell lifts back to back, with no rest in between. Once you complete the set of upper body dumbbell exercises, take a one-minute rest. Ensure your transitions between each of the dumbbell lifts are as smooth as possible and focus on quality reps with good form. Make sure you use a dumbbell that is light enough for you to maintain good technique.

If you’d prefer a full body session with dumbbells, check out our Full Body Dumbbell Workout Guide or focus on your legs with the Xercise4Less Lower Body Dumbbell Workout Guide.

You can also turn to our Personal Trainers for advice and guidance on dumbbell workout technique. You won’t lack for dumbbells either. Xercise4Less gyms are stuffed with all the equipment you need to achieve real full body results. You can choose from just under 3.5 tonne of dumbbells 2-75kg including triple pairs 2-30kg and just over 1.5 tonne of disc weights to transform your real body.

Read on for more detailed instructions on how to perform these upper body dumbbell exercises correctly.

Upper Body One-Arm Dumbbell Row Workout

Get your upper body dumbbells workout off to a great start with the One-Arm Dumbbell Row, perfect for your lower lats.

Lean forward at the waist and place one knee and the same-side hand on a flat bench. Keep your other foot on the floor and grasp a dumbbell in the same-side hand, allowing the weight to hang straight down with your arm fully extended.

Pull the dumbbell toward your hip, keeping your elbow tight in. Pull your elbow as far back as you can, squeezing your shoulder blades together for a full contraction, then lower the dumbbell along the same path. Repeat for reps before switching arms.

Do 4 One-Arm Dumbbell Row upper body sets with 6 reps in each.

Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press for Upper Body Exercise

Really work on your pecs with a Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press in this tough upper body dumbbells exercise.

Lie face-up on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand just outside your shoulders. Powerfully press the dumbbells up and together, stopping when they’re an inch or so away from touching. Slowly return to the start.

Do 4 Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press upper body sets with 6 reps in each.

Upper Body Workout with a Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Focus on all three delt heads with a proper Dumbbell Shoulder Press workout.

Hold the dumbbells by your shoulders with your palms facing forwards and your elbows out to the sides and bent at a 90° angle. Without leaning back, extend through your elbows to press the weights above your head. Then slowly return to the starting position.

Do 4 Dumbbell Shoulder Press upper body sets with 8 reps in each. 

Upper Body Dumbbell Shrug Workouts

Build your upper traps with a Dumbbell Shrug exercise.

With a Dumbbell Shrug you stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand by your sides with your palms facing in. Keeping your chest up and abs tight, shrug your shoulders straight up toward the ceiling, squeezing your traps at the top. Slowly reverse the motion, letting the dumbbells lower your shoulders as far as possible. Avoid rolling your shoulders though and keep the motion strictly up and down.

Do 3 Dumbbell Shrug upper body sets with 8 reps in each. 

Seated One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension for Your Upper Body

As a massive upper body workout, the Seated One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension really strains your triceps.

Sit straight on an upright bench, feet flat on the floor. Grasp a dumbbell and hold it overhead at full arm extension. Bending only your elbow, lower the dumbbell behind your head until your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Feel your triceps stretch, then press back up to full-arm extension and squeeze your triceps hard at the top. Repeat for reps before switching arms.

Do 2 Seated One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension upper body sets with 10 reps in each.

Upper Body Exercise with a Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Transform your biceps with a Dumbbell Hammer Curl session.

Stand straight holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the weight toward your shoulders. Your palms should face each other the entire time. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top, then lower to the start. Pause, and then lower back to the starting position and repeat.

Do 2 Dumbbell Hammer Curl upper body sets with 10 reps in each.

Dumbbell Incline Fly for Upper Body Workout

A fantastic exercise for your chest and shoulders, make sure to include a Dumbbell Incline Fly in your workout programme.

With a Dumbbell Incline Fly, you hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie on an incline bench. Start with your arms extended directly above you and then slowly lower them out to the side, keeping a slight bend at the elbow. Reverse the action and bring your arms above you again, then repeat.

Do 2 Dumbbell Incline Fly upper body sets with 10 reps in each.

Upper Body Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise Workout

Finish off your upper body dumbbell workout with the Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise, perfect for building up your shoulders.

Stand with a straight torso and two dumbbells by your side with the palms of the hand facing you. Maintain your torso in a stationary position and don’t swing as you lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward. Continue to raise the dumbbells until your arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.

Do 4 Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise upper body sets with 6 reps in each.


Join Xercise4Less Gyms for the Best Dumbbells Workout Plans

At Xercise4Less Gyms you’ll never be stuck waiting for a dumbbell during your workout. We provide over 400 pieces of exercise equipment for our members. And that includes 3.5 tonne of dumbbells. We want you to achieve the most ambitious targets so your workout plan should some of these upper body dumbbell exercises. Check out too our Full Body Dumbbell Workout Guide or the Xercise4Less Lower Body Dumbbell Workout Guide if you’d prefer to split your dumbbell workouts.

Xercise4Less Gyms helps you reach real goals and our upper body dumbbell workout guide is only the start of what we offer our gym membership. Whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user, at the People’s Gym we offer everything you need to hit your fitness targets. You can choose from a huge range of exercise equipment from resistance and cardio machines to free weights. You can work out in a dedicated functional fitness area, take on our combat zone, exercise in our dedicated Ladies Only gym zone or in our special Spin studio. Our gym members also benefit from inclusive group exercise classes including Les Mills fitness sessions. Our friendly Personal Training experts will strain every sinew to help you achieve your workout targets.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms today and see exactly how we’re busy transforming the health and wellbeing of gym members all over the country with upper body dumbbell exercises.

Dumbbell Fitness Guide Lower Body

Lower Body Dumbbell Workout Guides at Xercise4Less Gyms

With this Xercise4Less Gym Lower Body Dumbbell Workout Guide you can build lean and strong legs. Whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or already an experienced gym user target your feet, calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes with our lower body dumbbell exercises.

Make this lower body dumbbell workout a part of your exercise plan so that you build muscle and shred fat and really strengthen your lower half. With this lower body dumbbell workout guide you’ll start to look forward to leg day in your local Xercise4Less gym.

Transform Your Lower Body with These Dumbbell Exercises

See real fitness improvements in your lower body when you use this Xercise4Less Lower Body Dumbbells Workout Guide. Do three to four sets of each of the following lower body dumbbell exercises and feel the benefits in your leg and glutes:

Do 16 reps per lower body dumbbell exercise and 8 reps per leg on the dumbbell lunge exercises. Repeat in 3-4 sets. Try to focus on quality reps with good form. Make sure you use a dumbbell that is heavy enough to challenge you. If you’d prefer a full body workout with dumbbells, check out our Full Body Dumbbell Workout Guide or focus on your shoulders and arms with the Xercise4Less Upper Body Dumbbell Workout Guide.

Our friendly Personal Trainers will also be on hand in your local Xercise4Less gym to advise you on the best lower body dumbbell workout techniques if you need it. Xercise4Less gyms are fully equipped for these lower body dumbbell exercises. Using our lower body dumbbell workout guide you can choose from just under 3.5 tonne of dumbbells 2-75kg including triple pairs 2-30kg and just over 1.5 tonne of disc weights to transform your real body.

Read on for more detailed instructions on how to perform these lower body dumbbell exercises correctly.

Lower Body Dumbbell Split Squats Exercises

Start off your lower body dumbbell workout session with the Dumbbell Split Squats and begin building muscle.

Position yourself into a staggered stance with the rear foot elevated and front foot forward. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, letting them hang at the sides. flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down while maintaining good posture. Keep your front knee in line with your foot as you do the Lower Body Dumbbell Split Squats. Finally drive through the heel to extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position.

Do 16 Dumbbell Split Squats lower body reps and repeat in 3-4 sets.

Dumbbell Walking Lunge for Lower Body Workouts

With a Dumbbell Walking Lunge, you can make your lower body muscles work harder.

Stand hip-width apart holding two dumbbells by your sides. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Inhale as you go down. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should be in line with your front foot. Do not allow your front knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint. Using mainly the heel of your foot, extend both knees to push up to return to the starting position.

Do 8 reps per leg for these lower body Dumbbell Walking Lunges and repeat in 3-4 sets.

Lower Body Exercises with Dumbbell Goblet Squats

Try Dumbbell Goblet Squats to work your shoulders and legs hard.

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width. Hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Sit back into a squat, keeping the dumbbell in the same position, then drive back up and repeat.

Do 16 Dumbbell Goblet Squats lower body reps and repeat in 3-4 sets.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Workout to Strength Your Lower Body

Hammer your hamstrings and glutes with this fantastic Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift.

Grab a pair of dumbbells with your back straight throughout the Romanian Deadlift. Allow your arms to hang perpendicular to the floor, with the wrists pronated and the elbows pointed to your sides. Start the Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift by flexing your hips, slowly pushing your butt as far back as you can only partially bending your knees with your weight remaining on your heels. Push your butt back as far as you can while maintaining an arch in your back throughout the dumbbell deadlift. When your hips cannot go any further backward, pause, and then slowly extend your hips to return to the starting position.

Do 16 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift lower body reps and repeat in 3-4 sets.

Lower Body Dumbbell Swing

Buff up your lower body with this challenging Dumbbell Swing exercise.

Grab a dumbbell and hold it in the centre with one hand in front of the other. Set your feet shoulder-width apart. Without rounding your lower back, bend your knees slightly, push your hips back, and swing the weight between your legs. Once the weight is behind you, forcefully contract your glutes and thrust your hips forward to swing the dumbbell to chest level. The momentum of your hip thrust should swing the dumbbell upward. At the top of the movement, contract your core, glutes, and quads as hard as you can. Then allow the weight to swing back between your legs and repeat.

Do 16 Dumbbell Swing lower body reps and repeat in 3-4 sets.

Dumbbell Split Lunge Lower Body Exercises

Really work your quads and glutes with this tough Dumbbell Split Lunge lower body workout.

Start with one foot up on a bench and your other leg just slightly in front of your body. Hold the dumbbells at your side. Lower your back knee to the floor while maintaining a neutral spine and good posture. Keep most of your bodyweight over your front heel. Press the heel of your front foot through the floor and rise to return to the starting position.

Do 8 reps per leg for these lower body Dumbbell Pulse Lunges and repeat in 3-4 sets.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms for the Best Dumbbells Lower Body Workouts

Xercise4Less Gyms is the perfect workout location for a lower body dumbbell fitness session. We provide lots of useful exercise guides including this Lower Body Dumbbell Workout Guide, but you can also use the Xercise4Less Upper Body Dumbbell Workout Guide or work your whole body with our Full Body Dumbbell Workout among many others. That’s only the start of how we can help you improve your health and wellbeing.

It doesn’t matter what stage of the fitness journey you’re at, ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user. At the People’s Gym our friendly personal training experts will guide and motivate you towards the most ambitious fitness goals. If you want to use dumbbells to supercharge your fitness, you’re really in luck with an Xercise4Less gym membership; we have just under 3.5 tonne of dumbbells available in each gym. Work out with a wide range of the latest cardio and resistance machines and plenty of free weights. Get into the shape of your life with our dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, a Spin studio, functional fitness area and a combat zone. Don’t miss out either on our simply incredible Body Transformation Camps or the amazing range of energising fitness classes including the latest Les Mills workout sessions.

Whatever you need to improve health and fitness, you’ll get when you join Xercise4Less Gyms today. Sit down with our friendly Personal Trainers and find the right inclusive programme for your real body. Sign up to an Xercise4Less gym membership and start your body transformation right now.

Gary French – Transformation Camp Winner

Transformation from truck stop diner to Porsche owner as HGV driver from County Durham wins a brand-new sports car

Fitness challenge at his local Xercise4Less gym wins Gary French a Porsche – and a five stone weight loss.

When Gary French, a 50-year old HGV driver from Hartburn, nervously walked into a gym for the first time in January 2018, little did he know it was the start of a journey which would lead him to a complete body transformation – and behind the wheel of a brand new Porsche.

Above: Gary French, Marketing, Fitness and CEO.

National gym chain Xercise4Less launched a competition at the start of 2018 to provide additional motivation to people undertaking one of its 4FiiT eight-week Body Transformation Camps. Over 14,000 people took part in the Transformation Camps in 2018, and 14 of those with the most praiseworthy physical transformations were selected by the Health & Fitness team and invited to tell their story, after which a public vote was held on Facebook to choose the winner.

Gary was chosen as the winner after revealing his commendable two stone weight loss, achieved during his first Body Transformation Camp, before enrolling in many further camps – he’s currently starting his eighth!

Above: Gary French.


After years of no exercise, truck stop treats and full English breakfasts, at the start of 2018 Gary realised his body was suffering the consequences of his unhealthy lifestyle, finding himself out of breath climbing the stairs and unable to touch his own toes. Motivated by a fear of missing his children’s big milestones, Gary overcame his nerves and joined Xercise4Less Stockton-on-Tees, booking in a personal training session with Natasha Livingstone. Several weeks later he joined his first Body Transformation Camp.

Gary said: “I’m so excited to have won this car. As the competition was coming to an end, there were two Porsche Boxters parked outside the Porsche garage nearby, and I said to my wife: “this car has my name on it”. Little did I know, it actually did! It’s an amazing added bonus to my transformation and the perfect way to celebrate how far I’ve come.

“I wanted to lose five stone so I could still be around in 20 years to see my little girl walk down the aisle and to watch my son walk out for Middlesbrough as their first team goalkeeper! It was nerve-racking walking into the gym that first day, but I was quickly put at ease. The camp was fantastic – I formed great relationships with everyone, and we all shared information and support. Our camp came to an end, but I was totally hooked and so were the rest of the camp. I had lost two stone in eight weeks and I was over the moon.

“As well as the personal training sessions with a phenomenal and extremely helpful personal trainer who was on hand to answer any of our questions, the camp also helped me get to grips with my diet and improved my mental health. It lifted my spirits, confidence and wellbeing and helped me deal with the daily grind of life. I can safely say if I hadn’t walked into the gym that day, I think I could have been looking at heart failure, a stroke or worse in the future.”

Above: Gary French.

Gary’s next challenge will be to take on the annual coast to coast cycle ride in August. He hopes to complete it in 24 hours, raising funds for the Children’s Heart Foundation at Freeman’s Hospital in Newcastle.

Peter Wright, Xercise4Less CEO, said: “We’re delighted for Gary, he’s a very well deserving winner of this amazing Porsche prize. He has worked so hard, never losing sight of his goals, but I think surprising himself by how much he enjoyed it along the way. If you’d have told him he would be signing up for eight of our Body Transformation Camps and taking on a Coast to Coast cycle ride 18-months ago, I don’t think he would have believed you, but there’s no stopping him now.”

Above: Fitness Manager, CEO and Gary French. 

The Xercise4Less Body Transformation Camps include three personal trainer led sessions every week, access to the personal trainer and other camp members for support and advice via an online community hub, plus complimentary access to the Xercise4Less mobile app. Click here for more information.

Above: Fitness Manager, CEO and Gary French. 

Overcoming Diabulimia with Beth from Wigan

Taking Care of Both Your Mind and Your Body with Xercise4Less Gyms

Sometimes it can be hard to understand how connected our physical fitness is to our mental wellbeing. And sometimes a breakdown in our mental strength can lead to a life-threatening situation for our bodies. That’s what happened to one of our Xercise4Less Wigan Personal Trainers, Beth.

In 2012, just before her 12th birthday, Beth was unfortunately diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She found it very difficult to deal with her new-found medical condition. As Beth admitted, “it hit me hard”. To add to her weakened physical health, she found caring for her condition mentally draining. Beth explains that “after years of hating the same routine every day, I stopped looking after my diabetes”.

Soon her medical situation spun out of control, she “let it control me” and “before I knew it, I had diabulimia and depression”. Beth lost so much weight that at one point she weighed shockingly just 3 and a half stone and was close to death as the picture on the left shows all too clearly.

Thankfully Beth managed to pull herself out of this serious situation with a lot of mental hard work and the help of exercise. These days she is happier than ever and weighs a healthy 10 and a half stone as you can see in the picture on the right.

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The Struggle to Overcome Eating Disorders

The type of eating disorder that Beth suffered from is increasingly common in the UK’s population with society’s unhealthy focus on the ‘perfect’ body shape. Women, in particular, suffer from bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorder. Beth suffered from diabulimia: an eating disorder common in a diabetic where the person purposefully restricts insulin to lose weight.

Diabulimia is also desperately common with up to a third of women with Type 1 diabetes and even higher levels among the 15-30 age group. The consequences of diabulimia can be severe, leading to organ damage, stroke and even death, which Beth came close to.

So how did Beth manage to pull herself and her body back from the brink?

Realising a Positive Body Image through Exercise

As Beth says, “everyone has a goal in life” and initially when she had started to recover from her weakened physical condition and low mental state, her goal was to get fit. Then her goal was to join the Marines. She worked hard to “smash my goal” but due to her health condition that ambition proved just out of reach.

When she recalibrated her personal goals though, Beth realised that becoming a Personal Trainer at the Xercise4Less Wigan Gym would enable her to “help others achieve their goals” as well as allowing her to “understand and enjoy fitness” for herself. Working at our inclusive gym in Wigan, she quickly realised that she wasn’t bothered about being “the most athletic or the muscliest or the slimmest”.

Beth didn’t focus on her body image, she worked out “to be healthy” and “to control my diabetes rather than it controlling me”. She wanted to be “strong inside and out” and never experience diabulimia again. Exercising in a friendly and supportive gym every day meant Beth could avoid judging her body and “just focus on a better you”.

Strengthen Your Mental Health and Wellbeing with Xercise4Less Gyms

Beth wanted to share her story to inspire our gym community. Her experience shows that no matter your fitness level or how low you’re feeling, working out at your local gym can be hugely beneficial. As you’ve seen with Beth, exercise has been a constant strength in her struggle with health issues and with mental depression.

When you join our Wigan gym or work out at any of Xercise4Less gyms, you’ll be part of a real community of supportive and likeminded people who want to improve their physical fitness and their mental wellbeing. You can work with Personal Trainers like Beth who will encourage and motivate you to realise your personal fitness ambitions. Your health is in your own hands, but Xercise4Less Gyms will also be there to hold your hand right through your fitness journey whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or already an experienced gym user.

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Reward Yourself with an Xercise4Less Gyms Membership Today

Virtue may be its own reward but at Xercise4Less Gyms we’re offering something more substantial than that! Until 12 August we’re offering a FREE 3 month tastecard when you sign up to a gym membership. As risk reward ratios go, it’s a no-brainer. Join the best fitness centre in your town, enjoy huge discounts at thousands of restaurants and benefit from up to 40% off cinema tickets. Now that’s what we call a proper reward!

Rewarding yourself is actually a great way to maintain the exercise habit. Whether you want to lose weight, work out more effectively or sustain a new fitness routine, setting rewards is a super way to stick with goals. Having something to look forward to just makes it easier to keep moving forward even when you’re fading from fatigue.

Reap the Rewards of Working Out

Many fitness studies have demonstrating the effectiveness of rewarding yourself when you hit your fitness targets. Thankfully your reward doesn’t have to be in heaven, you can celebrate right here on earth with low cost movie tickets and delicious restaurant discounts thanks to Xercise4Less and tastecard!

Let’s take a quick look at some ways you can celebrate hitting an important exercise target or achieving a specific fitness goal with rewards that relax, delight, encourage and pamper you.

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The Reward of Time for Yourself

This isn’t a million dollar reward but a free treat. Give yourself a break from working out but also take time out from the stresses and strains of other people! You might have a very busy work and family life but it’s vital to give yourself some breathing space especially after expending so much energy at the gym. Whatever your lifestyle demands, you need to make sure you don’t burn out; it’s simply healthier and more rewarding to grab some solo time to rest and recuperate. Carving out some solitude is a priceless reward in its own right.

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Making Time for Gym Friends is a Reward in Itself

You’ve done the hard work of making some gym friends while you all worked up a sweat together. But why leave your friendship at the gym door? Plan a shared meal with your fitness friends to reward yourself after a great gym session. You can even use your tastecard if you’ve joined before 12 August. You get to meet interesting people of all walks of life in your local Xercise4Less gym so take the rewarding opportunity to deepen your camaraderie eating out of the fitness space. Eating perfectly healthy food, naturally! 

Encourage a Friend to Join as a Reward for You

Working out with your friends is always better than sweating it out all on your own. It’s a lot more fun chatting breathlessly to pals between sets and you barely notice the length of the session when you’re exercising alongside good mates. Why not reward yourself by encouraging your friends to sign up to an Xercise4Less membership. You know how good it is and they shouldn’t miss out either. This is a reward that keeps on giving as your friends will be there in the future to support and motivate you through friendly competition. Exercising with friends might also encourage you to try new group fitness classes; it’s just easier when you’re all in it together.

A Treat as An Occasional Reward

Food is not the enemy of fitness, so they say, and that’s why celebrating a top workout with an indulgent treat is a great reward idea. Buy your favourite cake, enjoy a slap up meal at a restaurant or sip a cool glass of wine from the fridge as a reward for all your hard physical labour. Have a fun treat after a full-on workout every so often but don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it. Just don’t make it a full-time habit or you’ll have to work out even more!

Claim Your Restaurant Reward with X4L

Join Xercise4Less Gyms between 23 July to 12 August and you can claim a delicious reward with a free 3 month tastecard. Eat out at thousands of restaurants around the country and then work off the calories with a tough session at your local Xercise4Less gym.

Psst, existing members can also redeem a FREE tastecard, too!

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HIIT Workout Programmes

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HIIT is a Smash with Xercise4Less Gym Members

Wherever you are on your fitness journey, whether you’ve just joined a gym or are a regular gym user, you’ve probably heard the term HIIT. If you’re not sure what it means or how it can supercharge your Xercise4Less Gyms fitness programme read on for all the heart pumping information that you’ll ever need!

HIIT or high intensity interval training is both really popular and endlessly adaptable. That’s why as part of our selection of heart-raising inclusive group exercise classes we always include a HIIT variation like Core4FiiT or Pump4FiiT.

With HIIT sessions you work hard for short intensive bursts and recover in short rest periods. That means a more efficient use of your exercise time. So, if you’ve ever used the excuse of not having enough time to get to the gym, HIIT burns that excuse to cinders! As a bonus, the intense nature of a HIIT session boosts your metabolism and toasts fat. In addition, a HIIT workout can be adjusted to fit the needs of everyone from a gym newbie to a fitness fanatic. HIIT works just as long as you’re giving it all the energy you have.

You’ll Be Hitting the Hay after a HIIT Session

You’ll really have to work up a sweat to come up with a new excuse not to hit your local Xercise4Less Gyms for a HIIT session but why are they so effective?

The sheer intensity of HIIT helps you burn more calories during a workout than traditional steady state endurance like running on a treadmill. HIIT workouts also burn about 6-15% more calories than normal cardio training for up to 2 hours after your HIIT session and push your metabolism to a higher rate for up to 48-72 hours later. This type of intense training can also improve cardiac function, increase endurance levels and reduce insulin resistance. 

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Sounds pretty good, so when should you HIIT the gym?

Plan an Xercise4Less HIIT Workout Programme that Works for You

When you start including HIIT type training workouts in your Xercise4Less Gyms programme, you could begin with just one HIIT training workout per week and then add more HIIT workouts as you get fitter. We recommend that you spread out your HIIT sessions, avoid back to back sessions and don’t schedule more than 3 workouts in a week. You can though use HIIT for all sorts of exercises from bodyweight and strength sessions to gym cycling or group fitness classes.

How to Get the Most from a HIIT Session

A HIIT session is working out at a very intense level and then resting for a slower recovery period followed by another high intensity set of exercises. Typically, a HIIT workout is done in bursts of 20 seconds to 3 minutes and repeated 3 to 5 times. For the high intensity part, you need to exercise at 80% to 95% of your maximal heart rate; basically, you’d find it difficult to talk. For the recovery period you’re back down to a maximum heart rate of 40% to 50%; best described as comfortable.

You’ll be pushing yourself to the limit so make sure you take on plenty of fluids. When you start out with HIIT sessions your muscles and joints will ache, but you can also look forward to the amazing endorphins you’re experience afterwards. There’s no doubt, HITT is a great addition to any Xercise4Less gym programme.

HIIT the Ground Running with Xercise4Less Gyms

When you join Xercise4Less Gyms we want you to hit your fitness targets no matter how ambitious or real your health goals are. That’s why HIIT can be such an important part of your exercise programme. Make sure when you sign up to one of of our gym memberships that you use your inclusive one to one personal coaching session to talk through the real benefits of HIIT workouts with our Personal Trainers. We know just how energising HIIT sessions can be and we want you to suffer just as much as we do!

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Deadlifts for Strength Training and Weightlifting

Never Speak ill of the Deadlift

If you want a dead cert workout for hitting your fitness targets, look no further than deadlifts! At Xercise4Less gyms you’ll find all the weightlifting equipment you need to work out why deadlifts are a brilliant way to make you fitter and stronger while you work on a wide range of muscle groups.

The deadlift is a compound movement (uses multiple sets of muscles) and one of the best ways possible to ramp up your fitness. If you were to design a workout exercise that improved your posture, burnt loads of calories, built muscle and toned all at the same time, you’d end up with the deadlift. Some people may argue that squats are superior to deadlifts but our Personal Trainers encourage our gym members to include both in their exercise programme for maximum progress.

Deadlifts work nearly all the major muscle groups and build both the upper and lower body, mimicking real life actions like lifting and bending. Even better, deadlifts are superb for gym goers of any experience level so they’re a great investment of your exercise time. Read on to see how you can strengthen your body with deadlift sessions.

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Boost Your Strength with Deadlifts

At Xercise4Less Gyms we love to include deadlifts in your workouts whether you’re a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user. Why?

Deadlifts primarily target your glutes, but this strength training exercise also works your hamstrings, quads, your lower back and core, and even your arms and shoulders. The deadlift is the workout that really hits every bit of your body. And the benefits are huge.

Including deadlifts in your workout sessions leads to improved grip strength and increased muscle power for real world activities like carrying a heavy bag of shopping or performing any form of physical labour. They’ll also help decrease your risk of injury and back pain by developing your core strength and back muscles. That also adds stability to your posture and keeps your back straighter when you’re active. Deadlifts even have a cardio component; just try ten deadlift reps and you’ll see what we mean! Thankfully those exertions lead to increased calorie burning during and after your deadlift sessions.

Be Dead Certain When to Use Deadlifts

Deadlifts are such effective exercises but when should you do them? Work with our Personal Trainers as to where deadlifts should fit in your exercise schedule but generally you shouldn’t deadlift more than 1 or 2 times a week. After all, you’ll need to let your tired muscles recover after your deadlift workout! When you’re getting in shape at Xercise4Less Gyms deadlifts are normally included on either a back day, leg day or a pulling day.

How to Raise the Level of Your Deadlifts

While the deadlift is perhaps the safest weightlifting workout, it’s very important to understand how to deadlift correctly so you avoid injury. Start light when learning how to deadlift and always make sure you warm up thoroughly as the deadlifts involve your entire body. The deadlift is typically done with a barbell and while our Personal Trainers can help you with your form, here’s a brief guide on how to deadlift properly:

  • Walk to the barbell
  • Stand with your mid-foot under the barbell
  • Grab the barbell
  • Bend over without bending your legs
  • Bend your knees
  • Drop into position by bending your knees until your shins touch the bar
  • Lift your chest
  • Straighten your back by raising your chest
  • Pull and stand up with the weight
  • Hold the weight for a second at the top, with locked hips and knees
  • Then return the weight to the floor by moving your hips back while bending your legs
  • Rest a second at the bottom and repeat

There are several different variations of the deadlift exercise which you can use including the stiff legged, sumo, and Romanian deadlifts.

Deadlift Your Way to Fitness with Xercise4Less Gyms

When you join a gym like Xercise4Less you can look forward to working with fitness staff that are as ambitious for you to reach your fitness targets as you are. And deadlifts are an important part of any gym member’s exercise programme. Our Personal Trainers will be there to help you with deadlifting technique and to provide strength training advice where you need it. When you sign up to an Xercise4Less gym membership you join a friendly and inclusive fitness community that is there to help you achieve your fitness goals. And that should always include deadlifts!

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Benefits of Squats in a Real Inclusive Xercise4Less Gym

Make Squats a Key Part of Your Strength Training

Know diddly-squat about Squats? At Xercise4Less Gyms we know just how great an exercise squats can be. In fact, some fitness gurus love the squat so much that they think it’s the one workout you should always include in your strength training programme. But what exactly is a squat?

A squat is a compound movement (uses more than one joint) for your lower body and which requires a lot of muscles to perform correctly, particularly using weights like barbells. Squats will build your leg muscles, strengthen your glutes, and tone many other muscles besides.

Ready to be a squat enthusiast or at least try this exercise out? Read on for all the benefits of squats, when you should do them during your workout week and what the best squats technique is for you.

The Real Benefits of Squats in an Xercise4Less Gym

Xercise4Less Personal Trainers consider squats to be fantastic workout exercises but why?

Squatting with a barbell on your shoulder really builds your main leg muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves but that’s just the start. Improved lower body strength through squats also improves your athletic performance and your everyday mobility and posture. Squats engage your ankle, knee and hip joints all at the same time strengthening them for normal daily activities like lifting or bending and help keep you mobile longer in life. Literally nothing is left out though when you squat; you work your back, your core, your shoulders, and your arms. By using so many muscle groups in a squat, your body burns a huge number of calories in the process. And, of course, most cardio and sports need a strong lower body so effective squats allow you to run faster and for longer thanks to your improved leg strength. Finally, there are loads of squat variations so you can change up your workouts and keep challenging your body.

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Work Out When to Include Squats in Your Weightlifting Programme

Our Personal Trainers will be happy to help you position squats in your workout programme. You could squat 3 times a week but most people work out with squats no more than once or twice a week so their muscles can fully recover. Squats are usually included on either a leg day, lower body day, or push day.  

If you want an expert to check your squat form, our Personal Trainers will help you to perform a proper squat. And that’s key because it’s not an easy exercise to get right. Once you do have the right squat form though, squats are hugely effective in building muscle and improving your body shape.

Here’s a brief guide as to the best form for squats.

The Best Technique for Gym Squats

Squats need to be done correctly for maximum effectiveness so this is how you should perform a squat.

  • Stand with the barbell on your back and a slightly wider than shoulder width stance 
  • Bend at the knees, pushing the hips back but keeping your torso straight
  •  Keep squatting until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Then squat back up to the starting position, keeping your knees in line with your shins and maintaining a straight torso.

You can choose from many different forms of squats, but the most common barbell squats are the high bar back squat or Olympic squat, a low bar back squat, and a front squat. All of these use a barbell, but the placement is different in each type.

As all our bodies are different, your squats won’t look exactly the same as other gym users but don’t worry! Just get one of our Personal Trainers on hand in your local Xercise4Less Gym to check your form.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms and Get into Your Very Best Shape

At Xercise4Less Gyms we want to empower you to find the right fitness programme for your fitness ambitions. And we think that squats are an important part of getting you into the best shape possible. Whatever local Xercise4Less gym you work out in you can rely on our Personal Trainers to guide you to the right form for effective squats.

If you’re not already a member of Xercise4Less Gyms what are you waiting for? If we said you could exercise at a great value gym which provides a non-intimidating, friendly and inclusive environment for members at every stage of their fitness journey, wouldn’t you be interested in being part of that community? Whether you’re just getting off the couch or want to start training for a marathon you’ll be inspired to reach your fitness goals when you join Xercise4Less Gyms today.

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