Find Your Fit with the Right Exercise Goals at Xercise4Less Gyms

Find your Fit this Summer to Achieve Your Exercise Goals

At Xercise4Less Gyms we’re really looking forward to relaxing and having some fun during the summer Bank Holiday on 26 August. This rest period can also be a great time to reassess your exercise goals and make sure that your current fitness programme is actually the right one for you.  Discover the perfect exercise plan for your body, one that fits snugly into your schedule alongside your work and life commitments, and you’ll quickly slide into a routine that sees you maintaining your fitness, boosting your health and feeling more energised day-to-day.

Let’s find the right fit for your exercise needs while you’re putting your feet up for the long weekend!

Discovering an Exercise Programme that Works for You

Finding your fit is all about exercise exploration and discovery. Trying to fit into a fitness regime that you don’t enjoy is completely counterproductive. A productive exercise programme has to be one that you find challenging but that you also find fun. There are plenty of ways to get into shape so go out and experiment. That’s why Xercise4Less provides so many different exercise options in all of our gyms from spin studios to free weights to boxing rings, functional fitness areas and loads of inclusive fitness classes. We want you to try new things and explore the different ways your gym routine could manifest. You never know what you’ll enjoy until you actually try a new class or exercise routine.

If you enjoy your exercise programme, then it’ll never feel like a chore and you’ll be a lot keener to get to the gym on a regular basis. This applies whether you’re completely new to gyms or a regular, looking to change up your existing fitness programme. Once you find a productive and fun workout routine, you’ll find it easy to maintain- and those slightly ambitious goals you set will soon seem much more realistic.

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See Real Results with Insider Knowledge

The choice of how you get fitter is really up to you because nobody understands you better than you! Be patient, though, when finding your fit. Strike the right balance, start small and work your way up. You don’t have to completely transform your fitness programme and try seven different types of exercise all at once. Change your workout plan gradually and temper your own internal expectations. Work out with our personal trainers and change in your fitness programme that’s right for you but still delivers real results.

Your Fitness is Your Own Goal

Finding the ideal fitness session for you is made a lot easier if you can draw on some intrinsic motivation. Having a specific reason to get in shape like a holiday or a special occasion can motivate in the short term but ultimately losing weight or getting fit is more successful when you’re doing it for yourself. So, choose who you want to be. Make your fitness goals match your own well-being and satisfaction needs in a way that is right for you.

Create a Fitness Plan Just for You

As much as we’d all love improved health and fitness to happen randomly and without effort, you really do need a plan. Your plan will be more successful if you know what your goals are and how you want to achieve them. Increase your odds of reaching your fitness goals by creating specific long-term goals and make your goals fully measurable. Put in a realistic plan for your real body that is realistic and attainable and don’t forget to reward yourself when you achieve short-term results as well as celebrating long-term success.

Don’t Put Off Finding Your Fit

All the exercise goals in the world won’t help though if you don’t have a fitness plan to implement them so don’t put creating one off. There will always be a reason to delay or to start working out ‘later’ if you look for it. As a new Xercise4Less member you can sit down with one of our personal trainers to put together a complete exercise programme that will deliver real results, and see you have fun doing it, whilst working out in your local gym. When you’ve found a new activity that you enjoy, working out continue will come a lot easier.

Even if you’re a long-time gym member, why not discuss your fitness plan with a personal trainer to make sure it really fits your personal preferences and your exercise goals. This summer bank holiday work out your mind and find your perfect fit!

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Healthy Halloween Treats to Haunt You

Halloween can be a bit of a monster mash up when it comes to eating healthily. So many temptations to scare your will power senseless! How can you avoid being spooked by the unhealthy snacks and treats on offer at every doorstop or at every Halloween party? There’s no need to wrap yourself in a white sheet when you can use these some useful tips for healthier trick-or-treats.

Eat Up Before You Trick or Treat

The healthiest thing to do on Halloween is of course to draw the curtains, turn off the lights and pretend you’re not in when the doorbell goes. But if that won’t do and your kids are determined to go trick or treating, then fill up first before you leave your house. Have a healthy meal before you bring your family out touting for chocolate. With less room in their small stomachs, they’ll be less likely to over-indulge on sugary Halloween treats. Make sure you have something to eat too so you’re not tempted by the toothsome treats calling you from the hall table. Off to a Halloween party just for adults? Treat yourself to a fibre-rich or protein-rich meal to help you feel full throughout the night and soak up some of that wicked alcohol into the bargain!

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Choosing Healthier Foods at Halloween

Halloween is in full-swing and you want to keep you and your family extra healthy. Try and surreptitiously replace as many sweets at your party as you can with healthier snacks. Kids eat thousands of sugary calories on Halloween so any time you can persuade them to eat a healthy snack instead of a wine gum, you’re winning! Hand out healthier treats like clementines, nuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sugar-free chewing gum or offer snack-sized packs of low-fat popcorn, pretzels and healthy sweet potato crisps to your guests. Persuade yourself and your family to only indulge in dark chocolate, great for your heart health, instead of a less healthy milk chocolate treat. 

Dress Up Your Halloween Snacks

You won’t trick everyone with obviously healthy treats on Halloween night so be creative in how you present snacks that are actually good for you. Up the fright factor for nutritious Halloween snacks. How do banana ghosts, plum and raisin spiders, cheese monsters or carrot witch fingers sound? Play with your food this Halloween and disguise how healthily you’re eating. The only limit is your spooky imagination!

Halloween is Only One Night

While you should try and eat healthily during the Halloween festivities, it’s important as well to have some fun. Lighten up and allow yourself and your family some sugary treats. As we know at Xercise4Less Gyms, it’s not what you eat on one day but rather how you eat all year long that will determine your health and wellbeing. So, don’t be a killjoy and deny your inner sweet tooth anything to chew on. Indulge in the occasional sweet treat this Halloween and scream with joy.

Burn Off the Halloween Calories with Xercise4Less

If you haven’t managed a fully healthy Halloween, then you can always work off the calories at your nearest Xercise4Less gym. Check out our Halloween exercise routines here and feel a lot healthier about Halloween.

Not already enjoying an Xercise4Less gym membership? Sign up today for scarily good value fitness in a friendly and inclusive workout environment that will get your skeleton in the best shape possible!

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Stoptober – Working Out How to Quit Smoking

With Stoptober 2019 just around the corner in October, now is the ideal time for you to improve your health and the health of those around you by stopping smoking. Manage to quit tobacco for the 28 days of Stoptober and you’re up to 5 times more likely to be able quit ciggies for good.

You’re not alone if you can’t give up. While the number of smokers is going down overall, there are still over 7 million people in the UK still puffing away. In addition, and worryingly for the UK’s future health, the age group of 25 to 34 years had the highest proportion of current smokers, according to the Office for National Statistics.

At Xercise4Less Gyms we have a great antidote to nicotine withdrawal. Exercise away the urge to smoke at one of our gyms for the length of this month challenge and start seeing the health benefits immediately.

Kicking the Nicotine Habit

Finally kicking the unhealthy habit of smoking will transform your life. Exercise will play a major role in helping you put down the pipe, cigar, vaper or cigarette for good. The discipline of exercise will leave your smoking habit in ashes, but it won’t come easy at first.

Nicotine is very addictive so coming off cigarettes isn’t pleasant. You’ll probably suffer withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks while the tobacco cravings could potentially last for months. Combine the chemical withdrawal with the mental crutch that the act of lighting up can provide and you need a psychological replacement; something to occupy your time and distract you, something you can invest in. That’s where exercise comes in.

Working out at your local gym will combat both the physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal. Scientific studies have shown that exercising even moderately reduces cigarette cravings both during the workout and afterwards for up to 50 minutes. Let’s now look at the specific benefits of stepping away from your pack of cigarettes. 

Smokingly Positive Health Benefits

You might endure shortness of breath when you exercise, especially if you’ve been a chain smoker. That will go away quite quickly as your lung function improves significantly when you stop smoking. Stubbing out your cigarettes and working out will lead to positive physical changes like an improved immune system and increased circulation.

You might be worried about putting on weight when you quit tobacco, but exercise will burn off any extra calories you’re eating as well as helping to suppress your appetite. Psychologically, regular fitness sessions will distract you from the urge to light up, improve your mood and help you cope better with stress through the pure endorphin rush of working out.

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A Quit Smoking Personal Fitness Plan

The first step in trying to replace smoking with exercise could be sitting down with one of our friendly and supportive Personal Trainers. Create an individual exercise plan to combat those nicotine cravings. Make sure you aim to start slowly and build up as you feel the physical withdrawal symptoms ease. Concentrate on setting up a fitness programme that is simple to follow and doesn’t stress you enough to start rolling a ciggie!

Pick exercises that you can build on and that you enjoy. If you like walking, start on the treadmill and work your way up to slow jogging. Soon you’ll stop puffing and start enjoying your workout. If you prefer the camaraderie of a group fitness class, you’ll have plenty of great exercise sessions to choose from in our gyms. Try out exercises new to you like virtual cycling, lift free weights or try your hand in the boxing ring. Making exercise simple and attractive is key to combating your urge to start smoking again.

Eat Up the Benefits of Stopping Smoking

With the return of your sense of smell and taste after quitting cigarettes, you may be tempted to eat your way through those cigarette cravings. Focus on a healthy diet. You don’t need to suddenly become a virtuous eater but if you can manage to eat healthily most days, you’ll retain the benefits of all those gym workouts! Try and avoid refined sugar and processed foods and don’t become addicted to chocolate in place of tobacco, even healthier dark chocolate.

The Healthy Support You Need to Quit Smoking

Exercise doesn’t have to be completely exhausting when you’re just given up cigarettes. Joining Xercise4Less Gyms will provide a real support system for your change in lifestyle. Our friendly fitness staff and motivating gym community will be ready to encourage the new healthier you. Stopping smoking is always a challenging task but making exercise a replacement habit is simply easier when you’re an Xercise4Less member.


National Fitness Day 2019 – Thomas Bosworth

Reach Olympic Heights this National Fitness Day

The 25th of September 2019, National Fitness Day, is for everyone no matter how fit or unfit you are. A national day of exercise is a great idea even for a professional athlete. A Liverpool Speke Xercise4Less member, Tom Bosworth, is a big supporter of getting the whole country out exercising. Tom isn’t just an Olympic race walker for TeamGB with a Commonwealth Games silver medal and two world records to his credit, he’s also a “man who can walk faster than you can run!” So, get off the sofa and stride into the gym this National Fitness Day 2019. Although you might be a bit slower than Tom!

 Keeping Fit as an Olympic Athlete

For Tom, “fitness is more than just about keeping healthy, it’s my job”. After attending Leeds Beckett University and working out at his Leeds gym, Tom finished 6th in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Thanks to that incredible result he received lottery funding and private sponsorship enabling him to devote himself full-time to race walking. Tom can now “train everyday and race to the best of my ability”.

How does an Olympic walker exercise on National Fitness Day or any other day? Tom’s training really is full-time. He trains twice a day every day except Sundays, “covering between 100km – 140km a week”. In addition, he works through three sessions in his Liverpool gym, “focusing on lifting, squats, deadlifts as well as core work using a lot of Pilates techniques”.

 Eating Up National Fitness Day

National Fitness Day isn’t just about exercise, of course; good nutrition is just as important for a proper healthy balance in your exercise life. And it’s all part and parcel of Tom’s life as a professional walker. Despite moving to Liverpool recently, he still spends a lot of time in Leeds as well as training at altitude for months at a time and that puts demands on his diet.

“Keeping on top of my diet when at altitude is very important, as it’s easy to get sick when training hard in such a tough environment. What are Tom’s tips for food fitness? “Keeping a balanced diet, rich in iron, keeping well hydrated and no alcohol along with a good sleep routine”. If that works for an Olympic athlete, then it will work for you on National Fitness Day!

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Making a Great Fitness Team

As Tom works hard towards the incredible challenge of competing for medals at the Olympics, he knows the importance of a great team around him. And that real team includes Xercise4less Gyms. “When I’m home I need a gym that can match all my training needs and Xercise4less has everything I require and more”. With our fitness support, Tom feels he can really maximise every day.

Every day counts now in the build-up towards next August’s Olympics in Tokyo. Until then Tom will be “spending many hours in the Xercise4less gym before heading to altitude”. That’s why “Xercise4less wanting to work as part of my team is so important”. We’re just delighted to play a part in Tom’s arduous preparations and are willing him on to Olympic glory!

Make Xercise4less Part of Your National Fitness Day Team

Take National Fitness Day 2019 as a jumping-off point for your renewed focus on exercise. You don’t need to train twice a day at your local gym, but you can be inspired by what a fellow Xercise4less member can achieve!

If you’re not already a member, try our no contract gym memberships giving you a flexible monthly payment plan, over 400 pieces of the latest gym equipment, separate ladies-only gym areas and up to 40 fitness classes each week. Make it easy on yourself this National Fitness Day and join the friendly Xercise4less community today.

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Get Moving this National Fitness Day

At Xercise4Less Gyms every day is fitness day, but this Wednesday, the 25th of September 2019, is particularly special. It’s National Fitness Day! Last year more than four million people took part in what is the largest physical activity celebration in the country. This is such a positive initiative and highlights the important role exercise plays in making all our lives healthier and happier. We say a big yes to that!

A whole 24 hours of fun exercise is increasingly important for the country as the UK population is lagging behind with its levels of physical activity as the sedentary attractions of our phones and tablets take over. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has even ranked the UK 123rd out of 168 nations for poor physical activity. That lack of regular exercise has been strongly linked to many preventable diseases like type-2 diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. Of course, exercising has a huge additional benefit on our mental health as well so encouraging more people to be more active in their daily lives is of immense help to all of us.

So, what are you going to do on the 25th of September? Here are five fun ways to mark National Fitness Day 2019.

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1: Take Up a Free Gym Pass

If you’re not already a member of Xercise4Less, why not take us up on our offer of a free gym pass? Emulate the whole country and get in a fitness session at your local gym with one of our unlimited free gym passes for 1, 3, or 5 days. Experience everything our gyms have to offer with no strings and without restriction. You can lift weights, run on the treadmill, take a spin class or fit in some Pilates. Whatever exercise you fancy on National Fitness Day is up to you! Just fill in the online form here and we’ll send you your pass straight away. It’s that simple. We look forward to seeing you working hard at your nearest Xercise4Less gym on 25 September.

2: Cycle Around the World in a Gym Near You

National Fitness Day is about trying something new and what could be more novel than some virtual cycling? Pick a cycling route that you’ve always wanted to attempt, plug in the co-ordinates on the stationary bike and start pedalling! Ride off into the sunset as you ride virtually in exciting and exotic destinations around the world. No more staring at the wall as you cycle in the gym, just make sure to pay attention to your virtual bike instructors so you don’t miss anything on your cycling journey.

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3: Take Advantage of Our Free 1-2-1 Fitness Session

If you’re just joined Xercise4Less Gyms, National Fitness Day is the ideal time to take advantage of our free one-to-one personal training sessions. Sit down with experienced PTs and create your own fitness programme to build muscle, lose weight or maintain your fitness. In your free 1-2-1 personal training session we’ll advise you on the best exercises and workouts for reaching your individual goals as quickly and as effectively as possible. Map out your fitness future on National Fitness Day 2019.

4: Sign Up to a New Group Exercise Class

Time for a change? Use National Fitness Day as a jumping off point for a new exercise regime. All routines get a bit stale after a while and then it’s easy to fall off the workout wagon. Keep your fitness fresh with some new group exercise classes. As part of your inclusive gym membership you can enjoy as many free fitness classes as your knees can take! Choose from energising classes like Core4FiiT, the famous Les Mills BodyAttack or Zumba and Yoga. We offer an amazing variety of fitness sessions every week, all easily bookable online or via our mobile app.

5: Change Fitness for Good with a Body Transformation Camp

What better day to change your attitude to exercise than National Fitness Day 2019? Sign up for an Xercise4Less Body Transformation Camp and see incredible results after only 8 weeks. We give you the right mental tools and the latest fitness techniques to start transforming your body. You get the latest nutrition and exercise information including our superb nutrition app and support and advice from our expert Personal Trainers. Get fitter than you’ve ever been with a complete body transformation.

A Fitness Journey Begins with One Step

National Fitness Day isn’t of course just about one day. The aim is for you to commit to exercise for life. And an Xercise4Less gym is the perfect location to step out on your fitness journey. With no joining fee and 50% off your first month, this is the best time to join the nation and start getting fit.

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NEW Les Mills – August 2019

FEEL IT ALL speaks to all the notion that every one of the LES MILLS group fitness programs makes us feel something different. It’s the feeling strong in BODYPUMP, feeling fierce in BODYCOMBAT, or calm and renewed in BODYBALANCE. It’s how we feel ahead of a workout, when we’re in the depth of the workout and the reward in achieving it – it’s what keeps us coming back for more. 

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BODYPUMP – This feels strong. This feels good. This is how it feels to change with every rep. To lift your own bar higher. 

BODYCOMBAT – This is where your first comes alive. Where you feel power in every punch and change in every kick.  Where you feel doubt fall away. 

BODYATTACK – How does it feel to mix adrenaline and energy? To feel connect? To move as one? This is how you find out. Where is where you #feelitall

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National Fitness Day 2019 – Abbie Marshall

 The Importance of Exercising

National Fitness Day is the perfect excuse to get back in the gym, try a new exercise class or just get off the sofa and on your feet for some physical activity. On Wednesday 25th September 2019, you can get involved in all sorts of fun events that will get you moving and that highlight just why exercise is so important for everyone. Not that we need an excuse to work out at Xercise4Less!

As part of our National Fitness Day celebrations, we wanted to focus on one of our members from Xercise4Less Sheffield. Let’s turn the spotlight onto Abbie Marshall to see just why exercise plays a vital role in her life.

 Why Working Out is Good for You

Abbie Marshall strength trains regularly at the Xercise4Less Sheffield gym and fitness has become increasingly important in her daily routine. She is adamant that “fitness is so beneficial for both physical and mental health”. That’s why Abbie has been active from childhood “and weight lifting was the next thing for me.” As she points out, “not many sports continue to adulthood, so finding something which I can do lifelong was important”.

So, having started weight training in 2015 in her second year of university, what was the initial spark for getting into free weights? “I was setting up some strength training for one of the university teams which I ran. I had the opportunity to join in and then found out I could deadlift quite well.” That was only the start for Abbie though. “I continued to strength train and learnt how to Olympic lift too.” Abbie enjoys weight sessions because she “rarely lacks the motivation to train” but it wasn’t always the case. She’d been going to the gym and “doing just cardio bits and wasn’t motivated”. Weightlifting has transformed that attitude to fitness though. Since then hardly a day passes by that she’s not working out at her local gym in Sheffield and that includes National Fitness Day!

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A Lifetime Journey

Abbie is on a lifelong fitness journey and she continually remarks on how working out has helped her in her general day to day life. Exercise has become a vital part of her routine, making her “feel more confident and better” about herself. Abbie also knows that physical activity has a really positive effect on mental health when you’re feeling down or stressed. “When I have a bad day, I know that an hour or two in the gym will help. It’s a great cure for stressful days”. That’s why on National Fitness Day Abbie is so keen to recommend going to the gym.  Any final tips on strength training? Try her favourite weightlifting exercise, deadlifts. “They’re a great compound movement which engage wider muscle groups”.

 Enjoy Working Out on National Fitness Day Like Abbie

Fitness isn’t just for one day, it’s for life! And at Xercise4Less Gyms we want you to enjoy working out as much as Abbie. She loves training at our Sheffield gym “as they have a range of free weights and the stair climbers!” They’re the only cardio she enjoys in fact; it’s strength training all the way for Abbie.

If you want to try weight training for yourself, join Xercise4Less today and work out in a real gym motivated by friendly fitness staff. Benefit from our free inclusive exercise classes full of supportive members and a gym full of fitness equipment. Take up one of our free unlimited gym passes on National Fitness Day 2019 and you’ll see exactly why Abbie Marshall is a Xercise4Less member!

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Our Top Ten Tips for the Gym

Top Ten Tips for the Gym. A bit of a tongue twister but our list of gym advice is a must-read for exercise newbies and fitness beginners, so you start off on your fitness journey with a spring in your step. Whether you’re a fresher gearing up for your first trip to the gym or have just begun to work out in your local fitness centre, this Xercise4Less gym tips guide is for you!

Before we get to our ten workout tips, Samantha, a long-time Xercise4Less Hounslow gym member, has some useful words of advice for fitness newbies. Make sure you prepare before you go to your local gym. “I always have a routine ready or a workout plan ready for my session, so I know what I’m going to work on before I get to the gym”. Use music in the gym. Samantha makes sure that “I have my workout earphones for some music, to make the session more fun”. Don’t miss out on warming up or cooling down. As Samantha knows from her gym experience, it’s vital “to prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness after workouts”.  

Now on with our ten useful tips for the gym!

 1: Join X4L Gyms

 Just kidding.

1: Understand Gym Etiquette

Familiarise yourself with the unwritten rules of the gym and your Xercise4Less experience will run much more smoothly. Understanding basic gym etiquette, like wiping down a machine after using it, will not only make you an upstanding citizen, but also improve your reputation with the regulars. Check out our blog on gym etiquette for more tips on how to work out with the right attitude.

2: Choose the Right Workout Right for You

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? When you do what the type of exercise that you enjoy, you’re far more likely to continue working out. Why not try some of our group fitness classes, or begin with a bang with our Body Transformation Camp to learn exactly what exercises make you tick. Lift weights, run on the treadmill, enjoy Boxercise, it’s up to you. Just pick a workout that you’ll continue doing!

3: Finish Every Rep

When you’re lifting free weights or working out on a fitness machine, finish each repetition. Many beginners focus too much on lifting and not enough on lowering. Make your muscles work all the way through their entire range of motion. If you can’t control the weight during the lowering phase, you’re probably lifting too much weight.

4: Love Compound Movements

Performing compound movements in the gym challenge multiple muscle groups simultaneously. That gets you the best results for both muscle growth and weight loss. Start off with compound lifts like squats, bench press, shoulder press, bent-over rows, deadlifts, pull-ups, and lunges to see real positive results.

5: The Key to Good Lifting Technique

When you’re beginning to lift weights, you need to pick up the right habits. Control your lifts. Don’t try to lift too much weight too soon. Engage your core. Keep an eye on your posture. Squeeze at the top of every movement. Talk to one of our Xercise4Less Personal Trainers for some friendly advice on the best workout techniques.

6: Rest and Recuperate

Everyone needs some time off after a tough session. Try to get eight hours of sleep every night and make sure you take at least one rest day a week. Rest up so you can repeat another energising workout when your fitness programme calls for it. There’s no benefit to overworking at the gym.

7: Nutrition is Just as Important as the Gym

Eating the right foods for your body is just as important as sticking to your fitness programme. Replace obvious unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives and cut back on processed sugar. Try filling at least half of your plate with vegetables. You can enjoy an indulgence here and there but stick mostly to healthy food choices. Our Body Transformation Camp will get you started with its expert nutritional advice. Samantha is particularly keen on pre-workout nutrition. “I make sure I’ve had a good pre-workout meal that consists of adequate protein, carbs and fats”.

8: Gym Habits and Goals

A great gym tip is to set measurable targets for yourself. Samantha advises that she monitors her progress closely by “gradually increasing the intensity of my workouts”. Create short, medium and long-term goals and give yourself both something to aim for and something to celebrate when you hit your targets. The first time working out at the gym has to be the start of a long-term habit. Give yourself time to make the gym ‘stick’. When you’re annoyed to be missing a workout session, you’ll know you’re on the right path.

9: Patience is Key

Gaining muscle, losing weight and getting fit don’t all happen at once. Progress can be slow so it’s key to stick with your gym workout even if you think you’re failing. Be realistic and you’ll find that you’re progressing towards your targets even if it’s only in inches! You can always ask for advice from our fitness staff to keep you motivated. Just don’t quit.

10: Learn from Your Mistakes in the Gym

Nobody was an expert on their first day in the gym so don’t be afraid to make mistakes when you’re working out. Do learn from those mistakes though. A top tip is to keep a track of what you’re doing in the gym with a journal. Or sit down with a Personal Trainer to thrash out a dedicated fitness programme. You can also check out our workout guides to understand the right technique for all the major gym exercises. When you’re confident in what you’re doing in the gym, you’re more likely to keep coming back!

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How to Start Your Student Fitness Journey – with Rakin

Are you an active student starting university for the first time? Want some help on setting up a workout routine as a fresher? You’ve come to the right place. Starting off university life isn’t easy but that’s where one of our gym members, Rakin from Xercise4Less Hull, comes in. He wants to share some fitness advice that he wished he knew as a student. Over to Rakin!

I know how just challenging your student fitness journey can be, having done the transition from university life to full-time employment. Whether it’s the stress of studying or living on a tight budget while cooking your own meals and doing your own washing, it’s tough to cope at first… we haven’t even talked about dealing with hangovers! It’s all part of the student experience but sometimes your new student life can be a real block when you want to get fit.

Getting Fit as a Fresher

I’ve built up my fitness through training at Xercise4Less gym in Hull 7 days a week. My sessions consist of a mix of free weights, bodyweight training, HIIT and finish off with some bag kicking. My local gym has really helped with that; I never have to wait for any equipment as there’s always an alternative. I can fire through my sessions without waiting around for a weight machine or bench. And that’s invaluable when you’re a student under time pressure and needing to release some stress.

Equipment is just part of what makes a good gym for students though. The atmosphere of a gym can accelerate your progress or set you up for stagnation and that’s really driven by the people around you. I really like the atmosphere at Xercise4Less Hull as the staff are very friendly and helpful, but the gym members are great too. You end up seeing the same faces in the gym which helps you feel comfortable and enables you to ask for advice or a spot whenever you need it.

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Working Out the Right Way to Exercise as a Student

You can be into bodybuilding, powerlifting, CrossFit, running, it’s up to you. Whatever exercise you prefer, the key is to set your own personal goals as this is your unique student fitness journey. Here are some exercise lessons that I’ve found useful as a student:

  • Set short, medium and long-term goals to give yourself something to aim for. Breaking down a long-term goal into smaller pieces helps with motivation and hitting those milestones is such a satisfying feeling. I personally try to walk 8,000 steps a day as my short-term goal!
  • Routine is important with student exercise and the key to routine is preparation. Get your gym clothes ready the day before. Know what time of the day you’ll be training and how you’ll be working out. It doesn’t matter whether you want to follow a precise fitness programme or decide on a group exercise class the evening after a lecture. The main thing is you prepare before you go to the gym.
  • We all have our own internal motivation, so find the right fitness spark for you. What area of the gym do you most enjoy? If you’re dreading your sessions after a tough day in the library, it’s hard to find a positive workout attitude.

Eating Your Way Right Through College

Eating the right foods for your body is just as important as sticking to your fitness programme. Thankfully it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune there’s always a student budget to stick to.

Use your freezer to make sure you eat enough protein a day (I stick to 1-1.2g per pound of body weight). Buy packets of raw chicken and turkey and freeze them or grab frozen fish supermarket bargains for incredible sources of protein. Tinned fish like mackerel, tuna, and sardines have always been a good option for me. Other really affordable proteins are eggs, Greek yoghurt, Skyr, and Quark. Just make sure it has around 20g protein per 100g. If you’re a student who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, then cheap beans and legumes are your best friend. My cupboards are filled with cans of chickpeas and lentils!

Don’t forget about affordable carbohydrates either like oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and wholegrain pasta. Ensure that your student life gets a healthy dose of essential fats too through olive oil, nuts, and avocados.

Draw the Right Student Lessons

When you’re a new student it can be hard to find a college community that fits but don’t worry. When you join Xercise4Less gyms, you’ll find a real community of friendly fitness enthusiasts like Rakin to keep you on the right fitness track. Join Xercise4Less Gyms and start your student education with the right lesson!

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The Ultimate Gym Etiquette Guide from Xercise4Less Gyms

When joining a new gym, perhaps your local gym Xercise4Less, and start working out for the first time- it’s important to know the unspoken rules of the gym. Knowing basic gym etiquette; how to act around the gym, will make your workout experience so much more enjoyable. It’ll also help you avoid glaring looks from the otherwise friendly human beings exercising around you.

Whether you’re a first-year student starting at a university gym, or the gym is already your second home, the effect of breaking the unwritten workout rules is the same: disappointment and awkward moments. Here then is a gym etiquette 101 refresher course to get you started.

Know Your Local Gym Rules

We begin our guide to gym etiquette with what seems like an obvious rule. Yes, we’re starting with the basics- know the Xercise4Less gym rules and pay attention to them. The exercise guidelines are clearly visible on the walls so remember to read them rather than just nodding at them as you move onto the free weights. Gym etiquette differs from gym to gym. It includes things like whether you can take your shoes off or whether you can use chalk to lift. If you’re not sure about a house rule, just talk to one of our friendly fitness staff who’ll be happy to advise you.

Always Put Gym Equipment Away

This is a big one. The pet peeve of many a veteran gym goer- make sure that you put the gym equipment away after you finish an exercise. Re-rack weights like dumbbells or weight plates. If you’ve moved anything out of place like mats, then put it back for the next person to use. This is perhaps the number one rule in the gym. Unfortunately, though, it’s a gym rule that’s continually broken, being both dangerous for and inconsiderate towards your fellow members.

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Leave Fitness Equipment Clean

There’s something divine about taking a nice relaxing bath. Less divine, though, is the idea of taking a dip in a sweaty puddle left by the previous user of the bench press. Take on board Xercise4Less gym etiquette and leave the exercise equipment clean after you’re worked out. Of course, gyms are sweaty places, it can’t be helped. Be a good person though; bring a small towel and wipe down the machine or bench before you move on.

At an Xercise4Less Gym Respect Everyone’s Personal Space

In a friendly gym like Xercise4Less we’re very keen on respecting other people’s personal space. Gyms can be busy, especially during peak times, but don’t make someone working out feel that you’re going to jump in at any moment. There’s no need to stand 10cm away from someone using the equipment that you want next. Also, don’t stare at anybody in the gym. It’s not only distracting when you’re trying to work out, but it can make some gym users, particularly female members feel very uncomfortable. That’s why we provide women’s only gym zones at each of our gyms. You’re probably not good enough to exercise with perfect form whilst also thinking about what other people are doing.

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Mind the Noise Level in Your Gym

Every one of our members is encouraged to train hard but excessive noise while working out is discouraged. It’s perfectly fine to make some noise as you work through a tough lift or strain on a fitness machine but try not to grunt angrily at your fellow gym goers while you test your limits. Screaming is also not cool; it means you need to drop the weight a little. As a side point, try to keep the gym chitchat to a minimum during the rush hour. Even with all the gym equipment that we provide, space and machines are limited. There’s nothing worse than waiting for someone to move on to another machine while they’re busy chatting on their phone. This only applies during rush hour though, otherwise chat away!

Respect the Gym Weights

Gym etiquette means thinking of gym weights as your own equipment and that means fully respecting them. If you’re strong enough to lift with good form, then you’re strong enough to place the weight down in a controlled manner. Don’t drop or slam the dumbbells, you could break them or cause another gym goer to have an accident. If you’re in any doubt about this gym rule, just ask our Personal Trainers who are always around to help. If you’re looking to try a weight that could break your limits, don’t be shy- ask for a spot, for your own safety as much as the equipment’s.

The Only Guide to Gym Etiquette You’ll Ever Need

That’s all you need to know when you join an Xercise4Less gym, regardless of whether you’re a gym newbie or a weightlifting champion. Stay aware of your surroundings. Respect your fellow gym members. Act like it’s your own equipment that you’re using. Thanks for reading our guide to gym etiquette, remember these points and you’ll have more fun when you work out!

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