Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019

There are around 1.25 million people living in the UK with some form of eating disorder, including cases seen in children as young as six years old.

25th February 2019 marked the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and this year’s theme was “Come as You Are” – which highlights greater inclusivity and body acceptance. As ‘The People’s Gym’, we want to continue channeling that inclusivity and support our members with their health & fitness goals.

We encouraged everyone at Xercise4Less to get involved and show their support during the awareness week.

Our member stories:

Bethany McManus

Liberty Buxton

Sophia Ellis

James Tanner

Mike Ryan

How can you get involved?

  • Why not hold a Sock It to Eating Disorders fundraiser at work, school or in the community? Don’t forget to put on your best socks!
  • Share your own experiences. Help to challenge stereotypes by talking about what you’ve been through to help give others the confidence to seek the help they need.
  • Show your support on social by getting involved in the conversation and sharing posts around Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  

To find out more about this years EDAW visit BEAT.

To start your health and fitness journey with Xercise4Less join now.

[2018] National Fitness Day

★ Doing our bit to move the nation ★

To celebrate National Fitness Day 2018, we hosted a number of exciting activities!

We encouraged the public to celebrate their strength and empowerment through fitness.

#Train4Free ?

An open house across all of our clubs nationwide.

Regardless whether you had trained with us before, the nation were encouraged to trial our facilities to the max for free for the whole day!

#Transform4Free ?

We hosted two free transformation camp taster sessions from 11:15am – 12:00pm and 5:15pm – 6:00pm. 

#Treats4Free 

In collaboration with Scitec Nutrition we ran a competition across facebook, instagram and twitter. 

#nationalfitnessday2018 fitnessday #fitness2me #xercise4fitness #beactive4less

You spoke, we listened

Sign Up Today Try For Free

We surveyed our members asking them how they would like us to improve our group classes.

The feedback was brilliant, with our members telling us which classes they wanted more of and what times they wanted them.

Sign up today to try out our brand new, member focused group exercise class programme, built by our members, for our members.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Compared to solo exercise, exercising with a group improves quality of life and reduces stress.

People who take group exercise classes feel less stress and more physical, emotional and mental health benefits than those who exercised alone or did not hit the gym at all.

Sign Up Today Try For Free

8 Week Transformation Camps

Wondering what a Transformation Camp is? What if we told you that the success you experience in the gym can and will be translated to every other aspect of your life? It is something that will dramatically change your career, relationships and health simply by getting your body to act in accordance with your will. But although the benefits are great, we know how challenging this can be. That’s why we have unleashed another round of our 8 Week Transformation Camps, which have proved to be extremely popular with our members.

Transformation Camp classes are designed to help you lose weight, gain more energy and dramatically improve your health. Our camps are the A-Z of fitness and contain all of the information you will ever need. Exercise well, eat well and get your life back on track.

 The 8 Week Transformation camps include:

  • A 2 or 3 group personal training sessions every week
  • A weekly weigh in
  • Before and after photos
  • A recipe e-book

The camps are an hour long and includes step-by-step guidance on how to supercharge your fitness. And more importantly you are not alone! Our camps are led by highly motivated and qualified personal trainers whose sole purpose is helping you to reach your goals and achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Deborah says: “The camp has been brilliant, it has built my confidence up and I’m no longer afraid of going to the gym”. And this is exactly why we do it. We believe that our reputation is dependant upon our members reaping the maximum benefits from our camps and services. So if you want you want to find out more about how these camps will help you to transform your health, fitness and approach to life, you can sign up to this months series. 

The Basics of a Healthy Nutrition

Let’s get down to some nutritional basics!

There are so many diets and nutrition plans out there from Weight Watchers to Atkins, so it’s often understandable how difficult it is finding one that works for you. knowing the basics of nutrition is important because it is the main factor that will affect the health of you body. As we all know, food is essential and it provides nutrients for survival, and helps the body function. Food is comprised of macronutrients  such as fat, vitamins, protein and carbohydrate and give your body the energy to survive and be healthy. 

Here is a little more information on the benefits of each group of nutrients:

Protein 

The role of proteins are to build muscle tissue. Protein includes foods such as fish, chicken, eggs etc. With this in mind, look at what goals you are looking to achieve. If your goal is muscle building then you should ensure to get in as much of this muscle building ingredient as your body can digest, then make up the rest of your daily calorie requirements from fats and carbohydrates. An average person can digest around 30g of protein every 3 hours. Our system work much better when we give it just what it needs, so there is maximum absorption and minimal waste.

Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates will give you the energy needed to carry out your daily activities, especially when working out. Carbohydrates include foods such as beans, pasta, rice, potatoes etc. Be aware of and look into your carbohydrate intake in relation to your activity levels, if you are working out a lot or moving around during the day you will need a higher intake of carbohydrates to keep your energies high. If you are very active at work, you may need around 60g of carbohydrate per meal, however if you are not so active during working hours, then 30-40g of carbohydrates would be ideal. 

Fats 

Fats aim to help you maintain healthy breain and organ function. It is important to consider which type of fats they are and their calorific intake in terms of food type. Fat can be found in foods such as nuts, oli, cheese, meat, fish etc. It is important to ensure that you have a balance between fats and carbohydrates, e.g. 1lb of fat equates to roughly 3500 calories so if weight loss is your goal, it is best to reduce your calorie intake by 500 per day. On the other hand, if weight gain is your goal then increase your calorie intake per day.

Check out our PRO app for nutritional tips and diet plans 

Benefits of HIIT Training

running on a treadmill hiit blog

What is HIIT?

High intensity interval training describes any workout that alternates between bursts of high intensity and fixed periods of low intensity. So an example of this could be running as fast as you possibly can for 1 minute and then jogging for 2 minutes, and then repeat this constantly for about 15- 45 minutes. You can do this on the treadmill, the road, a bike, cross trainer or skipping rope. Doesn’t sound too bad does it? Go for it for a few minutes, then rest. Push yourself for a few minutes, then rest. Really feel the burn for a few minutes, then rest. High Intensity Interval Training, sound scary? Well yes it might but that’s just because of what you’re imagining in your head. Military style ‘go go go, faster faster faster, more more more…!’ There is an element of this but when you actually break down what this style of exercise means, interval training, actually means it’s not high impact 24/7. It means you train in sections, therefore you get to have rests, so what’s there to worry about?


Well, this powerful method of exercise can be a heart pounding, pulse raising, sweat pumping experience, we realise that not everyone loves going to the gym and for some it can be a means to an end just to balance out other life choices, but whatever your reason is for going to the gym, think about all the good HIIT could do for you. HIIT burns… And with that kind of pain, there’s got to be a whole lot of gain! So whilst we all like to think that ‘just turning up’ to the gym counts, and that doing a class a couple of times a week means you’re fit, we guess you could really say it doesn’t always quite work like that?
If you want serious results you do need to really go for it, you need to put the effort in, and you need to work hard. As HIIT really does embrace application and intensity of effort, we think this exercise approach is spot on.

We get that people look for quick fixes and this is perfectly natural. The only problem is these don’t really exist! The good news is that high intensity interval training has been proven to generate great results at a much faster rate than any other exercise methods, so when you look in the mirror and notice the difference, you might just begin to like this ‘HIIT’.

Why should I consider HIIT training?

High Intensity Interval Training encourages fat blasting. Not only do you burn more calories when engaging in HIIT, but you also have what is known as an ‘after burn’. Which means that you continuously burn fat even after you have finishes exercising- bonus. As we say, it has been scientifically proven that by doing a mere 15 minutes of interval training you will have the same results, if not better, than someone who has run for an hour constantly.

It’s perfect for those that have a limited amount of time on their hands but still wish to get in an intense workout. The great thing about HIIT, is that you can do it anywhere. It does not require any equipment, or gym membership, just you and your will power. 

Best aspects of HIIT Training?

You will not get bored, some workouts can be so monotonous and boring that you manage to lose interest about ten minutes in. HIIT is both challenging and stimulating, as soon as you get comfortable working at a lower intensity level, then BOOM…it’s back to high intensity.

You will be huffing and puffing, feeling like your lungs and heart may explode out of your chest at any moment but you will most certainly not be bored.
Do you want to lose the weight and get going with increasing your fitness, right now? Then stop asking why and get moving.

Many celebrity trainers chose to use this technique on their clients. We’ll leave you this week with the message that re-training your brain to take on new challenges is part of the trick of getting fit. Yes you need your body to be behind you, but if you are ready in your mindset to take exercise on, and make it work for you, you’ll not only see better results but you’ll enjoy the process a lot more too.

There is always the incentive, just think about how you can reward yourself after a hard, fast workout!

[2016] Sport Relief fundraising 18th-22nd March

How’s your mileage?

We jumped the gun on this to give away a years membership to raise funds for Sport Relief. Entry was £2 minimum (but we do get all twinkly eyed when we see the generosity of our members – something about the heart in our brand you might say?) All you have to do is run, row, cycle, lunge, hop or if you’re utterly insane…squat the distance of a sports relief mile. 

  • Win a Free Years Membership or FitBit
  • Bring a Friend for just *£2!!! (All Weekend 18th – 22nd March 2016) 
  • OR gym in FANCY DRESS! It’s minimum *£2 per entry to the fancy dress competition. Best dressed wins a free years gym membership worth £150.00

(*All proceeds go towards Sport Relief)

We gave away a FREE years membership!

Members were encouraged to use anything from a spin bike to a seated rower or if they really liked..maybe try lunging for a mile with Kettlebells in the studio? All they had to do was one mile. “However you do it is completely up to you!” We wanted to see how many marathons we could complete together?

Get involved and help give back to the community for a good cause.

Everyone who donates will be entered into the draw and the winner will get either a FitBit or a free years membership here at Xercise4Less! So don’t forget to bring your gym buddy! You might be able to get 2 memberships out us!

2nd chance entry!

For another minimum £2 donation you can enter our fancy dress competition. The best dressed entry will win the same prizes mentioned above. 

Spin a mile?

Spinning doesn’t require you to have any real rhythm. If you like the class atmosphere but have two left feet when it comes to Zumba moves or aerobics steps then Spinning is a truly brilliant choice. Why not go and see if these are running in your local club this weekend?

Guess what? You don’t even need to be able to ride a bike to get into Spin; our Indoor Cycling bikes essentially come with built-in stabilisers, so you can’t possibly bite the floor!

Joking aside, spinning is a low impact, high intensity workout which is excellent for members of all abilities and fitness levels. YOU control how much you push yourself, how fast you cycle and how high you ramp up the resistance so you’ll never be out of your depth. If you feel you don’t not push yourself outside of your comfort zone then you’ve obviously never felt the awesome camaraderie and motivation of a Spin class in full swing…
It’s 100% impossible to get left behind by the rest of the class in the Spin Studio, or to end up feeling out of place. Can you push the pedals round? Yes? Then you’ve got what it takes!
Whether you’re brand new in the saddle or are already a Master of Spin – we need YOU. Sign up to take part in a Spinathon for Sports Relief at your local club and be a part of a fantastic cause.

If you’re still not convinced that Spinning is the best thing since sliced bread then read on to see how our members have been Spinning their way to some seriously amazing lifestyle changes.

How has spinning changed your life?

Daniel Monks who trains at Xercise4Less Bolton says that he does 4-5 spinning classes a week and is really noticing the fat melting away and sees his muscles grow with each class. 

Leigh Philp has been doing 3-4 spin classes a week for almost a year which has helped her lose weight and inches. She’s never joined a gym before coming to see us and is finding important ‘me time’ to get what she wants.

Susan Helders tells us that spinning has made her feel a lot fitter and that she’s made some great friends along the way!

Send us your story!

Have you got the spin bug biting you? Let us know how spinning classes have improved your health by emailing your story to: mysuccess@xercise4less.co.uk so we can feature you as one of our success stories!

Xercise4Less raised nearly £3000 for Children in Need 2015

Hats off to all the staff over at Xercise4Less Liverpool Belle Valle who raised a modest £508.00 towards the cause and also a shout of for the creativity that Xercise4Less Sunderland showed in such little time contributing £203.00 in under 24 hrs – well done all!

Children in Need 2015 – Be a Hero

Stick a dotty pair of Y fronts on your heads and colour yourselves yellow because it’s Children in Need! This year we really want everyone to get involved. Touch a few hearts and change a few lives by dressing to impress in your favourite super hero outfit!

We’re serving up back to back classes from 9.30 to 2.30 in the afternoon across all of our clubs and the best part is that if you turn up dressed as your favourite childhood hero we’ll donate £2 per member to Children in Need!

Staff will also be raising awareness and walking round with donation buckets but if you’re jumping around and hadn’t planned on having any change in your pocket, then you can always give your contribution towards the cause here online: bbc.co.uk/pudsey

Not only is it Children in Need – it is also Friday the 13th – which makes us wonder just how colourful, bizarre and fun this day will be!  

Related Articles:

Girls who lift: Beth Trueman speaks out

“I’ve always been a bit of a fitness fanatic, but it was actually my boyfriend that got me into lifting. I joined X4L around a year ago, and never ventured from the cardio section for about 2 months. It wasn’t until I started lifting that I really started to enjoy my training, and it was then that I started seeing the best results!”

“When I began training again I set myself goals, the long term being to develop my physique and be comfortable in my own skin again. Goals have to be smart, and it is important to set short goals that will all lead you up to achieving the end goal. Competing was one of those goals, and it sure has pushed me the last stretch of the way.”

Beth Truman of Xercise4Less Rotherham performing free weights

“I currently follow flexible dieting (IIFYM – ‘If it fits your macros’) but ensure I still eat clean and get my micronutrients in as well rather than purely focusing on my macronutrients.”

“In terms of training, I try and lift weights 4/5 times a week – and as my diet progresses towards my competition my cardio increases.”

“At the minute my split is working on two upper body days and three lower body days as I find my upper body progresses quicker than my lower. This is then split into: Back and biceps, shoulders and triceps, quads and calves, hamstrings and then glutes.”

“I currently have Personal Training sessions once/twice a week with Matt Seaman who has really helped develop my weakness and motivate me on days when I could have just thrown the towel in.”

“There has been lots of challenges, but the most important thing is that I’ve overcome them and come out stronger from it. Everyone is going to experience set backs along the way, but it is important to get back up and continue fighting for what you want.”

“My biggest challenge has probably been my digestive issues – I struggle with IBS/IBD and over the past 3 months have been really poorly and under a lot of medical investigation. For me it has been trying to overcome the physical feeling of giving up and just stopping my day to day activities because of my illness. If anything, physical activity and the gym is my release and my focus. It helped me get through it all.”

“On top of that, one thing that I know everyone can relate to is slow progress. I remember there has been plenty of times when I have looked in the mirror and thought “but I look no different” and that is hard. It’s hard when you work your backside off and then don’t see results. But progress is progress, and you don’t realise at the time but you are progressing you just don’t realise it.”

“It’s not until you compare yourself to when you started you realise just how far you’ve come – and that is the best motivation to continue!”

“I’ve been training for almost a year now, but decided to do a show in winter of 2014. I began my ‘cutting phase’ of my diet back in February with my coach Lainey Keogh, but then postponed my show from the 3rd May to 19th July as a result of me being particularly poorly these past few months. My macros have now increased to ensure I don’t peak too early, but my training is remaining the same – just slightly less cardio at the minute (which I’m not complaining about!).”

“My biggest goal is to just inspire and motivate others. I would love to be an influence into someone’s fitness journey, and to think that I could have helped them in some way would just be amazing.”

“With consistency anything is possible! That is always my favourite piece of advice – if you want something enough give 110% into it every day, no half measures. Also, don’t be afraid to lift weights! There is so much stigma around women lifting weights and getting ‘big’ and it’s not true. Since starting lifting I’ve seen the most progress, I have been lifting heavy all this time and I’ve dropped 2 dress sizes!”

Top 5 Quick Nutritional Tips

We are aware that nutrition and health can be confusing subjects. People and professionals seems to have different opinion on what a balanced diet should be and what type of food it should involve. However, despite the general disagreement, there are a few things that research supports. 

Here you can find 5 nutritional tips to make your life easier…

1. Carbs are NOT the enemy

In contrary to popular belief, carbs are not the enemy and are actually a natural part of every body’s diet. The trick is eating the correct amount according to your goals. This of course all depends how you wish to set your macro intake for your body ‘now’ in lieu of how you want it to be.

2. Eat 6 meals a day

Eating 6 small meals a day helps you lose weight by keeping your metabolism ticking over all day. The best part about meal prep isn’t just about the aftermath of eating the food, it’s about getting creative and figuring out what foods you can combine to get the correct % balance of macros. You will need a diet that includes the best nutritional benefits, variety and taste which will help keep you on track and achieving the results you want. Obviously, supplements are a popular choice for some who find it difficult to hit their macros with the ingredients they have, but these shouldn’t ever replace your daily healthy meals.

3. Supplements

If you are aiming to gain weight and build muscle but are struggling, supplements are a great way of helping you taking those extra calories and grams of protein without forking out huge amounts of money on food. Let’s face it 3 chickens a day plus the veg is going to get pretty expensive over a long period of time. Supplements are a convenient and affordable way to hit your macros without burning the wallet.

4. Planning meals so you don’t need a vendors

One of the keys to healthy eating is planning your meals so you know what you’re eating and when, so you’re never resorting to eating unhealthy snacks from vending machines or giving into temptations from the local cafe or shop. Planning your meals wil also help save you far more money as you waste far less food.

5. Buy a shaker

Buying a shaker will be one of the best purchases you ever make as it will easily help you blend your protein shakes. Sometimes the life value of plastic shakers can run short due to how they can get tainted with smells over time, so it’s a good plug to let you know that Kan of Steel provide metal shakers that contain a spherical coil that is renowned to blend protein powder into nourishing liquid seemlesssly.