How to tone your muscles

barbell curls-upper body workout guide

Everyone has their own fitness goals, whether it’s to bulk up or slim down, or to just improve your all around health. There are countless goals for you to achieve from working out in the gym, but today we are going to talk you through how to reach a popular goal, to tone up.

Toning your muscles requires time and patience, similar to any other goal, it is not achieved overnight. Consistency is key. You can stay consistent by working out 4-5 times a week, don’t work out every single day, much like your phone your muscles need to rest and re-charge. Aim to work out on these days for at least 30 minutes. But this is a marathon not a sprint, everyone starts at different stages.

Incorporate weights into your exercise. Use weights that challenge your strength, but ensure you can manage just over 2 sets of 10 repetitions. Start off low and add weights as you go, don’t go heavy too quickly as this can cause injury. Body weight exercises work wonders for toning your muscles, these are exercises such as push ups or planking.

To tone your muscles, full body exercising helps a great deal. Cardio is the best day to do this, all cardiovascular exercise will allow you to tone all areas of your body, as well as lowering the risk of mental and physical health problems! High intensity interval training is a quick, effective method of cardio that helps burn fat and tone your muscles. This requires performing exercises at a high intensity for short periods of time, resting and repeating! To try this you can head to one of our treadmills, set the treadmill as fast as you can go for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds, please take precaution when running at a fast speed.

Toning requires building muscle and reducing body fat to increase the appearance of muscles. It is essential in every major fitness change to have consistent diet alongside regular exercise. Ensure to have plenty of fruit and vegetables and aim to reach your 5 a day. Carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats, quinoa and pasta are also helpful in reducing the body’s intake of saturated fat, which will increase the appearance of your muscles. And finally, ensure you eat a sufficient amount of protein as this helps you build muscles, foods such as eggs, chicken and almonds are great protein sources for an all-round balanced diet.

Why not take advantage of a complimentary consultation to discuss with your 4FiiT PT how to achieve this in a way best suited to you?

Don’t forget, everyone has their own methods and goals, this is just some advice to support you along the way if your goal is to tone up! 

5 tips for your first time at Xercise4Less

You’ve made the first step in your fitness journey by bagging yourself a gym membership at Xercise4Less, well done! Feeling a little nervous and apprehensive? Don’t fret, we understand that the first time at the gym can be overwhelming, but once it’s over you’ll feel ready to take on the world!

Here’s our 5 step guide for your first time in the gym…

1. Make use of your induction

Xercise4Less gym memberships come with a group induction free of charge, make use of this! Not only are you shown how to use the equipment safely and effectively, by joining in a group induction you meet fellow first-time gym visitors starting their fitness journey too. New gym members who attend the induction are in the exact same boat as you and probably just as nervous, together you can overcome this fear and start your health kick with the utmost confidence.

2. Everyone is busy working on themselves

It is completely normal to feel embarrassed about exercising publicly, everyone feels this way at first. It’s important to note that most people who attend the gym are working to better themselves and reach their own goals, they aren’t concerned about anyone else looking to do the same. You’re attending the gym to reach YOUR goals, the only opinion that should matter to you is YOURS!

3. Plan ahead

Not sure where to start? That’s okay too. Before your first visit, have a think about what you want to achieve by exercising at the gym. You can find some excellent workout plans online, or you can just take advantage of our fantastic FREE workouts on the Xercise4Less app. Just head to the workout button on our homepage and you’re all set, with a huge range of different workouts to help meet your goals. Alternatively, why not join your fellow members in taking part in our 8 Week Transformation Camp? This package includes your choice of 2 or 3 group PT sessions a week, weekly weight ins and before and after pictures to see your progress! 

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

You’ve come to the gym with all your gear, and you really have no idea. This is absolutely FINE! Our gyms have 4FiiT trainers walking around the gym floor at all times, they’re super approachable so don’t be afraid to ask them for assistance with anything at all. If you can’t seem to find one just ask a member of staff – or a fellow member, you might even find yourself a new gym workout buddy.

5. Picture your future self

It’s 8 weeks later, you’re stronger, you’re fitter and most importantly you’re HAPPIER. This is where it starts! By attending this first session and taking advantage of your free gym induction you can begin the most rewarding journey of your life. Exercise works wonders for both your physical and mental health, trust us, your future self will thank you for overcoming your first visit to Xercise4Less.

Not a member yet? Join Xercise4Less today.

Tips for busy mums

Being a mum is a 24 hour, 7 day a week job, and with such a responsibility sometimes it’s hard to fit in your ideal fitness regime! That’s why we’ve put some tips together to give you, well deserving mothers, the self-care that you need.

Struggling to find an hour or so to train? Try HIIT! High intensity interval training allows you to do your weekly cardio, for half the time! Short spurts of maximum effort keeps your heart rate high and your blood pumping, you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat in as little as 15 minutes and you’ll feel great after. Trust us, it’s worth the extra effort for that short space of time.

Take your family with you! Outdoor hiking, cycling or running is a great way to bond with your family, and keep everyone fit. With the weather slowly improving, there’s no excuse to postpone family time for some fresh air. Why not exercise while spending time with the people you love the most?

We know it’s hard to stick to a balanced diet when ensuring all your children’s nutritional needs are fulfilled, meal prep the key! Prepare all of your meals in advance to ensure you receive your share of a balanced diet, keep these in Tupperware and store them in your fridge/freezer. This is perfect way to reach your goals if you’re stretched for time. Just pop it in the microwave to heat it up and PING! You’re good to go.

Mum time. Book a class through the Xercise4Less app that fits in with your schedule, within just 30-60 minutes, you’ll to come out the gym glowing and feeling great. Not only this, you’ll meet fellow mums with the same goal as you – to feel your best. Book your class today.

Whatever your fitness goals are as a mum, don’t be afraid to want to feel your best. It’s okay to not exercise every day! You’re doing a great job, and Xercise4Less are here to support your journey every step of the way. 

[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.

Sign Up Today Try For Free


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. 

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!