Minimal Equipment, Maximum Impact

Woman Using Kettlebell in Free Weights
Woman Using Kettlebell in Free Weights

Now that our gyms are open again, some of you might have just picked up where you left off earlier this year, however some of you might still be adapting to your new normal. This might mean spending less time in the gym and being a bit more cautious when you’re in here. We understand both types of members. For the latter, we want to give you a bit of guidance and support to help you back onto your fitness journey. In this blog, we’ll share some ideas with you around how to use minimal equipment in the gym to make maximum impact on your fitness to help you smash your workout.  

Next time you visit your Xercise4Less gym, to keep socially distanced the best that you can, find a large space in the gym and perform your whole workout from this spot. This could be in the fitness studio or free weight area – wherever you can be away from other members and focus on your workout safely and comfortably. Not only this, it means that you can get your workout done efficiently and effectively. Take some free weights with you and you’ll good to go! 


Free Weights to Suit All Goals 

Regardless of your main fitness goals, free weights will be useful to you and push you closer to them. A huge benefit of weight training is that they help to increase build muscle whilst burning calories meaning that you’re able to burn fat quickly tooIf you want to focus purely on fat burn and weight loss, we suggest including weights in your workout but increasing the tempo of the workout too. This could mean using lighter weights but completing more reps with less rest. To use weights to help you increase muscle mass and build strength, slow down your workout and focus on the contraction and burn instead.

For your next workout, grab a pair of dumbbells or a kettlebell – pick up a weight that can be used for your upper body and lower body. It shouldn’t be too easy to lift but also not too heavy that using it could cause an injury. The most time efficient workout to do in the gym is something focusing on your full body. This means that you’ll have a selection of workouts for your upper body muscles, lower and some that combine both together. For upper body, perform clean and press, upright row, and bent over row. For lower body, perform squats, lunges and RDLs and then end it all with kettlebell or dumbbell swings to tie it all together.  

Clean and press and upright rows are both great exercises that target your muscles and will allow you to build up your strength. Bent over rows focus on a number of muscles in your back including your lats. Squats and lunges bring all the leg muscles together – quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes so will help you get stronger whereas RDLs focus purely on your hamstrings and glutes. Finally, a kettlebell swing is a full body exercise that relies on the muscles in your shoulders, back and legs so it’s a great finisher for this workout. 

HIIT Box Jumps

Using your Time Effectively

For a lot of people, your post-lockdown world looks a little different. Lifestyles have changed over the last few months meaning that some people have less time to spend at the gym and when they’re here, they want to be as safe as possibleFollowing a workout of this style will mean that you’re spending less time in the gym but still completing an amazing workout whilst using 1-2 pieces of equipment in a social distanced space. Not forgetting that by wiping down equipment before and after use will protect you, your fellow members and the staff too. 

Here at Xercise4Less, we’re always available to give our members support and will try to encourage you where we can on your fitness journeys to help you reach your fitness goals with us.  

Equipment and Facilities to Help With Recovery

Equipment and Facilities to Suit All

Xercise4Less gyms provide members with a huge range of equipment and facilities. Regardless of what you want to use the gym for, we’re very likely to have the equipment and the space that you want and need. All Xercise4Less gyms are split into a number of different zones. These include Cardio, Free Weights, Resistance Machines, Combat, Exercise Studio and Spin Studios. This huge amount of space means that all members are able to focus on their workout comfortably and safely.

Of course, this is even more important following the Covid-19 pandemic which is why we want to reassure and encourage the public to join our friendly and inclusive community at Xercise4Less to help improve their health and help with recovery.

Woman on Cross Trainer in Cardio Zone

Focus on Your Health and Recovery at Xercise4Less

On Friday 20th March, we closed all of gyms under Government instruction and 3 (long) months later, we’re now beginning preparations to open again shortly. Once our gyms are able to reopen, we encourage you to come to an Xercise4Less gym and use our amazing spaces for yourself and start to see them as a place for you to really focus on your health and recovery.

Whether you developed Coronavirus symptoms during the last 3 months or not, we can’t deny how much it has highlighted the importance of our health to us. One of the best ways to build up your immune system is by staying fit and exercising regularly. Our gyms provide you with an amazing opportunity to do this. Whether you choose to improve your cardiovascular fitness in the Cardio zone on treadmills and rowing machines or build up your physical strength in the Free Weights or Resistance Machines zones, we have lots to offer.

Better yet, due to the size of our clubs and the large amount of space that we offer our members across the UK, we’re able to keep our members safe and comfortable. Social distancing will be adhered to throughout our gyms and because we have so much space to work with, this doesn’t inconvenience our members in any way.

Leave Lockdown and Become Healthy and Strong

It might have been a while since you last worked out in the gym – or, it might have been a while since you worked out at all. That doesn’t matter to us though because we want to encourage you to work on your fitness with us regardless.

If lockdown lead you to gaining excess weight and become slightly less active, don’t dwell on it. Now is the time to focus on reversing the effects of the last few months and pushing all of your energy towards your weight loss journey. When you come to an Xercise4Less gym, you have the choice to take your workout at your own pace. You can push yourself in our Spin Studios and GX classes to reach your potential with a high energy session. You also have the choice to do a low intensity workout such as steady cardio on the stair climber or treadmill.

Not forgetting that your mental health will become a lot stronger once you become an Xercise4Less member too. It’s likely that you’ve spent a lot of time at home during the last 3 months and now that you’ve got the chance to get out, embrace that. Surround yourself with an uplifting and friendly fitness community with everyone from our front desk staff through to our members. You may have enjoyed exercising at home but nothing beats having a dedicated place to exercise, especially when it’s a clean, safe and spacious Xercise4Less gym.

Online Fitness to Help With Your Fitness Journey

Whilst we’re working on reopening our gyms and waiting for the day we can allow you all to use our gyms again, we’ve been providing existing and new members access to an amazing selection of online fitness tools to help them stay focused during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Why not sign up today and join us? By becoming part of our community, you’ll have exclusive access to these tools. We’ve recently launched a brand new Fitness On-Demand platform which means that you can access our Live and On-Demand classes instantly from the X4L app. We’re now running 140+ classes via that platform including Les Mills BodyCombat, BodyAttack, GRIT, Legs, Bums and Tums, Zumba, Yoga and many more.

Our Personal Trainers have also designed a wide selection of @Home Workouts that you can follow at home with little to no equipment needed. These workouts all come with a video instruction that take you through the full workout and show you how to perform each exercise safely.

Hip Abductor Workout Guide

Hip Abduction Machine
Hip Abduction Machine

Build a strong lower body at Xercise4Less

Following regular leg workouts and bum workouts will help you to build up a great deal of strength and muscle in your lower body which will benefit your other gym sessions and general life too.

If you want increase muscle mass in specific areas such as your glutes, make the most of the hip abductor machine in the resistance machine zone in your Xercise4Less gym. Some of our Ladies Only zones also have a hip abductor meaning that you can work on your lower body strength and start introducing weight training to your workout routine in a comfortable and inclusive space.  

Hip Abductor Machine

How to use the hip abductor effectively to grow your glutes

To make the most of the hip abductor at Xercise4Less Gyms, follow the workout guide to make sure that you’re hitting the right muscles and reaching your full potential in the gym. Firstly, what are you using the hip abductor for? It helps to strengthen and grow the gluteal muscles which are made up of 3 separate muscle groups. By building up stronger and bigger muscles, they will appear more prominent and toned.

When using the hip abductor, start by taking a seat and moving the footrests to a comfortable position. Your workout will be better if you’re starting with your knees together because you get a full range of motion. Once you’re comfortable, position your feet flat on the footrests. Now move the pin into your desired weight. To perform one rep, push your legs outwards as far as they go. Hold this position for a second and then return to your starting position. Repeat this process for 10 reps and 3 sets.

To use this machine to really target your glutes, push out far enough to feel it in your outer glutes and hips. This is what will help your lower body muscles really grow and increase the strength. Try to increase the weight whilst performing these sets just to push yourself and help you to get that little bit stronger. Form is always important when using weighted equipment in the gym. Start with a lower weight to perfect your form and then once you’ve built up more confidence, start to add more weight. Let’s build that peach!

The benefits of strong glutes

Having a strong lower body and strong glutes has lots of benefits. If your bum and legs are one of your problem areas, working on these muscles and toning these parts of your body will improve your body confidence which is really important for your mental health. Not forgetting how strong glutes will help you navigate daily life with more confidence and strength especially with tasks like heavy lifting at work.

This will mean that you’re able to perform more advanced exercises like barbell squats and lunges with ease as you’ve already built up strong enough muscles using the hip abductor machine in the resistance machines gym zone. If one of your main fitness goals is to build muscle, use the hip abductor during your leg workouts to help you increase strength and build up more confidence to start using the free weight gym zones more at Xercise4Less.

Barbell Weighted Plates

Join Xercise4Less Gyms today

What are you waiting for? We have something to suit everyone at Xercise4Less Gyms. Whether you’re working on weight loss, muscle gain or just want to steadily increase your health and fitness, we’ve got a wide range of facilities to help you. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to gyms or an experienced gym user, at the People’s Gym, we include everyone.

Choose from quality weighted equipment, cardio machines, our unique boxing and MMA facilities or smaller fitness studios including spin studios. Not forgetting our inclusive Ladies Only zones and our wide range of group exercises classes including the famous Les Mills classes that will help you to smash your fitness goals.

Assisted Pull-Up Machine Workout Guide

assisted pull up - main
assisted pull up - main

The benefits of the assisted pull-up machine

Develop your upper body strength with the assisted pull-up machine at Xercise4Less gyms. This strength training machine uses counter weight to help you fully complete a successful pull-up. The assisted pull-up machine strengthens and tightens your back and core area as well as the under-arm and back area. These areas are notoriously difficult to tone, and you will have to remain patient, building up slowly.

Once you are familiar with the equipment and have built up your confidence to progress, you can add weight to the machine to increase the difficulty and resistance.

How to use the pull-up machine effectively

Firstly, grasp the machine with your palms facing each other in a neutral position, with your knees situated on the kneepad. Pull your shoulders back and down, locking them into position. Then, hold this position and bring the other knee onto the pad as you lift up into the start position.

It is important to keep your shoulders drawn inward, slowly lowering your body until your arms result in a fully extended position. Ensure you momentarily pause at the top before lowering yourself. This will help you to maintain a more efficient form, lessening the potential risk of injury or discomfort.

The perfect amount of pull-ups

There is no set amount of pull-ups you need to achieve in order to have a better workout than yesterday, but around 10 pull-ups is a good number to aim for. This will not happen overnight, and you may need to lessen your expectations at the beginning and work your way up towards a perfect 10. It is vital that you become accustomed to your own bodyweight, and this can be achieved by holding a dead hang for as long as possible. After this point, you will be able to gauge each and every pull-up by determining how long or how easily you can hold your weight before pulling yourself up and completing a rep. For optimum results, use a full range of motion to work your muscles and fibres more rigorously than normal. Keep this extended movement as slow as possible in order to reduce joint stress.

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Cardio Equipment: The Best Machines For Weight Loss

Woman on Cross Trainer in Cardio Zone
Woman on Cross Trainer in Cardio Zone

Treadmills for effective belly fat loss

If you’re fighting the battle of the belly bulge, the treadmill is a fantastic fat burning machine to try. The treadmill has been shown to burn calories at the highest rate of any cardio exercise machine and running on a treadmill is one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat. With treadmill running you can burn calories for overall fat loss, but you can also directly affect the belly fat underneath your stomach muscles. While running is a powerful weapon for fighting stomach fat, walking at a fast pace on your Xercise4Less treadmill is also useful in slimming down. Walk on an incline on the treadmill and blast some serious calories as your heart rate is increased and your abdominals are engaged to help stabilize your body when you walk uphill.

Cardio equipment - Treadmill

Lose more belly fat with an Elliptical trainer

A low impact exercise machine, the elliptical trainer is ideal cardio for losing stomach fat and toning your body. This cross training fitness session will get your heart rate up, work your legs and arms, and if the elliptical machine in your local Xercise4Less gym has moving handlebars, it’ll put your whole body to work burning calories. Get comfortable on the elliptical trainer and gradually increase your pace and the machine resistance to really blast your belly fat. Losing love handles takes time but you can accelerate your weight loss journey with some quality time on the elliptical trainer.

Cardio Equipment - Bike

Shed excess weight with stationary exercise bikes

Of all the cardio exercise machines in your Xercise4Less gym the stationary bike has to be one of the best when it comes to burning calories. Cycling on a stationary bike is not just very efficient in burning calories and fat but it also helps tone your legs, thighs and bum. Pedalling hard on a stationary bike is more likely to help you lose an extra inch around your middle than crunching abs for example. When you’re capable of moderate-paced cycling, you might include some HIIT stationary bike sessions in your weight loss programme. Increase the intensity at which you ride to 75-85 percent of your maximum heart rate and go for 20-30 minutes at high pace to gain even more lean muscle. Putting in some time on the stationary exercise bikes can have a really positive impact on your weight and health.

Cardio Equipment - Rower

Lose your love handles on the rowing machine

Rowing machines are sometimes forgotten about when it comes to losing unwanted fat. That’s surprising because rowing hard is massively effective in burning calories. Why? A stationary rowing machine works your entire body requiring equal effort from both your lower and your upper body and achieving huge gains in overall cardiovascular fitness. Simply put, you should put the rowing machine at the centre of your belly fat-loss programme at your Xercise4Less gym.

Cardio Equipment - X Trainer

Burn extra fat with a stepper workout

A stepper, stair climber or ClimbMill all simulate walking upstairs. There are two main types of gym stepper machines, the pedal steppers and the step mills. On the pedal steppers you push down on the pedals while keeping your body mostly still to work your legs and core while the step mill is more like a flight of stairs that moves like an escalator. The ClimbMill works your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes and is a real cardio workout. Whichever one you use you can vary the resistance and speed to really ramp up the belly fat burning benefits. A stepper workout is excellent low-impact cardio exercise which burns plenty of calories and helps you lose weight.

Lose more weight with Xercise4Less Gyms

Always keep your weight loss journey on track with Xercise4Less Gyms. We provide all the belly fat burning tools you need to lose weight from your middle and achieve a more toned and shaped body. Build on the fat loss support offered by our friendly community of gym members to realise your fitness goals faster. 

Benefit from innovative gym facilities like our Ladies Only Gym Zone, spacious Spin Studio or Combat Zone with full-sized boxing ring and completely transform your stomach weight loss programme. Enjoy working out with fellow gym members at a safe social distance in our spacious exercise studio or create your own circuits in our large fitness studio. Join an Xercise4Less gym and you take a step closer to reaching your weight loss targets.

Cardio Fitness: Get Your Heart Pumping

Cardio Overview - Main
Cardio Overview - Main

Blast belly fat and improve your fitness with cardio exercise

Cardio training is a great way to boost your physical condition, enabling you to eliminate belly fat, improve your general fitness and the aerobic nature of the exercise also boosts the heart and respiratory rate. Furthermore, cardio increases the blood and oxygen flow throughout the body for a healthier you.

Having a healthier lifestyle can lead to a lot of physical and mental perks. Cardio fitness works to lower your blood pressure, help you to control your weight and even improve your quality of sleep. Here at Xercise4Less Gyms, we have dedicated cardio zones for you to enjoy your fun and functional fitness sessions.

Cardio Overview - Rowing Machine

Beginning your cardio journey with Xercise4Less Gyms

If you are a beginner or a newcomer to one of our friendly, inclusive gyms, we recommend that you start your fitness journey at a slow pace, setting your targets at an attainable and realistic level. For example, you might begin by walking for five minutes on the treadmill, gradually increasing the speed, time or incline.

Cycling and elliptical training is also a sure-fire way to enhance your cardiovascular fitness. These are activities which increase your breathing and your heart rate, which will lead to physical benefits the more you do it. Again, it is important to start at a slow pace, so you do not overburden yourself, running the risk of causing injury or discomfort.

Cardio Overview - Treadmill

Develop your cardio fitness program

Breaking down your session could be a more beneficial way of noticing visible results by setting yourself small targets. The three stages of your workout could be comprised of: a warm-up, main component and a cool-down.

The warm-up is an important part of your workout. Gradually ramp up your cardiovascular system and increase blood flow to your muscles. This can be done by performing a low-intensity version of your chosen activity. So, if you are planning on walking at a brisk pace, then warm up by walking slowly to allow your body to acclimatise to your fitness session.

The main component is to be taken at your own pace. Ideally, you should be performing 30 minutes of cardio per session to develop your aerobic capacity. This will increase your heart rate, breathing and muscular endurance.

Lastly, a cool-down offers your body the chance to recover following your exertions. A slow walk would be an ideal cool-down exercise followed by stretches to allow your heart rate and muscles to return to their normal state.

Cardio Overview - X Trainer

Get your heart pumping with Xercise4Less Gyms

With a dedicated cardio zone and high-quality fitness in each of our gyms, we have the machinery for you to get your heart pumping and get a sweat on. If you would like to work out in a group environment, we also run a range of fitness classes to get you up to speed and meeting all your fitness needs and goals.

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.


Strength Training Exercises For Losing Belly Fat

strength training - feature
strength training - feature

Effective strength training exercises for losing belly fat

When it comes to losing belly fat, your first thought might be running on a treadmill or taking on a stepper. And you wouldn’t be wrong about using cardio to lose fat but strength training along with a healthy diet is a key component of any successful weight loss plan. In fact, weight lifting is a very effective method of burning body fat including your love handles. To lose belly fat, you have to lose overall body fat. By increasing your muscle mass through lifting weights, you boost your metabolism and you burn more calories and more fat at rest. As a bonus, lifting weights heavy enough to challenge you but still allow you to finish full sets also burns plenty of calories.

Lose belly fat with squats

As far as weightlifting exercises for belly fat goes, Squats are the perfect way to start our strength training list. Squats are a compound movement that work your entire body, improving your leg strength and building a solid core. Add a dumbbell or barbell to your squats and you’ll shed stomach fat, ramp up your metabolism and improve your overall fitness even quicker than you could hope for.

strength training to lose belly fat - squats

Deadlifts help reduce stomach fat

At Xercise4Less gyms we find Deadlifts a very efficient way of pushing your whole body. Using a barbell our gym members are able to add muscle and supercharge their metabolism to help burn stubborn belly fat. You’ll build strength in your lower body from your abs and thighs to your legs and lower back. Finally blitz your belly fat for good with a Deadlift compound movement.

strength training to lose belly fat - deadlifts

Forward lunge bicep curls for a flatter belly

Lose belly fat working out with the many free weights available in our Xercise4Less gyms. Step forward then a great way to max your belly fat–burning: the Forward Lunge Bicep Curl. This strength training exercise targets your quads, hamstrings, glutes and, of course, your biceps. Ideal as part of any effective fat loss workout, the Forward Lunge Bicep Curl combines a popular upper body exercise in the bicep curl with one of the best leg exercises in the forward lunge to give you a whole body workout that will really leave you furiously melting calories.

strength training to lose belly fat - dumbbell lunges

Melt that belly fat with some kettlebell swings

Grab a kettlebell in the large Xercise4Less free weights area and start swinging into belly fat burning mode. Explosive training moves like Kettlebell Swings are perfect if you’re looking to improve your strength and torch fat at the same time. You’ll develop your muscle endurance, build solid glutes, more flexible hips and eventually a toned core. Say hello to the Kettlebell Swing and wave by bye to belly fat.

strength training to lose belly fat - kettlebell swings

Continue burning fat with suitcase carries

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Hold a kettlebell on one side and walk for a short distance, engaging your core at the same time, just as if you were carrying a suitcase. Suitcase Carries are actually simply wonderful for helping get rid of belly fat! Don’t worry, do a few of these strength training exercises and you’ll soon feel the calories burn. An all-around weights exercise that raises your heart rate, builds your core strength and targets lots of major muscles from quads and shoulders to biceps and obliques. You even gain better posture but most importantly you lose body fat faster when you include Suitcase Carries in your Xercise4Less gym programme.

Strength training that blasts fat with Xercise4Less Gyms

Smash your weight loss targets with Xercise4Less Gyms. When you want strength training exercises that help you burn belly fat, you want the fantastic facilities available to Xercise4Less gym members. Strengthen your body more effectively in our large free weights area or weightlift privately in our Ladies Only Gym Zone. Whatever method of exercise you need to lose belly fat, from our inclusive fitness classes to a full-size boxing ring and spin studio, you’ll find what you want at your local Xercise4Less Gym.