Release Stress and Work on Mental Health at the Gym

Woman using Cables, Bench, Weights
Woman using Cables, Bench, Weights

Focus on Your Mental Health at Xercise4Less

You may think that attending the gym is something that is helpful for your physical health and that it’s mainly for people who want to lose weights or build muscle but this isn’t always the case. Yes, Xercise4Less gyms are perfect for those things but we also encourage people to join us if they want to make a positive impact on their mental health.

We’re proud to provide our members with access to a wide range of equipment and facilities meaning that everyone is able to focus on their individual goals and unique health and fitness journey. Attending the gym regularly is also really positive to help with stress release and de-cluttering your mind; especially after a difficult and anxiety-filled few months.

Join a Friendly and Fun Fitness Community

When you join Xercise4Less, you become part of a community and a family. Every time you come to the gym, you have the option to surround yourself with likeminded people who will encourage you through your gym journey. This includes our members and staff.

A great thing that will allow you to work on your mental health and release stress is by attending our group exercise classes. From the moment you step into one of our classes, you’ll feel welcome and part of a community. Our motivational and encourage instructors will talk you through each movement to make sure you’re comfortable and reaching your potential. As you’re taking part in the class, you’ll be able to speak to and laugh along with your fellow members which will hopefully help you forget about your stresses and worries and most importantly, have fun.

Having fun with exercise is one of the best ways to release endorphins and improve your wellbeing. Once you release endorphins, your mindset will improve and you’ll be able to think clearer and bit more positively.

Focus on Your Individual Health Journey

If you’re the type of person who prefers working out alone, our gyms also offer you the opportunity to do exactly that. If you’re having a difficult day and find that you’re struggling with your mental health, exercise just could be the ‘drug’ that your body is calling out for.

Stick your headphones on and navigate your way around your local Xercise4Less gym and spend some time putting yourself first and making your health and fitness a top priority in your life. If you’re having a bad day, it might take you a while to get into your rhythm. As soon as you do though, your mind will stop thinking about the negative and you’ll soon be focusing on your workout and what piece of equipment you’ll be using next.

For stress release, we recommend sticking on some headphones or listening to our motivational tunes and heading to the free weight zone. There’s something quite liberating about picking up some dumbbells, swinging kettlebells or slamming medicine balls. Including some weight training in your workout routine may work wonders for your stress release and mental health. Cardio zones could also be really beneficial for your mental health too. Low intensity training such as long distance walks on the treadmills or long stationary bike rides will be great for your mental health. Whilst you’re doing this, you’ll be focusing on something else other than the difficult thoughts and feelings inside your head. The moment that you start exercising, you’ll be distracted and once those endorphins start working their way around your body, those worries and stresses that you entered your Xercise4Less gym with, will hopefully be a distant memory.

Focusing on Your Health and Fitness at Home

Whilst we’re working on reopening our gyms and waiting for the day we can allow you 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 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 now 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 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.

Become part of our amazing fitness community today. It’s never too late to kickstart your fitness and focus on your health so come and join us by signing up today.

Exercise at Home for Your Mental Health

Woman Stretching on Yoga Mat
Woman Stretching on Yoga Mat

Exercise is Essential for Your Mental Health

Before we had to close our gyms under Government instruction, you may have been visiting the gym on a regular basis to help you move closer your fitness goals. Whilst you were doing this, it had a very positive impact on your mental health without you even realising it. Regular exercise works wonders for your wellbeing and mental strength. Now that our gyms are temporarily closed, try to remain focused on your fitness and include regular exercise into your daily routine to help you get feel happier and healthier.

Optimising Sleep Blog - Home Exercise

Establishing an Exercise Routine At Home

Self-isolation can be hard but something that will help you get through is establishing a daily or weekly routine. If you usually head to the gym first thing in a morning, still wake up early and do what you can from home. Similarly, if you’re a night owl, get that workout in just before winding down for the evening.

Something as simple as this can work wonders for your mental health because you’re still doing something productive regularly whether you workout for 15 minutes or an hour. Once your workout is over, endorphins will start flowing around your body and you’ll feel much more positive and uplifted. At times, especially when you feel stuck at home, it can be difficult to motivate yourself but remind yourself how good you’ll feel afterwards to give yourself the extra boost that you need.

Whilst you’re unable to use our equipment and facilities, don’t let that you push you backwards and reverse any progress and hard work. Try not to get too caught up in what you should be or could be doing, instead, make the most of the extra time you’ve got at home now. This could be doing a circuit workout in your living room, an upper body routine in your garden or going outside for a run for your one form of outdoor daily exercise. Every bit of exercise you’re doing at home will positively impact your mental health.

Dumbbells at Home Equipment

How Exercise Can Help Your Mental Health

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, you may experience some high days and some low days but one thing that you can do every day to make you feel better is moving your body. As soon as you start exercising, you’ll stop worrying about the negatives and will start to boost your overall mood as you focus on your next movement or getting through the workout. You’ll start to boost your mental strength as well as your physical strength so that the next time you do experience low mood or you’re lacking motivation, you’ll know to turn to exercise to make yourself feel better.

Try not to worry about what others are doing around you; you know yourself and your abilities so focus on that and follow exercise routines that will help you feel healthy and happy. Including regular exercise in your daily routine will help you relieve stress, improve your sleep and prevent the flow of worries and negative thoughts.

Exercise at Home to Suit You and Your Goals

Do you remember why you joined our gyms in the first place? Whether that was to help you lose weight, build up strength and muscle, tone and condition or have a positive impact on your mental health, you can still do that at home whilst our gyms are temporarily closed.

You’re not going to cancel out any of that hard work if you continue to exercise at home whether it’s low or high intensity. We understand how important your fitness journey is to you and that’s why we’ve created a wide range of @Home Workouts for different fitness abilities and fitness goals so that everyone can focus on their physical and mental health at home.

Use this time to try something new a try like Stretch or Balance or continue to follow your typical gym routine with Push, Pull and Full Body. Continue to exercise, establish a positive routine, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you when we re-open.

Optimising Your Sleep: Improve Physical And Mental Health

Optimising Sleep - Feature
Optimising Sleep Blog - Main

How sleep can help boost your health and fitness

These are uncertain and difficult times for all of us, as the Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly causing great levels of concern. We may be required to stay in our homes for the imminent future, but that does not mean we cannot keep up with our fitness and health. Sleep is a vital component of health, and it is imperative we adapt our lifestyles during these unprecedented times to ensure we get the required amount of rest, improving our fitness and immune system through the on-going Covid-19 situation.

Finding a consistent sleeping pattern to boost your health and fitness

Whether you are able to work from home, have to look after your children or are self-isolating, there are a number of ways in which you can keep on top of your mental and physical health throughout this period of containment. It may sound simple, but even having yourself a regular sleeping pattern can be a key component of building your fitness. The NHS recommends a sleep of 8 hours is a healthy amount for our bodies to relax and reset during the night, preparing ourselves for the rigours of the following day. But how do we go about ensuring we get in our 8 hours?

Follow these 3 simple steps to optimise your sleep and fuel your fitness.

1. Exercise promotes more efficient sleep

Exercise is one of the quickest wins we can have to get a better night’s sleep. Getting into a regular pattern of exercise can really pay dividends not only for your fitness, mental health and confidence, but it can also enable your body to relax on a night, ensuring you get the required amount of sleep to wake up healthier and in better condition.

Whether you have home gym equipment, the space to store home gym equipment or you are relying on core exercises you can still benefit hugely from training either in the morning or before you go to bed – there is no right or wrong time of day to workout. Exercise supports your ‘body clock’, allowing your body to understand the time of day and the situation better. This will allow your body to realise that it is night time, therefore getting ready to shut down and giving you a better chance of optimising your sleep.

The main objective is to get your hear rate going, improving circulation and blood flow for a healthier body and a healthier you. Having a good sleeping pattern will certainly benefit your fitness.

Optimising Sleep Blog - Home Exercise

2. Pay more attention to what you eat and drink

This may sound like a bit of a given, but it is vitally important nonetheless. As we are embarking on an unusual circumstance of being indoors, away from society and away from our daily routines for a while, nutrition will become a key component to your fitness and sleeping pattern. Lets be honest, we all have a craving for ‘comfort food’ every now and then, and being at home for the majority of the day is a temptation we can all do without.

Instead of going into your cupboard for your favourite packet of crisps, or biscuit, make sure you are training yourself to think about what you are putting into your body. Replenishing yourself with the right fuel is vital for preparing your body for a healthy sleep. Try to avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of when you would usually go to bed. So, if your bedtime is usually at 10pm, you shouldn’t be having a big meal after 8pm, for example.

If you like a hot drink before going to bed, why not substitute your tea of coffee for a Chamomile tea? This helps to boost your immune system, reduce anxiety and depression and improve skin health. In addition, chamomile tea has some unique properties that may improve sleep quality. Fruit and vegetables of course are always encouraged, but the main threat to your sleep would be putting caffeine, sugar and carbohydrates into your body relatively close to when you would like to sleep.

Optimise Sleep Blog - Healthy Food

3. Relax your mind

  • A good sleep can be achieved by keeping your mind relaxed in the evening, especially if you have had a busy day working from home or looking after the kids. Having a warm bath will help your body and mind prepare for sleep, or even participating in light exercises such as yoga can relax your body and mind for sleep.

 

  • Put your mobile phone on ‘do not disturb’ or stop scrolling through your social media accounts once you are in bed. This will keep your mind occupied and distracted, hindering the sleep hormone ‘melatonin’ from being released. Reading a book, however, can help, but it is better to read on your sofa or chair rather than in bed. Keep your bedroom for sleeping in.

 

  • If you have to do a few hours of work on an evening, like catch up on emails or update a spread sheet, then try to give yourself at least an hour of relaxation before going to bed. This will help your mind switch off from work and forget the issues of the day, allowing you to focus on sleeping.
Optimising Sleep Blog - Do not disturb

Join our fun and inclusive fitness community

During this difficult time, we’re encouraging people to come together. Focus your love for fitness and the gym into our new series of home workouts that still allow you to work towards your goals and health in the comfort of your own home. Share your workouts with us and show us how you’re using this time to continue on your fitness journey with Xercise4Less Gyms. Once you’ve repeated the exercises at home and built up confidence, make a visit to the gym once we’re back open and use our wide range of quality equipment and facilities to improve your strength further.

All Xercise4Less Gyms provide members with access to a range of top quality kit as part of our great value gym memberships, including:

  • Private and self-contained Female Only gym zones for female members
  • Over 400 pieces of gym equipment for beginners to bodybuilders
  • Dedicated cardio and free weights training areas to build up your fitness
  • Motivated Personal trainers to help you achieve your health ambitions
  • Free weights ranging from 2kg to 75kg to build up your fitness
  • Wide range of resistance machines for toning and building muscle
  • Strength training apparatus like Olympic lifting platforms and squat racks for power lifters
  • Great selection of weight plates and cable machines for weight training
  • Large fitness studio perfect for stretching or creating custom mini cardio or light-weighted circuits with boxes, barbells, mats and plates
  • Purpose-built spinning-area with 30 spin bikes
  • Full-size boxing ring, MMA cage and punch bags in our amazing combat zone.

5 Ways Of Improving Your Health In The Gym

Develop health and fitness at Xercise4Less Gyms

Strengthening Exercises

You simply cannot put a price on your health, and going to the gym is a great way to improve your physical and mental wellbeing as well as developing your immune system. Exercising can be the catalyst for weight loss, fitness, boosting your mental health and building up muscle. Whatever your aims and targets are, you can rely on friendly, inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms to give you what you need to achieve your goals.

We have provided you with 5 top tips for improving your health in the gym.

1. Get your heart pumping with cardio exercise

Boosting your cardiovascular fitness is a crucial element of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, giving yourself a healthy heart and improving circulation, blood flow and your general respiratory condition. The common misconception is that cardio fitness is monotonous and boring, which, if you repeat the same exercises you are bound to fall into that mindset. Step your fitness up with moderate-intensity exercise two or three times per week, spending roughly 30 minutes to ensure you break sweat and get yourself ready for more prolonged exercise as you develop.

As well as preventing boredom, mixing up your exercise can help to prevent overuse injuries, and giving specific muscle groups a break from being continually worked. Instead of just pounding the treadmill, why not try ramp up your fitness on the bike, rowing machine or the cross trainer. At Xercise4Less Gyms we have a dedicated cardio section, allowing you to handpick the workout to suit you, with a wide range of fitness equipment to achieve all your aims and goals in a friendly, inclusive environment.

After completing moderate-intensity exercise for a number of weeks, you will then be gradually feeling fitter and able to take on more strenuous exercise. Step it up with high-intensity training, stimulate different muscles and gain different responses from your heart and blood flow. A great example of high-intensity exercise is a HIIT workout. HIIT training is perfect for maximising your time spent in the gym, meaning you can gain the most from a set period – typically 20 – 30 minutes, but of high intensity training. Primarily designed to boost your cardiovascular fitness, especially improving your VO2 max (your level of fitness through consumption of oxygen).

Cardio equipment - Treadmill

2. Tone your body with resistance workouts

Blasting belly fat can be an uphill struggle but using our incredible range of resistance machines will help with your weight loss goal as well as enabling you to build muscle or enhance toning. Work your full body in our designated resistance zone, mixing up your workouts to create real fitness results as well as giving you a sense of enjoyment in the process.

From a health perspective, resistance training can lead to a healthy heart, improving your balance and strengthening your bones. Resistance training is a physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against an external resistance. The external resistance can be at your discretion, whether you prefer to use include free-weights or weight machines.

Strength and resistance training also increase your level of endorphins which work to boost energy level and improve your mood. Having a better level of energy and a happier mood will lead to optimal performance, meaning you are more likely to achieve all your fitness goals. This form of training can also encourage you to have a better night’s sleep.

Resistance training - leg press

3. Enhance your mental wellbeing through fun group exercise

It can be inspiring and motivating to have like-minded individuals around you with relatable goals. Exercising in a group can also give you confidence to push yourself to your limit and proving to yourself – as well as others – that you can go to that next level. Group classes are designed to be functional, but also incorporating the fun element of fitness, especially when the team environment is created. At Xercise4Less we encourage all our members to participate in group fitness classes, helping each other to achieve goals as a team.

Group classes also offer a structured setting which is ideal for those who do not want to plan a workout for themselves. This is a stress-free option, especially for new gym goers or anyone who is looking to build their social network or just not comfortable doing a solo workout. Getting involved with gym classes can encourage you to meet new people with similar lifestyles and goals, and you can always go for a coffee and have a post gym de-brief!

Woman in Fitness Class with Barbell

4. Channel your aggression with combat exercise

Need a quick release of aggression? Why not visit your local Xercise4Less Gym and put on the boxing gloves to hammer the punch bags. Boxing is a great way to blast the calories and get you fit in barely any time at all. Boxing also works to improve your co-ordination, balance and agility to keep you light on your feet and is suitable for people of all ages and fitness. Give it a go!

Punchbag Workout Guide - Hits

5. Structure your fitness with a routine

Building a fitness plan or routine can be quite problematic. You have a whole host of ideas and targets that you want to achieve, and no idea how to do it. We’ve all been there. Thankfully for you, your Xercise4Less gym membership allows you to train in a range of different zones, whether it be cardio, resistance or combat. There will always be a piece of fitness equipment available for you to build your workout. The best advice would be to start of slow, and work to a plan that gives you a little bit of a sweat but not overdoing it.

Once you feel more comfortable and confident in the gym and in your body, you can start to progress your fitness and take it to the next level. Try doing more intense versions of what you have been previously doing or lift heavier weights than you could manage before. Putting together a simple but effective workout can be all the difference from achieving your targets and not doing the correct exercises.

In the long run, having a more structured workout will lead to maximum efficiency. Once you have found your rhythm, you will see the benefits both physically and mentally as everything begins to fall into place.

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.

How Going To The Gym Can Boost Your Immune System

Improve health at the gym
improve health at the gym

We all pick up a pesky cough, a runny nose or get the common cold from time to time. But how can we help ourselves become more immune through fitness?

Performing gentle exercise after feeling a few degrees under the weather can help to fight off that nasty bacteria and blasting out our lungs and airways with some cardio or resistance work will help you sweat out any toxins.

The health benefits of exercise

Exercise and working out can provide a range of health benefits to help boost your fitness and even contribute to a better immune system in the process. This will provide your body with more resistance against infections. Simple exercises such as a 20-30-minute walk, going to the gym or even a bike ride can reduce the number of colds you get in a year.

When you’ve recovered from your illness, pop down to your local Xercise4Less gym once we re-open and get your heart pumping through physical activity, increasing your heart rate to try and flush out the bacteria from your lungs and airways. This, in turn, may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu or other illness. Exercising causes change in antibodies and white blood cells. Your white blood cells are the body’s immune system cells which work tirelessly to fight disease. When exercising, these move more rapidly so they could detect illnesses far sooner than they might have before.

Improve health at the gym

Slow and steady wins the race

Furthermore, exercise slows down the release of stress hormones, and therefore, lessening the impact of stress on your health.  It is important to remember that while exercise is good for you, make sure you don’t overdo it when you are feeling below par. Heavy or intense exercise when showing symptoms of a cold or flu would not be advised, but a short, pulse raising workout could be extremely beneficial. Working out too hard can make you feel worse and slow down your recovery, so just be mindful with your level of exertion.

Train in our dedicated cardio or resistance zone to boost your fitness, with a range of fitness equipment to enhance your immune system.

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.

Fitness Is For Life: Cristian Dode | Diabetes And Fatherhood

Kickstarting my fitness journey

Xercise4Less Hounslow member Cristian Dode had all the reason in the world to improve his fitness. After recently becoming a father, Cristian decided it was time to kickstart his fitness journey and with the help of Xercise4Less Gyms, he has been able get on the road to a healthier life.

Cristian also suffers from diabetes and constantly has to monitor his sugar levels. Having a better level of fitness and a more active lifestyle will help Cristian to achieve these goals and be able to combat diabetes.

'I feel slim for my height'

Whilst weight loss is a primary target for a lot of gym goers, Cristian wants to gain weight as he feels he is slim for his height.

“I want to gain weight as I’m too skinny for my height. I want to do this in a healthy way and be able to balance my sugar levels.”

Finding solace at Xercise4Less Gyms

Attending the gym up to four times a week, Cristian performs a range of activities to help develop his fitness and give him the best possible opportunity to reach his goals and targets.

“I enjoy working out with all sorts of equipment. The main ones I use are; kettlebells, dumbbells, the bike and the cable machine. I like to lift free weights and do my cardio to keep it balanced.”

Aside from making the most of our dedicated training zones, Cristian also participates in some of our fun, functional fitness classes.

“Classes I like to attend are health and wellbeing, high energy and toning and conditioning.”

Setting realistic targets

Every fitness journey takes time, and Cristian is certainly no different. He is aware that to be in the best physical condition he needs to keep up the good work and remain dedicated. He has set himself a target and made a plan of how often he intends to use the gym.

“I think it will take between 9 and 12 months to achieve my target. I currently visit the gym four times a week and I spend around an hour for each session. In addition, I will try my best to eat more healthily and avoid certain foods to complement and optimise my training.”

“The biggest challenge will be if I can keep my motivation going as well as having the time to keep going to the gym.”

Keep up the good work, Cristian! Get those gains!

Benefits of Combat Training in the Gym

MMA Cage Workout
MMA Cage Workout

Get stronger and fitter in the combat zone

We provide all members with access to our great quality combat facilities so that regardless of ability and fitness level, have a go and work on improving your fitness and general health.

Our full-size boxing ring will rival any boxing gym and the Mixed Martial Arts cage presents a unique opportunity to strengthen your body. Training in the combat gym zone will not only help you to strengthen muscles but also help you to lose weight and burn body fat.

Work on weight loss and fat burn

Wanting to lose weight fast? Try a workout using the combat gym zones at Xercise4Less gyms. By including boxing and Mixed Martial Arts into your workout programme, you’ll be taking on a serious fitness challenge and push your heart rate to its peak meaning that you’ll burn a large amount of calories in a short period of time. Burning excess calories will help you to lose weight quick and leave you feeling a lot more body confident.

It doesn’t matter if you have no combat-style training, we encourage all of our members to give it a go and try something new. Using the boxing equipment is a real physical challenge but definitely one that you won’t regret because after your workout you’ll feel happier, much more energised and relaxed.

Combat training is an intense full body workout that will improve your strength. Sparring in the ring will use muscles in your arms, legs and core. Boxing bag workouts can be as challenging as you like but are guaranteed to work multiple muscle groups at one time. Try a couple of punches and then some short sprints, or even 10 punches and 10 burpees, and just repeating this process. This mixture of cardio and strength training will you lose weight and burn excess body fat in shorter period of time.

Boxing Bag Workout

Improve your mental health strength

Another amazing benefit of combat workout such as using the punching bags or having a spar in the MMA cage is that it will do wonders for your mental health. Think about your really bad days, when you’re stressed and feel stretched and overworked. Imagine that you were able to let all of this out on the boxing bags or by shadowing boxing in the ring.

Everyone should be working on their mental health regardless of their physical ability. This is where the combat gym zones step in. They provide you with enough space to workout for however long you like to become mentally stronger. By releasing your stresses from a long day at work on the combat gym zones in our gyms, you’ll feel happier and much more relaxed in every day life which is something that we all need a bit more of.

Not forgetting about endorphins. Endorphins are what your body produce during exercise so that once you finish your workout you’re left feeling much more relaxed and happy. You may initially find the combat zone intimidating but when you think about the after effect, it’s worth giving it a go!

Benefits of MMA training - combat

Join Xercise4Less Gyms today

We’re proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Become a member of Xercise4Less Gyms today whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer because our quality cardio equipment, free weights, resistance machines and combat gym zones can help you to lose weight. Our members also find everything that they need to reach their personal fitness goals including dedicated Ladies Only zones, specialist facilities and spaces and a number of group exercise classes such as Les Mills, spin and legs, bums and tums.

Bodybuilding: 5 Tips To Sculpt Your Body

bodybuilding tips - form
bodybuilding tips - woman squat lift

Shape your body at Xercise4Less Gyms

If you are just beginning your bodybuilding journey, or want to dramatically change your physique through fitness, then we have some top tips to help you meet all your training goals here at Xercise4Less Gyms. These tips will help you a lot, but please, do not expect instant results. Muscle mass naturally develops at a slow rate, so it is important to have patience, keep focused and stick to your regimes. The results will come!

1. Learn the correct form

It is highly tempting to start with higher weights in the quest for faster results. Whilst this may be a devilish temptation, it is one you must refrain from giving in to. On one hand, you know your own body better than anyone, but also you must be aware of your limitations and know that the key to success is to build muscle at a gradual rate. The best practice for bodybuilding is to start with lower weights, learning the correct form of each exercise you participate in. Having the correct form is vital as you will begin to build the muscle you want to achieve, as well as lessening the risk of potential injury or discomfort by having a poor technique.

If you are unsure on the correct form, feel free to speak to our friendly staff for advice, or have a word with people in the gym. There will be someone who has been in your position, and able to guide you through any exercise you are unsure of. Our friendly, inclusive environment means we are open to all levels of fitness with a culture you can grow in and broaden your social network through fitness.

bodybuilding tips - form

2. Have a program and stick to it

Having a plan and being able to implement it into your workout is arguably the most critical part of attending the gym. Before you come and start your session, you must know what it is you want to achieve and how you intend on going about doing it. You should not just turn up to the gym and do whatever you see fit at that given moment. If you come with this attitude then you are likely to make elementary mistakes, hampering your bodybuilding progress and even risk injuring yourself in the process.

Your bodybuilding program should include the exact exercises you need to do to achieve your results, the number of sets and reps and what you will do in each session. Like with learning the correct form, there will always be a member of staff of an advanced bodybuilding member on hand to give you any support or answer questions you may have.

3. Be in a caloric surplus

The simple principle of building muscle from a nutritional perspective is to eat more calories than you burn. The best way to achieve accurate results is to find out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and measure that according to how active you are. If you have a passive job, or one where you are sat down for most of your day then you will need to take on board fewer calories than someone who has a more active profession. On a typical day you should be looking to have four or five meals, eating every three to four hours. Avoid being hungry as it could restrict or hamper your training session.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms TodayJoin Xercise4Less Gyms

4. Gradually increase the weights

Once you have become comfortable with your program, it is then advisable to lift the intensity by increasing the weights. This should be done periodically, giving yourself small but realistic targets to achieve the next phase of your bodybuilding journey. Make a note of how much you are able to lift on each exercise you complete, and slightly increase the weight every couple of weeks. This will help you to improve your strength and lead to muscle gains, putting you well on track to smash your fitness targets.

5. Rest and recover

There is no shame in having a day off or a rest day when you are bodybuilding. You do not have to hammer the weights every single day, and your body needs time to repair. One of the best ways to recover is by getting plenty of sleep on a night. A rough guide would be to try and get around 8 hours of sleep per night. You should also recover by adapting your lifestyle to suit your training, avoiding smoking, alcohol and other typically unhealthy habits. You will find a routine that best suits you, fitting in the gym around work and family life can be difficult, but in order to gain the optimum results you will have to make some sacrifices along the way.

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.

Bodybuilding: The Mental And Physical Benefits

Bodybuilding - main
Bodybuilding - woman lifting

An introduction to bodybuilding

There is often a negative stigma surrounding body building, and those who dedicate their lives to improving their fitness through perceived extreme exercise. However, this is not necessarily the case. Bodybuilding is a great way to keep yourself balanced, giving your body proportion, shaping and helping general fitness. Not only does body building improve your physical condition, it can also lead to mental health benefits, giving you a clearer state of mind thanks to weight training and aerobic exercise. Having a well-balanced, proportioned body can contribute to heightened health, lessening the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels. Bodybuilding captures all your fitness goals by giving you the physical improvements, boosting your state of mind and also ensuring you remain on the ball with your diet to supplement all your hard work in the gym.

Improve your physical condition

First and foremost, the main benefit of bodybuilding is to enhance your physical condition through exceptional fitness and dedication. This has a healthy impact on your bones and joints, giving you the necessary balance across your body in order to remain strong and flexible. As you begin to embark on your bodybuilding journey, you will notice a dramatic increase in muscle, strength and endurance – but this is a slow process and you will have to remain patient. Results simply do not happen overnight and training all areas of your body is essential to maintaining a balanced physique.

At your local Xercise4Less gym we have a wide range of fitness equipment for you to build the body you want. This spans from cardio through to resistance and TRX, ensuring you have all the tools you could possibly need to get the most from your workout. Our dedicated training zones are extremely spacious, so you will not have to wait to get on your favourite piece of equipment.

If you’re looking to add strength and muscle mass, the weight and resistance area provides the ideal environment for you to achieve those goals. Additionally, you will also need to get your cardio sessions in and we have the variety of equipment to make your training both fun and functional.

When participating in physical exercise, your body releases Endorphin. This works to influence your mood, helping you to sleep better, reduce fatigue and relieve any psychological tension or stress.

Bodybuilding - triceps

Boost your mental health through balanced fitness

Having a balanced physical condition will help you to become more aligned with yourself and give you a mental boost to clear your head and make sure you keep your focus and determination to meet all your fitness requirements. Bodybuilding is certainly not an easy process, and you must maintain the desire to succeed and set yourself small, attainable targets to remain on track.

Weight training and aerobic exercise can boost our mind and cognitive wellbeing. Going to the gym can relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Seeing real results can improve your mood and give you a sense of satisfaction to further progress and develop through fitness. Bodybuilding can enhance your self-esteem and confidence by giving you a more positive outlook on your own image. This will happen through the result of changes in your body such as weight loss, feeling your body becoming leaner, stronger and more flexible.

Furthermore, bodybuilding does not just happen in the gym. You can take your experiences from fitness into your daily activities. For example, it can help you to make better decisions and cope with negative emotions more rationally, enabling you to see positives or find solutions.

Bodybuilding - pull ups

How nutrition can give you a helping hand

While the majority of the hard yards are put in during your fitness sessions in the gym, it is impossible to ignore the importance of your nutrition – not just when bodybuilding – but in everyday life. Healthy nutrition and rest are vitally important when bodybuilding as the foods you eat can play havoc with your thinking and your memory. The fuel you intake can influence how your brain and mind function.

It is advisable to eat foods which are rich in antioxidants as they can benefit your focus and memory. As you can imagine, foods such as fruit and veg are ideal for bodybuilding, supplying you with glucose to keep your energy levels up. Lean meat, poultry, potatoes, cheese and fish are also good sources of nutrition to help your bodybuilding journey. In terms of what you should drink, water is as good as anything as it is crucial for a healthy body and mind. Avoid drinking alcohol if possible. Staying hydrated provides so many health benefits and this is equally as important as what you eat.

Conclusion

All elements of fitness are important to bodybuilding but having a healthy body and healthy mind will serve you well for the rest of your days. Weight training and aerobic exercise deliver both strength and energy, giving you the best possible chance of boosting your self-esteem and giving you the motivation to further your fitness. With a balanced level of fitness, you will be fully in control of your life, mind and body.

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.