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Dumbbell Workout Tips

Dumbbells are a popular piece of exercise equipment and the dumbbell workout is simple and great to follow. As with other workouts, you need to assess your own abilities or seek professional advice if you are unsure about anything from how intense to workout to what are the right exercises for you.

As far as fitness goes, the dumbbell workout specifically builds, tones and strengthens muscle and can be used to even out imbalances or for weight loss.

How many reps to do in my dumbbell workout?

The possibilities are numerous and will all depend on your fitness levels and goals. For toning muscle do 6-10 reps, for building muscle 8-12 reps and for extreme muscle strength 12-20 reps. The larger the amount of reps, the less sets you should be doing to avoid straining your muscles. The heavier the dumbbell weight, the less reps you should be doing to maximise the effect. To get the correct dumbbell mass you might need to trial and error, your last 2-3 reps should be a struggle but not a strain.

How heavy should my dumbbell weights be?

If you are a beginner, getting the right dumbbell weight might take a few tries to feel what is right. Always speak to a professional trainer if you are completely stuck. Generall speaking, starting off with weights betwene 5-15 pounds or 2-7kg should give you some idea of your strength. If doing 20 or less reps with your dumbbell weights is a challenge, you are close to the ideal weight. Multiple sets of fewer repetitions builds strength while more repetitions builds endurancd.

Dumbell or Barbell


Dumbell vs Barbell

These two pieces of workout equipment each have their benefits and disadvantages. You should have a go at using both and see which one you are more comfortable with and try different exercises with each to feel which one is better. In general, the dumbbell is good for beginners, it is more stable and it is safer and helps balance different muscle strengths. The barbell is good for exercising your legs, going to heavier weights and doing more adventurous exercises.

Can I do a dumbbell workout on the treadmill?

Yes you can! But be aware that it may cause a safety hazard. Adding weights to a cardio workout is a great way of combining two exercises in one in less time, and is a great way to build and improve your workout. There are two main ways to do this: at the same time or with intervals. If you want to add weights to jogging or running, do not go higher than 5lbs – heavy weights strain your back! For a combination workout, run/jog for 2-5 minutes and stop to complete one set of a dumbbell exercise and repeat. Always remember to do a pre workout and cool down.


Tabata Workout Tips

Have any questions about the Tabata workout? Here is the place where we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Tabata workout. If you are a beginner at Tabata training, or you have experience with Tabata workout exercises but want to know more, then look below at some of the most popular doubts on the Tabata workout.

How many calories are burnt in a Tabata workout?

Following a study on the Tabata workout held by the American Council for Exercise, the research into this intenste style of training showed that the moderately fit men and women observed during thr study burned around 15 calories a minute during the Tabata workout. That averages around 300 calories during a 20 minute workout session of Tabata training.

How often can you do the Tabata workout?

As the Tabata workout requires you to use almost every part of your body during an intense training session, your body needs between 48-72 hours to recover. This would mean that doing the Tabata workout around 3 times a week for 20 minutes would be an appropriate amount. If you are going to decrease the time, then you can increase how often you exercise.

Tabata Underwater Exercises

Can I do a Tabata workout in the water?

The answer to this is, yes! Of course you can take your Tabata training underwater! There are two main, underwater options to choose from: individual Tabata training or group classes. Check with your local gym or pool, some group training sessions now include Tabata inspired workouts. If you enjoy swimming, the Tabata exercises can either be performed under water, or you can choose a stroke for your 20 second burst of exercise.

How long should a Tabata workout last?

The basic length of a Tabata workout is 4 minutes of high intensity exercise. However, due to its popularity, new versions are constantly being created and some can even last up to an hour. It is advisable that you choose an appropriate length depending on your fitness levels. The average Tabata workout would be around 2-4 rounds of 4 minute sections. If you are training for an event or have been advised to exercise for longer by your trainer, then it can last around 40 minutes.



Pre Workout Tips

Before any type of exercise, a pre-workout routine is essential to prepare your body for the activity you are about to do. Whether it is a mixture of fitness exercises or one of our many workouts, your muscles need to be activated and ready to work through a pre workout.

One way in making sure your body is prepared is to eat well with a pre workout meal – check out some fitness food that is good for you! The other way is to stretch your muscles and ease your body into your workout with the best pre-workout.

The following are answers to some common pre workout questions.

What are the benefits of a pre workout?

A warm-up will aim to loosen the muscles and increase blood flow which is proven to help avoid muscle injuries. The pre workout will reduce muscle stiffness which in turn increases performance and the recovery process. The pre workout exercises that you engage in should aim to gradually prepare your heart for the activity you are about to do, which will also increase blood flow and overall health and energy levels.

Are there any risks to a pre workout?

If a pre workout is not carried out correctly then there are many dangers you need to be aware of. Muscle injury can easily occur if you only focus on certain parts of your body during the warm-up rather than your body as a whole. It is also important to keep the pre workout light and quick, avoid using workout exercises or spending too much time on the pre workout than your actul workout. This can lead to over-exhaustion of muscles and decreased performance levels.

Pre Workout vs Post Workout

Similar to the pre workout, a post workout will last about 5-10 minutes after your workout period to help relax your muscles and decrease body temperature and heart rate. Drastic changes between intense workouts and relaxing is very dangerous which is why warming up and cooling down is extremely important, and both equally necessary.


Fitness Equipment

Choosing fitness equipment is crucial when you are concerned with creating a fitness plan or thinking about which fitness exercises are best for you. The equipment you use should be specific for the reasons you want to workout and for what goals you are trying to achieve with your body.

Your fitness regime needs to be tailored for you, so that you do not end up damaging your body:

  • Cardio: increasing metabolism, burning calories, strengthen heart and body, involves increased heart rate workouts.
  • Strength: support bones and joints, build up muscle and tone, improves muscle control and mobility, involves weights and mobility workouts.
  • Flexibility: improves posture, strengths and tones muscle, reduces risk of muscle damage, involves yoga workouts.

Exercise Equipment

It can be daunting when first thinking about your fitness and what machinery you should be using. This is a brief guide to some of the main pieces of fitness equipment you could use and what type of workout they are preferred for:

  • Treadmill: cardiovascular machine, burns calories, adjustable speed and grade for different fitness levels
  • Elliptic trainers: cardivascular machine, easier for your joints, adjustable speed and grades
  • Rowing machine: cardiovascular machine, good for posture, strengthens heart
  • Boxing equipment: good for cardio and muscle toning, upper body conditioning
  • Weights: strength training, tones/enhances/stimulates muscles and muscle development
  • Exercise mat: strength training and flexibility, pilates/yoga, good for pre-workout stretching, exercises that tone and build body muscle
  • Stability ball: can be used in replacement for exercise benches, good for all workouts, improves balance, strengthens muscle

For further advice, have a look at our fitness tips.



Fitness Plan

To be organised is essential for any fitness plan because you need to understand where you are starting and your future goals. You need to incorporate fitness exercises into the plan as well as fitness food and fitness nutrition. For your health and fitness make sure that you are specific with what you want to achieve, for example if that is weight loss, and how you want to do it (are you thinking about diets).

Physical activity and healthy eating are priorities to stay healthy and look after your body. Follow our advice on creating the best fitness plan for yourself. If you have any certain health issues, consult a doctor before you start changing your physical activity or eating routine.

How to Create a Fitness Plan

These steps will help you on your way to having the perfect fitness plan! Remember, everyone’s body is different and your fitness plan should be based around you, not what has worked for someone else.

  • Evaluate your fitness levels: you first need to know what you can already do, asses your waist measurement, how many pushups you can do in 30 seconds, how long it takes you to walk/jog a mile
  • Create a realistic fitness program: think about when and where you will work out, how many days a week you can manage, how long will your fitness activity be for each time, vary the activities, start slowly and build up, write your plan down
  • Choose the correct equipment: whether it is running shoes or weights, get advice from fitness professionals on what is best for you
  • Do a trial run: once you are ready to begin your routine, take a week to trial out the program you created and alter it if necessary, if you have made it too difficult then be honest with yourself so you are less likely to quit
  • Progress is best: keep a record of how you are doing and what you are achieveing, can be weekly or monthly, so you can build on the work you are putting in and see for yourself how you are improving

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Fitness Tips

These fitness tips are going to help you get even better results! Not only is it important to be organised with a fitness plan, and eat well with fitness food, but there are a few small details that should be taken into consideration when thinking about your fitness. The way you eat and the time of day you workout can make a small difference to those end results.

If you are on any one of the diets out there, or conscious about weight loss, these little details could help you see the results you want.

Fitness Advice

For help in pushing your body further and in making small changes that could give you better results, have a look at our fitness tips:

  • Never skip breakfast, it is an important meal of the day and helps get your metabolism going
  • Where possible, climb stairs instead of taking a lift or get off the bus/train a stop before and walk
  • Try fitting in mini-workouts when you wake up or before you go to sleep, or during a lunch break, only for 5-10 minutes
  • Comparing yourself to other people is not a good idea, work at your own pace with your own goals
  • Sometimes having a workout partner will keep you motivated and is an added pillar of support
  • Be patient! It will take longer than a week, sometimes even months before you see results
  • Before meals, drink a glass of water to help with digestion

Fitness Benefits

For some more motivation, these fitness benefits should want you to keep going:

  • Daily exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety
  • Increases energy
  • Good nutrition and fitness will reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and more
  • Helps you sleep better
  • It contributes to your general well-being and happiness

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Fitness Diet

A fitness diet is not about starving yourself or cutting out major food groups for the quickest results. A fitness diet is different to other diets and not only will it help with weight loss but it will help with building muscle and improving fitness.

Fitness diets will encourage you to eat more of the important fitness food in order for your body to do well in fitness exercises and workouts.

What is a Fitness Diet

A fitness diet means thinking about every aspect of eating and consumption that you need to do during a fitness plan.

As well as thinking about what you should be eating for each meal in the day, a fitness diet requires you to think about what to eat for working out, whether it is before, after or during:

  • Whole wheat toast with sliced banana and cinnamon (before)
  • Grilled chicken with roasted mixed vegetables (after)
  • Greek yogurt with granola and fruit (before)
  • Drink water for shorter workouts and sports drinks for longer sessions (during)
  • Salmon with sweet potatoe (after)
  • Oatmeal with fresh fruit (before)
  • Energy bars, only for longer sessions of exercise (during)

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Fitness Nutrition

When considering your health and fitness levels, there are many things to consider. For example, what fitness food to eat and what fitness exercises are the best to stay active. However, your fitness nutrition plays an important role in planning what to eat and how to eat it.

Nutrition involves not only the food you eat but how you digest it as well. As a guidance for those starting off on the fitness journey, your fitness plan should include around 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week of training, and your fitness diet should contain mostly carbohydrates (60%) in addition to fats and protein (10-30%) and a little bit of everything else (10%).

What To Eat

Going through diets can take a lot of time and hard decisions chosing which one is best. If you are simply interested in maintaining a healthy body and want some basic help, then read the following suggestions:

  • A big variety of fruits and vegetables spread throughout the day as part of your main meal or light snacks.
  • Stay consistent in your fibre intake.
  • Make sure the majority of your grains are whole grains!
  • Vary what you eat and the dishes you make between the food groups (e.g. meat/eggs/dairy/seafood/nuts).

How To Eat

It might sound simple at first, but the way you organize your meals plays a role in your fitness; the time you eat, how much you eat, and how often you eat:

  • When cooking, try to use fresh and local products
  • Cooking meals at home rather than eating out is not only cheaper but healthier!
  • Don’t just worry about what you eat, think about the beverages you are drinking too.
  • Include foods from all the food groups, try not to exclude.
  • Eat enough to make you feel satisfied without feeling overly full.

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Fitness Food

Fitness foods need to be included in your organisation process when thining about a fitness plan. Your fitness nutrition plays a huge part and you should be eating foods that are going to benefit you and your workouts – look at our example fitness exercises. Some people decide to go on diets, or worry about weight loss, but your levels of fitness need everything to be in moderation.

Best Fitness Food

The following suggested fitness foods each have their own benefits and you should try to include them within meals or between meals as healthy snacks:

  • Olive oil: rich in monounsaturated fat, good for your heart
  • Eggs: contain muscle-building amino acids
  • Milk: packed with multiple benefits such as calcium, protein and and natural sugar
  • Sweet potatoe: rich in iron, fibre and vitamins
  • Nuts: particularly Brazil nuts and almonds, full of fibre, protein and vitamins
  • Broccoli: bursting with antioxidants and nutrients
  • Blueberries: rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins, also low in calories
  • Salmon: great source of protein and full of omega-3

Foods to Avoid

Here are some things that could damage your fitness routine:

  • Drinks high in sugar (coke, flavoured water, some juices)
  • Salt: less is better
  • Solid fats: use vegetable or extra virgin olive oil as replacement for butter
  • High alcohol consumption

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Fitness Exercises

If you want to improve your health and strengthen your fitness then you are in the right place! Not only does fitness include eating well, but you have to pay attention to your body and take on fitness exercises too. Going on diets might be one way, or persuing weight loss another, as long as you keep thinking about your fitness and do it all in the appropriate way.

Good Fitness Activities

In order for your body to be in its best shape, you need to be giving it as much fitness nutrition as possible. Once you accomplish a healthy diet then you can move on to strengthening your body physically. Here are some good fitness activities that you might want to include in your fitness plan:

  • Running/Jogging: cardio workout, strengthens a range of muscles
  • Swimming: strengthens range of muscles, good for arms
  • Cycling: good for legs and abs, strengthens range of muscles
  • Yoga: stretches and strengthens muscle tissue, relaxing and calm

Good Fitness Workouts

The following fitness suggestions are more appropriate for you to do in a gym or the comfort of your own home. They are easy and simple to follow and you can do them whilst juggling between different activities if you are busy:

  • Single-leg stand: balance on one leg for 30 seconds and then switch, strengthens hamstrings and balance, can be done when brushing your teeth or on the phone
  • Jumping jacks/star jumps: 5-10 minutes of these are a proven calorie burner and good exercise for heart rate, can be done whilst watching tv or after waking up
  • Standing push-ups: lean against a bed/sofa or any object that gives you a slope according to your height, imitate the push-up movements for about 10-30 reps, can be done whilst cooking or watching tv
  • Dumbbell exercises: whichever you prefer, can be done before bed or at work waiting for a meeting

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