Kick-start 2016 with the TV workout challenge!


Whether you’re trying to shrug off last night’s hangover, or are itching to get going in 2016, here’s a workout you can do AND watch your favourite festive film at the same time*…

You get to rest while the programme is on, but during the ad breaks it’s time to get up and get active – each type of advert corresponds to an exercise for you to do until the next advert comes on / the programme re-starts…

Click here for the printable table that lists the relevant adverts and exercises – and let me know how you get on :)


* Provided it’s not on a BBC channel!


Pumpkin Power !!!

Rather than just throwing out any pumpkins left over from Halloween, why not use them as a fun way of adding extra intensity to your workout – just like using a medicine ball!

Pick a pumpkin that is a good weight for you, and have a go at the following circuit, doing each exercise for 40-60 seconds, resting for 20 seconds, then moving on to the next exercise. Try for 3-4 rounds in total, and enjoy…!

1. Pumpkin squat and forwards press

  • hold your pumpkin in both hands, close to your chest.
  • squat down, then as you come back up to standing push the pumpkin straight out in front at chest height.
  • bring the pumpkin back in to your chest as you drop down in to the next squat, and continue….

2. Pumpkin plank

  • to add a twist to your normal front plank, place either your hands or feet on the pumpkin and balance in that position for the set time.

3. Pumpkin squat and shoulder press

  • hold your pumpkin in both hands, close to your chest.
  • squat down, then as you come back up to standing push the pumpkin up above your head, keeping your core strong.
  • lower the pumpkin as you drop down in to the next squat, and keep going.

4. Pumpkin Russian twist

  • sit upright on the floor, knees bent, with your pumpkin held either out in front of you (harder on arms) or close to your chest.
  • engage your core and lean gently backwards until you feel your abs working.
  • twist your torso to the right, making sure the pumpkin stays in line with your breast bone, then twist to the left in the same way.
  • keep slowly twisting side to side for the set time.

5. Pumpkin uneven push ups

  • support your left hand on the pumpkin for half the time (so your hands will be at different heights), then switch to your right hand for the remainder of the time.

6. Pumpkin high knee figure of eights

  • holding the pumpkin in your right hand, lift your left knee and pass the pumpkin under it.
  • take hold of the pumpkin with your left hand and bring it upwards and towards the centre of your body as you return your left foot to the floor.
  • lift your right knee and pass the pumpkin under it with your left hand.
  • take hold of the pumpkin with your right hand and bring it upwards and towards the centre of your body as you return your right foot to the floor.

Try the leg blaster circuit!!!

Looking to keep in shape while you’re away this summer? Or going on holiday but still need your boot camp fix?

Never fear… the leg blaster circuit* is here! No equipment needed** and only 20 minutes required – go on, give it a go!

Click here for the workout and here for AC DC’s “shake a leg” to play as you go ;o)

* I will leave it to you to deduce which area of the body this workout focuses on.

** except a football-sized ball, or alternatively a cushion, pillow, or folded towel (and if you don’t have one of those somewhere around, where are you??!)

FREE workout – May Madness!

Sadly I will be in Mallorca next week (it’s a hard life, I know…), meaning boot camp will not be running at the Courtyard on Sat 17th or 24th May, or in Ickwell on Mon 19th :(

But don’t worry about getting your exercise fix – click here for a mini ‘May Madness’ workout that you can print off and do at home in 10-20 minutes, with no equipment necessary (except a watch).

So no excuses ladies and gents… I look forward to hearing how you all get on with it!

PS – There IS scheduled to be cover for boot camp at the Courtyard on Thurs 22nd May, but you may want to ring / check the Courtyard page on Facebook on the day just to be sure.

Ickwell Boot Camp is BACK!!!

Just in time to start getting in shape for summer, Ickwell boot camp is back from its Easter break! See you on Mondays at 2pm – we have moved outside now spring has sprung and classes take place on Ickwell Green (meet opposite (Ickwell Pre-School).

Secrets of a personal trainer…

The Courtyard Centre’s blog this week features an interview with yours truly! If you’d like to know more about why I became a personal trainer, what boot camp involves or how I’d spend my ideal Sunday (!) then click on the link below to have a read…

Boot camp takes place at the Courtyard on Thursdays at 6pm and Saturdays at 9.30am, and at Northill Village Hall on Monday at 2pm – come along and join in the fun!

PS – while you’re on the Courtyard website, why not check out the other classes and treatments offered at the Centre – the café also comes highly recommended!


A new boot camp session has been added at the Courtyard Centre – 6pm on Thursdays. Perfect for anyone wanting an extra workout in their week (or for those of you who can’t quite get out of bed for 9.30am on Saturdays…)

Click here for more information on our boot camp sessions, or contact the Courtyard to reserve your space.

Don’t forget boot camp also runs at 2pm on Mondays at Northill Village Hall (around 5 minutes drive from Biggleswade) – come along and join us to kick-start your week!

Get fit not angry!

US researchers have reported that an uncontrolled temper may increase your chances of heart attack or stroke, with rage often coming before an attack – and possibly being the trigger.

As Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, notes: “The way you cope with anger and stress is also important… Many people find that physical activity can help to let off steam after a stressful day.”

While full-on ‘rage’ may not be a frequent experience, often the stresses of work and home can still build up – so why not dig out those trainers / go to a class / head out for a dance? A good workout can be really cathartic: give it a go and see what you think!