From Saturday 4th March 2017 we have a new Group Exercise Class schedule in place at Oakwood.
You can download the timetable with the button below. We've listed the changes below.
We hope the changes made do not cause too much inconvenience to customers. We are always trying to make improvements to the timetable and a few times each year we also have staff and facility changes which then require further tweaking of the timetable.
If you've recently done a Boditrax session with us and your reading suggested you need to reduce your body fat then this blog post is for you. We will just give you the absolute basics and then point you to some good articles if you want more information.
Firstly, well done for identifying that it's body FAT that you want to reduce - not body WEIGHT. There's an important difference. We want you to reduce body fat. Depending on your physique that may not necessarily mean losing weight. In fact you may even find yourself putting on weight as you lose size. You may have heard people refer to muscle weighing more than fat. This isn't strictly true - a pound is a pound is a pound.... However, muscle is far denser. It simply takes up less space than fat. Therefore you can absolutely lose size but maintain or even increase your total body weight.
The picture above indicates the difference in size between 5lbs of fat and 5lbs of muscle.
With that in mind, the two important aspects here are:
The reason we've bolted on the second point in a blog post about burning fat is that the two are closely linked. The more muscle you have (the leaner you are) the more calories you'll burn throughout the day.
Reducing body fat will be done through the obvious means; exercise and diet. Both of these topics needs to be addressed in a way suitable for your age, weight, experience and other factors so, as always, it's important to see a trainer for specific advice. For the purposes of this post we'll provide advice that's applicable in the majority of cases.
You may well need to increase your calorie intake, this sounds odd but you'll be exercising and as long as these calories are from the right food group(s) then its no problem. You need to eat the right food (normally high protein, low carb) so you have enough energy to exercise at the right intensities when you're in the gym (as well as other health reasons).
Foods that you need to watch closely aren't so much the fats, these are important but well come to that on a later blog post. What you need to look out for are the refined sugars, and this come from adding sugar to hot drinks, sugary soft drinks and fruits. We're not saying cut these out entirely! You still need 5-a-day but it is recommended that only two of these five come from fruit and the rest from vegetables. There is no need to add sugar to hot drinks or drink fizzy drinks and the recommended amount of sugar is 120g (men) and 90g (women). It's quite scary that the average apple contains 10g and an 100g serving of grapes contains 16g of sugar. Hopefully this puts into context how little we need the added in just the drinks we eat.
Anyhow the reason lowering sugar intake is important is because your body turns unused sugar into fat! Here's a video that explains it really simply!
The right type of exercise
Ideally you'll want to look into HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training). Whether in a class or in the gym, these workouts have been proven many times to be more effective at burning calories. Hannah's Tabata circuits on a Thursday is based upon a very popular HIIT timing called Tabata, and insanity is also an extreme interval training class. But there's no reason why you cant come into the gym and do your own circuit in the gym.
Tabata is a simple timing of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds rest and 8 lots of this makes up a single Tabata (4 minutes). A simple stopwatch timer makes it really simple, here's one you can use.Some good exercises to do are listed below. Alternatively book a programme with one of our instructors and they'll tailor it to you!
Over 90 people have already had their Boditrax session at Oakwood since the Body Composition System was installed on 2nd Jan 2017. I joined in, had my scan and got my results. This is my dashboard and explanations of some of the readings below.
Understanding my results
Me and my background
I'm a 35 year old male with a slim body type. I haven't exercised regularly for approx 3-4 years. I eat reasonably well, don't drink or smoke and don't feel like I need to change my body shape dramatically. However, I don't know my body composition (how much fat, muscle etc there is in my body). I don't know if I'm hydrated, whether I have safe levels of visceral fat or where I should be aiming to make improvements.
Where to start
There's a lot of information. I want to take things slowly, understand the essentials, know where I am and where I should be going. I have been recommended to focus on some key points - weight and ideal weight, fat and muscle percentage, hydration, BMI and visceral fat. There's lots more to get into but this will give me a good starting point. If some of the information's too heavy I have a simple colour-coded dial around each of my readings. Knowing I'm in the green suggests I'm somewhere along the right lines.
My weight and ideal weight
My weight is 70.8kg. My 'ideal weight' is 69.7kg (1 kg less). This isn't actually an 'ideal weight' so to speak but the weight I need to be if I'm going to achieve a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 22 (the middle of the healthy range). It's a basic target but a reasonable starting point. I certainly won't lose sleep over this as I'm well within the healthy range for BMI.
My fat and muscle percentage
16.5% of my total body weight is fat. As I look at the range graph I'm happy to see that for my age the healthy range is between 8% - 20%. So I can reduce my fat %, and this will be one of my first goals, but again - I'm happy with this result to get me started. My muscle % is almost 80%. On the dial I'm in the green but there is space for improvement. The Boditrax info tells me that for every extra pound of muscle I'll burn approx 50 extra calories each day. That's worth having - back to the gym for me!
My water (hydration)
Hydration is absolutely key when exercising and generally staying healthy, giving me more energy and reducing the risk of health problems. My hydration reading is 57%. I'm well in the green but, again, room for improvement. I know I don't drink enough water, this is an easy fix and is now on the list!
This is the body fat around my waist. I'm 35 and I noticed this as an issue at approx 30 years (as most men do). I'm thin but I'm aware this is an issue. Abdominal fat can lead to serious health issues in later life so I'm keen to know where I stand. Boditrax has given me a rating of 5. Anything between 1 and 12 is within the healthy range so I'm happy enough (13+ suggests there could be a risk of health issues and it may be worth getting some advice).
I'm pretty happy. I'm within healthy ranges for all the key measurements. As a nice finish it's also given me a Metabolic Age of 25 (can't say I quite feel that young but I'll take it!). I've downloaded the free App, got my results on my phone and I'll be scanning every 6 weeks to track improvements. I know I'm in reasonable shape but there's definitely room for improvement so I (and my bottle of water) will be off to the gym later!
See what you're made of
If you're a member at Oakwood Boditrax is included in your membership (call reception to book a 30-min appointment: 01293 822238)
If you're not a member there are free triasls currently available. Call to book: 01293 822238
Oakwood's website page for Boditrax >>
We've got a new class at Oakwood - Warrioir Circuits.
This conventional circuit training class is a 30-minute whole-boody workout and suitable for all levels of fitness. With circuits you get great variety with different exercises introduced every week. All the exercises can be adapted to your ability so there's no reason not to come along and give it a go.
The class is on regularly on Tuesdays from 7.00pm-7.30pm.
You can try the class for free this Saturday morning as part of our Group Exercise Showcase. It's an early one - 8.40am-8.55am.
If you'd like to try it out please book for Open Weekend and we'll get in touch and book you in. If you've already booked and would like to try this taster as well please just email us and let us know.
As you consider which group classes might be right for you this January think about the following:
You don't need to be a member to attend classes at Oakwood but if you're looking to attend regularly you may want to consider one of our memberships as they are great value for money.
For many people "the gym" has always been an intimidating, complicated, confusing and daunting place. At Oakwood many of our customers come to us with a clear vision that they want to do the classes (and often a very particular class too) and there's little scope to have a conversation about trying (let along joining) the gym.
The above fears are understandable, though we obviously feel Oakwood's gym is as comfortable and unintimidating as can be! However, when we introduced eGym in January 2016 it really broke down all the barriers (and excuses) so I'll explain some of the obvious issues and advantages here.
I don't know what to do in the gym
With eGym you don't need a programme card to follow. You don't need to remember the settings (seat height, weight, position, timings etc). When you scan in with your wireless wristband the machine remembers you and your settings and automatically adjusts the machine as necessary.
I'll look silly in front of other people because I'm new
No, you won't. You'll be doing the same workout, on the same machines, in the same order, for the same amount of time, as everyone else. You'll be lifting different weights but the machine will look after that for you.
What if I need more support?
Just like a regular gym membership you can simply book in for some time with an instructor. However we have also introduced eGym Support Sessions this January. These are 30-minute windows where you don't need to book in advance, you can just come along and chat to an instructor (we make sure they are available at this time). Please see the back page of our class timetable for the eGym Support Session times.
All the eGym machines are weights - I want cardio to burn fat
This is also a common misconception - that you must do cardio to burn fat. Indeed Cardio is good at this, and also has other health benefits. However, it has been proved many times that if you have a higher percentage of muscle (as opposed to fat) then you will burn more calories throughout the day, even when you're not exercising. Also, when you use the eGym equipment it spaces out your workouts (1 minute at a time) to ensure you replicate a form of High Intensity Interval Training - great for increasing the heart rate in short intervals, and brilliant at burning calories.
The above are just a few of the advantages of using eGym at Oakwood. We've not talked about the importance of proving progress and success (which eGym does beautifully through its App). We haven't talked about how it automatically changes your workouts every 6 sessions to keep you moving in the right direction. We haven't talked about how it shows you your muscle imbalances or how the App integrates with other common devices such as FitBit.
eGym really is outstanding equipment and is included in our green and blue memberships.
Book a trial or come and have a look around at Open Weekend. There are also a few videos below with some more information.
This is a quick video showing the eGym equipment. The video was actually taken at Oakwood in February 2016, just after it was installed. It gives you an idea of how it works.
Here's a longer video (3-4 mins) where I've tried to explain the two main advantages - ease of use and proving success.
In December 2016 we invited a few members to do a quick interview with us and explain what they are looking to achieve, how often they visit, how they exercise and why they chose Oakwood.
Here's Charlotte - one of our regular morning members...
Member interview December 2016
How many times have you got past Christmas, reflected on a heavy few weeks of meals, drinks, snacking and a lack of exercise and eagerly anticipated the turn of the New Year and the motivated, active, healthy lifestyle it will bring?
At Oakwood we welcome a lot of new members in January and when people join we ask the basic question of "why did you join?" Overwhelmingly, as expected, the answer is "to lose weight". Unfortunately this is often the first hurdle we need to help members cross.
Losing weight can be done quickly. Unfortunately it is normally though a fad diet, which more often than not leads to negative effects in the longer term, or through extremely hard work and dedication (both in and out of the gym) which is rarely a realisic aim for most of us.
If you aim to simply "lose weight", and quickly, we feel obliged to point out that there is a reasonable chance of disappointment. Also, we want you to look at all the other advantages and benefits a healthier lifestyle brings (happiness, more energy, reduced risk of illness, improved fitness - the list goes on...).
Losing weight should be seen as one of the advantages of an active, healthy lifestyle. And that's what we preach and push you towards - "lifestyle". Exercise should be done daily - just like the other things in your lifestyle. Healthy food, mainly cooked at home, should be part of your lifestyle. With regular exercise and a healthy diet you will naturally achieve weight loss (and the other benefits - it's a package deal!)
Exercise can be done anywhere - at home, in the street, in the park, on holiday - anywhere. There are several benefits of coming to the gym/group classes for your exercise (motivation, specialised equipment, instructors, advice etc) but you don't have to.
Start slowly, find something you enjoy, do it regularly, do it well, increase the difficulty/intensity every few weeks, make small changes to your diet and prove to yourself that your fitness and general health is improving (you'll notice initial improvements very quickly). If weight loss is something you wanted to achieve then be patient. Take it slow, do it properly and it will come.
The strap-line of the company eGym - who supply some of our gym equipment - is "make fitness your lifestyle".
We couldn't agree more.
Looking to get started with your health and fitness?
We are having an Open Weekend on Sat 14th - Sun 15th Jan 2017 at Oakwood. You can try all our group exercise classes, our gym and our eGym equipment. Free advice available from instructors all weekend.
With January around the corner it's important to know the changes we've made to the class timetable.
You can book a free trial class in one of our group exercise classes.
With January around the corner it's great that you're thinking "I must get in shape, I must lose some of the Christmas weight, I must eat healthier". However, we all know the danger associated with setting new year's resolutions - they can so easily crumble after just a few weeks.
We absolutely support your desire to start exercising and eating better but here's a few tips you help you last more than just those few motivated weeks...
Pick something you'll enjoy
We always put more effort into the things we enjoy. We work harder, better, longer and ultimately achieve more if we enjoy whatever we're doing. Don't look at exercise as a chore. Find something you think you'll enjoy, even if it's not the hardest or most suitable activity what what you're ultimately trying to achieve. Get into it, enjoy it, do it well then work your way up.
At Oakwood, we have lots of different group exercise classes, a gym, spin classes and our outstanding eGym equipment (great for the beginner!)
Set some simple, achievable goals
We want you to be in this for the long run. There's nothing more motivating than seeing some early success, a few ticks in boxes, however simple or small. Set some basic goals that you should be able to achieve and make sure you get there, early on. Most people set out with an amount of weight they want to lose, or to drop a dress size in a month. Although these can be achieved, the amount of work, discipline, effort and motivation required is often unrealistic and consequently the goal isn't achieved, motivation falls through the floor and you quit.
Try "I'll go the the gym/attend that class once per week."
It doesn't get much harder than dragging yourself to the club for a workout in the depths of winter, especially when you're not in shape (which is why you joined in the first place!). It's far easier when you're with a mate. You can motivate each other and, to an extent, hold each other accountable.
Food - keep it simple
Just like the exercise part, keep any changes you make at home simple and achievable too. Going cold turkey on all your vices and treats may be too much too soon. Start by cutting something simple out or adding in. Try cutting out added sugar or salt. Try adding in a few more fruits and veggies each day. With time you can up the effort and start looking at other areas of your diet. Stay away from magazine/faddy diets because they may be unachievable (and also often advise far too few calories for the exercise part (see next point).
Eat more (of the right stuff)
We want you to exercise. When you exercise we want you to work as hard as you can. For this you're going to need plenty of energy and that may well entail eating more than you think you should. There's nothing wrong with consuming more calories, as long as they've come from the right foods.
If you're unsure where to start with 'the right foods' then it's time to get some advice. Our instructors can give you the basics. Here's one of many good online articles that gives you the basics.
Ready to get started?
You can book a free trial at Oakwood in one of our group exercise classes or on our eGym equipment.
We also have an Open Weekend on 14th and 15th January - watch the intro video for more info. When you're ready, book your place on Open Weekend.