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FitFarms Fitness Camp at Knockerdown Cottages

stop wishing stop doingSo this week due to unforeseen circumstances and something that has never happened before we had to use a different site in Derbyshire for our course, it was short notice and Knockerdown cottages did an excellent job of accommodating us along with their other bookings.

Their venue is beautiful! And well positioned just across the road from Carsington reservoir one of our usual weekly walks. It has a pool on site as well as plenty of well kept area outside for our activity sessions and a suitable hall area for exercise indoors to. So it was really the perfect solution to our situation. So aside from some teething issues in the first few days that the course itself was unaffected by we had a fantastic week! The group themselves were so focused and hard positive they were a pleasure to work with and by the end of the course we had all bonded very well. There were some big moments during the week, people were noticing increased flexibility and ease of movement (even with the muscle soreness!) as well as feeling revitalised and energised from the workshops and food. Getting the balance right on our courses is something that changes with every week.

Our focus is always to build the confidence of our clients by boosting their understanding helping them to decide what is right or best for them. This week got the balance right! And the clients all went away feeling better for the experience, no one needed another week to recover no one went away too stiff or tired to think about exercising for the rest of the weekend. Everyone went eager to put into action the ideas they had during the week!

FitFarms fitness and weight loss retreat at Knockerdown cottages was a success for us and we were very happy with the outcome! Now we are looking forward to 2 weeks of camping near the Malvern hills!

Maybe we will see you there.


Image credit: http://www.goodmorningquote.com/

FitFarms Guide to Cooking and Cutting a Roast Chicken

Here’s a perfect guide to cook and cut a sumptuous roast chicken. Ready to eat!

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Roughly chop 1 onion, 1carrot and 1 celery head
  • Rub the chicken with lard/dripping and plenty of seasoning
  • Stuff the chicken with 1 lemon, 1 bulb of garlic and 3 Rosemary twigs
  • Lay the veg in a deep roasting tray
  • Place Chicken on top of veg
  • Roast for 45 minutes basting every 15
  • After 45 minutes turn down oven to 180 degrees
  • Roast for a further 30 minutes basting half way
  • Turn off oven and remove chicken
  • Allow to rest for 30 minutes on a cooling rack

Preparation

  • Position knife in middle of breast (Figure 1)
  • Firmly cut right through the breast bone
  • Now remove the spine (Figure 2)
  • Place the 1/2 chicken breast down
  • Cut between the leg and breast (Figure 3)
  • Viola breast and leg ready to eat (Figure 4)

 

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4

We are All Humans No Matter What

I will not give upWell, we are at another fitness boot camp in our Matlock site and I can honestly say, the entire guests are fantastic.

Most of out clients that come on to our fitness courses either have physical or mental problems that they need sorting out and our fitness camps help this as they can get away from their normal life can concentrate on themselves and no one else.

As the fitness course Instructors etc we are there to give all out guests the tools, knowledge and skills to do this and they follow and look up to us.

But……

We are only Human just like our fitness boot camp clients.

I got talking to a lovely lady on the second day as the group was doing one of the local fitness walks.

I wont lie, the conversation got very deep and very emotional for us both. We found out that we both have had the same devastating life experience’s that have broke us and we’re recovering.I’m getting quiet emotional writing this blog so I won’t go into depth.

I also got talking to another young lady that’s had eating problems and with my fitness and dance background, I know what all that is like as I defiantly have been there and suffered the awful health and mental health problems that never truly go away even after all these years etc.

So, even us Instructors that are there all happy and loads of energy, are still human that’s had the problems that some of our boot camp clients have, and sometimes are worse than theirs but, that what makes us, me included, connect much better with our guest as we have been there. That’s what makes the FitFarms Health Team much better than someone who hasn’t but still preaches to people without actually experiencing it all in real life.

Remember, we are all human with emotions, no matter what you do.

Image credit: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/814377545089366412/

 

FitFarms Kettlebell and Fitball Workout

WorkoutWarm up and mobilise as always prior to workout

  • Fitball roll back and hip lift: Kettlebell American swing (1 minute of each repeat x 2)
  • Fitball roll out: Kettlebell Figure of 8 (1 minute of each repeat x 2)
  • Fitball Russian twist: Kettlebell single arm swings (1 minute of each repeat x 2)
  • Kettlebell snatch and press: Fitball Saxon sidebends (1 minute of each repeat x 2)
  • Kettlebell Assisted sit-up: Fitball deadbug. (1 minute of each repeat x 2)
  • Kettlebell high pull: Fitball front raise and squeeze (1 minute of each repeat x 2)
  • Kettlebell goblet squats: Fitball sit ups (1 minute of each repeat x 2)

And there you have just short of a half hour full body routine for kettlebells and fitballs.

Please check out our Youtube Chanel for more videos and information or try our Facebook page and website.

Image credit: https://uk.pinterest.com/explore/workout-quotes/

Fitness Routine at FitFarms Camping in Malvern

MalvernBelow is a session plan from one of our routines this week at camping.. hope you all enjoy it..

Warm up using mobility work for the hips shoulders and ankles (we have videos for these on you tube if you need some ideas)

Tabata circuit:

Shoulder press (using resistance band or dumbbells)

Kettlebell swing

Press ups

4 x 20 seconds wrk 10 seconds rest (6 minute round)

Rest for 1 minute (repeat 1-2 more times if you wish)

Floor back extensions

Clean and press with kettlebell

Floor dips into bridge

1-3 rounds, 2 minutes per exercise with one minute rest between each set(9 minute rounds). As many reps as poss of each exercise working to failure recovering and carrying on with in the 2 minutes aim to keep total reps for each exercise as close as possible for all rounds.

Flow exercise..

Move from one position to the next in sequence without breaking the flow..

Start in press up ready position,

Lower down to the floor as in first movement of a press up, hold for 2 seconds just off the floor..

Leading with shoulders peel the upper body off the floor first followed through by the hips hyper flex the hips (so lift the hips high into the air as if a bad press up position)…

Pause for 2-3 seconds ….

Swoop down as in a Hindu press hips high arms flexed and lowering the shoulders towards the floor (only dip as low as you are strong enough to control) from there push back up into the starting press up position but lifting one leg up into the runners lunge position…

Hold here for 2-3 seconds….

Lift the opposite arm to your forward leg up toward the ceiling rotating through the torso into the windmill position…

Hold here for 2-3 seconds….

Return hand to previous position on floor at same time as returning forward leg…

Placing you back into a press up position hold for 2-3 seconds…

Complete with opposite arm and leg…

Repeat this flow continuously for 5-6 minutes resting initially if necessary but ideally without rest

This session works towards mobility cv fitness and endurance.. check out our videos if you need a demonstration and contact us if you need any help or just to let us know how you’ve gotten on

FitFarms Worcestershire Camping May 2017 Course

Andy BakerHaving just returned from our 2 weeks away on the FitFarms fitness retreat camping in the beautiful area near Malvern in Worcestershire I’m enjoying some well earned recovery and family time, after these two weeks I can honestly say that the team has never felt stronger! That’s not to disrespect the previous members of staff who have always brought so much of their own experiences and knowledge to the clients on courses gone by. But after a typically tough 2 weeks of camping this team has pulled together and worked closer as a unit to make the experience for the clients and myself a smooth running and enjoyable one. Hats off to our team! As always there have been many memorable moments from these weeks some humorous like Matthew getting rubbed into a BIG PILE OF…. good luck!

Some wonderful like the spirit of the first group, the camaraderie from the whole team and the way they bonded and helped each other was amazing. The effort of our 2nd group and how it never wavered even when confronted with 50mph winds and flappy tents! Or the views we all had the pleasure to wake up to and relax in the evening with that made all the sweat and shivering of the day worth while.

It was really a great couple of weeks and I would like to thank all those involved for making it so.. never the less it was exhausting for us and for the clients and I for one am looking forward to the rest of my down time. I hope you are all well and making the most of your own downtime. Rest and recover!!

Andy Baker

FitFarms Matlock Review May 2017 Course – Part 2

MatlockIt’s my second FitFarms Fitness Course at our Matlock site and I’m really excited again. I love the layout of the site as they are all done to be old fashioned looking and in keeping in with the area, it feels like I’m going on holiday instead of working and training the clients who are coming on the boot camp course.

Anyway, a few days before the course is meant to start, one of our team members messages us all to see if we fancied meeting up early in Matlock Bath for a chat and coffee at Costa Coffee in the high street. We all said yes!

The drive up to Matlock was a nice drive as its only about 1 hour away from me but guess what? I hit Bank Holiday traffic is NOT GOOD! Did not have to wait long as it moved on quiet quickly which I won’t lie, I was pleased about as I hate being late for anything.

I said I would find it myself but, didn’t realise there were three Costas in the area so, I thought just go to the centre one and guess what, that was the one.

As I pulled on to the car park I saw all the fitness team there buying their car park tickets and the fun started!

We had a good laugh and a catch up before we headed up to FitFarms where we would be getting the site ready for the boot camp clients to arrive later on that afternoon.

When we got there the first thing we needed was food! Andy had bought us all steak so, Matt started to cook us our lunch.

Lunch finished, we all started to get the fitness course set up and all the equipment, rooms etc ready for the guests to arrive and get stuck in.

While Jodie and Andy carried on with setting the Matlock site up, me and Matt (Health Chef) had a drive down to the cash and carry to stock up on all the food for the weeks boot camp. I felt like Santa’s little helper!

When we got there and parked up, Matt realised he had left his wallet at site so….. we had to drive all the way back again then all the way back to the wholesaler. ‎ Car loaded as we go on our way back to the camp.

Andy picked up some clients from the train station to bring back to the camp and people had already started to arrive by car. We are underway again and everyone is so excited. All in all, a great start to the fitness boot camp.

Benefits of Massages at FitFarms Boot Camp Courses

IMG_20170416_162652509All the FitFarms boot camp guests have a opportunity to have a treatment and I always recommend to all that they should advantage of this part of the course as it will really help them in so many ways.

As a lot of our clients haven’t done any form of exercise for sometime or they are new to exercise, it will be a shock to their bodies and emotions I wont lie. They push their bodies to the limits (some do) and their body will be thinking “What the hell are you doing to me?” This is where I come in to play!

The  guest will be sore, aching and sometimes finding it hard to walk etc because their muscles are sore and inflamed through the new exercises so they need that soreness to go away or reduce so they can bring their body back down to normal state. It could be either: Sore Neck, Sore Arms, legs, Chest, Backside or just EVERYWHERE!

This is were having a massage will greatly help all FitFarms guests so much. Yes, sometimes its maybe sore and a little uncomfortable but, I can promise you, after having one of my massages, you will feel brand new!

Having a massage will reduce the muscle soreness and stiffness by, untightening the muscles, ligaments and nerves so you can push yourself harder and longer knowing your body is safe.

Most of the clients have a massage and most if not all have more treatments throughout the week as they see how important a Specialist Massage treatment is such an important part of any fitness injury free life.

Most of the time, clients have been living with aches and pains for years which makes exercising difficult because of the discomfort and I will spot that straight away because, as soon as the client arrives, I’m assessing peoples movements, posture etc so I have some idea what’s going on with that particular person. Most of the time I can sort the problem out there and then but other times, I will recommend another massage in the week.

So all in all, I recommend a massage to all FitFarms guests and to everyone that either does exercise or to anyone that doesn’t as its a very important part of looking after your body.

HIIT Training …. What it is and why it works

HIIT trainingThe key to any successful training or fitness routine is variation. The same exercise or programme repeated continuously will give you results for a short period but soon your body will adapt and become accustomed to the same old routine. Chances are your body will plateau, and you will fail to see further improvements in fitness levels and results. Variation is absolutely key to success and even many of us who do have some form of fitness routine established will find themselves attending the same gym class every week, or running the same route over and over. While there is nothing specifically wrong with this, results can rocket far more rapidly by adding another form of training into the mix. Let me introduce HIIT… Or high intensity interval training. I’m not saying HIIT is the magic pill to aid everybody’s weight loss or fitness goals but the nature of the workout is what makes it so effective.

For starters you can complete a session anywhere, at home, in a hotel room, outside or in the gym. On top of that it is incredibly time efficient and a session could be anywhere between 8-20 minutes depending on personal goals and fitness levels. Those two factors alone mean if you are serious about your goals you could set your alarm just 20 minutes earlier and have a successful workout to kickstart your day without even leaving the house!

The format is simple, short sharp bursts of intensive exercise followed by short rest periods. These short work periods allow you to push your heart rate up much higher and push yourself much harder than you would be able to maintain in a longer session, a spinning class for example. The short rests allow you just enough time to take in some nice deep breaths of fresh oxygen and regain control of that heart rate ready to go back in for more. The nature of the exercise means it will work to improve both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems whereas longer, endurance type sessions tend to focus on the aerobic energy system alone.

It is completely adaptable to you as an individual as you are in charge of your work and rest times. You may start at 30 seconds of intensive work followed by 30 seconds of rest, initially for a total of 10 times around. As your fitness increases you may extend the length of your overall session, or begin to increase the work period and decrease the rest period, so you will be working for 40 seconds with a 20 second rest period. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you are pushing yourself to the max within the given work periods. The range of exercises you can use are limitless. You can focus on bodyweight exercises alone, such as jumping jacks, squats, press ups or high knees, or you can add in various equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands, making it a fantastic way of working out for someone who gets bored easily!

HIIT is so accessible and anyone can do it anywhere, all you will need is a stopwatch, some water and maybe a towel to mop up the sweat!

The team at Fitfarms are here to coach you through the various training principles and explain the importance of variation in a routine. If you think you have reached your plateau, feel stuck in a rut or need the knowledge to get you started then book yourself onto one of our weight loss and fitness retreats and we will help guide you towards your goals!

FitFarms Flow Exercise

Flow exerciseSo here at FitFarms fitness and weight loss retreat we like to try new things and this week we have been playing around with some exercise flows so below is a warm up routine that we used during our recent week at our Derbyshire site, in the beautiful surroundings of Matlock.

A flow, in terms of an exercise routine is a combination of different movements put together to make one big complex movement or flow. Below is a short flow routine for a warm up or mobility exercise and a dumbbell full body flow as the main exercise.. in this routine both exercises are supposed completed slowly and continuously for the sets and reps suggested. Increasing the time under tension (tut) makes the exercise more challenging and controlled as well as making it a fuller workout for each muscle and muscle chain involved so we have also added a tempo suggestion for the exercises…

Mobiliser

Start standing upright pelvic floor engaged.. core muscles braced and glutes taught balanced through the heels without locking the knees

Firstly, roll up onto the balls of the feet in a heel raise movement and hold for 2-3 secs whilst lifting the arms up above the head in a straight arm extension hold in this full stretch for a further 2-3 seconds, from there roll back onto the heels with the knees in a soft position hinging at the hips lean forward keeping the back straight and the arms extended over head this is sometimes referred to as a good morning (be sure to roll back onto the heels and push the hips back over the heels as you hinge to support the back) once you have leant as far forward as possible keeping your back straight and your arms extended over head pause here for 2-3 seconds embracing the stretch through the muscles at the back of your legs (hamstrings) allow your arms to fall down in front of you.

Wrap them around the back of your lower leg (this also supports movement through this position and takes the strain off your back) then round your back off and pull your head in towards your knees pause in this position for 2-3 seconds and then reach your hands to the floor (adjust your leg position to accommodate if necessary but you must be able to touch the floor) from there walk forward until in a full press up position from there lift your hips high into the downward dog position (or an extremely bad press up position) pause here for 2-3 seconds.

From there project your hips down and lift one knee up and out to the side of your body position so that you are resting with one leg extended out on the full press up position and resting on the inside thigh of the other leg at a bent 90 degree position pushing your hip down into the ground and backwards slightly to increase stretch through hip joint whilst extending the back and looking up towards the ceiling pause here for 2-3 seconds then take the arm opposite the bent leg over the top and off to a slightly forward angle ( for example if your right leg was bent forward then your left arm would come up over your head towards the right side of your body whilst coming slightly forward at a 2 0 clock angle) pause here for 2-3 seconds then slowly return through each piece of the movement slowly back to the start and repeat again using the opposite sides the above counts as one repetition repeat for 5 repetitions each time trying to push the stretch in each pause position.

For the main exercise we are going to use 2 dumbbells in a swing and static routine to combine momentum and control it is a full body complex..

Complete 1 rep of each exercise to make a full complex at normal pace if the movement has swing written in brackets it requires momentum so must be done at a usual pace however if not the slower the tempo the harder the movement.

  • Stiff leg deadlift
  • Dumbbells raise over head (swing)
  • Overhead squat/lunge (if you struggle with mobility of the over head squat replace it with the lunge)
  • Hammer press
  • Over head extension
  • Dumbbells lower to hip level (swing)
  • Into prone (bent over position) triceps kickbacks
  • Straight arm kickbacks
  • Bent over row
  • Upright row
  • Front raise

If your not sure about any of the exercises above check out our YouTube video on mobility and exercise flows and complex