weight loss, fitness and lifestyle programme


The third fitness and weight loss program I wrote at the FitFarms London Fitness Camp for one of our clients after my request on Facebook as as you can see based on improving stamina for walking. A slight spanner in the works in terms of exercise program planning was that to train for improving stamina with only around 10 minutes to play with is not a typical request.  However my aim with these weight loss and fitness plans was not to prove I could write an effective plan for the goal but to write one for the client. 10 minutes is what would work for them and consistency trumps perfection every time. So below i have given 4 different 10 minute weight loss and fitness workouts spread ideally evenly throughout the week, I have picked simple exercises again because it is easier for the client to adapt an exercise they understand than one they need constant coaching on and I feel I have left plenty of room for progression which will be the key to the success of the weight losss and fitness program for the client. Whether you are interested in improving your stamina or not give this session a go and let us know how you feel about it..

Timeline: 1 year

Goals: improve stamina start cycling to and from work 7 miles each way

Likes: long walks
Forward focus:

A progressive plan for improving overall stamina and fitness for the long walks planned next year

Provide more healthy option ideas around diet..

Concentrate on core area

Wants to train for around 10 minutes in the morning as it is the most likely time available

Has resistance bands but no other equipment and short on space.
Target areas: legs and core

Frequency: 4 times a week

Time: 10-15 minutes
Day 1

Legs focussed

Static squat

Forward and backward lunges

Rock climbers

Ascending reps.. start 5 reps/pulses each increase it by one rep each time and try to continually cycle without breaks in between these exercises should fatigue your legs quite quickly so improving how long you can go without stopping would suggest your muscular endurance is improving

Day 2

Core focussed


Side plank

Log lift

Side plank

10 seconds per position then rest 20 seconds, repeat (once you can’t comfortably manage the exercises I.e. Back ache take a longer rest but try to build up the time per position as well as how many circuits during the 10-15 minute routine

Day 3

Legs focussed


Squat jumps


2 minutes each as Many reps as possible 1 minute rest between exercises as this improves think about increasing the time limit and decreasing the rest period.. it’s overall improvement is just as important as improvement in the individual challenges..

Day 4

Core focussed

Renegade (press up position)

Butt ups into lateral mountain climber ( bringing the knee up to the elbow on the same side of the body)

Walk outs/roll outs (fitball or rolling device required)

Supermans (weighted or resistance band progression is available but a ruck sack with additional weight would work better)

Side to side touches

Aim for 2 minutes per exercise.. my reason for picking these exercises is that holding the press up or renegade position by itself is a challenge to incorporate movements like these will increase the effort whilst still adding a level of core control. I don’t expect you’ll manage 2 minutes of each exercise certainly not straight away so take note of time spent on each exercise and try to improve as time goes by to see how your core strength and stamina improve.
On top of this building up time on your bike at weekends will add to both your overall fitness and as a way of seeing your strength and stamina improve.


Weight Loss Exercise Fun and Enjoyable

received_2059320577730609As I’ve mentioned before I’m of the opinion that the exercise you choose to do should be fun and enjoyable; and if necessary chop, change and try something new to keep it that way. I think those are good words of advice, which makes me wonder why I hadn’t listened to them myself for a while! I like to exercise and do so pretty much daily, I like and need variation, mixing exercise up a bit to keep it interesting; but for a little while I’d found myself thinking that actually I hadn’t really tried anything new or attended any classes which I used to enjoy for some time and that my own exercise was feeling a bit stagnant. I’ve a long list of both valid reasons and poor excuses as to why but I won’t get into that now! At FitFarms camping in London  I kept promising myself that I would give hula hooping a go as it looked like fun, but I never got round to it (that list again). Anyway this has been niggling at me for a while, and this weeks course was one of those serendipitous weeks where you feel like there’s a master plan unfolding somewhere in this universe. I was aware that I hadn’t done a good yoga session for a while and as much as I could have gone and practiced at several points I didn’t (curse that list); however come Thursday morning there was a yoga session with Rosie which I’d promised myself I’d join in with -and I did (albeit 5 minutes late and tiptoeing in!) I can honestly say I loved it, a change of style to how I usually practice, a fantastic group of people to practice alongside, and it must be said, an amazing instructor. I left virtually floating, fully recharged with a newly rebooted desire to improve my practice, and the sense that my niggle was right – I need a change, to try something new. I’m not quite sure where that niggle is going to take me as I’ve quite an extensive list of things I’d like to try and or go back to, but I do know that the first thing I need to do is look at that list and separate the reasons from the excuses before I can plan what’s feasible, focus, and move onto a new exercise or discipline with the passion both it and I deserve

FitFarms Spain Weight Loss Boot Camp

Jennie HebbSo here I am back home from another week in beautiful Spain, though it was significantly cooler than September when we were last there! (the best way of dealing with cold, move faster, right?!) Anyway temperature drop aside, it was for the most part beautifully sunny & with a fantastic group of positive people we had the elements to create the great weight loss retreat week it was. Now I feel adaptability is something of a second nature to us which is fortunate as this time around no one wanted to make use of the pool & we certainly weren’t going to the beach! What we did do however is discover another beautiful walk, along the reservoir & hire bikes for a cycle which is perfect for our FitFarms Spain Weight Loss Boot Camp, both which offered some great photo opportunities & the latter which we did on the morning of my birthday! The afternoon session was my choice & it wouldn’t be a birthday celebration without a bit of a dance so that’s what I went with; dancing in the pool was out, but dancing in the hall was in & it seemed to go down well; it was put together a while back using music & moves from films, & so I described the session as a cross between ‘watches too much T.V’& ‘dances round the living room’! As I keep saying whatever you do make it fun, and yes, dancing round the living room counts as exercise (fortunately for me!) I had a few of the ‘poor you, working on your birthday’comments, but in all honesty I got to go for a cycle & dance around; as someone once said to me ‘if you can make a living doing what you enjoy, it won’t feel like work’& they were right. To top it off for a giggle, on my request I got to listen to the groans of Andy & Stephen attempting the baby shark abs challenge (sadly I don’t have the evidence, just the memory), & I also received a Spanish birthday card which I waited until I was home to open to make me smile & remind me of a brilliant week with lovely people, I’m going to sign off now finishing with a sincere Thank you to all (you know who you are) who were at ‘work’with me.

Jen explains movement and muscles

FitFarms Movement ExercisesIt occurred to me the other day that while we spend a lot of time at FitFarms holistic weight loss boot camp moving and discussing movement along with the ills of sedentary lifestyles, we rarely talk specifically about the main component responsible for it! Probably because it’s quite a vast topic and not the simplest, but I thought I’d follow that train and have an attempt at briefly explaining muscles.


There are three types of muscles in the body, which can be divided into striated (striped) smooth and cardiac; cardiac unsurprisingly relates to the muscle forming the wall of the heart, smooth to involuntary /not consciously controlled muscles i.e. peristaltic movement of the intestines, and striated to what we consider skeletal muscle which primarily produce force and thereafter create movement. All muscles within the body share certain characteristics: the ability to contract thereby either shortening or producing tension; the ability to relax returning to resting following contraction; elasticity allowing muscle to elongate and return to rest; distensibility allowing muscle to elongate by external force without damage so long as it’s not forced beyond its limits; the ability to transmit an action potential / nerve impulse and the ability to react when stimulated.


If you’ve ever looked at a picture of skeletal muscles you may have noticed the striations on the muscles, which can give an indication as to the direction of movement that muscle moves in, some perform quite simple singular movements others multiple. The size and thickness of a muscle can also give an indication as to their particular role, those that are larger and thicker are much more capable of producing large amounts of force (i.e. legs) for greater movements, whereas long thin or very tendinous muscles may act better as pulleys (i.e. fingers). Muscles that produce movement are known as phasic and can only produce movement by pull not push, they contain mostly fast twitch fibres which are more easily fatiguable than postural muscles which mostly contain more slow twitch fibres that cope better under the sustained demand of keeping the body upright.


Movement of the body can be considered in terms of levers where the muscle dictates the direction of force, the limb moved being the load and the fulcrum altering and dictating the type of lever depending on the area of the body, but for example a bicep curl would use the biceps brachii to produce force, the load movement would be the arm flexing /bending and in this instance the fulcrum would be the elbow. Muscles producing movement are known as agonists and each agonist has an antagonist, an opposing muscle that produces an opposing movement and can prevent an agonist overproducing a movement. If anyone is interested in understanding a bit more in depth about how muscles produce movement I would recommend having a look at some of the videos on you tube on ‘sliding filament theory’.

FitFarms weight loss fitness camp

you-won-t-believe-this-amazing-way-to-make-chocolate-cheesecakes-in-an-ice-cube-trayLoaded Salad (prep time 20 minutes)

Ingredients for one person

2 large handfuls of mixed leaf salad (crunchy style salad is best)

8 cherry tomatoes

1/4 of a cucumber

1/4 of a red onion

1 oz serving of goats cheese (this is about 75 calories but more importantly this gives you 5 grams of protein and 40 mg calcium)

2 tablespoons of mixed seeds (rich in healthy fats and also a great source of protein)

Pinch of salt

1/2 small cooked beetroot

1 tablespoon olive oil


Put the cherry tomatoes onto a baking tray and cover with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Then roast in a 150 degrees oven for 20 minutes.

Chop and mix all the other ingredients up in a bowl and then add the cherry tomatoes.


Healthy Chocolate Treats (prep time 3 hrs with the freezing process)

Ingredients for 24 small bars

25 ml Coconut Oil

45 grams of chocolate (over 70% cocoa powder is a must)

1/2 an avocado

1/2 banana

Tablespoon of Chia seeds


Put 2 inches of water in a saucepan and a glass bowl on the top with the chocolate in and cook at a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has melted.

In another saucepan melt the coconut oil.

Put the coconut oil, chocolate and all the ingredients into a blender and blend together.

Pour the mix into ice cube trays and place in the fridge for 3 hrs.

Take them out of the fridge and pop them out of the ice cube trays.

You can also find some good healthy food recipes on the BBC Good Food website

Bon appetit from the holistic weight loss and fitness camp

Photo credit to food network


Holistic Weight Loss Boot CAMP Fitness Challenge

aerobics exerciseThe holistic weight loss boot camp fitness challenge!

A combination of timed exercises targeting your endurance in different ways it’ll make you work to your max for every moment and result in hurting all over!


Holistic Weight Loss Boot Camp Equipment.

Resistance bands looped and normal.. medium resistance

Kettlebells.. single weights medium to heavy


Holistic Weight Loss Boot Camp Challenges.


Kettlebell swings:

10 swings in a row/ no more than 20 seconds rest repeat as many times as you can within a 10 minute total.. if you fail to complete a full 10 minutes that’s all good just keep track of how many reps you managed in total and try to beat it next time..


Burpee/floor to ceiling:

You have 3 chances to do as many reps as possible, you cannot pause or rest even slightly within reps it must be full on and constant if you stop it counts as one of your tests.

Each time you rest you get 20 seconds no more no less count how many reps in each attempt and the total amount of reps as well like so I.e

  1. 30
  2. 15
  3. 12

Total 57

This way next time you can record fluctuations in individual sets or overall total


The plank:

Choose between 5-10 minutes as a target set and hold the plank for as long as you can each time without loss of control or risking injury and count how many breaks or rests you take during this time. Then each time you try to reduce the total amount of rests you take.. ps you have to stop the clock each time you rest and your rest should be no longer than 30 seconds


Look out for our next version soon  and check out our you tube for new ideas

There are also some great holistic weight loss boot camp exercises on the body coach website

Jen Reports From The Norfolk Fitness Retreat

Jennie HebbHigh intensity interval training (HIIT) is not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to exercising, and that’s fine it’s not the be all and end all to getting fitter, leaner, healthier or any other buzz word being chucked around that sounds like that’s what you should be aiming for! This is one of our many exercise teaching poiunts that we used last week on the FitFarms Norfolk Fitness Retreat.

What I personally think you should be aiming for is exercise you enjoy and which incorporates a bit of a challenge, that challenge not necessarily having to involve increasing your heart rate to levels you didn’t know it could go!

But what I do like about HIIT is the timers so I often use them with different kinds of exercise because it takes away having to count or think and leaves you to focus on the exercise.

I’ve used them for weighted exercises which I certainly wouldn’t want to be performing at high intensity (in terms of speed performing the exercise) but found it useful in ensuring I take a good timed rest.

I’ve used them with yoga poses, particularly inversions to prevent me from being lazy and coming out of a pose sooner than I should when I know I’m capable of holding for longer; and one of my favourites is to use them for progressing exercise. For example if looking to develop a plank hold using a tabata timer of 8 cycles of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest; in the first cycle plank against a wall, second cycle plank on knees, third cycle full plank rhythmically coming down onto knees, and fourth cycle a full plank; this can then be repeated for the last four cycles, or performed in reverse, or doubled to 2 cycles of each before progressing to the harder option. If 10 seconds doesn’t feel like enough rest increase it, if 20 seconds work feels too challenging or not challenging enough adjust it, if 8 cycles is too much or not enough for the amount of progressive exercises change it, play around, make it fun, make it challenging, and most importantly make it work for you.

FitFarms Heathrow Fitness Camp

heathrowFitFarms 2019 is looking extremely exciting as we have new venues to offer and collections from London Heathrow which will be part of the FitFarms London Fitness and Boot Camp collection point.
The FitFarms Ireland site has already proven to be very popular taking bookings a year in advance. The accommodation is a spectacular castle in Limmerick which is situated in the heart of Ireland. Ireland has fantastic countryside and we will be doing many challenging scenic hikes in the local area. FitFarms Ireland is also very reachable from Dublin and the nearest airport is Shannon being under 1hr from the FitFarms Site.
Our Spain site is running extremely well and has become very popular with returning guests looking for that fun and challenging experience. Collections are from Malaga airport and we still have a space available on the next course that starts on 24th November. We are situated in Andalucia and the venue use to be an old olive press.
Currently we are sourcing a new site in Scotland to help with the FitFarms growth and also the travelling for our Scottish customers. The Scott’s tend to go to our Derbyshire site which is the furthest Northern FitFarms.
FitFarms Derbyshire is our old favourite. We have been there for nearly 7 years and we love the accommodation, amazing countryside and the fantastic trainers which help us out on this site. Next year we will be running a few more weeks than usual just because of the popularity of the Derbyshire site. It’s only 2hrs from London and we provide a free pick up from Matlock which is the local station.
We will be sharing the information on the new Scotland site very shortly through social media platforms. Keep your eyes peeled because we believe it’s going to be amazing in the Scotland Highlands.

Andy’s Fitness Retreat Report

Andy’s report from the fitness retreat.FitFarms Andy Baker1

Exercise is not functional!
Goals are not practical!!

These days there are a lot of classes and programs and personalities talking about functional exercise but I don’t believe it gives an appropriate understanding. You see whilst exercise is good for body and mind (proven) functional exercise is supposed to include elements of training or physical development similar to the tasks of the day ie squatting is a functional movement..but not when you do it 25 times in a row with a little rest and a barbell and weight on your back.

Gyms, exercise studios, fitness retreats and keep fit clubs etc etc are relatively new in all honesty, they haven’t been around for all that long really, in the grand scheme of things anyway. People used to just be capable because their day to day lives and harsh existence prepared them differently. so no exercise you do in a class environment or with goals of development can truly be considered functional or necessary this may seem obvious to some and unimportant to others “so wanting to look good isn’t natural”.. big wow! A lot of us are happy with the idea that we are doing this to look and feel better to ourselves and that our health is not directly linked to this.

But those of us who want to be healthier or look after themselves have been conditioned to judge and gauge themselves in the same way as those wanting to look better in the mirror (not criticising that point of view by the way) as it’s the only way to know if what we are doing is working. Exercise to get or stay fit and healthy is not a starting point. You cannot exercise to stay somewhere it is a constant fluctuation with progress at the heart of the purpose. Exercise is something we add in to further our development once we have decided that is what we want to do.

One of the reasons we have these blurred lines about exercise and our health aside from our nature to see the target and choose the quickest path to reach it even if it means cutting a corner or two. Is because for the newest product or training approach to become profitable it has to be different it has to suggest there is something about it that will make the difference. Over the years this has led us to instinctively “know” that we need to exercise to achieve a normal health. I don’t believe that anymore. If we choose to walk to work everyday or do some activity at the weekends, if we choose a healthy breakfast and a 10 minute walk at lunch why can’t that be enough?


FitFarms Healthy Cheesecake

cheeseFitFarms Healthy Cheesecake recipe
24 oz full fat good quality cream cheese (remember to read the ingredients to check for the quality making sure there’s no extra nasties!
2 cups full fat Greek yoghurt
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
 1/2 cup of good quality honey. Primo Mendoza is expensive but worth it if you want real quality
1 tbsp cornstarch – Rapunzel is a good one as it’s not genetically engineered


Preheat the oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit

Fill a 9×13 pan about halfway with water. Then place the plan in the middle of the oven.

If you have the cream cheese in the fridge take it out and make sure its at room temperature.

Put all the cheesecake ingredients into a blender and blend together until smooth. Be careful not to over blend because it creates bubbles and this will cause cracks at the end.

Crunch up Nairns ginger oatcakes for the base and then put them into a 9 inch tray, add the mix and then sit the tray on top of the other tray that is already in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes making sure not to open the oven during this time. After 30 minutes turn off the heat but leave the cake inside for an extra 5 minutes.

Remove it and let it cool for 20 minutes. It will look underdone but then place it in the fridge. Really important not to put it straight into the fridge because it will crack. It needs to cool down gradually is stages.

Now it’s time to be patient because it takes at least 6 hours to develop properly.

Remember portion size is important. One slice per person PLEASE remember the FitFarms way!  If you have any leftovers it will last in the fridge for 4 days and then it will need to be thrown!

I’ll be popping up the other recipes soon but remember to check the FitFarms Nutrition page as well. The Healthy Chip Muffins are fantastic.

Image credit to foodiefiasco