Fitness Goals: Having a Specific or Clear Idea of What You Want!

Positive Goal ExerciseHere at FitFarms weight loss and fitness retreat we feel one major reason for all the confusion around what is right and what is wrong with regards to achieving your goals/targets is that we don’t actually know! The conditioned thinking is that there is a one size fits all approach and so we don’t think too much about what “losing weight” or “getting fit” actually means to us. But we have options! Different ways of achieving our goals some more effective and some less but if we don’t consider our options we will never know which way suits us best.

So if you have time sit down and think to yourself “what kind of exercise or activity would I PREFER?” If I had the option? Then take a look at my explanations below to see if you can start to form a concept of what you would actually enjoy doing instead of what you need to do.


Exercise vs Activity vs Movement

So first of all exercise is not natural or functional.. whatever equipment or adaption we use. At no point when squatting down to pick up your shopping or an item of the floor do you intend on doing it 8-15 times and then repeating after a pre selected rest time.

Exercise is a way of improving the performance of your physical structure or the neurological management of said structure. It just so happens that the more honed the bodies systems the better it should in theory look and feel.. so we associate exercise with improving aesthetically but it’s not always so.

Activity is more natural, when you think of activity what springs to mind? Sports? Walking? Swimming? Bike riding? It challenges the body’s ability to adapt to unknown external variables like uneven ground, a hill, water resistance or even wind resistance. Exercise relies on restricting the variables so that pure performance can be improved I.e. Typically 1 or 2 planes of movement, fixed positions or machines. We find it easier to run on a treadmill because once we are used to it the pace and incline are preset and we are in control of any changes to that, where as activities typically are not so controlled so our bodies and brains become more adaptive. A rugby player may be more powerful and stronger on the pitch or in circumstances where a movement must be adapted but a weightlifter or power lifter would be stronger/fitter on gym equipment.

And then there is movement. A way of maintaining the bodies and the brains ability to adapt to everyday life. Things like hip mobility, correcting posture, improving freedom of movement through all planes and axis, an understanding of how the body is designed and using movements to help maintain a greater quality of life better neural function it involves less stress on the physical and neural functions of the body but helps to balance and correct issues born of improper function, imbalance and historical overuse. It could be as little as 20 minutes morning stretches and mobilisers to as much as a complex movement challenge using hand to eye coordination and in even load and all three planes of movement but it doesn’t need to be physically stressful.

So before deciding what your routine should look like consider the above explanations and which you like the sound of best?

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Myths Around Exercise

FitFarms Andy BakerFirst of all there are a lot of myths and opinions set around what exercise is best for you and your goals. Just remember no one has the same goals as you they may sound the same, look the same or even feel the same but they mean different things to everyone and everyone will have a different way of achieving their goals. The plans and routines out there for you to pick and choose from are all in some way supported by some sense of logic or even science (some definitely more than others) but at the end of the day none are really specifically made for you.. unless you make them of course.

With this in mind it’s easy to see why there is so much conflicting information, let’s face it we are a passionate bunch and if we feel something works we will back it 100% and because to a degree it all works everything you read is supported by some form of evidence or research. In fact the real sticking point is drive and motivation, so how do we train that? Well we don’t follow others ideas for a start. Picture the scene, you have finally sat down and decided to make this happen you are going to get fit! So what works? Running? Low intensity? YAWN!! High intensity? OUCH!! Weights?? “No I do not want to get big and muscular!! Oh I don’t know; .. I know!! I’ll ask someone! “So what works??”

Aerobic exercise is great for fat burning! Oh but I heard lots of that kind of impact is bad for your joints! Well running? Apparently too much cardio actually causes us to store more fat than burn it, it also causes more ware and tear on our joints and stresses our body in a way that breaks down muscle tissue and increases fat stores and besides you need carbs for it and I heard that they are bad to!”… well what about a circuit class? Resistance builds muscle muscle burns fat! But I don’t want to be bullied by a big ex army instructor or made to lift heavy weights because that’s a sure way to injure myself and besides weights will make me heavier not lighter!.. I could go on.. but I would literally still be writing this time next year! In my experience; they are all correct statements and they are all incorrect statements.

When you take them out of context and don’t consider the bigger or whole picture, you are shooting in the dark. The truth is too much of anything is bad for you too little is too ineffective to judge and getting good at one thing will make you bad at another.. any one that’s been on a FitFarms weight loss and fitness retreat will be used to me not giving them many answers other than the speech about balance. There is a massive need to understand human nature and the potential characteristics you need to deal with when creating a program for someone. Which is why I think we are all our own best personal trainers if we can just tap into our own potential. But that’s another rant for another time.

For now consider the fact the only difference between a successful program and a failure is the person involved. This isn’t to say we are all failures just that if the mix isn’t right then the cake won’t rise! So pick the right starting point for you don’t worry too much about all the info out there until you are in a position to sift through what is best for your goals and what works for you. Just get out there and start to make good choices and let the rest start to fall in to place.

FitFarms Quick Fire Fitness and Fat Burn Work Out – SECTION 3

You are stronger than you thinkThis is the third part of the FitFarms quick fire fitness and fat burn work out series.

This is a no equipment basic idea to a routine, assume a 10-15 minute warm up has already been completed.





Section 3

  • Cardio circuit full body
  • Jumping jacks
  • Running on the spot
  • Burpees
  • Jumping lunges
  • Floor to ceiling
  • Side to sides
  • High knees
  • 30 seconds of each with a 10 second test in between

Section 4

  • HIIT circuit
  • Ski lunges/static lunge and pulse
  • Press up/dips
  • Burpees/butt ups into mountain climbers
  • Heismanns/ side lunge and floor touch
  • Pick one super set 20 seconds of each exercise with 20 seconds rest the repeat 5 times

Section 5

  • Tabata
  • Core/abs
  • Plank/ reverse plank
  • V-sit up/ window wipers
  • Deadbugs/treadmills
  • Russian twists/sit-ups
  • Elbows to knees/leg raises
  • 20 seconds of work 10 second change exercise each time

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FitFarms Quick Fire Fitness and Fat Burn Work Out – SECTION 2

Better YouThis is the second part of the FitFarms quick fire fitness and fat burn work out series.

This is a no equipment basic idea to a routine, assume a 10-15 minute warm up has already been completed.





Section 2 – Pre Exhaust

Target muscle groups: Chest shoulders triceps core

  • Press ups
  • Plank
  • Press up Low position hold
  • Hindu press up
  • Mountain climbers
  • Wide to close press up
  • Incline press up
  • Decline press up
  • Dips
  • Archer press ups
  • Treadmills

As above pick 3 and circuit them for 20 reps each for 5 minutes without stopping ( or trying not to stop!


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FitFarms Quick Fire Fitness and Fat Burn Work Out – SECTION 1

You got to burn to shineThis is a no equipment basic idea to a routine, assume a 10-15 minute warm up has already been completed and if you need ideas on that check previous blogs and our YouTube channel for a few.

As with most exercise plans for fat burning or fitness specifically the exercises aren’t as important as the affect they have on the individual so next to our exercises we have put a 0-10 scale 10 being the hardest you could manage for that time period or rep range this way you know you can replace the exercise with one more suited to your level of fitness. Higher or lower? Once completed a cool down of 5 minutes minimum would be encouraged and if time is an issue we have written in sections so you can remove or focus on certain sections to cut down on time.

30 minutes progressive overload routine using non equipment exercises (which can be easily swapped for equipment based exercise if you so wish) enjoy!!

Section 1 Pre Exhaust

Target muscle groups: Glutes hamstrings calves

  • Hip lifts (heels to bum)
  • Kneeling hip extensions
  • Good mornings
  • Hip lifts (legs slightly straighter)
  • Kneeling negative leg curls with weight or partner keeping feet on floor
  • Prone alternate straight leg lift and squeeze
  • Standing calf raise with support if necessary
  • Lunge position calf raise on back leg (lean against wall for added resistance)
  • Repeat on opposite leg
  • Heel lifted squats wide or sumo stance.

Pick 3 exercises 20 reps of each in a circuit and continue to repeat for 5 constant minutes (no rest!)


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FitFarms Dorset Fitness Course Review – November 2017

thank yourselfOur fitness and weight loss retreat is underway! Last night we met the clients had our first meal together, introduced them to the plan for the week and this morning took their measurements before breakfast.

We have a full day of exercise ahead; it’s the first day so we like to make it the fullest!! And the rest of the week will be filled with some Zumba classes, aerobics, and resistance training of many types! Movement based classes, relaxation and yoga based sessions as well as many workshops as we can possibly squeeze in to that short time!

As the week goes by we will spend one to one time with each of the clients helping to make sense of the reasons they have for being here and how best to make good use of what they learn for when they go home. FitFarms is all about a balance in life and above all of the things we want and need are the core principles of what is good for us and what right for us each as an individual.

It’s not a case of one size fits all but choose your own path and make your own terms. It’s an approach that works very well for our clients and can be adapted to whatever brings the clients to us. We want our clients to succeed by themselves for themselves in whatever their aims.

Let’s see if we can help our new group make sense of an easier healthier lifestyle.

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The Plank Technique Exercise

Today we are down at the Weight Loss Retreat Dorset. Rebecca and Andy are taking some time out of the busy weight loss retreat schedule to give you the FitFarms top tips on the plank exercise. Rebecca is doing the voice over and Andy the Weight Loss Retreat health manager is demonstrating the plank position.

Start in the ground position with your hips and elbows resting on the floor making sure that your elbows and feet are exactly shoulder width apart. The you simply brace the core with your toes tucked in lift your self of the floor by pressing down with your elbows and pushing up from your toes. The points to look out for is to to keep your back and glutes flat with your head down.

When you start this exercise make sure you set yourself a short time like twenty seconds and as it becomes easier lengthen the time up to a minute. Please remember that in all exercises good technique is better than a heavy load or a longer time. Once you’ve mastered the technique you increase the intensity and not before as you may cause an injury and also you will not benefit as much as you should from the exercise.

FitFarms Matlock Fitness Course Review – November 2017

river_2It’s a bitterly cold and wet Friday night and all the new FitFarms fitness course clients are all arriving to spend either two, three, five or seven days with us to take part in our fitness course and the weather is awful.

All throughout the afternoon and evening we have people arriving so it’s manic on the Friday but, all goes smoothly which is always a bonus.

There is a wide range of clients on the course and all different ages from 14 to 70+ so, it makes the course interesting for us fitness trainers.

By the time everyone has arrived it’s dark. We started the FitFarms welcome talk to explain to everyone what to expect on the course and if anyone has any questions or worries.

After that, I always do a basic stretch class for everyone. What we have to remember is that a lot of these people have either never exercised or have not done for years. They are very nervous, stressed and worried, or simply just exhausted from their hours and hours travelling to take part on out fitness course, a simple stretch class is a good idea as it calms people down and hopefully will de stress them before the course starts property on the Saturday morning.

Lucky, we don’t have many people with medical issues on the course apart from a few bad knees and a few post operation recovery injuries.

Check out our next FitFarms Fitness Camp Course Schedules and Rates here.

FitFarms Dorset Fitness Course Review – Part 2 – November 2017

Nov 14After a full week of all types of classes we have put all the fitness course clients through I thought I’d give them a bit of fun to complete the course.

The class that was going to take place was a pure abdominal class. I had set all my Music up on my iPad and was telling people to grab a mat and get on their backs to start the programme.

With doing this job for years, you can read peoples body language perfectly and I could tell, that no one wanted to do abs so I thought I’d ask if they were interested in doing a basic Salsa Class and they all jumped up and said YES YES YES!! So, that was made easy as all the FitFarms clients faces light up and energy came back into their bodies. I on the other hand had to re-do all my music that I had already planed!

I asked if anyone had done Salsa before and one person had so I said “right girls, it’s going to be a crash!” Everyone was fine with this as all they wanted to do was have fun and dance.

I taught the basic moves without any music and without a partner before I put the music on.
I’ve never seen so many smiles and laughter in such a short amount of time and it made me smile from ear to ear.

I partnered the weight loss camp guests up and we all did a great dance and the atmosphere was electric. The Fitness boot camp clients where smiling all the way through the class which in return made me smile.

And this comes back to what I always say, exercise is meant to be fun!

Find something you enjoy and look forward to it. There were certainties a few girls in there that found their new fun class……. SALSA!

FitFarms Dorset Fitness Course Review Day 1 – November 2017

Blog 1 FitFarms Nov 2017It’s another long drive down to our Dorset site as our FitFarms Fitness Course is going to be starting this afternoon and it usually takes me about 3 hours and 30 mins but, it never does its always longer!

Anyway, I’m using the FitFarms bus at the moment because I’m carless after my car accident a few weeks ago. So, I’m all loaded and ready to get down to lovely Dorset.

I pull up on to the boot camp site with a dead bum and really wanting a coffee as I see Andy hanging out the window waving at me and pointing which cottages we are in.

Coffee pot on as we sit down and plan the course before all the Fitness clients start arriving on site.

We have a quick look around just to make sure that everything is ok in the rooms for the guests so they can arrive on site and have time to rest before the fitness course starts that evening.

After an afternoon of all the boot camp clients arriving and unpacking, it’s time to start my stretch class. Reason I always do a simple stretch class for all the fitness holiday guests is most will be stressed as a lot do travel great distances to do our FitFarms Fitness Courses and it’s a good idea to calm down and get settled into new surroundings for the week. It also gives me a good idea if there are any problems with postures and which areas to work on most.

Class done and all the clients head off for dinner which Steve has been preparing all afternoon then its chill time for us FitFarms Team and Guests before the course starts bright and early Saturday Morning.

Let the Fitness Course begin!