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Pure Ride Performance

 ‘Your lungs are going to work hard and your bum, hips and legs are going to feel the burn. By the end, your towel won’t have a dry fibre on it’

What is it?

It’s no secret that indoor cycling classes are one of the biggest trends in fitness at the moment. From sessions promising a nightclub vibe to classes that fuse cycling with weight training, there are all kinds of imaginative ways to get fit on a spin bike these days. Pure Ride Performance is for anyone looking to improve their cycling. But although the class is designed with the cyclist in mind, that’s not to say it’s all super serious. Where would an indoor cycling class be without flashing lights, high-energy tunes and a motivational instructor? Whether you opt for a class that focuses on power or endurance, you’re going to have a good time and get a brilliant workout in, too.

 What are the benefits?

Pure Ride Performance focuses on getting you better at those hardcore climbs and increasing your endurance so you can cycle for miles and smash your PB. So it’s safe to say that this is no walk (or cycle) in the park. Each bike has a screen that tells you the RPM you’re hitting, your power output in watts and your resistance. You’re told the levels you should be hitting, so there’s no room for slacking – you’ll be encouraged to go fast, and to turn up the heat. The result? A really tough cycle that you might not be able to push yourself to do on your own.

 How hard is it?

Expect jelly legs. Pushing through a climb for two minutes at high resistance isn’t easy, and at times it feels like you’re trying to pedal through treacle. But by the time your recovery period comes around, you really feel like you’ve earned it. Regardless of whether the session is centred on power or endurance, your lungs are going to work hard and your bum, hips and legs will feel the burn. By the end, your towel won’t have a dry fibre on it.

  Where is it?

Pure Ride in Moorgate, London. Classes are £20, but prices drop when you buy credits in bulk. Visit pureride.co.uk for more information.

The ultimate squat challenge

The original squat should always be a move that features in your workouts, but sometimes shaking things up a little can help you achieve new goals, break through plateaus and add extra challenges.

For those who find regular squat technique tough, this is the ultimate squat challenge and handy way to work those same muscle groups. ‘Single-leg movements are
known to help you make big strength gains and will also improve your balance and posture as you target the quads and glutes,’ explains lead trainer at Reach Fitness, Richard Tidmarsh.

Finding your balance and controlling the movement might take a little practice, but like they say, practice makes perfect. ‘Control tends to improve quickly, and you can then progress from using just your bodyweight to holding dumbbells, all the way through to using a barbell inside a rack to keep things moving forward,’ adds Richard. When it comes to lifting weights and working your lower body, inching your way to constant improvements is key to gaining strength and mastering the move.

Split squat

Areas trained: bottom, quads 

Technique

Stand facing away from a box that’s 15-30cm from the floor. Too high, and your back will arch. Place the ball of your right foot onto the box behind you and your left foot into a lunge position, a good distance away from the box.

Keeping your body in a strong upright position, bend your left knee, keeping your heel flat on
the floor, until your back knee gently touches the floor.

Push back up to the start and repeat.

Beginners should start with eight reps on each side for three to four sets, to get used to the movement pattern. Once you’ve mastered this, hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides, increasing the weights as you get stronger. Advanced lifters can work inside a rack and backload a barbell.

Get fit for summer

Summer is on its way (we hope!). Maybe you’re planning to go away and have been fretting about gaining a few extra pounds around your waistline. Not to mention the dreaded cellulite you discovered when when you got your bikini out.

There’s nothing like a beach holiday to get you motivated to loose weight so, before you pack your shorts and skimpy dresses, maybe it’s time to get rid of toxins, fat and fluids trapped under the skin. The quickest way? Up your fitness regime. Using the right fitness equipment, at home or in the gym, will help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.

Whether it’s a bike, treadmill or simply a fitness mat to do leg raises, the right equipment and exercise all help the battle against cellulite. Eating coloured fruits such as papaya and mango is another way to get to grips with unsightly orange peel, while green tea has long been recognised as a natural fat buster.

But don’t think you’ll have to go hungry – there are plenty of foods you can eat that won’t make you pile on the pounds. There’s everything from brown rice to fruit and vegetables, nutritional yoghurts and even healthy popcorn, while lean protein such as fish and chicken is perfect for keeping hunger pangs at bay. You can find healthy, tasty recipes online.

If you haven’t exercised for a while, start off with easy leg raise repetitions, sit-ups and calf stretches. These can be done at home or at your local gym. When out and about, take the stairs instead of using the elevator, leave the car at home and cycle to work and go swimming instead of staying at home and watching TV. A change in lifestyle and a positive attitude will go a long way, as will having a session with a PT or working out in a group. So, to look good, in shape and ready to go for the summer, intensify your workout.

Need a bit of inspiration? Strengthen glutes and hamstrings with the Roman deadlift. It’s one of the most effective moves, using muscles that are essential for other exercises that involve lifting, jumping or sprinting. It won’t be long before your overall body strength and conditioning improves dramatically, making you feel and look good.

If you really want to go for it, training for a half marathon will take your fitness workout to the next level, help you lose weight and give you the body you’re looking for. What are you waiting for?

Dead strong

Never tried a deadlift before? You’re missing out. ‘You need to be doing this move,’ says Richard Tidmarsh, lead trainer at London’s Reach Fitness. Here at WF, we’ve long been huge advocates of lifting weights, but it’s nice to see such a huge phenomenon take off thanks to its benefits for strength, fat loss and wellbeing.

But let’s get one thing straight: you can only reap these amazing benefits if you’re doing it properly. ‘Awful form, wasting time on isolate movements and using weights that are too light or too heavy are all common mistakes,’ says Richard.

So let’s take a step back and look at the humble deadlift. ‘It works pretty much every major muscle group in your body hitting your back, glutes, legs and core. So, if you get it right, it’ll improve your posture and strength – and, with time and the right training plan, will be a huge weapon in your armoury to add lean tissue to your body.’

Deadlift

Technique

Set up behind the bar with it touching your shins. Hinge at the hips and knees taking a grip a little wider than shoulder-width apart. With your weight in your heels and spine long and straight, prepare to lift with your chin in a neutral position.

-Now with a deep breath in that you will hold tight during this phase, simultaneously push down through the floor with your heels and drive up with your hips and legs to lift the bar. Maintain a straight spine with your shoulder blades pulled together throughout with your core and back engaged.

-Finish the lift by locking out to full hip extension and standing up straight with the bar tight against you, your back and glutes engaged. You then return the bar in reverse order to the floor, maintaining the positive spine position to execute the lift.

Safety tip

Start with a weight you are comfortable with to get your form perfect. If you have poor spine and hip mobility, you will not be able to get into a good lifting position. So work on these areas of movement before even considering doing this lift.

Meet our expert

Richard Tidmarsh is the owner and lead trainer of Reach Fitness London and trains international athletes such as UFC fighter Jimi Manuwa, as well as celebs such as Jessie Ware and Millie Mackintosh.

Check out Reach at r4reach.com or follow Richard’s Twitter and Instagram for news on his forthcoming training events and seminars.

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