Christmas motivation

With Christmas just around the corner, wintry weather and the dark nights it’s easy to lose your motivation throughout the day and instead of heading to the gym after work you decide that you’ll just head for home … sound familiar?!?

Here are some simple ideas to try and help you get to the gym and have a great workout:

  • Keep your gym gear in the car, that way there’s no excuse to go home first and then end up staying there
  • Pre-book a class so that you have something booked and a reason to go
  • Arrange to meet someone at the gym to train with, that way you should feel more motivated as you won’t want to let them down, you’ve made the commitment!
  • Listen to some upbeat and motivational music while you’re in the car on the way to the gym
  • Make sure you have eaten enough and drunk enough water throughout the day so that you have the energy for your workout and don’t feel tired or sluggish


Just think how great you’ll feel when it comes to Christmas day – you’ll enjoy your Christmas dinner even more!

Under promise and over deliver

We’re into the last quarter of the year so how are those fitness goals going?

Often we can set ourselves unrealistic plans at the start of the year and rapidly our enthusiasm diminishes.  We start off by saying we’ll go to the gym five times a week, clean eat Monday through Friday, cut out alcohol, sweets and treats.

In reality this lasts a week or two at most with a promise to start again come Monday.
The reason this plan fails is that it’s too much of a behaviour change.

Why not instead set a plan to increase activity, improve your eating, and reduce treats and alcohol incrementally.

By under promising and over delivering rather than over promising and under delivering you give yourself a much greater opportunity for success and changing your behaviour long term.

If your goals need a bit of revival as we head into the later stages of the year, stop and reflect where you are, consider what’s manageable for you and give yourself a jump start:

  1. Set realistic, incremental goals
    Under promise and over deliver
  2. Be clear on why you want it
    Fuel your motivation
    Invest in yourself
  3. Try something new
    See our “I am Team GB” article from last month.

Maybe you’re looking to make big changes to your health and fitness.  If you’d like some help get in touch with us via email at


Competing in my first Powerlifting Meet – Part 2

The week leading up to the meet I wasn’t too nervous but I’m not sure if that’s because I wasn’t really sure what to expect?

Training was quite light in the ways of volume but still with a high enough weight, just so I had still lifted heavy. Unfortunately everything felt really heavy which then got me a bit worried.  I spoke to Bruce about it and he said not to worry as I’d done all my training and I would be fine and it was probably just because I was training on my own and it felt a bit flat. With that, I tried not to over think it, accept I’d done my training, and at the end of the day I can only lift what I can lift.

We left to head down to the meet on the Friday afternoon even though the ladies weren’t until Sunday, the guys were Saturday so we went down to support them, being that we were going as a team.

Saturday morning the guys needed to be there for 8.30 to weigh in, we went along about 10 as lifting didn’t start until 10.30.

When we walked into the room where the meet was being held my stomach sank!! The room wasn’t that big and was set out a bit like a wedding but instead of an alter, there was the rack…. Rows and rows of chairs laid out with a walkway through the middle. I hadn’t realised that people would be sitting that close to us?

Lifting got underway and I soon got used to it and realised that not everyone was paying attention to everyone as most of them had come to watch someone specific.

It was a long day as there was about double the amount of guys competing to women. The guys all did well but only Calum managed to qualify for the Scottish championships.

Sunday morning arrived and we went for breakfast, and to be honest I wasn’t really that hungry but ate a slice of toast with scrambled egg.  As I was 3kg under my weight category I didn’t need to worry about making weight.

When we reached Raw Anatomy (the venue) we dumped our stuff in a corner of the gym and queued up to weigh in. I weighed in at 68.9 and gave my opening lifts, which has to be done at the same time so I went for 85kg squat, 50kg bench and 115kg deadlift. The weights on opening lifts can be changed closer to lifting if need be.

Lifting started at 11 for us so there was a bit of time to pass so we snacked and got hydrated. I started stretching and warming up at about 10.30 when Barry arrived. We didn’t go too heavy or do too much in warm up as I guess you know you can lift the weight, it’s just a case of doing it at the time.

I was about 5th to go for my squat, they called my name and said bar is loaded (you have 1 minute from that time to start your lift) I wasn’t too nervous so walked up to the platform and got set up.

There is a judge sitting right in front of you and one to each side and spotters behind you. The guys were right, you don’t really notice everyone watching. I un-racked and waited for the call to “squat” 85kg is pretty comfortable so it felt ok. At the top again you have to wait for a command to “rack” or it’s a failed lift.

I got 2 white lights from the side judges but a red from the one in front of me? Which I wasn’t quite sure what it was for?

You have 1 minute from that lift to submit your next weight so we went with 92.5kg.

You don’t go anywhere once the lifting has started, you just stay to the side and keep warm until it’s your turn to lift again. Which doesn’t take that long!

My second lift went very much the same as my first but again I got a red light from the judge in front of me. The side judge called me over and said she was flagging me on depth but that she couldn’t see as clearly as them and I was fine. My last lift we put in for 97.5 even though it had been my hope to go for 100 but after being flagged twice we went safe. However on my last lift I got 2 red lights therefore a failed lift (again on depth) so my squat total was 92.5kg

Warm up for the bench while the other weight categories did their squats. Bench was feeling good, I felt strong and this showed when I was called for my first lift. I got myself set up and waited for the call to “bench” you have to hold at the bottom until the bar is completely still then you get the command to “press” and then “rack” at the top.

My first and second lift of 55kg flew up. My last lift was to be 57.5kg as you can only go up in 2.5kg increments unless you’re going for a record. I had attempted this weight a couple of times in training but failed it. I did start to think about this however the bar had flew up that easily that I thought “todays the day”.

When she called “bench” I lowered the bar and paused at the bottom but it felt like ages… when she eventually said “press” I didn’t have my feet set in the right position to push up through them and my bum lifted off the bench (an automatic failed lift) which in my head was like oh no. I put it back on the bench and tried to press the bar but by this time had lost my tightness and the bar was wobbling about so that was it, a failed lift so my bench was 55kg.

PowerliftingDeadlift warm up commenced and again they felt good, except I kept getting a head rush but Hayley who I had met that morning and was also competing for the first time, gave me some haribo, sugar hit!!! This helped.

My opening lift was 115kg and it flew off the ground. My second lift we put in as 122.5 just to be a bit safe after failing my 3rd lift in the previous two disciplines. That also flew up so Baz told me we were going for 130kg and I wasn’t getting an option as the second lift had flew up. 130kg it was, I had done this once in training but it had been hard and not very pretty!!

I started to get a bit nervous and Baz told me I’d have to dig deep for it but that I would get it. “Jen Innes, bar is loaded” it was me… so I walked up to the bar, I could hear everyone shouting for me… I took a breath, bent down, grabbed the bar and drove through the floor and it seemed to just fly up off the floor, I could feel myself smiling at the top until the judge said “down” (the only command in a deadlift) I had done it, I about knocked the chalk box over whilst giving Baz a high five!!!

I had also totalled 277.5kg which was over the 255kg total needed to qualify for the Scottish Championships in Motherwell on the 27th of May.

I had a great experience and after saying I would only do it once it would be daft not to take part in the Scottish after qualifying! So the journey continues with the aim of achieving 3 new PB’s. Watch this space……!

Entering and training for my first Powerlifting Meet

I made the decision to enter a powerlifting meet after Barry (my PT) suggested it might be something that would appeal to me.  I didn’t give it too much thought at first and went along with it whilst still not being convinced about it.

I didn’t announce to anyone that I was doing it until the end of last year, I guess it kept the pressure off me and to be honest I wasn’t confident that I would actually go through with it.

My training went well and I made consistent gains in all 3 lifts (squat, bench and deadlift).  Then in September I had some bother with my lower back.  I eventually managed to get that resolved but I was concerned about how much it had hampered my training.

Powerlifting part 1 - trainingI found it quite difficult to train after a while, not physically, more my enthusiasm.  The training is very repetitive as you are always working on the 3 lifts therefore 3 days a week doing squats, bench and deadlift with some accessory work can get pretty boring!

At the start of the year it was suggested that we all trained as a group.  There were 5 of us training for the competition (or Meet as it is known).  So every Sunday we met at Barry’s gym and we trained together.

At the first session I was having a meltdown about my back.  It was still niggling at me and there were a few other things that were going on at the tie which were stressing me out.  As most of you will know, I’m not a stressed person.

It was suggested that maybe I should leave it and enter another Meet later in the year but I wasn’t away to give up after training so hard.  We decided that I should keep training and see how it went; if I needed to pull out nearer the time then I could.

At that first group session I couldn’t squat more than 65kg without my back niggling so I was nervous but I felt much better after training with everyone as a group.

Powerlifting part 1The following week I had another appointment at the osteopath and that seemed to do the trick as my back felt much better.  I managed to gradually build up my squat weights again.  Before long I forgot that my back had even been an issue.

Training on those Sunday sessions made a huge difference to my lifting.  I think just being in a group of people, all training towards the same goal, motivating and encouraging one another, and the adrenaline that came from that, gave my lifting a real boost.