Muscle soreness is not a sign of a good workout.

“My legs hurt so much i can barely get up and down the stairs, must be doing me some good”

“My Abs hurt to cough, what a great workout”

These are a couple of common phrases associated with muscle soreness.

In fitness circles this is also known as DOMS. This stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It is the feeling we may get 24-48 hours after we have exercised.

So lets delve a little deeper into what it is, why it occurs,why its not necessarily a sign of a good workout and why it could be a bad thing for your training..

DOMS can be a familiar experience for us all, symptoms can include mild muscle tenderness to severe debilitating pain.

DOMS is most prevalent in individuals who return to exercise after a period of time off and also common when we are first introduced to new activities. 

Sound familiar?

Exercise that requires a lot of Eccentric type loading (slow muscle lengthening) causes more Muscle damage and therefore more soreness.

(Think lots of slow squats, negative pull-ups etc).

Intensity and duration of exercise is also a big factor of DOMS.

Done something you’ve never done before? You may well feel it the day after.

Completed more reps or a greater distance than you ever have before? – you may feel that too!

Worked harder than you usually do? – Yep DOMS.

In technical Jargon

 Up to six hypothesised theories have been proposed for the mechanism of DOMS, namely: lactic acid, muscle spasm, connective tissue damage, muscle damage, inflammation and the enzyme efflux theories. However, an integration of two or more theories is likely to explain muscle soreness.” – Cheung 2003

Although we associate DOMS with being a sign of a good workout the truth is it isn’t.

We could’ve done something for the first time. 

Not trained in a while.

Increased duration and or intensity of our exercise by quite abit more than normal.

Or simply done some more eccentric loading within our training. 

The truth is DOMS isn’t a sign of a well structured, individualised and progressive training program but just a by product of training – sometimes we get sore, sometimes we may not get as sore. 

A wise man once said – “Any trainer can make a client sore, but can they provide a training program thats progressive and provides long term results while keeping the client engaged and invested in the process?”

DOMS can actually also be a bad thing – “Alterations in muscle sequencing and recruitment patterns may also occur, causing unaccustomed stress to be placed on muscle ligaments and tendons increasing risk of injury. –  Cheung 2003

We specialise in resistance based training which can notoriously lead to DOMS, especially in beginners if volume isn’t managed appropriately. 

Believe us we hear stories of people with previous experiences with trainers. We ourselves were new to the industry once and I’ll fully admit my failings when i was a fresh faced PT straight from school with no experience working with general population clients. Some i am surprised kept coming back with the crazy workouts i made them do!

Fortunately we have learnt a thing or two!

From our experience of working with individuals DOMS can be quite unpleasant and largely unavoidable with the right approach to training. DOMS can be off-putting to new starters if too severe. 

The last thing we want to do to a new client who has been plucking up the courage to take those first steps into fitness with us is leave them unable to get off the toilet. What a way to knock their confidence and what a first impression… 

We can make great progress, get stronger, build muscle and lose weight without the need of being particularly sore. Don’t get us wrong, some clients love to be a little sore, they do see it as a sign of working hard or like feeling certain muscles, but theres a definite line. 

So please please please don’t misinterpret what DOMS is or see it as a marker of a god workout. Any Tom Dick or Harry can put someone through a circuit and leave them sore. 

But are they teaching great technique, prescribing approbate exercises to strengthen potential weak areas, prescribing appropriate sets and reps and training in a way thats aligned to your goals?

These are the real questions we should be asking from a training program.

So to conclude 

  • DOMS isn’t the sign of a good workout, merely a by product.
  • progress (in whatever form you track) is a better gauge 
  • It can increase risk of injury
  • ITs freaking horrible going about daily life struggling up and down stairs so why anyone would want to feel like that i don’t know\
  • However a little DOMS is actually quite satisfying?

Happy training!

What, you still go to the gym or are exercising now you’re pregnant?!

I hear so many people say “its not good for the baby training while pregnant” or “you should enjoy putting your feet up and eating whatever you like”.
In our opinion this is crazy as there are soooo many benefits of training throughout pregnancy.

So here are a few:

1 – You’re likely to gain less weight.
Research shows exercising when pregnant can lead individuals putting on 7 pound less than pregnant women who don’t work out, while still staying within the healthy gain range.

2 – Labor and delivery may be easier.

No guarantees, of course, but strong abs and a fit cardiovascular system can give you more oomph and stamina for the pushing stage. One study found that prenatal water aerobics regulars were 58 percent less likely to request pain medication during labor than non-exercisers.

3 – You lower your gestational diabetes risk by as much as 27


High blood sugar during pregnancy puts you at extremely high risk for developing type II diabetes in the decade after delivering and raises
the odds of preterm delivery or having an overweight baby. If you do develop it—and many fit women do because genetics and age play a significant role—exercise may help prevent or delay your need for insulin or other medications.

4 – You get that “prenatal training session high.”

Active mums – to be report better moods than their sedentary peers, both immediately following a workout and in general throughout their pregnancies. Our mental health is juut as important as our physical health during pregnancy.

5 – You’re less likely to cry, “Oh, my aching back.”

Around two-thirds of pregnant women experience back pain, but water workouts, pelvic tilts, and yoga can offer relief. Exercise during the second half of pregnancy seems to be especially helpful.

6 – You’re less likely to get constipated.

Pregnant women’s intestinal tracts often get backed up due to high progesterone levels and a growing uterus, but exercise, along with a high-fiber diet, keeps your digestive system humming.

7 – You have more energy.

On days when lifting your remote control seems like a tall order, even a 10-minute walk can revive you.

8 – Odds are, you’ll deliver a svelter baby.

Babies born with excess fat are significantly more likely to become overweight kindergarteners, and overweight newborns of moms with gestational diabetes are more prone to develop diabetes later in life

9 – You can enjoy the greatest flexibility of your life.

Relaxin, a pregnancy hormone that loosens your pelvic joints in preparation for delivery, also relaxes the rest of your joints. With careful stretches, like those done in prenatal yoga workouts, you can capitalise on this window of opportunity.

10 – You feel less like a beached whale and more like a hot mama.

Women who exercise throughout pregnancy have a better body image than those who sit out the nine months.


11 – Your labor may be shorter.

A landmark study found that among well- conditioned women who delivered vaginally, those who had continued training throughout their pregnancy experienced active labor for 4 hours and 24 minutes compared with 6 hours and 22 minutes for those who’d quit training early on. Two hours less of hard labor is nothing to sneer at!

12 – You’ll likely experience less leg swelling.

Your body retains more fluid during pregnancy, and your growing uterus puts pressure on your veins, impairing the return of blood to your heart. Exercise can limit swelling by improving blood flow.

13 – You’ll meet other expectant moms in a prenatal exercise class.

Get their phone numbers; you may be meeting up for playdates or babysitting co-ops soon!

14 – You’re more likely to avoid prenatal depression.

This is especially true if you exercise outdoors because bright light has antidepressant effects. Some 12 percent to 20 percent of pregnant women experience depression, which is linked to poor sleep and marital problems after delivery.

15 – You might sleep better.

Some pregnant women who work out say they fall asleep faster, slumber more soundly, and snooze longer than inactive mums-to-be.

16. You feel more in control.

When your body is changing in all kinds of wacky ways and your entire life is about to be transformed in huge, unknown ways, a regular exercise routine offers consistency and the knowledge that you’re doing something great for both yourself and your baby. Feeling in control is a powerful thing.

17. You look better.

Exercise increases blood flow to your skin, enhancing that pregnancy glow. Plus, when you’re calmer and fitter, it shows.


So to conclude, Please tell me  how is exercising bad for you during pregnancy???

A huge mention to Suzanne Schlosberg for a lot of the great information! found here!

If you are focussing on calories burned during a strength training session then you are completely missing the point.

Whilst being aware of how many calories you’ve burnt during a strength training session isn’t necessarily a bad thing, its when people put their main focus on it is when it becomes a problem.

Hear me out…

The whole purpose of weight training sessions is to get stronger and build muscle.

The more muscle you have, the higher your Basal Metabolic Rate is (your “metabolism” or how many calories you burn by just being alive).

The higher your Basal Metabolic Rate is, the more calories you burn throughout the day.

The more calories you burn throughout the day, the easier it is to get into a caloric deficit, lose body fat and stay lean PLUS you can consume more energy whilst maintaining your weight (more food yay).

If you are burning more calories throughout the day EVERY SINGLE DAY…

…then this will make a GIGANTIC difference to how many calories you burn overall.

Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the biggest contributor to your daily energy expenditure (around 70%) which means that it is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck, should you be willing to put the work in to develop it.

Lets look at a very hypothetical example.

Say if you gained some muscle mass, which then meant a year later you were burning 200 calories MORE per day.

200 x 365 = 73,000 calories burnt EXTRA over the subsequent year whilst just simply being alive.

Now, compare that to getting sweaty in the gym for an hour, not focussing on getting stronger and you burn 400 calories…

…because you haven’t given the body a stimulus to grow muscle tissue, your Basal Metabolic Rate is going to stay very similar.

Thus, you would need to continuously put in work in the gym in order to burn that energy.

To burn the same amount of energy, you would have to complete 182.5 training sessions at 400 calories each time.

Now those are very arbitrary numbers but I feel it demonstrates the point well.

Take home:

Lift heavy.

Get stronger.

Build muscle.

Instead of only focussing on how many calories you burn each session.

Your BMR is 70% of your daily energy expenditure which is why it is so valuable to focus your efforts there as it will have an exponential effect on the calories your burn outside of your training sessions.

I hope you found that valuable and would love to hear if you have any questions! Just hit a quick reply to this email.

Happy training!


Team Fortitude

P.S. When you’re ready, if you’ve gained value from our content and are serious about getting into the best shape of your life, then here are 4 ways in which we can help you achieve this:

1. Download our free “Five Pillars to Health & Fitness Success” guide

This free guide will show you the five key areas you need to work on in order to make drastic improvements to your life, with simple actionable points for you to implement straight away. Click HERE

2. Watch our 30-Minute Getting The Most Out Of Your Training seminar

This free training will teach you the key theory underpinning the training process, help you understand where you are during your training timeline and how you can practically apply this to ensure MAXIMUM results. Click HERE

3. Join our 30 Day Trial

Our 30 Day Trial is your opportunity to fall in love with the gym, and our opportunity to get to know you, what your experience level is and what you’d like to achieve. Click HERE

4. Apply for our Online Coaching service

For those of you who are not based near enough to us to train in-person, then our Online Coaching allows you to receive the same personal accountability and bespoke guidance as our members do in-person, all via our Online Coaching platform. This is designed to help you build quality strength and muscle, shed unwanted body fat and seriously grow your confidence. Click HERE

Why 2020 should be the year you forget quick fixes and invest in your long term health

January is here, we have overindulged (i say we because i know i have and I’m assuming you’re taking time to read this as you have also). We are feeling pretty sluggish and generally not too good about ourselves. The new year is here and we see it as the perfect time to make some changes.

Motivation is high!

We are in the business of helping people and we pride ourselves on our work.

We are proud of the community we create by bringing people together through fitness and the truly life changing experience that people have when they immerse themselves within it.

Over the last 3 years (and many years before that) we have learnt a few things, we have helped a few people, we have grown as coaches (in numerous ways) and we have created something that is much bigger than ourselves. 

We dedicate our lives to helping people improve theirs and wanted to share a few thoughts on our experiences and why 2020 should be a year where you end your obsession with quick fixes and focus on investing in your long term health.

So what do we mean by that statement?

January is here, we have overindulged (i say we because i know i have and I’m assuming you’re taking time to read this as you have also). We are feeling pretty sluggish and generally not too good about ourselves. The new year is here and we see it as the perfect time to make some changes.

Motivation is high!

However what can happen is we get dragged in by these false promises of results in 10 days, 14 days-30 days with no hint of sustainability. 

They promise the world in such a short space of time and actually when these quick fixes/challenges/programmes are followed, will provide decent results for individuals.

But what happens after? 

Where are the people that take up said challenges or choose a supplement plan or company in 1-2-3 years?

Where are you now after finishing ‘x’ diet or challenge?

Probably still investing money or considering in investing into these same type of products. – ‘SIGH’

So why are we so passionate about this?

Because we’ve been there.

2 years ago we ran a Biggest Loser Challenge thinking we’d be different to these normal challenges and weight loss programmes. We talked about sustainable dieting, calorie control, non restrictive dieting and much more and made education a priority.

The guys in the program trained with us alongside being super adherent with their nutrition and they made a huge effort to be more active – increasing their daily step counts ten fold.

Sh*t, we had some amazing results!

The group was amazing and we loved having such an impact on people and kick starting them on their journey.


If we go back through these individuals, where are they now?

How many have sustained their results?

Fortunately some have (which can be quite rare in these programmes so we are proud of that) some still train with us multiple times a week which is awesome!

But most? As soon as the accountability disappeared, over time they unfortunately regressed. 

Thats not cool and goes against everything we preach on sustainable dieting/training.

Don’t get us wrong we aren’t against people achieving great results in short time periods, but we want to know they have things in place that means they can sustain their hard work.

It’s no secret that most those who haven’t regressed are the ones who carried on training with us.

We want people to be healthy for life not just post Christmas. 

Which is the sole reason as to why we haven’t ran one since.   

Invest in your health

So what do we mean when talking about investing in your long term health?

What other options are there apart from these quick fixes?

Simple – Surround yourself with a community of like minded people who share similar values to your own and are supportive of your goals because even people closest to you may not be. 

People help make people better – FACT

One other thing to do is to commit to some form of muscle building exercise 2-3 times per week.

Everyone wants to lose weight and idolises a certain physique and uses the classic cliche ‘i need to look like this in 2020’. 

Nowadays most of these physiques are more athletic looking with muscle tone. 

Yet individuals are going on these diets but not participating in any form of training?

Strength raining alone has been shown to not be amazing for weight loss

Just dieting alone isn’t that great either 

Strength training and dieting together have been proving king (or queen) when it comes to long term sustainable success – which is why we preach the crap out of it.

Strength training also brings us many under appreciated benefits that go far beyond just losing weight but allow us to live longer more fulfilling, happier stress free lives.

It’s truly life changing stuff.

Unfortunately most (certainly not all) of us are motivated to make changes due to the way we look, however we should really care about the state of our health as we start to get older, our ability to perform daily tasks is taken for granted but requires us to be mobile and strong. 

To summarise this New years ramble.

  • Forget fads – they’ll satisfy your short term needs but its unlikely they’ll be sustained without continued support and accountability to someone. They’ll also empty your wallets – not cool.


  • Losing weight is great and i am not the biggest hater of fast results (it keeps people highly motivated) however there needs to be a clear long term strategy and an end point  where weight maintenance is achieved. 


  • Invest in your health – you get one chance at this whole life thing – make the most out of it. Invest 2-3 hours of time and the price of a cup of coffee a day in living a better quality and pain free existence. It genuinely saddens me seeing people struggle with daily tasks or become unable to do the things they love because they didn’t invest some time into themselves and participate or value the importance of muscle strengthening exercise. Its entirely preventable and its never too late to do something. One of the most rewarding things we do is work with people with limitations improve their quality of life through strength training.


  • Strength training and Dieting is king for long term weight-loss success – make this your resolution and don’t believe what the fad dieter will try and tell you.


  • Find a community of people who support your goals. Doing things alone is hard! Trust me i have been there, tried that and failed, miserably. I wouldn’t be the person i am today without the people i have around me.

The New Year is a great time to hit refresh and we would love to see people make it a successful one, one where they don’t end up in the same position next year. 

Fortitude – the gift that keeps on giving. Reconditioning a 47 year old body with Semi-Private Personal Training

After 12 months of training at Fortitude I’d hit some pretty cool personal fitness goals; lost 20kg of body fat and completed a half-Ironman distance triathlon. 

As great as this was, I’d also noticed quite a few niggles with my 47 year old body that were hampering my performance and causing injuries.  The mobility and stretching work done in the three Strength and Conditioning (S&C) classes a week I attended had initially made a huge difference to my mobility, but after 12 months I’d plateaued; my hips and shoulders refusing to increase their range of motion further leading to some niggly irritations.  I had also stopped making progress with the weights I was lifting.

Speaking to Isaac and Josh, I discovered they were about to start a new program: Semi-Private Training.  It combines the group camaraderie of the classes with personal programming addressing my specific goals.  With two sessions of targeted training a week, plus two S&C classes I should be able to make some more progress!


Simon has lost 20KG and made some amazing progress this year!

The first step was a meeting with Josh to discuss my fitness goals.  I’d noticed how mobile and strong my 7 and 9 year old sons were; jumping and twisting on the trampoline, running, leaping and swinging off things without fear of injury.  Climbing trees and generally being little monkeys!  I’m pretty sure I used to be like that into my 20’s, before desk jobs and a more sedentary lifestyle took its toll on my body. 

Could Josh help me recondition my middle-aged and neglected body?  Well, there’s no harm in trying…..Project Monkey was born!! 

After an initial assessment Josh put together a programme that would increase my hip and shoulder mobility and strength, strengthen my core, and work towards body weight exercises such as handstand push-ups and ring dips.   

Along the way, weve found a few limitations that needed unpacking and addressing.  It turns out Id been using my shoulders to bench-press and do press-ups, leading to an under-developed chest and poor brain-muscle connection.  This meant I couldn’t support myself on the rings.  My right shoulder was also pretty jammed up with very tight muscles front and back causing poor mobility. 

More scapula function exercises were added to the programme to get the correct muscles working again.  The real benefit here is having a reactive, bespoke programme.  It gets fine-tuned as you move through it and addresses emergent issues, leading to much faster progress and less frustration.

My programme is not glamorous at all, lots of static holds in uncomfortable positions, but its been really effective.  In 10 weeks, I’ve gone from no handstand ability at all to being able to do, reduced range, strict handstand push-ups.  I can now support myself on the rings and do band-assisted dips on the bars.  I’d been struggling with a groin strain from playing touch rugby.  The hip mobility and strengthening work has paid dividends here, allowing me to run, twist and jump with more confidence.  This is just the start; we’re going to add some pull-up progression work to the programme next and continue the other skills too.

Simons hard work, patience and consistency has allowed us to make huge progress towards his specific goals.


I love it so much in fact, that I’m going to move to a full personal programme; 2 sessions training in open gym and 2 days semi-private training. 

If you’ve reached a plateau with your training, I’d highly recommend talking to the coaches about a personal programme.  Especially now you can still do it in a group environment, keeping that awesome Fortitude community encouragement and mutual support that sets it apart from other gyms.

Simon is more stable. more mobile and able to move well in more complex exercises such as the Snatch.

My First 30 days – New Home, New Gym, New Friends.

Regardless if you’re a first timer or a hard-core lifting expert, egos are left at the door.

I have always been into fitness, for 10 years I swam competitively and since I gave that up, I felt a bit lost. So, when I moved to Bristol for Uni, I got a PT and got really into regular training at the gym.

I outgrew this and decided to do it alone and joined a weightlifting specific gym in central Bristol which I thoroughly enjoyed. I then moved to a new house and so moved gyms, signed up to a half ironman, trained hard for that and then and lost motivation slightly since.

I never really got back into a rhythm or found a gym with a community that kept me going as regularly or pushed me as hard as I wanted. It’s always hard to stay motivated when results plateau and that’s when you need other factors to keep you at it! I have always fancied CrossFit style of training, but in Bristol it was ridiculously expensive and so I never got involved and stuck to the big chain gyms.

Before moving to Lydney I researched local gyms and loved the ethos and community feel about Fortitude. I was chatting to the team on messenger and they were really lovely and helpful so when I moved, I thought I’d give it a go!

I signed up to a 30-day trial with Fortitude to get my love for training and my routine back, I loved the fact I could do S&C, Barbell and Fortifit, Whether I had done any before or not!

I have really enjoyed my first 30 days at fortitude, I am new to the area so have met lots of new people, and the positive vibes that come from everybody is awesome! Regardless if you’re a first timer or a hard-core lifting expert, egos are left at the door.

It took a couple of weeks to get back into it, but I seem to have got into a rhythm with S&C and have started moving my weights up and gaining in confidence again. I am now looking to venture to some Fortifit classes and Barbell too. I also (stupidly, but with absolutely no regrets) signed up to their Halloween Throwdown and loved a day of gruelling pain, but mostly fun.


Again, a great way to meet people and its my kind of socialising! I Look forward to more events and variety of classes with the community in the near future.

I have predominantly been going to S&C and have started on a Bronze 3 day/week membership. I have been reminding my muscles of the moves, re-honing previous gym experience and building confidence. Now I am beginning to push my weights back up again which is a really good feeling. When I train without supervision, I tend to not push myself as much as I know I can and can be scared of failing.

With the coaches and others about I know they will help me push my limits and I will start seeing results. I also now look forward to more of this, but also introducing a variety of classes such as Fortifit, Barbell and trying some Team WODs. I’ll be upping my membership to Silver meaning I can experience unlimited fun!

I have always been into fitness, so I don’t know any different, and when I don’t train it really affects my mood and general wellbeing both mentally and physically. Getting back into a routine I always notice a difference in attitude and general productiveness to life. I am hoping to start seeing physical benefits and results again too as by-product of this. As my training begins to increase in capacity and get into a steady routine, I can then start making some changes to diet and other lifestyle choices to push this further again. I’d like to get back to where I was, but then that’s what everyone says! So, instead I’m looking forward to embarking on this new journey and seeing where it can take me!


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The 10 Commandments of Fortitude

At Fortitude we are all about community and creating positive exercise experiences for our members.

We want to work with people who share our values and beliefs as we strive to create a supportive and inclusive fitness community.

So we collectively as coaches have sat down and spent some time coming up with 10 commandments we believe in and support our mission.


 1 – Make everyone welcome.

Remember how you felt when you first started.

Going to a gym can be an intimidating thing and takes a lot of courage to get in contact and get started in the first place. So make an effort to say hello.

Positive reassurance and a welcoming face goes a long way.

 2 – Celebrate other peoples success.

As a fitness community we want members to be proud of their success.

Outside of a fitness environment friends/family and peers support towards our goals isn’t always there so the best thing we can do is a be a place where success is celebrated and shared.

 3 – Check yourself, before you wreck yourself – leave your ego at the door.

We are all about sustainability. We want you to make great progress in 30 days, 3 months, 6 months and beyond.

We are just as impressed by seeing a demonstration of perfect technique as we are by how much people lift. We encourage perfect movement over load and some of the stuff we do is technical and requires lots of time spent perfecting movement.

So all egos should remain firmly at the door.

4 – Get kit out, put kit away. (Josh included).

We want to coach and better peoples lives, not spend our time packing kit away.

 5 – Be Coachable and respect all coaches 

We strive to be experts in what we do and coaching is our passion. We invest heavily in our education and our practice.

All we want from our members is the ability to be coachable and to respect all coaches.

Coaches are here to help you towards your goal not hold you back.

6 – Never be hesitant to ask for help

We are your coaches and our invested in and care about your journey.

Our job is to help and if we can’t we are sure to point you in a direction of someone who can. Never feel like you can’t contact us regarding anything,

We are more than happy to help and there are no stupid questions.

 7 – Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Training should be fun and purposeful. We like to drink beer together, socialise together and take part in fancy dress.

We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we encourage members not to either.

8 – If you bleed, sweat, cry or get chalk all over it, clean it.

You wouldn’t not wipe your bum, so wipe the kit down when you’re done.


9 – Refer to rule number 1.

Go take another read…

10 – Don’t be a D*ck.

D*cks come in many forms, don’t be one.

Pre and Post Natal Coaching At Fortitude!

Hey, I just want to give you  guys a little insight of why I am passionate about helping ladies though the  most magical time of their lives. 

I am a mum of three beautiful girls and I experienced three very different pregnancies, labours and very different post natal experiences.

My first two girls were dream pregnancies, i didn’t have to wait long to be pregnant and carried them with no health issues. 

I did put 4 stone on with both pregnancies however, kidding myself it was ok to eat for two!! I was lucky enough not to have drawn out labours, my first child was  six hours start to finish, but given that I was pushing for an hour and a half,  feeling out of breath it was exhausting! 

My second daughter would of made an appearance  within 3 hours but unfortunately she got in a little trouble and I ended up needing an emergency c -section. I felt like I failed my baby and family and then suffered with a lot of postnatal depression. I Couldn’t move without being sore and in pain and I felt totally lost at not being able to look after my new born baby and my 3 year old. I would hide mostly at my house or my mums but fortunately lots of family and friends supported me though this terrible time.

After few years trying to find my feet  and getting used to having two tiny people, I was still desperate to have another baby.  After months of persuading my husband, he finally agreed. It wouldn’t take long like the others I thought, but after years of trying I needed to get help! 

One of my worst moments was when doctors told me i needed to lose weight before they would investigate why I couldn’t conceive, as if I didn’t feel useless already. I decided to look at gyms and was recommended to speak to a  (then young) coach named Josh.

After our chat about my desire to lose weight to aid my goal of getting pregnant again I started strength training twice per week. It wasn’t long until my training was less about getting pregnant but about feeling healthy and happy in myself.

I achieved the target weight I needed for the doctors to do some tests. I carried on  doing my training sessions and I was due to see a specialist to start  investigating as to why i couldn’t get pregnant.

I was over the moon and a little shocked to say the least to find out I was already pregnant!!!! 

Loving the feeling of how Strength training had made me feel, I was determined to carry on training throughout my pregnancy, even to the day I went into labour I was due to attend a training session (lucky Josh)!  

Training throughout my pregnancy left me feeling better mentally, it gave me more energy throughout the day and i only put on 2 stone (win) and still had muscle tone. I was over the moon at this! 

My third labour was 5 hours long but i felt more in control of my body, less out of breath and had more stamina through my labour. 

Not only did I feel the benefits in labour but my post labour experience was so much better. I returned to gentle and specific training 10 days post pregnancy with not much weight to get off and having the mental release  I needed. I feel it was so important taking some time for myself and giving my body the best chance to recover from the miracle of giving birth to a little person !

I was able to get back to my normal gym sessions, much quicker as I was still used to it. I myself underestimated the value of strength training, until I experienced and felt the benefits myself.

Things have definitely changed for me, my whole time pregnant has been a journey of self discovery.

I am now a level 2 weightlifting coach and have found a real passion to help others achieve their goals within the fitness industry.

This has given me the drive to learn and develop as a coach. My two passions are Olympic Weightlifting and the amazing changes us women experience, creating, carrying and loving our new body after our tiny people enter the world.

These are my reason’s why I am currently doing my Pre and Postnatal Coaching certification with Girls Gone Strong, recognised as the industries leading pre and post natal training program.


I am looking to work with 4 ladies who want to give their babies the best start and the safest home for nine months, while keeping your bodies strong to be the warrior queens we are!!!!

My mission is to help as many women as possible have the safest and easiest pre and post pregnancies of their lives. 


Weightloss vs health?

Dieting and being healthy are often lumped in together.

They are inextricably linked, often we find the healthiest food options may not be the best weight loss food solution and certain weight loss solutions (bites tongue hard) may not be the healthiest options.

So where is the middle ground?

Well, that is all about your personal preferences, if you really want to make a difference in your dieting success or living a more health seeking lifestyle long term.

That’s where the real magic is, finding what suits you and it also being a positive long term change that’s completely sustainable.

We’ve compiled a list of the top three weight loss vs health points that often leave people conflicted and confused!

1 – You have to cut out all your favourite foods to lose weight.

For a lot people we’ve found the opposite can work better, having a small amount of your favourite foods regularly can prevent feelings of restriction.

You’ll often find you can stick to your diet better, for longer.

To diet successfully you will need to be burning more calories than you are taking on,  recording total calories and planning in your favourite foods can make you a much happier dieter  too, and that helps, right?


2- Grains are bad and we should avoid them if we want to diet successfully and stay healthy.

First of all refer to point 1 (unless you have a medical condition like Coeliacs disease where gluten must be cut out in order to improve symptoms)

Often grains are demonised the reason behind this is that they will make you fat and they aren’t healthy.

Over consumption of food will make you fat. Not eating grains specifically.

All Grains aren’t created equally so if you enjoy eating bread and pasta there’s no reason to stop – always being aware of the calorie content, recording this on My Fitness Pal for a period of time helps.

Maybe consider switching to whole grains such as brown rice & oats. Wholewheat varieties of bread, cereals and pasta may be a more health seeking approach and the great thing is these whole grain and whole meal varieties can improve heart health, fill you up more and can aid healthy digestion too! https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/breakfast-cereals-ranked-best-to-worst

3- You should avoid fat when dieting or trying to stay healthy.

Fats are vital and have lots of uses in our bodies from creating cell membranes to aiding the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

An important point to note is that Fats are more calorie dense than the other macronutrients.

Protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram where as fat contains 9 calories per gram – this means you will get a lot less food per calorie when choosing a fatty food than you would if you chose a leaner protein rich food or a higher carbohydrate food which could be a great incentive to improve the quality of fats you eat in order to stay your healthiest.

You don’t need to avoid at all fat when dieting.

As with carbohydrates fats aren’t created equally with some fats being lots better for you than others.

We hear all the time that some fats are good for us and some are bad for us but where do we start?

Good fats.

Monounsaturated fat – think nuts, avocado, olive oil.

Polyunsaturated fats – think walnuts, oily fish, flax and sunflower seeds.

studies show that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat could help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.


Omega 3 – think leafy green vegetables and oily fish like mackerel, pilchards and salmon, if you’re not sure https://www.heartuk.org.uk/downloads/factsheets/fish.pdf

Omega 6 – think Safflower oil, sunflower oil,  sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds.https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/no-need-to-avoid-healthy-omega-6-fats


In-between saturated fats.

Saturated fats are common. They are solid at room temperature — think cooled bacon grease, but what is saturated fat? Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods.

About a third of our energy should come from fat.

Saturated fats should make up no more than a third of this. That’s around 20g for women and 30g for men.

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The upshot.

Over consumption of food will make you fat.

For weight loss total calories may well the easy bit theres a calculator for that…

Staying healthy bit may well be the tricky bit especially when we’re subjected to big scary headlines everyday that cause us to second guess our healthy choices.

What can we do about it?

Eating a more varied diet can take a little careful planning especially when you are dieting but it can be done,  it can also help stave off those feelings of restriction too.

Switch things up (or swap out) with health seeking foods – Fish, eggs and leafy greens, (twice a week is a great start) there are lots to choose from so theres bound to be something that takes your fancy.

By losing weight you can improve your health by reducing the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, as well as some forms of cancer.

Not very Rock n’ Roll and it won’t sell a million copies written as a book on amazon but perhaps it is time a healthy diet became a little bit cooler?






Combat Winter Weight Gain

The nights closing in and the darker mornings over the last few weeks got me to thinking about that ol’ winter weigh gain and how for some it feels like it’s like it’s just part of the colder, darker months of our year.

We’ve found there’s 3 things that cause people Problems during the winter months.

1- Comfort Eating.

Eating far more calories than we need.

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2- Becoming less active 

Cold weather makes us feel like we want to hibernate.

This can create a negative loop – being inactive and over eating can leave you feeling so sluggish you carry that on until things start to get out of control.

3- Mindset.

Convincing yourself you don’t care about number 1 & giving up on number 2 will sabotage your plans to have a happier, healthier winter.

Winter weight gain isn’t something that just happens when the season changes.

It’s the few months of over eating, under NEATing that gets our weight creeping up.

However we do seem to just accept it as part of what happens during the colder months.


It doesn’t have to be that way.

What are our 3 tips for combatting winter weight gain?

1- Revaluate your energy in V’s energy out.

 Activity levels change with the seasons during the spring and summer months we tend to more active and burn more calories but bad weather and less daylight tend to make us retreat to the sofa, take stock of how active you are really going to be during autumn/ winter and be honest with yourself!

Eat less if your activity level is going to wain during the winter period, or if you know you’re going to be eating more than normal then work hard to keep that activity level elevated, add in more fitness and stay active.

Which ever works best for you…

Click here to find out what your winter calories would be.

2- Do something different.

Instead of meeting friends or family for food ,plan to do some fun activities! – go for a walk, swim or plan to do some fitness together, food can always be number two on the list of priorities when you get together.

If you’re feeling a little bit flat a lot of the time exercise or some fun activities can have the positive effect helping you to feel a little more energised.

The opposite if what you’d think right?

3- Don’t give up.

There will still be ups and downs, the most important thing is remaining consistent.

Avoiding falling  into that F#*k it all eating behaviour can be hard when we find our selves surrounded by super sexy food!

Delicious, processed, or comfort food is great and all but it’s not so good if it makes you unhappy with your body.

Being a little more mindful of portion sizes can help keep things from escalating.

With a little practice we can still achieve our goals, stay healthy and socialise too.

It’s not impossible, it takes practice.

If you’re feeling stuck with what to do or are seeking some accountability to stave off any winter weight gain, feel free to contact us today and see how we can help!

Click here to book a nutrition consultation


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