Tag Archives: fitness classes

Shortcut To Strength – Day 21 – Shoulders

Day 21 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and I trained shoulders today. I got to the gym in the morning as I was still in Manchester and had my pass to use. I went to a gym called Total Fitness and it was a bit of a strange experience. I walked in and the place is nice it had a cafe area overlooking a pool area, it had a family gym area which had climbing frame and kids gym equipment next to a few pieces of normal gym kit so parents can workout with their kids which I think is great! I then went upstairs to the gym area which was surrounded by several studios with things like spin, karate, boxercise classes going on. The gym area itself was good as there was a range of different kit suitable for all sorts of training. They even had a selection of hammer strength equipment which I was keen to use. I started in the hammer strength plate loaded shoulder press and worked up to some heavy sets with that before doing some heavy barbell press. From there I just used all kind of machines and equipment to hit my shoulders from different angles. The gym itself was in a complete mess though. Everywhere you looked there were dumbells on the floor, barbells left next to their rack rather than on them, weight plates left on machines and bars all over the place which is really annoying as every time I wanted to use something I would have to take off what people were using or wander around and look for kit! I didn’t do any dumbell work really as they were all missing and spread around the gym! Looking at some of the people there as well didn’t help as they were doing all kinds of weird stuff! I don’t really blame them as if they are not used to going the gym then their technique and knowledge of machines isn’t great then people start doing weird stuff. The problem was there was no gym staff around at all! I saw one trainer and he was just working with someone for ten minutes and then disappeared! Just to have one person on the gym floor encouraging people to tidy their stuff up and helping to correct people’s form would be better than nothing! I am probably moaning a little too much but I’m sure I’m not the only one to get annoyed at this stuff!!

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H.I.I.T Workout – “I went to the gym and did…”

Do you ever remember playing a memory game where there are a group of you and the first person would say “I went to the shop and bought…..a bucket”. The next person would then have to say “I went to the shop and bought a bucket…..and a bag of peas”. It would then keep going round the group adding things until someone forgot what was on the list.

Well this session I created is similar to that kind of thing. Each round gets longer and longer with new exercises added each time. Let me explain it further.

Each exercise is to be done for 30 seconds, just try to get as many reps as possible.

There is 30 seconds rest at the end of each round – this doesn’t change!

10 rounds in total.

I wrote down the exercises to be performed and numbered them:

  1. Step Ups
  2. Kettlebell Swings
  3. Squats
  4. Jumping Jacks
  5. Sit Ups
  6. Clean and Press
  7. Lunges
  8. Leg Raises
  9. Tricep Dips
  10. Burpees

Each round then looked like this:

Round 1: 1

Round 2: 1, 2

Round 3: 1, 2, 3

Round 4: 1, 2, 3, 4

Round 5: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Round 6: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Round 7: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Round 8: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Round 9: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Round 10: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

The first couple of rounds are not to bad as there is only one or two exercises to do and you get a good 30 seconds rest. From rounds 3/4 onwards it starts to get a bit challenging. You can obviously change the exercises you do, however, I would say keep the first few exercises relatively easy as you will be doing quite a few sets of them. This is why I put burpees at the end! Add weights and kettlebells in as desired to make it even more challenging.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Have FUN!


Shortcut To Strength – Day 10 – Rest Day

Day 10 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and it was a rest day today as I had my usual classes to take. For my body conditioning class I did three different workouts. The first was based around core exercises. Pretty simple it was 30 secs per exercise with 10 secs rest between each for a good 5 minute core blast. The second workout was a 10 min as many rounds as possible workout. They had to do 5 squats, 5 press ups and 5 sit ups and then on the turn of every minute they had to stop what they were doing and do 5 burpees before carrying on. The final workout was something I came up with last night. I wrote ten exercises on the board and numbered them. I then downloaded a spinner app on my phone that had ten segments. I would then spin the wheel and whatever number it landed on the class would have to do ten reps of that exercise. If the same number came twice in a row then the reps are halved. This was done for about 15 mins in total. For my spin class I based it on supersets so two exercises back to back. Each segment was for 1 min each and by the time we got to the end sets it was pretty tough!

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Shortcut To Strength – Day 3

Day 3 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and today was a rest day and I needed it as my legs are pretty sore from the squats on Monday. I just taught my body conditioning class and spin classes today. I did a playing card workout for the body conditioning class which is always good fun. For the spin classes I did some hill work but at slightly higher pace so it was tough! I have written the workouts out if you fancy giving them a go. Let me know how you get on.

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Spin Class 2/3/2016

I wanted to keep tonight’s class fairly simple so I went with the following:

  • Seated Sprints – 8 sets of 30 secs work, 30 secs rest between each
  • Seated Climbs – 7 sets of 30 secs work, 20 secs rest between each
  • Standing Sprints – 6 sets of 30 secs work, 30 secs rest between each
  • Standing Climbs – 5 sets of 60 secs work, 20 secs rest between each
  • Seated Sprints – 4 sets of 60 secs work, 30 secs rest between each
  • Seated Climb into standing sprint – 3 sets of 60 secs seated hill into 20 secs standing sprint

The idea was to have descending sets and increasing times. I ran out of time though so I had to do the last one as a superset which turned out to be a good way to finish the session off and get the last bit of energy out of the legs!


Spin Class 17/2/2016

As per usual I left it to the last minute to decide what to do in my spin class. I looked through some of my old spin class workouts for some inspiration and came across one that I could tweak slightly. It turned out to be quite good and my classes seemed to enjoy it. Th final drill was pretty tough but that’s part of the fun of doing these classes each week.

The class went like this:

Warm Up – 5 Mins – Gentle spin with a mixture of gear changes and bike positions. There is also some short 10 second sprints in order to get the heart rate up and legs and knees nice and warm.

Drill 1

Seated Hill – 40 secs into Standing Attacks – 20 secs 

Rest 30 secs

Repeat for 5 sets

The seated hill needs to be nice and heavy (around 20 RPM) so slow powerful peddles and continue this for 40 secs. At 40 secs you then stand up out of the saddle and on the same gear accelerate as much as you can for 20 secs. Imagine you are overtaking someone and trying to put some distance between yourself and them. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat for 5 sets.

Drill 2

Seated Sprint – 1 min

Decrease Rest each set – Set 1 30 secs, set 2 20 secs, set 3 10 secs, set 4 10 secs, set 5

Repeat for 5 sets

This is a simple drill to just test peoples recovery. you need to peddle as fast as you can for the entire minute but try to keep as consistent as you can with your pace. Change the gear down slightly if your legs start to fatigue and your pace drops quite a bit. Ensure you are peddling against resistance though and take the legs to failure each time.

Drill 3

Seated Climb – 1 min into Standing Attacks – 30 secs

Rest 30 secs

Repeat for 5 Sets

This drill is does exactly the same as the first with the only difference being the times. The seated hill is for 1 min and the attacks are for 30 secs. The extra 10 secs on the attack really makes a difference and you should need all 30 seconds rest in order to recover. Repeat for 5 sets.

Drill 4

Standing Sprints 

Set 1 – 1 minute, rest 30 secs

Set 2 – 50 secs sprint, rest 20 secs

Set 3 – 40 secs sprint, rest 20 secs

Set 4 – 30 secs sprint, rest 20 secs

Set 5 – 20 secs sprint, rest 10 secs

Set 6 – 10 secs sprint, rest 10 secs

Bonus round – 10 secs sprint to failure….

This final drill is based on standing sprints. The length of the sprint is reduced by 10 secs each time with limited rest. The idea is to increase your sprint pace the shorter the sprint gets until the last set of 10 secs is an all out push to failure in the legs…..Done!

Cool Down – 5 mins – Gentle ride to allow the legs, heart and lungs to get back to normal. Stretch out the upper and lower body once off the bike.