Barriers to exercising in the gym

We all know that exercise is crucial to our health and wellbeing. But what if you have mental barriers about exercise.

When you first embark upon an exercise regime it can be daunting, you are surrounded by those who are comfortable in a gym environment and you may be out of your comfort zone. Getting over these fears is extremely important to developing your fitness along with your confidence levels.

Here are a few tips on building exercise confidence:

  • Exercise to a DVD before coming to the gym, so that you can familiarise yourself with basic exercises.
  • Come to the gym during quiet times. Ask a member of staff at what times the gym is quietest.
  • Employ a personal trainer to take you through a series of workouts that will help you achieve your goals.
  • Ask one of the gym instructors at your gym to give you an induction so that you can use all of the machines correctly and feel confident using them.
  • Buddying up with a friend can not only motivate you, but you can go through the learning process together.
  • Classes are a great way to meet people and blend in to a crowd if you are self-conscious. A good instructor will be non-intimidating and make you feel welcome in their classes.

Above all remember that exercising should be fun, so relax and enjoy it.


Changing your body shape.

We all have certain areas of our bodies that we are less than happy with.  Unfortunately we cannot spot reduce.  This is the idea that by zeroing in on the area you would like to reduce you then make it smaller and more acceptable.  Whilst this is not quite right there is an element of truth to this statement.

For example I have many women that come in to the gym who dislike their hips and thighs.  My prescription is that they perform a total body weight training program 2 -3 times per week, supplemented by the right kind of cardio that is supported by a calorie controlled nutritional plan. I stress calorie controlled, not starvation!

A good personal trainer will be able to tell you the correct exercises that you should be doing for your body type and this will shuttle blood and heat to those areas which in turn will release fat from their cells for mobilisation, resulting in fat loss for you and reward for all those hours spent in the gym. 


What is your core?

There are many different thoughts on what muscles constitute the core. Some think that it is just the abdominal muscles. However it so much more than that. The core comprises all the muscles of the trunk, that is – shoulders to hips. All of these muscles should work together as well as independently of each other. It is important to work the large muscles of the shoulders, chest and back both bilaterally and unilaterally to prevent muscular imbalances.

If you want to participate in sports or just improve your ability to do simple everyday tasks such as pushing, carrying, throwing and climbing then it is really important that these muscles are strong and functioning well.

Abdominal work should not be limited to crunches and sit ups. You should definitely incorporate multiple versions of the plank and practice drawing the belly button up to the spine and then tensing the abdominals (hollowing and bracing). Twisting and rotating exercises work the hips and create a disassociation between hips and shoulders again working them independently of each other.

Ask one of the Stringer’s team to create a core program especially for you.

Shoulder Pain

One of the most common ailments that we hear from our members is that of shoulder pain. The shoulder girdle is an incredibly complex area of the human body and shoulder pain can be attributed to many causes, most commonly through overuse, poor balance and rotator cuff weakness.

Many people who come to us with shoulder pain have experienced it when performing pressing movements. If a movement is causing you pain, it is a sign that you need to either limit or stop that particular movement for at least a short while. There are plenty of other exercises that you can perform in its place. Besides, taking a couple weeks rest from certain exercises is more beneficial to your body and will be much better in the long run than giving yourself a more serious injury that will require much longer periods of rest.

Take some time to re-address the balance of your workouts. Too often, people spend hours training the chest followed by a token gesture of a few back exercises. Try and follow the rule of 2 pulling exercises for every push exercise. This should help to ‘open up’ your shoulder girdle, reducing any impingement.

The rotator cuff muscles help to maintain stability of the humeral head in the glenoid fossa (shoulder socket). These muscles are often neglected so are therefore unable to stabilise the shoulder effectively, thus causing shoulder pain. Ask one of our instructors to show you the most effective rotator cuff exercises.


Everyone struggles with motivation from time to time. This can be due to a number of factors. Motivation can be hard to find when you don’t set yourself appropriate goals to aim for. The best motivation comes from within, so if you have no external goals to focus your training on then you need to look inside yourself to find your reasons for training. Don’t set your goals too far into the future. It is good to have a long term goal but you must give yourself shorter term goals to aim for along the way or you may lose site of your final goal.

You may have stopped seeing any improvements in your training. This could be due to sticking with the same routine for too long or not training correctly to meet your training goals. Either way, this can cause a dip in motivation as you are failing to see any noticeable results from your hard work. In order to overcome this you may need to switch up your training for a while in order to shock your body and provide the stimulus that it needs to improve.

Talk to one of our instructors about getting a new programme in order to reinvigorate yourself and get to where you want to on your fitness journey.


Losing weight

Who doesn’t want to lose weight and feel better?  At some point in our lives we all look in to this. But with all the conflicting information out there, what’s the truth?  Is it as simple as eat less and exercise more?  Yes and no.  You need to create a caloric deficit but excessive amounts of exercise can actually be counterproductive to your efforts.  The more you exercise the more you need to eat in order to maintain hormonal balance.  Should you fail to do so, you will decrease your metabolic rate and eating even a normal diet of around 1500 calories – you will put on weight.

Here are some general guidelines to stick to:

Exercise for between 30 – 60 mins per day, 3 -5 days x per week

Lift weights at least twice a week

Women should eat 1200 – 1800 calories per day to lose weight

Men should eat 1500 – 2000 calories per day to lose weight

If your exercise duration is at the lower end then stick to the lower calorie spectrum and if it is at the higher end eat more.

Here are two examples:

Marie exercises for 30 mins 3 x per week and eats 1200 calories per day for weight loss.

John exercises 4 x per week at a duration of 60 mins and eats 2000 calories per day for weight loss.



Ok so 2017 is here and the resolutions have been made, but have they begun? And more importantly how are we going to keep them going?

During the following week we’ll be adding some tips to help you focus on some of those that you may have made.

New Year, healthier you

New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but need constant commitment so that you can enjoy the results.

It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve made the initial decision to make a change to your lifestyle, but it’s not impossible. This year, pick one (or more) of the following worthy resolutions, and stick with it. Here’s to your health!

(1) Joining a Gym.
Ideally you need to join a gym which will offer you the support that you need to begin and (more importantly) maintain your journey on becoming healthier and fitter.
At Stringer’s Gym we have over 40 classes a week that offer a wide choice to suit your needs. Added to this our trainers are available to create a tailor made program, with ongoing support, for you to achieve your goals.
All of this in a friendly, supportive atmosphere.
So, if you are ready to start or even just thinking about starting this resolution please give us a call on 01872 272627 or email us; info@stringers
We are looking forward to hearing from you and helping you succeed!

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New Year’s resolutions.
(Part 2)

Lose weight
The fact that this is among the most popular resolutions suggests just how difficult it is to commit to. But you can succeed if you don’t expect overnight success. Permanent weight loss results don’t happen overnight, they need to be part of a well-planned and consistent program, basically a lifestyle change, however small or great. You will have “blips” where you may not attain your goals at the times that you want to but overall with a well thought out program and changes to your life’s habits, you will succeed!
Plan for bumps in the road. Use a food diary and training program to keep track of what you eat and how your training is going and have a support system in place. We usually see that at around four to six weeks in, people find excuses (not reasons) to break their new healthier habits. That’s why it’s important to have someone there on a regular basis to get you through those rough times whether it is a training buddy or your gym trainer.
If you are thinking of joining a gym, ask yourself what are your goals. Have a clear view of what you want and why and when you want to achieve them by. Ask yourself is this achievable, speak to one our trainers and discuss your aims and we will give you the support to help you to get there.
Come in and have a chat and see how we can help you.

I think that the excerpt below is very appropriate ;
“I will persist until I succeed.
Always will I take another step,
If that is to no avail, I will take another and yet another.
In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult……
I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking”.
(An abbreviated version of the original by Og Mandino)
It says it all!