Now, I only sprint for my morning train these days which is on a needs-must basis, so its a bit of a shock to hear Ill be sprinting for any other purpose. In public. However, we get a full and clear introduction on how to sprint from Cat which really isnt just a case of putting one foot in front of the other as quickly as possible.
In fact, sprinting is all about core strength and is fabulous for the abs (which makes sense if you think about those buff female athletes). Sprinting properly involves lifting the head high, pulling the shoulders back, pulling your tummy in and working your arms. The secret is actually all in the arms; you need to use them by pulling them back, keeping elbows in and the faster you move your arms, the faster your legs will automatically go. And like all the other things Cat has told me, its true!
In two groups, were given the starting orders and run about 100 metres each time before walking leisurely back to the start. Each time, were asked to focus on only our posture and our arms and sure enough, we see our speeds increasing. I also felt that by concentrating on my arms, I didnt feel my legs get tired.
In fact, we did about five sprints then a mini circuit of sit ups and planks, another set of sprints and another set of ab exercises. When I thought we were about halfway through the session, we were actually finished. Amazing.
But the best surprise was at the end of the session after wed cooled down when Cat produced one of the most welcome facts Ive ever heard when exercising. The best thing to have as soon as you finish working out is a chocolate milkshake. Thats right, our trainer was telling us to down a chocolate milkshake. Apparently, the combination of things are exactly right for building muscle as long as you drink it within 30 minutes of finishing your workout and its low fat. Frijj is the best and I should know, as Cat whipped one out of her bag and gave it to me as a prize. Sprints and milkshakes, Im am loving being a superCHICK.
Alice Watt, Fashion Intern, Kettlebells at Virgin Active
After a somewhat gluttonous week of eating, drinking and socialising, I had neglected the gym and began to feel extremely guilty. When a free evening came along, it was time for an overdue work-out.
First up was a short kettlebells session with my personal trainer. Using a mixture of the 4kg and 8kg weights, it was a much more energetic class than usual. As well as the usual squats and stretches, I incorporated jumping, lunges, twists and sit-ups as well as lifting the weight in positions varying from lying on the floor to lunging and passing the weight through my legs. Surprisingly I didnt find it as difficult as I had expected- perhaps the week off had spurred me to work extra hard. Noticing I wasnt sweating as much hed hoped, the trainer really pushed me in the final stages. The dreaded opposing ball was brought out and this time I was forced to squat while lifting weights- not enjoyable at all but its always good to be pushed, and I probably wouldnt have done this without the trainers enthusiasm.
After a short break I decided to push my heart rate higher with some cardio. First up was the bike. I havent used one of these in years and Id forgotten how much I hate them! After ten minutes Id had enough so headed on to the cross trainer and running machines. With my headphones plugged in, I sweated it out to EastEnders and then, with rather wobbly legs, headed home. A good, all-round work out, but well overdue. Now its time for it all over again tonight!
Amy Lawrenson, Web Beauty Assistant, British Military Fitness
The lovely Laura, BMFs PR decided to intervene in my training. I have been pretty down in the dumps in some of my posts about being the slowest at running club; so she decided to take me to one of BMFs military classes. Split into low, medium and high blue, followed by low medium and high red, Laura decided we would go in at the middle and join the high blue team. The hour consisted of jogging to different points in the park and then stopping to do all manner of military-style exercises from lunges and sit-ups to team-work relay races and squat thrusts. An hour later I felt like I had done a good work-out but the whole thing was very manageable (dare I say easy?)
About three years ago I tried out a BMF class, started in low blues and couldnt walk for three days after. What a difference three running classes make. I spoke to Chris, the running instructor, after my class and he agreed his running classes have been called a bit of a killer and I have to agree. I dont feel bad about being at the back of the running club now. Also, I can see where the running club fits into BMF. Between each slot of exercises the groups have to run to get to the next point. In the blue groups there is quite a lot of recovery time; in the reds that time is reduced. Running club is there to help blue team members improve their running to make that next step into the red teams. Not only that but it gives members a bit of variety.
Ill be attempting a red class next Wednesday, so Ill let you know how I get on then.