Once you’re in the swing of a regular gym routine, it’s easy to simply go through the motions. You know: rock up, scowl at the teacher for an hour when they tell you to squat as you employ all the sneaky tricks to make a bit less effort, then waltz out and tick it off. Job done. But what’s the point? You may as well make the most out of the hour, sweat to max and basically just win at life.
I had this epiphany the first time I went to BLOK. The brand new space in east London is the trendiest place in town. Think exposed brickwork, minimal art work and all round coolness. The best bit was that the coolness did not extend to the staff or people there. My friends and I were greeted with chirpy smiles and chat. A revelation!
I didn’t really know what to expect from the Blok Fit class until seven minutes in when we were doing the 'easy’ bit and I felt that familiar taste of acid in my mouth and my thighs started to scream. The hour-long class was essentially circuit training, but creative circuits that were generally boxing inspired: punch bags, battle ropes and kettle bells all came to the party as we moved around the room, listening to intense but epic tunes and trainer Andrew remained attentive and deeply motivating. There was no time for stopping and his compliment on my ‘strong core’ was one of the proudest moments of my life so far.
It was the kind of class that gives you so many endorphins, you can't really sleep. In the spirit of this new zest for working out we chatted to Jermaine Hunter who teaches calisthenics, functional fitness, blok core, blok fit and boxing at BLOK to find out the secret to maximising that hour we have to workout.
Jermaine in action at BLOK.
Here are his tips:
Value sleep. Ensure you get enough sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours post workout and, if you need to, take pre workout power naps of 30-40 minutes.
Stay hydrated. Women should aim to drink 1.6 litres of water per day.
Fuel smart. Think carbs pre-workout. Protein post-workout.
Try morning metabolism boosters. Oats, fruits, roasted nuts, protein or smoothies.
Boost blood sugar levels with spinach, quinoa and hummus, along with lunch mains like fish, meat and salads.
Post workout, try to stick to whole foods such as avocado, lentils, seeds, sweet potato, kale.
Mix up your routine. Try yoga and other motor skill classes to help reduce stiffness and aid mobility to help with the other classes.
Set yourself goals. But make them realistic and measurable targets to ensure you stay motivated.
Have fun and go hard!
Having played professional football for teams including Fulham FC under legends Kevin Keegan and Jean Tigana, Jermaine became a professional fitness trainer following an injury in 2007. A winner of the ‘Personal Trainer of the Year’ award and qualified FA coach, Jermaine works closely with the Crystal Palace and Arsenal youth teams. Specialising in functional training methods including Calisthenics and resistance training, his intense sessions will improve balance, agility and motor skills and increase core strength overall.