"STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY"

"STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY"

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My blog is moving


Over the last few weeks I have been busy planning and designing my own website. I have had this blog for over 18  months now, but don’t worry I will still keep blogging, hopefully a bit more frequent than before, but I will from now on do the blogging on my new website

The website describes detailed information about me, the experience I got and the services I offer, as well as a blogpage. I hope you will enjoy it and I hope you will follow me on my new platform.
Feel free to tell your friends and family about me.

The new website is:

You can also follow me on Twitter @StrengthRehab

See you soon:)




Monday, 2 April 2012

Lifting Workshops at Dave’s Gym in Cardiff

Hi guys!

Last few months have been pretty busy with work and courses, but I am now a Level 3 Personal Trainer as well as an Accredited  Strength and Conditioning Coach which is nice J

Me on Barry Beach 
Got a few things going on at the moment, and I am currently working on my own website which I am hoping to launch within the next couple of weeks, I will keep you posted as soon as it is up and running! Very exciting!

 My colleague Richard Harris, who runs Synergy3Training (http://www.synergy3training.co.uk/) and I will soon be running weight lifting workshops from Dave’s Gyms in Cardiff (http://www.davesgym.co.uk/)
Richard Harris and I 
Initially we will be running 4 different workshops on the following dates:

Deadlift - Saturday 28th April (9am - 12pm)  

Squat - Saturday 12th May (9am - 12pm)

Clean and Jerk -26th May (9am - 12pm)

Snatch - 9th June (9am - 12pm)
  
The workshops will be mainly practical which gives coaches or anyone else interested in good technique the chance to learn how to correctly execute the movements and how to use them in training. The price is £60 per day or £200 for all 4 days.

I will of course be extremely happy if any females attends as I think there are far from enough females lifting weights in the gym! Come along girls J

We are keeping the number per workshop to a maximum of 12 people as we want to give people plenty of coaching and feedback so book your place early (Contact me or Richard to book your place!)

Hope to see you there! 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Accredited UKSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach

I know it has been a while since last blog post, but I have been busy with work and only just got back from my Christmas Holiday in Norway. When I was home in Norway I received a very nice email from the UKSCA (United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association) confirming I had passed my Strength and Conditioning Exams which means I am now a fully accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach. A very good Christmas present and start to the new year! 
Although I have always been very interested in training and injuries it was in my last year of University whilst studying for my  Sports and Exercise Therapy degree I got involved with a good S&C coach (Brendan Chaplin) and  actually started getting an insight into what a Strength and Conditioning Coach’s job involves. I have always like coaching and helping others so S&C coaching was something I started enjoying more and more, which is why I decided to start working towards getting a recognised title so I could start combining my skills as a Sports and Exercise Therapist with being a Strength and Conditioning Coach. 
I am currently working as an S&C coach for Bristol Rovers Youth Academy which I really enjoy. I am also currently working for UWIC Athletics Club on an ad hoc basis. 

I wish all my readers a very Happy New Year! Lets make it a good one! 





Monday, 7 November 2011

4 Nations Rugby League at Wembley Stadium

Lat week I got asked if I would like to attend the 4 Nations Tournament at Wembley Stadium to massage the match officials (referees) before and after the games. I used to work with with the Rugby League Referees in Leeds so it is always nice to meet all the people and referees on a weekend like this.

I have to admit that I was dreading having to find my way around the crazy underground and the streets of London on my own, but luckily I managed to get there without too much hassle and arrived safely at the hotel where we were staying. We got taken to the hotel on the Saturday morning and arrived in plenty of time so we got to have a look at the pitch and the stadium. I have never been to Wembley before so I thought it was great being able to see the stadium "live" for the first time.

Me and my colleague Ian 
Checking out the pitch on arrival..

The first game was New Zealand v Wales which I didn't get to take any pictures of as we were working, but I managed to get some pictures off the second game which was England v Australia. It was a great day with over 40 000 spectators!

The Australian team 
The English Team 
Although we were working before and after the matches, we still managed to have a look at the matches in between. Rugby amazes me the more I watch it, the speed and agility some of the players have got is incredible!

It has been a busy, but very good weekend. Great experience on a really nice venue.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Power Balance Wristbands - Improved Balance, Greater Flexibility and Increased Core Strength???

You must have heard about the new "amazing" wrist bands that claims to improve your balance, improve your flexibility and increase your core strength?? I have heard several people talking about these bands wherever I go, but as I had never physically seen one before today I would never have thought about pursuing one. Today I got to try one on whilst my colleague performed a few simple balance and strength tests with and without the band. The results were as you expected! There was a difference between the tests with and without the band, but I am sure this will not make a difference in your actual training! These were two of the tests I performed:
The balance test I did

One of the strength tests I did
I am convinced that loads of other people must be sceptical to this as well, but I decided to buy one, NOT because I think it will make me stronger, more flexible or get better balance, but the pink colour convinced me.. Oh God I never learn!
My new wrist band! Medium is a bit too big for me so I could have done with a Small one
Not in a million years will you be able to get stronger, faster, better balance or you name it without hard work and effort over time! Consistency, hard work and effort is the key to great result!

Please let me know about your experiences with the Power Balanceband! I need a lot of convincing, and I mean a lot!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bulgarian Squat/ Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat - VIDEO

Do you like the burning sensation in your legs and gluteus the day after a tough leg session?

Do you like to struggle to get out of bed in the morning cause your legs ache like mad?

Well if you do, then you should definitely give the Bulgarian Squats a go!

I have added two separate videos showing the exercise underneath, one on each leg. I am using a z-bar with some light weights here, but you can also grab a dumbbell in each hand as well. Having a bar on your back might cue you to keep your chest up thought, which is always a bonus.

This exercise will challenge your balance and you will feel a good stretch in your hipflexors. If you have tight hip flexors, then your range of movement might be restricted, but as you get better at it you will be able to lower yourself down further (Mine is far from perfect, but I am working on it). Make sure your knees face forward throughout the movement.

Excuse me for the facial expressions, but this is my third set so my legs were starting to feel it:)


I always find it harder on one leg, so my left leg is definetely struggling!

Get ready for sore gluteus the following day, good luckJ

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Strength training, running, or both???

How often do you see women pounding miles and miles on the treadmill ?? Beginners as well as experienced gym users will in about 80% of the time attack the treadmill in gyms and fitness clubs. As I have experienced  the effects running and interval training can have on your knees, I can talk about this subject with a great deal of experience.

Why is it that so many people (and women in particular) think it is okay to start running without doing any form for strength training prior or alongside the running??
How long do you think your joints will be able to cope without giving you any pain or discomfort?
If you are lucky and have a good running style, appropriate footwear, perform a good warm up etc. you might be one of the lucky ones and be able to keep running for years without suffering any pain or problems, but in more cases than not this is just a wish….

Have a think about this:
When you are running you put your joints through approximately 8 times more force than when you are walking!! 8 times!!

This is certainly something to think about! I know what I am going to say now will make me sound like I am a 60 year old woman and look back at the “good old days”, but if I knew half of the stuff I know today about training, recovery strategies, progressive overload and strength training I would without a doubt added so much more strength training into my routines alongside all the running I did. This would without a doubt improved all the hours of pain and frustration I have been through as a result of this!

So just a simple advice to all women (and men) out there on this wonderful Sunday:

Strength training is great! Don’t overlook the importance of building up a solid foundation for your body if you enjoy running..... or if you don't like running as well :)
Very concentrated!
I know I have talked about the importance of strength training before and I try to convince women everyday how important strength training is, but if you are not already convinced the popular phrase might convince you :

STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY! :)

COME ON GILRS, LETS GET STRONG!

Do you agree or disagree?

Friday, 7 October 2011

Guest blogger - Mari

Hello everyone!

I am Monica’s Norwegian friend Mari.I have always sworn to myself that I would never in my life post something in a blog or blog about whatever. But, when I got the chance to write about training on Monica’s blog, I changed my mind as Monica has helped me a lot with my training and I wanted to share this with people. Personally I love sports and exercising; football, running, swimming, hiking,……you name it=) For the past year I have studied for my masters degree at the University of Leeds, and since it was only one year, there was a lot to do, and the days were quite busy. In the beginning, I was able to go to the gym for some classes and went running in Hyde Park. However, after Christmas it was crazy, and for over 2 months I could not find time to do any exercising at all. My back was hurting, I started getting cramps in my legs and my ass felt FLAT, and at night I had to sleep on my tummy to stop it from hurting!!!

Anyway, I got to know Monica when I moved to Leeds and realised she had a lot of experience in writing and planning training exercise programs, so I asked her for help and advice. I did not really know how much knowledge she had. She surprised me and gave me 3 perfect workout programs for my needs. I told Monica about my situation; that I needed to be able to work out, but not be dependent to go to any sports centers (to save time!). I told her the equipments I had at home, and she came up with three workouts not lasting for more than 1.5 in total, with strength and conditioning for the whole body. After a few weeks, I had less back pain, better sleep, (still a hurting ass, but it did not feel flat anymore=)). Below are some videos and pictures of some of the workouts.

PS: I am aware that my choice of footwear is not ideal on these first photos:)
My curl and press exercise

Halfway on my curl and press exercise

Front plank



And of course the lovely press ups!
I am now back in Norway, and have just started my new job. As my fitness level has now increased, I have decided that my next goal is to participate in Norway’s toughest marathon on the 2nd June 2012.

Monica has offered to help me make me get the most out of the preparation for the marathon and we have decided to share my journey here on the blog. Watch out for videos of exercises and pictures along the way.

See you later,

Mari =)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Lunch suggestion – Chicken and Egg Salad

As my friends and family probably know I am far from Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen. However as I moved out from mum and dad nest, and was unable to be spoiled with my mum’s lovely cooking I realised I had to start making an effort in the kitchen unless I wanted to live on spaghetti, mince and ketchup for the rest of my life! That was actually my “favourite” dish through my University life, and I know Will was pretty unimpressed the first time we had a meal together and I cooked my speciality for him! I still don’t understand why?:)

Anyway today I decided to mix together an easy Chicken and Egg Salad which is easy to prepare and takes hardly any time at all. The only things needed for 1 person are:
• A handful of lettuce
• 2-3 small cooked chicken fillets (I used Piri, Piri Chicken)

• ½ pepper

• 2 cooked eggs

• ¼ cucumber

• (I would have used sweetcorn as well, but realised after I started preparing it that I didn’t have any left)

This is how I did it:

1. Before you start chopping the vegetables, boil the eggs for 7-8 minutes (but this depends how hard you want them).

2. Whilst the eggs are boiling clean lettuce, pepper and cumber under water and chop the vegetables and chicken into small bits and mix together

3. Once the eggs are boiled, put them under cold water and peel off the skin. Cut the eggs into small pieces and mix with the rest of the salad

MMMM:)
Voila! Bon Appetit! Try it on day and see what you think:)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Website Recommendation - Brendan Chaplin

Hi guys,

As always I like to start the day reading the latest news on my previous mentor Brendan Chaplin's website. It is thanks to Brendan I got involved with Strength and Conditioning coaching and I learned a lot in a short period of time whilst working with Brendan. Brendan has got a lot of experience in the S&C industry and has worked and is still working with several great athletes.Today I thought the video he posted was a particular good one showing knee prevention/reduction exercises so I wanted to share the link to his website and the video here on my blog :


From next week my friend Mari will share her thoughts on how she got back into training and how she decided to start training for a Marathon for the first time! We will follow Mari's preparation and training her on the blog to see how she is doing. Something to look forward to!

This is me and Mari from a wedding earlier this year
Have a good Wednesday!