Developing and keeping a growth mindset during the most challenging of times

There’s no escaping the fact we are living in very different times as we all try to navigate our way through the Coronavirus pandemic.  We are now required to embark on social distancing measures and only to leave our homes for essential provisions alongside exercise. As humans we are social creatures and thrive off social and physical interaction.  The ‘new normal’ will undoubtedly impact our mental health and wellbeing. However, there are things that we can do, that we can control, to ensure we reach the other side of this outbreak with our mental health intact and our mind fixed on a positive future.  

Your mindset plays a critical role in how you cope with life’s challenges, such as social distancing and self-isolation.  People who are known to have growth mindsets show greater resilience and are more likely to have self-motivation and will continue moving forwards in the face of setbacks.  

The goal for us all should be to adopt a more growth mindset approach.  However, for some of us, this isn’t always easy as mindsets are developed early in life, when we are children and can therefore be hard to shift.  Here’s an overview of the different mindsets: 

Fixed Mindset

  • You were taught that you should look smart among peers and always aim for the top no matter what.  You were taught to be mindful of how others perceive you, that you’re judged on your achievements and you must live up to certain expectations.  

Growth Mindsets

  • Children with these mindsets were more likely to explore, try new experiences and revel in new challenges.  Mistakes weren’t viewed as negative experiences but instead setbacks, which could be learnt from. Success was applauded but effort and hard work was seen as a true indicator for success.  

While people with a fixed mindset might not necessarily agree, you can change your mindset – and here’s how.

Let’s look at the situation we face now.  For many people jobs, careers and businesses are on the line.  However, if we are going to get through these next few weeks and subsequent months we need to adopt a growth mindset to block out and cancel the negative voices and instead focus on what we need to do to ramp up our strategies and efforts, what we can do to stretch ourselves, expand our abilities and create new opportunities. 

With many of us spending vast amounts of time alone, our internal monologue could adopt a fixed mindset approach.  But don’t be afraid to stand up to it and tell that fixed mindset voice that you will reformulate, re-evaluate your approach.  For example, 

A fixed mindset might say: “What if you fail, you’ll be a failure.”

Whereas a growth mindset will argue: “Successful people have experienced failures along the way.” 

If there’s one piece of advice I can offer at present it is to adopt a more growth mindset way of life but don’t try and do too much. One of the best examples I heard recently is from a prominent behavioural sociologist who said the way to deal with isolation is remember what you loved doing when you were 10 years old and do more of that…intuitively that makes perfect sense to me as it takes you to a content place where invariably you enjoyed doing that very thing so much!

Developing a growth mindset approach isn’t something that will happen overnight.  You will need to practice it consistently over time – like anything else. Oh, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself…some of you may be able to learn Spanish in three months but development isn’t a competition. Do what makes you content and that will in turn keep you moving forward in your mind.

A great exercise to try is, each day when you wake up ask yourself these two questions and if you can, note them down:

  • What are the opportunities for my development today?
  • When, where and how will I do this?

We are living in different times and the truth is we are all finding our way.  If we look to adopt a growth mindset and support each other, we can navigate successfully through this period.  

For those who really want to adopt a growth mindset and want to be positive about the future you’re one step closer.  According to research, the simple act of reading and learning new things can have a significant impact on your attitude and performance.  If you’ve reached this far, well done! 

The team at URBANFITNESS London are more than a team of trainers and professionals.  We see ourselves as coaches and we want to support you in as many ways as possible. Just last month we adapted and launched our new online fitness platform, but we know that during this time people need more than burpees and press ups (although these will of course help).  Therefore, if we can help or support you in any other ways please let us know. That’s what people with a growth mindset would do, and we would love to hear about your personal mindset strategies. Please do share them with us…

Health & exercise is now more important than ever for us to help ourselves and of course the NHS so I’ll leave you today with an outstanding quote from Chris Witty our nations C.M.O. from just yesterday…

“Let’s be clear, there is no situation, age or condition where exercise is not a good thing for all of its benefits and that’s exactly why we included it in the very limited number of reasons to leave your homes in the current pandemic.”

Jonathan Williams, co-founder URBANFITNESS London

Lockdown fitness: Six quick tips for staying motivated

In these uncertain times, you may be feeling down on motivation, causing you to exercise less. So, what can you do to get back your mojo and stay active during COVID-19? Here are some tips from the team at URBANFITNESS London to help.

  • Stick to your schedule 

Don’t let social distancing stop you from keeping to your normal daily routine. If you’re able to – kids, work, and pets permitting – schedule your day as you usually would. Perform your workout at the regular time, plan in your meals, wake up and go to bed at the same time, and perhaps even allow yourself an hour or two for mental wellbeing tasks. Focusing on existing habits is much easier than creating new ones and this will help you to stay motivated.

  • Set yourself new challenges

Whether it’s completing a task that’s been hanging around for ages or setting new challenges – fitness related or otherwise – this will give you something to aim for, keeping those motivation levels topped up. Could you smash your PB for press-ups or paint your garden fence? Remember that everyday tasks like tidying the house, walking the dog, or mowing the lawn all count as NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) and are a great way for burning those extra calories without even thinking about it. Cleaning up your home can also help to clear your mind – contributing to your mental wellbeing – so make a list of those odd jobs and get cracking! As human beings we crave a sense of accomplishment each day so ensure you can quantify completed tasks where possible.

  • Take time to reflect

In testing times – when life becomes more pressured – it’s easy to slip into a negative mindset, so try to make time in your day to reflect on what you have to be grateful for (friends, family, good health etc.) and what you’ve achieved (at work, in fitness, and in life). This will also help to remind you of the reasons why you’re trying to stay healthy and active, boosting your motivation.  

  • Connect with friends and family

Having a good natter with friends and family can be a great way to lift our spirits. When we’re feeling low on motivation, they can often be the people to help pick us back up. So, why not Facetime or set up regular video calls with those closest to you through platforms such as Zoom? Use the power of technology to eat lunch together, drink coffee together, and exercise together! What’s more, why not create some friendly competition within your group. Set each other daily fitness challenges to complete. For example, who can do the most burpees in one minute? Not only will this make you more motivated to work out, but it will also provide some lighthearted fun to help you through these difficult days.

  • Go virtual!

It’s not just the likes of Joe Wicks and Tyson Fury who have gone digital, several clubs including us at URBANFITNESS London are offering virtual fitness classes, either live or recorded, to keep our members active and motivated during the lockdown. So, even though you can’t access the clubs right now, you can still access our community, benefitting from the ‘pack motivation’ that comes from working out in groups. You should definitely try some of the home workouts our fitness team are posting. Also, we have an awesome 60-day free trial period with Les Mills On Demand for our members which offers a choice of almost 1000 workouts! Going virtual is a great way to stay motivated at home until our clubs re-open. 

  • Re-connect with nature

Make the most of any additional downtime you have by reconnecting with nature. Whether it’s doing an outdoor workout in your garden or heading out around the block for your daily run – as per government guidelines – the extra dose of fresh air and vitamin D from the sun will help you to fight fatigue, re-energize your body, and motivate your mind to remain active. Not only that, research has shown that Vitamin D can help to boost weight loss, while one study found that it has a positive effect on warding off depression – helping to look after your mental health. Vitamin D also helps to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. So, lap up those rays (safely of course) as much as you can during this period. 

Hopefully, these tips will help to keep your motivation tank topped until we’re through the other side of this pandemic. If you’d like any support or advice from us during this time, we are here to help as always so just drop us a line and we’ll get straight back to you…



Drop the excuses

I know, we get it, we’re all busy and it seems all too easy to find 101 things to do other than to work up a sweat at the gym.  Stop for a minute though and have a think about your excuses, are these genuine or just you trying to justify ditching an exercise session in favour of a Netflix binge? 

Below are some of the “go to” excuses people use to skip a workout – sound familiar?  Don’t worry though, URBANFITNESS London is here to debunk your excuses and get you back down the gym….you’re welcome!

1. I’m too tired to exercise

Yes exercise leaves your muscles feeling tired if you put enough effort in but it also leaves you feeling more energised than when you started.  This effect is due to the increased blood flow which gets your heart pumping, supplies oxygen to the brain and muscles and releases those sweet natural endorphins (the feel good chemicals).  You don’t even have to flog yourself to feel this effect, even a moderate training session can leave you feeling recharged.  

The solutions:  

– Push through the mental block which is telling you you’re too tired and focus on the feeling you get after a workout.  Even if you tell yourself you’re going to go for a steady 15 minute jog, once you’re out you’ll probably do more than that anyway.  

– Plan to meet a friend to keep you motivated, plus you’ll be less likely to skip a session if someone else is depending on you to turn up. 

– Exercise at a time of day that suit you.  If you know you’re not a morning person then there is zero chance of you getting up at 6am to hit the gym.  Pick a time of day that will make exercise more enjoyable for you, you’ll be much more likely to stick with it. 

2. I’m too busy

We get how crazy busy life can get, unfortunately exercise tends to be the first commitment to be dropped when we’re feeling a bit frazzled from a packed schedule.  However, with a bit of pre-planning and flexibility, you’ll usually find there are a few opportunities to exercise throughout the week if you are genuinely committed.    

The solutions:  

– Change your mind-set when it comes to exercise and instead of trying to find the time to get to the gym look at your diary and think of ways that you can make the time.  Look upon it as a treat rather than a chore and an opportunity to fit in some much needed “me time”.  Even some exercise is better than none at all.  Try setting aside a couple of lunchtimes or evenings a week which you keep free purely to train and any extra you can fit in is a cheeky bonus.   

– Do you love to crash on the sofa in front of the TV after a hard day at work?  Think about how many hours you spend watching TV each day.  Can you cut that down and find time to workout?  Or how about setting yourself a rule of, no TV unless you’ve exercised that day?  

3. I’m not motivated enough to exercise

We’ve all been there, started a new “health kick” and then run out of steam with it in a couple of weeks once the novelty has worn off.  If keeping healthy or losing weight isn’t a big enough incentive to get you moving, look for something which will work for you and keep you on track with your fitness.  

The solutions: 

– Read up on some of the health benefits associated with exercise. There’s some fairly compelling research out there and you don’t need to dig too deep to find it.  For example, it has recently been found that regular exercise along with a healthy lifestyle can add up to a decade on to your life – impressive hey?  

– Love a spreadsheet? Then make a chart to track your progress or download an app to keep a log of your exercise on your phone.  That way you’ll clearly be able to see the progress you’re making which will spur you on to continue.  

– Think of a reward for yourself which will push you to reach your fitness goal.  Maybe a weekend away, a massage or some new workout gear – whatever floats your boat.  

4. I get bored easily and don’t enjoy exercising

This all comes down to boredom busting!  The trick here is to do everything you can to make exercising fun so that it keeps your interest and is something you look forward to doing. 

The solutions: 

– Find things you enjoy doing, this might be running, cycling or a new gym class. Whatever it is, make sure you’re having fun.  There’s an exercise for everyone so give new things a try until you find your thing. 

– Make exercising more enjoyable – this might be by listening to your favourite music or downloading a podcast, even watching TV.  As long as you enjoy it, do it alongside exercising. 

– Switch things up to keep your interest.  Every few months or weeks try changing your usual training schedule, maybe throw in a new class.  Not only will it be great for your fitness, it’ll keep you on your toes too.   

Right, now we’ve dealt with all your lame excuses, what are you waiting for?! 

Forming healthy fitness habits

So, 2020 is here and everyone starts out with the best intentions for the New Year. Maybe it’s to eat healthier, maybe it’s to exercise more or take on a new sporting challenge?  Whatever personal challenge you’ve embarked on, URBANFITNESS London is here to keep you on track and make sure you continue to rock 2020! 

According to research, the 19th January marks the date than most people give up on their New Year resolutions.  Don’t be another statistic, forming healthy habits is a hack which will keep you on track for the long-run.  Here’s how to make those healthy habits stick….     

Also loads of new and very strong evidence out today about the cognitive benefits of exercise in combating mental health including dementia. In a busy city like London that can sometimes feel quite lonely…joining us can be just the tonic blah blah blah. 

1.  Make a plan, make it work

Ok, once you’ve decided to get to grips with your health and fitness you need a plan of action.  This can cover anything from scheduling in when will be the best time for you to exercise and how you might tackle the temptations of a big night out topped off with a kebab.  Rather than throwing the towel in at the first hurdle, it’s worth having ‘coping mechanisms’ to call on which can help to keep you on track. Different things work for different people so you might need the help of a supportive training buddy or reward incentives might be your thing.   

2. Be realistic

Let’s be honest, if you’ve let your fitness slide in recent months and opted for more pub time over Christmas than gym time then taking on too much at once is a recipe for disaster.  For example, if you’ve decided to workout everyday not only do you run the risk of injuries, you’ll burn out, become bored and sack off your “new, healthy lifestyle” by the end of the week.  Forget quick fixes and fad diets which are only maintainable over a short period, the trick for success here is making small changes.  Maybe plan to work out three times a week or cycle to work?  Whatever you go for, make sure it’s something you can stick at rather than setting yourself up for failure.  

3. Make it fun

This is where you get to rope in your friends for moral support (or at least someone to chat to while you’re working out) Maintaining a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t feel like a long hard slog and if it does you’ll be much less likely to stick to it. Do everything you can to make the change fun.  Find yourself a gym buddy or swap take-away nights with friends for something more active or try out a new sport of gym class.  You’ll thrive on the new challenge which will keep your motivation levels up.

4. Track your progress

If you’re struggling to see the bigger picture or long-term goal, try breaking it down in to smaller targets.  Keep track of your progress, no matter how small.  Let’s face it, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your progress.  This might be all you need to stick with your lifestyle changes over the course of the year rather than being another January statistic.   

5. Reward yourself

…within reason!  If you’re working on eating healthily, this doesn’t mean with a big burger but something appropriate that will be enough to keep you motivated.  Think along the lines of some new trainers, a workout gadget or a weekend away to celebrate all your hard work.  

 6. Think of the bigger picture

Exercise does so much more than simply look after your physical health.  More and more research is discovering the positive link between exercise and metal and cognitive health.  With physical health going hand in hand with mental health and as our lives are becoming busier, it’s easy to feel isolated, stressed and at times, depressed.  Exercise could just be the tonic you need to combat these feelings and regain the balance in your life.   

7.  Don’t get disheartened

The odd slip-up is going to happen, whether it’s a missed workout or a few extra drinks, the key to long-term success is not beating yourself up about it and getting back on track as soon as possible.  If you’re serious about achieving your long-term goals, a missed workout isn’t going to make a huge difference, so relax safe in the knowledge that you’re making some positive lifestyle changes. 

Now you’re geared up with some top tips for forming healthy fitness habits to keep you on track throughout the year, let’s smash 2020! Who’s with us?!  

Staying fit over Christmas

Admit it, who doesn’t love the opportunity to indulge in delicious food, the odd drink or two…or three and kick back in front of the TV over Christmas? After all, Christmas in the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Whether you have headed home to see family, are catching up with friends or have plans to paint the town red to ring in the New Year, the festive period is full of temptation after temptation which can lead to even the most avid gym bunny and health conscious devotee falling off the wagon.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few top tips to keep your fitness on track over the festive period.

  • Set aside at least 15 minutes of training everyday – this could include walking, yoga, HIIT, anything really! If you’re struggling to fit in your usual workouts, even just a few minutes can boost your metabolism and leave your feeling energised. Dust off the bikes or get the family out for a walk with you in the fresh air and you’ll easily smash your daily target.
  • Find a friend who will support you with maintaining your fitness. You can be a great support to each other, even when it’s cold and windy outside and going for a run is the last thing you feel like doing. Or schedule your workouts at a time that suits you both, you’ll be far less likely to skip the gym if someone is relying on you to show up.
  • Set challenges with friends and family, this could include sit ups or ‘plank-offs’. Set a goal for everyone to work towards e.g. “by the end of Christmas I’ll be able to do 50 sit ups” or, “I’ll be able to hold the plank position for 4 minutes”.
  • Be flexible with your training schedule. If your usual gym routine feels unrealistic over Christmas then adapt it to suit the time you have available. Remember, even a short workout is better than skipping it all together. If you are short on time, why not try one full body weights session and a treadmill based hill sprints session per week?
  • With your social calendar busier than ever, why not kill two birds with one stone and plan to see friends for fitness related catch-ups? It’ll be a nice change from the pub and you could even reward yourself with brunch after.
  • HIIT training is your friend. When you are looking to get the most bang for your buck from your workouts, look no further than HIIT training. Fitting in a quick 10 – 15 minutes session per day will work wonders for maintaining your fitness and can even be done in your living room if you’re struggling to make it to the gym.
  • Stay motivated. Christmas is notoriously difficult to the keep up your momentum when it comes to health and fitness but setting a sporting goal can really help you to focus and keep active. For example, booking a 10km run in January will force you to train over the Christmas period and maintain a healthier regime over Christmas. You could even rope in friends and family and train together if you look for events such as fun runs in your local area.
  • Plan your workouts carefully. Planning a workout for the morning after a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party is a great way to remain focussed and not overdo things. Think how good you’ll feel the next day having avoided a hangover too!

Making a conscious plan ahead of all the festivities will help you to stay on track with your exercise routine. Set yourself a realistic goal, e.g. to workout three times per week and allow for some flexibility in your usual schedule and fitness routine so you are able to achieve this. You will be glad of the discipline come January and you aren’t faced with a huge struggle to regain your fitness after the festive period.

URBANFITNESS London features on Channel5 programme – ‘Get a Holiday Body, lose a stone in four-weeks’


Why you should vary your workout routine?!

Picture the scene…You find an exercise routine that you enjoy and are able to do, it takes time and dedication and begins to help you achieve your goal of weight loss! Initially, you notice that you’re shedding pounds and the exercise routine pays off. However, after a few months, you start to stagnate at the same weight, even if you do the same amount of exercise and you stick to your diet plan! The reason for this is simple and something that isn’t considered by many. With repetition of the same type of workout, your body simply adjusts to the exercise routine and ultimately consumes less energy.

So you should absolutely consider varying your exercise routines for two fundamental reasons. Firstly to prevent the boredom associated with doing the same workout and secondly to avoid reaching a plateau in performance and subsequently results. A plateau is a time where you are no longer progressing in your workouts. Furthermore, if you change up the exercise routine, your body (and mind) will be continually challenged, burning more calories and in turn resulting in more successful weight loss if that is your end goal!

I’d be the first to admit that I have my favorite go to work out style, which is hypertrophy training. Hypertrophy training is a type of strength training to maximize the fastest route to muscle growth. However, I have learnt that stepping out of your comfort zone always proves to be beneficial and recently varying my routines to involve other training styles. I now include some aspects of the ever popular ‘functional training.’ This can help correct bad posture and any muscular imbalances you may have. Furthermore, another benefit of functional training is stability; every session includes flexibility, core stability, balance and strength training to keep your body challenged.

There are several ways you can spice up your current workout routine, one of which is the intensity of your workouts. For instance, if you walk or run, try incorporating some intervals of jogging or sprinting or adding more hill work to your routine. You can also cross train and perform different activities to provide your body with a new challenge. A nice alternative for resistance-training exercises involves changing the sequence in which you perform the exercises.  For example, if you perform bench press then a back exercise like a seated row, try during the next set to perform the seated row exercise first? By fatiguing the muscles in a new order, you are requiring them to adapt to a new training style and therefore shocking the muscle into developing further!

Alternating exercises is an effective way to make your routine more fun and interesting.  Changing the exercises can be as simple as doing barbell bench press one week and dumbbell bench press the next. Another effective way is changing up the sets & repetition’s you do each week. If muscle growth is the desired goal, then routines with exercises in the 1-3 rep range are not best as this is primarily used for strength training. However, if you always perform 3 sets & 8-12 reps on each muscle group and reach a plateau try doing 4 sets and 6-8 reps.

Personally, I change up my routine every 4-5 weeks. I tend to set certain weeks as low repetition ‘muscle growth’ weeks and other weeks as high intensity high repetition to ‘shock’ my muscles. After 4-5 weeks, I then change up the exercises. I replace primary muscle movements (e.g. barbell shoulder press) with secondary muscle movements (e.g. alternative dumbbell shoulder press). This ensures my muscles adapt and assists with continued development. It’s also put simply far more interesting!

So with all that in mind if any of you need some help in freshening up your gym routine we are all here to help so just stop one of us in the club and ask away!

Yours in training



Mental health is just as important as physical wellbeing!

“There’s always room for improvement!” I’ve come to learn is a phrase often said without fully understanding the message we are conveying to others. When it comes to setting out a programme and stating your plan of action to get there, there is no substitute for hard work and commitment but the question should be asked…At what point does your ambition and focus become detrimental to your mental wellbeing?

I’ve always been intrigued with the mind over matter theory from a young age and at this current time I still do believe there is a time and a place where it’s needed, otherwise champions would not be crowned champions and 2nd place would become 1st. I can speak from my own experience that at some point you may become your own worst enemy. During my third year of university I was juggling Olympic weightlifting training which is gruelling in isolation at the best of times, then combining this with daily mixed martial arts classes, work (who else is going to pay for the peanut butter every month) and of course university studies while attempting to also keep up a social life. Although I’m very proud of my work ethic and aspirations deep down knowing I always gave it my all whilst there, I believe there is still a fine line between working hard for what you want and running yourself into the ground in turn forgetting a key aspect of fitness is to give yourself a break and switch off. Fitness is a fascinating and necessary part of my life and I wouldn’t be anywhere today without the help its given me, but at some point you need to realise that the process of what you’re doing to achieve what you want is just as important if not more than the result.

Fitness is about achieving health both physically and mentally, allowing the skills you pick up along the way to then carry over to your daily life regime, helping and seeking to improve. There is a common mistake made with being ‘hellbent’ on achieving an aesthetically pleasing physique whether that be for themselves or for others. However when you’re gruelling yourself to stay under the calorie count for weeks on end there comes a point in time when you need to unwind and understand taking a night off will allow you to stay fresh.

This isn’t to say you get a daily free pass to slack and forget why you started your regime in the beginning but to give you a reminder that a healthy balanced lifestyle and your mental wellbeing is your priority. My ‘take home’ message would be to keep your goals small when climbing the ladder and your aspirations high, whether you like it or not you still have 23 hours left of the day that requires a focused and proactive you.

Best wishes – Rhys


This might come in handy after Christmas dinner!

So what do you know about boxing?

Have you ever tried it? Do you know anybody that has ever taken part in it? These are the questions I ask people when they start their journey in learning how to box. I can then build an understanding of why they have decided to attempt it.

Boxing is without doubt one of the toughest sports in the world today! A Boxer is pushed to their limits both physically and mentally. When people don’t understand something, sometimes the stereotypical human natural response is to see it in a negative light.

For example, I’ve been told by certain individuals “Oh boxing, that’s a thug’s sport for thick people” ……pretty harsh I know!

If only people took the time to actually understand what boxing is and realised that it is one of the hardest skill sets to learn. The intricacy and delicacy of boxing is something beautiful to watch when you observe a boxer at the peak of their powers.

When I heard this individual tell me their opinion of boxing, I won’t lie, it annoyed me. Therefore, I challenged this person to do a course of 1-1 pad work sessions with me 2x per week. It was apparent from the very 1st session that they felt humbled by how hard it actually was. From that day forward they changed their outlook on boxing and without doubt felt some remorse that they had judged the sport without actually understanding it.

Let’s be honest we can all be guilty of that! However it takes a bigger person to still step forward and try it.

For the novice boxer understanding how to deliver ‘strikes’ can be quite tricky. A punch is like a kinetic chain, a surge of energy running through a series of links. If you ask most people how do you punch? The common response is “throw it from the shoulder or arm”. However, the punch actually starts at your feet! You take energy from the ground and deliver the punch firstly in the lower extremities whilst the energy travels through the hips, torso, shoulder and then ends in the arm/fist. The body when used correctly is very powerful, so you can imagine the force that can be exerted when delivering a punch in this way.

Movement is therefore absolutely key, in sessions my clients learn how to use mobility and flexibility drills to complement their technique during pad work sessions.

For example, if a person is to tight around their knees, hips, torso and shoulders this will of course have a negative effect on their ability to move effectively and in turn hinder their punching style. By using different mobility and flexibility drills we can open up each range of movement where there may have been ‘tightness.’ I call this ‘soft work’ because if we looked at it from an outside perpsective, you would probably think what has this got to do with boxing! Again, it’s about understanding why…. Simple analogies like this aid understanding.

Think about when a builder constructs a house. The painting, tiling, flooring and exterior is not completed first. The foundations of the property must be built so that the likes of the flooring and tiling of a room can be done later. Simple analysis like this helps my clients to understand that their body needs to complete these small drills to aid their overall boxing technique.

There are many different styles in boxing and theories of thought, it really is the ‘sweet science.’ Boxing is simply amazing when you begin to appreciate and understand it more. The benefits are endless, it’s superb for common goals such as getting leaner and fitter but above all it’s different to the norm.

Learning to box using pad wok and bag work is very tough but it’s so rewarding! In the sessions, you will learn how to box correctly within a fitness environment, I can’t stress enough how fun and rewarding it really is.

I dare you to try something different! If so, get in touch, oh and watch this space for some fresh additions to our class timetable alongside this theme.

Yours in all things fitness & boxing.

Mark ‘10’ Kisz

Oh and here’s a ‘Pro’ tip for free…If the ‘in-laws’ annoy you over the Christmas meal some ‘heavy bag work’ is the perfect antidote!


Women with Power!

Edging out the competition, generating power, increasing performance and looking good doing it?!

When someone asks you what you train to increase your speed, power and stability, what do you tell them? For a few of us it will be sprints on a treadmill, for others it will be pause squats. For very few there will be Olympic lifting.

So let’s look at that, in Olympic lifting you have to get the bar from A to B as fast as you can, then control it either overhead or on your shoulders. Performing cleans and snatches gives you benefits in strength, power, accuracy, flexibility, speed, coordination, agility and balance to name but a few.

The Great British hockey team have recently achieved great success in Rio becoming the female Olympic champions. Unbeaten in all their games on their way to the final, every one of those athletes have been training more than ever in the gym. Lifting heavy weights to get faster, stronger and more stable.

Having had a 5 year sabbatical from playing competitive hockey at what was an International standard…coming back to playing was a bit daunting. I thought I would have lost all my speed, endurance and skill. However, where my skill has dropped, my speed and endurance has actually increased. I’m now humbly hopeful that the old adage of ‘form is temporary and class is permanent’ is true in my case as the skills I possessed with stick in hand are slowly returning to make me a better all round player!

This is I know is due to my Olympic lifting and weight training in general. Which all started back in Wales about 3 years ago! I used a personal trainer with a small group to help me get stronger and my body a bit firmer. The results from lifting weights were almost immediately visible, after 12 weeks I was where I wanted to be but I had absolutely got the bug and just wanted to lift heavier and heavier. Fast forward to today where I am now the personal trainer helping others achieve that same goal. There is so much that we can all benefit from re strength training and the understanding that Olympic lifting is ultimately the basis for ALL sport. At URBANFITNESS London we are one of the few facilities in the city that actively promote this ’train 2 train’ approach. The entire team and I are passionate about this message and especially when it comes to women so please come and chat to us about what it can do for you, whether its a firmer physique or athletic performance, lifting is simply one of the most positive activities you can do to see quick and impressive results.

Power to the people!….Ruadhan