It can prove difficult to make the most of a new gym membership without professional guidance. K West Hotel & Spa’s personal trainer, Clifton Goldson (who has trained the likes of Calum Best, Made in Chelsea’s Proudlock, and England and Southampton footballer Ryan Bertrand) has given us his top tips for achieving fitness goals and how best to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid of the weights
What’s the secret to achieving the highly-desired dancer physique? Step off the cross trainer and pick up a pair of kettle bells. Whilst cardio develops overall fitness levels and stamina, using weights in compound exercises – such as squats and burpees – is the key to building long, lean muscle mass. Clifton advises high repetitions of back-to-back exercises using a low weight, followed by 30/60- second rest.
A balanced diet
80% of how we look is related to diet, so despite endless hours in the gym, you really are what you eat. Try to avoid fad diets and instead opt for a portion-controlled, balanced diet.
R & R: Rest and Rehabilitation
On a mission to get fit, overtraining may seem like a good idea, whether it’s a 2/3-hour session or two workouts a day. However, resting your body is just as important as exercising, as without rest progression can plateau. Schedule two rest days each week, and a full week out every three months. Getting a full 8-hour sleep each night will also ensure maximum results.
Too much of a good thing can be bad. The optimum amount of water needed to keep you fully hydrated is two litres, as much more than this can dilute sodium levels in the blood. Similarly, coffee has great health benefits as it helps speed up the metabolism and aids in fat-burning, but should be enjoyed only once a day.
Defining targets and measuring results
Do you want to feel fitter? Or look great on the beach? Whatever your aim, it’s vital to set targets to stay motivated and to measure your progress. Steer clear of regularly using the weighing scales and instead quantify your progress using a measuring tape or before/after photos.
Enjoy the process
Fitness is a 50% physical, 50% mental challenge, so it’s important to enjoy what you do. Wear comfortable gymwear as you’re more likely to exercise for longer, and don’t forget your headphones if music is your big motivator. Clifton advises to always finish your training with one exercise that you really love, as you will leave the gym feeling great on a post-workout high.