Category Archives: exercise technique

Without this we will die

We all know that water is vital for life and even if we didn’t have food for several days/weeks we would survive along as we had water to drink. Given over 70% of our body is made up of water you can see why and also that’s why it is so important to stay hydrated every day (quick go grab a glass of water whilst you read this).

So how long would we survive without oxygen?

Not long as we need it to give life to our bodies to enter our blood stream and be pumped around our body by our heart and enter our cells and give us the energy we need.

This is exactly why on an airplane we are told to always put on our oxygen mask first before helping other with theirs.

I’ve done a little video to explain this more and help you understand the relationship between the oxygen mask and living a healthy lifestyle.

I was recently visiting a school friend who now has 3 children, aged 4 -13, and she had got out of the habit of doing some exercise each morning and wanted to start it again as she knew it made her feel better, so on the Sunday morning before breakfast we did it together.

One of the children was off playing football so we had the 4 year old join us and the teenager had good intentions to do it too but her bed was too cosy on a Sunday morning instead (can’t blame her really!). Simple bodyweight exercises that didn’t take long at all, apart from when I showed my friend how to do press ups properly.*

press up

In my years of coaching men and women the press-up is one of the hardest exercise to master but it can be done and it is such a great exercise to build strength in the chest, shoulders, triceps, core (if you can do it on your toes) and it also burns calories as it elevates the heart rate – plus you get the added bonus of extra calories burn at rest because you have built more muscle fibres.

I’ll say that again as it is something women especially don’t think about…. one of the benefits of increasing your muscle mass (without looking like a body builder) is that it raises your metabolism after exercise so you burn more calories whilst at work, sleeping, driving, watching TV etc.

So be sure to learn how to do your exercises properly to get the most value out of them and if you’d like a complimentary copy of my 10 minute core workout then click below for my simple bodyweight routine.

Click here to get my 10 minute core workout

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If you are in Bath or Somerset and want to get moving then consider our Zest Bootcamp classes or 1-1 personal training.

Be a good role model to your children by eating the right food and doing your exercise and also remember that in order to help them now and in the future it is important you look after yourself by putting on your own oxygen mask first.

Infact, although I don’t have children I do have a lot of demands placed on me like most people, so even I have to remind myself to prioritise my exercise sometimes and that’s why I am happy to pay in advance to go to some group sessions so they are booked in my diary and I work my clients around that some days, to make sure I am feeling as good as I can to service my clients the best I can.

Have a great day
Zita x

ps We all went out for lunch that Sunday to Pizza Express as the kids love pizza and it was close by and me and my friend had a delicious superfood salad which you could add chicken or salmon too for extra protein. Highly recommended – click here for a photo

*In the press up photo I should really be tucking my chin in more to keep my head better aligned with my body and also my hips could be a couple of inches lower if we want to be really precise 🙂

Boxing Day Burpees

Hands up if like me you are feeing a little more rotund today 🙁

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Inevitable really but that’s no reason not to get moving with a few boxing day burpees – yes my favourite exercise (love/hate relationship) that burns loads of calories, works your heart and lungs and strengthens up nearly the whole body. It doesn’t need any equipment and there are variations to make it easier so let’s go.

Burpee sequence

Burpee sequence

The regular version is a 3 – 4 part movement.

  1. Hands on the floor, jump the feet out behind you into a plank type position (photos 1 & 2)
  2. Jump the feet back in with bent knees and at same start to jump up, hands above the head (photos 3 & 4)
  3. Return hands to floor and repeat. Make sure you keep your abdominals pulled in to keep your core strong

We can make it more challenging by adding in a press up when you are in the plank position and we can make it easier in a couple of ways – first way is by putting your hands on a low step, eg bottom of the stairs. The other way to make it easier and a great low impact alternative for people who haven’t exercised for a while to start with is to step each foot out into plank and step them both in rather than jumping, and also to just stand up and raise hands above head rather than adding in the jump. Top tip – why not clap your hands at the top as it means you can’t “cheat”!

How many burpees should you do? Aim to start with 10 in 1 go and then build up your repetitions to maybe 20 in 1 go. Alternatively set your timer and see how many you can do in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds and then repeat.



ps If you are not able to attend our group exercise classes in Bath at Zest Bootcamp but still want to start a health & fitness regime in January I have the perfect thing  – click here for more info.

12 days of Christmas workout

How are you feeling – got the elasticated waistband out yet?

To help you get your body moving I put together a little bodyweight workout that you can do anywhere, anytime.

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It takes less than 20 minutes and you can rest when you need to so it doesn’t matter what your level of fitness is.

To get the PDF of the workout plus a link to the technique video please complete your details below and I will email it to you so you can get moving and feel great.


Zita 🙂

ps if you live near Bath and want to exercise outdoors with like-minded people in a supportive, non-military group environment then why not book a trial week at Zest Bootcamp starting on 5th January. Find out more HERE

Who cares about technique

“What is the best type of exercise?” I often get asked…. I will come back to this question but first I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a while as I realised that perhaps not everyone appreciates what you should expect from a fitness trainer or coach.

We have recently had a lady come to our bootcamp class in Bath who was already pretty fit as she had been going to some other group classes. One of the main reasons she decided to stay was that she was being properly coached about technique and therefore after the class felt the right muscles aching because she had been doing it properly.

For example the Plank exercise can easily be done wrong as shown below, and instead of strengthening your core it will either be less effective (hips high in air – middle image) or putting massive strain on your lower back (hips dropped low – last image)

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She realised that doing things really fast isn’t always the answer and that a controlled move with good technique/form will get better results. It appears that the what she is learning and the benefits it is bringing is a world away from what she has experienced with other group classes in the past so she has signed up for our 6 month bootcamp programme.

This is not to say that all other group classes do not give good coaching and technique as I know of some great trainers out there but sadly you don’t always get what you deserve. I sometimes participate in other group classes at variety of places (as I love to workout with other people) and I experience first hand how poor some (not all) of the coaching is.

One of the reasons we cap our numbers at bootcamp is to ensure we can coach properly and our workouts always look at working different parts of the body, energy systems and options for fitter clients who want to work harder.

Some of the basic moves like press ups and squats can so often be executed poorly that it can take time and patience to really nail the technique. Yes it is hard work for the trainer and can be frustrating for the client who just wants to work hard but that is what we are there to do so that:

1. There are no injuries

2. You get the best results out of the session

Seems like good reasons to me.

Some activities such as boxing, suspension training and Kettlebells can take a bit more coaching which is why personal training can be a great way to get some 1-1 help with technique.

So next time you are looking for a class to join think about:

how big the class is?

what level of coaching is given?

the experience of the trainer?

whether you can do a trial session before you sign up longer term?

At Zest bootcamp we offer a trial week for people to test us out before joining for the month. Next one is on 21st July and then 1st Sept for any of you who live  near Bath.


My answer is the one you enjoy doing as the best results will be from the form of exercise you do frequently not once in a blue moon. So find what you love to do and enjoy!