Tag Archives: Bath bootcamp

Fitness can be fun

When I set up Zest Bootcamp in Bath back in 2009 I really had no idea of whether it would work but I’m happy to say that it did!

Over the last 9 years we have gone through several changes but one thing that hasn’t changed is my passion to help more people to feel healthier, fitter and happier.

Fitness Classes at Zest Bootcamp in Bath

The outdoor group exercise classes are a great way for people, especially those who don’t like the gym environment, to get their bodies moving in a friendly, supportive group. Often people think that the British weather is going to be a problem, but to the contrary, you’d be surprised at how infrequent we have any rain at the classes. Being outdoors is actually what attracts many of the Zest Bootcamp members, aka “zesties”, to the classes as so many of us spend our lives indoors so it’s nice to get out in nature. It’s a chance to see mother nature, listen to the birds, feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin and watch as the trees change through the seasons. Being out in nature is actually very calming and can help to destress us far more than going to the gym.

Here is our brand new video showing you a bit more about what we do and hopefully that we are nothing like the military style bootcamps such as British Military Fitness than some people might imagine we are similar to.

Other benefits of the classes include the fact that your space is pre-booked so you can’t make excuses not to exercise and let’s face it you don’t get results if you don’t actually attend the classes and do the exercise. We do all the preparation and thinking for you so you just turn up with a “can do” attitude and we will ensure you get a great workout and results that you will be proud of. Zest Bootcamp is more akin to group personal training than a large scale bootcamp and along with the classes there are numerous other benefits including nutritional support and much more. You may also spot that we do fitness boxing in the classes – generally something most women joining us have not done before and something most Zesties love!

Unlike some group classes, we cap our numbers so that everyone can get the attention they deserve and technique is something we really focus on to get the best results possible. This being said we do balance out the classes with some fun so that the experience is still enjoyable.

Most of our long term members joined us for a trial week and then stayed because they enjoyed it so much – one lady is in her 7th year and she’s now in her 60’s so age is no barrier. We have a variety of people coming to the classes including several runners who love the fact we do strength training, core work and flexibility that helps with their running.

So if you have been thinking about trying something different or just starting some kind of regular exercise programme then hopefully you can see that there is life outside the gym.

I’d love to welcome you to a taster week soon and show you how you can feel great. Just go to www.zestbootcamp.co.uk to register for a trial week and we will be in touch. The next one is November 20th otherwise it will be January 2018 – perhaps to burn off all that Christmas pudding!

You can also see photos and videos of Bath’s original bootcamp on our Facebook Page by clicking here

Zest Bootcamp in Bath

For those of you on Instagram you can follow me HERE

Fitness and Fashion

When I met Natasha Musson I knew instantly she must exercise regularly because she exudes health, energy and confidence (and looks great too) so it was no surprise to find out she runs in the mornings with her dog ‘Fizz” – what a fab name!

The reason she doesn’t come to our early morning Zest Bootcamp classes is purely because she lives in Somerset so not very convenient at 6.30am.

It seemed a great combination to mix fitness and fashion so we held a style event for some of the “zesties” after one of our members had had a great 1-1 session with Natasha.

The Sip, Style & Swap Style Event is a format Natasha devised 7 years ago when she started her business, with the aim of bringing fashion into the front room in a relaxed environment. To inspire, to teach and to show women on trend styles, new fashion tips through demonstration and open conversation. No selling, just talking creative concepts of how to produce new looks.

The evening kicked off with Natasha doing a presentation  once everyone was furnished with a  glass of fizz and  some of the common questions and dilemmas many women had were addressed such as, ‘What is smart casual?; ‘What trends can we wear that are age appropriate?’  ‘How do I wear modern clothing without feeling like mutton dressed as lamb’.

Natasha had connected with 3 shops in Bath to enhance her offering… Anthropologie, Hobbs and Instant Vintage. Displaying a series of looks on her mannequin, first up was ‘how to wear glamorous jackets with chinos and t-shirts’.

Next up was this seasons prints from Hobbs and then we discussed a tricky orange shirtdress with sleeve ties around the waist – yes for real!.

After a good hour of demos, inspired looks, everyone was in full fashion swing on the sofa, chatting, buzzing from fizz and fashion.

The final part of the evening was for the Swap and Style Advise. Natasha had asked everyone attending  to bring something for the swapping rail (one person junk is another’s treasure). They also had to bring a garment that they didn’t wear and needed Style Advise on.

Learning how to wear a bikers jacket over the age of 60 and look great

This was such an interesting part of the evening as everyone openly decided that the ‘one to ones’ be conducted in front of the whole group. The feeling was, they wanted to learn style advise from the feedback she gave to each individual so, one by one, all 15 individually stepped into the ‘circle of style’. We had huge fun encouraging each member how to wear the garments that had been siting in the back of their wardrobes.

From suede mini skirts, designer red coats, fringed cotton striped skirts, black biker jackets, old work dresses and new designer blouses. Garments that had arrived with a big question mark ‘will I ever wear this?’ finally got a big  ‘yes, great I’m wearing that next week’ .The room was a buzz with excitement and confidence – a bit like some sessions at Bootcamp (except everyone was looking a bit more glam 🙂

The swapping part of the evening was very relaxed, ladies having to get off the sofa after a few glasses of fizz to try on clothes that others had brought in. They all went home with a goodie bag, a smile on their face and lots of ideas to try at home as well as several of them with someone else’s “unwanted” items that turned into treasure 🙂 Infact I indirectly ended up with a lovely Desigual dress which I “swapped” for a Zest Bootcamp T shirt!

It was a fun and informative evening and if you have a group of people I highly recommend it as something different to do socially.  Thank you to our lovely host Laurie for not only offering her house but also the delicious nibbles which ended with very spectacular white chocolate mini cheesecakes -totally non-bootcamp friendly but SO good!

Natasha is offering £50 voucher off her styling services to bootcamp clients or anyone reading this blog if you mention my name.

Style parties can be organized at £25 per head with a minium of 10 attending

You find out more on Natasha’s website at www.natashamusson.co.uk

If you’d like to feel more confident in your clothes then why not join us for a trial week at our friendly, fresh-air fitness classes in Bath – click here for more information.

You can also find out more about what we do at Zest Bootcamp, including lots of videos so you can see what it’s really all about on our Facebook page here.

Comfort zone

So last weekend was my birthday and all the fun I had has crept up on me 🙁

birthday cake

We went out for a lovely dinner on the Saturday (and plenty of wine) and I had fish starter and main course so on Sunday I really fancied some meat.

There is a place called Grillstock that I had yet to visit so I had my mind set on going there for lunch. We walked around the harbour in Bristol for over an hour to work up our appetite ……we climbed a hill and finally found the restaurant (which is pretty small in Bristol)

We walked in (and raised the average age by at least 15 years!) and I checked that Mr Z was happy to sit at the communal bench type table (that’s all there is there) and he wasn’t very keen and I realised he wanted to walk straight back out 🙁

BUT I had been really looking forward to it so I stuck to my guns and we sat down.

To cut a long story short he actually loved it and wants to go the Bath one soon!

So why am I telling you this?

Well the moral of this story is that getting out of our COMFORT ZONE is not something we really like to do but it can open exciting opportunities and adventures that we hadn’t expected.

Last week I also did my ever live webinar which REALLY got me out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I did it as I learnt from some of my mistakes and next time it will be easier.

Another example is when people, who don’t think they will like bootcamp, bite the bullet and sign up for a trial week and then several months or years later are still with us.

I recently had a lovely testimonial from one of our very long term members who came for a month and 50 months later is still doing it!

Anyway having almost eaten a days calories in one meal of ribs, chips and coleslaw washed down with a cider, I’ve got back to my regular exercise and better eating the last few days so that this coming Monday I won’t feel bloated, uncomfortable and lethargic like I did last Monday.

What could you do to get out of your comfort zone?

Life is no dress rehearsal so make the most of it…..

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If you are in Bath and would like to (maybe) get out of your comfort zone a little, it could be time to have a go at some outdoor fitness with supportive, like minded people at Zest Bootcamp.

 

Small Business Saturday

Did you know today is Small Business Saturday –  to inspire, support and promote small businesses in UK on 6th December.

It reminded me that looking after your health and fitness is a bit like running a small business.

Weekend Magazine Feature

{ This was an article in Bath Chronicle Weekend Magazine a few months ago.}

IMAGINE if when we started Zest Bootcamp almost 6 years ago, we just did an initial advert and then no promotion at all in the time after that – not sure many people would know about us.

Same as if you did a month of exercise and healthy eating, got great results and then didn’t carry on those habits – you wouldn’t still have the results you achieved at the start.

IMAGINE if we did exactly the same workouts every month for 6 years at bootcamp – people would get bored.

Same as if you do the same workout every time you go into the gym, or you just go running on the same route every week for same length of time – your body gets bored. You have to challenge your body and mix it up to get results as well as avoid overuse injuries.

IMAGINE if I never did anymore courses, study or self development in the time since starting Zest Bootcamp – I would become stale. In this time I have worked with several coaches on my technical knowledge and skills as well as learning about relevant business aspects to constantly grow and evolve.

Same as if you just rely on what you read in magazines and on TV to get a better body – you may be wasting your time. By hiring a professional to work with you, it’s likely you will not only achieve better results but you will probably get there quicker.

**** You wouldn’t try and fix your car engine if it broke down so why should you expect to know how to fix your body.*****

Having worked crazy hours, under immense pressure for someone else before I changed careers and not looking after my body therefore being overweight, bloated, lethargic and unhealthy, I am super passionate about helping more people run their own “body” businesses better.

So if next year you don’t want to try and run “your own business” alone join us at Zest Bootcamp for a trial week or even our online programme for women called Healthy Mammas.

Running your own business is hard but it does bring benefits. EXACTLY like looking after your own body

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.

So WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF EXERCISE?

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!

 

 

Happiness

My last few posts seem to have all been about food – mostly chocolate 🙂 so now it’s time for a change.

Gratitude …

When was the last time you felt grateful for something or someone?

Hopefully not too long ago – maybe even today already.

I finally started a gratitude jar to make a note of little things I am grateful for each day. Many people keep a gratitude journal and log some positive events that happened during the day before they go to bed. Another way to do it is each morning to state 2 or 3 things that your are grateful for. This can help set up your brain ready for a positive day. You may have seen on Twitter and Facebook the “100 happy days” challenge where people have been posting pictures of things that make them happy.

gratitude jar

Some days it can be hard to find the positivity we all love and benefit from, infact some weeks, months and even years can seem to bring nothing but “challenges” or you might call them problems.

It’s unlikely any of you reading this have not experienced illnesses, deaths, marriage break ups etc of close friends and family, even work colleagues but even during these low points you can still take a moment to notice all the nice things around us.

I’m currently working with someone who has terminal cancer, a brain tumour and the way it manifests physically is similar to symptoms of a stroke survivor (but a bit worse in terms of his speech). I was really saddened to hear how he was treated recently at an upmarket hotel – the staff thought he was drunk and refused him to go into the bar. Imagine how upsetting that was for his family who were with him. We need to be more accepting if people don’t fit the norm, they may be a reason they walk and talk funny.

It’s ok if you think the fact that putting on a few pounds is the end of the world but in reality it probably isn’t, so how about thinking of all the lovely things that make you smile or feel warm inside – they are out there we just need to see them.

It might be the:

Colourful spring flowers

The sea

The pretty pattern on top of a flat white at a coffee shop

The smell of fresh bread baking

The smile from a stranger

A hug from a friend

A car letting you out at a busy junction

Hearing a busker playing some beautiful music

Coming home to someone special after a tough day

An unexpected card saying thank you for something

A beautiful sunrise

The list really is endless…..

The gratitude log, journal or jar can help us take our thoughts to more uplifting experiences.

Did you know the brain is programmed to remember negative things easier than positive ones – this is what helps us realise that when we step out into the road and almost get hit by a car that next time we should look both ways first. It is our self preservation toolkit…. but doesn’t help our mood somedays when all we seem to do is negative brain chatter.

So my challenge to you over the nest few weeks is a daily gratitude log or jar – whatever works for you.

I’m grateful that the Blood Service can accept my blood ( as many people are unable to donate who want to) so a few times a year I give about 45 minutes of my time (the actual donation takes about 10 mins) to donate blood. In fact this week was my 23rd pint! Why not give it a go as you can book an appointment plus there is free tea and biscuits so what’s not to like! You can find out more or book up at a local venue here

ps I am VERY grateful for the fact my body works and allows me to get out and exercise – what is your excuse for not exercising?

168 hours

If you want to sign up for a trial at our bootcamp classes in Bath click here  

Candy Crush

What is it with Candy Crush Saga! All I know is my mum plays it along with what seems like half the population!

Anyway have you eaten all your Easter chocolate yet?

Did you feel sick over the weekend with too much sugar, possibly after giving up chocolate and sweets for Lent?

A few people coming to bootcamp did!

If you are not yet over your Easter excesses then best way to get back on track is to do these 3 things:

  1. Increase your water intake back to what it should be – 0.039litres per kg of bodyweight is a good guide.
  2. Get moving – even if just for a long walk or 10 mins of exercises at home
  3. Go green, lots of big salads, some homemade green smoothies or some lean greens powder. All of these will help alkalise your body from the acidity which will give you more energy, better digestion and also health.

There is a recipe for Kermit smoothie in blog post below if you’ve not yet had it. Otherwise why not fill in your details in box above to download my free 7 day cleanse – it has smoothie recipes as well as great lunch and dinner suggestions.

I’ve been playing around with some more ideas for smoothies this week – made one yesterday I have called “pink paradise” but need to make it a few times more and get other peoples feedback before I share it with the world.

Last week, before the photo shoot, I had a few days cleansing with lots of homemade, healthy smoothies (not the sugary “Innocent” ones you buy in the shops) plus salads and fish just to feel as good as I could before going infront of the camera. I felt good so ‘cleaning up your act” really is worth it if you are feeling sluggish and bloated. ( I will be seeing the photos next week – very excited! )

If you can’t imagine life without chocolate then check out this new recipe I created that is a healthy alternative from the “candy” sold in the shops – I got some great feedback from the bootcampers and clients who tried it.

Finally if you need to burn off that Easter “cheer” our May bootcamp starts Monday and if the weather is as nice as most days we had in April (today excluded) we are in for a treat. Last chance to book your trial week today, Emma has just done her first month at Zest Bootcamp and is sleeping better, her mood and energy are better and she can get in her skinny jeans!

You can read her blog post about bootcamp here http://adventurely.co.uk/2014/04/25/emmas-diary-i-finished-bootcamp-hold-on-i-think-i-definitely-need-more/

Zita’s Dairy, Sugar & Gluten free Chocolate Truffles

These are satisfying and have a surprise ingredient. You can also make a batch and have in the freezer.

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Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped apricots or dates (soaked in water overnight)

1/2 cup cooked and drained chickpeas

1/4 cup chopped hazlenuts, pistacios, almonds or cashews (can be toasted lightly to bring out flavour)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup almond or coconut milk

1 bar of 80 – 90% dark chocolate

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Cinnamon

Optional: Orange essence or zest

Tablespoon of honey, agave syrup, coconut palm sugar or stevia for extra sweetness

Method

  1. Slowly melt the coconut oil and broken up chocolate in a pan
  2. Mash up or blend the chickpeas , drain the dried fruit of soaked then mix with all other ingredients
  3. Add the melted chocolate and mix well
  4. Put into paper cases or roll into balls and store in fridge or freezer.
  5. Enjoy!

Zita x

Chocolate vegetables

Eating your 5 a day can be easier than you think if you blend in smoothies, soups and even better into a chocolate cake!

beetroot choc protein bites

In Bath we are finally lucky enough to have a new health food place called “Beyond The kale” that makes amazing fresh juices and blends (healthy smoothies) as well as loads of other goodies.

Today I had a lettuce, kale, coriander, lemon and banana  (I think) and last time it was a beetroot and other goodies blend.

Even more exciting more me is that they make fresh almond milk which I love and don’t always get time to make myself. It’s not only dairy free but also loaded with enzymes  and goodness – plus it tastes wonderful.

If you are on my email list, have the 7 day detox (you can sign up for above) or have my cookbooks then you should already have tried a few delicious smoothy recipes. Also you can see my famous “kermit” recipe here on Martini Mum Blog

Anyway here is a super simple recipe (if you have kids it might be a way for you to get them to eat beetroot!)

Have a great weekend and if you are in Bath we start our April 4 week bootcamp on Monday – outdoor group fitness for all abilities at either 6.30am, 9.30am or 6.15pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Trial weeks available too – Click Here for more info

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Zita’s Beetroot Chocolate Protein Bites

These are dairy & gluten free sweet “treats” that are high in protein, good fat and are easy to make and taste great.  Great alternative to biscuits, chocolate or cakes.

Ingredients

100g of 80 to 90% dark chocolate

150 cooked beetroot (either cooked from fresh or vacuum packed – not in vinegar!)

3 eggs

3/4 cup almond or coconut milk

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots or dates

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup almond butter (or unsweetened peanut butter if can’t get almond)

1/2 cup ground almonds

2/3 large tablespoons coconut oil

Cinnamon

Method

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil slowly
  2. Blend beetroot & almond milk until smooth
  3. Mix all other ingredients then add beetroot mix then finally melted chocolate mix
  4. Spoon 10 or more bites onto greased baking tray & cook at 180 degrees for approx 15 mins
  5. Let cool then store in fridge
  6. Enjoy!

Zita x

Other options:

Could try banana instead of dried fruit and grated carrot or courgette instead of beetroot.

Also could add spoon of flaxseed or chia seeds for omega 3 and fibre 

 

Stop eating C.R.A.P

Until yesterday I was going to write about gratitude – which I still will on another blog post but I changed my mind as had to get this off my chest.

It seems the no make-up “selfie” has gone crazy on Facebook over the last few days and whilst I love the intent and the fact it’s raising awareness and money for breast cancer – a cause VERY close to my heart, I have a different approach.

stop eating crap

Yesterday I was in a major chain supermarket filming some educational nutrition information about how to choose the best foods for an online programme I’m running. We chose a large store so the ranges on offer would be as wide as possible and it truly shocked me how much rubbish is on the shelves.

I honestly hadn’t even heard or seen a lot of the brands of food and drinks that were on offer – is that because I don’t watch much TV or read magazines where they are advertised maybe? It could be that I use a fruit and vegetable box scheme for the majority of my foods, as well as farm shops, health food shops and I also prefer smaller supermarkets for other bits that we need.

Ok I know many of you have children and you need to shop for everything in one place to make life easier but really I’d say that 75% of what is there you DO NOT need. The cereal aisle for example, which I call the sugar aisle, is immense and squashed down the bottom on a tiny shelf we finally found some organic porridge oats – which are not only “closer to nature” the way I prefer to eat, but also work out much cheaper bowl for bowl than some of the so called “healthy” mueslis and granolas.

Want to get fat? Then check out some of the ingredients in a yoghurt – double cream, sugar, butter!!! Yes steam started coming out of my ears when I read that – can you believe it!

As you may realise this subject is one that I am super passionate about and I could talk all day about it. We got half way around the supermarket before they came over and told us to stop filming as it wasn’t allowed… kind of expected that to happen 🙁

So whilst breast cancer is not always straight forward I understand, we have got to start thinking more about what we put in our bodies, hence I write and say what I do to help people understand the truth and not what the food manufacturers and media mostly tell us, but in the end it is your choice of course.

Anyway here is a photo of a sugar, wheat and diary free “experiment” that turned out really well….

beetroot choc protein bites

I’ve just had one of my cookbooks reprinted so if you struggle with ideas of what healthy meals to prepare that are easy to make and taste great I recommend you have a look as I think you might be surprised. The 90 recipes are sugar and wheat free, and mainly dairy free too. Many of the mums on our online programme have said how they now love some of the fruit smoothies as alternatives for breakfast, as well as the fruit pancakes which everyone loves! For dinner the kids seem to all love the Spanish meatball recipe so check it out HERE

have a great weekend and if you are in Bath don’t forget you can sign up for a trial week at our outdoor bootcamp classes to see how we can help you feel healthier and happier.

Zita

ps Recipe for these chocolate treats coming next time as this post is long enough already.  You can sign up above for my 7 day detox and then you will the first to know about my future blog posts to make sure you don’t miss out:)

Post Christmas Workout

oh dear – I think I ate too many mince pies!

Not to worry I’ve started today with a greens drink to alkalise after plenty of bubbles and food.

Also going to get back on track with my water consumption today and do this short and simple bodyweight workout

There are only 2 exercises so have a go and get that body moving and I bet you will feel so much better

If you’d like a super healthy and tasty Smoothie recipe go HERE

Still time to sign up for trial week at our January Bootcamp that starts on Monday 6th

>>>Sign up here<<<

Enjoy the rest of the holidays

Zita