Tag Archives: personal training

Very uncomfortable

So X Factor is back on TV and whilst I don’t mind it, I’m much more of a fan of The Voice which could be the reason I had a singing lesson this week …..

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Yes that’s right – at the age of 43 I had my first ever singing lesson!

It was a taster session to see if I liked it and more importantly the teacher.

I was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone but I just thought what have I got to lose. I didn’t even know anything about vocal chords and realise how the force of the air going through them creates a sound, therefore how vital the breathing and using your lungs and diaphragm properly really is.

Infact, as an asthmatic I am not great at breathing deeply into my lungs as well as I should, tending to do more chest breathing (as do most people anyway, especially when we are stressed).

That’s one of the reasons I thought I’d try out some singing lessons to encourage better breathing, plus my husband subtly emailed me a link to a singing teacher a few weeks ago – nuff said!!

So I have done the taster and booked up some lessons but what is going to make a big difference is doing the homework in between, which at the moment is just doing some basic scales.

I realised how similar this was to my work.

Many people don’t ever start a fitness regime either at the gym, at bootcamp, classes or with a trainer for fear of being out of their comfort zone.

****BREAKING NEWS – if you actually want to make progress and get results then you have to get out of your comfort  zone.****

Infact when I changed careers 16 years ago and retrained to become a personal trainer I was WAY out of my comfort zone. As a previous non-exerciser I sat there at the lecture on day 1, surrounded by a lot of super fit people, not even knowing what the quadriceps muscle was (ps its your thigh but I expect you knew that anyway).

So step 1 is to get out of your comfort zone – that’s why we have taster week at bootcamp.

Step 2 is to do your homework – this is why my 1-1 Personal Training clients have home workouts to do between our session, or boot campers have videos for extra stretches, foam rolling and core work to do between sessions.

Step 3 – Keep going – giving up is a waste of steps 1 & 2 and will get you nowhere.

Right, I’m off to practice my scales whilst driving to my next client!

Have a great weekend

Zita “Watch out Tom Jones” Alves

ps If you are in Bath our next trial week at bootcamp starts on 29th September so you have time to SIGN UP HERE

pps If you a mum who wants to have more energy and eat healthier then grab our collection of breakfast recipes here for f.ree  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!