• Sport Magazine feature: Resolution Rules

    By The W10 Team
     

    Expert trainer and owner of W10 Performance gym Jean-Claude Vacassin talks New Year resolutions, and launches his four-week guide to getting back on the fitness wagon.

    “I’ve been around for enough ‘New Year, New You’ cycles to have a fair idea of what’s working and what isn’t. Overall, I’m pro-January and the new start it offers people – largely because I understand that, for many of us, what’s on offer is not exactly appealing. Much of it is about the confusion that the marketing din creates. There’s so much noise and conflicting information that we don’t know what’s solid advice and what’s marketing nonsense any more.

    “The fact of the matter is that, fundamentally, very little has actually changed over the past decade. Sure, we’ve got new gadgets, bigger and brighter gym spaces and access to more training information, but that’s half the problem. What works isn’t necessarily sexy, so we’ve looked at various ways of repackaging things in an attempt to get more people involved.

    But core principles don’t change. I’m not trying to be the fitness grinch, but what works is very simple and, to most people, pretty unsexy. Here are five key things I know to be true, which we should all consider when making fitness resolutions.

    1. There is no magic diet

    The best nutritional programme is the one you buy into. Unless you’re stepping on to a bodybuilding stage, perfect is not the goal. Base your core habits around quality, fresh produce and the rest will take care of itself.

    2. There is no perfect routine

    The best programme is the one that you enjoy and will do. A mediocre programme done with intensity will always trump a ‘perfect’ one done reluctantly.

    3. One size does not fit all

    Everything has worked for someone at some point, but that does not mean it will work for you. It takes time to get it right, so be patient and focus on what works best for you and your goals.

    4. Progress is not always steady

    The reason people fall off the wagon is because they give up once the initial honeymoon period is over. It’s not about what changed this week; it’s about what changed over the course of several months.

    5. Movement is as important as exercise

    A regular gym routine does wonders for strength, health and fitness, but in my experience those in the best physical and mental shape make time for 30 minutes of activity a day – and that includes walking.

    Week one

    Here we’re focusing on four key movements that will be the cornerstones of your training programme. The number of repetitions and overall training volume have been kept low, so we can focus on technique and quality movement. Warm up to a weight that you can lift for the desired number of reps, and then perform the given number of working sets. Do so within your technical maximum, not your absolute maximum, and maintain your form throughout.

    Squat (3x8)

    Often referred to as the ‘king of exercises’, the back squat is a huge tool in your fitness armoury.

    • »  Keep your back muscles engaged by actively pulling the bar into you at the top of the movement
    • »  Brace your trunk, and maintain tension throughout the movement
    • »  Picture ripping the floor apart with your feet on the way down to maximise hip engagement
    • »  Drive hard out of the bottom position, keeping your torso angle throughout
    • »  Finish the movement by bringing your hips through and squeezing your glutes at the top

    Squat technique

    Romanian deadlift (3x8)

    Romanian deadlifts are a great exercise for strengthening the posterior chain (the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves) – a key component of a thorough strength programme.

    »  Start the movement with a tall, upright posture and maintain that position throughout

    »  Breathe and brace at the top of the movement before starting the lowering portion

    »  Keeping your knees slightly bent, prepare to push your hips back as you lower the bar down the thighs

    » Pause at the bottom position, before restarting the movement by driving your hips forward

    » Keep your grip tight and back engaged throughout, to ensure your torso remains extended and upright

    Push-up (3x8)

    Often overlooked in favour of other pressing movements – a mistake given the full-body challenge they present.

    »  Keep your body tight, and torso engaged, throughout your movement

    »  When lowering yourself down – the eccentric phase – draw your shoulder blades together

    »  Remain parallel – your chin, chest and hips should reach the floor together

    » Picture pushing the floor away from you as you begin your ascent
    » Ensure your hips also rise by engaging your stomach muscles, pushing your tailbone upwards

    Prone row (3x8)

    A strong grip and back is crucial for injury prevention and overall performance, so row variations should be central to every training programme.

    »  Stay as tall as you can when you set up on the bench, chest raised

    »  Keep your core and glutes engaged throughout the movement, rather than simply leaning into the bench

    »  While moving, row your elbows back through your ribs, actively squeezing your shoulder blades and mid back at the top of the exercise

    » Hold the active contraction for a second or two when in that top postition

    » Lower slowly, using the strength of your grip and biceps to keep the movement smooth

    Romanian Deadlift

    Week two will be uploaded shortly, keep an eye out...

    If you have any questions, please give us a shout - kensal@w10performance.com or call us on 020 3489 5428.

 

You Might Also Like

 
Quick Browse
    • Hydration how much water should I drink

      Water: How much should you drink a day?

       

      A bit like nutrition, we’ve heard it all before when it comes to the importance of hydration, but it keeps being highlighted for very good reason – hydration is key for all of us (and sometimes it's good to be reminded of this) Hydration plays a pivotal role in both fat loss and muscle gain,

      Read More
    • 6 common ways to get injured in the gym

      Six Most Common Causes Of Gym Injuries

       

      Unless you subscribe to the fantasyland of diet pills and six pack shortcuts, then consistency, enjoyment and effectiveness are going to be the three pillars your exercise programme needs for it to be successful. Injury however, is a sure fire way to screw up all three of these in one foul swoop. It doesn't have

      Read More
    • Health and fitness magazine feature strong in 6 moves

      Strong in 6 moves | Health And Fitness Magazine Feature

       

      In the first of a new series of workouts from top PT's, trainer Amy Darch offers a time-saving, total-body workout Do you seem to spend hours in the gym and still not see the benefits? You need to take your workout back to basics with a more targeted approach. Enter Amy Darch, trainer at London’s

      Read More
    • Is W10 the right gym for you

      Is W10 the right gym for you?

       

      We often get asked why W10 is different to other gyms. Our intention is not to blow our own trumpet here or to rubbish other gyms, that’s not how we roll, but we do want to offer a little insight in to what we do. You can decide for yourself if it sounds “different” to

      Read More
    • W10 Ibiza training camp

      W10 5-day fitness retreat in Ibiza

       

      Thank you to everyone who came along to our 5-day fitness retreat in Ibiza last month, what an amazing trip with a great bunch of people.   This was our last "adventure club" of the year but if you missed out this time, don't worry, there will be many more...such as our Mount Kilimanjaro adventure

      Read More
    • Getting your first dead hang chin up

      Why you should aim to get your first strict chin up

       

        There are many benefits of chin ups (done properly). We could go on about the importance of this exercise all day, but we’re going to give you the top 5 benefits and also a few tips on how to progress up to them. Working towards getting your first strict, dead hang chin up is

      Read More

Start Your 30 Day Trial Today

If you’re ready to make a change, you can start now. Register online and book your first session today.

Start Today

Set up in 2009 by founder Jean-Claude Vacassin (a regular health and fitness contributor to the Daily Telegraph) the W10 Performance gym is located in West London at 202-208 Kensal Road, London W10 5BN. W10’s Gym memberships offer personal training, nutrition advice, yoga, boxing, HITT and other functional fitness classes. They also have physio and sports massage practitioners onsite. They are proud to offer a high level of fitness to residents and local workers in Kensal Rise, Kensal Green, Queens Park, Willesden, Kilburn, Harlesden, Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, Kensington and Westbourne Park areas.

 

Find us The Basement, 202-208 Kensal Road, London W10 5BN

Call us on 020 3489 5428