• 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
    • What is the perfect diet?

      Searching for the perfect diet


      Yep, you did read that right. By the time you have finished reading this short blog post you will have the answer to the million dollar question.. “What is the perfect diet?”. Nutrition and dieting is something that people tend to get quite defensive and opinionated about. When was the last time you went to

      Read More
    • How to set fitness goals and get results from training

      How we help our members consistently achieve their fitness goals and get results


      Whether your fitness goals are to get leaner, build muscle mass, get stronger or simply be more active, it's vital that you keep track of your progress (groundbreaking information for you, I'm sure) Do you measure your fitness goals though? How are you measuring them or how do you deem whether you have successfully achieved them? It’s

      Read More
    • Women: Why Protein Can Help You Get In Better Shape & How To Get More in Your Diet


        You’ve probably heard that it’s important to get more protein into your diet but wonder why that's the case? Or, like many of our members when they first start training with us, you think you're eating enough protein but actually aren't or you're unsure. Firstly, protein is key to growth and repair – meaning

      Read More
    • How to get a well conditioned core to prevent injury

      Exercises To Help You Get A Well Conditioned Core


      Health and Fitness Magazine Feature. This month, expert trainer Jean-Claude Vacassin, owner of W10 Performance Gyms, helps you get a well- conditioned core to boost performance and prevent injury. 1. STIR THE POT BENEFITS: Those who already have some good foundational strength and want to kick things up a notch should try this as it’s

      Read More
    • W10 Performance health and fitness maagzine

      Do The Twists - Boost Your Core Strength


      Our latest feature in Health and Fitness Magazine. Boost your core strength with this explosive rotating move. LATERAL BALL TOSS Lateral ball toss is one of the most effective core exercises around, and it’ll raise your pulse, too. This move is particularly good because it works your core as you rotate – something that’s often

      Read More
    • Delicious vegetarian summer salad

      Protein Rich, Vegetarian Summer Salad Recipe


      A light and delicious salad that takes no time to whip up. High in protein but meat free, swap the chicken caesar salad for something a little more interesting and nutritious. Ingredients (Serves 2) 1 large cucumber 2 eggs Teaspoon of sesame seed oil handful of pine nuts teaspoon of tahini Instructions Spiralise the cucumber

      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