Vibram’s got the Sole Factor

Vibram – probably best known for their five finger trainers, have opened Vibram Sole Factor. Based near Old Street, they now provide a unique service to repair or customize your shoe with its own type of sole, depending on the desired performance and personal taste…

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I have always been an advocate of ‘a shoe worth wearing is a shoe worth repairing’ and Vibram have just upped the game… With a real focus on improving the performance of a shoe, you can take in pretty much any style from classic leather to Converse and the team of elite cobblers will discuss how you wear the shoe and the best sole for the job. The logic goes like this; Converse are traditionally for a basketball court and so the design isn’t necessarily as durable for everyday wear on concrete – switch up the sole and you have a shoe that will perform better and last you longer with none of the style lost. Your  work shoes have a leather sole which gets worn down quickly and in the wet, they slip…replace with a ‘more grip’ sole and your shoes become far more effective as well as looking good.

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When I visited, I took a pair of my boyfriends favourite New Balance trainers (with very worn down soles) to test out the theory. A week later, I picked them up with a brand new bright Vibram sole and a rebuilt heel – essentially they have been given a new lease of life and they look great!

Two things that I like about Sole Factor, aside from having a refreshed pair of kicks

  1. In a world focused so hard on consumerism, more ‘make do and mend’ going on is a great thing, and if we can start looking at making what he have and love last longer, it’s not only better for the environment, but also kinder on our pockets.
  2. The focus at the Vibram Academy is to train and raise the profile of cobblers… These guys and girls are experts at their craft and it’s a skill which deserves the elevation and respect that Vibram are promoting.

This new store is most definitely full of sole (see what I did there?) and worth checking out if your shoes are in need of a refresh or upgrade…

You can find them at 215 City Road, London, EC1V 1JN

Thank you to Dust PR for inviting me to the launch day!!

 

 

Frankie x

 

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Fabulous Calisthenics

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As a lover and coach of Calisthenics, it’s really great to see that the interest in and coverage of my favourite training style has increased so much over the last couple of years. From the positive impact it has on peoples training, to the incredible work it’s helping to do in communities around the world, it remains a real passion of mine.

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Recently I was asked to write some content for an article about Calisthenics ‘The Ultimate Summer Workout’ (which can be done all year round) and I was really happy to see it featured in Fabulous Magazine (The Sun On Sunday) at the end of July. A key focus in the piece was increasing female participation and destroying the myth that ‘it’s not for us ladies’ or ‘you’ll get big arms’. Well, I can assure you, it is for us and your arms will look amazing for it!!

On a personal note, involving more women in fitness has been a primary motivation since becoming a trainer, so to be able to provide exercise ideas, with the goal to help people get started on their own Calisthenics journey is pretty exciting.

Check out the article below (My name is just above the featured exercises *whoop*) Also, big shout out to my friend and trainer Nadia Al-Bazaz for her featured quotes in the article!! Girl Power all the way…

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Fabulous Magazine article

 

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Fabulous Magazine article

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Coming up – Summer run down – what I’ve been up to and what is still to come!!

World Power Show

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As summer approaches, the year is starting to hot up with fitness events and I am excited to have been asked to attend The World Power Show as a featured blogger. The event, taking place July 2nd-3rd at the Excel Centre London, looks set to include a seriously diverse line up; from Parkour, to Bodybuilding, Powerlifting to Calisthenics, and I’m really looking forward to witnessing some serous skills and trying out new training styles over the weekend.

As a calisthenics enthusiast and coach, a highlight of the event for me is going to be the first World Power UK Calisthenics competition (hosted by BarMob) and to top it off, one of the biggest names in the game, Frank Medrano is making his first UK appearance as a judge.

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I won’t be entering the calisthencs comp myself, but I will definitely be hitting the bars at some point over the weekend…it would be rude not to especially as I’m hoping to bump into friends and faces from the community.

If you have ever wanted to try out calisthenics, please come along and give it a go….there will be plenty of us about to show you the ropes so don’t be afraid to say hi get on the bars! !!

To get more of an idea of the line up, with names being announced each week, head to the The World Power Show website and keep an eye out for the interview with yours truly coming soon. I’ll make sure I post it up on here too.

During the build up to the event and over that weekend I’ll be covering the action, so stay tuned for more info, interviews and videos coming your way!!

Last but not least, the World Power team have kindly given me a 20% discount code for any of you lovely readers wanting to join us for a weekend of fitness fun… You can book here and use WPSDESP at the checkout…

Hope to see you there…

 

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Second SKIN

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I’m very lucky to receive some gorgeous kit to try out and I only feature what I genuinely like and wear so that I can give you, my lovely readers, real life reviews and information.

Leggings are an item especially close to my heart, so when the new SKINS A400 Starlights arrived, I whipped them out of the box and went straight out for a run in the sunshine.

SKINS isn’t a new brand for me; I trained for, and ran The London Marathon (2012) in my first ever pair, so its been great to see and feel the latest design features for this compression wear!

With Marathon training in full flow for a lot of people, what you wear to take on the distance is an important part of the journey. These are a wicked piece of kit to look into for compression technology, support given to your muscles and also aiding recovery post training. They really worked for me when I was putting in those long miles.

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However, these slinky beauties are definitely not just for running. I’ve put them through their paces with some bodyweight, calisthenics and HIIT training as well as stretchy yoga time. The fit and feel work across the board!

Features I am loving:

The construction – These leggings are built for support and the fit is fantastic as well as  flattering, which, lets be honest, is pretty important. I love the paneling on the legs and the fit on the back of the waistband scoops beautifully into your lower back….ladies, I’m sure you’ll agree that when a waist band sits in the right place, it just works! A lovely touch!

Reflective fun – …for safety!. There are 360 degree reflective patterns on the leggings so you light up wonderfully if you’re running in the dark. When a flash of light hits them, you know! And the patterns are nicely done too…

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Leg length – As a shorter human, this is something I struggle with a lot when it comes to leggings. There’s usually a foot or so of extra material that I cleverly have to tuck away. In the case of these SKINS, the leg length works on me. I literally tuck the hem slightly so that my ankles show a little more. Major plus for little legs.

Now lets be honest, not every product can be perfect. Even though it doesn’t stop me loving these leggings, the only slight negative for me is that they are a little see through at times, when bending, stretching and squatting. My advice is to be selective about the undies you wear with them…maybe save those polka dots for another day.

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For me, these are the kind of leggings I put on and feel like a super hero in… even back in 2012 they made me feel ready to kick ass on my run and after the 26.2 miles, they also helped the recovery process (after they’d been washed, of course)

If you bag a pair or already have them as part of your fit kit, I hope they make you feel like a super hero too!!

For more info and to check out these and other styles available, check out SKINS.

 

 

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Images by Ify Osi fizzycal.com

 

F The Fads

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February is the so called month of love and my question to you is: are you still in a loving relationship with your health and fitness  resolutions or was it more like a month long fling which left you unsatisfied and wanting more?

To be clear, I am not a fan of the fad (and that’s putting it lightly) Health and fitness for me and those who I train is, or is turning into a long term relationship (oh yes, things are serious); it’s something you invest yourself and your time in, not simply a month of detox tea and sit ups.

Throughout January in particular, we are bombarded with all the detoxes, celeb workout DVD’s, shakes, diets, lotions and potions predominantly promising super health and abs on abs in a matter of weeks.

The catch here however, is that the majority of these fads are not sustainable and most likely won’t benefit you in the long term. These are the flings and they require less investment but in the end you break up with them.

The ultimate goal is to live and move healthfully well into our later years; so I propose LOVE

LOVE the skin you’re in and train and nourish your body not because you hate it but because you LOVE it

Find an activity you LOVE to do and which makes you happy…

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And finally learn to LOVE the journey. No relationship is easy and there will be times that you struggle and times you need to adapt, but when it comes to the health and fitness relationship that you LOVE, there is one thing for sure, you always get out what you put in!

 

 

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Coming up on the blog: A review for those runners and legging lovers out there… Stay locked in.

For enquiries, please contact Frankie@frankieholah.com

End of Year Resolutions

Lets break the mould – how about instead of waiting for January to put those resolutions into action, you start them now and get ahead of the New Year madness? You hear so many stories of people starting and quickly giving up, so maybe January isn’t the best time after all – maybe the time is now!?

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Come January it’s one of those things we all do…myself included. We set so many goals for ourselves in a time of pressure for constant self-improvement and it can all feel a little overwhelming. Well, let’s shake things up and get cracking. And let’s be honest, if you can get started now and work through the festive period, you’re basically bad ass!

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So this is where I come in with some survival tips for making the most of your training ventures, which I hope will help you on your journey…

Do something you ENJOY! Consistency is key when it comes to training and trying to do something regularly which you simply don’t enjoy means you’re less likely to keep it up… There are so many options out there as individual as you are and you mustn’t be afraid to PLAY and try things out… have FUN!!

FOCUS your goals and don’t overwhelm yourself. I am a sucker for making a really long list and then struggling to know where to start so this is something I am also working on. Give yourself two to three fitness goals to attack and this should help you to stay on track. When working on your goals remember to enjoy the PROCESS and celebrate achievements as you go…

Being ACCOUNTABLE to someone can really help on those days you struggle to find motivation. If you have a friend who also wants to train, agree times in the week to work out together…encouragement, support and maybe a touch of competitiveness could be just what you need. There is also the option of hiring a Personal Trainer to kick your butt and help you to really step out of that ‘comfort zone’ – It can also be a positive way of beating plateaus and ruts.

FIT KIT is my weakness. There’s nothing better than a super slick pair of leggings to get me in the mind set for training like a warrior – It’s the lycra effect. Investing in great training gear can give you a real boost and it’s also a lovely reward for yourself…feeling good is really important. Some of my favourite brands for kit include: fizzYcaL, GymLuxeAdidas and Catalyst Activewear ….Check them ouuuuuuut

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Whatever fitness journey you are on this year and onwards into 2016, I hope it is a journey full of fun, tonnes of sweat, great achievements, goal smashing and some wicked lycra… Go forth and conquer and when you do, give yourself a massive high five!!!

Lets.Do.This

 

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Fall Fitness – Tips for an active Autumn/Winter

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Moving into a new season, especially Autumn/Winter is a transition which isn’t always an easy one. The days are getting shorter and darker, the temperature is dropping and motivation levels can be low, especially now that the clocks have gone back.

But… it’s also a great time of year to reflect on where you are on your fitness journey, even if you’re only just starting out. Where would you like to be in your training when the daffodils start popping up and there’s blossom on the trees? Believe me, if you start now and work through the colder months you won’t regret it come Spring/Summer ‘16.

With some tips to help you through, let’s fight the urge to curl up every evening on the sofa, or snooze the alarm in the morning… getting out from under your duvet when it’s cold is a struggle (I’m a PT who loves her bed), but the rosy cheeked achievement of being bad ass and completing your workout makes it all worthwhile…

Tips for Autumn/Winter training…

Shake up the routine – If you’ve been meaning to try that dance class or fancy a bit of Animal Flow, find a session and give it a go. Alongside your training programme, shaking up the routine could be the perfect way to stay motivated throughout the colder months ahead and you might just find something you really love. Don’t be afraid to try something new, just move, play and enjoy!

Sweat in style – The right training gear is key and a great excuse to buy some gorgeous kit for the new season. All motivation is good! I would recommend bagging yourself a thicker pair of leggings (you too boys), some thicker or longer trainer socks and layers for your top half. As you get sweaty you’ll probably want to peel off, but post workout it’s really important to be warm!

My fave brands for keeping warm and stylish include:

fizzYcaL1fizzYcaL – An independent brand close to my heart, with a mission to celebrate every day fitness heroes, fizzYcaL also sell amazing quality fitness wear for men and women. I live in the hoodies and jumpers at the moment. In the depths of winter they are perfect for training in and during autumn they make for the perfect pre and post training layer.A workout wardrobe MUST have.

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FinisterreBase layer heaven right here. I wear this merino wool T for both training myself and when training clients – It keeps me warm and cool in equal measure and the fit is fantastic. You know what I mean ladies, nice and long in the body, flattering sleeves, great neck line. Also, definitely worth checking out their knitwear for casual style…serious lust!!

Catalyst2Catalyst Activewear – Affordable luxury active-wear in the most delicious colours and fabrics. The leggings not only keep me warm but they also add that much needed pop of colour on a winters day. The fabric is totally opaque and the quality and fit is exceptional – Catalyst is a small, independent business with a huge impact! And for each metre of material they use, a metre of rainforest is saved…Sustainable style right there!

Cashmere hat& Other Stories The best £39 I’ve spent in a long time – this cashmere beauty is so soft and warm and also looks great. Again I wear it to keep warm while training clients and in the depths of winter it stays put on my head as I peel off other layers. There’s nothing like a bit of luxury when you’re out in the cold… tip: leave on the radiator for extra snuggliness!!

Now rock that Autumn/Winter ’15 style!

Group workout sessions – Training with a group is great motivation at any time of year but if you need that extra push during the colder season and the buzz of other people getting their sweat on alongside you, it’s the perfect time to find a group. If you’re in South London, I run female only Bodyweight training & Calisthenics classes at Studio B on Brixton Hill – You can find all the information @frankieholah online or contact frankie@frankieholah.com to register – #JoinTheTribe

Stay Hydrated – Even when it’s cold you still need to stay hydrated, especially if you’re training! Our bodies are approx. 70% water so stay topped up. Herbal teas are a great option if you can’t always face cold water… Fresh ginger tea is really warming and as well as being super tasty, it’s also great for boosting your immune system and aiding muscle recovery after a workout. I love to hit Nour Cash & Carry on Electric Avenue, Brixton for ginger joy and much more yummy goodness!

The time is now…Happy sweating!

Psssst: Coming up soon on the blog – ‘How to look after your body outside of training’ & a sports massage discount for you lovely readers! Be sure to follow the blog and be the first to know more…