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!!

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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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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…

Join the Tribe

034_WUS_19_06_14_IMG_1712 Last month I wrote a piece titled ‘Reclaim your Body’ – The message? To live healthfully and not chase the next fad or trend; to celebrate in your uniqueness, whatever your shape or size and to train and eat well, not because you hate your body but because you LOVE your body!

This is something I feel very strongly about when it comes to female fitness and health; with so many mixed messages, unrealistic images in the media and weight loss pills flying about, so many people I speak to, simply feel lost in it all!

As I am writing this, there is a report on the radio about a young girl who tragically died from taking too many diet pills. This upsets and angers me…Firstly because people are creating these toxic & dangerous pills to sell and secondly because a young girl has become so insecure about her body at a young age that she felt she had to take extreme measures which cost her, her life.

Something needs to change and I want to affect positive change as directly as possible in the hope that it can make a difference to the way that women see and train their bodies… 032_WUS_19_06_14_IMG_1707 055_WUS_19_06_14_IMG_1835 So, as I head into chapter two of my freelance PT life, I am excited to launch Frankie Holah’s Bootcamp.

From the beginning of June in South London, you will be able to attend female only sessions based around using your own bodyweight to help improve your fitness and health…. Whatever your shape, size or fitness level, come and join the tribe, get empowered and reclaim your body!! 027_WUS_19_06_14_IMG_1622 Locations will include Brixton and Clapham with morning and evening sessions available – If you would like to come along, please register your interest by emailing frankie@frankieholah.com and keep an eye on my social media @frankieholah for confirmed days and times!!

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Female Calisthenics Movement: Media Moment

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2015 really feels like the year of bodyweight training (aka calisthenics), the style of training that I have been involved in and promoting for the past couple of years.

I have seen bodyweight training open up unexplored opportunities for women and men keeping fit, without the need for a gym membership or lots of equipment.. With busy lifestyles, this style of training removes plenty of barriers and for those just starting their fitness journey, it allows them to build confidence, body awareness, and realize their inner bad ass!!

On a personal level, I love the freedom and creativity of training with nothing but my own bodyweight.Whether I am in a park, at my flat or on the go, I can keep fit! I make the world my gym!

It is great to see female calisthenics in the media and I was delighted to appear on Women’s Health as a Female Ambassador for Calisthenics.

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Here’s to more women reclaiming their bodies and getting fit and strong bodyweight style, both in 2015 and beyond!

Check out the full article here… Women Who Workout: Calisthenics

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Reclaim your Body!

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Ladies it’s time to take our power back and reclaim our bodies. With Summer around the corner, let’s make it the season of the Warrior Woman!

For too long we’ve been sold the wrong message about what female fitness is. The simple truth is, it’s about health, strength and dedication. Happiness, confidence and the body you deserve are just the great by products.

When it comes to fitness, there’s an athlete in all of us and it’s definitely time for her to shine. We need to train her well, feed her well and treat her well – The rest and recovery matters as much as the sweat and reps.

It is so easy to be hyper-critical of our bodies with so many photoshopped and filtered images flying around, which makes it even more important to remember that we’re all unique in shape and size. Not only should we celebrate this, but our baseline objective should be to live healthfully and not for the next fitness fad or trend.

Throughout my training journey, experience has shown me that I am happiest and healthiest both in mind and body, when my goal is not based on achieving a look, but running a faster time than last week or adding one more pull up than I thought possible. Nothing beats that feeling of achievement and when you are making progress and enjoying what you do, the rest just follows…

So, whatever your fitness level and whatever your shape, train to suit what YOU want to achieve, with YOUR health and happiness at the heart and in a way that YOU enjoy.

Train and eat well not because you hate your body but because you LOVE your body!!! Channel that inner Warrior Woman!!!

Follow me online @frankieholah and check out YouTube.com/frankieholah for videos and more workouts coming soon

For personal and group training enquiries you can get in touch on frankie@frankieholah.com

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She Does: City Is My Playground

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Second in the ‘She Does’ series, I headed to Brick Lane to try my hand at City is My Playground with its founder Nicola Cher Geismar. We were quite literally flexing in, on and around the City!

Nicola started City Is My Playground as a creative way to stay strong after suffering a knee injury which meant she could no longer take part in break dancing. She realized that her environment, the City of London was the perfect backdrop of things to climb on, balance on and explore in a unique way. I’ll never look at a doorway in the same way again!!

After a warm up to prepare our bodies for the urban challenges ahead, we kicked off the session with some lamp post scaling, obviously… I mean is there any other way to get acquainted with this new style of training?! Once I’d got the hang of the foot placement and grip I could try out the static hold which, apart from looking pretty cool, is a challenging move….hello shoulders!!

From here it was a case of ‘what can we do with this?’. A doorway is no longer just a doorway and a telephone exchange box is no longer just a telephone exchange box, it’s a workout and a chance to improve your strength in a whole new way.

The joy is in the creative opportunities all around us if we just open our eyes and our minds…City is My Playground nails this idea!

After a great afternoon of City flexing tuition, I’ve got some new outdoor moves to add to my repertoire and I’m sure I’ll be spotted hanging from a lamppost very soon….South London, watch out!

fizzYcaL was there to capture the experience so check out the footage to get a real feel of the vibes…

Nicola runs workshops called Flex in the City and you can follow her journey and check out her bloomin’ impressive moves and flexing adventures at @Cityismyplayground

Guaranteed urban fun times!