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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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

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…

Are you wearing the right sports bra?

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After putting the Berlei sports crop through its paces this summer, I had a fantastic response to the blog post ‘Berlei Knows Breast’. However, it did highlight an issue; most women aren’t wearing the correct sports bra for the type of training they’re doing and that most of us aren’t sure exactly what to look for when shopping for a sports bra in the first place. So, I decided I’d like to help out my ladies…

Damage to your breasts is irreversible – yes, irreversible! Yikes…This damage inevitably leads to sagging as breasts aren’t muscle…we all know we don’t want sagging! A good sports bra can reduce movement by up to 83%!

Whether you’re a AA or a GG you NEED to wear a sports bra for training. Lets be honest…none of us want our breasts to sag so lets beat the bounce in style!

Rosalind Strach, Lingerie Designer, has the following tips for finding your ideal bra:

  • Warning! Your sports bra will feel considerably tighter than your normal lingerie… that’s the point!
  • For DD and above, avoid low cut and thin straps. The raised neck lines and thicker straps are designed like that for a reason….support support support!
  • If possible, go to a specialized sports bra shop and get fitted. Otherwise, buy a few sizes and TRY ON!
  • Make sure the level of impact is relevant to the exercise/sport you’re participating in. Yoga and pilates will be lower impact than sprints and circuits.

Your breasts can move up to 9cm during exercise and they do so in a figure of 8 motion if unsupported. That is between 400-600g of weight bouncing around…even if you’re in the smaller B-C cup range, this still applies…

Here’s my compact guide to a selection of sports bras out there at the moment. Some of these I own and wear myself and the styles for larger bust sizes have been recommended by friends and clients coming in at DD-GG.

Low –  Medium impact

Catalyst Crop

Catalyst Activewear, Lunar Crop – This is a low impact bra in such a flattering style and seriously yummy pop colours. The fuschia is a favourite of mine and I tend to wear it for yoga or day to day layered under a soft vest. Style details are a feature for Catalyst Activewear and this crop doesn’t disappoint – £47 (Available from November – sign up here to get exclusive information about the launch of this luxury sustainable brand)

Adidas techfit

Adidas, Techfit – This is a medium impact bra, so ideal for exercise such as walking, weight training, yoga & Pilates. I wouldn’t run in this bra as it doesn’t offer enough support. Very comfortable though and the racer back is always a flattering look. For the larger bust size this style may not be supportive enough but always try on to make sure – £22

High Impact

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Berlei Sports Crop – As reviewed in ‘Berlei knows Breast’, this bra had to be in the selection as it’s my go to. The sports crop is perfect for high impact training including HIIT, sprints, circuits, burpees and much more. Sizes go up to a 38DD, so it’s a good option for larger busts if you prefer non-wire – Currently on offer at berlei for £21 – maybe I’ll bag another one!

Panache FrontPanache sports bra Now available in a J cup, this bra is award winning. The wide cut straps and silicon wrapped wire make for added comfort and the sleek design means that it doesn’t just reduce bounce, it adds style too. This bra does come in smaller sizes but is highly recommend for those with a larger bust. There is also a non wire style as well. Available at stockists including Bravissimo – £40

Running

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Shock Absorber Run Bra A classic sports bra especially for runners. I wore this bra for the London Marathon and would highly recommend it. Sizes go up to 38G so this is also a great option for bigger busts. The double fastening back offers incredible support and the seamless inner means no friction. Available at stockists including Wiggle – £26.99

Berlei awardBerlei Running Underwired – Last but by no means least, this award winning sports bra has been tested by athletes, runners and also, me. I was surprised that I found this bra so comfortable, as I prefer a non wire but to put it bluntly, the boobs don’t move and it looks great too! With the wider, padded straps and moulded cups for a natural fit, this bra is a dream to wear. If you prefer, the straps can also be worn crossed over at the back and sizes go up to 38FF. Oh and they’re currently on offer at berlei.com – £22 (what are you waiting for?)

Ladies, whatever your bra size, sport or workout style, make sure you look after your breasts, because lets be honest, they’re fabulous!

I hope this helps you in the hunt for the right sports bra – let me know if you find a style that works for you!!

Love, health and happiness,

Fx

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No Gym? No problem!

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With a bit of imagination, it is possible to create a workout wherever you are and have some fun in the process. The majority of my workouts are either park based or home based. Come rain or shine I can keep fit, predominantly using just my own bodyweight and it’s FREEEEEEE!

If you open your mind and use what’s around you, the possibilities are endless. No excuses, just get outdoors and use your environment. Here are some ideas…

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Bus stop tricep dips. Simple & effective. Try 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

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Nice little space to get some squats in off the main street – That’s right, I parked my toosh there – such a rebel! Try 4 sets of 15 reps

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Not just a bike rack…Perfect for practicing your chin up game. If you’re not quite there yet, these racks are perfect for incline press ups too. Try 3 sets of 6-8 chin ups or 3 sets of 12 incline press ups

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NB: This road was partially closed…I am not telling you to step into the road and do press ups (LOL) BUT, this is an anywhere, anytime kind of exercise. Try 3 – 4 sets of 15 reps

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I couldn’t help myself – Bit of straddle half planche fun

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And don’t forget to have a good stretch when you’ve finished your workout

London has so many exciting spaces to train in, so get outdoors (especially now that Spring has sprung), explore and soon you’ll be viewing the city as your gym!

Big shout out to fizzYcaL for the images – Check out their website for awesome fitness inspiration and streetwear

Happy training x

 

Valentine’s Edition

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For all those lovers wanting to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little differently this year or for those who want to burn off the heart shaped chocolates, I have put together a short video with Mr fizzYcaL, of some exercises you can take on with your other half.

You know what they say… Couples who train together, stay together! And in the process there will be plenty of laughter & sweating…oh and even more of an excuse for a romantic bubble bath afterwards!

So, what are you waiting for, check out the video below, get your best lycra ready, grab your lover and get your sweat on…

As we don’t want any injured lovers, please make sure you warm up before starting your workout and if you are unsure about any exercise please check out the pointers below.

Press Up & Clap: Assume press up position facing your partner. If you are new to press ups or not able to stay in full press position you can bend your knees but don’t cross your ankles. Keep your core engaged and lower your chest as far as you can towards the floor

Pistol Squat: Stand facing your partner but slightly off to the side of each other. Hold each others wrist and bend the knee nearest to your partner keeping the other leg straight. As you come back up, focus on pushing through the standing heel and really squeeze your glutes aka bum muscles. If you can’t get all the way down, go as far as you can and come back up. Keep yourself and your partner upright by pulling on their arm.

Piggy Back Carry: Just like the school days. Make sure you let your partner know when you’re jumping on and if you’re the base, keep your knees slightly bent. Hold on tight whether you’re being carried or carrying… If you’re not quite strong enough to carry your partner then they can simply give you some resistance by holding your waist or shoulders as you walk and trying to pull you back.

Abs Circles: The key to this exercise is keeping your core engaged throughout. If you can’t quite straighten your legs, bend at the knee slightly but keep your body at 45 degrees and your core tight.

Press & Push: Partner on the base make sure you keep your arms nice and straight and strong and lower your partner with control down towards your chest as far as you comfortably can.Keep your core tight and push back up to the starting position. Partner on top (hehe) keep your arms nice and strong as well, straighten your body so that your core is engaged and your back is straight. Bend at your elbows and press down as low as you can then push back to the starting position.

Whether you’re getting sweaty with your partner or not, I wish you a lovely Valentine’s Day….This year lets make it about presence over presents!

MWAH xxx

Train About Town

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On Tuesday night I joined a group of thirteen bad ass women and we took to the streets of East London to Train about Town!

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Lead by the Mancunian Motivator, Terminator that is Jane Anderson, the one hour session was filled with squats, slaloms, sprints and planks of joy… Kicking off at the Lexie Sport pop up store in Old Street station we got warmed up and headed off on our trail with cheers of enthusiasm, much to the commuters confusion.

The goal of Train About Town was to show that you don’t need to be holed up in a gym to get fit – the city can literally be your gym and your playground if you let your imagination run free.

So now you can look at a flight of steps and think ‘Ahhh they’re not just any steps, they’re the steps of destiny…’
Sprints, lateral squats, press ups, squat jumps – so much potential and so much fitness fun to be had!

Barclays bike stands? Or a Slalom session… The possibilities are endless!

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After East London had Witnessed the Fitness it was time to head back to Lexie where we were greeted with goodie bags of delight, stashed with Vita Coco and Bounce Balls for refueling our bods.

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Thank you to Lexie and Jane for hosting a fabulous evening of fitness… I can’t wait for the next session!!

Check out the Lexie range for gorgeous fitness wears… I bagged myself a vest which I LOVE!!

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