17th December 2018

How can unilateral training help you in your routine?

It conditions your whole body and helps you to avoid injuryDuring regular exercise, it’s all too easy for your stronger muscles to ‘dominate’ the way you move. For instance, you might lean more on your left leg while walking, strengthening muscles in that part of your body while those in your right leg weaken. This can lead to problematic muscle imbalances (that are increasingly difficult to correct, the longer they’re left untended) and possible injury.By making you focus on each limb separately, unilateral training both helps to pinpoint any burgeoning imbalances, directing your attention to which limbs and joints you should focus on when working out. Ultimately, this will push you closer to achieving an evenly conditioned Body. It makes you stronger fasterNobody would blame you for assuming full-body workouts or popular bilateral sports (exercises which you use both legs simultaneously) would be more effective than unilateral training. Exercises such as squats and deadlifts require you to use more of your body at once, after all.But it doesn’t always work that way. In fact, research suggests that unilateral training can promote greater muscle growth than bilateral training. It can also help you to avoid something called ‘bilateral deficit’, where the force of your limbs working together is less than if each limb were working separately.So - why is it so effective? It’s partially due to the ‘cross-education’ that occurs during training. When you work on one side of the body, the corresponding muscles on the other side are stimulated. A prominent study showed that - across 785 subjects - cross-education proved very effective in strengthening muscles throughout the body, increasing upper limb strength by +9.4% and lower limb strength by +16.4%.This is especially good news for athletes undergoing rehabilitation for an injury. It means that, through unilateral training and cross-education, it’s still possible to grow and strengthen damaged muscles, decreasing the risk of atrophy while the injured limb recovers. It develops your core and balanceStudies show that unilateral training can strengthen your core muscles, particularly when performing resistance exercises. This is because you’re using specific parts of your body at one time, making it trickier to balance and working core muscles harder to stay centred and stabilised. A stronger core provides great support for the spine and better protection for your organs, so that’s a big plus.Start your Training directly here.

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13th December 2018

How to perform the burpee pull-up for explosive power and endurance

How does fitness evolve? Learn how to perform a Burpee Pull Up the EVO way. WHAT The popular burpee exercise inspired the burpee pull-up. The difference is that in this one was added a scalable pull-up exercise to the mix. This exercise combines upper body, core and lower body movements, which effectively increase heart rate. When time is limited, or you want a high-intensity fix, this exercise is the perfect workout Addition.HOW Start In a standing position underneath a high-bar. You can also use a super functional bar if it’s available in your club. Engage the core. Begin the movement by quickly bending down, reaching the hands towards the floor in front of the feet. As you do this, simultaneously jump the legs back and catch the floor in a push-up position Perform a push-up and on the way up, drive the hips up rapidly and drop into a squat position. As soon as you stick the squat, jump up and grab the bar. Use the momentum of the jump and perform an assisted pull-up. Return to standing and repeat continuously for reps or timeWHY The burpee pull-up is a useful progression for anyone who has mastered the burpee and wishes to add intensity without necessarily increasing reps. The jump to a pull-up is ideal for those who are working on pull-up skill but do not yet have the required strength for a full pull-up. The use of the super functional bar, if needed, will modify the height and help complete a pull-up. As strength improves, you can raise the bar progressively. Burpee variations will build high levels of strength, power and cardiovascular endurance in a short space of time – making them excellent exercises not only for improving fitness and athletic performance but also for weight loss.Try this Workout and others at a free trial in one of our Clubs.

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11th December 2018

The ultimate list of tech fitness gifts to offer this Christmas

With the right fitness tech, you can give your friends and family a greater chance of success in the New Year and beyond. Whether it’s to provide motivation to workout, improve performance, or help promote an overall better quality of life, these top pieces of fitness tech are sure to guarantee lots of Christmas cheer. Fitbit Versa  With a punchy, bright screen, sleek design and impressive range of fitness-focused features, the Fitbit Versa is one of the best smartwatches available. Not only will it sync with your phone to receive text messages and alert you of any calls, but you can choose from over 15 exercises, monitor your heart rate, sleep patterns and access all the stat-tracking tools you’ve come to expect from the company who kickstarted the wearable technology craze back in 2013.  Apple Watch Series 4  If you own an iPhone (and quite a few of you do) the Apple Watch Series 4 is an attractive and effective fitness tracker. It also boasts a number of exclusive features that you’ll only find with Apple Health. The Series 4 builds upon the successful foundations of the Series 3, adding swim-tracking into the mix, along with improved battery life and unique heart rate notifications that can alert you if there’s anything cardio-related that needs your Attention.  Nokia Body+  Stepping on the scales just got a whole lot more informative thanks to the Nokia Body+. These wonderful weighing scales assess your weight, BMI, total body fat and water percentage, as well as bone and muscle mass. If you’re looking to pinpoint where your efforts are going in the gym, the Nokia Body+ will let you know. It can also display the daily weather forecast, meaning you’ll never get caught in the rain if you decide to go for a run.  Samsung IconX wireless earbuds  Nothing helps motivate you more mid-run than your favourite playlist. But imagine if your headphones could detect your workout, track your calories and deliver banging tunes at the same time? Say hello to the Samsung IconX earbuds. These nifty little cans are controlled with simple taps and swipes without having to take out your phone. They’re also completely wireless, so you won’t have to worry about any wires getting in the way of your Workout. A perfect present  If you’d like to give the gift of analysing workout data, monitoring sleep patterns or simply breathing new life into tried-and-tested exercise regimes, these top bits of tech can help any lucky recipient power past their previous best. 

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7th December 2018

Losing motivation? Here are six tips for training in winter

Six tips for training in winter Staying healthy in winter is a challenge even for the most disciplined athletes. There’s less sunlight, we sleep for longer and often enjoy much more carb-centric diets. As a result, it’s both much easier to pack on the pounds and much harder to motivate yourself to move. So what can you do to make sure you don’t lose your fitness mojo? Here’s our advice.  Take your workout indoors The frosty breeze and ice-coated pavements of winter can make exercising outdoors much more difficult than usual. That’s where your local EVO club can come in (even more) handy. Sign up and avoid bracing the bitter weather - and sometimes dangerous conditions - of the coldest season. With our range of equipment, classes, facilities and expert personal trainers, we’ve got everything you need to excel in functional fitness, all year round.  Embrace the environment Extreme sports are winter’s frosty forte - so if you’ve got a penchant for thrills, try taking to the mountains for some skiing or snowboarding. You’ll learn new skills, have loads of fun and keep fit (the perfect trio). For a more accessible winter sport that’s likely closer to home - pop on your skates and head to your local ice rink, where you can tone up your leg muscles and improve your balance throughout the season. Make yourself accountable When you’ve only got yourself to answer for, keeping to a schedule can be tough. That’s why it’s a great idea to make an external commitment to someone or something else. Book a weekly exercise class or ask your friend or partner to get involved in your workouts: you’ll be far more likely to stick to the plans you make and will probably end up having more fun getting fit, too. Invest in winter activewear Chilly outside? No problem. Wrap up warm and revamp your winter wardrobe with some specially designed activewear. Many personal trainers recommend that you wear at least three layers of clothing: a shirt, something that’ll keep you warm (such as a fleece or woolly jumper) and a waterproof jacket. Also, make sure to protect your hands and toes with thick socks and gloves, as a lot of your body heat escapes from these areas. Embrace the lighter parts of the day If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - where you experience low moods in darker conditions - consider shaking up your exercise plan. Working out earlier (such as during lunchtime or in the early afternoon) will help make the most of the sun and stay on top of your health. There’s an extra plus to doing this, too: research shows that working out helps people with depression, anxiety and even those who specifically suffer from SAD feel better, as it releases endorphins which make you happier. Set a goal It’s always easier to workout when you’re working towards something, don’t you think? Sign up to an event such as a marathon or triathlon (something that’ll require lots of prep beforehand), so that you’re obliged to push through your winter funk. You could even incentivise yourself further by adding a charitable twist, getting others to sponsor you so that you’re even more inspired to give your fitness efforts your all.   Feeling inspired by these training tips? There’s a lot more where that came from over on our official fitness blog.

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3rd December 2018

EVOlve: try our resting heart rate test and track your results

How to do the resting heart rate test? This test must be one of the world's easiest tests. You'll basically have to be completely relaxed and then check the resting heart rate. One good way to ensure that the results are trustworthy is to take the test in the morning, immediately after waking up but before getting up. If you sleep with a pulse tracker watch or bracelet, you can quickly peek at it and read the pulse or find the lowest heart rate level throughout the night - if the device has such Features. In case you don't own a heart rate measurement device, you can count the heart rate by placing two fingers (index and middle finger) against the pulse or just below the chin, close to the jaw. Find the heart rate, hold for 15 seconds and start counting with 0 - 1 - 2 - 3, and so on. After 15 seconds, multiply by four (for a minute) the number you have reached - that is your resting heart rate. It's important to point out that these numbers are specific to each individual and both genetics, medication and fitness level play a key role in the results. For instance, people with outstanding endurance can have a heart rate in the 30's, while ordinary people often have it around 60. What information can you get from this test? The test tells you how many times your heart beats to deliver enough blood when you rest. With a better fitness level, the resting heart rate decreases. A stronger heart pumps out more blood per beat and therefore does not need to pump as frequently as one does with a weaker heart. A lower resting heart rate means an overall better physical form. Assessment of test results Beats / min <35 super 36-40 very good 41-50 ok 51-60 somewhat good <60 Need improvement  Test Frequency: Perform this test every eight weeks. Suitable for: Those who have just started training and who want to measure the effects of a good Workout. Test developed by Personal Trainer Halvor Lauvstad Halvor studied at NIH and has been a product manager at SATS and general manager of Norsk Fitness. He has written a series of books about training, including "Best in Birken". Currently, he is lecturing for AFPT in Norway.   Check this test out as well.

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30th November 2018

Tutorial: Superfunctional Y

WHAT The superfunctional Y is a strength and control exercise, that targets hip/back extension and shoulder stability. This exercise combines upper body, core and lower body movements in a coordinated way.HOW Set up your start position by grabbing the bar and pulling it overhead with straight arms. In this position, your feet should be slightly in front of the bar (leaning back). This will maintain tension through the body. Begin the movement by bending the hips and knees, allowing the bar to drop in front of the body. Keep the back straight and arms locked by your ears. Keeping the control control, extend the hips and return to the top position. Aim to keep the arms overhead at all times. Repeat for reps/time. Training progression: when you have built a good level of strength and control, try substituting the bar with TRX – this will constitute a greater stability challenge.WHY The superfunctional Y is an excellent low-intensity movement to train/retrain the hip extension pattern in an upright position. It is ideally suited for higher reps that will build strength endurance, and while it may not sit within your workouts, it can be an essential part of any corrective exercise/recovery program This movement will build shoulder mobility, stability and control – often lacking in many people. For this reason, the superfunctional Y can be an essential drill for anyone involved in explosive movements such as jumping or overhead lifting.Check out more tutorials here.

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