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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28th November 2018

Arm workout – 4 ways to exercise your arms with natural movement

Building up strength is something that is part of the training process for arm workouts. There are, however, different ways to become stronger. For a regular EVO member, even if he or she are looking to be stronger, it's also about performing the pull and push movement flawlessly. After all, EVO is all about movement.This way, an EVO member can learn how to perform a pull-up correctly, a chin-up or even a more complicated exercise, mainly because these exercises require you to use your bodyweight.We will now explain the aspects to take in consideration before you do your exercise selection and the natural movement approach to hypertrophy.Exercise Selection:If you want to build strength, you should look for exercises that mimic natural movements. For instance, if you practice a specific sport, you should go for an exercise that matches the movement of that particular sport. This approach makes machines less effective. When building muscle, there are a lot of aspects to have in consideration: the type of approach, its origin, the different muscle tissues or muscle fibre profiles.Usually, you will train more intensively the limiting structure in all exercises, but it's vital that you address this limiting factor. You should give up on an exercise like deadlift due to a too weak grip because you are not training all the other structures involved correctly.Other exercises to avoid for hypertrophy and strength goals are the ones performed on unstable surfaces or with unstable objects. Stability is critical for hypertrophy and force adaptation. Moreover, before starting, one should take into account the training level of each trainee, because there differences between an exercise selection for a beginner and a regular gym goer. A beginner should start with coordinatively easier exercises (e.g. begin with goblet squat before going for a barbell squat).This one comes without saying, but restrictions or injuries also play a decisive role, because they can reduce the exercise selection; the same happens with the preexisting mobility and control of each person.Another serious factor to take in consideration is the so called “risk to benefit ratio”. What do we mean by “risk to benefit ratio”? We mean exercises that lead to higher joint loading or the ones that overstress the connective tissue but provide little muscular stimulus. We are talking about exercises in which the pushing movement is carried out "behind" the frontal plane - the back. Examples of these exercises are the dips or the neck press.Last but not least is the time issue: there’s an obvious difference between training once a week or every day.Hypertrophy mechanismsThe mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy determine which exercise should be chosen. If you're going for a high metabolic load with many repetitions, you should choose an exercise with a load curve adapted to the power curve is selected. For maximum muscular microtrauma, it's important to go for a massive load at the eccentric reversal point. Maximum tension is achieved through basic exercises.We should take the opportunity to make a distinction between approach-related and origin-related hypertrophy. Here's a simple guideline to distinguish approach and origin-related hypertrophy: Maximum tension (load) at peak contraction (maximum shortening) → origin Maximum tension (stress at a maximum stretch) → approachHowOne can trigger a muscle growth stimulus via three mechanisms. Depending on the one you choose, there are different exercises available: Metabolic stress: constant muscle contraction at a minimum intensity of 60% Fmax and a TUT (time under tension) of 40-90 seconds (equivalent to approximately 15-30rep.) is necessary. Exercises without a lockout or a continuous resistance curve should be the first choice. What you train here are the slow type 1 muscle fibres. Microtrauma: a maximum elongation of the target musculature with considerable simultaneous resistance at the eccentric reversal point (predicament) is required. The optimal intensity is 70-85% of the maximum force. A load duration of 12-40 seconds makes sense. This is the most effective hypertrophy mechanism. These exercises are considered to have the highest potential for hypertrophy. Medium-fast type IIa muscle fibres are the most stimulated. Mechanical stress: maximum load generates a substantial activity of the mechano-chemical sensors - resulting in protein synthesis. The intensity should be above 85% Fmax. This leads to a short time under tension of 1-12 seconds. You should favour basic exercises here. The training focus here is fast type IIb muscle fibres.Exercises suggested Arm extension: Origin close: lay on back with arms just beside the body. Press palms/arms into the floor. Pulling the knee to the chest, roll slowly up, lifting your hips. And roll back slowly, lower hip, just before entirely dropping, and back up. Approach close: plank (on forearms) to hand plank by straightening the elbows. Hands or elbows are under the shoulder.Arm flexion: Approach close: a regular chin-up. Origin close: cable cross.Bardo Tschapke, EVO Le Flair Düsseldorf Instagram: healthcoachbardo Facebook: Health Coach Bardo

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26th November 2018

Time to stop: why do we need rest days?

Suddenly, though, the mere thought of taking a self-imposed rest day sends shivers down your spine. Time spent lazing on the couch could be time spent making gains at the gym, you tell yourself. So why wouldn’t you work out every day? As tempting as it might seem, resisting the urge to rest can actually have serious implications on your overall fitness. It can severely increase your risk of injury, stifle your motivation, and even slam the brakes on your progress entirely. Here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to take a day off and rest up from the rigours of exercise... Avoid aggravating injuries If you’re worried about missing your sixth gym session of the week (sometimes it’s okay to skip leg day), just imagine how many days you could miss if you were sidelined with a serious injury. Every time you workout, your body is put under strain. Whether it’s the impact that running places on your joints, or the micro-tears that occur in your muscle fibers when lifting weights, it’s paramount that you give your body the time it needs to recover and repair itself properly. Failure to do so can cause these common consequences of exercise to develop into something far more painful. Fight off fatigue Want to make massive gains when you’re not at the gym? Hit the hay if you want to see your body really transform. A lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, affect your mood and ultimately stop you from beating your personal best. While you might expect to be completely exhausted from going flat-out at the gym, over-training can actually affect your sleep patterns in a negative way. Your body is more likely to be restless and in a high state of alert, making sleepless nights a more common occurrence. Manage those muscles If you want to maximise your muscle growth, sometimes it pays to put the dumbells down. As we’ve already mentioned above, resistance training causes microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Your body then generously repairs and strengthens these damaged fibers, which slowly leads to increased strength and - you’ve guessed it - growth. If you’re constantly curling iron without giving your body the time it needs to recuperate, don’t be surprised if your muscles wave the white flag.  Time to rest It’s clear, then, that rest days aren’t just a necessity when it comes to a successful exercise regime - they’re downright crucial. If you work hard in the gym and want to push past the plateau, give your body the relaxing reward it deserves with some much-needed rest and recuperation. Your body will thank you. Want to master the art of a healthy lifestyle? Book a free trial with one of our personal trainers. They can help you with everything from your diet to figuring out the perfect exercise plan.

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20th November 2018

How to train for a marathon

When should you start to train for a marathon? Though some believe that you should take a whole year to prepare for a marathon, that’s not the most attainable goal for all. Much more realistically, Runner’s World recommends beginning 16-20 weeks in advance (three to four months), running three to five times a week. This will give you ample time to get your body and mind prepared, without rushing the process. What should I do on training days? Your key focus should be on how far you can run - not on how fast you can go. Running 26 miles is no piece of cake and you don’t want to risk straining your muscles or injuring yourself because your body’s not prepared to go the distance. With that in mind, we’d recommend swapping between three styles of run each week, building on your body’s stamina, endurance and ability to smash out lengthier runs in Tandem: Long runs - See how far your legs can take you at least once a week or fortnight. Doing so will improve your ability to run further, boost your confidence, help you to burn more fat for fuel and increase your Overall stamina. Sporting goods company REI suggests a good way to go about it. Increase the length of your run over three weeks, then scale it back before going any further. For instance, run 12 miles one weekend, followed by 13 the weekend after that, then 14, then back to 12 before attempting 15 miles on the fifth week. By doing this, you’ll avoid overworking your muscles as you increase your endurance on-track. Continue this pattern until you’re comfortable with travelling 20 or so miles and the marathon will be a breeze. Interval runs - These are runs which consist of measured sprinting and jogging segments - you should do them at least a couple of times a week. It sounds simple, but fluctuating between speeds during a run has great effects on your aerobic capacity and ultimately will make the marathon much easier. Relaxed runs - Embark on some easy, outdoor runs once or twice a week (after your interval or long runs). These will keep your body flexible and muscles limber while you’re recovering from your more intensive sessions. What should I do when I’m not Training? In the ‘run-up’ to a marathon, make sure you rest. Your muscles must relax after intense workouts if you’re to avoid injury - and, speaking of, use a foam roller before and after sessions, too. These correct muscle imbalances and will help you to avoid accidents and injuries later down the line. You might also want to tweak your diet to fit your training. Runner’s World suggests that you stock up on high-carb, low-fibre meals three to four hours before running and take energy bars or fruit with you, supporting your energy levels on-track. Learn something from our marathon training tips? Check out the 5 best European City Marathons and book a trial at one of our clubs.

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14th November 2018

Tutorial: Burpee

WHAT The burpee is a high intensity exercise, that targets the whole body The exercise combines upper body, core and lower body movements, which effectively increases heart rate. This classic exercise can EVOlve by adding a jump, like a simple squat jump, or even a lateral jump over a box.HOW Start in a standing position and 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, bringing your legs back and land on the floor in a push-up position Perform a push-up and on the way up, drive the hips up rapidly and jump into a squat position. Return to upright and repeat continuously for reps or time. Training progression - when you have built a good level of endurance and control (usually when you can perform ten reps with the proper technique) you can add a squat jump at the top of the movement.WHY The burpee is an intense exercise, and for this reason, it’s often avoided in Workouts. Even by those who are generally fit and active. While many can squat or perform a push-up separately, the continuous movement between both is often hard to achieve, due to the high cardiovascular demands. For this reason alone, it should be a staple exercise for anyone interested in no fuss, high-intensity training. While it may not be a popular movement, burpees will build high levels of strength, power, strength-endurance and cardiovascular endurance in a short space of time. Which will transfer to almost any recreational and sporting activity.Get more burpee benefits here in our blog.

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13th November 2018

Wir suchen dich: Junior Club Manager (M/W) in Hamburg

Als JUNIOR CLUB MANAGER bist du u.a. das Bindeglied zwischen dem Club, unseren (potenziellen) Mitgliedern und den Personal Trainern und stellst eine durchgehend hohe Servicequalität sicher. Du bist vertriebs- und leistungsorientiert, kommunikationsstark und in der Lage lösungsorientiert auf kurzfristig auftretende Herausforderungen adäquat zu reagieren? Du hast bereits Erfahrung in der Fitnessbranche gesammelt und bist bereit für neue Herausforderungen? Dann werde Teil unseres Teams in Hamburg! Was sind deine Aufgaben? • Du erstellst monatliche Verkaufspläne und Aktivitäten zur Erreichung von Verkaufszielen und spielst eine zentrale Rolle im Verkauf von Mitgliedschaften in deinem Club. • Du unterstützt die zentralen Marketing und Sales Manager bei der Marketing- & Sales-Planung. • Du betreibst aktive Forschung und eruierst neue Ansätze zur Interessen- und Kundengewinnung. • Du nimmst eine zentrale Position als Ansprechpartner und bei der Organisation des Club-Teams wahr. • Du entwickelst und optimierst Kommunikationsstrukturen- und Kanäle auf Clubebene, im Club Bereich und allen anderen Abteilungen (interdisziplinär). • Du handelst stets rechtzeitig und hochprofessionell. Was ist dein Profil? • Du hast Spaß und Freude an einem fitness- und gesundheitsorientierten Lifestyle. • Geschäftssinn verbindest Du mit einer ausgeprägten Hands-on Mentalität. • Du hast Erfahrung und Kompetenzen in den Bereichen Verkauf oder Promotion. • Ausgezeichnetes Zeitmanagement und Organisationsfähigkeiten zeichnen dich aus. • Sehr gute Kommunikationsfähigkeiten verbindest du mit Verhandlungsgeschick. • Du verfügst über ein positives, selbstsicheres und repräsentatives Auftreten und kannst Mitglieder begeistern. • Du hast eine starke Selbstmotivation und denkst kontinuierlich an Verbesserungen und Innovationen. • Du kannst auf kurzfristig auftretende Herausforderungen adäquat reagieren und diese lösungsorientiert und selbstständig bearbeiten. • Studium in einem der Bereiche Sportökonomie, -management oder Fitnessökonomie sind von Vorteil. Was bieten wir dir? Neben der Vollzeit-Beschäftigung bieten wir als Start-up Unternehmen • Ein spannendes und abwechslungsreiches Arbeitsumfeld mit flacher Hierarchie, sowie offene Strukturen mit weitreichenden Gestaltungsspielräumen. • Ein ambitioniertes Unternehmensumfeld mit Wachstumsdrang, bei dem sich jeder einbringen kann. • Du bekommst eine ganzheitliche und detaillierte Einarbeitung sowie regelmäßige fachliche und rollenspezifische Schulungen & Coachings. • Du erhältst eine kostenfreie Mitgliedschaft in unseren EVO Clubs in ganz Deutschland. Wir freuen uns auf deine aussagekräftige Bewerbungsunterlagen unter Angabe deines frühestmöglichen Eintrittstermins sowie deiner Gehaltsvorstellungen! Bitte sende deine Bewerbung an: bjoern@evofitness.de

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12th November 2018

The case of the Mondays: why your week should start in the gym

Wave ‘bye bye’ to the Monday blues It’s common knowledge that working out is a dream for your happy hormones. Exercise helps your body to produce serotonin and dopamine, your brain’s feel-good chemicals, along with endorphins, which reduce your perception of pain and make you feel great. Further, exercise’s mood-boosting effects are so powerful, it’s often recommended as an antidote to depression. A study from Harvard shows that those who are depressed have a smaller hippocampus - the part of the brain which helps to regulate mood. Working out specifically supports the nerve cell growth in this area, improving their connections and therefore boosting your happiness levels. Magic, isn’t it? Work-related stresses will be just a blip on your radar If your bad Monday mood stems from the fact that you have a stressful work life, fitting in a quick exercise session before (or after) you head to the office could be really beneficial. Vigorous exercise increases your body’s level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This, essentially, quietens down your ‘stressy’ neurons and decreases your levels of anxiousness - making for a much more relaxed day at your desk. Sounds good to us. You’ll be brainier Though most of us feel anything but energetic at the beginning of the week, exercising actually helps to revitalise both your body and mind (though coffee doesn’t hurt, either). It does so by releasing the chemical norepinephrine, which improves your ability to pay attention to and perceive things, making you more productive. It also improves your body’s blood flow, which means that more oxygen and nutrients get to your brain and help it to perform at its Peak. Your metabolism will be given a boost After munching on delicious treats all weekend, a Monday morning workout is the perfect way to put your body back on track. Exercising kick starts your metabolism and keeps it running at an increased rate for hours (due to a process known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC) long after you’ve finished working out. Therefore, even if you spend your working day sitting at a desk, you’ll be burning more calories than usual. The sense of accomplishment you’ll get will spur you on for the rest of the week By going to the gym first thing, you’ll be setting your day - and your week - off to an excellent start. You’ll feel more confident, more productive, and enjoy a lovely sense of accomplishment that’ll hopefully feed other positive lifestyle decisions (such as making healthier eating choices). How’s that for some Monday Motivation? Ready to start every week like a boss? Find your local EVO club here.

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8th November 2018

Tabata vs HIIT - what are the main differences between them?

What is HIIT training? HIIT (pronounced ‘hit’) involves quick bursts of intense activity followed by short periods of rest. By pushing yourself as hard as you can - and we mean as hard you can - your body is forced to adapt to the vigorous stop-start demands that interval training provides. Most HIIT program tend to follow a 1:1 ratio of 30 seconds of exercise, 30 seconds of rest, but they can be adjusted however you deem necessary. Whatever you choose to do, though, HIIT will likely leave you panting for breath, soaked in sweat and praying for just one more second of rest. And that’s because interval training can often burn up to 30% more calories than resistance training or when running on a treadmill, making it a viable option for those looking to gain impressive results without sacrificing a huge chunk of time. What is Tabata Training? Tabata training is a form of HIIT named after the Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, and is supposed to last for only four minutes. Before you scoff in disbelief, know that, when done correctly, you’ll be wishing Dr. Tabata’s method was only half as long. Dr. Tabata discovered the following: A group of athletes who participated in shorter, high intensity workouts over a six week period achieved great aerobic and anaerobic Endurance. Much greater than a second group of athletes, who took part in far longer workouts at a moderate intensity. Each Tabata training interval involves 20 seconds of extremely intense exercise, then 10 seconds of blissful rest. This is then repeated eight times until you begin to see stars. Which means if you’re not gasping for air and cursing under your breath during each rest period, then you’re simply not doing it right. So… what’s the difference?  The main difference between Tabata training vs HIIT boils down to the time allotted for the workout and subsequent rest periods. With HIIT, you can be more flexible and inventive with your routines, adding longer workout times. Also different rest periods and more extravagant exercises that may require more time to perform. Tabata training, meanwhile, relies on the strict four-minute rule. It therefore lends itself better to exercises that are easier to perform in quick succession: E.g. press-ups, squats or kettlebell exercises. Push it to the max Whichever training method you prefer, both HIIT and Tabata training are short but punishingly hardcore workouts with proven results. Are you looking to save serious time in the gym while seriously improving your fitness at the same time? Then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more efficient and effective way of burning fat than a heart-pounding session of HIIT or Tabata training.   Like our tips? Check out the EVO blog for more.

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6th November 2018

Skill based EMOM workout for strength, power and endurance

BAG OF TRICKS: EMOMModerate-hard workout / core bag circuit / 10-mins2 exercisesEquipment: 20kg core bag (men); 10kg core bag (women) DESCRIPTIONIt's super simple - but it's also super intense: this core bag workout will help you build skill and test your endurance. Also, you'll find that this workout it's based on a simple and uncommon protocol called EMOM – which means Every Minute on the Minute.First things first, though. Before you start, grab the only equipment you'll need to perform this EMOM workout: a core bag. We recommend 20kg for men, and 10kg for women, but you're the one in control, so choose according to your fitness level.Then, it's time to get your stopwatch ready. There are two exercises per circuit: Core bag deadlift and row (5 reps) Core bag clean (5 reps)Prepare to begin your workout and start the stopwatch. The goal is to complete each circuit within every minute - hence the name: EMOM. Any remaining time within the minute should be used taken to rest before the next minute/circuit starts. Repeat the circuits for 10 minutes - it should give you ten rounds.This EMOM workout focuses on the skill of lifting and pulling, so it's essential that you work on your technique for these two movements, but at the same time, you should perform them as fast as possible. You'll feel fatigued as the workout advances and that makes the rest periods really important. The quicker you work, the more rest you’ll get at the end of each Minute.Having said this, it's crucial that this workout challenges you. So, if you can complete five reps of each exercise in less than 40 seconds, you should increase the difficulty and add one more rep per each exercise. If you cannot perform five reps of each exercise in under a minute, drop back to 4 reps per exercise. Try to improve your performance each time you complete this workout.EXERCISESCORE BAG DEADLIFT AND ROW5 reps Set shoulders and engage core Bend and deadlift the bag, driving the hips forwards Bend knees slightly and lower the bag to below the knees – from here, row the bag, before lowering again Deadlift the bag, and repeat for reps[embed]https://vimeo.com/191947380/9d1a2461b5[/embed]CORE BAG CLEAN5 reps Set shoulders and engage core Bend and deadlift the bag, driving the hips forwards, bringing the bag to the start position Bend the hips/knees slightly, allowing the bag to drop just below the knees. Rapidly drive the hips and pull the bag upwards, dropping under the bag to catch at the top Stabilize before repeating for reps[embed]https://vimeo.com/191792276/30295dc5d8[/embed]Try these exercises at a free trial at one of our Clubs.

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2nd November 2018

Track your EVOlution with out distance test on the treadmill

It's about time to track your evolution with this distance test. This test is, perhaps, the most relevant test for everyone - regardless of how in shape one feels. With it, you can have a clear overview of your progress. As you repeat the test, you can also collect more information and have a clear view on how you're improving. Here's how to do it:  Track your evolution indoors – on a treadmill We suggest you perform our indoor distance test on a treadmill and there’s a good reason behind this recommendation; over a treadmill, you have better control over the surface you run upon, and you can, for instance, increase inclination and create a slope on the treadmill. We also find that it's prudent beginning with a half or one per cent inclination throughout the test instead of adjusting the treadmill up and down along the way. It's fundamental that you have good warm up, from 10 to 20 minutes, before you begin the test. Also, make sure that you’re running for distance instead of a time-based interval. After finishing your warm up, it's advisable that you set the treadmill for the specific distance you're about to run. This way you'll be able to see its countdown, something that most people often find motivating. Another positive side of doing this test on a treadmill is how straightforward it is to control the speed on the treadmill. You do not have to wonder how fast you're going since you are the one in control of it.  What information can you get from this test?   This distance test gives you a concrete picture on how in shape or not you are. It also helps you identify the speed you can maintain and for how long through the challenge. The test results from the distance test should be an essential part of your basis for evaluating the quality of your workouts between each test. Distance tests show you your physical development throughout the season. They are often handy when you perform them for several years because this way you get an ever-wider and broader comparison basis. The results along the years will most definitely surprise you. Assessment of test results   A distance test is not a standardised test; you use your test results as a basis for evaluating what is good or bad. The shorter the time you spend on the distance, the better you can consider your overall fitness level has become. Test Frequency   If you divide your training year into different periods, it will be advisable to test before and after each period. If you do not divide your exercise routine like this, you can perform this test every sixth or eight weeks.   Suitable for: anyone, any level Don’t miss out on the 5 rules to make sure your test is completely trustworthy – here. Find other exercises and tests you can try to keep your performance in check – here. 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.

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31st October 2018

4 exercises to develop your glutes

It’s not just about looking good. Your glutes are there for other reasons. Of course, looking good and having firm and shapely glutes is great and you’ll definitely look great with the right type of jeans. However, glutes are fundamental in movements like jumping and sprinting; also, they play a key role in relieving low-back pain and they are crucial to everyday movements like standing or climbing stairs.  That’s why we brought you 4 good exercises for your glutes, courtesy of EVO Norway PT Frida Rommen. Dumbbell deadlift Stand with your feet little wider than shoulder-width apart Hold a dumbbell with both hands, in front you and between you thighs Back straight, keens slightly leaning forward Lean forward to bring the dumbbell down Back at the initial position That’s one rep Static Glute Bridge Hold still in the top position of glute bridge Feet should be about hip-width apart Squeeze your glutes and hold at the top Cable Squat Stand in front of the machine with a straight bar or robe attached Step back so there is tension in the cable Perform the squat Repeat Barbell Hip Thrust Place your upper back on the bench with the barbell across your hips Feet planted firmly on the ground, close to your glutes Drive your hips up Engage your core and abs Hold for a count and only then return to starting position Start your journey to shaped glutes in a free trial in our Clubs.  

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24th October 2018

What is a slam ball and why you should include it in your workout?

Slam ball. The name may resonate but but probably you’ve never been introduced. Read on to find out more and discover why it deserves your spotlight. What is it? A slam ball is a weighted, rubber-coated ball which can be used in a range of exercises to condition and define your muscles. Though very similar to medicine (med) balls, slam balls have one crucial difference - they have thicker surfaces, making them ideal for high-impact throwing exercises. Med balls, on the other hand, have much thinner rubber, leather or plastic surfaces, so are impractical for intense workouts. What are the benefits of working out with slam balls? Slam balls are popular with athletes worldwide, as they’re both simple to train with and can greatly improve your muscle mass. Depending on which exercises you do, a slam ball works your shoulders, triceps, pecs, calves, back and core (especially your abdominals). Even if you’re not looking for Schwarzenegger-style muscles, this has its advantages, as the more powerful your muscles are, the faster your metabolism (resulting in less body fat). Are they for everyone? Slam balls can fit perfectly into your gym plan (though are particularly suited to those who do resistance training). Even if you’re operating a jam-packed fitness schedule, slam balls can get involved - used in place of free weights or incorporated into cardio exercises. In addition, they range from 3 kg to 15 kg, supporting a range of muscle strengths and capabilities. How do you use them? There are a range of ways to work out with a slam ball - here are a few of our favourite examples. Bulgarian Squat Benefits: Improves your balance while toning your legs and abs. Method: Stand with your feet together in front of the slam ball Push your right foot back, balancing your toes on top of the ball Applying weight to your left heel, lower your body into a lunge, bending your right knee forwards (your left knee should form a 90 degree angle) Straighten both legs until you’re standing in front of the ball again. Repeat.  Burpee Slam Benefits: Increases your metabolism while working out plenty of your muscles at once. Method: Stand with your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart, slam ball to your chest Pushing your feet up by the toes, lift the slam ball above your head Drop your hips down and force the slam ball to the floor While pressing the ball into the floor, spring your feet back so that you’re in a braced plank position Spring your feet forward again into a squat, with hands still on the ball, then move slowly back into the first position.  Bear Crawl Benefits: Refines and works your shoulder muscles. Method: Go to the end of a long room. Get into a ‘bear crawl’ position (with both legs and arms poised above the ground, keeping your back as straight as possible) With your slightly knees bent, crawl forward, using one hand to push the slam ball as you go Stop when you reach the other end of the room, then turn around and repeat, using your other arm to push. Start your beautiful slam ball journey by visiting your local club today.

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17th October 2018

Ein hochintensives Zirkeltraining für mehr Kraft, Rumpfstabilität, Ausdauer und Muskelmasse

Moderat-intensives Ganzkörperworkout / Eigengewicht-Zirkeltraining / 6-12 Minuten 4 Übungen 6 Runden Ausrüstung: Reck, TrainingsmatteBESCHREIBUNGBist du bereit für ein super effektives und dennoch simples Ganzkörpertraining, das deine Kraft und dein Durchhaltevermögen auf die Probe stellt? Die fantastischen 4 basieren auf fundamentalen und unkomplizierten Bewegungen. Zudem kommen sie ohne viel Zubehör aus. Außer einem Reck und einer Trainingsmatte brauchst du: Motivation und Konzentration. Und schon kannst du loslegen!Lege die Matte unters Reck und hole dir noch eine Box oder Plattform dazu (falls du Schwierigkeiten hast, an das Reck zu kommen). Damit ist dein Trainingsbereich schon fertig.Die fantastischen 4 bestehen aus 4 fortlaufenden Übungen. Das Ziel ist es, sechs Runden zu schaffen. Starte die Stoppuhr, wenn du mit der ersten Übung der ersten Runde anfängst. Stoppe sie, wenn du mit der letzten Runde durch bist. Mit jeder Runde wird es anstrengender werden: Mache also ruhig eine Pause zwischendurch, solltest du nicht mehr können. Falls du gerade erst mit hochintensivem Training anfängst, kannst du auch die alternativen Übungen machen und dich langsam an die schwereren Versionen herantasten.Versuche, jedes Mal deine Leistung zu verbessern, wenn du dieses Ganzkörperworkout machst.KLIMMZUG10 WiederholungenHänge dich mit gestreckten Armen an das Reck. Halte deine Ellbogen zusammen und ziehe deinen Brustkorb zum Reck. Ziel ist es, mit dem Kinn bis über das Reck zu kommen.Leichtere Version: Stelle dich auf eine Plyo Box und springe in den Klimmzug.[embed]https://vimeo.com/194348767/dcdb6fde1e[/embed] LIEGESTÜTZE10 WiederholungenGehe für diesen Teil des Ganzkörperworkouts in die Liegestützposition, die Hände sind unter deinen Schultern. Halte Schultern, Hüfte und Knie in einer geraden Linie und sinke langsam nach unten, indem du die Ellbogen beugst. Strecke die Arme wieder, bevor du den Boden berührst und gehe in die Anfangsposition zurück.Leichtere Version: Führe die Liegestütze auf den Knien aus.https://vimeo.com/193039660/d2a8155cef V-SIT10 WiederholungenLege dich flach mit ausgestreckten Beinen und über dem Kopf ausgestreckten Armen auf die Matte. Bringe nun in einer schnellen Bewegung Arme und Beine zusammen, sodass deine Hände deine Füße berühren und du eine V-Form bildest. Halte deinen Rücken gerade und kehre in einer langsamen und kontrollierten Bewegung wieder in die Anfangsposition zurück. Versuche dabei nicht zu wackeln.Leichtere Version: Beuge deine Beine. Positioniere deine Hände neben deinem Kopf. Bringe nun Ellbogen und Knie zusammen.https://vimeo.com/191958196/66b535b595 KNIEBEUGE10 WiederholungenStelle dich mit vor dem Körper ausgestreckten Armen gerade hin. Achte darauf, dass deine Knie eine Linie mit deinem Rumpf bilden. Halte den Rücken gerade. Sodann sinkst du mit der Hüfte nach unten. Versuche so weit herunter zu kommen, dass deine Hüfte tiefer als deine Knie ist. Die Hacken sollten dabei nicht vom Boden abheben. Gehe wieder hoch und wiederhole die Bewegung.Leichtere Version: Gehe nur so weit herunter, bis deine Oberschenkel parallel zum Boden sind.https://vimeo.com/193041551/18b70ea278Viel Spaß beim Schwitzen!Hier findest du weitere funktionelle Übungen und Ganzkörperworkouts:TRX Workout für eine bessere Haltung und einen kräftigen RückenTRX Low PullHamstring Curl 

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10th October 2018

Cycling to lose weight - does it work?

Cycling to lose weight? Yes, of course. To start, it’s low-impact, doesn’t put much pressure on your Joints. It can be done outside or with Friends - making it the perfect sport no matter your age or current state of Fitness.So how exactly does it help you lose weight?It’s magic for your metabolic rateEven a short stint in the saddle can help your slimming efforts go a long way. According to health and fitness website LIVESTRONG, cycling between 12-14 mph for just half an hour can help a 17-pound person lose a whopping 346 calories. At a faster pace of 14-16 mph you can torch 420 calories.Your bike itself doesn’t have to be moving for your body to feel the burn, either. On a stationary bike, the same person can lose 451 calories (again, in 30 minutes). With a bit of effort, while someone of average weight can burn a staggering 826 calories in one hour. The trick is to pound that pedal: The faster your legs are whirring, the more calories you’re Burning.It increases your heart rateAs your heart pumps faster during exercise, it transports more oxygen to your muscles, which then work harder and burn more fat.Cycling is a wonderful way to power-up your pulse. It’s a low-impact activity that doesn’t put much strain on your limbs. So you’re able to go further and for longer, keeping that circulation flowing fast.Regular bike rides will ultimately make your heart stronger, which has myriad benefits. A shocking study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2017 showed teh following: Regular cycling cut the risk of death from ailments by more than 40% - and cancer and heart disease, specifically, by 45%.Cycling will slim you down and tone you upIf you’re patient and consistent with your cycling, pairing your efforts in the bike seat with a good nutritional plan. You’ll lose weight - particularly as the sport works your ‘slow-twitch fibres’. These fibres increase your muscles’ endurance, but not their mass. Therefore, you shouldn’t bulk up as you bike, giving you a leaner look.That doesn’t mean your muscles won’t get the workout they need. Cycling focuses on your hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles in particular - contributing to more toned and stronger legs - along with your bum, waist, abs and back. Not bad for a quick spin around the block.It’s a lifelong love storyThe key to keeping your weight down is to maintain good exercise and eating Habits. And it’s incredibly easy to fit cycling into your routine. Use your bike to commute to work, explore your local park: Enjoy a sunny evening, run errands, and connect with friends - before long, you’ll wonder how you ever managed life without it.Sound good to you? Hop into the bike seat and spin your way to slimness at one of our EVO gyms today - click here to find your local club.

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1st October 2018

Speed ladders and hopscotch: improve your agility, coordination and speed

I notice that today’s training is often appearance orientated. Exercises that require your brain to work don't get featured as they should. Often, we see workouts that demand little to no coordination and that are designed merely to transform the body, making it more attractive and toned faster. Training plays the leading role in this self-optimising theatre. One compares different workouts by the gains one has or has not, and this comparison is not about the set of skills, as it should. The questions and requests posed to me as a trainer are often around “Which exercise makes my thighs leaner?” or “This fat pad must disappear without losing my bust size”; “I want a more muscular upper body” and less like “How can I balance on a slackline?” or “How can I learn the handstand?”.   Of course, every motivation and goal is personal. However, why not having varied and adequate challenges for your body in everyday life and training? When you don't attend the requirements of your body, you will miss out on fundamental skills like coordination and balance - and that is dangerous. Having said this let me now explain why it is smart to integrate speed ladders and hopscotch in your workout routine. Speed ladders and hopscotch can improve the ability to decelerate explosively, change direction and accelerate again quickly while maintaining body control and minimising loss of speed. These movements depend on factors such as speed, eccentric strength (strength that enables the athlete to decelerate movements), balance and coordination. Learning proper mechanics to decelerate and change direction will also reduce the risk of injury because a lot of injuries occur during braking and shifting direction. Coordination is by definition the cooperation of the central nervous system (CNS, brain, spinal cord), the peripheral nerves (lines from CNS to muscle) and the muscles in a specific movement pattern. Coordination, therefore, means teamwork between brains and muscle. What you can do: Speed Jumps require a mixture of strength and speed. These dynamic exercises activate the central nervous system and enable the fast-twitch muscle fibres (which contract quickly) to work more comfortably and efficiently. So-called plyometric movements use the stretching and shortening cycle. Which means a stretch reflex of rapid elongation of the muscle followed by a rapid muscle shortening. Agility The so-called “cutting” is a fast slow down of the body while the body’s centre must equilibrate to move further into another direction. Ankle mobility is required as well as hip joints and core strength. Coordination Every targeted motion is a coordinative overall performance of the central nervous system under the command of the cerebrum. Coordination is responsible for the learning, controlling and adjusting of moves. The coordination’s impact leads to the effective use of strength, flexibility, endurance and speed, the other conditional essential motoric characteristics of the body. Coordination distinguishes between "Intramuscular coordination" and "Intermuscular coordination". Intramuscular coordination is the power development within a muscle. The muscle cell activating nerve impulses control this unfolding of power. The more well defined intramuscular coordination, the more force can be developed within a muscle. Intermuscular coordination is the interaction of several muscles within a specific sequence of movements. Good intermuscular coordination consumes less energy and increases performance. To wrap it all up In conclusion, no matter how much strength every single muscle has when they do not work perfectly together as a team: The whole muscle strength is ineffective. The brain is the conductor, the muscles the orchestra and the nerves the baton. Without coordination, movements are demanding because muscles are not working together. But, partly, they are working against each other. Uncoordinated movements are not safe. This is because less precise execution of this movements often leads to stressed ligaments and joints. A coordinated movement, in contrast, is a secure, efficient and simple movement. Speed ladders and hopscotch could be a great workout tool for increasing your performance due to more conservative movements. Meaning you need less strength because you learn to use for specific movements. Only the required muscles in the correct sequence. The better a movement sequence is coordinated, the less exhausting it is. This means less energy expenditure and oxygen consumption. And, maybe the most important fact, it can bring a lot of fun and new inspiration and stimuli for your workout at EVO fitness. Bardo Tschapke, EVO Le Flair Düsseldorf Instagram: healthcoachbardo Facebook: Health Coach Bardo Book a personal training with Bardo at EVO LeFlair in Düsseldorf or try the Clubs for free.

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27th September 2018

Calisthenics: What, how and why they should be in your workout plan

Dumbbells, barbells, weight machines and the rest. We always see images of weightlifters giving the highest of praise to such workout equipment. But many tend to overlook the purest and most important form of training of them all: calisthenics. There’s no doubt it’s become a buzzword in the world of fitness - and yet this often misunderstood term has always been around. What is calisthenics? Put simply: calisthenics is any exercise that uses your body weight for strength gains. Pumping iron isn’t the only way to get stronger - calisthenics is arguably more useful in bumping up the muscular volume while shaping your body for optimal athleticism at the same time. How does calisthenics work? Bodies weren’t designed just to move backwards and forwards. It’s the reason EVO personal trainers encourage members to eschew that one-plane-of-motion mindset and twist, rotate, push, pull, squat, jump and move side-to-side. Performing calisthenics at a slow to moderate rate requires more muscle use, in turn helping to build muscle. Train at a faster rate, and you can burn more calories than many cardio workouts, due to the high levels of muscle Engagement. Why practice calisthenics? Slimmer, fitter, stronger - the benefits of calisthenics are plentiful. Here are just a few of them: Workout anywhere Most calisthenics exercises require zero equipment. No need to wait for machines at the gym or travel to group classes to get a full-body workout - once you practice bodyweight training you can do it in your home, at the park, on the beach. Of course, there is equipment that’ll boost your calisthenic training tenfold. At EVO we have our very own playground - a dedicated space for freestyle training. Think gymnastic rings, Swedish ladders, Octagon functional frame and a textured traverse wall. Basically a bodyweight buff’s paradise. Carve your optimum physique With increased strength, calorie torching, power and endorphin euphoria comes a toned, flexible and strong body. Just look at Al Kavadlo’s physique - one of the world’s leading experts in calisthenics and bodyweight training is awe-inspiringly shredded. By working multiple muscle groups at once (for example, an explosive push-up works out the chest, arms, abs and spine), you’re training the body in a way that looks more proportionate. ‘Skipping leg day’ no longer becomes a subject of concern as unnatural bodybuilding physiques will be overturned for useful, natural and tantalisingly toned muscles. Shift your mindset Calisthenics creates total body awareness. Most exercisers are so used to repetitive workouts, but constantly switching up your routine will keep your brain switched on and prevent the dreaded fitness plateau. Muscles will grow back stronger, so in turn you seek new challenges - progress is infinite with calisthenics. Prevent injuries It’s harder to ‘overtrain’ one particular muscle group in calisthenics. As a result, injuries are less common. Those who suffer from joint pain from repetitive exercise and lifting heavy metal will find calisthenics more natural and less demanding. They’re called ‘bodyweight’ exercises for a reason - our bodies were quite literally designed to do them. Stick to the original blueprints and adapt to the environment around you and you can’t go wrong.

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24th September 2018

What is a Pegboard? And what are the Benefits of the Pegboard training?

Article In a study comparing the activation of muscles with different pull-up variations, rope climbing, muscle ups and the pegboard, the latter showed best results for the growth of muscles. Climbing pegboards can be a simple but dynamic addition to strength and upper body training. The functional exercises increase the performance of, e.g. Olympic weightlifters within a scope of adequate athletic training. Which muscles does the pegboard train? The pegboard has originally been developed for climbers of a range of climbing disciplines such as bouldering and rock climbing. Thus, it addresses precisely the muscle groups activated while climbing.  Latissimus Back shoulder head Biceps Lower arm The pegboard stimulates smaller muscles, which are usually more difficult to reach through regular free weight or body-weight exercise. The Teres Major, for instance, situated below the shoulder blade. It is responsible for the internal rotation of the arm as well as for the removal of the arm towards the body after it has been stretched out side-wards. Many athletes have their Teres Major under-developed as often they do not train the rotation nor the movement of the arm towards the body with weights. Problems with the shoulder are, thus, widely spread for this reason. Regular pegboard training contributes to the prevention of injuries. A further example: the Brachialis, situated approximately above the elbow, is responsible for the bending of the lower arm, just as the biceps are. In contrast to the far more known biceps, it can provoke the bending of the lower arm even when the palm is facing downwards. This is a typical positioning of the hands on the barbell at Olympic weightlifting. The pegboard specifically training the Brachialis brings about an enhancement of the performance in this weight pulling exercise. Generally speaking, exercising with the pegboard is a highly intense physical exercise for the entire upper body. In a study comparing the activation of muscles with different pull-up variations, rope climbing, muscle ups and the pegboard, the latter showed best results for the growing of the Latissimus, biceps and chest muscles. According to several statistic projections, one pegboard-ascent is equivalent to 26 pull-ups regarding intensity (muscle activation and heartbeat). A better athlete with the pegboard: The pegboard, however, does not only serve the benefit of building muscles. Climber and calisthenic athletes appreciate exercising with the pegboard for its enhancing effect on the strength endurance. The athlete learns to hold on to the stick one-handed for several seconds. Relative to the respective competencies, the entire process of climbing can last 30 to 60 seconds. That is quite some Training! The pegboard is an excellent stability exercise. Many small and significant muscle groups are coordinated in a perfectly harmonising manner to maintain the body tension. This lays a perfect basis for effective training (butterfly-pull-ups, muscle ups etc.) and makes for the health of the joints. Additionally, the athlete improves the coordination of hands and eyes and the mental strength. Advice for correct execution:   Always keep the body as close as possible to the board Always make sure there is a support and a replace side. For example, when you want to replace the stick in your left hand, shift your weight to the right side. Your chest should always stay on the height of your stick on the support side, never in the middle of the sticks or below your lowest hand. When removing the stick from a whole, only pull out the stick in a horizontal backwards movement, never in a downwards movement (otherwise you will get stuck in the whole and, hence, lose precious time and energy). The pegboard is not only suited for the ascent and descent on the board. One can also exercise different pull-up variations on the board. Put the sticks in different positions on the board and train narrow, wide or shifted pull-ups. Whoever is looking for a new abdominal exercise can try out different leg raise variations. Try our pegboard in the club during a free Trial

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20th September 2018

Here’s what to know about functional training in pregnancy

Before we start, it’s important to point out that you should always consult your doctor before beginning to exercise during pregnancy, mainly if you were not active before. There are a lot of different opinions in the fitness world out there, but primarily the recommendations will always depend on your overall fitness level, your experience and your health situation.   Generally, there should be no problem in including more movement during pregnancy – actually, is quite the opposite. Experience tells us that the more exercise and natural movement involved, the easier it is to maintain a healthy pregnancy throughout and to experience a more comfortable birth. During pregnancy, the pelvic floor has to carry more and more weight, and at the same time, all muscles lose tension and become weaker by hormones that prepare the pelvic floor for birth.   In most cases, the centre of gravity changes - you have weaker stability, and this leads to Lumbar hyperlordosis. Therefore stability training is of vital importance and provides excellent benefits for the body. As an EVO Personal Trainer, I guide my clients to focus on the pelvic floor, instead of just offering some exercises to keep them active.   Another recommendation is that you shouldn’t focus on reps or time. I call it Pelvic floor tempo. The key to proper functional training during pregnancy is to not stretching your limit. You should keep your workout to about 70% of what would be your "normal" intensity. This is one way to find the right balance so that the exercise benefits you and especially so that it benefits the tiny life evolving inside your belly.   Benefits of working out during Pregnancy: Maintains pelvic floor strength prevents back problems improves posture you stay active helps during labour get back on track faster after labour stability for the joints – they get unstable due to the Hormones Cardio Training should be aerobic and lighter, so no interval training or high-intensity training. Keep the heart-rate bellow 140. One way to track it is to make sure you can speak normally (with no breathing effort) during the entire session. So, talk a bit, test as you go and you'll be alright. For an EVO style workout, I recommend a moderate Tabata Training 40/40. It's an ok workout as long as the weather is not over 29°. Now it's time to some do's and don'ts. Dont‘s: Avoid pressure and significant stretches Don't carry heavy loads Start on something completely new to your body Don’t go above your limits Pelvic floor pressure (Deep Squat, Jumps, high weights) Abdominal pressure (Plank, Deadlifts, overhead exercise, military presses, powerbands and Tubes) Something that causes you pain Shear forces on lumbar spine / pelvic floor (lunges, side lunges, wide-lunges, side plank) No grid roller on lumbar spine or TFL Band   Passive, loose, lazy Posture that may lead to problems/instability: - Inactive flat feet - Hyperextended kneed -  Saggy Core - Protracted shoulders Do‘s: Easy pelvic floor training. Especially to become aware of how to engage the with pelvic floor muscles (for having an easier birth giving). Slow controlled movements Physically smart alignment Neutral joint positions Correct hip position (anterior tilt vs posterior tilt) due to belly weight anterior tilt happens so practice and do posterior tilt Get up or lay down sideways Very fit women or athletes have problems consciously relaxing the pelvic floor so they need to practice this regularly  Active Posture to Prevent Problems: - Improve feet activity - Slightly flex of the knees - Little activation on the pelvic floor and belly button towards the baby - Create length in Spine - Bring thorax upright   Short pregnancy safe workout 1. 2 minute - side reach https://vimeo.com/194312544/298898d327   2. 2 minute - KST Low Pull https://vimeo.com/193846223/b24527cab5   Repeat 1 and 2 3. 2 minute - Hip mobility but spine stretch and heart opener https://vimeo.com/194029333/6dc0123832 4. 2 minute - Kinesis chest press https://vimeo.com/194014758/069c6d11f9   Repeat 3 and 4 Nathalie Vitakova is a personal trainer at EVO Le Flair in Dusseldorf Personal Training // Coaching // Athletik-Training // Yoga

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12th September 2018

The TRX workout you need for a better posture and strong back

In this Workout of the Month (WOM), you'll test your strength and improve your posture with a mix of body-weight exercises. Plus, TRX in a functional workout included here will upgrade the challenge ahead. All, of course, the EVO way. Benefits of functional training In a general sense functional training exercises, performed either with body-weight alone or with the support of equipment, can work on the body's ability to find stabilisation, a capacity that should be seen as one of the primary body functions. The need to control stability and balance, the transfer of load, the need for coordination and of going beyond mere production of strength are examples that show precisely the need to exercise these skills. We can promote the harmony between upper-body and lower-body by exercising it in a functional-training way, exploring the pillars of natural human movement. Locomotion is one of those pillars, and it refers to the linear displacement of the body's centre of mass, which demands effort from the leg muscles (quadriceps, thigh posteriors and glutes). This effort happens as the body strives to take in the impact of the forces that occur in reaction to the ground, and at the same time, it creates the need to activate the muscles that stabilise the pelvis and the core muscles, to prevent falling and finding balance. Conjugating the strength of the back muscles with the scapular waist and torso stabilisation, we train the body in a functional training perspective exploring the movement pillar of pushing and pulling. This same pillar is explored as we demand effort from arms and chest muscles, and we try to maintain scapular stabilisation. Two other pillars form the tetralogy of the base pillars of movement: level changes and rotation. The level changes pillar is stimulated as we promote motions that imply a variation of the centre of mass in a vertical line, as examples of these we have squatting or climbing/ elevating. The rotation pillar allows the acceleration and deceleration of the movement and is responsible for the transition of forces from the upper to the lower body and vice-versa. Program nameFunctional workout / Body-weight/ bar and strips/ TRX / 15 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest 4 exercises15 reps each set, 4 sets, 30 seconds restEquipment: Bar and strips, TRX Strength 7/10Power 7/10Endurance 8/10Speed 5/10Agility 6/10Coordination 7/10Balance 8/10Flexibility 5/10  [embed]https://vimeo.com/194336512/7046b612f0[/embed]LATERAL JUMPS15 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest In the suspended bar placed at the lowest level - closest to the ground - position your body sideways in relation to the bar Flex the knee and hop to put a foot on the other side of the bar - shift the weight to that foot Repeat coming from the opposite side [embed]https://vimeo.com/194340019/8e9cf5be88[/embed]HAMSTRING CURL15 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest In the suspended bar placed at the second lowest level - close to the ground - lay on the ground having the bar slightly under your knees Place both feet on top of the bar and keep them apart, waist wide. The bar placed in mid-foot, plantar area The hip must be lifted, placing all body weight supported on shoulder blades Glutes and abdominals must be activated to maintain pelvic stability, and arms stretched alongside the body to assure balance. Push the legs forward, stretching the knees Push downwards to keep the feet firmly against the bar and bring it towards your core. [embed]https://vimeo.com/193047315/bdaff764d6[/embed]    PUSH UP WITH ROTATION15 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest With arms stretched and the body partially planking, parallel to the floor, bring the torso closer to the ground by bending the elbows Elbows should be 'facing' outwards in relation to the medial line. The trunk should be brought down as close to the ground as possible without contact or extreme shoulder discomfort. Shoulder blades should remain stable, and armpits and chest should also distribute strength Push the palms firmly against the floor to push back upwards and straighten the arms (keeping shoulder blades Steady) At the end of the motion perform a torsion of the trunk, from the pelvis up, raising one arm towards the ceiling and finalising the movement in a stable T position Rotate back to the original plank with both hands on the floor, arms stretched [embed]https://vimeo.com/191783187/a94d416aa6[/embed]    TRX LOW PULL15    reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest Firmly grab the TRX handles with both hands and lean back until the straps are tense and the body is in an oblique angle to the ground Arms should be stretched, and the body should be planking with the knees slightly bent. Palms facing inwards and begin pulling, allowing the body to move up, towards the handles, chest reaching the hands In a controlled descent, reduce the muscle tension of the arms and stretch them once again until you find the original Position. Strive to maintain the core as stable as possible, using shoulder blades and spine for this effectCheck out more TRX exercises such as the TRX plank or TRX chest press for your next Workout at the club!

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6th September 2018

Diet vs exercise - which is more important to lose weight?

Can we simply ‘burn off’ the effects of junk food and by diet and lose weight that way? Or is there more to it? When it comes to slimming down, there are a few factors that come into play. One of the most commonly discussed is the 80/20 rule: that is, the formula for shedding pounds which proposes eating a healthy diet 80 percent of the time and devoting 20 percent of your time to exercise. Everything in moderation The 80/20 ratio is just a guideline - you don’t need to hit it exactly to lose weight but it’s a great estimate. It’s possible to torch the pounds without exercise, but not exercising can often lead to cravings that come with negative emotions. Without the right nutrition, your energy expenditure is futile. But the 80/20 rule applies to the actual food you eat too - eating wholesome, healthy food 80 percent of the time and saving 20 percent for foods that are low in nutrition. Restriction is not sustainable and small splurges on ‘unhealthy’ foods can actually help boost your motivation to eat well, as well as your happiness, according to research into ‘planned hedonic deviations’. Food comes first If you want to maintain or lose weight, diet is crucial. The actual trick to achieving weight loss is to reach a negative energy balance - i.e. consuming less calories than you burn. To shed one single pound, you need a 3,500 calorie deficit. Busy lifestyles don’t always allow that kind of calorie burning every day and the average person cannot keep it up, which is why the food you eat plays a huge role in torching weight. Anyone who has ever been on a treadmill knows how long it takes to reach that 500 calorie mark. What are you actually craving?  When it comes to the diet vs exercise debate, it’s important to look at the signals your body gives out when you lack in either one of them. Cravings. Whether you’re hankering a big bag of salty fries or a gallon of ice cream, there’s often a message behind it - even when they seem to pop up out of nowhere. Often, these signals indicate a lack of nourishment elsewhere in your life - it could be something missing in your diet, the need for physical movement, or even a repercussion of your work or relationships. For example, craving late-night snacks can often indicate a peak in cortisol levels (hormones released when you’re stressed). You may not actually need that huge bowl of sugary cereal at 11pm - you could probably relieve the urge with stress-relieving yoga or a relaxing bath. Putting it all together What you eat matters. Exercise matters. If you’re working out, you need to put quality fuel in your body to repair the body post-workout and get ready to conquer the next one. For a good sweat session to work, you need high-quality foods - protein, fat and carbs from wholesome sources - to give you the energy you need to tackle it. If you need extra ‘wiggle room’ in either of them, be more flexible with your fitness regime before you jeopardize your diet and nutrition. Moderation is the key to weight loss success that sticks. As easy as opening your fridge is a free trial at our Clubs.

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31st August 2018

Perfect running technique - 3 simple tips you need

Is there such a thing as a good and a bad running technique? Yes, definitely, but it's not always easy to spot. A good running technique can be defined as a way of running, which gives the highest possible speed with the least use of energy and effort.   Here you'll find 3 simple technical tips and checkpoints that are relevant to those who run and wish to run even better.   1 Do not brake - power-up!   How the foot hits the ground relative to the hip has a lot to say for how fast you can create motion and power forwards in the next run. If the foot is placed in front of the hip, you will in practice slow the body and "new speed" (acceleration) will not be created until the foot has passed the hip, this causes you to use a lot of effort to literally slow your speed.   So you'll spend a lot of effort on achieving the same speed again in each step. In addition to the fact that this is a waste of effort, you also spend a more extended period on each step because of this.   Try to hit the ground with your foot just in front or under your hip, driving the body in the right direction, as always, with the least waste of force. You can try to increase the stepping rate as you run. Increased frequency means slightly shorter steps but also leads to less braking.   2 Hip up and forth! You should preferably not sink into the hip joint ("sit") while running. If you are able to get your hip up and forward (stretch hip), you automatically use less time. If your hip sinks to the side every time you hit the ground, you definitely need longer to move your body weight forward - in each step - than you would if you get your hip more comfortable.   A trick that makes it easier to avoid this is the hip technique: it is to move your arms up and forth so that you get a rotation that leads your hip forward.   A strong core muscular (stomach and lumbar spine) helps you to keep your hip position without waving to the side. Running in reverse is a good way to practice this. Try to lean forward while at the same time pulling your feet forward.   3 The arms compensate for rotation   Stability. One of the key factors for running efficiently is to avoid waste of effort.  Running is about making your body the fastest possible moving forward. Rotation and lateral motion will be factors of failure. When the "opposite" arm and leg (e.g. right arm and left leg) are advanced, it counteracts rotation in the upper body, so that the movements can take you as far as possible.     An easy test: Put on your pants with pockets. Place your hands in your pockets and run, then you soon know that your body rotates sideways. You'll probably also struggle to keep the balance, at least if you run fast. The arms give you stability if used right. They will "offset" the body's rotation so you can run steadily.   The greater the speed you have, the greater the need for stabilising arms, just look at the sprinter's arm movement compared to those of a marathon runner; The sprinter brings the arms higher up and forward and farther back due to high speed and forces that pull towards the sides. The long-distance runner has lower speed and thus "smaller" arm movements.   You can exercise on good core stability by taking the arm motion to go from having your hands almost touching your chin all then swinging all the way to your back as you run. If you are running slowly you will hardly notice the stabilising effect the arms have on your body, so run at a little faster to make sure you see the difference.   You do not want to run while excessively contracting the core muscles. You can evaluate your technique by filming yourself and find out how the arms should work to make you run smoothly with your running style.   Are you running technically?   If you record your running, you can easily check and assess your skills. Watch yourself in slow motion and evaluate the following points:   Do you tend front or back hip? How are the synopses when you land? Stretched up and forth in the kick out? Do you rotate a lot in your upper body while running? Is the core strength sufficient to compensate for the rotation? Are you looking forward or down?   Take these tips and EVOlve in your next run. Don't forget to share and comment on Facebook and Instagram.   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.

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29th August 2018

Skinny or strong? Or can we have both?

Whether your priority is to banish stubborn belly fat or sculpt toned legs that’ll carry you far in a marathon, we all exercise to reach the same goal: to create a body that we’re proud of. But is there a particular form you should be going for? Is it better to be skinny, strong, or both?   Needless to say, becoming either slimmer or stronger both have their benefits. If you’re getting slimmer, you’ll become more agile, less prone to ailments such as heart disease and depression and enjoy increased confidence. If you’re getting stronger, you’ll similarly feel more competent, in tune with your body and will even drop fat faster.   However, while there are no real setbacks to becoming stronger, you have to be a little more careful in getting slimmer.   This is because once you’ve reached a healthy BMI and have lost all your excess fat, losing weight and becoming even smaller could then signify you’re losing muscle mass and water: both vital to your body’s overall health. Therefore, focusing on losing weight is only useful up until a point, whereas getting stronger and maintaining a toned body will keep you healthy and in form indefinitely.   Should I just focus on becoming stronger, then?   In truth, the very best results come from focusing on the two goals together: becoming both skinnier and more muscled up. The two aren’t mutually exclusive - actually, they complement each other.   Why? Working on your muscles - which are metabolically active - helps to boost your metabolism, which then makes you shed fat faster. The leaner and stronger your muscles, the faster your metabolism and the more calories you burn during and after your gym session. This applies in the reverse, too. The weaker your muscles, the lower your metabolic rate, which can halt your slimming efforts.   That being said, you have to be strategic about it.   To lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously, you need to be methodical. This is because you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. But to get stronger, you need to have a high protein diet that’ll support the exercises you’re doing at the gym.   A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition illustrates this perfectly. Twenty men ate more protein on reduced calorie diets while doing high-intensity interval training six days a week, and ultimately both slimmed down and gained more muscle.   Replicate this in a safe and measured way by changing up your diet to include more protein (such as chicken, eggs and broccoli) and your workout to include both cardio and strength training. Compound exercises will also help - movements like squats, deadlifts and kettlebell swings - which focus on building muscle and burning fat simultaneously.   So, yes - you can have both - and you should strive to.   It’s totally possible to be skinny and strong, and the benefits are plentiful. For advice on how to get there faster, book a free trial with one of our personal trainers at your local EVO gym. You’ll get that toned and sleek physique in no time.

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27th August 2018

Tutorial: Lateral Jumps

Lateral Jumps increase the coordination between the torso and legs, and it helps in stabilising the hip, knees and feet joints. This exercise also promotes agility and weight transfer while we alternate from one foot to another. By jumping above the bar, from one side to another, we’re moving our centre of gravity, and that requires we activate the coordination between the muscles in our thighs along with the glutes, to absorb the landing impact and to stabilise the hip. This last bit requires the activation of your core to regain balance and prevent any fall.Technically, this exercise is also an excellent exercise to prevent injuries because it helps you stabilising the knees and feet, making your ankles stronger, thus preventing sprains. TUTORIALHow does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform Lateral Jumps the EVO way.#evoway #evofitness[embed]https://vimeo.com/194336512/7046b612f0[/embed] WHAT Lateral Jumps is a functional exercise that promotes the four pillars of locomotion alongside with lateral stabilisation. This exercise has a cardio element and, at the same time, demands a lot from the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Promotes the stabilisation of your trunk and activates the structures in your body that control your hips. It activates the trunk muscles and stimulates balance.  HOW Stand beside the bar; it should be suspended and close to the ground. Start performing the exercise slowly. Bend your knee and move your feet over the bar, transferring your bodyweight to the opposite side. Now that you already have the weight over the feet that crossed the bar, bend the knee of the opposite leg and close your legs. Repeat the movement. Now that you’re more familiarised with the movement, start increasing the speed. In no time you’ll feel like you were rollerblading. WHY Allows you to control your centre of gravity and improves speed. It’s a good cardio exercise. Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Activates and stabilises the muscles that control the trunk and hips. Gives you more balance and prevents falls.

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23rd August 2018

15 Myths & Facts about exercise and diet

Over the years, in my personal training work, I have received many questions about exercise and diet. The topic is often debated among family, at work, in social media, on newspapers, blogs, etc. The opinions are so many and that's good, but in the middle of so many opinions, it can be difficult to find real answers. By Personal Trainer Øyvind Holt Originally published @ evolution.evofitness.no In this article, I will review some facts and myths in exercise and diet. It will hopefully confirm or cancel some of your questions.   You must feel sore the day after a workout for it to work   MYTH Muscles can be exercised without aching or being sore afterwards. You, therefore, do not have to have a goal of being in pain after a workout.   Protein intake must be increased significantly when starting strength training   MYTH The recommendations* are 0.8g proteins per kg body weight per day. Looking at top athletes exercising over 20 hours a week, the recommendation is 2g per kg body weight per day, while those who exercise less (5h/ week) do not need more than 1g per kg body weight per day. There is no proven effect on increased muscle mass at an intake of 3-4g per kg body weight per day. Therefore, the need for proteins should be covered by a healthy and varied diet in most people.   Sleep loss decreases with age   FACTS Metabolism is at its highest at the age of 20, then declines by about 1% each year. It means that as times change and you grow older, you will not be able to eat as much without increasing your activity level.   You may be born with heavier and larger bones than others   MYTH The average weight of the skeleton is somewhere between 2.5 - 4.5kg. What constitutes the major part of the body weight is the composition of muscles and fat.   If you have not managed to lose weight in the past, you will never do it   MYTH Previous trials give you experience and knowledge about exercise and diet that will definitely make you better prepared.   Running burns more than cycling   FACTS Running burns more calories than cycling, with equal recovery time and equal load.   The reason for this is:   - Running requires constant work and you get no "breaks" in the work. Pauses are more frequent in cycling plus in downhill runs where much less energy is required.   - Running demands muscle work of both the lower body and upper body, while cycling mainly requires energy from the lower body, which means that the total energy consumption will be lower.   - Running is a weight-bearing activity. In cycling the bike "helps" to carry the body weight.   You burn more fat (kcal/calories) at low intensity vs. high intensity   MYTH Total calorie burn is the key to weight reduction, as all the surplus of what you eat will be stored as fat. You burn most fat at 70-75 heart-rate beat, but the total burn will be far lower than at a higher intensity.   Example:   - 30 minutes interval - burns mainly carbohydrates - High-calorie consumption. Total caloric burn is around 300-500kcal   - 30 minutes 'powerwalk' - Lower calorie consumption. Even if you burn fat, the total burn will be lower (100-300kcal) and you will need more time to lose the weight   Endurance training is better for weight reduction than strength training, although increased muscle mass causes greater caloric burning even in resting period   FACTS 1kg muscle mass increases resting metabolism by only about 13kcal per day (1), so the fastest way to weight reduction will be endurance training. But, in a longer perspective, an increased muscle mass is of great importance for maintaining a stable weight, as we often see that it is the small transitions (100kcal) over a longer period of time which are a major cause of weight gain (1). So a combination is recommended, but the biggest impact on weight comes from endurance training.   Evening meals increase the risk of being overweight   MYTH It is the total calorie intake during the day that counts.   Example: You have a calorie requirement of approx. 2000kcal per day. During the day you have only eaten 500kcal and choose a large serving of 1500kcal dinner. Either way, the total calorie intake is 2000kcal and you are in energy balance regardless of when you eat.   Wearing a black plastic bag on hot sunny days will increase calorie burn   MYTH All that does is contribute to potential dehydration and fatigue. Heat may actually reduce caloric burn because you get tired faster.   Men have more muscle mass than women   FACTS The average amount of muscle mass is of approx. 40% of body weight in adult men and of 35% in adult women.   An average man, 80kg - 32kg muscle mass   Average female, 60kg - 21kg muscle mass   Breakfast must be eaten to "start caloric consumption"   MYTH Caloric consumption is taking place regardless of breakfast. However, it would be wise to have breakfast to increase energy levels so you can get more energy during the day.   Specific strength training on the belly reduces belly fat   MYTH Specific strength training of the belly does not reduce belly fat. The fat on the stomach is reduced only through higher energy consumption than energy intake. This is done through a good diet and plenty of physical activity.   Physical activity provides stronger skeletons   FACTS Weight-bearing training such as strength training, jogging, aerobics, dancing, alpinism, etc., has a good effect on bone structure. Maximum bone mass is achieved by the age of 20-30, and it will be beneficial to have, in young age, exercised a lot and done varied exercises to create as strong a bone mass as possible. After the age of 30 and especially after menopause for women, it is important to maintain the training to counter the bone mass decomposition.   Stretch after exercise to avoid being sore   MYTH There is no evidence that stretching helps in this regard. Stretching will provide increased mobility, which in turn is good for coordination and to counter the stress you’ve just put your muscles trough. Feeling sore occurs when you expose your body to excessive stress, start calmly and increase the load gradually.   sources: Raastad, T., Paulsen, G., Refsnes, P, Rønnestad, B., Wisnes, A. (2010) Strength training - In theory and practice. Gyldendal Bahr, R., Activity Manual - Physical Activity in Prevention and Treatment. Directorate of health   * Norwegian Recommendations as per original

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20th August 2018

Tutorial: Push-up with Rotation

Push-up with Rotation is a functional exercise performed by pushing and pulling + rotation, motions that represent two of the pillars of fundamental human movement. While the pushing and pulling action allows aligning the movement towards the torso and then pushing away from it, the rotation motion provides for a more horizontally based movement, generating strength and transfer of the focus from the upper body to the lower body (and vice-versa). In this specific exercise, we explore just the pushing aspect of this motion, promoting the bodyweight work to be focused on the body areas that include chest, triceps, trunk and core. This stabilisation of one set of muscles at the same time as others are called to perform the movement is a great way to promote a higher muscular harmony and synchronisation, increasing the level of consciousness over one’s own-body while increasing the amount of energy expended.About the push-up motion: Performing push-up with rotation promotes a complete muscular activation that demands the body to find it’s balance and stabilisation from head to toe. All the muscles need to be contracted as the body moves towards and away from the floor and rotates on itself at the end of each set. This exercise demands the coordination of different muscles and joints promoting the functional development of the body. The pillar of natural human movement that consists of pushing and pulling allows us to perform several daily activities that involve bringing objects closer to the body and driving them away.This pushing motion is also a basic reflex that will enable us to avoid dangers, and it also represents the final action in a throwing motion. About the torsion/ rotation motion: The rotation movement allows the body to exercise horizontally and is considered to be extremely important as most torso motions are performed in ways that demand the fast acceleration and deceleration in rapid movements. As we observe the obliqúe orientation of the muscle fibres involved in this exercise we can understand that their design, in this particular motion, is working to promote a fast acceleration and deceleration engaged in this torsion. TUTORIAL How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform Push up with Rotation the EVO way.#evoway  #evofitness[embed]https://vimeo.com/193047315/bdaff764d6[/embed] WHAT Push up with rotation is a functional training exercise that integrates two pillars of natural human movement: pushing/ pulling and rotation it works the muscles of the chest, anterior deltoid and triceps while demanding the stabilisation strength of both shoulder blades and spine Once the torsion is performed, it intensifies the work on the core, abdominal muscles, mainly the abdominal oblique HOW With arms stretched and the body partially planking, parallel to the floor, bring the torso closer to the ground by bending the elbows  Elbows should be 'facing' outwards in relation to the medial line.  The trunk should be brought down as close to the ground as possible without contact or extreme shoulder discomfort.  Shoulder blades should remain stable, and armpits and chest should also distribute strength Push the palms firmly against the floor to push back upwards and straighten the arms (keeping shoulder blades steady)  At the end of the motion perform a torsion of the trunk, from the pelvis up, raising one arm towards the ceiling and finalising the movement in a stable T position Rotate back to the original plank with both hands on the floor, arms stretchedWHY Increases functional strength and scapular waist mobility Promotes core muscle activation Promotes upper body and lower body muscle coordination Promotes torso flexibility Increases agilityDo you want more training tips? Subscribe to our workout tips in the Newsletter

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17th August 2018

Animal Athletics - Ground-based Workout

Most training methods for athletes and hobby sportsmen/women take place in an upright position.  The so-called ground-based exercises and workout flow on the ground are a beneficial alternative for every training program. These animal athletics exercises are postures and movements that are not performed standing. They are done for instance horizontally or by crawling, they are ground-based.   That’s why they’re called animal athletics, too. Postures and patterns of early childhood phase and animals are part of the training, as examples consider the locomotion of crabs, monkeys or lizards.   It provides a better movement intelligence, control and dynamic. The reactivation of past patterns, which we once learned and now unlearned, again is a central part of this diversified body weight training. As mentioned above functional movement is controlled by input of proprioceptors.   The position and location of the body are communicated in fractions of seconds via feedback loops to the spinal cord, and the body reacts. Meanwhile, receptors will be trained in the movements and body positions for which they are created, for us human beings this is the upright posture. In the physical education, this is called proprioceptive integrity.   How human movement evolves   The motor-driven development takes place in a more or less chronologically sequence (neuromusculoskeletal developmental sequence). From lifting the head up in a prone position, which occurs around the time we are 1 or 2 months old, up until the time we are able to roll from supine into a prone position, around 6 to 8 month old. It’s a slow process.   In contrast to many other mammals it takes approximately 18 months until a human is able to walk - starting from bottom near movements (rolling, leaning, creeping, crawling) to more or less reliable and controlled upright movement. This time the body needs to mature its nervous, muscular- and skeleton system.   In ground-based training, such as animal athletics, we adults go back to where we as children learned our motor-driven and neurologic patterns, the fundamental movement patterns. There the segments which are required to fulfill each movement had to offer higher mobility and stability. Thus we work in a lower movement level to, therefore, improve the movement quality of the next level (upright posture). That is comparable with a very experienced pianist, who is continually doing finger exercises at the clavier to better play his demanding symphonies, which are analogue to the complex movement patterns of the human body.   Why you should include Animal Athletics in your workout   Our movement is driven by external impacts, by impulses and sensations. That includes a physical and biological driver.   Physical drivers are all forces that impact our body, like its own mass (body weight), the affecting impulse (colloquial “momentum/swing of the body”), gravity, ground reaction force (a force which impacts the body when touching the ground). Gravity pulls our body (mass) towards earth and creates a groundwards/ downwards directed compression of the body. The body has to counteract the gravity force. The whole musculature reacts in a way similar to that of a chain reaction to prevent that we fall, and thereby making focused locomotion possible.   All these forces differ in upright and ground positions because all four extremities and the swing of our body must intercept and decelerate differently, to prevent falling down.   This is used in ground-based training. Furthermore, there are different aspects like changed joint angles, separate muscular control and physiological components like respiration and blood circulation, which operate differently in an upright position.   Benefits of ground-based training:   Maximized activation of receptors Increase of mobility Conscious usage of gravity A minor load of the spine Improved blood circulation Improved digestive system Improved breathing Meet Bardo Tschapke at Evo Le Flair Düsseldorf Instagram: healthcoachbardo Facebook: Health Coach Bardo  

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13th August 2018

Queenax workout

You will need your EVO Club's Queenax Sation, a bar and two strips to exercise your whole body, without having to travel too far. With the help of the queenax we can prepare the body to a much better-harmonized movement between legs and trunk stabilisation, at the same time we exercise the body in a functional perspective, using the standing and locomotion pillar of human natural movement. Combining back strength, scapular and trunk stabilisation and a full body workout in a functional perspective, we can have a complete workout that is based on the pushing-pulling pillars of natural human movement. Doing exercises that demand sequential coordination and effort from the entire body: from the legs to the trunk to the arms, we promote a fantastic functional movement workout. Here are some exercises in the queenax thar you can include in your routine: Program nameFunctional workout / Queenax / 12 reps, 5 sets, 30 seconds rest 4 exercises12 reps each set, 5 sets, 30 seconds restEquipment: Queenax pull up station, suspension strips, bar Strength 7/10Power 6/10Endurance 8/10Speed 5/10Agility 5/10Coordination 6/10Balance 7/10Flexibility 5/10 SUSPENDED SQUAT12 reps, 5 sets, 30 seconds rest • With the bar suspended by the strips on the lower level, nearest to the floor, hold the strips with both hands and step up to the bar Try to stabilise your hip and trunk maintaining your balance over the bar Hold the strips at the high of your shoulder line and stabilise your scapula Activate your abs Perform a squat over the suspended bar Notice the relation between your hip and knees (as your hip goes backwards and down, your knees go slightly to the front to maintain the balance[embed]https://vimeo.com/194329835/ab0119286f[/embed]2. SUSPENDED LUNGE 12 reps, 5 sets, 30 seconds rest With the bar suspended by the strips, on the second lowest level, put your foot over the bar Try to stabilise your hip and trunk maintaining your balance in one foot stabilise your scapula and activate your abs flex the knee of your suspended leg, and let it approach the floor (try not to touch it), envision an imaginary line rising straight up from the tip of your front foot - avoid going over that line with your knee•    Step-up making more strength on the heel of your front foot until you get to a vertical Position[embed]https://vimeo.com/194326313/d95a69e7c3[/embed]3. INVERTED PUSH UP12 reps, 5 sets, 30 seconds rest With the bar suspended by the strips, on the fourth level, counting from the bottom, put both insteps over the barLay down on the floor, with the face down with your hands at the width of your shoulders and your elbows extended. Try to maintain your trunk as a plank, with scapular stabilization Activate your abs and glutes to stabilize the hip Bend your arms with the elbows pointed outwards, until your head gets closer to the floor Turn to starting position, extending the arms and stabilizing the scapula and hiphttps://vimeo.com/194343680/f847c8b83a4. JUMP PULL UP12 reps, 5 sets, 30 seconds rest Standing below the Queenax pull up bar, do a small jump to grab the handles, stabilising your scapula and activating all core muscles Seize the jump momentum and pull up your body until the chin reaches the bar or exceeds it Turn to initial position decelerating the movement until the arms are extended Land gently on the Floorhttps://vimeo.com/194351298/ef1a04b339In the EVO clubs you can easily try out this workout daily from 6am to 11pm. Try it!

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9th August 2018

Running in the summer: is morning, afternoon or night best?

With bright blue skies above and flowers blooming all around, summer’s by far the most beautiful time to go running. But when is the best time of the irresistibly sunny day to take to the trail?   According to a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the best time to run is when your body temperature is at its highest and your muscles at their most limber, which is during mid to late afternoon. Alternatively, in the morning, your body temperature is at its lowest and your muscles their stiffest - equalling less effective runs that might even lead to injury.   Question answered. Or is it? As with most things body-related, the answer isn’t quite that simple. In truth, there are benefits to running at whichever time you prefer - here are just a few.   Running in the morning   Finding it hard to function at work during those hot summer days? Try a pre-9am run. Exercise helps you to feel more energetic and positive by releasing adrenaline and endorphins (the ‘happy’ chemicals) contributing to increased productivity in the office.   If you’re trying to lose weight, running at this time could be beneficial, too. Your body burns calories faster on an empty stomach, so squeezing in a quick sprint before breakfast bodes well for slimming down.   Although you’ll need to be extra careful to stretch before a morning run, it can be safer to sprint at dawn in terms of the environment. Mornings are the coolest part of day, so you’re less likely to overheat as you dart around the park - a particular perk in the summer.   Running in the afternoon   You’re in the best possible condition to run during the afternoon. Your body reaches peak performance between the hours of 4pm and 7pm, as its temperature is at its highest and your muscles are naturally more relaxed and flexible, having been in use for the better part of the day.   Because of this, running should feel easier, and you should be able to go faster for longer. According to a study listed on the National Institutes of Health, your lungs function 6% better in the afternoon than at different times during the day - which, along with your body temperature and limber muscles, helps to increase your stamina and ability to run for larger stretches. Who’d have thought?   Running in the evening   As your body temperature is still high in the evening, you’ll have many of the benefits of afternoon running at this time - along with added focus.   According to an article in The Australian, as the day gets darker, your senses become heightened and you rely less on your sight and more on your proprioceptive (sensory) skills. These help you to react more reflexively to adversities such as potholes while you run, which could help you avoid injury. Hormones important for energy metabolism, such as cortisol and thyrotropin, are at their highest in the evening, contributing to an even more effective workout.   Ultimately, it’s up to you   While it makes sense to start running in the afternoon or evening if these times fit your schedule, don’t force it. What’s important is that your run works for you. The true secret to fitness success lies in consistency, so as long as you’re dedicated to your run slot - be it morning, noon or night - your body will learn to adapt. Just lace up and go.   In the EVO clubs you can easily run daily from 6am to 11pm. Try it!

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8th August 2018

Where does the fat go when you exercise?

When it comes to fitness, we’re all so focused on waving goodbye to our problem areas that we rarely stop to think about what happens to the fat that’s exiting our bodies. Where does it go once exiled from your hips - and how does it get there in the first place?   Up until very recently, health scientists have not been able to provide clear answers. Instead, we’ve functioned on wishy-washy theories and ideas, including the popular myth that fat ‘converts’ itself into energy during exercise or that it’s simply magicked itself into muscle, both of which are impossible.   The facts are weirder than fiction.   What actually happens, according to a groundbreaking study in the British Medical Journal, is that your fat disappears into thin air. The research shows that about 84% of your fat molecules are exhaled as carbon dioxide, while a further 16% exit your body as water (such as through your sweat and tears).   Science makes it clearer. Though the reality may sound even crazier than some of the previously popular fat loss theories, it makes more sense on a closer look, when you consider how your body digests food. Whatever you eat is absorbed into your organs and bloodstream (with the exception of dietary fibre, which heads straight to your colon) - so it stands to reason that once it’s there, travelling through your veins, it’s not going anywhere until it’s been vaporised.   So, how can you use this knowledge to your advantage?   First of all, breathing alone does not help you to lose fat. Trying to alter how you breathe will only make you dizzy or pass out, which is hardly conducive to a great workout.   You have to start moving and raising your metabolic rate. Let’s look at the statistics. According to academic magazine The Conversation, metabolising 100g of fat consumes 290g of oxygen and produces 280g of carbon dioxide along with 110g of water. Simply put, to lose 100g of fat, you need to exhale 280g of carbon dioxide. Therefore, working out and motivating your metabolism are key components of losing weight (which we knew before, but now we have the maths to prove it).   For the very best results, go cardio. Activities such as walking, cycling, swimming or jogging are all fantastic for fat loss. Not only do they quicken your metabolism, you’re forced to breathe more deeply - exhaling more of those pesky fat cells in the process.   Saying this, all functional physical activities - from intense to basic - lend a helping hand. According to the Compendium of Physical Activities, cycling uphill can increase your metabolism by fourteen times, and jogging by six - but even household chores such vacuuming, washing dishes and making the bed can triple your metabolic rate, too.   They key is simple. Just keep moving. Stay active in whatever capacity you can and that metabolism will speed up, your muscles will get pumping and you’ll lose more fat through breathing… as unbelievable as that sounds. Science says so.

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18th July 2018

EVO Guide: Are you as fit as 4-year-old?

As children, we were efficient movers. We learned to move through several stages of development, during which mastery of simple movements quickly formed the foundation for more complex movements. Yet, when we got older our movement health declined.   SKILLFUL MOVEMENT GUIDE DOWNLOAD AND FIND OUT IF YOU ARE AS FIT AS A 4-YEAR OLD EVO is all about natural, skillful movement and in our opinion no-one is more naturally skilled than a 4-year old. Fill out this form and download the guide. Take the test and find out where you stand compared with a 4-year old kid! I agree to the processing and storage of my personal data according to EVO’s Privacy Policy. Keep in touch & sign up to receive our Newsletter with EVO Workouts, training tips, event invitations & interesting offers. You can unsubscribe at any time. Yes, I want to sign up. No, thank you. Download E-Book

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17th July 2018

What is BMR and how can it help you lose or gain weight?

Staying alive burns calories. Even when you think you’re not doing all that much, you’re a breathing, blinking, blood-pumping, cell-growing, muscle-contracting machine. All of these functions that your body needs to sustain itself require energy in the form of calories - and the amount of calories needed for this is known as your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. What is BMR? Put simply, if you were to (hypothetically) rest in bed for the entire day, your BMR would be the amount of calories burned to perform your body’s basic (basal) functions. The higher your BMR, the more calories you burn - simply by being alive. How can I calculate my BMR? There are a few strategies you can use to work out your BMR. For the most accurate results, you’d need to get it measured in a laboratory under restrictive conditions. Experts measure carbon dioxide and oxygen after you’ve fasted for 12 hours and had an eight-hour sleep. But there are other methods. By using a scientific equation, you can achieve a rough estimation of your BMR that’s still just as useful. The best is the Mifflin-St.Jeor method. Find the online BMR calculator here, which uses this equation: For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5 For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161 Can I use BMR for weight loss? The fact BMR is basically your metabolism means it plays a very important role when it comes to weight loss and weight gain. It’s your most basic calorie burn. Those with higher BMRs are the kind of people who can eat an insane amount of food and never gain weight. Obviously they’re at a genetic advantage, but there are plenty of ways you can work towards a higher metabolism and BMR. How can I increase my BMR? Everyone’s BMR is different. Your age, gender, size, height, weight, mass and even the size of your internal organs (larger organs need more fuel) play a part in determining your number. There’s not much you can do to control your genetics, but you can influence your body composition with a few simple changes: Build muscle The best way to increase your BMR is to build muscle. Lean muscle mass torches more calories than fat and pumps up your metabolism. Functional training will help you build muscle more than regular workouts; the latter can be limited in terms of movements. Don’t cut calories Another way to increase your basal metabolic rate is to eat the right amount of calories. That means no semi-starved states and the low BMR that comes with it. Men need to be eating around 2,500 calories and women need to eat 2,000 calories daily, according to the NHS. Munch on BMR-boosting foods such as hot peppers, green tea, broccoli, spices, citrus fruits and cacao. Minimise stress Stress is another huge contributor to a low metabolism. A heightened rush of cortisol (the stress hormone) will send your body into “fight or flight” mode. As a result, less blood will be sent to the digestive system in order to deal with whatever threat the body is responding to.  

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13th July 2018

Tutorial: Suspended Lunge

Suspended Lunge is a natural movement exercise that summons different movements from those considered to be the natural movement pillars, including standing, descending motion, locomotion. It’s a natural movement that can be trained to boost your sports performance, primarily to improve your running skills.Performing Suspended Lunge, we can bring our body to perform a coordinated movement between legs and trunk stabilisation and train the body on a functional perspective, using the "standing", the basic natural movement pillar, and adding the descending single-leg motion, before returning to standing alignment.The dynamics of this exercise demands using upper body balance,  lower body strength and mixing both to move in a controlled, coordinated motion the full body, changing the balance of the body's centre of mass.This motion involves movements such as squatting, single-leg lunging, climbing and single-leg upward Lifting.By moving up and down, you create a vertical displacement of the body centre of mass, which will involve leg strength (quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes), and at the same time, it creates the need to activate the hip stabilisation muscles and core muscles too, to rebalance and prevent falling.Repeating the movement, you establish a pattern very similar to the ones found in the running techniques that help you synchronise the entire body and get a more fluid and efficient running. TUTORIALHow does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a suspended lunge the EVO way.#evoway #evofitness[embed]https://vimeo.com/194326313/d95a69e7c3[/embed]WHAT Suspended Lunge is a functional exercise performed standing, single-leg descending and rising Strengthens your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes) Promotes hip and trunk stabilisation Activates all trunk muscles and trains the balanceHOW With the bar placed on its lowest level, nearest to the floor, hold the lateral supports with both hands and step up to the bar Try to stabilise your hip and trunk maintaining your balance in one single foot stabilise your scapula and activate your abs flex the knee of your suspended leg, and let it approach the floor (try not to touch it), envision an imaginary line rising straight up from the tip of your front foot - avoid going over that line with your knee Rise back up pushing the heel firmly against the ground for stabilisation until you get to a vertical position Use your arms, moving them back and forth to help your balanceWHY Allows you to control your body on a vertical body mass displacement and provides balance Strengthen quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes Activate the hip stabilisation muscles and core muscles Continually trying to find a balance can prevent falls and injuries in everyday life

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12th July 2018

Exercise is boring? Here’s how to distract your brain while you sweat

When was the last time a workout flew by? Five minutes on a treadmill can feel like forever when you’re bored. The stats speak volumes: less than 5% of adults do the daily minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services. But exercise doesn’t have to be a drag. If it is, you’re doing it wrong. With these three science-backed tactics under your belt, you’ll soon be working out without realising it. Exercise your brain while you workout Physical exercise can help your brain work better, especially memory and thinking skills. But engaging your brain during a workout can also help you keep going for longer. In a study published by the University of Florida, researchers gave male and female participants 12 different cognitive tasks while they were cycling. These included naming colours, saying “go” whenever a blue star appeared on screen, repeating long lists of numbers backwards and solving maths Problems. Apart from the most difficult task (maths) participants actually cycled 25% faster - some even doubled their speed unknowingly. If something is too demanding, it can actually slow you down, so engage in some kind of brain training that’s easy, fast-paced and engaging, such as a fun mobile game or a storytelling podcast (a murder mystery, perhaps?). It shouldn’t be too simple, though - watching your favourite TV show doesn’t Count. Grab a buddy - or lots of buddies Unless you’re the kind of person who can throw yourself out of bed at 5am, lace up your trainers and dash out for a run in the rain, chances are that getting motivated to exercise is tricky. Staying motivated, once you’re exercising, can be even harder. Finding a workout buddy not only means you’re accountable to turn up, they can make sure you don’t throw in the towel prematurely. Friends fully-booked? There are plenty of groups you can join and take advantage of in your local area, from hiking enthusiasts to park runners. Even better, get a professional buddy. Our personal trainers can design a personalised program for you that boosts your physical and mental wellbeing. And with our functional fitness philosophy, you won’t be stuck looking at a blank wall running on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Crank up the tunes Music can be thought of as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug” according to Costas Karageorghis, a world-leading expert on the psychology of exercise music at Brunel University in London. Pumping out the beats can help runners run further, cyclists ride for longer and swimmers go faster. It’s the perfect distraction - some apps can even be linked to your Spotify account and will play tracks according to your heart rate. But the psychology of effective workout music is more than simply picking out some high-energy tunes and pumping some iron. Choosing songs that evoke memories and emotions - tracks that you actually feel - is crucial for getting into the zone and turning exercise boredom on its head.

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5th July 2018

Workout on Kinesis One

This workout on Kinesis One will allow you to perform many natural movements in an infinite range of motions. A full-body and functional workout that will show you how simple and effective is to exercise. You will need just a Kinesis One to exercise your whole body, without having to travel too far.4 exercises2o reps each set, 4 sets, 30 second restEquipment: Kinesis OneStrength 6/10Power 8/10Endurance 7/10Speed 7/10Agility 7/10Coordination 6/10Balance 8/10Flexibility 5/10This workout can be performed in 40 minutes.1. KINESIS LUNGE20 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest 20 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest Standing backwards to the kinesis One, hang the cable grips with your hands close to your trunk and arms flexed Step forward as you would give a giant step Step back putting more strength on the heel of your front foot and shift your weight to your back-leg As you reach the start position, switch the leg that goes to the front[embed]https://vimeo.com/193876287/aa8ec1e10f[/embed] 2. KINESIS ROW20 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest 20 reps, 4 sets, 30 seconds rest Standing in front of Kinesis one, hang the cable grips with your arms extended Pull your arms below your chest and let the elbows pullback your trunk line Move your arms forward until you reach the start position decelerating the movement while you activate your core[embed]https://vimeo.com/194022515/f85e420ccb[/embed] 3. KINESIS TWISTING PUNCHES20 reps, 4 sets each side, 30 seconds rest 20 reps, 4 sets each side, 30 seconds rest Standing backwards to the kinesis One, hang the cable grips with your hands close to your trunk and arms flexed. Feet parallel at hip length Rotate your ankle to the medial line and let that torque goes to the knee and hip As you twist your hip using abs and glutes, use your chest to stabilize the scapula and extend your arm to the front until your arm is fully elongated Turn to starting position, first flexing the arm, stabilizing the scapula and twisting your torso to the front position and gyrating the ankle to flat your feet.[embed]https://vimeo.com/194014232/39fde7cc61[/embed] 4. KINESIS LOW TO HIGH CHOP20 reps, 4 sets each side, 30 seconds rest 20 reps, 4 sets each side, 30 seconds rest Standing backwards to the kinesis One, hang one of the cable grips with both hands and twist your torso with arms extended faced to the cable and hand at the hip level. Feet must be pointed to the cable side on a lunge position Rotate your ankle to opposite side and let that torque goes to the knee and hip As you twist your hip using abs and glutes, extend your legs and use your back and chest to stabilize the scapula and elevate your arms until your eyes Level[embed]https://vimeo.com/194010550/57763ed3e4[/embed]

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28th June 2018

Summer body workout: 5 functional moves to maintain fitness on vacation

Summer has arrived. With it comes longer days, less clothes and (hopefully) more activities. Staying active and playful is easier during the warmer months - we want to be in the house less and moving about outdoors more. Even if you can’t make it to the gym to work on your summer body, there are plenty of ways to stay fit with functional workouts - even when you’re on holiday. It’s all about adapting to your environment - we’re only as fit as our ability to do so. No equipment and minimal space needed: this smart summer workout can be done wherever you are in the world, using your own body as a fitness tool. Summer bodyweight workout Effective and challenging, you can start off repeating this summer bodyweight workout two or three times to get started, increasing the circuits as your functional fitness increases. EXPLOSIVE PUSH-UPS x 5 Power-up your upper body, improve your posture and boost core strength by kicking off with some explosive push-ups. We often use our upper body less than our lower body, so it’s crucial to strengthen it with moves like this. Learn how to do them the EVO way here. DEEP SQUATS x 15 Settle deep into those squats: feet shoulder-width apart, feet turned out slightly, and hold with balance for 10 seconds a series of reps. These should be brought into every workout to build strength, flexibility and balance - it’s arguably the most important functional exercise of them all. Our deep squat tutorial will show you how to master it like a pro. V-SITS x 10 Time to get those abdominals into gear. V-sits are brilliant for challenging your middle section and quads, as well as the hamstrings. Turn it into full explosive movements for maximum impact - our explosive V-sit tutorial video will guide you through each one with perfect form for a sculpted, high-toned summer body.   Rest for 10 seconds BUNNY HOPS x 10 Get a concrete core, improve your coordination and fully activate your body for pure functional strength with bunny hops. It’s the ultimate calorie-burner using your own body weight as a workout tool - here’s a super speedy tutorial video to get you started.   LUNGE JUMP WITH ROTATION x 10 Lunging and jumping are fundamental functional movements. Practice makes perfect and this exercise can be done anywhere. Our lunge jump with rotation tutorial will show you the step-by-step instructions to maximise strength in your legs, glutes and thighs, boost trunk stabilisation and promote balance. You’ll activate plenty of muscles and torch more calories. Heading to the beach? Pounding the sand can add resistance to your workout - and nothing beats the ocean air when exercising. Our 12-minute beach workout is a step-up from this quick anywhere workout - incorporating shoulder bridges, side lunges, one-leg burpees and plank side jumps for an even more demanding sweat-a-thon that delivers incredible results. Once you’re done, you can dive into the refreshing seaside waters for an invigorating post-workout wash. Beats the treadmill anyday.  

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25th June 2018

Tutorial: Kinesis low to high chop

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform Kinesis low to high chop the EVO way.#evoway  #evofitnessThe Kinesis low to high chop is a whole-body exercise that activates coordination. You'll be using your upper body and your lower body to replicate a movement that is daily used in numerous chores.WHAT Kinesis low to high chop is a functional exercise Builds up core strength and stability combined with torso rotation Generates power and strength in the lower and upper Body [embed]https://vimeo.com/194010550/57763ed3e4[/embed]HOW Standing with your back turned to the kinesis One, hold one of the cable grips with both hands and twist your torso with arms extended. . Feet must point to the cable side and you must be in a lunge position. Activate your core. Rotate your ankle to opposite side. As you twist your hip activating both abs and glutes, extend your legs and use your back and chest to stabilize the scapula and elevate your arms until your head. The movement must be finished with both feet pointed to opposite cable on a lunge position. Turn to the initial position, twisting your torso, and stabilizing the scapula. WHY Increases functional strength and mobility in a full-body activation mode. Promotes core activation. Promotes coordination. Promotes joint mobility. Increases power. Increases agility.

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19th June 2018

Rowing machine 101: Benefits, warm-ups & full-body workouts

It’s a cardio staple - the perfect endurance exercise that increases muscle capacity, melts fat and keeps your overall fitness levels afloat. The rowing machine is often overlooked for alternate stints on the treadmill, elliptical and bikes. Tragically overlooked, in our opinion. Because the rowing machine comes with a crazy list of benefits, including burning the most amount of calories in the least time with the lowest perceived rate of exertion. If you’ve been casting aside the rowing machine, it’s no surprise. Firstly, it’s often shoved into the corner without an obvious purpose like an awkward Christmas tree in January, which isn’t entirely motivating. And secondly, you probably don’t know how to use it. But it’s time to rectify that. Here are a few reasons you should be rowing - and exactly how to do it: Benefits of rowing machines Rowing machines provide a thorough full-body workout. In order to complete one full rowing stroke, you need to engage both your lower and upper body. Anyone who has used a rowing machine knows this is guaranteed to get you sweating - no shortcuts possible. You get the most for your minutes. Do it right and a rowing machine can be the perfect cardio for time-short fitness enthusiasts. Rowing places a huge demand on both the aerobic (continuous exercises which improve the body’s utilisation of oxygen) and anaerobic (muscle-targeting exercises in short bursts) system. This means your whole body has to work the entire time, raising your heart rate faster for a quicker, more efficient workout. Multiple muscles get to work. A whopping 80% of your muscle mass within nine major muscle groups are used when you hit the rower. Power comes from your legs as you push forward (known as ‘the catch’), core and arms on the way out, and all three on way back in. Rowing torches calories and sheds fat. The average person weighing 185 pounds (roughly around 13 stone or 83kg) can burn a sizzling 377 calories by rowing for 30 minutes vigorously, according to Harvard University. The numbers speak for themselves. Low-impact and non-weight-bearing. You row sitting down, with movements that are easy on weak joints compared to high-impact activities such as sports that include running and jumping. How to use a rowing machine properly Order, control and execution is extremely important when using a rowing machine, if you want optimum results. Here’s how to perform with perfect rowing form: Starting position Secure your feet onto the pads and tighten the straps so your feet don’t slide around. Bring your knees up, grabbing both handles with an overhand grip and pulling the handle with your as you slide the seat to the top of the machine. Keep your legs straight but with a slight bend - no locking knees. Lean slightly backwards and pull your hands to your chest, so the handle is below your chest. Keep your elbows pointing down against your sides. This is the starting and ending position to complete a full stroke. The catch Bring your arms out first, followed by your upper body. Keep your back straight, not slumped, with your shoulders back and abs engaged as you follow through. Slightly angle your body forward as you extend your arms back out, sliding your body forward on the seat and bending your legs. The drive To slide back, push your feet off first, straightening your legs with your arms extended, body leaning forward. Continue to push through your legs and move your upper body so you lean back. Pull the handles and bend your elbows so the handles touch the front of your chest and into starting position. Rowing machines for warming up Whatever workout you’re doing, rowing is a great warm-up. It gets the blood flowing before something like a run and is a great light-lifting exercise before doing weights. A great way to warm up is to create a rowing playlist of three songs. For the first song, row at a light, easy and steady pace. For the second and third song, stay at the same pace until the chorus, then give it your all until the chorus ends and repeat for every chorus. Guaranteed to pump you up before a workout, every time.            

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18th June 2018

Tutorial: Kinesis Twisting Punches

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform Kinesis Twisting Punches the EVO way. WHAT Kinesis Twisting Punches is a functional exercise performed on pushing and pulling pillar combined with rotational pillar Hardens your chest and arms and mobilizes the trunk with some stabilization at the same time Generate power and strength transference from lower body to upper body HOW Standing backwards to the kinesis One, hang the cable grips with your hands close to your trunk and arms flexed. Feet parallel at hip length. Stabilize your scapula by pulling your elbows to the floor (maintain your arms flexed) Activate your abs Rotate your ankle to the medial line and let that torque goes to the knee and hip As you twist your hip using abs and glutes, use your chest to stabilize the scapula and extend your arm to the front until your arm is fully elongated Turn to starting position, first flexing the arm, stabilizing the scapula and twisting your torso to the front position and gyrating the heel to flat your feet. WHY Increases functional strength and mobility in a full body activation mode Promote core activation Promote coordination Promote joint mobility Increases power Increases agility

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13th June 2018

What happens to your muscles after training?

Any exerciser will know that sore muscle feeling that sneaks in 24 hours after an intense workout. Sometimes, muscles you didn’t even know you had will ache and even walking down the stairs can be an ordeal. But the fitter you get, the harder it becomes to tell when you’ve really made a difference. Knowing exactly what happens to your muscles after a workout can help support and measure your fitness progress, increase your recovery time and make sure you don’t go too hard and cause injuries. A lot of the physical changes we see from working out - especially strength and functional training - are down to the direct impact that physical activities has on your muscle tissue. To truly understand what happens, you need to know the full scientific process: Muscle change #1: Resistance The moment you start moving, whether you’re climbing, running, swimming, doing yoga or lifting weights, there’s some form of resistance placed on your muscles. It’s when that resistance becomes greater than what your body is usually used to during the day that muscle hypertrophy (growth and increase in the size of muscle cells) is kick-started. Your muscles use glucose to contract and move, but without plentiful oxygen, lactic acid forms instead. Muscle change #2: Microscopic tears The delayed aches and pains you feel after a workout come down to microscopic tears (microtrauma) in your muscles, particularly when you’re trying an exercise for the first time or place a higher level of resistance than normal on a muscle. It’s completely normal and the size of a tear depends on the intensity of the workout (but it does also mean more soreness). Muscle change #3: Healing Ever wondered why your muscles look larger straight after exercise? Following a strenuous workout such as resistance training, excess blood gets pumped into the muscle cells you just disrupted. This brings oxygen and nutrients to wash away toxins and lactic acid and creates a temporary swelling which lasts for around two hours. During this time, your fatigued muscles are super hungry - think of them as keen construction ready to build. But they can’t do it without the right materials, i.e. a fresh supply of glucose from carbs and plenty of protein, they can’t do their job quickly and efficiently.   Muscle change #4: Growth This disruption of your muscle cells causes satellite cells from outside the muscle fibres to rush to the area and replicate. They then mature into grown cells and fuse to your muscle fibres, forming new muscle protein strands. As a result, muscles become more resilient, meaning the next time you do that particular exercise you won’t be as sore. Over time your muscle fibres will build up stronger so you can lift more weights or perform more accomplished exercises. Ideally, to truly optimise your muscle growth, you’ll want to strive for a varied and well-rounded functional fitness routine. Mix it up with a wide range of exercises - once an exercise becomes  easy to complete, increase the intensity or try something else to keep your muscles growing stronger and more resilient.    

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11th June 2018

Tutorial: Kinesis Row

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Kinesis Row the EVO way.   WHAT Kinesis Row is a functional exercise performed by pushing and pulling the pillar Strengthens your back muscles Promotes hip and trunk stabilization Activates core and trunk muscles and train Balance HOW Standing in front of Kinesis one, hang the cable grips with your arms extended Stabilize your scapula and activate your abs Pull your arms below your chest and let the elbows pullback your trunk line Try to stabilize your hip and trunk Move your arms forward until you reach the start position decelerating the movement while you activate your core WHY Harmonized movement combining back strength, scapular and trunk stabilization Strengthen Latissimus Dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius Activate the hip stabilization muscles and core muscles Balance training Postural exercise   

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7th June 2018

Functional training for footballers

Football moves millions and with good reason. It’s challenging, fast-paced, engaging and its players have earned the recognition as sports stars, long gone are the days when footballers would smoke or drink alcohol. The level of proficiency is as demanding as in any professional sport and football “Olympics” are here. World Cup is taking centre stage and grabbing everyone’s attention and there is no reason your workout shouldn’t get in the mood.At EVO we understand the importance of optimizing efforts to bring about the best results. So if you’re a footballer looking for an alternative workout or just wanting a feel of a football-themed workout, this plan is for you.Move skillfully – Train agility and speed with the right “stepping stones”. Push yourself by timing your performance while dodging obstacles.Coordination and balance – You’ll need it. Train the constant inversions, sudden changes in motion and interruptions. These can be practised against a wall with a medicine ball, with a bosu and at the kinesis Station.Strength – when you push yourself with extra weights in practice you’ll feel an extra boost of stamina when facing real competition without the added effort. Ankle weights or barbells “supporting” your squats and lunges will be the extra push that will make everything else seem easy.Proprioception – Understanding where you are in the game at all times, knowing your relation to others, your location in the field and in relation to the ball are all instant information pieces that the brain captures and that is mandatory for a good performance. Awareness of the surrounding environment can be trained.Play – the best thing about football is that it’s a game. It’s fun. There are no repetitions of tedious sets – there is the constant challenge and the brain loves creativity and dare. Keeping curiosity and investing in innovation in your workout will keep you wanting more so go for different. Mix yoga or wall climb in your circuit to keep it interesting.Workout:Ankle Mobility[embed]https://vimeo.com/192913004/10cee0b887[/embed]This exercise will be needed for all other movements of this plan.Lateral jumps[embed]https://vimeo.com/194336512/7046b612f0[/embed]In the game, the so-called “cutting” is a rapid slow down of the body while the body’s centre must equilibrate to move further into another direction. Required is mobility in the ankle and/or hip joints and core strength. If your upper body moves further then your braking foot there is a lack of core strength. Don’t rotate your feet external, it will put wrong shear forces on your knees and you’ll be slower.Suspended Lunge with hop[embed]https://vimeo.com/194338982/8b0a6cb35a[/embed]Jumps require a mixture of strength and speed. These dynamic exercises activate the central nervous system and activate the fast-twitch muscle fibres (which contract quickly) to work more easy and efficient. So-called plyometric movements use the stretching and shortening cycle, which is a stretch reflex of rapid elongation of the muscle followed by a rapid muscle shortening. The SSC use this reflex to generate powerful movements out of this stored elastic energy.Side Shuffle[embed]https://vimeo.com/193049045/90e942aafb[/embed]Furthermore, plyometric training improves the ability to coordinate movements especially shift in directions. If you save and release elastic energy you generate far more pace and strength while decreasing energy expenditure and increase endurance.Bunny Hops[embed]https://vimeo.com/191982513/eff453bfac[/embed]Most training methods for athletes and hobby sportsmen/women take place in an upright position (like exercises before).  The so-called ground-based exercises and workout flow on the ground are a beneficial alternative for every training program. These exercises are postures and movements that are not performed standing. They are done for instance by horizontally or crawling.That’s why they’re called animal athletics, too. Postures and patterns of early childhood phase and animals are part of the training, as examples consider the locomotion of crabs, monkeys or lizards.It provides a better movement intelligence, control and dynamic. The reactivation of former patterns, which we once learned and now unlearned, again is a central part of this diversified body weight training. As mentioned above functional movement is controlled by input of proprioceptors.The position and location of the body are communicated in fractions of seconds via feedback loops to the spinal cord and the body reacts. Benefits of ground-based Training: Maximized activation of receptors Increase of mobility Conscious usage of gravity A minor load of the spine Improved blood circulation Improved digestive system Improved RespirationSide to side shuffle with floor touch[embed]https://vimeo.com/193049302/6bc73f9353[/embed]If you move well in lateral jumps this exercise adds some new proprioceptive Impact.High Hurdle Jump[embed]https://vimeo.com/191967543/23b58e1a4d[/embed]This is another plyometric exercise with an obstacle. You will learn to put as much force as quickly as possible into the ground in a very challenging exercise.MB twist slam[embed]https://vimeo.com/192920975/84be240695[/embed] If you have a lack of strength and speed medicine ball slams improve your performance. It trains your explosiveness (rapid strength). The medicine ball can be used to better your skill to transfer energy from one end of the body to the other end, the so-called kinetic chain. Lunge Jump[embed]https://vimeo.com/193044441/04d42b685b[/embed]Include, mix and add some more of these movements in your plan to keep your football inspired training system interesting throughout the entire World Cup.Workout developed by EVO expert Bardo Tschapke, Evo Le Flair DüsseldorfFollow Bardo on Instagram: healthcoachbardo and Facebook: Health Coach Bardo 

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4th June 2018

Tutorial: Kinesis Lunge

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Kinesis Lunge the EVO way. WHAT Kinesis Lunge is a functional exercise performed on standing and locomotion pillar Strengthens your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes) Promotes hip and trunk stabilization Performing in an alternated way, it activates all trunk muscles and train BalanceHOW Standing backwards to the kinesis One, hang the cable grips with your hands close to your trunk and arms flexed Stabilize your scapula by pulling your elbows to the floor (maintain your arms flexed) Activate your abs Step forward as you would give a giant step Landing your foot on the floor, let the knee of your back-leg approach to the floor (try not to touch it), avoid that your front-leg knee exceed an imaginary vertical line of your front foot Try to stabilize your hip and trunk Step back putting more strength on the heel of your front foot and shift your weight to your back-leg As you reach the start position, switch the leg that goes to the frontWHY Allows you to control body’s centre of mass on a linear displace and provides the foundation for ground-based production force Strengthen quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes Activate the hip stabilization muscles and core muscles Rebalance training prevents falls and injuries

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28th May 2018

Tutorial: Roll out with step

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform Roll Out With Step the EVO way. WHAT Roll Out With Step is super functional warm up exercise that promotes coordination and mobility Warm up is a very important phase of exercise program that increases body temperature, prepare muscles, ligaments and tendons to exercise A good warm up is crucial when on a cold environment, preventing injuriesHOW With the bar hanged by the strips, hold it on the extremities with your arms extended. The bar must be aligned with your chest Try to maintain your trunk in a planking position while you lean forward and step forward Keep your arms extended, holding the bar and try to go further, extending your shoulders, trunk and legs Step back to the early positionWHY Roll Out With Step increases functional mobility in a full body activation mode Promotes core activation Promotes coordination Promotes also joint mobility

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21st May 2018

Tutorial: Hip Extension

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Hip Extension the EVO way. WHAT The hip extension is a functional whole-body strength, stretch and balance exercise Warm up is a very important stage of an exercise program. It increases body temperature, prepares muscles, ligaments and tendons to exercise A good warm up is crucial when you’re facing a cold environment, preventing injuries like muscle breakdown or muscular contracturesHOW With the bar hanged by the strips, hold it on the extremities with your arms extended. The bar must be aligned with your hip Try to maintain your trunk in a planking position while you bent over it to the front and lift your leg backwards Keep your arms extended, holding the bar and try to go further, extending your shoulders, trunk and leg Step back to the early position and switch the leg WHY Hip Extension increases functional mobility in a full body activation mode Promotes core activation, coordination and increases flexibility Repeating some movements to each side will prevent injuries and prepare the muscle to moderate or intensive exercises

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17th May 2018

Squat, thrust, hop: What are the benefits of burpees?

There’s a reason soldiers and athletes use burpees to train. Developed in the 1930s, the purpose of Mr. Burpee’s (that truly was his name) squat-thrusting super-move was as a fitness test for his doctoral physiology thesis. It was later used by the military to quickly assess agility, strength and coordination. If you could do 41 burpees in a minute, you were in. Those coming in at 27 per minute, however, indicated a poor fitness level. It’s crucial that you do this exercise with proper form. The basic burpee starts off in a squat position, hands on the ground. You then kick your feet back, bringing your body into a plank position while keeping your arms extended. Next, jump your feet back to the squat position and jump up from that squat position. Once you’ve mastered it you can get creative - add dumbbells or kettlebells or throw in a Swiss ball for instability. Skater burpees, crawling burpees, rotating mountain climber burpees… the variations are endless and are a great way to sprinkle some extra benefits into your routine. Anyone who has performed a series of burpees will know fatigue sets in extremely quickly, especially if you incorporate other movements such as push-ups into the moves. It’s for this reason that they’re also dreaded so much - but there are many reasons to do burpees. They’re the go-to move for anyone serious about getting into shape and here are just a few reasons why: Four benefits of burpees Burpees boost full-body strength With push-ups and squats incorporated into this explosive exercise, burpees hit almost every muscle group in just a few steps. They work wonders for building muscular bulk and pure strength in the legs, glutes, core, shoulders and arms. Since the whole body is working in this aerobic-resistance training, you’ll improve your skeletal muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness as a result. Burpees stoke your metabolism The heart-rate revving move also revs up something else - your metabolism. Due to the intensity of the exercises, the high respiratory rate and number of muscles activated, burpees result in serious metabolic and cardiovascular spikes, helping you torch calories and fat and speeding up weight loss. They can be done anywhere Functional movement is at the heart of EVO’s training philosophy - and one of the brilliant benefits of no-equipment exercises is the ability to perform them anywhere. Whether you’re in a hotel room, at the beach, or in the gym, burpees can be adapted to your environment without taking up much room. Even short bouts of burpees can sustain your general fitness level, so being stuck at home is no excuse not to get fit. Burpees increase endurance This power-move can massively improve the health of your heart and lungs. You can do up to 15 burpees in a 30-second period - this short time span means the cardio benefits of burpees are on par with cycling. While they can be difficult to perform at first, you’ll find you’re able to perform more of them over time because your body will be able to use oxygen more efficiently (i.e. improving anaerobic capacity). Every workout you do will get easier when you regularly perform burpees.

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14th May 2018

Tutorial: Hanging twist

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Hanging Twist the EVO way. WHAT Hanging Twist is a very functional exercise whose foundation lies in rotation. Performing it in an alternated way activates all trunk muscles on a horizontal plan By twisting the torso we can increase trunk strength, mobilization and stabilizationHOW Hang the bar fixed on the strips with your arm extended above the head If you need, you can bend your knees a little to have your arm and trunk well extended Stand in front the bar, with your feet on the floor, twist your hip to the side Your knees should be pointing to the side while your chest is facing forward After hanging in the bar and stabilizing your trunk, push your knees up and twist the hips at the same time, while suspended for a moment Land on your feet, stretch the trunk a little and twist again to the initial PositionWHY Warm-up is a very important stage of an exercise program. It increases body temperature, prepares muscles, ligaments and tendons to exercise Rotational movement allows the body to accelerate and decelerate forces and make some upper body and lower body movement transfers Most of human muscles are oblique, which means that they are prepared to twist; warm up the torso will prepare the vertebral column to this effort.

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10th May 2018

Four cardio exercises you can do at home

Cardiovascular exercise doesn’t have to be confined to the four walls of a gym. Opting for a functional-based training regime outside of a gym is a key way to get fit efficiently. But the best part of it is you can undertake a wide range of cardio exercises from your own home, using just your own body movements to achieve effective fitness results. Here are four easy cardio exercises using functional training methods you can do at home: Jumping jacks It might seem like the classic circuit training exercise, but jumping jacks are an easy and effective cardio workout that you can pretty much anywhere. All you need is a bit of space and some well-supported trainers to make this exercise your go-to workout at home. Said to burn 100 calories in 10 minutes, it’s worth noting that a jumping jacks are high impact which can add stress onto your joints. You’ll find jumping jacks work best during high-intensity training, as you can do a short burst of them to get your heart going. The best way to undertake this exercise isn’t by doing a set number of reps. Instead, set a timer for a minute or two, and keeping going until the alarm rings. Take a break to regulate your respiratory system and repeat. Skipping/jumping rope An exercise adopted heavily by the boxing community, jumping (or skipping) rope is one of the best cardio exercises. Firstly, the combination of rhythm, speed, coordination and agility enables you to become more athletic overall - it’s also a proven way to burn fat. Skipping is an extremely versatile workout, which makes it perfect for doing at home. Jumping rope can easily be integrated into any workout routine to achieve results, and you can cater the reps to either number of skips or a specific period of time to suit your workout needs. But best of all - all you actually need is a skipping rope and you have one of the most effective cardio workouts at your disposal. Mountain climbers This cardio workout will help you build strength around your core and improve your overall endurance - all without the need for any specialist equipment or skills. Starting from the traditional push-up position, you need to keep your arms locked into position whilst moving your legs back and forth one at a time to simulate the motion of running. This exercise has all the key benefits of going for a run, that you can easily gain from inside your own home. To maximise the output of mountain climbers, undertake the exercise as part of a circuit or routine, working in bursts of 30-60 seconds. For example, alternate between 10 mountain climbers and 10 push ups to give your body a hassle-free full workout. Burpees A renowned circuit training exercise, burpees are best done in short bursts of 30-60 seconds, with a similar length break before doing the next set. A full body workout, you’ll be able to feel the benefits predominantly in your arms, chest, glutes, quads and hamstrings - making burpees an efficient cardio exercise to do at home. This is the ultimate example of functional training - starting from a standing position before squatting, getting into the plank, returning to squatting and jumping up to stand upright. It’s worth noting that this is a very demanding workout - if you’re not used to high intensity cardio exercise, approach sparingly and build up your ability.  

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2nd May 2018

Park Workout

Spring is coming and with it comes the opportunity to take your workouts outside. As you know by now, EVO is a strong advocate of outdoor sports and workouts. We believe that in order to reach an optimal physical wellness one should balance the gym workouts with challenging activities outside. Now it's up to you: find the perfect park to perform this set of exercises and enjoy the sun and the fresh air. Our suggestion is a full-body workout that has an intensity level 4. It should be performed in 25 minutes. 1# Incline push-up with side plank20 reps.Find a place where you can perform this exercise. A rock, a bench, a wall. Get creative!Then comes the easy part: do the push-up. After completing it, perform a side plank. Remember to keep your body straight and while rotating. Switch sides and perform the recommended 20 reps.2# Lunge20 reps eachPlace your rear foot on the surface where you have performed the push-ups, and have your lead foot slightly in front of you. Keeping your abs and glutes tight, take a medium to long step forward and slowly lower yourself through your leading knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Your leading knee should not come past your toes. Once the thigh is parallel to the ground, push yourself back up using the lead leg, and then repeat the same motion. Perform 20 repetitions for each leg.3# Rock-Tap60"It's basically high knees using the rock. It should recreate the typical running motion with exaggerated knee lifts. This exercise will really get your heart rate going. 60 seconds. 4# Side Plank60" each sideAgain, using the surface you've chosen perform a side plank. This will make it a little harder than the usual side plank. Assume a side plank position with your forearm on the floor. Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head.5# Plank to Beast20 repsA mix of half burpee and plank knee to elbow, this exercise starts with a normal plank position. With a slight jump, bring your knees closer to your hands, keeping your hands on the ground. Hop back to starting position, being careful not to allow heels to touch at any point.6# Hand to Elbow Plank60"Start in the normal plank position with your feet placed in the same place where you've been performing these exercises. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.One arm at a time, push you into a pushup position, arms fully extended beneath you. After that, and one arm at a time, back down to the elbow plank starting position.Perform it for 60 seconds.Repeat all the exercises twice and you're good to go. 25 minutes, a complete workout, while enjoying the life outside. The EVO way![embed]https://youtu.be/TyewQ4e2AiA[/embed]

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30th April 2018

Tutorial: Bunny Hops

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform Bunny hops the EVO way. WHAT Bunny hop is a body weight and pylometric exercise that promotes coordination, mobility and agility. It’s a great full body exercise that burns a lot of calories.HOW Squat and get your hands on the floor, like a quadruped. With the hands on the floor, jump with the feet held tightly and the knees bent Alternate the weight and balance between legs and arms.WHY Bunny hops increases functional strength in a full body activation mode, spending more calories Promote core strength Promote coordination 

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26th April 2018

How to set and keep new habits?

If you’ve slipped into a negative routine during the winter, you’re not alone. Colder weather makes it harder to exercise outdoors - or leave the house at all. But even when the outdoor world resembles a snow globe, there are ways to develop, change and stick to Habits. Fortunately for us, summer is on the way. And spring is a delightful time for fresh changes - figuring out which habits serve you and shaking off those that don’t. Perhaps it’s how you manage stress, organise your time, or maybe you want to get into a fitness routine. Maybe it’s all of them. How do we boot out bad habits and create long-term strategies for routines that make life better? Don’t waste mental energy Steve Jobs started each morning the same way. He would pick a black turtleneck jumper from a pile of black turtleneck jumpers. This habit required zero mental effort, meaning he could save his mental energy for more important matters. Like co-founding Apple. Creating a new habit is easier when it becomes something you can do without thinking. Identify the root cause of your bad habits Figuring out what it is that’s triggering a bad habit isn’t always clear. So you have to ask yourself why. In Hooked by Nir Eyal, the author suggests approaching the five whys to get to the root cause of your urges. Ask yourself “why” five times until you truly understand why you’re falling into a negative routine. Why are you stressed? Because I’m late for work. Why are you late for work? Because I didn’t get out of bed as soon as my alarm went off. Why didn’t you get out of bed on time? Because I’m tired and stressed. Why are you tired and stressed? Because I hate my job. Why do you hate your job? Because I can’t control my stress levels. Rather than channelling your anger into the bad start to the day, how about thinking about the way your stress response affects the way you react? Stress management is the primary cause of numerous problems in the workplace today. By being aware of the way you’re truly feeling, you can streamline your energy into more positive routines that reduce your old habits and bring in more positive ones. Make new habits keepers With a new mindful approach, you can create new habits that stick. The first way to do this is by binding new habits to existing ones and create triggers. For example, you always walk the dog at 6pm every evening. Use this as a trigger and link it to a run around the park. You always turn the heating off before bed. Use this as a trigger to get your healthy lunch sorted for the next day. Keep it simple If you want to go to the gym every day after work, have your gym gear ready in the boot of your car to go the minute you get out. If you want to do some yoga on an evening, set up your mat, block, and yoga pants the night before. If you want to drink more water, leave a bottle at your front door so you can’t miss it in the morning. Once these routines have been done a few times, your brain will try to save energy by doing them on automatic. No complicated theories. No self-help guru bibles. It’s as simple as that.            

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23rd April 2018

Tutorial: Burpee pull up

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Burpee pull Up the EVO way. WHAT The burpee pull up is a super functional exercise that targets the quads. This exercise uses your own weight, a bar and strips to hold it. It’s not an easy exercise. You must have previous exercises experience and be at least in an intermediate level of physical fitness.HOW Stand under the bar with the legs shoulder-width apart. With a small jump, grab the bar and pull your weigh until the bar reaches, at least, your chin (you can pull until it reaches your chest) Try to maintain your trunk straight while you pull. When you’re near the bar, slow the movement extending your arms and maintaining your spine straight until your feet touch the floor Form the moment you touch the floor, keep bending your knees until your hands touch the floor. With the hands stabilized, jump and extend your body, performing a horizontal plank. Push your knees against your chest and move to a vertical squat position Reach the bar againWHY It increases functional strength and a full body activation Back muscles are usually weak because currently we spend a lot of our time seated. It helps activate the core and spine muscles and to reprogram your sense of good posture While you’re performing it, your posture will improve. It will also promote coordination and strength between arms and trunk Burpees promote agility, stability and full body activation too. Performing burpees triggers a powerful muscular response and burns more calories. Merging both exercises creates a high intense super exercise that activates almost your whole body. 

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19th April 2018

Can functional training help promote weight loss?

One of the most frustrating parts of working out can be finding the right exercise routines to help you lose weight efficiently and effectively. Functional Training can be the answer. You might be under the impression that cardio-heavy sessions are your best bet, but there are easier methods to shift any unwanted weight without being stuck on a treadmill for hours. Functional training is a popular way to shed the pounds through using your own body weight and light dumbells, and won’t leave you feeling exhausted and sweaty after your workout. We’ve looked at the key areas of functional training, how it can help promote weight loss, and offered a few examples you can try out for yourself. What is functional training? Functional fitness exercises are all about looking after your long-term fitness and wellbeing, whilst helping you lose weight. Designed to help improve your balance, posture, muscle strength and flexibility, these workouts improve the way your brain talks to your muscles as they are being worked out. There’s a lot more focus on the movements you are making in functional training, compared to the distance you cover in cardio or the weights you’re lifting in bodybuilding, to help you stay balanced and maintain a strong body shape. How can functional training help you lose weight? Rather than exposing your body to the stresses and strains of weightlifting and cardio, functional training is designed to get your body feeling more comfortable. Research has proven that bodies that are able to move more freely burn off calories more effectively and help you drop the pounds. Doing functional exercises also makes it easier to lose weight through more common exercises too. The best place to start with functional workouts and losing weight is to identify any weaknesses you may have in your motion (i.e. any flexibility or balance issues). This way you can improve these areas and allow your body as a whole to move much more comfortably. If you’re unsure on how to best evaluate your body’s movement, getting a personal trainer for a session may be a good option, as they’ll be able to spot your weaknesses and help you make improvements through functional exercise which in return will help you lose weight. Simple functional exercise routines Adding functional workouts into your sessions doesn’t have to be difficult. You can incorporate them into your current fitness routine, or just do a couple in the morning before you start your day at home. The plank: Probably the most famous of all functional exercises, the plank is an intermediate level exercise aimed at strengthening your core through improving your balance and posture. Single-leg stand: The basics in improving balance, all you need to do is stand as firm as you possibly can on one leg, for as long as you can. As your core becomes stronger, add in arm movements to benefit the exercise and promote weight loss. Single-leg squat: Similar to the above, the single squat encourages you to stand on one leg and bend down, then back up again. At first, you may find this difficult but practice makes perfect. Over time you’ll have a greater sense of balance and see noticeable weight loss around your midriff. Shoulder flexion: When you are laid on the floor, lifting your arms from by your side to up above your head can help you control your back and abdominal muscles, promoting both muscle growth and weight loss. It isolates your lats and restricts the movement of your shoulders, which will minimise the risk of uncomfortable action.

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16th April 2018

Tutorial: Lunge Jump with rotation

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Lunge Jump with rotation the EVO way. WHAT Lunge is a functional exercise and it’s a fundamental movement pattern. Performing in an alternated way it we make you feel like walking movement pattern. By adding jumps to this exercise we can burn more calories. With the torso twist we can increase trunk strength, mobilization and stabilization.HOW Hang the bar fixed on the strips at chest level Stand in front the bar, with your feet at hip width and one foot in front of the other. Like in a big step. Engage the core and twist your trunk to the side of the leg you’ve chosen to place in the front first. With the trunk highly stable, jump, switch legs and twist your trunk to the opposite side.WHY A lunge increases strength on legs, glutes and thighs. It demands trunk stabilization and promotes balance Adding a bigger trunk twist and higher jumps, we can increase muscle activity and burn more calories.

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12th April 2018

5 exercises that target your glutes

Summer is just around the corner and these simple but effective exercises should become part of your routine. They’re easy to perform and it will help you get in better shape. It may be a bit superficial to exercise your glutes, but the truth is that your glutes are more important than you might imagine. A strong bottom can help relieve low-back pain and make everyday movements—like standing and climbing stairs— much easier. It keeps your body upright, lifts a lot of the weight you carry and generates power in a lot of daily activities. And, let's face it, it is appealing to the eye. With these 5 exercises, you'll develop your glutes efficiently: Hip Thrust Squat Hip extension Bulgarian Split Squats Single leg  deadlift   Article originally written for evofitness.no by Maria Martinsen

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9th April 2018

Tutorial: Push-up explosive

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a push up explosive the EVO way. WHAT The push up explosive is a functional upper-body strength, power and balance exercise. This exercise uses nothing more than your weight and targets the chest, arms, abs and spine stabilization. It's a great exercise for those who want to add variety to their chest workout and create a power stimulus to your body.HOW Lay down on the floor, facing down and with your hands at the width of your shoulders, and your elbows bended. Try to maintain your trunk as a plank while applying an extremely explosive extension of your arms, so powerful that your hands disconnect from the floor (you can clap your hands if you can have enough space above your chest) Land your hands on the floor and decelerate the movement until your chest is near the floor.WHY Doing explosive push-ups increases functional strength and power in a upper body activation Upper body muscles are usually weaker than lower body because we currently use them less. Explosive push-ups prevent shoulder injury. They strength all the trunk muscles. You’ll improve your posture and promote core strength. It reduces lower back pain.

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5th April 2018

Four ways natural movement is more challenging than machine repetitions

If you find yourself becoming comfortable in your current gym routine, mixing it up could be the best way to get the most out of your body’s capabilities. Machine repetitions are easy enough, but after a while these can become extremely tedious and you may feel as if you are just doing the same workout each time you go to a gym. But, if you choose to adopt a natural movement-orientated workout, each exercise session will feel different as you challenge yourself against the environment in front of you. Here’s the core reasons why you’ll get more out of natural movement workouts than machine repetitions. The ability to adapt Undertaking the same training routines in the same environments can cause limitations to your capability and injuries, due to overusing the same muscles and mindlessness during a workout. By varying your movement patterns to different spaces and environments, you can give you an added sense of freedom as you exercise, as you’re adapting to the ‘equipment’ (i.e. the trees, walls and structures) in front of you. Forcing yourself to make exercise routines with the environment in front of you is a key aspect of making natural movement workouts more challenging than your standard machine-based gym session. No set days With machine repetitions, you tend to choose a muscle set to work and focus your efforts into strengthening these areas. Pushing yourself through repetition after repetition on the same machine may help build that specific muscle up, but you aren’t giving your body the overall workout that it needs. With natural movements, there isn’t a leg day or an arm day - every day is an all-around body workout. Having to push your entire body through a workout can be testing at first, but the challenge will be something you thrive on as you become more accustomed to natural workouts. Solving unique problems When you’re undertaking natural movement exercises, the challenge should be to solve problems, arguably, only you have faced. Shifting your workouts to make you think more technically will increase the difficulty of your exercises - using the environment in unique and unusual ways that require a longer thought process will in return give you a more challenging workout. Going to regular gym and doing machine based repetition requires no ingenuity from the user, as the problem they face is straightforward and self-explanatory, making it an easy routine to complete. Task orientation The whole reason for going to the gym is to use the machinery to complete a repetition-based workout which will improve your body strength - it’s a specific task you have set out to complete. With natural movement, it’s completely different. Your daily movement patterns need to include actual challenges to ensure you’re getting exercise into your day. Covering various terrain and obstacles as part of your daily routine may seem a simple task, but to really get the most from your natural movements, you need to push your exploration and ingenuity to the limits to align your everyday tasks and exercise. For exercise enthusiasts who want to push themselves, opting for a natural movement-based exercise plan will give you a more rewarding challenge than going to a traditional gym. Not only will repetitions be obsolete, you’re also creating unique and technical problems for your body to solve, which will make your muscles work harder during your always-on workout.  

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4th April 2018

16 minute Tabata

Moderate-hard workout / barbell +strips + bodyweight / 16 mins Tabata 4 exercises As many reps In 20 seconds 8 rounds each exercise Equipment: barbell,, bodyweight Strength 7/10 Power 7/10 Endurance 8/10 Speed 7/10 Agility 7/10 Coordination 7/10 Balance 6/10 Flexibility 5/10 DESCRIPTION EVO training is about simplicity. If you are finding traditional training a little boring, over-complicated and un motivating, you will love this simple high Intensity program. No frills, no spills - just low tech, high effect! You will need a barbell, strips to hold the bar and your own weigth. Organize your space so you have easy access to this equipement, without having to travel too far. The Tabata workout is done doing 8 round in 4 minutes (20 seconds of exercise for 10 seconds rest). Try to improve your performance each time you come to EVO. Compete against your friends and other members, and don’t forget to post your scores on social media. Finally, don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of this Tabata- the reps are Increasing as you move through the rounds, and so will your heart rate. For motivation, partner up with a buddy and compete against each other. Remember, EVO training is about skill, so focus on good movement technique, whilst moving as fast as possible. BUNNY HOPS 20 Seconds workout, maximum reps; 10 seconds rest; 8 rounds, 4 minutes From a squat position, with the hands held on the floor, jump with the feet held tightly and the knees bent https://vimeo.com/191982513/eff453bfac BURPEE PULL UP 20 Seconds workout, maximum reps; 10 seconds rest; 8 rounds, 4 minutes With a small jump, grab the bar and pull your weigh until the bar reaches, at least, your chin (you can pull until you reach your chest) Form the moment you touch the floor, keep bending your knees until your hands touch the floor With the hands well stable, do a small jump and extend your body, performing a horizontal plank supported on hands and feet Push your knees against your chest and move to a vertical squat position https://vimeo.com/194337534/52d0d91144 PUSH-UP EXPLOSIVE 20 Seconds workout, maximum reps; 10 seconds rest; 8 rounds, 4 minutes with your trunk as a plank apply an extremely explosive extension of your arms, so powerful that your hands disconnect from the floor (you can clap your hands if you can have enough space above your chest) Land your hands on the floor a decelerate the movement until your chest achieve just few inches from the floor https://vimeo.com/191971156/4176fd1d35 LUNGE JUMP WITH ROTATION 20 Seconds workout, maximum reps; 10 seconds rest; 8 rounds, 4 minutes Stand in front the bar, with your feet on the width of your hips and one foot in front of the other, like a giant step With the trunk highly stable, do a small jump, switch the legs and twist your trunk to the opposite side https://vimeo.com/194336887/62ad83e1a8    

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2nd April 2018

The art of warming-up in cold weather.

Light warm up workout / barbell +strips + bodyweight / 8 min   4 exercises 2 minutes each exercise Equipment: barbell,, bodyweight   Strength 4/10 Power 2/10 Endurance 4/10 Speed 2/10 Agility 4/10 Coordination 6/10 Balance 8/10 Flexibility 7/10  DESCRIPTION EVO training is about simplicity. If you're finding traditional training a little boring, over-complicated and un motivating, you'll love this simple high Intenisty program. No frills, no spills - just low tech, high effect! You will need a barbell, strips to hold the bar and your own weight. Organize your space so you have easy access to this equipment, without having to go too far. This warm-up is performed in 8 minutes. Each exercise will take you 2 minutes to complete. Try to improve your performance each time you come to EVO. Do it with your friends and other members, and don’t forget to post it on social media. For motivation, partner up with a buddy and compete against each other during and after the warm.up. Remember, EVO training is about skill, so focus on good movement technique, whilst moving as fast as possible.   ROLL OUT WITH STEP 2 minutes, moving at a moderate speed; With the trapeze bar hanged, grab it on the extremities with your arms extended. The bar must be aligned with your chest. The bar must be at chest height. Take a long step forward and lunge deep, moving the arms straight overhead, torso upright. Return and switch legs. https://vimeo.com/194032368/2e8f1e3c26 HIP EXTENSION 2 minutes, moving at a moderate speed; Stand upright and hold the trapeze bar with arms straight. Engage the core and transfer weight to one leg. Hinge at the hips as you reach forward with the bar. Aim to keep the torso in line with the raised leg. Keep your arms extended, holding the bar and try to go further, extending your shoulders, trunk and leg. Alternate between legs and repeat https://vimeo.com/194317246/216e978ba0 SIDE REACH 2 minutes, moving at a moderate speed; Hang the bar slightly above your hip. Bent your trunk to the bar side leaning your forearm over the bar You’ll feel a slight stretch on the rib cage. After that, return to the initial Position https://vimeo.com/194337534/52d0d91144 HANGING TWIST 2 minutes, moving at a moderate speed; Lie on your back with knees bent. Place the right leg over the left thigh and allow it to hang in the bar. With the left foot, take a small step to the right, so the foot is in line with the right hip. Allow the left leg to slowly rotate to the right and back to the centre. Feel the movement (and stretch) in the left outer hip, but do not over-stretch. Repeat and switch sides. https://vimeo.com/194314622/630b291949

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29th March 2018

Tutorial: Glute Bridge

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Glute Bridge the EVO way. WHAT The glute bridge is a functional body strength and balance exercise This exercise uses a bar and strips to hold up the feet and targets the legs, glutes, abs and lower back It's a great exercise for those who want to add a complementary exercise to their leg TrainingHOW With the bar hanged by the strips, lay down on the floor and hold up your feet over it. Lengthen your arms along the body with palms facing the floor Maintaining the hip balance, set your feet over the bar and elevate the hips using the glutes as principal muscle. Notice the lumbar movement while you go up Reduce gradually the amount of strength on the glutes and land gently the hip on the FloorWHY Glute is a very powerful muscle that absorb a great amount of muscular tension It is a very important muscle on transition forces from the lower body to upper body and has a delicate relation with lower back. Despite of its great importance on transition forces, most people has lack of glute strength because nowadays people spend most of time seated. These condition creates unbalanced forces on lower back muscles and abs and increases on one hand the lumbar arch and on the other hand the stiffness of those muscles to protect the bone structure Mobilizing the lower back structure and strengthening the glutes promotes a healthier spine     

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27th March 2018

The dangers of sitting all day (& how EVO can help)

We don’t need another batch of research to tell us how being slumped at a desk all day is damaging our health. There are a multitude of studies out there already to show the negative effects: scientists claim sedentary lifestyles are more fatal than smoking and sitting down all the time causes more deaths than obesity. But we also don’t need a study to tell us that being on our back side day after day will have negative repercussions on our health because we can feel it in our bones, our muscles, our mind. We know it when we get that feeling after a brisk walk, or the way we feel after plunging into the sea: we’re supposed to be interacting with our natural environments this way. Yes, we need to stand up and move more. No, it’s not always easy. But here are just a few reasons you should switch up your sitting routine, and exactly how you should do it: The risks of inactivity Slows down your metabolism. From travelling to work on the train to watching TV on the sofa at night, when we’re seated, we slow down our body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and break down fats. Meaning it’s more likely you’ll put on weight and increase your blood pressure. Linked to early death. Excessive sitting has been scientifically linked to type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and premature death. If you’re overweight or obese, sitting down too often probably has a lot to do with it. Functional health suffers. The Start Active, Stay Active report details the importance of physical activity for maintaining our ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Those who sat down less in studies show a 30% reduced risk of falls and role limitations. Lowers psychological well-being. Moving more can reduce the risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. By sitting less and upping your physical activity, you can boost your mood, self-esteem and sleep quality, while lowering your anxiety levels. Reducing the risks from sitting down Do at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of exercise a week. This doesn’t all need to be at the gym, but here at EVO - we can help bring around your return to natural movement. This has a hugely positive impact on your physical, metabolic and psychological health. Try doing 30 minutes of big, compound movements - squatting, pulling, stretching, balancing - at least five days a week. Our personal trainers can design a custom program for those wanting to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing with functional fitness. Take an active break at least every 30 minutes. Break up your seated time (especially long periods) by taking a time out every half an hour or so. During your break, go for a quick walk or stretch it out for just one to two minutes. Set a timer on your phone to remind you. Make small changes to your weekday. Making physical activity a part of your everyday life is the easiest way to undo much of the damage caused from sitting down. Jump off the bus before your stop and walk the rest of the way, take the stairs instead of the lift, go and speak to a co-worker rather than email them.    

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22nd March 2018

6 exercises you can do anywhere

All you need is yourself. EVO's philosophy is all about simplicity. High-quality gym equipment is definitely a plus and it can help you meet your goals. However, in the end, your body can be your own gym. We've brought you a bottom workout that will also help you improve your back and posture. As we said, you won't need any equipment to make this work. This way, you can perform it anywhere and anytime. It should take you about 20min to complete it. You can save it on your mobile or even print it out, so you always have this plan near you.  Single Leg Glute Bridge Lie on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent. Raise one leg off the ground, pulling the knee to your chest. Driving through the heel,   extend your hip upward and raise your glutes off the ground. 2 sets x 15 repetitions Forward Lunge Stand straight with your feet together. Contract your abdominal muscles to stabilize your upper body. Lift your left leg off the floor and take a giant step forward. Slowly lower your torso by bending your right knee toward the floor. Lower until your left knee forms a 90-degree angle and stays aligned with your ankle. Push yourself upward and return to to the starting position. 2 sets x 10 repetitions Single Leg Hip Thrust Rest your upper back on a bench, box or couch that should have approximately your knee height. Extend one leg in front of you and plant the other close to your bottom. Drive your foot into the floor and extend your hips up until your body is parallel to the floor. 2 sets x 12 repetitions Frog Pumps Lie on your back with bent knees to the side and your feet soles together. Stretch your knees as far as you can, so that the outside of the foot is on the ground. Bridge into the air while maintaining Position. 2 sets x 20 repetitions 5. Toe touches Bend down to touch one of your feet with the opposite hand. After that, return to starting position. Make sure you straighten your hips between each repetition. Bend most of the hip, but avoid bending the knee too much. Do all the repetitions on one leg before changing to the other. 2 sets x 12 repetitions 6. Side plank with leg lift Lie on your side and position yourself on your bottom elbow and side of your foot. Lift your hips in the air, forming a straight line from ankles to shoulders, while bracing your core. It's important that you keep your torso stable. Then, raise your top leg without bending your knee. Do not let your hips drop. Return to starting position. 2 sets x 10 repetitions Original article was written by Petter Håheim Johnsen Personal Trainer

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20th March 2018

Tutorial: Kinesis lunge to chest press

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Kinesis Lunge to chest press the EVO way. WHAT Lunge is a very functional exercise that it’s foundation is locomotion. Chest press might be considered functional as well, once it is one of basic forms to move away any hazard Combining these two exercises, we create a great workout that put together strength and coordination and may reduce your workout timeHOW Stand back to the machine and your feet on the width of your hips, hold the cable grips at the high of your chest Engage the core and step forward while you push the cables forward too. With the trunk highly stable, step back and bent your arms at the same time till you find the start positionWHY Lunges increase strength on legs, glutes and thighs, demands trunk stabilization and promote balance Pushing exercises as chest press strengthen chest and arms and require trunk stabilization, developing core muscles as abs and spine erectors. Combining both exercises we promote full body coordination and balance and we can be more effective on time workout     

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15th March 2018

Tutorial: Kinesis reverse lunge to row

How does fitness evolve?Learn how to perform a Kinesis reverse lunge to row the EVO way. WHAT One of the basis of locomotion exercises is the lunge. This exercise is very functional and can be combined with other exercises which become even more functional The Row exercise is a functional and balance exercise Merging these two exercises in one, we turn it into a functional full body strength exerciseHOW Stand front to the machine and your feet on the width of your hips, hold the cable grips at the high of your chest with your arms tighten Engage the core, step back and sink while you push the cables forward at the same time. With the trunk highly stable, step forward and extend your arms at the same time till you find the start PositionWHY Combining both exercises we promote full body coordination and balance and we can be more effective on time workout Performing these combined exercise you increase the calorie intake 

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14th March 2018

What to look for in running shoes

Running shoes are the most personal item - save, perhaps, underwear. While Nike has recently launched ‘Swiss army shoe’ for everyday runners, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to lacing up. There are lots of different kinds of feet in the world and lots of different running shoes. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just trying to make it round the block, finding the perfect fit for pounding the ground doesn’t need to be such a rigid process. These tips should help you find the right footwear for a more natural, comfortable and effective run: Invest in a quality pair A cheap pair of shoes can make running miserable. Choosing the wrong kind can cause injuries and lessen the effectiveness of your training. That’s why quality is priority when it comes to buying running shoes. In general, low-cost shoes don’t work, so aim for at least the middle price range when shopping around. Expensive footwear can live up to the hype: Dennis Kimetto ran the fastest marathon in history wearing adidas BOOST at the 2014 Berlin Marathon and few dispute the fact that the shoes helped. Know your shoe’s lifespan Even the most light-footed gazelle will eventually wear down their running shoes - and knowing when your footwear is finished will help avoid joint ache. Aim to cover around 500 miles before you get a new pair - tracking apps such as MapMyRun, RunKeeper and Nike+ Run Club will do it for you. If you’re unsure, grab the forefoot of your shoe and see if it it folds over easily. If you’re suddenly feeling pain during a run, then it might just be a simple case of replacing your shoes. All hail comfort Like everything in life, do what feels natural. The more comfortable the running shoe, the more it works in harmony with your body. There are general rules: getting your gait analysed (the angle at which your foot hits the ground) can help you run better and prevent weaknesses. If you pronate, your foot rolls inwards. If it rolls outward, this is called supination. Or you might just have a neutral gait. But these are all guidelines, so whatever gait or heel-strike your body leans towards, comfort is still always top priority. Get help from a professional to find the right fit for you. Go minimal Barefoot running has been the centre of fitness debates for a while now. Research has proven that running shoes with less cushioning can reduce injury, so choosing a pair with zero drop (most running shoes have at least 8mm drop) can help you run more naturally. Shoes with a thicker cushioning between the heel and toe make it harder to strike the floor with the ball of your foot - you’re more likely to go heel-first. Of course every body - and foot - is different. While it can help strengthen your feet, runners with weaker joints should avoid going barefoot.

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16th February 2018

Five solid tips to build your endurance

Endurance is the key. It doesn’t get easier - you get better. It’s any athlete’s goal - whether it’s to run faster, longer, or train for a physically demanding event.  Building endurance powers you through physical activities at your peak. Whether you’re beginning a fitness routine or trying to break out of a training plateau, knowing a few endurance-boosting strategies can enhance your strength, agility and speed. Put these steps into practice and a distance, speed or weight you find challenging now will be effortless in the future:   Start slow   Mastering movement needs to be done purposefully. Easy-paced training can help build endurance without risking injury. The old adage remains resolute here: slow and steady wins the race. If you’re a runner, try adding one mile per week to a long run on a weekend. Start at two miles, then three, four, five. Every fourth week, skip the long run to rest and recover. On the fifth week, start increasing your mileage again - aiming for six miles. Patience pays off.   Be consistent   The EVO philosophy of movement is that it should be a continual interaction between ourselves and the environment. By training consistently, you’ll increase your aerobic capacity (the amount of oxygen your muscles can use), making your muscles stronger and endurance mightier. Aim for three to four sessions every week, training for 30 minutes or more. One should be a longer training session, such as an hour-long swim every Saturday.   Switch it up   This can help both physical and mental endurance. We’ve advocated going at it long and slow, but if you’re mid-workout and your heart rate isn’t raised, you’re not building optimal endurance. But high-paced exercise causes build-up of lactic acid, which slows you down. To help stamina and lactic acid resistance, switching things up with shorter, high-intensity sessions can be a good way to clear lactic acid from your bloodstream faster. It’ll also help make those longer training sessions feel easier and improve your speed.   Recovery is key   Nothing is more important for endurance than getting enough sleep. The more you’re challenging yourself and pushing your body to its limit, the more important it is to get properly rested between training sessions. That means getting at least eight hours of sleep every night and not working out too close to bedtime. The last hour of our day should be spent with little stimulation - so no late-night training.   Eat right   To build endurance, you must eat for endurance. Proper nutrition is crucial for stamina-increasing success. If you’re a runner, carbs such as whole grains, brown rice and oats are key to ensuring you have enough energy before a long trail. Avoid refined food and sugar - you’ll get a spike but crash shortly after. After training, you’ve got an optimal window of about half an hour to eat a protein-rich meal. This way you can absorb the necessary nutrients to recover between sessions - taking you into your next workout with even more power.

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4th December 2017

Kettlebell Core & Cardio

Get ready for a simple core and cardio workout, that will work on strength, endurance, power and speed. And did we mention coordination, balance and flexibility? No complicated equipment - just you, a kettlebell, and plenty of focus and determination! You will need a kettlebell - 8-12kg for an easier workout; 14-16kg for a harder workout. You will also need quick access to an IC7 spin bike or a treadmill. The workout consists of 6 exercises done for rounds - 3 rounds (easy) and 5 rounds (hard). Start the clock at the beginning and stop when you have finished your rounds. This means that you should move as quickly as possible through the exercise sequence. Aim to keep hold of the kettlebell throughout each circuit, but place it down if you need the rest. The cardio at the end of each round will increase fatigue each time, so be sure to take any additional rest between rounds, if you need it. Try to improve your performance each time you come to EVO. Compete against your friends and other members, and don’t forget to post your scores on social media.   KETTLEBELL 1-HAND SWING 10 reps Pick up the kettlebell with one hand. Bend the knees slightly and hinge forwards at the hips, allowing the kettlebell to fall between the legs. Extend the body upwards, using this momentum to swing the kettlebell in front of the body. Gradually increase the speed and range of motion.   KETTLEBELL 1-HAND ROW 8 reps Bend the knees slightly as you hinge forwards at the hips. Keep the core strong and elbow close to your side, as you pull the kettlebell towards the chest. Switch sides and repeat.

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13th October 2017

Simplify your training the EVO way

Introduction to simple movement Our bodies are designed for simple movement. Our unique upright posture is built for endurance activities; long, forward facing toes and long legs are perfectly designed for forward locomotion; a wide and expansive rib cage makes for efficient respiration; the ability to regulate temperature through sweating further highlights endurance capacity; and mobile shoulder and hip joints allow us to effectively transfer force and manipulate bodyweight. Purpose-built training model When it comes to training, there is often a mismatch between body design and program design. We have forgotten that nature already designed the best training system. From the moment we were born, we systematically achieved mastery in key motor development milestones - learning to stabilize our bodies, manipulate objects, and finally locomotion. During this journey, certain movement patterns became part of our movement portfolio, and continue to bring benefits as we grow older. Movements such as squatting, bending, stepping, pushing, pulling, twisting and walking/running not only give us natural strength, mobility and control, but also keep our bodies in good physical balance. As young children, almost every day contained a balance of these movements; unfortunately, the modern day adult lifestyle has caused a steady decline in the frequency and skill of simple movement. Keeping it simple With this in mind, let's take a quick look at the 7 key movement patterns, and how you can easily incorporate them into  your workouts. 1. DEEP SQUAT Arguably, the most important human movement. In its simplest form, it starts with the bodyweight squat. When you learn to bottom out with bodyweight, you can start to add load, for example the front squat (barbell). Further challenge yourself by using kettle bells, med balls and core bags. 2. STEP/LUNGE Developmentally, the step allowed us to bring the body more upright, ready for standing. As an exercise, begin with bodyweight lunges, or box steps. Adding load will further build strength and challenge stability and balance. You can also add locomotion to the mix with walking lunges. Don’t forget to play around with different loads, such as med balls, core bags and dumbbells. 3. BEND This is the prerequisite movement to lifting and carrying, and one of the best postural exercises you can ever do. As a starting point, learn to hinge the hips - which involves tilting pelvis slightly and setting the hips/core. Once you have mastered this, you can begin to include the classic barbell deadlift. If barbells aren't your thing, you can use dumbbells, kettle bells, core bags and even med balls - all of which will add variety to your bends/lifts. 4. PUSH This upper body pattern begins with the humble push up. Master good technique on your knees, before moving to the full push up position. Further variations included lifting one leg, or raising the feet on a box. For added core engagement, try standing chest presses on the Kinesis cable machine; for speed and power, try med ball wall slams. 5. PULL The simple pull up is often just beyond reach for. Last beginners. But don’t worry, you can build up to this by starting with rows on the TRX or Trapeze bar - this will get you used to pulling your bodyweight towards an object. If you like free weights, add barbell/DB/KB/core bag rows to your workouts. 6. TWIST The ability to rotate our spines provides a direction for movement and is important for maintaining balance and control. Prolonged sitting and overuse of the core muscles can significantly reduce spinal mobility, so it's important to include simple spinal mobility in your training. Include gentle spinal rotations in your warm up and cool down; add chopping movements to your main workout, such as med ball twists, cable wood chops; and incorporate twisting yoga poses into your cool down routine. 7. LOCOMOTION These patterns can include anything that moves you from A to B, including walking, running, jumping, crawling, rolling, and even handstand walking! Aim to include at least one of these movements in every workout.   By regularly including these simple movement patterns in your workouts, you will not only simplify your training - you will also build high levels of natural, balanced strength and mobility.

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9th October 2017

Tutorial: TRX Plank

WHAT The TRX Plank is a functional core exercise, that targets the entire abdominal wall, low back, and upper body. It is an advanced version of the basic Plank exercise, which should be mastered first. HOW Start in a kneeling position in front of the TRX. Place your feet in the foot straps. Lean forwards and rest your weight on the forearms, keeping the elbows close to the sides. Engage the core and lift the knees off the floor. Hold this position and breathe freely for time. Training tip – squeeze the shoulder blades together to prevent the shoulder rolling forwards. Don’t allow the hips to drop below the shoulders. Training progression - add a movement challenge by bringing the knees to wards the chest, and then returning to the start position. This version can be performed for reps. WHY The TRX Plank further adds instability to the basic Plank exercise, requiring greater core engagement. Because the feet are now suspended, there is less contribution from the leg muscles, and more from the upper body. Learning to engage the core in a neutral spine position may offer more functionality, compared to traditional 'crunch' type movements. For most of our daily lives, the spine is in a similar position, so the ability to stabilize in this position is important, especially when we load the body (eg. Carrying, lifting, etc). Skillful execution of the Plank also requires an ability to 'set' the shoulders - ie. squeezing the shoulder blades together slightly. Not only does this protect the shoulder joint during loaded movement, It’s also a good postural habit and should be regarded as an important contributor to core stability. If your shoulders start to roll before the core muscles fatigue, stretch out the chest before performing the Plank. View other tutorials: Lats foam roll Supported hip extension Kinesis step up Kinesis overhead press Suspended lunge Deep squat with long post Dumbbell deadlift Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press

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5th October 2017

Yoga: Why You Should Practice The 5,000-Year-Old Exercise

Once centered mainly around mental and spiritual practice, the ancient exercise has found its way into the contemporary fitness world through dance, martial arts and even weight lifting. Due to yoga's explosive growth and advocacy from health gurus around the world, more people are taking to the mat as a way to boost flexibility, increase strength and de-stress. Yoga for modern movement Urban lifestyles can be stagnant - with desks, computers, mobile phones and cars sculpting us into uncomfortable postures. They cramp up our necks and backs, which can be counteracted with poses like the Cobra, which strengthens the upper back to correct bad posture. In addition, rotating everything from your neck and shoulders to your wrists and ankles soothes stiffness from that all-day desk job. That’s just a few yoga poses - there are 84 basic yoga poses in total, all with different benefits. Why is yoga good for you? Here at EVO, we believe exercise isn’t something that needs forcing. It’s natural human movement - walking, running, jumping, lifting, climbing and throwing. Yoga nurtures all of the actions which make this kind of mobility, strength and flexibility possible, especially in one of our largest joints - the hip - a crucial foundation for injury-free movement. From squatting and pushing to bending and lunging, it helps develop functional movements so that they eventually become effortless. What are the benefits of yoga? Builds muscle By using all of your own bodyweight, yoga aids muscle growth and increases your full-body strength. With regular yoga, your legs, abs, butt and arms become sculpted without lifting any weights at all. From the leg-targeting warrior pose to the spine-lengthening downward dog, virtually every pose engages your core to stabilise your body, increasing your endurance and toning up the body. Increases flexibility Poses like the triangle (feet wide apart, with one hand outside your ankle and one in the air) can be challenging for less flexible types. For some, even touching your toes can prove impossible. But with practice, you’ll gradually increase the flexibility in your hamstrings and inner thighs, making seemingly impossible poses possible and injuries less likely to occur. Weight loss More muscle means higher metabolism, so shedding the pounds is more likely. It also regulates your adrenal glands, lowering the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels can lead to the body distributing food as fat around your abdomen, also called visceral fat. Lowering your stress levels with yoga can help manage this cortisol-induced belly fat. Prevents injuries Every time you roll out the mat and practice yoga, you’re putting your joints through their entire range of motion. From back pain to wrist ache, regular practice can shine a spotlight on any damaged spots around the body you’ve developed from exercise over the years. You unite your body and mind. You move with ease and pay attention to the way your body feels, finding what feels good as you go. Thanks to its slow and focused approach, yoga can be wonderfully restorative.

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3rd October 2017

Review: TomTom Spark Music

OUR SCORE PROS CONS Design 4/5 Features/Functionality 5/5 Performance 4/5 Value 5/5 Overall 4.5/5 Slim fit Comfortable all day Quick pairing with Bluetooth headphones Quick GPS pick up Waterproof Clunky navigation button Basic software     WHAT IS THE TOMTOM SPARK? The TomTom Spark is a GPS enabled sports watch by the well known satnav brand, featuring daily activity tracking and a built in music player. This review focuses on the Spark Music, but there is also a Spark Cardio model that has built in heart rate monitoring. TomTom fans will already be familiar with the previous partnership with Nike (Nike+ Sportswatch which launched in 2011). DESIGN Compared to the previous TomTom Runner model, the new design has made way for a slimmer, more comfortable fit. Out of the box, you get a durable rubber strap and the watch module - which slots in and out of the strap, when charging. The strap comes in small or large sizes, and secures firmly in two places. The watch has a large monochrome display with a good backlight (activated by covering your hand over the screen). It's not the best resolution, but with such a large screen, it's hardly noticeable. Below the screen is a large navigation button that allows for left/right, up/down scrolling through the different menus. The button is a little temperamental and clunky, but doesn’t hinder operation too much. FEATURES/FUNCTIONALITY The attention to simplicity makes this a great watch - you can pretty much figure out all functions without looking at the manual. The key features to look at for the discerning exerciser are the GPS, fitness/sports tracking, and the music player. As you would expect from TomTom, the GPS is quick to pick up a signal, even in built up areas, so you're not hanging around when going for a run or cycle. Daily activity tracking (sleep monitoring) is aliased by the accelerometer and gyroscope. Because the watch has a large screen, it can display a number of useful metrics, without the need to open an app. A simple click of the button can bring up step count, sleep time, calories burned, distance and total activity time; a second click brings up your weekly achievements. This is certainly an advantage over smaller watches that require an app to display activity. Activity monitoring can also be specific - choose from running, cycling, swimming, treadmill, and freestyle activity options. Just choose your option and wait a few seconds for the GPS to pick up - then off you go. The Spark will log everything for you! Of course, the Spark can also sync your results with the TomTom Connect app. Unfortunately, this is where TomTom is a little disappointing. While the software is simple - which may appeal to some - it is very basic with a less than inspiring dashboard. Possibly the biggest attractor is the music player. Once paired (easily) with Bluetooth headphones, you can listen to the pre-loaded Ministry of Sound playlist, or quickly upload your own playlists from iTunes. PERFORMANCE Data tracking (steps,, distance, activity time, sleep) is accurate and responsive. Run tracking is probably one of the best and most appealing features, with all the usual metrics - as well as a Race feature that puts you against your previous best time. Battery life depends on how you use the Spark. With simple activity counting and the occasional music, it will easily last a week between charges. As you add GPS, regular training and music, this will drop to 2-3 days, before you need to charge again. VALUE The TomTom Spark Music currently retails for around €120-150, which is great value for the functionality and features. VERDICT: While it may not be an all singing, all dancing sports watch, the TomTom Spark is a solid, functional watch, and strong enough to handle all you’re activity tracking needs, and music playback. A definite buy for those who demand simplicity in form and function. OVERALL SCORE: 4.5/5 LINK: https://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/sports/fitness-watches/  

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2nd October 2017

Workout of the Month: 3 of a Kind

DESCRIPTION This lo-tech, high-effect barbell workout has EVO written all over It. No complicated equipment - just you, your barbell, and plenty of grit! A great workout for when you need a strength/power fix, or need a high intensity energy boost. You will need a barbell (moderate weight), a bit of space, and a timer. The workout is done against the clock - set the timer for 15 minutes. This means that you should move as quickly as possible through the exercise sequence. There are only three exercises, and the objective is to complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. Aim to keep hold of the barbell throughout each circuit, but place it down if you need the rest. Try to improve your performance each time you come to EVO. Compete against your friends and other members, and don’t forget to post your scores on social media. Finally, don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of this workout - you will feel the muscle burn creep in, as well as the increase in heart rate. Remember, EVO training is about skill, so focus on good movement technique, whilst moving as fast as possible. BARBELL WORKOUT EXERCISES 3 exercises As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes Equipment: barbell 1. BARBELL DEADLIFT 10 reps From standing, set the shoulders and engage the core. Begin the movement by hinging the hips and bending forwards, allowing the knees to bend slightly. Allow the bar to drop to below the knees, then squeeze the shoulder blades and glutes, and drive the hips forwards and upwards back to the start. 2. BARBELL CLEAN 8 reps From standing, set the shoulders and engage the core. Hinge the hips and quickly drive the hips forwards as you clean the bar to a front loaded position. As the bar comes to chest height, aim to quickly drop under and catch it. Push the legs through to standing. 3. BARBELL PUSH PRESS 6 reps With the barbell in a front loaded position, set the shoulders and engage the core. Hinge the hips and quickly drive the hips forwards as you press the bar overhead. Keep the shoulders set and the core strong, to maintain balance, before returning to the start position. Try also other workouts: 15-Minute High Intensity Workout Cardio Workout Movement Balance Workout Core Bag Workout Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout

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28th September 2017

Adjust or Fail - Understanding Self-Limiting Exercises

INTRODUCTION The fitness industry is constantly evolving. As the scientific understanding behind fitness and performance improves, fitness technology also evolves. As a result, equipment becomes more (and often unnecessarily) complex. On the one hand, this complexity may offer ease of use and a sense of mastery; however, it also disconnects us from physical awareness and engagement with our own bodies. SELF-LIMITING EXERCISES Self-limiting exercises help us to engage with our bodies and feel more connected to movement. Such exercises by their very nature use an 'adjust or fail' mechanism - if you don't perform them right, your body will tell you quickly, usually in the form of fatigue or discomfort. Training in this way allows for a quicker acquisition of skill. Much of the equipment you see in traditional gyms are designed to be idiot-proof and as a result, deprive the senses of essential feedback about movement. It's like having training wheels on a bike. EARLY DEVELOPMENT We all experienced self-limiting movement at an early age. When we first learned to crawl, we had no training wheels. Through a process of trial and error, we learned the right way, very quickly. We may have fallen flat on our faces a few times, but this gave immediate feedback about how to quickly adjust our balance and posture - we didn’t make the same mistake again! And this is the essence of self-limiting exercise - it demands mindfulness, awareness, balance, control of posture and above all, engagement with the body and environment. Through self-limiting movement, your anatomy will model itself around natural stresses, rather than unnecessary stresses. 5 SELF-LIMITING EXERCISES Here are 5 common self-limiting exercises you can try in EVO. Don’t be fooled by their apparent simplicity - they will challenge you. Be prepared to not get it right first time; but also notice how quickly you learn to adjust and improve. Focus your efforts on awareness and mastering the skill, using lower reps or shorter duration. 1.    Barefoot running Possibly the clearest example of self-limiting movement. Take your shoes off and jump onto the Woodway treadmill. Increase the speed to a comfortable running speed. The first thing you'll notice is that you no longer heel strike - you will quickly adopt a more efficient forefoot strike. In order to maintain this, your cadence will naturally increase, as you take shorter strides. All of this positions your foot contact underneath your pelvis (centre of balance) and creates a more upright posture. Take time to notice these changes. 2.    Farmer's walk Grab two kettle bells (12kg for women and 16kg for men). Walk up and down the sprint track. This exercise quickly adjusts your posture drawing on thoracic and hip extension, and reflexive core activation - failure to do either of these will pull you off balance. That’s if your grip doesn't go first! 3.    Single leg deadlift Grab a pair of 8kg dumbbells, stand on one leg and perform deadlifts. Very quickly, you'll become aware of the entire extensor chain muscles - from sole of foot to calves to hamstrings to glutes to spinal erectors. All of these will need to work together and with control to complete the movement in balance. 4.    Jump rope skipping Another classic example of self-limiting movement, requiring good alignment, coordination and balance. Doing the exercise in bare feet will give you a quick (and uncomfortable) reminder when it goes wrong - by way of a rope flick on the feet! 5.    Bottom kettle bell press Start with an 8-10kg kettle bell, and swing it up to a bottom up position (upside down with bell on top). This in itself will require you to align the body, arm and shoulder in order to balance the bell. When you’ve mastered this, try to press the kettle bell overhead. Initially you will increase your grip, causing forearm fatigue. Soon enough, you will learn how to optimally configure you’re alignment under the kettle bell. SUMMARY Self-limiting exercise should become the cornerstone of your training program, and when used correctly, will improve poor function and enhance movement quality.

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26th September 2017

Review: Feelmax Osma 5

OUR SCORE PROS CONS Design 4/5 Features/Functionality 5/5 Performance 4/5 Value 5/5 Overall 4.5/5 Ultra-thin sole Wide toe box Zero drop Quick lace system Breathable Slight toe-spring Ultra-thin sole takes time to get used to     WHAT IS THE FEELMAX OSMA 5? The Osma 5 barefoot athletic shoe is the latest update in the Osma range. Founded in 1993, Feelmax claim to have the thinnest outsole of any footwear product available in the world. Depending on the model, the thickness ranges from 1.0-2.5 mm. The 1mm outsole is specially produced by the well-known and respected German tire manufacturer, Continental®. DESIGN Compared to the previous model, the new design has made way for a larger breathable mesh, which makes the shoe more lightweight. Many barefoot shoes look like barefoot shoes – this is not an issue for purists, but could be a purchasing barrier for many. With the Osma 5 – it looks remarkably like a traditional training shoe. In this sense, the design has been well-executed and the minimal aesthetics will have wide appeal. FEATURES/FUNCTIONALITY The Osma 5 has the new NatuRun Minimo™ 2.5mm outsole and features a quick lace system (still functioning to date). You never get the feeling that the shoe is becoming loose – especially when you’re exercising or running hard. The ultra-thin sole is not the first thing to hit you (as with many barefoot shoes) – this is probably because the upper is well-padded, with soft-edging around the ankle. There is also adequate cushioning around the back of the heel. All in all, this takes away from the fact that you are extremely close to the ground. Functionally, the Osma 5 ticks all the right barefoot shoe attributes – flexible sole, wide toe box (though not the widest I’ve seen) and ultra-thin sole. There was a slight toe-spring out of the box, but this has flattened over time. PERFORMANCE I’ve tested the shoes across 3 different activities -  general day to day working, at the gym, and running. So far, the Osma 5 makes daily activities very comfortable (standing, walking) with very little foot fatigue. I have mostly worn them without socks and there’s no smell (yet) or any blisters. If you’re on your feet a lot, this is a super-comfortable shoe. During gym workouts, the shoe performs well, and feels great during higher intensity workouts. Plyometric activity feels comfortable with no slipping, and traction is good on the gym floor. During 5K runs on-road and on grass, the shoes feel comfortable with good traction and ground feel. Ive not tested them on longer runs or off-road. VALUE The shoe is currently priced at €99.89 which is competitive against the likes of Vivobarefoot and Merrell. SHOULD I BUY THE FEELMAX OSMA 5? If you’re an advocate of barefoot shoes, then you will easily find a place for the Osma 5 in your daily life. I’ve always preferred Vivobarefoot Stealth/Primus for almost every activity; and more recently, have a fondness for the Merrell Vapor Glove for running. But with the Feelmax Osma 5, I have now found a great all-round shoe that feels at home during all movement – from walking and running to high intensity exercise. At EVO, we support barefoot movement, but if you don’t want to go completely barefoot, then the Osma 5 is an excellent alternative. Don’t forget to go one size up from your usual shoe size. VERDICT: The Feelmax Osma 5 is a lightweight, flexible shoe that feels comfortable during any activity. OVERALL SCORE: 4.5/5 LINK: https://feelmax.fi/en/

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25th September 2017

Tutorial: Lats Foam Roll

WHAT The lats foam roll is a functional flexibility exercise. Using the grid foam roller in a side-lying position, it targets the latissimus dorsi – the largest back muscle – helping to improve extensibility of this important postural muscle.It should be a staple warm up or cool down exercise for everybody, especially those who sit down a lot during work. HOW Lie on your side and place the foam roller horizontally, at the point where the back meets the shoulder. Straighten the arm and turn the thumb up (external shoulder rotation). Stabilize the body with the other hand and bend the front leg. Engage the core and begin rolling slowly down the side of the back, towards the hip. As soon as you feel the roller hit the ribs, slowly roll back up Repeat slowly for 30-60sec, then switch sides. Training tip – if you find any tender points in the muscle, hang out for a few seconds, breathing slowly through the nose. To increase your flexibility, immediately follow this exercise with a 30s static lat stretch WHY The latissimus dorsi internally rotates, adducts and extends the shoulder. When shortened posturally, it can contribute to rounded shoulders. If this is left unchecked, it can lead to rotator cuff dysfunction, and back/neck pain. In addition, it can also inhibit full range of motion in overhead movements (presses, handstands, etc) – resulting in unnecessary loads through the low back and shoulders. Modern day lifestyles put the lats into an almost permanent state of shortness, as we work at computer, tap into mobile phones and sit for prolonged periods of time. We rarely take the arms overhead, and spend little time strengthening this range of motion. Regular performing of the lats foam roll exercise can help to alleviate some of these lifestyle demands and should be considered a vital corrective exercise for everyone. While the lats foam roll is a great exercise for improving muscle extensibility and range of motion at the shoulder, it’s also important to improve strength in this range. To achieve this, add pull up exercises, handstands and long lever planks to your workouts to develop strength and control in the overhead position – this will help maintain your range of motion. Foam rolling of any kind is not only a great substitute for traditional static stretching – it also improves circulation to your muscles as part of a warm up or cool down. View other tutorials: Supported hip extension Kinesis step up Kinesis overhead press Suspended lunge Deep squat with long post Dumbbell deadlift Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press

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21st September 2017

5 Tips To Improve Your Cycling Fitness & Skills

With this in mind, here are our top 5 tips for cycling that will help you make the most of your time at EVO. 5 tips for cycling 1. Pay attention to the set up There are 4 things to set up to optimize posture and performance, and minimize risk of injury: saddle height saddle fore/aft handlebar height handlebar fore/aft First set the saddle to be level with top of pelvis (approximately). Sit on the bike and check that as you pedal, your leg remains slightly bent at the bottom of the down stroke. If the leg is straight at the bottom, then lower the seat slightly. Next place the pedals in a 3/9 o'clock position - your knee should be positioned above the middle of the pedal. Adjust the fore/aft position of the saddle as necessary. Now check the space between the front of the saddle and the handlebar - it should be the length of your elbow to fingers. Finally, ensure that the handlebar height is sufficient to give a 90 degree bend at the hips, when the hands are on the bars. 2. Power = Performance Many indoor cycles will now measure how hard you're working, shown in Watts. Watts are a unit of measurement used in cycling training to measure your power output during riding. Anytime you increase your speed, acceleration or force, your power output will increase, giving you effective feedback on how hard you are working. While cadence can vary during a ride, power is an overall number that focuses on intensity and duration. If you're looking to improve stamina and endurance, this is the metric for you. 3. Technique is everything Just like any other movement, there is a technique to pedalling. In simple terms, pedalling is made up of two parts: the down stroke and up stroke. For balanced performance, the quadriceps muscles dominate on the down stroke, while the hamstrings 'pull' the leg on the up stroke. For many, this technique has never been taught, and so they end up overusing the quads and under-using the hamstrings - leading to imbalances and increased risk of injury. At EVO, you can use the WattBike to accurately measure your pedalling technique and optimize your performance. 4. Find the rhythm Cadence can be defined as the rate at which you turn the pedals on a bike. Focusing on increasing your overall cadence will improve your speed and reduce your race time. For distance conditioning, keeping a steady minimum cadence of 90rpm will improve your pacing ability, allowing you to maintain consistent speeds throughout your cycling training. 5. Get out of the saddle Although indoor cycling is on a level track, you can simulate hill climbs, by coming out of the saddle. This will help to improve leg strength and endurance. Think about adding short bursts of speed out of the saddle (increased cadence and resistance) to your cycling training as well as longer bouts of standing (same cadence and resistance).

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20th September 2017

Are you as fit as a 4-yr old?

EVO is all about re-connecting with natural movement. We intentionally designed a training space with different zones and appropriate equipment that encourages you to move naturally. But what is natural movement? WHAT IS NATURAL MOVEMENT? In order to understand natural movement, we need to apply a suitable filter. As humans, we moved naturally when we were young - a time when movement was pure and unadulterated. As small children, we were skillful, purposeful and playful movers. This is how we view natural movement at EVO, and why we developed a unique training system that helps to build natural movement. REBUILDING MOVEMENT When we say 'build' natural movement, we are actually talking about 'rebuilding'. Every healthy human possessed good movement skills by the age of 4 yrs old. But as we grew up in a modern culture, we gradually lost many of these essential physical skills. Unsuitable  footwear, prolonged sitting and poor movement patterns are some of the key factors that have caused this decline in physical function. KEY SKILLS By the age of 4 yrs, healthy humans have achieved a number of motor skill milestones - think of these as landmark movement skills. Many of these skills serve as essential building blocks for more complex movements. At this point, we have learned how to stand upright, walk, jump and run, bend forwards and touch our toes, move on all fours, twist our bodies with ease, roll, invert our bodies, hop on one leg, balance on one leg, and squat to the floor. Many experts believe that these building block skills are more than just milestone markers - they are skills that continue to shape physical development in adult life, and as such, should be mastered and practiced on a regular basis. RECLAIMING MOVEMENT With this in mind, we've developed a simple movement assessment to test whether you're as fit as a 4-yr old! We've taken some of the key skills that young children can perform and created a movement checklist with a simple scoring system. MOVEMENTS Complete each movement as described, and score 1 point for each.  Maximum score 10 points. 1.    Can you sit crossed legged, comfortably and with a tall spine for 1 minute? 2.    Can you sit back on your heels in a kneeling position? 3.    Can you maintain an upright kneeling position (2 knees) for 2 minutes, without fatigue or losing balance? 4.    Can you push your your big toes into the floor when standing? 5.    Can you balance on 1 leg for 1 minute without losing balance? 6.    Can you hold a deep squat position comfortably for 1 minute? 7.    Can you jump up and land with balance? 8.    Can you bear walk with straight legs? 9.    Can you forward roll and stand up with good balance? 10.    Can you hang from a bar for 20 seconds? SCORING 8-10    Fit as a 4-yr old 5-7      Fit as a 40-yr old <4        Fit as an 80-yr old Don’t be shy - feel free to share your scores and photos on Facebook and Instagram!

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18th September 2017

Tutorial: Supported Hip Extension

WHAT The supported hip extension on the trapeze bar is a versatile exercise that can be used as part of a warm up or within a main workout. This exercise builds strength, flexibility and balance, and is ideal for those who need extra support before progression to the bodyweight only version. The movement focuses on hip and back extension, with shoulder flexion. In this version, the trapeze bar provides some support, which will challenge balance whilst promoting alignment. HOW Stand upright and hold the trapeze bar with arms straight. Engage the core and transfer weight to one leg. Keeping the support leg straight, hinge at the hips as you reach forwards with the bar. Aim to keep the torso in line with the raised leg. Aim to reach a horizontal position, and hold for a few seconds, before slowly returning. Alternate between legs and repeat for time or reps. As you extend the hip, imagine pushing one leg into the floor and reaching the other leg backwards. Think of the movement as a see-saw – where the upper body is counter-balancing the lower body. Training tip – squeeze the shoulder blades and glutes slightly during the movement – this will increase back stability and balance. WHY During the supported hip extension exercise, the entire posterior chain (calves, hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulder) are under tension. The hamstrings (and glutes) of the support leg are being lengthened under tension – creating length and strength, with good postural alignment. This is similar in nature to the tension felt when bending and lifting. The ability to extend the hips is an essential skill in daily function and sport. From bending and lifting to running and jumping, it not only moves the hips forward and upwards, it provides a stable base for the spine and shoulder girdle. When hip extension is performed on one leg, there is an increase in torsion through the hip joint and spine, which requires a stabilizing counter-rotation. If this force is not stabilized, it will result in loss of alignment and balance – therefore making this exercise self-correcting. Because the trapeze bar is unstable (but fixed) small self-corrections can take place without falling over. The supported hip extension is a building block for the unsupported version, also known as the Warrior III position in yoga. If Warrior III is too challenging, then the Airplane Pose in yoga (hands to the side) may offer a suitable alternative. When performed mindfully and in a controlled manner, this movement is a powerful alternative to traditional stretching, as it will build strength and flexibility, alongside good postural alignment. View other tutorials: Kinesis step up Kinesis overhead press Suspended lunge Deep squat with long post Dumbbell deadlift Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press

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15th September 2017

7 Top Gadgets, Gear and Accessories for Cycling

Top 7 : cycling gear, gadgets and accessories 1. For on-the-go hydration: Camelbak Crux 1.5L Reservoir Perfect for long-distance riders, these leak-proof water containers can be popped into your backpack for easy hydration. There’s a handy on/off lever to seal the drinking tube shut with one hand, and a bite valve that seals itself after each drink. With this handy cycling gear you can focus on your cycling without any distractions or drips. 2. For smart signalling: Lumos Helmet As far as cycling gear and gizmos go, this next-generation bike helmet is an all-rounder.  It’s the world’s first smart helmet and has won a score of awards for its clever design and functionality. Lights, indicators and hard brake signals are all powered by the Bluetooth-powered remote control on your handlebar. Staying safe on the road has never looked so stylish. 3. For advanced fitness tracking: Polar M460 GPS Bike Computer Stay on top of your metrics even when you’re off the beaten track. Thanks to its integrated GPS and barometer you can track your speed, distance, altitude and gradient. Slap on the heart rate sensor for accurate performance reviews and link up to popular cycle-tracking app Strava for real-time data and social sharing. 4. For weatherproof style: Le Col Unisex Gilet Cycling often calls for attire that’s both wind and rain resistant. This breathable gilet is an ideal spring/summer staple, with a mesh panel at the back for added breathability. If you’re embarking on a mountain biking mission, the light fabric rolls up into a neat little package. Roadside, its reflective tabs make sure you’re visible in low light. 5. For tunes on two wheels: Scosche BoomBottle H20 Headphones while cycling is dangerous, but music isn’t. Shaped like a water bottle, it fits snugly into your bike’s bottle cage and wirelessly streams music during your ride. If you’re heading off-road, the BoomBottle’s waterproof and dustproof features means no amount of splashing or mud will damage it. Time to get that power-pedal playlist sorted. 6. For protected palms: Mavic short fingers glove Minimal, lightweight and hardwearing, there’s a reason Mavic are a popular brand for cyclists. These stylish mitts are designed to offer comfort without weighing wrists down, with an ergonomic cut for maximum flexibility. They also come with Hot Ride UV protection, so you don’t mistake your hands for lobsters after a day riding in the sun. 7. For heavy duty security: Kryptonite New York Lock They might be at the pricier end of the anti-theft protection budget, but these locks are a bike thief’s worst nightmare. No bolt cutters can work their way through its super-tough steel shackle and its double deadbolt gives double the security. Another handy feature are the three stainless steel keys: one is equipped with an LED light - ideal for nighttime cycling. This is the perfect addition to your cycling gear.   Image sources and Credits: Image Credit Camelbak Crux 1.5L Reservoir (EVO_imgs_text_01.jpg): https://www.camelbak.com/en/packs/reservoirs/R04009--Crux_15L_Reservoir?color=eba5e1389e7c43e2804e7505cf6941ec Image Credit Lumos Helmet (EVO_imgs_text_02.jpg): https://lumoshelmet.co/ Image Credit  Polar M460 GPS Bike Computer (EVO_imgs_text_03.jpg): https://www.polar.com/uk-en/products/pro/M460-gps-bike-computer#features Image Credit Le Col Unisex Gilet (EVO_imgs_text_04.jpg): https://lecol.cc/collections/gilets/products/le-col-cycling-gilet?variant=41865431635 Image Credit Scosche BoomBottle H20 (EVO_imgs_text_05.jpg): http://www.scosche.com/boombottleh2o Image Credit Mavic short fingers glove (EVO_imgs_text_06.jpg): https://shop.mavic.com/en-us/ksyrium-pro-glove-d7285.html#1028=3286 Image Credit Kryptonite New York Lock (EVO_imgs_text_07.jpg): https://www.kryptonitelock.com/content/kryt-us/en/products/product-information/current-key/0009521.html

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14th September 2017

Video: 7-Minute Pilates Workout for Strength

From flexibility to function, the benefits of pilates are countless. It gets right to your core, sculpting and shaping to help you stand taller, boost your balance, tone your muscles and prevent pain in both the short term and the long run. This kind of strength training increases your bone density, muscle tone and metabolic rate. The more you do it, the more you progress over time. With that in mind, we’ve created a pilate routine for busy people. Practice these moves every day to amp up your muscles and make day-to-day tasks a lot easier. WORKOUT SET UP No equipment is necessary for this workout. Simply grab a stopwatch and go. 7 PILATES EXERCISES Practice each of the following moves for 60 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. 1. HEAD STAND If you need to prep for this move, come into the ‘dolphin’. On all fours, place your forearms on the mat and interlock your palms. Tuck your toes under to lift your lower body and come into a forearm downward dog. Repeat x 8. 2. EXTENDED SIDEWAYS ANGLE POSE A yoga and pilates classic, this move opens up the side of the body and strengthens the legs. Hold for 30 seconds to the left, then another 30 seconds to the right. 3. PLANK Perfect your plank by breathing deeply. Whatever you do, don’t watch that stopwatch. Turn it over so you know when you’re done and focus on something else. 4. CHAIR POSE This move strengthens the your lower body and gives your upper back a glorious stretch. Place your hands on your need to make this pose more challenging. 5. DOWNWARD FACING DOG Stretch out your shoulders, hamstrings, calves, spine and hands with this energizing move. Make sure you’re fully engaging your core and drawing up through your quads, slightly bending the knees. 6. BOAT POSE Create a more challenging move by crossing one foot over the other. Squeeze your shoulders together to lift your chest higher for a rejuvenating release. 7. INVERTED PLANK Want to up the ante? Add in some leg kicks to fire up an inverted plank. Watch other workout videos: Video: Surf Warm-Up Video: 30-Minute Barefoot Beach Running Workout Video: 12-Minute Beach Workout

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13th September 2017

5 Top Tips for Barefoot Movement

Introduction There's something inherently nice about taking your shoes off and moving around in bare feet. We can move our toes, our posture changes, we move differently - almost with a sense of purpose and play. For most of us, the first 4 years of life were predominantly defined by barefoot movement. We used our hands and feet to explore our environment - a process that literally shaped our movement as older children and adults. When we started school, we started wearing shoes for longer periods of time. The result was a steady decline in our ability to fully sense our environment from the ground up. At the same time, we over-protected our feet with cushioned and/or rigid shoes, further depriving the senses and significantly affecting our ability to move skillfully. To provide more context, there is a growing body of research that suggests that many exercise-related injuries and indeed many other health conditions can be attributed to long term use of inappropriate footwear. This evidence strongly suggests that modern footwear has weakened our feet, and we need to strengthen them (again). Going barefoot There's no doubt that going barefoot is one of the best, and natural ways to strengthen the feet. However, there is a caveat: the vast majority of people will need to transition slowly if they want to enjoy a lifetime of healthy feet. The ugly truth is that if your feet have been imprisoned in padded or inappropriate footwear for many years - it will take time and effort to re-train them for comfortable barefoot movement. EVO environment When we designed EVO, we had natural movement in mind. Our policy clearly states you can train in bare feet. We even created distinct training zones and selected essential equipment that supports barefoot movement. However, we also understand that like any other part of your body, your feet must be physically conditioned and nourished for long term health. With this in mind, here are our top 5 tips for going barefoot in EVO. 5 tips for barefoot movement 1.    Walk before you can run If it's your first time training barefoot, you may feel a little conscious, and exposed! This is OK - don't forget, in EVO, it'll feel natural. Start by taking your shoes off at the end of your session when you cool down/stretch. As you feel confident, try walking on the treadmill barefoot. All EVO clubs have a Woodway Treadmill just for this purpose. It's a slatted treadmill that provides comfort and traction for barefoot movement. 2.    Get assessed All our clubs have integrated pressure plate technology, which can asses your current foot/ankle health. The results of this give us a clear picture of how functional your feet are, and where to improve strength and mobility. All our personal trainers are qualified to assess your feet using pressure plate analysis. 3.    Move your feet Our unique training system incorporates a foot/ankle mobility and strength training program. We call it Toe-ga, or yoga for the toes! A series of toe and ankle exercises will quickly build long-lost strength, mobility and elasticity back into your feet. To learn more, download the EVOmove Workouts App, and select 'Toe-Ga Warm Up' from the workout menu. 4.    Try different movements As your feet get used to being bare, start exploring different movements. Try a few jumps, crawl down the sprint track, use TRX, lift weights, throw a slam ball against the wall. Notice how being barefoot affects your ability to move. Notice how it changes your posture. When you have optimal feedback from the ground, you will enjoy optimal movement. 5.    Respect your feet Don’t forget to give your feet time to recover. Early in your barefoot journey, you will need adequate rest time. It's normal for the feet to become sore, like any other muscle. If you still want to train, you can wear a padded shoe in between barefoot training sessions. As your feet become stronger, you will enjoy longer periods of barefoot training without discomfort. If you are interested in learning how barefoot movement can improve your movement and reduce risk of injury, please speak to an EVO Personal Trainer - feeling is believing!

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11th September 2017

Tutorial: Kinesis Step Up

WHAT The Kinesis step up is a functional whole body strength and balance exercise. This exercise uses the Kinesis Step, and targets the legs, lower back, and the last/upper back. The Kinesis step up is a great exercise for those who want to add variety to their leg training; and also for those wishing to increase leg strength and stability using a single leg movement. HOW Stand on the platform holding the handles by your side. Engage the core and step up onto the high platform with the right leg. Maintain the right knee over the right toes at all times. Keep the handles tight by your side, using the abdominal and low back muscles to stabilize the movement. Step down with the right leg, and stabilize your body, ready for the left leg. Switch legs and alternate for reps or time. Training tip – for an added core challenge, just hold one handle. This will engage the opposite side of the torso to a a greater degree, so be sure to switch sides. As a variation (without weight) try stepping up laterally (sideways), switching legs after each set. WHY Any stepping movement (e.g. climbing stairs) not only requires strength in the stepping leg, it also requires control of the torso - to counter balance falling to the opposite side. When stepping with the right leg, the left side of the torso must effectively engage to create balance and efficacy. Adding an unstable load via the cables, further increases the demands through the core musculature. In the same way as a lunge, the step is a unilateral exercise, that can be very useful in highlighting left to right imbalances in movement. Because of the increased balance requirements, the Kinesis step up can also be a great alternative to lifting heavier weights, allowing you to focus on control and balance. Modern day lifestyles often remove the need  for stepping (use of elevators or escalators). Therefore, this movement has become weak for many people. Alongside the lunge, the step is an important strength and balance exercise that should become part of a regular fitness program. View other tutorials: Kinesis overhead press Suspended lunge Deep squat with long post Dumbbell deadlift Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks

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6th September 2017

3 Tips How to Get Back to Your Training Routine

But habits take a while to stick. In fact, a study published by a health psychology research team at University College London found that it took more than two months for a new habit to become automatic - 66 days in total. So when we fall out of our exercise loop, it can take a while to get back to the training routine. Fortunately, we’ve got some habit-developing strategies to gather momentum with your workouts again. Give these a go and start surprising people as your body slowly but surely changes shape. 3 TIPS HOW TO GET BACK TO YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE 1. Focus on one goal at a time Kicking off an exercise schedule doesn't have to be complicated - building habits is not an all-or-nothing process. Don’t sign up to five workout classes a week. Don't tell your buddy you’ll meet him or her every morning at 6am for a three mile run and don't promise yourself you’ll cook every meal from scratch. Changing multiple habits at the same time is impossible to maintain. Your mind will be all over the place and you’ll exhaust your willpower. Instead, set the bar low with one small change - like exercising for 30 minutes every day - and stick to it. It’ll soon become routine. 2. Create a habit loop To break a negative cycle and get back into a healthy routine, you must first understand what’s causing it all in the first place. There are the three basic habit components laid out by Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit. He calls it ‘the habit loop’: Routine. This is the behaviour you repeat day-to-day - it can be mental, physical or emotional. Duhigg’s example: eating a cookie from the cafeteria at 3pm everyday. Reward. The satisfying result you get as a result of your routine. Duhigg asked himself what he got from this cookie. Was it the sugar rush? Socialising? Change of scenery? Cue. Whatever it is that triggers your brain to go into habit mode in the first place. In the cookie scenario - was it hunger? Boredom? Low blood sugar? In Duhigg’s case, he discovered what he really needed was a bit of interaction to break up the work day - not the cookie. Instead of going to the cafeteria, he’d chat with colleagues whenever his cue (boredom) kicked in and lost weight as a result. Find out what negative routines you’ve made into habits and replace them with positive ones. In Duhigg’s words: “Once you diagnose the cue, the routine and reward - you gain power over it”. 3. Find the right motivator What works for one person might not work for you. If that blast of sparkling, feel-good endorphins aren’t enough to get you back to the training routine, try technology. Fitness apps provide a visual record of your victories, giving you an instant reward that you may not see in the mirror straight away. The motivating features of apps such as Runkeeper are designed to help you stick to a training routine - it’ll even send the reminders to get out and run so you don’t break the chain. The data-driven side of workout gizmos are great, but these apps also have another behaviour-forming trick - social competitiveness. When you share a workout, your friends can see it and give you a supportive well done, even if it’s just in the form of a ‘like’. That reward Duhigg was talking about? There are few more powerful than that.

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5th September 2017

Video: 11 Surf Warm-Up Exercises

11 EXERCISES FOR YOUR SURF WARM-UP Perform each of these energizing surf warm-up moves for 30 seconds. 1.    SHOULDER MOBILITY Inflexible shoulders get in the way of some major surf moves - this active stretch opens them up, as well as your back and neck to avoid injury. 2.    ARMS / ABS / CHEST STRETCH Inhale deeply, stretching your arms out above your head and then hold. Exhale, then shake to loosen. 3.    GLUTES / LOWER BACK STRETCH Pull one knee into your torso and hold, then repeat on the other side. 4.    LEGS STRETCH Stand on one foot and touch your buttocks with the other, holding it with one hand. Repeat on the other side. 5.    LATERAL STRETCHING Open up your side body by reaching your arms overhead to the left and then to the right. 6.    WAIST ROTATION Stand with your hands on your hips, feet hip-width apart. Rotate your pelvis in circles to boost flexibility in the mid-section. 7.    KNEE ANKLES ROTATION Fire up your flexibility with this move, rotating both knees to the left and then to the right. Do the same with your ankles. 8.    SHOULDER ROTATION - switch direction Warm up the upper body with some slow shoulder rotations, switching directions as you go. 9.    CHEST STRETCH Stretch your arms out behind you and entwine your palms to fully open up the chest, ready for a tantalizing surf. 10.    LEGS AND GLUTES STRETCHING Wide lunges will get your thighs, calves and glutes ready to tackle the waves. 11.    ABDUCTOR STRETCH Bend your knees with a straight back into a deep squat, legs shoulder-width apart. If you want to take this even further, you can jump in and out of your crouching position. Watch other workout videos: Video: 30-Minute Barefoot Beach Running Workout Video: 12-Minute Beach Workout

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4th September 2017

Workout of the Month: High Intensity Circuit "10-Minute Mayhem"

"10-MINUTE MAYHEM" WORKOUT DESCRIPTION EVO training is about simplicity. If you're finding traditional training a little boring, over-complicated and unmotivating, you'll love this simple High Intensity Circuit. No frills, no spills - just low tech, high effect! You will need a kettle bell (8kg for women and 12kg for men), and a chin up bar (or TRX If you require something easier). Organize your space so you have easy access to this equipment, without having to travel too far. This high intensity circuit workout is done against the clock - set the timer for 10 minutes. This means that you should move as quickly as possible through the exercise sequence. There are only three exercises, and the objective is to complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. Try to improve your performance each time you come to EVO. Finally, don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of this workout - the reps are increasing as you move through the rounds, and so will your heart rate. For motivation, partner up with a buddy and compete against each other. Remember, EVO training is about skill, so focus on good movement technique, whilst moving as fast as possible. HIGH INTENSITY CIRCUIT EXERCISES 3 exercises As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes Equipment: kettle bell, chin up bar or TRX, bodyweight 1. BURPEE 5 reps From standing, drop quickly into a push up position. Perform a push up, then rapidly jump to standing, and repeat for reps. 2. PULL UP or TRX ROW 10 reps Hang from a chin up bar. Squeeze the shoulder blades and engage the core as you pull the chin to the bar. Return and repeat for reps. If using TRX, position the key at about 45 degrees under the TRX. Squeeze shoulder blades and engage the core as you pull the handles towards the chest. 3. KETTLE BELL SWING 15 reps Grab the KB with both hands. Engage the core and set the shoulders. Hinge at the hips and begin swinging the KB through the legs, maintaining a strong torso. Repeat for reps. Try also other workouts: Cardio Workout Movement Balance Workout Core Bag Workout Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout  

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1st September 2017

Goodbye Fee. Hello Autumn.

  HOW IT WORKS? I am an EVO member 1)   Log in to MyEVO. 2)   View your referral code. 3)   Share it with your friends. 4)   Get a free month for every friend who joins EVO! More friends who join with your code = More months for you to train for free I am a friend of an EVO member 1)   Get the referral code from your friend. 2)   Go to signup.evofitness.de. 3)   Choose a club. 4)   Enter your friend's code and don't pay the joining fee of 49 €. 5)   Fill in your contact details. 6)   Pay with your credit card. 7)   Come and train at EVO!   “Refer a friend” offer valid from the 01.09.2017 until the 31.10.2017 for EVO members.** **Due to the high interest and requests from our customers, we will prolong the Refer a Friend campaign until the 30th November 2017.**

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30th August 2017

7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Have A Personal Trainer

In this article, we’ve put together 7 important reasons why you should have a Personal Trainer. 1.    Eyes on the prize – when we train alone, we are often distracted physically and emotionally. We get caught up in things that shouldn’t matter during training. A personal trainer will keep you focused with an objective eye. 2.    Perfect your technique – as we say at EVO, technique is everything. Without it, you increase your risk of injury. Personal trainers will have expert knowledge in movement techniques that will improve your workout and sports performance. 3.    Better than a mirror – mirrors can be great for checking technique, but a personal trainer will not only check your form, they will improve it while you work. 4.    Push your limits – everyone thinks they train hard on their own. But when your personal trainer says, ‘one more rep’ or ‘hold it for 10 secs longer’, you do it. And you will become better for it. 5.    Accountability – having a personal trainer is like having a contract. Bailing out on your own training session is easy – cancelling a scheduled PT session is much harder to justify! 6.    Overcome plateaus – a personal trainer will provide intelligent, systematic and progressive training combined with proper recovery to ensure that you keep adapting, without plateauing. 7.    Knowledge = Empowerment – personal training is more than just training. It’s also an education. The more time you spend with a trainer the more you will learn about your body, and begin to take responsibility for your own health and well-being. At EVO, we are proud to have the best Personal Trainers in the industry. All our trainers are required to complete foundation training at EVO Academy, in addition to their own self-study. Our trainers are not only experienced coaches - they are also intelligent, hard-working and curious about health and fitness. This is why we have chosen them to be ambassadors for the EVO brand. If you are interested in booking Personal Training, why not speak to a trainer in your club, or contact one via the website or EVOmove Workouts app.

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28th August 2017

Tutorial: Kinesis Station Overhead Press

WHAT The Kinesis Station Overhead Press is a seated push pattern that builds strength and mobility in the upper body. It targets the shoulders, arms and upper back. The exercise uses cable training, which increases muscle activation through the core. HOW Grab the handles in a comfortable position by the shoulders; start with some tension in the cables. Keep the back straight and engage the core; push the feet down slightly to connect with the ground (and increase stability). Push the handles up and straighten the arms until you reach an overhead position. Don’t completely lock out – you should feel as though the shoulder and upper back muscles are activated, rather than feeling the joints overloaded. Return under control, and repeat for reps or time. Tip: when the elbows reach horizontal, shrug the shoulders upwards – this will allow the shoulder blades to effectively rotate, reducing unnecessary stress through the smaller rotator cuff muscles. WHY Modern day lifestyles have reduced the need for overhead strength, resulting in significant losses in shoulder strength and mobility. The Kinesis Station overhead press allows us to reclaim this strength. This exercise challenges joint stability and mobility via the unstable nature of cable training. If range of motion in the overhead press is limited/restricted, try rolling out the lats before performing the overhead press. This will reduce unnecessary stress on the low back and allow your shoulder joint to work more efficiently. The Kinesis overhead press is a great alternative to fixed resistance shoulder press machines, offering greater control of movement – this is particularly beneficial as part of shoulder rehabilitation, where specific ranges of motion may be restricted or even painful. In these cases, the adaptive nature of cable motion can still allow for training around a restriction. The Kinesis Station overhead press is ideal for those who want to build a foundation of strength for advanced presses, such as free weights and body weight – both of which require greater levels of stability, balance and control. View other tutorials: Suspended lunge Deep squat with long post Dumbbell deadlift Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks

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26th August 2017

Video: 30-Minute Barefoot Beach Running Workout

When you’re close to the shore, the surface of the beach tilts - resulting in your body’s mechanics going out of rhythm. This means that during your barefoot beach running workout your hips will be nonparallel and the distance it will take to touch the floor with each leg will differ. When going barefoot, it’s important to warm up properly to avoid injury during your training. Running on flat, wet sand helps to reduce the risk of tendon strains or pulling ligaments, but the best way to prep for a seaside run is to spend time stretching out. Don’t just go straight in for the shoeless cardio - warm up actively with pre-barefoot running exercises. Head to the beach and start your barefoot beach running workout! BAREFOOT BEACH RUNNING WORKOUT 1.    ANKLE ROTATION Entwine your fingers and toes, then repeat to the right and the left with both feet for 30 seconds. 2.    SKIPPING Get your feet in the sand and skip, knees up high, for two minutes. 3.    BACK KICK RUNNING Kick your palms with your heels for two minutes to stretch out those upper leg muscles. 4.    MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS Create a groove in the sand with your feet and prep the glutes, thighs and calves by performing this core-activating move for 30 seconds. 5.    PLANK SIDE JUMP Prep your legs, core and ankles by exploding into this plank variation for 30 seconds. 6.    BAREFOOT RUNNING Time to pound the shores for an exhilarating 20 mins. Suck up the salty air and go for it!   Nothing beats diving into the ocean after a barefoot beach run. Not only will the chill of the waves rejuvenate the body, it’ll soothe your hard-worked muscles so you can dry off feeling refreshed and 110% alive. Try also other workouts: Video: Beach Workout Movement Balance Workout Core Bag Workout Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout

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23rd August 2017

Own The Urban Jungle: 4 Top City Running Apps

If you’re on a weekend break, running can be a speedy way to explore the mazes of any metropolis and stick to your fitness regime at the same time. Cities are also those wonderful places that play host to a number of exciting races, so if you’re aiming to compete in a marathon or triathlon - there’s no place like the streets to train. With a blur of taxi cabs, traffic lights and pedestrians to navigate round, city running comes with its own set of challenges. But there are ways to get around them. Stop-and-go obstacles such as crossroads and roundabouts can be taken advantage of by doing squats and lunges while you wait. Cars, bicycles and other traffic can be made safer to navigate by leaving the headphones at home - it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when crossing busy intersections. For everything else - there are running apps. We’ve come a long way from stopwatches and pedometers. Now, there’s all kinds of tech to help you reap the rewards of jogging the urban jungle and make city runs that little bit easier. Here are our favourite city running apps: 4 Top City Running Apps 1. RunGo Get to know fresh corners of your home city or fully immerse yourself in a metropolis you’ve never been. RunGo gives you on-the-go directions, through both audio cues and visual navigation in real time. It’s a travel lovers best friend; the first ‘virtual running partner’ that uses GPS to tell you which way to turn, with options to explore new terrain whenever you wish. Forget map-memorising and hit the streets in confidence. 2. Salomon Bringing the beauty of trail running to urban destinations, Salomon connects runners of all levels with routes that break up routines and help you to discover new locations in your city. There’s safety in numbers, so you can enjoy the sense of community urban running. This running app is perfect to sign up for ‘community runs’ - simply pick your city of choice and pound new grounds with like-minded locals. 3. RunKeeper It’s simply got to be on the list. RunKeeper is a free mini motivator that combines GPS and community for the perfect running all-rounder. Set goals, track workouts in real time, follow personalised routines, join challenges and see your progress with this popular app. A whopping 50 million runners have it downloaded, so add your friends and share achievements with them. You can even compare workouts and see how your urban runs stack up against each other - let the competition commence. 4. Glympse Sometimes, no one knows which alleys and avenues you’re sprinting through - and in urban environments, you never know what or who you’ll run into. Whether you’re an early bird on empty streets or prefer a late-night, long-distance affair, Glympse keeps runners safe through its location-sharing features. Simply pick a friend or family member, set up the duration of your city run and hit send - your recipient doesn’t need the app to receive your notification and can easily track your run.   Image sources and Credits: Image Credit RunGo (EVO_imgs_text_01.jpg): https://www.rungoapp.com/ Image Credit Salomon (EVO_imgs_text_02.jpg): http://running.salomon.com/en/community-runs/ Image Credit RunKeeper (EVO_imgs_text_03.jpg): https://runkeeper.com/ Image Credit Glympse (EVO_imgs_text_04.jpg): http://www.glympse.com/

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21st August 2017

Tutorial: Suspended Lunge

WHAT The suspended lunge is a progression of the regular lunge. This variation targets the entire leg, including calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. In this exercise, the rear leg is suspended on a trapeze bar which places further demands on strength, balance and control. HOW Take a step forward and place the rear foot on the bar (either the top of the foot, or ball of foot). Keep the back straight and engage the core. Lunge with the front leg, under control – as you do so, bend at the hips, not the spine; use the arms to balance, if needed. Repeat for reps or time, then switch legs. As a tip, think about engaging the entire leg, from the big toe up to the low back – this will connect you with the ground and improve balance. As the movement becomes easier, try adding weight (via dumbbells, kettlebells) or simply increase the reps to build endurance; as an additional core challenge, hold a weight in one hand only. WHY Lunging or stepping is a fundamental human movement pattern that allows us to move effectively from the ground to standing. From a childhood development perspective, it was an important movement milestone for upright movement. As a functional movement, it’s an alternative to squatting or bending that should be mastered – this can be especially useful when back stability is weak or compromised, or when squatting or bending cannot be performed. The suspended leg increases the balance demand, which consequently increases leg muscle activation to a higher degree. This means less weight yet high levels of adaptation. The suspended lunge exercise is great for sports conditioning, particularly those involving single leg positions; it can also be used as a progressive rehabilitation exercise to rebuild balance, stability and control, following injury. Perfect for those looking to develop functional leg strength without using free weights – making it ideal for use within high intensity circuits. View other tutorials: Deep squat with long post Dumbbell deadlift Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step

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19th August 2017

Video: 12-Minute Beach Workout

BEACH WORKOUT SET UP The beach and your own body are all you need to perform this sizzling beach workout. No equipment necessary. 7 EXERCISES 1.    ONE-LEG BURPEE x 10 Less jumping, more hopping. Balance on one leg, then squat down and place your hands under shoulders. Immediately jump back to plank, keeping one leg off the ground for the entire move. 2.    ALTERNATE LUNGES WITH JUMP x 20 An explosive way to lunge. Switch legs during the jump, mid-air, so that you land with opposite feet each time. Keep your core engaged throughout. 3.    SIDE LUNGE x 10 Lunge your way to stronger legs. Keep your toes pointed, stay low and raise your chin and chest. Ensure your knee does not go past your toes as you lunge. 4.    SHOULDER BRIDGE x 20 Pilates-inspired movement that works on the abs and hamstrings. Keep your back neutral and your legs hip-distant apart as you lift your hips. 5.    WIDE LEG PLANK x 20 Back strength and balance are just two of the benefits of this plank. Open your legs as widely as you can for an effective variation of this core move. 6.    PLANK SIDE JUMPS x 20 Activate just about every muscle in the body by jumping to one side with both feet, and back again. Keep your landing soft to avoid injury. 7.    MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS WITH TOUCH x 20 Bring your elbows to your knees and engage your core throughout for an ab-crunching finish. Once you’ve sweated it out with this speedy routine, simply dive in the frothy waters for an invigorating post-workout cleanse. Check out some of our other workouts: Core Bag Workout Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout

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18th August 2017

The Best Climbing Gear & Equipment

Once you’ve caught the climbing bug, nothing compares. It’s the most natural way of moving, using muscles you probably didn’t know you even had. But every decision counts when you’re battling the boulder, whether it’s a natural cliff face or a training wall, so it’s important to have best kit for the climb. From hybrid-shell helmets to panic-proof belaying devices, we’ve rounded up our favourite climbing gear and equipment: The 6 best climbing gear & equipment 1. La Sportiva Mythos eco climbing shoe Conquer those overhangs with these crazy comfortable climbers. Whether you’re mastering a mountain or are just getting to grips with the gym wall, these eco-friendly climbing shoes rise to the challenge. Solid heel support, adjustable fit and super-grippy outsoles, La Sportiva Mythos eco climbing shoes can really wrap around a rock for accurate smedging and smearing. 2. Petzl Corax harness Have a crack at any wall with confidence by strapping up with this versatile climbing gear. Whatever your style or body shape, the Petzl Corax harness has easy-adjust leg loops, buckles and waistbelt to keep you in control. Breathe easy with its soft-mesh body sling, designed to keep pressure points comfortable for long, all-day climbs. 3. Wild Country Revo The Wild Country Revo climbing gear is popular for a reason. It’s the first bi-directional assisted locking belay device, touted for being the ‘holy grail’ of secure belaying. It opens like a dream, with virtually zero locking while pulling out slack. No short-roping, no need for a specific locking karabiner, and a completely panic-proof locking system. Don’t worry about which way the rope’s going, either, the nifty device’s dual direction feature has that sorted. 4. Black Diamond Vector helmet Lightweight doesn’t mean light protection. The Vector helmet by Black Diamond will give you full-head coverage without the heaviness, so you can stay agile on long routes and alpine climbs. It’s well ventilated so your sweaty climber’s head can breathe in tougher climates, giving ‘barely there’ comfort. In-mold headlamp clips make sure the helmet fits securely to your head, with a hardy EPS foam and polycarbonate shell. The fact it comes in a range of colours is delightful bonus. 5. Metolius Belay glove Be a better belayer with Metolius belay gloves. These safe, ergonomically designed rope warriors withstand the most rigorous use - giving you maximum hand protection and optimum control over your rappelling and coiling. No burn, no slip-ups. A handy feature is the glove’s integrated loops - ideal for clipping your gloves to your harness when they’re not in use. 6. Moon Deluxe bouldering chalk bucket Typical cinch closures have a habit of leaking, but not the Moon Deluxe chalk bucket. The brand have launched a new closure system, with an added external fixed cord-lock. No fussy access when clawing for chalk, just a smooth dip covering two hands for those troublesome redpoints. It keeps things tidy with zip and mesh pockets, with a padded base for stability and two easy grab handles.   Image sources and Credits: Image Credit La Sportiva Mythos eco climbing shoe (EVO_imgs_text_01.jpg): https://www.bergzeit.store/la-sportiva-mythos-eco-climbing-shoe-taupe-48/ Image Credit Petzl Corax harness (EVO_imgs_text_02.jpg): https://www.petzl.com/US/EN/Sport/Harnesses/CORAX Image Credit Wild Country Revo (EVO_imgs_text_03.jpg): http://www.wildcountry.com/revo/ Image Credit Black Diamond Vector helmet (EVO_imgs_text_04.jpg): https://eu.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_GB/climbing-helmets/vector-BD620213ULBLM_L1.html Image Credit Metolius Belay glove (EVO_imgs_text_05.jpg): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Metolius-Climbing-Gloves-Medium-Natural/dp/B000NYK558 Image Credit Moon Deluxe bouldering chalk bucket  (EVO_imgs_text_06.jpg): http://moonclimbing.com/deluxe-bouldering-chalk-bucket.html/?SID=oukiqtjs9d2haqsv86rfea1nt1

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17th August 2017

Workout Of The Month: "Devil’s Advocate" Cardio Workout

DESCRIPTION If you find long duration cardio training a little boring, then you’re in for a treat! This Devil´s Advocate workout will still give you a cardio workout fix, but with combined bodyweight movements. In true EVO style, this cardio workout is simple, or as we say – lo-tech, hi-effect. For maximum impact, it takes place in the cardio area. You will need a treadmill, bike and rower. In between each cardio exercise, you will need a small amount of space to perform bodyweight exercises. As a suggestion (and where possible) use the treadmill and bike at the end of the row – this will minimise transition between exercises. This cardio workout is done for time. This means that you should move as quickly as possible through the exercise sequence. Start your timer at the beginning, then stop after 5 rounds to get your time. Try to improve you time each time you come to EVO. Compete against your friends and other members, and don’t forget to post your scores on social media. The one thing you cannot change in this workout is the cardio exercises – this is a set time (1 min). The real strategy is in how much rest you take at the end of each round – this is entirely your decision. The clock will keep running, so don’t take too much. Too little rest may result in early fatigue! Finally, don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of this workout – each preceding exercise is designed to challenge the next one. And did we mention that blood flow is being moved quickly from upper to lower body, so your heart rate will rise very quickly! For motivation, partner up with a buddy and compete against each other. Remember, EVO training is about skill, so focus on good movement technique, whilst moving as fast as possible. CARDIO WORKOUT EXERCISES 6 exercises 5 rounds for time Equipment: treadmill, bike, rower 1. DEEP SQUAT 6 reps Bend down dropping the butt as close to the floor as comfortable. Keep core tight and drive hips up. As a progression, raise arms overhead. 2. TREADMILL RUN 1 min > 8kph 3. PUSH UP 6 reps Keep body in straight line and lower to the floor. Keep core and glutes tight, shoulders over wrists, and push up. Make the exercise easier by resting on your knees. 4. CYCLE (standing) 1 min Moderate resistance 5. BURPEES 6 reps Quickly drop to the floor, keeping core tight. Rapidly push hands into floor, and drive hips up back to standing position. Make the exercise easier by removing the push up and just jumping back to standing. 6. ROW 1 min Moderate resistance Try also other workouts: Movement Balance Workout Core Bag Workout Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout

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16th August 2017

Move Well. Move Often.

Introduction Training and working out should be simple, convenient and reliable, right? That’s the way we see it at EVO – training that makes sense. However, in the modern industrialized and digital age, fast culture has become a problem. We want quick results, quick solutions, quick fixes. In the fitness industry, this often translates into exercising more, for longer, or at higher intensities. Fast culture There’s no question that as a nation, we need to move more often than we do. Moving for 1hr 3-4 times a week (your workouts) is proving simply to not be enough, when the other 23 hours of the day are largely sedentary. This has become the driver for moving more. But we don’t have time to move often (remember fast culture?) – so we engage in higher intensity training. It's not surprising that high intensity training is so popular. Clever marketing has raided it to cult status - if you're not doing high intensity training nowadays, you are not really working out. It is closely tied to weight loss and rapid fitness gains, and while this may be true, there is a cost - namely, most people are not physically prepared to sustain this type of training. EVOmove This is why we developed EVOmove. It's a system that first focuses on movement Competency. This is achieved via the EVO7 – squatting, stepping, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and locomotion. Master these first with skill and purpose. Then you can focus on Capacity - building strength, speed, power, endurance, flexibility, agility, balance and coordination. Move well, then move often. Unfortunately, most of us do it the wrong way around. We focus on capacity, with little regard for competency. We may look good, but we feel terrible. Sustainable fitness EVOmove is an elegant and sustainable solution. Our workouts focus on movement and performance, but never sacrifice movement competence for capacity. If you want to do box jumps at high intensity, you need to have optimal deep squat mechanics – this tells us your ankles, knees, hips and spine have the required mobility to reduce your risk of injury. The EVOmove training system also promotes bodyweight training, cable training and free weights – all of which further enhance joint health through reflex stabilisation. When your joints can stabilise quickly and automatically during any movement, you will enjoy freedom of movement and increased resilience to higher training volumes and higher intensities. Move well. Move often EVOmove

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14th August 2017

Tutorial: Deep Squat With Long Post

WHAT The deep squat with long post is a variation of the squat pattern that improves strength, endurance, balance, and mobility. It can be considered as a whole-body movement, with a focus on hip and back extension. This is a bodyweight-only movement that moves from a two-point to a three-point position on the floor. Ideal for inclusion within a warm-up or cool-down, or as an active rest exercise during a main workout. HOW Begin in a comfortable deep squat position. Reach behind with one hand, placing it on the floor behind you (fingers pointing back). Push the hand into the ground (with the arm straight) and simultaneously push the hips upwards as you reach the opposite arm overhead and towards the other hand. The torso will bend backwards and twist towards the planted hand. Hold for a few seconds as you feel the hip extension and torso stretch. Return and switch sides; repeat for time or reps. As a training tip, focus on driving the hips to create the reach; if your spinal motion is restricted/stiff, simply reach straight up rather than backwards. WHY The deep squat is a fundamental human movement pattern and an important developmental milestone. As an exercise, the squat builds whole-body functional flexibility, mobility and balance. The deep squat with long post variation builds on this by moving between whole body flexion and extension. This makes it ideal as part of shorter warm-up when time is limited. From a movement flow perspective, the deep squat with long post exercise can be used as a transitional movement, for example, going from a deep squat to long post to crab position to an under-switch to crawling. Playful sequences like this can bring a much-needed break to conventional training programs, whilst still meeting fitness objectives. Where space or equipment is limited, use this exercise alongside other bodyweight movements to create novel workouts that build strength and flexibility at the same time. For example, perform a deep squat (1 rep) followed by a burpee (1 rep) followed by a deep squat long post (1 rep each side) – then repeat this sequence for time or reps. View other tutorials: Dumbbell deadlift Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step

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9th August 2017

Wattbike is Best?

What is the Wattbike? The Wattbike is an indoor cycle created with British Cycling to provide indoor bike training and testing that is suitable for fitness enthusiasts to Olympic Gold Medallists. If you’re looking to improve your performance, the Wattbike is the ultimate training tool. Indoor training While indoor training can be controversial, there are many benefits, including: less distraction easy monitoring of performance not dependent on weather convenient The bike provides all the data you need on its in-built screen, or via the Wattbike-Hub-App (through Bluetooth connectivity). What information does the Wattbike give? Although Wattbikes can display over 30 performance parameters, here are some of the popular ones: WATTS – this is a measurement of power (how hard you’re working over time). This is literally a measurement of your ability to move your body (and bike) over a distance. CADENCE – sometimes referred to as RPM (revolutions per minute), this is essentially your rhythm. Finding an ideal cadence will improve efficiency. DISTANCE – for all those looking to rack up the miles! PEDALLING TECHNIQUE – this is a measurement unique to the Wattbike. Data is collected (via sensors) 100 times per second to display a real-time graph of pedaling technique. Optimal technique includes left/right leg balance, as well as quad-hamstring balance. MAXIMUM MINUTE POWER – assessed via a short test on the Wattbike, this measurement is sued to calculate your personalized training zones. AVERAGE POWER – a great metric to benchmark fitness and track performance changes. Benefits of Wattbike training Here are some of the benefits of Wattbike training that make it so different to traditional indoor and studio bikes: road-like feel fully adjustable accurate power measurements pedal stroke analysis fitness testing capability Wattbike app displays live data on your phone and saves training sessions If you are interested in learning how the Wattbike can improve your fitness, please speak to an EVOPersonal Trainer, or simply jump onto one of the Wattbikes and have a play - feeling is believing!

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7th August 2017

Tutorial: Dumbbell Deadlift

WHAT The dumbbell deadlift is a highly functional variation of the traditional barbell deadlift. This strength exercise allows for more flexibility in body position, making it ideal for those who are new to lifting, or for those with limited flexibility. The bend movement pattern targets the hamstrings, glutes, quads and lower back. HOW Begin in standing, holding a dumbbell in each hand. As the video shows, the dumbbells can be positioned in front of the body; however, if this puts too much stress on your low back, hold the dumbbells by your side. Engage the core and begin the movement by bending the knees slightly and hinging the hips. Then continue the bending by pushing the hips backwards, lowering the dumbbells as far as comfortable. At the bottom of the movement, actively engage the glutes, push the feet into the floor and drive the hips upwards and forwards to return to the start position . Repeat for time or reps. As a training tip, keep the shoulder blades slightly retracted during the movement – this will increase back stability. For further core and balance challenges, use a single dumbbell – this will increase activation of the core muscles – just fight the urge to twist the torso. WHY The deadlift is the loaded progression of a simple bend pattern. Developmentally and functionally, it’s primary purpose is for lifting objects from the floor. The exercise has massive implications for performance and rehabilitation. If you are interested in Olympic lifting, then deadlifting is a staple movement. However, before you start using a barbell, you can work on the technique using dumbbells. From a rehabilitation perspective, the deadlift is beneficial to the hip/back and shoulder. The dumbbell deadlift is extremely useful as part of high intensity circuits or small group trainings, due to the low space requirement. In addition, the dumbbell deadlift can be performed with very heavy weights to build higher levels of strength. If you are new to free weights, start with some basic dumbbell training, and be sure to include the dumbbell deadlift as a foundational movement in your workouts. View other tutorials: Core bag squat KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step

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4th August 2017

Top 5 Exercises To Improve Power And Reaction For Volleyball

Introduction Beach volleyball is a team sport where two teams of two players play against each other – in bare feet - on a sand court. Volleyball requires a good level of fitness to play. If you play recreationally or would like to start, there are several skills you can master to improve your game. Mastery of movement skills If you have never watched volleyball, it requires mastery of many of the body’s natural movements. Players need to be able to react at speed and explosively from the ground. The squatting, lunging, pushing, bending, rotation and locomotion (on an unstable surface) involved, all require skill to perform without getting injured during play. These can be learned following the EVO7 training philosophy. In addition, other positive outcomes of practicing these skills as part of your training will see improved co-ordination, balance, speed, strength, agility and power. Power=Performance Power production is important for volleyball. Why? Because power (a combination of speed and strength) is required for quick changes in direction, varieties of jumping and pushing actions. Three types of power are a pre-requisite for volleyball. 1.    Take off power to project the body vertically to either serve, block or pass 2.    Reactive power to generate force to jump immediately after landing, and to change direction quickly whilst in play 3.    Power endurance to maintain a high output of power over a long period of time, as the repetition of some movements (serving, passing and jumping) will be performed hundreds of times in one game Top 5 power exercises for volleyball Here are our top 5 exercises that will ensure improved performance not just in playing volleyball, but in many other areas of everyday life. You can also view these exercises and many more in the Exercise Library section of the EVO app. 1. SQUAT JUMP Start the movement by bending at the hips and dropping into a half squat position, taking the arms backwards. Rapidly drive the arms forwards and upwards as you explosively jump up. Land under control with knees bent enough to absorb the force. Repeat for time or reps. 2. MED BALL PUSH SLAM Facing the wall, engage the core as you explosively slam the med ball at chest height to the wall. For greater explosiveness, perform a half squat and jump out as you slam the med ball. Repeat for time or reps. 3. SIDE LUNGE Breathe in as you lunge to the left/right, moving your hips back and dropping into a squat position. Hold position and balance before breathing out and explosively returning to the start. Keep back straight, head in line with spine and core engaged. Repeat for time or reps, switch sides. 4. MED BALL TWIST AND REACH Hold medicine ball at chest height. Breathe out, rotate hip left/right and pivot on the opposite foot as you rotate and drive the ball diagonally overhead. Breathe in returning to the start position. Keep core and glutes engaged. Repeat for time or reps, switch sides. 5. SUSPENDED LUNGE WITH HOP Start in a lunge position with arms out straight, and back foot resting on the trapeze bar. Maintaining balance and good alignment, take the arms back and drive them forwards, hopping on the front foot. Return under control, and repeat for time or reps, switch sides. Adrian Deverell Personal Trainer, EVO Berggasse

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3rd August 2017

What Is EVOmove?

Fitness by design Human beings are built for movement. Just look closely at our anatomy and physiology. We have: naturally strong feet and ankles that give us capacity for bearing weight; forward facing toes and long legs that support upright locomotion; mobile hip and shoulder joints on an upright posture, which give us the capacity and flexibility to fully explore our environment. These explorations draw on the simple skills of squatting, stepping, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and of course, locomotion. And these movements can also be combined and sequenced in various ways to create other natural, yet purposeful movement patterns. Move. Perform. Play To move well we first must learn how. In early childhood, gravity and ground reaction forces were our guides to creating the most appropriate postures for any given task - from sitting and standing, through to crawling and walking. These lessons in posture helped to build bodyweight attitude from an early age. As adults, many of us have lost the ability to adopt the best posture for any given task, much of which is the result of modern living. Today’s technology has significantly reduced the need for us to physically demand much of our bodies – instead of walking, we drive instead of using the stairs, we take the lift or escalator instead of playing outside, we play video games indoors. Technology has also led to the development of over-complicated exercise equipment, which has subsequently led to the creation of over-complicated training methods. Therefore, re-educating and further developing our movement as adults would seem the most natural and efficient way of restoring health, function and vitality, while at the same time providing a much-needed buffer to the stresses of modern living. And why should it stop there? Can we not take these fundamental movement skills and manipulate them further into challenging yet purposeful and playful workouts that not only build fitness but transfer to everyday activities too? Move. Perform. Play This is why we developed EVOmove – a unique training system designed to restore the foundations of movement and develop functional performance. EVOmove initially focuses on Move. Are you able to squat, lunge, bend, push, pull, twist and walk/run with skill? We call these movements the EVO 7. When you can Move with skill, next comes Perform. This is where you can progressively develop fitness across the EVO 7 – strength, endurance, power, speed, agility, coordination, balance and flexibility. Without good movement, your performance will also be limited – this is the key to injury-free health. Finally comes Play. Every species on the planet engages in regular play... except for adult humans. Where possible, make your training playful. This may involve trying new movements, playing games, rehearsing a specific skill, or simply forgetting sets and reps for a while. Just imagine you’re a 4-year old child, exploring your environment with curiosity and imagination. This is EVOmove. Welcome to the (r)evolution. For more information about EVOmove, download the EVOmove Workouts App, or speak to an EVO Personal Trainer.

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31st July 2017

Tutorial: Core Bag Squat

WHAT The core bag squat exercise uses the squat pattern with the core bag in a front-loaded position. HOW Grab the handles of a core bag and clean it to a front squat position. Keep the core engaged as you squat to a deep position. Return and repeat. WHY The front loaded position is probably the most functional position in which to load the body. If you find it challenging to hold a barbell in a front squat position, or simply wish to diversify your training, then the core bag squat exercise allows you to work on your leg strength without compromising on weight or wrist mobility. View other tutorials: KB 2-hand swing V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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27th July 2017

Strong Is The New Skinny

Introduction In the last 5 years, there has been an explosion in the popularity of functional strength training. Movements like CrossFit have promoted the use of Olympic lifting; gymnastics has made bodyweight training accessible to all; and high intensity training has meant that heavier weights are no longer needed to build functional strength and cardiovascular health. It wasn’t that long ago when fitness objectives were all about being skinny and ripped – now, strong is the new skinny, and you get to be functional and look good! The popularity of functional strength training should really come as no surprise. Strength training has always scored high in global fitness trends, and in the last 6 years alone, bodyweight training has consistently held a top 3 position in the ACSM Global Fitness Survey. Strong tradition Strength training has traditionally involved Olympic lifting, kettlebells and medicine balls. While these remain as staple equipment, there are other useful products such as sandbags, slam balls, cable machines and suspension trainers. The advent of high intensity training has also made strength training more accessible and varied than ever before. Alongside added resistance, bodyweight training has a colorful history as a tried and tested strength training tool. From Venice beach in the 1960’s to modern day street workouts; from gymnastics to Parkour; and from Cirque du Soleil to modern calisthenics – training with bodyweight is a powerful strength-building tool. Empowerment With strength comes empowerment. Feeling strong makes you feel good about yourself and your body. Increases in strength almost always mean better function in everyday life – from lifting your kids to carrying the shopping. This increase in work capacity and resilience brings with it numerous benefits for confidence, self-esteem and well-being. For this reason, strength training is growing at a rapid rate amongst female exercisers – at least half of CrossFit athletes, for example, are female. The EVO way EVO is about training that makes sense. It’s about doing more with less, and we feel that including strength training in your workouts is essential for optimal health and function. This is why we have invested time and effort in creating a comfortable and playful environment with a variety of strength training equipment, including barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, med balls, sandbags, suspension trainers, cable machines, climbing walls, and functional frames. Whether you choose to lift weight, or shift bodyweight, keep it varied and interesting through different equipment and purposeful programming. And for added motivation, why not let us take you through a workout using the EVO app. All app workouts focus on functional strength for every fitness level, across a variety of equipment. Stay strong, stay EVO.

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26th July 2017

The 6 Best Gadgets & Gear For Outdoor Activities This Summer

At EVO, we use cutting edge technology to nurture natural human movement. But we’re also passionate about getting outside and interacting with our environment - where gym tech isn’t freely available. Instead, take tech with you on your warm weather escapades: we’ve made it simple with this round-up of with some of the best summer fitness gadgets and gear on the market. 6 best summer fitness gadgets and gear 1. For naturally painless climbing: Tenaya Oasi shoes Climb that massive corner with these award-winners: the Tenaya Oasi high-performance shoes. There’s virtually no angle or rock type these easy-to-wear climbers don’t grip to. The Spanish brand have nailed the pain-free comfortability factor, with a down-turn in the toebox for a natural, next-level climb. Find a distributor near you here. 2. For hands-free running: Tune Belt If strapping on a set of trail shoes and heading off-road is how you get your exercise, then you need an armband built for the elements. Smartphones come equipped with all the GPS gizmos and activity trackers we need for data-crunching fitness, but carrying your phone on a trail is downright awkward. Fitness gadgets like the Tune Belt keep all kinds of phones snugly protected while you’re jostling off the beaten track, cases included. 3. For everlasting riding adventures: GoPro Handlebar Mount Whether you’re a mountain biking junkie or embarking on the Tour De France, strapping a GoPro to your wheels is the perfect way to relive an exhilarating ride. Touted for its durability and versatility, the Pro Handlebar Mount is worth the investment, with the option to rotate the camera fully for 360-degree captures. It’s made to withstand elements, muck and more: take to the road, head for the hills and get dirty. 4. For lightweight hiking: Zpacks Arc Blast backpack Hiking has come a long way. Thanks to the clever use of fabrics and tech, backpacking for fitness is easier than ever. This Arc Blast backpack by Zpacks has serious hike-appeal, allowing breathability and comfort on long walks with a clever air gap. No sweaty back, or lumpy camping gear digging into your ribs? Amen to that. 5. For smart surfing: Nixon Ultratide Time the tide perfectly with the world’s first real-time surf conditions watch - the Ultratide by Nixon. This fitness gadget grabs data from Surfline, the most trusted global surf reporter that’s been keeping an eye on the oceans for three decades now. Pick the beach of your choice and await details of the tide, wave height, swell direction, wind direction and speed, water and surrounding temperatures - all via your mini wrist-wrapping genius. 6. For solar-powered sounds: Eton Rukus Solar Whether you’re whitewater rafting or simply having a backyard Jacuzzi party this summer, the  Eton Rukus Solar is a swanky wireless sound system that’s perfect for on-the-go antics. Blast music wherever there’s sunshine. Take it camping, climbing, wild swimming… you can even carry it up that thigh-killer of a mountain, thanks to its lightweight, easy-to-carry, award-winning design.   Image sources and Credits: Image Credit Tenaya Oasi shoes (EVO_imgs_text_01.jpg): https://tenaya.net/en/oasi Image Credit Tune Belt (EVO_imgs_text_02.jpg): https://www.tunebelt.com/ Image Credit GoPro Handlebar Mount (EVO_imgs_text_03.jpg): https://shop.gopro.com/EMEA/mounts/pro-handlebar-seatpost-pole-mount/AMHSM-001.html Image Credit Zpacks Arc Blast backpack (EVO_imgs_text_04.jpg): http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/arc_blast.shtml Image Credit Nixon Ultratide (EVO_imgs_text_05.jpg): http://www.nixon.com/uk/en/ultratide/A476.html Image Credit Eton Rukus Solar (EVO_imgs_text_06.jpg): https://etoncorp.com/en/productdisplay/rukus-solar-1

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24th July 2017

Tutorial: KB 2-Hand Swing

WHAT The KB 2-hand Swing is an explosive hip extension movement, that requires skillful hip hinging and upper body timing and control. HOW Hold the KB with 2 hands and hinge the hips to initiate a swing. Rapidly drive hip extension to swing the KB upwards. Control the down swing with a hip hinge swinging the KB between the legs. WHY KB 2-hand swing helps to build stability, endurance, and speed in a whole-body movement. When performed correctly, the lower body drives the KB upwards (under a stable core) with minimal swinging of the arms. View other tutorials: V-sit explosive Box jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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21st July 2017

EVOmove Workout App - The Club Is In Your Hands

At EVO we go straight towards our goals and we always keep our eyes on the ball. That is why we’ve developed EVOmove Workout App. Simple, straight forward, useful. Move the EVO way Download the EVO App to have immediate access to EVOmove Workouts. Designed to help you make the best use of your EVO circuit, to help you take the experience outdoors and challenge nature or to take the experience home in the days you can’t make to the Club. EVO App offer training that make sense. A compilation of smart workouts guided by a virtual Personal Trainer, finding balance between insight, motivation, needs and objectives. Keep in touch with your trainer via EVOmove Workout App You can set it to match exactly what you want, when you want it. Also, your EVO Personal Trainer is always connected. Direct and fast communication that will allow you to stick to your plan when you miss your PT sessions. Training tips in your pocket 24/7 With your EVOmove Workout App you’ll never miss out on Club events, top stories and tips from EVO Blog and our expert and exclusive training tips. Don’t miss a beat To help get into the rhythm of EVOlution you can set the tune and never miss a beat as you connect the EVO App to your favourite fitness tracker and music. It’s time grasp EVOlution and take control of the way training mixes with your life. It’s time to download the member exclusive EVOmove Workout App. DOWNLOAD NOW! The app is available exclusively for members. You have to register with the contact data you used to sign up for your EVO gym membership.

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19th July 2017

Mastering The Basics Of Skillful Movement

Introduction When learning a new or advanced movement skill, there are often two trains of thought: either we want to learn the skill ‘right now’; or we think we’ll never be able to do it. When we watch athletes and performance artists moving skillfully, we often forget the time, effort, and patience they’ve put into that skill. While it doesn’t look like it, they’ve all put time into learning ‘the basics’ – the fundamental building blocks of the skill. What’s more interesting is that the basic building blocks are universal to all skill. Movement building blocks The basics are more than beginner exercises – they’re the essential building blocks for higher level skills. From an early age, we had to master the simple movements of lifting our heads, rolling, sitting, crawling and standing, before we could progress to walking, jumping and running (high level skills). Skill is made up of three key building blocks: Strength – the ability to exert force Mobility – the ability to move without restriction Control – the ability to activate and coordinate movement Every movement or skill is made up of these building blocks, and no matter how challenging a movement is for you, it can be broken down in this way. The key is to find out your weakest block and focus on it. Breaking it down – an example Let’s use the handstand as an example – a common movement that many find challenging to fully master. Consider some of the basics: Wrist strength and mobility – often overlooked in handstand training, the wrists need to be mobile and strong enough to support the body Upper body strength – balancing on your hands requires a base level of strength in the shoulders, arms and upper back. Without this strength, your ability to get into position and hold it will always be limited Shoulder control – coordination at the shoulder joint and scapula will allow you to achieve a straight position. Weakness here often manifests in a ‘banana’ shaped handstand because the shoulder cannot fully flex. This also increases the demands of balance. Midline strength and control – keeping a tight midline (core) maintains balance and optimal alignment. Weakness in the core can also create a bent handstand as the back arches While the handstand is an advanced skill, the above breakdown can be applied to any level skill. Building it up Once you break down and understand the basic building blocks of any skill, you can begin to focus on where the deficits or weaknesses are. This is the key to mastery at any level. Building block movements should be practiced as part of a warm up for the main skill, and can even be practiced as a standalone training session away from the actual skill itself. Use the EVO app The EVO app is a great way to stay motivated with the basics. Don’t be fooled by the ‘Beginner Workouts’ – while the intensity level may be lower, they focus on the building blocks for the advanced workouts. The warm ups are also useful and specific containing many basic movements that will positively impact all movement. Whether you’re new to EVO or a seasoned pro, the basics are always important. Make them a regular part of your training to become efficient and injury-free.

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17th July 2017

Tutorial: V-Sit Explosive

WHAT The V-sit is an explosive core exercise that challenges the abdominals and quads. It requires optimal hamstring flexibility to perform skillfully. HOW Lie on your back with arms overhead. Engage the core, and rapidly bring the hands to the feet, keeping the arms and legs straight. Return under control and repeat. WHY As well as being an excellent whole body core exercise, this movement is also a gymnastic-specific drill that lays the foundation for the high levels of control required in numerous jumps and rolls. As a fitness exercise, the v-sit explosive works the abdominals through a larger range of motion compared to traditional exercises. View other tutorials: Box Jump MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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14th July 2017

5 Top European City Marathons

Race through Rome’s cobblestone roads, sprint to the sound of Mozart in the country he was born or soak up the cheers of friendly Parisian crowds. Whether you’re training for your first marathon or have caught the bug; running for charity or for body-betterment; these 5 European destinations simply must be conquered.   1. Athens Authentic Marathon The true original - every runner should do the Athens Authentic Marathon once in their lifetime. It’s where it all began, hailing from Greek mythology, when Pheidippides ran 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians. Follow in his footsteps, sweeping through gorgeous Grecian villages and finishing at the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 - the Panathenaic Stadium. 2. Schneider Electric Paris Marathon Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower… if running through Paris’s most breathtaking landmarks isn’t enough to spur you on, the lively music and encouraging cries of ‘allez, allez!’ surely will. Schneider Electric Paris Marathon is the third biggest race in Europe, kicking off at Avenue des Champs-Élysées and taking you along the River Seine before a victorious finish in view of the glorious Arc de Triomphe. 3. Rome Marathon Obtaining a race bib for Rome Marathon should be on every runner’s bucket list. The long-distance run winds past some of the city’s greatest sights - the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica to name a few. It’s quite literally the most breathtaking whistlestop tour you’ll ever get - one reviewer even went as far as saying Rome’s beauty made them forget their painful, aching limbs. And if that’s not enough to get you there, here are three words that might: pre-race pasta party. 4. Vienna City Marathon The Vienna City Marathon attracts more than 42,000 from 130 nations, blending Austria’s remarkable heritage and culture with high-impact athletics. A regular winner of the IAAF Road Race Gold Label, this is the ideal course for those who like to pick up the pace - some of the fastest runners in the world have won here. More than 10km of the course has melodies of Mozart or Vienna-born Strauss pumping out, and the thought of a traditional Viennese pancake post-race is sure to get you over that finish line. 5. BMW Berlin Marathon Not much can make a 26.2-mile race less punishing, but zipping through Berlin’s streets certainly helps. The BMW Berlin Marathon doesn’t do things by halves: it’s one of the biggest, flattest and fastest in the world. Your start and finish point is Brandenburg Gate, passing along iconic landmarks such Reichstag, the Berliner Dom and Potsdamer Platz in between. Runners from all over the globe come to Germany to try and break records - it’s smooth course has virtually no corners, unlike many around Europe. We’d expect nothing less of one of the coolest cities in Europe.   Image sources and Credits: Image Credit 1. Athens Authentic Marathon - © iStock images Image Credit 2. Schneider Electric Paris Marathon - © iStock images Image Credit 3. Rome Marathon Maratonaroma2006 circomassimo 5.jpg © Drono at Italian Wikipedia. Commons by Llewellyn77 usingCommonsHelper. CC BY-SA 2.5 Image Credit 4. Vienna City Marathon Vienna City Marathon 2015 - Reichsbrücke (3).JPG © Bwag/Wikimediaor © Bwag/Commons or © Bwag/CC-BY-SA-4.0 Image Credit 5. BMW Berlin Marathon © This image, which was originally posted to Flickr, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 20 September 2011, 21:05 by Globalwheels. CC BY-SA 2.0

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12th July 2017

What the foot?

Making sense of movement Our movement is dictated by our ability to sense our environment. When we experience poor feedback via our senses, we exhibit poor movement. Think back to the last time you had to get out of bed in the dark to go to the bathroom. You probably had to feel around with your hands and feet; your movement was slower, hesitant and slightly fearful. When your vision is not impaired, moving is easier. However, what’s interesting is that research shows that vision contributes only 10% of sensory input during movement. A further 20% comes from the vestibular system (part of the inner ear responsible for balance). However, 70% of sensory input comes from the lower leg – and it’s thought that most of this comes via the sole of the foot. Movement sensor Further evidence of the role the foot plays during movement comes from the following fact: the sole of the foot has 250,000 nerve endings. Nature evolved it to be a movement sensor. Up to the age of 4, this sensory apparatus allowed us to be highly competent movers. Then most of us began the lifelong journey of sedentary living and poor footwear, causing us to disconnect from our feet, movement and environment. Movement begins from the ground up - our feet are the only body parts in contact with the ground for most of the day. Yet how many of us look after our feet in the same way as the rest of the body? Feeding the soles of your feet At EVO, we believe that healthy feet = healthy movement. Therefore, every club has invested in the best technology and training to support healthy feet. Your training is important, and we want you to make the most out of every workout, and remain efficient and injury-free. We have installed plantar (pressure) plates in every club – a force platform that takes a ‘live footprint’ of your feet, giving us valuable information about posture, balance, strength and elasticity. With this information, we will teach you the skill of standing, squatting, walking and running – which we consider important foundations of human movement. Alongside this technology, all EVO Personal Trainers are approved to teach you Toe-ga – ‘yoga for the toes’ – a sequence of foot/ankle exercises designed to improve strength, mobility and elasticity. In addition, we fully support training in bare feet, where and when appropriate. And if you prefer to wear shoes, we can also provide expert guidance on choosing suitable barefoot shoes. Reawaken. Reconnect When reawakened and reconnected to the ground, the feet serve as a highly effective platform for force transfer in almost every movement. In a nutshell, this means lower economy of effort and lower risk of injury. Of course, this can take time, and it’s important to pay your feet the same attention as you would any other part of the body. The question is not whether barefoot is best, but whether it’s worth the time and effort in making your feet stronger?

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10th July 2017

Workout of the Month: Movement Balance

DESCRIPTION Natural human movement is not always symmetrical. Even when we are apparently still (sitting, standing) we often favor one side of the body, e.g. leaning on one leg, crossing legs in sitting etc. Repetition of one-sided movements can result in movement imbalances, which often leads to movement dysfunction and increased injury risk. With this in mind, it’s important to include asymmetrical movements in your weekly workouts. Such movements will raise your awareness of imbalances, and help you to improve movement balance. Remember, we are not seeking perfection; rather, we are focusing on restoring movement to a functional level with lower risk of injury. In this Movement Balance Workout, you will perform 6 exercises back to back as a timed interval. 3 rounds, 30s rest between rounds. The only equipment you need is a small hurdle or step. The workout is accumulative – which means that each successive exercise builds on the previous one, in terms of complexity. The exercises are also paired – asymmetrical followed by symmetrical. The workout targets multiple fitness skills across important movement patterns such as hip extension and crawling, with a particular focus on endurance and balance. The asymmetrical movements will challenge your core, which is further challenged during the symmetrical movement. As you master the movements with skill, don’t be afraid to add speed – this will significantly increase your heart rate for an added cardio burn and improve your movement balance. TRAINING TIPS Perform each exercise with good form and control Perform the first round at a slower tempo, to master the movements; then add speed as necessary Notice any asymmetry in the first exercise, then work to balance this in the second exercise Consider performing one round as a warm up for other workouts MOVEMENT BALANCE EXERCISES 6 exercises 45s per exercise 3 rounds 30s rest between rounds 15 minutes ONE LEG FLOOR BRIDGE Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat. Push one leg into the floor and extend the hips equally, as you straighten the opposite leg. Return and repeat on other leg. DEEP SQUAT Stand with feet hip-shoulder width apart. Bend ankle, knee and hip and lower the body to the floor as deep as comfortable. Drive the hips up and repeat. TORNADO Sit on the floor with knees bent, and torso leaning back to engage the core. Keeping the lower body still, rotate the torso left to right continuously. HURDLE JUMP Place a hurdle or step in front of you. Jump over the hurdle, focusing on tucking the knees towards the chest. Land with control, turn around and repeat. CRAWL At the beginning of the sprint track, assume an all-fours position with hands and feet on the floor. Begin crawling forwards. When you reach the end, either crawl backwards, or turn around and continue crawling forwards. BURPEE From standing, quickly drop into a push up position. Perform a push up and exxpode upwards back to standing. Make a small jump, land and repeat continuously. Try also other workouts: Core Bag Workout Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout

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6th July 2017

How To Improve Mobility For Swimming?

Introduction This summer many of us will be jetting off on holidays or heading to Austria’s beautiful lakes for a break. It’s very likely swimming will be involved. Whether you are swimming in a pool or outdoors, joint mobility plays an important role in decreasing stiffness, preventing injury, increasing range of motion and potentially improving stroke technique. Modern day living = reduced mobility Modern day living has allowed our bodies to adapt to the environment through use of computers, mobile devices and uncomfortable seating, to name a few. These activities have resulted in fixed spinal postures – standing vs. sitting, with very little movement, for prolonged periods. As a result, our ability to extend, bend and rotate the spine becomes limited and restricted. Some muscles elongate and potentially become weak, and opposing muscles become tight and potentially painful. The outcome is loss of mobility and stability during movement. Impact of reduced mobility on swimming performance With regards to swimming, many swimmers often have underdeveloped postural muscles due to a lot of time spent in the water without having to work with gravity. In such cases, immobility of the spine (especially thoracic extension and rotation), tightness of the latissimus dorsi, and tightness of the muscles surrounding the hip joint, are some of the movements we should be looking to improve. Mobility exercises Here are our top 5 exercises that will keep you mobile, flexible and injury-free for swimming. The focus is on freeing up the shoulders, spine and hips. HIP MOBILITY Using the trapeze bar, relax your shoulders as you breathe out and hinge forward from the hips. From this position, you can extend your spine by pushing your hips back. This will stretch the muscles of the mid-upper back and the lats. Repeat slowly for 10 reps SIDE REACH Using the trapeze bar, breathe out and relax as you move from the start position to your right, and breathe in as you return to the start. Repeat slowly for 5 reps and switch sides FOAM ROLL UPPER BACK Lying on the roller, breathe out and relax as you roll towards your feet. Breathe in when returning to the start. Place your hands behind your head to reduce potential neck strain. Roll slowly for a total of 40 secs DEEP SQUAT This movement targets mobility of the spine, hips and ankles. Where necessary, you can hold onto a sturdy object for balance as you squat. Repeat slowly for 10 reps DEEP SQUAT – HIP OUT This movement specifically targets mobility of the lateral hip with outward rotation. This can also be performed using the support of a fixed bar or a wall. Repeat slowly for 5 reps each side Adrian Deverell Personal Trainer, EVO Bergasse

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4th July 2017

EVO Playground: Just Press Play

What is play? Play is an important part of human physical development, throughout our entire lifespan. Within the modern fitness industry, play is almost always confused with fun, or enjoyment. While these are still important factors, in nature, play refers to the rehearsal of specific techniques for real life contexts. Cats and dogs will regulatory engage in 'play' fighting, as do small children. In fact, every species on the planet engages in playful activity. The only species that doesn't exhibit this naturally and voluntarily are adult humans. This is why we created the EVO playground - a space in every club that offers a sanctuary to explore, practice and refine movement skill. Playground-ology As young children, play is primarily driven by bodyweight movement, as we learned to stabilize, manipulate and coordinate our bodies through space. This holds true in the EVO playground - a bodyweight dominant training space. Traditionally, outdoor playgrounds appeal to us because they offer simple, achievable and empowering physical options, e.g. swinging, climbing, hanging upside down, jumping, hopping, and general monkeying around! Out of this came the concept of having a training rig or frame that allows us to reconnect with our inner child. Simple. Accessible. Engaging What's more interesting is that the design of the play space is key to long term engagement. Environments that are simple, accessible, spacious, colourful and non-intimidating result in not only higher engagement long term, but higher initial engagement. This is observed in playgrounds all over the world - where adults will often spontaneously engage with their children in climbing, hanging and swinging. At EVO frame design is a serious consideration, as we look for unique ways to capture the outdoor proprioceptively-enriched environment, and bring it to every club. The EVO way Remember, curiosity and imagination are key ingredients to playful movement. Next time you train, imagine you are 4 years old, and look for different ways you can use the frame. For a moment, forget sets, reps and times. Whether you just want to hang from the bars, swing across the  monkey bars, hang upside down on the trapeze bar, or play hopscotch on the floor markings - engage your body and mind in something new, something playful.

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3rd July 2017

Tutorial: Box Jump

WHAT The Box Jump is an explosive squat pattern that builds strength, power, balance and coordination. HOW Stand in front of a plyo box or step. Swing the arms back and rapidly drop into the squat. As soon as you hit the bottom of the squat, quickly swing the arms arm and extend the hips as you jump onto the box. Land into a squat with control. Step down and repeat. WHY Jumping is a fundamental human movement that can be progressed once a standing jump has been mastered. Use of a box challenges the movement by adding a horizontal and vertical component. To land safely while performing the box jump exercise, a good level of ankle mobility and hamstring flexibility is required. View other tutorials: MB squat to overhead press Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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26th June 2017

Tutorial: MB Squat Overhead Press

WHAT The MB Squat Overhead Press is a challenging whole body movement. Due to the sequential use of upper and lower body, it will also raise your heart rate very quickly. HOW Hold a large MB at chest height and perform a squat. As you return to standing, press the ball overhead, so that your legs and arms straighten simultaneously. When using a heavier MB, use the leg thrust to drive the MB upwards. WHY Any whole-body strength movement like this, that shunts blood from lower to upper body will produce a significant cardio effect. Therefore, the MB squat overhead press is one of many exercises that can be performed when time is limited, or as part of a high intensity interval circuit. The use of a large MB will also challenge your grip. View other tutorials: Kinesis row Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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19th June 2017

Tutorial: Kinesis Row

WHAT The Kinesis Row is a whole-body exercise, with focus on the back and core. This exercise improves pulling strength and will help to balance any pushing movements. HOW Stand facing the machine and grab the handles at chest level. Keeping arms horizontal. Pull the handles towards the chest, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Return and repeat. WHY The standing position of the kinesis row exercise challenges your core, balance and control. The independent are action provides better awareness of imbalances from left to right, allowing for greater balance of strength, and reduced risk of injury. View other tutorials: Kinesis deadlift Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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15th June 2017

Natural Movement: Training That Makes Sense

axiom / aksɪəm/ NOUN A statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted or self-evidently true.   EVO has 7 axioms, based on the laws of nature and science. This is the essence behind the hook, 'Training that makes sense' and 'Natural Movement'. Let's take a closer look. 1. MOVEMENT IS NOT AN INTERVENTION, IT'S NATURE'S WAY Adult humans are far removed from the natural movements we exhibited as children. Back then, we moved because we had to fulfill a specific functional task. No sets, no reps, no dose-response exercise. Just authentic, genuine natural movement. 2. NATURAL MOVEMENT IS SKILLFUL, PURPOSEFUL AND PLAYFUL Every species on the planet shares these natural movement behaviors... throughout their lifespan. Except adult humans. We wrongly assume that selective pressures of survival are redundant in the modern world. The reality is they manifest in different ways - low back pain, shoulder dysfunction, immobility, muscular stiffness and movement impairment. Nature makes no allowances for lack of skill. 3. MOVEMENT IS A CONTINUAL INTERACTION BETWEEN AN ORGANISM AND ITS ENVIRONMENT The human body is constantly interacting with its surroundings. Our senses, muscle and joint receptors, pressure receptors in the skin - are constantly feeding information back (and forward) to our nervous system so that it can continually adjust for (and anticipate) stability and mobility. Switch off the senses at your own risk. 4. PROPRIOCEPTION IS THE FOUNDATION OF MOVEMENT Sensory awareness, development and growth drives natural movement behavior. And the language of movement is 'feel'. Every EVO training space is a propioceptively-enriched environment where feeling is believing. 5. IF WE REMOVE OURSELVES FROM OUR NATURAL HABITAT, WE SUFFER FROM DISEASE AND DYSFUNCTION. ON RETURN, WE BEGIN TO HEAL Unnatural habitats do not just apply to squat racks, bench presses, adductor/abductor machines. They also include poor footwear, suboptimal recovery, artificial light, chronic stress, and poor eating practices. Optimal movement, metabolic and recovery health is our birthright. When we find counter-strategies, we begin to heal. 6. WE'RE ONLY AS FIT AS OUR ABILITY TO ADAPT TO OUR ENVIRONMENT Nature is not concerned with how fit you are. It's about whether you're fit enough. 7. SKILL + CONTEXT = FUNCTION There is a skill to everything. From moving, to eating, to having sex. But without a frame of reference or meaning, the skill becomes redundant. Real functional training improves function by providing appropriate context.

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12th June 2017

Tutorial: Kinesis Deadlift

WHAT The Kinesis Deadlift is a cable variation of the classic deadlift movement. It’s a quick, convenient movement that allows you to lift close to your sides, making the movement feel more comfortable. HOW Line your feet up with the handles. Hinge the hips, and pick up the handles. Keep the core engaged and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Lift to full hip extension, and slowly return. WHY As a natural movement, the deadlift trains the entire body. It is also a great substitute if you have limited flexibility in the hamstrings; with this in mind, it is an effective introduction to the Barbell Deadlift. The reflex stabilization in the shoulder also makes the kinesis deadlift a great exercise for shoulder health. View other tutorials: Calf foam roll Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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9th June 2017

Workout of the Month: Core Bag Workout

DESCRIPTION The Core Bag is one of the most highly versatile yet simple pieces of equipment in the gym. Its convenient, accessible to all levels (different weights) and challenges your stability in different ways to other free weights. The different grips give access to different carrying/holding options, and it’s worth taking the time to master these grips. If you want a highly functional alternative to dumbells and barbells, or simply wish to mix up your training, then this core bag workout is just for you! In this core bag workout, simplicity is the key. 1 core bag, 4 exercises, 5 rounds, 30s rest after each round. Instead of the usual timed circuit, this workout focuses on a rep circuit – this makes it more convenient, as you don’t need a timer. All you need is a 2m x 2m space, and plenty of motivation! This workout is perfect for beginners, and there is enough progression (see below training tips) to challenge the experienced exerciser. The workout primarily utilizes the squat-pull patterns and targets all fitness skills, with a particular focus on endurance, strength, speed and balance. As you master the movements with skill, don’t be afraid to add speed – this will significantly increase your heart rate for an added cardio burn. TRAINING TIPS Begin with a weight that allows you to perform 10 reps comfortably Focus on good movement technique, whilst moving as fast as possible Partner up with a buddy and compete against each other Add intensity by increasing the weight – but be sure to stick to the rep guidelines Challenge yourself by setting a target of 10 mins and seeing how many full rounds you can complete in that time CORE BAG WORKOUT EXERCISES 4 exercises 5 rounds 30s rest between rounds 15 minutes CORE BAG DEADLIFT AND ROW Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding the bag. Hinge the hips and lower the bag. At the bottom of the movement, row the bag towards the torso, return the bag, and deadlift to the start position. Perform 10 reps. CORE BAG SQUAT Stand with feet shoulder width apart and clean the bag to the front squat position. Maintain a stable core as you drop into a deep squat position, and return. Perform 10 reps. CORE BAG CLEAN Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding the bag. Hinge the hips and explosively pull the bag upwards towards the chest. Catch the bag in the front squat position. Perform 10 reps. JUMPING JACKS Jump the legs out to the side and raise the arms to shoulder height. Return and repeat continuously as fast as possible with control. Perform 50 reps. Other workouts: Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout

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8th June 2017

Where The Hell Is The Squat Rack?

Human movement development Squatting is a fundamental human movement pattern. When performed skillfully, it's also a great whole body exercise. By definition, squatting is the lowering of your body towards the ground. As a small child, this is how we learned to squat, not from the ground up. We stood up through stepping movements, then learned to get back down to the ground via squatting. And we are talking deep squatting. We learned to balance a huge, unstable weight (our head) and optimally align our joints and limbs to squat under balance. Returning to standing was easy, because we developed (through repetition) balance and motor control. It's also worth noting that the function of squatting was to get lower to the ground in order to sit, or lift an object. Once an object was lifted, we would carry it from A to B. Nowhere in our early other development did we have a need to carry a heavy load on our shoulders. Squat rack functionality The squat rack is like a set of training wheels on a bike - it takes away the need for your body to react and learn naturally. It removes the need to bend down and lift the weight. Combined with a sedentary lifestyle, the required range of motion to squat to the floor (in order to lift the weight) is reduced. Enter the squat rack - which now allows us to bypass the range of motion restriction, and load up our shoulders with unnecessarily heavy loads. In addition, fixed squat racks, like the Smith machine further remove the balance mechanisms in squatting, disconnecting us further from what's natural. While squat racks may allow us to lift heavier, it comes at a cost - poor movement, less reflexive (natural) stabilization and higher injury risk. EVO’s take on the squat rack The only people who are required to lift heavy enough loads to warrant a squat rack are elite strength and power athletes, and we won't find many of them in EVO. At EVO, we suggest mastering the deep squat (body weight only). Then add load - but only if it increases your function in daily life. If so, then choose a front squat position, as this is more functional to our natural carrying position. The progression to the front squat is simple - use developmental principles and learn to deadlift, then learn to skillfully clean the barbell. This brings the bar to the front squat position efficiently. Strategize your workouts on developing good movement patterns around body weight squatting, and skillful lifting/carrying, and you will not only develop superior movement skill, but also great looking legs.

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5th June 2017

Tutorial: Calf Foam Roll

WHAT The Calf Foam Roll is an excellent warm up and cool down movement that improves blood flow and tissue extensibility in the calf muscles. HOW Sit on the floor and rest your lower leg on the roller. Start rolling up the calf muscle towards the knee. When you feel a tight spot, pause for 5-10s and relax. Continue rolling for a total of 30-40s, and repeat on the other leg. WHY The calf muscles are used in many every day and gym-based movements, from standing, walking and running to crawling, hopping and jumping. As such, they are prone to excessive tightness, which can increase the risk of ankle and knee injuries. Regular use of the foam roller will keep these muscles healthy and well nourished. View other tutorials: Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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29th May 2017

Tutorial: Kettlebell Side Press

WHAT The Kettlebell Side Press is a whole-body exercise that is based on an overhead press movement from a bent position. This exercise is harder than it looks – requiring strength, coordination, balance and flexibility in the hips, core and shoulders. HOW Hold the KB at shoulder level, then drive the hip back as you push the KB up. Lock out the arm at the top and maintain a strong core. Lower under control and repeat for reps. The closer the KB remains above your mid-line, the more efficient the movement becomes. WHY This is a great self-correcting exercise that will enhance shoulder joint stability in overhead pressing. In addition, you will build functional wrist strength that will carry over to other equipment-based training, eg. dumbbells, barbells, as well as body weight training. View other tutorials: Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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26th May 2017

Is The Bench Press Really Necessary?

Do the bench press movements fit in our everyday life and sports? Let's start with the truth: the bench press isn't ideally suited to do the standing pushing movements seen in everyday life and sport. How many daily tasks and movements require pushing a heavy load away from the body? And how many of these activities involve heavy loads? Very few, most likely. The same goes for sport, where the push pattern manifests in throwing or striking - here, the focus is more on speed and precision, and less on absolute or maximal strength. That is not to say that strength development is irrelevant. The question is whether we need maximal pushing strength for everyday function and sport, and whether we need it in a supine position. Strength in a standing position is more contextual and transferable to activities of daily living. But… what about heavy contact sports? Still on the subject of sport, some may argue that those involved in heavy contact sports, e.g. Judo, BJJ, rugby etc. require high levels of pushing strength. This is certainly true, but pushing another person (as opposed to a static weight) requires balance, timing, precision, stability and control, as well as strength. Natural pushing movements vs. the bench press Finally, let's take a look at natural joint motion during pushing. In standing, the shoulder blades will naturally glide across the rib cage as you push forwards. This not only serves to enhance shoulder mobility, but is also protective for the front of the shoulder joint. When lying on a bench (or floor) and performing a bench press, the shoulder blades are 'glued' to the bench/floor, and their movement becomes restricted. This will begin to place unnecessary stress on the front of the shoulder joint, and if left unchecked, can lead to anterior shoulder joint pain, and impingement. Summary So, unless you are a power lifter, or just really enjoy bench pressing, there really is no reason to over-emphasise the bench press. Master pressing in a standing position (using cables for example), or switch to push up variations, that will still develop functional strength, and will also spare your shoulders.

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22nd May 2017

Tutorial: Bar Hang

WHAT The Bar Hang is a simple whole body pull exercise. As well as engaging the core, it will build the necessary functional strength in the shoulders, arms and back for advanced pulling exercises. HOW Jump to the bar and quickly tighten the legs, glutes, and core – forming a dish or hollow shape with the body. Keep the arms straight and squeeze the shoulder blades together slightly. Hold for time. WHY Hanging movements result in reflex stabilization in the shoulder joint, which will contribute to a healthy, injury-free shoulder. The overhead arm position is rarely trained effectively, so the bar hang exercise is unique in the way it builds both strength and range of motion. View other tutorials: Butt kicks TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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18th May 2017

EVO7 Workout: 7 Movements in 10 Minutes

From the moment we were born, movement has shaped our existence. Developmentally, we moved because we had a reason, a purpose; and the more we moved with purpose, the more skillful we became. We initially learned to stabilize our heads, then added simple movements such as pushing, pulling and twisting. While this was happening, we were laying the foundations for upright balance, and soon came squatting, standing and bending. Finally, we could move from A to B, developing several locomotor skills. WE’VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO MOVE As adults, many of these skills become largely redundant through lack of use, misuse and abuse. Sedentary living, poor footwear and diminished awareness are literally misshaping our bodies and movement capabilities. Fortunately, there is a remedy. It's been closely guarded for a while, and you may have heard some of us talking about it. We call it the EVO7. THE REMEDY The EVO7 is a 10-minute movement ‘snack’, consisting of the following 7 movements. Perform 7 reps for each (7 mins for the walk/run), with full attention on the control and feel of your body as it interacts with the environment. Perform it in EVO, or take it outside; once a day or several times a day; with equipment or without equipment. EVO7 MOVEMENTS: 10 MINUTE WORKOUT 1. DEEP SQUAT 7 reps 2. LUNGE 7 reps each leg 3. BARBELL LIFT 7 reps; alternative movement: use med ball or kettlebel 4. PUSH UP 7 reps; alternative movement: push up on knees 5. PULL UP 7 reps; alternative movement: TRX pull 6. MED BALL TWISTS 7 reps each side 7. WALK/RUN 7 mins   EVO7 – how do you like yours? Don't forget to share your experience on Facebook and Instagram!

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15th May 2017

Tutorial: Butt Kicks

WHAT Butt Kicks are a great functional exercise that can be used as part of a warm up, cool down or active recovery between sets. More than just a pulse raiser, they will also benefit your running technique. HOW Run on the spot and pull the heel to the butt. Aim to keep the hamstrings as relaxed as possible to maximize efficiency. Maintain a quick tempo (180bpm) using a metronome for guidance, if necessary. WHY When performed correctly with rhythm (180bpm) the butt kicks exercise will quickly build running-specific hamstring pull technique. Proper rhythm will allow for optimum elasticity in the foot/ankle. View other tutorials: TRX chest press Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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8th May 2017

Workout of the Month: Kinesis Core Workout

DESCRIPTION This unique core workout trains the whole body in a standing position on the Kinesis Wall, and utilizes 6 fundamental movement patterns. Watch out for the intermittent cardio hits. And you thought the Kinesis just looked good! CORE WORKOUT EXERCISES LUNGE Keep core tight and push off front leg. As you improve, drop deeper into lunge. CHEST PRESS Keep core and glutes tight, and squeeze shoulder blades together. ROW Keep core and glutes tight, and squeeze shoulder blades together. LOW TO HIGH CHOP Keep core tight, drive the hips and pivot on the ball of foot. DEADLIFT Keep core tight, push feet into floor and drive the hips up. OVERHEAD PRESS Keep core tight, and squeeze shoulder blades together. Extend arms straight. UPRIGHT ROW Squeeze shoulder blades together with elbows higher than wrists. ALTERNATE HIGH PUNCHES Keep core tight, drive the hips and pivot on the ball of foot. CHEST FLYE Keep core and glutes tight, and squeeze shoulder blades together. REVERSE FLYE Keep core and glutes tight, and squeeze shoulder blades together ALTERNATE TWISTING PUNCHES Keep core tight, drive the hips and pivot on the ball of foot Other workouts: HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout

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4th May 2017

Our Feet: The Ideal Training Shoes?

There's a reason why the sole of the foot has 250,000 nerve endings. Nature evolved it to be a movement sensor. Up to the age of 4 yrs, this sensory apparatus allowed us to be highly competent movers. Think about it for a moment - as babies and young children, the feet are highly sensitive structures whose sole (pun intended!) purpose was to feel the environment. Back then, our feet were strong, mobile and elastic. The perfect training shoes. FORGETTING THE FEET Then most of us began the lifelong journey of sedentary living and poor footwear, causing us to disconnect from our feet, movement and environment. The moment we start school, this disconnect begins. We wear shoes that are sold to us as ‘protective’, causing the feet, ankles and toes to move less, and ultimately weaken. Yet as young children, our feet had all the technology we needed for optimal health and function. FOUNDATION OF MOVEMENT Movement begins from the ground up - our feet are the only body parts in contact with the ground for most of the day. Yet how many of us look after our feet in the same way as the rest of the body? We spend hours each week training our bodies in the quest for fitness, health and aesthetics. We wear clothing that allows our body to move and breathe, yet our feet remain locked up in rigid cages, slowly becoming weaker, inelastic and immobile. FOOTING THE BILL Years of abuse means we are literally paying the price on our feet. The growing prevalence of foot pain and dysfunction due to dysfunctional feet is unacceptable. But the consequent movement impairment is just as alarming. When the toes become weak (specifically the big toe) we lose the natural ability to balance and move across a stable base – as a result, the ankle may stiffen up to maintain stability and balance. When the sole of the foot stiffens (through rigid shoes and lack of use) we lose the natural flexibility that allows the foot to rock efficiently during locomotion. The result is compensatory movement further up the body. THE REMEDY: HEALTHY FEET AND PROPER TRAINING SHOES We have a plantar plate in every EVO club, because we know that good movement starts with good feet - ask any 4yr old. The plantar plate is a powerful tool for assessing foot and ankle strength, mobility and elasticity - the three attributes of a natural foot. When these are present, the foot serves as a highly effective platform for force transfer in almost every movement. In a nutshell, this means lower economy of effort and lower risk of injury. A healthy foot has all the technology it needs for efficient movement and lifelong health. If you would like to know how healthy your feet are right now, speak to one of our Personal Trainers and book an assessment with them. In addition to assessing your current foot and ankle strength and mobility, they will also show you specific exercises – called Toe-ga – designed to improve strength and mobility, and combat the effects of poor footwear. And if you’re serious about lifelong foot health and optimal movement, then our Personal Trainers will also provide guidance on selecting the best training shoes and lifestyle. If you have any thoughts and opinions around foot health, please share them with us via Facebook and Instagram.

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1st May 2017

Tutorial: TRX Chest Press

  WHAT The TRX Chest Press is a challenging whole body exercise that utilizes the push movement pattern. It will engage the core throughout the entire movement. HOW Keep core and glutes tight and squeeze shoulder blades together. Bend the elbows and lean forwards, maintaining body in a straight line. Return under control and repeat. WHY The unstable nature of this exercise will naturally require you to move slowly with more control. This translates into enhanced joint stability and better awareness of posture. View other tutorials: Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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28th April 2017

Why Everyone Should Include Gymnastics in Their Training

Over the past decade, gymnastics has come a long way. Viewed by many as the pinnacle of elite sports performance, it has found its way into contemporary culture through the continued growth of martial arts, dance, and parkour. Due to this growth, more and more people are now exploring gymnastics as a way to learn a new skill and to improve their fitness. LEARNING TO MOVE Although the modern sport of gymnastics involves equipment such as bars, rings, vaults and beams, in basic form, gymnastics training involves the practice of body weight exercises designed to improve strength, balance and coordination.   Interestingly, the same three attributes formed the basis of our own motor development. As young children we manipulated our own body weight to increase strength, balance and coordination, enabling us to sit, crawl, stand, squat, walk, run and jump. Unfortunately, many of us discontinued this movement education as we grew older. WHY IS GYMNASTICS GOOD FOR YOU? At EVO, we understand that optimal levels of strength, balance and coordination can be achieved through regular practice of seven fundamental movements: Squatting Lunging Bending Pushing Pulling Twisting Locomotion Simple gymnastic skills such as jumping, tumbling, handstands, swinging, and rolling all use the above movements in a natural and integrated way. Starting with simple progressions, these skills can be included in almost any fitness workout to complement, and even replace existing exercises. 7 BENEFITS OF GYMNASTICS TRAINING Requires no equipment Improves body awareness Engages your body with the environment Teaches you to move with intention and integrity Improves strength, power, speed, coordination, balance and flexibility Improves efficiency in other movements Fun and challenging TRAINING AT EVO EVO maintains a strong position on gymnastics training – we believe that the development of skillful, purposeful and playful movement is the key to lifelong health. A big part of this development lies in the mastery of bodyweight movement and control through gymnastics. Therefore, all our clubs have a spacious and enriched environment, where you will feel comfortable practicing and refining your gymnastic skills. If you are interested in learning how to incorporate gymnastics training into your workout, please speak to an EVO Personal Trainer for advice and guidance on where to begin.

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24th April 2017

Tutorial: Roll Out With Step

WHAT The roll out with step (trapeze bar) is a great functional mobility exercise within a warm up/cool down. Can also be performed in between loaded exercises, as part of active recovery. HOW From standing, take a long step forward and lunge deep, moving the arms straight overhead, torso upright. Return and switch legs. Perform 5 reps each side. For added flexibility and endurance, hold for 5 secs. WHY Increasing mobility before and during exercise will maintain functional range of motion and efficiency during exercise. Post exercise mobility will help to restore range of motion, as part of a structured cool down. View other exercises: Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press

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17th April 2017

Tutorial: Pull Up

WHAT The pull up is a staple upper body exercise, that will improve strength, flexibility and control throughout the entire body. HOW Hang from a bar with straight arms, abdominals, glutes and quads engaged. Maintain this tight shape as you pull the elbows towards your hips, lifting the chest towards the bar. Return under control and repeat the pull up exercise for reps. WHY The pull pattern is a fundamental human movement that is often overlooked and under-trained. Balancing your pushing exercises with equal pulling will help to maintain static and dynamic postural alignment. View other exercises: Deep squat The barbell clean Kinesis lunge to chest press

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13th April 2017

Functional Training: Moving Like a Child

“When we train, it's easy to stick to what you already know. At EVO, we love to think outside of the box. And the best way to do this is by forgetting sets/reps and just Press Play. Sometimes you have to think like a child; look at equipment in a slightly different way; or push the boundaries of conventional use and functional training. This evening I took the opportunity to test out the spaces at EVO Berggasse, Vienna. Looking at movement horizontally, vertically and of course upside down. This is what happens when you leave the Product Director after hours at an EVO club. I can't help myself.” Kesh Patel Fitness Director

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13th April 2017

Workout of the Month: Jump Start HIIT Workout

DESCRIPTION If you like high intensity then you'll love this fast-paced Tabata-style whole body workout. Perfect for when time is limited, this HIIT workout (high intensity interval training) is great if you're just starting out, but will also add variety to existing training. This HIIT workout utilizes key movement patterns across all fitness skills, with a particular focus on endurance, strength and speed. Because of the fast pace, you will notice the immediate rise in your heart rate – perfect for that cardio fix. Being bodyweight only means no equipment, no fuss. With this in mind, it can be performed in EVO as part of your next workout, or outside in your garden or the park. For added variety, partner up with a buddy and compete against each other. Or alternatively, try reversing the order of the exercises! In all cases, focus on good movement technique, whilst moving as fast as possible. HIIT WORKOUT EXERCISES DEEP SQUAT Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Drop down as far as comfortable, pushing the knees outwards. Keep the arms in front of the body for balance. Return and repeat as fast as possible with control. MOUNTAIN CLIMBER Get into a push up position. Keeping the core tight and the hips low, bring each knee towards the chest alternately. Continue as fast as possible with control. BUTT KICKS Run on the spot and focus on bringing the heels to the butt. Continue as fast as possible with control. PLANK Lie on your front and lift the knees, hips and upper body, so you are resting on your elbows and toes. Keep the core tight and hold this position for time. JUMPING JACKS Jump the legs out to the side and raise the arms to shoulder height. Return and repeat continuously as fast as possible with control. PUSH UP ON KNEES Get into a push up position and allow the knees to drop to the floor. Without moving your hands and feet, bend the elbows and lower the chest to the floor. Return and repeat as fast as possible with control. LUNGE From standing, step forward into a lunge, bending the back knee towards the floor. Push off the front leg to return and switch sides. Continue as fast as possible with control. SUPERMAN Lie on your front and keep the chin tucked in and the core engaged. Raise the arms and legs off the floor and hold for time. Other workouts: Jump around: 8 jumping exercises Cardio workout

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10th April 2017

Tutorial: Kinesis Lunge to Chest Press

WHAT The Kinesis lunge to chest press is a whole body exercise that combines important upper and lower body movements. Choose lower resistance and higher reps for endurance, or higher resistance and lower reps for strength. HOW Step forwards and lunge, bending the back knee to maintain balance. As soon as you feel grounded, press the kinesis handles forwards to complete the movement. Return under control and balance, and repeat for reps. WHY Hybrid exercises that integrate upper and lower body will require greater engagement of the core, and will also place additional challenges on flexibility, balance and control. As a result, you will notice a greater cardiovascular effect. View other exercises: Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up

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5th April 2017

Tutorial: The Barbell Clean

THE BARBELL CLEAN TECHNIQUE 1. START Start the barbell clean by standing with your feet hip width apart, holding the bar. Pull the shoulders back and engage the core. 2. BEND Keeping the shoulders pulled back, bend the knees slightly and hinge at the hip. 3. JUMP Rapidly drive the hips forwards and upwards (jump) pulling the bar up towards the shoulders. 4. CATCH Catch the bar across the shoulders and bend into a front squat. 5. STAND Quickly stand up with the bar across the shoulders. TIPS Drill the technique using a body bar, or an empty Olympic bar Practice steps 1 and 2 separately, before adding the jump and catch As your barbell clean technique improves, drop deeper into a front squat as you catch Catch the bar in a ‘front rack’ position across the shoulders, not the chest   View more tutorials: Deep squat Pull-up

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3rd April 2017

Tutorial: Deep Squat

WHAT The body weight deep squat is a whole body exercise that builds strength, flexibility and balance. Performed for reps or holds, it is arguably the most important human movement pattern. HOW Stand with feet hip to shoulder width apart, feet turned out slightly. Drop down comfortably as deep as possible with balance. Hold for 10 secs or perform for reps. If range of motion is inhibited, place your heels on the edge of a rolled up mat (1 inch raised). As your mobility improves, work towards feet flat on floor. WHY Mastery of the deep squat will ensure the foot and ankle have adequate mobility for walking and running. If you are serious about improving technique and efficiency in running (or in any whole body movement) be sure to include deep squats in every workout. View other exercises: The clean Pull-up  

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22nd March 2017

Creating a culture of physical health

Technology has also led to the development of over-complicated exercise equipment, which has subsequently led to the creation of over-complicated training methods. Therefore, it make sense to change our exercise behaviours – to join a gym, to exercise regularly – in order to reap the benefits of lifelong physical health, function and vitality. But is a change in behaviour all that's needed? CULTURAL SHIFT For any change to be sustainable, a cultural shift needs to take place. Strong cultures form when ideas, behaviours and customs come together. In the world of health and fitness, there are no shortage of ideas, many of which motivate people to exercise – new exercise equipment, the latest training trend, celebrity diets. However for many, this exercise behaviour is sporadic, non-achieving and often short-lived. What is often missing is a deeper understanding of the values and customs around exercise behaviour. Knowing why you are exercising, training or moving helps to clarify what your are doing and how you are going about it. And when this becomes clear, your behaviour becomes habitual.   UNDERSTANDING WHY For modern humans, our work and recreational environments often demand skilful use of our body's. The advancement of technology and environmental adaptation has led to a dramatic decline in this use, and a subsequent loss of capacity to adapt to the demands of our environment. What was once natural, skilful and purposeful is now unnatural, inefficient, and meaningless. With this in mind, the ability to move our bodies shouldn’t be thought of as a form of training, but instead an essential part of our development and a platform for optimal physical health and well-being at any age.   HUMAN DESIGN We’re built for movement and lots of it. Look at our physiology – we have naturally strong feet and ankles, long limbs, mobile hip and shoulder joints, and a unique upright posture that gives us the capacity and flexibility to fully explore our environment. These explorations draw on the simple skills of pushing, pulling, squatting, stepping, bending, twisting and of course locomotion. In a natural environment, we perform these movements in balanced amounts and at intensities that are task-dependent. In the modern world,  we have lost both the balance and regularity of these fundamental human movements.   MOVE WELL. MOVE OFTEN Regular movement is more than just going to the gym 4x per week. And your body is designed to perform a few fundamental movements well.  Scientific evidence indicates that one exercise session in an otherwise sedentary day does little to positively impact overall health. Of course, it’s still OK to go to the gym or play sport, but the key to long term physical health is also about balancing your workout with good movement, and supplementing your workout with regular, lower intensity activity during the rest of the day. Using a stand-up desk, walking more, taking the stairs, mini workouts during the day, washing the car, playing with the kids – these are simple examples of how we can remain physically active during the day, to boost gym-based training.   SUMMARY Lifelong physical health requires a cultural shift in the way we think and feel about exercise. To enjoy the longer term benefits, we must understand the body's needs for regular lower intensity activity, and a balance of simple movements such as squatting, stepping, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and locomotion. In this way, staying in good physical health will become less of an intervention, and more of a lifestyle behaviour.       Don't forget to share your thoughts with us!

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15th March 2017

HIIT workouts: what, how, why?

WHAT IS HIIT? Over the years, many fitness training systems have come and gone. However, one training system has consistently scored in the top 3 fitness trends for the last 4 years, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s worldwide fitness survey. High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, with total workout time usually lasting less than 30 minutes. This type of training is built on traditional circuit training principles, and although it has been around for many years, it now has a strong scientific basis.   HOW DOES IT WORK? With HIIT, your heart rate increases and stays up, increasing oxygen needs and creating an oxygen shortage. This effect is known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) – and is the reason why this type of training can help burn more calories than regular, steady state aerobic exercise.   HOW TO PERFORM HIIT The simple rule of HIIT is to perform exercises at a fast pace (with good form) staying within 70-80% of your maximum capacity, and taking short rest/recovery periods. With this in mind, workout times can vary between several minutes to 30 minutes. A 2:1 work to rest ratio has been found to be the most effective, but beginners to HIIT should start with a 1:1 ratio.   When time is limited, the popular Tabata Protocol – 20sec work:10sec rest x 8 rounds – offers a highly effective workout option. Studies have shown Tabata-inspired workouts can burn up to 15 calories per minute, and exceed guidelines for improving cardiovascular fitness and body composition. If you have a little more time on your hands, you can choose a longer work period – via reps or time.   While most HIIT workouts can easily be performed with body weight exercises, the most beneficial use involves a combination of body weight plus some loaded strength exercises, such as kettle bell swings, barbell deadlifts, cleans, and snatches.   WHY SHOULD I DO HIIT? Here are some of the benefits of HIIT:   No equipment needed – although you can perform HIIT with equipment, most workouts are best done with just body weight exercises. Remember, the focus is on getting your heart rate up, and keeping it there   Build muscle and lose fat - high intensities are conducive to building muscle, and the high heart rates support calorie burn and fat loss   After burn – the EPOC effect boosts metabolism for up to 48 hours after working out. This means you'll be burning calories long after you've left the gym   Convenient – no time to exercise? Can't get to the gym? HIIT allows you to train hard in under 30 minutes, virtually anywhere     Don't forget to share your HIIT training experiences with us!

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12th March 2017

Improving hip mobility

Last month, we wrote about the benefits of mobilising the shoulders, as a prerequisite for sports performance and general fitness. In this months post, we will explore our largest joint structure – the hip – and how maintaining and improving hip mobility should be a staple addition to almost every workout you do.   At EVO, we believe that hip mobility is one of the foundations for injury-free movement. While isolated stretching may help in the short term, we advocate using joint rotations that are progressively loaded to achieve optimal hip mobility. With this in mind, we have chosen 5 of our favourite hip mobility exercises for you to incorporate into your gym workouts and home exercise program.     EXERCISES The following hip mobility exercises will progressively increase range of motion and load through the hip joints. They are best performed as part of a warm up, but can also be performed any time you need to increase mobility. If your hips feel stiff after training, you can also perform these exercises as part of a structured cool down.     HIP OPENER Lie on your back with knees bent. Place one ankle on the opposite knee allowing the hip to open. Keeping the pelvis stable, slowly move the knee towards the opposite shoulder and back. Feel the movement at the front of the hip joint, as it opens and closes. Repeat 20 times and switch sides.   HIP TWIST Lie on your back with knees bent, as before. Place the right leg over the left thigh and allow it to hang there. With the left foot, take a small step to the right, so the foot is in line with the right hip. Allow the left leg to slowly rotate to the right and back to the centre. Feel the movement (and stretch) in the left outer hip, but do not over-stretch. Repeat 20 times and switch sides.   HIP CIRCLE Lie on your back with legs straight. Lift one leg so the knee and hip is bent to 90 degrees. Keeping the pelvis stable, start to rotate the knee. Perform 10 rotations clockwise and 10 rotations anti-clockwise, before switching legs. Aim to use as much of your range of motion as feels comfortable; if your hamstring flexibility is good, you can perform this exercise with a straight leg.   SQUAT ROTATION Assume a deep squat position – if this is challenging, you can balance on your toes, or hold onto a stable object for balance. Begin the movement by turning your right knee inwards – aim to touch the floor in front of your left foot. Feel the right hip turning inwards. Return to the middle, and repeat on the other leg. Perform 10 rotations each side.   LUNGE ROTATION Assume a lunge position, with the right leg forwards and left knee on the floor. Hold onto an object for balance, if necessary. Gently rock forwards and backwards a few times, opening up the front of the left hip. Now slide the left foot inwards, so it rests behind the right foot. Perform a few more rocks. The. Slide the foot outwards and repeat. In each case, notice how this small change on hip rotation opens up the front of the hip. Repeat on the other leg.     Don't forget to share your experiences with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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3rd March 2017

Build a better squat

Squatting is an important motor development milestone during childhood development, as well as a fundamental movement pattern in adults. The ability to deep squat as a child not only allowed us to bend down and pick up objects – but also to sit with ease.  In addition, it was an important precursor to efficient upright locomotion. As adults, we have forgotten how to squat to the floor with ease, mostly through lack of practice and lack of skill. In the modern environment, chairs have largely replaced the need to sit on the floor; in addition, poor-fitting footwear has also immobilised our feet and ankles. This combined lack of mobility in the feet, ankles and hips, has reduced our ability to squat to the floor.   In this tutorial, we will teach you the basics of the deep squat. Take time to re-master control of posture and balance, along with economy of effort. When you have done this, you can improve strength further by adding load. With practice, your deep squat will become skilful, purposeful and playful.   BODY POSITION Before performing the movement, let's take a closer look at what is required in terms of stability and mobility during optimal squatting.   Ankle mobility should be sufficient to allow the knees to pass over the toes by a few inches   Hip mobility should be sufficient to allow the thighs to come close to the torso   Thoracic mobility should be sufficient to allow for a relaxed rounding of the upper back during a restful squat   PERFORMANCE Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart, toes pointing out comfortably   When ready, slowly lower your hips to the floor, aiming to drop them as close to your heels as possible; the head will drop slightly forwards of the hips. Imagine you are sitting down on your heels, and reach the arms forward for balance if necessary   If you can squat and remain balanced, hold for up to 10sec before slowly returning to standing. Repeat 6-8 times   If you feel unbalanced (falling backwards) as you squat, it is likely you have limited mobility in the ankles and/or hips. Use the troubleshooting guide below to mobilise these areas   Don't worry if you find it challenging. What you may perceive as lack of strength, is more likely a lack of stability and control. As stability improves, so will your strength     TROUBLESHOOTING If the ankles feel tight and preventing full range of motion, try some simple ankle rotations to mobilise. Lack of flexibility in the calf muscles may also contribute to lack of range in the squat. Therefore, foam rolling and stretching of the calves may also help, prior to squatting. Although improvements in flexibility will take time, you can assist your squat by raising the heels by 1-2 inches using a block or rolled up mat. As your ankle mobility and calf flexibility improves, slowly reduce the amount of heel raise until you are flat on the floor.   If the hips are tight during the deep squat, try foam rolling and stretching the hamstrings, glutes, adductors and hip flexors. Another way to mobilise the hips is to hold onto a bar as you squat. When you get to the point of tightness, hold the bar and gently bounce up and down for 10sec, before stretching further into the squat.   PROGRESSIONS As your squatting technique improves, build stability and control through longer holds and repetitions   To improve your movement in and out of the squat, explore movement flows. For example, moving from a squat into a crawl; a squat into a crab walk; or a squat into a push up   When you have good control of the bodyweight squat, add load (if necessary) using barbells, kettle bells, dumbbells, medicine balls and core bags     Don't forget to share your deep squat progress and experiences with us via Facebook and Instragram!  

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3rd March 2017

Workout of the Month: 8 Jumping Exercises

Jump training, also known as plyometric training, is an effective way to build explosive power, stability and coordination. Not only does this type of jumping training improve sports performance (e.g. running, basketball, tennis, free running, skiing, to name a few), it is also beneficial for general fitness – building stronger legs, adding intensity to workouts, and burning more calories. Because jumping is a skill, it's important to learn the basic technique of jumping and landing, before adding intensity and volume. If you are new to this type of training, speak to an EVO Personal trainer before trying the following workout. This circuit-style workout consists of 8 exercises performed back to back – but don't be fooled by its simplicity! Although each exercise involves a jumping movement, you will feel the whole body engaging. EQUIPMENT AND SET UP Interval timer or stopwatch (set the work:rest intervals as outlined below) Plyo box Pull up bar – if you cannot perform a pull up, use a step for assistance 8 JUMPING EXERCISES Perform each of the following exercises in order, choosing one of the following levels that suits your ability and current fitness: EASY – 1 round, moderate pace, 20s work:20s rest MODERATE – 2 rounds, moderate pace, 20s work:20s rest HARD – 3 rounds, fast pace, 20s work:10s rest JUMPING LUNGE Keep the arms overhead and aim for quick jumps. Don't drop too deep. JUMPING JACKS Take the arms as high as possible and find the rhythm. BURPEE Drop quickly to the floor and explode out off the push up into a jump. BOX JUMP Throw the arms up as you jump onto the box, landing with two feet. Step back down and repeat. JUMP PULL UP Jump up to the bar and quickly perform a pull up. LATERAL JUMPS Keeping feet together, jump quickly from left to right. Use the arms for balance. INVERTED JUMPS From a push up position, jump the legs side to side aiming to lift the hips over the shoulders. BUTT KICKER Run on the spot bringing each heel to the butt. TIPS This workout requires just a small amount of space, so is ideal when your favourite machines are in use Feel free to change the order or even substitute with some of your favourite jump-based exercises Partner up with a buddy and compete against each other for rep Don't forget to share your workout performance  with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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22nd February 2017

Improving Shoulder Mobility The EVO Way

Mobility and strength across the entire shoulder girdle is not only important for supporting body weight, but also for holding, lifting, reaching and climbing movements. In addition, functional shoulder mobility is also required for efficient locomotion. At EVO, we believe that shoulder mobility and strength is one of the foundations for injury-free movement. While isolated movements may help in the short term, we advocate mobilising and strengthening the shoulders using whole body movements, where possible. This provides the body with context that reinforces the mobility and strength. With this in mind, we have chosen 5 of our favourite shoulder mobility exercises for you to incorporate into your gym workouts and home exercise program. PREPARATION Before performing the movements  below, spend a few minutes warming up the shoulders with the following exercises: Shoulder rolls – gently roll the shoulders forwards 20 times and backwards 20 times Arm circles – roll each arm forward 10 times, and backwards 10 times SHOULDER MOBILITY EXERCISES Push plus Start in a full push up or box push up position. Keeping the fingers spread and arms straight, push the arms into the floor and imagine moving the shoulder blades apart. The chest will lift and the upper back will round slightly. Feel the abdominal muscles engaging. Perform the movement slowly, the return by allowing the chest to drop as you gently squeeze the shoulder blades together. Repeat the movement slowly and continuously 10 times. Side swing Using a high bar or gymnastics rings, hang so that your feet are just touching the ground. If the bar is too high, use a box/step underneath. Keeping arms straight, gently swing the body left to right, using the shoulders to steer the movement. Imagine the shoulders opening up slightly with each swing. Perform 20 swings (continuously or in smaller sets). As you get stronger, you can lift the feet off the floor. Slow bunny hops In a crouch position, plant the hands on the floor and perform a bunny hop. Focus on slowing down and controlling the hop as much as possible. Try to lift the body off the ground by opening up the shoulders (rather than kicking the legs up). As shoulder mobility and strength improves, you will be able to open up the shoulders to a full hand balance position. Perform 10 reps with control. Plank walk Assume a full plank position (push up). Keeping the body in a straight line, walk the hands and legs to the right, moving the left hand under the right hand as you do so. After a few steps, walk back towards the left, crossing the right hand underneath the left hand. Continue left to right for a total of 20 steps. Crab walk Assume a crab position, with arms straight, and hips close to hands. Gently squeeze the shoulder blades and take a few steps forwards. As you do so, try to keep the shoulders open. Repeat the movement backwards and continue back and forth for 20 steps. As you improve mobility, move the hips further away from the hands. Don't forget to share your experiences with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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17th February 2017

Getting Fitter, Healthier or Leaner: An EVO Perspective

So we set some goals, and for many, the focus is getting fitter, healthier or leaner. While this process may seem simple enough, why do many of us fail to achieve our goals? The answer may lie in a missing component: context. Without context, goals have no meaning, and over time can result in loss of motivation and lack of success. Getting fitter, healthier or leaner are common goals when it comes to exercise and training. However, many people tend to prioritize one at the expense of the others, without fully understanding that they are inter-dependent. In this post, we explore why it’s important to consider goals in an integrated way for long term success. PROVIDING CONTEXT Getting leaner is a common goal, falling under the category of body composition/appearance, and may include weight loss, building muscle, as well as getting leaner. While exercise is often viewed as the main strategy for getting leaner or losing body fat, this is misguided. By far, the best strategy for getting or staying lean is proper eating habits and metabolic optimisation. In fact, over-exercising in the pursuit of weight/fat loss can be detrimental to health. In a similar way, we can refine the goal of getting healthy. Being healthy means different things to different people, and should not be confused with fitness goals (although getting fit will drive many aspects of health). In every day terms, health objectives may include improving cardiorespiratory function, lowering stress, increasing energy levels, and pain-free movement. While regular exercise is essential, it’s not the only driver of success – proper eating and recovery is also required. Getting fitter is probably the most common, yet least understood goal. Components of fitness include strength, power, endurance, agility, balance, and flexibility. While many goals are set around individual components of fitness (eg. get stronger) – at EVO we believe in balancing these components through a variety of fundamental movements such as squatting, bending, lifting, pushing, pulling and locomotion. While exercise is the main driver for improving fitness, it’s also important to understand that over-training can negatively affect your other health- and appearance-related goals. COMMON GROUND Having defined these goals, it’s clear to see that they are linked. The pursuit of a singular goal can both affect, and be affected by the other goals, in positive and negative ways. For example, getting fitter will improve your physical capacity, but may not get you leaner if you’re not eating right. On the flip side, over-training may result in fatigue, stress and loss of energy, thereby negatively affecting your health. The bottom line is getting lean, healthy or fit may be limiting if considered individually; but providing context and building strategies around all three goals may in fact produce longer term success and longevity. SUMMARY EVO maintains a strong position that getting lean, healthy and fit should not be viewed as distinctly separate goals. These goals are inextricably linked, and can be achieved easily and simply through balanced eating, movement and recovery. With this in mind, the question is not whether being lean, healthy or fit is best, but rather can you be lean, healthy and fit? The answer is yes! Don't forget to share your thoughts with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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14th February 2017

15 min workout for 2

Training on your own is great - it's your time, your space, your chance to focus on what's important to you. However, training with your BFF, work colleague, another gym member, or even your life partner (it is Valentine's Day after all) – can be fun, challenging and invigorating. And you get to kick each other's butt with some healthy competition! Exercise sequence Perform the following 7 exercises in order. Each exercise should last 45s, with 15s rest. Move straight onto the next exercise. At the end of the circuit, take 1 minute rest then repeat the circuit. For added variety, you can repeat the circuit in reverse order. Equipment Large medicine ball (6-8kg) Small medicine ball (4-6kg) Timer (set to 45s work, 15s rest, 7 cycles) 1. Over and under Stand back to back, with one person holding a small med ball. As you both squat, one person passes the ball between the legs to the other. Both stand up and pass the ball overhead (with straight arms). Then squat again and continue the movement for 45s. 2. Lunge and pass Stand facing each (2 large stride lengths apart) with one person holding a small med ball. Lunge towards each other and pass the ball over. Lunge back to start position and repeat on the other leg. Continue for 45s. 3. Bend and throw Stand facing each (about 3 stride lengths apart) with a large med ball on the ground in front of one person. Keeping the knees slightly bent, bend down, pick up the ball and throw it to your partner. As they catch it, they will bend down and tap the ball on the floor, before throwing it back. Continue back and forth for 45s. 4. Push and roll Both start in a push up position (about 1 large stride apart), facing each other. Position a small med ball in front of one person. That person rolls the ball to their partner and immediately performs a push up. The partner stops the ball, and rolls it back, then also performs a push up. Continue for 45s. 5. Row and pass Stand side by side, with one person holding a large med ball. Slightly bend the knees and hinge forward at the hips, with arms hanging down. The person with the ball performs a row then passes the ball to their partner. The partner rows and passes the ball back. Continue for 45s. 6. Twist and turn Stand back to back with one person holding a small med ball. The person with the ball twists to the right and passes the ball to their partner. They take the ball from their left and twist to the right and pass the ball back. Continue passing the ball as fast as possible in one direction. Switch directions every 5 reps and continue for 45s. 7. Shuffle and switch For this one you need about 5m of space. Stand facing each other, one person holding a large med ball. At the same time, both side shuffle about 5m in the same direction (one person holding the ball). When you get to the end, pass the ball over and shuffle back. Pass the ball over again and continue for 45s. Have fun and enjoy Valentine’s Day. Don't forget to share your experiences with us

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8th February 2017

Tutorial: How to master pull-up

In this month’s tutorial, we take a closer look at the pull up, and how to become more skillful at it. Alongside pushing, pulling is a fundamental movement pattern that is developed early in life. As young children, our first experience of pulling is when we learn to grab objects and pull them towards us, as well as pulling ourselves up to a standing position. Once we are upright, pulling movements demand more strength and skill, as we learn to hang and climb. As adults, we've become obsessed with pull ups (and variations of) but it's important to first take a step back and consider some of the building blocks and set-up elements. Body position Before moving on, it’s worth mentioning that the pull up in this tutorial will be performed with a overhand grip. While some may refer to this as a chin up, we feel the overhand grip offers more flexibility for progression to advanced movements. Note that the pull up will work the entire body, including much of the lower body – and this is dependent on proper body position. Hands Shoulder width apart, overhand grip Thumbs under the bar will provide a stronger grip; thumbs over the bar will require additional forearm strength. This can be useful when considering pull up variations, such as the wall pull up Shoulders Squeeze the shoulder blades together. Imagine turning the armpits to face forwards – this action will stabilize the shoulders during the movement Head Neutral position with chin tucked in Spine Assume a hollow shape with the torso – abdominals and glutes engaged. This tight midline position will minimize swing Lower body Hips and legs in a straight line, with legs pulled together tight From the side, the above position will appear like a slight concave (hollow) shape of the body – held together tightly with correct muscle activation. This will protect the joints and reducing energy leakage during the movement. Performance Maintaining the above shape and tightness, squeeze the shoulder blades together and think about pulling the hips up to the bar while simultaneously pulling the elbows back and down to the hips. Aim to pull the top of the chest to the bar. When you get to the top, slowly lower your body to the start position, keeping the hollow body shape Repeat, and focus on keeping a tight body shape, so the whole body moves as one unit. Tips and progressions Outside of your pull up training, keep the wrists strong and mobile through specific conditioning exercises. Read our article on ‘Protecting your wrists’. As your skill improves, learn to engage the forearm muscles by turning the wrists over the bar a little. This will begin to prepare the forearms and wrists for advanced movements like the muscle up. Include isometric exercises in your weekly training program, such as hollow body holds, on the floor and in hanging. This will develop the required levels of body tension to support your training. Simple bar swings can help to learn control of body shape, and improve endurance and joint stability for skillful pull ups. While pull ups can be performed with a swing (kipping) – a technique used to increase volume – your initial focus should be on lower reps with strict technique. Once you have a good level of control in the pull up, play around with hand position and speed. Progressions include the close- and wide-grip pull up, explosive pull up, and pull up with knee/leg raise. Summary The pull up is a simple and highly effective foundational movement, serving as an essential building block for advanced skills, like the muscle up. To enjoy injury-free movement, don't forget to focus on the pull up elements, including isometric training and swinging. When progressing with the pull up, remember that it’s not about scoring points, but instead to develop skill and efficiency. Make pull ups an integral part of your training program, and watch your strength and control improve in a short space of time.

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3rd February 2017

Workout: Cardio Challenge

When was the last time you focussed your workout around cardio training? I mean really targeted your whole training session around cardiorespiratory training? For the majority of gym users, cardio machines are used for warming up and cooling down only. If you're a cardio lover, you may spend more time on your favourite machine. But how often do you mix it up with other forms of cardio training? Those who compete in triathlon (swim, bike, run) will often have high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, and elite triathletes are regarded as being amongst the fittest on the planet. The ability to perform three endurance activities in succession will not only bring cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular benefits, it can also introduce variety, fun and competition to an otherwise boring workout. And when you play around with distance, time and intensity, you can stay motivated in every workout. EQUIPMENT Concept 2 rower Tomahawk studio bike or WattBike Precor or Woodway treadmill SET UP Ensure that the rower and bike are set up in the correct position before you start your workout. Also make sure you complete an adequate warm up, with a pulse raiser and flexibility exercises. WORKOUT 1 – EASY This time-based workout is all about getting used to performing three activities in succession. While it is still physically challenging, use your first experience to notice how your body feels moving from one exercise to the next – think about your posture, fatigue, ability and skill. Here's the sequence: Row – 5 min @ easy/moderate resistance Bike – 5 min @ moderate resistance (minimum 90rpm) Run – 5 min @ 6-8kph Aim to move quickly from one exercise to the next, but take a longer rest if required. WORKOUT 2 – INTERMEDIATE This distance-based workout will allow you to improve fitness and add some variety through a change in motivation. The focus on distance will bring on some self-competition to complete to improve your overall times. Here's the sequence: Row – 2000m @ moderate resistance Bike – 3000m @ moderate resistance (minimum 90rpm) Run – 2000m @ minimum 6kph Aim to move quickly from one exercise to the next, but take a longer rest if required. WORKOUT 3 - ADVANCED This time-based workout brings in higher loads but for short periods of time. Aim to work at around 75% of your capacity. With this in mind, you will only perform 4 cycles. Here's the sequence: Row – 1min @ high resistance Bike – 1min @ high resistance (minimum 90rpm) Run – 1 min @ 8-14kph Repeat cycle three more times Aim to move quickly from one exercise to the next, but take a longer rest if required. The possible combinations for this type of workout are huge. Go for time, distance, resistance/load, speed, or change the order of the exercises. Find the best method that works for you and give it a try. Finally, don't forget to share your workout ideas and performance via Facebook and Instagram!

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1st February 2017

5 tips to maximize your post-workout recovery

The opportunity for recovery is always there – from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed. Recovery helps us to adapt to the demands of training, so that we can become fitter and healthier. Without adequate recovery, we run the risk of over-training, injury and poor health. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies you can use to boost recovery after training. Here are our top 5 tips for maximizing your recovery. #1 Be serious about your eating habits Your recovery potential actually begins in the hours (and days) before your workout. Optimal and balanced nutrition throughout the day will affect the quality of recovery in a big way. Adequate carbohydrate, protein and fat consumption from whole, natural foods will not only ensure optimal energy during training – it will also accelerate the necessary tissue repair post-workout. #2 Push the boundaries but not beyond Understand how training intensity and volume affect recovery. In simple terms, intensity and volume should be managed in opposition: If you workout at a high intensity, use a lower volume (load, time, frequency). The bottom line: know your skills, ability and limits - it’s absolutely OK to push the boundaries in your workout, just don’t destroy them. #3 Stay hydrated Proper hydration is more than just drinking enough water during exercise. Optimal cellular hydration is dependent on maintaining an electrolyte balance during and post-workout, to off-set any losses through sweating and other metabolic processes. EVO Tip: Sipping on an isotonic sports drink during and after exercise will ensure electrolytes are quickly replaced, and will dramatically reduce your recovery time.   #4 Don't skip the warm up and cool down An intelligent warm up will prepare your body, allowing you to get the most out of your workout without over-training. Be sure to include activity to raise heart rate, as well as mobility and muscle activation exercises. When it comes to the cool down, be sure to lower your heart rate progressively and keep the focus on good range of movement. Flexibility exercises including foam rolling and dynamic stretching will restore circulation and boost psychological health. #5 Get enough physical and mental rest While it’s always important to get enough quality sleep, there are other activities that can promote recovery, which can be practiced during the day. Meditation is one such practice that can support recovery through a combination of physical rest, breathing techniques and mindfulness. Whether it’s a 5 minute meditation post-workout or a 10 minute mediation before sleep, you will notice the recovery benefits very quickly. Don't forget to share your favorite post-workout strategies with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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29th January 2017

Tutorial: Develop Your Push Up Skills

From a very early age, the ability to push our body away from the ground was a pre-adaptation to crawling. In fitness and sports training, the push up is a foundational movement – which means that other body weight skills can be built upon it. Whether your aim is to become a push up master or simply develop your push up to support other movements, we’ll teach you how to perform it efficiently, and when you’re ready, progress to more advanced variations. PUSH UP BODY POSITION Before moving on, it’s worth mentioning that with the right approach, the push up will work the entire body, including the lower body – and this is dependent on proper body position. HANDS Shoulder width apart, and under the shoulders Fingers spread, with the index fingers pointing forward ELBOWS Close to your sides, which is achieved not only by rotating the wrist and arm, but also via activation of the rotator cuff and upper back muscles SHOULDERS Directly over the wrists (arms vertical) HEAD Neutral position with chin tucked in SPINE Neutral position, with core uncles engaged LOWER BODY Hips and legs in a straight line, with butt squeezed and legs pulled together tight The above position will create a straight line from the top of your head down to your feet. The correct muscle activation patterns will also help develop optimal levels of body tension, protecting the joints and reducing energy leakage during the movement. PERFORMANCE Maintaining the above shape and tightness, slowly lower your body to the floor, keeping the elbows close to your sides and shoulders above the wrists As you push back up, focus on keeping the lower body tight, so the whole body moves as one unit TIPS AND PROGRESSIONS Outside of your push up training, keep the wrists strong and mobile through specific conditioning exercise Include isometric exercises in your weekly training program, including the Plank, Reverse plank, Inch worm, and Downward Dog. This will develop the required levels of body tension to support your push up training As strength improves, try shifting the shoulders forwards slightly in front of your hands. This is a useful progression towards Hollow body push up, Frog stand, Press Handstand and Planche Once you have a good level of control in the push up, play around with hand position and speed. Progressions include the Close- and Wide-grip push up, Inverted press, the Handstand push up, and the Explosive/hand clap push up SUMMARY The push up is a simple and highly effective foundational movement, serving as an essential building block for all inverted movements such as the Handstand. Progressions beyond the basic push up can not only add variety to your workouts, but also support other body weight movement skills. When progressing with the push up, remember that it’s not about scoring points, but instead to develop skill and efficiency. Make push ups an integral part of your training program, and watch your strength and control improve in a short space of time. Don't forget to share your push up experiences with us via Facebook and Instagram! View other tutorials: Roll out with step Deep squat The barbell clean Pull up Kinesis lunge to chest press  

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23rd January 2017

Do I Need Supplements?

WHAT ARE SUPPLEMENTS? Commercially-blended dietary supplements are products containing ingredients intended to add further nutritional value to the diet. In the context of fitness, such supplements may also claim to positively enhance aspects of training, performance and body composition. While there may be good evidence that a supplement works, information about dosage may be misleading. Many ingredients within a supplement can act together, and can also interact with food, thereby producing different effects under different conditions. In a pure sense, it’s also important to understand that a supplement can also be regarded as something that is added to something else to support or enhance it. In this sense, any type of natural or whole food can also be a supplement. ARE SUPPLEMENTS USEFUL? Many commercially-blended supplements will claim to support your training, both pre- and post-workout, offering enhanced energy levels, greater endurance, increased muscle mass and reduced body fat. The question of whether they work is a consideration; but more importantly is whether commercial supplements are essential and is there a real physiological need pre- and post-workout? CAN PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS HELP? Pre-workout supplements are designed to change the way you feel during your workout. In fact, most of the ingredients will simply create the perception that your workout is enhanced. Kesh Patel, Fitness Director for EVO Europe says, “Popular pre-workout supplements will generally increase blood flow, heart rate, and focus – but these effects do not make you fitter and stronger. Even known substances such as caffeine and creatine, which have been scientifically proven to enhance performance, only do so modestly in very fit people. For most, the benefit is largely insignificant, unless you are pushing yourself to the limit – which may pose a health risk for some”. The only time you need to consider a pre-workout supplement is when your energy intake prior to exercise has been less than optimal. In such cases, a carbohydrate-based snack or drink may be enough to fuel your training. CAN SUPPLEMENTS HELP WITH POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY? Before answering this question, post-workout recovery is not just about post-workout nutrition; in fact, it’s more about current health, overall dietary habits, intelligent training and physical rest – if these are in good order, recovery will always be optimized. Having said that, the immediate challenge post-workout is replenishment of energy and electrolytes. When normal eating patterns cannot be resumed quickly, it can be useful to consume a commercial carbohydrate-based supplement; however, fruit, fruit juice or smoothies will also work well. While some experts may advocate the consumption of protein immediately post-workout, for most, it’s unnecessary providing they have balanced eating habits. WHAT IS EVO’S POSITION ON SUPPLEMENTS? While many pre-workout supplements may at best offer transient training effects, supplementation during and post-workout may be useful, depending on workout duration, type and intensity. At EVO, we believe in understanding the specific physiological needs of your training, and if necessary, to supplement intelligently. For most people, pre-workout supplementation is unnecessary, providing the body has enough energy and is well hydrated. During exercise, an isotonic sports drink will help replace essential electrolytes lost through metabolic processes, including sweating. A healthy snack such as fruit, fruit juice, smoothie or a flapjack, may also help to replenish energy quickly, after a workout. Feel free to share your views and experiences with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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19th January 2017

Setting The Right Health And Fitness Goals For You

Whether you’re new to exercise, coming back from a break, or an experienced exerciser, follow these five simple tips to help set the right health and fitness goals for you. 1. ASSESS YOUR READINESS While we may feel physically ready to exercise, we may not be mentally ready. Coming back after the holiday break will often require a period of adjustment – if you jump straight into a fitness training plan, you may find yourself crashing out early. Therefore, take some time to assess your work, family and social timetable, and use this information to create the best plan to start or return to regular training. 2. SET REALISTIC GOALS AND OUTCOMES While it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of getting fitter and healthier, or the latest fitness trend – don’t forget to be realistic about your goals. First ensure your goals are specific, measurable and timed – then turn these goals into outcomes by identifying what success looks and feels like, and what resources you will need to get there. For example, wanting to lose 5kg in 3 months to look good on the beach is a specific, measurable and timed goal; knowing that you will need to hit the gym 3x/week, eat healthily and cut down on take-outs, turns this goal into a desired outcome. 3. CHOOSE THE BEST TRAINING METHOD In an industry that is driven by many different training methods, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest fitness trends. Often, such training methods are not aligned with our readiness, physical ability or goals – eventually resulting in loss of motivation, non-achievement of goals, and exercise drop-out. Therefore, look at your goals and identify the methods that will achieve them in a realistic timeframe without over-training. For example, if you want to improve fitness and can only go to the gym twice a week, high intensity interval training could be the best training method for you. 4. HEALTH VS. FITNESS GOALS Health and fitness are often used to mean the same thing, but there are important distinctions. Health-related goals may include weight loss, improving cardio respiratory fitness, pain-free movement, and enhanced psychological well-being. Fitness goals can include improving strength, endurance, flexibility, power etc. Understanding these differences will allow you to refine your goals and identify the most suitable and safest training methods. 5. KEEP IT SIMPLE Whether you’re new to exercise or an experienced exerciser, develop (or re-establish) a strong fitness foundation, then continue to build on that as fitness improves. During this time, focus on fundamental movements such as squatting, lunging, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and locomotion. As you become stronger and more resilient in these movements, you will reduce your risk of injury as you get fitter. SUMMARY Setting the right fitness goals for long term success requires adequate timing and planning. This process begins with setting defined and realistic health and fitness goals and using these to establish the best training method for you. Feel free to share your New Year health and fitness goals with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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16th January 2017

Workout: 8 Bodyweight Burn Exercises

The Bodyweight Burn workout is a circuit-style workout consisting of 8 exercises performed back to back – but don't be fooled by its simplicity! On completion, you will feel have worked your entire body in a very short space of time. SET UP You will need a timer or stopwatch. If you're using an interval timer, set the intervals to 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off – this interval set is known as the Tabata protocol, and is a popular choice for short duration, high intensity training. This means you will be performing each exercise as fast as possible for 20 seconds, then taking 10 seconds rest before moving on to the next exercise. Repeat until all 8 exercises are complete – a total of 4 minutes. Take 60 seconds rest, and repeat the circuit. 8 BODYWEIGHT BURN EXERCISES Perform each of the following exercises as fast as possible (with control) for 20 seconds, taking 10 seconds rest between each exercise. Choose one of the following levels that suits your ability and current fitness: EASY – x2 circuits MODERATE – x4 circuits HARD – x6 circuits 1. SQUAT Drop as low as possible keeping the arms out in front of the body 2. MOUNTAIN CLIMBER Keep the shoulders over the hands and bring each knee to the elbow 3. BUTT KICKER Run on the spot bringing each heel to the butt 4. BURPEE Drop quickly to the floor and explode out off the push up into a jump 5. JUMPING JACKS Take the arms as high as possible and find the rhythm 6. PUSH UP Keep the shoulders over the hands and drop as low as possible 7. JUMPING LUNGE Keep the arms overhead and aim for quick jumps 8. REVERSE PLANK Keep shoulders over hands and push the hips up TIPS The Bodyweight Burn workout requires just a small amount of space, so is ideal when your favorite machines are in use If you’re unable to get to EVO, perform this workout at home Partner up with a friend, or even in a small group, and motivate each other This workout alternates between upper and lower body exercises – feel free to change the order or even substitute with some of your favorite bodyweight exercises Finally, don't forget to share your Bodyweight Burn workout performance via Facebook and Instagram!

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12th January 2017

5 Exercises To Build Pain-Free Hands And Wrists

Because body weight training often requires support of one’s body weight – for example, on the floor, or in hanging positions – building a foundation of strength, endurance and mobility in the hands and wrists is essential for injury-free movement and continued success. It’s important to understand that while functional joint strength provides the foundation for injury- and pain-free hands and wrists, skillful practice also plays a key role. Whether you’re a body weight training advocate, or simply wish to build stronger hands and wrists for everyday lifting and carrying, here are our top 5 exercises. These exercises can be performed as part of a warm-up at the gym, or as a standalone corrective exercise program. EXERCISES FOR PAIN-FREE HANDS AND WRISTS 1. Wrist extension In a kneeling position, place hands palms up on the knees. Lean forwards and gently roll the fingers until the palm is on the floor. Spread the fingers and find a comfortable stretch. Gently pulse forwards and backwards 20 times. Then hold the stretch for 30sec. Repeat. 2. Wrist flexion In a kneeling position, place hands palms down on the knees. Lean forwards and gently roll the fingers until the back of the palm is on the floor. Spread the fingers and find a comfortable stretch. Gently turn the elbow crease inwards and outwards 20 times. Then turn the elbow crease out and hold the stretch for 30sec. Repeat. 3. Fingertip bounce In a kneeling position, lean forwards and rest the fingertips lightly on the floor. Gently bounce the fingertips up and down on the floor, as you rock your body forwards and backwards to control the weight. Perform 20 bounces, rest and repeat. 4. Forearm press Assume an all-fours position with the fingers facing forward. Spread the fingers and gently turn the elbow crease out so it’s forward facing. From this position, push the base of the fingers into the floor and raise the palm off floor. Lower the palm under control and repeat 15 times. Aim for fatigue at the last rep; as you become stronger, you can lean further forwards onto the hands. As a progression, perform the exercise with the fingers facing backwards. 5. Forward rocks This final exercise combines the flexibility, strength and endurance gained from the above exercises into a functional movement and will help you further build pain-free hands and wrists. From an all-fours position. Spread the fingers, turn out the elbow creases, and push the fingertips and palms into the floor. As you maintain this position, slowly rock forwards and hold for 2sec. Return and repeat 12 times to fatigue. As you become stronger, you can progressively take the shoulders further forwards over the wrists/hands. Don't forget to share your experiences with us via Facebook and Instagram!

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7th January 2017

What Causes Dizziness During Exercise?

Increased demands during exercise During exercise the body has an increased demand for oxygen, energy and water. Any deficit in these 3 resources can inhibit exercise performance and produce a number of symptoms including dizziness. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at these resources ad highlight some simple strategies to optimize them. Improper breathing During exercise, muscles have a higher oxygen requirement compared to rest. Oxygen utilization is dependent on a delicate balance between oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide produced. Those who are new to exercise, or are exercising beyond their capacity, may experience shallow and rapid breathing during exercise – a situation where less oxygen is taken up and more carbon dioxide is produced. This imbalance can bring about immediate feelings of dizziness. If this occurs, reduce your exercise level and take deeper breaths to restore balance. If the feelings of dizziness do not subside and are also associated with chest tightness, seek immediate medical attention. As a longer term strategy, speak to a personal trainer about proper breathing technique during exercise. Low blood sugar Lack of energy (low blood sugar) is another common cause of dizziness during exercise. This is most common when exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, but can also occur when exercising later in the days especially when meals are skipped. Because lack of energy is often cumulative, be sure to consume carbohydrate regularly during the day. If this is not possible, consume a carbohydrate snack at least 2 hours before your workout. When eating is not possible or desirable, have a fruit juice or suitable carbohydrate drink before exercise. Dehydration As with low blood sugar, lack of water can accumulate during the day, resulting in feelings of dizziness during exercise. In addition, sweat losses during exercise need to be replaced, alongside electrolytes that are also lost. Even a small loss of fluid can significantly impact health. The general rule is to drink when you feel thirsty, and reduce or eliminate coffee, tea and diet drink consumption. However, if you are exercising at higher intensities, consume a sports drink during and after exercise to replace electrolytes and fluid. Summary Feeling dizzy during exercise is not a normal symptom in healthy individuals. Simple self-treatment may help to alleviate and completely eliminate these symptoms but in some cases, dizziness may be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. If feelings of dizziness occur, stop exercising and rest, keeping your head above your heart. Sometimes, walking around and sitting down may help, but do not lie down. Consume some water and a carbohydrate snack, and if the dizziness does not subside within an hour, contact a doctor.

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18th December 2016

5 Ways How To Naturally Increase Your Energy Levels

1. Get plenty of sleep Sleep is probably the most important energy booster. For good quality sleep, reduce your exposure to unnatural light (eg. phones, laptops, computers, TV) after 7pm – the high levels of (blue) light can suppress melatonin, the sleep hormone. Don't forget that sleep deprivation is accumulative and may take several days to weeks to re-balance. If you're still feeling with low energy levels during the day, take a 30 minute siesta mid-afternoon. 2. Early morning exercise Early morning exercise is a great way to fire up your metabolism and boost your energy levels for the rest of the day. Be sure to perform light to moderate intensity exercise, with a focus on mobility and whole body movements. Activities like brisk walking, yoga or even light circuit training will enhance circulation, oxygen uptake, and nutrient delivery for the rest of the day. 3. Manage stress While acute stress can increase metabolism (through adrenaline and cortisol release), chronic stress can cause a drop in metabolism and energy levels. If you have stress in your daily lifestyle, look for common signs, including insomnia, fatigue, cold hands/feet, poor recovery, weight gain – and explore ways to manage your stress. Daily meditation, lunchtime walks, and breathing techniques are some of the ways you can immediately reduce stress and boost energy levels. 4. Eat regularly Probably the most obvious yet least adhered way to increase energy levels is to eat regularly during the day. Adequate consumption of carbohydrates will prevent energy drops. Learn to identify when your metabolism is running low, and be sure to eat. Indicators of a low metabolism include cold hands and feet, loss of concentration and general feelings of lethargy – listen out for the signs and eat accordingly. 5. Pimp your coffee While excess caffeine consumption should be avoided, treat yourself to a mid-morning (single shot) coffee as an extra metabolic stimulant. For slow-releasing energy, add coconut oil, cream, and honey to sweeten. Be sure to avoid caffeine after midday.

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12th December 2016

How To Avoid Muscle Cramps During Exercise

What is a muscle cramp? A muscle cramp is a sudden, involuntary and sustained contraction of one or more muscles. There is often a visible and palpable hardening of the muscles. Muscle cramps may last for a few seconds to several minutes, and can recur many times before subsiding. Why does cramping occur? Cramping occurs when the mechanisms that control muscle contraction and relaxation become impaired. For efficient muscle function, there are 3 key physiological requirements that need to be met: optimal cellular environment, well-conditioned muscles, and sufficient recovery. What are the best strategies to reduce the risk of cramping? Firstly, maintaining an optimal cellular environment is the most important strategy, and is dependent on balanced levels of water, glucose and electrolytes inside the cells. When glucose and electrolytes become too low, the cells dump water to rebalance the environment. When too much water is drunk, the cells also dump excess water, along with important electrolytes. This electrolyte and glucose imbalance can result in muscle cramps. The best strategy is to reduce/avoid tea, coffee, dietary drinks (especially before exercise), and consume a purpose designed sports drink, such as Gatorade – which will provide optimal amounts of water, glucose and electrolytes. Secondly, cramp is less likely to occur in muscles that are well-conditioned and supple. When you work out, ensure that you are working through a full range of motion where possible, and be sure to spend time on flexibility at the beginning and end of your workout. For best results, combine foam rolling and dynamic stretching – to boost your circulation and reduce the risk of cramping. The final strategy is to ensure you make time for recovery post-exercise. Muscles need adequate rest between workouts, and during these times, hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol can re-balance. Proper rest and recovery will ensure that your cellular environment remains optimised for the next workout. What is EVO’s position on avoiding muscle cramps? At EVO, our focus is on creating better understanding of the body for optimal physiological and physical health. Strategies to minimize the risk of muscle cramps should begin with a focus on attaining optimal cellular health through adequate consumption of a balanced sports drink before, during and after exercise. Pre- and post-workout strategies should also include proper flexibility training, particularly the use of foam rollers. Finally, optimal rest between bouts of exercise will ensure longer-term avoidance of muscle cramps.

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5th December 2016

Top Christmas Gifts For Fitness Enthusiasts

Fitness trackers Fitness trackers can be great, yet simple Christmas gifts. While high tech fitness trackers may have their place, we often forget about the simplest and most useful of measurements – the step. Your step count is probably the easiest and most useful unit of movement, and when used in the right way, can be highly motivational. Research suggests that early humans walked on average, a minimum of 5 miles per day, and it was this simple movement that was an important contributor to a faster metabolism, better circulation, greater mobility and stronger bones and muscles. For an average adult, 5 miles equates to approximately 10000 steps, which is the pre-set target on many fitness trackers. A Christmas gift for simple tracking with a 1-year battery life, check out Garmin Vivofit 3; or for a minimal design, check out Misfit Shine 2. Wireless earbuds Listening to music during your workouts can be highly motivational. Unfortunately, trailing headphone cables can often limit and even prevent safe execution of quick, high intensity and functional exercises. In addition, over the ear headphones can slip, get knocked, and may simply be too uncomfortable for longer workouts. Enter the wireless earbud – the perfect workout companion! These in-ear headphones can quickly pair with your phone or smart watch, giving you a hassle- and wire-free experience. Check out this potential Christmas gift: Jaybird X2/X3 Wireless Buds, which offer sweat-proof, adjustable ear buds with super sound quality. Slackline Slacklining is fast becoming a fun and challenging fitness activity. According to Wikipedia, “Slacklining refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors”. The fitness benefits of slacklining include improved balance, posture, concentration and enhanced core stability and muscular endurance. Check out the Gibbon Slackline sets, which can be mounted between two anchor points, or the Gibbon Slackrack frame, which is a rack-mounted indoor version. Self-massage tools Exercise duration, frequency, intensity and diversity must be balanced with effective recovery strategies to ensure we get the most out of each workout. Flexibility and mobility exercises can go some way to off-set the demands of training, but often muscles can become chronically tight, leading to impaired movement and the development of trigger points. A trigger point is a tender area in a muscle that causes pain when stimulated. Fortunately, through regular self-massage, trigger points can be deactivated, often with immediate improvements in movement ability. Check out the TriggerPoint Therapy Foundation Collection, which contains four tools and a self-help guide to get you started. Kettlebells Finally, in our list of Christmas gifts is the humble kettlebell. Out of all the free weights, the kettlebell is probably the most versatile. Strength, endurance, speed, power, flexibility – you name it, it can be done with a kettlebell! What’s more, a pair (or two) of kettlebells takes up very little room, and are highly portable. Additional benefits of kettlebell training include increased wrist strength and enhanced joint stability – both of which can positively influence your ability to lift more in other forms of training. Check out Rogue kettlebells, which offer good grip, balanced feel and a great look at an affordable price. Have fun shopping for Christmas gifts!

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27th November 2016

Breathing Techniques To Enhance Fitness And Health

Breathing Techniques While Exercising Strength Training When lifting weights or doing other resistance exercises, exhale during the difficult part of the exercise. For the most part, this will be during the lifting or pushing phase of the movement. When you exhale, your core tightens, giving you more stability and strength to power through the movement and to reduce your risk of injury. Inhale as you slowly release back to start, taking care to keep your core engaged. Cardio When you are performing aerobic exercises, like running, try to time your breathing to the cadence of your movements, in this case, your steps. For example, breathe in for two steps and then out for two. By keeping your breath in rhythm, your bringing a steady flow of oxygen to your muscles to give them the strength to keep going. At an easy pace, you should be able to breathe through your nose, which has the added benefit of filtering and warming the air before it reaches your lungs. However, at more strenuous levels of exertion, it is typically easier to breathe through your mouth to get maximum oxygen intake. Stretching During stretching, your goal is to extend and elongate your muscles, so do the same with your breathing. Focus on breathing in deeply and letting the exhale follow naturally. With this healthy breathing technique, you slow your body down, which helps your muscles to relax. This allows you to get deeper stretches and helps to reduce your risk of strain from overstretching. Keep your breathing slow and steady throughout your stretching routine. Recovery Your body needs to recover in between exercise sets, so practice this healthy breathing technique to get your muscles ready for their next challenge: Instead of breathing into your chest, focus on expanding your belly instead. By using your diaphragm to stretch your lungs, you body is able to take in more oxygen than if you were breathing normally. This helps to bring that oxygen to your muscles so that they can recover faster and you can get back to your workout. Throughout the Day At Your Desk In today's modern world of technology, more people than ever spend the bulk of their days hunched over a keyboard at their desks. On top of that, the fast pace of the business world leaves many workers stressed out throughout the day. Try to take short breaks from working about every hour to practice healthy breathing. If you have a private office or don't mind strange looks from your coworkers, lie on the floor with your legs up the wall and perform the diaphragm breathing technique from the recovery section, above. If lying on the floor isn't an option, you can stay at your desk, but make sure that you sit up straight, pull your shoulders back and elongate your neck. Before Bed If you often have difficulty falling asleep, this healthy breathing technique may help you to relax more quickly. Start by inhaling through your nose as you count to four. Then, hold your breath and count to seven. Finally, exhale through your mouth as you count to eight. Repeat the cycle for four total breaths. Holding your breath gives your body the chance to absorb the maximum amount of oxygen, which contributes to relaxation.

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19th November 2016

Top 5 Places For Skiing Holidays In The World

Top 5 locations for skiing holidays: 1. Whistler, Canada Whistler is a perennial favourite destination for skiing holidays and should be near the top of anyone's skiing bucket list. The towering peaks offer spectacular views of the Canadian countryside making it easy to see why Whistler is the number one ski area in North America. With over 8,000 acres of slopes, Whistler offers something for skiers of all skill levels and has an extended ski season. The apres-ski experience is unmatched, with five-star restaurants and plenty of nightlife to keep you going until the next day on the slopes. 2. Vail, Colorado, USA Vail is one of the largest ski areas in the world, boasting over 5,000 acres of slopes for you to choose from. For over 50 years, Vail has been continuously improving and upgrading itself to become a truly world-class ski resort and a winter skiing holidays haven for the rich and famous. Off the slopes, Vail is filled with a wide range of dining options to suit your taste and preferences, ranging from cozy chalets to celebrity chef fine dining restaurants. In addition to the front side of the mountain, where most skiers tend to stay, the back side opens up a whole new world of open skiing opportunities for more advanced skiers. 3. St. Moritz, Switzerland St. Moritz is a frequent host of skiing races and world championships, so this is your chance to ski like one of the pros. The chairlifts will take you to over 3 kilometres above sea level, so you'll want to make sure to do plenty of skiing exercises before you head up to ensure that you are prepared for the lower oxygen levels at this high altitude. The area features 15 resorts, so you'll have no shortage of options in choosing where to stay on your skiing holidays, nor will you lack for new trails to try each day. The ski runs at the top are better suited to advanced skiers, while novices can have some fun at lower levels. 4. Tenjindaira, Japan The Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Resort, known to locals as simply Tenjin, is a bit off the beaten path for most tourists, and that is what has enabled it to stay one of the best ski areas in the country. Tenjindaira translates to "powder paradise", and that is exactly what you will find at this luxurious resort for skiing holidays. The formal ski area is relatively small, but most travelers to Tenjindaira come for the excellent backcountry options. Backcountry skiing is definitely not suitable for beginners, so be sure to get in plenty of skiing exercises and lots of practice on challenging terrain before you think about tackling this one. 5. St. Anton, Austria St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria puts you right up into the heights of the Alps. Aside from the stunning views, the area boasts a number of ski resorts, all equipped with the height of modern luxury. Early risers will love the chance to carve the first tracks into the fresh powder snow, and the snow quality stays high throughout the day. With over 300 kilometres of ski runs, there is something for every ability level. At the end of the day, dine of some of the finest food the region has to offer. This area is great for a romantic getaway or for family skiing holidays.

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16th November 2016

5 Things You Should Do Every Day To Stay Healthy

1. To stay healthy get enough sleep Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body when your concern is how to get fit and stay healthy. When you are overly tired, both your brain and body cannot function as well as they should. This can result in mistakes at work or injuries while working out. Your body also needs sleep to recover from all of the strain you put on it throughout the day. The amount of sleep required is different for each person, although it is typically in the range of seven to nine hours for adults. If you have to get up early in the morning, start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you wake up feeling refreshed and rested. 2. Stay hydrated Staying hydrated is an important part of health and performance. Even a small amount of dehydration can significantly impair mood, well being and ability to function. What's important to understand is that optimal hydration is closely linked not only with fluid intake, but also with salt intake. Adequate salt intake ensures that our cells retain fluid and remain hydrated. And in fact, if we drink too much water (as many do) we can end up driving salt out of our cells, and getting rid of it (and the water) through urine. This may contribute to a constant cycle of dehydration. The best advice is to maintain adequate salt intake and listen to your body – drinking water only when thirsty, hot or during/after intense exercise. And don't forget, many foods also have a high water content, which contributes to your overall fluid intake. 3. Have regular movement snacks If you sit at a desk all day for work, it can have a negative impact on your body. Not only are you reducing overall physical activity, but prolonged sitting can also lead to poor posture, movement impairment and pain. Therefore as a minimum measure to stay healthy, aim to stand up once an hour. When you have created this simple habit, add to it a short walk around your office, or do some light stretching. As you get used to these ‘movement snacks’, look for other options to move throughout your day. This may include taking the stairs, parking your car further away and walking to work, or even having a walking meeting with colleagues. The goal is to loosen up your muscles and get the blood flowing. You'll find that your body feels much better throughout the day and that you are better able to focus on your work. 4. Breathe deeply We take breathing for granted, and only take notice of it at times of exertion or stress. With each breath, we take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. This process must remain in fine balance in order to survive. What's important to understand is that it's not how much oxygen we take in that influences our health - it's the level of carbon dioxide in our body that drives oxygen usage by our cells. Therefore it's important to maintain healthy levels of carbon dioxide. We can do this by practicing deeper breathing throughout the day. The focus should not only be on breathing in deeply, but also breathing out slowly. When we are under stress, breathing becomes quick and shallow, and this causes us to release carbon dioxide quickly. If this becomes prolonged, it can lead to high levels of anxiety. Deeper breaths, with a focus on slower out-breath, will maintain adequate levels of carbon dioxide in the body, and can not only reduce stress, but also aid recovery, reduce inflammation and protect cells. 5. Eat whole foods A balanced diet is crucial to stay healthy. Try to eat whole foods as much as possible, that is foods that are not processed and packaged. Fill up on lean proteins and get plenty of fruits and vegetables - the more colours the better. Your body draws most of its nutrients from the foods that you eat, so it is important to eat a wide variety of foods to get the greatest nutritional benefits. If you can't prepare meals for yourself, try to choose restaurants that offer healthy fare.

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28th October 2016

When And How To Exercise Before Sleep?

What happens to our body when we sleep? Our body temperature naturally rises during the day before coming back down at night, and this decreasing temperature appears to be an important trigger, signalling that it's time for sleeping. So how can we maximise this for a good night’s sleep? There are two things to consider – exercise timing and exercise type. When should you exercise? If we perform exercise too close to bedtime, we run the risk of increasing body temperature too much (as well as releasing adrenaline), which may delay sleeping. Therefore, the best time to exercise would be around five to six hours before going to bed – in this way you will be going to sleep at the same time your body temperature is decreasing. What type of exercise? However, the type of exercise can also play a part. While resistance training is beneficial, cardiovascular exercise appears to strongly promote sleep-enhancing benefits. This is down to the fact that while cardiovascular exercise keeps body temperature higher for several hours after exercise, it then drops lower than if you hadn’t exercised. When this is timed to your sleep cycle, it may result in a better night’s sleep. When it comes to choosing the type of cardiovascular exercise – keep it simple. 20-30 minutes of any aerobic activity in which heart rate is up and your muscles are pumping continuously is sufficient to keep body temperature up for several hours afterwards. This in turn will activate cooling mechanisms to help facilitate sleeping.

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15th October 2016

What Do You Need To Train At Home?

Do you need any special equipment to train at home? No, to train at home you don’t need any special equipment – in fact, the simpler, the better! To enjoy some of the most challenging workouts you’ll ever do, you just need a little space and your own bodyweight. Of course, if you have more space and a budget, you can add other small equipment such as exercise bands, a suspension trainer (TRX), kettlebells and medicine balls. Where is the best place to train? All you need is 2m x 2m  of space – remember, it doesn’t have to be indoors. Interestingly, studies that explore the benefits of exercising outside consistently show that exercisers report more enthusiasm, vitality, pleasure and self-esteem - with lower scores on tension, depression and fatigue. In addition, exposure to direct sunlight will undoubtedly enhance your mood (not to mention your tan!). Do you have any workout suggestions to get started? Let’s start with a simple bodyweight circuit that can be performed indoors or outdoors. Perform the following exercises in the order below: Deep squats Mountain climbers Butt kicks Burpees Star jumps Push-ups Jumping lunges Plank Beginner level – if you are new to bodyweight training, perform a timed circuit of the exercises (30s per exercise, controlled tempo, 30s rest in between each exercise). At the end of the circuit, take 60s rest and repeat 2-3 times. Intermediate level – as you get stronger and fitter, increase the time per exercise (eg. 45-60s). Also start building up to a full range of motion with each exercise. Advanced level – for high intensity metabolic conditioning, perform the circuit using 20s per exercise and 10s rest in between each one (Tabata protocol). Each exercise should now be performed as fast as possible (with control). Repeat the circuit 2-3 times. What is EVO’s position on training at home? At EVO, we fully support any training performed outside of the club. Whether you choose to train at home, or through sport, we advocate training with skill, purpose and a sense of play. Boosting your gym sessions with ‘at-home’ bodyweight-based training will not only help you to progress further and quicker, it will also create good movement habits for lifelong health and fitness.

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5th October 2016

Top Exercises For Ski Fitness

Demands of skiing To keep their ski fitness many skiers in the gym already keep their legs strong; however, skiing is a whole body activity. Maneuvering quickly and pole-planting on high angle terrain requires optimal levels of core and upper body strength. Also, many types of skiing also require short, quick bursts of energy, highlighting the need for power and speed development. Back to basics approach Adopting a back to basics approach to ski fitness will make you a stronger, injury-free skier – all year round. Glutes, hamstrings, and quads are three of the most important muscles in a skier’s body. However, effective force transfer via the legs (and also via the upper body through the ski poles) cannot occur without a strong and stable midline (core). Fundamental movements such as squatting, lunging and lifting will maintain and develop the lower body, as well as eliminating imbalances; bending, twisting and side to side movements will develop midline stability and control of movement; and explosive movements will bridge the core to the upper and lower body – all of which will make you a stronger skier. Top exercises for ski fitness While there are many exercises to build fitness for skiing, at EVO we advocate an approach based on training objectives. For ski fitness, this includes lower body strength, midline stability and speed/power. The following exercise recommendations focus on these objectives, and place a strong emphasis on purposeful and skillful training. By making these exercises a regular part of your workout schedule, you will remain strong, fit and injury-free not only pre-season, but all year round. Lower body strength Knee injuries are common in skiers, especially ACL injuries. To reduce your risk of injury, it’s important to maintain strength and stability around the knee joint using a variety of exercises. Be sure to include squats and deadlifts – master these movements using just bodyweight initially, before adding controllable amounts of weight using dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and medicine balls. Midline stability Midline stability, or balance, is very important for skillful skiing. While having a strong and stable torso is essential, it can be limiting without good balance. Therefore, include simple balance exercises such as single leg squats, and challenge these further using forward/backward/side lunge variations. These exercises will develop lower body and midline stability. You can also include torso twisting/bending exercises such as the medicine ball tornado, or twisting V-sits. Such exercises will not only build torso strength and mobility, but will also develop upper to lower body coordination (via the midline). Power and speed The quick bursts of speed often required during skiing can be developed effectively through jumping movements. As the objective is speed and control, focus on lower repetitions and good technique. Begin with exercises such as squat jumps – and add control by trying to land in the same place. Progressions may include box jumps and long jumps. Speed endurance can also be developed using lateral box jumps (low box). The focus here is to maintain a quick jumping rhythm from side to side. Finally, if you prefer to use a lower impact exercise to build power and speed, try adding barbell hang-cleans to your workout.

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3rd October 2016

Is There An Optimal Calorie Intake?

What is calorie intake? Caloric intake is the number of calories an individual consumes – usually determined on a daily basis. What is optimal calorie intake? This is a challenging question to answer without a reference point. To understand optimal, we need to understand the objective. For example, weight loss is a common objective for which you could calculate an optimal calorie intake. Is it possible to calculate your optimal calorie requirements? Yes. Simple (and complex) formulas exist for calculating daily calorie requirements. Almost all of these use measurements such as weight, height and age to calculate resting metabolic rate and subsequently, daily calorie requirements. Are these calculations accurate? Without longer term monitoring of health, it’s impossible to determine the accuracy of such calculations for each individual. More importantly, the fate and subsequent health outcomes of eating food (calories) is dependent on a number of factors, including food composition, presence of other foods, when the food is eaten, and the current nutritional and metabolic status of the individual. For example, consuming a certain number of calories immediately after exercise will result in a different physiological change compared to eating the same amount when not exercising. So if calories aren’t important to health, what is? While the determination of the optimal calorie intake requirements may be useful in some clinical settings, it is largely irrelevant for most health-seeking individuals. It’s important to understand that our bodies are hard-wired with specific involuntary mechanisms that keep us alive and healthy. Because our physiology is constantly changing, these mechanisms automatically respond to maintain balance. These mechanisms include control of breathing, sleeping and weight. These self-regulated systems are always switched on and provide us with noticeable cues when they become disrupted. For example, when we are hungry, we eat more. When we are full, we stop eating. Unfortunately, we have lost awareness of these simple cues, and it’s starting to negatively impact our health and fitness. What is EVO’s position on calorie intake? At EVO, our focus is on listening to the body and re-connecting to the physical cues that signpost to our physiology and health. As you start to tune in more to the physical sensations of hunger, thirst, mood, stress, and fatigue, you can re-learn to optimize your metabolism and energy levels, without the need to focus unnecessarily on optimal calorie intake. As your metabolic and nutritional status improves on a system-wide scale, so too will your control of weight.

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30th September 2016

Are you exercising at the right time of day?

Morning Workouts Pros If your goal is to lose weight, a morning workout might be the best option for you. When you exercise first thing in the day, it revs up your metabolism, particularly if you do it on an empty stomach. Not having any food in your stomach makes your body target your fat cells for energy, making it easier to lose weight. Your body will continue to burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest. Furthermore, an early morning workout can set you up to make healthier choices throughout the day. Because you started your day of in a healthy way, you'll be more inclined to eat healthy foods to keep that trend going. You'll also get your workout out of the way before the stresses of your daily life get in the way and give you potential excuses . Cons Getting your workouts in during the early morning hours may put you at greater risk for injury. If you are not a morning person, you may still be a bit tired and groggy when you hit the gym. When you are tired, you have less control over your muscles, which can lead you to have poor form in your exercises, putting you at risk for injury. In addition, your core body temperature is lower in the morning than it is later in the day. This makes it even more important that you get an adequate warm-up before beginning more strenuous exercises. Start by jogging at an easy pace for 10-15 minutes to get your blood pumping and your muscles warm. Evening Workouts Pros If building strength and muscle is your goal, the evening is a better time for your workouts. By the time you leave work and head to the gym, you'll have had plenty to eat, giving your body the fuel it needs to get through tougher workouts. However, try not to eat immediately before a workout. Your body needs time to digest the protein in your meal so that it can use it for fuel. Because you have been up and about throughout the day, your muscles are already activated and ready to exercise. In mid-late afternoon the increased metabolism/body temperature will combine to offer better results to your workout.   You should still fit in a warm-up to help reduce your risk of injury, but it is not as crucial as in early morning workouts. When your muscles are already warm, they tend to be more flexible, reducing your risk of injury. Cons Working out at night may interfere with your ability to fall asleep. When you exercise, your body temperature and heart rate increase and they stay elevated for several hours after your workout. In order to fall asleep, your body needs to be in a resting state. If you exercise too late in the evening, it may take too long for your temperature and heart rate to drop back down, which can make it difficult to fall asleep when you need to. Working out in the evening may be more psychologically difficult as well. By the time you have left work, you will have had an entire day to come up with excuses for why you can't or don't want to exercise. You'll need to have more willpower to stick to evening workouts.

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20th September 2016

Top 5 Benefits of Exercise For Your Brain

Improves Memory When you exercise, blood flow increases throughout your body, including to your brain. Over time, this increased blood flow leads to the growth of new blood vessels in your brain. These blood vessels can then carry more oxygen where you need it, resulting in improved brain function. Another one of the benefits of exercise, found in a study by the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, is that exercise stimulates the release of growth factors into your brain cells to help them replicate and regenerate, which can help to stave off neurodegenerative conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's. Reduces Stress and Improves Moods During exercise, endorphins are released into your brain and nervous system. These feel-good neurotransmitters have a similar effect to opiates or antidepressants, causing you to feel happy and content. They even have "therapeutic and preventative effects on depression," according to a study conducted by the University of California, Irvine. This positive feeling stays with you for hours after you have finished exercising as the endorphins work their way throughout your body. This can help to improve your response to stress as well, leading you to react more calmly to problems, rather than immediately jumping into tense mode. It can also contribute to personal relationships, as you will be less likely to spring to anger and will be a more agreeable person to be around. Increases Sleep Efficiency Another one of the benefits of exercise for your brain is that it helps you sleep better at night. Not only have you utilized more of your body's daily storage of energy, but you also have all those feel-good neurotransmitters flowing through your body and reducing stress, which keeps many people up at night. Getting more and better sleep also helps your brain during the day. When you're fully rested, your brain is able to function at its optimal level, resulting in better concentration and focus while you're working. Improves Coordination Improved coordination is one of the benefits of exercise affecting both your body and brain. As you perform exercises that challenge your body, your brain must contribute to control your movements. This effect is compounded when performing complex, full-body movements in rapid succession, like in a kickboxing class or circuit training, as your brain must constantly make adjustments to move your limbs correctly. You'll notice this effect in your daily life, as you'll feel more comfortable and confident in your movements as you complete activities, which helps to prevent injury as well. Improves Focus According to Wendy A. Suzuki, a neural science and psychology professor at New York University, her research lab demonstrated that regular exercise can improve your ability to focus and to shift that focus between tasks quickly and efficiently. This is one of the benefits of exercise that you can see the effects of right away, even if you only exercise casually. With the increased blood flow to your brain, you'll notice heightened levels of attention and much greater ease in concentrating on the task at hand. So what are you waiting for? With all of these exciting benefits of exercise for your brain, there's no reason for you to delay getting into shape both physically and mentally. Head over to EVO to get a workout in today and start reaping the benefits. Your body and brain will thank you!

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15th September 2016

The Various Benefits of Meditation

Brain Benefits Improves Ability to Focus Meditation is the practice of clearing your brain to focus on a single thought, like your breathing tempo. When other thoughts creep in, the goal of meditation is to push them out to bring your focus back in. With practice, you'll get better at focusing your thoughts, which will carry over into your daily life as well. By focusing better on what you are doing, you'll be better able to reap the benefits of exercise during your workouts, as you perform better overall. Slows Brain Aging Meditation activates a variety of areas in your brain, particularly those associated with memory and learning. As with any muscle in your body, your brain can achieve the benefits of exercise as well. Although your brain is not technically a muscle, it still grows stronger with regular exercise, and that is exactly what you get from meditation. A stronger brain means you'll be better able to stave off degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer's and dementia. Reduces Stress Today's world is becoming increasingly fast-paced and stressful, which can be a bit overwhelming at times. Meditation allows you to take a mental step back from the stresses of your daily life, enabling you to maintain calmness, even at your busiest moments. This is one of the key reasons that many people choose to start a meditation practice in the first place. Body Benefits Boosts Immune System This may be related to meditation's ability to lower your stress levels, as stress can wreak havoc on your immune system. Have you ever noticed how you always seem to get sick just when you are the busiest at work? That's right, stress. When you reduce stress through meditation, you'll get the added bonus of staying healthier. When you get sick less often, you can spend more time enjoying activities you love and gaining the health benefits of exercise. Speeds Up Recovery The recovery boost goes hand in hand with the improved immune system. When your immune system is healthy, it is much easier for your body to heal following injuries or illnesses. It's a bit difficult to enjoy the benefits of exercise when you are sidelined by injuries, so it is in your best interest to heal quickly. In meditation, you can also focus on the specific areas that need to heal, which may help them to heal faster by directing your body's healing efforts to where they are needed most. Lowers Blood Pressure When you are calm and relaxed, like you are during meditation, your blood vessels are able to open up more fully. This eases the passage of blood through them, effectively lowering your blood pressure. This benefit does not take place only while you are meditating, but rather carries through to the rest of your day as well. Overall Meditation Health Benefits In addition to the specific benefits outlined above, meditation can make you more likely to make healthier choices in the rest of your life as well. When you start doing one thing that is healthy, it gives you the motivation you need to make other healthy changes in your life, like following a balanced diet or making more of an effort to take advantage of the health benefits of exercise.

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13th September 2016

The Top 6 Climbing Destinations in The World

No matter what your current skill level is, there is a mountain somewhere that you can climb, from novices looking for a new way to get physical activity to seasoned climbers looking for a challenge. Read on for some of our favourite climbing destinations here in our backyard and around the world. In Europe Beginner Mont Blanc - France Mont Blanc is a great starting point for inexperienced climbers, offering beginner treks with guides to help you along the way. You can find a variety of courses that teach novices the basics of mountain climbing on a few low-altitude treks. For those who have done some climbing but are not yet experts, there are some intermediate climbs as well. This popular destination is complete with excellent accommodation and dining options. Swinica - Poland Swinica is another excellent option for beginners. It offers a steep climb, but there are chains installed on the side of the mountain to help you pull yourself up. Nestled in the Tatra Mountains along the Polish-Slovak border, the peak delivers spectacular views across the countryside of both countries. Because the area is a haven for skiers in the winter, there is a broad range of accommodation and dining nearby to suit any preference and budget. Advanced Matterhorn - Switzerland The Matterhorn is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable sights in Europe, at least among the mountain climbing set. Getting to the top is definitely not easy, so climbers must be in peak physical condition to accomplish this feat. However, there are a few climbs on the lower portion of the mountain that can accommodate beginners. The area offers year-round skiing, so be sure to dress for the snowy conditions. Piz Roseg - Switzerland/Italy Despite its difficulty, Piz Roseg is a popular destination for mountain climbers. However, this mountain is for experienced climbers only, and a few have even died attempting to make the climb or while skiing back down. It can get busy sometimes, creating wait times to ascend certain faces, but the waiting gives you a great opportunity to take some time to soak in the natural beauty all around you. Other Climbing Destinations Beginner Jebel Toubkal - Morocco Jebel Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Although challenging, the trek is suitable for beginners. It combines hiking with some climbing over rocks and large boulders. However, the high altitude makes the climb seem more difficult than it would be at a lower altitude, so be sure to give yourself time to acclimate to the limited oxygen in the air. Don't forget to drink plenty of water as well. Advanced Colorado National Monument - United States The Colorado National Monument offers over 150 mountain climbing routes for you to choose from, and the majority of them are extremely difficult. The cliffs here are made of sandstone, so it is important to be careful of loose pieces and smooth surfaces. There are some easier routes in the area, but most of the offerings are for advanced climbers only. Take care during the summer months to stay hydrated, as the climate is dry and hot. These are just a few of the many spectacular mountain climbing destinations in Europe and abroad. As you start getting into mountain climbing, you'll likely meet other climbers who each have their own recommendations. While climbing, you can forge friendships that will last a lifetime.

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8th September 2016

Top 7 Exercises to Improve Fitness for Climbing

For climbing athletes need to be highly skilled in many components of fitness, ranging from flexibility and balance, to having a great amount of strength to lift their full body weight. Areas to focus on include grip strength, unbalanced body positions, long limb reaches, and pulling movements. With these goals in mind the following exercises will challenge general strength and endurance, trunk stability, balance, coordination and flexibility. You can incorporate these exercises individually into an existing workout, or perform them in sequence as a skill-based workout for climbing. In any case, perform each of the following exercises as many times as possible in 30 seconds, focusing on control over speed. Once you have completed all exercises, rest for 1 minute and repeat two more times. TRX row Hold onto the handles of a TRX (waist height) and position your body at a 45 degree incline. Initiate the row by squeezing the shoulder blades together, then pulling the chest towards the handles. Pause at the top for 2 seconds, before slowly returning and releasing the shoulder blades. Repeat continuously. Standing ball press Hold a 4-6kg medicine ball close to the chest, using only your fingers to grip it. Keeping the shoulder blades squeezed together, press forwards horizontally until your arms are straight. Keep the arms parallel to the ground throughout and maintain a strong posture. Return and repeat continuously. Climbing wall squat thrust Find two suitable holds at the top of the climbing wall and hold. Walk your feet up the wall until they are hip height; from this start position then perform two footed jumps against the wall, jumping your feet as high as possible on the wall and then returning to centre. Repeat continuously. Spiderman pull-up Using a pull up bar in a wide overhand grip position, pull your body upwards simultaneously lifting one knee up as high as possible towards the elbow on the same side.  Lower yourself slowly and repeat with the other knee. Spiderman push-up From a push up position, lower your body and simultaneously move one knee to touch the same side elbow. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side. Swedish bar push-pull Stand in front of the Swedish bars and place one hand on a bar at waist height, and the other hand on the highest bar you can reach. Keeping your body close to the bars, simultaneously push on the low bar and pull on the high bar. The bottom arm will straighten and the top arm will bend. Return and switch sides. Plank to hip flexor stretch Start in a push up position (plank) and hold for 7 seconds. Without moving your hands, step one leg forward to just outside the hand on the same side (hip flexor stretch) and hold for 7 seconds. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.

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8th September 2016

How Can I Improve My Running?

Do I need to be really fit to run? In order to answer this question, it’s important to understand that running is a skill that we learned as young children, but have since forgotten as adults. Therefore, when trying to improve running, it’s important to first teach the skills of good posture, optimum cadence, and adequate relaxation. As these skills improve, muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness will also improve. Interestingly, many fit individuals will still have to improve their cardiovascular fitness in order to run with good technique. So what do I need to focus on first? As with almost every upright movement, running begins from the ground up. This means that having strong, mobile and elastic feet and ankles is the most important asset to improving running technique. Unfortunately, modern footwear and prolonged seated postures has largely resulted in weak, immobile and inelastic feet. Therefore, it’s important to restore function to the feet/ankles first – then develop good posture, cadence and relaxation. With that in mind, is footwear important? Absolutely! The best footwear is that which closely resembles the structure and function of a healthy foot – flexible with a wide toe-box, has good ground-feel (thin sole) and is flat (no heel) – these are called barefoot shoes. However, if your feet are not strong, elastic and mobile, and you have poor running technique - you can increase your risk of injury by running in a barefoot shoe. For the majority of individuals who want to improve their running, use of a minimal shoe (some cushioning but not much) will be a good starting point, alongside technique coaching. What about going barefoot – will that improve my running? In modern society, running barefoot is not always viable (or socially acceptable), due to adverse environmental conditions. Therefore, use of a suitable barefoot or minimal shoe will offer a safer alternative. However, the value of barefoot conditioning cannot be overstated, and for this reason, all of our running technique specialists will use barefoot training as part of a running technique program. As a general tip, the more time you spend standing and moving in bare feet, the stronger your feet will become! What is EVO’s position? At EVO, we consider running to be a fundamental movement skill that all humans should master. As small children, we ran skillfully. As adults, many have lost this ability. However, through proper barefoot conditioning and technique training, we can restore optimal structure and function from the ground up, which can positively impact not only running, but all movement. If you are serious about improving your running technique, contact an EVO running technique specialist, who will guide you through foot/ankle exercises, instruct you in proper running technique, and provide a progressive plan of improvement.

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2nd September 2016

How’s Your Pull Up Power?

Perform the following as one sequence on a pull up bar – the entire sequence should take you no more than 10-12 seconds. Use good form throughout and repeat as many times as you can. If you are new to pull ups or would prefer to start at an easier level, you can perform the same sequence on a TRX (be sure to remain directly under the handles at all times). Underhand, close-grip pull up Overhand, close-grip pull up Wide-grip pull up So how did you do? 1 cycle Hmmm….so so 2 cycles Not bad 3 cycles Now we’re getting somewhere 4 cycles Wicked good 5+ cycles Mad skillz! Post your scores on Facebook or Instagram, and let us know how you get on!

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30th August 2016

Upper Body Workout: Pushed For Time?

Perform the following push up workout as one continuous sequence using a moderate tempo. The entire sequence should take you no more than 20-30 seconds. Use good form throughout and repeat the push ups as many times as you can (without rest) to get your score. If you are new to push ups or would prefer to start at an easier level, you can perform the same sequence on your knees (box position). Close grip push up Wide grip push up Regular push up Dive bomber push up So how did you do? 1-2 cycles    Hmmm….so so 3-4 cycles    Not bad 5-6 cycles    Now we’re getting somewhere 7-8 cycles    Wicked good 9+ cycles    Mad skillz! Try also other workouts: Core Bag Workout Kinesis Core Workout HIIT Workout Jumping Workout Cardio Workout  

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28th August 2016

EVO Offers Cutting Edge Fitness Assessment Technology

A pressure plate is a simple platform that measures the pressure (force) during standing, walking or running. Pressure readings during standing can provide useful data on posture, balance, and overall foot health – all of which can have a huge impact on how well we move. Pressure data from walking and running can not only be used to confirm existing foot/ankle problems, but also to predict future injuries. This fitness assessment information can then be used to improve foot health and running technique. Developed by the EVO Academy, pressure plate assessment will be available to all EVO members. Kesh Patel, Fitness Director for EVO Europe, says: "Pressure plate technology has been around for many years, however, its application to fitness and health has been extremely limited. EVO is all about promoting skillful human movement, yet our modern day environments and lifestyles are preventing us from performing simple movements such as standing, walking and running without hurting ourselves. We assume we can perform these movements skillfully and so we take them for granted. In reality, lack of skill in these fundamental movements are a leading cause of pain, dysfunction and injury. This fitness assessment technology will help our members become more aware of movement health, and take positive measures towards enhancing it."

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25th August 2016

Toe-ga Workout: Healthy Feet and Optimal Movement

Have you ever sat back and watched how babies and small children move their small, healthy feet? They can move, bend and manipulate their toes in ways that adults simply cannot. Why is this necessary? During the first 4 years of life, our feet (and hands) are being calibrated as movement sensors, so we can effectively use them to learn how to move around. Strength, mobility and elasticity in the feet are essential to this learning process, and helps to shape the way we stand, squat, walk, jump and run. Unfortunately, as adults we stop using our feet in this way and we also wear restrictive shoes for long periods of time – both of which result in stiffness, immobility and poor elasticity in our feet. As you know, at EVO we are passionate about healthy feet and how this positively impacts our ability to move. Adding a few simple toe-ga exercises to your daily routine will help to free your toes from years of restriction – and make you feel like a 4 year old again! 3 To-ega exercises for healthy feet: 1. Big toe push Push the big toe down into the ground while lifting the other toes up. Hold for up to 30s and repeat on other foot. 2. Big toe under Tuck the big toe under your foot while keeping the other toes out. Hold for up to 30s and repeat on other foot. 3. Big toe out Keep the big toe out while tucking the other toes under your foot. Hold for up to 30s and repeat on other foot.

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23rd August 2016

Everything You Need For Your EVO Workout

The right shoes When you head to the gym to workout, it's vitally important that you have the proper workout gear, including footwear. Shoes with a wide toe-box will allow your toes to spread during movement, and a thin flexible sole will allow your feet to naturally stretch and recoil during impact. If your feet are strong enough however, then the best footwear is simply bare feet – allowing you to feel the ground and react quickly to movement. Comfortable, yet functional clothing and workout gear Choose something form-fitting, but not so tight that it's restrictive. You want to see and feel the shape of your body while working out to ensure that you're using correct form. If your clothing is too loose, you may not be aware that your body is out of alignment, which makes it more likely that you'll strain or hurt yourself. Your favourite playlist Working out is a lot more fun if you have a great soundtrack to go along with it. Put together a playlist before you arrive at the club so you're ready to go. Choose music that is upbeat to help keep you motivated and your heart rate up throughout your workouts. As a tip for running and cycling, listen to hip-hop or drum & bass – both of which are in the the right tempo range for optimal cadence; throw in some slower songs at the end for your cool-down session. Water bottle Even if the club has water fountains, you should still have your own water bottle as an addition to your workout gear. Having it at the ready while you're working out will increase the likelihood that you'll sip frequently to stay hydrated. It also makes it less likely that you'll want to take a trip down the hall to get a drink and risk losing a spot on your favorite machine. For optimal hydration and recovery, add a pinch of salt to the water. Personal care items If you plan to wash and shower after your workout, be sure to pack all of the personal care items you'll need, including shampoo, soap, deodorant and moisturizer. If you’re worried about the safety of using communal showers with bare feet, toss in a pair of rubber flip-flops. Change of clothes You never know when friends might want to go grab a bite to eat later on, so it's always a good idea to have a fresh change of clothes in your gym bag. After all, you don't really want to get back into the work clothes that you've been wearing all day. Pick something comfortable and casual to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after your workouts.

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19th August 2016

The Power Of Sleep

Sleep improves athletic performance A study at Stanford University challenged American football players to try to sleep for at least 10 hours per night. Over the course of eight weeks, the study found that the players had more energy and stamina and improved their average sprint times. The power of sleep doesn't just affect football players, though. Similar results have also been found with swimmers and tennis players. In addition to improved performance, getting enough sleep also keeps you alert and focused, which can help you avoid injuries while working out. Controls your weight During sleep, your body balances out the hormone, called leptin, that controls your appetite. When you are not getting enough sleep, your appetite for foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats increases. Typically, these foods are also high in calories, which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight or shed those last few pounds. In a study at the University of Chicago, researchers tested two groups of people trying to lose weight: those who were sleep-deprived and those who were not. Although both groups lost similar amounts of weight, that weight came mostly from muscle mass in the sleep-deprived group, whereas the group who had enough sleep lost more fat. Boosts emotional stability Getting enough sleep has long been known to boost your mood. Who doesn't know the feeling of being cranky after a night of minimal sleep? Over time, that effect increases and can contribute to anxiety, depression and other long-term emotional issues. Dr. Jodi A. Mindell from St. Joseph's University says, "Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation." Aim for at least 8 hours per night to keep your mood in check. Improves immune function Getting enough sleep goes a long way towards helping to prevent illness. While you sleep, your body is better able to fight off infections, as it can focus on this, rather than on getting you through your daily activities. Being sick can put a hold on your fitness efforts, so be sure to get enough sleep so that you are healthy enough to exercise regularly. A preliminary research study found that people who got less than 7 hours of sleep per night were three times as likely to get sick when exposed to a cold virus than their counterparts who got adequate sleep. Restores your muscles When you work out, the strain creates tiny tears in your muscle fibers. As those tears heal, your muscles become thicker and stronger in an effort to prevent further damage. While you sleep, your body focuses its efforts on healing and cell regeneration, enabling your muscles to build that extra strength. The power of sleep should play a critical role in your fitness routine to give your muscles plenty of time to recover not just from your tough workouts, but from the strain and stresses of your daily activities as well.

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16th August 2016

The Top Fitness Apps And Gadgets For Your City Workout

Fitness trackers Fitness apps andtrackers like Fitbit and Garmin have taken the world by storm and are a great addition to your workouts. At the most basic level, fitness trackers record the number of steps you take throughout the day; but many offer additional metrics such as flights of stairs climbed, distance traveled, calories burned, and quality of sleep. Even if you think you're fit already, keeping track of your daily efforts and progress with a fitness tracker can motivate you to push your training to the next level. Heart rate monitors While many fitness trackers incorporate heart rate monitors, they're not always the most accurate. If you're serious about fitness, a traditional chest strap monitor — like those made by ProForm and Under Armour — is the way to go. There are a variety of options available, and many of them can sync with your fitness tracker or health apps to give you a better picture of just how hard you're pushing yourself when you work out. Exercising at different heart rate levels can help you focus your efforts on losing fat, building endurance, or improving general cardiovascular health. GPS fitness apps The Endomondo fitness app is a great way to track your outdoor runs, hikes or bike rides by utilizing the GPS in your smartphone. You can view your pace, elevation change, and split times per mile within the app, and can participate in challenges to win prizes from sponsors like Under Armour and other fitness clothing and accessory companies. If you follow the same route frequently, you can compare your performance each time so that you can constantly strive for a new personal record. Connect with your friends to add additional competition. City exercise safety All the workout technology in the world won't help you if you're not safe while you exercise. Luckily, there are a variety of fitness apps available for smartphones that aim to keep you safer while working out in the city. Air quality trackers alert you to areas of your city that are high in pollution, so you know to avoid them. It's important that the air is clean, especially when you're breathing hard. Other apps use your phone's GPS to lower the volume on your earbuds when you approach major intersections so that you can be more aware of oncoming traffic. Fitness friend finders Working out is always more fun with friends, and research has shown that it can help motivate you to work out harder and longer than you would on your own. However, it's not always easy to find fitness-minded friends in your area, especially if you have a busy work schedule. A quick search in your smartphone's app store delivers a host of fitness apps designed to make the process easier. A bit like a dating app but for fitness, simply enter in your location and the app will show you others in your area looking for a workout buddy.

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11th August 2016

Tutorial: How To Do A Handstand The EVO Way

When learning to perform a handstand for the first time, taking the time to build a level of strength and stability, before adding balance, will go a long way to mastering a consistent handstand hold. So whether you’re after the challenge of a new bodyweight skill, want to build huge levels of upper body strength, or simply wish to have more kudos with your friends and family – follow our 4 simple steps below. Step 1 – body tension In a handstand, adequate body tension is essential for balance, and is required from the hands right through to the feet. Because the arms will naturally straighten in a handstand, it’s often the torso and legs that need tightening up. A simple way of building body tension is by assuming a push up position and progressively increasing the hold time. Start with 10s and build up to 60s. The key is to keep the torso, butt and leg muscles at a consistent level of tightness (whilst breathing freely). To increase the challenge, you can walk the arms out towards an overhead position, and build in the holds from here. However, don’t overdo the arm reach - it’s important to remember we are building the feeling of body tension – not fatigue. Step 2 – building strength The next objective is to build strength and stability through the upper body, as well as increasing confidence in being inverted. This is achieved by progressively elevating the legs using stairs or a wall. The outcome of this drill is to be able to hold the legs in a horizontal position (pike) with the hips over the shoulders. Build up to a 20s hold, whilst maintaining body tension. Step 3 – kick up to wall Now’s the time to practice the kick up. Using a wall serves two purposes: it acts as a safety net; and it allows you to fine-tune the amount of kicking force. Face the wall, lunge forwards and plant your hands a few inches away from the wall. Gently kick up with the back leg, whilst keeping the other one down – this won’t take you to the full handstand position, but it will allow you to refine your kick. The aim is to kick hard enough to brush the wall with the kicking foot, but not slam into it.  Practice this drill on both sides. When you feel confident, kick up one leg, quickly followed but he other, into the full handstand against the wall. Step 4 – free standing handstand Now that you know what it’s like to be upside down, and have the strength to hold this against the wall, it’s time to try the kick up to free standing handstand. This will initially require every ounce of balance you can find, and for this reason, it’s important to have a safe exit strategy if you lose balance. The simplest exit strategy is to side-step out, e.g. if you feel like you’re falling forwards, lift one hand and step out with the opposite leg. Find a suitable space and begin slowly kicking up with one leg (as before) – keep the other leg down for the moment so you can build confidence without over-kicking. The aim is to eventually be able to kick one leg up vertical for a few seconds with the other leg staying lower – this will get you used to balancing without falling. With practice, you’ll be able to kick up with just the right amount of force, bringing both legs into a full free standing handstand. Build up the holding time as your skill improves. Handstand tips Use the following tips to make your handstand more efficient: When planting the hands, spread the fingers with middle fingers pointing forward Push the hands into the floor as you kick up Keep the arms straight during all phases of the handstand Drive the hips over the shoulders during kick up – the quicker your hips are over your shoulders, the more balanced you’ll be Maintenance of body tension is the key to good balance and aesthetics; loss of tension often results in a banana-shaped handstand When practicing free standing handstands, use a partner to catch your legs as you kick up. They can then use small adjustments of your legs to fine tune your balance, while you focus on other aspects of the skill Allow time between handstand sessions for the wrists to recover

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5th August 2016

Olympic Athletes: What defines them?

Becoming an Olympic athlete is something many children dream about but few ever actually achieve. Mostly, these dreams fall by the wayside to make room for more realistic goals, like building a career or gaining a quality education. However, it requires more than just optimal health and fitness to reach the elite levels required to compete in the Olympic Games and become one of the Olympic athletes. Determination is the basis for the success of Olympic athletes Competing at the high level that's required of Olympic athletes takes a lot of determination. The athlete must be fully committed to his sport of choice in order to maintain the necessary skills over years. Olympic athleticism is not something one can achieve easily. It often requires sacrifices in other areas of life, like family, vacations, and hobbies. However, if you're truly passionate about a sport, it will be much easier to make these sacrifices to pursue your dream. To build up determination, try a short meditation before you begin your workout to get focused on the goals you wish to achieve.   "If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail." –Mark Spitz, USA gold medalist in swimming   Competitive spirit to push personal boundaries Without a competitive spirit, no athlete would have the drive to improve constantly in an effort to be the best in the world someday. The essence of the Olympics is competition, so this is a crucial quality in Olympic hopefuls. Of course, there's always a place for people who play sports simply for love of the game - but not in the Olympics. Obviously, those who achieve that level of success in athletics love what they do. But they must love the thrill of competition as well. Feed your competitive spirit by working out with a friend. This way you can see who can do the most reps or run the fastest.   “You’ve got to look for tough competition. You’ve got to want to beat the best.” –Grete Waitz, Norwegian marathon runner   Bring yourself to perfection with lots of practice Becoming an elite athlete at the level of those in the Olympics requires decades of practice. We're not talking about casual practice. Attaining Olympic-level skills requires daily hours of practice and working with trainers on a variety of related exercises to enhance skills within the sport. These grueling workouts are meant to push you to your limits each and every day so you're constantly improving. While it's not necessary to work out that much in your everyday life, try to stick to a regular schedule for exercise. Your constant efforts will keep your skills sharp and your body in top form.   “You have to train your mind like you train your body.” -Bruce Jenner, USA medalist in the decathlon   Natural ability means natural advantage While natural ability is not necessarily a requirement, it certainly helps when striving to attain the elite levels of fitness required to compete at the Olympic level. Those who are naturally gifted in their chosen sport will have an easier time discovering that talent at an early age. Thus, they have several more years of practice compared to those who chose their sport later in life. When working out, tap into your own natural abilities, and try to mimic movements that you do in your daily life. It will give your body the strength it needs to tackle your routine activities.   “I didn’t set out to beat the world; I just set out to do my absolute best." –Al Oerter, gold medalist in the disc throw  

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8th July 2016

The story behind EVO Design

The result is a contemporary, natural, and inspiring place to exercise and train. There is a proprietary round leather sofa at the entrance, where members are asked to remove their outdoor shoes and store them in the shelving provided. Different training zones help to create a fitness journey – building a highly visual training map in line with the EVO tag line – ‘fitness evolved’. Kesh Patel, Fitness Director of EVO Europe, says ‘We’ve taken every measure to create a training space that allows for the art and practice of skillful, purposeful and playful movement for EVO members, yet remains a highly conducive environment for our PTs to deliver best-in-class training. Our brand identity is pervasive throughout the entire club and strongly echoes a training philosophy that is based on the mastery of human movement’. The moment you walk into EVO, it will make you stop and think differently about the way you move. More space, progressive training zones, and expert Personal Training provide every EVO member with an optimal gym experience that supports pure personal empowerment. Inspired by nature in every way, EVO looks back but thinks forward, reconnecting your senses to your environment.

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8th July 2016

EVO Training System: skillful, purposeful and playful

As children, we were efficient movers. We learned this through predictable stages of development, during which mastery of simple movements quickly formed the foundation for more complex movements. But as adults we have forgotten how to move well, through lack of practice and lack of skill. Simple movements that once shaped our physical fitness have now become challenging, inefficient, and redundant in our daily lives. As a result, our movement health has declined. At EVO, we understand the nature of human movement, which is why we developed EVOMOVE – a unique training system that focuses on the very movement patterns that make us human, and programmed in a way that provides real world context. EVOMOVE focusses on re-developing simple human movements with a sense of skill, purpose and play. We believe there are seven key movement patterns that form the foundation for human movement: squatting, lunging, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting, locomotion. As part of the EVOMOVE training system, we believe that re-building a balanced foundation in these movements is essential for lifelong health, performance and well-being.   EVOMOVE improves your fitness in ways that matter to you. This is movement that makes sense.

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8th July 2016

Five movements everyone should be doing

Good movement health is more than just exercising regularly – it’s about giving your training context and meaning. One of the best ways to begin doing this is to focus on simple movements that build good levels of balance and stability as a foundation for strength and coordination. To get you started, here are 5 balance and stability movements that you should include regularly in your workouts and in your daily life: 1. Single leg balance Stand on one leg using your arms for balance. Maintain good posture and engage the big toe by gently pushing it into the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat twice on each side. 2. Child squat From standing, drop down as far as comfortable into a deep squat position. If your motion is restricted, it’s OK to hold onto a sturdy object. Relax into the squat and hold for up to 30 seconds. Rest and repeat. 3. Jumping on the spot Stand with arms relaxed by your sides and start jumping up and down. You will naturally land on the balls of your feet, and the heels should lightly touch the ground with each jump. Maintain good posture and keep the jumps fast. Perform for 1 minute. 4. Front support Get into a push up position with feet together. Round the back and push the shoulder blades up – you will feel the abdominals tighten. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat. 5. Hanging from a bar Jump up and hang from a bar. Gently engage the abdominals and squeeze the shoulder blades together, keeping the arms straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat. Where you can, perform these exercises in bare feet, and remain mindful when doing them. With regular practice, they will become easier. And don’t be fooled by their simplicity – when performed with good technique, these exercises will challenge your strength, endurance and flexibility in ways you’ve never felt. As we say at EVO, less is more!

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8th July 2016

Movement Health?

The ability to perform a movement well is a simple definition of skill, and skill is an important determinant of physical health. When it comes to movement, nature makes no allowances for your lack of skill. Even in our modern, technology-enabled environment, lack of skill in simple movements has increased our risk of injury, especially when compounded by long-duration and high-intensity training methods. Movement is more than just exercise, and good movement health is more than just exercising regularly each week. At EVO, we understand the importance of optimizing movement health through the development and mastery of simple movement patterns that focus on building balance, strength and coordination. We also know that in order to develop lifelong movement health, you need to practice these movements skillfully, purposefully and playfully on a regular basis. Here are some guidelines for movement health: 1. Move skillfully Awareness of your environment is the foundation of skill. Therefore, while exercising, learn to engage with your surroundings. Take your headphones off, and listen to your body; take your shoes off and go bare foot; pay attention to your posture; follow the rhythm of your movement. 2. Move purposefully Include the building blocks of movement in your workouts, such as balancing, squatting, bending, lifting, pushing, pulling, hanging, climbing, twisting, jumping and running. These are the movements that gave us context and meaning during our early years. These re the movements we are designed to do. 3. Move playfully Take time to explore and discover new movements. During these moments, there is no need for sets and reps – this is the time to be curious, to break the rules, and to have fun. Try the climbing wall, swing from a bar, crawl on the floor, or do a handstand.  

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8th July 2016

Metabolic Health?

Alongside movement and recovery, an optimal metabolism is one of the cornerstones of overall health. Our metabolism converts food into energy needed for everything we do from moving to thinking to growing. Metabolism is controlled not only by what we eat, but by the way we move and our recovery status. Good metabolic health is more than just eating healthy – it’s about understanding how food choices and eating behaviours affect the chemical reactions that impact our health. Without this understanding, even ‘apparently healthy’ foods can negatively affect our health, and when combined with over-training and poor recovery strategies, can lead to a chronically low metabolism. This can lead to a number of hormonal issues that can affect our health and performance, including decreased testosterone and growth hormone, decreased fat burning, insulin resistance, dry skin and hair, insomnia, fatigue, frequent urination and food cravings. With a few simple dietary modifications and behavioural strategies, you can kick-start your metabolism, enjoy increased performance and natural weight loss, and return your body to optimal health.

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8th July 2016

Five tips for raising your metabolism

1. Don’t drink when you’re not thirsty – we are often told to drink plenty of luid each day, but we don’t really know why. When we drink too much fluid that doesn’t contain solutes such as salt and sugar, we dilute our extracellular fluid (fluid outside the cells) resulting in frequent urination, loss of salt and a lower body temperature (metabolism). As a guideline, you should only drink more fluid if you’re thirsty (dry mouth), hot or about to do exercise – this is when you really need it. 2. Monitor your body temperature and urine – body temperature is an accurate metabolic marker. Temperatures consistently below 98.6F are indicative of a slow metabolism; if this occurs, eat a salty carbohydrate-rich snack to boost your metabolism. In a similar vein, if your urine is pale or clear in colour, or you have the urge to urinate frequently, then you should drink less fluid and eat a salty snack. 3. Snack often – the purpose of snacking is to combat a stress event. Signs to look out for include cold hands and feet, sudden urge to urinate, crash in energy levels or a sudden onset headache. Not much is needed, for example, a salty carbohydrate snack with a small cup of juice. 4. Eat enough carbohydrate – low-carb diets can be metabolically suppressive regardless of salt and fluid intake. The glucose from carbohydrate is an important factor in salt uptake – which is why many sports drinks contain both carbohydrate and salt. 5. Eat enough salt – salt is a powerful metabolic stimulator, and will super-charge your metabolism provided you don’t overdrink. Aim to make each meal pleasantly salty (don’t overdo it). In a short space of time, you will notice an increase in body temperature, greater focus and increased performance.

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8th July 2016

Recovery health?

We already know that our movement habits and eating habits, can significantly impact our ability to recover; however, optimal recovery is more than just manipulation of movement and nutrition alone. At EVO, we believe that the foundation for recovery health should be built on three main principles, each of which should be practiced alongside good movement and eating habits. These principles are: physical rest, stress management and light exposure. Physical rest – most of us consider sleep as physical rest; while this is true, it’s also important to consider quality of sleep. Deep sleep patterns are associated with better recovery and increased performance. Physical rest doesn’t always mean sitting still, and may also include light activities such as walking. Finally, meditation can also offer a form of physical (and mental/emotional) rest when practiced daily. Stress management – short and long term stress is now widely accepted as having a negative impact on health. Chronic anxiety or depression can lead to poor recovery, despite regular exercise and good eating habits. This is often compounded by the fast culture of modern living, leaving little time to address stress, until it starts to affect our bodies. Simple stress management techniques may include meditation, breath control, and frequent work breaks. Light exposure – one of the biggest factors that affects our physical (and mental) recovery is over-exposure to light. From mobile phones and tablets to laptops and TVs, modern environments are full of light. While there is nothing wrong with light, over-exposure to light beyond later in the day can disrupt sleep patterns and reduce ability to recover optimally. Where possible, look for opportunities to dim lights later at night, and reduce your use of any light-emitting gadgets.

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8th July 2016

Five simple strategies to boost recovery

Developing lifelong recovery health takes time, practice and dedication, but the rewards will pay off in terms of deeper sleep, reduced stress and increased performance. To get you started, here are our top tips to boost your recovery:   Shorten your workout – reducing your total workout time by 10-15 minutes will significantly boost your recovery. This is easier than you think, if you remain focused on your training and stick to your rest periods. Use this additional time to practice other recovery techniques. Breath control – breathing techniques can not only relax and calm us, they can also improve circulation, which can aid recovery. To begin with, simply pay attention to your breathing – initially you may notice that most of the breath movement takes place in the shoulders and chest. As you begin to relax, the movement will occur lower in the abdomen and the shoulders will start to relax. With practice, you will be able to control your breath in as little as a minute. Minute break – where possible during work time, take a minute break. During this time get up and walk around, look out of a window to relax your eyes, spend some time breathing deeply – in fact do anything that promotes relaxation. If it helps, set a reminder on your phone to take a minute break every 30 minutes. Meditation – whilst meditation is best learned through guided instruction, try the following simple exercise to get you started: allow 5 minutes for this activity, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and sit comfortably with an upright posture. Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. As your body begs to relax, notice any thoughts that come to mind. Rather than react to these thoughts, simply notice them and let them pass – returning to your breathing each time. With practice and guidance, you will notice better recovery and increased calmness Dim the lights – the sleep hormone, melatonin, naturally increases as it gets dark, promoting deep sleep. Modern lifestyles continue to expose us to unnatural light (phones, laptops, TVs etc) even when it’s dark outside. This causes melatonin levels to decrease, and can disrupt our sleep patterns. To combat this, make an effort to reduce use of laptops, phones and TVs at least 2 hours before bedtime. You can also dim the lights in your house in the evenings. This will help increase your melatonin levels before bed and promote better sleep patterns.

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