Reading Park Fitness

Get outdoors this summer to exercise with Peak XV Boot Camps and join their Reading Park Fitness. Their outdoor boot camp sessions take place in Christchurch Meadows in Caversham which is beautifully set on the River Thames near the centre of Reading. Their Park Fitness sessions in Reading are attended by up to 15 local ladies who spend an hour being put through their paces by Peak XV Fitness instructors.

The sessions include various boot camp style exercises such as running, jumping, body weight exercises and stretching. The sessions are sixty minutes long and take place four times a week. Many of the members prefer the outdoor environment in which to exercise as they spend most of the rest of their lives indoors. That is one of the main appeals of the park fitness sessions run by Peak XV Fitness. Outdoor exercise sessions have gained in popularity over the past five years and Peak XV Fitness run several centres in the region.

Results that can be expected are up to 10 pounds of weight loss in less than 28 days. Also members often lose several inches off their waist and hips in the same time frame. The courses come with full nutritional support in the form of weekly meal plans, recipes and nutritional supplements which are designed by a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist. Members normally join for three months but can opt for an on going monthly membership. Some of the members of the Park Fitness in Reading have been attending the sessions for over a year now and have the results to show for it, feeling fitter and lighter than they have in years.

As the Spring brings in the lighter evenings more people are getting outdoors to perform their exercise sessions. Group style boot camps in local parks are particularly popular with female participants who make up the majority of Peak XV Fitness’s customers. The ladies particularly enjoy the group environment and the support and encouragement the group brings. The ladies are often local Mums or employees of local Reading companies and come from all walks of life.

For a free one week trial at the beautiful Caversham location in Christchurch Meadows contact boot camp director Chris Hines on 07879 646969 or register at their website at
Places are strictly limited and you may need to book your place ahead of time. Don’t miss out on your chance to join Peak XV Fitness’s very popular Reading Park Fitness this summer.

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Speed your recovery from the London marathon

You’ve done it! Those last few miles really took it out of you tough, you felt there was nothing left in your legs or that your lungs were about to burst but you just kept telling yourself “move your legs!”. So I bet you are dreading the aching legs and tending the blisters over the next few days, but is there anything you can do to speed your recovery and get back to the gym or out on the road again?

Recovery strategies


Nutrition and hydration


Optimum nutrition and hydration are key recovery strategies after the London marathon. As tempting as it may be, it is very unwise to go straight down the pub and celebrate your performance with a couple of pints and a pub lunch. Alcohol will further dehydrate you and compound the dehydration induced by 3 to 6 hours of running.

So replace the water and electrolytes you have lost in your sweat. You need to drink 1.5 litres of water for every kg of bodyweight you lost during the race. Make sure you add a little pinch of salt into the water so your body absorbs it.


Restore your muscle and liver glycogen stores as well. This restoration is highest in the first hour post exercise, so use liquid then solid meals containing protein and carbohydrate. To do this consume 1-1.2g of carbs per kg of body weight per hour for up to 4 hours post race – e.g. 80kg athlete would need to consume 80-90g of carbs per hour to restock muscle glycogen. Here is an idea of carb content of food:

Sports drink
• Lucozade sport – 30g
• Lucozade hydro – 10g

• 1 banana – 25g
• 1 apple – 15g
• 1 orange – 20g
• 1 kiwi fruit – 6g
• 1 serving of berries – 5g
• 2 dried figs – 15g
• 2 dried dates – 15g
• 6 dried prunes – 20g
• 1 tablespoon (30g) dried raisins – 20g

• 2 slices granary bread – 50g
• 1 medium serving rice – 50g
• 1 medium serving pasta – 45g
• 1 medium serving spaghetti – 35g
• 1 serving Special K – 20g
• 1 serving sugar free muesli – 30g
• 1 serving cornflakes – 25g
• 1 serving bran flakes – 25g
• 1 serving porridge – 14g

• 1 Potato – 50g
• 1 large sweet potato – 30g
• 1 portion of peas – 8g
• 1 portion of carrots – 3g
• 1 portion of broccoli – 1g
• 1 portion of cauliflower – 3g

Make sure you eat these carbs with good quality sources of protein that helps to repair muscle, tendon, ligament and bone damage induced by the race. Good sources include eggs, chicken, beef and fish.


Active recovery


As insane as it may sound but the best thing you could do to speed the recovery of those aching limbs is to do what is called an active recovery. This can be anything from a light walk with the dog, or a gentle 20 minute light bike ride or jog. Some stretching and a massage would also be a good idea as part of this active recovery. Research shows that athletes who do an active recovery report less muscle soreness and improved performance compared to athletes who do a passive recovery (which means doing nothing).


Cold water immersion


It is currently en vogue for athletes to use “ice baths” after exercise as they are supposed to improve recovery after exercise. I’m sure you have all seen and heard Paula Radcliffe promote the benefits of using ice baths. However how do you know if an ice bath is good for you after training and after the hLondon marathon? More importantly how can you do these at home?


There are some misconceptions around ice baths or what is otherwise known as cold water immersion (CWI). You do not have to throw 10kg of ice into a bath of water and sit there for 10 minutes shivering in pain to benefit from CWI. The water temperature only needs to be cold (10-12 degrees).


CWI is useful for drawing blood out of the extremities and back to the core. This helps to remove waste and toxins from the working muscles. When you warm shower or simply get out of the cold water and warm up you will have an increased blood flow back to the extremities which carries fresh blood and oxygen back to the muscles to aid recovery.


CWI and contrast bathing have been found to be more effective than doing a passive recovery (which means doing nothing), but no more effective than compression socks or an active recovery. So it might be wise to combine you CWI with an active recovery and compression socks.


Some people love ice baths and swear by them, others absolutely hate them, so I think the use of ice baths is purely subjective. In some people CWI decreases the feelings of pain and fatigue after a race and increase the perception of “recovery”. So if you’re one of these people – then go for it. If you can’t bear the thought of it then think about post exercise nutrition, compression socks and an active recovery as a way to improve your aching legs after the London marathon.




We don’t fully understand why we need sleep, but we do know that sleep has an amazing restorative and regenerative process on the body. We know that certain hormones are released during sleep such as growth hormone, testosterone and melatonin and that these hormones run the bodies repair processes.


Good sleep hygiene refers to adopting behaviours that typically promote improved quality and quantity of sleep and avoiding behaviours that interfere with sleep. One of the best ways to improve sleep is to improve sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene involves many things such as sleeping in a dark, quiet room, aiming for 8-9 hours of sleep, eating the right foods and nutrients throughout the day (such as meat, fish and vegetables) and avoiding foods and other things that retard sleep (such as caffeine and alcohol).


• Hydrate and restock muscle glycogen stores in the 4 hours after the race has finished.
• Get a good nights sleep (8-9 hours)
• Use CWI if you think it benefits your recovery
• Do an active recovery the day after the race


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Bisham Abbey May 2012

Who else wants to spend three days getting leaner and lighter at Bisham Abbey with two of the UK’s leading fitness experts?


Here is the course brochure PeakXVfitness residential brochure


We invite you to be one of a small group of clients that we work with for 3 days to optimise your health and your fitness and give you the knowledge to get 10 times the results you’re currently getting from your fitness programme.


Here’s what you’ll get on our bootcamp:


– 2 nights’ accommodation

– All meals for 3 days designed by a leading nutritionist

– 3-4 awesome workouts per day

– In depth body composition analysis (BioSignature)

– Personalised dietary and supplement programme

– Informative lectures

– Flexibility and relaxation Sessions

– Lots of fun


Most residential boot camps we’ve researched charge around £200 per day and don’t include the cutting edge nutritional and exercise techniques we’re employing (the BioSignature Modulation is worth £200 alone!).


Based on this we could easily charge £600 for the full three days. But as this is our first course and we’re only offering it to our valued customers and newsletter subscribers first the EARLY BIRD price is only £337 if you book before April 30th.


After that date it goes up by £100 and we’ll also open it up to the general public.


Places are limited and we have sold a number of places already so act now if you want in.


Here is the course brochure again PeakXVfitness residential brochure

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3 Ways to a Flat Tummy – Guaranteed.

Having a washboard tummy everyone’s dream. Being able to fit into those skinny jeans and actually be able to button them up or looking in the mirror to admire the ripples of muscle on that six pack is not such a distant a dream as you may think. These 3 tips are a sure-fire way to get a flat tummy – guaranteed.


Number 1: Reduce and remove your food intolerances


Food allergy and food intolerances are becoming more widely recognised amongst nutritional and conventional medical practitioners. Up to 2% of the population may suffer from food allergies, which can be quite a serious condition, such as a child having an allergy to nuts. As for food intolerances, well anywhere up to 45% of the population may suffer from them. A food intolerance is considered to be less severe than a food allergy, and can manifest as low grade “silent inflammation” with sub clinical symptoms such as brain fog, irritable bowel, headaches or low energy. One of things that food intolerance can do is cause bloating and this is the worst thing that can happen if you want a flat tummy.


These food intolerances may also create no outward symptoms at all but can be creating havoc on the inside. Research from the Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics in Austria have shown that obese children have significantly higher IgG antibodies against certain foods than normal weight children. So these food intolerances can be involved in the development of obesity and atherosclerosis.


The most common food intolerances are wheat, gluten, cow’s milk, eggs, soy and yeast. These are found in bread, pasta, bakery products, dairy products and soy products. If you can’t afford a food intolerance test (as they can be between £170 and £265) then you can do an elimination diet.


For 2 weeks eliminate all potential food intolerances and just eat the following foods:


– all meat, seafood, poultry and fish (except tuna, and swordfish) as your source of protein. Combine these protein sources with unlimited amounts of vegetables such as artichokes, avocado (1 a day), asparagus, aubergine, bamboo shoots, beetroot greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, raw carrots, celery, chard, collards, courgette, cucumber, fennel, green beans, kale, lettuce leaves (all types), mushrooms, olives (3 a day), onions, parsley, peas, peppers, radishes, sauerkraut, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts and watercress. During this 2 weeks don’t eat grains, dairy, starchy vegetables or drink alcohol. This will help your immune system to calm down, it will allow your gut to heal and you will also lose a little weight.


After the initial 2 weeks of food elimination try introducing some of the foods that you have been avoiding back in to the diet one at a time each week over the course of a couple of months and see which foods may any of your symptoms return. For example for one week slowly add pasta and bread back into your diet. If you start getting bloated again or your IBS returns you can be pretty sure that you are gluten intolerant, and if you don’t avoid it you won’t have a flat tummy.


Number 2: Stress


Stress comes in many forms be it a stressful day at work where you are constantly answering the phone or can’t keep up with all the e-mails you are getting; you are in meeting all day or you have that deadline to meet and you have not quite done enough work for it yet – arghhhh! It can come from being stuck in traffic, or arguing with you husband and kids, however it can also be from eating poor foods, not getting enough sleep, light or exercise or worrying about money etc…

Regardless of what type of stress you are under today your body responds in the same way as if you were alive 10,000 years ago and under stress running from a tiger – you release adrenalin (which increases you heart rate and blood pressure) and you release cortisol. Now this survival mechanism that has evolved in us over 1000’s of years is perfectly adapted for running from a tiger, but not well adapted to modern stress.


Unfortunately if you are under stress and release more cortisol through the day many things can happen. Cortisol can shrink and age your brain, it can waste away your bones and muscles and it can cause you to store fat on your tummy. Research has now confirmed that women who suffer more stress have more fat on their tummy – which is a disaster if you want a guaranteed flat tummy.

So what can you do? Eat regular meals and snack to balance your blood sugar, eat foods rich in magnesium like greens, vitamin C such as peppers, kiwi and oranges and foods rich in B vitamins such as meat and fish. These nutrients help protect your body from the effects of stress. Also get adequate sleep to rest and repair and remember to take some time for yourself to relax like going for a walk or going for a massage.


Number 3: Whole body exercise – not just core conditioning


To get that washboard tummy you need to exercise. You may have heard you need to train your abs to get that flatter tummy, however, beware as this is not the best way to do it! Lying on the floor doing abs crunches and Pilates is not effective for weight loss. There is no direct link from the fat cell to the muscle cell, so doing crunches will not burn tummy fat. The best exercises that create large activation in abdominal muscles are squats, dead lifts and chin ups anyway! Of course if you add in some crunches or Pilates at the end of your workout for fun / variety – go for it but make proper weight training the focus of your session.


What you need to do is this: You need to lift weights and do interval training. Yes even you girls need to do lift weights; this will not turn you in to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Weight lifting builds muscle tissue and muscle is your friend. It makes you more sensitive to insulin (which is good) and gives you more metabolically active tissue that can burn fat 24/7. As I’ve said doing squats, lunges, dead lifts, chip ups and other large compound exercises are your friend when it comes to a flatter tumm.


You also need to do interval training. This is different to steady state cardio such as going for a half hour run. Instead you run hard for a period of time, say 1 minute after which you walk or jog for say 1-2 minutes and repeat this for up to 20 minutes (if you can do more than 20 minutes you are either very fit – or you are not exercising hard enough). This type of training is great for increasing post work out EPOC and for raising your metabolism- which means you burn fat for hours after you have finished training.

So there you have it put these 3 tips into practice for a guaranteed flatter tummy.


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Reading Outdoor Workouts

The rise of Reading outdoor workouts has been led by Boot Camp company Peak XV Fitness. Their outdoor workouts are based in Christchurch Meadows, Caversham and are very popular with local fitness enthusiasts. Their groups run at the weekends and also on a Tuesday and Thursday evening. There classes are mainly for local Reading ladies who enjoy outdoor workouts. Reading is lucky to enjoy some of the nicest outdoor space in the County and Christchurch Meadows sits right on the River Thames.
The sessions at Peak XV Fitness are run by sports science graduate, Chris Hines, who after leaving Loughborough University has spent much of his career helping people get fit and lose weight in his role as a Personal Trainer.

Hines uses the latest scientific techniques to help his clients get in great shape. They specifically use High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to get maximum results in the minimum amount of time. This can take a variety of forms including sprint training and circuit training. Chris now focuses most of his attention on outdoor workouts in Reading, where he lives, although high demand takes him into London a couple of days a week.

Another favourite piece of equipment that Peak XV Fitness use on their Reading Outdoor Workouts is the Kettle Bell. This is kind of like a weighted block with a handle. It can be held to add an overload or swung around to work various muscle groups. Hines goes on to say that kettle bell workouts are all the rage in the fitness industry right now. They give participants a fantastic whole body workout and particularly works the core or abdominal muscles. The outdoor workout classes in Caversham use kettle bells extensively to get the members in great shape. The outdoor workouts also utilise medicine balls, body blades and dyna bands to push their members to the limit.

For more information about how to get a complimentary free week trial at Peak XV Fitness Reading Outdoor Workouts call Chris on 07879 646969 or visit their website at Places are strictly limited so call today for more information.

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London nutritionist food myths 12 – Soy

London nutritionist Steve Hines shares his thoughts on Soy foods. They are not as healthy as you think.


To learn more about healthy eating contact Steve Hines for a consultation.


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