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Our training philosophy is based upon the foundations of Strength, Mobility and Nutrition . From our first class gym facility at The Health Hub near Bury St Edmunds, we can show you how to integrate this into your training and your life.

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By Stuart Turner STPT, Dec 22 2017 01:00PM

During the festive period there is often a lot of competition for your time and energy, and more often than not getting to the gym or doing some exercise is substitiuted for other more desirable activities involving mulled wine and minced pies.

However all is not lost, here are a few tips to keep a healthy balance during this period.

1. Get the family involved – Christmas is a great time to spend with family and friends so why not meet up at the park and throw a ball around or go for a workout or swim. Catching up for a coffee after a few lengths in the pool kills two birds with one stone.

2. Dump the kids with family – when family are about make the most of it and sneak a bit of me time. I’m sure grandparents, aunts and uncles will love to have the little ones for an hour. In my experience its best not to overuse this one.

3. Get outside – use your holiday time to get out and run/jog or walk. Just be sure to warm up properly and build up slowly. No-one wants to spend Christmas day injured because you decided on a half marathon after months of inactivity.

4. Clear the head – a lot of gyms are open early in the morning and there is no better way to clear the Christmas party hangover than an hour in the gym. It takes some motivation but once it’s done you’ll feel much better.

5. Schedule cleverly – This ones the boring one, book yourself some time to train. Work it into your day and put it on the calendar. It’s amazing how easy it is to find an hour if you plan in advance, and similarly how easy it is to get to the end of a week off and find you haven’t found time to exercise.

6. Sack it all off and start again in January – If all else fails and you really can’t train over the festive period then don’t panic. It is only a week or so and you won’t get that out of shape…….surely. However make a plan, set a date or make an appointment with a personal trainer for your return. Don’t let a week off turn into 2 or 3.

Most of all enjoy yourself – life’s short and Christmas doesn’t happen everyday.

By Stuart Turner STPT, Aug 4 2017 11:59AM

Sprinting for Fat loss - Quick not Easy
Sprinting for Fat loss - Quick not Easy

"I'm to busy to train, I just dont have the time'

I hear this a lot, often from members of my own family and friends, and I get it. We’re all busy people with busy lives and lots going on. We want to be healthier, fitter, leaner, but it can feel overwhelming and even with the best intentions life sometimes just gets in the way.

I have two young kids, a business to run, and two dogs to look after so sometimes training time has to go on the back burner. Luckily enough I’m in the fitness industry so I can normally catch up but for those of you that aren’t working in a gym then here’s a few tips to fit fitness into your life.

1. Short workouts – you’ll be surprised how much quality training you can get done in 30 minutes if you really put your mind to it. HIIT training is great if your goal is fat loss and fitness or perhaps some form of circuit training. If you're trying to build muscle, its amazing how much quality work you can get in in a 30 miunte period, you dont have to do 10 different chest exercises, you just need to get good volume into the session. The key is to remove the distractions like phones and social media and have a plan. Get in, get done and get out.

2. Do something fun – Fitness doesn’t have to be hard and miserable. If it is then maybe you just need to change your approach slightly. I tried for years to persuade my mum to get in the gym and get fitter, but she hated it and it was always a chore. Now she swims 3 x a week and does an aquafit class. She’s lost 2 stone and doesn’t hate fitness because she’s doing something she enjoys. Try a sport of somekind if you can fit it in, or just train somewhere that has a good atmosphere.

3. Make an appointment – Grab your diary on a Sunday night and block out some time to exercise. Plan for failure too, if you want to train 3 x a week then block out 4 slots. It’s a great idea to involve your family in this too so they know that when you are working out and how important that time is for you. Having a personal trainer can help too to give you some accountability and structure, even for just a short while they will help you build good habits and focus.

By Stuart Turner STPT, Jul 25 2017 07:50AM

When it comes to weight loss or fat loss there is tendency among some of us to view the body in simple terms of calories in vs calories out. “If you want to lose weight - cut your calories”. To a point that is true, and it will work. But at what cost?

Imagine this scenario, you decide it’s time to lose weight so you go on a diet. You have intentions to exercise and decide to join the gym and do cardio for an hour every day. You stick to the plan and weight gradually starts to come off, but then after a while, it stops and no matter what you do the scales don’t budge any further.

Now what? You can’t cut calories further as you’re only on 1200 a day as it is. So you add a bit more exercise – 2 hours walking a day or perhaps an hour on the elliptical thingy at the gym. Yes that’s got it, weight loss again – success. Now let’s fast forward 3 months after the diet is over, what’s happened? The weight is back on plus a little bit more and we’re back to the beginning of the cycle.

Sound familiar? So looking at the above example what is actually happening to your body?

At the start you reduce calories which means your body will burn some of the excess fat it has as fuel. Perfect. However it soon gets used to only having 1200 kcal per day and starts to become more efficient both at rest and during your cardio workouts. You may have heard of something called metabolism, this is the term for all the chemical reactions in your body sometimes referred to as your base metabolic rate or BMR.

Having cut your calorie intake the body also cuts back on some of its energy expenditure, this reduces your metabolism, which at this point isn’t noticeable but as the weight loss slows or stops altogether it becomes very important.

At the end of your diet you may have lost a stone but you’ve also dropped your metabolism through the floor. This is the reason that so many of those that diet and lose weight will also put it back on again a few months after dieting.

What can we do about it?

There are certain things that affect your metabolism that you can’t change such as gender, genetics and age. But there are some ways we can increase your metabolism. Here are a few.

1. Eat plenty of protein with every meal – protein takes more energy for your body to break down and so increases your BMR.

2. Train with heavy weights – Training with weights has been proven to increase your metabolism way after the session has ended. But train heavy or there is little to be gained.

3. Do HIIT training - similar to the above HIIT training has been proven to increase metabolism way after the session has finished. The key word however is intensity. Pick 3 or 4 big exercises and create a circuit. 40 seconds of each exercise then 40 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

4. Eat plenty of veg – vegetables contain fibre, and fibres need higher amounts of enzymes to process. This increases metabolism.

5. Don’t eat processed food. – Its crap and bad for you and does nothing to help with metabolism. In fact it slows it down.

6. Drink green tea – or take green tea supplements as the antioxidants in green tea have been proven to raise energy expenditure and promote fat loss.

Calories are important but without some attention to your metabolism your effort and determination may be in vain.

Metabolism Booster - Green Tea
Metabolism Booster - Green Tea

By Stuart Turner STPT, Jul 6 2017 08:27AM

Fitness for golf is an area that has gained a lot of exposure over the last 10 or so years. More and more amateur golfers are taking note of what goes on in the professional game and how the pro players are now taking this aspect of their game a lot more seriously.

Now I’m no golf pro, I like to think I can get round without too much embarrassment, but I won’t be going on tour anytime soon, and I don’t feel I’m the right person to give you tips on your swing. However I can look at the physical characteristics that we can change in order to allow you to improve that aspect of your game.

From an exercise and fitness point of view we can influence 5 main areas.

1) Staying injury free

This is fundamentally the most important aspect of being fit for golf. If you’re injured you can’t play so your exercise programme should be geared towards helping you move well and staying as free of niggles and aches as possible. Focusing on how you control your muscles and the order in which they fire is the foundation of a good programme.

2) Stability (of the lower Body)

Building the foundation for a strong swing comes from the strength in your legs and lower body notably the glutes and posterior chain. Having the ability to stay still and strong at the base of your swing will allow you better rotation and increased range of motion.

3) Mobility (of the Upper body)

Heavily linked to the point above, a good flexible torso allows the upper body to rotate freely, without this mobility particularly at the thoracic spine the body will lack the range necessary for a full swing. There is also the potential for the body to compensate for the lack of range with things like arm movement and over emphasis on the lower back.

4) Core strength

Linked to all other points core strength will help with mobility, stability and staying injury free. To clarify, by core strength I’m talking about the area from your knees up to your shoulders. With all other variables equal the stronger you are the further you can hit the ball.

5) Speed and Power

Rory Mcilroy is famed for his long hitting. Now he isn’t a particularly big guy, no disrespect to him but he’s not deadlifting cars and winning the world’s strongest man. So the distance is coming, not from strength but from the speed he gets the club head through the ball. This comes from the speed that he can rotate his upper body.

The great thing about all of these areas is that they are very trainable. Getting the right programme in the gym can and will really aid your golf game.

By Stuart Turner STPT, May 3 2017 08:35PM

I use the word fun very loosely here. I understand it takes a certain individual to enjoy this sort of thing and most people need a bit of a nudge to get going. Here are a few alternatives to cardio work that can help your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout your day.

1. Beat the deck – This is one of my favourites and works really well either as a standalone workout when time is short or for those looking to really take things up a notch at the end of their session. All you need is a deck of cards or find a random card app on your phone. Assign a different exercise per suit, set a timer and try and beat the deck.

Here’s a recent example I used with a client.

Clubs = Press Ups,

Spades = Inverted Rows,

Hearts = Squats,

Diamonds = Kettle bell swings.

All picture cards count as 10.

This took about 17 minutes to complete, and was a tough workout. You can play around with the exercise but keep a balance - think a push, a pull, a squat variation and a hip movement exercise and you will be ok.

Oh and if you have jokers in the pack they can be 10 burpees.

2. Sled pushing – Sled pushes are great as they burn a lot of calories and are pretty easy on the joints. We have a couple of options in the gym that get the same result. Our tyre is a 60kg brute and takes some pushing or we have a sled option where weight can be varied but the pushing point is much lower. I like to either work on the minute every minute or set a timer and see how many lengths can be completed in a given time. As a finisher, I try and work for a total of about 10 – 15 minutes with periods of high intensity (working) and periods of low intensity (lying on the floor crying).

3. Get the gloves on -We have a couple of trainers in the gym with some boxing experience and I’ve had a few workouts on the bag/pads with them. This has often been the hardest period of my session but definitely the most enjoyable. Try and get some pointers from someone who knows what they are doing or a couple of sessions with a coach to really get the most out of your time. The last thing you want to do is get injured. I’ve found mixing some pad work with some bodyweight fitness exercises is a really great way to spend a session.

4. Medicine ball circuits – I use these with some of my new clients when I’m trying to coach good form as well as get some intensity into their workouts. I use whole body movements with the added weight of a light medicine ball (maybe 2-3kg for most newby clients) and just tag them together. For example, a medicine ball squat and press combined with a side lunge and reach and a reverse lunge and rotation. That’s 3 exercises in all 3 planes of movement. 10 reps per exercise/leg takes about 60 – 90 seconds to complete. Rest for 45-60 seconds and do 5 rounds.

5. Sprints – Track or treadmill it doesn’t matter. An underrated way of training and a great way to get real intensity. If you’re a beginner then try and build gradually and get good form. Don’t try and run before you can walk as they say. A few quicker bouts of 30 seconds in the middle of your run is a good starting point. Use your rest period well, sometimes it’s tempting to keep the pace up here but doing so reduces the intensity of subsequent sprints. As you progress you should be aiming for a 1:2 work to rest ratio. One minute on and 2 minutes off or 20 seconds to forty seconds work well. A set of 10 rounds can make a brilliant HIIT session.

By Stuart Turner STPT, Apr 19 2017 05:02PM

The aim of this part of your workout is to get warmed up. It’s really that simple but it’s often overlooked or overdone. I generally see two categories of people here, those who see warm ups as a waste of valuable bench press or curling time, and those who spend so much time stretching and warming up that half their workout time has been eaten up. As is often the case the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Here’s a quick guide and example of a good warm up for a whole body gym session. First up get on some form of cardio machine for 3-5 minutes, rowing machines and cross trainers are great as they’re low impact and low risk for injuries. Then you want to do some stretching right? Well it’s a good idea to prepare your body for what’s coming, this will probably need to involve some activation work as well as mobilization work. Best to keep it short and sweet. 4 or 5 dynamic movements should be enough. Here are a few that I find work really well.

a. Easy Kettle bell Swings – don’t go heavy – a great exercise to get the stretch in your posterior chain and activate your glutes and abs.

b. Hip Mobility – groiners/spiderman lunges/side lunges – open up those hip flexors and adductors. Keep moving all the time aim for 10 -15 reps depending on how it feels.

c. Band dislocates/pulls/pull-aparts – bands are a great way of activating your muscles and freeing up movement at your joints. 8-10 reps should be enough.

d. Band walks – either a crab walk, monster walk or x band walk. All of these fire up the glutes nicely.

e. Squats – Just doing 20 air squats before each session will massively help your mobility and loosen up your aching joints.

This should all take a maximum of 10 minutes including your 3-5 minute cardio time. If you’re really tight and aching on some days you may want to take a minute or two longer but it doesn’t want to encroach on your workout time or drag on.

The same goes for foam rolling – you may benefit from a bit of rolling on a couple of key areas before you start your main workout but don’t get sucked in to spending ages rolling around the floor moaning and groaning, save that for later. Pick 2 areas (maximum) and get some quality work in.

Like I said it should only take 10 minutes or so and get you ready to workout. Most of us only have around an hour to train, so wasting too much of that time warming up can lead to a wasted workout and is often demotivating. Short and sweet and then get to work.

For more info and blog posts from Stuart and the Health Hub PT team please click here

By Stuart Turner STPT, Mar 22 2017 01:02PM

Train for Intensity
Train for Intensity

1. Plan your cheats for social occasions – Its hard eating clean when you’re out in a restaurant so sometimes it’s better not to bother. I cheat in restaurants all the time, burgers, chips, ice cream, baked alaska (amazing in The View just saying), whatever you want. Then get back on it the next day. As long as you’re eating clean the rest of the time, then don’t worry about it. Life’s too short.

2. Don’t shop hungry – So you’re trying to eat healthy foods, you have a meal plan, a shopping list and you’re off to the shops. But you’re hungry, what happens? You bin off the shopping list and go straight to the convenience food, maybe even eat it on the way round. You buy more of the crappy foods you don’t need and less of the healthy foods that you do need. Don’t do this, no good can come of shopping on an empty stomach.

3. Use the periphery of the supermarket – This sounds weird but think about how a supermarket is laid out. All the fresh food is around the edges – think meat counter, vegetable sections, fish counter, deli. All the things that go off, that are real foods, made fresh on site or nearby are along these peripheries. Venture in to the middle and you’ll find processed crappy foods in boxes and packets. Not what you want to be eating if you want to lose weight.

4. Add veg in sneaky ways – Kale or spinach in your morning smoothie, extra veg in your curries, cauliflower rice is actually quite nice too. Perhaps don’t stir mushed broccoli into your porridge (tried it – not good) but be creative and remember frozen veg is still veg so adding a bowl of this to your meals is a great way to add fibre and micronutrients.

5. Train for time/intensity – I think we all clear now that ‘the fat burning zone’ is a load of old rubbish and if you want to burn serious fat then HIIT training is where it’s at. The two key words in the HIIT acronym though are ‘High Intensity’. Often the training I see is anything but. Grab a stopwatch and set it for 10 minute Pick two tough exercise and see how many rounds of 10 reps you can do in those 10 minutes. For example… Do 10 Heavy Kettlebell Swings and 10 Down and Ups. Have a short rest and repeat, record how many you do and beat it next time.

6. Eat real foods that go off – Ok so this one’s not really a ‘hack’ or a ‘quick fix’ but guess what none of them really are. If you want results then you have to dedicate a bit of time and put the work in. Eating real foods is going to give you a long term sustainable way of getting lean and staying lean. If you can do this most of the time then you will be in a good place.

7. Use Protein shakes – Ok so this is a bit of a contradiction of the above point but a really simple way of improving your macros is to up your protein intake. And a simple way of doing this is by adding protein shakes to your diet. Don’t be afraid, it’s not weird it means you care about your body. Find a good one that you like, without the added sugars if possible, and have a shake in the morning and one before bed.

8. Rome wasn’t built in a day – but they were laying bricks every hour. Fat loss isn’t a quick fix, it takes a bit of time and a bit of dedication. So take things slowly and focus on one thing at a time. Take breakfast for example – if you’re struggling with that, then spend your time getting breakfast right every day. Once you have that sorted, move on to the next thing, and so on and so on.

By Stuart Turner STPT, Mar 9 2017 10:49AM

Motivation Blog

In simple terms, motivation is the desire to do something. This can be anything and is pretty important in our world of health and fitness. Everyone needs motivation but we are all different so what motivates one person may completely demotivate another.

A client came to see me last week with what turned out to be an interesting story. As a now regular exerciser who has conquered some pretty big milestones already with her health and fitness, she decided to take on a new challenge and enter a 10km race. Perfect, a goal, a specific target, a challenge. This is the motivation I need, she thought.

However 3 months later, her training had almost stopped. From doing 3 runs a week alongside specific strength training and a Zumba class she was now struggling to make 1 exercise session a week and had pretty much stopped running. As well as this, her usually healthy eating regime had been completely sacked off. What was intended to motivate and push her forwards had had the complete opposite effect, and made her feel miserable, pressured and guilty.

Thankfully her response was fantastic, in her words. “Fuck it, I’m a grown up, I’m going to do what makes me happy”, so the race was abandoned, she booked in to some of our synergise classes (small group training sessions) and an appointment with us to get her mojo back. We then set out a new goal of enjoying exercise again, took a few base measurements and assigned her one of our staff members to support her in her journey.

This is a great example of how we are all different and what motivates some may well have the opposite effect on others. So discover what motivates you and then find a way of using that to reach your health and fitness goals.

Here are a few ideas of what can be used as motivation.

1. Enjoyment – Finding a way to get enjoyment from the process is definitely a great motivator. Intrinsically enjoying exercise isn’t for everyone but if you find a form of exercise that you enjoy then don’t underestimate the motivational power this has. Flipping your mind set from “I have to do this to achieve my goals” to “I want to do this because I enjoy it” can work wonders. Sometimes I go to the gym with the sole intention of feeling better, I use the training session as the motivator, by the end I feel motivated to train but I’ve already done it.

2. Keeping exercise at the forefront of your mind – ok so you’ve set yourself some goals, great, made them specific, nice, written them down, perfect (we’ve all been told to do that right?). Off to the gym you go, pop the goals in the drawer and…….. forget all about them. 4 weeks later you’ve been to the gym twice and feel completely unmotivated. Try and find ways to keep exercise at in your periphery. This can be in all sorts of ways, a picture on your phone, a note on the calendar, a regular appointment with a personal trainer, walking past the gym on your way to work, keeping your kit bag in the car. All of these things just keep health and fitness in your mind.

3. Train with someone fitter/stronger than you are – Being the fittest of your group of peers is a great feeling but if you really want to push yourself you should consider training with someone or a group where you’re not the big fish. This adds competition and potentially a drive to match up to those around you.

4. Find some accountability – the thought of failure isn’t nice and this can sometimes be used as motivation. This is where entering a race comes in or writing a blog, posting on social media, having a bet or even just telling your closest friends. Having something to hold you accountable to the goal can give you the push when you need it most. Finding the right accountability for you is important though. As in the story above, having a race booked, built pressure and was demotivating but for others this has really been the key to pushing forwards.

In simple terms, find your motivation and then use it to reach your goals. No one else can give you motivation.

For more information and further blog posts from Stuart and his team visit