PBB Giveaway from Hale Naturals

You may recently recall I did a post on Hale Naturals Powdered Peanut Butter.

No? Then have a look here to refresh your memory.

Well the lovely folks over at Hale Naturals have sent me 3 more tubs so I am going to give them away to you, my readers!

Each worth £6.50, flavours include

To be in with the chance of winning simply comment with a recipe for how you would use the PBB and which flavour you would like to try.

Hale Naturals Powdered Peanut Butter

Session 9… The PT Diaries – Back in Focus

After my dismal performance the previous week – session 9 was all about getting back on track and focused!

What made this session even better was my friend Jen came along to take some progress pictures at Pure Fitness Gym, which I am extremely happy with! It’s great to see some muscle definition happening because I don’t really see that when I look in the mirror! This picture however has to be my absolute favourite! Boxing is a great way to get in shape and get rid of your frustration – I had many thoughts going through my head during that!

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Boxing

This session covered the following and should take you about an hour to do – back when I first started I wouldn’t have managed to get through this and my sets would have only been 2-3 max so if you feel you need to drop the reps then do so, but try build them up over time.

Stretch

Warm Up

  • Watt Bike 3000m Level 3

Abs Circuit X4

  • Seated side rotations 10 each
  • Plank 45 seconds
  • Wall Sit ups 12
  • Leg raises 8

HIIT

  • Battle Ropes
    • 8 X 20s High 40s Rest

Resistance Training Super sets x3

  • Arms
    • Tricep Rope Push down 1
    • Standing Row 10
  • Legs
    • Leg Press 12
    • Walking Lunges 10e
  • Boxing
    30s on 10s rest
  • Bench Step Ups
    10e/8e
  • Core Board spins
    15s X 4

Finish

  • 500m Row
  • Stretch

And here are some more pictures!

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean Watt Bike

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Core Bag Step Ups

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Plank

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Weighted Lunge

I think we can definitely say it’s an improvement from the first session (its hideous that I have shared that with the world!)…

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Session 1 Weighted Lunge

Session 8… The PT Diaries – Results Day!

So session 8 has been and gone and what a session today was… within 10 minutes I felt like I hit a wall. It was such a come down after the high I experienced on Tuesday. After that session I felt all kinds of amazing and felt like I could do anything I set my mind to!

Today was another matter – I hurt, Tuesday was a hard session that left me with DOMS in practically every muscle – which is a good thing – it means you are working but unfortunately you do have to get back on the horse and get on with it! I did some yoga last night in the hope it would help stretch me out – it did but I felt so weak today!

However, today was also results day….

So here it is, this is what I have achieved in 8 sessions over a period of 4 weeks. Firstly my physical measurements.

A total of 10.7cm lost from those key areas that us ladies don’t love. There has been a gain in a couple of areas, but this is down to muscle mass and quite frankly for those areas in particular I am not too bothered. For me its all about the waist, hips and arms.

Measurements

Moving on to body fat – once again a reduction in measurements, particularly around the waist area which is my main pet hate area, especially after 3 pregnancies and just really doing nothing about it!

Body Fat

In terms of how much I weigh, I have gained 0.5kg since commencing personal training… am I shocked, disappointed? NO! Look at the results above!

Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less room, therefore when you are undertaking a fitness regime you should not rely on scales as a sole indicator of progress – if I did that I would be sat rocking in a corner no doubt munching on a bar of chocolate and knocking back copious amounts of vodka wondering why with all my hard work nothing is happening and in fact why am I gaining!

I’m pretty bloody proud of what I have achieved in just 4 weeks and this has been done with hard work and determination and a pretty awesome personal trainer. My diet is pretty good, I won’t lie it could be better and that is what I plan to work on over the coming weeks so I can really see some truly amazing results, but I achieve this from living a balanced lifestyle – exercise AND eating healthily. I haven’t undertaken any drastic juice fasts or attended slimming clubs where the focus is all on the weight. I have achieved this through pure hard work and do you know what I feel loads better, I have more energy, I am focused and determined and I am a lot more patient. Everyone can lose weight by undertaking extreme measures but what happens when you go back to your old ways? The time I didn’t have a kitchen is a prime example of going back to the old ways and I still have my work cut out to achieve the measurement loss I achieved over a good few months of attending the gym and classes.

I want to thank Barry for pushing me these last 4 weeks and for having faith in me. It was a slow start, especially as my fitness levels were unbelievably poor. My recovery from intense exercise was taking upwards of 2 minutes whereas now it is around 40 seconds, this is a major indicator in my level of fitness and something that we can continue to improve.

I’ll be continuing personal training up until my sisters wedding early April so I hope you will continue to follow my journey.

I would definitely recommend that if you don’t know where to start in a gym that you consider personal training and ladies – don’t worry about all those wobbly bits or looking like crap. They honestly don’t care – they are there to get you the results you want! So if you are in Huddersfield I definitely recommend you popping by to check out the gym and speak with the staff to see how they can help you.

So moving on from all that, this is what we did this morning!

Stretch

Warm up

  • X-Trainer 5 mins

Abs Circuit x4

  • Seated side rotations 10each side using a 5kg ball
  • Mountain Climbers 30s
  • TRX Knee tucks 12

Watt Bike 3000m level1

Resistance Training Super sets X3

  • Arms
    • Cable Push down x 12
    • Cable curls x 10
  • Legs
    • Seated extensions x 10
    • Walking Lunges 12 each leg

Row 500m Level 9

HIIT Training on Battle Ropes x8

  • 20 second High Intensity
  • 40 second Rest

Stretch

Total calories burnt 594 (total this week 1611)

Just to confirm my stats, I am 30, weigh 65kg and measure 163cm. Your calories burnt will depend on your age, weight, height and your health in general.

If any of you have tried following any of my PT session plans I would be interested to hear your thoughts!

Session 7… The PT Diaries

WOW! What a work out this morning!

Session 7 brings me into the start of week 4 of my Personal Training with Barry at Pure Fitness Gym and what a journey it has been!

Although I have been a member of the gym for over 18 months, undertaking personal training has been a real test of my fitness and endurance. Over the last 3 weeks my cardio levels are gradually improving and today was definitely my best session yet.

My heart rate still reaches dizzy heights but the recovery is significantly improved which led to me getting much more out of todays workout. Last week it too me 12 minutes to do 4 reps of HiiT cardio…. today around 10 minutes to do 8 sets!

The weight is still hovering but I am putting that down to increased muscle mass. I found last year that for a good couple of months my weight stayed around the same but body fat reduced before the weight then started to reduce and I am happy with that. Although I will be testing body fat on Thursday.

So today involved the following, why not have a go and see how you get on!

Stretch

Warm Up

  • Watt Bike 4000m

Abs Circuit

  • Single leg Plank 30s on each leg
  • Seated side rotations 10e
  • Floor sit ups 12
  •  X3 20-30S REST

Resistance Training Super sets X3

  • Leg Press 15
  • V-sits 10/12

20-30s rest between sets

  • Cable rope push down x12
  • Dumbbell hammer curls x10

20-30s rest between sets

  • Seated Row x12
  • Standing Upright row x10

20-30s rest between sets

Cardio

  • Interval Sprints with resistance band (reebok)
    • x8 sets 20s Sprint getting HR 90-100% BRING DOWN TO 50-60% recovery
  • x3 Sets Bench Step Ups using 10kg core bag
    • 10 each leg make sure to raise your opposite leg to work the abs
  • x3 Sets Core board spins
    • 15s – 5s hold in press up position.

Finisher

  • 500m rower level 8 (big focus on using arms as opposed to legs)

Stretch

A great 1 hour work out which burnt 700+ calories and significantly improved my cardio levels!

Already looking forward to Thursday’s session and to getting my body fat results!

On another note all my blood results came back fine – my thyroid is normal. Next major test is the 24 hour ECG in February!

Session 6… The PT Diaries

I honestly can’t believe that we are at session 6 – the time has flown!

After an absolute drenching before getting to the gym I made a start or getting stretched and warmed up.

After Session 5 where I just felt urgh today’s session was – well not easy but it was manageable, well it was until I got on the rowing machine that is (flashbacks to my 1000m challenge ensued). It didn’t help that the night before the session the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) kicked in around my back, shoulders and upper arms but everywhere else it is starting to ease off.

In general I am fairly fit but I just lack the ability to really push myself during physical exercise and my endurance levels, especially with cardio are pretty poor but it is improving (I think). I just need to stick it out and by having the PT sessions I feel it has really had a massive impact on my free training sessions. I now know what I need to be doing to get results and doing 20 minutes on the cross trainer a bit on the rowing machine and some weights just aren’t gonna cut it! Unfortunately that is what I did for a long time then thought I could just eat what I want in the early days. Put it this way YOU CAN’T! Some education made a massive difference last year but now it’s about making a major difference – it’s no longer about being slim, it is about being fit and healthy and a few muscles won’t hurt either!

So this session we once again mixed it up a little, Barry is still insistent I get on that bloody bike though!

Here is what I did – why not give it a go and see how you do!

  • Warm Up X-trainer 8 mins (keeping heart rate between 130-150bpm)
  • Walking Lunges + Shoulder Press 10m/8m/6m/4m X3
  • Interval Sprints on Spin Cycle (5 minutes)
    • 40secs Low Intensity
    • 20sec Sprint 85-90% HR (put it this way mine can get up to 194bpm!)
  • Resistance Training
    • Super Sets 3×12 with a break between each set (I did this to get my heart rate back to 150 but a 30 second break should be fine).
      • Tricep Cable Push Down (straight bar)
      • Seated Latt Pull Down(wide grip)
    • Break
      • Smith Squats (Barbell)
      • Bench Step Ups (6kg Dumbbells)
    • Break
      • Incline Bench Crunch
      • Bench Knee lift
  • Core Board 3x15secs Press Ups (spin)
  • Cardio Cycle 5 mins level 8 RPM 75+
  • Finisher
    • 500m Row level 8 (as fast as you can – should take about 2m 30s)
    • Stretch

Overall another great session that burnt approx. 650 calories (my HRM kept getting a little temperamental) I really feel that I have benefited from PT sessions and wish I had started much sooner in my ‘Coming Clean’ and getting fit journey as I would probably be in a completely different place right now. I was lucky if I managed to do around 300 calories in an hour when free styling. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there and inspirational people on Twitter but if you really want pushing to do your best and to make you keep going when you wanted to give up 3 times previously then personal training is definitely something to consider.

I’m yet to do further measurements but I can tell you my weight has increased slightly. I’m not scared at this stage, after all muscle weighs more than fat and I would much rather have more muscle than fat! I plan to take some further measurements at the end of next week after session 8 is complete to see my progress.

I have two more PT sessions left as part of this block but plan to undertake another 8 which will finish just a couple of weeks before my sisters wedding and will hopefully mean I will get into my bridesmaid dress with ease and furthermore really set me on track for working out myself and getting the most out of it!

My past PT Diaries can be found below….

Personal… Training or Torture?

Last week was certainly exciting if not hard, and when I say hard I mean HARD!

I commenced my personal training sessions (2×1 hour sessions) – it’s been on hold for a while due to one thing or another but with the new year and my sisters impending wedding approaching it’s now or never!

So after my LBT session followed by some cardio on Monday my personal training session commenced on the Tuesday evening with Barry at Pure Fitness Gym in Lindley, Huddersfield.

I have been a member of the gym for about 18 months now and I rate it very highly (take a look at my 1 year anniversary blog post). Following a heavy amount of investment to bring the latest technology and comfort, which includes a top of the range spa and sauna experience (much better than some day spas I have been to) along with the friendliness and support of all the Pure Fitness employees I have to say it is the best gym in Huddersfield – the fact that I stayed 6 months let alone 18 is an achievement in itself and something the whole team should be proud of! (Keep it up my membership is due in another 18 months!)

So back to working out, there’s many reasons why you should undertake exercise and this is something I try live by. Not only does exercise improve your health, even if you have already been diagnosed with something, but it can go a long way to prevent the onset of several life-threatening conditions, such as heart diseasediabetes and cancer. All of which I wish to prevent especially as my great-grandma died of breast cancer, I wish to do all I can to live a long and healthy life for my children.
 
  1. It’s good for your heart
  2. Exercise promotes weight loss
  3. Exercise prevents osteoporosis
  4. Exercise lowers high blood pressure 
  5. Exercise is an excellent de-stressor (something I can certainly vouch for!)

Additionally exercise can make you look great – younger and fitter. Who needs any more convincing?

Coming back to personal training, Barry is well aware that I want to rid myself of stomach fat and get my upper body toned and keep it that way so we undertook a variety of exercises in the first session which lasted one hour.

Session 1

We commenced with a warm up on the bike – generally I avoid the bike at all costs as I find it so uncomfortable. Once warmed up we moved on to machine weights in order to work my core and side before moving onto some TRX. TRX is a training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete 100s of exercises. I actually really enjoyed TRX and am looking forward to using it a little more.

Moving on we did a little circuit utilising battle rope, core bags and a bike. The battle ropes are certainly harder than they look but you can certainly feel them working your arms, shoulders and even your core – definitely a fab new piece of equipment that has been introduced to the gym.

During this session my heart rate got a little high, reaching over 185bpm on some occasions so Barry ensured that I rested between activities in order to bring my heart rate down to the best efficiency of fat burning. Thankfully it does drop down quite quickly.

Following the torturous circuit session we went on to do some HIIT training on the cycle we only managed to do 5 interval sprints of 40 secs low level and 20 secs High. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout.

A hard session but certainly enjoyable – thankfully Wednesday meant rest day!

Session 2

After the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) had kicked in on the Wednesday evening I certainly wasn’t looking forward to an early morning PT session on the Thursday. However I know that in order to achieve the body I want I have to work for it and work bloody hard indeed!

Barry started me off on the Cross Trainer to warm up with the indication I needed to keep my heart rate between 140-150bpm. Generally I succeeded at this but having tested my resting heart rate earlier in the morning it indicates that I have quite a high resting heart rate which is effectively below average. The information I read behind this is that there are risks associated with high resting heart rates so I plan to get myself checked out by my doctor especially as since I bought my Polar FT7 HRM my heart rate has always been high – especially when undertaking cardio exercises, so part of the plan with the PT is to assess how my heart rate improves over the sessions.

After a good rest we did some resistance work on the arms (triceps using the cable machine) working on 3 sets of 12,10,8 increasing the weights.

The sessions ended with weighted walking lunges on the little running track in the gym starting on marker 10 then 8 and last 6 with a cool down on the rower – by this point I was well and truly knackered! I was out of breath, my arms and legs were failing me but I pushed on for 3 minutes before stretching out.

I really enjoyed the sessions – they were a bit of a whirlwind so I plan to ensure I record my activities for my next blog posts and of course treat you to some more pictures of me looking my worst!

Friday meant by usual LBT class and I have to say it was one of my worst performances ever! I ached so much from the week’s activities, hopefully this will improve as time goes on but I lost 1.3lbs this week – happy days!

Overall it may feel like torture whilst you’re having PT but that feeling that you get from knowing that you are doing a bloody good workout is certainly something worth experiencing!

Katrina - PFGym

N.B. Facts, figures and before and after pics will be provided at the end of my personal training journey!

Bimuno – Prebiotic Review & Giveaway

I was recently asked if I would like to try Bimuno IMMUNAID – a prebiotic designed to keep the immune system fit and healthy and as I spent this time last year battling flu… twice! I was keen to do everything that I can to ensure I have a healthy festive season.

Bimuno IMMUNAID come in a pastille form – they are soft and chewy and easy to digest. I was expecting an orange flavour  but they are almost flavourless aside from a strange taste I can’t describe and which is why it is much better if you take them after breakfast as advised. Upon receipt I just gave them a try in the afternoon and it certainly wasn’t like my experience with other multi-vitamins – but like I said definitely take after food and you won’t know the difference!

Bimuno

Bimuno IMMUNAID helps encourage and sustain a healthy level of the guts ‘good’ immune supporting bacteria and by increasing and strengthening the good bacteria you support your body’s natural defences. It was also interesting to read how the pastilles are not digested by the stomach or gut but instead reach the colon where maximum results can be achieved. Additionally Bimuno IMMUNAID includes 15% RDA of Vitamin C (per 2 pastilles).

At this time of year the body is under a lot of stress – trying to get sorted for Christmas, frantically busy trying to get as much work out of the way before downing tools, you are stressing about what to buy who, the kids seem to have a constant cough and cold (the youngest has), we over indulge and don’t always continue the healthy activities we undertake year round so it is worth giving the body a little helping hand not only during this time but all the year through. I have since last years flu episode taken a multi-vitamin throughout the year whilst also trying to ensure I consume as much nutrients and vitamins through healthy food and I am happy to say that so far so good! It’s worth watching the video for more information on the benefits of taking a prebiotic at this time of year.

The pastilles arrived in good time – at a time I was suffering from severe stomach pains most likely due to something that I ate so I made a start on them. Within a few days my stomach was feeling much better and a lot less bloated and I was back to normal. Additionally the kids have started coming home from school and nursery with coughs and colds and as yet (touch wood) I am not showing any signs of catching these bugs. Additionally the pastilles are suitable for children 6+. My eldest daughter likes to take a multi-vitamin so I might see what she thinks of these.

It is worth noting that supplements are best taken in order to prevent problems and that by taking Vitamin C during times of colds, flu etc… have little benefit so try prevention as opposed to the cure.

I have a decent supply of these so I will continue to take and report back my findings as I have only been taking for just over a week. As indicated on the packaging the benefits build up over time and a daily intake is recommended. If I make it through to February without a cold I will be most impressed!

Bimuno also offer additional products aimed at supporting IBS (IBAID) and potential bugs you might associate with travel (TRAVELAID). As I have family members that suffer from IBS I will certainly be recommending that they give Bimuno products a try!

You can purchase Bimuno products from Boots or directly from Bimumo. The RRP for the Bimuno IMMUNAID pastilles is £9.99 but they feature in Boot’s 3 for 2.

GIVEAWAY!!

The good people over at Bimuno have also provided me with the opportunity to give THREE of my followers the chance to win a 1 month’s supply of Bimuno IMMUNAID!

All you have to do is comment below and share on either Facebook or Twitter or both! More you do the more chances you have of winning!

Winners will be announced on the 31st January 2014!

Disclaimer: Food supplements are intended to supplement the diet and should not be regarded as a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.