We present the inside track to stronger progress that proves our trainers know best.

We want to provide a peek behind the curtain of the kind of advice you can expect from a personal training session at Third Space. For the beginner starting out on their own fitness journey, random workouts reward you with random results – it’s expert guidance that guarantees progress. And you never know, even the gym experts amongst you may learn a thing or two.

Split between activation, training, nutrition and recovery, PTs Seb James and Callum Melly reveal their simple yet effective tips to make sure your first steps to fitness are in the right direction.

 

Activation

“Warming up and switching on your muscles is important to both avoid injury and get the most out of your session. You may have noticed people walking sideways with bands around their knees to activate their lower body before legs day. It’s not a bad start, but you can do better.

“Placing the band around the forefoot as opposed to your ankles or knees elicits greater glute activation during a band walk due to the extra hip external rotation torque, also combined with hip abduction torque. (You have to work harder to stop your ankles, knees and hips turning in, basically, which activates your leg muscles more.) The only problem is your bands will have a shorter life span due to wear and tear, so buy good bands. My favourites are the Wolverson mini bands. This simple change will burn your glutes and supercharge your warm ups.” – Seb James

“Fascial release via foam rolling is a great way to prepare the muscles for exercise and aid recovery; by eliciting pressure on the muscle and fascia (connective tissue that encloses the muscle) through what is essentially self-massage, you can increase blood flow to the muscle, thus improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to support performance and again recovery.

“Foam rolling is a fantastic tool that can be further used to release tension and help to breakdown uncomfortable tissue build up often referred to as ‘knots’, allowing for better ROM (range of motion) and ultimately reducing the risk of injury during exercise.” – Callum Melly

 

Training

“Time under tempo is seen as important for muscle hypertrophy and can be helpful in fixing form as well as reducing injury risk. Just throwing the weight up and down will not cut it. If you’ve ever tried to count your own reps as well as tempo (3 seconds down, 1 second up, say) you’ll know this is a tough task. Download a metronome app on your phone, set it in the background of any music and to any tempo you want, never worry about counting again, just follow the metronome and hit perfect tempo whilst listening to kick ass tunes.” – Seb James

 

Nutrition

“Cook once, eat twice. This is crazily simple, but every time you cook, make a salad, blend a shake, just make two portions (or more). This changed my nutrition game and adherence and meant that every time I felt like I couldn’t be bothered to cook (which makes it far too easy to opt for the unhealthy choice) I had a portion of nutritious, muscle-building food to heat up and save the day!” – Seb James

“Simple – eat more plants! People think that building muscle is all about protein, and it is important, but there’s more to a successful muscle gain eating plan than that. Plus, there’s only so much protein your body can process – over eat and it’ll go to waste.

Instead combine a steady protein intake with fibrous carbohydrates, leafy greens, fruits and colourful vegetables. This will boost gut health and naturally increasing satiety, meaning you will be less hungry, have more stable energy to get the most from your hypertrophy plan, and be less inclined to grab that cheeky and unnecessary Snickers bar just because you’re hungry. Plus, plants contain protein too, you know.” – Callum Melly

 

Recovery

“Everyone knows that your body recovers during your hours of sleep, however just saying “get more sleep” is easier said than done, given people’s busy lifestyles. That’s where mindfulness and meditation come in. Stress is the enemy of recovery and muscle growth. Meditation can calm your body and put it in the right frame for the rest it needs to kickstart the recovery process – without you having to go to bed at 9pm. If you’re in doubt of where to start then download an app like Headspace or 1 Giant Mind and take 5 to 15 minutes a day to reduce your stress levels.” – Seb James