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January 2022 Monthly Round-Up

Welcome to the New Year! Hopefully, 2022 has started with new goals, new challenges and exciting prospects as we look forward to the year ahead. It has been a busy start to the year here (it seems to be busy all the time these days!) with new classes starting - more on that in a bit - and lots of planning for the faithful aFitnessPT clientele. So many people begin January with a renewed air of enthusiasm and drive so it is important for trainers to match that. Planning and preparation are key to successful client journeys so time spent doing these is time well spent. Anyway, enough about me...let's see what's new!


Many people seem to have embraced the idea of getting into an exercise routine with gyms busier than normal and an increased interest in Personal Training which is lovely to see! It is important to continue this newly found motivation, so below I have listed 3 Tips, 2 News pieces and 1 Interesting article to help you maintain your motivation and stay on your journey.

Three Great Tips:

Tip #1. Set yourself a short-term goal

Most of the reasons people give up on their exercise programme is a perceived, or real, lack of progress. This could be due to a variety of issues from incorrect programming, lack of guidance or unrealistic expectations - sorry, but you won't transform your physique in 4 weeks! - so measures have to be in place to avoid this pitfall.

The easiest way to do this is to set a short-term SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. The goal you set yourself for the next 4-6 weeks should be all of those things. A specific goal defines a clear outcome. A measurable goal makes it easy to quantify success. An attainable goal is realistic and honest. A relevant goal will be unique to you in helping you in your life, work or sport. A time-bound goal sets a clear deadline.

Setting your goal as "I want to lose weight" is too fluffy; it will get you nowhere. Instead, saying "I want to lose 3kg of body fat in 6 weeks" gives you a clear metric to set a plan of action and measure your success. Be SMART!!


Tip #2. Get others involved

It is easy to give up if you only let yourself down. The draw of an extra hour in bed or time spent sitting in front of the telly can become too much if we only have to fight with our internal motivation systems.

This is why it helps to involve other people in your fitness journey. This doesn't necessarily mean getting other people to join you in your workouts - though this is a great way to stay motivated. Simply telling as many people as possible about what you are trying to achieve keeps you accountable to lots of people and increases your foundation of support.

Share the love. Tell as many people as you feel comfortable with about your SMART goal!


Tip #3. Put some money on it

People tend to value things more if they cost more. So, whilst it is a cliche to get a whole new gym outfit for the new year or splash out on that new fitness gadget you've wanted, adding value to your fitness journey means that you will take it more seriously...hopefully! A new pair of trainers, a fancy fitness tracker or a block of Personal Training sessions should be a good place to start!


Two News Pieces:

If you are looking for motivation then a great place to start is with this piece from The Asahi Shimbun where we meet Takimika, a fitness instructor still going strong at 90 years of age! Starting her fitness journey at the age of 65 she then progressed to a fitness instructor at 87 years old. No more excuses now!


This piece explores the question "Can fitness apps be as effective as a personal trainer?" I'll answer that one, no. Apps are cheaper and more convenient, but no app can ever replace the human connection you get from exercising with another person or the expertise of a trained eye. I might be slightly biased in my answer...


One Interesting Article:

Why You Should Train Outdoors More

Even though it's rather chilly outside, training outdoors provides many health benefits in addition to those solely from the exercise itself.


New Class!!!

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 am I will be teaching an online class focused on Functional Training. The classes are open to everyone and we aim to improve strength and efficiency through movement quality. Minimal equipment is needed and I aim to focus on different movements each week.

Come along and give it a try!!


What I've Been Reading

This is NOT a paid advertisement. Available at

Deep Work - Cal Newport

Ok, time to be honest. Despite my best intentions, I didn't actually get around to finishing this book! Yes, there is an irony involved in not finding the time to concentrate in order to finish a book about concentration. I was, however, still able to take a lot away from the 180+ pages I managed to get through.

The idea of deep work focuses on training your mind to be able to go into bouts of deep concentration where productivity is greatly increased. We are beset by distractions from social media to news feeds all vying for our attention. In order to produce, create or refine, concentration is required and this is where deep work comes in.

Setting clear times for deep work, isolating yourself at times of deep work and training yourself to ignore distractions all help to increase the likelihood you can achieve a state of deep focus and concentration. It takes time and effort, but the benefits you reap will outweigh the effort put into the practice. Besides, who doesn't want to get better at ignoring distractions?!

If you find it difficult to concentrate on difficult, creative tasks then this is the book for you. I know I certainly need to read it...well, finish it at least!


This Months Blog Posts

A Quick Introduction: Functional Training

Functional training aims to improve an individuals ability to perform their daily tasks and/or sporting disciplines effectively and without injury by focusing on movement efficiency, joint health and muscular balance. Read More >

Avoid These 5 Common Training Mistakes

One of the issues with being a fitness professional is that you're always conscious of all things health and fitness. Other professionals may experience the same thing, editors may always be on the lookout for grammatical errors, handymen may be silently judging building work and salespeople might be listening to a sales pitch and thinking... Read More >


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John Maitland is a personal trainer with over 13 years of experience. He has worked alongside a wide range of leading CEO's, entrepreneurs and medical professionals. John is a keen athlete and holds a black belt in Shaolin Kung fu. A fan of the great outdoors, he can often be found exploring the British countryside and mountains...or breaking pine boards with his fingers.

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