Are you ready to #workit?

The buzz at the moment seems to be around virtual gym membership, having the opportunity to workout and get fit without even having to leave our own front door. Well it certainly sounds appealing… So what are the plus points for going virtual? Firstly, no astronomical monthly gym membership fees (I’m listening…), secondly, no need to leave the comfort of our own homes (so no parading self consciously in our lycra if we’d rather not) and finally, and probably the most importantly for me, no need to fit in our workouts around the timetable of work and children. But does it really enable us to get fit and are the virtual offerings on the market motivating and exciting enough to encourage us to get off our sofa? Well I think it might be time to find out, but where to start?

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 20.19.25

(Picture credit: adidas)

Of course, there’s lots of choice on the market, with a long list of celebrities happy to endorse their virtual fitness sites for our delight. Lucy Mecklenburgh promises that it’ll be like working out with her in the studio and celebritytraining.co.uk allow you to “follow Sam Faiers every rep of the way through her live workouts“. But, is there anything out there that will allow me to get inside access to some of the most diverse, innovative and exclusive workouts that the fitness world has to offer, without costing me a penny. Surely there’s no such thing?

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 19.39.17

(Picture credit: adidas)

Well actually…there is! Welcome to the world of the addidas #workit series. Each month throughout Spring/Summer 2015 adidas is teaming up with different training experts, giving it’s followers a virtual membership (via their adidas woman Facebook page) which takes them inside some of the most sought-after fitness groups  – for free!! Yes you heard me correctly – free! The beauty of it is that each month you get to try a new workout regime from the comfort of your own home. You can try out their signature moves and include them into your own workout routine from the comfort of your own home.

The #workit series kicked off in January with The Skinny Bitch Collective – one of London’s most stylish and exclusive workout regimes. There were a series of bespoke SBC workouts that were housed on the adidas women’s Facebook page which allowed followers to try out the signature training moves adopted by celebrities and models around the world. Then, in February, we had instructional videos from Frame, which focused on their signature classes including Frame Method, Frame Work and Body by Frame. And now…yes ladies brace yourselves because there’s more… For the month of March adidas will give their Facebook followers exclusive access to the barre-based fitness group, Barrecore, offering fans a virtual membership which allows them to #workit from the comfort of their own homes. As an ex dancer myself, I know the huge benefits of mixing dance based training into your workouts, especially if you want strength and flexibly in equal measure.

But I wanted to know if following a virtual fitness class was possible and would help me achieve results. My first worry was space. Would there be enough of it in my mid terrace house to be able to maximise the workout? Thankfully, the answer was yes! I began with the Barrecore basics. I was encouraged to master each move individually and then try them in combination. There’s step-by-step instructions that run alongside a short demonstration video, so that you can see how the movement is meant to look. So, here we go then…

Sarah pose 2

Kneeling Lift Begin in a kneeling position, take left arm up to the ceiling and bring left leg forward turned in. Lift leg up as high as possible. Bringing leg down, slowly tapthe floor twice. On the next leg raise, hold at the top and pulse up 10 times. Repeat 3-5 times.

arah Pose 3
Standing Split Start with legs together and bring arms down to the floor. Lift left leg as high as you can and lower to the floor. On the last leg lift hold at the top and flex your foot. Repeat this 3-5 times.
Sarah pose
Full Range Vertical V Start with heels together, toes open making a small V shape with feet. Lift heels 2 inches off the floor, keeping back vertical, bend knees all the way down. Lift up half way. Repeat 3-5 times until you feel that burn. 

The exercises were great and challenging (which I like), so I also took the opportunity to try out some of the previous workouts too. They are still available on the adidas women/s Facebook page and are easy to access and follow. I’ll certainly be going back for more and it’s reassuring to know that on the days I can’t make it to the gym there’s a host of varied virtual workouts just waiting at the tap of a button.

Each month, throughout Spring/Summer 2015, adidas #workit is teaming up with different training experts, giving its Facebook followers a virtual membership. This means we get to try some of the most sought-after fitness groups in London. So why not get involved, after all, you’ve got nothing to lose and there’s sure to be a fitness style that tickles your fancy.

To access exclusive adidas #workit content go to Facebook and like the adidas Women page. You can also follow @adidasuk on Twitter and Instagram. To shop the brand new SS15 collection, visit the website or call the adidas Customer Careline on 0845 240 4204 to locate your nearest stockist.


Selfie obsessed? It’s time to #BreakYourSelfie

If you type ‘gym selfie’ into a search engine, you’ll immediately be inundated with article after article about the new worldwide phenomenon that has, quite frankly, taken the fitness world by storm. Everyone’s doing it, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Madonna to name but a few. You can’t move on social media sites for images of thousands of gym goers, parading around in their latest lycra, showing off their newly toned abs or weight loss. But most of the time they look like they haven’t even broken a sweat, never mind actually set foot on a treadmill! There’s even step-by-step advice on how to take the perfect gym selfie – who’d have thought!

IMG_3119

Let’s be honest, we’ve all seen them and some of us have even taken a few ourselves; guilty as charged! So what’s the obsession with us taking the perfect picture in the gym? Why are we so afraid of embracing the hot, sweaty mess that we all become (come on admit it) and sharing it with the world? Well some would argue that the perfect selfie promotes progress, shows off ‘just how far we’ve come’ with our body transformations and inspires others. After all, if you can see it – you can be it, right? However, others would disagree saying that it is narcissism – pure and simple. They may suggest that posed selfies have zero impact on our performance in the gym and can actually hinder it. Therefore, stopping us from working to our full potential. So which camp are you in?

If I’m totally honest, although I can’t believe I’m about to say it out loud, for me it’s the former. I work hard at the gym, enjoy having a leaner, fitter body and sometimes feel the need to show the world (not that anyone particularly wants to see it). Usually, I’m only going to upload a picture to Twitter or Instagram if I feel it’s moderately flattering (so maybe there’s a smidge of the narcissist me too). You’re less likely to see a photograph of me at the end of a workout, when I’m dripping with sweat and more likely to see me pre workout with my make up still intact.

But…are you ready for this, ladies? What if we could capture ourselves working at maximum output? If we could actually see the blood, sweat and tears during our workouts, would we like what we saw? Well, I was about to find out…

The gauntlet was thrown down in epic proportions when I was invited by my lovely friends at Reebok and Gymbox to ditch my shiny happy selfies and encouraged to post pictures of myself in my“most depleted, raw and broken post workout state” …er remind me again why I signed up!

NG_150303_MC_Reebok_BYS_MillieMackintosh_GymBox_web-0234    NG_150303_MC_Reebok_BYS_MillieMackintosh_GymBox_print-0389

We were put through our paces by the team, burpees, press-ups, biometric lunges, planks and encouraged to take a selfie during each stage of the workout. We also had lots of lovely cameras photographing us as we were put through our paces, capturing us working to our maximum output. There was quite frankly nowhere to hide!

By the end of the class I felt motivated, totally pumped and even though I looked a little broken to say the least, I was surprisingly quite happy to be photographed at my sweatiest. Even more surprisingly I found myself willing to share my post-workout selfie (apply named the anti selfie) to the world, who’d have thought?

NG_150303_MC_Reebok_BYS_MillieMackintosh_GymBox_web-0340                IMG_3146

Believe it or not, I’m converted! There’s something quite refreshing about seeing images of myself being pushed to the extreme during and after a workout. And it’s not just me, lots of likeminded fitness fanatics (celebrities included) have taken to instagram and twitter to share their post workout pics for us all to enjoy! Maybe, just maybe, we’re all at our most beautiful when we’re pushing ourselves beyond our limits…

So are you ready to join the revolution? To join the campaign, simply share your post image workout image using #breakyourselfie and tagging @ReebokUK on Twitter and Instagram  (Pictures Nathan Gallagher)

This blog featured on The Huffington Post UK


Strap Yourself in and Hold on Tight: You’re About to Meet the ‘Future of Fitness’

My name is Sarah and I’m a fitness addict! There, I said it! But let’s be clear. I’m the sort of person that breaks out in a cold sweat at just the thought of running and when I try to motivate myself to hit the treadmill, or pick up a free weight, I’m about as useful as a chocolate teapot!

o-SARAH-WAGLAND-570

But, and it’s a very big but… sometime ago I discovered a fitness craze that I fell in love with; in fact we’re now having a full blown affair. When we’re together, it’s mentally and emotionally exhilarating and he always leaves me wanting more. Ladies, I’d like to introduce you to Les Mills: welcome to the world of studio fitness.

I’ve been an active member of the Les Mills tribe for the last 15 years, religiously attending classes from Body Combat to Body Step, always looking for ways to challenge myself and take my fitness onto the next level. So imagine my excitement when I started to hear whispers of a totally new workout concept that was set to revolutionise the studio fitness industry. Not only that, but it was a collaboration with Reebok, a brand that has group exercise in their DNA and a rich and storied heritage in training and fitness. Together they were promising to showcase fitness in the digital age and introduce us to the “future of fitness.” Needless to say they had my full attention and I set off to find out more.

Named simply, The Project, the initial details of what it was all about were sketchy to say the least, shrouded in mystery, we were left wondering what we were letting ourselves in for. As we were led into the immersive experience I felt like I was queuing up for a special 3D cinema screening. In a darkened corridor, with red strip lighting flashing overhead, I was half expecting someone to hand me a bag of popcorn. Instead I was handed a fitness experience that blew my mind!

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 20.51.00

We were taken through a series of workouts: THE TRIP, BODYCOMBAT, LES MILLS GRIT, BODYJAM and BODYBALANCE. All familiar workouts that I’d done hundreds of time before but with one huge, glaring, game playing difference – we were going “immersive”! We were surrounded with cinema quality, video content that was projected onto the screens of a purpose-built studio.

The instructors led exercise moves that synchronised perfectly with music and graphics, creating a truly immersive fitness experience. I got to fight space invaders, cycle along snow-capped glaciers and dance like no one was watching. At times, I was so immersed in the cinematic scenery, I forgot I was even exercising! Well, until GRIT anyway!

Did I love it? Yes! Did it live up to my expectations? Yes! Did I come out wanting more? Yes! Am I going to be able to pop down my local gym to do it again…? Watch this space! With innovators and trendsetters like Reebok and Les Mills combining forces, I think we can agree that anything is possible! The future of fitness maybe closer that we think!

This blog featured on The Huffington Post UK