Why we Add Resistance

Why we Add Resistance

Why we add resistance


Slightly different blog this week, answering what seems to be a pretty straightforward question –

Why do we want to keep increasing the resistance (weight) of certain exercises?


On the surface, it makes sense; we want to make the exercise harder, but why is it better than just doing more of them with a lighter weight? There are benefits to both, but here’s why we train how we train! It might even motivate you to try and pick up that next heaviest kettlebell…

1. It just makes it harder!

As I said, this is what you already know, adding more resistance to an exercise just makes it harder!

When you ask your body to move something heavier than it has done before, it needs to ‘recruit’ more muscle fibres to do it. If you recruit more muscle you need to spend more energy. And if you spend more energy, your heart rate goes up faster. This is why 10 reps of bodyweight squats would feel a tonne easier than 10 squats with 50kgs on your back!

This is what helps you get a higher work rate in the same amount of time during a session

Adding resistance doesn’t have to be a heavier bit of kit – Moving from a half to a full push up is still adding more resistance to the movement!

2. It helps stop Plateaus with fat loss

Carrying on from the above, if you are consistently getting stronger, then you will be consistently burning more energy in each session. So as long as you are looking after your nutrition you will continue to burn body fat at a steady rate, rather than the slowing down that most people experience. It can actually help to ACCELERATE fat loss because of the same fact.

3. It forces you to control the movement

The main concern when making an exercise tougher is continuing to do it RIGHT. But as long as you’ve got a watchful eye to make sure and you take the first few reps with a lot of focus, you should actually find it HELPS you to perform the movement BETTER.

We use goblet squats a bunch on sessions and they’re a great example of this. When you push yourself to the next weight up, you should find you naturally brace your core a lot harder and engage your glutes a lot more than before.

Your body likes to ‘cheat’ when it can get away with it, so wake it up with some heavy weights!

4. It makes ‘everyday’ things seem lighter! (aka feel like a badass!)

Hopefully you’ve felt this at some point; You go to pick up ‘XYZ’, something you lift quite often, and all of a sudden it feels 10x lighter than it ever has done before! You have that ‘fist pump’ feeling and maybe even check out your own guns next time you’re in the mirror – it’s totally OK don’t worry 😉

When you get used to lifting heavier and heavier things properly, guess what – everyday things start to feel lighter and lighter! Not only do you get to show off, but it shows that all of the work you’re putting in on sessions doesn’t just stay in the gym, it stays with you!


Always remember, just because it feels heavy now, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way –

There you have it, hope that’s got you fired up to try out some mean weights on your next session! And if coach comes along with the mean weight, just remember we’re doing what’s best for you 😉



New BTF Norwich Timetable

Dear Client,

I wanted to connect with you all about both an amendment to the BTF timetable and a change in the names of our programmes happening in the near future.

We always want to keep our sessions fresh and exciting, which means every once in a while we have to go into the ‘lab’ and design new workouts.

We want to integrate some more resistance work, prowler and use of the rig more in the fitness camp programme to freshen it up and keep it progressing as right now we feel we can give you more use of the space / kit we have at BTF in Norwich

To facilitate this and to integrate more equipment we can no longer run as many concurrent sessions with Fit Camp and Barbell sessions happening at the same time.

Basically, we need to adjust the timetable to alternate between fitness camp and barbells in the evenings and doing 2 of each instead of 3 fitness camp sessions.

We’ll be bringing in a 4.10pm session as from the recent client survey conducted in the FB group, we found that most people have flexibility between 4&5pm and the same at 6&7pm.

Below you’ll see the new timetable will look along with some FAQs gleaned from a focus group session prior to making this announcement.

The date for the new timetable and sessions will be 31st July 17.

We’ll continue to run concurrent sessions on Monday & Friday mornings unless we can figure out a way to get 2 sessions in before 7am!

I appreciate that when any timetable changes are made, there will be pros and cons for everyone but we’ve tried to make it as beneficial as we can to all.

I also know that we can give you more specialised coaching and help to improve strength, muscle tone, fat loss and injury prevention through resistance work on the fitness camp programme which this change will allow us to make.

We want to keep the programmes engaging and progressive and the best way we can do this is to bring in new workouts which allow you to get the best use of all of the space we have available and to bring in additional prowlers and to use the rig, plates and dumbbells more on the fitness camp programme.

We really do feel this will further improve your experience, results and give you even more enjoyment from your workouts!

We’ll also be changing the name of the programmes to reflect the

The fitness Camp programme will be renamed “Move”

High Intensity Functional Training geared towards full body movements or combinations of movements, performed for 30-120 seconds followed by a period of rest or active recovery to fire up your metabolism and burn body fat.

The barbell programme will be renamed “Lift”

On the Lift programme we focus on the Big Five Lifts

  • Squat,
  • Deadlift
  • Military Press
  • Bench Press
  • Pull Up

These are supported by some isolation exercises, assistance movements and power endurance work to develop strength, toned muscles and give you a lean, toned and athletic physique.

Lots of thought has gone into how we can make this work to improve the variation of the sessions with as little impact on the current running order as possible so we really do appreciate your support.

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Just e-mail us: [email protected] or speak to us after your session.

Thanks for your support as always.

Strength & Honour



Why is the timetable changing?

We’ve identified the need to re-design the programme to keep it engaging and progressive for clients. After much consideration we felt that the very best sessions we could design would need to give us the ability to make use of the full area of the gym and running concurrent sessions (Barbells and Fitness Camp) at the same time did not facilitate this. We want to be able to use the prowlers, dumbbells, ropes, rig and boxing equipment more frequently on fitness camp sessions and changing the timetable so we are not running barbells and fitness camp session allows us to do this.

Why the earlier afternoon session?

After conducting a survey of clients in our Facebook group, this was identified as a popular time. In many cases our clients work and home schedules meant that training earlier in the afternoon was advantageous.

Why is Fitness Camp changing from three, to two sessions in the evening?

We felt that things were a little too spread out in the evenings and it was usually the case that 2 sessions were busy and the other very quiet. Again, after conducting a survey in the Facebook group, we identified that most clients were flexible between 4.10pm and 5.10pm start times and 6.10pm and 7.10pm start times. The new timetable facilitates this.

I’m an early morning regular and find evenings difficult. How can I get my normal 3-4 sessions in per week?

If you are a Wednesday, early morning regular, we’ll give you access to do the Barbell sessions at that time instead for up to 6-months post the timetable change. We’ll be able to identify clients via ZenPlanner who consistently make use of the early am session on a Wednesday and allow you access to book onto the alternate session. We’ll be making some adaptations to the Barbell programme so easy to transition into the session.

Are the prices changing with the timetable change?

There will be no change in pricing for current clients on their respective programmes (Barbells & Fitness Camp) when the timetable change comes into effect. Your membership will continue to run at your current rate as per your agreement.

I love BTF and I can see the reason for the changes, but I’m not sure how I can make the new timetable work with my routine. Come and talk to us.

Will we be able to use more equipment on the Fitness Camp programme?

Yes! One of the main reasons for this change is to allow us to design sessions which allow you to use more of the space and equipment we have available at BTF. This will include prowlers/sleds, ropes, weight plates, dumbbells, boxing kit & the rig which we are excited about and believe it will yield even more enjoyment of sessions, fitness benefits and results!

When will this come into effect?

The new timetable will roll out on 31st July 2017. Zen Planner will be updated accordingly.



Automatic Negative Thoughts Vs Capability Affirming Thoughts!

We’re BIG on mindset here at BTF. We know that mindset is the key that unlocks everything. Once you have your mindset in the right place, provided you have the support and knowledge to back it up, you will make progress faster than you’ve ever seen it before.

Today we’re talking about improving confidence. When confidence is lacking, we often limit ourselves from achieving something that we really want, because we simply don’t have the belief in ourselves that we can make it happen and the fear holds you back, consciously or sub-consciously.

ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts

When something goes wrong in your day, if you make a mistake, don’t do as well as you’d like during a session or with your nutrition, are your first thoughts to give yourself a hard time? This is where the term Automatic Negative Thoughts comes from, those first thoughts that come into your head during a stressful situation. This may sound like “I can’t get my nutrition right”, “Everyone else seems to do better than me”, “I’ll never be able to do XYZ”.

The question to ask is; Are these thoughts helping or hurting me from making positive decisions and changes? I can tell you that they definitely aren’t helping you!

 These are limiting beliefs that will do nothing except put a ceiling on what you feel you can achieve, BUT exactly as the name suggests – right now they’re automatic. You can’t control that initial thought going into your head, it will have been built in over many years of repetition.

What we can and need to do is CHALLENGE that thought, so that the ‘automatic’ part of your brain switches off, and the conscious side of your brain switches on. That’s where CATs come in…

Capability Affirming Thoughts

 These are the thoughts you use to combat negative thinking, encourage positivity and boost confidence.

The purpose of these if for you to challenge the idea that you came up with automatically, by searching for examples to prove it wrong. Belief is the key here, right now you may believe the things that your brain is coming up with automatically, you need to challenge them and invite yourself to believe something different!

You need to find examples of when you proved the previous thought wrong, and use that as ammo. Whatever you choose to focus on will grow, this is all about changing that focus.

You can be critical of yourself, as long as there is a positive outcome at the end of it. If you know you could have done better if you would have just done ‘XYZ’. Then the goal is not to give yourself a hard time about it, the goal is to try and make the first steps so that you can do better next time.

Draw yourself a Table and start filling in the column of ‘ANTs’ – The stuff that comes into your head on a regular basis, which do nothing to help you.

 NOW, you need to challenge these by writing down examples of when you’ve proven that to be wrong.

By writing these down you’ve prepared yourself with how you’re going to challenge these thoughts when they appear.

You can repeat this for any and all situations where you feel your negative thinking is affecting how well you do.

After this, it’s about repetition. Get into the habit of giving yourself these positive affirmations and over time they will become more and more engrained into your mindset. Giving you a confidence boost, helping you take on bigger and better challenges and having a great time doing it 🙂

How to Re-Ignite your nutrition

How to Re-Ignite your nutrition

 The Nutrition re-Ignition!

We’ve all been there – You’re really getting stuck into your training, you’ve been hitting your nutrition well and it feels like you’ve got this in the bag. But then something then comes up and it throws a spanner in the works; You get injured, you go on holiday and let loose, work demands more of your time etc. You end up losing your flow, feeling a bit lost and then really struggling to find your feet again. This is when old habits creep back in and you’re not sure how you ever got loose of them in the first place.


With that out in the open, I’ve got two GREAT bits of news for you…

  1. This happens to EVERYONE (coaches very much included)
  2. And because it happens to everyone, you’ve got a lot of people that will back you up and help you out


This blog is going to focus on how to get your nutrition back on track when you’re feeling like this, step-by-step. And address a couple of common misconceptions while we’re at it.


Step 1. Don’t assume you can start exactly where you left off

I want to start with this point; you won’t be able to just jump back in where you last left off. Don’t put yourself down because you can’t go back straight into the stage when you were ‘on it’.

Good nutrition, and habits in general, are a process built up with momentum. If things have slipped and you’ve fallen out of your daily habits, and you then try to add ALL of these activities back into your routine straight away, all at once – you will REALLY struggle. The best way to make these habits stick again is to build them back up, at a rate you can maintain. It may feel slower, but you’re trying to make them stick, which is the ultimate goal 😊

Since we’re calling this the re-ignition, let’s think of your nutrition as a camp fire – when you first build the fire, you don’t just throw 50 logs on and throw a single spark on it, the fire won’t burn up. You need to start with some small embers, light that to some kindling and THEN SLOWLY add your logs so that you don’t suffocate the fire. If you’ve lost your momentum it’s the exact same, look after the embers and slowly build the fire back up again.

That’s what I want this blog to help you do!


Step 2. Track what you eat

This is one of the first habits that will drop from your routine, because when our nutrition isn’t looking good, of course we don’t want to see it. BUT, you can’t fight the enemy that you can’t see. This doesn’t mean tracking everything to the exact letter, but this is the first step because you HAVE to have an idea of your eating patterns before you can figure out how to change them.

You can literally start by taking a picture of EVERY item that you eat and saving it to a folder on your phone. It’ll take 5 seconds and at the end of the week you will have a fantastic resource to use without having to write down a single thing. The more you can record the better, but if it’s overwhelming, start here, no excuses 😊
This is your ultimate power to start creating change again.


Step 3. Work your way up the ‘levels’

You now need to decide which stage of the process you can start back at.

Be honest. Don’t try to skip ahead

If you’re struggling to eat veggies at each meal right now, then trying to work out your macronutrient percentage goals is going to be adding too much to your plate (excuse the pun). It’s not uncommon to slip straight back into very old habits that were previously really engrained. You might literally have to start from the bottom back up, but the good news is that you will pick them up LOADS quicker than before – You’ve already done it!

Below are the different stages (simplified) that we coach to develop good nutrition, and this is how you should think of it…  You don’t move up to the next tier until you’ve become competent in the one you’re on. Don’t think of them as ‘levels’ in the sense that you’re competing to get the highest score, think of them as the foundations of good nutrition. You can’t skip forward and build a roof until you’ve built some strong foundations. Which step do you need to start at?

Clients – If you need to re-cap on the 5 habits or any part of this pyramid, let us know and we can get the resources to you so you can re-run through the content.


Step 4. Set a new goal!

Now that you’ve found what your next steps are, make sure that you TAKE THEM! Make a commitment to yourself and us on which step you’re going to take next and what you want to achieve from it. We’ve seen a tonne of new lifestyle logs in the last month from people that set it as a goal not to miss a week, and they’re starting to see the fruits of just doing that.

Help someone else succeed with their goals and you are a tonne more likely to succeed yourself too, teamwork makes the dreamwork.



OK guys, really hoped this helps and if you did find it useful or want our thoughts on anything else, be sure to let us know! Now let’s get to work, you’ve got this!


Training While Pregnant

During pregnancy you may have a lot of questions and concerns on how you should/can train, and rightly so because you do need to change and adapt certain things so that you’re keeping yourself and your +1 as healthy as possible. As with most training advice, there can be a lot of differing opinions however, even more so with this topic.


So here’s our help sheet that can answer a few of the questions you might have and guide you towards what kind of changes you need to make with your training during each trimester. If you have any concerns you should consult with your doctor and midwife before continuing with any training 🙂



1st Trimester 0-12 weeks

You are able to train to the intensity and lift the weights that you were before pregnancy, however you may feel dizziness when changing positions from lying/sitting to standing, so change position slowly.


2nd Trimester 13-27 weeks

You will want to avoid lying on your back as this can reduce the flow of blood back to the heart and lowering the blood and oxygen supply to the baby, lying on your side during the cool down is best.

Reduce your weights by 5% in first half of trimester and a further 5% in second half of trimester

You may start to notice postural changes and changes in stability, if so it’s best to adapt out exercises involving balance like lunges and leg drives by using TRX handles or poles for stability.

You have increased relaxin which is a hormone that softens the connective tissues, especially at joints, and will make you slightly more prone to injury through over-stretching of muscles. You will be able to stretch further than you have been able to do before, but avoid doing this and again use stability aids if you need to. Avoid touching toes, crucifix stretch and twisting.

Your maximal work capacity will reduce by 20-25% due to increased oxygen consumption so you will need to reduce the intensity of your work out at the weeks go by.

You may find it harder to breathe as your uterus increases and pushes your diaphragm further into your chest, so take more rest

Your total energy requirements increase, so you need to consume more calories as a result, keep this healthy.

Keep your core body temperature down as much as possible while training. Drink plenty of water and keep to light fitting clothes.

3rd Trimester 28-40 weeks

All of the above factors remain the same, and will steadily increase.

Reduce weights by a further 5-10% in this trimester and avoid lifting weights overhead, bodyweight movements will mostly become challenging enough, there is no need to apply extra resistance unless completely comfortable.

Relaxin will continue to steadily increase, avoid touching toes, crucifix stretching and twisting.

Your maximal work capacity will reduce further due to increased oxygen consumption so you will need to further reduce the intensity or your workout. You will still be getting the benefit from steady exercise while doing so.

You will still find it more difficult to breathe as your uterus increases and pushes your diaphragm further into your chest, so take more rest.


There you have it, there are absolutely ways for you to carry on training and maintaining a good level of health and fitness during this time, and can really help you to bounce back once you’re ready to do so afterwards. Again, follow any additional advice from your doctor or midwife and you will stay as healthy as possible through this time 🙂