Without a doubt during my 6 months of travelling around South East Asia, my favourite place was Boracay and more specifically, Legacy Gym. I wrote little bit about this in an earlier post called Wanderlust but I want to go into more detail here.
Hands down, Boracay is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my life. One side of the island is lined with an unbelievable white sandy beach, White Beach, with tranquil turquoise blue waters. On the other side lies Bullabog Beach which is perfect for kite surfers. The island is postcard perfect.
Legacy Gym is in Diniwid which is away from the hustle and bustle of station 2 with it’s own perfect little beach no less than a couple of minutes walk away. Having been to Legacy in January/February of this year I swore I would come back in May for a month of training, and I did, and it was F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!
Similar to Monsoon Fightclub in Koh Tao the gym offers training twice a day, the focus here however is more on Fillipino boxing. The gym also offers Muay Thai, Jujitsu and MMA training. There is also Beach Conditioning 3 times a week which is absolutley killer as you are tortured with animal crawls on the sand (completely knackering but effective).
At Legacy you can stay in a private bamboo room above the boxing rings, or rent a private hut in the grounds. The gym is managed by a wonderful family who really make you feel at home. On Saturday nights there are often BBQs at the gym and we all head out together to one of the local beach bars, Exit, or the huge new club on the island Galaxy. The nights are generally hilarious and end with a lot of epic stories.
Training is exhausting and challenging, with a mixture of HIIT workouts, agility training and technique. It’s perfect for improving your boxing or Muay Thai if you’re already familiar with it but anyone can go along to these camps as the trainers will help people of all different levels to learn and improve in these sports.
What made Legacy so special were the people. We were like family, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. The trainers are just awesome and hilarious and all so supremely skilled at their work, they either still fight now or were professionals or ex champions in their time. Their dedication to their craft is so impressive. The way the gym is set up makes it so easy to become friends with the other people staying there. You all hang out together, train together, eat together it really does feel like family. It’s no wonder that so many people return to this place every year, it really is a truly wonderful place and it will always have a special place in my heart.
I went to stay at Monsoon Gym & Fightclub in Koh Tao in March/April of this year. The gym focuses on Muay Thai training but also offers Jujitsu, Western Boxing and a Gladiator HIIT workout. I went to learn Muay Thai having never watched any Muay Thai or kicked anything in my life!
Monsoon is located on the beautiful island of Koh Tao in Thailand, just a stroll away from Sairee Beach. I chose to stay in the fight dorm which consists of about 6 bunk beds, it’s mixed and is the perfect way to make friends and meet everybody. Everyday at 8am the trainers start playing some kind of music, often strange sounding Thai songs (one I remember with the words sexy lady it was bizarre for a fight club but it really gives the place character). You begin with skipping for 10 minutes before getting your hands wrapped and then doing some shadow boxing.
Once you have chose your gloves you are either paired with a trainer who wears protective gear (so you can punch and kik them!) or you practise punching and kicking the bags around the gym. The trainers coach you to kick, knee, elbow, punch, hook, jab etc all in 3 minute rounds and it’s exhausting! The sweat is pouring off you like you’re standing under a shower. After an hour of training on the pads and bags you are told to get on one of the bags and do 100 kicks or 100 knees in a row. Your body takes a battering but you get used to this after a while. The session finishes off with some stretches where each member of the session comes up with a stretch for the group.
Muay Thai starts again at 4pm everyday too. I trained twice a day because I was on a mission to feel better after living off banana bread at my brother’s house in Australia. In 2 weeks I felt fitter, more energetic and I had lost some body fat.
Monsoon is a fantastic place and I cannot recommend it enough. Along with the training there is also a fully equppied indoor, airconditioned gym. There is a kitchen onsite so you can make your own food. The trainers would often cook in the evening and offer us all sorts of spicy interesting Thai dishes along with shots of Thai whiskey and Hong Thong & soda. We would spend the evenings sitting around the gym chatting, watching the trainers playing their guitars or listening to Thai pop music. It has a real sense of family and belonging. I made friends there for life.
You are encouraged to train everyday and with everyone in the dorm being there for roughly the same reasons you feel motivated to get up and join in. If you are looking for an active holiday Muay Thai, boxing or MMA training camps sre the perfect solution. You meet a tonne of people, you workout everyday, you’re in the sunshine, with a beach nearby and nightlife if you want it. They work out very cheaply too if uoi choose to stay on site at the gym, it’s also the best way to meet people.
I’ll be back to Monsoon definitely.
I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve spent a long time wondering how to continue my commitment to Luxe Wellbeing after deciding to make some changes in my life. I have the travel bug and I always have. After some rather swift decision making I bought a one way ticket to Manila in the Philippines with very little research or plans about what I was going to be doing or where I was even going. It was extremely exciting to say the least.
At some point I ended up on the island of Boracay a crazy place bursting with tourists and travellers from all over the world. It was hectic, full on but beautiful and easy to find moments of peace if you searched for them. I fell a little bit in love with the chaos of it all. I seemed to constantly meet people with similar interests in health and fitness and aspiring to stay looking and feeling good while exploring the world.
I decided to make Boracay my base because I wanted to be able to continue to train in one place which is hard to do if you are continually island hopping. I joined a gym in a local hotel after being inspired by the lovely Laalie from Greenland who became a wonderful friend from the day I met her. She also happened to be a PT too.
However, I also met another group of people who were training and staying at an MMA gym over in Diniwid called Legacy and they had invited me along to try out training session. Initially, I wasn’t sure. I knew of MMA as being quite violent and mainly for men, I wondered if any women would even be there. “I’m a lover not a fighter” was another thought running through my mind. As a complete pacifist who has never thrown a punch in her life and has never even witnessed a fight, I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
However I rolled up, I got involved in a boxing class and although admittedly I felt self conscious at first (it’s certainly not Pilates) by the end of it my heart was pumping, the blood was racing around my body and I felt euphoric! It challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone and I loved every second of it.
I continued to train on and off at Legacy for the rest of my time on the island, in between using my regular gym near White Beach. The experience has inspired me to base the rest of my travels around finding similar gyms to this where they provide accomodation and training daily on site. It seems to be the perfect solution for keeping up with my fitness while exploring Asia and a way to keep this blog updated.
I’ll fill you in on more detail about Legacy Gym next time….
One night after my Train Fitness course I signed up to try a 1 hour session of a new style of workout that I’d never heard of before, called Animal Flow. I was really intrigued because it sounded totally different to the usual workouts I do which mainly revolve around weights and cardio. Animal Flow is an unusual mix of yoga, body weight exercises, gymnastics and martial arts with each individual movement named after an animal.
The movements almost feel like a dance and are very fluid as you move from one position to the next balancing your body on your hands and toes. Animal Flow helps to improve your strength, flexibility, mobility skills and co-ordination.
Once you have mastered the animal walks, for example the crab, scorpion, beast and ape you then ad the movements together to become Animal Flow. You repeat the sequences of movements more rapidly and it really gets your heart rate up as you transition from one to the next. After the sessions I was sweating my arms and legs were killing me, however, I felt I had stretched out a lot and moved my body in ways I hadn’t before.
I really enjoyed Animal Flow and it’s definitely something I want to incorporate into my health and fitness regime. I’ve been doing a lot of research recently about body weight exercise versus weight training and the benefits of being able to move your body so freely without feeling tight. Body weight training is something I’m really keen to explore further along with yoga, I’m going to try to add some Animal Flow into my routines. I’ll let you know how I get on.
I’ve had some time away while I’ve been focusing on other things but now I’m back and hoping to pick up this blogging malarkey a little more frequently.
For the past few months I’ve been doing distance learning with Train Fitness to complete my Level 4 Advanced Personal Trainer & Life Coaching course, however I decided to enroll full time and finish the course in London by January 2017. I’m 2 weeks in, having completed my Level 2 Fitness Instructor course I’m moving onto my Level 3 Personal Training on Monday!
Wish me luck!!!
This blog post is for those of you who have had that same epiphany that I had a few years ago when I decided I should look after and love my body more.
After many years of not looking after my body i.e. not working out, or dieting to extremes, or taking the pill and not realising how much it effected my weight and appetite at the time, or binge eating and feeling guilty yet still never exercising…. After all of this and through trial and error, I have worked out what my body can and cannot handle. It’s taken me years but when I started training at the gym I found something that not only helped me tone up those areas that I felt self-conscious about but also lifted my mood and made me so much happier within myself.
So you’ve had the epiphany? What next? You get yourself a Personal Trainer! I cannot stress how important it is that you have someone guide you through the process of changing your body and your diet. Yes, shameless promotion but in all honesty this is how you will have the motivation to change. A Personal Trainer can sit you down and take you through your goals and what is motivating you to make these changes, holding your hand every step of the way. With a nutrition plan and training program a Personal Trainer can also help to make sure that your form is correct and therefore prevent injury. Of course a Personal Trainer will also motivate and encourage you to do one more rep, lift heavier, or push harder for one more minute! A Personal Trainer can give you real and honest insight into your daily routine and where the changes need to be made.
So you’ve hired your Personal Trainer. Do not take your foot off the pedal just yet. Yes your Personal Trainer is there to advise you on nutrition, exercise, your goals and support you when you work out together BUT and this is a HUGE BUT, it is you, yes YOU who will have to put the effort in to make those changes happen. It is only you who holds that fork to your mouth. It is only you who does your weekly shop and decides what goes
in the basket. It is only you who decides how much food should be on your plate and what it should be made up of. It is only you who decides whether they will be doing jaeger bombs on a Friday night and cancelling their workout session the next day. It is only you who decides that just hiring a Personal Trainer is enough and no other effort needs to go in….
Although you may think that you’ve found a solution now because you’ve hired a Personal Trainer you are not there yet. So you’re doing 2 sessions a week and they’ve given you a nutrition plan, and you’re thinking you will definitely be fitting into that bikini you bought for your holiday in Santorini in 2 months time….. Two sessions a week with a trainer and vaguely following a nutrition plan/kidding yourself that you are “being good” is not going to help you see any changes in your body. Believe me.
If you really want to see improvement you will need to put the extra effort in. That means heading down to the gym without your trainer, or going for a run and really watching what you eat. Be honest with yourself and expect it to be hard work, looking good isn’t easy. Ok, I admit I think some people are genetically blessed with longer, leaner limbs or a faster metabolism BUT even if the genetically blessed lay around all day, eating rubbish they too would become un-toned, wobbly and unfit too. It is all a matter of priority. What is important to you? If you really want to feel better and look good then SERIOUSLY – Make – Those – Changes. It is all within your control.
So we’ve established that just hiring a Personal trainer isn’t enough and that you have to control your life outside of being with your trainer. Although you may love to have your Personal Trainer trailing around after you all day every day telling you what you can or can’t eat, that just isn’t feasible. You have to parent yourself, like a big girl.
What’s next then? WEIGHTS!!!! If you want to overhaul your body you need to be lifting weights. Along with incorporating some cardio or HIIT, weights are crucial. You know why weights are crucial? Because quite simply they help sculpt your body and burn more fat over an extended period of time. Lifting weights will help eliminate cellulite, tone you up, lose weight, burn more calories and generally help change you into that awesome person you’ve been dying to be all your life!
I respect anyone who makes an effort to get to the gym or goes outside and just moves because it’s doing you good. However, IF you want to seriously change your body there is no point in kidding yourself that by just gently swinging backwards and forwards on the ellipitical trainer for 20 minutes every now and then is going to make any difference to your body. Routine and consistency is key. And no weightlifting won’t make you manly. In order to gain enough muscle mass to look bulky you would have to be eating an awful lot of protein, and I mean giant amounts. The kind of changes I am talking about here are not for body builders, I’m talking about the girl next door wanting to tone up. The every day girl who wants to look HOT and fit into her jeans and look good in that slip dress. This is for you. It still requires work but it IS achievable and it’s all in your control.
A Personal Trainer is pretty much essential to help you lift weights correctly and target the areas of your body you want to work on. You must be careful when lifting weights so as not to injure yourself and this is where a Personal Trainer can help you correct your form. A Personal Trainer will give you the confidence to step into the weights section and eventually you will be able to go on your own and know what you are doing. I think this is the main reason why women shy away, it’s not necessarily that we think we will get big, it’s that we have no idea what we are doing.
So to summarise, take that epiphany and run with it. Get a Personal Trainer, get focused and expect to WORK HARD but eventually you will get that banging body you’ve always wanted.
I am officially a Fitness Fashion Fanatic! I love colourful sportswear and I can spend hours creating wishlists on Nike Women, Stylerunner and such like. I’ve even compiled a Pinterest board dedicated to Fitness Fashion. If I had as much money as any one of the Kardashian’s I would totally copy Khloé Kardashian’s dream rainbow workout wardrobe….
Just look at it…. H E A V E N
One day………. Anyway, I thought you guys might be interested in seeing what’s on my Lust List because if you’re anything like me you will have been obsessively compiling your own. Please let me know of any funky sports/workout wear labels that I might have over-looked as I am always keen to find new brands!
First on my Lust List are these legendary sculpt training tights from Nike. I actually already have a pair but they are incredible and I must tell you about them! The compression is really tight so it holds everything in, giving you a gorgeous shape and a great bum! They are perfect for working out in because they don’t slip down, staying fitted throughout without you having to pull them up. Bear in mind they are tight, very tight but that’s the compression working it’s magic. I highly recommend getting yourself a pair of these.
Sticking with Nike this Tech Fleece is on my wishlist. It looks so warm and cosy and would be great to throw on before or after my work out. Just realising I say colourful and then my first 2 items are black….anyway…
I LOVE the colour of this Neon Melon Workout Bra from Lorna Jane!
And finally this fitted hoodie by Stella McCartney for Adidas definitely looks essential to me, I need any excuse to add this to my work out wardrobe.
This felt like an appropriate blog post to start again with because I have quite clearly fallen off the blogging wagon…. However, with this post I want to help any of you who have fallen off the fitness wagon.
Make no mistake, EVERYONE falls off the fitness wagon every now and again. We start off so full of promise with high expectations, huge plans and glistening body goals ahead of us and then suddenly we find we haven’t put our trainers on for 5 months. Sometimes you skip a work out because you’re too tired, you’ve got too much work on, you’re stressed out, something else came up, so and so wants to go for a drink/meal/movie….. Before you know it you’ve been paying your gym membership for a year and you’ve not stepped into the place once. It happens so easily and the hardest part is trying to motivate yourself to pick yourself up and start again. I know I’ve been there, got the t-shirt, and the duvet cover with the matching curtains…..
The fear of how hard it will be sets in and you make more excuses and more times passes and the harder it gets to even start thinking about working out again. If this is you right now, I want to motivate you to get past this. YOU CAN & YOU WILL!!!
We all know how easy it is to get distracted. Have you ever thought that one of the reasons you may have stopped making the effort is because your dream seems unattainable? At the beginning you felt so motivated but perhaps the realisation of how much work you needed to put in prevented you from continuing. Staying motivated is initially one of the hardest parts of working out, I think. Unrealistic body goals, extreme work out plans combined with God-awful diets, it’s no wonder you gave up – that’s not what life is about!
You want to feel motivated to get back on it? Stop over promising yourself! Set realistic goals. It’s not your job to get fit and look good in a bikini, this is not why you are doing this. Ok, you may want to look good eventually and you will but to ignite your motivation just do it because it makes you feel good about yourself. I’m sure you’ve all heard it before but no one ever regrets a work out. Start off small, plan to do 30 minutes and work yourself up to more time per week, until it becomes a habit again. Personally, I find if I miss a week even the first day back after is hard but once you are in a rhythm and you realise how good it makes you feel, this will be the feeling you remember and that will make it easier for you to start making it a habit again.
With regards to the diet: WHAT DIET??!!! Don’t diet! Just clean it up, drop the processed convenience food, plan ahead a little, save your large glass of vino tinto for Friday night not Monday and get the week started off on the right foot. But remember again, don’t deprive yourself, this is possibly why you fell off the fitness wagon in the first place.
Perhaps you stopped going because you got bored? I know I get bored if I find myself doing the same thing every damn day. Switch up your workout routine. This is crucial anyway so that you are constantly surprising your muscles and your body doesn’t become too accustomed to your work out. Get a work out buddy!! This is hugely motivating, find someone you can exercise with and egg each other on (with the added pressure of not letting the other down by cancelling).
So, if you want my advice to get motivated again, don’t make any grandiose plans initially because that makes the thought of going even harder. Also stop saying “diet starts tomorrow…..”. Just pick up your trainers and wander down to the gym and just test the waters. Do a class first, perhaps that might be easier? Walk fast paced on the treadmill for 30 minutes on an incline. Make a satisfying meal filled with lots of goodness, do your weekly shop while you’re in this mode. After you’ve taken the initial step, going back next time will be even easier.
I think the below quote is a good one and I hope it motivates you all too.
SunWarrior Classic Protein: Raw Vegan Sprouted & Fermented, Chocolate flavour; £20.49
SunWarrior create super-foods made from plants that are good for your health. Their vegan protein powder is made from whole grain brown rice, raw cocoa and sweetner and contains 16 grams of protein per 21 gram (1 scoop) serving. It also contains 9 essential amino acids which cannot be produced by the body and therefore must be supplied within out diet, and these assist with the bodies metabolic process.
I am not a vegan but I wanted to try this product after reading a positive review on my good friend Alicia’s site Editors Beauty and after doing my own research on the internet looking for an as natural as possible protein powder that didn’t break the bank. Sunwarrior was consistently mentioned in many blogs and reviews for being a good vegan alternative protein powder. The taste is ok (protein powder’s are not the tastiest of drinks as you may know) and it mixes smoothly, it’s a little gritty but not unbearable in any way. On a taste level this is fine. I haven’t dared to try any natural flavoured protein powders as yet because I’m aware that without the sweetner they might taste horrendous and I don’t want to spend my money on something I can’t stand to drink.
Did I see results? It’s hard to tell really. All I can tell is what this packet tells me I am giving my body and that appears to be a lot of good, healthy nutrients. I think if you are looking for a vegan brand then this is a great product, the taste is fine, it mixes well with no lumps and there are loads of amino acids thrown in. The protein per serving is not huge but the ingredients are kept simple and the energy content is low so you are not going to be bulking on the weight by adding in the protein shake after a work out. I think it’s a nice alternative to a whey product and I would certainly recommend it to any vegans out there.
I bought mine here: