Search Results for 'GNR'

GNR/Running Training

Great North Run – GNR

Running for the first time or just getting back into it, one thing to consider is that just finishing the GNR is a great achievement

WAKING UP THOSE MUSCLES –Whenever you start something afresh, you may need to wake up parts of the body that have not been called upon for some time. To start with just going out running and walking any distance and time that would go beyond the normal daily requirement will probably fatigue the leg muscles quite easily. I would expect this to be the case for the first 2 or 3 outings as your body adapts. This will re-occur depending on the individual as you progress through certain distances and times

GOALS – As you progress set yourself sensible written goals to give yourself some structure and guidance with something to aim for

PROGRESSIVE TRAINING – Training 3-5 times per week for 30 minute plus durations will provide optimum results

Every 2 weeks you may wish to up the distance or improve on the time; by running a certain distance faster, running a longer distance with no time constraint or simply running for a longer period of time.

Try and mix up your running, using track, road, hills and tread mills

Two types of training  ‘Cardiovascular & Endurance’


Running shorter distances at greater pace increasing your HR (Heart Rate) should help to improve this.

Two things that work well;

1) Interval Training – Mix it up, this time try faster pace for one minute then jog/walk  for one minute as you progress with this reduce the rest/ jog period

2) Hill Sprints – Doing a steady long warm up, about 10 minutes and then make the main part of  the session hill sprints, stick with these making the sprints range from 12 to 20 seconds. Rest inbetween sprints whilst you get your breath back and really push hard again. Keep it going for 20 to 30 minutes


The interval training and Hill Sprints will have helped with this but ultimately it come down to duration and distance. Do not feel the need to tie yourself back to must be a certain distance in a certain time, get out there and run for longer and further than before and like the beginning when we mentioned ‘Waking Up the Muscles’ , this should help you through the dreaded ‘WALL’.

Why aren’t I losing WEIGHT???

Find exercise you enjoy, buy good food and eat well – Life is worth living, do all that you can for as long as you can. Look after yourself x

Why aren’t I losing weight?

You really want to turn your tractor into a Ferrari;

Tractor v Ferrari


You’ve cut all the crap out of your diet!
You’ve started exercising regularly!

You’ve’ve tried everything and either nothing is happening at all or you’ve come to a stop.

You still can’t shift the weight!!!!!

Okay, so you’re doing everything you can to improve your health and wellbeing. You’ve cut calories and started exercising but the scales still show you are staying the same weight or possibly even putting weight on.
First off consider this, scales lie and if your goal is to create a sports car from a tractor, you must change the fuel, oil and everything else that is going into the engine. Oh and lets not forget, they run very differently. To become one, you must first be like one.

Here we look at;

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Is your diet balanced?
  3. Are you clogged up?
  4. Type and intensity of training.fat-man-running

1) What is your goal?

First off is losing weight or fat your true goal?
It’s worth noting depending on the answer to this, scales could be the most detrimental tool you have!
For many people they are actually looking to lose fat not weight. If this is the case, scales are not your go to measurement devise. Scales will tell you how much your bone’s, muscles and organs weigh, as well as how hydrated you are and when you last ate or went to the loo.


Take a selfie and go with how your clothes fit.
If you have started training regularly, you might see a difference in the physical look of your body within 4 weeks but the scales may not tell you this.

It is also worth considering that according to Exercise Physiology by Mcardle Katch & Katch, in the first 4 weeks of calorific restriction, 70% of weight loss will be water.


2) Is your diet balanced?

You’ve cut the crap but is your diet balanced?
Too little can be worse than too much!

Think of it like building a house, Fat is the building blocks, Carbohydrate the energy/fuel, Protein is the work force to put it all together!

People say all the time they have cut all the crap out of their diet but one of the most important tools to aid weight loss is a balanced diet. The body is quite a complex organism, I’m sure most would agree, if we look at fat, carbohydrates and protein they all have their own role to play. For effective fat loss and wellbeing, a balance must be found.



What is the balance?

The following percentages that should make up your diet:
Protein 15-20% – Acting as the transporter/taxi for other nutrients within the body, crucial for replenishment of healthy cells. (There are 4 kcals per gram of protein)

Carbohydrates 50-60% – Supplying the muscles with glycogen and generally the main source of energy for the body. (There are 4 kcals per gram of carbohydrate)

Fat 20-30% – Every cell in the human body is made of saturated fat. That kind of makes it essential.
(There are 9 kcals per gram of fat)

Basically, if you have too little protein, you don’t have anything to transport nutrients around the body or work force to create new cells.
If you have low carbohydrate, you probably won’t have a supply of instant energy to keep the body functioning.
Too little fat and you will have nothing to create new cells with.

Think of it like building a house, Fat is the building blocks, Carbohydrate the energy/fuel, Protein is the work force to put it all together!



Too MUCH of any of these and they will store as FAT (although in the case of protein, excess can be excreted through the skin). In the case of excess carbohydrate, this will be stored as all over body fat. In the case of excess fat, this will be stored as visceral fat wrapped around internal organs pushing them out of place giving the appearance of a beer belly.

Balance SUMMED UP!

 1)      If you slash just carbohydrates but you have excess visceral fat, you won’t lose the belly and your body may not have the energy to function optimally and you may feel fatigued.

2)      If you slash fat but you are eating excess carbohydrate, in this case you will keep or put on more body fat and again your body may not have the energy to function optimally and you may feel fatigued.

3)      If you don’t have enough protein, your body just won’t function optimally. It’s worth noting the body needs to function to burn fat and create cells, we call it our metabolism!

 Having a full dietary analysis and forward planning session can simplify this for you.
Click here ► Dietary Analysis to find out more

A healthy balance video:

We can’t write it all here so also look at;
►Fat loss or weight loss
►Its all in the balance


3) Are you clogged up!?!

Is your digestive system clogged up?


It is too easy in the modern world to go for the ready meal or other processed junk food, especially in the form of carbohydrates. Too much junk food, especially wheat and gluten based foods can clog up the digestive system and liver. The liver is one of the most highly functioning organs in the body and one of its vital roles is to supply the body with energy.
Cutting processed and wheat based foods for fresh natural food (greens, fruit, veg, whole foods), which are jam packed with nutrients will really help to clear the digestive system. After only one or two weeks you will already notice the benefits.

Its also worth considering that raw foods or very lightly cooked foods are even better as they retain the majority of vitamins and minerals within the foods.

Further info:
►Get your greens in



4) Type and intensity of training?

Training; too much of the SAME!

Are you doing too much of one but not enough of the other?
Are you training in one specific way and not mixing things up?

toned muscle burns upto 20 times more calories than other bodily tissues


Benefits; Cardio vascular training, which normally involves doing the same repetitive movements at a very low intensity, is important. We need to have a good cardio vascular system to oxygenate our blood. Oxygen is another key to cell creation (muscle) and fat burning. Obviously cardio training will also burn through those calories and depending on what exercise you are doing, this could be 300 to 800+ an hour.

Cons;The problem with only doing cardio vascular training is that while working your muscles, you won’t essentially be building more muscle (or creating new cells). If you haven’t worked out already, creating new cells is a complex process that requires a large about of energy from various different sources.
So, while you can burn a lot of calories quickly and tire out muscle with high cardio workouts, you will probably find this will not result in lasting weight loss.


Why more muscle?!?

Muscular hypertrophy (building) training:

Benefits; A good level of muscle makes day to day life easier and allows us to achieve more when training. More muscle requires more glycogen from carbohydrates. But the biggest advantage of all in weight loss is that toned muscle burns upto 20 times more calories than other bodily tissues. So you will essentially be burning, more fat, all the time.

Muscles also basically mean SHAPE!

Cons; Ladies, unless you start pumping yourself full of testosterone and absolutely nail your diet, you are not going to put on excess muscle. If you do, write a book and become an overnight billionaire selling your methods to the vast population of guys aged 16 to 60 who have spent their lives trying to figure this out!


In general, mixing up your training, keeps training interesting and demands more of the body. We sit in chairs too much, whether it’s in a car, at a desk or in front of the TV. Get out there and move it!
See also;
►Importance of circulation
►Advantages of weight training



Are you hitting short, intense levels when you train?

Training for short burst and hitting high intensities (which have shorter recovery times than low) will aid better long term results than one or two big, long, low intensity work outs each week.


Essentially the compound total of what you do in a week can have the biggest bearing on you hitting your goals.

Training for too long at a low intensity, will prohibit the growth of muscle while fatiguing you for longer and prohibiting your ability to perform as well the next time you train.
By training for shorter periods at a higher intensity, and more regularly, will enhance muscular development and aid in swifter recovery times. This in turn allowing for better performance when training.

The other benefit of regular training is the avoidance of DOMS or Delayed Onset of Muscular Stress. When starting out training, one of the biggest inhibitors people often find is getting through the pain barrier of muscles that haven’t been used for a while. Get through all this and you will have a stronger more functional body, ready to go.

iCan Fitness are strong advocates of  1% of your day (15 minutes) training which can be done alongside any other exercise that you may have. We would normally recommend a quick high intensity body weight routine.

12 Exercises you can do anywhere:

We also offer Bootcamps and Personal Training, providing a fantastic, enjoyable and educational training environment.

Know your goals.

Balance your diet.

Clean your engine.

Train like a sports car.

Find exercise you enjoy, buy good food and eat well – Life is worth living, do all that you can for as long as you can. Look after yourself.

Charlotte Condliffe

Oh and don’t expect the results too fast, true fat loss can only be done at a healthy rate of 1 to 2 lbs per week. In the first 4 weeks of calorific restriction, 70% of any weight lost will be water!

David Atkins; Owner iCan Fitness.

Level 3 REPS Advanced Fitness Instructor.
Weight Management Qualification.


If you have any further questions about this article, Bootcamp or Personal Training, please ask.

Whats it all about?

November 12, 2014 No Comments

Bootcamp Collage 2

Face Book


Bootcamps are growing!

Or at least outdoor fitness is, and here’s why.

fun, energetic, diverse, results driven functional exercise.


We are over the moon to now be working closely with Evolution Fitness, that means there is now more opportunity, more times and more locations available for you to train (PAYG Cards only).
Outdoor Functional Fitness training, “Bootcamps” can now be accessed in Hexham, Corbridge & Stocksfield.

See our Timetable for further details.


What we do;

While it may put some people off, those who train outside grow to love it and quickly, no matter the weather. We train outdoors in all weathers, utilising different areas depending on the conditions. Training outdoors ‘always’ provides perfect training conditions, no matter who you are, you are more adaptable than you may think.

Once you have warmed up the cold will become a thing of the past, while we get down and sometimes a little dirty. Using all areas of the Sele Park in Hexham, we mix our training up to provide fun, energetic, diverse, results driven functional exercise. This can include short burst of running, getting on some mits and pads, bringing out some kettlebells or chucking around some Dynamex Med Balls. Obviously with your instructors having a military background, the odd military manoeuvres may also be found in the form of circuits.

Bootcamp 2013 II

Train with us and you can expect to see improvements to your physical ability and appearance in as little as 3 weeks. Our clients have achieved results that include substantial fat loss (as much as 3 stone) to those who have also gone on and ran their first adventure race or GNR. We are also proud to say that so far 10 clients have successfully used iCan Bootcamp to feel great on their wedding day.
We are confident that no matter what your goal, iCan Bootcamp can give you a brilliant advantage over other forms of training, while having FUN.


Whos it for?

Those who want to have fun and ACHIEVE!

Our instructors will support you, no matter who you are.

With clients ranging from 18 to 60, beginners in outdoor training to GB Basketball players, it is for anyone who is willing to have a go.
No its not easy, no matter who you are you will start off a trialist and find your first Bootcamp a challenge. It won’t be long though until you are floating liking a butterfly and stinging like a bee.


Whats GREAT;

With so many clients achieving more than they ever thought possible, we are glad to genuinely say our training can be life changing.

SOCIAL; we also boast a very social and friendly group of members who openly make everyone feel welcome that joins up with us and if you follow our facebbok page, you will also find us a fairly social group away from bootcamp.

What makes it great for myself ‘David Atkins (Head Coach)’, is the number of people who use iCan Bootcamp as a platform to achieve so much more. Whether its a fun career in adventure racing, improving their day to day physical ability or just really seeking out more adventure and challenges that would have never previously been considered.
collage 3


iCan Energy




Hit Christmas Healthy

every New Year we also make the same old Resolutions    santa-hat


We are now into the last weeks before Christmas, for most people this is a busy period of celebration.
If you are like the instructors here at iCan Fitness, Christmas will include eating as much as we can, to the point of making ourselves ill.
It will also be great time of social interaction and spending quality time with our families. At some point of course we will probably post on facebook or twitter that we are never drinking again, followed up by the usual New Year Resolutions.

So with that in mind, here are some tips and challenges to set you up for Christmas, give you loads of energy and ready to kick start your New Year. Oh and before you read on, YES you may have heard this all before, we are certainly in some ways repeating previous posts but hey every New Year we also make the same old Resolutions. We just think it always helps to have that little bit of extra encouragement.


An apple a day goes a long way

It is worth considering your diet now, diet isn’t just about cutting things out or down it is also about adding things. Often adding things can make the biggest difference. We appreciate that the build up to Christmas is a busy time but making the effort to include some of these changes into your diet will make a difference.

  • Cutting out white bread and pasta – Yes some people may not like wholemeal but this could be the biggest difference you make
  • Eating 2 raw fruit or veg a day – This is of course with your 5 a day but an apple a day goes a long way
  • Cut out Fizzy drinks and sugar sweets
  • Get Some Nuts – Mixed nuts are full of  L-arginine increasingly seen to have massive health benefits
  • Cod Liver Oil – The body just needs this, make sure you are getting your daily dose
  • Drink WATER – Having plenty of water little and often throughout the day is really vital for all bodily functions, including weight loss


Having good circulation no matter what age is really vital and is the mainstay of anyones health and well being. It is also vital to achieve a good workout. I am sure for most that the Christmas shopping may feel like it is proving to be an ample workout itself but try adding a little more now to really put a spring in your step.

  • Its as important as work – Prioritise, if you wouldn’t miss work for it, don’t miss your training for it
  • Routine – Whether its when you first get up, lunchtime or as soon as you finish from work, routine makes everything easier
  • Active all the time – Move around more, 5 minutes here, walking to work, at lunch time, what you can when you can will add up
  • 1 Good training session a week plus 1% of every day – One 40/60 minute training session a week with 1% every day
  • 1% – 15 minutes of your day ‘1%’ doing body weight resistance exercise like Squats, Press Ups, Lunges, Star Jumps, Plank, Dips



We all like a challenge, this motivates us to achieve more than we did yesterday. So here is a 30 day challenge for you to do, challenge with your friends and co workers. No Cheating, Bootcampers this will be tested!
Our challenges are open to everyone, you may feel that you can already do more but the structure can be followed no matter where you start. As the challenge is set over 7 days a week we recommend you go easy to start and allow the build up.

2 Challenges include Squats and Plank

  1. Squats

    Ensure you squat as low as possible no further than 90 degrees at the knee. Take 60 seconds rest between sets

    Day 1 – Start with 2 sets of 10, this might be part of your 15 minutes a day or your main training session then follow this;

    Day 2 – 2 Sets of 12
    Day 3 – 2 Sets of 14
    Day 4 – 2 Sets of 16
    Day 5 – 2 Sets of 18
    Day 6 – 2 Sets of 20
    Day 7 – 2 Sets – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) for 60 seconds (do this twice and record total)

    Week 2
    Day 1 – 3 Sets of 10
    Day 2 – 3 Sets of 12
    Follow this to Day 7 – 3 sets – 60 seconds AMRAP

    Week 3
    Day 1 – 2 Sets of 20
    Day 2 – 2 Sets of 24
    Day 3 – 2 Sets of 28
    Day 4 – 2 Sets of 32
    Day 5 – 2 Sets of 36
    Day 6 – 2 Sets of 40
    Day 7 – AMRAP – 3 minutes

    Week 4
    Day 1 – 3 Sets of  20
    Day 2 – 3 sets of 24
    Follow this to Day 7
    Day 7 – AMRAP Twice – 3 minutes

  2. Plank

    Week 1
    Day 1 – 2 Sets – 15 seconds Plank
    Day 2 – 2 Sets – 20 seconds Plank
    Day 3 – 2 Sets – 25 seconds Plank
    Day 4 – 2 Sets – 30 seconds Plank
    Day 5 – 2 Sets – 35 seconds Plank
    Day 6 – 2 Sets – 40 seconds Plank
    Day 7 – 60 seconds Plank

    Week 2
    Day 1 – 3 Sets – 30 seconds Plank
    Day 2 – 3 Sets – 35 seconds Plank
    Day 3 – 3 Sets – 40 seconds Plank
    Day 4 – 3 Sets – 45 seconds Plank
    Day 5 – 3 Sets – 50 seconds Plank
    Day 6 – 3 Sets – 55 seconds Plank
    Day 7 – 2 minutes Plank

    Week 3
    Days 1 – 6 – 3 sets 60 second Planks
    Day 7 – 3 minute Plank

    Week 4
    Day 1 – 60 seconds Plank
    Add 30 seconds every day then Day 7 – 5 minutes Plank


Challenge yourself, your friends and work colleagues, there doesn’t have to be a winner just doing this will make a massive difference to even the above average person out there. Use facebook or twitter to record your results. If you are with iCan, we will challenge you at the end of the month to see how you got on (all be it this will probably be inside the 30 days as we aren’t sure many will turn up on Christmas Eve!)

I’m doing this as well,

Dave iCan Fitness


Benefits of Kettlebell training for females

The Benefits of Kettlebell training for Females – Well everyone!

For those of you who train with us or follow us, you will probably know by now iCan use Kettlebells in various ways quite a lot.
They are diverse and when used correctly a brilliant brilliant training aid.

If you are still not convinced, please read this excellent article from BJ Rule that can be found on Ushomi Online

underneath that rough exterior lays an extremely effective, versatile, challenging and most importantly fun piece of training equipment

Unfortunately our engrained social stereotypes lead us to pigeon hole them as a “male” piece of equipment but this couldn’t be further from the truth


In increasing numbers women are starting to break out of the stuffy gym studios and hit the great outdoors for their exercise. Great. Being outside not only offers you all the benefits of your gym based workout, it adds the exhilaration and vitality only fresh air and green surroundings can. But once you’ve jumped off the treadmill where to next? Well, some choose to jump on a bike and some choose to hit the park trails, mp3 player in hand, for a nice relaxing jog. Based on the alternative (of sitting indoors on a recumbent cycle) this sounds great but, in most cases, the women in question are merely repeating the same ineffective training patterns which brought slow results in the gym and made the whole exercise experience monotonous in the first place. What’s most evident here is a serious lack of resistance work.

Resistance training offers many benefits, some extremely relevant to the long term health of females in particular. These will be discussed in greater detail below but for now let’s just focus on the fact that resistance training can help females to burn more fat, tone up and increase cardio vascular fitness. The benefit of using kettlebells as part of your resistance programme is that they are more efficient at achieving these benefits than any other piece of resistance equipment.

Kettlebell Sara

So why do women often raise a skeptical eyebrow when the kettlebells are brought out? Well as a woman myself I have to admit that the first time I encountered a kettlebell I was somewhat daunted – and I’m not a beginner when it becomes to resistance training. They looked totally different to any equipment I had ever encountered before. There’s no denying that kettlebells look like a tough piece of training equipment but underneath that rough exterior lays an extremely effective, versatile, challenging and most importantly fun piece of training equipment. Unfortunately our engrained social stereotypes lead us to pigeon hole them as a “male” piece of equipment but this couldn’t be further from the truth, they come in a range of weights and sizes that make them easy for anybody to use.

It’s not just the steely appearance that traditionally puts women off the idea of using weighted training equipment. The most common concern is that resistance training will lead to muscle gain and a “butch” appearance. Well to a certain degree it is true that resistance training can increase lean muscle mass, however, only to the extent that it can help you look leaner and burn more calories. All good things. And this increased muscle mass generally comes at the expense of fat, recent studies have demonstrated that though they get stronger and achieve a greater leaner mass women who engage in regular resistance training show no muscle enlargement. In reality it’s actually incredibly difficult for females to build muscle to the extent that they look “manly” or “butch”. If you look at your average male body builder they have an extremely complex regime of tough tough training, strict nutritional programmes involving huge volumes of protein and supplements and extremely disciplined rest/sleep patterns. And that’s all before we’ve added the magic muscle building ingredient of testosterone – studies have shown that on average men produce ten times more testosterone than women – and they still have to work incredibly hard to gain muscle bulk. Quite simply, muscle gain should not be a concern when approaching kettlebell training.

Most women exercise not only for health but also for aesthetic benefits. However, when it comes to losing weight most women do the wrong thing. This is where we come back to hitting the park on that long jog or just sticking to the CV equipment in the gym. It is absolutely true that a good CV workout burns calories and this obviously aids fat loss but there are a number of factors that can prevent or slow the effect of such training if it is not allied with some resistance work. The key phrase is good CV workout. Without a varied and planned progression the results of CV training will be limited, it’s simply too easy to sit at a comfortable pace and say “well at least I’m burning calories”. Our bodies are lazy, they will adapt to make everything we do as comfortable as possible so if the stimulus isn’t varied (by something like a kettlebell training session) the body will learn how to carry out the task efficiently and then stop adapting. So it will work out how to burn as few calories as possible on your long slow jog and then do just that.

Ever heard of the magic “fat burning zone”? The old adage that at 60% of your maximum heart rate (about the speed of a light or comfortable jog) your body burns more fat for energy. Though this is true it is incredibly misleading. As your work rate increases during a workout the proportion of calories taken from carbohydrate increases in relation to the amount taken from fat. So at a light work rate (60% maximum heart rate) a high percentage of the calories burned come from fat and a lower percentage from carbohydrate. If work rate is increased (80% maximum heart rate) the proportions will flip over, however, the increased intensity means that the total amount of fat calories burned is still greater than at the lower intensity. It sounds confusing but consider this. Imagine that fat calories are 1p coins and that carb calories are 2p coins. If I told you that we spent a total of 10 pence and that 60% came from 1p coins then that would equal 6 x 1p coins spent. Now imagine we’d spent ₤1 of which 40% were 1p coins. As a proportion of money spent 1p coins account for less than when we spent 10p but we’ve still spent 40 of them instead of a measly 6. Mixing the pace and work rate will burn more calories AND fat everytime, leading to weight loss.

kettlebell training is a mode of workout that is so effective for females it is actually quite surprising it has not been picked up and pushed into the mainstream before now

So we’ve established that kettelbell training will burn more calories than a light jog and burn more fat than the average workout to help you become leaner but there are also added weight loss benefits to the exercise. Pull your attention back to the muscle building issue. Kettlebell training will help females increase their lean muscle mass. This has a huge metabolic effect. Lean muscle mass is more difficult for the body to maintain than adipose (fatty) mass. The more you have the more energy your body will expend at rest to maintain it. Your resting metabolic rate is the daily rate at which your body burns calories before activity, just maintaining itself. An increased lean muscle mass will increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 15% which in turn leads to decreased body fat. In fact for every additional pound of muscle you gain, your body burns around 50 extra calories every day. Not only that but after a higher intensity kettlebell session which combines CV and resistance benefits your body will operate at a higher metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after the session has finished. This is because the adaptations prompted by the exercise require energy to be carried out, this is certainly not a benefit seen by the low intensity “fat burning” jog after which the body will cease burning fat almost immediately.

There’s a great deal of information here but if you take just one thing away know this: kettlebell training is a mode of workout that is so effective for females it is actually quite surprising it has not been picked up and pushed into the mainstream before now.

Bootcamp I

It promotes fat loss by:


  • Increasing lean muscle mass
  • Increasing resting metabolic rate
  • Burning a greater amount of energy
  • Increasing muscle tone
  • Combining CV and resistance work to improve overall fitness

Quite a formidable resume but it’s surprising for many to learn that the list of benefits goes on, both physiological and psychological. Numerous studies have demonstrated that up to 97% of women experience significantly improved self esteem as the result of engaging in resistance training An unfortunate inevitability we all have to look forward to as women is a lighter bone density as we get older. Women are four times more likely than men to suffer from the disease osteoporosis and we are therefore far more likely to need joint replacements and experience serious fractures in old age. Regular resistance training can reduce the chances of osteoporosis in females by increasing bone density. Kettlebell training combines the benefits of increased bone density with complex movements that develop body awareness and motor ability which not only improve posture but help develop the strength and movement patterns that can keep our joints healthy as we get older, reducing our risk of falls and fractures. Include decreased insulin resistance in diabetics, reduced blood pressure, lowered chances of heart disease, greater joint stability, more efficient power generation and reduced injury risk for athletes, lowered risk to a variety of cancers and it’s amazing to think that a few moments ago we were even talking about kettlebell training as a male domain.

BJ Rule

The Best of whole body exercises?

Whether you are a Bootcamp client or a Personal Training client in Hexham to Newcastle, this is one exercise we encourage you all to do.

We believe that by utilising the biggest muscles in the body, glutes and hamstrings as well as a whole lot of others, not only can you get a great work out but also really help improve your Muscle Mass percentage better than any other exercise.




It would appear that Muscle and Fitness agree with us and to be fair they also probably know a lot more about it.
No matter whether you are Male or Female, just trying to get in good shape, training for GNR or Kielder Marathon, Deadlift can be a vital part of any trainers regime.

The following is a great link with some very good points, we would just like to add 2 points to help your understanding.

Get your butt in the right place; to do this you will feel a pull through your hamstrings which, with the glutes are the primary muscles you are using.

Make a point of not letting your hips rise faster than your shoulders; for this you need to engage the core muscles and concentrate on driving the hips through.

►  8 Tips from a World Class Deadlifter

Superb September

September 30, 2013 General, Personal No Comments

Superb September;

As iCan Bootcamp trumped into its third year stronger than ever, this was capped in superb fashion by some truly memorable moments for iCan and its members.

1. Mark & Rhiannon; Mark asked Rhiannon for her hand in marriage at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. ‘YES’

2. Eddy worked with Physio and Therapy at the World Triathlon Championships, gave a treatment to Marijke Zeekat who went on to win GOLD in her race the following day.
Dirty Weekend Eddy
3. Karen Brown a long standing and valued member is leaving us while. PROMOTION, Karen is off to Scotland as part of a promotion with Waitrose.

4. It WORKS, today I have just had the absolute pleasure of telling one client, that they have achieved a 15% reduction in Body Fat (from 45% to 29%) and 7% increase (23% to 30% in Muscle Mass. Both of these are SUPERB results especially the Muscle Mass/Body Fat swing which will go a long way to keeping unwanted body fat at bay.
Also Andy Keen slashed 12 minutes off his GNR time to hit bang on the 2 hour mark.

This has to be said with a massive thank you to all our clients who make iCan Bootcamp such an amazing place to be. Whether or not we are better than any other Bootcamp or training around is not for us to say. What we can say is I feel we are a team who will only get stronger and we are unique.

Again Thank you

Are You Fit Enough

Fitness Testing


Do you live in the Hexham or Tynedale area and are interested in actually gauging how fit you are, what could be improved or are you really as fit as you think? If so, the Personal Trainers at iCan Fitness in Hexham are offering you the chance to find out.


At iCan Fitness, depending on who you are and what you want to achieve, we offer a range of fitness testing to our clients.

On Saturday 27th at 0915am we will be offering this to our Bootcamp clients and to members of the general public  for FREE.

We won’t just be testing the following but also be advising on ways to improve these, what is good, what needs attention and how you could go about it. We want to send you away with some goals to achieve and a positive attitude that these can be achieved.

Fitness Testing;


Body Fat Percentage

Visceral Fat Percentage (internal fat) Stopwatch

Skeletal Muscle Mass Percentage

Upper Body Strength Test

Bleep Test


All testing will be carried out between the Abbey Car Park and Sele Park Football Pitch

While we do offer VO2 Max testing, BP Testing and much more to our clients, these we feel are not relevant or achievable for the days activities.

We intend to repeat these tests to monitor improvement, YOU can be part of this. If you wish to attend please like our facebook page iCanBootcamp or follow us on twitter @icanfitness. Otherwise feel free to message us via the site and let us know.
Places are limited and on a first come first serve basis and priority given to iCan Bootcamp members.
You will need to have completed a Health Questionnaire that can be found either on the Bootcamp Forms page.

Helping Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain

For many lower back pain (LBP) can be the vain of their lives causing constant discomfort, time off work and therefore a shortfall in earnings, sleepless nights and an altogether lowered standard of living.

In many cases LBP can be caused by posture and or core strength and stability. These problems may be found in the form of a pelvic tilt, due to tight hip flexors or weak lower back and pelvic floor muscles.

What has caused this?

We live in a world with flat easy to walk on pavements, while at work we sit at desks using computers or at home on sofas watching TV. While it is part of life, we need to be aware of the problems caused. Living in a largely sedentary world with nice stable walking surfaces does not promote our bodies to use our core muscles enough to keep us stable and with good posture. This along with too much sitting, whether it is in a car, watching TV or at a computer can cause a tightening of the hip flexors (which in turn hinders the use of other major muscle groups in the posterior of the body). Together these can cause a weakening of the lower back and cause   an anterior pelvic tilt, this in turn can cause mild to quite serious lower back pain and even injury.

How can this be prevented?

While we would recommend seeking medical advice there are some exercises that can help alleviate some of your LBP.


Dorsal Raises; Actually exercising the lower back muscle in a controlled fashion can work wonders.

Prescription:-  3 Sets of 10 reps daily.

See Video Link –


Hip Flexor Stretch; Stretching the Hip Flexors (if tight) allows the pelvis to realign.
IMPORTANT, if you can feel the stretch, you have the stretch. Do not over do the stretch. hip-flexor-injury

Prescription:- Two 60 second stretches on each hip flexor 6 times daily

See Video Link –


TVA Activation; Also known as the ‘Pelvic Floor’, this is not just for post pregnancy and recommended for everybody

Prescription:- Ten times 10 seconds

See Video Link –


Bridge; The Bridge can also be used to promote use of muscles in the posterior chain, in this case the gluteus maximus (the muscles we sit on!). As demonstrated in this video and very well explained, abdominal Bridges can correct an anterior tilt in the pelvis.

Prescription:- 3 Sets of 10 reps daily

See Video Link – Correcting Anterior Pelvic Tilt using Abdominal Bridge


Above are just a few exercise that may help LBP, however, exercise done correctly with good technique & good range of movement produced by good flexibility will also help to improve overall well being.

If symptoms persist, either contact one of our Personal Trainers at iCan Fitness via this site or if you live within Tynedale or Newcastle area we would recommend you contact Paul Hobrough at Physio & Therapy or Eddie Thompson at E.T. Fittness & Therapy.



Class training or Personal Training?

What is best for you, class training or personal training?

David Atkins – Owner iCan Fitness

Again, like whether you need a personal trainer this can very much depend on the individual and their lifestyle.
Having had a number of different clients from a number of different backgrounds all have had differing reasons for contacting myself in the first place.

The reasons why a person normally chooses Personal Training over class training have included;

  • Motivation
  • Confidence
  • Time Constraints
  • Seeking Professional one 2 one treatment
  • More personalised training
  • Individual Goal setting
  • Not feeling the reward from class training
  • That Extra Push

I’m sure there are many more but having worked as a class instructor and Personal Trainer throughout Newcastle, Hexham and Tynedale with a large number of clients, the above have been the most common. Now the funny thing is here, to start with I didn’t think I was really doing anything that different with the Personal Training to the big group class training.
I, infact, love the group training and the interaction it provides and for many people this is still what I would recommend. iCan Bootcamp (Running in Hexham Sele Park) have a great community of people that all make each other feel welcome and make it an enjoyable experience for anyone to join. But over time, I have come to appreciate how much harder I can get people to train when Personal Training them and how much quick they achieve desired results. I have seen the appreciation much more, from the Goal setting and personal motivation that can be installed in a person to success in their personal long and short term goals.

So if you are ready to get in the mix and have a good level of personal motivation or can find a good level of personal motivation then class training may be the exact thing you need.IMG_1644



Or if timing is an issue, you want the extra little service and quality that comes with personal training and improved over all personal results, then personal training could be the answer to your questions!
All said, it is with a little bit of self pride that I can say, I  have motivated and trained clients some from being obese to some who were just looking for an extra challenge to take up adventure races or GNR and the likes, which they may have never have before considered.