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a workout refresher with faye’s fitness retreats

I’ve spoken many times about how I have no workout routine whatsoever, and usually go to classes, do my own thing in the gym, and run with no real schedule; most of the time I decide what I fancy doing when I’ve already warmed up, so my workouts don’t really have a structure to speak of.  However, I do have a few favourite exercises that I tend to repeat when leg day or arms day rolls around for example, and that can get kinda boring.  Same goes for (nearly) always working out in the same gym or running the same route – sometimes you just gotta switch it up.  Working out on your own is absolutely fine but it’s good to work with a PT once in a while, and sometimes a change of scenery and someone new telling you what to do can help to revamp your workouts when they’re getting a little ‘meh’.

Earlier this month I had the chance to try Faye’s Fitness retreats over in Liverpool, which consisted of chatting about my fitness and health, being put through my paces in the home gym, a healthy lunch, and a tour of Liverpool with Faye and her dad Robby.  Altogether an interesting and healthy way to spend a day if you’re looking for something to do over that neck of the woods!

Imagine having this as your home gym, a casual squat rack in the dining room and enough space to get a good run of lunges in across the conservatory?  Would have no excuse not to be The Fittest Person Ever tbh. 

Faye asked which body parts I wanted to focus on but indecisive me chose them all, so my workout covered legs, arms and abs as a finisher (always the best finisher).

  • Bodyweight lunges to warm up
  • Banded walks – I need an exercise band in my life already. This wasn’t the first time I’ve used one, but served as a reminder of just how well they can kick your arse into gear (literally).  A few sets of banded crab walk thingies holding a squat position just gets your glutes working and fired up for the rest of the workout.
  • Shoulder press, side raises and front raises with light weights to burn out my upper body – the temptation to reach for heavier weights is real when the dinky dumbbells don’t feel like they’re doing much, but boy does it kick in after a while.
  • Weighted lunges – using the same leg for 10, rather than alternating, gave more of a burn in a shorter space of time. With lunges I usually feel like my legs could cope with heavier weight but my hands/forearms can’t, so adding a challenge this way seems like a better idea that I’ll be using from now on.  Holding the dumbbell overhead rather than one in each hand threw an extra balance challenge into the mix.
  • Focus on slow controlled movements rather than rushing through for maximum power
  • Hip thrusts, adapted to work with a squat rack rather than a smith machine, which required more control to stop the bar swaying all over the place. Just small changes that make a difference when you usually do things the same way.  I had my shoulders lower than I usually would because we were using a step rather than a bench, and used a folded over mat instead of a barbell pad.  Did the job and worked my butt!
  • Twisting planks and weighted sit ups with leg drops – I’ve made that sound really complicated there because I can’t remember the proper name, but I’m sure you can tell from the photos what I mean. Not quite so complicated but a good abs burner nonetheless when you superset these 2 together. 

The workout was followed by trying supplement drinks and a healthy lunch, and then onto the Liverpool tour for the second part of the day.   This idea is Faye and her dad’s new venture, as he’s an ex-police officer who knows Liverpool probably far better than the back of his hand.  It’s a slightly random combination of experiences but I like that, and I learnt about a side of Liverpool that I’m 99% certain I wouldn’t have done otherwise.  Not really the kind of thing to photograph so you’ll have to take my word that Robby gave a fascinating (and shocking) tour of Liverpool’s crime areas.

And then off I popped back through the tunnel and home again feeling both sore and educated, which is a nice combination!  Faye and I chatted about the experiences she offered which aren’t just about tailoring exercises to different people, but workout styles too.  Some prefer to watch themselves in the mirror to keep an eye on form (I know my shoulders can behave like they belong to 2 different bodies if I don’t keep check in the mirror)… and some prefer not to watch themselves sweat… you get the idea.  It’s ideal for those who want to use gym equipment but without the environment of a busy commercial gym, or want to get to grips with using free weights before hitting the dumbbells alongside 20 other people.  Whether you’re new to the world of working out or are just a little bored (like me), I’d recommend giving Faye a shout!

Lily Kate x

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My experience was complimentary but all opinions are my own

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