At the heart of your health…

Atrium Fitness, Ely - At the heart of your health…

Sorayas’ journey to World Professional Model Champion

I joined Atrium Fitness about 2 years ago after deciding to retire from competitive cheer leading. I started going to the gym 5 times a week where I used to do about 30 to 45-minute workouts with weights. Mondays and Fridays, I attended the morning HIIT and Insanity classes.

Somehow along the way I started to lose motivation. I ate super clean during the week and when the weekend arrived I just ate all the junk food possible (starting with a big Chinese takeaway on Friday nights).

Soraya 1I didn’t have anything that would make me push hard in every workout or that would stop me from eating the whole supermarket during the weekend. I didn’t think I looked bad, or I was fat or anything like that, so I just didn’t put in that much effort.

One night during a holiday in Prague I started thinking that if I wanted to achieve the physique I always dreamed off, I had to make a change and stop sabotaging myself on the weekends. That is when I decided that I needed to do something out of my comfort zone that would actually make me stick to a meal and training plan 100%.

At the time I had created an Instagram account (@rayrayhudson) so I could post pictures to slowly track my progress, follow people in the fitness industry that would motivate me to work out and give me workout ideas, etc. Many of the girls I followed were bikini competitors, and after seeing their before and after pictures that night, that’s when I realised what I needed to do: Register for a bikini competition.

The thought of having to step onto a stage in a tiny bikini in front of hundreds of people would really help me stay away from foods I shouldn’t eat and work my butt off at the gym in every session.

Then it came the part where I had to find a federation that had a competition super late in the year (I needed enough time to prepare because my physique was miles away from a bikini competitor) and I had to find a coach. Yes, you can prepare for a competition by yourself, but as you have read already I was not great at sticking to a plan. My main goal was to be disciplined with my nutrition and training, and for that I needed a coach that was there pushing me in every workout, and that could teach me all I needed to know about nutrition (what to eat, when to eat, etc)

Soraya 2I was doing a self-defence course at Atrium Fitness and Matt Nice was the instructor. I asked him if any of the PT’s at Atrium Fitness had ever prepared anyone for a bikini competition as I needed a coach. He offered to be the one who could prepare me for that. I didn’t know then, but I was super lucky he decided to take me in.

March 30th, 2017 marks the beginning of my fitness journey towards my first ever bikini competition. Looking at the before pictures makes me super proud of what I have achieved!

It is said that abs are made in the kitchen, and I have to tell you, that is soooooo true. You can train super hard at the gym and do all the cardio, but if you go to McDonalds afterwards or eat a tub of ice cream, then all that previous hard work is for nothing.

You need to have in mind that the success of your progress depends 80% on your nutrition and 20% on your training. It is a hard reality to process, because we all LOVE food, and having to learn to eat clean is difficult. Unless you have studied nutrition, you won´t necessarily know what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it to achieve your goal. Each goal has special nutritional needs. What someone eats to build lean muscle is very different to what someone eats that wants to lose body fat. That is why it’s super important to book a couple of PT sessions at the beginning of your “New You” Journey to get a training and nutritional plan that suits your goal. Your PT will help you learn to perform exercises correctly in order not to injure yourself and to work the correct muscles.

It is not easy to start a new nutrition plan and stop eating things you love, but once you learn how to eat healthy, it’s pretty easy to stick to it. There are many different approaches that you can follow – Keto, Intermittent Fasting, IIFYM, Paleo, etc – and the key is to find the one that suits you best, as that will make it easier to follow.

Soraya 3

In my case we did IFFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), where Matt gave me the number of calories a day and per meal. I could choose any food that would fit those macros. IMPORTANT: Anything that fits the macros, but choosing the foods that have a better nutritional value, for example: Complex Carbs over Simple carbs. Simple carbs are like quick-burning fuels (White bread, sweets, regular pasta). They break down fast into sugar in your system. Complex carbs are usually a better choice. It takes your body longer to break them down (whole-wheat bread, pasta and oats, etc).

While embarking yourself in a fitness journey, one of the most important things is being mentally strong. Not only do you need to fight the urge to have some ice cream or popcorn while watching Netflix, but you need to accept that changes don´t happen overnight.

It was hard for me not seeing my body fat going down at the beginning (I was bulking to build muscle and having 2500 calories a day) and not seeing it going down fast enough a few weeks before the show (cutting to shred and having 1200 calories – total Keto diet – and 2 hours cardio a day). However, it is very, very important that you trust the process and your coach.

Soraya 3 a

I am living proof that even though you might not see the results as quickly as you like, the results come if you are disciplined. Please also remember to take progress pictures every now and then. You don´t see the changes because you look at yourself in the mirror every day, but when you compare pictures you will then be able to see, and it will motivate you to work harder!

If you are thinking of competing, you also need to know that the last week before show day (Peak Week), will be the hardest as you will be trying to lose all the extra water in your body and your carbs will go down even more. It sucks but you will love it as it´s in those last few days when you will see your body drastically change and all those muscles pop.

I am super proud of what I have accomplished this season. What was going to be a one-off competition, whose goal was just to get onto a stage and show off the six months of hard work and discipline, became three shows in a month. Three shows where I placed top 3 in everyone, received 2 pro cards and came first place at the Pro Championships receiving the title of World Professional Model Champion!!!

Soraya 4

It’s a great reward, for me and my coach, to have 2 bronze trophies, a silver and a gold medal to back you up.

 

Soraya 5

 

I would like to thank Matt for all the effort he has put into every session we had leading to this amazing competition season. He has been training me since day one, making me look the best I have ever looked. He has been there supporting me in every step of the way and shouting my number in every single show. I owe you the world and wish you all the best in your future PT journey training more and more bikini girls. Bring it on! More champions coming your way.

And last but not least, I would like to thank Atrium Fitness for believing in me, and being my sponsor for the British Finals and Pro Show. Thanks to their support I was able to achieve more that I could have dreamed of.

 

 

March 2016 Newsletter

Managers Message

Hello all and a big warm welcome to our latest edition of the Atrium Newsletter. Our brand new State of the Art E-Gym facility has now opened, and the new exciting way of keeping fit has been a hit with many of you already with lots of very positive feedback.

eGYM

If you are interested in trying the E-Gym out please see reception for details as with the layers coming off now that the weather is getting milder, what better way to get yourself into your summer shape.

– Steve

Paula’s Positive Message

I want to remind everyone that it is not always about your diet and what you do Paula - RESIZEin the gym that can prevent you from feeling your best.

 

Powerful affirmation can transform you, thinking about your attitude and behaviour can and will help you build confidence and help you keep motivated. A positive mental attitude will also help your determination to overcome any fears & obstacles, and a great internal mindset will help you accomplish your goals and improve your self image.

 

Post-Workout High Carb Smoothie Recipe

Watch Tim Shieff, World Freerunning Champion, teach you how to create this tasty and nutritious smoothie that is just perfect after a good workout session! The necessary ingredients can be found below:

  • 4 Medium ripe bananas
  • 8 Medjool Dates
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 Litre water

Blend until smooth, Serves 4 people.

NUTRITION INFO

Per serving (per glass); 139 cals, 0.4g fat, 0.1g saturated), 1.6g protein, 30.3g carbs, 27.7g sugar.

FOOD FACTS

+ Dates are high in chloride which aids digestion.
+ Bananas contain potassium which helps our muscles to work properly. This is especially important after exercise so that our muscles can repair and grow.
+ Drinking a smoothie like this is better than your average energy drink because it provides just as much energy and sugar but it also provides your body with other nutrients like fibre and vitamins & minerals which are needed when you work hard at the gym.

Sugar-free Breakfast Ideas

Jess has a few tips on how to replace some of the high sugar content in your diet and eat better in the mornings with some tasty alternatives!

Newsletter jess

 

 

 

 

 

Fact – The Valsalva Effect

Aaron brings us this interesting fact about the Valsalva Effect:

The Valsalva Effect/Manoeuvre is when someone forcefully attempts to exhale against a closed airway, primarily when weight training during a lift. This increases blood pressure, decreases heart rate, and increases the risk of fainting and retinal detachment.

The Valsalva maneuver is commonly believed to be the optimal breathing pattern for producing maximal force, as it creates a pocket of pressure in the abdominal and thoracic cavities. The results are that you increase your power output potential and provide core support to protect your lower back from injury.

Pawel – How to achieve the perfect Flag

If you are willing to learn how to do a flag, there is one question you should ask yourself. Is my core and upper body strong enough. If you have any doubts, then you better get training.

I started with basic planks making sure my form is spot on, and making sure that I can maintain a variety of planks for a long period of time. Once I have mastered that, I then move on to doing some crazy super sets with a variety of planks, roll outs, press ups then adding some strict triceps dips and strict pull ups.

Once you have been doing this for some time, the last thing you have to do is to attempt it. When you try the flag make sure that you give your 100% and stay focused for every second of the flag hold. Best of luck!

Our very own Pawel doing what he does best! Showing the world what he can do. Any one up for the challenge? :)

Posted by The Atrium Club on Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Staff Training

We openly encourage our team to improve their knowledge and skills, this is what they have been up to so far.

Reception

Well Done to Paula who recently completed and passed her Level 2 NVQ in Customer Service. Paula is now working towards her Level 2 NVQ in Team Leadership.
Jodie & Donna are in the process of completing their Level 2 NVQ in Customer Service.

Fitness Team

​Jess is off to ​Birmingham to complete a PIYO course. Hopefully we can find space on the timetable for a class or two.

Aaron is is steadily working his way towards Level 3 Personal Training and successfully passed his assessment. If you are interested in Personal Training Aaron is able to offer reduced rates whilst his training is ongoing.

Stuart is always on the look out for new courses, he is finishing a Sports Conditioning course as this newsletter goes out.

One surprising change of direction is Naomi, who loves the gym and helping out members that she has signed up to become a Level 2 Fitness Instructor. This time next year Naomi may well be teaching Circuits!

Getting Pain While Spinning?

Spin is one of our most popular classes here and is a world-wide smash in indoor exercise! It offers refuge during the winter months for the road cyclists and some people just like being out of breath for 45 minutes.
However, on a spin bike we see less than optimal posture. The ankles commonly sit in planter flexion, knees and hips are both flexed and the mid to upper back is sitting in flexion. Is this an issue? Continue reading

Goal Setting

In order to achieve, you need to have a goal. This is true of all works of life whether it be in your business life, your personal life or your gym life. Something I see go wrong far too often in peoples goals is the fact that they are way to out there. By this I mean people try and change every single thing and go all out 100% and after 2 weeks it stops and old habits creep back. A classic example of this is New Year’s Resolutions. People will think, “Right new year new me”. Now there is nothing specifically wrong with this but if you’re smoking 20 a day, eat chocolate all the time, don’t do any exercise and live off pot noodles then it’s very unlikely you’re going to be able to stop all of these habits and develop super healthy fantastic new ones all in the space of a month. My advice is to set achievable goals in the short term e.g. 4-6 weeks. This goal can be in accordance with a long term goal that may span over years or even a lifetime goal! Setting this short term goal will be a lot less overwhelming, and be a lot more achievable, and when you do achieve that goal you feel great about it! The psychological side of gym life is HUGE and it’s very easy to become unmotivated and feel like you’re never going to reach your goal if it is so looming. Continue reading

Gym TV’s

As you may have noticed we have had some TV’s put up in our gym. This is to help promote MYZONE to you all!

The TV’s that we have up in our gym display MYZONE on them all the time, however we don’t have any that are facing the cardio area. This is because we have it available on all the TV’s on our gym equipment! All you need to do is go to channel 800. This will take you to our MYZONE channel where you can view how you are doing!

Many of our members already use MYZONE. This is a fantastic system that helps keep you motivated whilst seeing how much effort you are putting in! It is particularly effective in classes, giving all MYZONE users a competitive edge to the class.

Our Gym Team can help you with your MYZONE belt and help you to understand the benefits and all the features of using a MYZONE belt to help with your training. Just ask away, we’re here to help.

MYZONE belts are available at reception for just £45 at the moment! That offer is better than half price with the RRP of £99.

 

 

Breakfast

stressfreefullenglis_67721_16x9Often referred to as ‘the most important meal of the day’, and there are reasons why!!

Breakfast is essential for fuelling the body with energy throughout the start of the day. How often do you find yourself being hungry at around 10-11 o clock and start reaching for those sweet treats that are meant to be saved for a special occasion?

When we sleep we obviously aren’t eating, but our bodies are busy recovering and growing, so when we wake up, we’ve been fasting
the whole night! Therefore it is important to start your day right and get some good quality food in you and give yourself some energy.

A breakfast rich in high quality protein and good fats is a great way to start the day. This will give your body the oomph it needs to kick start your metabolism, set you up for the day and help keep those hunger pangs at bay. Plus the good fats will help cognitive functioning meaning you’ll be firing on all cylinders right from the get go!

Coconut oil is a fantastic source of healthy fats and is a great substitute to use as a cooking oil. Why not try a 3 egg omelette with some bacon medallions, spinach and vine tomatoes. A great combination of flavours, vitamins, fats and proteins that will get you off to a flying start. If you want to do one better then wash it down with a tall glass of water with some lemon slices to help detox your body and you’re good to go!

This especially applies to all those early morning gym goers! Make sure you’ve got fuel in you so your body isn’t using that hard earned muscle tissue instead! Happy Eating!

MYZONE

Below is a photo of one of our members here at the club.

Paula has been a member of the Atrium Club since July 2014. Last month, Paula was struggling to stay motivated in the gym. Therefore, she decided to buy a MYZONE Belt, which she is holding in the photo.

Here are some of Paula’s own words,
” The MYZONE belt helped me re focus when I was feeling stuck and needed a new incentive. The belt pushes me to work longer and harder in order to challenge myself. Losing weight is a massive bonus and I have now lost over a stone since the start of December and feel great ”

For information on the MYZONE please speak to a member of the gym team.

MYZONE- Paula U

KettleBell Has Arrived!

We have introduced Kettlebell training to our class timetable!

The classes will start on Monday the 9th February. There will be four classes per week all of just 30 min slots, numbers will be limited so get your places booked as soon as possible!

The classes will be on a Monday morning at 07:15, Friday morning at 08:00 and then both Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 3:30

The class will take you through basic technique of getting the most from your Kettlebell workout. Concentrating particularly on strength and endurance of the posterior chain. We will teach you all about it in the class! Get booking.

How Music Helps…

I’m sure you’ve all heard of music helping you in the gym, but have you ever wondered why or how it does this?

Research has confirmed that pumping up the volume increases exercise endurance and performance. So you’ll be pleased to know that listening to your favourite tunes could help you have a better workout. As well as being highly motivating, it helps divert attention from the burn and can increase endurance by up to 15%!

Aerobics and other class instructors like to motivate people using a loud thumping bass line for exactly this reason. It’s not just an aid for timing, but it can help participants burn more calories and give that extra push that they crave.

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