Welcome to the Freedom PT Training Newsletter. As well as bringing you news of any new and upcoming courses that we are running, we will also include useful training tips and other relevant information.


Special offer: This has proved to be so popular, that we are keeping it going a little longer …. for a limited time any bookings made for our Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Personal Training or Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training will also receive our Level 2 Award in Instructing Kettlebells for free!

Exciting Gym Expansion: the Fitness Suite at our fantastic Tonbridge School Centre venue will be getting a major overhaul this summer with expansion over two floors. The upper floor will house a 33 machine cardiovascular suite, whilst the lower floor will house a three ‘zone’ resistance training suite, including a functional training zone and two Olympic lifting platforms.

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Please read on for: Take-away Training Programme, Nutrition – Know your Sugar?, Article – “What is the best exercise …..”

Please check our website www.freedompt.co.uk for further details and new dates for all of our courses.

Upcoming Course Start Dates*

Freedom PT Training Diploma in Advanced Personal Training:

Full-Time: 03/11/14 Part-Time dates – Starting November 2014

Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instruction:

Full-Time: 03/11/14 Part-Time dates – Starting November 2014

Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training:

Full-Time: 24/11/14 Part-Time dates – Starting January 2015

*All course dates currently still have space available

To book your place – Call 01732 440581 or 01732 304111

Take-Away Training Programme

Try this for a short, sharp programme that requires no equipment – ideal for getting in shape ahead of your holidays and staying in shape whilst away!

Burpees – 30 seconds –

Press-up to T-position – 30 seconds –

Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds –

IYTW – 12 repetitions in each position –

Squat Jumps – 30 seconds –

Frontal Lunges – 30 seconds on each leg –

Down and Up Hustle – 30 seconds –

Climbing Plank – 30 seconds –


  • Work as hard as you can for each exercise
  • Rest 10 seconds between exercises
  • Rest for 1 minute once all complete and repeat 3 times through in total

Remember, consistency is the key to seeing results, perform this three times a week with a days rest in between sessions.

Note: Always warm-up and cool-down. This is a high intensity, high impact programme that may not be suitable for everyone depending on medical and training history. If in any doubt please seek professional advice.


Know your sugar? – by I. Wallace

With the recent news that one in three people in the UK are on the verge of Type 2 diabetes and calls from the World Health Organization to cut daily sugar intake recommendations (from 10% of total daily intake or approximately 50 – 70g , to 5% or approximately 25 – 31g) in order to combat obesity, we need to seriously start looking at our levels of consumption.

At this stage it is important to point out that there are examples of good natural sugars that are found in foods such as unadulterated fruit or dairy products and these are not really the concern, it is more about the added sugars and refined sugars that are worryingly prevalent in so many foods.

Whilst there are obvious examples of where high levels of added sugar are used, such as soft drinks and confectionary, it can sometimes be astounding exactly how much is added. A can of a well known brand of cola for instance, contains 33g of sugar. To put that into perspective, that is the equivalent of more than 8 teaspoons.



1 teaspoon = approximately 4 grams of sugar

For many, a trip to the coffee shop for a mid-morning break or pre-work pick-me-up may be a frequent ritual, however this could be concealing an enormous amount of sugar. A large mocha latte can contain 58.7g of sugar whilst a blueberry muffin (perhaps resisting the triple chocolate in an effort to make a healthier choice?) may contain around 30 grams.

Even foods assumed to be healthy may contain high levels of added sugar. Yogurt is a prime example with some low-fat flavoured varieties containing around 17g of sugar per 125g pot. Compare that to full-fat natural yogurt with around 6-8g of sugar per 125g serving. Fruit juices and smoothies are also a cause for concern, although the sugars found in natural fruit are fine, these become heavily concentrated when juiced or blended and often much of the fibre is removed. If you consider that it may take around 4 – 5 oranges to make a glass of juice, it would be highly unlikely that you would eat that many oranges in one day, let alone in one go. Regarding smoothies, again re-visiting coffee shops, a well known chain offers a large red berry option that contains almost 113g of sugar.

It is also easy to forget about the ‘little bits here and there’, a spoonful in your tea, BBQ sauce on the side (6g per tbsp), and even jars of cooking sauce can all add up to a significant amount of added sugar.

Here are a few tips to help reduce sugar intake;

  • When looking at grams of sugar per 100g, aim for single figures – the lower the better
  • Recognize other forms of added sugar – glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, honey, corn syrup, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar
  • Avoid soft drinks, sweets and confectionary
  • Avoid smoothies and fruit juices or dilute them with water and limit daily consumption (remember that fruit on its own is fine!)
  • Cut down on adding sugar to drinks until you cut it out altogether
  • Question low-fat foods, they are often packed out with sugar
  • Limit packaged food-stuffs and make your own sauces and meals from whole ingredients
  • Home bake ‘treats’ – that way you know how much sugar is used
  • Choose wholegrain products
  • Remember some natural sugar is fine, however the foods in which you find it should not have an expansive ingredients list!

As a final note please do not think that artificial sweeteners are a suitable alternative to added sugars, as routine consumption of these should also be removed from the diet, however that is a topic for another article.


“What is the Best Exercise ….. ?” – by I. Wallace

At some point, this is bound to be a question that you have asked , or been asked, in relation to any number of training objectives (… to lose fat, …. to get bigger, …. for strength).

Perhaps not surprisingly with the way that the media will get behind and hype-up whatever the latest exercise trend may be, people expect there to be a single ‘magic bullet’ exercise or type of training with an outcome of guaranteed success. This can sometimes be further perpetuated by trainers passing on the latest thing that they have read about or learned and getting clients to do that, often to the exclusion of all else. This leads to two areas for consideration, one, is there such a thing as the ‘best’ exercise and two, how should a fitness professional respond when faced with this inevitable question. To deal with both of these there are a number of things to be considered.

Firstly, there is little doubt that the back squat is widely considered to be one of the greatest resistance exercises with the large number of muscle groups recruited coupled with its functional movement pattern. Then you have the large, whole body ‘olympic’ style lifts such as the clean and the snatch, which are becoming more and more common in gyms around the country, rightly or wrongly, thanks to the likes of CrossFit and even Body Pump classes. From the cardiovascular side you have the likes of Tabata intervals with improved VO2max and great fat burning potential listed amongst its reported benefits, all squeezed into a time effective four minute workout. Whilst I have no doubt that all of these can be highly effective when used correctly, can any of them really be considered to be the best? What if your client has restricted mobility at the ankle causing them to tip forwards from the hip too much during a back squat? Perhaps based on your client’s goals you decide that the risk vs reward analysis (not to mention the time needed to perfect this lift) does not warrant inclusion of the clean? Perhaps your client is new to training with a low level of fitness, so is Tabata a) safe for them and b) will they want to come back for a second session if you put them through it? Suddenly, you must seriously question whether these exercises are indeed best for your client.

There is also the issue of exercise snobbery, a trait that so-called ‘trainers in the know’ will often display. Surely there can be no better example to give here than the bicep curl, often sneered at as being an exercise of ego and vanity. Yes, it has virtually no functional benefit and in terms of having a far reaching list of benefits throughout the body it barely registers. However if, for whatever reason, you are specifically trying to develop your biceps then some form of curl will no doubt be of value. Another way to look at this type of exercise is as a motivator. If we are honest vanity is what drives most of us to start exercising and if including bicep curls in a programme gives someone enjoyment and therefore motivation to keep training (allowing the exercise professional to also focus on other areas … ) can it really be considered a worthless exercise?

The final consideration is the bodies ability to adapt. It typically takes anywhere between four and eight weeks for the body to get used to an exercise/programme, after which you will fail to see any significant improvements. Yes there are other variables that you can tweak to change a programme, but exercise choice is a key one of these changes in order to maintain progress and to avoid boredom. No matter what the exercise is or training protocol that is being used, at some stage this will cease to be effective and a variation or alternative will be required. So does this then mean that a good response to the question of “what is the best exercise …” may well be “something different to what you have been doing so far”?

In conclusion, when posed with the question of “what is the best exercise …..”, there may well be occasions when a single exercise or type of training will stand out as an obvious answer, however more often than not the answer will require consideration of a number of variables including an in depth knowledge of whoever it is asking the question. Here is a summary of some of those variables:

  • Consider what they are trying to achieve
  • Consider their medical screening alongside functional and postural assessments
  • Consider their training history, what have they done so far and for how long
  • Consider the bigger picture with a periodised approach and recognize how sometimes stepping outside of a clients stated goal will help them reach that goal more effectively.
  • Listen to your client, what may seem trivial to you could be a key motivator for them
  • Don’t automatically prescribe your current favourite exercise or type of training to every client that you come across.

Therefore a good trainer will possess knowledge of a wide range of exercises and training approaches. But perhaps more importantly, have a clear understanding of their benefits and potential shortcomings and know when and how to apply these on an individualised basis.