Fitsporations | who are they? 

Getting into the gym, you have to have a goal. I didn’t necessarily want to loose weight and I hated cardio. At the time, it was my view that they were the only reasons people went to the gym. When Chris suggested that I start weight lifting I think I pretty much laughed in his face! First of all, I was a total weakling and that sounded like a sure fire way of setting myself up for a huge embarrassment! Second of all, weights were for boys. I didnt want to lift weights like men nor get muscles them. To which Chris laughed in my face for saying and rightly so because this is what just had in mind:

Now dont get me wrong, I am not saying anything negative about the woman above, it’s just not for me. In fact, credit where credit is due – hats off to her for the hard work she has put in to achieve that. 

Precisely why Chris was laughing in my face for thinking I would look like that – the hard work that goes into achieving  such muscle gain is next level. 

Anyway, to give me a more realistic insight, Chris introduced me to Nikki Blacketter: 

Nikki Blackketter. @Blondevsworld

I began watching her youtube videos and began to not only understand but develop a hunger. I couldn’t wait to get going, my goals were finally starting to make sense and I now had some direction.

From following Nikki I then found some of my other inspirations:

Lydia E Millen @LydiaEmillen

Lydia was also my inspiration to start blogging. She has a fantastic blog which covers fitness, Lifestyle & fashion. 

Cath Bastien @cathbfitness

Cath also has a youtube channel which is heavily focused on her gym sessions. They give a different insight to some of the other ladies as her goal isn’t always you lift the heaviest weight she can. 

Amanda Bucci @AmandaBucciFit
Heidi Somers @BuffBunny

Above is Amanda Bucci & Heidi Somers. Both of their channels have a heavy gym focus but they are also very informative – like a personal trainer lite. 

Amanda also wrote a book, which I love. It’s called “The everything guide to macro tracking”.

Jessica Aravalo @JessicaAravalo

And this is Jessica Aravalo, the only woman to have walked the Olympia stage 4 times! She is killin’ it. 

What I love about these girls is that they are all helping to break the stereo type of the gym being a place reserved just for men – especially the weights section. They all have goals and work every day to achieving them. Most importantly of all though, they all support one another. Whether directly or indirectly. You will never see one of these girls tearing someone down. Quite the opposite actually, they help to build people up. 

They certainly helped get me into a gym and find my passion and I’ve never met any of them! 

I respect and admire these women. Everything these women stand for is exactly what Contour Allure is about. 

They inspired me and I created Contour Allure to inspire and empower you

In the words of another powerful female: Who run this mother*?! GIRLS! 

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Christmas Came Early | Award Nomination

Beyond my wildest imagination. 

When I began to turn the dream of Contour Allure into a reality back in March, not in a million years did I envision it would be nominated for an award by December! It has been though, and I am completely overjoyed. 

The award is the UK Blog Awards who are searching for a #BlogHero within each of their categories.  Contour Allure is nominated in the Fitness category with plenty of other brilliant bloggers such as:

 Gym Lifestyle;

Lipstick & Trainers;

 Lottie Murphy; and

 Zanna Van Dijk!
Competition is fierce! 

The first stage of the competition went live on Monday and the positive response I’ve had from people is just overwhelming. It means so much to hear that others appreciate and value the vision of Contour Allure. 

A tweet from UK BLOG AWARDS actually confirmed that support was so high across the board that the site crashed and there were in excess of 24,000 votes placed on the first day! Go team !

This award isn’t about just winning an award. The recognition, in my eyes, will add another level of credibility to the vision. With that hopefully, providing another level of trust for the community being built herewith. 

By the nomination itself, I feel like Contour Allure has already won. 

Really, from the depths of my glutes to the bulge of my bicep, I want to thank everyone for the positive support and love for Contour Allure. It has been present and appreciated since day 1. 

If you would like to see this blog actually win the award though, you can go post your vote here!

Gym Girl Gift Guide 

It’s hard to know where to even begin with  this one, there are so many gym related gifts that would make perfect Christmas presents! 

As I’m sure many of you will find, as soon as December hits so do the “What do you want for Christmas” questions. 

Personally, I hate this question and usually tell people to buy themselves something instead but on the odd occasion I’m pushed for an answer the request is something for the gym. The usual response to this is being looked at as though I have 10 heads. It is baffling to me that people struggle with thinking of gym related gifts. 

Those of you who have been asked to buy such gifts and are clueless for ideas, fear no more – all you need to know is below. 

Those of you who want such gifts, make life easier for the purchasers and send them here for a little guidance and inspiration. I’m sure Santa will be glad of the help!

1) Gym Bag 

Especially for the busy girl who has to lug her gym kit around with her. Wait, even if she doesn’t have to lug it around with her, we are girls and most of us love an excuse for a new bag!

Hands down my favorite! Pick this up at: https://www.bando.com/collections/backpacks-duffles/products/work-it-out-gym-bag-after-this-we-re-getting-pizza

2) Athletic WearQuestion: what’s the maximum number of yoga pants a girl can own? 

Answer: the limit does not exist!

Gym wear however, much like jewellery, can be very personal so to eer on the side of caution a voucher for a sports shop will do also. 

3) Straps

Wrist straps, leg straps – we aren’t fussy. there is a need for all. Even if she already has some we like options!

4) Wireless Headphones

Well if you don’t know now you know

These will be life changing. Wires getting in the way and finding somewhere comfortable for your phone while squatting is just not necessary more. 

In the words of pinochio and taken straight from Beats campaign: I got no strings!

5) Workout Diary 
Perfect for the gym newbie or the gym junkie. Nothing screams motivation more than seeing workouts ahead of time, tracking progression and seeing PB’S written down on pretty paper. 

6)  Fitness Tracker

If pen and paper isnt her thing, then a fitness tracker might be a good option. The benefit of many trackers is the ability to assess quality of sleep, distance travelled each day and monitor heart rate without even having to think about it!

Kate Spade’s wearable tech range is to die!

7) Water Bottle


These days a plastic evian bottle just isn’t going to cut it. With more option than you would ever think possible in a water bottle, from glass to BPA Free, may aswell make it a cute one. 

8) Supplement Bundles

Most girls these days are as mad on supplements as their male counterparts.If you are unsure in this department then a tasty pre-workout is a safe bet.
9) Underwear 

 Unfortunately, I’m not talking the pretty, lacy Victoria’s Secret style lingerie but more the seamless, breathable, really unattractive kind because let’s face it, VPL is just not a good look. Sweaty Betty does a fantastic range to help us ladies keep our dignity while squatting, lunging and the like!
10) Training Program/Personal Trainer

Training under the instruction of a coach is so very different to training alone or with friends. The benefits are tenfold and almost impossible to and achieve alone.  Purchasing training sessions or a professional program will propel progress. Search Urban Instinct Personal Training on Facebook and you could even win a fitbit2 with the purchase of a program! 

If that doesn’t provide you with a little bit of inspiration then I don’t know what will! Happy shopping…

Fighting Fit | 5 Tips to Kick The Christmas Cold 

​Welcome to December or as I prefer to call it, the 1st of Christmas. At this most wonderful time of year (clichéd I know but it’s true!) having a cold can really suck all the fun out of the spirit, making everything seems more like a chore. I know because it’s December 1st and I have a horrible cold!
And bah humbug there is no cure for the common cold. At least there are a couple of ways to fight back!

1. Switch to cardio.

When it comes to exercise you definitely don’t want to stop, giving in could mean harbouring a cold for even longer but you do want to put down those weights.  Yes, you read that correctly put down those weights and switch to a low impact, quick paced cardio session. Studies have shown that that by increasing the heart rate and keeping active creates a more positive response to dealing with symptoms. 

As a strong advocate of listening to your body, it’s difficult for me to suggest exercises and intensity. The only direction I can give is to listen to your body and do not put it under too much stress as risk of injury is heightened when we are a little under the weather.

2. Essential oil – Eucalyptus

The antiviral and decongestant properties of Eucalyptus oil are nothing short of a God sent MIRACLE! If you don’t believe me go put a few drops on your tissue or in a steam facial and you won’t even believe how quickly you feel like you can breathe again!


3. Hydrate – plenty of water and hot blackcurrants.

Hydration is everything. On a good day if we aren’t hydrated enough we definitely see and feel the effects. When we are ill maintaining hydration is that much more difficult but that bit more important to help fight the infections, to maintain temperature and not to mention our poor noses that turn redder than rudolph’s – and that’s even when you’ve been using basalt infused kleenex!

Hot blackcurrant because well if my nan gave it to me it must be beneficial right? Probably the same effect as chicken soup though!

4. Vitamins

Upping your vitamin intake may help to fight the effects and reduce the duration but if nothing else eating micronutrient rich foods will make you feel good rather than constantly stuffing down the comfort food. 

5. Moisturise

The classic tell tale sign of a cold will remain long after the infection has been banished if you don’t stay on top of your moisturising. The last thing you want is to look like you’re still sick when you’re better. Trust me. Even when it stings because it’s red raw, get the moisturiser on. Your skin will thank you! 

I know i said 5 tips but there’s one more that just cannot be ignored: REST! our bodies recover best when we are sleeping, which can be difficult when struggling to breathe so make sure you at least rest and relax when you can. 

Resting up with the puppy

Taking training to the next level.

Will you just let go of summer” my sister has said this to me on a number of occasions and today she got her wish. With the day booked off of work, my wonderful, amazing boyfriend took me to my favourite coffee spot for a coffee date where we proceeded to order a pumpkin spiced latte. Our coffee order had put an official end to summer. In our minds there was still plenty of summer time left after all, our holiday wasn’t booked until it was over; another realisation. A mere two weeks left on the holiday countdown! Boy, has that come around fast!

The coffee order that ended summer 🍁🍂

 

Though beyond excited for the holiday, I find myself kind of wishing that it was a couple more weeks away. The Summer Preppin has not quite gone to plan. Just looking in the mirror it is clear to see that I have not achieved the goals intended. There is only myself to blame. I could sit here and make a million excuses but at the end of the day, it’s on me.

Throughout the past few months, the focus has remained on weight training with the addition of more HIIT, stairmaster cardio and even a few plyos sessions (Tarzan was to thank for plyo’s – I wanted the power to launch myself through the jungle like Tarzan).
The levels of effort and intensity when in the gym have still been at a good standard; the substantive part of that sentence being ‘when in the gym’. Recently, I have let life take over a little bit and that has resulted in an accidental reduction of workout sessions.
Fortunately, I recognised the error of my ways before it go too late. My routine changed recently so it was just a matter or re-organising my day to create time for the gym again.
Even with these changes, I felt like I needed more. I decided it was time to bring in the big guns.

img_3940
The Big Guns AKA Chris Gee 

As of 6am tomorrow morning Chris Gee of Urban Instinct Personal Training is gonna be my personal  trainer. Oh lord, what have I let myself in for?!

But he’s your boyfriend. Yes, he is my boyfriend and in all honesty, he is one of the best personal trainers I have ever come across. He is dedicated to his clients and does everything in his power to help them achieve results (he even gave a couple of free sessions out to one client when they hit financial hardship. They had been consistent & dedicated and loyalty goes a long way). Keeping up to date with all the latest research, technology and training methods, he keeps his programs current and effective.
This is Chris’ profession; he has been in the business for almost 10 years. He has worked in London, Cheshire and Canada. He has played many sports at a high level, won at many, many competitions and is currently a semi professional Ice Hockey player . The man eats, sleeps and breathes the industry. I have absolutely no doubt that with his help I will achieve my goals.

Train Together, Stay Together

I used to feel like getting a trainer was admitting that I didn’t know what I was doing. How stupid is that mentality. No matter who you are in this world, there is something you can learn from every single person you meet in this lifetime. Coming to understand this has improved my life in tenfold buts as the saying goes, you can’t make someone do your push ups for you; but you can maximise your results by using the knowledge of others.

Chris’ knowledge alone will not sky rocket me to my goals. That is all dependent on the effort put in from me. This is where the additional benefits of a trainer come to light.

Much like have a gym buddy, having a trainer instils a higher level of commitment. It becomes more of a challenge to skip a session through not wanting to let the person down, taken a step further with a trainer it skipping sessions essentially means throwing money away (usually cancelled sessions incur a charge).

If this is all you need then simply getting a gym buddy maybe all you need to help you achieve your goals. Be aware, choose your gym buddy wisely! Further details here. You have been warned.

The key reason that I have decided to get a trainer is perfectly demonstrated by the one and only Kevin Hart. Now don’t get me wrong, I have zero desire to start dancing around gyms (dancers with two left feet have better rhythm than me) but I have been known to take unnecessarily long rest periods or browse twitter for a rather extended period of time. I have also slacked on weights, skipped sets and completely gone off of my workout program at times simply because I wasn’t feeling it. Having seen Chris train others, I know there is no way he is going to be letting me get away with any of that m’larky under his supervision nor would I want to. Chris will push me in times where I am struggling to push myself. We are all guilty of this and if you say you’re not, then you’re lying!

Bring on tomorrow morning – first session will be focusing on back.

Wish me luck and I will let you know how it goes.