So you think you can train like an Olympic athlete?

“So you’ve done this before, right?” asks U-Fit Fitness trainer Michael Partridge.

I shake my head.

“You must have tried spin?” Michael inquires, looking a bit more hopeful.

Again, I shake my head.

“Right then, just try your best,” the trainer tells me, looking slightly concerned.

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Despite being a cycling virgin, I tried out a high intensity cycling class

With 2016 being the year of the Olympics and one of my New Year’s resolutions to be to really step up my fitness game, I decided to try an Olympic training standard HITT watt bike class at U-Fit Fitness.

Trainer Michael has raced all over the world and worked with many coaches who taught him an extremely high standard of training.

He has a British Silver Sprint medal and experience with the British sprint squad, making him the ideal person to teach this high intensity cycling class.

Developed with British Cycling for training World and Olympic Champions, this 30 minute blast claims to give you the chance to train like an athlete.

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Trainer Michael has won a British Silver Sprint medal

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods.

This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time, making this class a much more intense version of regular spin classes.

High- intensity interval training is a training technique in which you give one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise

The class began with us cycling for 1k with low resistance as fast as we possibly could, we one minute break in between each of the five sets that Michael instructed us to do.

Being a bit of a cycling virgin I thought that the class setting would enable me to be a bit sneaky and not quite cycle as fast as Michael wanted us to do.

However, there was no such luck.

All of the bikes are plugged into a central computer, and the speeds that everyone is cycling at and the distance that you have left to cycle are displayed on a screen in front of the bikes for the whole class to see, leaving no room for cheating!

Although at first I hated everyone seeing how fast I was cycling, I eventually began to find this extremely motivating and it pushed me to work harder.

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After cycling 5k, everyone in the class is glistening with sweat, and one woman is even face down on her bike.

But the class wasn’t over just yet.

After a brief rest, Michael told us to crank up the gears on our bikes and do five sprints, encouraging us to cycle as fast as we possibly can for six second.

Surprisingly, this was the part of the class that I enjoyed the most, as I really thrived on the idea that I only had six seconds to do my best.

Getting off my bikes, my legs feel like jelly, and everyone around me looks exhausted.

“Be careful down the stairs now! You’ll be struggling to walk for a bit,” a man advises me.

He was definitely right.

After all of the feeling had returned in my legs, every single muscle ached for a good two days after.

However, I think that this just shows that the class really worked my legs and pushed my limits.

Although the session only lasted for half an hour, it is definitely one of the most intense classes I have ever gone to.

After all of the feeling had returned in my legs, every single muscle ached for a good two days after.

I probably wouldn’t recommend this class if you’re looking for a fun way to lose your Christmas weight, but if you’re into cycling or really want to push yourself this is definitely the class for you.

 

 

Clubbing without the comedown

The beginning of the new year is often a time for many of us to assess our life choices and set new goals.

For a lot of us, that could mean going out less, and taking care of our bodies more.

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New Year’s resolutions of healthy eating can cause many people to become bored and frustrated

But what if you’re not completely ready to exchange your party lifestyle for a life of juicing and jogging?

Then you should try Clubbercise, a club-inspired workout class designed to help you hit a natural high.

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Work up a sweat to classic 90s dance tracks at a Clubbercise class

The class consists of easy to follow routines set to an uplifting soundtrack of 90s classics and current house and dance music.

Classes are taught in a darkened room with disco lights, creating a nightclub atmosphere!

Clubbercise classes are perfect for people of all fitness abilities and are the perfect way to get in shape without feeling like you’re missing out on any of the fun!

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Get you glow sticks at the ready for the night club themed exercise class

 

Hannah has been going to Clubbercise classes for a year.

“I love the atmosphere in the classes, they’re so much fun! It feels like a night out with my friends but without the calorific drinks and the hangover the next day.”

Clubbercise classes are taught at Rhiwbina Recreational Club every Wednesday evening.

Call 029 2069 3583 for more information!

 

The foods you’ll be going crazy for in 2016

2015 saw the rise of foods like kale and quinoa, and even the humble avocado became a staple in the diet of every spiralizer wielding health food fan.

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Instagram was filled with pictures of people enjoying avocado in 2015

But with the last Quality Street eaten and the inevitable return to work looming over us, what are the health foods that you will be eating in 2016?

Cauliflower rice

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Cauliflower rice can be a healthier alternative to carbohydrates

Whilst many people only ever eat cauliflower when it is covered in a creamy sauce and mountains of cheese, 2016 will see us find a completely guilt free way to enjoy this tasty vegetable.

Gluten free and lower in calories than rice, pasta or potatoes, cauliflower rice is considered to be a healthier alternative to carbs.

Many food experts have been enjoying this carbohydrate substitute for many years, including Jamie Oliver, who started eating cauliflower rice after adopting a grain free diet in 2001.

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Chef Jamie Oliver has been a fan of cauliflower rice for many years

Join Jamie and try making one of these cauliflower rice recipes for dinner tonight!

Kimchi

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Kimchi is the national dish of Korea and contains many health benefits

Kimchi  is traditional Korean cuisine. It is made of pickled cabbage, which is then seasoned with a range of spices.

As well as being so delicious that is has been made Korea’s national dish, Kimchi has many health benefits.

It is low in calories, high in fibre and is packed with a range of vitamins and nutrients.

Kimchi also promotes digestion, lower cholesterol, boosts the immune system and even contains anti-ageing properties.

With all these amazing health benefits, it seems inevitable that Kimchi will become the new super food of 2016.

Celeriac

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Celeriac is making a comeback

Similarly to cauliflower, this classic vegetable is making a comeback in 2016.

Whilst its knobbly exterior may not be aesthetically pleasing (it’s probably not one for your Instagram page!), it’s many health benefits will make it a firm favourite on your dinner plate in no time.

Celeriac is low in calories and high in anti-oxidants, vitamin K and vitamin C.

You can mash, roast or turn celeriac into a soup, making it extremely versatile and easy to prepare.

The classic vegetable is extremely affordable as it is now in season, making now the perfect opportunity to enjoy its unique nutty taste!

Watch this video to learn how to make some tasty celeriac soup

Maqui

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Cast aside your acai berries, maqui berries are the new superfruit of 2016

By now you’ll probably have heard about the benefits of acai berries. But make room in your fridge for the new superfruit of 2016, the maqui berry.

The maqui is a dark purple berry that grows in the wild throughout parts of southern Chile.

They are filled with antioxidants and are believed to help people maintain a healthy weight due to their suppression of blood glucose, preventing the formation of new fat cells.

Buy some maqui powder and discover the benefits for yourself.

What new foods will you be trying in 2016? Tweet me or comment below to let me know.