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The Kiss Fitness Blog

Welcome to the Kiss Fitness Blog. We are on amission to make the WORLD, Fitter, Healthier and Happier. We post fitness related topics & discussions to our blog from our personal trainers, instructors & staff members


Choose the correct weight dumbbell

10 reps, OK, done! Is it? Whether you've joined a gym, Googled a workout or been given a workout program you are no doubt familiar with sets and reps, that is the number of sets and repetitions of an exercise to perform. 

If you're going for 12 reps (this kind of rep range is quite common, it's bang in the middle of strength & hypertrophy so you'll likely see it a lot for generic programs) then if you've executed 12 repetitions and you could have done 13 or worse, more.........

Then....Your weight's not heavy enough!

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Counting Steps is the New Counting Calories

For years we've been obsessed with counting calories, for the purpose of tracking how much energy we intake and trying to make a calorie deficit to lose or maintain weight. The reason we do this is because we need to do one of two things or ideally both to lose weight, they are;

  • Consume Less (count calories)
  • Do more (count steps)
The big difference between these two is that it's much easier to count steps than to count calories, mainly because you don't need to count them. Any simple Pedometer will count your steps throughout the day.
Pedometers have been around for many years and it's only recently they've become more popular with the rise of glamorous fitness technology such as FitBit, an adaptation of the Pedometer. These types of wearible fitness trackers are now extreamly common and can provide mountains of data on your daily acitvity.

However, you don't need a FitBit to start counting steps, just a simple Pedometer and a way of tracking your steps, this could be via an onine training software or programme such as myfitnesspal.com or mapmyfitness.com or could simply be with pen & paper.

Why is counting steps good?

We are motivated by things we can achieve and reaching goals, especially a self set goal. It's internally motivating and this makes it much more likely that we will achieve our goals, target or whatever we have set ourselves. Providing the goal was realistic and achievable we will be continually motivated to achieving more, in this example that means we will be doing more and burning more calories.

How many Steps?

As a general rule of thumb, if you're looking to increase activity levels, you should start by seeing what you are already doing. You need a baseline to start from or it will be difficult to choose an achievable goal for your step target.

Once you have a weeks worth of steps, you'll be able to see an average, you'll want to increase this by a decent amount, doing as much as you can to increase your daily activity level and daily step count. Such as, taking the stairs, walking to work and just finding more excuses to walk like, parking further away from the store entrance when you go to do your weekly shop! Every little really does help (as Tesco might say!)

See the general guide below but if you are already doing an average 5 to 6 thousand steps a day you should be definitely aiming for 10,000 steps.
So to get started you're going to need a way of tracking your steps. Pedometer, FitBit
  • Phone
  • Pedometer
  • Activity Trackers
You should purchase the one that's going to suit both your needs and how you use technology. If you prefer the old school pen and paper then just buy a simple Pedometer and write down your steps each day.
  1. Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a "sedentary lifestyle index"
  2. 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered "low active." The average American walks 5900 to 6900 steps per day, so the majority are "low active."
  3. 7,500-9,999 steps/day likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered "somewhat active."
  4. 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as "active".
  5. Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".

Step Tracking

  1. Old School Pen & Paper - Download Pedometer Tracking Sheet
  2. Online - myftinesspal.com or mapmyfitness.com
  3. Advanced Tracking with Online Syncing - FitBit  

Where will your steps take you? Kiss Fitness is a mobile personal training company delivering results to clients via one to one training and online with a mission to make the world a fitter, healthier and happier. 

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook, we have monthly fitness challenges and active on Pinterst.

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Get lean with Circuit Training

Circuit Training is the original interval training workout.

Working for short duration on individual exercise stations with fast transitions increase aerobic capacity and overall fitness while burning calories and increasing muscle tone & strength. Circuit training is suitable for everyone and a session will include standard body weight and light equipment exercise that allow for exercise progressions from beginner to expert. Ideal for your first group exercise session or seasoned fitness freak. 

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Exercise in the morning
Your body like any living thing requires energy, all the time, to function, whether at rest, exercising , working or reading a book your body will be consuming energy, this is your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate is the rate in which your body outputs energy, usually expressed as a per hour figure.

Measuring our base level of energy expenditure (Basal Metabolic Rate) BMR requires a scientific test using either a calorimeter or a respirometer, most people don't have these resources available to them and we therefore use a formula to estimate the Basal Metabolic Rate, this estimation is actually referred to as your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) essentially both BMR & RMR represent the same sum (the base level of energy expenditure) they are often used interchangeably with the difference being that BMR is the sum calculated under strict scientific conditions and much more accurate while RMR is an estimation using a formula and thus an approximate value and less accurate.
BMR or RMR then is the energy required to sustain normal bodily functions, that is, to breath, pump blood around the body, organs and cell function and to regulate body temperature, This would generally be what you would burn if you stayed in bed all day awake but not moving or doing anything. BMR is expressed as kilocalories per square meter of body surface per hour (kcal/m2/h). BMR is commonly reported as a daily figure, your resting metabolic rate x 24 giving a baseline guide of calories required per day, e.g 1771 (not including any physical activity).

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You don't need to be superwomen to exercise!

Do you believe every fitness & group exercise session is full off super slim athletic women that know all the exercises perfectly? Well you'd be with the majority if you did. Many have a perception that at any group exercise session the room will be full of 'Superwomen' and through self conciousness actively decide this is not something for them. 

This explains why many people choose a niche session where they know many people in that session will be similar to them with similar goals such as 'Over 50's sessions, pre & post natal sessions and many others, these sessions are great as the session can be designed more accurately towards the clients goals. But what if you don't fall into one of these niche's? Do you just not exercise?

Well off course the answer is no, but we need to understand that there are many reasons why people exercise and actually, losing weight is only ONE of them! If you believe everyone in a group exercise session is only there to become Superwomen, you're going to be very self concious about attending one. You'll be intimidated by shapes & sizes not like your own.

The reasons for people attending a group exercise session go much further than just 'losing weight' these include;

  • To feel in good shape physically
  • To improve or maintain health
  • To feel a sense of achievement
  • To get out of doors
  • To have fun
  • To relax and forget about your cares
  • To feel independent
  • To get together & meet new people

Oh, and; To lose or control weight

Don't assume everyone joins a group exercise programme for the same reason.

With a whole bunch of reasons why women actually choose to take part in regular exercise, be it with a  personal trainer, at a local group exercise session or at a gym, there's really no need to feel self concious and you certainly don't need to be superwomen to start you just have to start and then maybe, you'll become superwomen!

Here's a little quote from our Motivational Pinterest Board

Get out and find a local group exercise session near you, be it with us at Kiss Fitness or one of the many thousands of fitness professionals running group exercise sessions across the country. We want you to be more active, more often and we want you to start today, what are you waiting for?

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Circuit Training, more beneficial than an hour in the gym!

No doubt, if you have not already tried or already participate in circuit raining, you've heard about it. It's been a staple of not only the fitness industry but military forces and public services across the globe for many years. You might be thinking, oh. no I couldn't do that, not if they do it in the army! Wrong, circuits is widely popular due to it's format and ability to train all components of fitness, developing cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and motor fitness. 

A circuit session can be planned for almost any goal, usually fitness based sessions will change on a regular basis focusing on different components of fitness in each session, this forms an excellent generic workout for everybody.

How does a circuit session work?

After a good warm up, mobility and stretching the circuit can be designed in many visual formats but normally always along the lines of working for a period of time with a set rest to change stations and recover before performing the next station. This interval type set up is excellent for working your bodies aerobic and anaerobic pathways. The time on each circuit might drop or raise depending on the training goal, the intensity the instructor wants you to workout at might be high or low again depending on the training goal. 

You will normally perform 2 or 3 circuits in a basic session however if the circuits are short this could be more. 

You can see already that circuits offers many varieties and changes in intensity, this is what makes it so appealing, great exercise variety, different training techniques and ability to push yourself to a level you feel comfortable.

Due to the nature of a circuit session, it is excellent for beginners, you can take it at your own pace as your start to learn and master the exercises, get help from the instructor and not feel as if you are holding people up.

What sort of exercises will be in a circuit?

Circuit sessions across the globe normally apply very similar exercise types due to the low equipment needed and functional benefits of the exercises. These will include upward, downward and traveling type exercises. Common exercises used in circuits include;

  • Jogging
  • Skipping
  • Jumping Jacks ( Star Jumps)
  • Squatting
  • Lunging
  • Shuttle Runs
  • Walking
  • Press Ups
  • Triceps Dips
  • Burpees

These exercise are often further changed with additional weights such as body bars, medicine balls, powerbags, dumbbells & kettlebells.

The instructor, will constantly monitor your exercise during the session, ensuring that you are performing each one effectively and as safe as possible, this will maximise results and reduce injury. A mistake that happens all to often in unsupervised gyms.

If you only do one session, do circuits!

I have been teaching and running circuits sessions ever since I got involved in the fitness industry, the benefits of circuit training are wide and varied and you can push yourself as hard as your like. I always say to people that if you are only going to do one session a week, do a circuits session. It's far more beneficial than an hour wondering around the gym. A structured session will always provide greater benefits and potential, your fitness will improve, muscular tone will increase, stress will reduce and you'll feel pretty good. All this from a one one hour session a week, it's a no brainer really. While everyone has been attending regular circuits sessions and during the time that i've been running these session, i've seen new classes come & go, not so with circuits, nearly every gym, leisure centre and personal trainer will run some form of circuits. Therefore, there really is no excuse to get involved, find out what local circuits sessions are being run near you.

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Exercise in The Morning before your brain figures out what you are doing

The idea of working out first thing might seem to some like a horrible idea and far away from where you want to be, tucked up warm in your bed! however, research shows that when you exercise in the morning, you'll be more likely to stick to it and create a habit for a lifetime. This will transform your health, improve your happiness, mood, outlook & overall well being. There's also something really quite rewarding from getting up and completing a workout before most have had breakfast! If that's not enough, the whole routine of getting up early and getting to it might surprise you just how much you can actually achieve before breakfast.

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Are you fit enough for Skiing & Snowboarding?

Ok, we might only go skiing or snowboarding once a year, but let’s be honest, it’s normally quite a hard week or two of physical exercise. It’s an exciting holiday and something we can really only do once a year, so maybe it seems we don’t really need to train for these one or two weeks in the snow. I'm sure many of us have been on a winter holiday before without any real training, including myself, but let’s look at how we can benefit from training before our winter holiday on the slopes.

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Ever heard the excuse 'I don't have the time' or said it yourself? Well you've probably heard that you should also spend at least an hour in the gym or working out, I'm not sure why people give themselves a time when they should be evaluating their workout by what they do and achieve, not how long they work out for or the time they spend in the gym!

Time is our greatest asset so we must make time for things we like and want to do, that means making time to workout, if you are duly motivated to do so. The problem is, it's not always easy to find an hour to go and workout. Well, it's time to try 20 minute workouts, you can achieve a great deal in 20 minutes provided you have a clear plan. 

I'd always do 20 minute workouts, it stemmed from when I was working at gym's and only had half an hour for my lunch but wanted a workout so crammed in one muscle area into one workout, that's 20 minutes on one muscle or muscle group. This can lead to great gains and has many advantages;

  • Workouts are much shorter
  • You can workout everyday of the week
  • Gains will be high due to intensity of workouts
  • You won't get bored
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Your First Personal Training Session

Starting your journey in personal training might seem like a daunting thing to do, your unsure of the process, what happens on the first session and what to expect from personal training in general. Good trainers and all Kiss Fitness personal trainers start the personal training process with a FREE personal training consultation, at Kiss Fitness we also include a free health MOT report on your current health from the assessments taken during the initial consultation, your first session. 

I hope to provide some insightful information on what to expect from your consultation. Although prior to your scheduled consultation with your trainer you might be feeling nervous & apprehensive, you have nothing to worry about. This will be an exciting time taking your first step into a better health, better fitness and developing lifestyle changes to improve quality of life.

Your First Session, The Consultation

This is a crucial part of understanding your goals, current health, well-being and nutritional habbits. The consultation process is an informal discussion where the trainer will collect certain information from you in order to build your training plan that's suitable for you. 

The only form you should have to fill in is a PARQ form or Pre Activity Readiness Questionnaire, this is an industry standard and outlines and current or past health & medical issues the trainer needs to be aware off. The first session is an opportunity for you to meet your trainer, break the ice and learn more about personal training and what the trainer can do for you.

For the most part there is rarely any physical training within a consultation, that does depend on the trainer however with Kiss Fitness we first evaluate the client's responses before deciding upon exercises & fitness tests. There will however be health assessments, body stats & body measurements in order to complete the consultation, this can also include stretching based assessments.

The trainer will inform you of the type of clothing to wear, for most consultations this needs to be something comfortable that's easy for you to be measured, weighed and perform good ranges of movement for any stretching tests.

After completing the consultation, if you decide to start your personal training journey you will be asked to sign an informed consent and terms & conditions for personal training.

Your FREE Health MOT Report

At Kiss Fitness, our trainers provide a free Health MOT report with all the results from the consultation assessments and a unique score identifying your current health. This is an excellent tool for gauging future progression and looking back at where you started. 

It's worth noting noting that if you are not taking up personal training with a Kiss Fitness personal trainer you might not get a free health report.

The difference between a Taster Session & a Consultation

The consultation should not be confused with a taster session for personal training, they are very different so check to see what you are signing up for or have booked prior to the session. 

Taster Session

A taster session for personal training is normally a short 30 to 45 minute session at a significantly reduced rate or sometimes free. Expect to have a basic workout with your trainer, get a little sweaty, out of puff, have fun and gain an idea into what future training session might be like.

These sessions are designed to introduce prospective new clients to personal training, giving them an actual taste of what to expect. This type of session will normally involving signing a basic disclaimer as you have yet to have a comprehensive consultation. A consultation should always follow a taster session, it will be impossible for a trainer to accurately plan your training accurately without one.

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Getting motivated to stay active is not always easy, that's why we created our simple monthly exercise challenges to get you moving on a regular basis. Every month we have a new challenge, normally based around a training exercise or concept that you can master and progress with during the month. There are always variations available to suite all ability and fitness levels, the key is to get into the habit of moving on a regular basis.

Sign Up to our FREE Monthly Fitness Challenge Newsletter

Get the new monthly challenge sent to your inbox every month plus motivation, tips and hacks from our expert Personal Trainers

Send the monthly challenge to my inbox

Take part in our Monthly Exercise Challenge for FREE by Signing Up below, you'll receive a daily email with your challenge each day and sent a new challenge each month. Get extra value by subscribing to our Premium Exercise Challenge Service and gain access to our Online Personal Training System with all your challenges scheduled for you, easy to track, add additional workouts and track your progress.

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