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DOMS by Rob at Risebridge

August 20th, 2015

This morning I got an e mail from Rob at Risebridge club in Goudhurst, Kent. Risebridge specialise in Crossfit and after asking Rob’s permission to post, here it is.

It can kick in after 6 hours but peaks around the 48 hour mark and, if you’ve been taking it easy over the summer, it’s inevitable.

You know it’s coming too, especially if there’s lunges in your first WOD back!

What am I talking about?

DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

What is it?

Well, also called muscle fever, it is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.

Why am I talking about it now?

Because I’ve got it and I know it’s going to get worse! As I write this it’s only about 8 hours on from my training session this morning and my glutes and shoulders are already displaying signs.

Don’t laugh though, if you’ve had a lay off exercise whilst on holiday it’s coming your way too!

Here is a quick explanation of why it occurs from researchers Schoenfeld and Contreras:

Whilst “the exact mechanisms are not well understood, DOMS appears to be a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue elements that sensitize nociceptors and thereby heighten the sensations of pain.”

Schoenfeld and Contreras’ research paper continues but goes deep into the biochemistry of it all describing noxious chemicals and different nerve afferents. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into too much detail, it’s enough to know that DOMS appears to occur due to connective tissue micro trauma after the body has been exposed to unfamiliar or intense physical activity.

What’s more interesting perhaps is to ask whether or not it’s a usefulI to us in terms of us progressing with our health and fitness.

I regularly hear you guys mention how much you ache after certain workouts and in fitness circles it’s often associated with, and indeed expected as, proof of having a ‘proper’ workout.

But is this the case?

Watch out for my next email where I’ll discuss the pros and cons of DOMS.

See you soon,



May fun

June 4th, 2015

This week I am thrilled and honoured to reveal that I have been nominated for Personal Trainer of the Year in the Kent Health & Beauty Awards. The awards are organized by the awesome Hilary Steel, who not only is the Director of her own company – Kent Ideas Ltd but also editor of Kent Women in Business Magazine and founder of Kent Independent Traders. Hilary has set up the Kent Health & Beauty Awards to celebrate the achievements of female health & beauty business owners in Kent.

I’m really looking forward to the Black Tie awards ceremony which promises to be a very glamourous night out for Mr M and myself. It’s taking place at the Great Danes hotel near Maidstone on the 10th June and tickets are available from [ It will be an ideal opportunity for me to get to know other local health professionals who are currently at the top of their game!

All this has had me flying high but I was brought back down to earth (literally) the other day in Karate class! The trouble with being the only adult pupil in a class full of pre teens is that the teacher tends to use me to demonstrate on as he’s afraid of hurting the kids! Sounds sensible doesn’t it? – not when it’s me he’s hurting! Every week I get beaten up in the cause of child protection and this week was no exception except that I literally went flying after a kick that wasn’t meant to ‘make contact’ did so and I ended up almost passed out on the floor! Perhaps this isn’t the best advert but I really would like to encourage other adults to join! – classes are held in Headcorn – email me for more details ☺

Welcome to all my new exercise participants in Goudhurst. If you want to join us, we are on the Glebe field(by the church) in Goudhurst every Friday at 9am- all welcome.

I’m doing my karate grading along with the youngsters this week, no doubt all of the parents will be watching #humiliation.

Betty and Ethel our chickens got bothered by a fox so we have welcomed two new additions, Mabel and Shirley and have had major fox proofing activities.

Summer is on it’s way, hurrah

I’m so excited! I’ve recently come back from Seville where I’ve been checking out venues for this years Retreat (20th – 27th September) and I am delighted to announce that I’ve found the perfect place!

It’s been very difficult to find somewhere that fulfilled all my very exacting requirements but the ‘Vinca Buenvino’
in the Sierra de Aracena Nature Park has done so (and some!). As soon as I walked into this beautiful country house, I felt as though I was arriving at the home of a favourite relative! Here are some teaser snapshots from memory: swimming in the saltwater infinity pool; walking along ancient drovers paths through the 150 acres of Sweet chestnut and Cork Oak woods. Relaxing in the Spa and dining on the terrace on incredible home cooked food made from fresh local ingredients by the amazing Jeannie Chesterton.

This is the balcony from my bedroom

Photograph : Tim Clinch

For more info and fabulous photos by Tim Cinch

2015 and perfection

January 19th, 2015

Happy 2015 lovely people,

At this time of year most people are not feeling at their physical best. We’ve all experienced this – over Christmas there is a tendency to eat more and move around less and by January we’re all feeling a bit unfit and bloated but determined to do something about it. It’s at this time of year that I get the most questions related to Celebrity Bodies – how do they manage to look fabulous all year round?

The answer is simple – they don’t!

Over my career I have been called on many times to get a notable person in shape in time for a major event. For celebrities it is their job to look fantastic – they spend huge amounts of time and money on it. The important thing to realize is that (apart from a few mad individuals), they don’t work at it for 52 weeks of the year! Most celebrities keep a diary of the major events during the year for which they need to look fabulous for example a Red Carpet event or a beach holiday when they know they’ll be papped.

Four weeks or more before the event the celebrity will call on the services of a team of experts for help. They will go on a really strict diet, they will start a punishing exercise routine, they will spend a fortune on beauty treatments and clothes. They will even FAKE IT – it’s a little known fact that a skilled spray tan technician can with the use of ‘dark contouring’ create abs on those without the perfect washboard stomach!

After the event the celebrity will drop all this extra work and their bodies will return to a near approximation of a mere mortals. Woe betide them if they get caught on camera in this point of their cycle – poor Leonardo di Caprio was caught out in this way – displaying a slight tummy on a family holiday for which he hadn’t prepped!

My point is that for the rest of us we shouldn’t beat ourselves up trying to achieve this level, remember how they look could make or break a career! Our goal should just be to be the best that we can be within the restraints of our daily life and budget!

I’m really excited this week as Debenhams are featuring my ‘Reebok Little Black Dress Workout’ for the next two weeks on their website. Specifically designed to get you in shape for the party dress season, they will also be featuring my hints and tips for surviving the lure of the buffet table!

Check it out here,

Summer holidays

September 22nd, 2014

After a very hectic July spent travelling round the country giving free fitness advice in the Reebok/Debenhams Fithubs, it was very tempting once the kids had broken up to just veg out for the whole of August! I know most mums feel like this once we’re not having to get up at the crack of dawn for the school run anymore – exercise can take a back seat for the summer sometimes -but not in the Maxwell household this year!

I decided that as the kids are older now, I was going to make this a bit more of a structured active summer. In true ‘Busman’s Holiday’ style I designed an individual programme for each member of the family including for the first time the youngest Maxwell. They loved it and we had great fun working out together in the shade of the garden. We also managed to involve exercise in other locations too – the best fun being had on the day we slid down sand dunes on bits of plastic!

We did manage to get away too and while we were there I managed a whole photoshoot of exercises for Reebok dressed in the great kit that they’d sent (now sadly stolen by the Maxwell teenager!)

Sadly, as they always do, the school summer holidays ended and I am now gearing myself up to return to the humiliation of Karate with the 7 year olds!!

Reebok/Debenhams Fit Hubs

September 17th, 2014

I had a fantastic time most weekends throughout July this year when I took part in the Reebok / Debenhams Fithubs. Fithubs are basically a genius way of making fitness advice more accessible. Fitbars were set up in Debenhams where I would give a free fitness consultation to customers who were then able to go on and have a free massage plus 10% off Reebok clothing – what’s not to like!!

I had a wonderful time meeting lots of lovely people in Debenhams stores based in Essex, Bristol, Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester. It was also a non stop whirl of radio and magazine interviews handled by PR company who were an absolute delight to work with!


A varied few weeks

June 3rd, 2014

The last few weeks have been very sad – Sophie, my grand old lady died on Easter Monday. She was nearly 15. We have all been slowly adjusting to life without her. Benson especially, has found it very hard and has taken to making a collection of dog shaped soft toys to cuddle up to. I’ve been trying to concentrate on the positive with him – after so many years of only going for short sedate walks he and I can now go off on long romps together around the surrounding woods and farmland.

I also had a lovely distraction in the shape of a trip to Jaipur in India. I’ve never been to India before and I fell totally in love with both the country and the people. Doing Meditation and Yoga there was altogether a far more authentic experience. I did consider going for a run but the traffic made that too scary a proposition plus I wasn’t really appropriately dressed. In the end I did lots of water fitness in the very warm water of the pool.

I’ve started Karate! Youngest Maxwell has talked me into signing up at his club and the first session was mortifying. I am the oldest by at least 25 years! 30 minutes of staring and giggling from the little ones until they finally accepted that I was ok.

I continue to enjoy my weekly coaching sessions at our local athletics club and am so excited by the start of the new Athletics season that I’m just about to invest in a pair of sprint blocks. I might even sneak them along for the ‘Mum’s Race’ on youngest Maxwell’s Sports Day – not that I’m competitive or anything!

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