Richard George Broga Teacher Birmingham

Teacher spotlight – Richard George

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. Name, age, nationality?

Richard George, 40, British

 

2. Where do you currently live?

Birmingham

 

3. How did you first hear about Broga®?

I was searching on the internet for what types of yoga were out there for men.

 

4. Can you remember your first experience of kicking some asana? What was that
first lesson like?

I was like, this is tough, how do I keep my cool?

 

5. What made you want to teach Broga®?

I kept receiving emails from guys wanting to go to yoga classes but felt intimidated being one of the only few men in yoga classes. I wanted to be able to say “I have the perfect class you can come and try”. I also loved how the sequences were put together and focused on a specific body part, similar to how I was teaching in yoga classes, but with a new twist on the strength side of things.

 

6. What was the best part of the Broga® teacher training bootcamp?

Meeting some great people and trying out lots of physical activities and challenges that I wouldn’t normally have tried. I also loved the swimming coaching that we had.

 

7. And the most challenging part of the bootcamp?

For me it was the thought of a 10km run, after not running properly since school. But you know what, you never know until you get out there and try. It really wasn’t that challenging physically. Sometimes it’s mostly in the mind.

 

8. You graduated in April 2015 – how have things developed since graduating?

I run a regular weekly class which has a core group of Brogis, and is constantly welcoming new people. It’s also proving popular with the girls – they also love the challenging sequences. There’s the possibility of starting a second class in the Autumn at a new venue, and I’m currently in conversation with a retreat centre about running a Broga® retreat!

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?

Who knows?! I’m hoping to launch a 200hr yoga teacher training in 2017. Let’s also hope the Broga® classes are still running strong, and that more people come to try it out. I am also working with my own physical strength, as yoga often puts the emphasis on flexibility. Broga® has definitely helped me to see how important it is to have a balance of the two. Sometimes we need to turn those muscles on, equally we need to learn how to stretch, relax and give those beasts a chance to relax.

 

10. Which Broga® sequence is your favourite?

I’m currently loving the new arm sequence, but the chest sequence is also one of my favourites.

 

And now for the fun part. Ten more ‘intimate’ questions!

 

11. What would be your ideal menu, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Lunch – a good veggie burger, with sweet potato wedges, corn on the cob, and homemade coleslaw.

 

12. And what would you drink alongside this menu?

Ginger beer, the proper stuff!!

 

13. What would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday for you?

A nice long walk in the countryside with my dogs, maybe with a picnic packed and no destination. Oh, and some sunshine would be nice too.

 

14. Do you have any nicknames, and if so, how did they come about?

Too many!! Dicky G was one that I can remember from my days of working in a record store.

 

15. What album can’t you stop listening to right now?

RY X ‘Dawn’ – it’s one of those ones that I keep playing, and discovering new levels. There’s some great remixes out there too.

 

16. What is your take on the world, your motto?

Don’t conform – rebel whenever possible.

 

17. Where is the place you are happiest in the world

In my garden on a nice sunny day – it’s my sanctuary!

 

18. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Hawaii – the most magical place I have ever been too.

 

19. What advice would you give the 15-year old you?

Keep going, even when it gets tough – there’s some great times ahead.

 

20. What is the achievement you are most proud of?

If I’m completely honest, its recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, I really did turn my life round for the best. We can all find the tools to help us respect our bodies more and appreciate our lives. Find whatever works for you, go out and do more of it. Bodies and minds are incredibly adaptable, never give up.

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Looking ahead to the summer???

It’s not too late to enrol on our next teacher training, 15-19 July – find out more here.

Only a month later we’ll be at Soul Circus, 19-21 August – come and say hi!!.

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Alexandra Siebmanns Broga Teacher Spotlight

Teacher Spotlight – Alexandra Siebmanns

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. Name, age, nationality?

Alexandra Siebmanns, Swedish.

 

2. Where do you currently live?

London

 

3. How did you first hear about Broga®?

I heard about it through Lululemon at one of their events.

 

4. Can you remember your first experience of kicking some asana? What was that
first lesson like?

It was at my gym City Athletic in the city where a tall, muscly, gorgeous Californian walks into the room and delivers an hour of hard work and fun and I just remember walking out and feeling amazing. That was Matt and the rest is history.

 

5. What made you want to teach Broga®?

I am not a big fan of yoga snobs and I like that Broga®makes yoga accessible to athletes and people who may feel intimidated of going into a yoga studio. I have always practiced a lot of different sports and for me yoga has always been the perfect compliment.

 

6. What was the best part of the Broga® teacher training bootcamp?

I attended the first ever Broga® teach training and I made friends for life amongst my fellow Brogis and Broginis.

 

7. And the most challenging part of the bootcamp?

I loved the physical challenge but for me I think the most challenging part was teaching others, managing time, sequences, people and music. Nowadays it comes naturally.

 

8. You graduated in April 2014 – how have things developed since graduating?

I have a full-time job in the City and teaching has helped me become very comfortable with public speaking and presentations. Also having the contrast of working in the city and teaching yoga is something I love and I wouldn’t want to be without either of them.

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?

I have a few scenarios in mind 🙂

 

10. Which Broga® sequence is your favourite?

Chest and shoulders. It’s all about the guns.

 

And now for the fun part. Ten more ‘intimate’ questions!

 

11. What would be your ideal menu, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

A dinner consisting of barbecued Surf and Turf (Lobster and steak) and veggie skewers and dark chocolate sorbet for dessert.

 

12. And what would you drink alongside this menu?

Champagne, cocktails and a strong espresso to finish.

 

13. What would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday for you?

Training, a breakfast in the sun, spending the day by the beach or exploring something new, in the evening a dinner with friends and loved ones.

 

14. Do you have any nicknames, and if so, how did they come about?

Alex is sort of a given or short and sweet – Al. Viking Girl reflecting my Nordic heritage, Heidi because I like to braid my hair and Yoga Barbie are a few of the others.

 

15. What album can’t you stop listening to right now?

That varies from day to day and depends on mood. Probably something by Disclosure or something classical.

 

16. What is your take on the world, your motto?

Eat your vegetables, do your squats, wear Chanel or red lipstick and don’t let boys be mean to you.

 

17. Where is the place you are happiest in the world

Happiness is not a place – it’s a feeling.

 

18. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Japan – first a few days in Tokyo and then off to Kyoto, Okinawa and continuing to explore Japan.

 

19. What advice would you give the 15-year old you?

Letting go is not the same as giving up.

 

20. What is the achievement you are most proud of?​

I don’t stop to be proud very often but very much tend to focus on what is next 🙂 But if I had to pick something it would be aggregating so many amazing friends. I feel incredibly lucky to have so many amazing people in my life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”9758″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1465113286259{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”9759″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1465113308795{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”9757″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1465113332647{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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THE NEXT BROGA BOOTCAMP

It’s still not too late to sign up for our next Broga® Bootcamp – 15th to 19th July in Cheltenham. Find out more here!

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Hot Yoga Society with Matt Miller from Broga UK

Why Broga and Bikram Yoga is a perfect match

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1465113637315{padding-bottom: 15px !important;}”]Interview with Broga founder Matt Miller for Hot Yoga Society as seen on hotyogasociety.com[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1465113648908{padding-bottom: 15px !important;}”]Matt de-mystifies Broga and tells us why it is a perfect balance alongside a Bikram practice, and women love it too![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]There could not be better brothers than Broga® and Bikram.  I am a huge fan of the Bikram sequence and it was my very first introduction to yoga 15 years ago when a studio opened in my hometown of Laguna Beach, California.  Much of the inspiration and teaching style of Broga® was heavily inspired by my early Bikram Yoga classes.

I kept coming back to Bikram for two reasons: the continuity and comprehensive approach to working the full body in one class, and also for the heat!  I felt that only by repeating a sequence could I mark my progress and judge my own performance. This was really important in motivating me to come back and try again, even with some of my massive shortcomings and epic fails during class.

With a degree in anatomy and physical performance I knew that my flexibility problems were much deeper rooted than just muscular flexibility. From repetitive sport and muscular hypertrophy my ligaments had actually shortened and thus my joint mobility was actually blocked from accessing full ranges of movement. The Bikram heat would suddenly become my best friend in aiding normally inflexible ligament tissue to gradually open and release my joints.

I still practice and love Bikram to this day.

But I do not believe Bikram, or any practice for that matter, is the end all be all!

Broga® really acts as the perfect partner to Bikram. The sensibility and immediate accessibility to practitioners are on par and the no-nonsense teaching style is immediately familiar. When we put Broga® on a Bikram studio schedule we normally focus on adding an upper body and lower body session to the timetable to give it that perfect balance.

The Broga® upper body class specifically works the upper body, and challenges practitioners with totally different postures from Bikram forcing them to open up in new ways but also, (and equally as important), strengthen those muscles.

The Broga® lower body class works to tone muscles that few classes in sport, or yoga for that matter, ever access: glutes, adductors and abductors. These are some of the most neglected muscles in the body, and on women, are a prime place to store fat when not directly simulated.  It also offers a fantastic system to build up flexibility in the hamstrings and hips so some of the more advanced standing postures can become more fathomable faster.

So if you are a Bikram regular you need to “brother up with Broga®. Combining the two will compliment your practice, build your flexibility and also help change your body shape to the best version of you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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About the Hot Yoga Society

Hot Yoga Society is one of the largest and best-known hot yoga studios in London. Nestled in the heart of London Bridge, the studio offers a range of yoga classes from Bikram Yoga to Hot Power Pilates.

For your weekly Broga fix, Broga founder Matt teaches an upper and lower body blast every Monday from 12.45pm – 1.45pm, perfect for squeezing a lunchtime yoga session into your weekly schedule.

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Broga hits Manchester for yoga, burgers and beers!

Fancy doing something a little bit different on a Saturday night? Then put 18th June in your diary. Matt Miller will be hosting a Broga session in collaboration with Lululemon Manchester complete with burgers and beers.

Get your FREE ticket now.

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Broga UK Founder Matt Miler interview

An interview with Matt Miller of Broga UK

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As seen on zusayoga.com

 

Today’s interview is with Broga® UK founder, Matt Miller. Matt is a former college football player, bodybuilding competitor, TV star, and all around giant of a man. He now lives in the UK and is the founder of Broga® UK, an athletic style of yoga practice geared towards the needs of men (though ladies are always welcome). We got the chance to catch up with Matt and ask him a few questions about practicing yoga, being an athlete, being a guy, and how it all ties together.

 

 

Zusa: How would you describe yoga to someone who’d never heard of it?

Matt: Yoga is an incredibly powerful form of movement that creates balance and harmony in the body, as well as the mind.

 

Zusa: How long have you been practicing yoga?

Matt: Regularly since 2012 – before that it was a bit hit and miss!

 

Zusa: How did you get started with yoga and what kept you coming back?

Matt: With all of the injuries I sustained during my sports’ career, and a few ‘little’ rounds of surgery to try to fix these problems, I was forced to focus on rehabilitation exercises, and yoga was suggested to me. There are so many different styles of yoga out there, that when I tried one and didn’t like it, I simply checked out another class to see if that was any more suited to me.

 

Zusa: Way more women practice yoga than men and some people view it as a woman’s activity. Why do you think there’s that perception?

Matt: Probably because at the time it was first brought over to the west from India, within the fitness and sports industry, there was little cross-over between what men and women did: lighter disciplines were better suited to women (aerobics, pilates, swimming) and more strenuous activities were better for men (running, boxing, football).

Now so much has changed – women are as present as the men in seriously tough disciplines ranging from boxing to Crossfit to triathlons to marathons. Likewise men have shifted into areas previously thought of as ‘fluffy’ because understanding and teaching of these areas has got better and is way more expansive – yoga being one of them. There’s very little that’s easy about our Broga® inversions class, or, for example, an hour’s hot power yoga session!

 

Zusa: Why should men be practicing yoga?

Matt: Yoga is a powerful way in to incorporate isometric exercise into a fitness regime, as well as being a totally non-negotiable addition to balance, stretch and tone the body and mind.

 

Zusa: What’s the best way for guys to start learning about yoga when they’re just starting out?

Matt: Do what I did – try as many different classes as you need until you find one that suits you. Talk to the teachers after the classes to see if they have any suggestions too. And whatever you do, leave your ego behind.

 

Zusa: You’ve got a background as an athlete. Can you share your thoughts on the importance of yoga for athletes?

Matt: As I said earlier, yoga has been fundamental in my rehabilitation from some fairly big operations. And for athletes not in rehabilitation, yoga is a vital way to undo the imbalances caused by constantly pushing the body in a particular discipline or range of movement which will likely only involve parts of the body performing specific, repetitive actions. Yoga forces you to control the body (and mind) in a much wider, more complete range of movements.

 

Zusa: What made you get started with Broga® UK?

Matt: Whilst I had been to some power yoga sessions, for me, there was still something missing. I still felt yoga could get grittier. Add to that the fact that my body does not bend or twist naturally. Generating heat within my body was vital for me to access these movements. Broga® is simply a combination of those two thought processes – something high-energy and grittier that could unquestionably be for men as well as for women; and something that worked to open up stiffer bodies.

 

Zusa: You’re obviously a big guy. Do you just practice yoga or is it part of a wider physical fitness plan?

Matt: Why, thank you! Yes, yoga is definitely a part of my wider fitness plan. I believe in trying out as many different things as possible, and I try to keep my routine as varied as possible. I did my first Aerial yoga session recently which was insane amounts of fun, as well as a boxing workshop which was also awesome.

 

Zusa: How often do you practice?

Matt: Obviously I teach Broga® throughout the week, but for my own practice, I aim for at least twice a week – it totally depends on my schedule, which changes week on week, but I try to stick to a minimum of two, juicy classes per week.

 

Zusa: Do you practice (or are you influenced by) any particular school of yoga?

Matt: No – I just do what I like, and what I like isn’t attached to only one school. For me practicing yoga is all about discovery, and part of that discovery is of the numerous different styles. So I try to keep my mind and practice as open as possible.

 

Zusa: Do you have a favourite pose?

Matt: That’s a tough one…ok, actually, Warrior II. There’s so much going on – legs, hips, core, shoulders, mental focus – and it’s such an incredible feeling when everything just falls into place. I totally feel like some Yogi Warrior!!

 

Zusa: Do you listen to music while getting your yoga on and if so, do you have a favorite type of music to listen to while practicing?

Matt: Definitely! I’m a fan of anything upbeat to get my warmed up (Kygo is always a safe bet) and then slowing things down as the session progresses. I guess I’m more into electronic music, but then acoustic music is great too…

 

Zusa: Who’s your non-yoga role model? Any yoga role-models?

Matt: I can’t pick one person only. I take inspiration from so many people around me, and I am regularly blown away by the extent to which people can fight and push themselves for a cause they truly believe in. Being a Lululemon ambassador has allowed me to connect with some incredible athletes, yogis and sportspeople, as well as ‘regular’ members of communities who have set up charities or organizations to help those in their area. All of these people count as my role-models.

 

Zusa: Tell us something fun about yourself.

Matt: I trained as a pastry chef when I was younger.

***

Well that’s it for our interview.

 

To find out more about Matt and Broga® UK, visit www.broga.uk.com.

 

For those that want to join our growing army of Brogis kicking asana all over the UK and Europe, there’s an upcoming Broga® Teacher Training Bootcamp in Cheltenham from 5-19 July, 2016. You can find out more at https://www.broga.uk/teacher-training/.

 

If you’re not looking for teacher training, but would still like to check things out in person, you might be interested in their brand new boutique yoga and wellness festival, Soul Circus, this summer in Gloucestershire from 19-21 August, 2016. Get the details at www.soulcircus.yoga/​

 

We’d like to thank Matt for taking the time to talk with us. We believe that it is important for guys to see the different men from all walks of life that are practicing and benefiting from yoga. I encourage you to share this article so that more men can start seeing that yoga is for them just as much as it is for women. If you know someone who’d be a great interviewee, please post in the comments below or email me at joe@zusayoga.com.

 

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About Zusah Yoga

 

Zusa is an online yoga magazine with the aim of spreading the benefits of yoga for men. Check out their website here. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row seperator_indeed_locker=”” lk_t=”ism_template_1″ lk_io=”default” lk_dm=”0″ lk_thm=”0″ lk_tuo=”0″ lk_dt=” ” css=”.vc_custom_1450102657185{padding-top: 30px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;background-color: #00ffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Practice Broga at Home

Can’t make it to a Broga class? Get yourself a copy of Broga Founder Matt’s DVD for an intense yoga workout from the comfort of your home.

Available to buy now here

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Teacher spotlight – Richard Timu

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. Name, age, nationality?

Richard Timu; young at heart; New Zealander

 

2. Where do you currently live?

Battersea, London

 

3. How did you first hear about Broga®?

My fellow yoga teacher Courtney Stefanowicz converted me.

 

4. Can you remember your first experience of kicking some asana? What was that
first lesson like?

It was way different from other yoga styles. More action and more motivation. Nothing fluffy, and no boundaries.

 

5. What made you want to teach Broga®?

I wanted to develop my yoga teaching to a new level.

 

6. What was the best part of the Broga® teacher training bootcamp?

Being exposed to a variety of teachers, each with a specific style and their own experiences.

 

7. And the most challenging part of the bootcamp?

I survived my first 10km cross country run.

 

8. You graduated in April 2015 – how have things developed since graduating?

More Broga students are returning than before because they enjoy maximising the mind/body benefits.

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?

My goal is to build a studio that teaches Broga to a variety of teams from office workers, rowers, or runners, for them all to transform and grow.

 

10. Which Broga® sequence is your favourite?

Dirty Dogs – A beast of a sequence building strength and mobility.

 

And now for the fun part. Ten more ‘intimate’ questions!

 

11. What would be your ideal menu, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Breakfast – Gluten free pancakes with blueberries, bananas and strawberries.

 

12. And what would you drink alongside this menu?

Carrot, ginger and kiwi-fruit smoothie.

 

13. What would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday for you?

Start with a Broga session on the beach followed by surfing then meeting friends for sunset and fun!

 

14. Do you have any nicknames, and if so, how did they come about?

“Timunator” from when I played rugby.

 

15. What album can’t you stop listening to right now?

A friend just gave it to me. Jazz/Melodic ballad – Keith Jarrett – The Melody At Night, With You 1999.

 

16. What is your take on the world, your motto?

Get hard or go home.

 

17. Where is the place you are happiest in the world

The place between my ears.

 

18. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Galapagos Island. A World Heritage site. Beauty of nature.

 

19. What advice would you give the 15-year old you?

Talk to your parents or read “The Catcher in the Rye”.

 

20. What is the achievement you are most proud of?​

I’m a survivor. Read the story http://bit.ly/1kyzVqk

http://www.swpoweryoga.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SWPowerYoga

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JOIN US IN MANCHESTER THIS MAY!

Broga® classes at the OM YOGA SHOW. For further information, click here.

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Teacher spotlight – Mark Blower

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. Name, age, nationality?

Mark Blower, 38, British.

 

2. Where do you currently live?

Crosby, Liverpool.

 

3. How did you first hear about Broga®?

I’d first come across Broga® while I was searching for yoga classes for athletes, I was doing a lot of sprint training at the time and felt that I needed some regular stretches but I specifically wanted to do them in a class as I am hopeless at doing them if it is left down to me.

 

4. Can you remember your first experience of kicking some asana? What was that
first lesson like?

Ha! My first Broga® session was on the teacher training boot camp, it was definitely more a case of me getting my asana kicked. It was a tough workout, so of course I was instantly hooked.

 

5. What made you want to teach Broga®?

I had recognised a gap in my own training and was seeing the same happen with certain people that I came across. We want to push our bodies, we know what we should be doing to allow us to keep pushing our bodies, but we don’t do it. So I saw Broga® as a way of getting those people into doing all of the good stuff that supports their training, but that also taps into that training mind set.

 

6. What was the best part of the Broga® teacher training bootcamp?

It had to be the morning training sessions, everyone on the course was so up for it so the energy in the sessions was amazing. I personally took the most away from the swimming session.

 

7. And the most challenging part of the bootcamp?

For me it was getting to grips with all of the different poses, there is so much to take on board in such a short time so knowing them before you turn up would definitely help if you are not familiar with them.

 

8. You graduated in 2014 – how have things developed since graduating?

I started running one class a week at the studio and that has now moved up to three and the word is spreading. The most rewarding feedback is from the people that had been dragged along for their first class and now wouldn’t miss one.

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?

Still doing what I’m doing I hope, I love it!

 

10. Which Broga® sequence is your favourite?

It has got to be legs, I’m definitely in my comfort zone when it comes to the strengthening but the stretching elements of the legs session are so beneficial and now essential for me.

 

And now for the fun part. Ten more ‘intimate’ questions!

 

11. What would be your ideal menu, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

If we are just going for flat out indulgence it would have to be a burger. Good quality, no nonsense, big fat juicy burger!

 

12. And what would you drink alongside this menu?

Sorry but this may sound boring, plain old water. It’s all I can think of right now, maybe I’m just thirsty!

 

13. What would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday for you?

Perfect but clearly not often would be to climb then ski. In that order, I’ve tried it the other way, not as fun.

 

14. Do you have any nicknames, and if so, how did they come about?

Yes, it was selected for me during my time in the army by my first section commander, he was pretty chuffed with himself and unfortunately, it stuck. All I can do is point you in the right direction by saying it has something to do with my surname, funny but as you may guess, slightly “inappropriate”.

 

15. What album can’t you stop listening to right now?

I listen to a lot of music but at the moment it’s a bit of a blast from the past, Killswitch Engage. When I’m training it has to be metal!

 

16. What is your take on the world, your motto?

I can’t really say that I’ve ever had a motto, there are experiences I draw on that make me want to “take on the world”, those combined with the right soundtrack playing in my ears and BOOM I’m off!

 

17. Where is the place you are happiest in the world

Definitely with my wife and two boys, maybe up a mountain side somewhere with the sun on our faces.

 

18. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Alaska, hands down top of my list of places I want to get to.

 

19. What advice would you give the 15-year old you?

Try not to take things too seriously… Oh! And get a haircut!

 

20. What is the achievement you are most proud of?​

Out of all of the challenges I have faced, the one I am most proud of is how far I have come since leaving the army. The transition was tough for me and there were times when I thought that I would never be able to adjust to civilian life. Even now there are still challenges but I feel I have done well.

 

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Like what you see here?

Like what you see here? Then do what Mark did – join us for our summer teacher training camp in July this year! For further information, click here.

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Teacher spotlight – Alicia Goryszewski

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”9587″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1455016231736{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 7px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]1. Name, age, nationality?

Alicia Goryszewski, 40 (shhhh), Polish

 

2. Where do you currently live?

Dickens Heath, Solihull, West Midlands

 

3. How did you first hear about Broga®?

It was a pure luck. I was looking for a bootcamp course and I found an advert for the Broga® Bootcamp Teacher Training. I sent an enquiry off and Matt’s answer blew me away immediately. I was so excited to be a part of this unique training.

 

4. Can you remember your first experience of kicking some asana? What was that
first lesson like?

I’ve practiced yoga for over 20 years now, so I was familiar with asanas, but this amazing routine made massive difference. It was very tough but surprisingly I found that I am pretty strong.

 

5. What made you want to teach Broga®?

As I mentioned before, it was a pure coincidence. I think Broga® chose me.

 

6. What was the best part of the Broga® teacher training bootcamp?

Oh… Everyday was so intense, so unique and full of surprises. The best day for me was definitely the cross-country bike ride. I really enjoyed it. It really reminded me how much I love cycling.

 

7. And the most challenging part of the bootcamp?

Definitely the run. I am not a runner at all, and I’d never run any sort of long distances before. Surprisingly I managed to complete the whole course.

 

8. You graduated in 2014 – how have things developed since graduating?

I am now teaching yoga and Broga® full time, and every day something new develops, I am learning constantly.

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 3 years’ time?

In my own studio, which I’m about to open very very soon. I have a list of things that I would like to do in my own independent space. It’s getting closer, which is fantastic.

 

10. Which Broga® sequence is your favourite?

I like all of them, but if I have to pick one in particular, then it’s inversions. I was always afraid of inversions but now I have the opportunity to teach others how to get there.

 

And now for the fun part. Ten more ‘intimate’ questions!

 

11. What would be your ideal menu, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Lunch – “Penang Bang” Chicken Salad (from the Giraffe restaurant menu – it’s so delicious)

 

12. And what would you drink alongside this menu?

Champagne!

 

13. What would be the perfect way to spend a Saturday for you?
I really like spa treatments, so for me it would be a day in a spa, hot stone massage, jacuzzi, followed by a nice meal and simply relaxing.

 

14. Do you have any nicknames, and if so, how did they come about?

When I was student they called me Red-Head, because of my hair.

 

15. What album can’t you stop listening to right now?

It’s Esplendido, album from Esplendido Hotel in Mallorca. I find it very calming, relaxing and inspiring as well.

 

16. What is your take on the world, your motto?

Everything is possible if you really want.

 

17. Where is the place you are happiest in the world

With my family of course: my husband and my son Victor. They are my whole word.

 

18. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Hmm, I’d like to go to so many different places in the word, but first would be Mallorca, I have great memories of being here. I’m ready to go there any time.

 

19. What advice would you give the 15-year old you?

It’s never too late. Do what you like the most and enjoy and love every moment of your life.

 

20. What is the achievement you are most proud of?​

I have two. The first is that I completed all my fitness qualifications in English, which was very challenging for me. The second – sounds cheesy probably – is raising my son, seeing him grow, making mistakes and then learning from them.

 

www.apg-fitness.com

https://twitter.com/APGFitnessUK

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Now that you’ve survived January, are you already thinking what to do with your summer holiday?

Make it a summer to remember and join the teacher training bootcamp.  https://www.broga.uk/teacher-training/

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From professional football to health foods: Interview with Revolution Foods founder Dean Howell

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Dean Howell, founder of Revolution Foods

Dean Howell, ex-professional football player and founder of Revolution Foods tells us about his journey with Broga, establishing his company, and health foods that work alongside the practicing of yoga.

Briefly how I got on to this journey:

I’ve never been a person to conform if unsure or if I don’t think something is quite right.

And this was again triggered in me when my nana was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was really close to her and seeing what she went through for years seemed so unnatural to me; in my opinion the treatment she underwent and the way she passed was traumatic & inhumane to say the least.

This then fuelled my fire and led me to delve and search for answers as to how and why.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9332″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576096279{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Why I turned to yoga/Broga:

After a lot of research I found that yoga is lifestyle-driven. It’s a return to nature, natural and holistic practices, and these were the answers that resonated most with me.

Especially when considering the foods that we put in our mouths, we have become so disconnected to real foods that nature provides. I quickly came to the decision that our environment internally and externally directly has an effect on our physiological health and wellbeing, mentally and physically.

This loss led me to look at my own lifestyle and food choices. At the time I was playing professional football and even though I looked healthy and wasn’t sick much at all, I still felt something was missing in my life and things could be improved.

I came across a healer called Dr Sebi and researched his work. He seemed to answer a lot of questions I had and I loved the way he delivered these truths. I’d say from then on my life was never the same; I researched and studied his work and it inspired me to become plant-based vegetarian.

I felt great not only physically but the biggest impact was my mental state. I felt such clarity and awake properly for the first time ever in my life.

Everything made sense to me from a holistic perspective, such as the foods I ate. I became fully vegan shortly after.

I integrated yoga on a small scale into my rehab and recovery protocols; it was something I was drawn to purely for injury prevention after undergoing three groin operations earlier in my career.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9333″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576212964{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;padding-right: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]I really do believe if I had adopted this lifestyle sooner I could of saved myself from having to undergo surgery.

I would have had less inflammation in my body from the unnatural foods that I use to consume and Broga would have given me more balance and core strength.

How I got into Broga/Yoga:

My partner Hayley is a qualified yoga teacher and having frequently attended her classes I found that yoga really helped with cycling as well as with core strength, balance and muscular conditioning.

She heard about Broga and told me that I should check it out and go to a class that was on in Bristol so I booked onto the next available class.

All I can say is WOW.

It had the perfect blend of physical work with the dynamic flow and movements of yoga, which for me was perfect because I still love that high intensity feeling when I work out and Broga sure did that.

The following day I found out that there was a Broga workshop taking place locally so I booked onto it straight away. I really enjoyed the course as it was intense and definitely took me out of my comfort zone.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9334″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576274678{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]
Matt Miller, Broga founder and the teacher was amazing and made it thoroughly enjoyable. Now I’m qualified to teach yoga I’m looking to do classes up and down the UK as well as working one-to-one and hopefully with professional football teams.

I really do believe Broga has the right balance that is appealing to all professionals and athletes that are used to and want to undergo high intensity training with the added bonus of the injury prevention aspect which would place all players and teams in a very good place.

How Broga/Yoga changed my life:

Once I had made these lifestyle changes my football improved and I remained virtually injury free for the remainder of my career.

I achieved my best years in football winning back-to-back promotions, getting in the team of the year and to the fifth round of the FA Cup on consecutive seasons, one of them drawing Manchester United at Old Trafford playing in front of 75,000 plus fans.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9335″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576322484{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

Hobbies:

Since retiring from professional football I have taken up road cycling as a hobby, which I’m currently really enjoying. Cycling is impact free but like all sports you over work yourself and get into fixed positions. Broga helps to counteract this. I recently cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats for charity, cycling 978 miles in 9 days, which was a very rewarding and amazing experience.

Setting up Revolution Foods:

I then decided four years ago, while I was still playing, to set up a business selling the foods that I consumed that would benefit people who wanted natural plant-based wholefoods.

I set it up with my two best friends, Gareth and Ryan, who I grew up with and have been best friends with since infant school.

The business is called Revolution-foods.com and sells natural premium organic whole foods and superfoods. We have just opened our first store in Burton-on-Trent, with plans to open others up and down the country.

Benefits of using Revolution foods products:

Eat as close to nature as intended. Eat organic. Eat real foods.

Eliminate the hard to digest processed foods such as wheat, refined sugars, denatured pasteurised foods and ready meals. Feeling lethargic, unmotivated and stuck is a major sign that your diet may need a revamp.

Our natural organic plant-based products are designed to help the immune system stay balanced (this is key). The benefits are endless if you are a yogi or a professional football player for example.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9336″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576363466{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Mother Nature knows best when it comes to nourishing the human body. Why, may you ask? Cellular Hydration is so, so important and these foods sure help this.

Anything naturally produced by nature is alkaline-based PH 7 and the body functions best when it is slightly alkaline.

We at Revolution Foods stock a mixture of the world’s most potent alkalising superfoods from the land (plants & fruits), sea (sea vegetables) and fungi kingdom (medicinal mushrooms).

The benefits of taking natural whole foods:

  • Aids weight loss
  • Balances the immune system
  • Helps detoxification
  • Helps build lean muscle mass
  • Supports and nourishes all the vital organs
  • Helps balance blood sugars
  • Provides the body with antioxidants and micronutrients and so much more.

We all focus on macro nutrition but the building blocks to health are micronutrients. They feed the body on a cellular level, which is vital for good health and a strong immune system. This will benefit you in every way possible in life.

The top three products we would recommend for a Brogi would be:

1. Super Blends Pacific/Seaweed

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9337″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576545525{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]It contains 92 of the 102 trace minerals the human body is made up of and is full of silica, calcium, B12, iodine. These elements will aid weight loss or weight gain and strengthen connective tissues. This allows for greater flexibility.

2. Either one of our plant-based proteins:

Super Blends raw plant-based protein/Super Blends Greens protein.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9338″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576503605{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]They contain the highest concentrations of plant protein available, which will aid the recovery of muscle and tissue damage from strenuous exercise such as Broga, which places physical demands on the body. With added enzymes to aid bioavailability, this is a must-have product, improving strength and performance. It’s also a source of essential fatty acids and excellent for post exercise recovery.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9339″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454576463720{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-bottom-width: 15px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Known as the miracle tree, this herb will give you the energy to thrive in any Broga class. It contains all the essential amino acids making it a complete protein source. It has over 36 anti-inflammatory benefits, boosts the immune system, speeds metabolism, and increases strength, energy, endurance and recovery. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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About Dean Howell, founder of Revolution Foods

Alongside his two best friends, Dean founded Revolution Foods with the desire to deliver good quality superfoods at competitive prices. Built on ethical principals, the company sells a range of superfood products and blends. Dean started his career as a professional football player, becoming vegan during this time. As well as running Revolution Foods, Dean attends Broga classes. Find out more about what Revolution Foods can offer you at Revolution-foods.com.

You can follow Revolution Foods on Facebook, Twitter @revfoods, Instagram @revfoods and @thealphavegan[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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Get 15% OFF Revolution Foods with the exclusive code ‘broga15’

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Beat the Christmas and New Year blues with the newly released Broga dvd

Containing 6 1-hour workouts, the dvd guarantees you an energetic Broga workout from the comfort of your home and at a time that suits you. Available to buy now here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ordinary men test Britain’s toughest fitness programs

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As seen in GQ Magazine

GQ’s most unfit staff tested Britain’s latest gyms and exercise fads to see which one burned the most fat, built the most muscle and hurt the least. Don’t make your new year fitness resolution until you’ve read this…

1Rebel by Matt Jones (33, 6ft 3in)

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9360″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454720293755{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 7px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Everyone at 1Rebel is beautiful. The people who use the gym. The people who work at the gym. Even the staff at the smoothie bar – this is a London gym, so obviously there’s a smoothie bar – would give me a run for my money on Hot or Not. This is relevant for one reason. Motivation. Something you need by the bucket to get through a Reshape class.

Essentially, it’s high intensity interval training (sprint on a treadmill for a bit, lift up some weights, squat, do a few thousand press-ups, back on the treadmill, repeat for 45 minutes). But it’s so much worse than that. The sweaty and pitiful are singled out and told to “add on” (run faster) or “push bigger” (lift a heavier thing up) by an instructor who looks like he’s escaped from the front cover of Men’s Health.

Then there are the mirrors.  They’re everywhere, so when Mr Men’s Health shouts “Ask yourself WHY ARE YOU HERE? C’mon Rebels, push!” you have no energy spare to cringe at being called a “Rebel”, and through eyes of chipped granite you can see your puce, sodden reflection staring back at you, answering his question.

At this point, you will look at your treadmill neighbour to see if they’re also sweating through their knees (I phenomena I discovered at 1Rebel). They won’t be. They will be beautiful, dry as a bone and taking a selfie, answering an email or fixing their perfect spun gold hair.

You can deal with this in one of two ways. Go home and have a pizza, or knuckle down. Much to my surprise, I managed the latter. I quit drinking, swapped my breakfast for a Protein Works shake, ate two meals a day supplied by Yolo food (a new company that delivers healthy, balanced meals to you every day) and got myself some proper Saucony running shoes chosen after a gait analysis (you absolutely need these for 1Rebel or your knees will grind to powder).

Exploiting my position, I asked Olympic nutritionist, GQ’s Fitness Correspondent and impossibly swole man, Ross Edgley, when best to go. He suggested engineering break days and maximizing recovery times to protect my imune system (work out too much and you get ill, apparently). As such, my workouts took place on Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday evening, Friday lunchtime and Saturday evening.

The results were, frankly, astonishing. The green shoots of a six-pack emerged and my fitness levels shot up. OK, so I was a long way off 1Rebel-beautiful after three weeks but I’m proud to announce that I can run for slightly less than an hour without sweating through my knees.

The results (before and after 1Rebel)

Body fat percentage: 20.5%/16.4% (-4.1 percentage points)
Body mass index figure 25.4 (Overweight)/24.8 (Healthy Weight)
Weight 93.9kg/90.8kg (-3.1kg)
Hips measurement 91cm/89.5cm (-1.5cm)
Arm measurement 38.6cm/39cm (+0.4cm)
Thigh measurement 61.3cm/61.5cm (+0.2cm)
Belly measurement 95cm/92cm (-3cm)

 


Barry’s Boot Camp by Conrad Quilty-Harper (28, 6ft)

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9361″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454720352834{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 7px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Barry’s Boot Camp is the best gym I’ve ever been to. Admittedly, it’s the only gym I’ve ever been to, but that’s beside the point. For someone like me who’s sustained a very unhealthy disdain for gyms and gym goers ever since my last school PE lesson (one of the happiest days of my life), this is quite a feat. Everything at Barry’s is taken care of: you only have to turn up wearing appropriate clothes and shoes. Everything from the changing rooms, which have built-in number pad locks, to the showers, which dispense free Malin + Goetz shampoo, is inclusive and high quality.

The do-everything attitude extends to the trainers who are experts in the various different training techniques and the psychology of getting lard arses like me to enjoy having my body destroyed and built up again. Yes, I enjoyed Barry’s Boot Camp. Despite learning on my second class that it was possible to retch from exercise. Despite developing tendonitis in my right ankle which meant I couldn’t walk properly for three weeks (get your gait analysed before you start and buy proper running shoes). And despite creating a sea of sweat on the floor, grunting and screaming in agony at every single class. This is all possible thanks to the perfectly balanced carrot and stick approach of my trainers Alex, Jay and Taylor. They know how to safely push you to and beyond your physical limits.

The first week at Barry’s Boot Camp, after never exercising more than the occasional cycle commute, is like getting hit by a bus. And you might even prefer that. You’ll feel dizzy getting off the treadmill. You’ll physically and impulsively scream in agony. You’ll cry climbing stairs and sitting on toilets. But after just three weeks you’ll also benefit from a rush of endorphins every afternoon, you’ll discover what having muscles actually feels like, and you’ll get a sustained surge of testosterone which translates into an appetite for food, sleep, sex, and life in general. I’ve learned to love exercise, and it’s all thanks to Barry’s Boot Camp.

The results (before and after Barry’s Boot Camp)

Body fat percentage 21%/18.7% (-2.3 percentage points)
Body mass index figure 25.8 (Overweight)/25.1 (Overweight) (-0.7)
Weight: 86.4kg/83.9kg (-2.5kg)
Hips measurement 93cm/93cm (no change)
Arm measurement 31cm/32cm (+1cm)
Thigh measurement 61cm/62cm (+1cm)
Belly measurement 96cm/93cm (-3cm)

 


Crossfit by Nick Carvell (29, 5ft 11in)

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9362″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454720657637{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 7px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]I’ve had a few friends being inducted into the cult of Crossfit. However, past the seemingly obligatory shirtless selfies I saw these friends post on Instagram, I really had no idea what the exercise regime entailed – and that’s exactly why I wanted to do it. Turns out it’s military circuit training with a mix of bodyweight exercises (pull-ups, burpees) and Olympic weightlifting – in short, not really something for the feint hearted. Thankfully, the masters at Crossfit Blackfriars – Mateo, Matt and Brian – are there to guide you through.

While it’s hard work (fair warning: you’ll probably vomit), what you learn quickly is that Crossfit is the perfect halfway house between personal training and group work – you’re trying to beat your own personal bests on circuits, but supervised at all times by an expert (much needed if, like me, you’ve lifted little more than a mug before). You’ll also learn that Crossfit acolytes are crazy for official merch – a few classmates thought I was an old-timer at my first session because of my Reebok Nano 5.0 trainers and matching branded kit. Sadly, my shaky moves dashed that impression immediately.

It was damn tough for a fitness newbie, but beyond the results (that I was very pleased with), what I really valued were the skills I picked up – especially how to lift properly – and the camaraderie of the group. If you’re the kind of guy really wants to change, but still needs egging on to achieve your goals, then this is the regime for you.

The results (before and after Crossfit)

Body fat percentage: 23%/21.2% (-0.8 percentage points)
Body mass index figure: 24.3 (Healthy Weight)/25.8 (Overweight) (+1.5)
Weight: 79kg/82kg (+3kg)
Hips measurement: 108cm/100cm (-8cm)
Arm measurement: 36cm/32.5cm (-3.5cm)
Thigh measurement: 68cm/63.5cm (-4.5cm)
Belly measurement: 103cm/91.5cm (-11.5cm)

 


The Orange Theory by John Hitchcox (32, 5ft 10)

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9363″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454720455240{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 7px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]With a heart rate monitor strapped to your chest, each hour session consists of a high intensity mix of running, rowing and floor work (arm, leg and ab exercises) while you gaze upon televisions that display the percentage of your maximum heart rate you’re currently working at, your BPM and the calories you’ve burned so far. It’s also colour-coded based on the zone you’re currently sitting (read: struggling) in.

The grey and blue zones are barely worth mentioning, it’s the green zone and above you need to be aiming for. Green means you’re in the fat burning zone and you’ll spend most of your session here. Once you reach around 84 per cent of your maximum heart rate you hit the orange zone – and this is where the good stuff happens. Not only are you burning through your fat you’ll also continue to burn calories for up to 36 hours after exercising: the afterburn. Essentially, bonus exercise without the effort. Win. Above orange is the red zone, which is where professional athletes tread (or sprint) and is for conditioning for actual sport. The great claim of Orangetheory is that, as long as you spend 12-20 minutes in the orange zone and above, you will burn up to 1,000 calories per session.

In the UK, the Orangtheory franchise is run through David Lloyd and it was the Islington studio I visited. Guiding you through the ordeal is a trainer who sets the plan for each session, which varies day-to-day. The trainers are excellent and tread the perfect line between being enthusiastic and encouraging without stepping over into being pushy and army-like. It also turns out that each class (thankfully) consists of normal human beings of varying fitness levels and body shapes. Not as scary as first thought.

I’m not going to lie though, the first week was a struggle. Luckily you can choose the right exercise for your fitness level and I spent most of it in the lower band of the class, selecting to be a “power walker” during the running machine section of each class, occasionally opting for “jogger” but never venturing into “runner” territory. A sit up was a struggle and I couldn’t give you ten if you paid me. Gradually, through week two, I was able to pick up the pace and I was actually enjoying it. By week three I was running and/or rowing around 6km each day at a decent speed and was able to actually do press ups. Kind of.

This amount of running holds its risks for the unfit. During one session I started to feel pain in my knee, but rather than push me on toward injury the trainer saw something wasn’t quite right (before I did) and suggested an alternate exercise thus saving me from abusing myself further and the embarrassment of giving up after seven classes.

You also have to consider the amount of calories you’re actually burning. Depending on your starting position, using up to 1,000 per day for three weeks without adjusting your diet could end in a Christian Bale style transformation. Not Batman, the other one. I’m talking Machinist potential. Alternatively, binging on the wrong food could mean not having the energy to even complete a session. To compensate I sought professional help in the form of Fresh Food Fitness. They designed a four-meals-a-day diet that had the right fats, carbs and protein to see me through, while aiding muscle gain and loss of body fat. Each day’s food is prepared fresh and delivered to your door before 6am, saving you the hassle and meaning it actually tastes of food. Real food.

As for the results, there’s no doubt Orangetheory works. I may not have gained inches on my bicep (although I’m certainly more toned) but it’s impossible not to lose body fat, increase stamina and feel incredibly smug after three weeks. No six pack, but I can certainly feel abs beneath the surface of what was once some sort of forgotten void where muscles dared not venture. In fact, I lost an inch and a half from my belly, an inch from my waist and can now run for forty minutes without dying. The crazy thing is that I’m still going, which is the best recommendation of all.

The results (before and after Orangetheory)

Body fat percentage: 20.2%/16.5% (-3.7 percentage points)
Body mass index figure: 23.2/23 (-0.2)
Weight: 73.5kg/72.9kg (-0.6kg)
Hips: 86.4cm/83.8cm (-2.6cm)
Arm: 31.7cm/31.7cm (no change)
Thigh: 52.7cm/53.9 (+1.2cm)
Belly: 85cm/81.2cm (-3.8cm)

 


Heartcore by Ryan Grimley (23, 6ft 1in)

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9364″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454720508647{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 7px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]My first class started at 7am at Heartcore’s City studio, so when I arrived I was neither bright eyed nor bushy tailed. To say I felt out of my depth was an understatement. But after learning how the Reformer Pilate beds operate (don’t ask) and working out my downward dog from my elbow I was on my way, sticking to a plan of 21 classes and a strict diet that stripped out carbs and alcohol.

I had two classes in my fitness plan, TRX suspension training and Pilates. The first is the calorie killer and involves bodyweight exercises while you’re suspended from the ground on rubber bands. Apparently, you’ll burn 700 – 1,000 per 55 minute class, but also builds strength, flexibility and balance.

Then there’s the Pilates, which is heavily focused on core strength and toning and involves pulling on various ropes and handles and, for me, results in full-body shaking. Nevertheless, the balance of two classes meant my workout was a great attack on the flab.

A week and a half in, I was 12 classes down, using muscles I didn’t even know I had. It was a case of call it quits or suck it up. My Adidas Ultra Boosts were well beat in, I ached everywhere, but a few things kept me from calling it quits. Firstly, the facilities. I rotated between three studios (Fulham, Chelsea and City), all of which had showers, towels, deodorant and three different shampoos (obviously), so there was no excuse to stay in bed.

Then there was the wellbeing. Having never really taken on this much exercise, I discovered that – despite the aches and pains – you actually feel a lot better in your own body. Your mood’s better, you sleep properly and your concentration levels go through the roof.

Then there were the visual results. By the end of the three weeks I had a visible six-pack, my arms were bigger and more defined and my man boobs had turned into muscle. The first class might have intimidated me, but once I’d made it to three weeks I was skipping to the gym.

The results (before and after Heartcore)

Body mass index figure: 24.9 (Healthy weight)/24.1 (Healthy weight) (-0.8)
Body fat percentage: 20%/17% (-3 percentage points)
Weight: 85.7kg/83kg (-2.7kg)
Arm measurement: 35cm/35.5cm (no change)
Chest measurement: 99cm/96.5cm (-2.5cm)
Thigh measurement: 48cm/50cm (+2cm)
Belly measurement: 95.3cm/89.4cm (-5.9cm)

  • We trained at Heartcore in Fulham, Chelsea and City via Heartcore.

 


Broga by Max Williams (24, 5ft 11in)

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”9365″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1454720581506{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 7px !important;border-right-width: 7px !important;border-bottom-width: 7px !important;border-left-width: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;border-left-color: #ffffff !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #ffffff !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #ffffff !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #ffffff !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]My first session of broga was among the most traumatic hours of my life. A stark realisation of my complete inflexibility and ungainliness. Touch my toes? I could barely reach my knees. Downward Facing Dog caused my arms to ache after a matter of seconds. Don’t mention the chaturangas (planks with a push-up). I had to keep my knees grounded in order to lift my torso off the ground.

I left the gym cursing. Yet after half an hour something strange happened. An enormous sense of well-being descended. My limbs felt loose, supple. My joints sang. True, this sensation was later replaced by some rather intense aches but for a moment I glimpsed enlightenment.

That whole first week was a challenge. I was stretching muscles that I’d literally never stretched before, forcing my body into contortions that seemed specifically designed to inflict maximum amount of pain. Broga is not something you immediately pick-up. A good trainer, at least at the start, isn’t important but mandatory. You need support when attempting your first handstand since the age of ten.

But my God, you feel those benefits. After a fortnight I had shoulder muscles for the first time in my life. My whole upper body looked stronger, better built. And the legs! 15 days of stretches, strains and squats really moulded those pins into shape. Chaturangas? I’ll do them on my head. (And basically had to.)

However the gain isn’t limited to physique. By the end of the course I was looser and more flexible than ever before. My concentration improved. My resolve was stronger. I felt calmer, more relaxed. The breathing control and focus trained by broga benefits many aspects of life. It won’t dramatically build muscle or shed weight in the manner of extreme boot camps or rebel insurgencies but that isn’t the point. Broga is a sustainable, and surprisingly enjoyable, workout for both mind and body. Go investigate.

The results before and after Broga

Body mass index: 26 (healthy weight)/25 (healthy weight) (-1)
Body fat percentage 24%/21% (-3 percentage points)
Weight: 85kg/82kg (-3kg)
Waist measurement: 95cm/94cm (-1 cm)
Arm measurement: 32cm/34cm (+2cm)
Thigh measurement 59cm/63cm (+4cm)
Belly measurement 98cm/96cm (-2cm)

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]