Basic principles of fitness training

Basic principles of fitness training

Helping you to achieve your fitness goals faster

Eating before and after a workout

Please don’t think that if you avoid eating before a workout you will burn fat, this isn’t a productive way to train, you will tire very quickly and more than likely feel sick in the process. Everybody is different, so you’ll have to work it out for yourself, but to give you a guide, ideally eat a small amount an hour before you train. If you don’t have time for this, a food with a high Glycaemic Index (GI) such as a banana prior to a workout, would be ideal. Eating after a workout is equally important to help repair the damage to your muscles and to restore your energy levels – low in fat, high in protein and carbohydrate is the solution.


Another very important issue is water, our body loses roughly 1.5 litres of water on a normal day, even more when we are active, it stands to reason that we need to replace this water, ideally 2 litres a day, try to drink regularly throughout the day rather than a litre when waking and a litre before going to bed, you’ll be peeing all night!

For more information read our article about the importance of water

Neutral Spine

Please be careful of your back, when we refer to neutral spine we are referring to each joint of the spine in a neutral position, neither arched forward or bent back. See the ‘Neutral Spine’ Factsheet for a more detailed description.

For more information read our article of how to find your neutral spine


One of the most commonly ignored principles and something which 90% of gym users either choose to ignore or don’t understand. EVERY exercise, ignoring sports specific training, should be done with control, meaning you should always use your muscles to perform the exercise, not momentum or gravity. The easiest way to remember this is the 2-second rule, each phase of the exercise should take 2 seconds. If you are performing a Push Up, it should you take you 2 seconds to go down and another 2 to come up.

Reps & sets

You will see these two mentioned a lot, 'Rep' is short for repetition and constitutes one full movement of both phases, for a push up – down and back up to starting position. A 'Set' is referring to a number of Reps, for example you may do 2 Sets of 15 Reps.

These basic principles are VERY important, following them will help you achieve your desired goals, so PLEASE keep referring back to them until you incorporate them into your training without having to think about them.'

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