Author Archives: Team

  1. DIRC Race 2022

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    Hi All,

    Really looking forward to having a good day’s racing on Saturday. Just a quick post with some final details and a few reminders. I’d be grateful if you could forward this on to anyone you know who may not have received these reminders and would also like to request that if you are no longer planning to race, please notify us as soon as possible in order that the race schedule can be amend and things can run smoothly on the day.

    A race schedule will be live on the website no later than Wednesday 5th October and all races will be between 10am and 2pm UK time.

    Please read this race day information carefully and familiarise yourself with the set up to avoid any issues on Saturday.

    • The race will be run using the Concept 2 ErgRace app which needs to be downloaded to a smart phone or tablet.
    • It is very advisable to have ONLY THIS APP using the Bluetooth function on the chosen device to avoid possible interference. So music etc if possible can use a separate device.
    • Concept 2 provide information for all racers here. It really is straight forward as long as you have prepared and familiarised yourself in advance.
    • Once you have downloaded the App (ensuring you have the latest PM5 firmware and a C2 Logbook account) please enter your DIRC competition code as follows: 983-606-2039 . You will then enter a holding pen and I will let those in who are in the upcoming race.
    • I will close entries at the time of your race (for example 12:00 for race 1) and we will then start a few mins after so please ensure you are live on the app in good time (5-10 mins before). All race times are UK time.
    • If you experience any connection issues throughout, carry on and complete the row and save any screenshots.
    • Lightweight competitors please film evidence of your timed weigh in.
    • The full race schedule is available on the website to view here:
    • Information regarding medal categories is available via the website link.
    • Race schedule will be live on the website 3-4 days prior to race day. Races will take place 10am-2pm.

    Lastly and perhaps most importantly is taking some time to test the software prior to Saturday. I strongly suggest you take the short amount of time to do this.

    I will run 2 separate test races of 1 minute on Thursday 6th October at 14.00 and 18:30 UK time. The code for this will be the same as the competition code above 983-606-2039 

    This process is very important to the success on race day.

    As ever, if there are any issues I can help you with please reply directly to [email protected]


    This post is intended only for those competitors who have completed registration and payment. There is still time to enter if you haven’t.

    For more information on our online plans follow this link.

  2. Torn between specific and generic training.

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    I don’t think I have any “real” competitions until the indoor season kicks off again in October/November. Sadly I can’t make the Devon Indoor champs on 16th September, so the next race I think I have is the WelshIndoor  Champs in November (if I can work out how to get there and back without it costing a fortune).

    Yes there are challenges like the CTC, monthly Facebook challenges and the odd extra online challenge – but nothing to aim for, and more importantly, nothing to focus my training.

    It would, however be daft to not continue to build on the sprint training I’d been doing for Coetq. The last few intervals were down at 1:22 (on 115Df) – and if I can keep that kind of speed up, hopefully my 1k and 2k times will benefit.

    When I eventually got back on the machine this week, it was at DF 130 – and it felt awesome. I felt strong, controlled, and powerful.  This soon waned when my energy stores ran out, but it felt as though all that sprint training had bedded in somewhere and I was stronger for it.

    But I can’t keep training at the pace for the next 5 months! And I certainly won’t do another 5 hour interval session for the hell of it. But st the same time, I don’t want to just go back to low rate slower/longer stuff. There’s no doubt that it helps, and maybe I need to be more confident in trying some full effort 2ks at 26 or 28 instead of 32.

    Take for example this week’s RowSeries test. 3k total row for time, but the last 1k was also scored for tims. So dialling in 1:42 for the entire thing wasn’t going to work (as my final 1k wouldn’t score too well)

    Not that my result will blow the competition out of the water. It was ok – but I’m sure I could have done better. After spending most of the week recovering from Coetq, Friday was the only chance I have had for this. Maybe if I had had a chance to do it on Monday first, then set a better time on Friday it would be a different result. Not that I’m too unhappy with this. The first 2k could have been quicker I think, but I don’t think I could have gone much quicker in the last 1k.

    The reason I’m brining this up here though is because of the rates. The first 2k was at a rate lower than my usual (32) rate. And I wasn’t pushing hard on he’d (as I knew I still had the final 1k to hit hard.

    So maybe if I start training for power at 26/28 instead of letting a higher rate give me speed. Then I should be able to combine the low rate power with the high rate – and be even faster!

    We’ll see about that!!

    Either way, I need to build on my sprint training if I ever hope to break the 1k record. Even if I just make sure to throw in some high speed intervals at the end of other sessions… But then, I’m always knackered at the end of other sessions!

  3. What’s Your Goal?

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    What’s Your Goal?


    I’ve spent time this week reflecting on conversations I’ve had with several clients about motivation for training. Mainly from the perspective of how to approach things when motivation feels as if it’s lacking. It’s apparent that a lot of people start to become quite self critical and intolerant when motivation is harder to come by and as a result they begin to question the point of things, seem a bit hopeless and definitely find it hard to let go of all or nothing thinking. There’s certainly no magic fix in these instances, but it’s important to reconnect with what started you on your path in the first instance. What’s your goal?

    There’s no one size fits all with this.  We all have different personalities and lead different lives and therefore our reasons for exercising will be dependent on many factors. Generally speaking though I think motivation for training falls into 2 distinct categories:

    1. Progression and improvement in performance.
    2. General health and well being, including:
    • Weight loss
    • General fitness
    • Lifestyle improvement
    • Improve confidence
    • Stress management
    • Interest/stimulation

    It is very likely that your reasons for following a training plan or exercise regime will be as a result of one or more of the above, and quite possibly the case that these reasons change over time. All of these reasons are of course completely valid and it is possible to be following the same training plan as someone else whilst at the same time having completely different goals. That’s the beauty of exercise. Target one goal and there will undoubtedly be other positive benefits.img_7899-300x300

    When motivation comes into question the best advice I can give is, concentrate on what you want from your training not what someone else is trying to achieve. They could well be on a separate journey. Training doesn’t have to be brutal, prescriptive and directive at all times. If it is, then resentment is the likely outcome…and since when has resentment helped with motivation? Take ownership of your training, approach every session with a clear goal for that session and make adjustments accordingly if that’s what the circumstances dictate. Let go of attachments to all or nothing thinking. Recognise the dangers of an inability to allow yourself some ‘room’. The only real failure is you sabotaging yourself by failing to recognise what’s genuinely needed on a session by session basis.

    In my generic training plans I offer individual pace guides that cater for the whole spectrum of participants, from those who are trying to push on and improve their times, to those who are more focused on their physical, emotional and psychological well being. Ultimately training and performance goes in waves, nothing in life is constant.  There’s a natural ebb and flow to everything. The challenge is in striking the right balance between pushing when you can and being flexible when the circumstances change, whilst at the same time giving yourself the credit to know what’s best.


  4. Catching a wave….

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    I have always said training goes in waves. When you are on a wave everything is going well, you feel motivated and feel you are making progress. Hitting your daily targets seems routine and you look forward to the next session. The other side of the coin feels more like treading water. Effort levels are the same, but everything seems a bit of a slog. Targets more difficult to reach which is harder to be motivated for. The thing is you never know how long each respective streak will last so you must remain consistent and dig in through those perceived hard times as they are ultimately building the foundations for catching the next wave.


    Up until 7 days ago I had definitely been treading water for what felt like an eternity , to the point I questioned whether that was my peak gone. It was ever since I had got back from a family holiday, had a bug and missed a whole nights sleep that I just seemed to fight with the machine to hit my numbers. I started to resent how hard things felt and the thought of another ‘hurt session’ was bottom of my list, but I kept the faith. My relentless consistency and a change of mindset last Saturday and things felt like they were on the turn finally. The mental side of all sports, not least rowing, is huge and tentatively it felt like I had at long last found a wave.

    My 10km Time Trial

    My 10km Time Trial

    My last week of training has felt brutal, but positive in the way I am attacking things again. I have been mixing the start of 2km training with half an eye on the City Regatta 1000m final on Wednesday this week where we head as a team of 4 in good shape. Yesterday I finished on my target pace for a 10km TT which I had set up as a race at FM HQ. This is another savage distance where the mind is at least as important as the body.

    Race set up at FM HQ

    Race set up at FM HQ

    So if you are currently on a wave, make the most of it and push on as we never know how long they last. If things are not quite feeling in a groove, hang in there as the tide may well be about to turn.

    Happy rowing.

  5. Experiencing Pain without Suffering: ‘The Journey to the Dark Side’ A Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) Approach to Mental Toughness

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    Experiencing Pain without Suffering: ‘The Journey to the Dark Side’ A Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) Approach to Mental Toughness

    Yes, this struggle is real. Training through pure physical and mental pain. Definitely one I can relate to even early on in my indoor rowing career. I also know relative to others, my struggle is minor. Take my coach for example. Less than 6ft and still able to crush a 2k erg in 5.59.8. WTF. How does he do that? I’ll tell you how he does that. He goes to hell and back more times than you can imagine. He got me thinking about mental toughness in relation to sports generally rather than specifically to indoor rowing, although in my opinion rowing as a sport is one of the finest examples.


    Developing mental toughness is one thing, but seriously how do you keep going when you consistently achieve the goals you set yourself. Where do you draw the line when it comes to volunteering for pain? Is there any way of increasing your capacity to apply yourself in this way longer term without giving in to the urges to crash? 

    ‘Mental toughness’… “the ability to act in a purposeful manner, systematically and consistently, in the pursuit of the values that underlie performance activities ,even (and especially) when faced with strong emotions that we as humans naturally want to control, eliminate, or reduce” *

    Just reading this you get a sense of the enormity of this task. Easy to see therefore that developing the skill isn’t straightforward. Yet some people have the ability to go head on into things using this skill or some other slight variation of the ‘mentally tough’ definition, every day. They’re likely to be big achievers in whatever context they operate…but at what price? What’s the impact longer term of being someone with a level of toughness that means regardless of thinking and feeling you consistently throw yourself at incredibly physically and mentally demanding situations? And how do you maintain the ability to be ‘tough’?

    If you are indeed tough enough to embark on the process regardless, then you’re over the first hurdle of acting willing in a situation where willfulness, non-acceptance, judgement and emotion are rife so fair play to you, you obviously have some strategies for getting there. It could be that these strategies have been along the lines of skills training interventions offered historically by sports/ performance psychology (goal setting, mental rehearsal, arousal control, positive self-talk and precompetitive routines) with the aim of creating a better performance state through greater self-control of internal experiences such as attention, emotion, cognition **. But how long is it possible to maintain ‘control’ over these intense experiences given the energy they consume prior to being energetic?

    More recently there has been a huge amount of literature across a range of psychological disciplines that have questioned the assumption that negative internal experiences invariably lead to negative behavioural outcomes. Is it possible that athletes experiencing negative internal states can still perform optimally? Well actually yes it is. It is now believed that strategies aimed at suppressing unwanted thoughts and emotions can have a paradoxical effect, triggering metacognitive scanning that actively searches for signs of negative or unwanted cognitive activity and brings it to awareness***. Studies have identified the value of acceptance based strategies as an alternative to change and control focussed techniques where the goal is to recognize internal experiences of all kinds as something that will naturally come and go and that do not have to be judged, labelled, managed, controlled or in fact understood if performance is to be enhanced. Enter the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach* which promotes acceptance of one’s internal experience, no matter what it might be, while at the same time focusing the performer on the contextually appropriate behaviours required to fully engage in the valued activities and achieve the determined goal. A fundamental underpinning to this approach is the idea that a flexible approach to experience including thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations is essential for optimal functioning. An unwillingness to remain in contact with difficult internal experiences is a central factor leading to reduced behavioural functioning. In other words the control or reduction of internal experiences is not necessary for creating the ideal performance state, in fact mindful, non-judging, awareness and acceptance of moment to moment cognitive, affective and sensory experiences is evidently more useful*.


     So in short there’s a useful way to move beyond the gates of hell day to day. Acceptance based strategies seem to fit nicely with the types of internal experience described earlier which occur in anticipation of the next ‘hard’ session whatever form that might take. Acquiring the knowledge and developing the skill obviously takes time, time that we don’t have here but at least we’ve identified the start line. In the absence of time here’s a couple of useful links to follow up at a later date about mindfulness and ‘Teflon Mind’.

    What about staying on track without derailing at some point though? Once we’ve developed the skills of mindfulness and acceptance as a means to get on the train day in day out, how do we maintain the commitment to keep driving it in the right direction? When something really hurts, like physically, mentally, everything, how do we find the energy to invest in keeping going? When the going gets ugggggghhhhhh…can the tough really just keep on going?

    How about setting goals? Surely when we lose the plot, the point, the purpose, the place to start is being clear on the goal because once we know that, we then know the ‘why’…actually maybe not. Despite the universal belief that goal-setting procedures are gold standard techniques for the enhancement of performance, only six studies have been found that evaluate the value of goal setting and only 2 met the necessary criteria for adequate research design, and NEITHER of these two studies found and significant performance enhancing effects for goal setting procedures* #noway #whoknew.

    It’s a good job there’s an alternative. Let’s leave goals and look at VALUES and value-driven behaviour. According to MAC * “Personal values are the anchor point for all behavioural decisions that need to be made in the course of enhancing performance and achieving goals”. They’re the thing that keeps us committed to behaving consistently in line with things that have real worth. If something has REAL worth then obviously it’s much harder to dismiss or lose sight of when the going gets tough right? That makes total sense to me.

    By being able to define values and live a life that is directed by these values (including performance related components of life) means the likelihood of performance goals being met is increased. The flip side to a ‘value-directed’ life is an ‘emotion-directed life’ where actions are not in line with what really matters to the individual but instead are in line with what the individual feels or is looking to avoiding feeling/experiencing at any given point…cue inconsistency!!!

    “Remember, the JOURNEY is the value. The DESTINATION, is the goal” * If you can define values then you’re on a fast track to staying committed. Simply by asking the question ‘Am I acting in line with my values or am I choosing to respond in line with what might make me feel good right now?’ This ultimately leads to behavioural choices being made not on internal rules or emotions in the moment but instead on more consistent values.


    The first step then is surely to know what your values are. If you were to put me on the spot and ask me, I’d probably struggle to answer and I imagine it would be similar for most people unless they’ve undergone a thorough process of determining what’s important to them in their life and written it down at some point.

    The following are some useful questions to consider in the process of defining values:*

    • What do you really want out of your competitive performance EXPERIENCE?
    • How to do you want to be known and remembered by co-workers/team mates/ clients?
    • What journey do you want to experience on the way to the destination?
    • Why is being a solid team member / co-worker important to you
    • What do you value about your activity? The challenge? The prestige? The enjoyment? The interaction with your team? Helping people?
    • Is developing your skill important to you? Why is this meaningful to you? Are there any skills you would like to develop more fully?
    • What issues or behaviours related to skill do you care about? What would you like to do more of?
    • What issues or behaviours related to tactical skill development do you care about? What would you like to do more of?
    • What types of activities do you enjoy? Why do you enjoy them?


    It’s important to remember that the answers aren’t meant to be a statement of goals you want to achieve. They are instead things of real value which you’re able to reflect on, that serve as the anchor when the ‘why’s’ and ‘what for’s’ start to creep in. Spend time on determining values and you will have your anchor. It’s much easier to stay committed when you know it’s because something holds value. Performance and in fact most human behaviour can occur “regardless of the content of thoughts and feelings as long as one stays focussed on the task relevant environment and continues to engage in value driven actions” *. If you’re scared of the dark then values offer a comfort, whether that be a blanket or a night light.

    In short, mindfulness and acceptance based strategies along with consistent value directed choices and behaviours NOT emotion focused and directed behaviours are the essence of the elusive ‘mental toughness’ and therefore offer potential light in that often very dark place. So, go find your light and shine it…




    Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing


    ~Inspired by Sam Blythe



    * Gardner. F. L., and Moore. Z. E. (2007) The Psychology of Enhancing Human Performance. The Mindfulness- Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) Approach.

    **Hardy. L. et al (1996) Understanding Psychological Preparation for Sport: Theory and Practice of Elite Performers.

    *** Gardner. F. L., and Moore. Z. E. (2006) Clinical Sport Psychology.

  6. Coaching and Performing

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    Coaching and Performing

    All of my adult life, in fact most of my life, I have competed. As a young lad playing local and representative football, through my school years playing every sport going, leaving school and having a pro career in rugby, and now competing in indoor rowing. At no point in that timeline when I thought about coaching did I have any real interest in it. That was until more recently when my relative success across the distances in indoor rowing and some race wins along the way (whilst not being your average rowing type) lead to others asking me for training plans. So without any grand plan I just went with it and it seemed my coaching career was up and running.
    At this stage I was both competing and coaching individuals (I still am) and hadn’t considered the impact these roles may have on each other. The relationship became more apparent when I started running group training plans where individuals, including myself, follow a generic plan that has individual targets for pace and stroke rates for each session. The group plan idea was formed following an early morning session with a client where I had remarked how this particular style of session would really help people of all abilities improve their rowing. His reply was simply ‘trial it’. So I did. Little did I know the Plan would have over 100 applicants! In my usual ‘no grand plan’ style, I just went with it and the FM Plan has been running ever since with great success.
    In theory if I separated coaching and performing into two challenges in their own right then the relationship is easy. As there wouldn’t be a relationship! The tricky part comes when my style of coaching/leadership is considered. I naturally try to lead by example, something I’ve always done. Therefore if I’m not performing at what I consider to be an acceptable level then I automatically question my credibility as a coach. I recognize that this is my issue and not necessarily how I’m perceived by others during tougher training times, but it’s a difficult balance to strike. At it’s extremes, in the blink of an eye I can switch from having confidence in my coaching abilities, to questioning my approach to pretty much everything.The fact is that the two aspects don’t need to effect each other.  Ultimately I want to continue to perform AND coach, as both are hugely rewarding. What I really want to achieve however is that sense of balance and flexibility between the two, so that my perception of how credible I am to others doesn’t suffer every time my individual performances do. This is the next step for me. It’s both a personal battle and a professional development I need to undertake. As a starting point I made a parallel with parenting.  In raising my 5 kids, I want them to acquire the ability to approach life and all it’s challenges with a ‘balanced’ perspective. In order to do that I’m required to guide them through their experiences with all my expertise and flaws so that they can learn from my successes and my mistakes and make their own path. We are at the end of the day, all different. They will hopefully take from me what they need to shape a life where they experience contentment. They are of course more likely to achieve that if I can demonstrate tolerance and an ability to do the same. If I can maintain my belief in my expertise as a coach when I perceive my performances to be flawed, then that’s a win…in the meantime I think if I remind myself that others have faith in me, and they can accept my ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach, then I’ll have the courage to progress.
  7. How important is it to follow a plan?

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    So, how important is a rowing plan?

    In short, it really depends on whereabouts in your rowing or exercise journey you are at. I have trained for lots of different events in my life, most recently they have almost exclusively been indoor rowing events and I have always planned my own training in advance depending on what the goal was and made sure sessions were specific to it. This sounds obvious to me, but it far more common that people will not do this. Whether they are not sure how to, or don’t feel the need I am not sure.

    The most important thing is that people are staying fit and active and introduce exercise into their lives in an enjoyable and sustainable way as without this the next level can’t be reached. However, as we become more experienced and interested in a sport very often we want to progress and following a plan brings a structure, focus and accountability to help this.  Very often there are ups and downs along the way, but remaining consistent at what ever level you are at will always bring you the best chance of improving. Having a plan at this point is vital to remain on track especially as those margins for improvement become finer and the level of effort needed to achieve will increase.

    If you feel you need some structure then I would encourage you to take a look at the many plans out there.  This year I have developed a plan myself with a system for all abilities to follow. It is a generic plan that provides individual targets, feedback and motivation via a group of likeminded people with a common goal.  Details are at


    Consistency will always be the stand out factor for me when trying to make progress, but following the structure of a plan will make that task a whole lot easier.


    Happy rowing.

  8. The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

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    The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

    Apparently the phrase defines the modern concept of synergy, and echoes the concept of team spirit…”Together everyone achieves more”. Whilst each individual has a meaning on their own, taken together that meaning may change to create an effect which is greater than the sum of their independent parts…

    April 9th 2016 9.00 am saw the start of something new that’s hopefully going to be around for a while. After the success of the Fitness Matters Devon Indoor Rowing Championships (DIRC) back in September 2015, it was time to open the doors on the next FM installment on the race calendar. People travelled for many miles to mark the end of the indoor rowing season with this final event. A valuable collection of both new and familiar faces. Things have gathered momentum since September, the word has spread…and we welcomed just over 100 participants with a mere handful of people who were sadly unable to make the event at the last minute.

    I’ve only recently committed to a partnership with Sam Blythe in the context of Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing, although I have been involved with the online community he’s organically grown for much longer. This was also my first experience of hosting AND participating in an event so in some respects although you could say my view is biased (being a ‘FM Newbie’).

    So the day itself was a real cocktail of athletes (I figure anyone that enters a sporting competition warrants the title of athlete if only for the duration), thrown together by a common aim…to achieve . Ergo fanatics  and rowing rookies stood side by side to applaud the races.


    The kids took on 4 minutes of complete madness whilst their parents willingly volunteered and signed up for the 1k. The armed forces did what they do best and made us all proud by turning up en mass to participate and support the event. There were British and World records broken, 17 races in all, and more PBs and SBs than you could shake a stick at (season’s bests not Sam Blythes) Many an indoor rowing seal got broken by those who bravely entered in the absence of any experience alongside the ‘big guns’ which included an array of English, British and World Indoor Rowing Championship competitors.

    The relay finale meant the day ended with a bang, 2000m of chaos for those that took part (or was that just me?) and roughly 5 to 6 minutes of mass hysteria for those watching…a real recipe for success and definitely one we won’t be messing too much with for the future.

    As the title suggests the biggest impression I was left with after I sat and reflected during the lengthy drive home was the sense that the whole really is greater than the  sum of its parts. Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing would not be what it is without its participants, either at our races, following our training plans/WOD’s, or taking part in  our Facebook Concept 2 Rowing Hub. I also believe that we (speaking as a participant in the sport) would not be what we are without the opportunities the Fitness  Matters offers us as a sporting community. In essence, together, we do achieve more. There’s a definite hum of productivity and growth when the 2 interact, things mostly  click, and things definitely evolve. Two completely independent agents (the ‘Us’ and ‘Them’) acting in common to create an effect which is truly greater than the sum of  those effects (the ‘We’). It’s a great feeling…and that synergy makes for a great sport.


    For me this day was a success, a real pleasure to be involved in on every level and a huge motivator in terms of my desire to innovate, build, progress (never stand still lol)  in a sport that I have great passion for. A new insight, a chance to socialise, compete, support and be supported. So for now a massive thanks to those that were involved in the planning, the set up, the delivery and the execution of what was a very memorable day. We’re really hoping to see you all and many more at the next one…

     FYI…Devon Indoor Rowing Championships 2016

    In the meantime you’ll find us here

    Fitness Matters Concept 2 Rowing Hub

    Fitness Matters Ltd.



     ~ Victoria Taylor  ~

            Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing

    Photo Credit: Anne Yates

  9. 3 Food Subscription Services to Help You Stick to a Healthy Diet

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    3 Food Subscription Services to Help You Stick to a Healthy Diet


    Subscription services have risen in popularity in recent years, often due to the way they make our lives easier and our personal budgets more manageable.

    With our big focus on maintaining a sustainable diet, we wondered if subscription meal services can be an efficient way to make sure you get your nutritional fix each week… Especially if you’re short on time for long supermarket trips!

    Here are three popular services we found:

    Hello Fresh

    With Hello Fresh, subscribers can choose from a range of recipes from the website. Having made the selection, the exact ingredients will be delivered weekly in a chilled recipe box.

    Positives and negatives…

    Healthy recipes: A quick browse of the site revealed mostly balanced meal options with full nutritional info at hand. Remember, we promote the Paleo diet here at Fitness Matters so if you’re following along with us not everything should be included.

    Convenience: The service could be a time saver and an efficient way to plan meals for the week ahead, especially after work.

    Less flexibility? The rigidity of the recipe-based service might not be for everyone.

    We couldn’t see anywhere specifying the exact contents of the boxes, an uncertainty which may bother some people. Perhaps this is made clearer as you progress with the service.

    Veg in a Box

    We’ve included Veg In A Box as they are a great local company to us. Despite their name, Clyst-St-Mary based Veg in a Box also deliver fresh fruit, meat & dairy to the Devon area.

    Local produce: Veg in a Box is local and supports local farmer and producers.

    Variety of healthy options: Veg in a Box have a whole section of their website devoted to ‘Healthy fruit & veg boxes’ – including the FitBox (Designed for People Looking at Eating Clean).

    Too much choice? At Fitness Matters we help a lot of our clients with nutritional advice. If you’re not a pro-planner, you might find the plethora of different boxes a little overwhelming. Look for a balanced and sustainable diet!

    Veg In A Box don’t yet offer a subscription service but many customers repeat their orders on a regular basis.


    Graze revolutionised the world of food delivery subscription by introducing the concept of a snack box. Subscribers rate food items to indicate what they would like to have in their box, which is then posted to them through their letterbox.

    Less of an outlay: Compared to the relative expense involved with ordering groceries through Hello Fresh and Veg in a Box, Graze is on a smaller scale and therefore food subscription at its most affordable.

    Personalised boxes, variety of snacks

    Not for those with allergies: Graze warns on its site that snacks may contain traces of gluten, eggs, peanuts, soya, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, fish and sesame. Be careful!

    You can’t live on snacks alone!

    If you use any of these services, let us know what you think on social media.


  10. How to plan for a great 2016!

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    How to plan for a great 2016!

    A month of 2016 is already over and done with, and by now you will probably have a good idea of how your body is feeling after the early “Let’s get fit” New Year’s inspiration. However, the real test is maintaining this drive throughout the year. At Fitness Matters we’re all about sustainable progress.

    Here are 4 top tips to help you achieve this!

    Have an end goal

    A clear purpose for your training, be it a general goal such as losing weight, or the challenge of an event like a half marathon, will focus your efforts and increase your motivation as the year goes on. Remember, it’s all about sustainable progress.

    Surround yourself with like-minded people

    Research has proven that those starting an exercise regime alone have a general dropout rate of about 43 per cent, whereas for those who train in a group environment, that figure lies around the seven per cent mark. Joining in group exercise classes can be much more effective and surrounding yourself with people with similar goals could help you with sustained determination this year!

    Set realistic targets

    This might seem like an obvious one, but failing to meet your fitness targets is often a confidence blow, and something that may cause your motivation to gradually ebb away. By giving yourself challenging but attainable objectives, you will feel good about yourself when your efforts are successful. Sustainable fitness plans are far better that unrealistic goals.

    Change your workouts regularly

    Regular alterations to your routine; from volume to stimulus and exercises, will shock your body and keep the gains coming. This will also have the psychological benefit of mixing things up and keeping your routine fresh, since there is nothing worse than fitness feeling like a chore.

     2016 Workout

    At Fitness Matters we have a team of hugely experienced personal trainers: contact us now for a free fitness and lifestyle consultation and kickstart your 2016 in the best way!