A pictures paints a thousands words and Instagram has provided me with so much inspiration when it comes to training (I joined the lovely Iron Maidens this year, and it doesn’t involve me rocking out with an air guitar, read all about it here). I struggle when it comes to finding realistic images of how I want my body to look, especially when I’m turning 30 next year (eek!) and magazines are full of unrealistic retouched images.
Rather than looking for thinspiration I now aspire to be super fit #strongisthenewskinny and peruse my favourite Instagram profiles for #fitspiration which includes everything from before & after shots to workouts of the day (WOD) and lots of inspiring quotes that make me want to get my trainers on. Here are some of my faves, (links below the pics) or check out the ones I follow on my profile here.
staysharpbestrong by Nikki Sharp and workouts_daily drop it like a squat
Instafemmefitness Sharing real stories to motivate people to live healthier lifestyles
Finally, last but not least the beautiful Fitness & Beauty Blogger CarlyRowena
My sister in law has been going to boot camp style fitness class called Iron Maidens for well over a year now. When I moved back into the area I was dying to give it a go, but also terrified. I hate exercising and I always thought that I was no good at it. Back in school I would have preferred go to a double maths lesson than P.E. My relationship with fitness has been like a yo yo diet (very bad for you in the long run), I would join the gym, buy new work out clothes and hit a few classes only to lose interest after a couple of weeks. That all changed after Helen was kind enough to put my name down (thanks for that!) and I became an Iron Maiden.
Iron maidens has completely changed my view on fitness. The first class I went to I thought I was going to be sick, I couldn’t walk afterwards and could barely speak, but I felt euphoric. I was hooked after one session and couldn’t wait to feel that high again. I now understand why athletes love what they do.
So what is Iron Maidens?
The short (but very tough) sessions are designed to improve general fitness as quickly as possible and are a little similar to Crossfit. This is done through workouts based around bodyweight exercises, such as squats, burpees, sit ups and press ups, kettlebell exercises and short high intensity runs.
All sessions are customized to ensure that people of varying abilities can work together in the same session, with individuals able to increase or decrease the rate of work or weight they use to suit their needs. Helen Bennett the original Iron Maiden who started the group always pushes us to to our limits (in a safe way) and we all ‘thank’ her for it at the end of a session when we’re a quivering mess.
My advice to anyone who wants to look after their body and health is to seriously consider incorporating some form of exercise into their life, trying lots of different activities until you find the one that’s right for you. Not everyone loves swinging a kettlebell or built to run long distance. Take it from someone who hated the idea of press ups and thought that only men used weights, look around you, take the plunge and try something, you never know, you may find an activity you love!
Iron Maidens sessions take place in South Wales. A new gym is in the making and is due to open in November where more Iron Maidens can join and fall in love with fitness. Google Iron Maidens Ladies Fitness for more information or look on request to join the facebook page.