Fitness OOTD

Spirit Of Accessorize Activewear

Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool was the criteria for my recent trip to Ibiza and that's exactly what I got. From floating on inflatables in the hills of Jesus, to paddle boarding in Cala Vedella, to dancing my socks off in Amnesia, to eventually finding some zen on the beach, Ibiza was just the break I needed and thankfully, unlike some trips in the past, I didn't come back broken!

AJ Odudu Accessorize

When away, I practised some yoga on Cala Bassa beach.  The mornings there are beautiful, peaceful and a great place to stretch before a long day of Ibiza action.

Stretching is a good way to relax and improve your flexibility and I love a standing lung (aka warrior II in yoga terms). It stretches your back, abs, hip flexors, bum, legs and helps with balance too. Hold the position for 90 seconds and even your arms will be toned up in no time. 

Yoga Warrior Pose

I was stretching out in the new Spirit of Accessorize activewear range. Comfortable, practical and in this case, very floral! This collection is all about being the best you can be whether heading to yoga class or exploring the great outdoors. There’s even a handy inner key pocket on the elastic waist of the leggings for the times when you're not on a beach but in the gym. 

zip detail in accessorize

When it comes to workout gear, it’s important to buy clothes that don’t restrict your movement or rub, so not only are these tights playful and stylish, they’re also stretchy and lightweight, clinging comfortably to your figure and working with you as you bend into the trickiest of positions, including the tree pose pictured below.

Yoga Tree Pose

Tree Pose stretches the thighs, groins, torso, and shoulders. It builds strength in the ankles and calves, tones the abdominal muscles and even helps your balance. I mean, you try standing on a rock on one leg. It's harder than it looks. Lose your focus and you'll end up in the sea!

Yoga in Ibiza

I love this floral matching combo but for a more understated look, there’s sporty-chic marl designs in leggings, tops, hoodies, sweaters and crop tops too. You can even complete your look with their jewellery, water bottles and tote bags that pack a style punch.

Hand stand wearing accessorize

No doubt you’ll be excited to get to class and show off these looks soon, so I'll see you there!

XOXO

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Spirit of Accessorize. You can shop the full range here.

Instyle Magazine's Best Fitness & Wellbeing Blogger

Thrilled to announce that I won Instye Magazine's Best Fitness & Wellbeing Blog in the Project 13 Awards. I've not won an award since I was 8 years old (it was a Mars bar FYI) so a huge thank you to everyone who voted.

AJ Odudu Insyle Magazine

To me, winning is beginning and I'm so glad I started AJODUDU.COM, now an award winning site. EEK!

Instyle Project 13 Award Winner

I receive an actual trophy in London soon but in the meantime, here are images from the winners magazine photoshoot which was awesome. Shot in London by two of the most talented photographers around Luke + Nik, I got to jump around in a posh, red frock worth over a thousand pounds (which I of course had to give back to the stylist :)

Instyle Magazine AJ Odudu

These images were published in Instyle Magazine's final December print issue 2016 along with a lovely little interview.

Final Issue of Instyle Magazine
Luk + Nik

You can check out my online interview with Instyle magazine, where I share some realistic fitness motivation tips, gym wear hacks and confirmation that I do indeed, eat!

Thanks again for the votes.

XOXO

Photography by LUKE + NIK

Buddy Up: The Best Partner Workout

I'm delighted to announce that I have joined forces with Women's Health Magazine to share brand new fitness and wellbeing content as part of their #WHSquad. I will be featuring all kinds of tips and tricks to help you on your fitness journey, including fun exercises.

Tandem Bicycle Crunche

I know how tricky it can be to find motivation to workout so how about you grab a mate and train together? That way you can catch up on all the juicy gossip, work up a sweat and encourage one another at the same time. Bingo!

Try the six body weight exercises that I did with my friend Carly Rowena below. You'll need nothing but a partner. 

XOXO

Top 3 Foam Roller Moves

Work hard and sometimes, rest harder. Did you know that stretching and resting post workout is often overlooked? Yet it's an important way to avoid the risk of injury and is the quickest way to rebuild, repair and recover your muscles, enabling you to be at your best during your next workout.

I've teamed up with New Balance to share ways that you can use your rest days to the maximum and to show that running and resting really do go hand in hand. This is why I'm bringing you my top 3 Foam Roller Moves, especially essential for runners.

1. HAMSTRINGS

Hamstring movement using a foam roller

2. QUADS

Quad movement using a foam roller

3. Calves

Calve movement using foam roller

Foam rollers act as a 'self-massage' reliving muscular soreness even further and they are a great tool for the development of a more supple body. These top 3 moves are particularly great for runners as they focus on your hamstrings, quads and calves so roll on and find my step by step guide on how to do them safely by clicking here.

In this post I am wearing the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 Trainers, New Balance Racer Back Bra Top and the New Balance Printed Impact leggings. 

Photos by Duncan Nicholls

#IAmTheCompetition

XOXO

Les Mills Live | London

Have you ever been a room with thousands of people who like exactly the same things as you do, moving at exactly the same time, to exactly the same music? I have, to mark the first leg of the Les Mills Live global tour. 

Reebok Les Mills

If you've never heard of Les Mills, you've probably been in a class of theirs without even realising, down at your local gym.  They are the world's largest creators of choreographed exercise to music, group fitness classes; Spin class, Body Pump, GRIT Strength etc, Les Mills are responsible for.  They teamed with Reebok to get the planet fitter with a Les Mills global tour and yesterday was the first leg.

Female weight lifting

In the London ExCel Centre, I witnessed over 1000 people squatting, lunging and sweating in unison before my very eyes and it was magical. The day focused on being able to try out a variety of classes, from danced based classes like Sh' Bam, to yoga focused classes such as Body Balance, there really was something for everyone. All their classes release stress, improve confidence and gets you into amazing shape.

Les Mills Live Body Pump

There's something really empowering about being amongst thousands of people working out as one and most importantly, having fun with it. The thing I enjoyed the most is that it's not about being the fastest, the strongest or the youngest but it's a community of people of all ages and abilities spurring one another on to keep fit. It also looks frikkin' amazing to see over 1000 people doing a chest press at the same time. Such rhythm! 

Chest Press AJ Odudu

I was presenting for Les Mills Live to capture the energy on camera but it''s a fitness festival that really does have to be attended to be fully be appreciated, so click here to see how you can get involved and experience the contagious energy I felt yesterday.

    Find out how you can join  Les Mills Live  by clicking  here .     For video footage from the tour, check out  Les Mills UK Facebook page  or check out  my take on last year's event .    XOXO

 

Find out how you can join Les Mills Live by clicking here

For video footage from the tour, check out Les Mills UK Facebook page or check out my take on last year's event.

XOXO

Les Mills Live London

Top 5 Running Tips

As the dates for the London Marathon come closer it's not uncommon for people to feel inspired to pound the pavements to improve their fitness. Running is hands down one of the greatest ways to keep fit. It's the best aerobic exercise for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs, as well as a great way to relieve stress, tone your entire body, lose weight and quite simply, it's convenient.

Whether you're a seasoned running pro or early in your journey, sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement. So grab your running shoes as I give you my top five tips to get you running happily ever after.

Adidas Boost Trainers White

1. Find Fitness Motivation

The first hurdle to confront is motivation which, unsurprisingly, is easier said than done. I challenge you to write down some goals. Maybe you’re training for the London Marathon or Great North Run, maybe you want to shift a few pounds or it could be that you want to simply be fit. Write them down and stick them up on your mirror or somewhere you look often, as a daily reminder. On a more immediate note, try keeping your fit kit by the door before you go to bed, as quite often it’s the thought of exercising and lack of preparation that puts us off.

Quad stretch adidas

2. Improve Your Flexibility

Tight hamstrings? Sore back? Stiff hips? Loosen up! You don't have to be a bendy yoga bunny but your flexibility is important when it comes to running. During your runs, your flexibility enables your joints to move through their full range of motion, helping your muscles work more effectively and therefore, boosting your performance whilst reducing your risk of injury. Quad, cobra and standing lunge stretches will improve your flexibility greatly and if you can make it to a yoga or pilates class weekly, even better.

Marathon Training

3. Boost Your Endurance

Naturally when we fatigue our running form weakens. We curl up our shoulders, hunch our backs, our arms tend to flap by our sides and our breathing pattern becomes irregular. Weakening our technique means our performance suffers whilst putting us at risk of injury. However, improving our stamina reduces all of those side effects, enabling us to run for longer before fatigue kicks in. Try combining strength training with cardio whilst reducing your rest times in between workout sets, in order to boost your endurance.

Stretch adidas

4. Get Stronger

Running is a high impact workout and high impact exercises aren't always kind to our joints. Luckily, strength training will increase the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to withstand the high impact of running. Weight training dramatically increases the strength of your muscles when done so safely and even adding small amounts of resistance to your workouts with a resistance band will strengthen your muscles. The stronger you are the better you get.

 

Plank Core Workout

5. Improve your Stability

When running, muscle strength in your hips and glutes are really important for stabilisation and your core strength is important for your posture and so the stronger and more stable you are in these areas, the better your running form and performance. Try push-ups with your feet on a medicine ball, a one-legged squat reach, single leg dead lifts and raising one leg off the ground when planking.

If you want to find out more, I created an entire workout series of workout videos to get you ready to run which can be found by clicking here.

Happy running!

XOXO

Photographer: Sam Travis

AJ Odudu adidas UK

 

 

 




Half Marathon Race Plan with Barry's Bootcamp

Over the last three weeks I have been training with Barry's Bootcamp in preparation for the Royal Park's Half Marathon, which took place over the weekend. Here's a little bit about my journey.

Barry's Bootcamp AJ Odudu

I've only ever ran one half marathon before. I'd trained for months by simply running for miles on pavements, usually carrying a bag containing my laptop and spare clothing, as I'd journey from A to B. All I did was run and needless to say I was bored.

Admittedly I found this dull routine to be very effective (running a time of 1 hour and 37 minutes on race day) but in fact, all of that running was too strenuous for my body. I was constantly exhausted and often injured my knees. My back was sore, I was limping for a week after the half marathon and all in all it took quite a while for me to recover.  

What possessed me to sign up for another half marathon a year later after feeling so shoddy the last time was the charity I ran for, Tommy's. But when I signed up for the Royal Parks Half his year, I wanted to remain injury free by taking on a different training approach, regardless of the great cause.

AJ Odudu Tommy's Charity

I wanted to focus on strength and weight training (something I'd skipped the previous year) whilst incorporating short but fast runs to increase my cardiovascular strength and improve my stamina whilst maintaining my energy levels throughout the days.

Whilst I do maintain my fitness levels all year round I've been out of the country a lot, skipping training sessions and so when it came to race focused preparation, I had less than a month to train. I was so nervous but in this dilemma was born a challenge; How To Get Race Ready in 4 Weeks with Barry's Bootcamp.

I'd done Barry's Bootcamp before, picking up classes here and there and knew that Barry's master trainer Anya Lahiri sessions where brutal but brilliant. She knows exactly how to push her clients so I took all of my training advice from her.

AJ Odudu Instagram

How many training sessions did I do?

Although Anya had advised me to take 4 classes a week for 6 consecutive weeks, because of work commitments abroad I could only attend 4 classes a week for 3 weeks, and they weren't consecutive.

Who did I train with?

Anya mainly. She is Barry's Bootcamp master trainer in London and does the 8:20am slot at Barry's Central in addition to numerous slots at Barry's East. When I couldn't attend her classes I took Taylor's class (he has hardcore treadmill sessions too) and Sandy's class (with challenging leg sessions).

How fast did I run half marathon last year?

Last year it took 97 minutes for me to run the 13.1 mile half marathon course with a few injuries and 2 weeks recovery needed.

How fast did I run the half marathon this year?

I ran it in exactly the same time of 97 minutes despite less race preparation. This time I ran injury free and with no need for 2 weeks off exercise. 

Royal Parks Half AJ Odudu

Why did Barry's Bootcamp work?

During the 30 minutes of high intensity treadmill series in each Barry's Bootcamp class you move through sections of intervals, hill work and sprints which challenge both your endurance and your speed. The treadmills are specifically designed to absorb impact when you run on them. Much safer than pounding the ground and thus preventing injuries caused by big impact.

Barry's Bootcamp Treadmill

There was also the addition of strength training, which is the key to remaining injury free. The 30 minute strength sections would include compound movements (such as dead-lifts, squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, bench press, and step-ups. These exercises target functional movement) bodyweight exercises (such as lunges, planks and push-ups which build the core strength you need to prevent injuries and get stronger) and hip straighteners (exercises focusing on the glutes and hips; two of the most important stabilising muscles that are used while running).

Barry's Bootcamp Resistance Training

So there you have it, proof that runners need to do more than just run, that reducing injury rate isn't that difficult and that Barry's Bootcamp is both a safe and effective workout.

Barry's Bootcamp East London

Here marks my next challenge with Barry's Bootcamp: Six Weeks To A Six Minute Mile. Stay tuned!

xoxo

How Much? £20 per individual class but prices vary between £14-20 depending on the class package

How long? Each class is one hour long

Where? Barry's Central is a 2 minute walk from Euston Station and located at 163 Euston Road
London, UK NW1 2BH
 

Barry's East is located at 2 Worship Street (entrance on City Road) London, UK EC2A 2AH | It's a 5 minute walk from Moorgate Station and 10 minutes from Liverpool St and Bank underground stations

Would I recommend it? 100% YES.  You can book a class by clicking here.

WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS

I find that recently, the easiest way to hang out with my friends is to workout with them. We meet up, exercise for an hour before catching up over a healthy post workout breakfast or lunch before going about our business. It's the best! Here I am with my friend Tasha Green doing wall-sits...

MOTIVATION MONDAY

running...

WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS

gazing into each others eyes (she's such a babe)...

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED AJ ODUDU

and laughing at the fact that we are totally (and intentionally) wearing matching outfits.

workout with Tasha Green

Fit dates are awesome! Get involved.

XOXO

WIN ADIDAS FIT KIT

Today's the day; the launch of the bespoke workout I created for adidas as part of their #WorkIt campaign.

For the next 6 weeks you can expect two weekly videos on the adidas Facebook page, giving you a step by step guide on how to incorporate fresh new fitness moves into your workout regime.

adidas Boost AJ Odudu #workit

I designed the workout so that it caters to all levels of fitness, and it is effective even if you are pushed for time. It's aim is to boost your energy levels while strengthening and toning your entire body.

adidas #workit AJ Odudu

It's a great way to flex this summer, with workouts I would love for you to try and as part of this exciting collaboration, I'm giving two of you the chance to WIN an entire adidas outfit to workout in so that you can be active in style!

COMPETITION TIME! 

Two of you are going to win a brand new adidas fit kit complete with a top, sports bra, bottoms and a pair of trainers. The lucky winners will be sent the fit kit directly to your doorstep so you can just sit back and wait!

If you want to WIN all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of this page (or my Home Page) and sign up to my updates. Simple.

The winners will receive an email to state that you have won and asking for your sizes. Let me know you have signed up by commenting below or by Tweeting/Instagramming me @AJOdudu 

This competition closes at midnight on Thursday 9th July, so GOOD LUCK!!!

adidas #workit crop top & shorts AJ Odudu

Lots of love,

AJ

xoxo

Watch workout videos on adidas Facebook page by clicking here.

Sign Up to my website by clicking here

The Colour Run

Sunday's are reserved for greatness and today has been just that as I took part in the happiest 5K on the planet! I didn't even have to wake up extra early as I merrily went to The Colour Run at Wembley Park in London, to meet my friends at the start line, along with over 15,000 people, who were all squeaky clean.

It didn't take long for our all white gear to resemble an explosion in a rainbow factory. 

Each kilometre marked a colour storm of pink, blue and yellow paint powder and once at the finish line, we headed to the stage to listen to music, embrace the festival atmosphere and chuck around our own paint powder. 

 I came well prepared with a shower cap and goggles to protect my sensitive eyes. Not the most flattering get up but I don't have to wash my hair now so happy days!

I met the cutest dog who's hair had been painted and who's owner had pink, fluffly feet too!

Life really is better in colour, so keep an eye on my YouTube channel for the most colourful video ever coming soon!  #ColourMeHappy

The Colour Run is ongoing across the UK throughout the year so be sure to find one near you be clicking here.