fitfam

Top 5 Buddy Workout Benefits

Like most people, I can quickly become bored when doing the same fitness routines over and over, so my secret to keeping on track is to opt for fun ways to stay active that never really feel like working out. A great and very simple way to achieve this, is by working out with a friend.

Buddy workout Tasha Greene

According to research from go ahead! we’re 74% more likely to stay on track with our fitness goals if we do them with a friend. Because of this, the team at go ahead! has teamed up with a squad of fitness and wellness experts (including little ol' me) for their go ahead! Summer Buddy Project.

The project encourages people to ‘buddy up’, to help make sure they stay motivated to keep on track with their healthy intentions. With this in mind, here are my top five buddy workout benefits: 

1. More motivation to get up and go if you're meeting a friend

You're less likely to cancel on your mate for a fit date than cancel on the gym if no-one is there to meet you. Nobody likes a flake (unless it's literally made out of chocolate).

workout buddies

2. You get more out of your workout

 A bit of friendly competition helps you push each other to stretch your limits. You're more likely to do an extra rep or run a little faster with your friend.

3. Train together, stay together

Exercise can actually create a greater bond between you and your friend (catch up on all the gossip whilst sweating together) and studies show couples who work out together are happier in their relationship.

partner wall sit

4. It's a confidence boost

You're more likely to venture into that intimidating weights section of the gym, or try a new fitness class if you've got a friend with you for moral support.

5. It's fun!

You can definitely have a giggle with your mate during exercise, even if you're simply cracking a strained sweaty smile during a spin class.

So there you have it; pop on your gym kit, grab a buddy and enjoy your workout!

fun fitness with friends

For even more tips check out the go ahead! Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as right here,  on my Youtube Channel and daily fitness updates on my Instagram!

XOXO

This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with go ahead! :)

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

How To Train To Run | Workout videos

Running is one of the best forms of exercises out there. It keeps your heart healthy and your mind focused. But did you know that a few tweaks here or there to your training can make the world of difference? I teamed with adidas to create a series of workout videos designed to make bad runners good and good runners great. On your marks, get set, go!

Train to Run Flex Workout

Flex it out this week with AJ Odudu's Train to Run workout. Incorporate these moves into your routine and you'll be off to a flying start.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 9, 2016
Train to Run Strength Workout

Push your limits with AJ Odudu's final workout. Designed to work your arms, legs and core, it's time to dig deep and show what you're made of.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 23, 2016
Train to Run Stability Workout

It's time to work that core. Get those abs fired up with AJ Odudu's stability workout.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 16, 2016
Train to Run - Endurance Workout

January's here and it's time to hit the ground running.AJ Odudu is bringing you a workout a week to get you ready. Week one - improve your endurance.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 2, 2016

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.

The London Gherkin Challenge | NSPCC

Have you ever tried tower running? No? Me neither, until today.

I along with hundreds of other fundraisers ran up 1,037 steps inside one of London's most iconic buildings, the Swiss Re Tower, affectionately known as the Gherkin, to raise money for the NSPCC. 

Gherkin Challenge NSPCC

I was really looking forward to the event as I'd never been inside the Gherkin before. It's only open to the public occasionally and when it is, the queues are seriously long. Naturally I thought that running up 38 floors for charity was the best way to experience this famous masterpiece from the inside, and I wasn't wrong.

aj odudu nspcc gherkin run

The only race preparation I did was listen to Miley Cyrus's single, It's The Climb, Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross and Step On by Happy Mondays. That playlist was I needed at the start line and with a smile on my face, up I went. 

The London Gherkin Tower

Although going up 180 vertical metres was a lot tougher than I imagined (the last few hundred steps were leg-sappingly uncomfortable and spiralling up 38 floors made me feel extremely dizzy) I enjoyed the elation that I felt when I reached the top to rapturous applause, a glass of champagne, Panoramic views of London and of course, the knowledge that it was all for a good cause. 

aj odudu nspcc gherkin run

Soon my stiff legs were being massaged and I got chatting to others. Through conversation I found out there's actually a vertical world circuit, with runners racing up skyscrapers including the Empire State Building in New York, The Sydney Tower in Australia and the 2,046 steps of Taipei 101 in Taiwan. Having just accomplished my very first vertical race, I felt inspired to add some of those global races to my bucket list...just not before I had taken the lift back downstairs. 

aj odudu nspcc gherkin run

The run was over surprisingly quick for me (8 minutes 12 seconds to be precise) but it wasn't about fastest times, with finishers reaching the summit in anywhere between 6 and 45 minutes and I am now proud to call myself a Gherkinneer! With a jar of pickled gherkins to prove it!

XOXO

The Gherkin

The NSPCC hopes to help protect vulnerable children through its projects and services, including the free, confidential 24-hour ChildLine helpline and online service.