how to get a six pack

Best App To Keep You Fit & Healthy | Endomondo

Like many people, what I  expect from a personal trainer is quite a lot; tailored workouts, training plans, encouragement, support and of course results. But  all of that comes at a cost. That's why I was pleased to hear about the Endomondo app which promises all those things and more. But does it deliver? I put it to the test at the Energy Lab, London and here's what I found out.

Endomondo Founder

Getting started was easy. It took  just two minutes to download and sign up. The interface is clean and fairly straightforward. There's an enormous play button begging to be tapped and so I jumped into my running gear and gave it a whirl.

Running AJ Odudu

Before you start, the app allows you to set a goal (e.g. your first 5)k. Then it creates a plan to help you get there. It even gives you the option to make a commitment (a feature that let's you make a public declaration to achieving a goal) which is great for socialising or if you're akin to a bit of mild peer pressure. 

Endomondo App

During my run there were lots of notifications and words of encouragement and after the run there was a clear display of my statistics/results, with the option to share my activity on social media. Brilliant but there are loads of fitness apps on the market so what makes this one so unique? 

Rowing Machine

Well, for a start they have a long list of sports you can track and the calorie calculations adjust accordingly. "I wanted to make the app fun for all, regardless of their chosen sport or activity" says founder of Endomondo and former competitive horseback rider, Mette Lykke. "We're continually developing the app thanks to the daily feedback that we get from our 4 million users and I'm so inspired and motivated by their fitness journeys. This app has changed lives and will continue to do so." 

Spin class

There's also an  inbuilt audio coach that tells you how well you are doing while you're tracking and the GPS function not only tracks your regular running route but also introduces you to other routes  nearby that you may like to try, enabling you to keep your workouts varied and fun. 

Bike riding

To me however, the most impressive feature about this app is the fact that it has the ability to  consider all the factors that may affect your workout; from the weather to the altitude, duration to distance, this app even considers how hydrated you are when creating your results. What's more is that it's completely free of  charge with the option of upgrading to Premium at any time (which offers even more advanced statistics, interval training programs and is advert free).

So there you have it. One easy fitness app for the data loving, activity seeking people out there. Go forth and download. 

AJ

XOXO

Endomondo is FREE of charge.

Endomondo Premium is £3.99 per month OR £22.99 per year. 

Sign up to Endomondo by clicking here



Where To Eat In London | West Thirty Six

Situated in the heart of West London by Notting Hill, West Thirty Six is an all-day grill house and cocktail lounge and I swung by there for a delicious lunch with a couple of my girl friends, Mollie and Chloe.

The venue is beautiful, featuring  an open grill, quirky lounge spaces and an incredible roof terrace, the latter being where my friends and I dined. 

I ordered the salad, lamb cuttles and chocolate bar and peanut crunch which was all, sensational. If only pictures could capture  the wonderful flavours on my palette. Luckily, food envy wasn't a problem as I sampled the girls's lemon sole and chicken dishes too which were equally as pleasant. The salads are sexy, chips are chunky and West thirty Six plays the likes of Alicia Keys in the back ground. My idea of heaven.

Whether it's a dinner date venue you're after, a relaxed environment for a business meeting or simply somewhere to pop in for a drink, this venue ticks a lot of boxes. I think this just might be my new favourite place.

Let me know if you know of any other nice places to eat in London. I'd love to try them. 

Lots of foodie love, AJ 

xoxo

Where: West Thirty Six, 36 Golborne Road, North Kensington, London, W10 5PR | 0203 752 0530

Favourite dishesHeritage tomatoes, cheese and avocado salad (starter) |  Lamb cutlets (main) | Chocolate bar & peanut crunch (dessert) | Cauliflower & pomegranate (side)




Barry's Bootcamp | East London

To celebrate the launch of their eagerly awaited second London studio, Barry's Bootcamp invited me along to their brand new East London branch to try a full body workout with celebrity trainers, Anya and Sandy. I've tried each of their classes before in their Central London studio but location wise, this suits me better so I'm excited.

Barry's Bootcamp East London

Like their Barry's Central studio, the space at Barry's Bootcamp East has a modern, almost industrial New York feel, complete with a fuel bar (where they serve delicious protein shakes, Ozone coffee and nutritious in-house food) and swanky changing rooms bursting with lotions, straighteners and lighting good enough for those  pre-workout selffies.  This studio raises the bar however, providing those who forget their running shoes with three choices of footwear from the latest Nike running range. Genius!   

Barry's Bootcamp East London AJ Odudu

If you don't know much about Barry's Bootcamp then here's the story. They offer hour-long workouts, targeting specific parts of the body, that include 30 minutes of interval treadmill running and 30 minutes of strength training. The running has a mixture of different speeds, including varied inclines and is interspersed with strength workout on the floor.

Barry's Bootcamp East London

All of this takes place in a room that adopts a red hue and that is filled with motivating, thumping tunes. They play the kind of music that you would hum and sing along to if only you could catch your breath.

Barry's Bootcamp East London

It's brilliantly brutal! If there's an ounce of competitive spirit within you it suddenly surfaces and a bit of will power goes such along way in this class. Anya and Sandy push you just enough to ensure you break through those pain barriers and constantly encourage you to believe that you're always stronger than you think and will make it to the end of the class and guess what? You always do! Granted, you feel absolutely shattered at the end of it but you also feel proud and elated. Your endorphins really do go through the roof!

Barry's Bootcamp East London AJ Odudu

I've tried many a workout class but I must admit that I find this to be the most effective way to improve your cardiovascular system, lose weight and build muscle. With their very own in house dog, Crusoe and the friendliest team around, you can't help but feel like a member of one big happy fit family.  

Barry's Bootcamp East London AJ Odudu

Regardless of your fitness levels, you can burn 1000 calories each class so it really is no wonder that Barry's Bootcamp is the best workout in the world! I filmed a cheeky little YouTube video when I first tried Barry's so here's a tapas amount of what you can expect in motion.

Barry's Bootcamp are taking online bookings now so I hope to see you at a class very soon :)

Lots of sweaty hugs and kisses,

AJ

xoxo

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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? 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.

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Nike Women's 10KM Race | London

Today,  London was one of 20 cities across the globe to host a race as part of the Nike Women’s Race Series. This was a 10KM race in Victoria Park London, with a clear message; To unite us women and enable us to experience and celebrate the power of sport together.

I wrote a blog post in the lead up to this race (which you can read by clicking here), where I said that my running crew and I would start together, run together and finish together but in truth, we couldn't even find each other. We had all entered different waves with varying start times and so I adopted a new run crew member, Cythia Erivo, (not to mention the 10,000 other super women running behind, in front and alongside me).

Pre-race selfie done, we picked up our feet and ran! The race was really well sign posted with incredible words of encouragement on placards, spectators and live music throughout the 10KM course.

For me, crossing the finish line is always the best part of any race. That huge sense of achievement is indescribable and today I stopped to notice a sea of women giving congratulatory hugs to one another. It was really special.

Post race we collected our medals in the form of an exclusive Alex Monroe necklace, before being greeted by a glass of champagne and a Birch Box post race pamper kit. Had I have known all of these treats were waiting for me at the finish line, I'd have certainly ran faster.

Soon after it was time to eat and enjoy the live DJ sets on offer, one of which was by my friend and BBC Radio 1 DJ, Clara Amfo who was playing the likes of Kelis, N.E.R.D and all the crowd pleasers.

Ladies, today we came, we saw and we conquered. I couldn't be more proud to be a woman. Here's to many happy more run's together. #WeRunLondon

AJ Odudu

xoxo

Find out more about Nike Race Series by clicking here.

Waist Trainers | The Real Truth

Anyone remember those pics of Kim Kardashian wearing a waist trainer? Anyone remember the the trend watchers saying it was going to be the next big training fad? Well never one to jump on the band wagon late or anything, I thought it was finally time I gave it a go to see why Kim keeps taking selfies with one on.

I should point out, I'm not really one for exercise fads. I believe that to get in shape requires hard work, a balanced diet and regular exercise. I do however enjoy experimenting with different workouts and fitness techniques that can add to or enhance my workout regimes. I was also just damn curious! Does it even work??! Well, I teamed up with FemShaper to try theirs and to find out what the corset/waist training fuss is all about.

What is a waist trainer?

In case you don't know, a waist trainer or clincher is a band which you wear around your waist that makes you sweat bucket loads round your belly, the idea being that you shred and tone your waistline in the process. Think spanks but without the bottom half.

How did it look and feel?

Putting it on, as expected my waist appeared an inch or two narrower. You can adjust it, to cinch in your waist to your desired tightness. I kept it on the loosest notch, mainly because I wanted to be able to breath comfortably. If you've ever worn a pair of spanks before, it has a similar effect to that, only this time you get more of a curvaceous, hour glass look.

The lining is cotton so the material is soft on the skin and style-wise it looks really nice even on the outside of your clothes. It also sits discreetly underneath a t-shirt or vest so no one would know it was there. Top secret!

Can you exercise in one?

Well, I wanted to road test the waist trainer with a mixture of workouts so I wore mine in a spin class where I'm mainly sedentary on a bike and a body pump class where I'm bouncing about the place and using weights for added resistance. In the spin class I found I had to lean forward further than I normally would and found my breathing was inhibited slightly. I wouldn't describe it as uncomfortable, but I did feel quite restricted. It takes some getting used to.

As for the body pump, I had a few niggles. I found that when I wanted to engage my core during exercises such as lunges, squats and sit ups, those muscles around my core had switched off or disengaged because they were being squeezed meaning I wasn't able to properly work them out. As someone who is qualified in personal training, I would only advise really light exercise whilst wearing a waist clincher, specifically, brisk walking. 

What were the effects?

Well obviously I'd need to wear it for more than just two workouts to discover the long terms benefits. Apparently you should wear it for 3 hours a day for 4 weeks to get a figure like Kim Kardashian with testimonials claiming weight loss within just 7 days. One thing I would say is that you should certainly listen to your body. If you don't want to wear it longer than ten minutes. Don't. If you don't want to exercise in it. Don't! I've known people to sleep in these things. Just DON'T. 

Whilst a waist trainer is not something I'd choose to get sweaty in, I would wear mine occasionally because I like the discreet look, the flexible material and the fact that it instantly makes your waist appear smaller. It's pretty comfortable too and FemShaper deliver supper quick. It gives you an instant nip tuck, so if you were going out tonight and wanted a more svelte appearance with a waist that appears slimmer, you could slip this on and feel hot to trot.

Either way, whatever your stance is on waist trainers, you should try and feel comfortable and confident in your own skin and get used to the beautiful imperfections that make you special. So smile in the mirror because I promise it won't break :)

Keep an eye on my YouTube channel for a full demo on the FemShaper waist trainer.