Afternoon With, All, Fit Food, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle

An afternoon with…Rhiannon Lambert aka Rhitrition

November 9, 2016

Chewing the fat with Rhi…and the carbs and the protein…

I’ve known about Rhi for a while (not just in an ‘Instagram stalking’ sense) as she is not only highly thought of as a health practitioner but also moves in similar circles in the London fitness blogging scene. Something I felt Rhi and I had in common was the similarity in how we have combined our professional careers with our social media and blogging activities in a bid to communicate with more people beyond our private clientele.

I was interested to spend some time with Rhi and ask her a few questions on themes that I have seen pop up time and again in the fitness industry, as a nutritional expert I was keen to hear her take on subjects that, as a fitness coach, I obviously have a keen interest in. I wasn’t disappointed…turns out Rhi is of course not only extremely knowledgeable but also has some fascinating insights into human behaviour when it comes to choosing the food we eat and why we choose those foods (whether it be due to our fitness goals or for emotional reasons). All thoroughly interesting stuff…

My first question to Rhi…

…was based upon my own personal frustrations with the advertising side of the fitness industry. Historically, in my opinion we have been oversold products such as aesthetics and undersold other much more important reasons to select appropriate foods such as gut health, etc. Rhi’s response was to describe the body as a series of cogs that all need to be in place for the body to function fully. If we focus only on the aesthetics or sporting goals when consideration our nutrition then we run the risk of over prescribing in one area and detracting in another, ‘each cell in our body needs adequate nutrition in order to perform. You could be putting a physical pressure upon the body, but if you don’t have the actual support from your liver, your organs, your muscles, everything works in tandem together – so my real emphasis is that food should be used as fuel to keep us alive everyday, to keep the brain ticking over. With our brain comes the function of our body, our muscles…everything works all together.’

To summarise in Rhi’s words

her emphasis is on ‘balanced nutrition, always food for fuel…and food for enjoyment – because at the end of the day we also lose the enjoyment if you’re very preoccupied with things like macro counting or ‘numbers not nutrients’ and I actually think its ‘nutrients not numbers’…you’ve got to think about protecting your organs!’

I have to wonder, when most people think about their fitness routine and supporting eating habits, how many are thinking about protection of their organs over obtaining that elusive six pack? I’ve been on this mindset journey myself. In my late teens/early twenties my motivation for training and nutrition was sports performance orientated, in my mid to late twenties it swung to aesthetics as it does with most young men, but now in my early thirties I can say that I exercise and eat healthily for a whole new set of reasons – cognitive function, physical energy/vitality and longevity to list a few. All of which are by products of a healthy gut…from which a lean abdominal area is more likely to emerge anyway! So if we can obtain the same lean definition result via a different mindset that brings about healthy organ/gut/body changes then shouldn’t we all be approaching our nutrition and training this way?

So my next question to Rhi was simply

‘What one bit of advice do you find yourself giving out the most to your clients?’

Her response…

‘Huh such a good question (why thank you)…I always seem to find that blood sugar balance is the ultimate one. People tend to skip meals or they’re not snacking when they should be snacking because it doesn’t fit in with their daily requirements they’ve calculated for themselves OR they are making the wrong choices which is affecting what I call the blood sugar rollercoaster. The insulin releases if you have too much sugar in your diet, not enough protein to slow down the release of these sugars and with these highs…come massive crashes in energy lows. If we can keep our blood sugar one stable line you’re more likely to perform better and have more energy and sleep better!’

Pretty awesome retort I thought!

The next subject we discussed was particularly directed at the men out there who ‘may’ tend to over focus on their protein intake when working on their goals (of muscle mass gains and sports performance) at the potential detriment of other important areas of nutrition. Yes I know that I am generalising here but I can’t get away from the fact that most men I have encountered over the years seem to eat a disproportionate amount of protein to fibrous vegetables. I know because I used to be one of them and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I got on top of my weekly veg intake by getting Abel & Cole on the case which made a huge difference.

I asked Rhi that ‘IF’ men do over focus on protein then what other things should they be bringing into their diet to reach those goals of muscle mass, sports performance, etc???

Rhi made some really interesting points that made lots of sense but perhaps often get overlooked.

‘So for the men out there you are very good at being aware of your protein intake, that is something I don’t get with the women so much, you (men) are very aware you need enough. The problem is that you forget that protein only works with certain elements in the diet. I find a lot of men are not eating enough good carbohydrates; our brain has a blood-brain barrier, imagine a line across your head, without the help of the carbohydrate carrier certain amino acids in proteins cant get through the brain and can’t do their job adequately in terms of serotonin production and other neurological functions. So one thing people also tend to forget is vegetables…guys you tend to count macros but you forget that because your carbohydrates and veg go into sugars [into one category] you’re not getting anywhere enough micronutrients. You need more zinc, more B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium – things that come with colour.’

So this is where the term ‘eat the rainbow’ comes from…

If you’re a guy who is looking to get bigger and perform better then fill your plate with loads of vegetable with plenty of colour to ensure you’re more likely to hit your micronutrient requirements to make the most out of your training routine.

A snapshot of the foods I's all about the colour!

A snapshot of the foods I eat…it’s all about the colour!

Colour = micronutrients!

Colour = micronutrients!

Lastly I had a few quick fire questions for Rhi, here’s my favourite.

Me, ‘If you were stranded on a desert island for 6 months and were only allowed one food item what would it be?’

Rhi, ‘If only a food existed that gave me everything in one bite. If I had to pick a food I enjoy and I knew it gave me a lot of nutrition it would be…eggs! The yolk alone contains vitamin D. A whole array of micronutrients as well as protein as well as a bit of healthy fats. You’ve got a winner in an egg.’

What an amazing answer…and imagine the variety. You could have scrambled one day, boiled the next. Poached, fried, an omelette…even coddled or steamed (apparently a Swiss method!) the list goes on.

Well done Rhi…I actually think that you’re a pretty good egg yourself.

Afternoon With, All, Featured, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle

An afternoon with….Callisthenics King Louis Browne

September 8, 2016

Louis and I met at a recent product launch party up town. Bearing in mind that the fitness blogging world is heavily dominated by women we gravitated towards each other pretty sharpish as we were the only blokes there! It turns out we had far more in common than just our sex…Louis has also been a Personal Trainer for a decade AND Louis is also an awesome guy (lols, totes jokes ha ha sorry couldn’t help myself) … but seriously we are both great coaches and we are both awesome guys. Anyway…


I’m just starting a new series in which I spend ‘an afternoon with fitness empresarios and learn from their knowledge and skillset that will often be very different from my own. The whole concept here is that no matter how experienced you are in fitness there is always something new to learn which challenges you and in turn broadens your horizons. Everyone benefits from engaging with a quality coach…including us coaches! The important thing is to leave your ego at the door and soak up every drop of knowledge that comes your way…I encourage you to get out there and see what endless possibilities are on offer! #FitnessTourist

I took some time to think about areas of the fitness world that I am weakest in and callisthenics was the first training discipline that came to mind. I come from a sports conditioning background and my body is a rugby battered and centrally heavy frame with chipped corners in the shape of nerve damage in my left shoulder to name one sporting injury – the result of which means I don’t feel most at home swinging from a high bar. This is something I would like to change in the coming months.

Naturally Louis was the first person I was going to call to show me how it’s done. This is how things played out…

Meeting at the outdoor gym bars on Clapham Common Louis kicked off the session with a demo of all the amazing movements one can produce off of a high bar if you have his ability. Watching with my mouth wide open in ore it was clear that the gulf between Louis’ talent and my fleeting callisthenics experience was going to make for an interesting afternoon.IMG_9852

Away from all the pirouettes and skinned cats on show my challenge for the session was to achieve a muscle up…a calling card signature of a move that I had never attempted before. My doubt in my ability to achieve this, all things considered, was quelled by Louis’ infectious optimism and confidence in his coaching abilities.

As all good coaches attest, to obtain a goal you must incorporate clever use of progressions and regressions accordingly . Louis spent some time doing this with me whilst demonstrating the key principles of the moves as well as discussing the whole lifestyle that surrounds the discipline itself. As he was doing this it became clear to me that with Louis’ passionate approach to callisthenics it is as much an art form as it is a fitness genre.

To watch someone in full flow is to observe a graceful type of strength not regularly seen in gyms where the grunt and grind of shifting heavy loads is too often the prime objective. Callisthenics seems to go deeper than that. The word itself comes from the Greek word ‘kalos’ meaning beauty. If football was ‘the beautiful game’ then perhaps callisthenics can claim its place as the beautiful fitness routine…?!

Between observing and pondering these thoughts I hoisted myself up onto the bar and with the help of a power band and Louis himself I was soon able to start achieving some of the required movements albeit in a heavily assisted capacity. With my ego firmly packed away I was quite happy performing the movements in a regressed manner. If I am to be wise and play the long game with this then focus on the details and not pure brawn is essential. Louis assured me that this is certainly the case – he has plenty of experience coaching many people through the various stages required to achieve competency. One of my main Autumn goals is to get there myself…

Louis is also on a mission to bring callisthenics to a wider audience and make the benefits accessible to all regular fitness goers from all training backgrounds and abilities. With some mad ‘gangsta’ street gym videos online of unbelievable workouts that the rest of us can only gaup in awe over, bar work and callisthenics has perhaps developed a reputation as an elite training disciple reserved for the hardcore outdoor gym crews out there. But this doesn’t have to be the case. We can all benefit from callisthenics, there is a level for everyone and with the buzz of achievement that comes with making progress in this genre of fitness I highly recommend that you give it a try – to help you do that Louis has set up group callisthenics class ‘Bar Jam’ which is one of the best ways to enjoy an introduction or develop current skills, you can book classes via Facebook. Alternatively you can get some one on one action from the man himself at

 Have fun hanging out!IMG_9875

Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle, Motivation

Bests Bootcamp: Group Fitness Review

July 15, 2016


Unique bouncing treadmills…need I say anymore…?

The boutique group fitness phenomenon continues across London with the arrival of Bests Bootcamp out of Charring Cross. Naturally I got my sweaty self down there to check out group fitness Best’s Styleee…they have a few twists and spins on the boutique fitness format that will help squeeze that extra bit of effort out of ya!IMG_7433

Bests is a compact set up nestled deep into the walls and tunnels of the surrounding train station at Charring Cross. Walking in you certainly sense a gritty edge as the strong steely and brick warehouse like interiors match up to the surrounding sense of industry and, well…exertion, buzz and excitement of central London. This isn’t some casual jaunt off to a quiet corner of town…this is hustle and bustle quite literally interwoven into the fabric of the old town.


IMG_6667The industrial gritty edge to Bests doesn’t start and end with the location and interiors…it surges forward into the content of the training sessions as well. Trainer Rusty Clark finely balances good humour with challenging training routines that are brimming with useful coaching points…something I’m particularly keen on. In fact the introduction of one of Best’s key USP’s is the ‘Trainer Cam’ which allows all group participants to view demonstrations of technique on the big screen. In the past this has been a potential short falling of the boutique group fitness recipe – the ability to demonstrate and correct good technique in a way that everyone can clearly see. With ‘intensity’ being such an important factor to the effectiveness of group training it is essential that good form is practiced by all participants to improve ongoing performance and avoid injury…I’m a stickler for practicing correct technique no matter the environment (One of the side effects of having been a PT for 10 years is that my coaching hat is always firmly on). Best’s Bootcamp have looked to take care of this issue in one fell swoop with the introduction of ‘trainer cam’…I very much like it thank you!


So what’s the second twist unique to Best’s I hear you ask…

well sit back, relax, and allow me to present to you the ‘bouncing treadmill’. Yep you read that correctly. The evolution of the treadmill  within the fitness industry over the years has been an interesting development to observe as a Personal Trainer myself. Nowadays, due to design, we have far more uses for the treadmill than simply running and we have far more treadmills designed to compliment the way we run as opposed to grind against it as was so often the case in the early years.IMG_7429

The treadmills at Best’s seek to reduce the impact associated with hard heavy belts by absorbing the force as your foot hits the ground during your run.

Likewise it assists with a smooth ‘bouncy’ take off as your stride resumes into its forward motion. The end result is smooth and comfy sensation that feels more natural and akin to running outdoors on grass. Pretty cool huh! Secondly, and I’ve sort of made this up without any research, but I believe that the absorption of your foot deeper into the treadmill belt also simulates more similarities to the friction experience of running outdoors on terra firma. Regular treadmills often get criticised for not mimicking the friction found in regular running – instead of engaging with the floor and pushing away, as when running outdoors, a treadmill belt simply slides back and does the work for you. The end result of this is that running on regular treadmills favourites the knee drive to the front and neglects the leg drive through hip extension to the rear. To help solve this problem ‘bouncy treadmills’ are perhaps a step in the right direction…so to speak.


So back to the session…

The content of the session itself was ‘full body’. While this can often be more exhausting and overall more demanding it’s also sometimes a relief to be able to share the work load throughout the IMG_6664body…leg drives and push presses quickly move onto rows, then core and cardio…you know the drill! The difference with this session was that Rusty moved things on at a good pace…a lazy trainer would perhaps leave the class chomping away at the same exercise for minutes at a time but Rusty was creative and moved us on to the next challenge every 45 seconds. This was great to be a part of as it kept things moving at a fast pace and challenged both mind as well as body. Alongside his creativity Rusty has a great energy about him and helped us all to raise our game when it came to hitting the treadmill…go and check out one of his classes!


*To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…


1: Training Environment/Atmosphere: Bold and buzzing…I loved the music selection and energy in the room. Feels like you’ve been locked into the vaults for some serious work…no escape until you’ve sweated every last drop out.

2: Coaching style: Plenty of guidance in this area which is great! Loads of coaching tips coupled with the ‘trainer cam’ make this one of the ‘Best’s’ places to pick up some useful tips on the group fitness scene.

3: Equipment: Unique bouncing treadmills…need I say anymore…?

4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service: So goddam friendly. I hung out with Rusty post workout and enjoyed one of the signature house protein shakes at the bar. Great place to chill as well as smash it up!

5: My ‘Knack Factor’ – how knackering was it? As you can see in my Instagram video of the session…I gunned it on the treadmill hitting max speeds during the sprints, not holding back…show boating ever so slightly. It’s always a challenge to hit those levels on your own but Rusty pushed me hard. I award Best’s a solid knack factor of 9!!! BOOM!!!


In summary – Solid upgrades of the group fitness formula such as ‘trainer cam’ and ‘bouncing treadmills’ make this a MUST VISIT venue on the London group fitness scene. You WILL work hard and you WILL have fun…no brainer!

Featured, Group Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle

Oxygen Freejumping: Group Fitness Review

June 22, 2016
Oxygen Freejumping-Lawrence-Price-FafitSake-Review-Jumping


I’d stepped back in time, to one of those kids parties where there was joyful mayhem all around me. Everyone had permanent beaming grins etched into their faces as they ran around endlessly bouncing from one installation to the next.

Red glowing faces, sweaty T-shirts, the odd hilarious human collision.

But I wasn’t at a kids party and I hadn’t been cast back in time. I was still thirty two and all the people around me were proper real life adults in their 20’s and 30’s…welcome to Oxygen Freejumping!

Oxygen Freejumping Group Class Review

Oxygen Freejumping Group Class Review


As a modern day fitness practitioner…

…I am well read and experienced in observing the onset of rigidity that comes with adult life in todays world. Both physical and emotionally. Simply put, many adults today suffer from mobility, postural and back issues that inhibit their physical functions and/or stress related anxiety problems that alter their emotional functions by tipping hormone levels south of ideal.

As a coach I am…

…well versed in helping adults to find more physical range but dealing with emotional balance, while linked to physical wellness, can be more tricky.

It was extremely uplifting to see so many grown ups stepping back in time and remembering what it was to be carefree as they embraced their inner child.

In my opinion more adults should put aside time for ‘playtime’ each week and what better place to do this than at Oxygen Freejumping…the trampoline park!

But I wasn’t there for playtime myself…

…I had some serious work to be done as I was attending their signature fitness class ‘Airborne Fitness’. It’s comforting to know that after 10 years as a fitness professional there are still many first time experiences to be enjoyed within this ever evolving industry… and this was certainly one of them.

The Air is Better Up Here - Oxygen Freejumping Review

The Air is Better Up Here – Oxygen Freejumping

Getting to grips…

….with exercise whilst being bounced many metres into the air was very new to me and the concentration required to gain control in this new training environment was certainly doing my co-ordination and proprioception plenty of good.

We all spend so much time loaded up with weight it felt great to enjoy ‘weightlessness’, other benefits include lymphatic drainage… always useful.

Our class was taken by a great fun loving instructor who made it both fun and focussed as he took us through a whole series of build up moves to allow us to get acquainted with the trampolines before the really sweaty stuff took off. By adjusting height and frequency of the exercises we were soon embroiled in a workout unlike any other. Knee tucks were combined with toe grabs, half summersaults and mid air rotations with each impending landing and take off ensuring the mind remained focussed at all times.

The session sparred back and forth between tuition of new moves and periods of high energy. Then we finished up with some core work, which was of particular interest to me as it highlighted one of the class USPs – with no solid backrest the core was really isolated and by the end my abs were screaming for mercy. Mission accomplished!

* To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…

Oxygen Freejumping

Oxygen Freejumping

With that in mind, here is my rating system being applied to Oxygen Freejumping.

1: Training Environment/Atmosphere: Fun, fun, fun. It’s all about the fun. Fun.

2: Coaching Style: Relaxed and yet informative – I certainly learnt plenty of new moves during this class. Above all our trainer was such a lovely guy!

3: Equipment: Um….trampolines. Lots of trampolines!!!!

4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service: Friendly and efficient.

5: My ‘Knack Factor’ – Sweat…a lot of sweat! I give this a steady knack factor of 6/10…its not really about the extreme fatigue, its about the freedom of movement. And the fun…did I mention the fun?

In summary – Rediscover your inner child and laugh your way through a sweaty workout unlike any other. Plenty of health benefits to be had…just don’t underestimate the power of laughter. Fun times.

*Oxygen Freejumping London is based in Acton.

Featured, Group Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Motivation

London’s Best Group Fitness Venues Series: KoBox

May 21, 2016

KoBox is pretty new in town. Situated just off The Kings Road it’s not unreasonable to assume that they may have opened their doors to allow the beautiful people of Chelsea to sleekly move about, whilst not kicking up too much of a sweat, or creasing too many designer workout garments, whilst partaking in one of their boxing themed workouts.

In fact, in a part of town famed for high fashion KoBox have been the cleverest of designers by taking good old fashioned hard work and tarting it up to resemble something very new, sexy and on trend.


Gliding through the doors into KoBox…

…you would be forgiven for lulling yourself into a false sense of security at the façade of clean and crisp interiors backed up by highly attentive and friendly customer service. But gently lift the veil and instead of a sweetly smiling Sloaney pin-up you are met by a snarling beast ready to attack you head on! Be prepared for a fight!


As I walked into the training chamber…

…I bumped into my good friend Pete Pallai, director of myPilates London, as he was walking out. Now Pete is a fit guy, a former two-time Olympian and ex rugby player he has plenty of experience in pushing himself to the limit with his training. Nowadays he keeps himself in fabulous shape by combining his advanced knowledge in Pilates with high intensity cross training routines in the gym.

‘How was it?’ I asked noticing that Pete had lost some colour and was drenched in sweat.

‘Tough. Very tough.’ He replied.

Seeing Pete in this state focussed my mind to the task at hand. Clearly this wasn’t going to be a quiet stroll down The Kings Road, a walk in the park…you know what I mean!


I shuffled nervously over to my allocated station number on the wall and looked around to get my bearings. The room was packed with other gym goers looking to get their end of week Friday fit-kicks at one of the hottest new tickets in town. Each person has his or her own station number. This guides them to their starting point either on one of the suspended boxing bags in the middle of the room or on the perimeter wall which is where I was initially stationed. My station was brimming with all the kit you would ever need for a full body conditioning workout – multiple bungees hanging on the wall, med balls, weighted plates, dumbbells, etc.


The session kicked off with trainer, actor and all round pocket rocket Jay Brown bursting into character. He didn’t relent for the entire next hour which is a bit of a blur but I will do my best to recount it…


Koko Box - Fitness Review Fafitsake

Ko Box – Group Fitness Review Fafitsake

The session closely resembled a sports conditioning session…

…the type I remember well from my rugby days when your coach is having marital issues and wants to take it out on the team. Timed periods of around 2-3 minutes (it felt like 2-3 hours) when you have to repeat as many reps of the same action as possible before moving on to the next exercise and finally looping it all back together via upper and lower body circuits. Ouch.


For competitive ex sports people such as myself and Pete this is a recipe for ‘can’t walk for 3 days syndrome’ as we push ourselves to complete failure for many of the rounds. For others with more of a preference for the ‘self preservation’ approach, your luck runs out at KoBox. Trainer Jay makes a point to name and shame anyone who drops to their knees or elbows in surrender before the clock has counted down. Rest mid set at your peril!

If you’re expecting an easy ride of dip in, dip out under Jay Brown’s watch then think again.

Ok this approach might not be everyone’s cup of tea but…

…it sure as heck motivates you to keep pushing through the pain barrier – something that is very hard to do training by yourself. With late arrivals being commanded to do punishment burpees in front of the ‘class’ I found it immensely refreshing in a commercial environment – again more nostalgia from my rugby days. Beyond all that, this approach was a great icebreaker. Firstly it meant no one was under any illusions that we were all there to work hard and secondly it meant that we could all nervously giggle together as a bunch of strangers all about to get hot and sweaty together.


The content of the session itself utilised solid and familiar exercises such as…

…burpees, squat jumps, plank variations, boxing combos, etc all using the kit at our disposal. Each exercise has to be repeated as many times as possible during the allotted time period. This means that even very simple exercises become hellish – if you’ve ever tried squat jumping non stop for 3 minutes then you’ll understand the pain. If you haven’t then I suggest you get some practice in before your first session at KoBox!

At the end of the first section on ‘the wall’ it was time to move onto one of the stylised boxing bags hanging from the ceiling. The initial relief of a change from the circuits by my wall station was to be short lived.

With Jay prowling around, eyes like a hawk, barking out his orders and pursuing anyone who was taking the easy option, the bag soon became a focal point for my quickly dwindling energy levels. The fantastic thing about boxing is how raw it is. It appeals to a deep primal urge to hit things (or is that just me?!). Within the KoBox environment boxing combos start to flow as part of a trance like state – music, lighting and the energy of the room contributing towards a final fitness climax explosion. Then a pause, some rest and the satisfaction washes over you.


*To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…


1: Training Environment/Atmosphere: High energy and unforgiving…no easy ride here! Swapping back and forth from the wall to the bags adds some good variety and means the training environment is ever changing. A good ploy to make you work harder!


2: Coaching Style: A spade is a spade just as a dumbbell is a dumbbell…if you catch my drift? If you’re not working hard enough you will be told straight!


3: Equipment: You get some lovely free wraps when you join…perfect to practice your sparring between KoBox sessions! All the other equipment is state of the art from the hanging boxing bags to the hygienic open-palmed boxing gloves. It’s great to see bungees and med balls making an appearance too!


4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service: Everyone at KoBox is extremely welcoming and couldn’t be more helpful. From getting the run through pep talk from reception before your first session through to the post training chat with your trainer – everyone there is on your side! So go smash it!


5: My ‘Knack Factor’ – how knackering was it? Like most things in life, you get out what you put in. If you try to match all the training instructions you will hit a knack factor of 10/10 regardless of fitness level…it’s all relative isn’t it! Even if you’re superwoman you’ll hit your max rep ranges at each time, which will take its toll. Yes, 10…its 10!

In summary – Never mind the b*llocks…here’s KoBox. Good old-fashioned hard work reinvented with a shiny new sheen to it. It’s deceiving but it’s also oh so satisfying.