Small Group Personal Training (SGPT) has become a more popular workout regime recently – it’s the middle ground between large classes and one-to-one training. Groups are small enough that each member is ensured the same personal touch that you can expect from a one-to-one workout, but with the added benefit of the encouragement and comaraderie of a small group of like-minded people who can help motivate you towards your goals.
Apex Pro Fitness is a private fitness facility, based next to Cobalt Business Park, that specialises in SGPT, as well as larger group training. Owner Danny Ponton, who has plenty of experience working out of commercial gyms offering one-to-one personal training services, created Apex because he felt that something was missing from the fitness industry. ‘Apex is everything that a commercial gym is not,’ Danny says. ‘I researched up and down the country ahead of creating Apex and found some really cool private facilities. I felt that something similar could work brilliantly in the North East.’
Apex caters for all ages and abilities, with members ranging from those in their early 20s all the way through to retirement age. Some members join for general ongoing health and fitness, others with a very specific goal in mind, whilst some may be training for an event or challenge. But, all share a common goal of wanting to improve their levels of fitness and general wellbeing.
Apex Pro Fitness
Unit B, Algernon Industrial Estate, New York Road, Shiremoor
Hands up who’s decided that they’re going to improve their physical fitness, splashed out on some swanky new sportswear and stormed into the gym with absolutely no workout routine before deciding to call it a day after a single hour on the treadmill? (It can’t just be us). Taking a disorganised approach to fitness often yields little-to-no change – unlike regular day-to-day tasks, exercise often requires an individually-tailored technique in order to require the desired results. Using a personal trainer is a great way to develop a workout routine, meal plan and overall strategy that works for you.
We’re all guilty of hitting the snooze button on our phones after planning to get up early in the morning. Personal trainers are there to give you that push and make sure you get up and get working. Every year, 1.5 million people in the UK end up in A&E because of a fitness-related injury. Personal trainers are there to teach you about the correct way to use equipment, particularly important when using weights – reducing the risk of injury significantly.
Located in Morpeth, the award-winning Fitness Vibes offer bespoke personal training, and are one of the rare studios to offer an unlimited-sessions membership in classes and personal training anywhere. From December, Fitness Vibes will be offering a key fob entry system for training out of hours, as well as access to online workouts for clients to use when working in the studio themselves.
Fitness Vibes Personal Training and Fitness Studio
35A Bridge Street, Morpeth NE61 1PE
Swimming is a great way to relax because of its repetitive nature, which can be extremely meditative. It provides plenty of health benefits, too – it helps you to maintain a healthy weight, heart and lungs, and is basically a full-body workout since nearly all of your muscles are used. But swimming in a warm pool is one thing…
A fitness fad that’s seen an increase in popularity in recent years, which has also proven to have numerous mental health benefits, is wild swimming – jumping into a freezing lake and immediately feeling that cold water activate a sequence of beneficial responses in your body and brain. A study from Washington-based scientists found that sitting in cold water for 15 minutes decreased the heart rate of volunteers by almost 10 percent, reducing blood pressure and leading to a calming effect. Thanks to the ice-cold temperatures of wild swimming, it boosts hormones linked to pleasure and pain relief. A study from Charles University in Prague found that immersion in cold water boosts dopamine levels by up to 530 percent, and that serotonin and beta-endorphin levels are increased to deal with pain.
There are plenty of great spots to try out wild swimming across the Cheviots in Northumberland, which you can discover for yourself on www.wildswimming.co.uk
Another great activity to get involved in which involves much less cold water, but still provides that unequalled sense of mental wellbeing, is yoga. Aside from its many phsyical benefits, yoga is ideal for learning how to manage stress – its incorporation of meditation and breathing can help significantly improve a person’s mental wellbeing, creating mental clarity and calmness, as well as their physical wellbeing through increased muscle strength and tone.
A great place to try your hand at yoga for the first time, or indeed if you’re already a veteran yogi, is Hot Yoga Newcastle. The first to offer original hot yoga in Newcastle, their custom studio features infrared heaters to create the perfect environment to gain the most benefits from your practice. Hot 26 is a specially-designed sequence of 26 postures to help stretch and strengthen every muscle of the body, while focusing and calming the mind, and helps to counteract the impacts of a modern lifestyle. For those who aren’t ready to stretch themselves to get sweaty with the Hot 26 class, there’s Warm 26 – the same class, but done with only ambient heat, for those who are still adjusting or just want to create their own heat.
Hot Yoga Newcastle
Kingsland Church Studios, 85 Gordon Road, Newcastle NE6 2FE
Like rock climbing but stripped back, bouldering is a great mixture of enduring a tiring muscular workout, using some very physical stretches, and dealing with a lot of problem solving. Dealing with problems can put an intense pressure on your cardio-vascular system and muscles, encouraging you to find correct routes more efficiently. Bouldering may not be a team sport, but it’s a great sociable activity – you can help each other work out particular problems, and push each other to try and master more challenging walls.
Climb Newcastle, the brainchild of former British and World Climbing Champion Andy Earl, and well-known local climbers Chris Graham and Darren Stevenson, has two centres across the city – Climb’s original centre, The Pool, in Byker, plus The Valley in Ouseburn. The main arena in The Pool is the core of the Climb Newcastle centre, with climbers trying over 160 problems in four sections and 10 coloured circuits. There is every level of difficulty and every conceivable angle of wall here: from slab and overhang to roof – ideal for those who are just starting out, and great for those more experienced climbers.
Shipley Place, Byker NE6 2DQ 01912 762174
Quality Row, Ouseburn NE6 1NW 01912 655775