Fitness and Exercise

Fitness Lessons From Wacko Jacko

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When I was a kid in the 80’s I had a bright yellow Sony Walkman and the headphones had bright orange sponges on the ear pieces. I loved that. It was usually clipped on to my belt.

My favorite Album at the time was Michael Jackson’s Bad, I think it might have even been one of the the 1st albums I bought.

Man in the Mirror was definitely the best song on the album. Check out these lyrics….

Any way so I’ve been working my way though our applications for our 2 dress sizes in 12 weeks programme and the word change has been the most common used by far

“I want to change the way I look”
“I cheap xenical for sale want to change the way I feel”
“I’ve been wanting to change for years”
“Want to make changes to my body”
“Need to change my attitude to food”

It seems that everybody wants to change but only a few are prepared to do what it takes to change.

Change doesn’t just happen my friend. You have to take action on it. Wanting to change and actually dong something to change are two different things completely.

Are you happy where you are or do you really want to change?

In the words of Jacko himself:

“If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change”

Head Coach
Northwest Fit Camp Manchester

Are we essentially all the same?

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My own Fear of Change

I started to use my new laptop yesterday but I actually bought it in February. It’s been sitting in my basement office gathering dust for the best part of 5 months, without being used.



I actually used it once when I got it and immediately didn’t like it because was was a new windows 8 one so I packed it away until yesterday when my old one finally gave up the ghost and stopped working.

This is typical of most people. They won’t actually change until they realise they need to.

Something triggers them. Mine was the fact my laptop had packed in for good.


Many of my fit camp members and personal training clients tell me this is definitely the case

  • Flyaway comments about having put on weight
  • Felling like their other half doesn’t fancy them any more
  • Getting out of breath climbing the stairs.
  • Not fitting into their favourite dress or jeans any more.
  • Having kids and realising you want to be around to see them grow up
  • A panic about an upcoming wedding or holiday

We’re a weird bunch us humans and we pretty much all act the same.

What will your trigger be to get fit and healthy?

Liam “Changemeister” Thompson

Head Coach

Northwest Personal Training Northwest Fit Camp


Health and Fitness Lessons From David Moyes

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Whether you like or dislike football or support City or United, I’m sure you have all heard the news that David Moyes has been sacked as united manager today.

You see good old Moysie made one huge mistake when he took over the job from Sir Alex and it’s the same mistake that a lot of people make when they take on a new health and fitness regime.

Moysie tried to change too many things at once and it backfired on him. His first act was to sack all the successful coaches that united already had in place and bring in all his own coaches.

He changed the way the players trained, he changed the tactics and his management style was different to whet the players were used to. It was destined to go wrong………

This is exactly what happens when most people decide to get fit and healthy.

They join their local gym and decide to go 5 times a week, can i buy orlistat online even though they have never trained before.

The go on a low calorie low carb diet or even worse one of these meal replacement type nutrition plans being sold by unscrupulous personal trainers.

They ignore the advice of coaches that have proven success when it comes to helping people get fit and healthy and lose weight.

Small and incremental and long term changes are the key to success when it comes to health and fitness. I would love to tell you there is a quick fix but there isn’t. This is why our transformation programs are a minimum of 3 months at fit camp.

You can apply below by the way

Making small commitment like 3 exercise sessions a week is also easier to keep that trying to go 5 times a week.

Don’t make the same mistake as David Moyes

Slow and steady always wins the race

Liam  Thompson

Head Coach

Northwest Fit Camp / Northwest Personal Training






What is the best exercise for weight loss

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This is by far the most common question we get here at our training studio in Manchester.

This is also probably the exercise i use the most with my 1-1 clients as well as my fit campers. If you work with me or you have worked with me in the past then you will already know what it is. Or do you?

I’ve put together a short video of this exercise that you should all be doing somewhere in your routine to show you exactly how to do it. Its locked though so you will have to click on one of the links below to see it.

View The Video Below







How an Italian Maths Geek Can Save You Hours in the Gym

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One of the most common issues with people trying to lose weight is that they think they have to spend hours in the gym working out. I’ve seen it in all the gyms I’ve worked in,but believe it or not most people are spending a lot of time in the gym that they don’t need to.

Picture the following scene if you can.

Overweight girl (or guy) comes in religiously after work every day and spends at least 60 minutes on a treadmill. They might even put the incline up to 8 or 9% and spend most of their time walking up hill or on the cross trainer getting a good sweat on. The fitter ones will probably just jump strain into a jog or a fast run and go for a full hour, but at the end of the week they are disappointed because they are still not fitting into their favourite jeans.


Fair play to the because they are doing a massive 5 hours a week of exercise which is a lot more than most people, and is more than the current government recommendations

However the cycle continues and after a few weeks of frustration they give up, usually declaring that they have tried everything to lose weight and exercise doesn’t work.

This is happening in gyms all over the country and is one of the reasons why just getting a gym membership doesn’t work for most people. Getting a gym memberships is like walking into a restaurant and being asked to cook your own food. Yeah you know what you want and you can see all the shiny machines but you’re not really sure what you should be doing, so you do what everyone else is doing. It’s a classic case of the blind following the blind.

But anyway back to the Italian dude. His name is Vilfredo Pareto and he is responsible for what is known as Pareto’s Law or the Pareto principle.

Basically what this means is that you can get 80% of your results with only 20% of your effort and you can equate this with anything in your life. Seriously try it. Here are some examples.

I bet you if you have a look in your wardrobe you probably wear 20% of your clothes around 80% of the time.

How about your friends,  I reckon you spend around 80% of your time with only 20% of your friends, watch 20% of your TV channels 80% of the time and if you have your own business 80% of your income will come from only 20% of your customers or even less. Here’s another one what about the foods you eat?

Check out Pareto’s Law Wikipedia Page

So what has this got to do with fat loss and exercise?

What if you could get your best fat loss results from only 20% of the time that you think is necessary to burn body fat. Well you can and that is how the Pareto Principle applies here. At our fit camps we probably only do about 60-70 minutes of high intense work each week, which is around 20% of the 5 hours a week that most people slog away on treadmills for.

Even with this we still manage to get amazing weight loss results. Check out the picture of Carmel below who is one of our fit campers. She managed the results below in less than 9 months with only 3 x 45 minute sessions each week.

Weight Loss Results

If you can make 3 sessions a week and work hard for those 3 sessions and do it consistently over a period of time then you will get results. The culture that we live in these days is one of quick fixes when it comes to weight loss but the truth is that there isn’t really a quick fix. I’m sure that might not be what you want to hear, but I don’t want to mislead you. What I don’t want to do though is help you get results and get healthy and the way to do that is to be consistent in what you do.

The same applies to food, if you can be consistent in what you eat then its ok to go out and binge occasionally because it’s not the occasional binge that determines your results; it’s what you do consistently on a daily basis.


To join our next 4 week fit camp block starting next Monday and start to get results just like Carmel alove click on the link below

The only secret weight loss tip you will ever need

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Keep reading if you want to learn the 1 secret weight loss tip that most personal trainers, boot camps, and programs don’t want you to know about, but first I want to tell you a quick story.

Believe it or not I struggle with my weight a bit, in fact I always have done. I like to have a beer or two at the weekend and go out for meals with Rachel (my other half) but I have a trigger point that makes me realise I need to go back to being healthy. Its usually when my jeans start to feel a bit tight.

So here is a pic of me playing football about 5 years ago, at the time I didn’t realise how much weight I had actually put on. I actually though I was in good shape and I was counting calories but the problem was that the food I was eating wasn’t actually the healthiest.

Overweight LIam

Carrying a few extra lb’s

Fast forward 5 years later and this is me now, I still play football competitively, and I still struggle a bit with keeping my weight down, but I’m 38 years old this year and probably in better shape than I’ve been since my 20’s.

photo (1)

I do this as much as possible by trying to be healthy and cutting out as much of the junk from my diet as I can, but I still have the occasional beer (or 2 or 3) and I still eat out now and again. In fact here is a recent picture of me enjoying a pint of Guinness at the 6 nations this year (and I had more than 1 that day).

Me at the Rugby enjoying a Guiness

Me at the Rugby enjoying a Guiness

Anyway enough about me, you’re really here to learn secret weight loss tip for keeping in shape, so here it is.

So what is this secret weight loss tip?

Well I’m really sorry to disappoint you but unfortunately there isn’t really one to be honest, there are lots of programs and diets out there promising fast weight loss results and in fact I can easily hep someone drop a dress or a jeans size in 4 weeks. The thing is you have to keep it up so it has to be about lifestyle change.  If you go back to your old ways you will put it back on. Even worse if you lose it initially by taking some meal replacement products like Herbalife or Body By Vi (or starving yourself  you will end up putting buy xenical no prescription your weight back on with added interest. I would strongly advise you to avoid these if you value your long term health.

My philosophy on weight loss is on getting healthier by eating better and doing more exercise (notice I didn’t say eating less) The majority of people who want to lose weight will get better results by eating better and not eating less. Dieting and severe calorie restriction doesn’t work in the long term unfortunately, but there are still plenty of unscrupulous trainers out there who will recommend a product because there is a great profit margin on it.

Just this morning I had a call from one of these guys who wanted to meet me to talk about this great new weight loss program.

Here is how the conversation panned out.

Sales Guy: “Hi Liam, I have this great new weight loss product that I would like to talk to you about”

Me “What is it”

Sales Guy “Why don’t you let me buy you a coffee and Ill tell you all about it”

Me “Can you just give me a run down on the phone Im very busy”

Sales Guys “ Its called ***** and it’s a meal replacement shake”

Me “erm….Im not really interested but thanks for the call”

Sales Guy “You can make a lot of money from this, our trainers are averaging £1500 a month”

Me “To be honest with you I’m not really interested because it doesn’t fit in with my core values “

Sales Guy “so you don’t want to make an extra £1500 per month”

Me “Well that would be nice but I would rather do it ethically, thanks for your time”

These sales people are doing the rounds with personal trainer and fitness professionals all over the country and unfortunately people are just seeing pound signs.  If you are a personal trainer reading this you have a duty both morally and professionally to offer the best advice to your clients.

If you are just someone who wants to lose some weight, then please avoid these products because they are designed with only one thing in mind. To relieve you of as much cash as possible. They have very little nutritional value and will not work in the long term.

My advice, is to eat healthy, get some high intensity exercise  in and stop looking for the secret to weight loss because they don’t exist. There are no secrets.

Why I Quit My Gym Membership At Virgin Active

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For the last 18 months I have been using the Virgin Active on Deansgate in Manchester to train myself. I like to train in a different environment to the one where I work and the facilities there are excellent to be honest. They have lots of equipment that I use including Kettlebells, TRX and Vipers. Most of you might not be familiar with these but they are excellent pieces of kit that we as fitness professionals use in our own studios. In fact I even recommend the place to some of my clients and fit camp members who have joined on the back of my recommendation.

Anyway I have been happily using the gym since August 2011 and have always found the staff to be very friendly, however as someone who works in the industry it can be frustrating to train in a commercial gym and watch how uneducated the general public are about how they train themselves.

I find it hard to not be able to help people if I think they are doing something wrong or training incorrectly because that’s what I do, but it’s not my domain or place of work so it’s not for me to talk to these people.

It is however the job of the gym instructors or the personal trainers in the gym and today when I was doing my own workout there just happened to be a guy training next to me. Now when I say training he was actually doing some bicep curls with 10kg on the cable machine resting for about 2 minutes and then repeating, after that he moved on to the calf raise machine and pretty much started to do the same thing. The guy wasn’t even breaking sweat or getting out of breath and it was obvious that he was quite obese. Now when I was working in LA Fitness or Fitness First I would have been over chatting to the guy and explaining how he could get faster results by doing compound exercises, having less rest time and generally working even a bit harder to get his heart rate up.

Now I might be being presumptuous here but the reason why this member was in the gym was to lose some weight so I paused my workout and went over to the desk where the personal trainer/ gym instructor was standing and just said “there is a member over there who is obviously here for weight loss and he looks like he needs some help. He is just doing bicep curls and pretty much wasting his time walking around aimlessly. You might want to go and help him out and give him some pointers.”

The trainer actually laughed at me thinking buy xenical online cheap australia this was funny, grabbed his cleaning spray and headed to the nearest treadmill to give it a wipe down.

Those of you that know me, know that I’m usually the most chilled out person there is normally and I don’t get angry at things but this really pissed me off as it was basically the gym saying we don’t give a crap about our members. It was a deciding factor in me quitting my membership and looking for somewhere to train when I move out of the city centre in the next few month. Maybe it wasn’t the Personal Trainer’s fault, after all I’m sure he didn’t get into health and fitness to spend his day wiping down treadmills and sweaty machines, however whoever’s fault it was, it is a massive disservice to the members who use the facility and is quite frankly not on.

These big box gyms that pay their fitness professionals to spend their day keeping the gym tidy and cleaning machines don’t work for the general public who are uneducated. Sure for the guys who buy the muscle building magazines and the educated who know what the are doing gyms are great but for someone who is too intimidated to ask for help or has never really exercised before they can be daunting environments where you are left to your own devices.

Having a gym membership if you are a novice is the equivalent of being asked to cook your own food in a restaurant.

I know that I run a personal training studio and a weight loss boot camp but this is not a promotional post. In fact if you live in Manchester you are spoiled for alternatives to gyms. There are loads of results based facilities apart from our own that you can use that are run by experienced and passionate health and fitness professionals who care about their clients. People like Ric Moylan if your into boxing fitness, Paul and Johnny Stannard of Lean Fitness, Ben Handbridge’s Body Fit Academy in Swinton is another and if you live or work in Didsbury you have Mike Bach and his ABC Boot camp.

If our fit camp members  miss more than one session we are on their backs phoning to see where they are (and I bet the guys above are the same), the same goes with their nutrition and other aspects of weight loss and health. They pay us to get results, so we make sure that’s exactly what they get.

With a gym membership you are paying for access to the gym and that it is after that you are pretty much obviously on your own as I witnessed today.


Stretching Routine (Video)

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Stretching after your workout can help reduce soreness the next day but it can also help to keep you free from injury.

Being supple is essential in terms of your health and fitness because it can help to prevent lower back pain, shoulder pain and headaches which can all be caused by bad posture.


Below is a short video taking you through a typical stretching routing that I would normally perform with a 1-1 client after a workout.

I would appreciate your feedback and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Exercise and Injury : What to do

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If you have ever played any sport or exercised for any significant period of time its pretty much guaranteed that at some point you will get injured or tweak something. This happens to all of us at one time or another. In fact I’m sitting here nursing a bruised heel after a particularly bad tackle yesterday when I was playing in a game for Mobberly yesterday. It looks like I will be unable to play for the next few weeks (will know more after I see Nas, our physio later today).

What to do if you get injured playing sport

If you have ever had an injury or a tear you can minimise the pain by stopping the activity as soon as possible and getting it iced. A good model to use is the P.R.I.C.E

Protection:  If injured, stop the activity and protect the injured part from further damage. Avoid weight bearing on the injured area.

Rest: Rest is crucial to protect the injured muscle, tendon, ligament or other tissue from further injury. Resting the injured part is important to promote effective healing at least for the first day or so.

Ice: Icing your injury provides short term pain relief and also reduces swelling by lowering blood flow to the injured area.

Compression: Compressing an injury also helps to limit and reduce swelling, which may delay healing.

Elevation: Elevating an injury can help to control the swelling. This is most effective when the injured area is raised above the level of the heart. For example, if you have an injured foot, try lying downwith your foot propped on one or two pillows or cushions.

You should of course always seek out a professional if your injury is serious and get it diagnosed as quick as possible.


Check out Nas our Physio here at NorthwestPT

7 Habits of Lean People

7 Habits of Highly Lean People

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Most of us have friend who is pretty lean and in good shape, but have you ever wondered what they do to stay that way, especially if it all seems effortless to them. What do they do that is different to the rest of us. Here is a list of our 7 habits of highly lean people as inspired by the late Stephen Covey’s best selling book “7 habits of highly effective people”.7 Habits of Lean People

There are of course more than 7 but if you get these ones right you will be well on your way to a firmer,leaner and healthier body.

The 7 Habits

  1. Lean people eat protein and vegetables with every meal: Protein is the foundation for a strong healthy body. Protein keeps us from feeling hungry via hormonal signaling, keeps blood sugar stable, negates the stress hormone cortisol and keeps the immune system in super shape. In addition to supplying you with tons and tons of phytonutrients that keep your skin, hair and nails healthy, getting more vegetables in your diet add vital fibre and water to your body Out top tip is to find vegetables that you like and enjoy and have more of them.
  2. They drink water as their main beverage, and thy also drink at least 2 litres a day (every day): Did you know that hydration actually makes you hold on to extra water under your skin, making you look puffy and bloated. It can also make you fatigued and trigger cravings as well as headaches. Ask someone with pretty, tight skin how much water they drink every day. you will be surprised.
  3. They implement sustainable, long term and appropriate exercise: Countless hours on the treadmill are lets face it, not sustainable long term. Short, intense workouts using weights, body weight, sprints and plyometrics, balanced by some cardio once or twice a week, are far more sustainable, easier on your joints and more sustainable in the long term..
  4.  They go to bed at a reasonable time every night: Sleep is one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to fat loss. Have you ever heard the expression “sleep is prime fat-burning time?” Sleep acts as a big reset button for your hormones, stress and your motivation. TRy to get to bed at 10:30 every night for maximum results.
  5. They don’t depend on willpower: People who stay in shape, all year round, have abandoned the “all or nothing” mentality that we see a lot of at our fit camps. This is because healthy people have experienced it for themselves and they know that it just does not work. Willpower will always tack a back seat to physiology. Lean and healthy people have developed what we call skill power, they use these tools to create a satisfying, sustainable way of eating for long term results.
  6.  They are super resilient: People who are in great shape are just as human as the rest of us. If they eat a bar of chocolate or have a few more drinks on a night out than they should have or have some donuts, they don’t just abandon what they are doing and go on a big binge for a few days. They simply eat their next normal meal. If they get injured and can’t exercise, they keep their nutrition tight. Around the holidays, they choose protein and veggies and are strategic about sweets. They use these mistakes as lessons, and not as an excuse to give up their goals. If you fall of the wagon, get back on and keep going towards your destination.
  7.  They act and think like they are lean and healthy: Think about what a person who is in pretty good shape does. What do they think about? What do they order when they eat out or go to a fast food restaurant  What do they chose when they stop at a motorway service station? How do they exercise? This is exactly what lean and fit and healthy people do and is one of the main reasons why they are lean, fit and health. If you want to be lean, in shape and healthy, you have to do what a lean person does to become lean.

Here at Northwest Fit Camp and Northwest Personal Training we are big believers that success leave clues, watch what other fit and healthy people eat and do and try and emulate that as much as you can.

If you need help with you weight or health and fitness please don not hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you.