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Why your lower back hurts…

 

One of the reasons why your lower back hurts…

The glutes, we all have them, some people have great ones, others not so much. But did you know that if yours are weak or inactive this could be the reason why you have lower back pain.

The glutes are responsible for stabilising the pelvis with pretty much every movement you do. Walking, going up stairs, picking things up and standing to name a few.

However, if the glutes are weak or inactive then they can’t hold your pelvis in the right position which can lead to increased stress and load on the lower back as it becomes over worked. Why?

Sitting is the new smoking

Well to be quite frank we sit on our arse way too much. Either behind a desk at work, driving, or when we get home for the evening. When we sit we put the hips into a forward tilted position, which causes the hip flexors to shorten and thus tighten over time, essentially switching off. At the same time this will cause the glutes to lengthen which cause the fibres to weaken and deactivate / switch off, this is known as reciprocal inhibition.

Think of it like this

When the bicep is flexed the tricep is unflexed and vice versa, over time being in one position over another for long periods of time will cause the opposite muscle to become weak.

With regards to the glutes this can have a significant effect on your posture. Without being able to stabilise the pelvis coupled with rounded shoulders, you will constantly be in an anterior pull when performing daily tasks. Because of this the lower back has to jack up in order to keep our centre of mass balanced and you on your feet.

As of yet our bodies haven’t evolved enough to adapt to our current lazy lifestyles, so in order to stay mobile, function efficiently and avoid pain and injury, we need to exercise to get these muscles working again.

How to fix your back issues

The human body is highly adaptable and by using the right activation drills and workout exercises, overtime you can fix these issues. Trust me I did it.

The video below is just a basic 3 minute activation drill you can do before training your lower body. It involves using 2 resistance bands as shown with one placed around the lower thigh and one around the ankle.

Process:

  • You are to separate your legs to create tension in the bands.
  • From here perform 5-10 glute bridges driving your pelvis up to the ceiling contracting the glutes hard at the top without allowing the pelvis to go into extension.
  • After this you should now perform a clam, again 5-10 reps per side separating the knees, keeping the ankles together, feeling the tension in the outer glute. (External rotation of the hip)
  • Next, do a reverse clam, keeping the knees together and separating the ankles, for most of you this will feel weird.
  • Once you have completed this circuit both sides jump up into an athletic position and set your pelvis in neutral. Again separating the the legs to create tension, (don’t allow the knees to collapse in) perform 5 very small lateral steps, repeat the other way and then work forwards for 5 steps and finally backwards.

By this point you should begin to feel the glutes burning.  Typically I would perform this after a mobility warm up and then repeat it either in between lower body exercises or again at the half way stage during your sessions.

Remember though this isn’t an actual exercise, it’s an activation drill only. You must add overload in order to really strengthen the glutes and by this I mean lift some fucking weight.

Let me know how you go if you use this circuit 👍 Enjoy!

 

Olly

Transform your body, transform your mind.

 

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

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Are you confused as to how to burn unwanted body fat?

Too much conflicting information out there?

Frustrated at your lack of progress given the effort you put in?

Then my 12 week body transformation programme can help you.

The ART 12 week program cuts through the bull shit, and brings clarity to your training and nutrition. With me as your guide I’ll help you achieve the body you desire.

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always personally respond to you:

olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details or request your FREE taster training plan via the buttons below…

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation programme.

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Why strength training is the best exercise for the over 40’s

 

The Importance of Strength Training in Later Years (40+)

It’s not easy accepting the fact that you’re getting older, however, if you were under the impression that you are past your prime, you would be sorely mistaken. In fact, you have the potential to transform your life for the better and achieve new goals regarding strength, and fitness in general.

You only need the right set of tools for the job and the willingness to persevere under the changing circumstances, all the while optimising your training routine to maximise results according to your age and aspirations. The possibilities for growth are endless, so here is why strength training after 40 is important for men and women alike.

Build and retain muscle mass

The more you age, the more lean muscle mass becomes important for your overall health, vibrancy, and well-being. Not only does strength training promote muscle growth, but anaerobic training has been proven to effectively burn calories, sometimes even more than regular, steady-state cardio.

Because muscle mass is not energy-efficient, meaning your body needs to consume more calories to maintain it, you will be burning through calories at an increased rate. This leads to a lean, more toned physique in the long run. What’s more, increasing muscle mass is advisable for men and women alike, as it will make the existing fat spread more evenly across your frame, leading to an aesthetically pleasing result.

Balanced hormone production

To all the men out there, strength training can literally save your long-term health and spike testosterone production. After you hit that 30-year mark, your natural testosterone levels start to slowly dip, leading over the years to numerous health complications, and simply making you feel and act older than you should.

The degenerative condition leading to a loss of skeletal and muscle mass quality is called sarcopenia, and while it is only natural to be affected by it as you age, it doesn’t mean that you can’t fight its effects for a healthier, stronger lifestyle. Unfortunately, sarcopenia affects men and women alike, with regular strength training being one of the only effective long-term solutions for staying strong, healthy, and vibrant in your later years.

Weight training supports healthy hormone production in men and women alike, helping you retain your youthful glow, build lean muscle mass, and sculpt an enviable physique.

Minimise injury risks and become sturdier

As the years go by, the risks of injuring yourself rise exponentially. While many adults over 40 will opt for a more “gracious” sport such as yoga or Pilates, it is strength training that will actually help you build a strong, sturdy frame that will safeguard you from accidents and injury.

Strength training targets your muscle and connective tissue, and more importantly, your central nervous system, builds bone density and dexterity, and makes you more resilient overall. A sound training program based on strength gain will help you strengthen your lower back and your core, improving your posture. Moreover, you will be strengthening the rotator cuffs in your shoulders, and by performing squats and deadlifts regularly, you will strengthen your hips and your glutes as well, which are some of the weakest areas in older adults.

Remain mobile and flexible

Contrary to popular belief, strength training will not ruin your mobility and flexibility. In fact, by exercising a proper range of motions under load continuously, you will be able to improve your mobility and safeguard your joint health. This means that your knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders will be able to move properly without any pain.

Couple your strength routine with short pre and post-workout mobility and flexibility routines and you will have no problem keeping muscle soreness at bay and recovering just in time for the next training session. As the years advance, maintaining adequate mobility and joint health will be increasingly important, and strength training will help you achieve just that.

Strength is never a weakness

Finally, while other sports might emphasise one body part over the other, increase the overall risk of injury, or simply be less effective in building a sculpted physique and a healthy lifestyle, strength training is the one sport that will ensure your body stays young, healthy, and vibrant.

Implementing strength training into your weekly regime with a clear goal in mind and the help of a trustworthy personal trainer will allow you to enjoy life to the fullest and take what you have learned and gained in the gym into the real world. Weight training translates into real-life scenarios, and no matter if you’re running with your dog or playing rugby with your son, you are bound to give a hell of a fight worthy of a twenty-year-old.

Strength is never a weakness. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to build functional strength, and while you should always exercise caution and safety during training, you can rest assured that the rewards will be great. With these essential benefits in mind, you will have no problem building an enviable, powerful physique regardless of your age.

Transform your body, transform your mind.

Olly

 

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

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Are you confused as to how to burn unwanted body fat?

Too much conflicting information out there?

Frustrated at your lack of progress given the effort you put in?

Then my 12 week body transformation programme can help you.

The ART 12 week program cuts through the bull shit, and brings clarity to your training and nutrition. With me as your guide I’ll help you achieve the body you desire.

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always personally respond to you:

olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details or request your FREE taster training plan via the buttons below…

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation programme.

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Does stress hamper fat loss?

Stress: a slight dose of it helps you kick ass by boosting energy, alertness, and productivity. But suffering high stress daily? That can seriously mess with your mind and body.

Not only does it increase your risk of contracting many diseases, but it also drains your energy, your desire to work out and eat healthily, and your libido. Besides, chronic stress is often claimed to hamper fat loss. But is that true?

In this article, you’ll discover the evidence-based truth about how stress affects fat loss. You’ll also learn three powerful tips that help you shed excess pounds. Let’s dive in!

Does Stress Hamper Fat Loss?

It’s often claimed that stress causes fat gain, in particular around the midsection. This belief evolved in 1999 when researchers found that men with higher stress levels tend to carry more belly fat [1]. As a result, the media and fitness “experts” started to spread the “scientific proof” that stress causes fat gain.

The problem? The study looked at whether there was a correlation between stress and body fat – which was the case. However, just because two variables are correlated does not mean that one causes the other. In fact, stress actually increases fat burning. Here’s why:

Stress Actually Boosts Fat Burning

The reason is that stress has a catabolic effect on your body. This means it aids in breaking down molecules for fuel, such as body fat.

For example, in one study hydrocortisone – a pharmaceutical form of the stress hormone cortisol – was infused into a group of healthy young males [2]. As a result, the men burned more fat for fuel.

But Here’s the Problem!

Even though stress aids fat burning, there are three ways in which chronic stress indirectly wreaks havoc on your figure and fat loss efforts. This may sound contradictory, so let me explain.

First off, stress raises appetite. This is particularly the case for sweet foods such as chocolate and desserts. I think we can all relate to this: if you’re stressed, it’s tempting to reach for junk food to feel better.

The problem? This increased food intake will undo the smidge of extra fat the stress hormone has you burn. Hence, stress may cause you to overeat hundreds if not thousands of extra calories, which can erase your fat loss efforts of the previous days if not weeks.

Second, chronic stress causes muscle loss. Why’s that? Because stress acts catabolically: it not only aids in breaking down fat, but also muscle mass. This is something that must be avoided when you want to shape an eye-catching figure.

Third, chronic stress causes water retention. As a result, the number on your scale might rise, giving the false impression you’ve gained fat, even though it’s just water. Such water retention also “softens” your appearance, making you look fatter than you really are.

Here’s What to Do

Keeping stress in check is essential to shaping an eye-catching body. So, whether you have 99 problems or just a handful of them, here are three tips to prevent stress from wreaking havoc on your figure.

#1:

First off, avoid stress-related eating such as reaching for a chocolate bar when you feel frazzled. Often, such behaviour is tied to a specific event. An example is reaching for a chocolate bar when you’re overloaded with work.

The best way to prevent such stress-related eating is by eliminating the trigger. So, let’s say you tend to reach for chocolate when you’re overloaded with work, improving your planning skills or outsourcing tedious tasks will decrease the likelihood that you will feel strained.

If you can’t drop the trigger, find an alternative way to cope with it. For example, instead of reaching for chocolate when you feel weighed down, focus for a minute on your breath. You’ll find that stress goes down and that it will be easier to deal with the situation.

Another powerful technique is the five-minute rule. Before you give in to the urge, wait for five minutes. During this time, reflect on how you feel, revisit your fitness goals, and evaluate whether short-term gratification is worth imperilling your long-term desires. Most likely, the cravings will wane in strength or even go away entirely.

#2:

Second, get enough sleep, as sleep deprivation increases stress levels in your body. While the optimal amount varies among individuals, aim for at least seven hours each night. It’s best to get those hours at the same interval daily, as irregular sleeping patterns elevate cortisol.

Getting enough sleep also boosts willpower, making it easier to resist the temptation of indulging in “comfort foods” such as chocolate or doughnuts during times of stress.

#3:

Third, take time to relax. Whether in the form of meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, walking, listening to music, or something else – plan at least one moment in your day during which you can unwind.

Use these tips to keep your stress levels low and improve your success of shedding those bothersome excess pounds of fat.

 

Transform your body, transform your mind.

Olly

 

 

References

 

  1. Epel, E. E., Moyer, A. E., Martin, C. D., Macary, S., Cummings, N., Rodin, J., & Rebuffe-Scrive, M. (1999). Stress-induced cortisol, mood, and fat distribution in men. Obesity Research, 7(1), 9-15.
  2. Djurhuus, C. B., Gravholt, C. H., Nielsen, S., Mengel, A., Christiansen, J. S., Schmitz, O. E., & Moller, N. (2002). Effects of cortisol on lipolysis and regional interstitial glycerol levels in humans. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 283(1), 172-7.

 

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Are you confused as to how to burn unwanted body fat?

Too much conflicting information out there?

Frustrated at your lack of progress given the effort you put in?

Then my 12 week body transformation programme can help you.

The ART 12 week program cuts through the bull shit, and brings clarity to your training and nutrition. With me as your guide I’ll help you achieve the body you desire.

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always personally respond to you:

olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details or request your FREE taster training plan via the buttons below…

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation programme.

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reveal your abs

How to lose belly fat to reveal abs?

Would you like to know how to get in the best shape of your life for just £24?

Start my 4 week trial today for just £24 with no onward commitment.  I’ll give you your money back if you don’t see or feel a change during the trial.

For more details or to sign up for the trial today click buy now link below…

Want to lose belly fat fast to start seeing those abs?

  • Are you confused as how to lose that stubborn fat around your waist?
  • Frustrated at the lack of progress given the effort you put in?
  • Have you read conflicting information about the best training plans and diet to lose belly fat: HIIT? Increased cardio? Low carb? Low calorie? 

It’s a confusing web of information out there, I totally understand how frustrating it must be to not have clear and accurate information for an issue such as losing belly fat, so hopefully this blog I’ve written will clarify things for you.

Targeted Fat Loss: Myth or Reality?

Can you burn fat from your belly alone?

In short…no!

There is no scientifically proven way to burn fat in particular areas of the body, no amount of sit-ups or abdominal workouts will help lose the fat in this area alone to reveal your abs underneath.

When fat cells are broken down to be used for energy they will be taken from anywhere in the body during exercise. There is no biological way to ensure that only fat cells from the belly area are utilised.

In recent years a study was conducted to investigate the effect of abdominal exercises on abdominal fat, the study took 24 participants who each partook in regular abdominal exercises whilst maintaining a healthy balanced diet. After 6 weeks there was no significant effect of abdominal exercises reducing fat in the belly area, or overall body fat percentage.

The products you see on shopping channels which claim to target these areas to deliver you great looking abs fast, i’m afraid to say are a complete waste of your time and money.

So how do you reveal those abs?

Firstly it’s important to have a basic understanding of how your body burns fat.

In it’s simplest form; fat loss is determined by the amount of calories you consume vs the amount of calories you burn. If you consume less calories than you burn it will result in fat loss.

What about low carb diets for fat loss?

We all know that food is fuel for our body. And like cars using either petrol or diesel, our body can utilise different fuels being either carbs or fat. It’s true if you consume a low carb diet your body will turn to fat as it’s energy source. However! This isn’t a good long term sustainable system for fat loss and can have detrimental effects on your health as the body ‘needs’ both carbs and fat in the body for optimal health.

A good fat loss program will ensure you are consuming the correct amounts of carbs, fats and proteins keeping the body in a metabolically flexible state meaning the body will have the ability to switch from one fuel source to the next; from fats to carbs and carbs to fat. When executed correctly, you’ll have the ability to lose fat on either a high carb or low carb diet depending on how many calories you consume.

So now we know how fat is burned, how do we lose it from the belly area?

The only way you will be able to lose belly fat is to participate in a quality full body training and nutrition program, designed specifically to burn fat in a sustainable way, which will see you lose fat from ‘all’ areas of your body including the belly area.

By doing a plan such as the ART 12 week body transformation program we’ll take you through a series of nutritional phases designed to keep the body in a metabolically flexible state, coupled with a predominately strength training regime with limited cardio, you’ll be burning fat while building lean muscle mass, which over time will lead to a visible reduction of fat in the belly area revealing your already existing ab muscles underneath.

For more information about the ART 12 week body transformation program and how it can help to get you the results you desire visit www.action-reaction-training.com

Olly

If you’ve still got some unanswered questions or fears about signing up to the ART 12 week body transformation programme then visit our FAQ page were we’ve hopefully covered and addressed all your concerns.

Alternatively drop me an email at olly@action-reaction-training.com.

 

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Do you know what your goals are but you don’t know how to reach them?  Then my 12 week body transformation programme can help you.

My programme will change your life by boosting your body confidence and self-esteem.  The physical changes you will achieve will be great, however the most important aspect is how it will make you feel.

Improving your mindset is our number one goal!

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always respond to you: olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details.

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation programme.

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Olly Foster online personal trainer

How to choose the right fitness program for you?

Do you know how to choose the right online fitness program for you?

Working with a fitness professional either one to one or online is a great way to get tailored guidance and accountability to reach your fitness goals. In fact, working with a qualified professional can actually change your attitude and beliefs towards fitness, helping you steer through the mass of information out there.

But with so many personal trainers out there and social media gurus, it’s critical to find someone who is certified in their area of expertise and understands your goals and motivations.

Having the support of a personal trainer online will help to keep you more motivated and accountable when it comes to weekly workouts, but he or she can also play a role in helping you to maximise your time at the gym whilst providing nutritional support so you can see more consistent and sustainable results.

Do your research!

But there’s a fine line between making a sound investment in your future fitness success and simply throwing money out the window on something that doesn’t work or just isn’t sustainable or healthy long term. Knowing how to choose the right person for you will help you set the correct goals to achieve your desired results.

So it’s crucial to do due diligence when choosing the right fitness pro for you. All it takes is a little legwork to determine whether or not someone will be a good fit for you and your needs.

So here are a few things for you to consider:

1) Credentials

No if’s or but’s, a trainer should have the right fitness qualifications in their particular area of expertise. To become certified, personal trainers must pass an exam through accredited organisations. This ensures they’ve met certain standards of professionalism and competence. Having a great body and a large social media following does not qualify as a credential.

2) Experience

A trainer who has served in the industry for some time is more than likely to understand you and get better results than a newly qualified one with no real world experience. You can have all the knowledge in the world but unless you have actually worked with one to one clients from different demographics with success then this doesn’t count for much I’m afraid when working with online clients.

In my opinion if you haven’t made and ran a successful one to one personal training business what makes you think that you can do better online? Be wary of the online trainer who never quite made it in the one to one world.

3) Personality

What motivates you? Some people do well with positive reinforcement while others prefer a more military style approach. Either way, communicate with your intended trainer and get a feel for their style to see if it matches with what works for you.

4) Philosophy

This for me is critical as it can end up making or breaking your experience. What approach does the trainer use, is it healthy and sustainable, is it something you can do long term rather than just a quick fix?

Will there be communication with you to ensure you know why you are doing what you are doing and ultimately will they be educating you so you have an overall better understanding of training and nutrition. This is vital for long term success.

5) Specialties

We have all heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none?” Well, if you’re looking for something specific such as improving your running goals or Olympic lifting you may want to work with a trainer who specialises in these areas.

However, if a Body Transformation is your goal do you think these trainers would be the right fit you for? Trainers that focus on certain areas / goals alone tend to have better results as they are more experienced and passionate in the field.

6) Cost

Just as all of the above can range vastly between trainers so can their online training costs. So before you begin to find the right program for you, sit down and think about how much you are truly willing to invest in yourself, but never underestimate the importance of your health when thinking about cost.

Cheap prices can come at a cost to your health and time especially online. If it sounds too good to be true then in my experience from some of the programs out there I have seen, it probably is. You may end up paying for a generic plan that has no room for flexibility to be adjusted to suit you and your needs / progress. There will be a lack of communication with the trainer as time is money and chances are it won’t be suitable for you in the long run.

7) Availability

Because consistency and support is key when working with a trainer, it’s a good idea to inquire about their availability to you.

How will they communicate with you and what level of access do you have to them?

Most online trainers operate via emails but some limit their times to when they are available which may not be suitable for you. Granted you cant always expect an immediate reply because online trainers don’t just sit behind their laptops all day, but you should expect a reply within a set time period. Limited or set times of communication with your trainer can lead to problems if you need help with a certain issue.

8) Location

This isn’t a huge issue when working online but you may have to bear in mind differing time zones of when you may not receive a response. Make sure you are aware of this before hand.

9) Progress

In addition to your training program and nutritional advice your trainer needs a method for tracking your progress so they and you can both see the changes happening. This ensures the trainer is staying on top of things and making appropriate tweaks to keep you progressing.

Personally I feel this should be done every 2 weeks where the trainer should be cross comparing images, tape measurements, body fat & weight and most importantly gathering feedback on how you’re feeling. It’s vitally Important they know how well you are sleeping, how your bowel movements are, energy levels just to name a few. If your trainer doesn’t do this then what are you paying them for?

10) Reputation / Testimonials

The best compliment any trainer can receive is a word of mouth referral. This shows that the client had a worthy experience, enough to recommend them to friends and family. Likewise if they had a bad experience this feedback maybe negative so may not be right for you.

Second to this the trainer must be able to provide you with results of their past client transformations along with a testimonial. If the client has truly enjoyed their experience and found it of value they will have no issues providing this feedback for the trainer to put on display. Granted a few people may not wish to have their photos publicly shared for a whole host of reasons but this is a rarity. In my opinion It is vitally important they have a website ( not just social media ) where these results are on display for all to see, this may help you relate to them and their stories to show you what is achievable. However, be aware as a handful of companies / trainers are using other peoples work and classifying it as their own.

In summary

Although you might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now at the prospect of choosing an online training program just remember that the above are guidelines only.

Generally speaking you get what you pay for but ultimately you must choose a program that supports, educates and holds you accountable. If it doesn’t then success is either unlikely or unsustainable.

 

 

If you’ve still got some unanswered questions or fears about signing up to the ART 12 week body transformation programme then visit our FAQ page were we’ve hopefully covered and addressed all your concerns.

Alternatively drop me an email at olly@action-reaction-training.com.

 

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Do you know what your goals are but you don’t know how to reach them?  Then my 12 week body transformation programme can help you.

My programme will change your life by boosting your body confidence and self-esteem.  The physical changes you will achieve will be great, however the most important aspect is how it will make you feel.

Improving your mindset is our number one goal!

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always respond to you: olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details.

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation programme.

Follow me on