The popular weight loss and fitness solution for people who aren’t reaching their goals


At our gym, before writing a program for a member the trainer will always ask what they want to achieve as a result of the program and ask how many times a week they can get to the gym. We provide a precise program for our member as well as making sure they are exercising with the correct form, method and effort level. A great start, fast forward 6 weeks to the program review and we will re-take any measurements taken on the initial ‘Health check’ but also the trainer will ask;

  1. How are we getting on?
  2. Is this working for you?
  3. Should we adapt or change anything on your program?
  4. Are you moving towards your goals?

Now no matter how good the trainer is, not 100% of members will have achieved their goals. The number 1 reason for this? Time! The member had a plan of coming 3 to 4 times a week but it turned out to be more like 3 to 4 times a month, life happened and they couldn’t find the consistency they needed.

So what is the solution for this? Well here’s one solution that has been taking the world by storm. High intensity interval training, otherwise known as H.I.I.T. You only need about ten minutes, and most of that is warming up, resting and cooling down. Sound good? Okay so let’s explain precisely what it is and how it works.

  1. You have continuous cardiovascular training where you’d be on your machine, let’s say a bike, pedaling at a pace that you can maintain for a long period of time whilst gradually tiring yourself out.
  2. Then there is interval training, here instead of cycling at a steady pace you might take a moderate minute working slightly less hard but then a faster minute pushing yourself harder. You might repeat this cycle for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Finally let’s look at H.I.I.T. Again, for comparison, imagine you’re on the bike once more, this time we want a stark contrast between the slow period and the working period. The slow period wants to be more like rest, just make sure your legs are still turning, this period could typically be 40 seconds to 120 seconds. Then the working period is your maximum effort, every single last drop of energy and power in your body explosively peddling on a high gear for 20 seconds. You’d only repeat this cycle a maximum of 6 times, if managed 6 intervals well done, now consider making it harder by increasing the gear rather than pushing to do more intervals. if you can manage more than 6, 20 second maximum effort bursts, consider if it was truly your maximum effort, do you need to up the ante?

This may not sound like a lot of work but Imagine Usain Bolt finishing the 200m sprint, then you ask him to walk for 40 seconds to recover and sprint another 200 meter race and then repeat this another 4 times, it really is exhausting.  As a personal trainer I am fairly physically fit but after 6 intervals of HIIT training I genuinely struggle to walk down the stairs, I honestly don’t think I could manage without the banister rails. The fitter you get the harder it becomes, because you can push harder. This why this type of training is different, the purpose of the extended recovery interval is to allow the muscles to recuperate just enough to enable them to perform the high octane and explosive power necessary to achieve the desired effect.

Why do H.I.I.T. We want to save time right?

  1. H.I.I.T. burns 6 time the amount of calories when compared to steady state, continuous cardio. Great, what else?
  2. H.I.I.T. will elevate your metabolism for 24 hrs, maybe more, who doesn’t want to be burning more calories while they sleep!?
  3. H.I.I.T. will increase muscle tone and strength, the bonus here is that every pound of muscle you gain, you’re effectively adding 50 calories to your resting metabolism.
  4. H.I.I.T. will increase the intensity of exercise you can sustain for longer periods of time. For example you might be able to run a 3km race and sustain an effort level of 80% of your maximum heart rate (80 % MHR), currently if you push up to 85% MHR you’d have to stop and walk after a minute or two. there is evidence that regular H.I.I.T. will help you sustain higher effort levels for longer.
  5. H.I.I.T. will reduce your heart rate and blood pressure by increasing your cardio vascular fitness.

When performing H.I.I.T. it is especially important to have a cool down phase, a few minutes of easy exercise until you’re heart rate has reduced its BPM. So once you finish your last interval, keep moving but reduce the difficulty level and speed. 

At Altered Images gym in Bromsgrove we want to help you achieve your fitness goals. Call us today to arrange a visit on 01527 874395.

If you enjoyed reading this blog you may also like to read our previous post on weight lifting.

Why you probably should be weight lifting, no matter what your age.

With the rise of the super fit 60’s this decade we have learnt that getting old isn’t an excuse to not lift, it’s the reason you should be lifting. Unfortunately as you age, your bodies anabolic hormones decrease, these hormones amongst other things are responsible for muscle growth and repair. With decreased muscle your body will suffer, age and become less capable. A dangerous cycle can occur an attitude of “I’m too old for this” leading to doing less activity and the body becoming a little weaker. Fortunately this is completely combatable, lifting weights increases these anabolic hormones, directly combating one of the main side effects of ageing. No matter what your age you can still progress, get fitter, stronger and healthier, however those with an inactive lifestyle, will gradually degenerate.

Some other benefits Include:

  • Improving posture/ maintaining posture/ preventing future posture degeneration
  • Effective way to burn energy and increase your burn whilst resting for the next 48 hours
  • Prevent future fat storage by increasing your metabolism and increased probability of storing glycogen in muscles rather than fat cells.
  • Fighting osteoporosis. Your bones, like your muscles will adapt to the physical stress of weight lifting
  • Improve heart health by strengthening your heart and decreasing blood pressure.
  • Move easily and fluently. Most people won’t move their body through the range of motion it’s capable of and on the limited movements they do perform, the wrong muscles are being used. Weight training is like teaching your body how to move properly again whilst using the correct muscles.
  • Stabilize blood sugar and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Prevent back pain. With strengthened core and glute muscles, comes a well supported back.
  • Superior balance. Whilst exercising functionally with resistance you will also increase the strength of your ‘stabilizer’ muscles. Handy for sports or simply just regaining confidence on your feet.


“But I don’t want big bulky muscles”. Don’t worry you won’t get big bulky muscles by accident, weight lifters with this objective have to consume ridiculous amounts of protein, take all sorts of supplements, lift in a specific manor 5-6 times a week and carry on with this for years and years to get big and bulky. The only aesthetic side effect of weight lifting is usually just a toned and lean body.

Also on a side note ,it has been widely known for a while now that exercise in general is good for your mental health, we have even written a blog ourselves about the reasons behind this. This latest research paper however is the first to link resistance training to overcoming depression. The review covered 33 clinical trials which included nearly 2000 participants. Interestingly people with the most severe depression often benefited the most. It’s also worth noting that people benefited from superior progress when training in supervised workouts. The researches argue that this exercise is good for everyone and also likely staves off depression so regular weight trainers may never see problems in this area.


At Altered Images we want to help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals, call us today on 01527 874395.

If you enjoyed reading this post you may also like to read our previous article on our new Les Mills Barre Classes here in Bromsgrove.

Why do some people have personal trainers?

As a teenager I used to do a lot of athletics, both track and field, once I got to around 14 years old I majorly got into my resistance training, it started off with bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and situps and quickly evolved after I got my first pair of dumbbells. I was a monthly subscriber to both Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness magazines which I’d read religiously every page from front to back, after a while I really thought I knew my stuff. All of my track and field training, all of my reading, my exercises at home and from 16 I was using a gym nearby my college several times a week. Let me tell you now, although I may have looked like I knew what I was doing, what I was doing was pretty damn inefficient for my goals. I thought my nutrition knowledge was tip top considering all these magazines I had read, but no, it was pretty damn average. Skip forward to 22 years old, yes I was very physically fit but hadn’t made anywhere near the progression I potentially could have if I’d have been doing the most effective exercise for my goals, which if I’d had a personal trainer, even for just 3 months to set me in the right direction, I would have.


It took 3 years to become a qualified personal trainer and I have had a further 8 years experience training with a wide range of individuals with many different outcome goals. Over this time I’ve realised that there’s a great value in getting people to where they want to be and that personal training is fast tracking your progress, or often achieving goals that without the correct coaching, may never have happened at all. Health and fitness is a minefield, there’s a ton of information out there, often contradictory, people meaning well but giving poor advise. However tell an expert what you want, they will listen, empathise, understand you, adapt to what you’re capable of, learn your own limitations and determine the most effective and efficient way to get you to where you want to be, now that’s PERSONAL training. This could be as simple as learning somebodies strengths and biomechanics as well as their training preferences to develop a routine to burn the most possible calories throughout a week and then coaching on nutrition to maintain consistent progression.


At Altered Images we pride ourselves on member service. All of our members are entitled to a free 30 minute Personal Training consultation. The 30 minutes will usually (but not always), consist of a 10-15 minute chat about your goals and current ability, then 15-20 minutes in the gym doing some practical assessments and practice exercises to give you a taste of what personal training might be like for you. To book in simply talk to one of our staff or call us on 01527 874395.

If you enjoyed reading this blog you may also like our previous article on how to beat depression.

December Class Changes for Studio 2 Refurbishment


Studio 2 will be out of action from Friday 7th December 2018 for a 6-week refurbishment programme. Please see the class timetable or our website and social media for all class changes or ask for a copy from reception.

On Wednesday 12.12.18 there will also be significant disruption in our car park as we take delivery of the new steelwork. Also from Wednesday 12.12.18 to Friday 14.12.18 there will be disruption in the ground floor corridors as the materials are brought in by hand. Please be patient whilst attending your classes and allow extra time to attend the club.

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions on  01527874395.