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Custom Fitness 2018 a year in review….part 1

2018 review….the first quarter.

JANUARY – the year started off with a few members joining Dave for a run around Hartsholme Park – a sign of things to come for Dave…running!

We showed that age is just a number and not an excuse with Margaret working on her DL technique….(18/01/18) and Margaret is still lifting strong!


Jan also saw the start out series of myth busting videos that Lisa and Dave did to address a number of the topics that create confusion in regards to nutrition. You can see how natural Dave is on camera here! 

The month fished on a massive high with these kind words a member posted….

FEBRUARY – Our first year completed in CF mk 2….a big milestone for us!

We hosted our first ever KB competition – run by the team at Grass root KBs.  CF members Kayley, Karen, plus CF coach Dave + Lisa took part.  They were amazingly supported  by other CF members.  

Plus cake Wednesdays….it’s and thing and it kicked off big style with Gemma, Kayley, Christy leading from the front!

MARCH – This was a big month for member achievements. Shel completed the London sights 1/2 marathon.  A key point in her prep for the London marathon. Diane had recently got into running and  she completed the Clumber 10k.  Both fantastic achievements!

March was also the month for one our most popular myth busting videos…. Gluten.  You can watch it HERE

NEXT up…..Quarter 2 – APRIL-JUNE.

More amazing members achieving more amazing stuff…..and possible more cake! 


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New Coach at Custom Fitness Gym

Did you know we have a new Coach at Custom Fitness Gym?

Nicola was the first person who was successful in completing the internship program that we have run at Custom Fitness Health & Performance Gym Lincoln.

Since the completion of the internship Nicola has not looked back and has become a great Coach.  Being on/going through the journey that many of her clients have taken has given Nicola a unique ability to empathise with them:

‘I myself know exactly how it feels to have no confidence and hate the way I look and feel, especially after body changes from having children….I can also relate to how life gets in the way of training and sometimes…I feel through my own personal experience I could help women like myself achieve their goals and not just feel like a mum but feel like themselves again.’

Nicola is already churning our some pretty awesome results with her client….


Those people at Nike have got it right, sometimes your best experiences can come from the ‘just do it’ attitude.

Having seen an advert on Facebook for the Custom Fitness 6 week transformation, and with a dwindling fitness mojo, I decided to just go for it. I can honestly say it has been a great journey. Within 2 weeks I had seen noticeable results! And after 6 weeks i’d totally caught the bug and decided to carry on for an extra 4 week programme.

Nicola took time to understand me as a client, remembering what my aims were and what motivates me to achieve. I felt fully supported through the whole process. At training sessions she used her expertise to know when to motivate and support but also when a kick up the backside was needed. I was always encouraged to beat my last achievements and when I did they were there to celebrate with me!

Having them available for support online, where they (Team CF) shared recipes and food ideas as well as answered all manner of questions, helped massively in those times of need when away from the gym. The past 10 weeks have changed me both physically and mentally.

I feel fitter, healthier, happier and more motivated to achieve long term goals. It has been an absolute blast and this is one ride I’m not ready to get off just yet.



Mass (Kg) down by 4.6lbs

Body measures down 12inches in total

  • 5inch off waist
  • 3.5inch off hips


Nicola’s training philosophy fits in perfectly with our core beliefs here at Custom Fitness Health and Performance Gym.

  • Being happy/positive
  • Great quality food + in appropriate amounts
  • Tailored training for each individual
  • Support
  • Motivation
  • Accountability

If you think Nicola can help you fallout the form via the link below and we will drop you a line.


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Strength and Conditioning with the Bombers

Strength and conditioning with the Bombers…

Had these ladies in again last night and it was another immense session.  Working with the Lincolnshire Bombers in a strength and conditioning capacity has been such a positive experience.


I think they would be the first to admit that when we started working together in a S&C capacity early in 2016, most of the ladies from the Bombers had barely put a foot into a gym, let alone worked in a structured strength and conditioning capacity to train for roller derby outside of the coaching session they go to.

Last night was cool as f*&k for a number of reasons:

1. They presented me with a cool banner that is now proudly up on the wall at the gym.
2. The ladies turned up, got themselves warmed up ready to train on their own.
3. Stuck on some awesome training tunes (my inspiration has rubbed off on them!)
4. They got their training plans out smash it up.
5. The attitude of the ladies has totally changed. When we first started the mindset of the sessions wasn’t to a purpose. We had some fun and banter, but the intent and focus to get better for roller derby wasn’t there. We still have some banter, but the focus and intent of the session IS to get better for their sport (THIS is soon powerful!)
6. They still listen, ask questions, learn and are completely enthusiastic!                                                                                                         7. At the end of the session, they tidy the gym up perfectly! – those of you who know me I love a tidy gym (OCD!)


Its a complete privilege to train the Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls team. Wednesdays are a long day for me (15 hour day) but every week I’m completely buzzing from this session.

AWESOME work ladies, keep it going!!

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What an EPIC Easter Weekend!!!

A MASSIVE well done to Brett & Nicki who on Saturday night took part in a Charity Boxing event.

Both Nicki and Brett did themselves proud.

Nicki giving about 3 stone away in weight and about 4 inches in height to her opponent, and unfortunatly lost on points. She showed a huge amount of heart and commitment by refusing to stay down.
Brett, after weathering the storm at the beginning of the fight got the results of a victory!



It was great having so many people there to support them both from the gym – we had approx 40 people there to cheer them on.  This also allowed the night to double up as one of the community events thats happening this year.

We even managed to get our CF masseuse Hannah into a dress and CF Coach Lisa into heels!!!

Again a MASSIVE well done to both BRETT and NICKI!

Next on the agenda….Comedy night at HOME, Friday 27th May.



The 4 classes that were run over the Easter weekend were huge!!

The weather on Friday was beautiful, sun shining, it was great to be back training in the sunshine – a perfect combination.  Saturday and Monday were a bit more ‘business as usual’ with the weather, but it didn’t stop us training hard, having fun, a side order of banter and to finish it off chocolate! 🙂

To all you people who came to one or more of the 4 classes we had over the easter weekend bloody well done.  To give up some of your easter holiday time to coming to train with us… thats cool as – thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂

Without you people CF wouldn’t be the place that its has become. x


Again a BIG thank you, WELL DONE, and lets keep building on things to make them even better!

RPB – Relentless Pursuit of Better! 😀

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Testimonial – Ms. Chloe Bracewell

Ms. Chloe Bracewell

After having to move to Lincoln due to my University placements, I was concerned how I would be able to find a gym that could meet the needs of my weights programme and a place where I could maintain and increase my strength whilst being away from the EIS facilities at Nottingham.


A Sports and Exercise Science lecturer from Lincoln University recommended Dave Poole and his gym – Custom Fitness to me so I went to check it out.  I not only realised that it had the equipment I required but also different and interesting classes to get involved with. I particularly enjoy the strongman circuits and the HIIT Fit classes.


Everyone has been extremely welcoming and made me feel like part of the custom fitness community, making me look forward to coming to train every time. Special thanks to Dave for helping me out with his knowledge on S+C in relation to my training for GB canoeing, taking my training to a more focused intensity and for motivating me to always push harder in circuits and his awesome but brutal HIT Fit classes!

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Why warming up is not wasting time!

Whether you do your exercise in the gym, at home or out and about in the great outdoors, it’s worth giving a bit of thought to the way you prepare for your session – the warm up. I’ve seen an array of methods used – from no warm up at all and “bang” straight into a weights session, to 15 minutes on a stationary bike prior to lifting weights….


So why warm up at all? If you have a Diesel vehicle, you’ll be used to seeing indicator lights on your instrument panel which go out when the glow plugs are sufficiently hot to start the engine. Your body essentially works on a similar system. You need to mobilise joints, activate muscles and increase circulation to get the most out of the workout to follow and avoid injuries.


When you only have a limited time available to exercise, you understandably want to crack on with the main programme and so may be tempted to skip the warm up entirely. The risk of skipping 10-20 minutes preparing your body for exercise is that you suffer an injury preventing you from exercising for weeks or longer.


I have no huge dramas with a warm up including a short time on a treadmill, bike or similar equipment if it (a) helps you mentally prepare for your workout and (b) it mimics movements similar to those you are intending to undertake in your programme. Preceding an upper body workout with a stint on a treadmill is just bonkers to me, as you have done virtually nothing to prepare the arms, shoulders and back.


The time you take to warm up should also take into account how you feel on the day – if it is really cold outside/where you are training then you should factor in extra time to warm up the muscles and joints prior to loading them with weights to avoid potential injuries.


It is also worth making your warm ups dynamic – using movement and co-ordination helps increase circulation, stretch muscles and “get you in the zone”. Static stretches (where you assume a stretch position and simply hold the muscle in that position for a certain number of seconds) have been shown to actually reduce the power available through the muscles for the ensuing workout and so are not an effective use of your time at the beginning of your warm up.


If you have taken time to plan your workout, a little extra time planning an effective warm up is time well spent. If someone else plans your exercise programmes for you, ensure they are clear about how they want you to warm up – ask questions if you are not sure.


To sum up, my recommendations are:

– take time to mentally & physically prepare for your exercise

– use dynamic movements

– ensure you mobilise the joints and muscles to be used in the workout


An easy way to address all of these is to include the exercises from your programme with lighter weights or no weights at all within your warm up. You can gradually increase the weight to the required level as your body responds and warms up.


Lisa is our Female Health & Exercise Coach, Low Back Pain Exercise Specialist & Pilates Instructor.

You can contact her directly or further information is available on our website and Facebook page.

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What does “eating healthily” actually mean?

The Custom Fitness team recently exhibited at Doubletree Hilton’s wedding fayre. To me, this was just a fabulous opportunity to chat to people!

Any wedding day is a chance for everyone to look their best. Brides-to-be in particular may be more conscious of their physiques due to their impending Wedding Day. A family wedding is a fabulous opportunity for the whole bridal party to improve their wellness in the run up to the big event.

This usually involves starting, returning to, or changing your exercise opportunities and improving your posture. It must undoubtedly also include a review of your nutrition. Getting your nutrition right does much more than helping achieve or maintain your figure and weight:

– It ensures you have enough energy to tackle your day with vigour;

– Helps you fend off viruses and illness by supporting your immune system;

– Keeps you looking younger by nourishing your skin from the inside;

– It can even help you sleep better (which then again helps energy levels and skin health) and reduce bloating.

I find it really interesting that people feel compelled to tell me they “eat healthily”. We all like to feel we are doing the right thing for our bodies and perhaps therefore, feel the need to justify our nutritional choices.

If you are “eating healthily” and still not seeing the changes you are after, or are finding it incredibly difficult to stick to, something is not quite right for you. Undertaking a nutritional review can reveal why.

What does “eating healthily” actually mean?

What does “eating unhealthily mean”?

We are regularly bombarded with information from weight loss companies, fitness folk and the internet about the new miracle fat loss, the quick way to lose weight, the next super-food, etc, etc, etc

– so how do we know what the right approach is?

Should you choose low fat or low carb, or should you choose low calorie?

Again, in these instances, what does “low” actually mean and what difference does each make?
What does “eating healthily” actually mean?

One lady went to great lengths to explain to me that she was “eating healthily” because she’d “completely cut out bread and potatoes” amongst other food items.

When does completely eradicating a food group from your diet make it healthy?

In my view, next-to-never!

Don’t get me wrong, if you have a medically diagnosed sensitivity, intolerance or allergy (they are differences between them) to a food(s) then absolutely.

Self-diagnosing these issues or cutting out food groups to achieve weight-loss often results in failure and is unnecessary.

Another person told me that they have food sensitivity issues because they suffer from bloating.

This person was considering purchasing an online blood test to analyse it. In these instances my advice would be to start a food diary recording EVERYTHING you eat AND drink, and book to see your GP. Some sensitivities (e.g. to gluten) can be easily tested and your GP is the best person to speak to about this, in the first instance. As to whether you need to spend a significant amount of money, via the internet or otherwise, for a blood test that promises to give you the answers to your food sensitivity issues….save your money.

A wide range of medical studies conclude that the gold standard in diagnosing suspected food allergies remains controlled oral food challenges under medical supervision, along with taking an appropriate clinical history. This route also ensures you do not unnecessarily exclude items from your daily food and drink intake.

Still not sure what “eating healthily” means for you? Perhaps it’s time to find out….

Lisa is our Female Health & Exercise Coach, Low Back Pain Exercise Specialist & Pilates Instructor.

You can contact her directly or further information is available on our website and Facebook page.

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Why I don’t do “Body Transformations”

When people traditionally think of Personal Training they tend to visualise “Body Transformations”. Social media and the internet are awash with images of miraculous changes in the figures of both men and women, urging us all to jump onboard the bandwagon to gain ripped abs and a chiselled musculature.

Truth is when you first start as a personal trainer, this can seem like the pinnacle of your career – offering this service because everyone wants to look like that, right? Thing is, even if they do, are they prepared to give up what it takes to achieve those physiques?

More often than not, the people that I meet and work with are actually after a better quality of life. It may be that they don’t know where to start with nutrition, are fed up with falling on and off the diet bus, are nervous of returning to or starting exercise.

Some would just like to be able to do other things we take for granted – like loading the washing machine and doing the vacuuming, without pain.

The same approach can not be applied to all of these people. Beasting someone for an hour until they’re beetroot red, sweating like a pig and crawling out the door on hands and knees does not automatically qualify you for the Personal Training hall of fame.

A number of clients have also commented in recent weeks that I “really do follow the lifestyle” – absolutely! I practice this in terms of my children and clients alike – how can I ask them to behave one way if I don’t stick to it myself? This does not mean that I eschew all things tempting however.

It has amused me on a couple of social occasions where people felt the need to tell me it was “only their second glass of wine” or they are “just having the one cake”. Truth is I love cake, but even more than cake, I adore chocolate.

To my friends astonishment I did completely give it up for 6 months to see the effect it would have on my own body fat (it did reduce it, not surprisingly) but with a recent house move and children on summer holidays, I’ve decided for the sake of my husband’s health, that a little bit of chocolate here and there is worth it.

This proves my point that when working with individuals, any coach must take the time to understand that individual. Their preferences for food, drink and exercise. Their work, family and social schedule. Understand their goals and not being afraid to be honest where these do not fit with their current lifestyle. Sometimes you change the lifestyle (gradually), sometimes you evolve your goals.

Life is about choice. The choices you make affect who you are, what you achieve and how you feel.   From time to time, we all make the wrong choices but effective coaching is then about helping your client learn from those errors, and getting back on track – even if the track is then on a slightly alternative route.

So now when people ask me whether I “do Body Transformations?” I smile and say “No, I offer Life Transformations”.

Lisa is our Female Health & Exercise Coach, Low Back Pain Exercise Specialist & Pilates Instructor. You can contact her directly or further information is available on our website and Facebook page.

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Mindful Eating

I’ve just sat and watched the weather report for tomorrow, beginning to end….but I have absolutely no idea what the weather is going to be like tomorrow…my mind was elsewhere. It’s not uncommon. When you have things on your mind, that’s what your mind focusses on rather than what’s happening around you – if you let it.


The same can happen when you are eating. Have you ever sat with a friend having a catch up in a coffee shop and devoured a cake without even tasting it? Or shared an extra large carton of popcorn at the cinema, to find most of it has gone well before you are half way through the film but still felt surprised at feeling the empty bottom of the bag? Or met with friends for a quick drink on a Friday night to realise the next morning you’d sunk 2 bottles of wine between the 2 of you? It’s the same principle. Your mind is full of either events of the day, the company you are in or any other factor, removing your ability to be mindful of what you take in.


Take it a step further and think about where you eat each of your meals. Do you grab lunch and eat it as you carry on working? Maybe you’re not workingbut, chances are that if you eat it at your desk, you’re reading something or surfing the net at the same time.


What about your evening meal? It has become more and more common for people to eat in front of the TV, dinner on their lap. You can even get trays with cushions on the back to make this experience more comfortable! So what’s the issue with this?


Not being mindful of what we eat means we tend to eat more than we need to. We take much less notice of the taste, texture and quality of the food we eat. Our senses effectively become de-sensitised from the eating experience. Ultimately, this can mean, amongst other things we salivate less.

Saliva plays a key role in starting the digestive process for certain food components so the fact that we are producing less saliva, by not being present in the eating experience, means our body becomes less efficient at digesting our food.

Secondly, think about your posture in each of these positions compared with sitting and eating at a kitchen/dining room table. Eating in a cramped up position again compromises digestive transit and can lead to indigestion related sensations after eating.

More than this though, by distracting our brain from the task of eating we potentially override the signals our body gives us to tell us we are full – meaning we eat more than we need to, and yet still feel hungry relatively shortly afterwards because our brain was not fully present during the course of the meal.


If you are seeking to improve your body composition then it is worth paying some attention to the action of being mindful of what you eat. Make your own food where possible as the food preparation process engages the senses of sight and smell which can activate the digestive system in preparation for eating. Before you start to eat your meal, take a bit of time to look at your food – the colours, textures and combinations.

Concentrate on chewing. You may want to count the number of times you chew each mouthful initially. Take time to appreciate the taste and texture of the food and think about how it makes you feel. Listen to your body and question whether you need to eat further mouthfuls or whether you are actually full already. Do you really need a pudding?

More than anything, take your time over each meal, dedicate your senses to it away from distractions of computers, television and your phone whenever and as often as you can. If you do, your body will thank you and you’ll feel better for it.

Lisa is our Female Health & Exercise Coach, Low Back Pain Exercise Specialist & Pilates Instructor. You can contact her directly or further information is available on our website and Facebook page.

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Protein, Pea and Chocolate

Today I stepped out of my comfort zone….and loved it! I am not someone who is confident in the kitchen by any stretch of the imagination. If I cook something new, I follow a recipe religiously and am still more than capable of producing something that even the blackbirds turn their beaks up at.

So going on a cookery course run by the amazing Anna Sward of Protein Pow(d)er was exciting but also quite nerve wracking. I needn’t have worried – Anna set us all at our ease and explained things in a simple, logical way. We didn’t do any cooking though – we created!


When Anna first said we were going to make protein bars my insides gave a little cheer. I love protein bars but (a) bemoan the fact that I don’t like the huge long list of unpronounceable ingredients in some of them and (b) being a tight Yorkshire lass, am loath to spend the small fortune a regular supply invariably costs.

Then Anna said we were each going to make up our own protein bar ‘recipe’ as we went along, at which point my insides lurched a little. Strangely though, it was a completely liberating experience.

My main aim for the day was to find tasty ways to use up the pouch of pea protein that has been lurking in the back of my cupboard for some time. As a vegetarian, finding new and interesting ways to incorporate
protein into my diet has been a challenge at times.

I bought pea protein as an alternative to try to whey powder. It arrived, I mixed it up with water, took a gulp and….very nearly decorated the kitchen wall with it. It was foul! I’ve experimented with it in savoury sauces to increase the protein content of meals and it’s been ok….but not stunning.

So when Anna encouraged us to use pea or hemp protein to make our sweet protein bars, I clearly thought she was bonkers but saw it as an opportunity.

The whole experience reminded me of being a child, baking with my Mum. I chucked in, literally, a few ingredients, tasted it and added a bit more. For all you culinary experts out there, this may seem no big deal, but for me, this was something I’d never usually entertain (visions of blackbirds emigrating in my head….).


Then came the moulding and coating in chocolate…mmmmmm chocolate!!! My hands were caked in mixture and chocolate – it was such good fun! So much so, that I’m planning to repeat the experience with my own children during the summer holidays.


Needless to say, only 3 bars of my protein bar mix made it to the fridge….I’d eaten the rest in making!

lisa 4lisa5

We went on to make protein breads, protein cheesecake, protein cakes and protein pizza. All were scrumdidliumptious! In fact, it didn’t take much eating before I was totally pogged!


This is one of the benefits of eating protein – it’s satiating effect. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. This does not make it a unique requirement for bodybuilders and gym goers alone.

Every cell in your body has protein as a key constituent. Your hair and nails are mostly made up of protein. It is important for the formation and maintenance of your bones, cartilage, muscles, blood and skin. Protein is also required to make hormones and other chemicals your body needs to function efficiently.

Whatever your goals in terms of achievements, body composition and general health having a varied source of good quality protein in your diet is highly beneficial. Many people do not achieve this however.

Cookery courses like this break down creative fears and perhaps even food issues and show you how to make healthy food using cool ingredients and I would thoroughly recommend them.

Please remember though that eating healthy and natural food does not guarantee fitness model physique. Eating too much of these foods will still make you gain weight.

Just because they are prefixed with the word “protein” does not make them weight-loss products. They are, however, a fabulous way to increase protein within your daily nutrition in a varied and tasty way, and so help keep your food intake interesting when trying to change your body composition.

Check out recipes and more from Anna Sward at and, if you are pregnant or recently become a Mum, also check out


Lisa is our Female Health & Exercise Coach, Low Back Pain Exercise Specialist & Pilates Instructor. You can contact her directly or further information is available on our website and Facebook page.