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More Than Just A Gym



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Sunday 29/03/2020

Posted on 29 March, 2020 at 13:45 Comments comments (562)

I'm writing the date as the title just to remind myself what day it is 8)

1st week of Daily Trainer done and !st week in isolation done. I personally have really enjoyed it. Some of the things I've enjoyed:

  • Being home! I'm never home. I've got a list of jobs to do and really enjoying have the time to do them. Taking pride in your home is a must, especially right now.
  • Spending time with the kids. Not really time in the house because that can be a daily war, especially trying to do school work. More the long dog walks together in the countryside, telling stories, showing them the stupid stuff I did as a kid.
  • Being creative. Mainly with home workouts. Usually I'd be in the gym lifting heavy weights and following my standard plan. Isolation has got me thinking about muscle stimulation, overload and angles. Really enjoying it and I'm sure it will show in this weeks workouts.
So yeah, so far I'm enjoying my new routine just now.
What I have picked up on is lack of routine from most. One of the biggest problem areas being diets. Eating because your bored, eating more than normal because the food is available to you or emotional eating because of the current situation. 

Who falls into this bracket?
Too many biscuits... Wine every night?

Comment and let me know what you're gonna do this week to get back on top of it.


Friday 27/03/2020 - Overview

Posted on 27 March, 2020 at 10:05 Comments comments (899)

1st full week of no gym!

I don't know about you guys but this week my anxiety has been high and spent hours every day on social media. Gradually I've settled into a routine now, thankfully.I feel much more at ease and no pressure to do 1 million things. This upcoming week I will enjoy the process of designing and doing each workout much more.

 A few things that have become apparent to me as I've isolated this week...

 1 - Everyone needs some form of exercise to mentally cope with panic and uncertainty. Is that a natural instinct, survival of the fittest? or is it purely the stress release and endorphins that help us cope?

2 - Kids hate school work and entertaining them is a novelty for the 1st hour of the day.

3 - I love my own time far too much.

 4 - More people need thoracic mobility. Sitting on my computer all week I've felt myself round over and stretch my neck out...I'll be a giraffe by the time isolation is over. For some sitting at a desk or driving daily is the norm. If so I've attached a link to a video on Youtube showing exercises you should do daily or at least 3x per week to reduce a build up and tightness across the neck and shoulders, improve your posture and prevent injuries when you exercise.

3 Tricks to get wider shoulders

Posted on 23 March, 2017 at 13:20 Comments comments (523)

1. Wider Grip = Wider shoulders

When performing barbell shoulder presses a wider grip recruits more muscle fibres from the lateral head of the shoulder. Change your grip to 1 and a half times shoulder width and watch them shoulders grow.


2. Perform a variety of side raises

Everyone knows a standard dumbbell side raise and your body is probably stale from using it every shoulder workout. Next time you train shoulders try adding in cable side raises, holding side raises and a favourite at Cargill's Gym & Personal Training, Supinated leaning forward side raises.


3. Work your traps

To create a look of width and thickness you need traps. Upright rows get alot of stick for wrist injuries but a wider grip (look at trick 1) will reduce the strain on the wrists and works the lateral head of the shoulder harder. Add upright rows and a shrug movement at the end of every shoulder workout for best results.

5 fat burning tricks

Posted on 7 March, 2017 at 7:30 Comments comments (92)

1. Transition To Interval Training

Kick start fat loss with intervals. Skip steady state cardio and alternate between timed periods of all-out bursts an low intensity recovery. This form of training will have you burning calories at lightning speed for hours after the workout is over.


2. Switch To A New Piece Of Cardio Equipment

Don't let your workout become stagnant! Abandon your cardio of choice and change things up. Not only will you work a new set of muscles, you'll also stimulate your mind.


3. Switch To A Full Body Workout

While isolation exercises have their place, full-body compound workouts are great for fat loss. They allow maximum muscle stimulation and work all the major muscle groups. This causes the greatest calorie expenditure during and after your workout.


4. Dropset Movements

Increase the intensity with a drop set for more calorie burn. Instead of using the same weight and performing 3 sets of 8 squats, for example, implement a heavy weight for the first few sets and, when you hit failure on the final set, drop the weight by 20% and continuing repping to failure.


5. Stagger Your Sets

During your rest period between sets of strength exercises perform 15-20 seconds of high intensity body weight cardio, for example, mountain climbers, burpees, jumping jacks, high knee sprints . This will keep your heart rate high and blood pumping, giving you a more energetic workout and supercharge your calorie burn.

Training To 'Tone Up'

Posted on 1 December, 2015 at 7:20 Comments comments (102)

Tone up.... What is that? 

Most people regard it as the body tightening and firming up giving you a more appealing look.

The truth is, it's used to define losing body fat and gaining lean muscle. Lean muscle being the scary part for most females.

Majority of our clients look to tone up when they join the gym but dont want to do any weight training. Thats ok. There is many ways to lose body fat and shape the body without weights, but thats for another post.

This post is aimed at those who want results from weight training and fitness.

Firstly food is going to be crucial. An eating plan designed to increase lean muscle mass will be the most successful in healthy changes. No quick fix, you'll eat to improve workout performance and recover from hard workouts.

Weight training will be based on 3-4 full body workouts per week, using large compound movements. Compound movements are multi jointed exercises, e.g.Squats. These exercises when used with the right weight will increase hormones to help burn fat and build lean muscle over the whole body. Compound movements will use more muscles when training and cause greater energy expenditure, depleting energy stores around the body. 

Cardiovascular training will come last. For novices aim for 15-30 minutes of steady state moderate intensity cardio, e.g. cross trainer. For more advanced trainers you can mix up between steady state cardio and high intensity interval training, 10-20 minutes. 

Example of a Full Body 'Tone Up' workout for a beginner.

Warm up - 8 minutes gradual build up on the cross trainer

3 sets of 10 reps on each exercise. 60 seconds rest between sets.

Barbell squats

Dumbbell lunges

Dumbbell shoulder press

Underhand lat pull down

Swiss ball abs rollouts

30 minutes of hill walking on the treadmill

Incline - 6+

Speed -3-4mph

Challenging but maintanable intensity

Stretch full body

2 sets of 15-30 seconds on each stretch

How many reps to build muscle

Posted on 18 November, 2015 at 5:30 Comments comments (517)

Building Muscle

Building muscle is a process of stimulation - overload - recovery - growth. We stimulate the muscles by performing an exercise that targets that area. Studies show that a rep range of 6-12 repetitions will benefit us best when building muscle is our goal.

Overload is the next part of that process. To create overload we must improve on strength or exhaust the muscle to failure.

From this point we then recover and grow. Good nutrition and correct levels of protein will allow us to recover quicker.





Focus on form and technique. Start with lighter weight and smooth controlled movements. Use a high rep range but less sets to begin with.

3 sets of 12 repetitions - 60-90 seconds rest between sets



With a few month of lifting experience you should look at heavier weight training. This will help increase your strength and muscle size. Still keep focus on control.

4 sets of 8 repetitions - 90 - 120 seconds rest between sets



6+ months of experience in the weights area should give you confidence to drop to lower rep ranges and perform exercises with heavy weight and good form.

4-6 sets of 6 repetitions - 120+ seconds rest between sets


Mark Cargill


When to train

Posted on 17 November, 2015 at 4:50 Comments comments (4)

Recent studies suggest the best time to train is early evening, between 5pm-7pm. Studies support this with research showing our bodies are naturally warmer and testosterone levels are higher at this time of day. 

But does this work for you?

For some people this is perfect and is their preferred training time. For me, No, I'm taking classes and personal training sessions. Does this stop me from getting a good workout or achieving great results? Definitely not!

Truth is, the best time to train is when you can. Today's culture is fast paced and time is limited. Schedule your workouts when's best for you and train hard. Whether it's early morning before work, after you drop the kids off at school, around your shifts or after work. Train when suits you. 

Train hard, Eat well and make it a habit and you will get results. 

Mark Cargill