The Basics Of Fitness – Not A Quick Fix

The Basics Of Fitness

For me the basics of fitness is lifting weights and getting strong. I’ve been lifting free weights since I was 16, I did A level PE and it was part of the course so it wasn’t a big deal. Plus it was a natural progression for a kid like me who had always been sporty.

I loved it!

Every week we spent a double lesson at a local hotel gym (Tall Trees Hotel for those who know!) 

It was amazing. Me and my classmates would all train and motivate each other and we worked out how the machines worked by trial and error in a judgement free environment. We basically learned the basics of fitness by doing it and seeing how it felt

My love of strength training

This is where my love of strength training started. I have such amazing memories of that time in the gym and feeling so strong and powerful. I am forever grateful to my PE teachers (and my parents) who supported and nurtured my love of all things fitness during those formative years of my life!  

Me and my male classmates in those sessions were all equals. I wasn’t worried about becoming “bulky” or that I was doing something that was just for men. I lifted weights and it made me feel good, so I did it more!

Now baring in mind this was the early 2000’s so social media wasn’t a thing yet and I was surround by strong female influences. Being told that I couldn’t do something because I was “just a girl” wasn’t part of my world, which I understand is a massive privilege in itself and a good starting point for my journey. 

That was over 20 years ago. 

The Most Interesting Part

But the most interesting thing  

I’m still doing the same exercises today and even programming these same exercises for my clients.






There are no quick fixes. I don’t give my clients any secret magical exercises! The basics work. 

Learn the basics of fitness, do them well and keep repeating them! 

If you want my support learning the basics of fitness then have a look at my Get Started programme.

How to find LGBTQ+ friendly fitness sessions

LGBTQ+ friendly fitness sessions

You might not think that sexual orientation has any impact on fitness and physical activity levels. However finding LGBTQ+ friendly fitness sessions can be especially daunting for those who belong to a sexual or gender minority.

The main barriers to exercise that most of us face are time, cost, motivation and lack of resources. Although those who identify as LGBTQ+ also have to face the fear of discrimination when it comes to accessing fitness sessions and gyms.

Add in the worry about changing rooms, the MASS of mirrors in gym settings and the use of gender-specific fitness goals by the fitness industry (Bulking up for men and losing weight for women). It’s really no wonder that fitness can be an even more daunting experience.

How to find LGBTQ+ friendly fitness sessions

Searching online for LGBTQ fitness + your local area to find sessions running close to you. Trans Active in Sheffield organise swimming sessions open to trans/non-binary/gender-questioning people of all fitness levels. There’s a relaxed atmosphere with a focus on meeting new people and having fun while being active.

Pride Sports is a national database to find LGBTQ+ sports clubs in your local area.

If you find a trainer or gym online that you think would work for you, look through their social media for LGBTQ+ representation or the use of pronouns in their bios. Some may have a safe space or inclusion policy on their website as well. You can see mine here.

If you can’t see anything then drop them a message or email to ask if they have experience working with LGBTQ+ people. You could use this opportunity to ask if they employ any members of the LGBTQ+ community as trainers or reception staff.

I have recently worked with Raven from Corvus Coaching to ensure that my fitness sessions are safe spaces for all self-identifying lesbian, bi, queer or questioning women, trans women, non-binary/gender fluid people wishing to access a women-centered space, and those whose gender identity includes women some or all of the time. As a result, I have changed my business to be a gender-neutral and inclusive place for all.

Get More Support

To see more options on how I can support you on your fitness journey please click here.

How to get started with Kettlebell Training Workouts

How to get started with Kettlebell Training Workouts

In my opinion, kettlebells are one of the greatest tools to improve your strength and fitness. Surprisingly using kettlebells as part of your home training workouts gives you much more functional exercise options. Kettlebells are relatively cheap to buy and will take up much less space than a treadmill or rowing machine.

kettlebell definition

Kettlebells build full body strength and will improve motor skills for many daily activities and sports. Movements using kettlebells can incorporate the three planes of movement that the body is capable of. This allows groups of muscles to be trained together rather than one muscle at a time. This will save you time in your training sessions.

History of kettlebell training workouts

It’s likely that kettlebells were used in Russia hundreds of years ago in village strength competitions between men.

It has also been said that kettlebells were created as a counterweight for weighing and measuring goods when trading and bartering. Sometimes these weights would be used by men to display feats of strength.

Sigmund Klein set up a weight lifting gym in New York in the 1930’s. This was the first recorded gym to have kettlebells available as training equipment. Paving the way for gyms today to have at least a few kettlebells available for members to use.

In the 2000’s Pavel Tsatsouline popularised kettlebell training via a range of fitness books, programmes and instructional videos.

What do kettlebells do?

Indeed kettlebell training workouts will make you feel like a badass, but kettlebells are also used to develop and improve:

  • Strength and power
  • Hypertrophy (muscle growth)
  • Muscle endurance
  • Functional abilities
  • Core strength
  • Sports performance
  • Active flexibility
  • Body composition
  • Cardiovascular fitness

How do I start kettlebell training workouts?

This is obviously dependent on a lot of things like what your current fitness levels are and what exercises you want to use the kettlebell for. I generally find a good starting weight for clients is around 6kg or 8kg. I personally prefer the cast iron ones like this over the plastic ones.

If you have kettlebells at home already, check out my Get Started with Kettlebells Programme. This will help you to learn and master some basic Kettle bell movements and get started with Kettlebell Training Workouts.

Do you have any questions about kettlebells or how to use them? Get in touch.

Please note that, unless specifically stated, the information provided by Aimee Pearce Personal Training is for people who are medically fit and not pregnant, with no medical, joint or health problems.  

If you require specific advice regarding your personal circumstances please contact me at aimee@aimeepearcepersonaltrainer

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Neither Aimee, nor anyone associated with, will be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at your home, gym or elsewhere as a result of the information provided on this website, downloads or programmes. You use the information and workout at entirely your own risk.

If you are unsure please consult a Doctor before starting any exercise program.

Pregnancy and Postnatal Fitness

The main goal during pregnancy is to maintain current levels of strength and fitness. However, a goal that is equally as important is to keep you pain-free and active for as long as possible, throughout the pregnancy and into the recovery stages postnatally.  

The ideal scenario would be that you are already training and building up muscle before you fall pregnant, but whatever stage of pregnancy or postnatal recovery you are at, exercise will be beneficial for you.

Exercise During Pregnancy

Walking is a good place to start if you have not been exercising prior to getting pregnant. Start with 10-minute walks every day and slowly increase the time spent walking as you feel more comfortable.

If you have been training prior to getting pregnant you can continue your usual routine for as long as you feel comfortable. You may need to make some adaptations once bump starts getting bigger and your centre of gravity changes.

Postnatal Exercise

The recommended guidelines for returning to exercise postnatally is six weeks after vaginal birth and twelve weeks for a Cesaerean delivery. However, I have had clients who are ready to return before these time frames. Also for some these official guidelines are too early for them to even think about returning to exercise.

I would always recommend that you wait until bleeding has stopped before you restart any physical activity.

The most important thing to consider when returning to exercise is to listen to your body and make sure you are ready. There is absolutely no rush to return to fitness after having a baby and you should not feel any pressure to do so. Being pregnant and having a baby is an intense period of your life, don’t rush it away worrying or feeling pressured to restart exercise too soon.

Please also consider that the hormone relaxin can stay in your body for up to six months postnatally so be careful about over stretching and pushing joints too far. In particular some yoga positions might be too intense and can cause injury.

Being aware of your posture postnatally can make a big difference to your pain levels, especially in your lower back. Check out my post below for more information on pelvic alignment.

Coming back into exercise after having a baby can be frustrating, especially for those who were mega fit and exercised regularly prior to and during their pregnancy. Being pregnant puts a big strain on your body and its important to heal and take the time to recover before pushing your body too fast. It will take time to build back up to pregnancy levels and that’s ok!

The focus of your training should be on building full-body strength, not just the areas that you feel are your “trouble spots”. This might also be a good time to re-assess who you are following on social media and mute or unfollow any accounts. In particular, any accounts that make you feel bad about your body or are promoting “get your body back after baby”, you haven’t lost your body, it hasn’t gone anywhere so you don’t need to find it. Your body has done an amazing thing and should be celebrated not punished for changing.

How to stay motivated to exercise with a baby

If you feel ready to start exercising this is a gentle postnatal exercise routine for you to try. Remember to take your time and rest when you need too. Its not a competition!

You might also be interested in my weekly Fit Mums Online session, where you can workout with baby from the comfort of your own home. All the routines will be led by me and will be real-time and suitable for pregnant or postnatal stages.

If you are unsure of where to start exercising when pregnant or just want a helping hand in the recovery and rebuilding strength after baby please get in touch.

How to Stay Motivated to Workout Regularly

How to Stay Motivated to Workout Regularly

As a personal trainer, I know how much people struggle to stay motivated to workout regularly. This blog post will help you to re-frame and harness the power of doing what you can, when you can!

You Will Never Get Strong

The Fitness Industry certainly convinces people that they are the best option to achieve the end goal of “being fit”. In actual fact there is no such thing! There will always be the opportunity for you to be stronger and fitter.

If Fit was an achievable destination then Olympic athletes for instance, literally those at the peak of human physicality would stop training and this is specifically not the case!

How to Stay Motivated to Workout Regularly

You Can Start Today

There is no time like the present right, so it is important to realise that there is no perfect conditions for exercise. You don’t need to wait until a Monday, a New Year nor a new month to start moving your body. The same goes for having the right clothing or equipment. Wear what you feel comfortable. If you are ready to starting being more active start with a gentle stretch whenever you find ten minutes.

Make Yourself A Priority

Schedule time in your diary to exercise, specifically look at your routine for the next few weeks and book in a slot for yourself. If you have a shared online calendar at work, block out time in your day to walk or workout. Make it clear that time is for you because if you don’t prioritise yourself, no one else will.

Start With Five Minute Workouts

I am not sure what comes first, action or motivation. However if you start small and build on that your motivations levels will grow. A workout doesn’t need to be an hour long session. Changing your mindset around exercise and what it “should” look like can help you to stay motivated.

You can find some free workouts under 30 minutes on my YouTube channel.

Home Workouts

Exercising at home means less travel time and motivation. You can move your body in your PJ’s in front of your favourite TV programme with the kids around. The washing up and the laundry will get done afterwards!

More Support

Aimee’s Academy is the cheapest way to work with me. Over 100 workouts that are all under 30 minutes so you can have an effective workout at home .

No trying to figure out what exercises to do and if you are doing them right. I’ll show you how in your own space and at a time that suits you.

£12 a month on a rolling monthly subscription after a seven day free trial.

Reasons you should lift weights and increase muscle mass

Muscle mass has a protective effect on all-round health, so whatever your age, fitness goal, or current fitness level you will certainly benefit from increasing the amount of muscle you have in your body. Lifting weights with the goal of building muscle will mean a better quality of life now, as well as when we are older. We will be able to look after ourselves for longer and lead a more independent life. 

A common concern among women is that building muscle will make them look bulky. However more muscle means increased metabolism and it will make you a more efficient mover, meaning fewer injuries and pain. It takes a lot of hard work in the form of heavy training and increased calories to gain muscle mass due to genetic makeup and hormones. 

Focus on what your body can do, rather than what it looks like!

There is absolutely no age limit when it comes to fitness training and especially not with strength training and lifting weights. Our muscle mass starts to decline rapidly after the age of 45, with major reductions again occurring at age 65 and 80.  We need muscle to allow our body to move and function effectively that’s why it’s so important that we start to build up the amount of muscle we have in our body when we are able to do so.

The more muscle we have to begin with the better protected we are from the natural physical decline as we age. Think of your body like a bank account and muscle is money. The more money you have in your bank account the more you can afford to lose as we age or if we have a serious accident or injury. 

The only way you can build up your bank account is to continue to make deposits. We can only build more muscle in the body is by continuously giving our muscles the signal that they aren’t strong enough. This then sends the message to our muscles to make the changes to grow and get stronger. As part of a muscle-building programme you should be changing your routines and increasing the resistance (the weight you are lifting) every four to six weeks. 

To get started building more muscle in your body, bodyweight exercises are a good place to start. Once you feel more confident and stronger you can then progress onto increasing the resistance via free weights such as kettlebells or dumbbells.

The videos below will give you a good starting point for sessions you can try at home. 

Solo Camping as a Woman

This week I went on my first solo camping trip. In preparation I read a few blog posts, one of which advised that I take pepper spray and a gun with me! While I agree with the need to be cautious, these are my top tips for going solo camping without needing to buy a firearm.

If you have never camped before I wouldn’t recommend camping in a tent solo straight off. If it is your first time camping or camping solo and you feel a bit nervous I would recommend going into a log cabin or a bell tent. Choosing a glamping option is also a good idea if you want to try camping without forking out on all the gear. In some places, the cabins have beds already in and you just need to take your sleeping bag. Bell tents can also be a good option as they will be already pitched ready for when you arrive. 

I would say that you need at least two nights away on your own to fully reap the benefits and start to switch off completely. 

Have a rough itinerary in mind. For me going camping on my own allowed me to go on some bigger adventures that I just couldn’t do with a dog and a herd of kids in tow. I use the Kamoot App to plan some rides and walks in the local area I will be staying. However, it was also good to have some time just to sit and read a book or sit and people watch. Don’t force yourself to relax but aim to do as many things that bring you joy but you struggle to fit in in everyday life. 

One of the bonus’ of solo camping is that everything is on your own terms and pace. When, where and what you eat. All time restrictions can go out of the window so go at your own pace and don’t feel guilty for having that nana nap in the afternoon.

Research your location. I use Cool Camping to find my campsites. You can search by location as well as by what facilities the sites have. There are also lots of reviews to help you see what other visitors have to say about the facilities. The first time you go away solo, pick somewhere fairly close to home. Always let someone know what campsite you will be staying at and what time you are expected to be back home. 

Check your kit. Before you go make sure you know how to put your tent up and check that everything you need is in the bag. If you haven’t been camping for a while it is a good idea to check the tent isn’t covered in mould or needs any repairs before your trip. Most campsites do sell basic camping kit like pegs etc but it’s one less thing that you need to worry about. If you have a new tent or it’s going to be the first time putting it up on your own, then have a practice run before you go. 

Take a tripod. You can get cheap tripods for your mobile phone as well as a Bluetooth clicker so you can take some great selfies to document your solo trip. 

Take a real book. Kindles and other electronic devices are great but this is a good time to go off grid with a real-life physical book that won’t run out of battery! I would also highly recommend taking a journal with you. There will be a lot of time for you to sit with your thoughts and feel empowered and confident. Make a note of them in your journal so you can remind yourself of these moments when you get back home and back to “normal”.

Plan for the worst. What are you most nervous or worried about when you think about going away on your own? What can you do to minimise that fear? What can you put in place to ensure that if this fear does happen, you have the tools or mindset ready to face and overcome it?

If you don’t have the luxury of getting some time away on your own why not take the kids along with you, my blog post on this might be useful.

I really hope that you give solo camping a try. If you do please tag me in your pictures using @aimeepearcept or share them with me in my free Ladies Only Lifestyle Support Group.

Happy Adventuring! x

Camping with Kids

Camping holds a special place in my heart. For as long as I can remember I have been camping. One of my earliest memories is of my dad stuffing the tent in the back of the car after a washout weekend camping trip!! I now go on at least one camping trip a year, sometimes with the kids, sometimes alone with my friends as a social.

It is now easier than ever to get started with camping. You don’t have to spend thousands of pounds on all the gear. What I would say is that it is worth spending money on a decent tent.  On more than one occasion I have seen people leave a campsite in the middle of the night because of a leaking tent! The rest of the gear can be borrowed or used from home until you want to spend more money.  My favourite tents to use when I am away with the kids have been Vango and have a sewn-in groundsheet and have a separate bedroom and living space. This gives you somewhere to sit if the weather is awful as well as space to sort the kids in the morning and for bedtime.

camping with kids

Absolute Camping Essentials

  • Tent
  • Airbeds
  • Sleeping bags or pillows and duvets
  • Marshmallows
camping with kids

For your first trip, you could find a campsite that has a place to eat on-site or close by. This would mean you wouldn’t have to take as much food, cooking stuff or washing up bits. I use Cool Camping to find my campsites. If you are going away for the first time, I would advise staying quite close to home.

You could always ease yourself in gently by trying out a camping pod before you take the plunge and buy a tent. These pods are a bit easier than camping as the “tent” is already there when you arrive on the site. You will still need to take all your own sleeping and cooking things though.


As you go away for longer you will need a bbq or cooking stoves to cook on but taking plenty of snacks and breakfast options with you is always a good idea.

If you have time before you go away, cook a meal and freeze it, chilli works well for this. By the time you get away and get the tent up your evening meal will be defrosted and ready to heat up.

Even if you go away in the summer it can still get chilly on a night, so pack plenty of layers, snuggly blankets, hats and buffs.


How to Survive

Don’t expect to stick to the same bedtime routine as you do when you are at home, the kids will probably stay up a lot later than usual. However, all that running around in the fresh air should hopefully mean bedtime goes fairly smoothly!

Get the kids involved in deciding the activities, ask them what they want to do and get them to come up with a bucket list of things they want to do outside while you are away.  However one of the massive benefits of camping is that if you want to you can just hang out by the tent and let everyone have some time to themselves, especially if you have older kids who want some time to do their own thing.

Get the kids their own little camping bag with their own head torch, writing pad and toys to keep them entertained.  Camping is a massive adventure for you but especially for the little ones.

Going camping is a great time to explore more of the local area. I use the Kamoot App to plan and find adventures in new areas. If you feel that you have cracked camping with the kids and want to have a go at solo camping, check out my blog post.

Happy Camping x

camping with kids

Go with the flow

The Scientific Bit

In the first part of the menstrual cycle, the follicular stage, training should be focused on high intensity and heavy lifting. In this phase oestrogen is the dominant hormone meaning a higher pain threshold and increased insulin sensitivity leading to better muscle building capacity and reduced fat storage ability (2).

In the second phase, the luteal stage, progesterone takes over the role of dominant hormone, thereby reversing everything mentioned above. Strength training is still beneficial but you may find that you aren’t able to perform or lift what you usually do or can during the follicular stage. Focus on relaxing and restorative exercises including foam rolling and stretching during this part of the menstrual cycle. Also shift the focus from short intense sessions to longer, endurance based, fat burning sessions (2).

Image from Clue Blog (1)

If you are using a form of hormone contraceptive, your cycle will look different to this and therefore you might not experience the same effects on your training and body as mentioned above (1).

The Reality Bit

Basically every woman is different and you are all training for different reasons, at different intensity levels, all while dealing with varying levels of stress. Plus every one of you will experience your own personal menstrual cycle and individual symptoms, as Heather Watson knows all too well, putting her poor performance on the tennis court down to “girl problems”(3).

It’s important to know your own body. Use the above section as a guideline but listen to your body and trust your instincts. If you feel like lifting some heavy weights, brilliant, but if you feel more like a chilled out yoga-based stretching session at home in your comfy pants, do it! Don’t get too bogged down with what part of your cycle you are in and don’t beat yourself up.

I use a really good period tracking app called Clue. It lets me add in additional information so I can keep a log of what my body is doing, how I feel and what training I’ve done. Start using it and see if you can see a pattern developing.

This also seems like an appropriate place to mention reusable sanitary protection products. They are great so I’m on a mission to make sure everyone knows about them! There are loads to pick from, from cloth pads and liners to menstrual cups. I use a Mooncup but there are lots of different versions available now. Not only are they a healthier option for you and your body, you also save money and the planet – boom! I have exercised and ran with my Mooncup in and never had any bad experiences. It can take a bit of getting used to at first so I would recommend using a pad as well the first few times you try it.

The Take Home Bit

Keep moving and exercising whatever stage or time of the month you are in. Find something that you enjoy doing and just keep doing it. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Listen to your body, love it lots and go with the flow!