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Post Workout Shakes

May 11, 2017

Recovering from training is essential and something most people do not focus on. Its just as important as the session itself. A lot of our athletes bring their shakes, snacks to the gym with them ready so as soon as they finish training they can start recovering. The quicker we recover the quicker we can train again, the more we grow, adapt and the more productive the activity has become.

Glycogen Intense activity uses glycogen (carbohydrates,sugar) for fuel. This is your petrol for your car (body).  As you exercise you use your fuel and deplete your glycogen levels. This creates fatigue and if you don’t have enough before training a decrease in athletic performance. Consuming carbohydrates straight after working out will start topping up what you have just used and refilling you gas tank. Fruit is fast to digest and absorb so great to add into your shake for after training. Especially bananas, dates, which are triple sugars or some berries which are anti-inflammatory.

Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride). Electrolytes are critical for the body. They help the body work properly survive and contribute to fluid balance, muscle (and heart) contraction, and nerve impulses. That why pink salt is so important. Pink Himalayan Salt

contains 84 essential nutrients.  85% of it is sodium chloride and 15% are trace minerals. It also contains magnesium which is a vital nutrient.Himalayan salt promotes a healthy pH balance of the cells and regulates blood sugar levels. Pink salt assists in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells. Therefore it will help regulate your blood after training and add some squeezed lemon into your shake to help bring the body out of an acidic stake and back to an alkaline environment which will also help speed up recovery.

Protein is another macronutrient critical for recovery. Protein is something that takes longer to digest so it is something that needs to be topped up on throughout the day so its already into your system. Plant protein is quicker when it comes to digestion terms so we can add some hemp seeds, hemp protein, spinach, kale into our shake.

Water- the most important. Water is how we survive. Water affects our mood, energy levels, brain function also the efficiency of how our body works. Water affect how many calories we burn, how well we train, recover and perform. Without water we die. Over two-thirds of your body is made of fluid and your level of hydration directly affects recovery. The more dehydrated you are the longer it takes your body to restore to its normal state. When we set we lose water so we must replace our fuel tank.

Easy Options:


Coconut Water with a pinch of pink salt

A Banana

Some Dates



Shake Recipes: Blended

Number One

A Banana

One Handful of Blueberries

One Handful of Raspberries

One Teaspoon of Honey

One Handful of Spinach

One Handful of Kale

One Tablespoon Hemp seeds

sprinkled with pink salt and cinnamon

one tablespoon chia seeds

squeeze some lemon in

250 mil water or 500 mil water

250 mil coconut water or organic almond milk (rude health) optional


Number Two

One Handful of blue berries

one handful of raspberries

one handful of strawberries

three dates (take nut out)

half a banana

handful of spinach, kale, rocket

one tablespoon hemp seeds

one tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon pink salt

1 squeezed lemon

500 mil water


What is Functional Training?

March 15, 2017

Functional Means Something has a Purpose

Functional Training just not just mean sport specific. Functional training originates from sports therapy. Exercises used in rehab were the same exercises used to prevent injuries. They were also the same exercises used in the athletic environment and they are similar to movements we perform every day.

The aim of strength and conditioning is to get you fitter, faster, stronger and healthier. Whether that being to prevent or recover from injury or for a sporting environment. It’s training that teaches you to cope with every day life with some little changes depending on the sport you play.



Functional Training works

Sports Performers

How many sports are played sitting down?
Not many other than rowing, etc

How many sports have stability provided?

None…. stability is provided by the athlete. This is why machine based training is not functional. The load gets stabilised by the machine and not the athlete

How many sport skills are performed in isolation?

Zero…. Sporting and Functional Training involves multi joint exercises and movements. Multi joint movements are specific for sport. Isolation Exercises have a place in body building but not Functional training for sports.


Gym wrexham mma fitness weight loss

Train Movements not Muscles

Three point extension

Why Functional Training?

It makes sense. Functional Training is growing and machine based work is on the decline. Now you can buy foam rollers and Kettle-bells from Tesco. Gyms now have Astro Turf in and lifting platforms rather than weighted machines and running machines.

At certain times muscles groups that require stability may need to be isolated:
– deep abdominals
– core, muscles and joints around the hips
– scapular stabilisers

These get isolated to improve their function. This is where mobility comes into play. Programmes should involve multi joint exercises performed standing, but attention should be paid towards mobility and and the key stability groups.

Training is tool to improve your vehicle in more ways than just Strength and looks. Number one goal of strength and conditioning is injury prevention.


Single Leg Exercises

October 10, 2016

Muscles around the hips, core,lower spine and legs are a base for many strength and conditioning programmes. Hip mobility, strength and control is vital in maximising performance and preventing injury.


Why Single Leg Exercises?

Single Leg exercises are excellent for reducing injury, improving control and the balance of an athlete.

In sports, running, training and life we perform a lot of movements on one leg and don’t aways train movements on one leg? A lot of athletes we work with we make sure single leg exercises are in their programme. There is less load on the spine doing these exercises, more awareness of control over the knee and they improve balance, growth and functional development. We engage the core for these movements to balance and it helps develop strength and control around the hips. A great tool for injury prevention and developing athletic performance.

Here are some of our recommended Exercises. Don’t Train these without learning the correct technique. Speak to one of our team for details on the exercises.


Balance Single Leg

Simple, balance on one leg with your knee in line with your hip. This will help work your stability. To make it harder have your training partner throw you a tennis ball or close your eyes.



Can be used with kettle-bells, dumbbells or a barbell. A great exercise to start your single leg training which involves the core for balance and control. Start with your bodyweight then work up to weights in your hands before putting a bar on your back.


Bulgarian Split Squat

If you have been to one of our circuits you know what a Bulgarian split squat is. Yes its tough but the benefits are huge. By having your foot on a box or a bench it helps to give you that extra stability while your lead leg does all the work. Drop that back knee and don’t let that lead knee go past your toes.


Pistol Squat

One of the toughest exercises to perform. A full squat using only one leg. Form, technique, control and stability are all needed to perform this exercises as well as the mobility in the hip, knee and ankle.

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift

This exercises require control of your midline to keep the back straight and requires excellent balance and control. This exercise is involved in our movement warm-up sequence and can also be done with a kettlebell. The weight is away from your body so really emphasises core strength to control the movement.

Sport Specific/Plyometrics Movements

As discussed in the introduction a lot of movements are performed on one leg especially in sports. Therefore making our training specific is important. Remember we also want to ask WHY? Why are we performing certain movements.

The Prowler: Actually a single leg exercise where the other leg is used for stability. Great for developing speed and power especially if you have not mastered your squat technique. (see our prowler blog for more details)

Single Leg Hops/bounds: Great for balance and control. Can be used as a plyometric and also makes you think about controlling the landing ready for your next movement. The landing in sports can be where a lot of injuries occur so this exercise helps. Great to be done in front of the mirror.


Skaters: Another exercise used in a lot of our circuits. Working the lateral motion with a single leg. So unlike hops we train the upwards motion, bounds we train the distance and skaters we train the side to side motion.

Sled Drag: This can be performed going forwards and backwards. Again important for sports where we are forced to run backwards at times.

August 22, 2016

DOMS- The Devil- Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can happen the morning or two after your intense workout. Sometime you can feel great after a workout for 12 sometimes 24 hours after and then BOOM it hits you. It is important after we train we put in the correct steps to reduce muscle soreness and help us recover. 


Post Training Nutrition 

Carbohydrates and sugars are essential to get into the system after a workout so we can top up on what we have just lost in the session. You can make your own pre training shake brought with you ready for as soon as you finish your workout. This can contain, fruits, vegetables and plant protein mixed with water, lemon and pink salt. Lemon helps the body recover from an acidic state, and pink salt will help replace the salt lost during training and keep all the nutrients from the sugars and vegetables. Pink salt, citrus fruits, vegetables will help replace the electrolytes you have lost during the session. 

Then within 60 minutes you can eat a high carbohydrate meal (good carbs, = rice,potato, vegetables, quinoa, buckwheat). This is not an excuse to eat pizza and chocolate. 

Good Warm-up

A good warm-up. Dynamic stretches to warm up and slow static stretches to cool down. When you cool down from an intense workout their is already muscle breakdown so try not to stretch over a 5 or 6 out of ten.Stretching if done correctly can be a workout in itself so shouldn’t be too intense straight after a high intensity workout and can even be done as a separate session. 

Cold Bath/Shower

Studies have shown taking a cold bath or shower can help reduce inflammation and breakdown of the muscles. Again reducing the amount of time that you take to recover.

Active Recovery/Massage

Having DOMS wont recover by sitting watching TV. Active recovery such as walking, stretching, light movements and technique work are great for getting blood to the muscles to speed up recovery. Also a deep tissue massage does the same thing.


Sleep is where we repair our body, immune system and mind. A good nights sleep will help us repair the damaged muscle tissue and with correct nutrition we will repair stronger. 


Its not complicated to recover properly from a workout. Prepare, eat right, do the right things when it comes to recovery. Most of the tools to recover from training are the same as leading a healthy life



What Nut to Eat

June 23, 2016

The Nut Question:

A regular question asked is ‘what nuts should i eat and what nuts are better for me’. Now generally all nuts are good when eaten in the right moderation at the correct times. Nuts are hard to digest if we eat to many of them so recommended amount is no more than two handfuls per day.

Here are some facts around the best type of nuts to eat and what you may need to suit you and your goals. Each has different nutritional components.




Cashew nuts. Organic, un/salted and not roasted. Great source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron.

Nutritional Info

Serving Size 1/4 cup (1oz)

Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat 110 Calories 150

Total Fat 12g

Saturated Fat 2g

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 7g

Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 0mg

Total Carbohydrate 8g

Dietary Fiber 1g

Sugars 2g

Protein 5g




Helps lower blood cholesterol levels. A source of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and Vitamin E.

Nutrition Info

Serving Size 1/4 cup (30 g)

Per Serving % Daily Value*

Calories 170

Calories from Fat 135

Total Fat 15g 23%

Saturated Fat 1g 5%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 0mg 0%

Carbohydrates 5g 2%

Dietary Fiber 4g 16%

Sugars 1g

Protein 7g

Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 8% · Iron 6%




Good for preventing heart disease because of their richness in omega 3s. Also been shown to help with inflammation and arthritis. Contains Vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper.

Nutrition Info

Serving Size 1/4 cup (30 g)

Per Serving % Daily Value*

Calories 210

Calories from Fat 180

Total Fat 20g 31%

Saturated Fat 2g 10%

Polyunsaturated Fat 14g

Monounsaturated Fat 3g

Carbohydrates 3g 1%

Dietary Fiber 3g 12%

Protein 5g

Calcium 2% · Iron 6%



Brazil Nuts


High in Vitamin E and selenium. They also contain copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. They are great for skin health, hormone function, the digestive system and weight loss.

Nutrition Info

Serving Size 6 Whole (30 g)

Per Serving % Daily Value*

Calories 196

Calories from Fat 181

Total Fat 20.1g 31%

Saturated Fat 4.5g 23%

Polyunsaturated Fat 6.3g

Monounsaturated Fat 7.4g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 1mg 0%

Potassium 197.54mg 6%

Carbohydrates 3.7g 1%

Dietary Fiber 2.2g 9%

Sugars 0.7g

Protein 4.3g

Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 4% · Iron 3%


Nuts are a great source of healthy nutrients and are packed full of many healthy benefits. They are great for your immune system, hormone function and will help you burn fat. Great to snack on and because they are packed full of nutrients they will help keep you fuller for longer.

You may be wondering where Peanuts are? Peanuts are not actually a nut they are a legume. Peanuts are unfortunately gain toxic mould growth. The toxic fungus it develops can be bad for the liver but some companies will add stuff to make it last longer and taste good. Therefore the crops are heavily contaminated pesticides.

Choose your nut Wisely

Key Ingredients to Help Optimise your Blood Pressure

May 26, 2016

We have featured a few blogs now on our page about essential minerals, nutrients and micronutrients to help keep the body healthy and well. The key theme is that mainly its the same key nutrients and foods that have great impacts on our well being. Bad blood pressure has been linked to a lot of diseases and can affect your heart and arteries, brain, eyes, kidneys and limbs.






















According to the American Heart association chances of high blood pressure causing you serious problems rises due to:

Physical in-activity

Poor Nutrition ——- we added that one 😉





High Cholesterol


Nutrition is vital as well as physical activity and sleep when trying to obtain maximum health. Essential minerals that will help with your blood pressure are>



Magnesium is needed by every organ in your body including the lungs and zinc keeps your immune system strong and can help you grow. Magnesium is found in nuts, dark leafy vegetables, and seeds. Magnesium is great for energy and helps you absorb calcium. Magnesium is essential for good health

Studies have shown that magnesium has several health benefits including:

Energy production

Help promote healthy bones

Aids the absorption of calcium

Regulates high blood pressure

Prevents cardio vascular disease

Help when your body is under stress

Magnesium controls electrical activity of the heart. It helps you sleep which is vital for health and will also lower your blood cholesterol.

Magnesium is found in nuts such as almonds, dark leafy vegetables, and seeds.



Potassium also helps blood pressure as it holds a positive electrical charge. This helps with contractions of the heart. Low levels of potassium also leads to cramp and bloating and nobody wants that.

Potassium can be found in- Potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, bananas and papaya.



The very popular pink salt.

Salt is an essential nutrient that the body needs to help absorb electrolytes, regulate fluid and water levels. Without salt we can become dehydrated, get muscle cramps and waste valuable nutrients. If you are exercising or the sun is out and you sweat more you will need more salt than a cold day where you have not broken a sweat. Sodium helps muscles contract and helps regulate blood pressure and volume. Monitoring when we have pink salt and the amount we have is important.


Pink Himalayan Salt

Contain 84 essential nutrients

85% of it is sodium chloride and 15% are trace minerals

Contain magnesium which is a vital nutrient

Himalayan salt promotes a healthy pH balance of the cells and regulates blood sugar levels. T

Pink salt assists in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body


Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

Fish oil has many great benefits such as improving lung function, the respiratory system and inflammatory parameters. Omega 3s can also prevent the amount of mucus you create, help with the brain, the kidneys, the eyes, and the heart. A scientific study has shown after 8 months of supplementation of omega 3 fish oil has increased lung function and decrease inflammation. It has also been shown to help with depression, recovery and Alzheimer’s. Helps with inflammation in the blood vessels and the body.

Omega 3 is found in- Salmon, Hemp Oil, Fish, Avocados and avocado Oil




April 26, 2016

The Deadlift- If performed with correct technique is a superb tool for so many reasons. If done with correct mechanics it will have huge rewards. The movement and technique has to be more important than the weight you move. If done in-correctly it will lead to injury. When executed correctly will actually reduce the chances of injury. The deadlift will also cross over into other training lifts such as the squat, cleans and snatches from the floor. 


Source –

Full Functional Movement

The deadlift is one of the few that hits all major core muscle groups and is functional to every day living. Picking things up, jumping, squatting are movements that we perform in every day life and the deadlift can strengthen all of these. It can be the base of your training programme. It is also great for athletes that need strength and explosion.

Improves the Posterior Chain and Posture

Posture and mobility are big areas in which people are struggling at the moment because of their lifestyle. The deadlift movement targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. The technique forces you to use correct posture and strengthen the lower back giving you a better position of the lower spine. 

Improves Grip Strength

Grip is a big part of strength training that many people neglect. No straps just use your forearms and fingers to keep hold of that bar. We recommend only using straps if they are a part of your sport. If not improve that grip strength! 

Don’t jump into this Exercise without being coached in this lift. Make sure your technique is perfect. Low weight, high reps first before jumping into big heavy lifts. We also recommend dropping the bar from the top until the movement is mastered. 

Some Exercises to master before the Deadlift: These will help progress you into the barbell deadlift

Kettle-bell Deadlift

Sumo Deadlift

sumo deads

source –

IPC Coach – Hannah Davies

March 22, 2016

Athletic History:

Played squash since the age of 8 and internationally for Wales since the age of 12. Have been Welsh Number 1 in the age categories U15, U17 and U19. Made European U19 number 2 in the 2010/2011 season and was also part of Welsh Team who finished 2nd in the European Junior Team Championships. Throughout my senior career I have been part of the Welsh Ladies Team who in 2014 finished 5th in the European Team Championships. After taking a year out to focus on my studies I finished 4th in the most recent (2016) Welsh National Championships and made the UK top 20 for the first time this year. I am sponsored by a fantastic US equipment provider (Harrow) and am a proud team member.

Why Squash:

My dad has always been a keen squash player and after watching him play on numerous occasions I began junior group coaching on a recreational basis. After developing a talent and love for the game I started entering competitions, traveling all over the world and costing my parents a fortune! It’s a fast paced, intense and exciting game which I am proud to be part of and have succeeded in.

Why S and C:

Can be tailored to all sports and individuals from beginner to elite.

Encompasses the entire development of an athlete focussing on all components of fitness

Three benefits of training:

1) Increases confidence and self-esteem

2) Improves self image and health

3) Develops a healthier body, mentally, physically and nutritionally

Three focuses of my training:

1) Enjoyment – if you enjoy your training you are more likely to continue training consistently, viewing it more positively. In my opinion training shouldn’t be seen as a chore, it should be viewed as a challenge and opportunity to progress/develop a healthy lifestyle.

2) Goal Setting – whether long term, short term, sport specific or training specific, goals are important to maintain motivation and focus attention. Setting short term goals enables you to see success which increases confidence and allows you to get that one step closer to achieving your long term goal. Use the acronym SMARTER when setting your goals (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, time-scale, enjoyable, recorded).

3) Sport Specific – I ensure that my training is specific to squash. I try to get on court around 3-4 times a week, whether that be match play, drills, routines or solo practice. I then attend weekly conditioning sessions at IPC focussing on leg strength, core strength, speed, agility and endurance which are all components specific to my sport.

10 Micronutrients We need and What Foods to Get it From

February 23, 2016

10 micronutrients that we need to function properly and that are especially important if we are training intensely.

You will notice that a number of nutrients can be obtained from the same healthy foods

Vitamin D: Lets start with Vitamin D which most of the population are deficient in. Lets be honest with the weather we get and Vitamin D coming from the Sun we are not located in the best area. Sunlight helps produce Vitamin D in the skin but there are some foods we can gain Vitamin D from. Oily fish, eggs, spinach, kale and broccoli contain Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps promote a healthy functioning body and also our absorption of Calcium. I do also recommend supplementing with Vitamin D because of its importance to us.

Calcium: Calcium which works as a team with Vitamin D helps promote healthy bone growth, development and also helps with the function of muscle contractions. Each day we lose calcium from sweat, urine, skin nails etc so it is important that we replace it. Foods high in calcium that we can absorb are, green vegetables such as spinach, kale and again broccoli.

Magnesium: Magnesium is needed by every organ in your body including the lungs and zinc keeps your immune system strong and can help you grow. Magnesium is great for energy and helps you absorb calcium. Magnesium is essential for good health and I look to take 1000mg per day as well as containing foods which are high in magnesium.Studies have shown magnesium:

help energy production,promote healthy bones and aid the absorption of calcium.

It also regulates high blood pressure prevents cardio vascular disease and help when your body is under stress.

Magnesium is found in nuts such as almonds, dark leafy vegetables, and seeds.

Zinc: Zinc is excellent for your immune system and fighting fatigue. Studies have shown Zinc to

strengthen immune system, attack infected cells and prevent and treat pneumonia. It also helps with the bodies usual functions and improves sleep, cognitive levels as well as energy levels. It is also great for supporting male and female fertility. Zinc is found in red meat, chick peas and quinoa.

Sodium: Soduim is important especially if we train and is a team partner with potassium. We lose sodium through sweat. Sodium helps the central nervous system and the absorption of nutrients. We get this from Pink Himalayan sea salt.

Potassium: The team mate of sodium as it helps control muscle contractions and nerve impulses. Without enough sodium or potassium we get the dreaded develop CRAMP. Great sources of potassium is avocado, bananas and sweet potatoes.

Iron: Iron is an important mineral for carrying oxygen in red blood cells to the working muscles. If we have low levels of Iron when we train it can take us fatigue easily or become dizzy. Food sources of Iron are Red meat, broccoli, spinach and eggs.

Vitamin B: Vitamin B helps produce red blood cells. It is also used to convert food sources into energy. Without vitamin B we struggle to turn our source of energy into fuel. Vitamin B is found in fish and black beans.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C help keeps your immune system strong. It helps keep our cells heathy and fights against free radicals. It is also used for growth and repair so vital if we have been training. Vitamin C is found in kale, broccoli, bell peppers, sprouts, oranges and other citrus fruits.

Vitamin E: Another free radical fighter. When the body is put under stress and training being one vitamin E helps fight against harmful cells to ensure a good recovery. Vitamin E is found in Nuts such as almonds and seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds.


Success Without the Scales

January 28, 2016

A common theme especially with females, is judging their success by what the scales read. The scales are not the best form of measurement for success especially when trying to develop a lean body. Muscle weighs more than fat so if you are training and developing muscle but losing fat sometimes you may actually gain weight. You should be judging success on the amount of non-functional weight you are carrying.

Body Fat Ranges:

For Men Optimum is around 8-12%

For Females 16-20%

Rather than judging yourself by the number on the scale get your body fat percentage done or use one of these 3 tips that can better judge your health and success.

1) Stand in the mirror and Take a Picture: Then re-test in 3-4 weeks and notice the difference. Sometimes the scales may not have changed but you physique has. You are not carrying lose skin where you were before, you have an extra ab or your quads are more defined. This can be a sign of progression that the scales cannot always see.

2) You have gone down a jean/dress size: Your waist is getting smaller which means you are losing body fat around the hips and stomach area. Another sign of success.

3) How you feel: You feel healthier than ever. Eating the right foods make you feel great physically and mentally and you are happy.

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