Meridian's Challenge #2

The challenge we set James last week was slightly different to our original fitness based challenge we set. This week we wanted to find out what Jame's advice would be for someone starting out on their fitness journey....

How did you get on this week?

The Fitness Routine is currently keeping to the plan! Monday to Friday broken down into the 5x differing sessions. Only difference is I’ve managed to make 2 x PT sessions, which is really helping to build overall technique & ‘fighting rounds’ stamina. I should point out that I only started PT sessions in December 14. Something I’ve always wished to do, but being in the same place for more than 2 x days a week has been a challenge over the last 10 years!


This week has been a new PT drill to me. Picking up a ‘MMA Throwing Bag’, which is like picking up a person, though not as heavy’ putting over one shoulder & running to end of mats floor, throwing it with pull power to the ground, picking up, place on other shoulder & run back, throw to the ground. Immediately pick up 2 x 10kg kettle weights, Farmers Walk as fast as possible across & back, then straight onto the Throwing Bag drill. Repeat each 10 x. Really made you work, but loved it!

2nd PT session

I’m now working on 5 x 2 minute free style rounds, minute rest between each round. It’s the repeated kicking that wastes your legs! The great benefit of this particular training is it feels so much more demanding than a run or row, provides complete body fitness, & at my age, I do not ache/suffer in the way you feel from the ‘pounding’ of a run of more than 25 minutes duration.


was ‘sprints’ on the beach. It is now getting just light at 06.20! The 06.00hrs runs will soon be in the light & in a few months warm enough to get the bike out!


James ashton beach
This week’s Challenge: ‘Can I provide some advice on someone starting out on a fitness journey?’

Hmm-my advice is aimed at time short enthusiasts who wish to develop a healthy level of fitness

  • Plan & allocate some time in your week to focus on exercise, 3 x week if possible, 30 minutes sessions--60 mins maxStructure the type of exercise you can fit in around family/work commitments. If time short, pick a routine that requires the least preparation in kit. Cycling being time unfriendly, but Press-Ups/Squats/Core work/Swiss Ball, after a warm up, these can be done nearly anywhere & anytime. My routine starts at 06.00hrs, awake at 05.45. Apart from my new PT sessions, I’ve always developed a regime that can be done at or  near the home/hotel/foreign country
  • To maintain all round fitness, circuits, cross-training or Boot Camps are brilliant. Create your own circuit in a park.
  • A PT can really help with correct technique & ensure you’re challenged
  • Develop a strong core first. Everything else will flow from there
  • Extrinsic Factors such as training outdoors, parks, fields, beaches, hills, safe urban routes, gyms, Martial Arts Centres all help provide a stimulating environment
  • Buy the best sports clothing you can afford in your budget, that feels good & comfortable. It will not help the overall performance, but provides a real sense of purpose to train & you’re getting rid of the daily clothing & making the occasion meaningful.
  • Keep disciplined, focused & eat a balanced diet
  • No need for heart monitors etc., more time consuming & a faff. You will know if you are progressing& feel good
  • Attack each session with relish & enjoy
Thank you for your advice James! We are upping the challenge tempo this week with a slightly more physical challenge! Your challenge is to do 50 sit ups in 1 min! 


Good Luck! 

james cropped

James is our in house fitness enthusiast! He has a true passion for maintaining an active lifestyle and is one of Meridian's biggest nut butter fans.