The No.1 Fitness 12-week challenge: health myths busted

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Sam Pridham after four weeks

As our fitness guinea-pig Sam Pridham begins to bulk up after four weeks with No.1 Fitness, we ask his trainer Ben Camara to point out some common health misconceptions:

That running will get you toned: People think that if they drag themselves out of bed in the morning and run round the park a few times they’ll get toned. Nope: to do that you have to actually work the individual muscles. You’re much better off doing high intensity interval training or using free weights to target specific muscle groups. Sam’s sessions will usually involve some cardio; things like lunges will get your heart racing very quickly and are great fat burners. But to achieve what he wants: to get properly toned – cardio needs to be worked into a full-body regime that includes lots of free-weights and body-weight exercises.

That you need to cut out carbs and fat: Neither carbs nor fats are the enemy – its about eating the right amount at the right times and keeping your protein levels up to build muscle. With Sam we restricted his intake of carbs and sugar for a week but we then had him back on things like sweet potato and blueberries, and by the end of the regime he was eating white rice. Our nutritionist will help tailor a program to your specific needs. The only thing we advise avoiding completely is trans-fats, which you find in fast food.

That you’ll get results with one or two sessions a week: Afraid not. That’s a step in the right direction, but it really is the more the better. For serious results you need a minimum of three sessions a week but you'll notice a much quicker change if you can book in for four sessions. That’s where a trainer comes in handy – we’ll keep you motivated!

That women will look too muscly if they start doing weights: This is a surprisingly common myth: that if women start lifting weights they’re going to bulk up like a body-builder. Getting big is actually very difficult and these guys you see in the gym with arms like tree trunks will be on a special high-calorie diet. Doing weights tones your muscles which, coupled with the fat you’ll burn, will give you the kind of body that most people want.

• The 12-week program costs from £2,525 for three sessions a week, including the nutrition consultation. City A.M. readers can apply for a free, no obligation consultation with a trainer. For more information and to book your free consultation log on to or visit one of these No. 1 Fitness studios:

• 50 St Mary Axe, Lower Ground Floor, EC3A 8FR, Tel: 0207 621 1312,

• 108 Maltings Place, 169 Tower Bridge Road, SE1 3JB, Tel: 0207 403 6660,

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