Why do we do sprints?

Whenever I tell my bootcampers that we have interval or sprint training I guarantee two things will happen. 

1. If I tell them before a session then numbers go down. Some people just don't fancy it as there is just nowhere to hide. You have to put one foot in front of the other fast. 

2. If I tell them on the day then there is a lot of chuntering. I get called a lot of names, more so than any other session. 

At the end of the session everyone is buzzing and there is a feeling of really achieving something. Sprints and interval work are a little bit like taking medicine. It tastes horrible but you take it because you know it does you the world of good.

This tells me that these sessions are some of the hardest we perform. If performed properly they take people right to the edge of their mental and physical fitness. However we're not just doing this to inflict pain and suffering and to fill 20minutes. Every protocol I use with my one to one personal training clients or my bootcamp gang is based on science.

There is a lot of evidence in the public domain demonstrating the benefits of sprint training. A study by Hazell et al (2014) was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism. It was called "Running sprint interval training induces fat loss in women." This was one of the first studies to look at the effect sprint/interval training had on women. As I train a lot of ladies it got my attention straight away. I have read it many times trying to extract data to make my sessions more effective. 

The authors wanted to know what the effect of three sprint sessions per week for six weeks would have on the body composition of women. The protocol was based indoors on a treadmill. Participants had to perform 4-6 "all out" 30seconds sprints with a 4minutes recovery in between.  That's 4minutes rest between each set. That should tell you that "all out" means "all out" not 80% or a fast run. It's everything you've got from second 1 to second 30. If I had to judge the intensity by a talk test then it would be 1-2 word answers. If you can talk for 5 words then that's roughly 70%.  

The study published the following results. 

  • Training decreased body fat levels on average by 8%.
  • Training decreased waist circumference by an average of 3.5%.
  • Training maximum oxygen consumption by an average of 8.7%.
  • Peak running speeds increased by 4.8%.

It should be noted that there were no changes in diet from week 1 to week 6. The participants ate the same amount of calories throughout the experiment. This monitored through food diaries.

So the take home message is this. If you want to be a faster runner, lose fat and have a slimmer waist then get interval training. Keep the sessions short and move fast. 

We start using this protocol and others like it this week at bootcamp. 

Keep training. 


You're Not Lazy

As a trainer I hear it all of the time. "I've not reached my goal, I've failed, I'm too lazy."

I look at this lady, we're in the gym or at bootcamp post workout so she's pretty far from lazy. Infact in my opinion she's lapping just about everyone sitting on the couch. She cares about her health and the way she looks and in my opinion she probably cares more about how people percieve her than she should. Sometimes I can see the pressure on her shoulders. I drill down a bit further. She's a wife, a mother of two, one of which is under three. Just for her to get to the session it takes a week of careful planning with the in laws to arrange an hour of child care. She also works "part-time" which is two and a half days in the office and then hours working infront of a laptop from the kitchen table doing emails and spreadsheets. She's not lazy.

Her life is routine. She wakes up 5.45am, youngest child at the end the bed demanding the iPad to watch Peppa Pig (for you childless ones living the dream, stop being so smug you'll get to know Peppa and her family intimately one day). She looks at Facebook and immediately feels guilty as she doesn't have the energy to to do a "quick and fun" 30minute HIIT session that ONLY takes up 2% of your day. It's interesting that the trainer is fit as a fiddle, 22years old, doesn't have a girlfriend and is still living with his mum. She's not lazy.

Next is breakfast. She's so busy trying to get those two pigs just to get a spoonful of Weetabix in their gobs and not under the table that she's forgotten to eat herself. School bags, PE kits, signing off reading books, cleaning teeth (don't get me started here) and it's the drop off to nursery and school. She's not lazy. 

You get the picture and we're not even at 9am yet. She gets to 10am, blood sugar lower than whale pooh and she wonders why she doesn't want that healthy chicken salad she lovingly prepped last with the mantra "I'll be good tomorrow - promise" and wants to devour a whole packet of Hobnobs washed down with a dirty fat Coke. 


(Sound familiar? Nadine, Hansy, Janine, Charlie, Gemsy, Elise, Karen, Caz, Carrie, both Nic's Andrea, Becks - not you Rachael you don't give a sh*t - ha ha only joking).

She's far from lazy. Taken for granted - yes! Lazy - NO!!!!

What is true is that she's her own last priority. The kids, husband / boyfriend, pet cat, work, parents, inlaws, all come before herself. Her perception of lazziness is based upon her priorities and she is at rock bottom. 

Learn to say "no" sometimes. I'm not saying go on strike (please don't Nadine), but stop being a people pleaser and think of yourself. Try and put yourself first for just one hour or ten minutes a day. Do something for you that makes you feel good and makes you happy. (Stay off the piss!! Charlie, Hansy, Becks, Rachael, Carrie, Wine is not your friend). 

We had a lecture about stress this weekend at uni. The lecturer gave the analogy of when you're on an aeroplane and they do the safety briefing. They always tell you to put YOUR oxygen mask on first. She suggested patients repeat this on waking every morning. Something made me think of the majority of ladies I train. I'm deinitely no life coach or guru but this sounds like good practice to me. 

You ladies are steering the ship. Prioritise yourselves. Eat well (80% of the time), smile alot, keep the toxic "mates" at arms length and do exercise. 

Put yourself first. 



Shaun Tyler Fit Tip #3 Conquer the next 24hours

While the rest of social media is brimming with positivity and telling you to set long term goals, dream big and bite off more than you can chew. I'm going to get you to concentrate on the short term and absolutely nail the next 24hours in front of you.

While it's great to dream and set big goals the reality of your daily routine of work, shuttling kids to clubs and making three different dinners for three different mouths isn't going to go away. Too often as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor I hear  "I had breakfast that was great, got to work was in a good mindset then so-ing so asked me to go for lunch and it all went wrong" or "I planned to do my workout but husband had to stay late at work and I had to take the kids to swimming club." If you're a parent then you know exactly what I mean. You're at the bottom of the food chain and they come first. 

You're not a sports star or an A list movie star with a personal chef and trainer so you're not going to have meals prepped for you. Therefore what I'd like you to do is think about the nuts and bolts of how you're going to eat relatively clean and fit in some exercise over the next 24hours? Follow my points below to help you conquer your day. 

1. Prep Breakfast & Lunch the night before

By taking 10minutes to prep these two meals you're ensuring you deliver the right nutrients to your body. Let's be honest by the time you find that missing school book and sports kit you won't have time to do it in the morning. Keep it simple. I would soak some oats with frozen fruit in the fridge for brekkie & put a salad with some smoked mackerel or chicken for lunch.  

2. Look out for saboteurs

Who's that one person that's going to sabotage all of your efforts and drag you off your path? What situations are you going to have to avoid or modify your behaviour? This might be coffee breaks where you're expected to eat cake or a work dinner where you may have to avoid a few pints beforehand. The best way to get around this is to tell them your goals. Now, I find my female clients are brilliant at this and the men hate doing this. I think it's the fear of being ridiculed by their so called mates. If they are your mates they will support you and believe me if you stick to your guns and start seeing results they will have respect for you. 

3. Stay hydrated

Make your water bottle part of your uniform. By this I mean try and keep a water bottle no more than arms length away throughout the day. This is a healthy habit that will increase your energy massively. If you do this you won't get to 6pm and think I'm too tired to workout. Just do it trust me. 

4. Have a fitness (contingency) plan

There is nothing more frustrating than eating well all day, avoiding temptation and exercising saintly levels of will power to get to the gym and just walk around with your finger up your bum because you're not sure what to do. If you have a plan you know that every minute in the gym is accounted for and you're getting the biggest bang for your buck. You'll see results quicker too. If something comes up and you can't make the gym then get yourself some contingency workouts you can do at home. If you have a skipping rope try this one. If not substitute the skips for star jumps. 

  • 50 skips + 25 squats + 5sit ups
  • 50 skips + 20 squats + 10sit ups
  • 50 skips + 15 squats + 15 sit ups
  • 50 skips + 10 squats + 20 sit ups
  • 50 skips + 5 squats + 25 sit ups


Shaun Tyler Fit Tip #2 Hydrate to Lose Weight

If I told you there was a supplement out there that could increase your metabolism by up to 30% or help you eat up to 44% less calories as well as improving your mood, energy levels, digestion and appearance, how much would you pay me for it? What if I told you that this supplement was completely free…


Tip #2:  Hydrate to Lose Weight


The foundation of any healthy diet is built upon good hydration. It’s where I start with all of my clients. I find that within a few days of increasing their water intake everyone reports back positively with more energy, better moods, better skin and sometimes even better digestion.


 Water is needed for many bodily functions such as blood pressure and temperature regulation.  Your body is constantly losing water through metabolism and sweat therefore its important drink water regularly throughout the day.

There has been some debate about how much water you should drink.  Some say that you should gauge it from your urine. You aim to drink enough water so that your urine is a pale colour. Some parts of the scientific community are more specific the European Food Safety Authority recommends a daily fluid intake of 2.5L for men and 2.0 L for women to keep urine osmolarity at a healthy level of 500m/smol/L (1).

Water and Weight Loss

A study in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that overweight subjects who ingested just 500ml of plain tap water increased energy expenditure by 24% for 60minutes afterwards (2). In individuals at a healthy weight they increased metabolism by 30%. With the current trends in high intensity interval training (HIIT) being promoted by the way it makes you burn calories for longer after exercise drinking water is a painless option with a good return.

A 2013 study in the Australian Family Physician Journal (3) showed that drinking 500ml of water 30minutes before a meal in conjunction with a diet that had a calorific deficit lead to greater weight loss.  It equated to an extra 2kg over 12weeks and 44% greater weight loss than the subjects who were not drinking water. 

These are really simple and easy habits to implement into your regime. They are also extremely cost effective as tap water is completely free. Especially when compared to so called fat burning supplements that deliver less than impressive results. 

I challenge you to implement these strategies for 5days and report back on how you feel. You might not drop a dress size but I would wager you'll feel a whole lot better in yourself. 


1.    Acute and chronic effects of hydration status on health. Ahmed M. El-Sharkawy, Opinder Sahota, and Dileep N. Lobo. Nutrition Reviews 2015. 

2.    Water Drinking Induces Thermogenesis through Osmosensitive Mechanisms. Boschmann et al. the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism 2009.

3.    Pre-meal water consumption for weight loss.  Authors: Handbook of Non Drug Intervention (HANDI) Project Team. Australian Family Physician [Aust Fam Physician] 2013 Jul; Vol. 42 (7), pp. 478

Shaun Tyler Fit Tips #1 Change of Mindset

For the whole of January I'm going to publish a health tip that you can take away and apply straight into your life. My goal is to try and inspire and educate you to improve your health and well being through building sustainable healthy habits for 2017 and beyond. 

Tip#1: Change of Mindset

A new year brings with it a clean slate and fresh opportunities to change. We all set new years resolutions and most are related to our health especially improving fitness and weight loss.

I hear statements such as “I’m going to give up chocolate” or “I’m going to give up wine” (I can’t believe people say this to me with a straight face), “I’m going to cut back on carbs for the whole of January.” These are all based on deprivation and to be honest are quite negative. While you are going to have to cut down on some foods, drinks and certain bad habits ask yourself this.

How are you going to reach your goal if you’re employing the same strategy that failed last year?

If you really want to give yourself more of fighting chance this year then you’re going to need a change of mindset. Ditch the ideas of deprivation and starvation and focus you’re energy on the habits you can add to your lifestyle that promote health. If you’re serious about increasing your fitness or dropping a dress size or losing some weight then you’re going to have to add things into your life that you’re not doing now.

So, to embrace the new year and the positivity this brings I’d like you to quickly brainstorm what you could add to your lifestyle to get you closer to your goal.  To help you I’ve put together a list below.


·      Schedule time for exercise

·      Research easy breakfast ideas

·      Plan your weekly meals and shop

·      Increase your vegetable intake

·      Drink more water

·      Get a support network

·      Get a training partner

·      Decrease stress

·      Move more during your day

·      Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional

·      Identify the refined carbohydrates in your diet

·      Identify the people who sabotage your diet

·      Keep an exercise journal / log book