Category Archives: Fitness

Search for a superhero 2017

Evolution Gym members are the best in the country and to test their mettle, fitness and tenacity we designed a 12 month challenge to find the best all round male and female athletes in the gym. Not only that it sets a personal challenge to everyone one of us to challenge ourselves to undertake events inside and outside our comfort zones. Not everyone can be a superhero but we can all learn new skills and be the best we can be in each event.

Each month we had a different challenge:

Jan Row

Feb Plank

Mar Bench your bodyweight

Apr Pull ups

May Mile Run

Jun Dips

Jul Handstand press-up

Aug Crucifix hold

Sep Viking Press bodyweight

Oct Press ups in one minute

Nov Leg press 1 minute

Dec Medley

Scores were calculated with 10 for a first place through to 1 point for 10th.

Each month we had a winner, but the collection of points was the goal so you didn’t necessarily need to win to become the superhero but be consistent.

Our first winners were Adam Walker and Nichola Fuller in the row back in January 2017.

So after 12 months of gruelling events who were our SUPERHEROES?

Well the two athletes with the best all round ability and skills were:


Well done to our 2017 Superheroes!!!

The full table of everyone’s results will be up soon.

Roll on the 2018 search.


IRON for Runners by The Running Bug

Winners winners chicken dinners

This article is reproduced from the Running Bug blog and is very informative. Hard running mimics hard training this gives food for thought to serious gym trainers . 

The Running bug blog – Dietary iron is a necessity for women and men of all ages, but the vast majority are not getting their recommended daily amount. Fiona Buglar reveals what runners need to know about their iron needs.

A runner’s guide to avoiding iron deficiency

How much iron do we need?
The recommended daily requirement is 14.8mg (note taking more than 17mg iron can be dangerous and needs to be approved by your GP). Post-menopausal women and men need 8.7mg a day. But according to a Department of Health survey, the National Dietary and Nutritional Survey: adults aged 16-64. (Volume 3. London UK, 2003), over 91 percent of women aged 16 to 64 in the UK are not getting sufficient iron from their diet. And The Food Standards Agency estimates a quarter of all women aged 19 to 64 have a seriously low intake of iron.

Sports nutritionist, Lucy Ann Prideaux, says there are two main reasons women are prone to iron deficiency: “The monthly menstrual bloodloss and therefore iron/haemoglobin loss coupled with a poor diet or insufficient absorbable iron in the diet.”

Are runners prone to deficiency?

We have studies that suggest up to 50% of female runners are iron deficient. Foot strike haemolysis is caused by the red blood cells in the feet breaking down as the foot hits the ground. Heavier, muscular runners who train on hard surfaces tend to suffer more from this condition which leaves feet swollen and burning hot after a run – as well as iron-deficient.

Iron can also be lost in the faeces and as up to 85% of runners test positive for blood in their stools following a strenuous run this can be a problem too. We also have a larger blood volume, so need to have a higher level of hemoglobin and serum ferritin than non-runners to be healthy.

Are you iron deficient?

You need iron in your blood to get oxygen to your muscles. If you have the symptoms of iron deficiency listed below, you should get yourself tested having both your haemoglobin and serum ferritin levels checked out.

Warriors come out to play

Symptoms include:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Poor/reduced performance
  • Easily exhausted
  • Less enthusiasm for running and feeling very tired
  • Irritability
  • Feeling the cold – especially hands and feet
  • A poor appetite
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Unusual cravings (dirt, ice etc)
  • Restless legs syndrome

Iron maiden food

The best sources of HAEM iron (which is the most absorbable iron) include liver, beef, but also poultry (especially the darker wing meat). Eggs are also a worthwhile source.

All round health-booster oily fish is also great, for example sardines contain 5.8mg in one small tin.

Combine the above with…

Green leafy vegetables (watercress, broccoli, spinach and curly kale – sources of calcium too)

Bread and cereals fortified with iron

Beans and chickpeas

Nuts such as almonds

Seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin

Dried fruit such as figs, apricots, prunes, raisins

You can also try…

Hemp sprinkled on soups

Spirulina which has 58 times more iron than spinach

To help the body absorb iron…

Take Vitamin C to absorb the iron, try orange juice with your cereal, peppers in your salad, strawberries for dessert.

And avoid drinking tea with your meals. It contains polyphenols that can inhibit iron absorption.

National Three Peak Challenge 

The National Three Peaks Challenge is an event in which participants attempt to climb the highest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours. It is frequently used to raise money for charitable organisations. Walkers climb each peak in turn, and are driven from the foot of one mountain to the next. The three peaks are:

Ben Nevis / Beinn Nibheis (1,344 m or 4,409 ft), the highest mountain in Scotland

Scafell Pike (978 m or 3,209 ft), the highest mountain in England

Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa (1,085 m or 3,560 ft), the highest mountain in Wales

The total distance walked is estimated at 42 kilometres (26 mi) or 44 km (27 mi), with a total ascent of 9,800 feet (3,000 m).

Team Evo are taking this on in aid of the Derbyshire and Yorkshire Air Ambulances. The trick is to complete the climbs in 11 hours and that leaves 13 hours for the drive. That makes drivers as important as hikers.

Team Evo has been training hard all year for this event with many hills climbed, 10ks and half marathons run and lots of sitting down which will happen a lot in between the three mountains.

Team Evo planning meeting 
Ronald Turnbull argues that it makes sense to tackle the summits from north to south, starting at Ben Nevis in the evening, and ending at Snowdon the following day.  This is because the descent of Ben Nevis is the easiest of the three to do in fading light, particularly the lower section below Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe (“Half-Way Lochan”), and because the night can be used for driving down the A74(M) and M74 motorways to Scafell Pike.  This then entails climbing Scafell Pike early the following morning and driving to Snowdonia for the early afternoon, in order to climb Snowdon and descend again by the evening.  Scafell Pike can be climbed either from the north side starting at Seathwaite (Borrowdale) or from the south side, starting at Wasdale Head. The Wasdale approach is a longer drive but provides a shorter walk. Snowdon is climbed from Pen-y-Pass, although an alternative descent leads to Llanberis, and takes an additional 15 minutes.

Each mountain is expected to take up to 5 hours to climb and descend for a “standard strong walker”, and a total driving time of 10 hours allows an average speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) on motorways and 50–55 mph (80–89 km/h) on trunk roads and occasional comfort breaks and fuel stops.

Variations of the basic format have also been achieved, such as replacing the driving sections with the use of public transport, or sailing between the three peaks across the Irish Sea.

Please give generously if you can

Just giving page

Core core core

The strength of any tree is in its trunk. Your strength comes from your core so make sure you build in some core strengthening to your daily routine. 

Training with good form and taking strength from your core will work over time but some specifics will make a difference quicker.

Also take time for your back-” – between the two they are the things standing you up straight every day. 

Some ideas from other sites below

Superhero League Table Feb 2017

So we are 2 challenges in to our superhero search and the results are in. In the yellow jersey positions so far are Adam Walker for the boys with 20 points and for the girls its Nichola Fuller on 17 points. The first two challenges have been the fastest 1000m row and then the longest plank.  March sees us move into the realms of strength and endurance with bench your bodyweight for the boys and bench 75% your bodyweight for the girls. The numbers are looking good, keep your eye on facebook and the blog to find out the results.

Male Superhero Position Score to date Female Superhero Position Score to date
Adam 1st 20 Nichola F 1st 17
Rob 2nd 17 Jess 2nd 15
Lee A 3rd 14 Emma R 3rd 14
Mark A 4th 12 Lizzie 3rd 14
Matt 5th 9 Jenna 4th 12
Buster 6th 7 Sharon 5th 10
Yorkie 7th 6 Louise 6th 6
Alex 8th 5 Tara 6th 6
Shaun 9th 4 Nicole 7th 5
Tommo 9th 4 Steph 7th 5
Nick S 10th 3 Libby 8th 4
Gareth 2 Emma J 8th 4
James 2 Lizzie (BC) 9th 3
Martin 1 Kita 10th 1
Lee Coddy 1


Search for a Superhero

It’s true that our members are amazing and achieve such great things daily. However, over a little drink at Christmas we were wondering who is the best all round performer? We have experts in their own field but who is the general fitness champ.

We decided to start a search for our female and male superheros. 12 events over 12 months over a wide variety of disciplines.

January started with a 1000m row on the concept 2 towers. Lots of us have neglected this piece of equipment for quite a while and the machine bed have sat quietly in the coroner of the cardio room waiting for us to return.

Well return we did and wow what an exercise – I put everything into my row and it took everything with a giggle leaving me drained, oxygenless, burning quads and triceps and biceps on the edge of exploding. I loved it and I will be back.

Lots of members took part with the top 10 of each gender getting points. 

Our January rowing Champs were Nichola Fuller and Adam Walker who blew us all away with amazing times!! 

They are our first 10 point winners towards our annual Superhero titles but will they be able to maintain the lead only time will tell.

Watch this space.

Christmas comes to Evolution

Its that time of year again when the tough keep going and the eager get started. Whichever you are Evolution has got what you need. Whether a general trainer or elite athlete Jon Clark and Rachael Hayes can offer you support and advice second to none. Joined in 2016 by Hannah Hallsworth the team is ready to take you into 2017.

Try us out or save yourself money by getting a 3 month membership early in January 2017.

If you have not been before try us out by claiming your week free in January 2017. Simply come into the gym and quote FREET17 or call on 0114 2483249 and have a chat before you come.


We will be running induction sessions so watch this blog or Facebook for details if you need a little extra support when starting out.

If you join after your trial we will forego the joining fee so you save £20.00.


Already a member or know you want to go for it?

Get three consecutive months for £75.00 normally £90.00, join in a one off payment in the first two weeks of January and get three months at this not to be missed price.

This offer is open to all, existing and new  members. Jump in now!!!!


Evolution Gym, 1 Carley Drive, Westfield, S20 8 NQ. Tel 0114 2483249 or email