The holiday binge is over “You ate all the (mince) pies” and all the extra Christmas calories and New Years beers mean you’re now having to lean forward to get a glimpse of your own feet. It’s time to get ripped!
A bit of blood, sweat and tears never hurt anyone (apart from the bleeding and crying) and to help you get your 2017 fitness regime started we’ve found the best fitness apps, gadgets and challenges so you can get your lardy arse back in shape.
Now drop and give me twenty!
Have you ever thought about taking up running but lacked the extra motivation? Zombies, Run! Gives you a much-needed shot of adrenaline when you need it most, playing the sound of chasing zombies when you’re slowing down. But this app is so much more than (genuinely chilling) sound effects – you’ll take part in an award-winning Walking Dead style storyline building bases, gathering supplies and rescuing survivors.
Dry January & Beyond
Any fitness guru will tell you that a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about what you do with your body, but what you put into it. That’s where Dry January & Beyond comes in, encouraging you to quit the drink for a month so you can experience the vast array of health benefits that come with “going sober”. And no, it won’t judge you for enjoying the occasional pint throughout the rest of the year – now that’s our kind of app.
Enjoy a cheeky bet on the weekend? Then Pact is that health app for you. This genius idea lets you put money down on your fitness goals, so if you’re going to shed a stone or two this year you might actually be able to earn money from it. And the threat of losing your hard-earned dosh if you fail to hit your benchmark might finally be what it takes to keep you from eating all the pies!
Designed by Six to Start, the brains behind Zombies, Run! Comes this intriguing adventure game aimed at those who prefer the slower route to their fitness goals. You’re a courier given a package that could save the world after a bomb destroys Inverness station – chaos ensues, and it’s up to you to solve clues, challenges and mysteries, all while clocking up the miles on your personal pedometer.
Now if you think Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Captain America get their impeccable pecs and awesome abs from endless hours in the gym… You’d be right. But unless you’re on Robert Downey Jr’s wages, who’s got time for that? Superhero Workout gives you the shortcut to success with epic missions, intense workouts and high-tech motion tracking to log your progress. Sorted!
There’s no better time to sign up to your local Fitness First than now. As one of the UK’s best gyms, you’ll be able to work out with the latest equipment, take part in expert-led classes and weigh-in week after week to watch the lbs fall off you in no time. You’ll also be able to track your “Bioscore” which shows you how young your biology is in comparison to your real age.
Now you’ll only be able to appreciate Gymbox if you live in London. So, spare a moment for the rest of the UK as these gyms are truly brilliant. These sweat-drenched temples of fitness are packed with high-tech equipment, very personal trainers and live DJs to soundtrack your workout. A long way from their very humble beginnings in a Holborn car park!
Intimidated by the cost of big health clubs? May we point you in the direction of Simply Gym. This fantastic company believes every man, woman, child and anybody else capable of tying up a pair of trainer shoelaces should have unfettered access to excellent fitness facilities at affordable rates. We salute them, and so should you!
And this brilliant gym means anytime. 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, members can work up a sweat using the best equipment in a fantastically positive environment. The best bit is that your membership will allow you access to literally thousands of clubs, so if you’re on the road (say, on a stag do) you’ll still be able to get your fitness fix.
The Mighty Deerstalker
Rivers? Check. Forests? Check. Mountains? Check. Zero natural light? Check, check, check. Set deep in the Scottish borders, The Mighty Deerstalker is not for the faint of heart and you may actually need the conditioning of a highland warrior as you brave(heart) this intense off-road course in the black of night. And like the wildmen of old you’ll end the race in a massive tent with feasting and ales.
Isle of Wight Challenge
“No man is an island” or so the saying goes, but if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to run around one from coast to coast then this is the fitness challenge for you. You’ll pass epic scenery and race through both night and day as you journey your way through an intense 106km trek to test your physical and indeed mental strength.
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Some people bake cakes for charity (us), others wear Christmas jumpers (also us) and there are those who prefer to race up all 932 steps of Tower 42, London’s original skyscraper. Organised by superb charity Shelter each year, the goal is to raise funds for the homeless by climbing the 600ft ascent as fast as possible. Are you tough enough? Sign up here.
Operated by world-renowned sports brand Reebok, the Spartan Races are some of the hardest obstacle courses on Earth. There are three main types of events – the 5km Sprint, 13km Super challenge or the awe-inspiring Beast, a 20km circuit with over 30 (sometimes on-fire) obstacles between you and the distant finishing line. This is Sparta? This is plain impossible.
An endurance challenge that needs no gimmick to sell just how hardcore it can be – the Snowdonia Marathon is exactly that. 26 miles of treacherous track amidst the hazardous environment of the Snowdonia mountains. Only the brave need apply, but the stunning scenery and the elation of completing Britain’s best marathon is a once-in-a-lifetime reward worth the risk.
The UK’s original and best endurance challenge is sadly coming to an end this year. But that doesn’t mean this extreme (and that’s putting it lightly) test of grit isn’t going to enjoy one hell of a swansong. And if previous Tough Guys are any indication, the 250 obstacles you might face include barbed wire, swing ropes, swamps and more.
Lands End to John O’Groats
1,000 miles. 13 days. Coast to coast. Some of the most remote stretches of countryside the UK has to offer. Lands’ End to John O’Groats is one of the most demanding cycle rides you can take on with two wheels. You’ll carve your way through Cornwall, demolish Dartmoor, skirt over the Lake District and ride into the final stretch of Scotland over the highlands to the North Coast. But anything David Walliams can do…
Bath Half Marathon
On the 12th March, Our hometown of Bath is the setting for one of the UK’s most popular half marathons. The “Bath Half” as its affectionately known takes you through one of the most historic cities in the country, past iconic landmarks and The Rec, the home of Bath Rugby. Georgian architecture, Roman relics and a 21km run… Easy, right? Public places are sold out but you can still run for one of the official charities.
Great North Run
The North has proved it’s made of seriously tough stuff over the years (see Freddie Flintoff, Ricky Hatton, Newkie Brown Ale etc) so it’s no surprise that the Great North Run is considered one of the hardest races in the country. Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne, this 21km route takes you past some of the cities greatest landmarks before finishing in South Shields. Even double-double Olympic hero Mo Farah gets involved!
Cardiff Half Marathon
One of the hardest races this side of the Severn Bridge but a great target to train for if you’re in search of a little more motivation. Cardiff’s half marathon stretches across an iconic course around the Welsh capital, past the Principality Stadium, through the Penarth Marina, finishing in the heart of the city where a pint of Brains (the beer) may or may not be waiting for you.
Fun fact: In 2016, Tim Peake completed the digital equivalent of the London Marathon in space. So, if he can do it in zero gravity then surely the real thing is simples, right? We’ll let you be judge of that after you’ve completed the 26-mile course past some of London’s most famous sights. Not only is this a great chance to improve your fitness and raise money for charity but you’ll even be able to apply for a Guinness World Record… If you’re fast enough.
Bristol Half Marathon
The Bristol Half Marathon has recently been adopted by the brains behind the Great North Run which is a serious stamp of approval in the world of British road racing. What does this mean? It means that 2017’s edition is set to be the biggest, best and baddest ever, with a sensational route that’ll see over 10,000 competitors crossing the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge and finishing by the harbour. Cider anybody?
Ever wondered exactly what your workout is doing to your body? The Myzone aims to solve that mystery with its super-accurate high-tech tracking of your heart rate zones and live-streaming of your effort levels to your smartphone, laptop or tablet. It’s the workout of the future and you’ll finally have evidence that you are the fittest of your five-a-side team.
Using electronic signals that mimic the impulses sent by the brain to cause muscles to contract and expand, the Slendertone belts target the areas of your abdomen that normal exercises struggle to tone while strengthening your core at the same time. Meaning that other activities like running, sports etc should also become easier.
Running, boxing, sports, weightlifting… None of it can be achieved without a healthy night’s sleep. The Sense is a bedside device ripped directly from an episode of Star Trek, with hyper-accurate sensors to tell you how well you slept, how long you slept and how you can improve your rest for even more energy during the day.
Unlike other smart watches on the market, Moov Now will actually track your motion and talk to you as you exercise, suggesting small changes to your routine that’ll help you enjoy more gains for your effort. Other neat features include injury prevention alerts and the ability to link to your phone for unique training exercises.
There’s nothing more annoying than earbuds that won’t stay in while you’re working out. Enter Aftershokz, the official headphones of England Athletics, approved for use in all 2,600+ UK licensed road running events. These headphones are designed for runners and use state-of-the-art bone conduction audio to ensure your tracks reach the inner ear without sacrificing situational awareness. You have to hear it to believe it.
Stuck for inspiration? Simply subscribe to ChelseaLifts, watch and learn. Her workout tips could save you hours of wasted effort and might just be the thing that gives you the edge the next time you hit the gym. She’s also a fantastic presenter with a genuinely infectious personality.
The Lean Machines
The Lean Machines tell things how they are and that’s just the way we like it here at StagWeb. This is no-nonsense, no frills, all-out inspiration for your journey to full fitness that will probably have you in stitches along the way courtesy of the great banter between co-hosts John and Leon. Working towards that ideal six-pack? Give the Lean Machines a subscribe today.
The not-just-a-pretty-face behind one of YouTube’s most successful fitness channels, Carly Rowena, is a serious fitness guru with an awesome knowledge of workout routines that you can try the next time you hit the gym. But even more crucial are her vlogs on nutrition, diet and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the new year. Hint: save your beers for the stag weekend.