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Find time for your workouts

17 Sep 2021 14:01PM by David McDermott - Personal Trainer

eating for fitness

With summer holidays coming to an end, more and more of us are looking forward to making the office a more regular part of our daily routine. 

It might seem daunting; suddenly our ways of working are shifting. But, despite this change, it’s important for your mental and physical wellbeing to keep doing the things that make you happy. 

To find out how to schedule workouts into your new routine, we asked you to send in your questions for Personal Trainer David McDermott. Here’s what he had to say…

You asked: How can I fit my workouts in now I have to commute to and from work?

David says: “Plan your week and do workouts you enjoy so you (a) turn up and (b) can get through them! Trying a mix of workouts at different times will help you find what you love and what fits your lifestyle best! Some people are morning people and like to do their exercise them. For others, the opposite is true. You could include a walk in your commute, a lunchtime workout, or an evening class before dinner.”

You asked: What exercise can I do on my lunch break?

David says: “Anything! You only really need 10 minutes to boost your productivity, brain power and get your body working. Even if you're doing our Foundations workouts on the Virgin Active App or something at your desk, it all counts! If you've got a bit longer, up to 45 minutes of weights or cardio is more than enough and you won't regret it. Why not go for a swim or hop on a cardio machine? If you need motivation, our Personal Training sessions and Group Exercise classes are 45 minutes long so you can fit a workout into your lunch hour.”

You asked: If I'm tired or stressed from work, should I work out?

David says: “If you're feeling tired or stressed, rest and recovery are important. However, you’ll find that sometimes a workout can re-energise you and change your mood for the better. Ease yourself into your workout and see how you feel but probably best to avoid anything too heavy or intense! A class in the Mind & Body studio might be the perfect remedy.”

You asked: What if I skip a session? Is there anything else I can do?

David says: “If you've got a good reason, don't beat yourself up. One missed session won't ruin your gains. If you do miss a session, plan the next one and go for a walk, do some stretches or get an early night in the meantime. These will help you feel more active or more rested and do wonders for your mental health!”

You asked: What are the benefits of mixing up my training?

David says: “By training in a variety of different ways, you can have a balanced routine whilst achieving multiple goals and having fun. Get strong with weights, move better with Yoga, improve your core with Pilates, get fit with Grid Training or hone your technique with Boxing!”

You asked: Can I still make progress with strength if I am mixing it up too much?

David says: “Absolutely! You can maintain strength for several weeks without weight training so don't fear mixing it up. Even if you feel like you've lost some strength, focus on your technique and it really won't take long to get back to your best. Your muscles also benefit from cardio and endurance training, so make sure you get a balance of weights/resistance and cardio.”

You asked: Are weights, cardio or Group Exercise classes best for keeping fit?

David says: “They're all good so you should do them all as a mix, separately or together, either way works. Just make sure you choose activities you enjoy to keep you consistent because that's the real key to achieving your goals.”

You asked: Is it best to do interval training or continuous cardio for fitness?

David says: Both are good for fitness but if it's your first time, go slow and steady but keep going (think 'the tortoise wins the race'). When your fitness improves, you can do intervals by working harder for less time and then taking a rest. Start with 1 minute of exercise followed by 1-2 minutes of rest and repeat until you match your normal workout time.


When it comes to his weekly workouts, David likes to add as much variety as possible into his fitness mix. For him, a typical week involves lifting weights on a Monday, a steady swim on Wednesday and a high intensity cardio circuit on Friday, using different machines and functional kit. He also goes for a walk when he's not training, with a view to achieve 10,000 steps per day.

To find your fitness mix, head into club, speak to a member of the team or try our Virgin Active App for all your favourite online workouts. 


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