Looking for motivation
Fitting exercise into your life if you don’t naturally enjoy it, or are time-poor, is a difficult hurdle to clear. So is eating healthily when you are constantly having to eat on the go, or if you find cravings for comfort and convenience food irresistible.

Motivation and will-power are powerful keys to fitness success. And as simple as it is for us to write that, we know how difficult that is to put into practice.

But never fear, AB-MXR are here, with some quick ways to conquer motivational and willpower challenges:

Wear exercise clothes regularly. If you’re already dressed to work out, chances are you’ll end up working out. You’ll be amazed how much more likely you are to go to the gym or powerwalk to the store if you are already dressed to do it.

Make yourself accountable. Either commit to posting on social media everyday what exercise you intend to do, and updating to let your friends/followers know you’ve done it, or commit to getting fit with a friend. The two of you can then be accountable to each other and push each other through any slumps in motivation.

Cheat meals. We don’t normally condone these but we understand that humans are intrinsically motivated by reward, just as they are demotivated by punishment.

So schedule yourself a treat when you hit a fitness target and enjoy it! Over time, you will hopefully get an intrinsic reward just from completing your fitness goal, and won’t want or need the treat to be unhealthy.

Tupperware. Great planning allows for great results. Take your healthy snacks with you on the go (nuts, kale chips, apples – whatever you fancy!), so when a craving hits, you don’t automatically reach for a bag of prawn cocktail crisps.

Water. Research has shown that 35% of the time that we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. Remember that a body functions at its optimum when hydrated, and we eat with more awareness and achieve greater saiety when we are operating on a full tank on water.

So these are AB-MXR’s top-tips to staying motivated for fitness. Just remember that you are not alone – even top athletes struggle to get to practice on some days. So don’t beat yourself up if you miss a gym session or have too much cake – instead, let that be the fuel for your next workout!

Carpe diem, all.

Nuts for Coconuts Oil

nuts for coconutWe told you a few weeks ago about how we all follow different food lifestyles at AB-MXR HQ. The one thing we all share though, is a love for coconut oil.

Coconut oil straight out of the jar, to cook with, to add to protein shakes, even to put on our skin – we are all huge believers, and here’s a few reasons why:

  • Energy:
    Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides). Because MCTs are broken down quickly and processed in the liver, they can be used as an immediate source of energy for the body without the adrenaline crashing side effects that caffeine and sugar bring.
  • Health:
    Coconut oil is also the ONLY oil that doesn’t lose its molecular structure under heat, which means it doesn’t release free radicals when cooked, retains its antioxidants for you to absorb, and doesn’t go rancid!

    Coconut oil can also help regulate blood sugar and is fast becoming the healthiest-recommended means for preventing and treating diabetes.

    Studies carried out in many South Pacific Island countries have actually shown that when the traditional coconut-rich diet of Islanders is replaced with modern foods that are processed, and high in sugar, salt and unhealthy oils, there is a direct increase in the rate of diabetes.

  • Beauty:
    Topically, because coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal and moisture-rich, it works phenomenally as all over body moisturizer, particularly on dry, cracked skin, such as elbows and knees.

And we should just as aware of what we put ON our bodies as we do with what goes IN, especially as the skin is our largest organ and has such strong absorption directly into the bloodstream. With that in mind, an all-natural product like coconut oil is infinitely healthier to be applied topically than an expensive, store-bought, paraben-laden potion.

So there you have it, folks. You have our full permission to go nuts for coconuts – nature’s true superfood!

If you want any suggestions on how to cook with coconut oil, drop us an email or a tweet @AB_MXR – we would love to share our years of coconut cooking experience with you!

Fitness and the Elderly

Death Becomes HerFitness marketing has always traditionally targeted youth – those who are most likely the easiest to get into shape and keep that way. Slightly neglected are the older generation, to whom fitness and diet can actually have the greatest impact on their quality of life.

As we get older, our bodies start to succumb to the wear and tear of decades of use. Bones get weaker, joints become more unstable, skins loses collagen and therefore elasticity, your metabolism slows down and you start to lose muscle. While none of this is entirely reversible (and for those of you who have seen the 90s film ‘Death Becomes Her’, maybe that’s for the best!), as the owner of your body, it is your duty to stave off the effects of ageing for as long as possible, in order to allow you to make the most of your golden years.

We all want to have the energy to keep up with our grandchildren, and stay supple enough so we can bend down to pick things up off the floor, or even be able to open the lid on that particularly tricky jar of pickles. Ultimately, fitness isn’t about just looking good, it’s about being able to physically live fruitfully in our environment.

The important things to remember as an elderly exerciser are:

  • Avoid high impact:
    Bone mass declines as you get older, so in addition to making sure you are getting enough calcium in your diet, it probably wise to not put additional strain on your bones by pounding them with hi-impact exercise like running outdoors, step aerobics, or plyometrics. You don’t have to pound the pavement to get fit!
  • Train strength:
    Use light weights, resistance equipment or Machine Pilates to target muscle groups that will make your limbs and core stronger. Major muscles in the legs, buttocks, arms, stomach and back can be easily isolated and strengthened with gym equipment or even by following a home fitness DVD, and will respond quickly to gentle resistance, without injuring you.

    Stronger limbs will add a vitality to your life: the independence to walk to the shop and carry all the groceries back yourself, dashing to catch that bus, or catching yourself when you slip without falling!

  • Encourage flexibility:
    Flexibility keeps our joints younger, more fluid and preserves range of motion. As we grow older, without good range of motion in our joints, we experience more pain and this limits our ability to keep active and exercise.

    Stretching also helps preserve our posture, which is essential to combat the ‘shrinking syndrome’ of getting old, and in turn preserves the health of your back. Find a gentle yoga class to keep you limber for longer, and enjoy feeling the strain lifting from your mind and body.

Ultimately, exercise is a personal activity and no one regime will suit all. So just make the time for exercise as you get older, and find what suits your schedule and body.

Regardless of how you choose to do it though, keeping active as you get older is the closest thing to discovering the fountain of youth – so jump in!

We Absolutely Love Gyms – Especially Outdoors

We love the great Outdoor GymSpring is upon us here and although London’s winter was mild this year, we are excited to shed some layers and embrace outdoor training! We absolutely love gyms – they can be the most inspiring clusters of exercise, but there are huge benefits to training outdoors.

Exercise adapted to an outdoor terrain is more likely to work your body in new and exciting ways. These unexpected challenges to your body can bring big improvements, as the body amps up its strength in the muscles, lungs, heart and brain to deal with the demands of the unknown.

Not to mention the numerous benefits of sunshine…and to the jaded Londoners reading this, don’t even try to claim that there isn’t enough sunshine in the UK! Did you know that London has more sunshine per year than parts of California! (San Francisco, we’re looking at you!) Vitamin D from sunshine strengthens your immune system, makes bones stronger and also improves your mood. Combined endorphin release from exercise and sunshine is bound to lift your spirits and keep them up there!

London’s park-culture cannot be matched so take advantage of it. Exercising in nature has multiple positive effects: providing us with cleaner, filtered air to breathe, alleviating the stress of our often sedentary and stress-filled indoor life, and adding an element of unpredictability to exercise which forces your body to react quicker, building stronger synaptical connections to improve your speed and agility.

For example, research has proven that running outdoors is physically more demanding than any setting on a treadmill – add the occasional puddle to jump over and trees to zig-zag around, and your predictable cardio workout is suddenly a full-body obstacle course!

So enjoy the hills, tarmac, grass, sand and mud! All these surfaces will force you to become the fittest version of you possible!

Tweet up pictures of you in the great outdoors – we’d love to see where you train!

Support Innovation, and be part of the Fitness Revolution!

Early Fitness InnovationProgress and innovation are amongst the primary traits that define humans. Evolution and revolution are what separate us from the rest of the animals on this planet (as well as our ability to accessorize, according to Olympia Dukakis in the wonderful movie “Steel Magnolias“)

So it’s no surprise that the fitness industry strives to redefine the tools of exercise – to discover the most efficient way to create the leanest or strongest or fastest or most flexible body you want. Whatever your goal, someone out there right now is likely working hard to invent a new tool to help you achieve it.

All of the equipment that you use daily use and take for granted started life as someone’s brain-child.

“Darn, I hate getting wet when I cycle. If only I could cycle indoors on rainy days!” Ding! Lightbulb moment.

So the next time you come to poo-poo an unfamiliar contraption at the gym, perhaps TRX, or Sliders, or Vipers… or even our own beloved AB-MXR… remember that someone out there made that kit with the best intentions: to make you the fittest version of you possible. And this weird and wonderful piece of equipment might become as ordinary as the simple stationary bike in a few years’ time.

So keep an open-mind, support innovation, and be part of the fitness revolution!

As a company borne of invention, we love being part of your journey of discovery, so feel free to share your fitness success stories with us at any time, even if they are not AB-MXR related. We are an all-inclusive kind of company and love to hear about all the wonderful new technologies improving the industry.

Happy exploring!

Abs are made in the Kitchen not the Gym

A popular mantra of the moment is that abs are made in the kitchen, and not in the gym. However, with so much contradicting nutritional information flooding the internet, one would be forgiven for wondering which kitchen they have to cook those abs in!

Even within the AB-MXR team, there differing opinions on how best to eat.

Joanna, who has been a personal trainer to a celebrity list for 20 years, has always opted for a strong macrobiotic diet, which is largely vegetarian, with an emphasis on wholegrains and local produce. And despite having had 2 children, she has a body most 16 year old supermodels would kill for (she will beg for us to delete this sentence but we stand by it!)

Walles, on the other hand, with a 15 year career as an elite athlete and an additional 5 as a fitness model, is paleo through and through. If a food didn’t exist in caveman times, it won’t cross his molars. So in direct contrast to Joanna, that cuts out all grains, (including the new supergrains like quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and spelt), dairy, pulses and legumes, and refined sugar.

Lastly, David, the Herculean PT of the team, is firmly of the ‘everything-in-moderation’ camp. No restrictions, just an overall awareness when eating. Eating when he feels hungry, eating slowly, stopping when he is full, and acknowledging cravings, assessing their source and satisfying them without over-indulging.

All of them are in peak physical condition, constantly shattering their own personal records in their chosen personal fitness pursuits, and each is a role-model for their lifestyle.

So with this in mind, is there any one kitchen that makes better abs?

The answer is probably no. Every body is unique, and people’s personal relationships with food have to be taken into account whenever designing a lifestyle-eating plan (we baulk at the word ‘diet’).

There is a common thread amongst all 3, and that is avoidance of heavily processed, overly-sugary foods.

David can eat a small piece of cake and appreciate its wonderful flavors without feeling the need to indulge in a second slice (is a second slice ever as good?) Joanna is likely to choose a fruit-based dessert like sorbet, whereas Walles has avoided sugar for so long now that he now describes almonds as intensely sweet!

So, for all of you out there struggling with your dietary plans, we suggest you:

  • Commit to whichever eating plan you choose with heart and soul.
  • Don’t start a cycle of denying yourself and then over-indulging. Eating isn’t shameful. Learn to enjoy it!
  • Avoid heavily processed food. If it’s not of a color or consistency found in nature, chances are your body can live without it!

And if you really crave it or want to enjoy a social moment, just eat with awareness and recognize this is a single moment rather than a slippery slope into breaking all your good habits.

Finally, remember that there is no one nutritional way to achieve a great body.

Find what works for you and keep your relationship with food healthy. You are what you eat, after all – so EAT HEALTHY = BE HEALTHY.

Bon appetit!

AB-MXR – All Body Maximum Resistance

AB-MXR launches their new product video; the AB-MXR in 60 seconds. Start the transformation today.

Find out all about the AB-MXR and how it can help you to build your core strength and shape your body. It’s easy to use, hugely versatile with 100s of different exercises and achieves great results quickly. Being small, portable and easily storable it is ideal for exercising at home, or taking with you when you go to the gym, or even travel. Ergonomically designed to support and protect your head and spine in its correct position, the AB-MXR encourages a safer, more effective and efficient workout. Check out the video and start the transformation today.

The AB-MXR workout programmes

Joanna Kabbani with Ab-Mxr

Joanna Kabbani, personal trainer and inventor of the AB-MXR, has worked with a range of leading sports and medical professionals to produce a series of 5 workout programmes to help you strengthen and shape your body. Choose the programme which most suits your goals, the time you want to exercise and the muscle groups you are targeting. There are 100s of exercises that can be done with the AB-MXR, so the workout programmes are a great starting place.

The Physio\Rehab programme is a series of exercises focused on posture, core stability and sports rehabilitation, as well as improving and strengthening muscles for everyday movement. The 555 is a quick fix (five minutes a day, five days a week, 5 weeks a year) programme ideal for people short of time or enthusiasm for long sessions in the gym. It will show you how doing a little exercise, regularly can make a huge difference. The Abdominal Workout focuses on a series of ab exercises to strengthen your inner abdominal muscles and these also form part of the broader Core Workout programme, which is great for reducing fat and core strengthening. Finally the Body Sculpt combines strengthening exercises with an aerobic workout for those keen to work up a sweat and improve fitness.

The beauty of The AB-MXR is that it is a really neat and hugely versatile piece of fitness equipment which can help people of all fitness levels (it is available in five different weights) achieve their goals. All the exercises can be done in the comfort of your home, or in a gym or studio environment if you prefer. The workouts are available for free at, supported by photos, video and helpful tips on safety and maximising your performance.