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2nd Apr 2022

April Feature

Takeshape obstacle course featured in April’s Women’s Fitness magazine

11th Sep 2020

Don’t Fight Disease, Build Health

What is clear from the Coronavirus pandemic is that if you are healthy, if your immune system is working well, you have nothing to fear from the virus.

Building your immune system is not about quick fix approaches but, with some basic information and some great application techniques, it is simple to do.  Many health programmes aim to make you robust, resilient and able to fight against stress and disease.  If you are robust you will be able able to fight off all stresses apart from the really big one, when all your defences will crumble, like sea defences in a tsunami.  But, what if the sea defences got bigger and stronger with each wave?  At Takeshape, we carefully balance a programme so you can align your body and build your immune system defences to get stronger and stronger with the stresses of everyday life.  This starts with the daily modifiable, foundational principles of health below:


  • Move your body everyday (NEAT)
  • […]

24th Mar 2020

COVID-19 Isolation Thrival

This could go two ways.
Potentially, this could be a wonderful opportunity for some extra care attention on your well-being.  Most people do too much – lots of fight/flight and not enough rest/digest/repair.  However, the extra stress and ‘end of the world’ thinking could have the opposite effect – a few extra alcoholic drinks, more coffee, TV and internet consumption later at night, media consumption, more sugary treats, trying too get every job done in the house…I have attached the circles of health to help you.
Negative emotions are particularly damaging to your health and therefore your immune system. Health is all about cellular regeneration.  This process is enhanced when times are good but the opposite when times are bad.  Unfortunately, fear and isolation are possibly the two worst things for your health as they impair cellular regeneration.  I have attached the Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale that might help you work to more positive emotions and thus […]

21st Jan 2020

Sports Performance Training Tips

Train the human athlete first before the sports specific athlete.

Do not try too hard to replicate exact sporting movements as they will never be exact and if you train too much of one thing you will become relatively weaker in the actual game movement.

Much of the training will be compensating for the postural biases of the sport (to make you back to being a better human athlete).

Assess and train your weaker links.  Audit your competences against those key to the sport and train the biggest gap. 

Train more complicated movements than needed so it’s easy (less energy using) to do the real thing.

Seasonalise/periodise your training plan per year / event block cycle.  This means focussing on a different aspect of fitness at different times for example you do not want to build strength at the same time as endurance.

All training must (progressively) convert into functional game skills. Olympic lifting […]

7th Jan 2020

Weight Loss – Forget Calorie Counting

95% of people put back on the weight lost in a diet within 3 years 

90% of these people put on more

In fact the only scientifically guaranteed way to put on weight, is to go on a diet!

Problem or Symptom?

Being overweight is our body’s way of telling us that it is out of balance and that we need to change something in our lifestyle.  Most obese people are, actually, malnourished.  Their body is not receiving the right nutrients for optimum health and so sends hunger signals to the brain to keep eating.  

Similarly, many people are overweight because their body is under too much stress, stimulating too much adrenalin which suppress bodies ‘rest & repair’ functions such as digestion, sleep, blood sugar regulation.  Exercise will release more adrenalin.

Find the cause and address that rather than trying to force weight loss.

“In other words, the less you eat, the less […]

25th Nov 2019

Injury: Smart rehab.

Pain is unpleasant and stops you doing what you want to do.  However, the best way to approach pain is not to just ‘treat’ and eliminate it, it is to understand it and use it a as teacher.  The body moves away from pain, so if you are in pain the body has made a lot of compensation already.

What have you been doing to cause the problem which has resulted in compensations which has lead to the pain?  If you can understand the cause you can address the real problem you’ll achieve long-term freedom from pain.

From this broad perspective all injury is over-training.  Or, another way of saying over-training is under-recovering.

Rehabilitation – ways to speed up recovery:

Work around the problem.  By activating muscles near the pain this helps strengthen (and repair) the painful muscles.

Move the painful muscles but not so much to make the pain worse.  This tells your body to prioritise resources to heal the […]

31st Oct 2019

Female Performance Training

By Ollie Martin & Gemma Pilkington

Some Benefits of High Performance Training

  • Improved sports performance 
  • Better posture 
  • Optimal/healthy weight
  • Improved bone density
  • Better pelvic floor 
  • Better body image
  • Increased self confidence
  • Fun and social

However, many of the high performance training protocols having been developed for men.


Forward head posture & shoulder girdle

Female heads are on average same weight as a man’s but with 8% less bodyweight (plus potentially more hair).  For every inch the head moves forward there is three times the load on the neck extensors.  

Rounded shoulders are often adopted in puberty to hide developing breasts and exacerbated from sport specific muscle imbalances and too much sitting.  Steeper first rib angle causes excessive ligament strain.  This leads to thoracic outlet syndrome, where compression of blood vessels and nerves between the collar bone and first rib angle cause pain in shoulders/neck and numbness in fingers.

3rd Jun 2019


At Take Shape we are one of the few non-professional sports clubs to offer FITLIGHT assessment and training for speed, agility and cognitive movement.

The FITLIGHTS are used as targets for the user to deactivate as per the reaction training routine. Various measurements can be captured for immediate feedback in relation to the user’s performance or can later be downloaded to a central computer for future analysis. During any type of training, specifically speed and agility training, the lights can be deactivated by use of the users’ hands, feet, head, or sport/fitness related equipment, either through full contact or proximity with this revolutionary reaction training system.

FITLIGHT Trainer for Sports Performance 

  • Sports Specific High Performance Training
  • Enhanced Reaction and Response Time
  • Improved speed, agility, stamina, conditioning, coordination and visual cognitive processing functions
  • Sports performance analysis to track and monitor […]
9th Jan 2019

What are you waiting for?

Many people are waiting for that big health drive, that perfect week when the rest of your life will be on hold so you can focus on your health. Well that rarely happens, and even if it does you get better, long-term results by implementing a few changes into your current lifestyle right now.

This works because it is sustainable as it creates virtuous circles of healthy actions, all helping each other and making it easier for you to choose healthier options. This is opposed to vicious circles of negative health actions – one chocolate bar / or beer leads to another.

create virtuous circles of healthy actions

The Health Retreat

Anyone can be healthy of a retreat but it only lasts a week or two!  Our challenge is to build health into our present lifestyles.

The Fitness Challenge

Such a running a marathon. This can be great for motivation but often leads to injury and illness due to overtraining (under-recovering because of […]