Pulse News

When you start an exercise plan, you probably have a goal in mind. Whether it’s weight loss, improving performance or working towards a certain event, setting a goal is important to help keep you motivated.

However, you might not initially set a goal with a deadline in mind. We think it’s important to set your goals in reverse, working back from a specific date of completion and setting shorter-term goals as you go. This way, you’re more likely to meet your overall goal.

When you need an extra push or need help to figure out your next steps, our personal trainers are here to help you establish your goals and work towards them. To find out more about our personal training sessions, click here.

We’re delighted to host a range of free activities at the Pulse on Saturday 8 September as part of the Stroud District Council’s Active for Life Health and Wellbeing Day.

Classes and soft play

Ever fancied giving yoga a try? How about spin classes or Pilates? We’ve got a whole range of our fantastic classes available to try for FREE!

Each class will take place at the following time:

Hatha Yoga – 8.00am
Spin – 8.15am
Strength Circuits – 9.10am
PiYo – 11.00am
Health walk – 11.00am
Pilates – 2.00pm

We’ll also have soft play facilities for under 7s in the studio from 3.30pm to 5.00pm.

Bookings for classes and soft play open on Saturday 25 August. We recommend booking for specific classes – to book, give us a call on 01453 546441.

Junior Triathlon

Junior Triathlon is coming to the Pulse in partnership with Dursley Triathlon Club! This competition is ideal for either seasoned triathletes or children that would like to try it. Sign-ups are available now, and it’s free to join in – click here to register your child.

The triathlon will start at 4pm and is split into four age brackets. Depending on age, the distances for each section are as follows:

8–10 year olds: 50m swim, 1.5k cycle, 800m run
11–12 year olds: 100m swim, 2k cycle, 1200m run
13–14 year olds: 200m swim, 4k cycle, 1600m run
15–17 year olds: 200m swim, 4k cycle, 1600m run

All cycling will take place in the Pulse Spin Studio.

Climbing wall

Climbing is an excellent workout, helping you to build strength and stamina. As part of the Health and Wellbeing Day activities, we’ll have a portable climbing wall on site from 10.00am to 2.00pm – if you’d like to give it a go, each climbing session is free!

There’s no need to book for our climbing wall – just come along. All you need to do is make sure you bring sensible footwear.

Public swimming and inflatables

All of our public swimming and inflatable sessions on this date will be priced at just £2 – so whether you want to take a dip or make a splash, it’s a great opportunity to get the family together for a swim!

Even more fun!

We’re also pleased to welcome Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service to the Pulse, who will be bringing a fire engine and giving tours to kids while teaching them all about fire safety.

There will also be a pop-up café, with all cake sale profits going to benefit the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Get active this August with our fitness challenge! We’ve put together some quick and simple exercises you can do at home each day, designed to be completed in 20 minutes or less. Whether you’re new to exercise, struggle to fit it all in, or are looking for new exercises to do at home or in the gym, our fitness challenge is the ideal way to try something new.

If you’re not sure how to do an exercise, just scroll to the bottom to find some video examples that you can check out at home. Otherwise, speak to one of our instructors when you next visit and they’ll be happy to demonstrate!

We’d love to see how you’re getting on, so tell us all about it by tagging your posts on Facebook and Instagram with #PulsePals.

Daily Challenges

Day 1 – 10 crunches, 10-second V hold, 10 press ups, then 10-second plank
Day 2 – 10 squats, 10-second wall sit, 10 lunges, then hold a lunge for 10 seconds on each leg
Day 3 – 30 seconds of running high knees in place, followed by 10 seconds of rest – repeat three times (for a low impact option, do 30 seconds of high knee marching)
Day 4 – 20-second plank hold, 20 explosive squats – repeat two times
Day 5 – 10-minute brisk walk
Day 6 – 10 inchworms (to make it harder, finish with a press up), then wall sit for 30 seconds
Day 7 – 10 burpees
Day 8 – 20 full sit-ups, 20-second V hold, then finish with 20 Russian twists
Day 9 – 20 tricep dips off the edge of a chair, 10 narrow arm press ups
Day 10 – How many squats or explosive squats can you do in a minute?
Day 11 – 20-minute brisk walk or jog
Day 12 – 30 seconds of running high knees in place, hold a squat for 30 seconds, then a 30-second plank
Day 13 – Three 30-second planks – make it harder on round two and three by holding one leg off the floor
Day 14 – 20 crunches, 20-second V hold, 20 press ups, then finish with 20 tricep dips
Day 15 – Alternating lunges for 1 minute – jump lunges to make it hard
Day 16 – 10 full sit-ups, followed by 10 crunches – repeat as many rounds in two minutes as you can (if you struggle with full sit ups, do half sit-ups from top, holding onto your trousers to help you)
Day 17 – Go for a 20-minute bike ride or walk
Day 18 – 10 inchworms, 10 press ups, then finish with 10 inchworms
Day 19 – How long can you wall sit for?
Day 20 – 20 squats, 20 alternating lunges, then hold a low squat for 20 seconds
Day 21 – 20 burpees
Day 22 – 30-minute brisk walk or run
Day 23 – How many press ups can you do in a minute?
Day 24 – 30 crunches, 30 presses at the top of a crunch position, rest – repeat three times
Day 25 – 30 seconds of running high knees in place, 30 seconds of squats – repeat three times
Day 26 – 20-second V hold, 20 Russian twists, then rest – repeat three times (make it harder by keeping your feet off the floor)
Day 27 – 90-second plank hold
Day 28 – 30 squats, 30 alternating lunges, 30-second lunge hold on each leg, and finish with a 30-second squat hold
Day 29 – 30 press ups, then 30 tricep dips – rest and repeat the set
Day 30 – 50 explosive squats
Day 31 – How many burpees can you do in a minute?

Video Examples

V Hold


Explosive Squat

Russian Twist

Wall Sit


It’s easy to stick to things we like doing, rather than the exercises we should be doing, but plenty of studies have shown that we’re actually going to get more benefit out of mixing our exercise regime up a bit, rather than getting used to the same exercises each time.

At the Pulse, we offer a wide range of classes that focus on different parts of the body in different environments – from our ballroom dancing-inspired Strictly Fitness to Aqua Zumba, there’s something for everyone!

So, when you’re thinking about your exercise for the week, try and include one new thing, whether small or big – Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration. If you’re not sure what to look at next, speak to one of our instructors.

While most food packaging will give you the recommended daily amount of calories for the average person, not everyone is the average person! Depending on your age, your gender, how much exercise you do, and whether you’d like to gain, lose or maintain weight, your caloric needs could be very different to the standard recommendation.

However, it’s easy to estimate your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy in kcals that your body needs at complete rest to be able to function properly. To find out yours, multiply your body weight in kilograms by 25. For example, if you weigh 10 stone, which is roughly 64kg, then your BMR will be 1,600 calories.

You can estimate how much you’ll need depending on the level of exercise you do in a day:

Sedentary: Light activities associated with day-to-day life – BMR x 1.2
Moderate activity: This includes exercise such as walking for 30–60 minutes – BMR x 1.5
Very active: A minimum of 60 minutes of intense activity per day – BMR x 2

Using our previous example of 64kg, if you’re very active, you’ll need to consume 3,200 calories a day. However, if you aren’t doing any exercise at all, then you will only need 1,920 calories per day to maintain your current weight.

We know that there’s more to fitness than counting calories, but for anyone that is looking to improve the way they eat alongside their training, this can be a helpful step to ensure you get the nutrition you need. If you’d like any further advice, chat with our instructors on your next visit.

Did you know that after an intense training session, your glycogen stores are depleted? It’s important to ensure you refill these stores to help build muscles, reduce soreness and make sure you recover more quickly. This is where carbs and fast-digesting proteins come in handy.

To maximise your recovery after high intensity or prolonged exercise, follow these simple tips:

  • Take on calories within 30 minutes
  • Consume 1.0-1.5g carbohydrates/kg of your body weight
  • Aim to consume a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein – for example a 60kg athlete should consume around 60-90g of carbohydrates and 15-20g of protein

Here are some great post-workout meals – why not give these a try soon?

  • Pork loin and baked red potatoes: “The other white meat” gives you a blast of protein, and the starchy potatoes are a source of fast-digesting carbs.
  • Chicken breast and pasta: Toss with tomato sauce or season with herbs to add more flavour to this simple meal. Adding a little olive oil isn’t a bad idea, either.
  • Salmon, carrots, and green beans: Salmon is a natural source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that fight exercise-related soreness. Veggies like carrots and green beans are low-calorie and high in vitamins for optimum gains.
  • Lean beef patty, whole wheat bun, and sliced avocado: Lean beef is an iron-rich protein source, the whole wheat bun is a healthy source of carbs, and the natural healthy fats of the avocado also adds flavour.
  • Smoothie with Greek yoghurt and fruit: A great breakfast if you train early in the morning, the whey and casein combo of the yoghurt helps support protein synthesis, and the sugar in the fruit helps raise insulin.

It’s always important to stay hydrated while you work out, but especially in this heat!

Your body needs water and other fluids to avoid dehydration and function at its best. In our usual climate, we should drink about 1.2 litres, or six to eight glasses, at a minimum, and in hot weather, we should particularly take care to avoid too much caffeine, alcohol, or drinks high in sugar.

Staying hydrated is absolutely vital, and has a whole range of benefits, including preventing osteoporosis, balancing body temperature, assisting with breathing, supporting your metabolism, relieving pain and supporting your cardiovascular health.

When you come to visit the Pulse, bring a water bottle to your classes or to the gym to stay hydrated during your workout, and be sure to have a drink once you finish.

Give something new a try this July and set yourself up to hit your next fitness goal!

This month, we’re focusing on squats and specifically, barbell squats. This 31-day challenge encourages you to develop your squatting technique, generate more power and build strength in your legs.

So, what’s the target? By the end of July, we want to see if you can squat:

  • 50% of your body weight using a barbell as a beginner
  • 100% of your body weight using a barbell if you already practise squats frequently

For example, if you weigh 60kg, you should either squat 30kg (50%) or 60kg (100%) using the plates and bars.

This exercise does take some practice, so please ask our instructors to help you out and watch your form to be sure you’re doing it correctly – we’re happy to help you meet the challenge!

Congratulations to Tim Workman, the winner of last month’s gym challenge – he was entered into a prize draw after completing an unaided pull-up and won a free personal training session.

The more we think about it, the more we realise that 90% of training is simply walking out the door. It’s easy to say ‘maybe later’ or ‘I’ll train tomorrow’ but the hardest part to training is getting out of the house and over to the gym or a class.

That’s why we’re firm believers in the 10-week rule. If you’ve just started exercise or are trying to stick to something each week, keep it up every week for 10 weeks and it becomes habit. The trick is to find an exercise or class you enjoy and build your lifestyle around it. For example, if you choose a Tuesday night as your exercise night, put that class or session before everything else and turn down any other invitations that evening. It might seem difficult at first, but after 10 weeks, it’ll be second nature!

Need help finding your perfect exercise fit? Say hello to our instructors and they’ll be able to recommend classes or exercises that work for you.

Did you know we spend up to one third of our lives asleep? It’s a vital indicator of overall health and wellbeing. Most of us need around 8 hours of good quality sleep a night, but that can vary.

Do you often struggle getting to sleep, or wake up tired and spend the day longing for a nap? Consistent exercise can help you to sleep better. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep when done on a regular basis. What’s more, you may also reduce the risk of developing troublesome sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

If you need help finding the right exercise to suit your lifestyle, have a chat to our instructors on your next visit – we’re happy to help!