It’s New Year’s resolution time – make 2017 your best year yet with Bark!

After another trip around the sun, it’s time to start thinking about your goals for the year ahead. The New Year is a chance to turn over a new leaf, ditch those bad habits and take on exciting new challenges!

Some people struggle to stick to their resolutions each year. But with Bark, finding a skilled expert to help you stay on track is easy.

Simply choose one of our top New Year’s resolutions from the list below and place a Bark to get quotes from local pros fast and free.

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Get fit with a personal trainer

With the indulgent Christmas period behind you, it’s time to start sculpting your ‘beach body’ in preparation for the glorious British summertime.

Every year, millions of Brits resolve to jump on the treadmill and get into the best shape of their lives. But, without a professional to motivate them, most don’t even make it past January.

That’s why it’s so important to have someone there to keep you in the gym and pushing yourself to your limits. Place a personal training Bark now to get quotes from local pros fast and free.

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Learn a new language with language lessons

They say to have a second language is to possess a second soul. So perhaps it’s surprising how few of us take the time to get fluent in a second tongue.

Not only will learning a new language make it easier to explore many of the world’s greatest foreign holiday destinations – it can also give you a crucial edge in the jobs market.

So if you want to expand your mind and open up new personal horizons this year, place a Bark now to find local language tutors fast and free.

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Unleash your inner creativity with guitar lessons

We believe everyone should be able to pick up an instrument and play a few tunes. It’s a great way to relax and de-stress, while simultaneously sharpening your mind.

The guitar is a great instrument for beginners because it’s versatile, it sounds great – and you can start playing almost right away.

Master a few basic hand shapes and you’ll be jamming popular songs by Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and more in no time.

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Get organised with a professional life coach

A life coach can help you come to terms with the radical changes that are often necessary in order to live your life to its fullest.

From going for that big promotion at work, to improving your social life, or even proposing to your other half – it can be hard to identify what steps you’ll need to take to achieve your dreams.

A great life coach will help you navigate your way to change and support you moving forward as you begin to enjoy a happier, healthier life.

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Quit smoking with hypnotherapy sessions

The rewards of giving up smoking are huge, and they begin immediately. The amount of carbon monoxide in your bloodstream will start to decline in just a few hours – and you’ll start feeling fitter and healthier in a matter of weeks.

But those first few days without cigarettes will also be when your nicotine cravings are at their strongest, and many people find it impossible to quit without help from a trained professional.

Place a Bark now to find recommended hypnotherapists in your area to help you overcome your addiction and ditch your smoking habit for good.

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Train like an Olympian with British Powerlifting Champion, Charlie Shotton-Gale

As far back as the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, the world’s elite athletes have competed to see who is the strongest.

The best weightlifters can shift up to three times their own bodyweight. But even if you’re not interested in developing superhuman strength, weightlifting is a great way to stay in shape. If you want to build a sculpted, muscular physique like Chris Hemsworth or Jessica Ennis-Hill – nothing beats it.

To help you incorporate weight training into your own fitness regime, we spoke to one of our most accomplished personal trainers: British Women’s Powerlifting Champion, Charlie Shotton-Gale.

Q. What inspired you to take up powerlifting?

 I’ve been powerlifting for 10 years now. I started because at the time I was playing rugby for Supermarine Ladies and wanted to get stronger – I had my sights set on England Rugby!

Then I was convinced to try out a competition… one lead to two. The first nationals I competed in I won. I was then accepted into the national team three years later and said goodbye to rugby. Best decision of my life.

I’ve been all over the world with powerlifting, made some incredible friends and seen things I never would have done otherwise.

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Q. Are you looking forward to the weightlifting events at the Olympics?

Yes, I am! It was the sport I went to watch in 2012. It’s different to powerlifting in that it is about maximum strength and power (speed of movement) whereas powerlifting is solely about max strength and invariably lofting great weights.

I love weightlifting, but I’m not very good at it. I practice and I do include it in my training for power and technique work. But it’s extremely difficult – and the athletes we watch on TV are not only strong but they are technically very accomplished. And they are very, very brave to not only be able to pick up those weights, but to catch them as well!

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Q. Would you run us through your favourite workouts?

Favourite upper body workout? Bench. Favourite legs workout? Squat. That’s all you need in life.

I’m just kidding, although not by much. My training consists of multi-body part high volume training, so I never separate legs and upper body workouts. I do them every single session.

One of my favourite workouts would be:

  • Squats 80% 1RM 5 x 3
  • Bench 80% 1RM 5 x 3
  • Tempo 4:4 squats 65% 1RM 3 x 3
  • Pistols / split squats / Bulgarian squats 3 x 6
  • Seated Deadlifts 5 x 5

If you ever meet me, you’ll see why I love leg workouts more than upper body!

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Q. How important is proper diet and nutrition? What tips do you have for people looking to optimise their diet for weightlifting?

You wouldn’t run a Ferrari on diesel, so why run your body on pizza and chips? Having said that, I am a heavyweight female so my diet is not perfect.  I aim for it to be spot on 70% of the time when I’m in post-comp mode, and 80%-90% of the time when I’m gearing up for a competition.

I always notice a difference, when I focus on my diet. Strength improvements can come in as quickly as a week!

All people are different, so I can’t give tips. One person will benefit from a high carb low fat diet, whereas I love a high fat high protein diet. My advice is pick a diet, try it for two weeks, assess your strength during and at the end. Then pick another.  Do the same till you find one that makes you feel strong.

My biggest piece of advice is: listen to your body, not to the adverts.  Your body knows what it wants – all companies just want to make money off you.

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Q. Great athletes have great trainers. How do you help your personal training clients progress with their lifting and achieve their fitness goals?

By following my philosophy of achieving: consistency, consistency, consistency. I create programmes, sessions and lifestyle plans that all boil down to keeping my clients consistent.

In my experience, the most successful people are those that have been consistently working at their chosen task over long periods of time. Okay, okay – some people are naturally gifted freaks. Usain Bolt, for example. But even he has had to work hard for it.

If I have clients that want variety, I give them variety and it keeps them adhering to the changes.  If someone wants an education and to learn skills and knowledge, then I teach them to keep them motivated.  Whatever it takes to keep my clients consistent is the service I deliver.

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Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting out with powerlifting, or any other type of high intensity fitness training?

Don’t start out thinking you could be the next big thing, or aiming for some kind of record. Keep your head down, work hard, enjoy it – and remember that there are no quick fixes. It all takes the most incredible amount of time. But if you enjoy the journey, you will enjoy the result.

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GET INSPIRED: Unleash your inner Olympian this summer with Bark

There’s nothing more inspiring than watching the greatest athletes in the world compete for Olympic glory. But why should the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Andy Murray have all the fun?

For many of the elite athletes that compete for Team GB in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, this will be the high point of their careers. But your greatest sporting achievement could be yet to come.

So as the clock counts down towards the greatest sporting event on Earth, take a look at our guide to unleashing your own inner Olympian this summer.

 

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Get in shape with a personal trainer

Great athletes have coaches. Just as Toni Minichiello helped Jessica Ennis-Hill get from high school athlete to Olympic gold medallist, your personal trainer will be at your side every step of the way as you achieve your fitness goals.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, develop speed and agility, build muscle mass or anything else – we’ll find a great local personal trainer to provide you with all the help and support you need.

Place a personal training Bark today and we’ll begin contacting personal trainers in your area on your behalf right away.

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Finding nutritionists is easy with Bark

Perfect your diet for maximum efficiency

When you’re pushing your body to its limits, you need a balanced diet to help you perform at your peak and recover quickly afterwards.

From managing your protein intake to repair damaged muscle fibres, to helping you replace the electrolytes you lose when you sweat – a great sports nutritionist will create the perfect diet plan for your fitness regime.

Simply place a diet and nutrition Bark today and we’ll start searching for great dieticians in your area right away.

 

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Hone your skills with sports lessons

You don’t have to be a top flight athlete to get a lot out of sports lessons. Not only are they ideal if you’re hoping to get good enough to join your local team, but they’re also great if you want to get fit and have fun in the process.

With 27 separate sports categories on our site – including football lessons, martial arts classes and more – you’re sure to find the perfect sports coach for you with Bark.

Whatever sport you want to learn, place a Bark today and we’ll begin contacting local sports coaches for you right away.

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Get washboard abs with Pilates classes

Olympians including swimmer Natalie Coughlin, cyclist Victoria Pendelton and tennis legends like Roger Federer and Serena Williams all cite Pilates as a crucial part of their training regimes.

It’s a great cross training exercise because it focusses on functional movement – working your abs, back, glutes and thighs.

If the idea of toning your body through a combination of controlled movements and breathing exercises appeals to you, place a Pilates Bark now and start getting free quotes from local Pilates instructors.

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Finding a massage therapist is easy with Bark

Have a sports massage – and do it all again!

Whether you’re training to compete at the Olympics, working out at the gym or just stuck in front of a computer all day, you’re likely to experience tight muscular pains and aches at some point.

Sports massages are proven to help you achieve peak performance, reduce the risk of sporting injury and speed up your recovery times.

So when you’re feeling sore after an intense workout, they’re ideal for treating those aches and pains – so you can get back out there and do it all over again as quickly as possible.

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