Christmas Survival Toolkit

Christmas Survival Toolkit

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas 🎄🎄🎄 , and I’m not even going to announce how many days are left until the big day… but we all know it’s close!

Very close!

Are you travelling? Are you staying at home? Super busy?

I know whatever you are doing, time is hard to come by right now. It might even feel like you don’t have any time at all. BUT, let’s collectively all make time to eat more good foods than bad and keep a good attitude about our workouts in the days leading up to the Festive Season.

My workout is the one time of day I’m disconnected and able to actually clear my head. That’s why I think it’s even more important to put the time in when life gets crazy.

To help you “survive” the Festive Season and all the temptations that will no doubt come your way, we have come up with a plan to ensure your clothes don’t miraculously shrink over Christmas.

So, please sit back and enjoy our Christmas Story…

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even the comatose ale-charged kebab-stuffed daft party hat and a fake breast-wearing guy lying spread-eagled in the hallway.

Sound familiar?

No, me neither. I’m a healthy well-respected Personal Trainer, and I don’t get myself into that kind of state (well, not for the past couple of Christmases anyway ;-)


family together christmas celebration concept

The yuletide festivities are fast approaching, which means only one thing. Actually, that’s ridiculous, of course. Christmas means many things. But if you believe in Santa like me ;-), it means that if you hang your stocking by the hearth, next to the chimney and when you get up on Christmas morning, it will be filled with all sorts of random “gifts” like chocolate, ornaments, cd’s, underwear and socks.

It’s this bizarre yet predictable ritual on Christmas morning that I love.

I never get what I asked for; instead, I get a load of underwear and chocolate. And while underwear is a little boring and predictable in the present stakes, there’s always a place in my stomach for chocolate, even though it does make seem to make my clothes shrink!

There’s a good reason for this. It’s called Positive Energy Balance (PEB).

If you’re at PEB, it means that the calories you’re putting into your body exceed the calories you’re burning up.

Strangely this does shrink your clothes, and sometimes if you’re at PEB for long enough over the Christmas period, the stairs in your house get steeper and longer, and the air on the landing gets thinner.

It’s the most bizarre phenomenon.

The television grows too and becomes an extremely dominant force in your Christmassy life as you start to lose interest in most other things (sporty stuff in particular) and get rather frightened about going outside. Especially to the places where there’s physical activity involved.

Well, I’m here to put a stop to this madness.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

We can turn PEB into EB, which means Energy Balance, so the calories you’re putting in equal the calories you’re burning up.

That way, you stay roughly the same weight.

I think achieving NEB (Negative Energy Balance) might be expecting too much?

I suggest that attempting to lose weight over Christmas is tantamount to insanity and could mean that you are a very sad person indeed.

I realise you’re confused and scared, but I am genuinely here to help, so do please trust me; I know what I’m doing (well, most of the time anyway).

I shall now become serious and helpful…


young adult balancing on a tree in vacation

Weight loss isn’t a sensible goal over Christmas. It simply isn’t realistic. What you should be seriously considering is damage limitation. How can you have a fabulous Christmas with no regrets yet still emerge from it in one piece, perhaps a little scraped and bruised, but not broken and wheezing like an old set of bagpipes.

The answer is in our Five-Stage Christmas Survival Guide.

Only read on if you’re serious about limiting the damage this Christmas. If you don’t take my tips seriously, you’re likely to feel insulted, guilty and angry:

Perform our Special 10 Minute Workout Session: You can’t get out of these because they are so easy.

Did you know that the most challenging thing about exercise is thinking about whether you’re going to do it or not?

That’s easily solved because I’ve made that decision for you.

Just do it – getting into a routine of doing something simple like this just before you get into bed is the easiest habit to form.

I have designed these workouts so they only take 10 minutes each. If you feel like doing more, then, by all means, go through them again for a metabolic boosting 20-minute workout.

I recommend you do this first thing in the morning, so then it is done and out of the way, right through the Christmas and New Year period.

Want to mix up your fitness regime over the Festive Season?

Here are four ideas…

Go For A Ride On Your Bike: Get the whole family together and make this a family activity. Ride for up to an hour. If you go away over Christmas, take your bike with you. Where are the hurdles? What’s stopping you? Absolutely nothing, so no excuses. Give it a go, and you will enjoy it, I promise.

Run: If you don’t have a bike or don’t fancy going for a ride, go for a run for 30 minutes instead. If you go for a run, take some time out to do some stretching afterwards because it’s so much more aggressive on the lower limbs than cycling.

happy family mother and child girl on a winter

Walk: Do this as much as you can. I’m not going to be strict on this, but if you keep going outside, the fear I mentioned earlier will never set in. In fact, you’ll love it. Avoid taking the car and walk to places instead. It all helps with the calorie burn, and you get to experience the great outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to spend Christmas in the countryside, you’ll be looking around and wishing you were on your bike, but hey, you can ride it tomorrow morning.

Active gifts: You don’t have to spend much money but buy your kids or family something for the outdoors. If you go to a big toyshop, you can buy similar things like a frisbee that flies for miles. Why not play a softball, football or tag game with the kids? These things are a lot of fun and burn loads more calories than a game of Cluedo will.

The best plans are the simplest, so if you stick to all of the above, you’ll be thanking me in the New Year.

So, we’ve worked on ‘Calories Out’, but what about the calories you’re putting in?

Stick to the Five-Stage Christmas Survival Guide above, but eat and drink what you want – you’ll have earned the privilege.

On the other hand, if you don’t stick to my plan, perhaps I should remind you that if you don’t exercise over Christmas, you will need to avoid the following foods and drinks:

  • Nuts
  • Chocolate (including a resident tin of Celebrations etc.)
  • Cake
  • Biscuits
  • Alcohol (of any kind)
  • Cheese
  • Mince Pies
  • Christmas Dinner
  • Anything vaguely Christmassy and nice

The choice is clearly yours. Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year…

christmas xmas family holiday winter

If you REALLY must indulge in all things Christmas, then here are my Ten survival tips for Christmas Day:

  1. Start the day by putting out a little of everything you like onto a plate, such as cashews and a small slice of Christmas cake and cover with glad wrap. Only go to this plate during the day rather than the bowls of goodies, and once it’s all gone – then stop!
  2. Have a little of everything, and I mean LITTLE – a lot of everything is a problem. Christmas isn’t just about eating and drinking, so enjoy your family and friends, opening presents, swimming in the pool and listening to carols.
  3. Remember, Christmas is only one day of the year so enjoy the day, but remember you will have to face tomorrow and the scales.
  4. Go for a walk in the afternoon or play football or softball with the family, as this can help burn off any extra calories you consume over the day.
  5. Avoid overeating high fat, high sugar foods. It’s much healthier to fill up on salads, veggies, lean meats and fruit.
  6. Don’t sit in front of the platters of food; instead, sit with your back to the temptations so you won’t snack the day away.
  7. Keep hydrated on the day. Drink lots of water so that you don’t confuse hunger with being thirsty.
  8. Show some moderation. Limit gassy soft drinks and alcohol to avoid feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Going back for seconds is a no-no and restricting yourself to one small serving of Christmas pudding and cake.
  9. If visiting family or friends, take your good intentions with you by bringing along some low-fat food options.
  10. And finally, if all else fails and you have overdone it, don’t worry, the best thing you can do is get back to healthy eating as soon as possible. The longer you drag it out, the worse it will be.

10 Minute Xmas Holiday Workouts


Prevent Any Unwanted Pounds Sneaking on to your Body with Our Fast, Effective Fat Loss Workouts That Keep You Slim Over the Festive Period…

The 10-Minute Workout Guidelines

  1. You can do one each day or double up and do an extra workout up to 3 days per week if it suits your schedule.
  2. Take at least one full day of rest per week (you may perform light activities, i.e. walking, on the rest day).
  3. Pairs of exercises (i.e. 1A & 1B) constitute “Supersets”.
  4. Some workouts include tri-sets (1A-1C) or circuits (1A-1F).
  5. Use a controlled pace for each traditional exercise, but move explosively for Burpees and Star Jumps.
  6. Don’t train to failure if you are using dumbbells. You should do one more rep at the end of each set.
  7. You can train to failure in the Body Weight exercises.
  8. Finish each workout with stretching for the tight muscle groups only if desired.
  9. Warm-ups are built into the 10-minute workouts.

10-Minute Workouts

Workout #1- Tri-set plus Burpees

workout on riverside

  • Go through the tri-set (1A-1C) for three rounds, with the first round being a warm-up set.
  • Rest 30 seconds at the end of each tri-set.
  • After completing three rounds of the tri-set, do three rounds of Burpees.
  • In each round, do Burpees for 30 seconds straight and then rest for 30 seconds.

1A) Jump Squats (10 reps)

1B) Push Ups (10 reps)

1C) Walking Lunges (10 reps each side)

2) Burpees (30 seconds) or Star Jumps if you can’t do Burpees

Workout #2- Bodyweight Circuit

  • Perform each exercise one after the other with no rest between exercises.
  • Rest 15 seconds before repeating the circuit.
  • Try to complete three rounds of the circuit.
  • Use the first round as a warm-up, and perform half the recommended number of repetitions for each exercise.

1A) Y Squat (15 reps)

1B ) T-Pushup (5 reps per side)

1C) Pull-up or Stickup (10 reps)

1D) Touchdown Forward Lunge (10 reps per side)

1E) Incline Push Up (15 reps)

1F) Star Jumps (60-100 reps)

Workout #3- Supersets

  • Treat the first round as your warm-up.
  • Go through each superset three times,
  • Do not rest within supersets. Rest 30 seconds for each superset.

1A) 1 Arm DB Row (15 each side) or Stick Ups (15 reps)

1B) Offset Push Ups (15 reps)


2A) Split Squat (8 reps per side)

2B) Hip Extension (15 reps – feet on chair or bench)

Workout #4 – Intervals on a treadmill, jogging, bicycle, skipping

  • Warm-up for 3 minutes
  • Work for 60 seconds at a hard pace (at a subjective 8/10 level of intensity).
  • Follow that with “active rest” for 30 seconds by exercising at a low pace (at a subjective 3/10 level of intensity).
  • Repeat for three intervals
  • Finish with 3 minutes of a cool-down at a 4/10 level of intensity.

Workout #5 – Bodyweight Circuit

bear crawl

  • Perform each exercise one after the other with no rest between exercises.
  • Rest 15 seconds before repeating the circuit.
  • Try to complete three rounds of the circuit.
  • Use the first round as a warm-up, and perform half the recommended number of repetitions for each exercise.

1A) Bulgarian Split Squat (12 reps per side)

1B ) Band Pulldowns or Stick-up (12 reps)

1C) Stability Ball Jackknife (12 reps) or Mountain Climbers (15 reps each side)

1D) Spiderman Climbs (10 each)

1E) Bear Crawl (6 reps each way)

Workout #6 – Intervals

strong man using a resistance-band

  • Warm-up for 4 minutes
  • Perform an interval by exercising for 30 seconds at a hard pace (at a subjective 9/10 level of intensity)
  • Follow that with “active rest” for 30 seconds by exercising at a slow pace (at a subjective 3/10 level of intensity).
  • Repeat for three intervals
  • Finish with 3 minutes of a cool-down at a 4/10 level of intensity.

Your choice of interval:

  1. Sprints
  2. Skipping
  3. Mountain Climbing Sprints
  4. Cycling
  5. Rowing Machine
  6. Kettlebell Swings

ADC 28 Day Challenge

Have a great Christmas and if you are looking to get your 2018 off to a blistering start, check out our 28-Day “Lean Lifestyle” Challenge.

The Challenge kicks off on Monday 8th January 2018 and has been developed to help you kick start your fitness, tone up your whole body and get fitter than you’ve ever been.

Our trainers have years of experience to help you achieve extraordinary results during this 28 Day Lean Lifestyle Challenge.

Our tried and tested Flexible Dieting System formula has been proven on hundreds of clients JUST LIKE YOU.

By combining fun, intense training sessions along with a comprehensive nutrition program and lifestyle support, we will get you fitter and leaner.

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