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  • Lets talk about fitness

    Posted on 22nd January 2012





    Lets take a journey together 


    Here you will read a lot of articles about fitness. About food, weight loss, athletic performance, science, experience, motivational stories, tools and ideas, new and old methods of training, new and old fitness equipment and techniques. Muscle, bone and sinew, hope, sweat, will power and reward. We are based in Wimbledon and some of the articles will be about local places,people and experiences but on the whole, the articles will be relevant to anyone who has an interest in fitness.


    I would be very grateful, if you would join the conversation and give me your thoughts and opinions, tell me about your experiences.


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    If you have any problem doing so or if you would like to get in contact directly with your question or comment please just use the contact form, or email me directly.


    Enjoy the articles – Look forward to hearing from you.



    Suspension Trainer Squat to Row and Progression

    Posted on 9th February 2020


    This exercise begins quite mild but has an excellent and advanced progression with great functional value that becomes very challenging.



    When you first get familiar with this exercise – key points are 


    • Use whole foot with good heel contact and glute activation to make the  whole leg responsible for the push up 
    • Keep a good erect upper body posture with the abs switched on to keep the liason between lower body and upper body forces
    • After warming the shoulders for pulling , keeping palms facing flat to floor and concentrating pulling through on muscles in middle upper back between and around shoulder blades has greater postural value  


    Once strong enough and broadly functionally conditioned the exercise can be progressed to pull with one arm only and drive up with same or opposite leg. Once this exercise has been progressed to this stage the abs securing the posture. A good dynamic (responding to changing pressures and forces) core activation means that  forces in the soft tissue fix the body position and stabilise. (so that torsion forces are dynamically equalised in abdominal muscles. This protects joint architecture including the spine. Developing a good reflex to read forces travelling through the body and dynamically stabilise them through the muscles to protect joints is v healthy.


    The progressed version of this exercise has much greater metabolic demand from both muscles and heart and lungs as well as core stability condition and skills – yet has no external load risks and is fairly steady and controlled . 


    This video is performed by Vey at our Wimbledon SW19 Personal Training Studio.

    DNPT run a highly professional team of PTs – who are also good friendly company – and we can help you ahive your exercise  goals at home, in our private gyms or outdoors (Mobile). 


    The exercise can be used as an  element in workouts for weight loss and functional training and physique , its just a question of setting the right reps and sets etc. As functional exercise it would also have a role in its progressed form in other goals such as muscle gain and strength or athletic perfomance to populate the week withe exercises that keep dysfunction and muscle imbalance at bay and promote mobility and good core stability ( core includes hip and shoulder joints) 

    Meal and Snacks – Some Ideas, knowledge & inspiration. Excuses and behaviour

    Posted on

    One of the most common things we get asked for is healthy snack ideas


    Below are some ideas and snack suggestions for you 



    In basic terms the below are all good snacks. Good snacks don’t have to be perfect if they are small and the rest of the day is good.


    In food people often ‘know’ the answers already, but still experience doubt and uncertainty. Typically if its not junk and is a small portion its a good snack. Coke, crips, muffins, cakes, sweets – not good.  So many things do make good snacks. 


    The very best advice is not given about ‘a snack’ in isolation but rather in context of the day, taking into consideration timing , other food in the day, the goal and if it is an exercise/non exercise day – but we need a way to deliver that understanding in simple steps. 


    Our food coaching process of assessing and giving feedback in context of the daily/weekly food and exercise record enables us to  keep things simple but give really good accurate contextual advice – One day at time and then in broad context of the week – its the best way to learn about food, exercise and your goals bar none.  The other powerful aspect of the food photo diary is not  knowledge – but influence, taking the pics, sending the pics and receiving feedback from your own picture diary – is very  influential. Images are powerful influencers – especially when the images are yours and a record of your own actions.  


    For ideas on handling macros across your day or specific methods like ‘Keto’ , we will need a different article, though there is some comment below on macro and Kcal content that is general.


    Snack ideas 


    Lets start with natures classics – Fruit and Nuts


    Apple, pear, banana, berries – any fruit is a good snack


    pear healthy snack banana


    Nuts, Raisins – a good snack 



    Dont panic about ‘fruit sugars’ from fruit or high Kcals in nuts from the ‘oils’


    Fruit typically wont exceed 30g or so of fruit sugar (carbs) about 120 Kcals per snack 

    Oils in nuts are very nutritious – most oil and fat in food is….it’s only fat in junk food or fat fried food that you need to worry about 


    Other Snack Ideas 


    Small portions of healthy meals – often tupperwared from extra volume prepared when cooking the evening meal.


    lamb chop - healthy snack tortilla - healthy snack halloumi healthy snack fish and new potatoes healthy snack


    This could be chicken and rice (Tofu, fish or lamb chop equally good as chicken), spanish omellete, stir fry, halloumi and salad. Any meal that isnt junk in a small portion – typically carbs should be up to half a cup for snacks or around 20g and having some protein and vegetables is also good. Snacks can be with or without any of those 3 things ( Carbs, Protein, Vegetables) they are not right or wrong in themselves for containing all of those or not – we have to look at the whole day for that , and this is beyond the scope of this article …. in this article we will just idenitfy ‘good snacks’ and say that with or without carbs is a seperate subject we can come to later and on its own.  


    General ball park: 150Kcals (50-200) up to 25g Carbs, 10-20g protein. Things that don’t meet this criteria exactly but are obviously not junk are fine to be part of the broad picture.


    Snack  Bars and Packaged 


    There are many packaged protein and snack bars , also shown are other off the shelf ideas.


    bounce ball healthy snack protein bar nature valley healthy snack nakd bar healthy snackproetin bar grenade healthy snack pop corn healthy snack babybel  only healthy snack


    No or ultra low carb snacks: Fish, boiled egg, chicken, meat, soya, tofu, qourn, cheese, non strarchy vegetables


    Most things you think of (and know are not junk) are good in small portions 


    Muffins, fizzy drinks, crisps are junk and are not good snacks. 


    Most important 


    Never use the excuse ‘I don’t know what to snack on’ to eat rubbish – all these ideas are fairly obvious, perhaps you need a little re-assurance but here it  is – you know, you may doubt the precise make up of portions, Kcals , Macros ( carbs, protein, fat) but if you’re ‘trying’ then your onw best judgement will be fine   …. if its not junk or sweets or sugar filled pastries its okay in small portions 


    For exactly what those portions are – its a different subject in a way.


    Roughly speaking snacks could be around 150 Kcals (50-200)


    Carbs could be around 20g, Protein would be good less than 5g is negligable, its more meaning ful 10g and up, any nutritional qualoties are good.




    Knowledge and inspiration are EXCELLENT tools to overcome the behavioural and will power challenges – dont use them as excuses.


    IF you don’t have a new ideas and you’re bored so you drink fizzy drinks and eat muffins  –  the problem isn’t what you do or don’t know. 


    DO ask for new ideas and inspiration, but better yet – try new things yourself. Explore and try. Exploration and discovery will aid motivation. 


    Own your decisions good or bad.


    We will support you. We have proven methods to help you with.


    Food and the pursuit of pleasure is as compulsive as any addictive substance. For many the behavioural side of food is a very difficult journey. So if that is what the challenge really is – let us be addressing that and not pretending it’s a lack of knowledge or inspiration. We are so much more likely to succeed facing the target. 


    Truth and traction are most important. If you really want your goal –  be bored if you have to , engage will power.


    We can support and coach you. but never give your self excuses. Always face the facts – no one ever really thinks a muffin is a better idea than a pear for your goal. You may benefit from ideas and you may not have a nutrition degree  but don’t use these things as excuses for poor decisions. 


    Tough talk over. We have plenty of knowledge and inspiration for you – anytime that needs a freshen up , just ask.


    Remember the top of this article , there are ideas and suggestions… we completely acknowledge the role of fresh ideas and inspiration in helping you to  succeed.  




    Should there be carbs in snacks ?


    Depends on your goals and chosen method but in ‘lean and athletic’ baseline advice then ‘yes’ ‘mostly’ but its okay if ‘not always’ .


    This is because blood sugar should be kept even and the body should be nourished enough to avoid becoming catabolic. Research shows starvation can decrease metabolism by up to 25%. The body DOES have a starvation mode and if you trigger it you will undermine your performance, motivation and outcomes – you do not see athletes avoiding carbs, and look at the health and physique of athletes.  


    Regular exercisers can choose different methods for different goals (another article) – but ‘Lean and athletic’ is a good baseline  for a general physique goal or a nourishing but fat reducing goal and a good starting point.


    Protein and nutrients are equally important and valuable – so its  good  to see these in snacks too.  


    Ideally for physique goals following ‘lean and athletic’ there will be a Kcal deficit but the body will not experience food or fuel scarcity as the dominant state in the week. This means regular small portion food input. The overall weekly deficit will be moved in satisfying proportion then from body fat as the regular exercise stimulus promotes a value on lean tissue and stimulates fitness progress adaptations (anabolism) which need both energy and materials(protein). Metabolism is raised as the body is pursuing athletic progress. Energy is borrowed from fat since food consumption is in deficit to requirements. Positive deficit is the increased Kcal deficit as a result of an anabolic state. 


    Let me say that only carbs really affect blood sugar at a rate where the food consumption and energy release is faster than demand. Let’s not get into a discussion on Ketosis here – thats a different subject. So a small amount of carbs throughout the day is typically good. Indeed carbs are sometimes referred to as a ‘protein sparer’ if one of your meals or snacks misses carbs, thats no problem. if you miss carbs before or after exercise that is more aggressive but not always wrong – since there are seven days in the week, some days can be more aggressive and others more nourishing and supportive of the desired anabolic state. Carbs should not be excessive.


    A food week provides broad context and enables the client to lean their food habits more in the direction of deficit and fuel scarcity some of the time and more in the direction of nourishing some of the time. For example one day might might have a little carbs every few hours and another might have longer gaps. Its not within scope of this article to debate the shape and content of the whole days and weeks , especially once we start asking about exercise and non exercise days – but suffice it to day that the base advice is you can miss carbs in meals and snacks sometimes but not all the time. It  is also baseline advice to suggest being fueled by some small carb consumption both before and after exercise the majority of the time. This is in context of a 4 x week exerciser and at least 2 of those events vigorously challenging. 


    IF Kcal deficit is too great or blood sugar is too low then the body will become catabolic ( burns lean tissue, greater tendemcy to store fat, decrease in metabolism, decrease in energy for motovation/performance in exercise) and this undermines results.


    Thus – carbs can be absent form some meals – but should not be absent too frequently. Carbs should be small or moderate 10-25% of visual food portion.



    Making Mental Fortitude

    Posted on



    There are two moments when you gather your forces and prepare to change your habits for the better.


    It could be for a completely new beginning or a reboot & refresh of your existing exercise habit  


    Its all about getting off to a good start – so how do you find that extra will power to get a great few weeks in that re-sets the habits and starts a new wave of results coming 

    Here are a few good tips

    1. See  it – use a visual tracking device like the one that gets sent to you in your initial food email ( ask us to resend it if you want one). The food and activity tracker we provide you should be printed out and stuck up on your fridge or somewhere you will see it everyday. Colour the squares for each day in green when you exercise and score your food and drink with a number out of 10- this becomes an instantly visible motivator and reality checker. It rewards you with feel good about your success to see those blocks lit up with exercise events and good food scores  if you are doing well and provides a reality check and a boot if your plans are struggling. If you don’t have lots of lit up blocks and high scores – don’t get down – get on it ! Its okay not to feel like it with good scores behind you but this sheet will tell you when to stop making excuses and get it done if thats what you need to see. It will congratulate and reward you if you’re already doing well.   

    2. Know from the beginning these three things

    i) Will power IS required  to change habits and start a positive cycle – anything else is a lie. So gather the will power and get started with the new plan – it might be a tough start but it will feel great once done. We can help a lot. Will power is required. Use these tools and ideas deliberately and actively to charge yours.

    ii) It gets much much easier. Positive cycles and good history of routine will later make will power unnescessary – you will enter a cycle where you love working out (or love the outcomes and positively want to workout) 

    iii) Good exercise habits typically re-inforce good food habits . 

    3. Reach out when you need a little extra help, updates to workouts or food method or menu’s is really useful. See the food articles here for snack and workout ideas but definitley do reach out and ask for help anytime its needed.

    4. Follow inspirational stories , change isn’t easy but its fuelled and enabled by belief. We will be doing a regular newsletter and on the blog (and insta) we will be having a regular inspiring thought or story – tune in regularly and enjoy the boost.

    5. Create short milestone goals and choose some inspirational measurements such as ‘clothes fit’ ‘exercise performance’ to track. Food habits and body fat are also good things to track. It may help to pick an event and target it, this could be signing up for a run or just an upcoming social event or date. Having a ‘when’ and ‘where’ to help focus your plans is a good idea. Tracking your actions such as in point 1 above with a view to that event date can be effective. 

    6. Have a very clear plan of action for your food and exercise week – then set rules that give you flexability, discipline and motivation. Ie know what your week of exercise is. You might have some fixed events like your PT sessions, a class, gym visit or a run but you may also have some opportunities for getting one extra in the bank envisioned in advance.


    +1 Grabs 

    This +1 grab is a very useful thing to have ‘planned in’. Imagine you already have a plan to workout Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Then you decide in advance that you will grab an extra run or workout extras when the wind is in your sails. These are then banked so that when the day comes that you fall ill (or your kids arre ill) or work has gone crazy and you just can not exercise, you lose some workouts but your overall frequency will still be what you wanted it to be.


    If you grab the occasional extra workout to your plan, then you create a bank of extra workouts  and your actual frequency will fall only back to what you wanted it to be anyway ( as opposed to finding your ‘best laid plans’ to exercise 4 times a week turned into an average of 2.2). Life will take planned workouts away , creating a contingency by using times when your energy and motivation is up to get ahead – is the only way to come out on plan – its a better strategy than ‘catch up’. Use +1 grabs and getting ahead when it feels good. Use catch ups when you have to.   

    Catch Up Rule and Flexability 

     When its just the wrong day …. if you do push something to another day, then decide exactly when and what it is going to be and diarise it as soon as you can. Use this principle of flexability only in tandem with this principle of discipline to move a workout once but don’t move it twice. If forcing yourself to go  when your actually quite ruined undermines a positive relationship with fitness – don’t  do that, instead allow yourself to kick it on once  – but the second time ideally, third definitely – since you’ve already favoured a rest once (or twice) shut up , get up and go 🙂

    Once you have  both these rules functioning to support really good frequency – you will be in a positve cycle and the habit and routine will fuel the motivation, outcomes will fuel it again and increase the strength of the positive    

    DNPT Team Exercise Videos – Andy shows some great functional exercises

    Posted on 15th October 2019


    Functional or integrated exercise is crucial to keep the body ,well….functioning properly


    These sorts of exercises keep the workout interesting too (and more fun/appealing ).They can be good calorie burners when more of the body is tasked at the same time.


    Lots of benefits to physique , performance and function.


    Andy’s personal training sessions are always demanding and always v integrated for functional strength. 


    So many exercises fall into the same repetitive path of motion and while this strengthens the body it can have the consequence of reducing its functional ability to stabilise and express forces in more natural 3 dimensional ranges – such as you would while climbing, dancing , fighting. If the same muscles get stronger and stronger but only in the same anatomical pathway – such swart/deadlift/kettle bell swing all being a straight hip drive…. then mobility can be reduced and other dysfunctions introduced  


    The core acts as a junction for forces form lower and upper body periphery and at the same time stabilises and anchors the body for safety and to fomr a solid base for the expression of forces on the environment ( floor or pull up bar for example ) or external objects ( bar or Handle for example)


    Functional strength exercises like these are common in sessions at DNPT 

    DNPT Team Exercise Videos – Side Tuck and Hold

    Posted on



    This exercise is an abs exercise.


    Its important to ensure that the weight of the legs is not held on the hip flexors – the core should maintain enough tension to keep the neutral shape of the spine and the effort should be felt front and centre abdominally , there will be some sensation at back and hips – but if you feel most pressure at back and hips then your core is not holding the position

    Benefits form 1:1 coaching – its great exercise done right



    Like all abs exercise a good coach will train you how NOT to use your hip flexors as the dominant muscle group



    #personal #training #wimbledon #abs #core #sw19 #sw20 #raynes park #physique #fitness #exercise

    Dan Newman Personal Training wishes you happy new year for 2016

    Posted on 31st December 2015
    Happy new year to all in 2016 Now a team of 10 PTs with 2 gyms in Wimbledon and a 3rd on the way in 2016 we have thrived because we provide the trainers that work with us an environment to thrive in and we protect our high standards as though our reputation depended on it 🙂 We don’t do lots of social media or digital broadcast of our thoughts and achievements as frequently as many do , preferring to keep our concentration on the job at hand rather than the social media broadcasting but in 2016 we are likely to get a lot more vocal with our digital life and will be launching regular videos and workout content. For now the  best way to reach us is still directly.  

    Jan 2013 Our resolution

    Posted on 10th January 2013
    To be the most professional Personal Training service anywhere To provide a better service than any 1 trainer alone could provide with excellent support and client care To get each and every client their best possible result To enjoy it

    What is your safest and most exciting maximum ?

    Posted on
      Something I seem to have been talking to people a lot about recently are the variables that go into how your body responds to exercise and how each individual reacts to the same stimulus.   Some key variables would be Goal: Weight loss, muscle gain, athletic performance or general health and wellness ? Mode: What exercises are you doing Set Intensity: How close to your maxcimum is each set of exercises Rest between sets: This one is obvious right Volume of exercise: Both in the session and across the week. Frequency: How often do we exercise (Lifestyle, work and time available often dictate) Food: Quamtity, quality, variety, frequency, portions Sleep: Again fairly obvious – are you sleeping well Toxins: Most relevant is – are you out on the lash pretty often? Recovery: Food, sleep, stress, and pro-active recovery strategies such as days dedicated only to warming up, mobilising and stretching. Age, Hormonal State: The above variables might need adjusting according to the exercisors age. This is largely due to hormones and rate of recovery – but any hormone treatments, or states such as pregnancy, menopause – constant high levels of stress, or constant lack of sleep are also relevant.   Genetics: Your own personal response to exercise   When we make a plan it’s fair to say that each individual has a different list of the above.   The goal basically sets what sort of exercises we want to do, but after that, how many times a week you can reasonably be expected to make time for exercise, age and opportunity for recovery will start to dictate the actual approach.   Once we get under way with a good plan, there are a lot of things for your trainer to keep an eye on if we are going to have successful outcome. Most importantly the only options available to us are those with an acceptable level of risk – that means if you can’t make time to be pro-active about recovery, then we will have to include some of that in our hour or stay shy of your maximal performance.   We want you to work at your safe maximum all the time – and as often as possible, eat well and recover well. You are are largely in control of how hard and how often that actually is.   Lets imagine that your desired result is at the centre of a large block of stone and you are hitting it with a pick everytime you exercise.You could reach the triumph at the centre quicker by hitting it more often, or harder or both more often and harder.   Too little exercise that is too mild will still get you somewhere eventually and it will be a lot closer than if you do nothing – but if you want to reach the triumph in the centre of the block in 12 weeks then hitting it often enough is going to be important and so is hitting it hard enough.   The body has a level of tolerance to exercise – it can work out at a more gentle level more often and remain safe, or workout hard with adequate recovery. Every individual is going to have a different tolerance for how hard they can hit it, and how often.   What’s most important to know is how hard or often is too hard and too often – because all exercise carries risk, so we don’t want to be recklessly increasing that risk – ie you want to chip away and reveal the triumph as quickly as possible but it’s essential not to break the pick when you’re halfway there.   Its easy to focus on the workout, but you’re only looking at half the picture if you’re not looking at the recovery.   Assuming all is well, some clients retain muscle tension more than others, or require more/less/different food for the same result. Part of this is genetics but a lot is lifestyle, stress at work, how you sleep whether you spend your day hunched over a laptop or behind a wheel, or on you feet.   Basically your training plan takes something that is hard to you now and makes it easier and easier as you become fitter and stronger, once its easy you can do it more often and maybe a bit more hard again and recover well enough to continue with effective and regular strikes at the rock face. Eventually what used to be dangerous to do becomes very safe and you get to chop into the stone and pull out your result with ever increasing effectiveness   And what dictates how hard, how often and in what way you should hit the block are all the variables at the bottom of the list above – age, sleep, food, pro-active recovery, stress, lifestyle.   Some of that tolerance is genetic but lot’s is about whether you sit behind the wheel of a car most the day, sleep well, eat well or booze a little or a lot.   Our trainers will be taking all of the above into account when they lead your overall plan and take your session. Not everyone has the opportunity for great rest and recovery or regular low intensity workouts where they are pro-active with recovery – if that’s you and your lifestyle means you want to get the most out of the little time you are able to make for exercise, it’s even more important that your PT is professional enough to be considering all the variables when deciding if you should be doing more or less or differently.   Your body doesn’t care about your job, or how little time you have to sleep well, eat right etc – so it’s important to have a PT that can help you manage those things, and understands what your safest and most exciting maximum is.          
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