Danny Silk blogging for Freedom Quarter: Part Three


Twitter: @DannyJSilk, @LGBTSportFest
Facebook: Danny Silk PT/Leeds LGBT Sport Fringe Festival

First of all, I would like to welcome you to my blog for Freedom Quarter Leeds. My aim throughout this blog is to write what I know through my experiences as a personal trainer. I have had some success and some failures. But life is a learning experience ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.

In each blog, I will be reviewing an exercise, training with athletes, club organisers and teams in and out of the LGBT+ community. I will also have the honour of reviewing new products on the market as well as offering some nutritional advice.




The Burpee is a full body strength training exercise and the ultimate example of fitness. With each rep, you will work your arms, chest quads, glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles. It is the one exercise I have yet to find a client that enjoys, but all know the benefits of the exercise, being told by one of my clients “I have a doctors note, to exclude me from all types of burpees”. Because the exercise works all aspects of your body you will notice energy levels declining quick and your legs feeling heavier.

Burpees are usually found in H.I.I.T. workouts (High-Intensity Interval Training). If your goal is to add some muscle while stripping away fat to build a bigger and leaner body, then this bodyweight exercise is one of the best.

I found the best way to do a Burpee, is to learn all the alternative methods to a Burpee from ‘a standard Burpee’ to a ‘one-arm Burpee’. I use over 25 different Burpees in my PT sessions, but remember what works for one person may not work for the next, experiment and find your favourite.

Below I will address how to achieve a perfect ‘standard Burpee’ in four simple steps

1) From a standing position drop into a squat with your hands on the ground, just in front of your feet.
2) Then kick your feet back behind you, keeping your arms extended so you are in a ‘straight armed plank’ position.
3) Then jump both your feet forward, returning to the squat position. Keeping your bum raised.
4) Then complete to rep by standing and jumping with both your arms above your head.


· Burpees can cause a lot of stress on ankles, knees and wrists. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WARMED UP PRIOR
· If not done correctly or attempting to cut corners, Burpees can be bad for you
· Burpee’s are not for everyone consult an expert if you are unsure


There are so many variations of Burpee’s here are a list of my top 25 my clients and myself include in our workouts;

· Standard
· Overhead
· Hands-Elevated
· Low-Box Runner
· Low-Box Lateral Runner
· Feet Elevated
· Step up Jump
· Bottom
· Dead-Stop
· Blocked-Feet (My Favorite)
· Staggered
· Single-Leg
· Single-Arm
· Archer Pushup
· Side-to-Side Pushup
· Spiderman
· Skater Jump
· Skater Jump Single-Leg
· Lateral
· Broad Jump
· Punching
·  Running
·  Mountain Climber
·  Punisher
·  Breakdancer

I have been known to get my clients to do a complete Burpee workout!! The most amount of Burpee’s reached by one of my clients was 200 in 35 minutes.

PRODUCTS OF THE MONTH (3-week review).

· SIXPAD by Training Gear

Well so far out of all EMS products that I have tried on the market this has to be one of the best so far! Unfortunately, I have not woken up still after 3 weeks looking like Cristiano Ronaldo. But I can honestly say that I am noticing a difference. Along with my other abdominal training, I am feeling more determined. Whether it’s the feeling that I am doing something at home after I have finished PT’ing my clients or the products is working, another 3 weeks before the final results.

I am under no pretence that at the end of the 6 weeks I will have rock hard abs and I will bur all of my tops. I am a personal trainer with a body fat percentage of 16.5% and like most 30+-year-olds, the last place to remove body fat is on your stomach, you may have the muscles under there but it is constantly winter.

Out of the two products so far you defiantly get more of an intense feeling/response using the ‘BODY FIT’ rather than the ‘ABS FIT’ in my opinion. I currently hold 10.5% fat on my left arm (total left arm weight) and 10.1% fat on my right arm (total right arm weight), compared to the 21.1% fat on my trunk (total weight of my trunk). So the electronic stimulation had less fat to travel through to get to the desired muscle group.

I am able to maximize the strength of the current through the ABS FIT but I am unable to achieve the highest setting on the BODY FIT as the highest level is too strong, but I was able to reduce to make this more manageable.

But I can honestly say that this product is worth purchasing, in my opinion so far. Below are the specs of the product again. 

  • SIXPAD is designed for training your muscles via electrical stimulation.
  • ABS FIT is designed for training your abdominal muscles.
  • BODY FIT is designed for training your body and limb muscles.

What is SIXPAD?

Manufactured by Japanese lifestyle and wellness company MTG, SIXPAD is a range of wearable EMS products designed to improve fitness and wellbeing.

What is EMS?

EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation) technology delivers electrical stimulation directly to the muscles causing them to contract and relax exactly as they would during exercise.

This review/trial I will conduct over a 6-week period. Noting the difference visually and physically to the muscles I will be focusing on using these two products.


· The Power of Me (3 weeks review).

As most people supplements can be the part of the training that either taste bad or the one thing you forget about. But all of these products taste great. I always used to hate the idea of mixing powders with water, knowing that the taste would be bland (mixed with milk in the past) and reminding you of having to take that medicine that you disliked has a child. But for the sake of mankind, I decided to give them a whirl with water. For the first time, I could actually taste the flavours described on the bottles.

The Pre-workout is orange flavoured and I have been using this for the past 3 weeks. Unlike other pre-workouts I have tried I didn’t get the ‘jittery’ feeling with an instant buzz. It is recommended to take the mix 30 minutes before a workout. This gradually increases energy levels towards making my training whether it be training at the gym or running first thing on a morning, a greater experience and more productive. Keeping me alert and not burning out within 45 minutes of consuming it and crashing. It has definitely increased my performance at 6am when I am running with a client. I found I was able to run greater distance and at greater speeds. Accompanied by the ‘workout energiser’, which does what it says on the bottle, maintains energy levels but helping me retain my hydration levels. The work out energizer is lemon flavoured and again does taste nice with a hint of lemon the flavour is not overpowering. At the end of a workout, we have all tried whey proteins but the ‘Super-whey protein’ really helped my recovery. Being a personal trainer, I try to train with the majority of my clients so this helps recover my muscles and energy levels, in-between workouts. Strawberry flavoured this is also a delight to drink, it is recommended to take this product 30 minutes post workout.

The Power of me Protein Bar, who has tried a protein bar and thought this tastes disgusting? It is like eating cardboard! But the chocolate mint flavoured protein bar was a delight. It wasn’t dry, like most I have tried and had a huge amount of flavour in it. Definitely recommended.

Remember all these products need to be consumed with a well-structured training plan.

I am 3 weeks into this program and accompanied by my training routine I am definitely performing better in and out of the gym ;) I still have a few weeks left on these products. Below are my overall improvements combined with my workout routines.

Below are the specs again for the items I am reviewing…

The Power of Me is a nutritional support supplement and is design to work with side your diet and workout sessions. Being mainly focused on endurance to help maximize performance which will help you achieve your goals; whether it’s running, cycling or lifting weights at your local gym.

The products, which they stock, come under simple categories, which are easy to follow…

· BEFORE WORKOUT – Pre-Energiser
· DURING WORKOUT – Workout Energiser
· AFTER WORKOUT – Whey Protein or Super Whey Protein
· ANYTIME – Carb, Beta and Crea Boost
·  FIRST THING AND LAST THING – Immune System, Essential Oils Support, Mind Support


The products, which I will be reviewing, are;

· Pre-Energiser, Orange Flavour 200mg
· Workout Energiser, Lemon Favour 9g
· Super Whey Protein, Strawberry Flavour and Chocolate 26g
· Protein Bar, Dark Chocolate Mint. 22g protein 0.1g sugar


In the past, I have always mixed any supplement with milk, so this is a revelation to say that all taste great with water! NEVER AGAIN!



Overall I have recorded a 1.4kg muscle increase in my total body weight since starting and 0.9kg of fat mass loss in my total body weight (please note I am reviewing two products both SIXPAD and THE POWER OF ME SUPPLEMENTS.



Beetroot is classed as a SUPERFOOD and is a good source of iron and folate (naturally occurring folic acid). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants. Recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia.

There are so many benefits to beetroot and here is a list of some of the benefits….

· Lowers blood pressure
· Good for the heart – reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes
·  Helps prevent cancer
· Good for the liver
· Boosts energy levels
· Fights inflammation
· Promotes brain health
· Controls blood sugar
· Aids digestion
· Reduces bad cholesterol – is one of the few foods low in calories
· Benefits pregnancy
· Helps treat Anemia
· Improves sexual health – reducing sexual weakness and helping relax the brain which contributes to happiness
· Prevents Cataract – reduces the age-related macular degeneration
· Promotes strong bones and teeth
· Aids weight loss
· Increases the levels of antioxidants
· Anti-aging properties – help fight wrinkles
· Improves skin health
· Help prevent Osteoporosis

Beetroot is best eaten and prepared from fresh. Most supermarkets sell Beetroot uncooked in the vegetable aisle. Avoid jarred beetroot as this will be cooked and stored and chemicals to extend its lifespan.

There are many ways to prepare beetroot from…

· Raw in salads or juicing.
· Roasting….my favourite.
· Boiling

But with most things that are good for you, there can side effects…

· Might cause kidney stones if high levels are consumed by reducing the absorption of calcium
· Although research is limited it is always recommended with Beetroot if juicing to mix with other products such as apple or other vegetables. Pure beet juice (direct from the bulb) might paralyze the vocal chords, break you out in hives, increase heart rate and even cause chills/fever. Also causing liver toxicity, diarrhoea and vomiting.

You should always consult your doctor if you are unsure.

DO NOT be alarmed if you notice your ‘poo’ is purple or you ‘urine’ as a slight tint of purple/red. Though it is not recommended to consume high doses of beetroot it is safe to eat 2-3 times a week.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. The second part of this blog will be released next week where I will be interviewing Councilor James Lewis. Also an update of next years Leeds LGBT Sport Fringe Festival 2018, and information on the amazing opportunity and honour of taking part in during October 2018…. I will be joining ACTION AID to Rwanda to help build a classroom, at one of the local schools.


Danny Silk