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Gemma Atkinson’s Training Blog: How to Train Hard & Smart

If you think you have to kill yourself in the gym for hours on end to get an amazing body, you really don’t.

There’s a misconception that the more you do in the gym, the better and quicker results will come.

Yes, you need to train hard, but you also need to train smart – this is something I’ve really come to understand training with the guys at Ultimate Performance on my 12-week transformation.

People always think I spend all day, every day, training to get in this kind of shape. They always say to mehow do you find the time?

But when you train the right way, you really don’t need to do hours in the gym. Not even close.

Literally, it’s just four times a week for 45 minutes is all Im doing and Im getting amazing results.


That’s 180 minutes in the gym over a week – it’s absolutely nothing

Ive got friends with kids who could fit that amount of time into their busy lives its just getting the knowledge and knowing what to do.

Ive just done 45 minutes in the gym today, and I feel like Ive done three hours.

So you can get results if you do just knuckle down and do it; you dont have to be here for hours. You dont have to do endless cardio. You can just get in, get the work done on the weights and then go.

It just goes to show that its always quality over quantity. You dont have to spend hours in the gym to get great results.

For me, 45 minutes of weight training is all it takes.


The training at UP is so effective. Every exercise is supersetted so you dont get a lot of rest time in between.

Then the fact that to build muscle you need overload, and every week were getting heavier and heavier.

When I started, my split squat was 15kgNow Im up to 45kgIve tripled it! Its crazy!

I did 5kg heavier on the pendulumso Im up to 20kg on that too.

Youre constantly adding weight and overload to what youre lifting, theres very little rest in between and youre being pushed to that next level.

Youve not got distractions here at UP either. If I was training at a standard gym where I could be chatting to someone or playing on my phone or I could wander around the spa, theres none of that here. Its a grafter’s gym and you have to get in and get it done.

It’s the intensity too that you just can’t get training on your own. The trainers will take you to places you would never think you could go.

Gemma Atkinson Ultimate Performance

Catch up with Gemma’s Week 1 blog and how she lost 5lbs in just seven days weight training at UP. 

I would never have dreamed I would be doing the weights that Ive done here in my own gym.

You kind of feel safe when youre with Steve and Mark; youre not going to fall, youre not going to collapse, so they do give you that extra boost when youre training with them.

And its nice that they believe in you too. It’s nice to have that confidence and that push and drive from someone else who believes you can do it. Its a nice feeling!

Unless you get guidance in the gym, youre probably not getting the best out of yourself.

I always thought I was doing everything rightbut when I came to UP I soon found there was so much I could improve on and change and its great knowledge for me to take on after the program.

You should never stop wanting to learn about how you can improve. Even the top athletes are constantly bettering themselvesjust because you think youre at your peak, theres always someone who can add to it and make you better.

You can never reach that level of being goodtheres always improvements you can make everywherewhether its in work, in life or in the gym.

Gemma Atkinson Ultimate Performance

I would advise people to find professionals like we have at UP who can guide you, check your progress, coach you and show you the correct form and tempo on exercise.

Learning about tempo for me has been a massive insight for me here at UP.

Just by slowing down the pace at which you go through the range of movement, it makes it so much harder and more effectiveyou dont necessarily have to lift a heavier weight, just by changing the tempo can make a real difference.

Before I would get to my last few reps and just rush through them –  but now I know those last few reps are critical.

Just keeping the tempo slow and focusing on them and ensuring Ive got that mindmuscle connection is a killer.

But it is what makes that difference in your appearance and the results you get.

It’s knowledge like this that means I can get the most out of my sessions and not have to waste hours in the gym.

Those 45 minutes now are a big priority for me. I schedule my gym time in like an important meeting for myself.

Its about realising whats important and what you want to put first – that’s myself at the moment; this 12 weeks I am putting myself first.

People dont realise that health is wealth. That old saying is true. When I feel healthy everything else around me is better.

When Ive had a good training session, I just function better and when Im fueling my body properly.

When I feel healthy and confident, I am on top of my game.

If you’re inspired by Gemma’s journey and want to start your own body transformation, talk to us about our Personal Training Plans or BOOK A CONSULT NOW!

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