English Commonwealth Games Finalist, Martyn Bernard tells us – “Glasgow put on a great show and the support from the crowds was fantastic!”

How did you find the Games?

This has been my third Commonwealth Games and it has been a fantastic experience from start to finish.

Glasgow put on a great show and the support from the crowds was fantastic.

You came 5th in the high jump final, are you pleased with your performance?

I felt great on the night and felt I could have jumped higher than I did.

Although I didn’t quite achieve what I hoped I am proud of my performance and hope I can use the experience to build towards the future.

Were the Glasgow crowds good as they said?

They really were. The support for all the home nations was brilliant.

What was the highlight for you at The Games?

For me the opening ceremony, it was filled with excitement and anticipation of what was to come.

That and the Queens reaction to the delayed opening of the baton was classic.

What’s life like in the athlete’s village?

It’s quite chilled, at times it can be a bit strange bumping in to people you have just seen performing on TV.

It’s a fun place to be, everyone has a similar goal and focus.

Also everything is free which is great, although it might take some getting used to when I have to leave.


Brief explanation of how you prepared on the day of the final?

The final was in the evening so I hydrated in the morning with water and isotonic drinks.

I don’t like to eat too much on the day of competition; I had a late lunch which consisted of chicken and salad with some fruit afterwards.

My main preparations came from lying in bed visualising what I was going to do come the start of the event.

How many games of cards did you had on the floor?

In Melbourne there was a lot of waiting around so a game of chase the ace broke out while in the opening ceremony.

There was far less waiting around in this one so no cards played this time around… still some time left though, maybe at the closing ceremony.

Tell us a bit about the pride in representing your country?

It has been amazing to compete for England again, especially within the UK.

I have loved every minute, the excitement and anticipation in the run up to my event. The roar of the crowd and the support of everyone there and back at home.

Your one biggest tip to any aspiring athlete hoping to one day represent their country?

Make sure you enjoy your sport/ event, enough to put untold hard work and hours in to it.

If you love it enough, and work hard enough at it, the rewards will come.

Will we see you again at Rio 2016?

I hope so. Keep an eye out for me

The Illustrated History of the Lions Tour: Infographic

Although many will have been hoping for a solid display in the Lions’ final test, not even the most optimistic supporters would have expected them to turn over Australia in such spectacular fashion.

In beating the Wallabies 41 – 16 on Saturday, the British and Irish Lions ended a 16 year wait for a series win. Thanks to three tries in 12 blistering second half minutes, the points tally is now a Lions record – and helped them tie up the series 2 – 1.

As shown in our infographic, the Lions have added to an already rich rugby playing history. Their tale dates all the way back to 1888 when a 21-man squad of English, Welsh and Scottish players visited Australia and New Zealand.

Did you know that prior to 1950 the squad went through a number of different shirt colours and styles before settling on red? And that it costs £1million for sports insurance to cover the players throughout the tour?

In front of more than 83,000 people on July 6, a formidable display of scrimmaging delivered the Lions finest hour since 1997.

It finished a record breaking tour for man-of-the-series Leigh Halfpenny. The Welsh full back landed eight from nine kicks to finish with 21 points in a single match.

It saw him surpass both Jonny Wilkinson and Stephen Jones’ mark of 20 (Argentina ’05 and South Africa ’09 respectively). His majestic display saw him finish with a series record of 49 points – taking him past Neil Jenkins’ old record of 41.

A quick look at the graphic will show you Scottish full back Andy Irvine still holds the record for most Lions points scored. Over the course of three tours he scored 274 points. Tony O’Reilly still holds the record for the highest number of tries – scoring 38 between 1954 and 1959.

Speaking after Saturday’s historic win, head coach Warren Gatland said: “These guys have done themselves and that jersey proud. They deserve a huge amount of credit for that performance and what they have achieved, and not just the 23 players but the whole squad, the management, the medical and support staff.

“I just hope the next 48 hours doesn’t get out of hand; that is my big concern, as we don’t fly out until Tuesday! But all the people involved, and the players in particular, have to enjoy the moment.”

Infographic detailing the lions Rugby Victory 2013


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Top five healthy protein-filled recipes









When you’re looking to bulk up in the gym, or simply keep up a healthy diet, protein is essential as it supports muscle growth and repair. Sports nutrition drinks, in particular protein shakes, have become incredibly popular in recent years, with around £260m spent on them last year. But while there is no denying the convenience of a shake, it’s quite possible to get a protein hit through your diet alone. Here are five recipes you might want to try if you’re looking to get a delicious yet healthy protein hit:

Chicken and sweet potato
When it comes to foods that are naturally high in protein, one of the best options is chicken breast – you’re looking at around 20g of protein per 100g. Marinate it with some oil and herbs, try stuffing with couscous, feta cheese and kalamata olives or maybe combine with some capers, shallots and seasoning to make burger patties. If you’re looking for a side dish then opt for sweet potato. As well as being an excellent source of high-quality carbohydrates, sweet potatoes are packed full of fibre as well as vitamins A, C and B6.

Wholemeal pasta and tuna
A favourite with those looking for a healthy, protein-packed dish has to be tuna. You’re looking at about 30g of protein per 100g of tuna. An affordable and effective way to introduce more protein into your diet, tuna goes perfectly with whole wheat pasta to create a delicious meal. Rustling up a basic tomato sauce with garlic, onion, oregano, tinned tomatoes, some olive oil and basil is easy. Throw in some chilli powder or flakes if you’d like a bit of a kick.

There are about 20g of protein per 100g of salmon and although salmon steaks can be expensive, it’s a great way to treat yourself and let’s not forget about the punch salmon packs when it comes to vitamins B6 and B12. A soy sauce and ginger marinade is sure to be a winner, while you could go down the route of tomatoes, carrot and fresh parsley with a cayenne pepper and paprika kick.

Juicy steak
Get a lean, top round beef steak on the table this evening if you want to pack roughly 25g of protein per 100g of meat into your diet. This cut is particularly popular with bodybuilders due to its high protein/low fat balance. Fill up your plate with some steamed veg to have a meal fit for a king.

The humble omelette
While it might not take the grand prize on this year’s Masterchef competition, there is no denying the majesty of an omelette. And one of the best things about it – it’s quick. Real quick. You can knock up a delicious, protein-filled version in minutes. From a protein point of view you’re looking at about 6g per egg, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Throw in some avocado and perhaps some tuna too. Enjoy!

Eat, drink and be merry – the importance of a good diet









Clean living

The idea that we should be cutting out, or at the very least cutting down, on foods like pizza and chips and similar fatty bites is certainly not new. A worrying statistic is that most people living in England weigh more than is healthy – a shocking 30 per cent of children aged between two and 15 years old and 61.3 per cent of adults are either overweight or obese, according to the latest government figures.

Getting active

Encouraging people to take part in physical activity and to be more active in general is top goal for health professionals. Current, government guidelines suggest adults aged between 19 and 64 should be active daily, engaging in at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity activity during the course of a week. Increasing the amount of exercise undertaken is important, but it is also essential to get a grip on eating habits at the same time.

You are what you eat

Professional athletes will spend a considerable amount of time planning their diet and monitoring their food and drink intake, the main reason being that what we eat has such a huge impact on our bodies. In essence, a healthy diet can be seen as the foundation layer for a healthy lifestyle and an effective exercise regime. Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for the body, while protein plays a vital role in muscle recovery. Making sure you have a balanced diet and adapt your intake to reflect your lifestyle can be difficult, one reason why products such as whey protein powder has become so popular.

Don’t forget the water

Most of us don’t drink enough water during the day and quite often, even if you are aware of what you should be consuming, it takes a conscious effort to remember to keep topping up. Water is needed to help the blood to carry nutrients around our body and it plays a vital role in many of the body’s chemical reactions. When you’re thirsty you know your body wants a drink but unfortunately you’re already dehydrated by this point. The NHS recommends that everyone should be consuming at least one and a bit litres of water per day, but this amount can increase considerably depending on a number of factors, including how much you’re sweating, your metabolism, the weather and how much you’re exerting yourself. Muscle tissue is made up of about 75 per cent water, so it’s obvious how important it is to stay topped up before, during and after a workout.

The importance of a good warm-up










No matter whether you are an occasional runner, a dedicated gym-goer or a professional athlete or trainer, staying injury free is always going to be one of your main goals. Torn tendons, groin strain and shoulder pain are all common complaints. You don’t need to be in the gym to pick up an injury either. If you sit down at a computer desk all day and have a poor posture then it’s fairly likely that you’ll experience back pain at some point. There are various ways to help avoid injury, from maintaining the correct posture during workouts to staying within your limits and listening to your body.

A good stretch
Many people who remember exercise classes at school will have been taught the importance of stretching on the spot before engaging in a physical activity as it helps to reduce the chances of picking up an injury. Well, studies have shown that not only is stretching in this manner counter-productive, it is also potentially harmful and can even lead to injuries. Some say that because stretching increases flexibility, when performed at the correct time it can help reduce the possibility of injury, although research carried out at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most injuries are actually sustained within a person’s normal range of motion.

The warm-up
Stretching while cold is definitely out but carrying out dynamic stretching as part of a controlled workout is certainly in! Activity-specific dynamic stretching is the best option as you’ll be targeting the muscles you’ll mainly be using later on in the workout. Activities such as a light jog will increase heart rate and the flow of blood to the muscles, allowing the individual start off with small controlled motions before building up to their full range.

Of course, injuries can still occur even when you take care to warm-up correctly, which is why having adequate insurance for personal trainers is so vital for instructors working in the health and fitness sector as it will make sure they’re covered financially if they’re put out of action for a period. The same goes for individuals. They can choose from a range of sports insurance policies which will perform a similar function should they pick up an injury.

Just remember though – following the right warm-up exercises, maintaining good form during exercise and listening to your body can have a huge effect when it comes to minimising opportunities for picking up injuries.

Do go to the gym – don’t fail like these guys

Multi-tasking is a must
Things can get pretty boring at the gym when you’re not actually on the bench or doing some cardio work. Why not make the most of your downtime by checking out who else is working out – a great pastime when you’re also spotting for your workout partner. Don’t worry, they’ll manage fine on their own.










Courtesy of epicfail.com

Inductions are for wimps
A lot of gym equipment is actually pretty straightforward to use correctly – gym balls, weights, running machines etc. Most of the time it’s probably not even worth finding out how they work before getting stuck in.









Courtesy of Krysero

One foot in front of the other right?
Running, how difficult can it be? When using a treadmill it’s better to go straight out of your comfort zone rather than mess about with jogging and building up speed. If you want to get lean you’ve gotta go mean yeah?











Courtesy of Ruben Shikanyan

Injuries – not for me thanks!
If you’re starting off doing weights then it’s probably best to go heavy or go home. It’s very unlikely you’ll pick up an injury by pushing yourself beyond your limit.










Courtesy of USA Today
Everyone loves jumping in puddles
Don’t make this woman’s mistake and take a towel to the gym. OK, sweating is natural when you’re going hard at it but that doesn’t mean you have to start mopping it up and cleaning down equipment. The next person to use your machine will be glad to know you’ve been pushing yourself and no doubt they’ll be keen to get close to your sweat. Do the right thing, leave a puddle.


Courtesy of wellandgoodnyc.com

Don’t bottle it all up
Most people who use gyms love to see someone really getting into their workout. Animal howls, primal screams and prolonged throaty grunting are not only appreciated in most gyms but positively encouraged. You wanna shout? Well let it all out!









Courtesy of elitefitness.com

Protein shakes – are they a magic solution or just magic beans?


It’s no secret that eating well is a key part of any exercise regime, no matter whether you are looking to lose weight or bulk up. For decades, manufactured protein supplements have been a key part of the gymming landscape, but what are they?

We all need protein in our diet as the amino acids help to build muscle and other tissue. Foods high in protein include meat such as chicken breast, which could contain up to about 40g, or fish including cod, a fillet of which might contain around 30g. Other foods including nuts, dairy products and beans are also good sources. However, it can be difficult, or at least inconvenient, for some people to include enough protein in their diet on a daily basis – which is where products like whey protein shakes come in.

Simplicity in a glass
Today’s protein shakes are easy to weigh, easy to mix with water, milk or juice and easy to drink thanks to a huge range of flavours that range from chocolate mint to sticky toffee pudding and even lemon cheesecake.

Growing popularity of protein shakes
A report published by the BBC this week said the worldwide market for protein products will reach £8bn a year by 2017. But the rise in popularity is not due to a huge spike in the number of people heading down to the gym and pumping iron. Rather, these products are being marketed at average consumers who are turning to protein shakes and bars as meal replacements and alternative snacks. Some nutritionists believe this is a mistake, not least because most people in the UK tend to get more than enough protein already from their regular diet.

So what are your feelings on protein shakes? Are they overpriced and overhyped? Or alternatively, should they play a key role in an exercise regime, helping to aid muscle recovery after a workout, encourage muscle growth and definition? Use the ‘leave a reply’ link at the top of this post to get in touch with a comment.

Have you thought about exercising in the great outdoors?


Indoor fitness classes have become incredibly popular over recent years, in particular with people who have trouble squeezing long workout sessions into their daily routine. Sessions such as body pump, spinning, Zumba and Boxercise remain all the rage with those looking to get fit, relieve stress and improve their strength. And despite the poor spring we’ve had so far there’s plenty going on outdoors too. Group activities such as British Military Fitness, circuit training and Parkruns are taking place in town and cities across the UK and they’ve never been more popular.

Fitness boot camps continue to attract a lot of participants, in part thanks to the variety of exercises involved which can range from star jumps and short sprints to med ball sessions. From an instructor’s point of view there’s a considerable amount of freedom available when it comes to planning sessions and often more opportunities to introduce fun activities that produce results.

So are you better off exercising indoors or outdoors? Well that’s a question that is being asked right now by researchers at the University of Stirling. They’re about to begin a year-long study involving around 100 volunteers with the aim of discovering whether working out in a gym or in the fresh air tends to lead to a healthier lifestyle. The results of the experiment are set to be published next year.

insure4sport is involved with fitness coaches who run regular outdoor classes all over the country. To help them concentrate on running sessions and avoid being unduly worried about safety and liability issues, we have created specific fitness class instructor insurance and personal trainer cover packages. During fitness sessions in public places it is highly likely that you will come into contact with members of the public and therefore it’s essential to have suitable public liability cover in place. We can help get you fully insured in no time at all so just get in touch to find out more about our sports insurance policies.

insure4sport footballers support Elise for Life appeal

964514_580414961989611_270143724_oIf you’ve ever bought football team insurance or coach insurance through insure4sport then you’ll know just how much we love the beautiful game. Understanding our customers’ needs is as much about understanding their sports as anything else, which is why members of our team are always keen to get active – whether that involves pulling on a pair of football boots, getting out the golf clubs, diving into a swimming pool or heading off down to the gym.

The latest sporting adventure involved five members of our intrepid team who took part in a Barclays charity five-a-side tournament, designed to raise money for the Elise for Life foundation. The charity in turn supports the amazing work that’s done by everyone at The Christie hospital in Manchester.

The Elise for Life appeal was set up by Elise Roberts and her husband Mark after Elise was diagnosed with cancer in January 2010. For nine months she battled with the illness and the Elise for Life appeal is her legacy. The aim is to raise £1m for The Christie hospital and to date the total stands at more than £648,000. Every pound raised through the fundraising drive will go to Melanoma Research and the hospital’s new Clinical Trials Unit.

Our team of footballers were delighted to do their bit by taking part in the tournament and getting some sponsorship together. They even made it through the group stages into the knockout rounds! Everyone at insure4sport is pretty chuffed about their efforts, especially since the money raised is going to such a worthy cause.

Well done guys!

Working out in style – 10 gyms to make your jaw drop


Going for gold – Gold’s Gym, Venice Beach, US
After featuring in Pumping Iron, the documentary on bodybuilding that helped turn Arnold Schwarzenegger into a household name, Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California, became known as the ‘Mecca of bodybuilding’. It’s now almost 50 years since the gym opened its doors for the first time and since then Gold’s has become the place to train for those who want to live the bodybuilding dream.

You’re cruising – The Stella Australis, Patagonia
Personal trainers want to concentrate on what their clients are doing rather than what’s going on outside the gym, but that could prove to be a little tricky if you’re giving a training session on board The Stella Australis. The ship not only has enough room to accommodate 210 passengers, a restaurant and bar and a sky lounge, it also has a fully-equipped gym on the top deck, complete with full-length windows offering panoramic views of breathtaking glaciers and the Cape Horn National Park.

Get out your gold card – Athletes’ Performance, Phoenix, US
Athletes’ Performance was set up to offer training, nutrition and physical therapy for elite and professional athletes. It now also caters for business professionals who want to keep their bodies in top shape. But entry doesn’t come cheap. According to Business Insider, annual membership for the centre’s Premier Executive Training Program costs $30,000.

Celeb spotting – Tracy Anderson’s, Studio City, LA
When it comes to training pop stars and Hollywood’s A-list, Tracy Anderson holds key. Household names who subscribe to her programme include Madonna, Courteney Cox, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gwyneth Paltrow. The fitness entrepreneur also has centres in The Hamptons, New York, Brentwood and London.

No waiting – Stephen Price at 3 Jubilee Place, London, UK
Standing around waiting for a piece of equipment to become free is never an issue at 3 Jubilee Place in Chelsea. It opened in 2007 and has a “carefully controlled” membership – limited to just 30 clients at the opening – and has been described as “the world’s most exclusive gym”. 3 Jubilee Place is home to “Europe’s most advanced ‘altitude chamber’”, according to the firm, capable of mimicking conditions at 12,500 feet to help clients burn more calories, faster.

A family affair – Nike World Headquarters, Oregon, US
Get a job at Nike and you’ll be able to work out in style at the sportswear brand’s world headquarters in Oregon. What’s more, the campus’ two sports centres, which cover almost 110,000 sq ft, can also be used by family members. With everything from free weights to climbing walls and an outdoor running track, there are plenty of options when it comes to keeping fit. Just make sure you don’t walk in wearing Adidas.

Fully-loaded workout – DeFranco’s, New Jersey, US
When the tagline for a gym is “turn your body into a weapon” you know there’ll be no half measures. DeFranco’s claims to have “pioneered the hardcore, warehouse-type training centres”, without a juice bar or television in sight. And there’s absolutely no easy listening music!

Give me some space – Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, Denver, US
If you like to have plenty of room when you’re doing a workout then the Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in South Denver is the place to head for. Covering an area of 153,000 sq ft, this whopping great facility is ideal whether you’re into bodybuilding, weight loss, kickboxing or especially tennis.

The king of cool – DavidBartonGym, Miami Beach, Florida, US
Lit like a nightclub and designed to look “nothing like anything else in the outside world”, DavidBartonGym in Miami Beach is one of a kind. As well as having the largest gym floor on South Beach, it boasts two floors of cardio, tons of free weights and a swimming pool. According to the gym’s founder, David Barton: “It is a landscape for the senses, carved out of my imagination and built with one objective; to get your heart racing before you ever step onto the treadmill.”

Accept no excuses – Gymbox, London, UK
In the words of Gymbox: “Look around you on your way to work tomorrow, if getting a badass physique was easy everyone would have one. It’s up to you to make a decision to do something about it. Don’t wait until January 1, do it now.” With its black walls, neon lighting and a DJ booth, there’s no mistaking the fact that Gymbox offers a different kind of workout. There are five branches around London, each with its own personality and feel. Facilities include Olympic boxing rings, resident DJs and movie walls, punch and kick bag stations, Olympic lifting areas and much more.