Review: Thrive in 5
If you fancy getting your fitness fix from your front room, you'll love the online Thrive in 5 programme from Surrey fitness trainer Lucinda Newman-Jones. You'll feel fitter, stronger and healthier - and a bit smug at working out 5 times a week!
Thrive in 5 is an online exercise programme run by Surrey-based personal trainer and fitness expert Lucinda Newman-Jones who owns and runs Fitness Runs in the Family. There are five classes a week for five weeks – all centred around strength training. Classes are in real time – so you follow along with Lucinda who coaches, cajoles, encourages and inspires as you go along. Don’t think you can manage one more squat? With Lucinda leading, you’ll find you probably can!
There are currently three Thrive in 5 programmes to choose from – Strength and Tone, Power and Sculpt, and Express – with an Ultra Express programme coming soon. Each course is designed to improve strength and fitness.
Lucinda has been a personal trainer for 12 years, and her ethos and beliefs are quite refreshing in an industry that is often dominated and led by a desire to lose weight and create a beautiful bod. Lucinda’s fitness motivations are to empower and educate women to be fitter, stronger, more mobile and more confident. It’s all about improving physical wellbeing, which in turn promotes mental and emotional wellbeing.
Lucinda is an absolute powerhouse, incredibly likeable, and hugely inspirational. She is the epitome of a fit, powerful woman – and you can’t fail to be inspired by her energy, motivation and zest for exercise. And while I’ve yet to meet a woman – Lucinda aside – who wouldn’t love to drop a kilo or two, it’s quite empowering and inspiring when when it’s not the primary focus of your workout programme.
I chose the Power and Sculpt fitness course which is made up of five workouts a week. Lucinda has created the programme to focus on different parts of the body during each workout, and she sets out a suggested schedule, although the course is completely flexible, so you can swap your workout days to suit yourself.
I followed Lucinda’s schedule mostly to the T, which meant that Mondays were total lower body, Tuesdays total upper body, abs and core, Wednesday was a rest day, Thursday was lower body, Friday was upper body and on Saturday the focus was cardio, core and whole body strength.
It felt like a good mix, and targeting a different part of the body each day gave you time to recover. Mostly I got up a bit earlier to fit the workouts in, although the flexibility also meant there were some days I did a lunch-time workout.
Each workout is made up of mini-circuits in groups of two, three or four exercises that are repeated. Lucinda will also often give options for easier or more challenging movements.
Lucinda’s coaching style is gentle and encouraging – she’s no drill sergeant shouting commands and demanding more and more from you. She sets a steady, non-rushed rate, but encourages you to work at your own controlled pace. She’s doing the workout too, at the same time – coaching, giving tips and advice on how to position your body, which muscles you’re using, and the correct technique.
The beauty of these workouts is that you can do them anywhere – your bedroom, living room, garden, even the local park if you fancied it. And if you’re going away on holiday, all you need to do is pack your trainers and a laptop or tablet, and you’re pretty much all set.
Equipment wise, a set of dumbbells, mini loop resistance bands, a step and a pilates ball is all that’s needed. But you don’t have to rush out and buy them. I already have dumbbells, but bought some resistances bands, which cost under £10. I don’t own a step, so for the course I used a tool box which doubles as a step, and for the pilates ball I used a cushion which I folded in half. If you don’t own dumbbells, you could easily use filled water bottles or tin cans.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Busy people who are looking for a regular exercise programme that offers flexibility while also having great structure and support from a fitness expert.
Not for: You’re pretty much accountable to only yourself, which means you’ll need a bit of self-motivation. If you’re the type who prefers to workout in a group, you may find this isn’t for you.
The damage: The course costs £50 in a one-off payment, which gives you access to all 25 workouts for a six week period. There’s also a handy PDF guide with tips on how to make the most of your course. Although you can sign up and start anytime, the courses run termly with the next one starting on 7 June.
Follow Lucinda on Instagram for workouts and tips.