ICIW Gym wear | Be the Best Dressed in the Gym

Today I'm going to talk to you about ICIW, an athleisure brand out of Stockholm that have sent on a few garments for me to wear to my KOBOX sessions. 

I'm always keen to champion the brands that share the same belief system as I. That have a similar narrative that often includes starting from nothing, taking a leap of faith. 

When I read the backstory of founder Gustaf Ollas and learned how he too switched paths from full time employment and pursued his vision of creating training clothes that he would like to wear. 

Gustaf worked as Personal Trainer and sold dietary training courses online, but knew very little about the textile industry when he began his journey with ICIW in 2012. 

I think at everyone at some point in their lives have ideas on setting up their own tee shirt company right? They get fixated on a theme or slogan, order up about 1000 and then have to deal with boxes of unsold tee shirts clogging up their garage 2 years down the line. 

For anyone that has had any modicum of success in starting up their own brand they'll know the process for producing new garments generally takes between 6-12 months, from idea to prototype and finally to finished product. If you're interested 

It's a tricky business especially as trends and fashion waves move quicker than seasons in today’s current retail climate. ICIW offer high quality training clothes at a competitive price. Most products are manufactured in limited edition to make the customer feel unique.

SOCIAL MEDIA PHENONMENON 

Again, for budding entrepreneurs, take time to familiarise yourself with the ICIW website. It's clean, easy to use, strong imagery and they empower influencers and leverage their social media accounts in very creative ways. 

For example the Hashtag #icaniwill has been used more than 1,600,000 times in writing.

Today, ICIW are a team of seven. A close knit community that provide awesome training apparel and generate positivity and health through the medium of fashion.



My Thoughts on 3 Month Achievable Body Goals

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Is anyone else feeling the footy void? Luckily we have the women’s World Cup to carry us over for a few weeks but then what happens after that?

Maybe instead of looking around for discounts on your Sky Sports subscription, it's time for some physical action.

What can we do before the start of the next season? What kind of body goals are achievable before the start of the Premier League's 2019/20 season on Saturday 10 August 2019. How do we achieve them?

Try for 3 months

Cut out bread. Cut out sweets. Get off your phone and take control.

Plank Challenges: 

You've heard of the 30 day plank challenge? Well why not stretch that out. The plank challenge encourages routine, discipline and is one of the best exercises for developing your core. Grab a matt, do it first thing while the kettle is boiling, add more time incrementally for better results.

Regain Your Fitness Plan:

Take a look at other plans that are specifically designed to help you shed weight. Regain Your Fitness’s online fitness programs for women and men boast that past clients have lost 7 – 10 kg in the first 30 days. I'm not affiliated but I've done some HIIT training before and I can tell you it's gruelling, but worth it.

Start KOBOX

I am a brand ambassador for KOBOX and I can tell you that the classes are fantastic. The instructors are like family and it's a very sociable way of working out. If you stick to weekly classes you will not only increase your overall stamina but will be well on your way to learning a new skill.

Personal Trainer 

As a rule of thumb, the average amount a personal trainer in the UK will charge is around £30 an hour. Though if you're London based that can rise quite steeply.

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Set aside a budget. Develop a plan with a personal trainer and explain the body goals you would like to achieve. Have pictures of naked dudes at the ready to help your trainer. Only kidding. Don't be weird.

Remember the Diet

So how much weight can you realistically lose in 3 months? You can possibly lose as much as 30 pounds according to this article by Live Strong.  But so much centres around your ability to maintain discipline around your diet. A low-calorie, highly nutritious eating plan combined with increased physical activity brings about weight loss.

Gadgets that will help you lose weight

Lemon squeezers, blenders (not juicers) veggie steamer and salad tossers. You can find a bunch more on the Everyday Health site. I'd say out of all the gadgets, the best one is the alarm clock. Get up early, don't dodge the best part of the day when no one is around.

Best Apps to help you lose Weight

Check out all the fat-busting apps in this article by Gotta be Mobile. Personally I'm always keeping an eye on the step count and know some friends have eulogised over Tabatas which is themed around more HIIT routines. (High Intensity Interval Training).

If you so happen to find yourself in a Novotel hotel like I was last week, check out the CALM app they have which helps facilitate sleep, positivity and meditation. All crucial ingredients if you're serious about achieving your body goals.

Document your 3 month work out

Be honest with yourself. Set yourself some very open goals with your online audience and pictures of yourself naked. Only kidding, come on, liven up!

But take personal pictures of yourself in the mirror. It's not easy to see gradual improvement but you will come a long way within 3 months and before you know it your body transformation will be there for everyone to see.

My Pre Workout Spotify Playlist | Get your Gameface on

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One of my keenest pleasures is manicure my Spotify playlists to my immediate surroundings. For example, if I'm on the way to Kobox, I'd put a flurry of what I like to call, 'gameface' tunes together for my twenty-minute hike to the gym. Upon arrival I'm ready to climb the fire escapes, bustle on all fours across the apex roof lean back and scream Draggggggoooooo!!

So when the news broke that Spotify did a superhero landing (one fist, one knee) on the stock exchange last month, I was, pardon the pun, all ears. But before I wanted to chip in with my tuppence worth I thought I'd get into the weeds a little bit and breakdown the Spotify model.

Launched in 2008, it is a tech based freemium company developed by Spotify AB in Stockholm that allows you to stream music, podcasts, and video. Spotify earns the majority of its revenue through premium subscription (ad-free service plus higher quality audio stream) of which there is circa 70 million paid users. They then pay the record companies who in turn pay the artists, everybody's happy. Well unless you're Thom Yorke who once heralded the company as 'the last desperate fart of a dying corpse'. 

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Thom has since returned to the platform with his solo albums. I guess some farts smell ok right Thom? Thom's main gripe was that the money doesn't get filtered down to the artist, that the subscription fees are being swallowed by huge swathes of debt the company has encumbered in order to pay off the royalties to record companies. In September 2016, Spotify announced that it had paid a total of over $5 billion to the music industry. 

So how does a company that has accrued such seemingly insurmountable debt, yet to turn a profit be valued at £118 a share? And an estimated worth of. A lot of analysts are speculating this is an inflated price that $30 billion dollars as already hit the high water mark.  

It’s certainly a strong company in regards to the service it offers,” said Jonathan Johnson, a relationship banker in Portland, Oregon told ReutersI’d consider buying it but not at these (price) levels.

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In an interview with Wake up to Money this morning Mouhammed Choukeir Chief Investment Officer at Kleinwort Hambros said "Spotify's biggest challenge is how it will face scrutiny from shareholders around its business model. It pays a lot to record companies, shareholders will demand profit so they'll pay less to the (music) companies. Certain artists have refused the platform and competitors have sprung up in place of that but not succeeded. $30 billion dollars is a 'punchy evaluation'". 

For a full run down on what the insiders are speculating about the future of Spotify, Angela Monaghan wrote a very thorough and detailed account on The Guardian.

My thoughts? Unfortunately, no one got back to me when I reached out to Spotify for a quote for the article, but I'll just shoot from the hip on this one. The reason why I think this is a more sustainable platform than the likes of other IPO companies struggling (Soundcloud, Twitter yet to turn a profit) is that it listens to its audience. When Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke demurred from allowing their music to be streamed, Spotify recognised that these juggernauts could sink them if they didn't garner their trust. Both Taylor and Thom are now back on board, the argument on whether it reduces music piracy is fairly divisive. In a nutshell a commission report has stated there's "clear evidence" of Spotify reducing illegal downloads, with every 47 streams leading to one fewer bootlegged track. But then factor in how many lost sales there are due to free streaming? An interesting guy to follow on Twitter about this is Jon Fingas from Engadget an online publication for home for technology news and reviews who seem to have the lowdown. 

I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts, please find below a link to my 'gameface' playlist.