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Stylist Challenge 2012

CHALLENGE STYLIST main holding shot.jpg

In January eight members of the Stylist team accepted the challenge to try a new kind of exercise, with individual goals to achieve in time for the Olympics. The Stylist Challenge 2012 team made a commitment not only to tackle some serious fitness training, but also to blog about their experiences each week right here on Stylist.co.uk. It’s been a month now and some have been slightly more successful in their efforts (both exercise and blogging-related) than others. Catch up with the latest blog posts from Lisa, Alix, Susan, Tom, Collette, Jo, Lauren and Anna and give them a few training tips in the comments section on each blog, or just a bit of moral support!

Lisa Smosarski, Editor

Challenge: Run 10k.

Why: I have NEVER been able to run further than 2k and get jealous of people who can. So I am committing to run 10k – in a decent time – by the start of the Olympics.


  • Resting heart rate: 88bpm (average: 60-100 for adults)
  • BMI: 20.6 (healthy range for an adult is 18.5-24.9)
  • Body fat ratio: 26.8% (average is 21-32%)
  • VO2 (maximum oxygen uptake*): 46.4 (45+ is good for a woman aged 26-35)

Click here to read Lisa's latest blog post

Alix Walker, Associate Editor

Challenge: Do the London to Paris bike ride in June.

Why: Three reasons. One: I’m getting married in eight months and would like to look a bit (a lot) leaner. Two: I’m really unfit and would love to run up the stairs without the need for a lie down. Three: My fiancé works with a cycling team so I should get some decent advice.


  • Resting heart rate: 86bpm
  • BMI: 21
  • Body fat ratio: 30%
  • VO2: 50.9

Click here to read Alix's latest blog post...

Collette Lyons, Features Editor

Challenge: Master basic ballet barre and move up a level to improver.

Why: Ever since I saw Black Swan I have been desperate to give ballet a go. I’m going to ignore that fact that, aged five, my mother said I had all the grace of an elephant in a tutu. I am hoping it will not only improve my level of fitness and posture but also give me leaner limbs.


  • Resting heart rate: 68bpm
  • BMI: 23.2
  • Body fat ratio: 33%
  • VO2: 48.8

Click here to read Collette's latest blog post

Lauren Smith, Online Editorial Assistant

Challenge: Complete a triathlon.

Why: While I feel at home pounding the pavement, the furthest I’ve swam was in a gala at school, and my student bike is lying rusting in my parent’s garage. So I decided to sign up for a triathlon – I want a big challenge and if Pippa Middleton can do it, surely I’ll survive?


  • Resting heart rate: 60bpm
  • BMI: 20.8
  • Body fat ratio: 24%
  • VO2: 51.2

Click here to read Lauren's first blog post...

Joanna McGarry, Beauty Director

Challenge: Compete in a boxing match.

Why: I want to feel fit, healthy and look toned, not simply thin, or like I haven’t eaten mash for a decade. It’s time to take serious action. And it doesn’t get more serious than boxing. It’s perfect for firming my upper body, stocking up my dwindling energy reserve and pounding out tension.


  • Resting heart rate: 81bpm
  • BMI: 24
  • Body fat ratio: 34%
  • VO2: 46.6

Click here to read Jo's latest blog post...

Susan Riley, Deputy Editor

Challenge: Take up yoga and master a side plank with raised leg for one minute on each side – in a pose that’s a real test of whole body strength.

Why: I snowboard and occasionally go to the gym but I’ve never had muscle tone or a lot of core strength. I’d also like to achieve a bit of zen in my busy life; so less fatigued and more up for it.


  • Resting heart rate: 82bpm
  • BMI: 18.5
  • Body fat ratio: 29.6%
  • VO2: 47.2

Click here to read Susan's first blog post...

Tom Gormer, Photography Director

Challenge: Complete a three-mile swim.

Why: As one of the most unfit people in the world ever I am not sporty in any way. That said, swimming is surely better than sweating it out in a gym. Plus I like the idea of mastering something quite technically difficult.


  • Resting heart rate: 100bpm
  • BMI: 36.6 (healthy range for an adult is 18.5-24.9)
  • Body fat ratio: 26.6% (average is 18-24% for a man)
  • VO2: 48.3 (49+ is good for a man aged 26-35)

Click here to read Tom's first blog post...

Anna Brech, Online Writer

Challenge: Get a red belt in kickboxing.

Why: I’m interested to see whether kickboxing training will bring me the power and technique needed, if not to become the next Jackie Chan, to hold my own for the “touch contact” my trainer has ominously referred to in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics.


  • Resting heart rate: 91bpm
  • BMI: 21.9
  • Body fat ratio: 30.5%
  • VO2: 47.3

Click here to read Anna's first blog post...



London 2012 posters


From Olympic glory to self doubt


The end of the line