Break a sweat with Broadside: Interview with fitness and nutrition expert, Emma Lee

Personal trainer Emma has been keeping our minds and bodies in tip-top shape during lockdown, offering high intensity (HIIT) workouts and classes via Zoom for all Broadsiders. And whilst gyms remain closed until mid April at the earliest, there’s never been a better time to log in and work out. Not sure what HIIT’s all about or whether it’s for you? Read on! We had a recent chat with Emma about lockdown, fundraising, pancakes and the importance of making time for yourself.


Hi Emma, tell us a bit about you…

I’m based in Wolverhampton and work as a Biomedical Scientist by day. I pursued my Personal Training career almost a year ago but health and fitness has always been a passion of mine. My services include tailored 1-1 PT, bespoke training programmes, nutrition guidance and weekly check-ins with my clients.


Why is HIIT so good for us?

HIIT is an intense workout that can be done in a short amount of time – which suits many people fitting a workout into their busy lives, whether that be during a lunch break or a quick blast before you wind down for the day.

HIIT is amazing for cardiovascular health but also the most effective fat burning method. This form of exercise also continues to burn calories even after hours of completing the workout.


You offer FREE virtual HIIT classes to Broadside residents. Can you tell us what we can expect from each one? What can people hope to get out of them?

You’ll come out of my class feeling the endorphins pumping! Each class has two circuits and a quick ab blast at the end. Each circuit normally has five exercises which consist 40-45 seconds of work and 15-20 seconds of rest between each one. Most HIIT workouts will involve all of the muscle groups, however we also do combat as a mid-week circuit to take out any stress from work into our punches and kicks. You will feel stronger and fitter after each session, and I’ll always push you to do one more repetition than you did the previous week.


What would you say to someone who’s never tried HIIT before and is a bit anxious about doing it?

The beauty of virtual classes is that this is in the comfort of your own living room. In every class I will provide alternatives to most exercises to ensure everyone is able to do these exercises safely and effectively. It’s sometimes better to turn your camera on as I will be able to feedback on your technique however this isn’t mandatory. Most importantly, just go at your own pace and have fun!


How are you finding running classes for Broadsiders so far?

I love seeing people getting together and getting down to business to become fitter and stronger. I would love to have more residents get involved to build a community of individuals with similar goals that can help motivate each other.


What’s your favourite workout sequence?

I love a burpee in all of its forms and variations! It’s an amazing, all-round body exercise and you will physically feel the difference over time as you do them and get stronger. I also like teaching combat as I love seeing you all kicking some butts with energy and attitude.


Do you listen to or play any specific music when you work out?

I often play Dance, Drum & Bass and I like to throw some classic Ministry of Sound tunes in there too!


Do you have any healthy (and tasty) recipes you can share?

I have such a sweet tooth, so I love making these protein pancakes for either breakfast or a snack…

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scoop (25g) protein powder (I use vanilla but you can make chocolate ones if you like!)
  • 30g oats

Blend together and cook with coconut oil at low/medium heat. Flip when you see bubbles appear.


COVID-19 had an initially devastating effect on local businesses. It’s now inspiring to see so many of them adapting to the changes. Can you tell us a bit about how COVID has affected you and how you’ve adapted what you do in line with the current restrictions?

Since COVID hit, I’ve not been able to offer my services in gyms. To keep busy and support key workers, my partner and I live-streamed 24 hours of Friends whilst doing 2800 burpees, all while dressed as a Bunny and Spudnik (diehard Friends fans will know what I’m talking about!) in 24-degree heat! We managed to raised £875 for NHS Charities.

We also raised £180 by conducting a week of free classes via Work Out to Help Out – in aid of Mind charity for mental health.

Like most people and businesses, we’d had to go digital to continue to offer our services, which has meant a few technical difficulties along the way! I’ve invested in professional lighting equipment, audio and cameras, to really make it easy and clear for people to follow along during PT sessions and classes.


What’s next for your business?

I’m currently in the process of making a programme to really help people transform their bodies this Summer. The programme will consist of a bespoke training plan, classes and a nutrition programme that won’t feel like you’re on a strict diet.

I’m hoping to set some challenges with prizes for the best transformations, so watch this space.


Now more than ever, we all need to be prioritising and looking after our mental wellbeing. What are your top tips for keeping our mental health in good shape?

Take time and do something for yourself. We live such busy lives and we forget that we need self-care. Have a pamper day, cook yourself a delicious meal, exercise, learn a new skill. I personally love going for walks and hikes, taking in deep breaths of fresh air and getting some headspace.

I highly recommend doing mindfulness meditation too, bringing your own attention to the present, non-judgmentally. This practice helps to you focus, feel calmer and understand and respond better to how you really feel.


If you want to give HIIT a try then join Emma’s FREE virtual classes now by emailing Suitable for all abilities, the classes will be live every Wednesday evening during March at 7:00pm. 

Not sure if HIIT’s for you? Email us and we’ll send you recordings of the classes to try in your own time.

Find out more about Emma over on Instagram.

Comedy & Cocktails: A night with award-winning comedian Eleanor Conway

The best medicine for Lockdown boredom? Laughter, of course. We had a chat with multi award-winning comedian and Broadside resident, Eleanor Conway, about bad dates, her upcoming virtual gig for Broadsiders, and why the North is SO much better than the South…


Hi Eleanor, tell us a bit about you…

I moved to Broadside from East London very recently. I’m a comedian that does filthy, hilarious shows about sex, addiction and dating. I used to be a music journalist and became a comic when I got sober in 2014. Since then I’ve sold out 3 tours worldwide with my shows ‘Walk of Shame 1 & 2’ and ‘You May Recognise Me From Tinder’. Credits include The Guardian, Woman’s Hour, Stylist, BBC 4 Extra. Basically, I’m good and I’m not shit.


What prompted the move to Manchester?

The fluffy answer is that The North West has a thriving arts scene and I wanted to be closer to my family here. The real answer is that I was losing my mind living in my studio flat with a wall bed and wanted to do something dramatic.


How are you finding life at Broadside?

In my old place, crack-heads used to walk into the lobby and steal my Amazon parcels, so frankly, it’s a win. I love it!


You’re running a virtual event for Broadsiders in a few weeks’ time, what can people expect?

The pandemic means comics can’t get into clubs at the moment, so this will be a road-test of new comic ideas from me and a couple of my comic mates. Some will be awesome, some meh, and some will be utter dog-poo, but that’s the fun of it!


Have you ever performed in any Mancunian venues?

The last tour show I did of You May Recognise Me From Tinder was at the Frog and Bucket in October 2019 – that’s when I realised I wanted to move to the Northern Quarter…and then everything shut.


Who are your favourite comedians and why?

Jim Jefferies is my favourite. Also Daye Chappelle, Chris Rock, Katherine Ryan. I like blunt, visceral, dark humour.


You have an online dating stream entitled ‘WORST.DATE.EVER’ – We’ve got to ask you about your worst date ever?

I was on a date with this boring bloke, (no offence to the boring blokes reading this, I’ve found comfort in the stability of boring men now). We order dinner and then he goes to the toilet and while he’s in there my mate texts me to see how it’s going. I text her back a brutal message telling her he was dull AF, boring etc, etc. He comes out of the loo and I quickly put my phone away. He stops walking. Takes his phone out of his pocket to read a message. He looks directly at me and turns ashen white. I’d sent the text to him instead. We ate dinner in silence.


Cliché question time, but we’ve got to ask! How have you been finding life in lockdown? Binge-watched anything we should know about?

Snowpiercer is awesome (Netflix series). Mainly because it’s got women with wrinkles in and I’m in desperate need of some Botox. I feel seen for once.


Any live shows in the pipeline?

TBC! I’m hopefully going to be announcing a live night very, very soon. Follow me on Instagram and I’ll post about it in due course…


Eleanor will be hosting a virtual gig exclusively for Broadsiders on Thursday 25th March from 7:30-9:00pm.

Join Eleanor and some of her funny friends as they road-test some new material and try and make you laugh. Tickets are just £5 per person or £7 per household and you can buy them here. 

You’ll also be able to pre-order a selection of cocktails from Sammy’s Cocktail Bar delivered chilled, straight to your door before the event. You can choose from lychee, espresso and gin & pineapple flavoured martinis – just £20 for 4 cocktails!

Head over to their Instagram page and DM to place your order.

Come and wave goodbye to the beginning of the end of lockdown with comedy and cocktails…

Boosting Our Health & Happiness with Yoga in Lockdown

Alexis Fletcher, Fitness & Nutrition Expert and Founder of Flex Yoga Manchester, is one of our resident fitness gurus here at Broadside. Alexis has been running a virtual weekly yoga course for Broadsiders where she shows us how to strike a pose and talks through any fitness or nutrition queries. We had a chat about wellness, music and why yoga could be just the thing you need to revitalise your mind and body.

I started Flex Yoga Manchester almost seven years ago after working in the music industry for over ten years. Based in Manchester City Centre, I teach classes in different studios and for corporate clients around town, but obviously just online at the moment. I also do Personal Training and juice packages for clients as well as reviewing lots of different wellbeing products and brands for my social channels.

Yoga is a great tool for bringing people together (albeit through a screen at the moment) and easing the mind and body at the same as strengthening it. I always love to incorporate some breathing work and relaxation in all of my yoga classes as its so important to stop and check in with yourself daily. Nutrition is a big passion of mine too, and I’m always happy to help clients and students with any queries they have as it can be such a minefield.

The first week of lockdown in March I watched my classes drop day by day until I was left with no work, but just as everyone did, I adapted quickly to move all of my classes online. Our spare room has become my yoga studio and looks like it will stay that way for a while longer. I did start doing physical classes again before the second lockdown and made sure I stuck to all of the rules which meant no hands-on adjustments, offering an essential oil spray which doubles as a hand sanitizer, people using their own matts and keeping socially distanced etc.

Yoga is probably one of the safest (and most needed things) to do in these times! Before lockdown I was involved in different wellbeing events, such as yoga and brunch and events around causes such as Mental Health Awareness day. I’m currently looking into hosting these kind of things online, so watch this space! I’m also using this time to train in other areas of yoga, as I love learning. And hopefully I can get back out teaching again soon

Whilst everything’s still chaotic and up in the air, I feel it’s so important (and maybe a bit easier) to simply slow down. Make sure you’re enjoying everything you do and not just doing it because you think you should. Yoga can really help to give you this time to stop and take stock.

I’ve developed a series of FREE virtual yoga classes exclusively for Broadsiders. They consist of breath-work, hatha/vinyasa flow, core work, inversions and a cool down. So grab your matt and your blanket and come and get flexy!

For anyone who’s never tried yoga and is a bit anxious about trying it, I would say that’s a completely natural way to feel. But the online classes (especially the pre-recorded ones) are a great way of trying it the comfort of your own home, and then I’m sure you’ll feel confident enough to come to the live class and hopefully physical classes in the future.

My favourite yoga pose? I love an inversion. Headstands and handstands are a great way of getting the blood flow and digestive system going, whilst making your body and mind stronger

I like to turn the music up and have a soundtrack to my yoga sessions. Sol Rising is one my favourite yoga DJs and my playlists feature an eclectic mix of people from Christine & The Queens to Charlotte OC and Max Richter to Massive Attack.

I love living in Manchester City Centre and have really seen it grow over the last 10 years. The quirky little shops and coffee shops make it what it is but more so the people and the dogs! I cannot wait for the buzz of the Northern Quarter to return when everything reopens and explore all of the new places… you’ll no doubt find me enjoying a Margarita in the sunshine somewhere!

If you want to give yoga a try then join Alexis’s FREE virtual yoga classes now by emailing Suitable for all abilities, the classes will be live every Saturday during March at 11:15am. We’re hoping to run these classes from our Fitness Studio in-person from May, so drop by via Zoom and give them a try.  

Not sure if yoga’s for you? Email us and we’ll send you a free, pre-recorded taster class.

Find out more about Flex Yoga here.

12 Days of Broadside

1st of December officially means it’s Christmas, right?

We’re feeling all festive here at Broadside and have put an extra special something together for our residents and followers…


Over 12 days this month, we’ll reveal amazing offers, news, treats and tips that will help you shop safer, smarter and more sustainably this Christmas, whilst supporting our amazing local businesses and treating your nearest and dearest (and yourself, of course!)

We’ve got something for everyone on your Nice List: the craft beer snob, the fitness fanatic, the crafty creator, the foodie, the party animal, the impossible to buy for and everyone in-between!

We’ve also got extra special offers and deals exclusively for Broadsiders (spoiler alert: you’re all on our Nice List!) so watch out on our social channels for some festive Christmas treats!