Wall Pressing, Member Spotlight, and soup! Members' Bulletin #4

In this week’s edition:

  • This week in ‘Veganuary’ fashion we share another vegan recipe from one of our team. We asked Victoria our CEO to tell us her favourite recipe - Sweet Potato Soup - which happens to be vegan, healthy and inexpensive to make. And it tastes great too. What’s not to like! Scroll on down for the recipe.

  • We thank Ability Bow gym member Tarishvari for her story in Member Spotlight. Tarishvari normally exercises at AB but since lockdown she has been exercising with us on livestream instead. She tells us how exercise helps her to manage her Chronic Fatigue symptoms and how living an active lifestyle - when lockdown allows - makes such a positive difference to her health. 

  • This week’s ‘Try This at Home’ exercise is the Wall Press, which mimics a traditional press up and challenges your core and upper body muscles. Tony outlines the exercise step by step for us, and he suggests that you might like to try this with the Sit to Stand exercise (see last 2 bulletins for details) for a simple whole body workout.

  • Gym Members have an open invitation to join the free weekly Virtual Cuppa to meet other members and have a chat on Zoom. We meet every Thursday at 1.45-2.30pm and all members are warmly welcome to attend to reduce the sense of isolation during shielding. If you’d like to try it out, let one of us know and we’ll send you the link. It’s a friendly and inclusive group and there’s always upbeat and lively conversation!

  • We would like to hear from you if you have any good news stories that you would like to share with other members. 

  • The weekly bulletin aims to keep us connected with our gym community during coronavirus.

Try this at home: Wall Press Exercise

AB instructor Tony standing infront of a wall with hands pressed on it, at shoulder width and chest height.AB instructor Tony standing infront of a wall with his hands on the wall at chest height, shoulder width apart, with elbows bent and face near to the wall

The Wall Press is a great alternative to the traditional floor-based push up. Using all the same muscle groups it will help strengthen your chest, arms and core without the aid of equipment, helping to improve posture and upper body muscle tone. You can do this standing or from a wheelchair.

·      Stand about 2 feet from a wall

·      Place both hands on the wall, shoulder height and shoulder width apart

·      Slowly bend your arms and lean your body to the wall until your nose almost touches it

·      Push back to starting position

·      Repeat 10-15 times

If you currently exercise from a wheelchair, position yourself in front of a sturdy table or work surface. Place both hands on the edge of the table / surface. Bending your arms, lean forward until your nose almost touches the surface. Then, push back to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.


Our recipe:  Sweet Potato Soup

ingredients for sweet potato soup: sweet potatoes, tinned coconut milk red chill, celeryIngredients

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks

  • 2 sticks celery chopped

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 1-2 cloves garlic pressed or squished

  • ½ a red chilli (or more/less to taste) diced

  • 1 tbsp. garam masala 

  • 1 tbsp. curry powder

  • 500 ml veg stock

  • 1 tin reduced fat coconut milk

  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil 


In a baking dish toss the potato chunks with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, a little seasalt and pepper. Roast in the middle of the oven on a moderate heat until soft. Keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t overbrown and add a little water to the dish if necessary.

Put 1 tsbp olive oil into a large pan with the onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat until the onions are translucent and soft. Add a splash of water if they look like they are going to brown.

Add the spices, celery, chilli and cook for 4 minutes. Then add the coconut milk, stock and roasted sweet potatoes. Cook for a further 2 minutes, then leave to cool for a few minutes before blitzing with a blender.

Season to taste (I added some ground pepper and chopped coriander to mine) and then sit back and enjoy! Victoria

Member Spotlight: 

If you’d like to contribute something for others to read please get in touch! This week gym member Tarishvari writes about her experience of living with Chronic Fatigue and exercising at home via livestream sessions. 

I first started exercising with Tony a couple of years ago LIVE at Ability gym. Remember those days?  I had been referred by my doctor after having had unexplained chronic fatigue symptoms for about 10 years.  I really enjoyed the weekly training sessions with Tony but unfortunately “overdid life” a little … well a lot actually…. and I had quite a severe relapse of chronic fatigue the summer before last.  

I stopped attending the gym and focussed on trying to get well.  There was a point in Summer 2019 where I was so tired, I could hardly walk.  I had to cancel holiday plans!

Luckily, around this time, I was diagnosed with a severe gum infection and long-term infection in 2 teeth.  Having the teeth removed and finally dealing with the long-term infection gave me a new lease on life. 

At the beginning of lockdown, Ability Bow contacted me, and I started zoom personal training sessions again with Tony.  THANK YOU, Ability Bow!!!! This time around I was ready to roll!  I really enjoyed the sessions and gradually started incorporating exercise into my daily life.  I found that I was starting to love and relish exercise.  

In the past, I thought of exercise as a bit of a drag - as a way to lose weight, or to get fit, or to be able to get away with eating more calories without gaining weight.   Now I was loving exercise purely for the joy of exercise.  The great feeling in my body, when I work it.  My reward is now the actual exercise!

These days I’m exercising 5 or 6 days a week.  I’ve started cycling, walking, outdoor swimming (when allowed) and, of course, working out with Tony twice a week. 

Tony makes the sessions fun, relevant and lively.  We’ve recently started exercising to favourite music, which is a delight!  Tony is such a support in my life during lockdown.  He’s a listening ear, he’s encouraging, he’s kind and supportive.  Most of all, he has guided me towards finding more movement, exercise, enjoyment and wellness in life.



Undecided about exercising online? Contact us for YOUR FREE TASTER SESSION with Tony or Drew 

How to contact us during lockdown: phone us on 02089807778 or email us at reception@abilitybow.org