The Accumulator is a unique fitness plan devised by expert coach Paul Mumford. It's a series of month long workouts that start easy but get tougher as you become fitter. The whole plan comes with the added benefit of personal coaching and support throughout. You will also be an active part of a team across the UK who take part with you and support you. It's like a having a DVD, a personal trainer and a workout class rolled into one.
The real strength of The Accumulator is its ability to fit into even the busiest of lifestyles. You can take it anywhere as you are working only with your own body weight. This is the oldest and best form of resistance training there is as there are plenty of ways to keep it challenging and you don't need to buy any expensive equipment or be a member of a gym. You already have all the equipment you need. It's also practical as you can do it at any time of the day, whenever suits you best.
The Accumulator plan works on a high intensity interval training model that's both strength and aerobic based. This method of exercise has many proven benefits. It works to elevate your heart rate periodically which encourages your body to use fat stores for energy whilst working to increase your muscle mass. There are also many exercises built into The Accumulator that have practical applications and help you move and function better in every day life as well as during many sports. It also encourages your body to go to places it may not have been before which will increase your flexibility.
The Accumulator is much more flexible than going to a class or keeping an appointment with a personal trainer. It's also more motivating than just buying a DVD. Many DVDs are filmed using models with bodies that seem way out of reach which can be demotivating. There's also nobody to keep you in check with a DVD apart from yourself. You could watch a fitness DVD from the comfort of your sofa whilst munching on snacks and nobody would be there to tap you on the shoulder and remind you why you bought it in the first place. One of the unique elements to The Accumulator is that we keep tabs on your progress all the time. If you don't do your workout we know about it and will be in touch.
Read The Accumulator story here
Joining The Accumulator was a great move as I had been ‘going it alone’ until that point, using a calorie counter app and restricting myself to 1200 calories. I now feel part of a group where we all spur each other on and share if we were struggling with anything. The experts are excellent and always on hand to answer questions, including through scheduled live Facebook sessions. This helped me to realise that I was having way too few calories and also enabled me to get some great new recipe ideas through The Knowledge section of the website. Having lost weight on Weight Watchers in the past I still find it difficult not to weigh things out or count calories but I’m gradually changing my mindset. If I hadn’t joined The Accumulator I would still be having a calorie deficit and would be burning muscle rather than fat. I’m also letting myself have some treats now and not beating myself up about it.
So what about the exercise? Well with just 40 seconds on day one and as a regular exerciser already this started pretty easy for me but still got the old heart pumping. My 5 year old daughter looked forward to each day until about day 12 when it was a bit too long for her. I really looked forward to see what the next day had in store and was sometimes waiting for the video to pop in my inbox so I could bash it out before work. Initially I was disappointed when it came to a rest day, however after about day 15 I was glad of the break. None of the exercises are hard to follow but they do get you out of breath and you seriously feel your muscles working. Throughout my first month my core and upper body strength improved, my arms were weak and un-toned before and my weedy wrists would ache. I now have lovely toned arms that feel stronger … I even have little guns! I can actually now do 10 full press ups when I struggled to do 4 at the start and always opted for the easy version. My wrists can now withstand the exercises thanks to a live stream that Paul did to correct my positoning.
So even though I have a gym membership I was so impressed with the workout, support and advice that I signed up for another month at full price. I really think The Accumulator is a fab concept and great for not just those new to exercise but old timers too. I’m loving my 2nd month and don’t plan to leave my new Accumulator family any time soon. I’d recommend this programme to anyone, especially if you sometimes need people around you to help out when your motivation dips.
Before discovering The Accumulator I was a regular in the gym, sticking mainly to the treadmill, the cross trainer and a few weights – all the usual stuff. But I found I was getting stuck in a rut and I was just doing the same old thing all the time, which was becoming boring. I’m retired and in the fortunate position of being able to have lots of holidays, but I always found it hard to get enough exercise in when I was away. Then, on New Year’s Day, I was visiting a friend of my sister-in-law and she mentioned she was taking part in The Accumulator. So I decided to give it a go too.
Straight away I found I really enjoyed the variety of exercises and the way the workout plan grows throughout the month. The big advantage for me though is that The Accumulator is completely mobile, so I always have it. Sometimes when I’m away in a hotel the gym may not be great (if there is one), so it’s nice to know that I’ve always got a plan and I can do the routine every day, regardless of where I am.
As each month progresses I’m always amazed by the improvement I’ll make doing the exercises that appeared early on in the month. As I’ve been taking part for over two years now, sometimes exercises I’ve done in previous months will re-appear and although the first time around they may have been hard, now they are easier; I can really see how much my strength and stamina have improved. As I had been going to the gym for so long before doing The Accumulator I didn’t think it would make a massive difference to me, but it really has. My core strength is much better than it has ever been and my running is much faster too. I had a shoulder injury many years ago so my left arm had always been weak, but I can really see and feel a difference there too – I can do a lot more with it now. I can see how great The Accumulator is for people who are starting out and are not as fit as me. I think many of my friends assume it’s really hard because I’ve always loved exercise and therefore wouldn’t do something that was easy.
I never really thought I would find something that worked, but then one day my old school friend, Leah, asked if I wanted to try The Accumulator. I remember Day 1 was a plank. I was rather wobbly then and hated looking down at my stomach flesh hanging in a triangle. That plank was hard too. I think The Accumulator was the kick up the backside this girl needed. So I got a grip of myself. The Accumulator has changed my body all over – arms, legs, bum, and my abs have real tone too. I can see the makings of a six-pack and if I ate properly instead of scoffing doughnuts and pastries I think I could actually have one. I also find my moods are much better when I exercise and I naturally eat better – because it gives me a focus for the day, I’m less tempted to plunge my hand into the cookie jar.
I do The Accumulator at various times, depending on how the day goes. But that’s the great thing: you can squeeze it in whenever you like. Some days I have done it at 11.30 p.m. and others first thing in the morning. But I always find time to get it done. I have done fitness DVDs in the past too, but found that if I am the instigator of the exercise or have to press ‘play’ on my own it’s almost like my motivation evaporates. I am extremely happy to have found The Accumulator and such a fantastic group of people. It’s a great connection.
I have always been into my exercise and before taking on The Accumulator I was already doing two or three classes each week with Paul as well as walking the dog (without Paul). The classes were really working and I felt so much fitter and more toned from working with Paul. When Paul first told me about The Accumulator, my previous experience of him as such a great teacher made me sign up straight away. It’s a really challenging way to exercise and I often get the whole family involved. This makes it much more fun than going out to the dreaded gym, as well as being so much better than any workout you would ever do by yourself. Once I start, I’m hooked in and my mental strength, along with the lack of time to hang about, sees me to the end every time.
I really like the structure and it’s relatively quick – not simple, but quick. This way of working out suits me perfectly and I can easily fit it in around my busy family and work life. The Accumulator is much more me than any workout DVD as all the glamour has been taken out (sorry Paul). Unlike so many of those fitness DVDs, this is more about the exercises and how they benefit you than how you look. There’s also no dancing or side-stepping in sight.
I used to be very active years ago but more recently had lost motivation and I found that I needed something new to inspire me. A few years ago I regularly did classes, swam and ran. I worked 9–5 then, so it was much easier, but once I qualified as a nurse I began to struggle to find a routine that would fit around shifts and working long hours. I used to love the gym and would probably describe myself as having been addicted, so when I couldn’t make time to maintain the level of fitness I had previously enjoyed I became a little despondent.
The Accumulator changed all that, and it is easy to fit around my shifts although sometimes towards the end of the month I have to shuffle a little as I don’t always feel like doing much after a busy 12–14-hour shift. I have a spare room I use to exercise in, although my family have got used to me jumping around the living room on occasion. I have felt fitter since taking part too. I have lost a stone without too many changes to my diet and have definitely noticed that my arms are becoming more toned. I also feel less tired when working busy shifts and the workout plan has boosted my self-confidence too. I have bought DVDs in the past, done them a couple of times and then left them gathering dust. The beauty of The Accumulator is that you are not doing it on your own, so you are more likely to stick to it.
Before The Accumulator I wasn’t really doing that much. Unfortunately, my rugby days are behind me, but during my regular gym visits in the past I used to focus on aerobic or semi-aerobic exercises. I have always struggled to motivate myself to do resistance training, and used my larger frame as an excuse not to do bodyweight activities. In recent years, work has become busier and kids have arrived, making demands on my time, so I have done less and less.
So, I took the plunge, started The Accumulator and discovered that I love it. Going to the gym, or even doing a home exercise session can often mean an hour’s work with more time getting changed and showering afterwards. As a result, if I couldn’t afford to devote two hours to working out in the evening, I would do nothing. With The Accumulator I do something every day, even if not for very long. The fact that it is more resistance-based means that even 5–10 minutes can lead to a sweat. The biggest benefit for me though is that it’s so easy mentally to start an exercise session (‘10 minutes is all I need, of course I can do tonight’). Then, once I’ve got going, adding to it becomes easier (‘well, I’m changed now and have got up a bit of a sweat – I might as well do another 10 minutes on the rower’).
It’s a very useful exercise workout in that it doesn’t require any equipment. I have been able to do it in hotel rooms when I have been away on work trips, or even holidays. I am fortunate enough to live in Stirling, Scotland, which means that we quite often go hill walking, and within a couple of hours from home we are on the top of a Munro (the name for a mountain in Scotland). The views from up there are definitely conducive to a few squats or press-ups.
Paul Mumford, The Accumulator creator is an innovative fitness coach with a wealth of experience helping a wide variety of clients. He also teaches other fitness professionals, talks at seminars and fitness events and writes for several National and International fitness publications. His first book, all about The Accumulator is published by Bloomsbury in January 2016. Paul is passionate about the exercise and believes everyone should incorporate it into their routine on a regular basis, which is partly how The Accumulator was born.
“The Accumulator started completely by accident but it has grown into something much bigger than I had imagined. It has grown into something a little like a global fitness class filled with like minded people who all want to improve their health and fitness but are restricted by budget, location or time. There is a real team spirit with The Accumulator which is something I’m keen to encourage, much like my long standing, regular clients who have grown to become friends by supporting each other sharing recipes, articles and ideas. At the same time I was keen to demonstrate how easily anyone can become more active, even with the barriers that come with modern life.”
Paul’s other passion is running barefoot. He has been taught by some of the World’s most highly regarded running coaches and bio-mechanists and Paul is now thankful to be able to pass what he has learned onto many runners and fitness professionals. He loves life in his cottage on a quiet country farm where he looks after his chickens and grows vegetables with his wife and daughter.
We are very fortunate at The Accumulator to have a team of nutrition experts who contribute valuable advice and share their expertise with our members.
Linda Perkins is a Nutritional Therapist and has been qualified since 1999. She is passionate about healthy cooking, eating and exercise. People who have followed her recommendations have transformed their lives even after living with major health problems for many years. Linda is an invaluable expert on all things food but is particularly knowledgeable on food intolerance, supplementation and the many aspects of the modern diet that can (and do) make us sick.
You can read many of Linda’s great articles in The Knowledge on topics like why she dislikes microwave ovens and what types of fatthere are in your body.
Keith Cormican works both here and in the US as a nutritionist and life coach. The former model and actor also works with obesity charities and divides his time between the UK, USA and Australia helping people with their weight loss journeys.
He also appears regularly on TV and radio. Not only is Keith a highly knowledgeable nutrition expert he is a great believer in doing things the simple way and believes with the right attitude we can achieve anything. Take a look at his great article on curbing temptation here.
The Accumulator team appears to be growing all the time. Both Emily and Laura appear in many of the workout videos and they join Jack and James in The Accumulator book. The team also includes a number of experts who regularly contribute content to The Knowledge, our library of articles, tips, recipes and videos (many of these are exclusive to members). Nutritional therapist Linda Perkins, registered dietician Nichola Whitehead and osteopath Jamie Lauder make up our writing team. If you have something to say and would like to contribute to The Knowledge, we’d love to hear from you. Why not get in touch?
Our team is much much larger than that though. Everyone taking part in The Accumulator is a valuable part of the team and many of them have become affiliates, sharing in the success of The Accumulator by encouraging friends and family to get fit with them.