1. What made you start personal training at SAF?
I reluctantly signed up for the first month with a friend, mainly to support them as they were really keen to sign up after seeing another friend achieve fantastic results with SAF.
At first, I was sceptical about all aspects, thinking I knew better and that it would be a waste of money. However, I was happy to give it a go for the sake of being a good friend. What harm could a month do anyway?
By the end of that first month, I loved it! I had seen significant, positive changes to my body and eating habits plus more importantly I was really enjoying the sessions. It was enough to convince myself to sign up properly and I promised myself that I would stick at it for 6 months to see some real results. Almost 3 years later I am still with SAF!
Even after 3 years I still really enjoy the sessions (although that doesn’t stop me moaning about having to work hard in them!). I have met some amazing people through SAF and still get a buzz out of achieving new goals. I have absolutely no regrets about signing up.
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2. Can you describe how you were feeling physically and mentally before coming to SAF?
During my teenage and university years, I wasn’t really familiar with the concept of exercise; my weight generally yo-yoed and I controlled it mainly through dieting when I couldn’t fit into my clothes.
However, before starting at SAF I’d probably have considered myself to be the fittest I had ever been having completed a half marathon shortly before (a drunken decision I regretted throughout all the training). My confidence was high, next year I would be challenging Mo Farah for gold and at that point, if someone had asked if I could do a push-up or chin-up I would have confidently told them that I could… I was wrong!
It turns out they are actually pretty difficult. The main thing is I can do them now and actually the feeling you get when you do your first full push-up is amazing and worth all the hard work. Most people don’t know how to do these things, which is why people join SAF and why you shouldn’t be put off joining because you can’t do these things.
I had recently moved to Newcastle before starting at SAF. Leaving friends and family north of the border I was starting a new life and a new job. Looking back, I think the impact of the move on my body could have gone one of two ways, I was either going to get fat or fit and I am glad to say that through joining SAF I got fit. The social aspect of the gym is also great, especially as I knew very few people in the North East prior to moving.
3. What did you want to achieve with SAF?
My original goal was to lose weight and get generally fitter. I achieved this relatively quickly and since then my goals have changed and developed. My goals are sometimes weight based, sometimes exercise based. I have achieved most of my goals, albeit with a lot of time and hard work. However some I haven’t, I’m less than a week away from my 30th birthday and I (unsurprisingly) still can’t do a handstand!
I’ve accepted that a goal to have a six-pack at the moment is not realistic because to achieve that I would have to cut out the booze and eating out and at the moment a six pack of beers is worth more to me than six-pack abs so I’m focusing on more realistic and achievable goals.
At this point in time, I want to keep progressing my squats and deadlift to lift heavier, improve my eating habits to lose a little bit more fat and introduce some cardio into my routine. All of these are achievable and hopefully, by the end of the year, I will have made some good progress in them all.
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4. What results have you seen whilst Personal Training with SAF?
So initially I lost almost 2 stone, I was the thinnest I’d been in years and overall, I was pretty chuffed with myself. Since then I’ve switched from diet breaks to being really strict and essentially modified my diet to suit what’s going on in my life at the time. I’ve managed to get into a good place where I can eat sensibly and maintain a weight I’m happy with, with minimal effort. I know if I want to get lean for something like a holiday then I have to really try with the food side of things but that is doable, and you do see results.
The big change though is my body shape and strength. My shape has completely changed since starting at SAF and clothes now fit me so much better and I feel more confident. I am not perfect, there is a bit of fat around my midriff and there are bits of me that I’d like to tone more but they are things I can work on over time.
Strength wise I have achieved so much, I can squat 125kg, deadlift 150kg, I can churn out press-ups and chin-up in numbers that would have been unimaginable even a year ago. The feeling you get when you achieve a PB or do something for the first time is great and those results are what have kept me with SAF for so long.
5. Would you recommend SAF and why?
Without a doubt, YES! Being part of SAF not only gets me to the gym, it actually makes me look forward to it. I can’t think of a better PT than Sean, he is extremely knowledgeable (he even has a Masters in the subject although he doesn’t like to mention it!) and both he and Martin are great at supporting you towards achieving your goals and targets.
Whether you are looking to lose a bit of weight, improve your fitness or even just want to meet some nice new people then SAF is the perfect place. Sign up for a trial and I guarantee that by the end of the month you’ll be so impressed by the results and have had such a great time that you’ll be hooked!