“Trying that first class at Simply Gym has literally changed my life.”
It never really clicked in my head that I was gaining weight until I looked at the scales and saw it hit 15 stone. I obviously knew it was happening after going up 3 waist sizes in jeans and from a loose medium top to a very snug fitting large, it’s hard to explain that away. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of comfort eating, hating my body leading to further comfort eating. I was lethargic, had no ambition, antisocial and was just drifting between weekends, doing nothing (except eat!).
I had attended Simply Gym a few times. Going solo and using machines or going with a friend. Each time I started with a big goal to ‘get hench’ and would fizzle out in weeks, the motivation just wasn’t there.
It was actually my mum who convinced me to try a barbell class at Simply Gym Coventry, called Vibe Power. She had recently started doing it and was convinced I would like it. I assumed it would typically be full of women (who would likely be lifting more than me!) and that I would stand out like a sore, fat, exhausted thumb. As Mums do, she went on and on about it until I finally gave in and tried a class.
I hated it! I couldn’t lift anywhere near what others were, I got tired much quicker, my form was rubbish and to top it all off, the next day (more like week!) I was in agony. My muscles were NOT used to such a workout and they reminded me by the minute. I was so close to not going back, but the Instructor had told me “It’s never as bad as the first time”. So I went back a week later, loaded up my barbell and started the class. I found it easier, my form was better, I could actually breath halfway through!
I started going once a week, became a regular and started doing extra Power classes. Straight away I started noticing a difference. I started losing a bit of weight and I could start to add weight onto my bar. The support I received from the Power instructors was amazing, they were genuinely happy for me and to see me improving.
When my weight started dropping it made something click in my head, this was achievable. I started cutting out junk food and energy drinks, sticking to just what I needed to eat and drank only water. I gave myself a treat day as I had heard about them before but I was never essentially ‘dieting’. Just eating enough.
My progression in the gym and visible changes were motivating me more and more to the point that I tried another class. I stuck with the Vibe Concepts and tried Vibe Cycle. Sat at the back of the indoor cycling room, totally exhausted watching a whole class dip and move to the beat, all whilst standing up, all going super-fast. It amazed me and right there I thought, I want to be able to do that.
I started going to more and more Cycle classes, bought my own cycle shoes and had to start buying new clothes that fit, the weight was just dropping off me! At this point a Vibe Cycle Instructor came up to me after a class, telling me that I was on beat, in time and did everything perfectly and had I ever considered becoming an instructor. They even suggested I joined them on stage the following week to see what it was like. The idea to me was frankly laughable, I wasn’t a fitness instructor, and I’d hardly been active for 5 months. But I tried it nonetheless and the view was incredible. Seeing a whole class in time, doing the moves perfectly was just mesmerising. I was hooked.
“I had to start buying new clothes that fit, the weight was just dropping off me!”
At this point I was at the gym 5 days a week, doing multiple classes a day. Some on my lunch break. My weight was getting lower and lower and my strength was getting higher and higher. I was booked on to a cycle course and was really getting into fitness, even buying some of my own equipment to use at home.
That was when I saw the ETM (Exercise to Music) course advertised, run by Vibe, and the same instructors who were now my friends, who had pushed me and supported me this whole way. It was going to be in Coventry and I would need it if I ever planned to teach my favourite classes (Vi-Box and Vibe Power). The entire situation was too perfect, so I took the plunge. As a kid I was diagnosed with a very rare muscle wasting autoimmune disease requiring 2 years of steroids and physiotherapy as well as a stay in hospital so I NEVER imagined the fitness industry was something I would ever in a million years be interested in.
10 Months on from my first class at Simply Gym, I am now halfway through my ETM course, I’m a Vibe Cycle Instructor teaching a regular Vibe Cycle class at the gym and covering others, I’m booked onto a Vi-Box course and currently waiting for a Vibe Power one.
I am without a doubt in the best shape of my life, I am not ‘hench’ by any standards but I am fit and I am loving where my life is headed. Trying that first class at Simply Gym has literally changed my life.
I am currently hovering around 11 stone with 4 stone lost. If I had to give advice to anyone I would say:
Find the right workout for you. I tried weight machines, I tried going to the regular Gym. It wasn’t until I had the support of a great group of people that motivated me to keep going. The classes at Simply Gym are fantastic and full of great people, don’t let your worry of what people think of you decide what you do. It’s your life, do what makes you happy and never feel stuck. You never know how quickly your life can change.