“Amanda introduced me to Avondale 3 years ago. It was under the auspices of the PARiS scheme. Amanda also introduced me to the anti-gravity treadmill, upon which I was able to jog a little (when I could barely walk, unaided). 5 years ago I had a polytrauma as a result of a motorbike crash. As well as lots of broken bones, a punctured lung and kidney and a brain injury, I had 3 aneurysms, a partial loss of hearing, permanent double vision, a lack of feeling in my legs and feet, terrible stationary balance and memory / cognitive problems. 3 years on the PARiS programme and despite all these factors, I am now running almost every day (although I do need to make special plans to be able to run) and I have the @Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill to thank for getting me started. 🙂 My life has been changed forever. Thanks, Amanda and Life Leisure Avondale. :) xxx”

John, GP Referral (PARiS) participant at lifeLEISURE Avondale. December ‘18

"This morning I went to the gym and set myself up to lift weights - on my own – barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sit up bench. It may not sound unusual, but up until a few months ago I would never have dreamed of doing this. Pounding the treadmill was my comfort zone – it was what I paid to go to the gym for. Over the years I have joined and cancelled gym memberships time and again – because all I did was run on a treadmill. I didn’t have the confidence to do anything else. In spring of this year, I turned 60 and I re-joined Life Leisure, but had no idea how this time it was going to be a totally new experience.

In May I was persuaded to try a Spin class. I have to admit that initially, the very thought filled me with dread! But it was there I met Chris Walker, Fitness Manager at Life Leisure Romiley. His attitude and enthusiasm encouraged me to give it another go, and another, until I was hooked. I still wasn’t doing much else, and if I went into the gym alone I would immediately revert to my comfort zone - the treadmill. That was until Chris suggested the Weights4Women course. This six-week course, with its encouraging instructors, Chloe and Colette, helped to totally transform my thinking about my fitness and the gym and it has gradually removed my anxiety about lifting weights and using the weights machines. And I now know that a Russian Twist is not a cocktail!

The Weights4Women course and the continued encouragement of Chris Walker has resulted in this 60-year-old Vicar finding herself in the gym most days, still attending Spin classes, but now also Circuits and Boxfit. I have followed the Weights4Women course with weekly PT sessions with Chris and am just loving how this journey is progressing, how my fitness levels are improving and the total buzz I now get from every visit to the gym. Thank you Team Romiley!"

Lynn, member at lifeLEISURE Romiley. December ‘18

"My name is Paul Mottershead, I got referred to the PARiS scheme in October 2016 by my doctor after a hip op (no not the dance routine) in October 2015 as I was having problems with my iliopsoas muscle in my groin.

I met with Rocky the PARiS coach and after my induction he gave me a programme of exercises to follow, he was excellent and very professional and also friendly, but I let myself down, couldn’t motivate myself, and kept giving excuse after excuse and eventually stopped going after only 1 month.

Around 20 months later I was still suffering and my doc referred me to Stepping Hill for physio and after 5 sessions the physio referred me (again) to the PARiS scheme. I got in at Life Leisure Avondale (where my daughter Lynsey works on reception) and had an induction with Claire on 4th June 2018.

I found Claire to be just like Rocky in that she had the same professional attitude with a bubbly personality, I started going to the gym again following the programme Claire had set up for me but again motivation was lacking.

Claire gave me a talking to and the nicest rollicking I’ve ever had and certainly needed and I’ve not looked back. I also got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in July 2018 so I put myself on a diet, stopped drinking alcohol, and go relentlessly to the gym 3 days a week with my mate Den (Mr. Motivator) and we motivate each other and have a good laugh ‘n giggle.

I have an assessment with Claire every 6 weeks and the improvements have been totally tip top and ticketyboo and since June 4th 2018 I have lost 4.2 stone and I can’t thank Claire and (Rocky) enough for their hard work, dedication and professional attitude and always with a smile on their faces.

Thank you for the bestest and nicest rollicking and the kick up the bum I needed Claire I can’t recommend Life Leisure Avondale enough. X"

Paul, GP Referral (PARiS) participant at lifeLEISURE Avondale

"Having been very overweight for most of my life and being extremely unfit, the thought of even walking into a gym filled me with dread. That was until I lost both of my parents to terminal illness at such a young age, it really gave me the wake-up call that I needed. I decided that my unhealthy lifestyle was putting me at a huge risk and I wanted to give myself a fighting chance.

I joined the gym as a member of the GP Referral PARiS scheme. It was very tough at first and at times I hated it and wanted to quit, but then I remembered why I was there. I then started to enjoy sessions and started talking to other members and joined a bootcamp which I absolutely loved.

My passion for fitness grew and I realised I wanted to help motivate other people like me, after all if I can get fit then anyone can. I still have that daily struggle with my weight but I don’t let it hold me back. I now teach over 20 classes a week and enjoy keeping fit and helping others. I have never looked back since.

My aim is to make exercise as fun as possible and leave people wanting more you will be working so hard without even realising it, if you come and join one of my classes you will always see me smiling and singing at the front!"

Hayley, former member now fitness instructor at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. November ‘18

"A few months ago a routine blood test showed that I was pre-diabetes with a blood sugar level of 42.

As I didn’t need to lose weight and my diet wasn’t too bad I decided to increase my exercise as a mean of lowering my sugar level.

I was referred onto the PARiS scheme at my local Life Leisure centre in Brinnington for 2 sessions a week in the gym.

I was quite nervous about going, never having been in a modern gym before but I needn’t have worried. Rocky and all the staff there are so friendly and welcoming and make you feel at home. There is also a wide range of ages and abilities that attend the sessions, when I go I don’t feel out of place.

After just a few weeks attending my blood sugar level in now 32! Result!

So, thank you Life Leisure for a great set up and a lovely new facility place to visit."

Val, GP Referral (PARiS) participant at lifeLEISURE Brinnington Park. November ‘18

"It feels great doing stuff I never thought I could, like lifting heavy weights. I would like to say a big thanks to Peter for giving me the encouragement to join the gym, Harry and Daniel for you continued support, I wouldn’t have got this far without you! I know I can be hard work, but I do really try to do my best, especially when you push me when I feel like saying I wanted to give up."

Natalie, 4D Training course participant at lifeLEISURE Grand Central. November '18

"The gym has done more for me than aided me in losing 40kg+, it has assisted me along the way with my mental health too. After a stressful day at work, even 30-45 minutes in the gym is all you need to feel revitalised and fresh."

Kieran, member at lifeLEISURE Cheadle. November ‘18

"So, my story at Life Leisure began 6 1/2 years ago. I had just moved from London, to Stockport. I found out that the Avondale Centre was just a 3 minute walk away and I enrolled as a member and received an induction programme to get me going in the gym. I soon found out about the pool and decided to start swimming again, after nearly 20 years. Now I'm no fish, but I am able to get from one end of the pool to the other without touching the bottom, and by going regularly, I started to really enjoy my morning swim. Even now, I still go virtually every weekday, as an early-birder at 7am, before I go to work as an accountant for my usual day job.

I began to really enjoy being at the gym, I was feeling the benefits of being there. I lost over 3 stone in weight and always felt better after going for a workout. I did several of the New You courses, one of the original Weights 4 Women courses and also started to mix up my workouts by joining different classes, including HIIT, Spin, Body Pump, Boxfit, Body Conditioning, Core 30, Circuits, BLT, Kettlebells and, a blast from the past, Gymstick & Metafit. By going to the classes, I got to see some regular faces and am pleased to say that in a lot of those cases, I have made some really great friends. Getting a social circle was not what I had anticipated or expected, but I must say, it is a wonderful bonus of being at the centre.

A couple of years ago, I was visiting Avondale up to 10 times a week, what with the morning swim, and then classes in the evenings and/or weekends, and I remember having a laugh and joke with one of the Duty Managers at the time, I remember saying, "One of these days, you'll pay me to come here...."

In late 2017, I read an email from Life Leisure and was subsequently intrigued by its content. Life Leisure were offering to teach an intense course to obtain a Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training.... Wow! What an opportunity... So, I completed the training at the end of last year and got my qualification. Earlier this year I contacted Life Leisure to see if there were any opportunities to put my skills and training into practice... And yes, there was... I did some shadow shifts with Nicole, at Avondale, and even wrote and delivered (somewhat tentatively) my first HIIT class.... Since then, I have been put on the casual list at Life Leisure and I now instruct Kettlebells, HIIT, Circuits, BLT, Core classes and even my own version of Pump, described by some as 'Tam's Intense Ten!' I cover evenings when I'm needed and weekends, even taking Junior Boxing on a Saturday afternoon...

Life is all about changes, we never stay the same, even if we want to, and so, my once almost flippant comment about being paid to visit Life Leisure has actually come true!

Is it worthy of a Transformation Tuesday blog, I don't know, you decide :-)?"

Tam, former member now fitness instructor at lifeLEISURE Avondale. October ‘18

"Just wanted to say a massive thank you to Daniel Drayson, Harry Charnock and the whole Grand Central team. I started 4D Training a few months back to compliment my Roller Derby training. It's made a huge difference to my strength, fitness and weight. I have to say an extra thanks to Harry for working with me on nutrition and planning my programmes and always being so supportive and motivating me even when I moaned a lot (which I do)".

Kirsty, 4D Training fitness course participant at lifeLEISURE Grand Central, October ‘18

When former catering worker Lucy Nield lost her husband to cancer six years ago, she became so depressed that she couldn’t leave the house. She had put on over four stone while caring for him and wanted to lock herself away. Now, a self-confessed gym addict, she has transformed her physical and mental health thanks to regular sessions with Life Leisure. Watch her short video and find out more about Lucy's inspirational story.

Lucy, GP Referral (PARiS) participant at lifeLEISURE Avondale. October '18

My name is Paul Austin. It was just over 12 months ago that I first heard about the PARiS scheme through word of mouth. I asked my GP about it and was told I was not bad enough to be referred. I may add that I used to walk my dogs for over two hours twice a day before my COPD put a stop to it.

Then one day I spotted a card on the practice notice board, so I asked my GP to refer me. He didn’t know everything about the scheme but he checked it out and agreed it would be good for me. My life changed from here. I met Rocky for my first assessment, he suggested I join the COPD group first and see how I’d progress.

My thoughts were positive because if someone is prepared to help me I really must make an effort. Eight months on, I am now attending the gym to work out as well. All this has changed my mindset (which was bad). In fact, I recently told my therapist I no longer needed to see her! Now, on good days I am able to walk my dogs on long walks which for me is a big change and I also think more about what I eat.

I have also picked up other hobbies thanks to not feeling low or exhausted all the time. Rocky’s big smile and positive approach make everyone around him smile too and gives us, the participants the confidence to improve a little more on each visit. He is quick to offer advice and tips on what to do and exercises that match your disability, long may he continue to do so.

I find it hard to understand why this awesome scheme is not more well known. If nothing more, it is the friendly environment where like-minded people with disabilities (sometimes beyond their control) are able to train/exercise together without competition, where we all help and encourage each other to achieve more. I have my goals for the future, which are far beyond what I could even imagine 12 months ago.

Thanks for the chance to better myself through the scheme I won’t stop and I hope that the scheme never stops! I am so glad I met Rocky.

Paul, PARiS scheme participant at lifeLEISURE Brinnington Park. October '18

I tell everyone I can about the FITCamp course and think more people should know about it. In only four weeks after starting the course, I lost some inches, felt fitter and noticed a great difference in the quality of my sleep. The guys at Life Leisure Cheadle have been amazing and I can't wait for the next fitness course so I can continue my fitness journey!

Alice, FITCamp course participant at lifeLEISURE Cheadle. September '18

"I’m age 48 and I began my journey the first week Brinnington Park Leisure Complex opened; I was overweight; lacking in confidence and struggling with a really bad knee.

The last 18 years my fitness has been up and down and I’ve struggled with keeping the consistency in my exercise.

I recently completed the Weights4Women course and managed to lose 8lbs; and 6 inches from my waist and hips; increasing my fat burning for a good balance.

I’ve built my confidence enough to even sign for the Tough Tribe Obstacle Course in September this year!

All of this is down to the excellent level of instruction and guidance given by the instructors here at Brinnington Park. Not to mention the welcoming smiles and encouragement from the front of house staff.
There's always somebody on hand to give you that confidence boost and offer support where needed.

I can’t thank the team enough here at Brinnington Park for giving me the confidence to make changes to my life that allow me to live a much healthier life style and one that’s achievable.

Thank you Team Brinnington!"

Gaynor, member at lifeLEISURE Brinnington Park. August '18

"Hi my name is Louise Hodkinson and I’m a Brinnington resident. My weight loss journey started 2-3 years ago, when my parents spoke to me about calorie counting as they were concerned about the amount of weight I’d put on after having my daughter. So from that moment on my eating habits changed, as I downloaded a calorie counting app onto my phone and I joined the Life Leisure gym which at the time was at the Lapwing centre.

After a few months of steady gym work I decided to try Zumba which was also at the Lapwing centre on a Thursday evening with the very talented and lovely Siobhan Zumba Batchelor. After combining my diet, gym and Zumba I started seeing fantastic results.

As the weeks/months past, not only did my weight start to come off but also my confidence improved, I started making friends with other gym members and started having a good relationship with the Life Leisure staff especially Mandy who was one of the first members of staff to welcome me.

I would never have thought in a million years I would now be a member of Brinnington Park Leisure centre, and love and enjoy all classes and exercise as a whole like I do. And thanks to what’s now available at the new centre I’m able to continue living a much more healthier life, enjoy my Zumba and just enjoy life in itself.

Anything is possible if you want it enough. I wanted to be healthier and 2-3 years on I’m 4st 12lbs lighter, I’ve gone from a size 18+ to a size 12 and my confidence is 100% better.

Joining Life Leisure was one of the best things I have ever done as it’s helped me change my life not only for me, but also for my family."

Louise Hodkinson, member at lifeLEISURE Brinnington Park. June '18

“When you’re getting frustrated that you’re not losing your baby tum and then you compare a picture to 1 month postpartum (ignore the tired faces), fitting in the gym when I can (difficult with a 6 month old!!) and walking around everywhere with the pram trying to get him to sleep - running round after him and up and downstairs pays off!

The human body is so amazing! It created and looked after my baby boy for 9 months (and stretched beyond belief!) and for that I'm so grateful.

The photos show me 1 month postpartum - 6 month postpartum

Shoutout to Life Leisure for providing gyms with great crèches!”

Katie, member at lifeLEISURE Houldsworth Village. October ’17

“After receiving a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes at the beginning of the year, I made the decision to tackle my diagnosis head on aiming to improve my health so I decided to join the gym. I joined Life Leisure Hazel Grove four months ago, and now take advantage of all the fantastic facilities at the centre, including the gym, swimming pool and wet room. It is a testament to the range of facilities and the support of the wonderful staff that I am pleased to now reveal I have managed to get my weight down to 120kg, 10kg less that when I joined. A hugely important factor in my success is the support I have received from the hugely encouraging professional gym staff”.

Kevin Durcan, member at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. September ’17

“I suppose I’m not your ‘average’ gym patron. But like many people, my aim is self-improvement and a desire to get into better shape. I’ve been lucky to have a fair bit of success in my short athletic career, but am always looking for ways to improve.

I was lucky enough to go to Rio 2016 and represent Ireland in Paracycling. I came away with a silver medal in the Time Trial on the road. And for most people this would probably be considered a success. But I had my sights set on gold, and didn’t quite have my best performance on the day, so was a little disappointed.

After Rio, I had to take a couple of months off due to injury, which meant that I wanted to carry on racing I would have a lot of ground to make up. Not only that, but I wanted to find ways to not just come back, but to improve. I decided to start incorporating gym work into my regular routine.

I started off slowly - coming to the gym (Life Leisure Stockport Sports Village) once a week. It wasn’t easy at first. I was overweight and out of shape. But I stuck with it and soon it got a lot easier. To help motivate me and improve faster, I started working with a personal trainer on site and getting regular physio work done. And the improvements started to come a lot faster!

Not everyone needs to be a world-class athlete to get something out of the gym. But the key to improvement (for me and for most people) is consistency. Even if you go just once a week, if you do it regularly, you will get something out of it.

I look forward to continuing to grow and improve, and I hope to once again take back the title of World Champion in the near future!”

Colin Lynch, Paralympic Clyclist and member at lifeLEISURE Stockport Sports Village. June ’17

“Hi, my name is Tamas and I’m a member at Life Leisure Houldsworth Village. I got familiar with a little rusty old school gym in my town when I was around 14. In my childhood, I was the “fatty” guy at school, but always wanted to be strong and muscular. From 18 - 25 years of age I was in and out of bodybuilding because of study, personal issues and work.

I have been training now for around 3 years continuously, however, my first 12-week powerlifting preparation started in November 2016 for my very first competition in the Manchester and Merseyside Championship at the end of January 2017. I finished 3rd in my weight category (-120 kg bodyweight: 116.2 kg) with a 640kg total (squat 210kg/bench 170kg/deadlift 260kg). I was so happy that my dream had come true and that I reached my weight goal. So much work, concentration and will power were needed to achieve it.

My second competition of the year was a Push Pull 2017 North West in Stalybridge. I only competed in the bench element and I won my weight category (-120 kg bodyweight 117.4 kg) with a 165kg result. I also attended a charity deadlift event on 2nd April this year, taking 1st place in my weight category (-120kg bodyweight 116.8 kg).

This September I will be participating at the North West Championship and in October at the British Classic Championship. My aim is to do 710kg in total, and I will do it because I can! Hard work always pays off.

I eat plenty of quality food, I train like a beast and perform 110% on every session. The most important thing is to stay focused on my goals and think positively.

A big thank you to Arnies Powerlifting Club member David Gibson and his coach Roy, I have received so much help and motivation from them throughout my training plan”.

Tamas, member at lifeLEISURE Houldsworth Village. May’17

`I was looking to lose some baby weight (9 years after having my daughter) as I was diagnosed with autism 3 years ago. I was very aware I needed to find the right environment to work out in, or it would be pointless. I have definitely found it at Life Leisure Houldsworth Village! The staff are wonderfully friendly and always happy to help and always encourage me to find the right way to work out. The instructors are very knowledgeable and great at keeping you motivated. I have made lots of friends at the gym and look forward to visiting on every occasion. Overall a great place for people of all shapes and sizes!`

Lisa Koble, member at lifeLEISURE Houldsworth Village. April’17

"Hi, my name is Dan, I've been a Life Leisure member at Hazel Grove since the start of the year and I’m training to enter the RAF. Training is becoming my life as I come to the gym at least 6 times a week, hopefully with a successful outcome!"

Dan, member at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. April’17

"Hi, my name is Rebecca, I started visiting Life Leisure Stockport Sports Village last March after not stepping in a gym for the best part of two years. Instantly I signed up for the Lean4Life course as I needed that added motivation, and I have been continuously on the course until present...as cliché as it sounds I genuinely wouldn't look back.

It’s been an amazing journey, I've seen my strength improve, my mental attitude towards weight loss change (I gained weight, yet dropped a dress size), and most importantly my confidence grow. I can now come into the gym and happily use equipment I would have never dreamt of before.

I am now 7 months pregnant and have undertaken Lean4Life throughout my pregnancy, I'm not going to lie, it's been tough, but (despite my 'occasional' whinging) I've had the continued support, motivation and encouragement of Miles throughout, and honestly I couldn't have done it without him. He has made exercising in pregnancy achievable and kept additional weight gain at bay, I am genuinely surprised at how healthy and fit I actually feel...I genuinely look forward to our next session.

My next goal, is to have my baby, recover and then get straight back into the course. Hopefully, build my strength and try to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy and ready for my wedding next year.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the course to anyone, especially if like me, you are looking for a healthy lifestyle change.

Additional thanks to all the trainers, I've had the privilege of training with Lauren, Ryan and Scott too, and all have been exceptional!"

Rebecca Walsh, member at lifeLEISURE Stockport Sports Village. April’17

'I absolutely loved doing the Fit4Life course at Life Leisure Avondale and so pleased with my results! My fitness has improved massively and it's given me the boost I needed. All the fitness trainers have been amazing and all so supportive! Loved every minute of it! Can't wait for the next one! '

Hayley Furey, member at lifeLEISURE Avondale. January’17

‘’Training at Life Leisure Hazel Grove has been really helpful in keeping me fit and healthy while in this transition period of finishing my elite gymnastics career. After training 5-6 days a week for 16 years as a gymnast, I wasn't sure how to train just for myself, rather than for a competition! The trainers were so helpful and took the time to design a programme that was right for me and what I wanted to get out of my sessions. With a fabulous fully equipped gym and studio that provides a range of classes, I have everything I need to keep myself motivated and active’’.

Hannah Whelan, Ex-Olympic gymnast & member at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. December ’16

“Hi, my name is Debbie, I have just completed the 6 week course Fit4Life at Life Leisure Avondale and can honestly say I have had the best time exercising ever! Damon, David and Nicole are an inspiration and just the tonic one needs to get out of bed in the morning. We have laughed for the whole 6 weeks, and I’ve have lost around 8lbs, toned up and my energy levels are astounding. I’ve also have made some super friends along the way. Will DEFINITELY be doing it again next time. Thank you so much guys... “

Debbie McEwan, member at lifeLEISURE Avondale. November ‘16