"I've been using the gym at Brinnington Park 3-4 times a week and have changed my diet to healthier meals (with some treats still 😊).... not forgetting the amazing crèche which my son loves!! We have both made lots of new friends by coming to the complex and it has helped improve my mental health lots too".
Emma, member at lifeLEISURE Brinnington Park. July '19
"Up until I signed up for Weights4Women I’d been regularly attending classes such as Body Pump and Pilates but I avoided using the gym as I found all the different weights and equipment overwhelming, and I had no clue how to use them effectively.
Now at the end of my second course of Weights4Women it has transformed the way I use my membership and I have started to see positive changes in both my body shape and my strength. The coaches are excellent and they take great care to ensure that you learn the basics of lifting weights safely and confidently. The learning technique is focussed around repeating movements, making small tweaks and perfecting your form.
The small group sessions mean that everyone can be equally celebrated and I found them very motivating as we all have encouraged one another to push ourselves beyond what we thought possible. Despite this I have learnt that weight training is a very personal thing and I have enjoyed competing against myself and seeing my own progress.
The measured approach to building on the size of the weights you use makes the sessions tough but achievable, you’re not left gasping for air and dripping with sweat (well maybe a bit!) but you leave feeling fit, strong and proud.
Now at the end of course I feel confident enough to be able to structure my own gym workouts and even venture on my own into the ‘big boys’ gym without feel intimidated! But be prepared: there is a surprising amount of maths involved when calculating how much you should be adding to your bars and also you need the ability to keep count...it’s a workout for your body but also your mind!
Liz Knott, Weights4Women participant at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. July '19
"I was always a “right big girl” but I was happy enough.
I’d be lying if I said I had an epiphany and realised that I needed to lose weight, I only very reluctantly joined the gym to support my daughter in her quest to get fit to go to Camp America so she wouldn’t be the “fattest person in America”… she was a size 16!!
Anyway, we joined the gym and we went to our first class… I was the typical “Fat Bird” that really didn’t feel I should be there… I hid in the corner at the back and just prayed that I would survive the 45 minutes!! …I survived, just and decided that although it was hard I enjoyed the music and being part of a group, so we continued to go to the class.
Without making any other changes over the next month or so I had lost a dress size, just by exercising twice a week, it was then that I was introduced to a Personal trainer, I couldn’t think of anything worse than being weighed and measured by this guy but my daughter thought it would be a good idea to train together and improve our fitness….the things we do for our kids!!
So, we started to PT with my now good friend and Hero, Nigel Wilkes, jumping on the scales and realising that I was weighing in at nearly 21 stone was just mortifying… even more so when the “fat pinchers “ identified my body fat as being almost 60%.... how embarrassing, and more importantly How did I get there?…and why did no one tell me how big I was?
Anyway, we started to train and although it was exhausting and my body felt like I’d been hit by a very big truck I found that I actually enjoyed the sessions and discovered I could do more than I gave myself credit for! I made very small changes to my eating habits… the word “DIET” just sets me up to fail, so I didn’t ever diet. My first little step was to reduce my portion sizes, as the weeks went on the weight just fell off and I carried on making little changes to my food intake. Never once was I hungry or deprived.
Within 7 months I’d lost 5 stones in weight but gained so much more confidence, as well as new friends and a very competitive spirit!
Preying on my competitiveness, Nigel began to dare me to do challenges to keep me motivated. My first challenge was to run the Manchester 10k…. in under 60 minutes! I accepted the challenge and in spite of several lost toe nails and some beautiful blisters I ran my first 10k in May 2014…. It took me 1 hour and 6 minutes… I wanted to kick my own head in!!…. and to this day I still can’t do the Manchester 10k sub 60 minutes, my best time is 1 hour, 1 minute and 12 seconds!!
The challenges came as quickly as the weight dropped off, they kept me focused and stopped me worrying about the weight loss.
The challenges included competing in Total warrior, studying and taking my Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer qualification and my biggest to date to get in the Boxing ring and fight in a white collar boxing event. The list goes on but one very important thing I learnt from changing my lifestyle is that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Nigel taught me that you just had to BELIEVE in yourself and with that self-belief and a “can do” attitude you discover a whole new world.
The scariest thing in this whole experience (apart from walking into that boxing ring!) was starting, admitting that I’d allowed life to control me rather than me it. Thank goodness my daughter went to America…it was the start of my new life!!
Good times followed and helped me stay focused and on track. I still gain weight if I’m not careful but I learned an important lesson, the number on the scales doesn’t matter, how you feel in your clothes and in yourself is what is important".
Cheryl, former member and now team member at lifeLEISURE Brinnington Park. July '19
“I often read your testimonials from your customers and thought that I would share this journey with you. I wanted to take the opportunity to encourage more people to feel that there is such a great support community within the gym itself, and that their encouragement does help to get you to the gym.
My partner and I set a date to get married and after years together realised we had let the weight piled on. In order to look our best we joined Life Leisure Grand Central….with two years to work towards looking our best.
We attended classes and went swimming regularly, but felt that this was impacting on our evening home life. It wasn’t until 6 months before our wedding that we found a balance and decided to go to the gym before work. Work was only 5 minute walk away from Grand Central and with an opening time of 6.30am it was ideal for us to do our gym session and then get ready for our work day using the changing facilities available. It felt so much better to have done our exercise first thing in the morning and I must say it did make us feel more energised for the day ahead.
Having a support network is so important to keep going….It was easier for us as we had each other, but if one of us was not particularly feeling the gym that day we would normally not go. However, we started attending Grand Central and there is such a fabulous support network there. For anyone that needs that encouragement I cannot recommend the gym community at Grand Central enough. You will soon know the names and stories of other members that go almost every day, and there’s even one or two members taking a mental register of your attendance (you know who you are ladies and gentleman!). This just inspires you to attend because you know they are trying to support you with your wellbeing goals.
Whilst we thought we would relax after our wedding (after nearly loosing 9 stone between us!) we still want to lose and then maintain our weight, and what better environment and community to do this with.
2 very grateful and appreciative brides…”
Anna (L) and Sharon, members at lifeLEISURE Grand Central. June '19
"My mum told me that I had a febrile convulsion on my 1st birthday due to a high temperature. This could have been where my problems started.
When I was in primary school I had petit malls (fade outs) not regularly initially but then they seemed to be triggered by anything. When I was 13 things started to get worse. I tried various medications and several hospitals but none helped stop or control the seizures.
As I got older I was referred to The National Neurology hospital in London, where a Doctor who was determined to get to the route of the problem and who is a brilliant surgeon (you could tell he just loved his job). My mum and I were told after a particular test that I was a good candidate for brain surgery.
My mum was very scared that she would be left with a child that may not be able to speak or remember anything again. But I wanted to try anything that might work and possibly give me freedom where I didn't have to be watched 24/7, could go places and do things by myself without my mum having to worry. Maybe even drive.
The day came where I was going in for surgery to have a small piece of my brain removed. It was amazing how my character changed from someone with no sense of humour or conversation to a strong personality with a wicked sense of humour and a mind of my own!
Since my recovery I have learnt to drive, been to Camp America and also travelled exploring on my own. To going to Australia for a year working with a lovely boyfriend (now fiancé) and exploring again to having a gorgeous baby daughter who is just as cheeky.
I visit Life Leisure Romiley usually 3 times a week, depending on child care and bank holidays, the crèche is great help! I do mostly Spin and BodyPump classes, but get Yoga in too if possible, otherwise I do my own routine in the gym mixing cardio and weights. I also like to swim when I can, usually do 1000m which takes me about 40 minutes or Aqua Aerobics.
I've always been someone who likes to keep occupied, and have been sporty since before I learnt to walk, otherwise my meds tend to make me feel tired!
We have all come through it somehow and I have a best friend as well as a lovely mother, I couldn't be the person I am today without her."
Sam, member at lifeLEISURE Romiley. May '19
“The great, highly qualified instructors at Hazel Grove adapt my sessions, understand any injury restraints and manage the pace of my training to help my progression each and every week. I continue to buy block 4D Training sessions to aid the essential strength training I love!"
Joyce, member at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. April '19
'A couple of years ago a friend and I decided to try Body Combat, I was a little apprehensive as I’d never attended a gym class in my life! I loved it and soon started trying other classes. I enjoy doing a class every week-day morning and sometimes on a Saturday when my daughter’s football fixtures permit!
I didn’t set out with any particular aims but have found that my fitness has vastly improved and I’m a lot happier with my body shape. Another huge benefit is the positive impact it’s made on my general well-being, making me feel far better equipped to face and deal with the stresses and strains of family life.
I find the classes fun, challenging and varied and the instructors helpful and encouraging. Life Leisure Avondale is such a welcoming centre and has become a big part of my life, I wouldn’t be without it!
Natalie, member at lifeLEISURE Avondale. April '19
“I have been coming to Life Leisure Cheadle for about 15 years and consider it to be extremely good value. I attend yoga, aqua aerobics & swim regularly twice a week. I have met many very friendly people and made some good friends. We regularly meet for a coffee after our classes. There always seems to be a very wide age range which is particularly good for the more mature members. I would recommend anyone to join; I can guarantee they will not regret it!"
Catherine, member at lifeLEISURE Cheadle. April ‘19
'Matt and I wanted to find fitness programmes that focused on weight-bearing exercise, so started our 4D Training and Weights4Women sessions at Life Leisure Avondale in Autumn 2018. We chose Avondale as our son has been attending swimming lessons since 2014 and we had confidence that the service, facilities and quality would be great! Since October, we have lost over 14 years in metabolic age, improved our fat/muscle ratio, reduced our BMI scores and, best of all, become more toned and fit. Nicole, Hannah and David are fantastic trainers; they are encouraging, expert, able to adapt and change programmes to suit our requirements and never ever let us give up. Training has been challenging but really satisfying – we feel great at the end of the session! We would wholeheartedly recommend Weights4Women and 4D Training and have found them really beneficial. Avondale is a friendly and well-equipped gym and we have been made welcome by everybody. Thanks Nicole, Hannah and David for all your hard work!'
Anna, Weights4Women & 4D Training course participant at lifeLEISURE Avondale. March '19
“I’m on a continuous life-changing plan of my own and as I needed a bit of a boost from the recent New Year festivities the FitCamp fitness course at Life Leisure Romiley was just what I needed as training on my own can get a little tedious.
The small size classes gave it almost a 1-2-1 feeling and encourage you to cheer on your fellow course members. As there were numerous course days and slots available it was easy to book in advance which gave me more determination to complete it all over 4 weeks.
I lost 1 stone 4lbs on this course alone with lots of the help from my main instructor Chris Walker at the helm, this was is in addition to a further 6 stone I’d lost from my own previous goals set previously.
In the words of Walt Disney 'The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting'".
Stuart, FitCamp course participant at lifeLEISURE Romiley. March '19
"I decided to get into fitness after being on holiday in Mexico and having some professional pictures taken. After seeing the pictures I wasn’t happy with how I looked and that motivated me to start getting fit!
Firstly I started off doing some home fitness, independently, however I felt I needed some professional guidance so that I could get to where I am now, that’s why I became a member at Life Leisure Stockport Sports Village in December 2018. I go to the gym 3 times a week, where I train independently and I have recently decided to push myself even more and started doing the 4D Training programme.
Since joining Stockport Sports Village I have seen a massive improvement both in my general fitness and the way I look. This is down to the excellent help and guidance I have received at Stockport Sports Village and due to me being extremely determined to better myself.
Since I have started training in December 2018, I have lost 4 stone, and dropped from a size 14 to a size 10, which has meant I have become more comfortable and confident in the way I look.
I will continue to work to lose more and keep improving myself and I know the help I will receive at Stockport Sports Village will help me to continue to do so".
Jade, member at lifeLEISURE Stockport Sports Village. March ‘19
'Hi, my name is Michael Whitworth, I'm 33 years old and I've worked for Life Leisure for 2 and half years.
Ten years ago I was in a really bad place. I had broken up with my partner, lost my house, my job and spent several weeks on the streets homeless. I managed to find work, but for the next 7 years I went from 1 job to another, never finding happiness in what I was doing until I was introduced to Life Leisure.
I went to an 'Open Day' at Stockport Sports Village where I chatted to Chris, who listened to my story and offered me a position as a cleaner, part time at Hazel Grove and gave me a chance.....which is all I ever wanted and from there I haven't looked back. I loved being part of team that was making a difference to people lives. Within 2 months I was a qualified NPLQ Lifeguard and was settling in really well taking on shifts as and when needed.
A course came up with Active IQ which Life Leisure were promoting so I took a chance on myself and signed up to become a Level 2 Fitness Coach and Level 3 Personal Trainer. This position truly turned my life around!
I managed to secure a full time contract at Hazel Grove which I did for 9 months and thoroughly loved my job.
Due to home life issues a year ago I had to take a step back from the position and went to being a casual member of the team, taking on shifts and classes at various Life Leisure centres. In September last year a colleague had to take some time off so I stepped up and took on the role full time. I now work with some of the most positive, enthusiastic people who push me on a daily basis, inside and outside of work, people who make me want to be the very best I can be.
In the 2 and half years I have been with the company I have taken part in 2 Manchester 10k runs, 1 Manchester half marathon and have successfully competed in 3 white collar boxing promotions where I won all 3 fights in aid of the Wellspring Kitchen. I have just signed up for my 2nd half marathon which is on May 19th and I am currently in training for this event.
I once weighed 17st8lb.... I'm now sitting at just under 13st, I am the healthiest I have ever been, I have a completely different mindset towards exercise, work and home life and this all due to staff and members at Life Leisure. Without their help and support I would not be the positive, enthusiastic man I am today and for that I will always be truly grateful!
I cannot thank Romiley's Fitness Manager Chris for having faith in me and trusting that I could be better than I was and giving me a chance to thrive in an environment I now call my second home.
"Healthy body, healthy mind"
If anyone has any questions or queries about how to take the next step in changing your life for the better, get in touch with any centre, come and have a chat with the team and they will put you on the right path to becoming the BEST YOU!!!.
Mike, team member at lifeLEISURE Romiley. February ‘19
"Hi, my name is Steven, I'm a Health & Fitness coach for Life Leisure and I work at Brinnington Park and Houldsworth Village. This is my transformation story and I hope it will inspire others who may be struggling, like I was.
From 16 years old I had always enjoyed a drink, and by the age of 20 I physically and emotionally requiring alcohol to function. My health dramatically declined, I was not eating as I was drinking so much and I was on the verge of being hospitalised, or worse, dead.
In May 2016 I made the decision to change, partly because of my health and partly because I wanted something more for my life. In September 2016 I started my fitness journey. Exercising helped me, it cleared my mind and allowed me to focus.
Through the help of John Fitzpatrick, SMART recovery and the Life Leisure Motivator scheme I have stopped my alcohol dependency, gained a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification and have started a career doing something I love.
Alongside my work with Life Leisure I have become a strong runner and after completing several half marathons I will be running my first full marathon on April 7th, a massive achievement!
I am a firm believer in that if you set your mind to something then it can be achieved, no matter what it is. If you need any advice or help please come and speak to me".
Steven, team member at lifeLEISURE Brinnington Park. February ‘19
"I have been working on and off with Kingsley for 4 years, I have achieved great results in that time. The small training groups are friendly and supportive. Kingsley is encouraging and motivational, he concentrates on your form as well as reps, he makes me believe in myself and when I feel I have nothing left to give he somehow makes me find that something extra. When I’ve finished a gym session with Kingsley I feel a sense of achievement. The gym makes me think more about my diet, I find myself making better food choices and I find I have more energy and I sleep better. All in all it has had a really positive effect on my health and well-being."
Usha, member at lifeLEISURE Houldsworth Village. February ‘19
'Hi, I just wanted to say how great the classes are that you provide for children and the impact they are having. My sons both attend and love them. My elder son wanted to improve his fitness for his football and has achieved this through your classes and teen gym.
I just wanted to express the impact your trainers have on the kids as my son has got the “bug” for fitness and Jake who provides the boxing sessions has made a positive impression on my son, with regards to fitness. We have a photo from a few months ago and compared it to a recent one and the difference physically is clearly visible but more importantly his confidence within himself too. He looks forward to working out on Fridays!!
Thank you, your classes are definitely making a difference when it comes to children’s physical development and wellbeing!!'
Louise, member at lifeLEISURE Houldsworth Village. February ‘19
"When one of my best friends asked me to be her bridesmaid I was thrilled. When I realised it would be 4 months after giving birth to my third child however I was a bit nervous. Although not nervous enough to stop me eating everything in sight for 9 months and piling on 4 and a half stone by the end of my pregnancy. I was realistic enough not to expect to lose all of my baby weight in the space of 4 months but I needed to be able to at least zip my bridesmaid dress up and ideally feel relaxed and comfortable.
I joined Life Leisure Hazel Grove because my previous gym did not have a crèche. The lovely women who work in the crèche make me feel so happy and confident that my baby is being well looked after while I workout. I chose to do a mixture of free weights, spinning and swimming as I knew I could choose my own level of intensity in those activities and they could be low impact to gently ease me back in after having a caesarean section.
I took it quite easy at first to test the water and see how I felt but after a few weeks of hard work on my TVA I felt strong enough to hit it harder and thoroughly enjoyed really pushing myself in spin class. Samantha in particular was able to push me to the point of thinking I’d be sick yet somehow enjoy every minute of it!
By the wedding I was able to not only do up my dress but also feel happy and comfortable wearing it. Now that the wedding is over I’m really looking forward to not having to worry about inches and pounds and focus instead on fully regaining my pre-pregnancy fitness levels and getting myself strong enough ready to do it all again with baby number 4! Glutton for punishment!"
Ellie, member at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. February ‘19
"I joined Stockport Sports Village in December 2017. I train with a personal trainer at the centre, John McDermott (Peak Fitness) and I have a PT session once a week and go to the gym on my own 3 times a week, doing mainly weights & run on the treadmill 2/3 times a week. I lost 8 stone in 11 months from going to the gym & tracking what I eat 😀 I’ve done some of the Kettfusion classes at the gym & signed up for my first spinning class this week 🙈 "
Danielle, member at lifeLEISURE Stockport Sports Village. February '19
“I’ve been a member at Life Leisure Avondale for about 8 months. I started the gym to lose weight and get fit.
When I first started at Avondale I was very shy and nervous, I trained roughly 4 times a week. As my fitness improved I realised how friendly all the staff are at Life Leisure Avondale especially Hannah and Rocky who are always encouraging and praising me every time I’m in the gym. I have lost roughly 5 stone since joining and Hannah recently measured all my statistics and I was really pleased with all my results as now my BMI and weight is in the normal range.
Thanks Hannah for recognising all my hard work, it means a lot that you thought of me for this story!”
Leanne, member at lifeLEISURE Avondale. February '19
"I have been a member for over a year but it is until only recently that I have been coming to regular classes. I have been a regular attendee of the Friday morning Cardio30 class (07:00am) at Life Leisure Cheadle. I also occasionally attend HIIT and Sunday morning Kettlebell classes. Ever since making these classes a part of my weekly routine I have felt fitter, stronger and more energetic. I have also lost over a stone in weight and I know 100% it is partly down to the classes I attend at Cheadle."
Melanie Price (second from left), member at lifeLEISURE Cheadle. January '19
"Last year I decided it was time to get myself fit. In the past I’ve always struggled with results at the gym and generally got bored as a result. After 3 months I’d find that I’d stop going.
I joined Life Leisure in October 2017 and was told about the Inspire programme they offer as part of the membership. I met with Annie who’s an instructor there to discuss my goals and she tailored a plan to get me on track which included weight training, some cardio work and classes that would help.
My goal wasn’t to bulk up but to increase my fitness and tone up. I’ve beaten my previous gym record of 3 months and have been going to Life Leisure regularly for 14 months. As a result of Annie’s help I’ve lost 1 stone, increased my muscle mass and lost fat. In this time I’ve run the Manchester marathon, my half marathon time has reduced by 22 minutes and I’ve signed up for a Half Iron Man next year.
I’ve never felt as fit as I do now and without doubt my initial Inspire session was the start of this".
Darren Donald, member at lifeLEISURE Houldsworth Village. January ’19
“At 60 years of age I had a devastating illness, a stroke resulting in a weakness down the left side of my body. The picture (enclosed) is of me competing in the Manchester 10k run in May which was after my stroke. I did the run in order to raise funds for, but more importantly to say thank you to the Stroke Association for the help and support they had given to me. I joined Life Leisure to improve the weakness in my left side and I have found that I have had expert advice and encouragement helping me to achieve my goal.
I have found that Life Leisure is a warm and welcoming place where I have met new friends and the staff are friendly and helpful which has made me feel confident and at home. Following my illness, I realised that only you can do what you need to do to recover, but it helps having such an exceptional and caring staff to help you on your way.”
Wendy Bishop, member at lifeLEISURE Romiley. January ‘19
"Hi, I really wanted to send you guys my transformation!! I had a baby nearly 6 months ago now and have only been able to train for 4 months and I have been attending the classes at Life Leisure Hazel Grove such as BodyPump, BLT and swimming! Just wanted to say thanks!!!! Honestly can’t praise the Life Leisure instructors enough! I finally have my confidence back!"
Jenna McAuliffe, member at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. January ‘19
"I’m a long-time member of Life Leisure Hazel Grove. Last December I saw pictures of myself on Facebook and could tell I was gaining weight and wanted to do something about it. I started plenty of running, mixing it up with other cardio work rather than the easy option of sitting on the bike for an hour. I looked at my diet during the week and cut out unhealthy snacks and replaced them with white meats, salads, fruit, pasta and jacket potatoes.
I never used to enjoy running, but now love doing at least 5k on the treadmill and never thought I would see myself doing that on a Friday night instead of being in the pub! I now look forward to going to the gym and make sociable plans around doing my fitness and exercise. I have managed to lose 4st in under 12 months and definitely feel a lot more active, brighter and healthier since losing the weight!"
Lee Worral, member at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. December ‘18
“After Week 4 of Weights4Women, I can honestly say I’ve not felt this good for a long time.
I still have a good way to go but I signed up to give me that push to get going. I’m 50 and going through the menopause so I’ve have gained weight, feel lethargic, have no energy, and just no enthusiasm to get going.
I met Kath through a friend and was I told her how I felt and what I used to enjoy exercise-wise and how I needed something that I could enjoy! Next thing I’m signed up!! I actually can’t believe how much I am enjoying the course. Kath, Lee and Ben have all been fantastic pushing us each week to improve and not only am I starting to see the results now but my mental wellbeing is so much better. The friends we have all made whilst doing the course and we meet up to do our 3rd session together and again push push push…it’s amazing 😉
Enjoying it so much I’m going to sign up again so I can get 12 weeks training in! I just want to keep going now! #BESTTHINGEVER”
Shirley McDonald, Weights4Women course participant at lifeLEISURE Hazel Grove. December ‘18
“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