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Our REVITALISE Free Personal Training Project Is Now Underway - Meet The Winners!

Our REVITALISE Free Personal Training Project Is Now Underway - Meet The Winners!

As part of our current Refresh, Revitalise, Relax campaign, we asked Welcome Gym members to tell us why they deserved to win the chance to enjoy three personal training sessions a week for a whole month with some of our expert in-house P.T.s, absolutely free of charge. Successful candidates were required to agree to share their experiences with others on Instagram through photos, vlogs and personal feedback. Our aim in running this competition was to show our members first hand what a positive and transformative experience personal training can be, to de-mystify it and to demonstrate that it’s not just for celebrities and elite athletes, but for everyone.

The number of worthy applicants that wanted to take up this fantastic opportunity to get professional help and advice for themselves or a loved one, to kick-start their fitness regime, was quite overwhelming. Many people cited their desire to overcome their lack of body confidence and lose weight – for a wedding, a planned holiday, to be a role model for their children (and to keep up with them!), just to feel comfortable in their own skin or to help them go into older age as fit and healthy as possible. Others wanted help in recovering from serious injury or in coping with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, Crohns disease, cerebral palsy or ME. Some thought that personal training would improve their mental health issues – anxiety, eating disorders, emotional trauma or feeling “past it”. Others just wanted guidance on how to exercise properly, avoid injury, do weight training correctly or learn how to use the weird and wonderful machines with which our gyms are all equipped. One person even wanted training to help with their aspiration to become a stunt double.

All the applications were sent to our Club Managers, and in conjunction with the Personal Trainers that had agreed to take part in this venture, the final winners were chosen. It was extremely difficult to choose just a few people out of the many deserving hopefuls that applied, but the decision was based on two criteria - matching the applicant’s goals and aims to the specific personal trainer's background and expertise, and helping someone to whom they felt personal training could make a real difference.

The winners at the Welcome Gym clubs, who have now embarked on their month-long personal training adventure, are as follows: -

Winner: Chris Ponsford

Approaching the milestone of his 30th birthday, Chris is desperate to lose over a stone. Although he has managed to lose a few pounds on his own, he feels stuck in a rut doing the same exercises. He would like to learn a fresh approach and get some guidance about what to do in the gym to help him gain some muscle tone and start enjoying exercise more. He will be mentored by P.T. Lucas Owen, who will devise an easy to follow nutrition and exercise programme for Chris. Having himself lost an impressive 9 stone, Luke knows the frustrations and pitfalls involved in losing weight and getting fit, and will set Chris on the right track to achieving his goals.

Winner: Emma Dickson
As a complete gym novice, Emma joined Welcome Gym Cheltenham recently with the aim of improving her strength and overall toning. She’s finding it all a bit daunting and is hoping that her month’s free personal training will help her learn how to use all the available equipment correctly and motivate her to overcome her lack of self esteem and confidence. She will be coached by P.T. Joel Whippman, who can show Emma simple weight training and boxing based exercises and familiarise her with the best ways to reach her goals.

Winner: Alice Brixey
Alice has succeeded in losing an amazing 9 stone over the past two years and is looking forward to the chance to keep on improving her health and fitness with the expert guidance of a professional personal trainer. She works in the mental health sector and advocates the strong link between looking after our bodies and brains; this would give her the chance to continue to practice what she preaches! She will be helped by P.T. Mac Zishiri, who believes you don’t need to be an athlete to train like one and will create a bespoke programme to help Emma build her strength and fitness and improve her posture, so she can really enjoy her physical transformation.

Winner: Kellie Shirley
With just under 6 months until her wedding abroad and as a gym newbie, Kellie really needs help with learning how to train correctly and use all the machines available at the gym. She’s interested in weight training and has asked us to “Help a bride out and get her bikini body ready!” She’ll be mentored by P.T. Grace Birch, who has lots of experience in competitive running and who takes a scientific approach to helping her clients achieve their goals and improve their bodies, whilst having fun, so they should get on famously.

Winner: Jacqueline Harakis
Jacquie loves doing group fitness classes but feels she needs a better workout plan for solo gym sessions, as she tends to repeatedly do the same thing because of lack of knowledge and unfamiliarity with the equipment available. She wants help with navigating the gym floor and using the gym’s resources to help achieve a lifelong commitment to getting a stronger, fitter and healthier functioning body. She'll be coached by P.T. Adam Robertson, who specialises in high intensity cardio and weight-based training. With his martial arts background, he’ll educate and encourage Jacqui to get the most out of her gym membership.

Winner: Caroline Parkes
Caroline suffered bereavement and stress last year, which resulted in her rapidly losing two stones in weight. She was unable to stick to any kind of fitness regime, as she was too unwell. She’s now feeling better and eating normally again, but would like to keep the weight off and believes that a month’s personal training will kick start her getting back into health and fitness once more. She will be helped in this by P.T. Matt Hazell, a keen sportsman, who enjoys putting a smile on his clients’ faces with his innovative techniques and positive attitude, so this could just be the boost that Caroline needs.

High Wycombe
Winner: Sophie Semmens
Sophie is currently battling with depression and finds the welcoming atmosphere at the High Wycombe gym really positive. However, she needs help in building her confidence and feeling comfortable in the gym, while getting over the hurdle of not really knowing what to do to achieve her fitness goals. P.T. Lauryn Dublin is keen to coach Sophie, using the latest training techniques to create a tailor-made programme for her and making their sessions together fun and challenging in a friendly and supportive environment.

Winner: Sian Little
Sian has recently signed up for another twelve months at Welcome Gym Maidstone, as she enjoys it so much, but thinks a month’s personal training would be an amazing chance to kick-start her fitness and keep her on the straight and narrow. She will be helped in this by P.T. James O'Neil, who likes to make his sessions fun and varied. James keeps things simple, so clients will have the knowledge to be able to go to the gym when he’s not around and get a great workout He also teaches them how to incorporate healthy eating into their lifestyle.

Winner: Emma Constable
Emma’s getting married in August and would really appreciate help in achieving her fitness goals to boost her confidence and self-esteem for her special day and for her hen party in July, when she wants to look and feel great on the beach. She will be coached by P.T. Rachel Clark, who believes strongly that health and fitness is about making you feel positive, both physically and mentally. She aims to make exercise exciting and interesting, while providing support and motivation.

Winner: James Atkins
James is only 17 and new to fitness. He has Cerebral Palsy and following an operation to lengthen his calf and thigh muscles, he needs to strengthen these and improve his overall muscle mass, to enable him to have further operations to improve his mobility. James will be coached by P.T. Johnny Stratford, who has 15 years experience in motivating his clients, setting achievable goals, monitoring progress and offering guidance and support.

We know that many of you will be disappointed not to have been chosen to take part in this project, but we hope that you will have something in common with at least some of our worthy winners and will follow their progress on Instagram with interest. The personal trainers that have agreed to coach them will be imparting useful tips and techniques along the way and we hope that all our members, whether or not they applied to take up this fantastic opportunity, will learn something and perhaps be inspired to give personal training a try themselves.

Don’t forget that all new Welcome Gym members are entitled to a half- hour personal training taster session as part of their gym membership, and that the classes and workshops we provide are very helpful in showing you how to use equipment, how to exercise safely and how to put the fun into fitness! And please don't be shy about asking our lovely staff for help if you need it.

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