Weight Loss Success Story – Michelle Birbeck

Weight Loss Success Story - Michelle Birbeck
Weight Loss Success Story - Michelle Birbeck

Improving mental health through fitness

While the primary focus for Xercise4Less Hartlepool member Michelle has been to improve her physical health and lose her target weight, she has also found fitness has helped to enhance her mental health. She explains how she has struggled, and how working out at the gym has improved her confidence, morale and state of mind.

“My mental health is an ongoing battle. Some days are good, and some are bad. But going to the gym helps so much. It is time that I get to myself, time where I’m not running around after my daughter, or sorting something out for my hubby, or doing housework. And I always feel better after a couple hours at the gym. The little victories are fantastic, like adding another minute to my running time or another notch up on the weights. Those little things help me keep going especially on the bad days. “

Seeing results can be a fantastic source of motivation to continue training. For Michelle, she has tracked her progress and is able to achieve more in her sessions than she could before. Even the smallest improvements can have the biggest differences.

“I have an underactive thyroid, pcos, depression, and anxiety, so there is a lot to keep on top of.  My physical health has improved no end since I started at the gym. I’ve gone from being able to run for 3 minutes to over half an hour. I can now do squats with 25kg instead of 5. And I can manage a whole ten mins on the stair machine, where I struggled to do one when I started.”

“I am also a lot happier with myself. My self-confidence has always been on the low side, by a lot, but since starting at the gym I am happier with how I look, with how my clothes fit, and how I feel in myself.

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Gaining positive results thanks to Xercise4Less fitness classes

As well as providing you with all the facilities and equipment you need for a solo workout, we also offer a range of fitness classes to help further improve your fitness. Plus, fitness classes are a great way to meet like-minded people and feel part of a team.

“Classes are new to me. I’ve never been one for group exercise where people can see me, especially if I don’t know what I am doing. But one day after a couple of months in the gym I didn’t know what to do and there was a class just about to start.”

“My favourites have to be BODYPUMP and spinning. I’ve never done any serious weightlifting before, so going into BODYPUMP was all new to me, but I love it. It is so great to see the improvement every week.  I forget that there are other people there, so I don’t feel self-conscious at all. “

Whilst Michelle hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with fitness classes, she has come through the other side and finds them a great way to relieve stress.

“Spinning and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate it because it is so hard, but I also love it because it is so hard.  I’ve also tried out the punching bags for the first time, too. They are fantastic. There is a lot of stress in my life at times, and I’ve loved being able to work out that stress on the punching bags.”

Balancing the gym around a hectic family life

Balancing your busy life with a weight loss journey can be extremely difficult. Sacrifices have to be made along the way in order to achieve the best results. Michelle has a small child to look after, as well as making sure her disabled husband has everything he needs on a daily basis. With help from her family, Michelle is able to get some breaks throughout the day to get her gym sessions in.

“Currently I go to the gym mainly in the mornings. My little one started nursery last year, so I drop her off, and then head to the gym, and pick her up afterwards. During the school holidays I end up there in the evenings after she has gone to bed. That is easiest for my husband to handle, as he is disabled, so we work our days around me looking after him and our daughter. “

Fantastic progress, Michelle!

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Weight Loss Success Story – Beth Whithorn

Weight Loss Success Story - Beth Whithorn
Weight Loss Success Story - Beth Whithorn

Devising a fitness plan to see visible results

Having a consistent workout and fitness plan has helped Chesterfield member Beth Whithorn stay on track of her target of ten stone weight loss. Understandably, this has been a long battle for Beth, and she has endured many ups and downs along the way.  

Beth usually participates in a weights session at the gym, as she believes that delivered better results for her. However, she also goes on the treadmill to help improve her cardiovascular fitness as well as targeted weight loss.

“I feel that mostly weights work best for me as I feel that’s where I started noticing the results. An average gym session would consist of 10 minutes on the treadmill at the highest incline followed by an arms, legs and bum or back workout.”

Remain patient and stick to your goals

Making progress can often be in small steps, and for Beth this is no different. She has found gradual progression has worked better for her.

 

“I started noticing results about six weeks into my journey. I noticed I wasn’t getting out of breath when walking up the stairs. I also noticed my clothes were not as tight, which made me feel a lot more confident. About six months into my journey I was able to buy clothes in most shops again and not have to buy from plus size sections.”

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Recovering from setbacks

As previously mentioned, Beth noticed results improved over a period, giving her the confidence and enthusiasm to follow her journey. Whilst there is still a further target in mind, Beth is happy with the progress she has currently made but is in no doubt about where she wants to go from here.

 

“I would like to lose a further two stone to hit my ideal goal of a ten stone loss since starting my journey. I would also like to become fitter and healthier, building my strength back up as I am currently on a break from the gym as I am unwell and awaiting surgery at the beginning of February. I am already missing the gym and can’t wait to be back there doing the things I love.”

Keep going, Beth!

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Weight Loss Success Story – Samantha Hunt

Weight Loss Success Story - Samantha Hunt
Weight Loss Success Story - Samantha Hunt

Using cardio to improve fitness

The thought of an intense cardio workout can often be daunting or intimidating. For Samantha, she has found cardio workouts to be the most effective for weight loss. Sticking to similar training patterns, routines and outputs for her results.

“I tend to stick to an hour and a half of cardio when I go to the gym. This is normally made up of 30 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the stepper. To have variety when I’m exercising, I often mix it up by doing a walk on incline, sprints and interval training.”

“In future, I would like to attend the classes but right now it is difficult to fit them around my shifts.”

Supportive gym, supportive friend

Here at Xercise4Less gyms we are all about friendly service and an inclusive feel, generating a comfortable atmosphere for all our members to work out in. Samantha found this particularly resonated with her weight loss journey, as she remarked on the environment created by our helpful, professional staff.

“The staff are always happy to help and are very friendly. It makes a massive difference! Having the separate female only zone also helps a lot.”

As well as finding help through Xercise4Less, Samantha has enjoyed sharing her fitness journey with a close friend, who has also supported her along the way.

“Going with my friend has supported me during this journey because during days where I’ve really felt like I’m lacking motivation, having the support from my friend, knowing we’re going together gives me the boost to just get to the gym. When I’m at the gym, I usually have the motivation to have a good session!”

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Cleaning up eating habits

Eating well is also important to a fitness journey, as you want to supplement your exercise with a healthy diet. Samantha has made a conscious effort to improve her diet so that her hard work in the gym has the best chance to pay off.

“I’ve made a change to my eating habits. I find going to the gym and working hard to burn calories makes it easier to stick to better eating.”

“I also try and go to the gym on days off instead of previously, I would opt for a cinema trip or have a lazy day in front of the TV!”

Slow and steady wins the race

It can be difficult to stay motivated or keep the faith, especially when you don’t instantly see results. Typically, positive weight loss results do not happen overnight, and it is a gradual process. As difficult as it may seem at the time, you must keep searching for the drive to succeed. It might not be a visible result, as Samantha can recall, she found she was able to perform exercises for longer and that kickstarted her motivation to continue.

“Sometimes I do really struggle with motivation. My weight can often be up and down due to shifts at work, and unpredictable sleeping patterns. When I feel like this, I just remind myself of how far I have come and even if I go to the gym and only do a 30-minute workout, it is still 30 minutes more than if I hadn’t gone. I track my workouts on my Fitbit, so this keeps me motivated as I can see progress.”

“I had a few weeks off over Christmas, so I am feeling it at the moment. I enjoy seeing results. For example, a few months ago I could only do 5 minutes on the stepper – now I can get up to an hour!”

Great work, Samantha!

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Transformation Tuesday | Weight Loss Successes – Kate

Transformation Tuesday - Kate

Xercise4Less Transformation Camps pushed me to my limit: now I feel great

Intense exercise can often be daunting, gruelling and quite frankly, a true test of your character. Thankfully for Sunderland member Kate, she channelled her inner belief to get through a transformation camp and is now reaping the rewards of all the hard yards. She has done incredibly well to lose 11lbs in just 8 weeks.

 “I would say that I couldn’t have lost the weight without doing the X4L transformation camp. I’ve tried other things in the past, but this has really worked for me. The amazing PT’s push you to your absolute limits, but that’s what I go for!”

Kate enjoyed the transformation camp so much she has signed up for her second.

“I’m on my second camp now, so hopefully I’ll see even more changes!”

Transformation Tuesday - Kate

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The struggles of a snack heavy working environment

Juggling your fitness around a busy life can often be challenging. Kate has found many difficulties with her job, working in a school. She kindly explained those to us.

“I definitely faced struggles along the way. I work in a school and there is always cakes, biscuits and sweets in the staff room. The children also bring in lots of snacks to share too – it was difficult to resist!”

“There were days after work where I didn’t feel up to coming to camp and just wanted to sleep. I pushed myself to go because I wanted results. I attend the camp three times a week, and also tried to get in at least one other gym session or additional camp.”

A massive well done to Kate for her amazing hard work!

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Transformation Tuesday | Weight Loss Successes – Laura

Transformation Tuesday - Laura

Finding fitness through adversity

Many people find ways to discover fitness, but for Xercise4Less Chesterfield member Laura, it came through a period of great difficulty. She gave us her story on how she was able to transform her life, finding comfort in the gym.

“I was in a dark place. I felt so unhealthy and wanted to be a healthy, fit mum for my children. I physically couldn’t do what I wanted to do with my kids and knew this was my last chance. I started a nutritional programme which helped with my weight loss, but I was still physically unfit.”

Transformation Tuesday - Laura

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Seeing results and gaining positive energy

 It is important to see results when embarking on a fitness journey, especially one surrounding weight loss and fat burning. However, it is also important not to be engrossed in results, and not taking them too literally. Everyone develops at their own rate, and some naturally lose weight quicker than others.

“Seeing the weight start to come off made me feel able to give the gym a go and it has changed my life. Exercise is a big part of my life now and I couldn’t ever imagine not being as active as I am.”

“I go to Xercise4Less Chesterfield and have been going since the day it opened. I attend classes and spin class is my favourite. I also use workout plans on the X4L app. I slowly but surely noticed results in my body.”

“Since the first photo three years ago, I have lost 8 stone!”

Continuing a fitness journey

For Laura, she is incredibly proud of what she has achieved to date but is looking to further develop her fitness and improve upon her results. This has given her the confidence boost needed to refocus, setting new goals and making fitness an integral part of her life.

“Going forward, I want to start running more and build on my current physique. I like what I’m seeing, and I want more! I can’t fault the staff at X4L. Right from the staff at the front to the PT’s. they are always eager to help and answer my questions.”

Incredible results, Laura!

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Transformation Tuesday | Weight Loss Successes – Jay

Transformation Tuesday - Jay

See real fitness results and inspiration weight loss

It’s #TransformationTuesday and today we have our member Jay, with an incredible fitness transformation. Jay previously weighed 22 stone and has seen his weight drop to an incredible 17 stone! We are so proud of him and all he has achieved.

Jay was kind enough to tell us a few words about his transformation story, and how fitness helped him improve his health and his life.

Transformation Tuesday - Jay

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Body transformation camps: the key to successful weight loss

“I started attending body transformation camps at Xercise4Less at the end of 2018 after I saw holiday pictures of myself and it hit home how much weight I had gained.”

“My main downfall has always been ‘comfort’ eating, especially when stressed. I would eat chocolate, crisps and all the other usual suspects.”

Following this realisation, Jay sought help from a Personal Trainer to get his fitness journey started and give him the guidance to start losing the weight he wanted to.

“With the help of my PT’s and other members of the group, I was able to change my attitude to food by tracking my calories in the gym’s food app. I didn’t follow any fad diets, but simply stuck to a calorie deficit and was sensible with the amount of ‘treats’ I allowed myself in a week.”

“My biggest weight loss was 2 stone in one camp. I’ve also had camps where I lost nothing at all, because I let my routine slip again. You just have to pick yourself up and get back into the right frame of mind – don’t give up!”

Having a community spirit at the gym to get you through the tough times

Whilst losing weight was always the priority for Jay, he has also benefitted from the community spirit at gym brings, being part of a team ethos and an environment full of like-minded people in similar positions. This is something Jay felt was integral to his weight loss.

“Having a trained PT set out the exercises combined with the fun group atmosphere really helped me to continue attending the gym. I feel so much happier and healthier as a result, not to mention making friends for life!”

“Whatever your level of fitness or confidence, the camps are a great way to get started at the gym and I would recommend them to anyone.”

Well done, Jay!

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Weight Loss Success Story – Andy Toynton

Weight Loss Success Story - Andy Toynton

'Tackling A Long Term Weight Issue'

Weight Loss Success Story - Andy Toynton

Xercise4Less Burnley member Andy Toynton has had a long-term battle with his weight, trying various diets and programmes which have not been successful for him. This led to Andy having a ‘final straw’ moment and getting on top of his physical health by using his family as the motivational tool to embark on his weight loss journey.

“I want to be able to set a good example to my family and not only lose the weight but also manage to keep it off as I have failed with previous attempts. This has been an ongoing battle for a number of years.”

“I also don’t want to look fat in my swimming shorts on holiday. The turning point for me was when my son asked me if I was having a baby.”

Andy’s ultimate goal is to lose up to 3 stone, and he is well on his way to achieving this. Noticing results within 3 months has helped Andy to keep his confidence and motivation up to reach and surpass his targets.

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Family Support And Learning From The Past

We all need support and a gee-up from our loved ones from time to time. Andy was given a huge lift when his wife decided to join the gym and help support him through his weight loss journey. This was a real confidence boost and pivotal moment for Andy.

“My wife joined the gym as well in order to support me. My whole family have been very supportive, even if there are too many carbs in the house!”

“Unfortunately, in the past, I have had my fair share of injuries which has not helped me to get the weight off or stay fit. 

'Fitness Classes Helped Me Reach Targets'

Andy found that attending a range of our fitness classes helped him make positive strides in his weight loss journey, giving him confidence and energy to make his goals become a reality. 

“I attended classes to help improve my fitness. I went to HIIT, indoor cycling, BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT classes.  I wanted to mix up my training and test myself.”

Classes are a great way of exercising, as you can seek advice and support from your peers as well as fitness professionals. All our classes strive to provide a friendly, inclusive service whilst delivering functionality and success for each individual.

For Andy, attending the gym a few times a week enabled him to notice progression and his varied training of classes and doing cardio work on the treadmill offered a successful routine, sustaining heightened fitness over a period of time. This is something Andy is grateful for.

“Xercise4Less are run by a friendly bunch of professionals who give encouragement, advice and motivation to keep me focused.”

Excellent Work, Andy!

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Weight Loss Success Story – Georgia Simpson

Weight Loss Success Story - Georgia Simpson

'Feeling Uncomfortable On Holiday'

Weight Loss Success Story - Georgia Simpson

For many of us, we want to look and feel our best for our well deserved holiday. A holiday is supposed to be a time where we totally switch off, relax and spend time with our family and friends. Unfortunately, Doncaster member Georgia Simpson spent the most of her holiday wanting to improve her health and well-being.

“I went to Florida in September 2019 and just didn’t feel comfortable or healthy. Nothing felt as easy to do as it did before. Things like exercising, buying nice clothes and even crossing my legs was a struggle.”

“When I saw the pictures I decided something needed to be done before it got too late. It made me finally accept I was bigger than I thought I was.”

Starting My Weight Loss With Xercise4Less Gyms

After her holiday, Georgia got herself signed up to the gym and began to start her fitness journey. Small steps were taken to help her to begin to feel confident and focused on the task at hand.

“I wanted to lose 3 to 5 stone.”

Georgia used weights and resistance machines to kick start her regime, finding them extremely beneficial and noticing results quite quickly. 

“I found the dumbbells the best piece of equipment for weight loss. I noticed results and the praise I received from other people motivated me to continue.”

We know losing weight is a real difficult battle, and the diet can be more problematic than the exercising. This is something Georgia knew she had to grasp in order to reach her targets and goals.

“I had to be strict on my diet. I started to see results and although I had a spell where I went off the rails a bit, I then became more conscious about what I was eating.”

“My diet gave me more energy, especially due to eating whole foods rather than processed food. I also reduced my sugar intake and cut out junk completely.”

Working out at Xercise4Less has helped provide Georgia with confidence and the ability to train in a friendly, inclusive environment.

“The Xercise4Less community is friendly, I like how I can come to the gym and get on with my own workout and other people around me seem to do the same.”

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Finding Motivation And Self Belief

It is one thing to begin a fitness journey, and another to perservere with it. Having unconditional support from your family and friends can help spur you on to perform above your expectation levels, and guide you to your targets on days where you are finding it difficult or contemplating excuses to avoid going to the gym. 

Throughout her weight loss battle, Georgia has always had the support of her family, especially her parents.

“Everyone has been so supportive. My parents said I looked so much happier and healthier because of the weight loss. This meant a lot to me.”

“There were times of struggle. Sometimes motivation to go to the gym is lacking when you’re busy with work but I always feel better after I’ve been and I use that as motivation to go.”

The Next Step Of The Journey

Whilst she has made incredible progress, Georgia still feels she has a way to go to be at her optimum weight.

“I feel really good but I’m not there yet. I feel so much better and happier. I would just like to lose a little bit more.”

Keep going, Georgia!

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Gym Membership Offer | First Month £5, £0 Joining Fee

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£5 First Month £0 Joining Fee - Landing Page

Enter Promo-Code '5JAN' To Validate This Great Offer

Smash your fitness targets in 2020 by joining Xercise4Less gyms. Take advantage of our incredible offer – getting your first month for just £5 with a £0 joining fee. We provide over 400 pieces of exercise equipment, up to 40 fitness classes per week and even a dedicated combat zone to enhance your boxing and mixed martial art skills. Ladies can work out in an exclusive female only training zone. With a specific cardio and resistance area as well as an extensive free weight area, you can maximise your performance to cover all your fitness needs.

With your membership you can access any one of our gyms, gaining expert advice from our approachable in-gym Xercise4Less team. Find a friendly, inclusive gym near you and sign-up now by entering promo-code ‘5JAN’ to launch your membership. Expires 03/02/2020 23:59.

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5JAN – Available from: 13/01/2020 until 03/02/2020 23:59

  1. All promotional offers are subject to availability that can start and can end at any time without notice, unless specified.
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Gym Exercises to Lose Belly Fat Faster

lose belly fat waist measurement - shutterstock

Lose Belly Fat Faster With Real Fitness Workouts

We’re all aware that carrying excess stomach fat is not good for your health and wellbeing. But even when you work out in your local Xercise4Less gym regularly, it’s not always easy to shift that visceral belly fat. So how do you burn belly fat faster? Take a look at these five Gym Exercises to Lose Belly Fat and start toning your stomach for real.

1. Gym Burpees To Lose Belly Fat

Ready for a more toned tummy? Supercharge your belly-fat-burning routine with an explosive plyometric exercise that works your core, your chest and your shoulders, lats, triceps and quads. Here’s how you do burpees. From a standing position squat down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs backward into a push up position, perform a push up, and then quickly reverse the movement. Reach your arms over your head and jump upwards to complete one burpee. If you want to lose your gut, you really want burpees.

group burpees - lose belly fat blog

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2. Reduce Stomach Fat with Mountain Climbers

Burn your belly fat faster than ever before when you include Mountain Climbers in your gym routine. Mountain climbers work your core hard as well as other major muscle groups; essentially this is a moving plank exercise. Try Mountain climbers like this: get into a high-plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Lifting your right foot up, drive your right knee towards your chest. Touch the floor with your right foot and then return to the starting position. Then, drive your left knee toward your chest and bring it back. Alternate legs with each mountain climber repetition and start losing some stomach fat.

circuit training - mountain climber

3. Blast Away Belly Flab with Kettlebell Swings

At Xercise4Less Gyms we provide our members with loads of kettlebells for a very good reason. A Kettlebell Swing is one of the best calorie-torching exercises you can do in a gym. You’ll fall in love with the belly-fat-burning effectiveness of a kettle bell swing as you clench your abs, hammer your core and engage important muscle groups like your glutes, hips, and quads. Ready for a kettlebell swing? Bend at your hips holding a kettlebell at arms-length with both hands in front. Rock back slightly and pull it back between your legs. Squeeze your glutes, drive your hips forwards and swing the weight to shoulder height. Let the bell return back between your legs and repeat. Could there be a more effective gym exercise to lose belly fat?

strength training to lose belly fat - kettlebell swings

4. Medicine Ball Slams Help Sculpt Your Abs

If you want to know how to how to lose belly fat faster, then you should consider including a Medicine Ball Slam exercise in your workout session. Performing an explosive movement like the Medicine Ball Slam gets all the muscles between your neck and your hips working harder. You don’t need a huge weight either, a 3-kilo medicine ball will work perfectly to elevate your heart rate and burn some serious stomach fat as long as you keep the intensity up. Start a medicine ball slam by holding the ball above your head with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slam the ball on the floor as hard as you can. Catch the rebound and repeat. It’s that simple to prevent an expanding waistline!

medicine ball slam - lose belly fat blog

5. Reduce Excess Belly Fat with a Dumbbell Overhead Lunge

Can you feel your stomach fat receding? Well, finish off our set of gym exercises to lose belly fat with the core-chiselling Dumbbell Overhead Lunge. The move engages your torso, back and posterior and will help put an end to your bulging belly. Use a pair of light to medium dumbbells for this fat burning exercise. Press the dumbbells overhead so your palms are facing. Step forward into a lunge position without pushing your shoulders up by your ears. Pause and then bring your back leg forward to bring your feet together. Alternate legs as you walk forward towards a much leaner stomach.

overhead dumbbell lunge - lose belly fat blog

A Belly-Fat-Burning Hand from Xercise4less Gyms

At Xercise4less Gyms we provide all the fitness tools you need to improve your health and wellbeing and that includes helping you to lose belly fat. Use these stomach fat-preventing exercises in your local Xercise4less gym and shed unwanted weight from around your middle. Benefit too from our inclusive fitness classes, expert personal trainers, and superb gym facilities including a Ladies Only Gym Zone, Combat Zone with full-size boxing ring and spacious Spin Studio. Whatever help you need in losing belly fat faster, Xercise4less Gyms will provide it.

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