Assisted Pull-Up Machine Workout Guide

assisted pull up - main
assisted pull up - main

The benefits of the assisted pull-up machine

Develop your upper body strength with the assisted pull-up machine at Xercise4Less gyms. This strength training machine uses counter weight to help you fully complete a successful pull-up. The assisted pull-up machine strengthens and tightens your back and core area as well as the under-arm and back area. These areas are notoriously difficult to tone, and you will have to remain patient, building up slowly.

Once you are familiar with the equipment and have built up your confidence to progress, you can add weight to the machine to increase the difficulty and resistance.

How to use the pull-up machine effectively

Firstly, grasp the machine with your palms facing each other in a neutral position, with your knees situated on the kneepad. Pull your shoulders back and down, locking them into position. Then, hold this position and bring the other knee onto the pad as you lift up into the start position.

It is important to keep your shoulders drawn inward, slowly lowering your body until your arms result in a fully extended position. Ensure you momentarily pause at the top before lowering yourself. This will help you to maintain a more efficient form, lessening the potential risk of injury or discomfort.

The perfect amount of pull-ups

There is no set amount of pull-ups you need to achieve in order to have a better workout than yesterday, but around 10 pull-ups is a good number to aim for. This will not happen overnight, and you may need to lessen your expectations at the beginning and work your way up towards a perfect 10. It is vital that you become accustomed to your own bodyweight, and this can be achieved by holding a dead hang for as long as possible. After this point, you will be able to gauge each and every pull-up by determining how long or how easily you can hold your weight before pulling yourself up and completing a rep. For optimum results, use a full range of motion to work your muscles and fibres more rigorously than normal. Keep this extended movement as slow as possible in order to reduce joint stress.

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Mixed Martial Arts Cage Workout Guide

MMA Cage Workout Guide - Main
MMA Cage Workout Guide - Main

Boost your physical condition with MMA

Want to improve your fitness through combat? Xercise4Less gyms feature a dedicated combat zone with a boxing ring and MMA cage. Combat training is one of the most intense workouts, designed to work every part of your body. Kick, punch and grapple to build up your legs, arms and core.

Giving your body a full workout will help to blast the calories, shed fat and improve your cardiovascular fitness to really get your heart pumping. Whether you are new to fitness, or a seasoned pro, MMA training caters for all needs and there is no limit on how hard you can push yourself through MMA fitness.

Improve strength with explosive exercise

Step into the MMA cage at your local Xercise4Less Gyms to build-up your strength. Give your body a complete workout and focus your attention on all the key muscle groups. Combining the explosive power of boxing and kickboxing with the enduring strength needed for grappling make MMA training a key component for building your functional strength.

Clear your head in the cage

Due to the intense nature of combat training, and specifically MMA training, you will need to implement all your focus into your exercise, giving you the full physical and mental benefits of this type of workout. For most people, combat training is stepping out of their comfort zone, which can be very challenging, but it can also be a great way to boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Regular exercise is a sure-fire way to release endorphins and reduce stress. Practicing an activity such as MMA on a regular basis is not only beneficial to your physical health, but for your mental health and wellbeing, too.

Build your social circle through sparring

Whilst you can shadow a lot of MMA exercises, it is not the same as having a sparring partner or if you like, an opponent. Get one of your friends to join you in the octagon and don a pair of pads for you to kick and punch, working those muscle groups and improving your fitness. As well as delivering obvious physical benefits, MMA training can be a fun way of getting to meet new people in the gym. You can easily rotate the exercises between yourself and your partner, think of it as a rest break, ready to push yourself to the limit the next time you’re up!

If you feel comfortable enough to try contact exercises with your sparring partner, then grapple exercises are as effective as any for burning calories and giving you the physical workout you are craving.

Why join Xercise4Less Gyms?

With a friendly, inclusive gym community, we’re suitable for people of all fitness levels. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve fitness or increase muscle, we have the equipment and facilities you need to achieve your goals.

Boxing Ring Workout Guide

Boxing Ring Workout Guide - Hand-Eye Coordination
Boxing Ring Workout Guide - Main

Enhance your fitness in the ring

Step into the ring to enhance your cardiovascular fitness with a real boxing workout at Xercise4Less Gyms. With a full-size boxing ring, pads and punch bags, we have the tools you need to gain the most from your boxing workout. Put on the gloves to burn the calories and get your heart pumping. Whether you want to take on the punch bag, spar with a friend or hammer the pads; we have the workout for you.

Boxing Ring Workout Guide - Kicking

Reduce stress with high-intensity training

Intense physical activity such as boxing can help to decrease your stress levels. Exercise increases endorphins to boost your mood and improve your sleep, all of which helps to reduces stress. Boxing is a great outlet for stress as you typically transition between high intensity bouts of exercise and moderate intensity recovery periods. When you are exercising in the high intensity period, your mind will be focused on the task at hand and not worrying about whether you have locked your car door, left your phone at home or remembered to take the rubbish out. During rest periods, you will be able to remain focused on the task at hand, ensuring you are recovering to go through the next phase of boxing fitness. This all helps to lower your stress levels and maintain your focus.

Improve hand-eye coordination through sparring

Not only does boxing offer physical fitness benefits, it also works to improve your balance and coordination, making your reaction times and reflexes a lot sharper. If you are punching the bags or sparring with a partner, you must be able to repeatedly hit a target, and hit that target whilst it is moving. Having faster reaction times will help boost your physical coordination, and this is particularly beneficial to an individual through age as it will help to reduce the risk of falling.

Boxing Ring Workout Guide - Hand-Eye Coordination

Build strength with combinations

In addition to burning calories and fat as well as your general fitness and wellbeing, boxing also significantly helps to increase your strength. Due to the high-intense nature of the activity, boxing works a range of muscles, so you’ll really be able to pack a punch. During a boxing workout, you may punch or kick a bag multiple times, requiring your whole body to be put through its paces.

Boxing Ring Workout Guide - Combo

Why join Xercise4Less Gyms?

With a friendly, inclusive gym community, we’re suitable for people of all fitness levels. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve fitness or increase muscle, we have the equipment and facilities you need to achieve your goals.

Punchbag Workout Guide

Punchbag Workout Guide - Hits
Punchbag Workout Guide - Main

Combat your fitness with a punchbag workout

Build your cardio and physical fitness through the punchbag. Put on a pair of boxing gloves and repeatedly hammer away at the punch bag. This will provide you with a high-intensity workout, burning the calories and blasting belly fat in order to help you to achieve your fitness goals. You can incorporate several techniques when using the punchbag, ensuring you give your body a testing workout.

Aside from the physical benefits, the punchbag also offers benefits to your hand-eye coordination by forcing you to focus on a specific target, honing in on certain spots of the punchbag for optimum results.

Punchbag Workout Guide - Hits

Improve your aerobic fitness

Boost your aerobic fitness by hitting the focused target. The simple act of moving around a target means you are constantly changing body positions and challenges the cardio respiratory system. Throwing punches for at least two minutes at a high level of intensity provides a great workout. As well as improving your aerobic fitness, you can boost your core stability and coordination. This is done by remaining on your toes, transferring your body weight from foot to foot as you strike the selected target. Once you are in full flow, your core will develop and throwing a combination of punches helps your coordination, so you are in total control of what you are doing. Furthermore, the coordination and balance mean that your posture remains correct and provides support to your body, preventing you from falling when you make sudden movements.

Increase power, strength and endurance

Your power will also benefit from a punchbag workout as you are focusing on as many muscles as you can throughout the exercise. The main muscles that are used are; arms, shoulder, chest, back and waist to help generate power through your upper body. When performing punches such as upper cuts and hooks, you make full use of your back and arms whilst straight jabs give the chest and shoulders attention.

The main perception of boxing is all about power and strength. However, your stamina and endurance will dramatically improve with such a high-intensity workout. You can even add this to a HIIT workout, making sure you get your full session of cardio in, as well as building up your muscle mass. You can also blast that belly fat and lose weight through the punchbag. As the core elements of the exercise are based around aerobic fitness, you will rapidly burn calories as you encounter resistance from the punchbag as you hit it, causing your muscles to become firm and toned. With this comes a reduction in body fat percentage, adding a whole host of health benefits such as reducing the risk of diabetes, heart conditions and high cholesterol.

Punchbag Workout Guide - Stock

Punch away your problems

Boxing and combat exercises offer assistance to your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. Constantly hitting a heavy bag will help to build your confidence and self-esteem, as well as developing new-found techniques. As you continue to pound the punchbag, all the negative stress from the body will quickly evaporate as your mind is totally focused on the task at hand. You have no time to think about other things as you are participating in a physically exhausting, aggressive exercise. It also allows the body to release endorphins, improving the mood and counter the feeling of depression or aches and pains which are the result of exercise.

Why Xercise4Less Gyms

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Cardio Equipment: The Best Machines For Weight Loss

Woman on Cross Trainer in Cardio Zone
Woman on Cross Trainer in Cardio Zone

Treadmills for effective belly fat loss

If you’re fighting the battle of the belly bulge, the treadmill is a fantastic fat burning machine to try. The treadmill has been shown to burn calories at the highest rate of any cardio exercise machine and running on a treadmill is one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat. With treadmill running you can burn calories for overall fat loss, but you can also directly affect the belly fat underneath your stomach muscles. While running is a powerful weapon for fighting stomach fat, walking at a fast pace on your Xercise4Less treadmill is also useful in slimming down. Walk on an incline on the treadmill and blast some serious calories as your heart rate is increased and your abdominals are engaged to help stabilize your body when you walk uphill.

Cardio equipment - Treadmill

Lose more belly fat with an Elliptical trainer

A low impact exercise machine, the elliptical trainer is ideal cardio for losing stomach fat and toning your body. This cross training fitness session will get your heart rate up, work your legs and arms, and if the elliptical machine in your local Xercise4Less gym has moving handlebars, it’ll put your whole body to work burning calories. Get comfortable on the elliptical trainer and gradually increase your pace and the machine resistance to really blast your belly fat. Losing love handles takes time but you can accelerate your weight loss journey with some quality time on the elliptical trainer.

Cardio Equipment - Bike

Shed excess weight with stationary exercise bikes

Of all the cardio exercise machines in your Xercise4Less gym the stationary bike has to be one of the best when it comes to burning calories. Cycling on a stationary bike is not just very efficient in burning calories and fat but it also helps tone your legs, thighs and bum. Pedalling hard on a stationary bike is more likely to help you lose an extra inch around your middle than crunching abs for example. When you’re capable of moderate-paced cycling, you might include some HIIT stationary bike sessions in your weight loss programme. Increase the intensity at which you ride to 75-85 percent of your maximum heart rate and go for 20-30 minutes at high pace to gain even more lean muscle. Putting in some time on the stationary exercise bikes can have a really positive impact on your weight and health.

Cardio Equipment - Rower

Lose your love handles on the rowing machine

Rowing machines are sometimes forgotten about when it comes to losing unwanted fat. That’s surprising because rowing hard is massively effective in burning calories. Why? A stationary rowing machine works your entire body requiring equal effort from both your lower and your upper body and achieving huge gains in overall cardiovascular fitness. Simply put, you should put the rowing machine at the centre of your belly fat-loss programme at your Xercise4Less gym.

Cardio Equipment - X Trainer

Burn extra fat with a stepper workout

A stepper, stair climber or ClimbMill all simulate walking upstairs. There are two main types of gym stepper machines, the pedal steppers and the step mills. On the pedal steppers you push down on the pedals while keeping your body mostly still to work your legs and core while the step mill is more like a flight of stairs that moves like an escalator. The ClimbMill works your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes and is a real cardio workout. Whichever one you use you can vary the resistance and speed to really ramp up the belly fat burning benefits. A stepper workout is excellent low-impact cardio exercise which burns plenty of calories and helps you lose weight.

Lose more weight with Xercise4Less Gyms

Always keep your weight loss journey on track with Xercise4Less Gyms. We provide all the belly fat burning tools you need to lose weight from your middle and achieve a more toned and shaped body. Build on the fat loss support offered by our friendly community of gym members to realise your fitness goals faster. 

Benefit from innovative gym facilities like our Ladies Only Gym Zone, spacious Spin Studio or Combat Zone with full-sized boxing ring and completely transform your stomach weight loss programme. Enjoy working out with fellow gym members at a safe social distance in our spacious exercise studio or create your own circuits in our large fitness studio. Join an Xercise4Less gym and you take a step closer to reaching your weight loss targets.

Cardio Fitness: Get Your Heart Pumping

Cardio Overview - Main
Cardio Overview - Main

Blast belly fat and improve your fitness with cardio exercise

Cardio training is a great way to boost your physical condition, enabling you to eliminate belly fat, improve your general fitness and the aerobic nature of the exercise also boosts the heart and respiratory rate. Furthermore, cardio increases the blood and oxygen flow throughout the body for a healthier you.

Having a healthier lifestyle can lead to a lot of physical and mental perks. Cardio fitness works to lower your blood pressure, help you to control your weight and even improve your quality of sleep. Here at Xercise4Less Gyms, we have dedicated cardio zones for you to enjoy your fun and functional fitness sessions.

Cardio Overview - Rowing Machine

Beginning your cardio journey with Xercise4Less Gyms

If you are a beginner or a newcomer to one of our friendly, inclusive gyms, we recommend that you start your fitness journey at a slow pace, setting your targets at an attainable and realistic level. For example, you might begin by walking for five minutes on the treadmill, gradually increasing the speed, time or incline.

Cycling and elliptical training is also a sure-fire way to enhance your cardiovascular fitness. These are activities which increase your breathing and your heart rate, which will lead to physical benefits the more you do it. Again, it is important to start at a slow pace, so you do not overburden yourself, running the risk of causing injury or discomfort.

Cardio Overview - Treadmill

Develop your cardio fitness program

Breaking down your session could be a more beneficial way of noticing visible results by setting yourself small targets. The three stages of your workout could be comprised of: a warm-up, main component and a cool-down.

The warm-up is an important part of your workout. Gradually ramp up your cardiovascular system and increase blood flow to your muscles. This can be done by performing a low-intensity version of your chosen activity. So, if you are planning on walking at a brisk pace, then warm up by walking slowly to allow your body to acclimatise to your fitness session.

The main component is to be taken at your own pace. Ideally, you should be performing 30 minutes of cardio per session to develop your aerobic capacity. This will increase your heart rate, breathing and muscular endurance.

Lastly, a cool-down offers your body the chance to recover following your exertions. A slow walk would be an ideal cool-down exercise followed by stretches to allow your heart rate and muscles to return to their normal state.

Cardio Overview - X Trainer

Get your heart pumping with Xercise4Less Gyms

With a dedicated cardio zone and high-quality fitness in each of our gyms, we have the machinery for you to get your heart pumping and get a sweat on. If you would like to work out in a group environment, we also run a range of fitness classes to get you up to speed and meeting all your fitness needs and goals.

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

 

Spring Into Fitness | Join Now For A Tenner

Spring Fitness - Main
Spring Fitness - Main

Kickstart your fitness for just £10

Spring into fitness at Xercise4Less Gyms with our latest membership offer. Join us today to get your first month for £10 with zero joining fees. Take advantage of this offer by boosting your fitness and smashing your training goals in the new season.

To get started, simply enter promo code ‘10FM’ to activate your membership and get yourself down to your local Xercise4Less gym.

Tailor your fitness workouts at Xercise4Less

Here at Xercise4Less, we provide you with a wide range of fitness and exercise equipment to allow you to work out with all the facilities you could need to optimise your training session. Also, a friendly, inclusive environment makes us open to all. Whether you are a new starter, returning from an injury or time away from the gym, or a serial fitness buff, we are the place for you.

Aside from exceptional fitness equipment, we also deliver fun and functional fitness classes if you prefer to target specific areas of fitness or you want to participate in group exercises, meeting like-minded people with similar objectives to build-up your social network as well as making great strides along your fitness journey.

Target your fitness with specific training zones

Our gyms feature a range of zones, splitting up the type of workouts you can do without the place feeling cluttered. Ladies can work out in our ladies only section, giving you an area to zone out from the crowds and really focus on your fitness. A full-length boxing ring and MMA cage offer the ability for those interested in combat to take out their frustrations on the punchbag, pads or even spar with a friend.

10FM Promo - Cardio

Member Benefits: Train with us across the country

With over 50 gyms across our estate, you can join your local Xercise4Less and be able to use your membership nationwide. Whether you are going away for the weekend, away on business and want a workout after a stressful day, or even if you relocate you can use any one of our gyms.

10FM Promo - Resistance

Why wait to kickstart your spring fitness? Join today at the click of a button. Whatever your fitness needs, we will help you reach your goals along your fitness journey. 

Build Up Muscle With Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening Exercises - Sam Chia Legs

Increase muscle strength in the gym

There are many ways in which you can build muscle. It can be through cardio, resistance or just by general exercise. But how can you develop your muscle with specific exercises, and what are the long-term benefits of strengthening? Read below to find out more on how to build up your strength with simple exercises you can incorporate into your fitness workout.

What are strength exercises?

Specific strength exercises are designed to give your muscles a more rigorous workout than they are typically used to. This works to increase the strength of the muscle as well as the size and power, giving you more of an output to create explosive movements. Furthermore, strength exercises also improve the endurance of your muscles, giving you extra dynamism to complete more intense exercises, for longer.

Strength activities usually involve you using your body weight or working against a resistance to generate extra difficulty and exertion. This is something you are better off building up over a period of time to help prevent the risk of injury or discomfort which may hamper your body in the long run.

Typically, you should look to do two or more sessions of muscle strengthening exercises a week. This is so you are not placing too much strain or pressure on a particular part of the body. Remember, building up slowly is the key to increased muscle strength. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Strengthening Exercises - Sam Chia Sit Ups

Examples of effective strength exercises

As previously mentioned, there are a number of strengthening exercises you can complete at your local Xercise4Less gym. You do not have to devote a whole fitness session to strength, you can put in some work before or after the main component of your workout. Cardio exercises such as cycling, walking on an incline and using the stepper machine are ideal for improving strength. Alternatively, resistance exercises have a benefit to your muscles, with lifting weights being the main source of adding strength. If you have already got your fix of cardio or resistance training, then why not try some core stretches and exercises to help build up your muscle. Push-ups, sit-ups and squats are the most effective exercises to boost your strength workout.

Strengthening Exercises - Sam Chia Cycling

Join the Xercise4Less Gym community

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Abs Workouts: Sculpt Your Core With These Fitness Exercises

Abs Workout - Main
Abs Workout - Main

Work your abs at Xercise4Less Gyms

Blast belly fat with a variety of abs workouts at Xercise4Less Gyms. Tone your tummy and get a flat stomach with these simple fitness exercises. These exercises work to strengthen your core muscles, which will in turn develop your strength and flexibility. Come down to your local Xercise4Less and get started on your abs blast regime. An abs workout only has to last around ten minutes, so you are free to continue your fitness session in other parts of our friendly, inclusive gym.

Stomach crunches

Firstly, lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet placed flat on the floor. Then, place your hands on your thighs, across your chest or behind your ears to ensure you fully maximise exertion and gain the most from your workout. Once you are firmly set into position, the next step is to slowly curl up towards your knees until your shoulders are around three inches from the floor. This will create a pulling feeling by holding yourself in place to work your muscles before you are ready to complete the action and lower yourself down slowly. For optimum results, repeat this 12 times.

Abs Workout - stomach crunches

Plank

The plank is designed to target your lower back and core muscles. To begin the plank, lie on your front with your forearms and toes in an elevated position. It is important to keep your legs straight and slightly raise your hips to form a straight line and make sure you have the correct posture to gain the most from the exercise, as well as preventing any injury or discomfort. The line should run from head to toe.

Once you are in the plank position, your shoulders should be situated directly above your elbows. Ensure you keep your abs contracted during this exercise, holding your position for around 5 to 10 seconds. This should be repeated 8 to 10 times for maximum efficiency.

When you are performing the plank, please refrain from allowing your back to collapse during the exercise as it could lead to potential postural damage. Also, make sure you look at the floor throughout the plank, keeping your focus and concentration through the exercise. If you prefer to make the plank easier, you can have your knees on the floor.

Abs Workout - Plank

Oblique Crunches

Oblique crunches are similar to regular stomach crunches, but with a twist – quite literally. To begin an oblique crunch, lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Again, keep your feet hip-width apart but this time make sure you roll your knees to one side. This will help to fully target your obliques, placing a different form of tension and focus on your body than traditional stomach crunches. Your hands can be placed across your chest or behind your ears to ensure maximum efficiency.

Next, slowly curl up towards your hips until your shoulders are roughly 3 inches from the floor. Maintain this position for a few seconds before lowering yourself down slowly. For best results, perform 12 oblique crunches before repeating on the other side of your body.

The most important things to remember when doing oblique crunches are to prevent your neck from tucking into your chest as you rise, and make sure your head is in a comfortable position.

Side Plank

Very similar to a regulation plank, but as the name suggests, you are laying on your side rather than horizontally. To begin, lie on your side and prop yourself up with your elbow. For comfort and technique, your shoulder should be located directly above your elbow. Then, straighten your leg and raise your hips to create a straight line from head to toe.

It is important to keep your neck straight and relax your shoulders, so they are positioned away from your ears. Also, keep your abs contracted during exercise for maximum output and create that pulling sensation to get your core working. It is recommended to hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, repeating 8 to 10 times. Once you have completed the side plank on one side of your body, perform the same process on the opposite side.

When you are performing the side plank, please refrain from allowing your back to collapse during the exercise as it could lead to potential postural damage. Also, make sure you look at the floor throughout the plank, keeping your focus and concentration through the exercise. If you prefer to make the plank easier, you can have your knees on the floor.

Abs Workout - Side Plank

Stomach crunches with raised legs

Start by being laid on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your feet should be positioned hip-width apart, with your hands placed across your chest to free up the core area. Slowly pull your knees into your chest, flexing them at 90 degrees until your buttocks becomes slightly elevated and away from the floor. This will target your lower abdominals as you hold the position for a moment before gradually lowering yourself down. To gain the most from the workout it is advised you perform it 12 times.

Do NOT tuck your neck into your chest as you rise and make sure you don’t use your hands to pull your neck up as you run the risk of causing damage to your posture and making the exercise redundant.

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2020 – Sophia Ellis

Woman using Battle Ropes

Overcoming anorexia and bulimia

People face mental battles that some of us have no idea about. Sophia Ellis was one of those people – she was being consumed daily by her eating disorder and it was getting the better of her. Not only was she dealing with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and EDNOS, but she was struggling with depression. Understandably, all of this was getting on top of her. 

Sophia, 23, somehow pulled herself out of this deep depression and after joining Xercise4Less Southend, fell in love with fitness and became interested in powerlifting. 

Surviving a physical and mental health scare

When Sophia was at her lowest, she was throwing up more that 14 times a day and had regular scary and suicidal thoughts. She was terrified of food and sometimes even binged and purged until she passed out. She knew this period of her life wasn’t good but just couldn’t get herself out of this damaging mindset. Food made her anxious and her mind sometimes would tell her not to eat certain foods and that she didn’t deserve to eat them.

“I was consumed by my eating disorder. Isolated, lonely and felt worthless. I hated having the illness but couldn’t see a life without it. I was destroying myself and disgusted with who I was turning into. It made me feel dead inside, like I was in a constant destructive cycle that I couldn’t get out of.”

This was when Sophia knew that she needed to change something in her life. She went to her GP as she started passing out and experiencing heart problems and eventually ended up in hospital. Sophie is the first to admit that being aware of your eating disorder and illness is the first step. In her opinion, it’s all about being patient with yourself and taking one day at a time

Working on mental strength at Xercise4Less Southend

Once Sophia hit rock bottom, she wanted to work on becoming healthy again. Not just for herself but for her friends and family too. She was aware that her eating disorder and illness was having an impact on other people and wanted to work on it. She also knew it was getting a bit too much and wanted to do something about it. Sophia decided to join Xercise4Less Southend and starting taking the first positive steps on her personal fitness journey.  

“My brother designed my first training programme just to help me get out of my room but I ended up getting into weight training and eventually found a love for powerlifting and the rest is history! I used the free weights gym zone Xercise4Less Southend for my training sessions to help me prep for powerlifting competitions.”

Sophia’s biggest piece of advice to Xercise4Less members who are feeling similar to her – stop comparing yourself to others. You’re on your own journey so accept that, accept yourself and accept your body. Confidence comes through self care and self appreciation of yourself.