International Women’s Day – Sophie Dickson

Sophie Dickson - Featured Image - International Womens Day
Sophie Dickson - Featured Image - International Womens Day

Using the gym to improve body confidence

For this year’s International Women’s Day, we want to share what our female members are doing at Xercise4Less Gyms to reach their fitness goals but also improve their confidence and become happier.

Sophie Dickson, 29, joined Xercise4Less Newcastle-upon-Tyne 3 and a half years ago and in that time has worked incredibly hard to become healthier and now has a lot more body confidence. What has had the biggest impact on the positive changes? Weight training. Sophie swears by weight training and says that it has helped her to gain muscle and weight – something that she has always struggled with.

Sophie Dickson - Member Story - International Womens Day

Turning nerves into excitement

We see lots of woman using our free weights zone and resistance machines zones, but we’d love to see even more! For some Xercise4Less members, adopting a new style of training can be daunting and intimidating but once you give it a go, you’ll realise how much fun it is. 

Sophie wasn’t always as confident as she is, she was actually really nervous when she first joined Xercise4Less Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She was underweight and her doctor suggested going to the gym to gain weight. Fast forward 3 years and she’s upped her weight from 7 and a half stone to 9 stone 6 lbs and loves her time spent in the gym.

“People think that if you do weight training, you’ll look bulky and ‘manly’ with big muscles but that’s not the case. I used to think that but you don’t get like that, you just look toned, healthy and happy.”

It’s taken Sophie a long time and hard work to get to the weight she is now. She used an Xercise4Less personal trainer to help her on her weight/muscle gain journey too. Her PT not only showed her what to do in the gym, but made Sophie realise how important nutrition is and what she needed to do to achieve her goals.

“My personal trainer made me aware of things like how much protein I needed, how much carbohydrates I needed and how many meals to eat a day. He taught me all about protein shakes and things like that too. All of this alongside my gym routine really helped me.”

Weight training can help you achieve your goals

It’s unfortunate that some women avoid weight training and strength training but it’s an amazing and really effective form of training that could take you closer to your fitness goals. Whilst weight training isn’t easy (especially when really pushing yourself), once you start to see results, it makes it all worth it. Sophie’s weight training is varied. She visits Xercise4Less Newcastle-upon-Tyne twice a week – this works for her and her goals to keep her in a calorie surplus. By sticking to 2 workouts a week, she focuses on a leg workout and an upper body workout.

“My training is varied but involves heavy compound movements at the moment because they really help to build muscle. I do things like pull-ups, deadlifts, squats, front squats, use the leg press and bench press. I’m not super strong but I probably weigh around 59kg, but I can squat 60kg and deadlift 65kg! When I go to the gym, I can get all my stress out and get on with my workout and feel better about myself.”

Sophie Dickson - Member Story - International Womens Day-1

The People’s Gym – inclusive and friendly

We’re so proud of the communities at Xercise4Less Gyms and Sophie has had a great experience which confirms that and shows that no matter your gym experience, our gyms will welcome all women with open arms and make you feel part of the family.

When Sophie first joined the gym, she had very little confidence. She even asked her personal trainer to have their sessions in the Ladies Only zone to focus on her squatting technique. For 3 months, she worked on her strength and confidence and then started working out in the main gym.  

“Everyone at my gym is really friendly. Both members and staff really help and look out for you. When I see familiar faces, they ask if I need them to spot me or if I need any help with the weight. It’s nice that people are always there to help you out. When you join, someone shows you around, so you know where everything is and you have an idea of what to do in the gym.”

“The gym has everything you need to start weight training – it’s well equipped. The group classes are really good too. Most of the classes are focused around weight loss so I don’t do those ones but yoga, core conditioning and legs, bums and tums are really good.”

Sophie Dickson - Member Story - International Womens Day-2

Step out of your comfort zone for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2020 is all about equality. At Xercise4Less, all of our members are equal and that’s why we encourage our female members to use all of our facilities and equipment, especially weights. Sophie had no experience of weight training when she joined and now, she swears by it – give it a go and see how you feel, it might be the best thing you ever do!

“Don’t be scared of weight training. Go for it. You’ll be toned, fit and healthy. If you’re wanting to gain weight and muscle, make sure you get your nutrition right too. My advice is just focus on you and what you want and ignore what people think and say. I’ve had people making snide comments to me, but I’ve stuck with it for 3 years and I’m much healthier now.”

Become an Xercise4Less Gyms member today and pay only £10 for your first month with NO extra fees. Happy International Women’s Day from Xercise4Less Gyms!

International Women’s Day 2020

Group of Women - Featured Image
Group of Women - Featured Image

Celebrating all women

A day dedicated to celebrating women? Sounds like a great idea! Women are always uplifted for their achievements but today we really focus on the women we are, the women we know and the women we aspire to be.

On Sunday 8th March, people all over the world will show their appreciation to all women. The organisers of #IWD have chosen to focus on the theme of equality and #EachforEqual – encouraging people of all genders and backgrounds to treat females as equals. As The People’s Gym, we already do this at Xercise4Less Gyms and are proud of our equality and inclusivity across all of our 51 gyms.

Woman using Cables, Bench, Weights

Encouraging women to smash goals at Xercise4Less Gyms

With a huge variety of equipment in our gyms, we encourage women of all abilities and of all fitness levels to train with us. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never stepped into a gym before or you’ve been using gyms for years, there will be something to suit you. Some women might not have done weight training before and some women may not have done much cardio training before but luckily, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in an Xercise4Less gym.

The best way to navigate the gym is to set yourself regular fitness goals. If you’re wanting to lose weight for a certain event (wedding day, holiday, birthday), use our cardio equipment such as treadmills and rowing machines and maybe start following HIIT workouts. We run a huge range of fitness classes including the famous Les Mills classes, legs bums and tums, boxercise, Zumba and clubbercise – all of these will allow you to meet other men and women too whilst pushing your fitness to the next level. If you’re wanting to gain weight and muscle, we have resistance machines and free weight areas that allow you the freedom to focus. Whether you want to smash leg day or push your full body workout to the next level, as part of your great value membership you’ll have access to leg presses, weightlifting platforms and dumbbells up to 75kg. This is just some of the quality equipment that allows women of all abilities and backgrounds to push themselves out of their comfort zone at Xercise4Less Gyms

Older Woman Training with Kettlebell

Inclusivity is key at Xercise4Less

We’re proud to be a real gym. We understand our members. We know that some women want to build up their confidence at their own pace before they’re thrown into the ‘deep end’. That’s why the vast majority of Xercise4Less gyms have a separate Ladies Only section which provide you with a place to work out without having to worry about being surrounded by male members or maybe just more advanced gym users.

Equality is as important to us as it is to you. That’s why within Ladies Only zones, you have access to the same equipment as all members, just in a smaller space. By using cardio equipment, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, weighted plates, resistance machines and more, you can take your fitness journey to the next level. Just because you want to work out within the comfort of a smaller space, doesn’t mean you need to give up on your fitness goals. At Xercise4Less Gyms, we will support your goals and include you in our amazing community.

Woman in Free Weights

Join inclusive Xercise4Less today

At Xercise4Less, we have something for all women regardless of their goals. If you want to transform your body – this could mean weight loss or weight gain – you can sign up for one of our inclusive group Transformation Camps led by our qualified instructors. If you want to blast excess calories and fat, we have a diverse range of classes to test you and your fitness. If you like to mix up your workouts, you’ll have a choice of weights zones, combat zones, a spin studio, an exercise studio and so much more with us.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms today on International Women’s Day and pay just £10 for your first month with NO added fees! After all, who runs the world? GIRLS!