Weight Loss Success Story – Tim Bell

Weight Loss Success Story - Tim Bell
Weight Loss Success Story - Tim Bell

Focusing fitness around shift patterns

Having mixed shift patterns can make going to the gym and getting into a workout routine very difficult. For Chesterfield member Tim Bell, he has to juggle his fitness journey around his changing work schedule.

“When I’m on the morning shift, I go straight to the gym after work. This means I tend to get home around 5:30pm, which is ideal as I still get a few hours with my family before bed.”

However, when Tim is on the later shift, he sees his training time reduced, meaning he does not attend the gym as often as he does when on the morning shift.

“On the late shift, I leave for work at 8:30am and don’t get home until 10:30pm. This makes it very hard as I don’t go to the gym as much as I do on the opposite shift.”

“When I’m on the late shift, I need to drag myself out of bed and get to the gym as early as possible.”

Balancing weekends off with family time

Even though Tim does not attend the gym as frequently as he would like when he is on the later shift, he still makes sure he gets his training done at the weekend.

“At weekends I get to the gym as early as possible. This means I have the rest of the day to go out with my wife and kids, or just spend time at home with them.”

Losing weight and maintaining that 'happy place'

Tim has been on his weight loss journey for a number of years, and he has had his ups and down during this process, but he is now in a place where he can consolidate and maintain a weight he is happy with.

“I’m 4 years in from where I started and have lost well over 3 stone in weight. I don’t lose as much these days, but my main focus is keeping the weight I have already lost off. I’m in a happy place with my weight.”

Staying focused and on track

It has not always been plain sailing for Tim, and he sometimes needs a reminder of how far he has come and the work he has put in place to get to this position.

“I stay focused by looking at how I used to be and seeing how I look now is all that it takes for me really. Seeing how far I have come and reminding myself I do not want to go back to that.”

Great work, Tim!

Weight Loss Success Story – Jodie Kissack

Weight Loss Success Story - Jodie Kissack
Weight Loss Success Story - Jodie Kissack

Losing weight to be more active for my son

The turning point to lose weight for Sheffield Hillsborough member Jodie Kissack came when she took her son to the funfair and was unable to accompany him down the Helter Skelter. This was the moment that kickstarted Jodie’s weight loss journey.

“When my son was at the top of the Helter Skelter and too scared to go down on his own, I couldn’t go down with him because I was too big.”

Setting an example to my family

Since then, Jodie has set herself a target of losing 5-7 stone and is well on her way to achieving this. Setting a good example to her family, as well as the obvious health reasons, she used her family as an additional source of motivation to lose the required weight.

“I wanted to set a good example to my family. They showed me great support and encouragement. “

Looking and feeling better through fitness

Enhancing your fitness and shedding the weight can have a positive on the way you feel about yourself, giving you confidence to wear different clothes, go to busier places and even improve your general self-esteem. For Jodie, she has found confidence through fitness and from being a regular visitor to her local Xercise4Less Gym.

“I look and feel better. At my biggest I could barely breathe and did not feel good about myself at all. Now I am more confident and able to feel better when I am exercising.”

Jodie used a range of fitness equipment during her training sessions, finding the stepper beneficial to losing weight and improving her cardiovascular fitness in the process. She also used free weights to tone up and give herself more definition once the weight began to come off.

Excellent progress, Jodie!

Boost Mental Health With Group Fitness Classes

Improve your state of mind through group fitness

Exercise is great for your physical health and working out in your local Xercise4Less gym is equally good for your mind. Being fitter helps greatly with mental health as research has shown that exercise can lower your stress levels, improve your mood and even decrease any symptoms of anxiety you may be feeling. But did you know that going to a group fitness class can be even more beneficial than working out solo?

Some recent studies have reported that people who took group exercise classes reported less stress and more emotional and mental benefits than those who worked on their fitness alone or didn’t go to the gym at all. We pride ourselves at Xercise4Less Gyms in being a friendly and supportive fitness community for all our members as they lift weights or run on the treadmill. But we see how our inclusive group exercise classes can give the minds and moods of our gym members an even greater boost as they enjoy some fitness fun with new encouraging friends.

So, why is it better to work out with other people than by yourself?

Make new fitness friends

You start to build relationships with the other people in the room when you’ve been through a tough spin class or Zumba fitness session together!  You can develop positive friendships thanks to the shared experience of working out hard in your inclusive classes at Xercise4Less Gyms. Connecting with someone who has shared workout interests will keep your fitness journey on track as you won’t want to let them down by missing a session. 

It’ll also keep you motivated to keep going during the class as your competitive instincts kick in. But you can also enjoy further mental benefits of having fitness friends by keeping in touch online through our hubs or social media. Social time spent with your group of new fitness friends will help to perk up your mood.

Woman in Fitness Class with Barbell

Groups have more fun

Let’s be honest, sometimes going to the gym on your own just isn’t that exciting! Perhaps your workout schedule is starting to feel stale? Put the fun back into fitness when you join a group workout session. Our inclusive fitness classes just make working out a lot more fun. 

With the music blaring, the buzzy atmosphere and the positive energy of your fellow classmates, it will make it more likely that you’ll make it through to the end in better spirits. The variety of inclusive fitness classes available to our members also mean you can have some fun and keep your fitness plan fresh by trying different classes to suit your workout mood.

Group Exercise Class

Draw on the support of group exercise classes

There is real strength in numbers at Xercise4Less Gyms. Working out on your own is a great way of coping with stress and anxieties; you can sometimes lose yourself in your workout. But the positive energy given to you by being spurred on by a supportive group of friends in one of our fitness classes is truly empowering. Not only can the encouragement of your classmates push you harder than training alone, but you benefit from real emotional support not just for your fitness journey but for your life in general through a proper support network of workout buddies.

Group fitness classes will renew your motivation

Going to the gym regularly and working out the same way week after week can sometimes take a toll. It’s vital to keep refreshing your fitness programme to retain that motivation to lose weight, build muscle or tone your body. Group exercise classes are very helpful in ensuring that you don’t fall out of love with fitness. When you’re a member of Xercise4Less Gyms you get to choose from up to 40 free fitness classes as part of your gym membership. You’ll keep yourself interested and your muscles guessing with the amazing variety offered by our range of group exercise classes. You get to try something different and if it wasn’t what you were looking for, you can just change it!

Man Doing Plank in Gym

Exercise your mind with Xercise4Less Gyms

Work out your body and brain with an Xercise4Less Gyms membership. Strengthen your mind body connection by trying some group exercise classes. Join fitness classes designed to get your heart racing and your metabolism ramped up and get all the positive benefits of being part of a real gym community.

Group exercise classes are only a part of our fantastic gym facilities though. Reap the brain benefits of exercising in our innovative gym areas like our Ladies Only Gym Zone. Harness the huge mental benefits of working out in our spacious Spin Studio or Combat Zone with MMA cage. Whatever you need to transform your mental and physical transformation, you’ll find it at your local Xercise4Less gym.

A Gym Fit For Everyone

A gym fit for everyone blog - main image
A gym fit for everyone blog - main image

Xercise4Less Gyms: Inclusive to all

At Xercise4Less Gyms we focus on making fitness accessible to everyone no matter their age, body size, fitness level or physical and mental abilities. That’s why it was so heartening to hear recently from Space Inclusive how our gym in Nottingham was helping their clients with learning difficulties to feel much more comfortable with exercise.

Space Inclusive work with people with learning disabilities in the East Midlands. They’re “committed to improving the lives and prospects of people with learning difficulties” and they’re particularly passionate about maintaining and promoting healthy lifestyles. Most Space Inclusive clients already want to improve their fitness and the organisation “always offered a gym programme”. But recently they’ve wanted to harness the well-documented benefits of strength training for bone strength, flexibility and weight management. This then was “the start of our journey with Xercise4Less”.

Learning the benefits of exercise

All individuals have a need to stay healthy and fit and we want to make our gyms inviting spaces that can adapt to the needs and interests of our members. Working with any group who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized like people with learning disabilities is important as regular exercise has a very positive impact on their lives in terms of health, employment, independence and confidence.

According to Space Inclusive director Richard Mynett, not only are the Xercise4Less gym sessions “helping to maintain and improve health for individuals” but they also “improve confidence and team working”. Space Inclusive are always delighted when their clients realise the benefits of regular exercise and a health and balanced diet. In fact, some of their clients have “even adapted their diets as they are keen to see results from the work they are doing at the gym”. And working out in the gm hasn’t only helped in a physical sense but helped build their clients’ confidence “both in the gym and in other areas of their life, as well as giving them a real sense of achievement”. Even better some of Space Inclusive’s more independent clients are now exercising on their own, meeting friends and making new fitness friendships all thanks to the social outlet provided by working out in the gym.  

A gym for all blog - boxing

A helping hand from Xercise4Less Gyms

Space Inclusive has highlighted too how a rapport has been built up between our friendly fitness staff and their clients. Our inclusive environment has made it easier for their support staff to train with individuals who have learning difficulties. Richard Mynett finds the typically friendly atmosphere of an Xercise4Less gym especially inclusive, “the staff are always welcoming and will help with clients by giving us their skills and knowledge” as well as “encouraging correct procedure to ensure safety”.

For people with learning disabilities who how haven’t used the gym before, that’s particularly helpful as they feel more comfortable in this new environment. Add in the “high quality of the equipment and the realistic pricing” as well as the location of our Nottingham gym “in the heart of our community” and for Space Inclusive Xercise4Less is now a great option for their clients.

A gym for all blog - punchbag

The way forward for real fitness results

For Space Inclusive clients the future looks bright on the fitness front. With practical steps taken like introducing gym diaries so that everyone can “keep track of their progress” their clients “have really engaged with going to the gym”. As they see and feel the benefits of working out in the gym, they’re more open to trying “different forms of exercise and sporting activity”. And that’s something Space Inclusive is keen to encourage.

 

As Space Inclusive director David Bingham points out, “some of our clients have become very independent in the gym and we are hoping that they can role model the skills they have learnt to other clients who haven’t had as much experience in a gym setting”. Importantly Space Inclusive’s clients can also see just how much fun and enjoyment everyone is having in the gym as they “embrace the sessions”.

We love working with Space Inclusive and their clients and we hope to continue making our gyms an inclusive friendly community that everyone can be an enthusiastic part of!

A gym for everyone blog - treadmill

Weight Loss Success Story – Nicole Steele

nicole steele - before and after
nicole steele - before and after

Mixing up my workouts for more enjoyable training sessions

Setting yourself a target and planning for a weight loss journey is advisable, but it is still imperative to enjoy your fitness session. Sheffield Hillsborough member Nicole Steele varied her workouts to gain enjoyment alongside results.

“I switch up my exercise routines so they are new and exciting. I have also signed up for tough mudder so I had a different goal to aim for to keep me motivated.”

'I never want to go back to that'

Nicole’s inspiration to lose weight came from seeing pictures of herself, giving her the motivation to improve her fitness and wellbeing.

“I saw pictures of myself and realised how much weight I had actually put on. I wanted to change it. Looking at these old pictures now reminds me that I’ll never go back to that.”

Support from friendly, inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms

Whilst Nicole is not completely at her target weight, she is well on course to achieve her goals. Xercise4Less gyms have played a pivotal role in Nicole finding the confidence and belief she could succeed.

“I’ve still not reached my final goal, but every time I reach a mini target I’m always amazed that I’m actually doing it this time. What helped me a lot was in the gym, someone saw me performing an exercise wrong and helped me to correct it.”

Training in a gym where the environment is comfortable and friendly has helped Nicole a lot, especially by being able to train in the Ladies only gym zone.

Overcoming the hurdles

Nicole has tried to lose the weight in the past, but always found obstacles in the way, preventing her from being at her ideal weight. Junk food has been a particular stumbling block, but Nicole feels that this time she is managing to find a compromise which is helping her to enjoy an occasional treat.

“I’ve tried to lose weight and get healthy before, but I’ve never been able to stick to it and see proper results. I like junk food and I’ve not cut it out completely this time because that’s when I want to eat it more.”

Incredible progress, Nicole. Keep it up!

Weight Loss Success Story – Stacey Robertson

stacey robertson - before and after
stacey robertson - before and after

Old holiday pictures helped kick start my weight loss journey

Sheffield Hillsborough member Stacey Robertson used old holiday pictures as inspiration to begin her weight loss journey. Seeing older pictures made Stacey want to improve her fitness and burn calories to help transform her life. Changing her fitness through the gym has been challenging, but also extremely rewarding for Stacey.

“I kept looking at old holiday pictures and knew I had to change things to feel better about myself. It feels good when you reach targets, and amazing when you exceed them.”

Using Xercise4Less fitness classes to shed the pounds

Xercise4Less gyms offer an array of fitness classes to help get you on the way with bolstering your fitness. Stacey found HIIT, abs blast and 15/15/15 classes the most effective for weight loss. She also used dumbbells to help tone and turn excess fat into muscle. Over a period of time, Stacey gradually lost her target weight of 3-5 stone. 

Finding that inner motivation

Starting the process can often be the most difficult, finding motivation and strength to get through the early phase of your fitness journey. For Stacey, this was no different.

“When I first started, the aching and constant hunger made me feel like giving up. I was consuming around 3000 calories per day and my BMR is only 1500. This was the hardest part for me.”

Making sacrifices to achieve results

Anyone embarking on a weight loss journey needs to make sacrifices. Whether it is giving up certain foods, drinking or making the necessary changes to your lifestyle. Stacey got herself out of the old routine of comfort eating to supplement the hard work she was putting in the gym.

“I needed to give up comfort eating. I was eating when I was happy and sad. Sometimes you don’t want to turn to a salad or something healthy in the evening. You just want comforting carbs like chips or pizza.”

As with any change in lifestyle or diet, adaptations have to be made. Stacey may have found it difficult in the beginning, but once she got herself acclimatised with her new fitness regime, she began to notice the benefits.

“I got new-found energy and no longer felt sluggish or tired after eating.”

Great work, Stacey!

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.

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!

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.”

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!

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!”

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!

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

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!