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Bannatyne Success Stories

Bannatyne Success Stories

Tony and Beckie - Lowestoft

Today we want to bring you news about the fantastic success achieved by yet another of our members at Lowestoft – Tony Rollinson. During the last six months, Tony has had Personal Training appointments with Beckie, following both the Hatton Boxing course (Round 2) and standard PT sessions.

These have focused on using resistance machines and functional exercises, as well as completing two runs per week - running between eight to ten kilometres.

As a result, Tony has achieved some great outcomes in all areas and, by using our InBody analyser, we have been able to measure these.

He has been able to drop his body weight by more than five kilogrammes, losing a massive 6.9 kilogrammes in bodyfat.

His muscle mass has increased, which has helped Tony boost his strength. He also has dropped three levels in visceral fat.

With Beckie’s support and his hard work, Tony has increased his overall InBody score from 65/100 to 74/100.  Tony is determined to keep the momentum going and plans to go on having Personal Training sessions with Beckie once a week with the aim of continuing to push himself and to keep building towards further fitness and wellbeing goals.

James - Durham

Meet James Smith, a member at Durham, who is delighted how he has been able to substantially increase his fitness with the help of our experts and encouragement from other members.

Here he outlines what he has done to achieve his goals.

“I started off with the Hatton Boxing - Round 2 - the back end of last year. Once I had completed the ten-week course, I was encouraged by Personal Trainer Derek to keep up the hard work.

“I have been booking two Personal Training sessions a week with him and doing my own cardio/weight sessions, which he recommended would benefit me to help build on muscle and drop body fat.

“I am amazed with the difference and development of my pictures from February 1 to March 29, never mind since I started back last year.

“I can’t thank Derek enough and other team members in the club for the support and encouragement!”

Mary - Newcraighall

Mary Dryburgh, a member at Newcraighall, has shared her sense of achievement with us after she completed the Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Ultra, a 34-mile route along the beautiful Welsh coastline.

Mary was able to accomplish this challenge, along with her daughter Charlotte Toms, a little more than a year after joining the Newcraighall run club, which she praises for helping boost her running confidence “so much”.

She describes the club as a “special group of people”. She says: “Absolutely everyone – Dave’s Devils as we’re known – is so kind, supportive, inspiring and encouraging. We couldn’t have taken on such a big challenge without them. It feels as though they have been on every step of this ‘wee’ adventure with us.”

She added: “Dave is a phenomenal running coach, he pushes us to get better every week and encourages us to believe in ourselves, and our abilities.”

Mary and her daughter now have got the running bug to such an extent that they hope the Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Ultra will not be their last as it was such a “special mum/daughter experience”.

Yasmin - Luton

Yasmin Miah, a member of our Luton club, has shared her inspirational weight loss story with us.

Yasmin said: “It started with me standing outside the Bannatyne Luton club waiting for some friends one evening in 2016. I was eating a hotdog while watching people walk in and out of the gym thinking to myself ‘I REALLY need to join the gym’.

“At that point, I was a size 14 heading to a 16, weighing over 11 stones. I was content with my life, but my weight was something that I always felt so self-conscious about. Something in that moment just switched and, after finishing the hotdog (obviously), I walked into the gym and asked to become a member.

“Luckily for me, my best friend was also a member at the time, and she eased me into gym life. I started by taking part in Metafit classes two to three times a week and this is what kick-started the process for me. It gave me a starting point and basically something to do!

“It was incredibly hard work to start with, and at the end of every class I was always ready to just about collapse. My body would constantly ache but something about that pain became quite addictive, in that it allowed me and others to begin to see changes in myself both physically and mentally…it was working!

“Alongside this, I began to change my eating habits, making healthier food choices and eating smaller portions.

“Even though I had started to lose weight, I was SO apprehensive to go onto the gym floor and didn’t even go in the first few weeks of joining. When I eventually ventured up the stairs, I would only ever go to use the cardio machines. I’d often admirably watch other people, especially women, who were confident enough to go into the weights section and wish I could be one of those one day.

“It wasn’t until the B:Conditioned and B:Corefit classes started that I finally built up the courage to step into that part of the gym that once felt so alien and threatening to me.

“Again, it was challenging at first, but I soon learned that taking part in those classes two to three times a week, was supporting me in becoming more confident in learning/doing new exercises and all the while, helping me to feel better about myself.

“It’s because of a few instructors such as Michal, Scott, Dan, Caroline and Raynar (to name a few), who constantly push you and set the bar so high that it makes training and working out so much more rewarding and motivating.

“Alongside doing my regular classes, I began personal training sessions with Jamie on a weekly basis which was further improving my strength and general wellbeing. I began reaching targets I never would have dreamed of like deadlifting 120kg.

“Although I’m still on my journey, currently I’m a size 8-10 and weigh 8.6 stone. I am so thankful to those who have given me the tools and belief in myself that I can achieve my goals. I can wholeheartedly say, joining Bannatyne and making those lifestyle choices were some of the best choices I have made.”

Carol & Richard - Bury St Edmunds

Carol & Richard Banwell joined our Bury St Edmunds club in 2015.

Their reason for joining is that Carol had ongoing issues with muscle wastage on one leg and had multiple surgeries on her back.

Carol has suffered with pain and it was sad to see her some days, but she still managed to get here. She always looks more relaxed on the way out after her swim and chat with other members  

Carol was advised to keep active by her consultant to help her recovery from the operations.

They both come in three times per week and in the few years of them attending the gym, it is the swimming that has kept Carol’s strength up and kept her mindset positive.

The most recent operation for a hip replacement did not go as planned, she could not come in for over three months, but as soon as she could, she was back swimming!

It is fantastic to see her back after her time out and both Carol and Richard are a wonderful couple. Always a smile for the staff and members.

The bonus is that Richard could not swim when he joined, but since going in the pool with Carol he has now learnt to swim!

Lynsey - Banbury

Lynsey Simmons, a Les Mills instructor at our Banbury club, has shared her personal experience on keeping fit whilst pregnant.

Lynsey said: “I’m a Les Mills RPM instructor and pregnant with my second baby! Pregnancy is different for every lady, and I’ve suffered with terrible sickness, so training has been hard.

“When feeling good, I enjoy teaching my class but take my time and work at a lower level, lifting weights but lighter than normal.

“Swimming is amazing, and I love the feeling of weightlessness. I definitely think keeping fit helps me deal with the changes my body is going through. My advice to all ladies is take it easy and be nice to yourself!”

Rhian - Durham

Rhian Brixton, a member of our Durham club, has shared her wellness journey with us and we hope you take the time to read it and become inspired!

“My name is Rhian Brixton. I am 36 years old. At the age of 13 I was diagnosed with juvenile inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). As a child I spent six weeks in a wheelchair to try and reduce the inflammation. This did not work. I have been suffering from this awful and painful condition all my life.

“I was treated for the rheumatoid arthritis with steroid medication, along with many other disease modifying drugs, which didn’t work. Due to the high dosage of steroids which were required to control the condition, I was then diagnosed with adrenal gland insufficiency (Addison’s disease). That basically means that my body now produces no natural steroid hormones, leaving me feeling fatigued, sick and to have a fast heart rate and low blood pressure. This is now controlled with a very low dose of steroids and other medication.

“The high dosage of steroids also damaged my pancreas to the point where it was necrotic (died) and had to be removed, leaving me with type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent).

“These conditions (Addison’s disease, pancreatitis and diabetes) were diagnosed over the last three years. I have continued to battle with my arthritis as my dosage of steroids had to be reduced. This resulted in my arthritis flaring up dramatically to the point where I was unable to get out of bed. Last February 2018 I was so poorly and unable to do basically anything, I had to employ carers twice a day to make my meals, help me with my personal hygiene and housework.

“I felt as if my life was over and I was feeling really down. As every day passed, I would look at my swollen joints and brave through the pain and think to myself ‘surely, this can’t be my life?’.  Months went by and the carers were great, but I am only 36 (35 at the time) and I wanted to go out any enjoy my life, just like my friends were doing. When I did go out, I was confined to a wheelchair.

“I decided that I was fed up of taking the really strong painkillers, being cared for and confined to a wheelchair and I was going to do something to help myself. In January 2019 my partner bought me a book all about arthritis.

“This book was brilliant. It explained about the importance of eating correctly, supplements to help the condition and the importance of daily exercise. I followed the books instruction and started with ‘The Arthritis Diet’. This diet is basically a vegan diet, cutting out gluten, wheat, tomatoes and potatoes. I started the diet on the 10th February and within a couple of weeks I noticed that my inflammation had reduced and I was able to get up and do chores around the house.

“I then decided to take the next step and that was to exercise. I didn’t feel comfortable and able to go for a walk and I felt that the best thing for me to do was to join a gym.

“So, I joined up with Bannatyne Durham. I started very slowly and used the recliner bike as it is much more comfortable. I was very surprised at the results. Each day I would do a little bit more, using the swimming pool, steam room and sauna. I found that I walked better when I came out than when I went in.

“I have found that even though I have rheumatoid arthritis, the best things to do to help yourself are, eat a healthy diet and exercise. ‘Do what your body will let you’.

“Since joining Bannatyne Durham gym, I have gained confidence, lost weight and feel that my joints are now more mobile. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has any of these conditions.

“The staff are great, they are so helpful. I had a ‘hypo’ and the staff couldn’t have done more to help. They booked me in to see a personal trainer who gave me some great advice on how to manage my meals around exercise and how to safely use the gym equipment. This has really helped me now as I feel more confident knowing that the staff are so caring and willing to help and that if I have any problems or questions then I can ask them.

“My advice to anyone is to think positive and do not doubt yourself. If I can do it, then so can you!”

Jan - Bury St Edmunds

Jan, a member of our Bury St Edmunds club, has shared with us why she’s so pleased with the training that she does alongside personal trainer, Megan.

Jan has been training with Megan for about a year now. At the beginning, Jan was wanting to focus on building up her muscle mass and getting the more toned look.

In the first summer during her PT sessions she came in and told Meg that felt so much happier within herself! So not only has her confidence grown but Jan has shown that with determination, dedication and drive, you can build the body you have wanted, and that you can crush those barriers that once held you back.  Amazing work Jan and we look forward to seeing further progress!

Debbie - Mansfield

Debbie Brown, a member of our Mansfield club, has shared her fitness journey with us

Debbie said: “I have been a member on and off at the Mansfield Bannatyne Health and Fitness Club since 2002 and in that time the fitness team have been pivotal in my fitness and weight loss journey.

“In the early days it was all about maintaining my fitness as I was an active horsewoman, cyclist and swimmer. Following a number of health knockbacks which resulted in lots of surgery, the activity levels dropped, and my weight began to increase. After working hard at my recovery, my fitness improved and with lots of support and personal trainer sessions with a Bannatyne instructor, I made excellent progress but only to suffer a massive injury in April 2015.

“Falling from a bolting horse I fractured my spine, six ribs, damaged my left knee and punctured my left lung. After months of physio and three knee operations I was finally able to return to a structured training programme and start horse riding again.

“After almost three years of poor health and a massive weight gain, my training began again. I initially started with the things I knew I enjoyed; cardio sessions in the gym on the vario, crosstrainer, treadmill and bike.

“I then added my favourite classes zumba, aqua zumba, fitsteps and body combat. I was then intrigued by Speedflex so asked Katie to give me an induction then that was it I was hooked.

“Speedflex became my new best friend. I loved it, throwing all I had into every 30-minute session and the weight just started to melt away. I'd not noticed any change previously but Speedflex obviously worked for me. I then got braver.

“I always enjoyed my PT sessions, but that was when I was younger and fitter. I booked in for five sessions with Katie and loved them, I now have a regular session each week. She helps keep me on track and gets me doing weights which I would normally shy away from. I now have shaken up my routine and do spinning, kettlebells, Speedflex, pilates, body balance, fitball and LBT.

“I still enjoy Zumba and Fitsteps but I've expanded my participation now for the better and the weight keeps coming off. I decided to add a MyZone belt to my membership as I’m very competitive and I find this helps keep me motivated each month and also helps me keep an eye on how my training is going too.

“I have to say, Bannatyne Mansfield is a wonderful place to train and socialise. It has certainly helped me on my weight loss journey thanks to the great support constantly provided by Katie, Luke and Matt. They provide guidance and advice when needed but also stand back when not.

“The club has supported my swimathon participation in 2016, 2017, 2018 and will be doing this year too. I will also be swimming 5km for Marie Curie Charity. Since April 2018, with support from Martin, Katie and the team at Mansfield, I have lost 3.5 stone. I still have a little way to go to hit that target weight but I know with the support network I have, I will achieve it!

Jenni - Folkestone

Jenni Austin joined Bannatyne Folkestone back in January 2017 as she wanted to raise her fitness levels and become more confident. 

When she first started coming to the gym, she would attend four to five times a week doing a mixture of classes including yoga which she really enjoyed. Jenni decided she wanted to do more than just tone her muscles though as she was already quite naturally slim and decided to book in with one of our trainers.

Jenni said: “When I first started training with my trainer, we decided to focus on building up my leg muscle mass. After several months of training, I can now leg press up to 200kg putting me in the top 5% of women for my age group for strength training!

“The gym has become like a second home to me and whilst I have lost body fat, I have actually gained weight from the muscle I have built. I feel great inside and out!

“My trainer gave me the confidence I needed to lift heavier weights and showed me the right way to do it too. It's so much easier to achieve your goals when someone believes in you.”

Keep up the hard work Jenni and well done from all of us here at Folkestone Bannatyne. You are a bright and bubbly ball of energy and a pleasure to be around!

We love seeing our members smashing their goals so if you have a story you would like to share with us about your experience at any of our Bannatyne health clubs, then please pop in and have a chat with a member of the fitness team.

Collette - Leicester

Meet Collette Degia, a member of our Leicester club. She’s shared her weight loss journey with us and we feel so inspired!

Collette said: “I first joined Bannatyne’s Health Club Leicester in October 2016. Since then, I have achieved my goal weight and lost three and a half stone. I have dropped five dress sizes and feel amazing!

“I go to various classes such as body combat, indoor cycling and body pump. I also have regular personal training sessions with Harmony who has really helped keep me motivated and push me to my best.

“Although I am at my target weight, I continue to go to the gym to keep the weight off. The classes are brilliant for my motivation!”

Sian - Braintree

We’ve caught up with Sian, a member of our Braintree club, to have a chat about her fitness journey.  

Sian said: “When I was asked to write about my fitness journey with Bannatyne, my instant reaction was ‘why me?’

“I suppose my journey started with a personal challenge, to swim a mile in the Great East Swim, 2017. I didn’t know however, that the real challenge was to get the blinking wet suit on! Hilarious, exhausting, took all my energy to squeeze myself in!

“That was my moment, the motivation to get back in the gym and I haven’t looked back since.

“I’m not necessarily thinner but I am stronger, fitter, happier. With the Bannatyne Braintree’s fitness team’s friendly support and encouragement I’m ready to challenge myself daily especially as I’m now trying to complete a new challenge, Couch to 5k!

“I’m yet to put that suit on again though!”

Kassie/Ray - Chester-le-Street

We have two very exciting announcements to make regarding the team at Chester-le-Street. The first is that after six years in the Front of House and Cafe Bar teams Kassie, in addition to her role at CLS as Club Administrator, has taken on the role of North East Regional Administrator for the company. The second is Ray, who has worked for the company for 11 years at the Durham Health Club & Spa and the last 4 years as Cluster Sales Manager between CLS and Durham, is joining the team on a full-time basis as Assistant General Manager.

We are sure you will join us in congratulating them both and wishing them all the best in their new roles. 

Lorna - Kingsford Park

Meet Lorna Rodger, a member of our Kingsford Park club, who is taking part in a five-stage guided cycling event in Portugal.

The fitness event will see Lorna cycle the entire length of Portugal through the ancient towns of Chaves, Visey and Montemor-o-Novo.

Lorna said: “I have always been a runner or into one sport or another, and I’ve always generally enjoyed fitness.

“I started to really focus on training and running in my early 20s. I entered numerous events from 5k to half marathons, never ever committing to anything further than a half.

“About 12 years ago, I decided I wanted to try my luck at Triathlons. Having never even put on a wet suit before or swam in open water, I turned up in London with a very ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude. I got through it however, I decided that I needed to train specifically.

“Fast-forward to 2017 and I went to watch my husband in an Army road race. I decided that I now fancied giving this a try. I borrowed a bike and I started competing. My cycling has diversified somewhat over the last two years. Although the road is where I started, I have since ventured into competing in cross-country and cyclocross events throughout East Anglia and the South East.

“I have lots of races coming up and the first is in April. I fly into Cyprus and will cover 1039km in 11 days, this includes the Troodos Sta and Mount Olympus which are some pretty tough climbs! With some maintenance training and a few competitions throughout the summer, this should set me up nicely for my second challenge in Portugal.

“This is where we will cycle the entire length of Portugal through the ancient towns of Chaves, Viseu and Montemor-o-Novo, five-stage guided cycling event.

“I am now 46 years old and it does get harder and harder to train, but I will continue to train and compete for as long as I can. I am a frequent rider of the WATT bike in the gym and that’s where you will often see me, pedalling away. Sometimes, if I really can’t face sitting on the bike, I treat myself to a virtual spin class or just potter around doing some strength work.

“I firmly believe in ‘healthy body, healthy mind’, equally it is all about balance. When I really can’t be bothered or I lack motivation, I give myself 20 minutes. If I am still not feeling like I want to continue, I stop.”

Chris - Sutton Coldfield

Member transformation: Chris Hay, Sutton Coldfield club.  When Chris first joined us, he weighed 102.5kg (just over 16 stone). He had very low fitness levels and wasn’t sure what he needed to do to get into shape. Ben, one of our PTs, offered him a free taster session so that he could experience what sessions would be like. Ben kept the session very simple and being able to discuss his situation more with Ben, Chris was left in no doubt that this was the way to go. Chris said: “After several years of not exercising properly and not eating properly, Ben has helped me make big changes to my lifestyle. I have seen my fitness levels improve massively and I now sleep better and have more energy.

“Ben’s knowledge of training and nutrition has opened my eyes and I am seeing the benefits of it. The training sessions are hard work, but I enjoy them, and the training plans he has drawn up challenge me during my own training sessions. I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Ben added: “Chris has lost over 10kg since he’s been training with me. When we first started personal training, he struggled to finish a 45-minute weights session. Nowadays, he’s my fittest client and can complete tough 45-minute sessions with no rest. It’s been a huge turnaround for him.” Ben specialises in working with people who have a very low starting point and turning them around over time. He has a growing reputation for his nutritional knowledge and empathises with people having once been very big and unfit himself. Ben still offers taster sessions at our Sutton Coldfield club so if you would like one, you can enquire in the club.

Carmel - Lowestoft

Meet one of our Lowestoft members, Carmel Falzon!

Carmel joined us back in 2016, and she has been on a fantastic fitness journey ever since! When she joined us, she weighed in at 94.6 Kgs, and with a combination of different training styles, she has managed to drop down to 74.2 Kgs!!

At the start of her fitness journey with us, Carmel began training for the Norwich 10km run in 2017, and after competing in the race, she started her personal training sessions with our senior fitness advisor, Matt. From there, Carmel took on powerlifting and has smashed her lifting and weight loss goals. With the guidance of Matt, Carmel can now squat and deadlift 100 Kgs, and her bench press is 52.5 Kgs.

Carmel has managed to fit in at least 4 or 5 gym sessions per week, as well as running her own business. With advice from Matt, she has managed to move into a calorie deficit with her nutrition and has made changes in what she is eating to help her continue to move towards her goals!

Well done Carmel; keep up the effort and the hard work!

Craig - Dumfries

Meet Craig, a member of our Dumfries club who, in 2012, lost his dad to prostate cancer the day after his 40th birthday. He planned to do something in his dad’s memory but it wasn't until he had a scare himself a few years later that he put his plans into action.

Ordinarily, Scottish men have a one-in-8 chance of developing prostate cancer, but if a close relative, such as your father, had the disease then this increases your chances to one in two to three and if two or more relatives have had the disease then the risks are even higher.

Determined to help bring more awareness of prostate cancer, Craig's first event was the Men’s Health 10k in Glasgow in 2017 for Father's Day and he has since continued to push himself with various event.

In 2019, Craig is challenging himself even further by running four marathons, including London which falls on his dad’s birthday, four half marathons and four 10k's.

At Bannatyne Dumfries, we would love to help so starting Monday 4th March, we will be holding an awareness and fundraising week to help Craig with his goals and would love for our members to get involved and show their support.

On Saturday 9th March between 9am and 1pm, some of our Dumfries members will be challenging themselves to burn 5000 calories in 4 hours, and if you are interested in taking part please get in touch with the club.

If you would like to donate to Craig's challenge page directly, please use the either of the links attached to donate to his London Marathon fundraising or his other events combined, or you can donate in the Prostate Scotland tins available in the Dumfries club from Monday 4th to Sunday 10th March.



Ian- Ingleby

Ingleby Barwick member, Ian Dryden, joined us back in July 2018 and has made some incredible achievements so far which, at the time of joining, he never thought possible!

The fact Ian has lost four stone and four and a half inches off his waist is secondary to the real goal he has set himself - to climb Kilimanjaro later this year!

Ian is challenging himself to do this five-day trek to raise funds for the Samaritans who helped him through a very difficult period and led him to start his fitness journey with us! 

We now see Ian in the club most days putting the hours (and hours) in, to build strength and stamina to reach the summit.

Ian said: “The facilities in club allow me to vary my workouts to cover most aspects of my training but I am also aiming to include some ‘3 peaks’ challenges this year in preparation for the big event!”

Please say “Hi” to Ian if you see him in club or visit his fundraising page for more details of his journey.


Shaun - Dunfermline

Shaun Jex, a member of our Dunfermline club, has shared with us why he’s decided to turn his life and fitness levels around.

With a three year old daughter to keep up with, member Shaun made it his 2015 New Year resolution to lose weight and improve his fitness. The first change he made was to dramatically alter his diet of pizza, pastries from the bakery and sweets to a diet of lean protein, vegetables and whole grain bread and pasta.

Shaun said: “I began taking part in circuit training at a local boxing club before being persuaded by a friend to join Bannatyne Dunfermline in May 2016.

“I initially concentrated mainly on cardio and managed to shed an amazing 12 stones in just over a year and a half but now I’m incorporating more weight training into my routine as I want to maintain my weight and increase my muscle.

“In 2015 and 2016 I took part in Spartan races and time depending, I would like to aim towards a 20k Spartan in the not too distant future.”

Well done, Shaun - you are a true inspiration!

Daniel - Luton

Daniel To, Fitness Advisor at Bannatyne Luton, has shared his fitness journey with us as he gets match fit for an MMA fight.

In April, Daniel will be competing in an MMA fight in the 66kg category, and in order to qualify for this category he must lose 10kg.

Daniel said: “Working at the Bannatyne Luton health club is a great motivator for me to lose the 10kg I need to be able to compete. I start training once I’ve finished my shift and I know I can’t make excuses to get out of it as I’m already at the gym!

“Everyone there, both staff and members, have been so supportive and I’m grateful for all their help. Bring on the fight!”

Good luck Daniel!

Lesley - Mansfield

Lesley, a member of our Mansfield club, has shared with us how fitness helped to improve her quality of life.

Lesley said: “I am a long-standing member of Bannatyne Mansfield. In 2011 and again in 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After chemotherapy, radiotherapy and several operations I found myself having to rethink my way of life as I had put on weight due to medications and being unable to exercise.

“In 2017 when things had settled down, I decided to make a few lifestyle changes, so I started a healthy eating regime and enlisted the help of a personal trainer, Katie, to help me fulfil my goal of weight loss and overall fitness. To date I have lost four stone and feel fitter than ever.

“I try all disciplines in the gym, working on all muscle groups and alongside my trainer keeps me motivated and teaches me how to train safely and correctly. As they say, no pain no gain!

“Many thanks to Katie and the friendly staff at Bannatyne Mansfield for their help through my journey.”

Lou - Humberston

Lou, a member of staff at our Humberston club, has shared her journey from fitness fanatic to fitness instructor with us.

Lou said: “My fitness journey started about 7 years ago, whilst I was working a 9 to 5 job in administration. I have struggled with weight and body image issues my entire life and being in a sedentary job did not help and my weight continued to increase. My body image problems, coupled with the weight gain also meant my mental health began to suffer. I became quiet and withdrawn.

“A friend persuaded me to attend a Les Mills BODYBALANCE class at our local leisure centre, and whilst I was very apprehensive, I gave it a try. From the first class I was hooked. I couldn’t wait for the week to come around so I could go again.

“I started to attend twice a week and within three months I was there every day, sometimes attending two classes in a row. I discovered BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT and Group Cycle classes amongst others and tried everything that was on offer.

“For me, the social aspect was just as rewarding as the results I was starting to see from the classes, and I couldn’t wait to finish work every day so I could spend my evenings at the leisure centre.

“My weight started to drop off and after a year I had lost around 4 stone.

“After 18 months of regular attendance an instructor approached me and asked if I would be interested in teaching. At that point I had never thought of fitness as a career but my local college provided me with the training I would need to become a group exercise instructor. I went to college part time in the evenings between work and the gym.

“My initial intention was to continue with work and instruct on a freelance basis, which I did for around a year.

“Around 2 years ago a job became available at Bannatyne Health Club & Spa Humberston (at the time it was owned by another gym provider) for a Group Exercise Manager. I was now a qualified Fitness Instructor and had also qualified as a group cycle instructor and a Les Mills BODYBALANCE and BODYCOMBAT instructor.

“I was successful in the application and this provided me with an opportunity to leave my administration job and work in the Fitness Industry. The first six months were frightening. I’d convinced myself I wasn’t able to do the job and jumped every time my phone rang, but teaching the classes reminded me of how far I’d come and I was doing something I loved every day, even if it did have its stressful moments.

“When the club became a Bannatyne Health Club, the Fitness Manager role became available. I was immediately promoted as an interim manager, which was exciting and frightening all over again! I was given the role full time in December last year and I am continuing to develop my knowledge and experience by training to be a Personal Trainer.

Martynas - Dumfries

Meet one of the members at our Dumfries club, Martynas Striska.

Martynas has been a member with us for a good few years now! He wants to share some of his progress with you to help motivate and inspire others to reach their goals!

Martynas said: "My Fitness journey is just beginning, and I am hoping to motivate others to do the same. These 2 pictures are of my progress - 79kg gained to 86kg. I can see and feel the difference in myself.

“I am still trying to stay lean and improve myself every day. It's not easy to stay lean the whole year round and gain muscles as fast as I want to, but I am determined to try. There is four years difference between the pictures so it hasn't been a quick process, but you need to just keep on going!"

If you want to try and gain muscle or get advice on staying lean why not book an appointment with one of our Fitness team to get some advice and ask about getting a personalised programme made? Speak to a member of the team next time you are in your local club!

Sarah - Colchester

Sarah Clayfield, a freelance instructor at our Colchester club is aiming to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support through the club. Here's what she said:

“Firstly, I feel so honoured to be running for Macmillan Cancer Support. They not only offer support, education and help to those fighting cancer, but also friends and family too, right from the moment of diagnosis. A very close family member is currently half way through treatment after a shock diagnosis in October and Macmillan have been amazing from the beginning. It’s rare to meet someone whose life hasn’t been affected by cancer in one way or another and so every mile I run I will be thinking of those people. It’s a bit of a shock as all spaces were taken and I was turned down in October, however a space became available just before Christmas- it means I only have 3 months to train and to raise £2500 but I’m 100% dedicated and every story/donation is motivating me even further."

John - Peterborough

We’ve been chatting to John Nicoll, a member of our Peterborough club, about his gym experience.

“Why did you choose to do a Hatton Boxing course?”

John: “Initially, I knew nothing about boxing and I thought it would be enjoyable and a new way to train.”

“What were your goals?”

John: “I wanted to have a change to the normal regime of weights and cardio. I wanted to find a new way to challenge and improve my general fitness.”

“How did you find the class initially, as a new boxer?”

John: “The course was very enjoyable, training pushed me to my limits and beyond giving me a sense of achievement at the end of each session.”

“How do you feel in terms of your fitness/goals now?”

John: “I have continued 1-1 boxing sessions after I completed the Hatton course. My fitness has improved as a result of the course and I want this to continue, it still pushes me on each session. I have also found that my other training has improved, being able to run for longer, lift heavier and have more stamina.”

“Would you recommend it to others”

John: “I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to get into boxing or wants to push themselves that bit harder and see results at the end of it.''

Maria - Sutton Coldfield

Maria Haydock, a member of our Sutton Coldfield club, has shared her wellness journey with us.

Maria said: “I joined Bannatyne Sutton Coldfield after my youngest children had started school in order to get fitter and lose weight.

“Within a couple of months of joining, I made the decision to start training with Scott as I needed a little bit of help to reach my goals.

“Working alongside Scott, I have managed to lose two stone and I am the fittest I have ever been.

“I try to work out five times a week, doing a combination of classes, my own gym circuits and a PT session with Scott. My favourite class is spin and I have made a lot of new friends through going to the gym, whose encouragement has enabled me to progress and enjoy my training sessions a lot more!”

Wendy - Lowestoft

Meet Wendy, a member of our Lowestoft club.

Since September, when Wendy joined the club, she has been on an incredible weight loss journey.

When she became a member, Wendy had her initial induction to the club with Beckie, and they were able to put together a program she could follow, which included various body weight and machine-based exercises.

Since then, Wendy has finished the programme and completes a four mile run every other day, and has added swimming in to her routine and has had some incredible results. She has managed to lose just under 10kg in weight! Her Visceral Fat Level has dropped from Level 17 down to Level 13 (from our InBody Analyser reading), meaning a total of 8.2kg of body fat has been lost so far.

As well as the exercise, Beckie has helped advise Wendy on her nutrition. Wendy no longer eats carbohydrates in the evenings, and now eats a lot more protein including eggs, and has better control on portion size and timings of meals.

Wendy said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to Beckie for all she has done for me so far, from nutrition to the gym plan. It has been a big help for me to start my journey, and what I have achieved so far will spur me on until I reach my goal."

We would like to say a huge well done to Wendy, keep it up!

Mick - Braintree

Mick Brine, a member of our Braintree club, has shared his “Greatest Loss to Greatest Challenge” story with us.

Mick said: “My wife started at Bannatyne Braintree in February 2008 and continued her attendance until early 2018. She was always very active and attended three tap dancing classes a week for the previous 37 years.

“At the end of May 2018, with very little previous indication, my wife was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and sadly passed away on July 31st, 2018. This naturally left my family and I totally devastated,

“My eldest daughter and I decided that we would like to participate in a fund-raising event for the Farleigh Hospice where Chris was cared for with dignity and great compassion over the last few days of her life.

“Consequently, we have signed up to a five-day trek in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania together with around ten other people. We depart on 4th May this year and the trek is described by organisers as “very challenging”.

“As a fairly healthy 73-year-old, I quickly realised that I needed a quantum leap in my level of fitness and spoke to the Bannatyne Braintree sales manager, Georgia, about taking over my wife’s membership.

“I did this at the end of November and discussed my fitness goals with instructor, Anthony. He listened to what it was that I wanted to achieve and put together a tailored programme of workouts for me, taking into account the types of activity I will be experiencing on the trek, such as walking up hill for eight hours a day with a 12kg backpack.

“He continues to support me on a regular basis and this is particularly useful as I am quite an impatient person and was initially anticipating a rapid improvement in my capabilities. I now understand that it is going to take me more than a couple of weeks!

“It is good to be training in a gym that properly caters for all ages and levels of fitness, with everybody having their own personal aspirations.

“The general manager Ricki has also offered to help raise awareness and support through the club’s social media and update people on my journey towards My Greatest Challenge.”

If anyone would like to support Mick and his daughter by donating to the provision of pallative care by Farleigh Hospital, please click here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/philippa-booth2.

Monty - Leicester