Steve gets more motivated, loses weight, gets fitter, looks leaner, and makes genuine friends

“I saw James’ class on a local website, but at the time was subscribing to a gym and not actually going much at all. I lacked self motivation and could always find something more interesting to do.

Whilst I wasn’t particularly overweight, after turning 40 I had started to put on a few pounds around my waistline and my general fitness was in decline. I needed to find something to do to get back on track.

So I decided to give James’ classes a try, and two years later I’m still a regular, which is a testament to the classes as I’m the type of person who becomes easily bored and loses focus.

I do the Monday and Wednesday circuit classes and running class on Saturday. I’d tried exercise classes and bootcamps before but didn’t enjoy all the shouting and whistle blowing, it seemed like an ordeal and was a bit irritating. James’ classes are nothing like this; naturally you’re encouraged to do well, but you make it your own journey. There’s no pressure to push yourself out of your comfort zone, unless you feel ready to.

There are a range of ages, body shapes and fitness levels, but everyone gets along really well. I also like that there is a good mix of males and females. Nothing at all like those gyms where people can be a bit self conscious, in these classes you can relax and be yourself, it’s totally non judgmental.

I’ve made some genuine friendships from the classes. They really are a nice bunch to be around, and we are all learning and improving as we go.

James is really supportive and shows you how to do the exercises to get the best results, and his advice is tailored depending on who he is talking to. There are a range of weights and equipment to suit all abilities and also to give you something to aim for. If you have any questions or worries he is very approachable.

The results are fantastic. I have lost around half a stone, but more importantly for me, I feel fitter than I did in my 30s and people have commented that I look much leaner with more definition.

I have also become a regular runner. On my first session two years ago I was out of breath after running less than five minutes, but the running classes at Locke Park are great. I’ve since started doing my local park run before the class, and I’ve done around 12 organised running events.

This year I completed 2 half marathons including the Great North Run, and with better than average times. I’m amazed at my progress and can now do 10k in 48 minutes and half marathon in 1 hour 53 minutes.

If you are thinking about joining, I would say don’t hesitate. Whilst there are other groups around, this one is a bit unique. You can improve your fitness, at your own pace, and with friendly people around you who are nice to be with. It is ace!!”

Steve Sefton