It all started almost 3 years ago when a friend asked me to go with her to a personal training session one Sunday morning – up until then I had thought I should do some form of exercise but found numerous excuses not to start!

I hadn’t heard of Your Next Level Fitness before then and really didn’t know what to expect.  Gyms can be very intimidating places especially if you lack confidence and are self-conscious which many of us are. So I can’t say I looked forward to that first session. The gym is relatively small (but perfectly formed!) with a really friendly atmosphere.  From first stepping into the Gym and reading the motivational slogans on the wall I got a feeling that I might actually like it. 

 John coached us through the session and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We agreed that we would book onto a session the next week and “give it a go”

We started with the Tuesday and Thursday 6pm 30 minute Boot-camp sessions and after a couple of weeks I was hooked.  After a few weeks my friend dropped out but I carried on going to the sessions on my own and even added the weekly 60 minute Saturday morning session held outside on the Rugby field (in all weathers!).  Great fun!

Initially what I lacked in technique and ability I think I made up for in enthusiasm – I couldn’t do full press ups but could do them from my knees, I couldn’t hold a plank for very long but I had a go and that’s the main thing… you don’t know what you are capable of until you have a go.

We read about how exercise produces Serotonin and releases Endorphins which makes us feel good and boosts our mood ….. I can now say that I fully understand this and have noticed a huge difference in my physical and mental health since starting a regular exercise routine. 

Once I started to feel physically fitter I realised I would benefit more from the exercise sessions if I also made changes to my diet and lifestyle.  I started making small changes – reducing the amount of alcohol I drank, eating more slowly so as to recognise when I’m satisfied rather than eating everything on my plate and then looking for “afters” and taking notice of portion sizes ….. as a woman with a sedentary job I don’t need to eat the same size meal as my husband or son!

I started following the WW plan for food, mainly to give me some formal direction and fast forward a year I am now 3 ½ stone lighter but more importantly I am healthier with a healthier mind set in relation to food.

This has had a huge knock on effect to my exercise routine in that I am now able to attempt things I could only have dreamt about a couple of years ago.

The sense of achievement after completing the  Total Warrior event in Leeds with the YNLF team back in June 2017 was mind blowing – I have never done anything like that before in my life and although it was tough I loved every minute of it – I’m hoping to do it again…

When I started out I couldn’t do one full press up but with the encouragement of John, Lee and James at YNLF I can now do 10 decent full press ups in a row – I’m now aiming to do 12+

My latest victory is managing to do a chin up! I never thought I would be saying that! I’m aiming for 3 in a row now.

I’ve met some great people at YNLF who all have their own story as to why they are there – the most important thing is that …..they are there! 

I would say to anyone thinking about coming to Your Next Level Fitness just do it …. Take that step and you will never look back.   Like that well known advert says “because you’re worth it!!”

There are a variety of Boot-Camp session times and opportunities to use the open Gym where there is always a qualified PT around if you need assistance.  No matter how busy your lifestyle there will be a time to suit.

I currently do the Monday evening 5.30pm  60 min Boot-camp with John and the Friday morning 6am 60 min Boot-camp session with James but depending on my weekly commitments with my full time job and busy home life I can change these times to suit.

Who would have thought that that first Sunday morning session almost 3  years ago would lead me to where I am now feeling happier and healthier in my 50’s than in my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s?!

Thanks to all at YNLF for your support and encouragement ……….wonder what I might attempt next!

Lou Hunn