“Some days the black dog comes sniffing at my door but now I know that a good workout helps me to stay strong and send him packing with his tail between his legs. Strength training at PP has helped me to build mental resilience as well as physical strength.”
When Kate started at PP her main goal was to improve her strength and fitness. Since joining she has not only achieved this goal but also discovered a love for lifting weights and found that training here helps to build her mental resilience and manage her mental wellbeing.
What made you start personal training?
When I started at PP my specific goal was to increase my upper-body strength and improve my overall fitness to help me during the obstacle course races (OCRs) that I take part in. I was looking for a gym that didn’t just leave me to get on with things on my own and one that would help me to get the most out of the limited time I had to train. I particularly liked the sound of personal training as I like someone to tell me what to do, how to do it and to push me to my limits! It’s really helpful to be held accountable by having a set time to turn up (otherwise, being self-employed and working from home, I tend to carry on working without noticing the time or stopping to make time for myself).
I had tried other regular gyms and various exercise classes but either the time of day they were on didn’t suit me or I didn’t feel like I was getting the best support and instruction that would help me to optimise my training. Basically, I didn’t feel like I was making progress.
I was referred by a friend and fellow OCR racer to PP so I had already heard good things about it and had high hopes but my expectations were quickly exceeded!
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Can you describe how you were feeling physically and mentally before starting your journey?
When I started at PP I would say I was fairly fit … fitish … not in bad shape but I wanted to take things to the next level. I struggled to make the time to get into better shape and as a result my mental health had also started to suffer. In the past I have battled with depression and anxiety, and exercise plays a major role for me in managing my mental wellbeing.
A couple of years ago, I discovered my passion for obstacle course racing (OCR). I found it incredibly empowering and it massively helped to boost my confidence, which had dipped after becoming a mum. Between the births of my two children (two years) I hadn’t exercised at all and, in hindsight, this had had quite a negative effect on my self-confidence and mental wellbeing. I think having dedicated my whole self and 100 per cent of my time to my children I had left no time for myself or any self-care. I eventually felt that I had somehow lost my sense of identity and become ‘just a mum’.
OCR helped me to re-gain some of my confidence and my own identity outside of motherhood, and the feeling of empowerment I experienced during races translated into other areas of life – work, relationships, and so on. Having unearthed this passion for OCR I realised that I needed to improve my overall fitness and strength, and remembered how good exercise in general made me feel. I needed it in my life to help manage my general mental health and wellbeing and when I started at PP I hoped to find something else that I loved as much as OCR, something that would fill the gaps between races and continue to boost my confidence levels. It turned out to be lifting weights at PP, and I love it far more than I could have possibly imagined.
What did you want to achieve?
When I started at PP my physical goal was simply to get stronger and fitter but that has evolved over time. One of the great things about PP is that as you achieve your goals the trainers work with you to set new ones and help you achieve those as well. I have found that setting myself small targets and hitting them is a good way to boost confidence and stay on track. I also wanted to stay in control of my mental health and keep the black dog at bay. Now I want to keep getting fitter and stronger and to hit 45 this year feeling fabulous and fitter than ever before.
What results have you seen whilst training with us?
I definitely feel physically stronger and have improved on obstacles that I struggled with a year ago, such as rings and rigs, but overall I feel fitter, healthier and I would go as far as to say, happier with myself. My confidence has increased significantly – in believing what my body is capable of, how it looks and in other areas of my life, in particular my work life.
Since starting at PP I also feel I am a better mum and role model for my children – I am fitter and stronger both physically and mentally. I show my boys that regular exercise is an important part of life, and they hopefully see their mum as a strong, capable woman.
Some days the old anxiety tries to creep back in or the black dog comes sniffing at my door but now I know that a good workout helps me to stay strong and send him packing with his tail between his legs. Strength training at PP has helped me to build mental resilience as well as physical strength.
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Would you recommend PP and why?
I would absolutely 100 per cent recommend PP to anyone, whatever their lifestyle, fitness level or ability. I travel 35 minutes each way for each session three times a week because there simply aren’t any other gyms like PP in Sussex.
It is way more than just a gym – it is a life-support system, a fitness family and a one-of-a-kind training space that genuinely changes lives. The sense of community and camaraderie is amazing and the support you receive from trainers and members alike is unlike anywhere else.
The style of personal training offered means that you are treated as an individual and your training is tailored specifically to help you meet your goals. There is no judgement here, just a whole lot of support and guidance, and incredibly high standards from the best personal trainers around.
The knowledge and expertise of the whole team is exceptional and all the trainers ensure that you are always performing every exercise correctly and safely, in order to optimise your training and prevent injury. They manage to get the balance of professionalism and amiability spot on.
The weekly check-ins with a trainer hold you accountable for your actions outside the gym, which really helps if you’re serious about hitting certain targets. Some people worry about feeling intimidated when walking into the gym but you will never feel that way here. Everyone is welcoming and there is no sense of competition or judgement.
If you think the gym isn’t for you, you should really think again and give PP a try. I have so much love for this place and I highly recommend that everyone give it a try!
If Kate’s story has inspired you to start your own fitness journey, contact us here.
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