Almost 4 years of GymFit! The story so far.

Hey there everyone!


I thought this would probably be the best way to get my message to you all. I imagine I’ts going to be a little lengthy so a Facebook post just wouldn’t cut it!


You’ve hopefully noticed there have been some pretty huge changes to GymFit recently and I’m not sure we communicated all of that with the members as much as I would have liked. On my part it was really easy to get so engrossed in the moving of equipment and knocking down walls that I don’t think we actually told enough people it was coming. Myself, Diane and Gareth have had this vision of what we wanted to create in our heads for years, and as you can imagine had hundreds of conversations about the end goal for this awesome place. SO, lets tell you the whole story.


In this building there has been a gym for nearly 30 years (even with the leaky roof and uneven floors). It’s pretty amazing that something like this has lasted this long in our local community, we even have some dinosaurs (wink) that have been members since the very beginning! But unfortunately, over this time the gym had built a reputation as a place of grunting men who all take steroids and spit on each other (I made that last part up, but you get the point), There was a ladies only gym, yet only around 10 female members. It was all a mess, in those 30 years the building had been adapted and changed to meet the needs of the previous owners, this meant strange rooms that didn’t make sense to us, and a layout that wasn’t suited to the demands of people in this modern world of fitness. The roof was almost beyond repair and people only came here because it was cheap!


When we came along 4 years ago, we really wanted to change that, we believed that we could make somewhere that could accommodate a competitive bodybuilder or a retired grandma of 3 that wanted to lose weight. But to do that, it would take some serious work, time and money! And slowly, over time I think we’re nearly there. We started with the obvious small things like paint and flooring, started to put on classes and honestly got a bunch of staff involved that have been amazing. I just want to put it out there that without them this whole task would have been impossible, they’ve been supportive, reliable, honest and understanding from the very start, so thanks you guys.


The layout of the gym just wasn’t working for us and we felt that we needed to create 2 separate spaces for the different needs of our members. I get that gyms can be intimidating places, and the last thing I want anyone to feel is that they don’t belong somewhere. If you’ve ever met me, I’d like to think that this is something that comes across. So, we’ve moved studios, created huge open plan gym spaces to give people more room to train, provide more options when choosing exercises and given the place so much more light. We’ve invested in equipment and provided structure and support for members. We’re so so proud of what we have.


So, going further forward we have a few more changes coming your way, a new reception, sports massage therapy room, a dedicated spin studio and a host of new classes hitting the timetable very soon! All awesome things that we think will just make us that little bit better. Once the building has been finished don’t think we’re stopping there, you can expect upgrades to our equipment as we keep pushing to be the best gym we can possibly be!


There we have it. 4 years of GymFit and the finish line is in sight! Thanks for being members, you’re an amazing bunch and make it so easy for us to come to work with a smile on our faces every single day.


Let’s keep getting better together!


James and the team x

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Blog 3 - I'm going VEGAN! Mmmm, Cant Wait

IM GOING VEGAN…. For a month.

If you could only see my face as I’m writing this, its kind of a frown with some fear thrown in, looks a little bit like I’ve got wind!

I’ve got a dog (Called Stanley, and he’s awesome) and I could never ever imagine eating a dog, it’s too strange. Then I look at cows in a field, think they look cute and all that but have no issue whatsoever eating beef. There doesn’t seem to be a switch in my head that links the food on my plate to the big mooing milk maker in the field. I love meat and try to get it in pretty much every meal so why on earth am I going to go vegan? Well, for an experiment. I want to see what happens to my body and learn more about what an increased intake of nutrients from non-animal products can bring to my life and exercise. I figure what better way to learn that to experience it right??


As everyone in the world knows, Veganism/Plant Based diets have increased in popularity HUGELY over the last few years. The ethics surrounding the killing of animals has never had more discussion. Facebook is full of arguments between the Veegs (as I’m calling them) and the Meaties (why not), and the more I read them, the more stupid each side of the argument sounds.


The Veegs obviously like to let everybody know of their views, I get that, if you feel passionate about something, you want everyone else to see what you see, and you want to protect living creatures from being killed unnecessarily. But it gets silly when frustrations run high and words like murderers and rapists get thrown in, farmers are neither of those things, well, not when it comes to their produce. Then on the other side, the Meaties compare our eating habits to that of our ancestors and the most common argument is that we’re at the top of the food chain and so we can eat what we want, Both true. But you can’t hide the fact that just because we as humans CAN do things, it doesn’t always mean that we MUST. We’re more informed than our ancestors ever were, we’re not hunting anything on our big shop at Aldi and certain diseases are much more prominent than ever before. We can’t hide that excessive consumption of certain food groups have been proven to influence the big C.


I fully intend on going back to meat eating after this is all over, I think. But will my eating habits change, will i cut my consumption? Will I feel any of the health benefits that are claimed? I plan on monitoring my sleep, performance in the gym, body composition and (gross) My “movements” if you catch what I’m saying.

These are 10 benefits the Express Online claim I can experience through my vegan diet, some measurable, some not so much. Either way, they are some VERY bold claims!

Taken from;

  1. Great if you want to lose weight or slim down

When you cut out animal products you’ll find that it’s easier to stay slim as you’re not consuming high amounts of saturated fats from dairy and meat products.

  1. It’s easier to get your 5-a-day

Never mind five, you can easily get double that on a vegan diet. Eating fruit and/or vegetables at every mealtime means that your diet will be much more nutritious than those making up a third (or less) of lunch and dinner with vegetables. Eating snacks such as N?kd bars also count as your 5-a-day, are totally delicious and vegan.

  1. Vegans are healthier

Vegans and vegetarians typically have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of Type 2 diabetes, lower body mass indexes, a lower risk of death from heart disease, and lower overall cancer rates. Science and research confirms that you don’t need meat to be healthy at all, in fact statistics point to quite the opposite.

  1. Going vegan can improve your sports prowess, not impair it

What you may not be aware of is just how many great and successful athletes are vegan. You may not be familiar with the name, but Scott Jurek is recognised as probably the greatest ultrarunner (distances of 50, 100 and more miles) of all time. He has been a vegan since 1999 and has won most of the toughest long distance races in the world, and many of these on numerous occasions. You’re more likely to have heard of Carl Lewis but did you know that he’s vegan? One of the world’s greatest athletes, Carl attributes his dominant and record breaking performances of 1991 to being vegan.

  1. Having a vegan diet boosts immunity and is anti-cancer

Since fruits and vegetables are rich in super nutrients and many have anti-oxidant purposes, they can bolster the immune system and help the body fight against disease.

  1. Vegans are more beautiful

Vegans who consume a large amount of fruits and vegetables are feeding and nurturing the health of their skin, hair and nails meaning that they literally glow with health.

  1. Plant-based diet can aid arthritis

Eliminating dairy consumption has long been connected with alleviating arthritis symptoms, but a new study by Karolinska University in Stockholm indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very effective in improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. Boost your energy levels

On a vegan diet, you will find your energy is much improved. NFL star Tony Gonzalez has talked extensively about how swapping from an omnivore to vegan diet has helped him gain energy while playing at the top of his career in the NFL.

  1. You’ll live longer

Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian diet will live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not.

  1. No bad breath and less body odour

Eliminating dairy and red meat from your diet significantly reduces body odour, and vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath.

There you have it, I’m going to smell better and be more beautiful, can’t wait for that! I’m hoping that my impartial stance on all this will give you all an unbiased view on the Veeg World!

So here we go, next stop Veganism! I think I’m going to do some video vlogging of this… I don’t think I can do it justice in written format, as you can probably tell from the few of these I’ve done, I’m no JK Rowling. Plus, via video vlog you’ll hopefully see me become “More Beautiful” as point 6 promises me!

Wish me luck, and please, my Veeg brothers and sisters, send me over some tasty suggestions. I’ll need all your help.

Over and Out, Plant Power, JW.

BLOG 2 - Be Inspired!!

Be inspired!!

I got inspired, and here’s a little rundown of what, and why! The what?… well, it was the CrossFit games (And I have strong dislike of CrossFit).

Any of you watch it? If you didn’t, and have no idea what it is, here’s a quick rundown. Basically, it’s a huge competition based in America open to qualifiers from all over the world, with the aim to find the “Fittest Man and Woman on earth!” And it’s awesome and terrifyingly awful in equal measure!


First with the awesome. The Why! The way they push their bodies each day of the event is flabbergasting (Great word). As an example, on day one the participants had to complete 4 events. Event 1 was a tough 10 lap cycle of a 1.2-mile track as fast as possible. Event 2 was 30 muscle ups for time (check them out on google if you’re not sure). Event 3 was called the CrossFit ladder, a 1 rep max (Maximum weight you can lift for just 1 rep) of a Back Squat, A Deadlift and a Shoulder Press. And finally, after all that, a Marathon that’s right, 42,195km on a rowing machine! I mean come on… that is just madness, it makes it even crazier when you realise that they have 4 days of competition at that intensity.


Safe to say that just one of those workouts would be tough if not impossible for the average Steve. They’ve combined strength, endurance, skill, gymnastics, flexibility all into a day’s work, in competition mode, meaning everything was done as if it was the most important thing in their world! That is AMAZING! The amount of sacrifice, dedication and hard work these athletes are putting in every day, not just at the games is incredible. It made me feel like my gym routines were about as trying as Sir Steve Redgrave rowing a boat around the paddling pool at Markeaton Park! It made me realise just how much we can get our body to do, and how much I want mine to do more! I sat there, literally buzzing with excitement to get myself to the gym and try things I don’t normally do. To make myself uncomfortable and scared before a workout, it was great and exactly what I needed and wanted. The next day I rowed 10k, more than I’d ever done before and tried to learn new skills that were so foreign I nearly bashed my teeth out with a barbell! I WAS INSPIRED by the amazing men and women I saw!


So why do I dislike CrossFit? Well, the negatives in recreational CrossFit are very well documented, and a huge part of the fitness industry loves to put down the CrossFit community, like a cousin you don’t want to be associated with. Injury rate is high, and I’ve seen some horrific things out there that people are doing in CrossFit gyms and at low level competitions. Programming is poor, it’s basically just randomness drawn on the board by someone just trying to make horrible workouts. I also question the longevity of the body to this extreme training, I can see ex CrossFit athletes having numerous severe ailments when they come to the end of their career! HOWEVER, I also think with a great coach and a history of sports and athletic training, competitive CrossFit is awesome! But average Steve after a day on the tools trying to PB a snatch (again, google it if I’m talking gibberish) is flat out dangerous. But anyway, I don’t want to be too negative here, anything that gets people pushing themselves to be better and healthier is a winner in my book and as I’ve said before, the things these guys and girls can do blows my mind!


So, what’s the message? SEEK INSPIRATION! We all need that something to give us spark. You’ve all got something you love doing, and from personal experience you can’t do it alone, true, only you can directly change your own life but seek out the people that share your desire to be better and do the things you dream of doing! Whatever you choose, observe, ask questions and throw yourself into it, once you’ve done that I’m absolutely convinced you’ll move forward refreshed, renewed, motivated and ready to be more awesome.


Thanks, and see you all soon! #teamgymfit



September Newsletter

Hey guys! So, it’s been a few months since I got a newsletter out to you, and I’ve missed it! I haven’t had people emailing me to say “Hey! Where’s my newsletter” but I’m sure you’ve missed it too. Basically, it’s all GDPR’s fault, I’m sure you’ve all had a million emails from companies asking you to opt in to their mailing lists (which if you’re like me you just ignore). I was a little stuck in how I was going to be able to keep in touch with everyone, but hey, its 2018 and so I decided I probably needed to blog it instead.

                                                   Huge Things On The Horizon

So, we’ve created a really exciting new media section on the website and we’re seriously stepping up our game. With articles, blogs and videos covering training (obviously), nutrition, mindset, rehab and basically anything we think will make you a better you! We’re going to be sharing all of this on our social media pages on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram so there’s hopefully going to be no getting away from our faces. It’s been something I’ve thought about for a while and I’m so excited/scared to start getting all this info out to you.


Those of you who know Gareth Turner know he’s a machine, but he’s also been a firefighter for approaching 30 years! And this month is going to be his last, he’s had an amazing career and we’re luckily going to be seeing more of him as he begins his next lifechanging move, into our new changing rooms. So congratulations Gareth, thankyou for all the amazing work you’ve done throughout your career! Happy Semi-Retirement haha.

                                                                                                                                            6 Week Shred!

After the amazing success you all had from our 12 week plan we all felt a little lost when it came to an end for a lot of you. I love seeing the gym buzzing and the little community we’ve created genuinely inspires me. So, me and Mary got together and started on the 6 week shred, you know, holidays on the horizon, no kids for 6 weeks, perfect time to go for it! Well, its been AMAZING and so well received by you all. Its proved tough for everyone which is perfect and the way you all get together to train, chat and moan (mainly moan) has been brilliant! Please keep all of that going once the 6 weeks are over and please make sure you come and see the personal trainers once you’ve completed it, this is a taste of how good programming can be for your exercise and they’re waiting to get you setup with a programme completely tailored to you!

We do all of this for you to succeed, its completely free and the whole purpose is to give you the direction you need to get the results you’re looking for! Set goals, set a timeline and come see us to get your own 12 week plan or 6-week shred started.
There we have it. A really exciting few months ahead! If you haven’t already, head on our social media sites, like the pages or press that subscribe button to get all this new, exciting content as soon as it comes out.

Work Hard, enjoy your summer, JW.

Blog 1 - I decided to be less FAT!

I decided to be less fat!


Sounds strange right? I’m a personal trainer, I lecture and moan to my clients constantly about eating, planning and a healthy lifestyle, but somehow id managed to let myself get sloppy and it was creeping on!

I think it was a few things in the last year, I got married (It was awesome), I moved to a new house (It’s awesome) I went on holidays and stags (they were awesome) and I just let myself get to a point of not really giving a s**t what I put in my mouth. I certainly wasn’t eating through being unhappy, but the complete opposite, that classic “comfort eating” that most of us usually creep into, aaargh.

I’ve consistently trained, never letting that dip off too much, but when it comes to food I’ve never prioritised it as much as I should! I always try to eat good meals, a variety of food sources and take the healthier option when I’m grabbing a bite. But I’m also I’m brilliant when it comes to a binge eating session, Chinese food, Yeah, I’ll eat ALL the chicken balls. Haribo’s, the whole bag with no issues and my general portion sizes had grown to mammoth plates.

About 8 weeks ago I came back from a fantastic stag do to Dusseldorf, I’ve never drank so much beer in my life, the weekends most used phrase was “16 MORE”. I came back and it suddenly kind of hit me, James you need to sort yourself out. I felt bloated and didn’t think I looked like I went to a gym let alone practically live in one.

So, with a renewed focus and a desire to not be the heaviest member of staff (Callum) I went about controlling my food intake. 6 weeks later sat here I’m 13lb down and my weight now starts with a 12, it feels awesome to be honest. There’s nothing complicated going on, no super scientific approach, no fasted cardio or HIIT training, contrary to popular belief these are NOT essential to lose fat! A simple calories in vs calories out approach is the key thing here, I keep a mental note of the calories I consume, I exercise 4 days per week and I haven’t sacrificed the things I enjoy most, they just fit into my daily allowance!

Weight loss is not complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, the mental aspect is so much more difficult than the actual food part. You do have to change your behaviours, for example, going out for a meal with a starter, main, desert and a few beers can’t really be a thing on top of your normal breakfast and lunch, so your social patterns may have to change, not stop, but change (Your social patterns are probably the biggest reason we get unhealthy in the first place). You also have to find ways around the cravings, things like diet drinks, small chocolate bars, sugary spreads on snacks all help massively to give yourself the sweet kick you crave while being responsible. I also believe you need daily goals, whether that be calorie intake as I prefer, an exercise move goal on a fitness watch, or if you want to go more in depth, trying to hit the perfect macro split for your ideal diet.. YOU NEED GOALS!

So, what’s the point in me telling you all this? I want you to succeed, I’d love it if you could read this and realise that everyone, and I mean everyone has times where their focus dips, it’s absolutely normal that if you have something big (good or bad) in your life then that takes priority, but nothing in life is permanent and when you’re ready, have a look at yourself, ask yourself what you want to achieve and make a plan of action to sort it out. If you don’t know how then ask for help, share your thoughts and ideas, and I promise you you’ll nail it!


Thanks for having a little read, I’m less fat and I’m loving it. #TEAMGYMFIT