James & Paul's Story

The key thing with Elite is that there’s no false machismo, no posturing, no trying to outdo each other. That’s why we hated going to the gym – we’d be power-mincing on the treadmill and struggling to hear Coronation Street over the sound of grunting conkerbags of meat peacocking in front of the mirror. It’s funny, you know: I’ve lifted many things in my life: Yorkies out of the tuck shop, heavy weights: and not once have I ever felt the need to make a noise like someone just kicked me in the pants with a steel-cap boot. I’m a vain man and yet the thought of watching my body ripple as I try and lift dumb-bells without prolapsing just does not appeal – so why do they do it? God knows. For this reason, and partly because I’m too tight to pay for a gym membership where they don’t even have Kitkats in the vending machine, Elite works for us!

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We signed up for Elite’s ‘Transformation’ programme – six weeks of three high-intensity workouts a week, with a diet plan, support and a weekly weigh-in. Sounds like hard work, and listen, it is – but the results speak for themselves. We went from losing a couple of pounds every now and then (despite following the SW plan religiously!) to actually heading towards our ten stone target. You know when people say the weight dropped off and you roll your eyes and wish they were dead (just me?) – that’s exactly what happened! Once we started moving, so did the weight – clothes start fitting better, faces didn’t look so bloated and people stopped wincing and pulling their chairs back when we entered a room. In life you tell yourself you can’t do stuff – but if you force yourself, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.

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Now the serious bit: if you’re sitting there thinking you’re too big for exercise, too unfit for Elite: please, trust us. You aren’t.

You’re talking to two lads who used to get out of breath tying their shoe laces, who legitimately thought about adopting a child just so we could park closer in the supermarket and then gave that up (the idea, not the child) when we realised online shopping would end the need for us to bend our ankles.

We weren’t just unfit, we were shot – serious warning signs of high blood pressure, headaches when waking, lips turning blue solving an easy Sudoku – the works. But we powered through the first class, thought we were going to die in the car park, then never looked back. In eighteen weeks we went from unfit to running a 5k. Prior to Elite I wouldn’t have set off running even if someone had set my legs on fire, and yet, here we were jogging and pulling classic run-faces. All down to Elite.

The classes are mixed ability and size and due to the way the classes are, you only need to do what you can – everyone does the same exercise, but the chap next to you might do fifteen press-ups to your three – as long as you’re doing your best, you’ll get the same results. But here’s the thing – if you can’t do an exercise (and mind there’s a world of difference between can’t do and can’t-be-bothered-to-do) the instructors will give you another exercise to do. Paul has a knee made from Victoria Sponge cake and rather than making him jump, they give him squats to do. The instructors will accommodate everything you need as best they can, if he can do the moves, anyone can!

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