Exercise and healthy eating with a difference.
I was invited to join a small group of friends who saw Ben for personal training twice per week. At this point I weighed 200 lbs (I am 5ft 8in) and had lazy and destructive eating habits. I had not exercised properly or consistently since my school days. Over the years I had tried many gyms but found the environment intimidating and often superficial; and any home-based exercise programme I soon abandoned for lack of companionship, support and encouragement.
The difference in Ben’s approach was immediately apparent. I felt at ease and accepted despite my poor physical condition. I was never embarrassed or ashamed as the prevailing spirit within in the classes was both positive and reassuring. Initially, Ben modified the exercises for me, but in such a way that I did not stand out or look foolish in front of the other members of the class. He then gently augmented the exercises as my fitness levels improved. Ben’s classes were defined by kindness, understanding, theoretical awareness and creative planning. He worked everyone in the group to their own level, so that even within a class setting one felt as if they had a personal trainer.
Alongside this fitness programme, Ben provided intelligent suggestions for healthy eating that made sense and did not impose unrealistic restrictions. His philosophy that ‘you cannot out-train poor nutrition’ I took to heart. I did not wish to sabotage all of my hard work in the gym by returning to unchecked snacking and large portions at mealtimes.
About six months into this programme I had surgery on my Achilles tendon (for a condition unrelated to my time with Ben). Again, Ben modified all of my exercises; for two months I engaged in a strength and conditioning programme that kept me fit and healthy during my time in plaster cast and walking boot! My surgeon commented that he had never seen an ankle return to full motility in such a short period of time. He felt that this certainly was due to the fact that I, with Ben’s guidance and expertise, had engaged in sensible physical activity and resisted the common practice of using convalescence as an excuse to be sedentary.
I now attend Ben’s classes 3 - 4 times per week, and especially enjoy the circuit sessions and the ladies’ strength training courses. I have lost 65 pounds and have gone from a dress size 20 to a 10. I have never had more energy or felt so secure about my health and appearance. I look forward to Ben’s classes - no matter how tough they are (and they are tough!) - as they are conducted always within an atmosphere of professionalism, friendship and fun.
Amy Price, 46, Cambridge