I was lucky enough to be invited down to David Lloyd Clubs in Westbury for the day, to make use of their facilities and have an hour session with one of their personal trainers. I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous beforehand. I go through stages of being really good & going to the gym pretty much every day, to then not going at all and just eating rubbish. It’s safe to say, December was definitely one of those months for me – wasn’t it for everyone?! After successfully being Vegan for 3 months, Christmas came around and we couldn’t resist the cheese or chocolate, then the meat.. It kind of all fell apart from there. I promised myself to start off the New Year right, and get back into a healthy lifestyle come January. I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, but if I had one, that was it. New Year, New Me and all that. However, January didn’t get off to the best start due to being poorly on and off for a few weeks (a typical January for me). So when the training session came around, I was dreading it due to not having done any proper exercise in a whiiiiile!
Luckily, meeting Liam, my PT for the next hour, put me at ease. He asked me what I wanted from my session to which I replied ‘I’ve got no idea’. My answer to most things! I told him that sometimes I can be good at going to the gym but I hadn’t recently, and just wanted to generally lose weight and tone up. He wrote out a plan for the next hour, including teaching me to warm up and stretch properly, some HIIT, weight training and other exercises to work my core, therefore working all areas of my body. It didn’t sound too terrifying!
First off we warmed up and stretched properly. I’m one of those people who just jumps on the treadmill for a bit for a warm up but I was taught this doesn’t actually warm up all your muscles, and it’s better off to do some walking lunges and high knees etc and really feel your muscles warm up! Or burn, in my case… At least that means I’m doing something right? I also never ever stretch before exercise (only after if anything!) so we did some different stretches so my whole body was ready for the session.
Once I was warmed up & stretched out, we headed to the rowing machine. I’m still in the mindset that I was at school a couple years ago (I wasn’t, I’m now 24 but it being 6 years ago seems crazy to think about!), so when asked if I was familiar with rowing machines I said yes. Yet, in reality, I haven’t been on one since school. Still, if I could use it back then I’m sure I could manage now? Ha. It was a lot harder than I thought after my 6 year break! We started with a couple of 500m rows, which didn’t seem like too much hard work but got considerably tougher. I definitely benefited from having a PT there to encourage me to keep going, as if I’d been doing this on my own in the gym I’d definitely not have done the second time round…! We then did some HIIT training, rowing as fast as I could, resting, rowing, etc. I’ve never actually done HIIT training despite hearing how good it is, so was glad to be shown it wasn’t as intimidating as it seemed.
Liam had planned to do squats after the rowing machine, but my legs were literally like JELLY. It felt so weird to walk, let alone do any squats! Instead we skipped the squats and headed over to the free weights area to teach me to deadlift (ahh!). This is an area that I find super intimidating, and have never actually set foot in. Everyone seems to actually know what they’re doing, and they’re all in pretty good shape. Due to this, I felt ever so slightly out of place…! I’d never attempt to deadlift on my own, but with Liam there to guide me through it it wasn’t as scary as it looked. To anyone who wants to get fit but isn’t sure their way around a gym/doesn’t feel confident using the equipment, even one PT session makes all the difference! My main fear in the gym is people looking at me like ‘what the hell is she doing?!’, so being taught how to use everything properly made me feel much better about using it on my own in the future.
After my not-great-but-not-too-terrible attempts at deadlift, we headed back to the green area we’d started at, where we did some core exercises before cooling down. One piece of equipment we used I didn’t catch the name of, but you run pushing along and then drag back using a rope sat down. This looked super easy, but once I tried I realised it was actually really heavy! I have super weak arms so this made me really feel like they were being worked on.
We finished with some core exercises, then cooled down with some stretches.
I thought after the session I’d feel drained and worn out but I actually felt really good! Yes, very, very sore, but surprisingly energised and also pretty proud of myself! I never would’ve pushed myself to do such a work out on my own, and didn’t actually realise I was capable of it either! I think many people think PTs are for those who are already fit looking to gain muscle, or that they have to book a load of sessions which can be super expensive. I honestly found just one session for someone like me to make me feel more confident and kickstart my fitness routine worked wonders! I think it also helped that Liam was really friendly and pushed me to complete all the workouts despite me really wanting to give up, but I didn’t hate him for it! I was worried PTs might be scarily aggressive, but then again I’m the girl who went to bootcamp once and felt so attacked that I never went back. I don’t do well with people shouting at me to do stuff – a much softer approach works better for me!
After my session I headed downstairs to make use of the rest of the facilities. I felt like I deserved this!! I had a quick swim in the pool but I’d decided by this point I’d done enough exercise, so decided to relax in the steam room & sauna before jumping in the jacuzzi. There is nothing better than unwinding in a bath after the gym, so the jacuzzi was a definite step up! This was the perfect way to calm my aching muscles – everyone deserves to get in a jacuzzi after a work out! David Lloyd Westbury honestly is such a nice gym, but the fact that it has the extra facilities such as the jacuzzi and steam room just puts it above any other gyms I’ve been to in Bristol. I love swimming, so if I had a membership here I’d definitely alternate between working out in the gym and doing lengths in the pool. Both would end with my soaking in the jacuzzi!
To anyone looking for somewhere in Bristol that gives you more than your average gym, David Lloyd Westbury is the one. It has everything you need from a gym, with the extra luxuries. I had a great PT session there, but if not I’d have loved to have attended one of the many classes they have on offer! I also noticed they had an outside pool, which would be totally dreamy in the summer. Basically, they have everything you could ever want!
**This was a gifted trip, but I would never write what I didn’t truly feel!**
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