"The gym has helped improve my confidence and outlook on life." - Ed
When Ed joined the gym, he didn't realise how much it would positively impact his mental and physical well being. Read his story to find out how making small, sustainable changes and staying consistent changed his life.
Originally I started going to the gym to help my brother out. My brother had tried going by himself but could not get find motivation and didn’t remain consistent. At the time I was suffering from mental health and my family thought it would be a really good way of me getting out of the house and motivating my brother.
Once we both started learning together I became more and more passionate to develop my knowledge further. I begun investing in some gym gloves and vests and picking up some weights. Once I saw my first changes in my fitness and physique… that was it. I was hooked. And that’s where it all began.
The gym is a household. Everyone there is always working hard trying to work on their own goals. It's great. My advice for anyone thinking about going to the gym is to just go, even if it’s just to have a look.Ed
Working out has helped me in other areas of life. I don’t suffer anywhere near as much with my mental health anymore. Before I started the gym, I was working in a small shop which was right next to my house but since I've been going to the gym, I'm working in a customer facing job and commuting to work.
I feel a lot more confident in the way I carry myself. The gym has taught me a lot about work ethic and breaking down mental barriers when it comes to being faced with a situation you believe that you are incapable of.
I started changing my lifestyle one step at a time. It begun by being good company for my brother, that carried on by learning techniques and form and eventually expanded to different training styles and nutrition.
I learnt quickly that changing your whole routine in the space of a week is not going to be much fun and will be really demotivating. So I changed my routine as well as my diet slowly.
I increased the amount of times I was going to the gym slowly and decreased the amount snacks/treats I was having gradually. Then it was just about remaining consistent.
I like to aim to workout 3-4 workouts a week. My workouts currently consist of compound movements, ie: squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc. This is currently helping me with my strength and explosive power.
The 3 variations of Bench (flat, incline and decline) really helped me with strength and shape my upper body. The fact you can also change your grip in wards and target your triceps, makes it a well rounded exercise. Practicing pull ups is also there in my ranks of building a strength and muscle at the same time. Its great exercise to engage your core as well as your back and biceps.
I’ve never been afraid to ask a PT for help with an exercise or simply ask if my form was okay.
At PureGym, I find there's always a PT on hand to speak to for some advice. This is very comforting, if you're ever in doubt of your form.
My proudest achievement to date was a 185kg deadlift. Something I thought to be unimaginable if you were to ask me when I first joined.
What I typically eat in day:
Breakfast – Weetabix with a banana
Lunch – Rice or pasta with chicken or tuna/salmon
Dinner – Chicken and/or eggs and salads (example: spinach, kale)
Any snacks – The occasional chocolate bars and sweets. I do like to treat myself here and there.
Top tip if you're new to the gym
Don’t throw yourself in the deep end. Its easy to become overwhelmed by all the different exercises you have to do and then not enjoy doing them. Start with classes. You can go at your own pace and the PT’s always make them fun and motivate you along. Heck I still do classes from time to time as a fun workout.
My 3 pieces of advice for people looking to build a lean muscular physique:
- Work on your compound exercises: Deadlift, squats, bench, etc. are consistently working on your core and multiple muscle groups. Also mind muscle connections, really slow down movements and increase the amount of reps.
- Nutrition: Analyse what kind of metabolism you have. If it’s a low metabolism then add things to your diet such as green tea and cold black coffee before workouts which raises your metabolism. If it’s a high metabolism increase the portion sizes so you are not burning off all your hard work. Additionally have fun! Be dedicated but not to a stage you are not having fun.
- Rest! A goodnights rest is so important in muscle generation. Giving a different meaning to time is healer! A good 8 hours will make a world of difference to your workouts. Stretching and yoga in the morning or before a workout has helped me out a lot too when it comes to lifting too. You feel more flexible and nimble.
Next up, I would love to get stronger. I'm aiming to do 200kg deadlift, 130kg bench, 160kg Squat by the end of the year. At the same time I will be working on building my physique. I'm aspiring to do a personal trainer course, so maybe one day also be the friendly PT you see at PureGym!