The Marathon Runner – Anouska
I have always been a very keen gym goer however after training for (and completing) the Edinburgh Marathon and cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2009 I lost all impetus for anything exercise related! In order to get back on track (and with my birthday getting close) I decided to try some personal training.
I'll be honest, I chose Graham purely as he offered a free consultation and that word (free!) gets me every time! I was nervous and didn't know what to expect however I found him very friendly and easy to talk to and I have been seeing Graham ever since. I have learnt a great deal making my time in the gym a lot more beneficial and he continues to help me meet my ever changing targets. To date he has helped me; lose weight and feel great in my wedding dress, tone up for holidays, train for races (half and full marathons) and aided my recovery when suffering from injury. Most importantly he has helped improve my strength to overcome the problems I have with severe over-pronation; when my physio suggested my feet weren't made for running Graham kept me running :) Graham has always been available for advice over coffee; from tips on nutrition to devising training plans and pace bands, he does what he can to help.
He is very supportive in any challenge I set myself and I knew he would be tracking me as I completed the London Marathon earlier in the year (this proved by the instant message of congratulations when I crossed the finish line!). I also have Graham to thank for helping me achieve my PB in the Chester Half this year. I had long awaited a sub 2hr but after several attempts couldn't quite break the mark. To ensure I wouldn't be disappointed again Graham offered to be my pacemaker and got me across the finish line in 1:56:10 (beating him!). At present I am training for the Chester Marathon in October with the aim of beating my London time 4:31:33...we'll see...
The Mountain Biker – John
As an enthusiastic mountain biker, I was keen to improve both my stamina and cycling fitness. I approached Graham with a view to accomplishing this but with some trepidation, having never worked with a Personal Trainer before and consequently not knowing what to expect.
At my first consultation, Graham took time to understand and measure my then current level of fitness and what it was I wanted to achieve with my riding, and set about working out a programme to allow me to meet these targets. My programme is reviewed every fortnight and changed to suit the progress I’ve made with emphasis on ensuring I carry out the various exercises safely, and understanding what it is I should be doing to maximise the benefit from our sessions. As a result the sessions are always challenging and engaging.
The results from training with Graham have been significant. I am now noticeably leaner, and a lot stronger on the bike. We have worked heavily on my core strength and as a result co-ordination and balance on the bike are hugely improved. I do some endurance mountain bike racing and before I started training with Graham I would be pleased finishing half way down the field. Now I finish regularly in the top 20%. Graham has also been an excellent and knowledgeable source of information on both nutrition and diet. His advice is practical and sustainable and with his help I have lost over 3 stone. The drop in clothes sizes is a great confidence booster!
The Skier - Angela
I first came to Graham three years ago after I had ruptured my ACL for the third time whilst skiing. Initially he worked closely with Gary at Prophysio on a specifically tailored rehabilitation programme. Within six months of surgery, thanks to Graham, I was skiing again. This time I felt stronger and fitter than with any of the previous injuries and most importantly this gave me the confidence to get back skiing again.
I have continued to see Graham since then and always feel that one session with him is better than three in the gym on my own! I am always surprised that the seemingly small adjustments he makes to the way I do some exercises makes them so much more effective than if I was doing them on my own. The sessions are always varied and the fact that I have a regular appointment makes me so much more motivated to exercise than if left to my own devices. I also feel very comfortable being able to have the sessions in the privacy of the Prophysio Gym. I would very much recommend Graham.
The Adventurer - Vicky
Graham was recommended to me by a Total Fitness over two years ago when I wanted to improve my fitness for a charity trek [along the Great Wall of China] that I wanted to do for my sixtieth birthday.
I did feel slightly apprehensive but Graham was very easy to get along with. Training with Graham has been one of the best things I have ever done, I am not only fitter but have become more confident, having gone on to do even more challenging treks.
I am still training with Graham two and a half years down the line! There is not a better recommendation than that.
The Ironman - Niall
I remember my first question to Graham "What will a personal trainer give me?" Graham asked what do you want to achieve my answer was drop some weight and complete the following events. Cheshire Cat 100 mile &Wicklow 200K bike sportive, Sand Stone Trail race 33 mile run, Swim the Chester D mile and then my major aim was complete an Ironman triathlon all within 2012. I also explained that I was not the best for following dieting or training plans.
Based on that we discussed my current training schedule which to be honest was whatever I felt like doing on the day. We discussed my current diet (which was not the best) and how that would impact my level of fitness and could be detrimental to me achieving my goals, Graham then explained how different training exercises with a good diet would be beneficial to me in helping me to obtain my goals.
I found that with Graham’s personal approach the training plans he set with the clear explanation of the benefit was pure motivation for me to work that bit harder. This gave me the confidence and belief not only to follow a structured training plan but for once look and amend my diet over the coming months.
I also found our informal sessions where we discussed what was working well and what might need tweaking to be highly beneficial to me and also give me that bit of motivation I needed to believe in myself.
Back to my first question Graham as my personal instructor give me the confidence, motivation and belief to have a planned training schedule and amend my diet which resulted in me completing all my goals I had set my self this year with the last one, Ironman Bolton, being completed in July. Cheers Graham for your help &support, Niall
Rowing in the Family - Aaron and Zoe
We are 15 year old twins who, as rowers, appreciate the need for strength, stamina and overall fitness. We were recommended to Graham as a trainer of elite athletes. He has been a fantastic trainer, even managing to motivate us with his enthusiasm and humour after hours training on the river.
All of our personal bests on the ergometer have improved significantly throughout the year, and we have both competed in the 1st Eights for our age group at a national level on many occasions and Ghent International Regatta. Although hard, the sessions are always fun and highly beneficial. Thank you, Graham!
The Winter Olympic Hopeful - Jack
I first came across Graham when I had been picked for the GB u14s roller hockey team in early 2011, who would later travel to the Junior Olympics in California in July that year. I wanted to get fitter to be prepared for the big tournament so I went to Graham for personal training once a week.
His training helped greatly and by the time of the tournament I was at my peak fitness. Graham did specialised excersises with me which involved the muscles used in roller hockey as well as working on balance and core strength. This meant I was stronger in the areas where it made a difference to me in my sport. These excercises were interesting and varied.
Because this training helped so much, I continue to use Graham on a weekly basis. He is always flexible around my sporting commitments. He is what can be only described as a "Bantersaurus Rex" as he balances the seriousness and intensity of the training with his own brand of humour.
The Semi-Professional Dancer - Richard
Graham is a fantastic (though hideously ugly) coach. He is enthusiastic and funny, but has a wealth of knowledge about training and fitness, which means he is able to give me advice and feedback as and when I need it.
I first saw him as I had joined a semi professional dance performance company and needed to develop my core strength, the strength in my arms and legs, and to protect my back from injury (which I had a history of). I only intended to see him for 12 sessions. I have been seeing him for almost a year now and the sessions have meant that my back is now strong and gives me no problems and that my painful knee is a thing of the past.
The mum of two Nina
I joined the gym last year after having 2 children and doing no exercise for 5 years.
I consulted Graham after about a month as I found I just wasn't achieving any real results.
I would exercise but stop as soon as I started to get out of breath etc.
Graham and I discussed what my goals were and then Graham devised a program around that.
I have 3 sessions a week and before I started Graham measured and weighed me. Within 4 weeks
I noticed a big improvement in my measurements and fitness. After a few months people who had
not seen me for a while really started to comment on my shape, that was my biggest motivation.
I have found that Graham pushes me in a positive way, I manage to do exercises that I think I
can't do as he believes in me even when I don't always. The biggest achievement for me has been the
fact that I can now run. I have always lacked stamina and have never dared to even jog at a
slow pace on the treadmill, now I have the confidence and the ability to get on the treadmill
alone and run, Never ever would I have done that before, I would only walk at a quick pace.
Graham and I regularly discuss my progress and as I have improved I have altered my goals
which Graham will adapt my program to. With the help and guidance from Graham I have achieved
and maintained the shape I wanted and am still improving. To date I have lost over 2 stone
and 2 dress sizes, with Graham's advice I have altered my eating plan but do not diet.
In fact I eat more now than ever just at the right times. I have never really liked exercise
and even now I have days when I arrive at the gym and feel like turning right back round,
but knowing Graham is there I get over that barrier and after our session I always feel
good for pushing myself. I am so proud of the results I have achieved now that even
when I am unable to train in the gym due to family commitments I will still try to do a bit at home.