Oct 24, 2017
From zero to 26.2 miles, a journey of running inspiration
Rachel Toth’s fitness journey is a true inspiration that started when she approached personal trainer Chris in 2016 at the Bannatyne Health Club in Chester le Street.
Rachel had ankle ligament damage, was struggling to walk, felt overweight and was prone to injury.
Rachel and Chris’s first focus was rehabilitating her ankle, which then moved onto reducing body fat by following a nutritional programme and having two 1 to 1 Personal Training sessions each week. The results Rachel achieved in reducing her body fat in her first 6 months were amazing. Being able to utilise the gym and class timetable at the Chester le Street club, along with her PT sessions, really allowed full focus on Rachel’s strength and fitness development, which enabled her to return to her hobby of running.
Whether it be a 5k, 10k, half marathon or a full marathon Rachel has demonstrated through hard work, determination and working with Chris, being frustrated by injury and feeling overweight can be overcome.
Rachel is now able to run injury free, feels great, looks great and has been able to book her dream place in the Philadelphia Marathon in the United States this November.
This will be Rachel’s fifth marathon in 2 years!!!
You can see for yourself images of Rachel’s transformation and the medals Rachel has earned completing races since starting her PT and fitness journey in 2016.
Rachel story shows with self-determination, a can do attitude and personal training which is specific to individual needs, real long term sustainable progress and results can be achieved.
Rachel continues to train with Chris at Bannatyne Health Club in Chester le Street and has her eyes set on many more goals to come.
In Rachel’s own words: “After running related injuries a few years ago I decided I needed to strengthen my body. I started training with Chris at Bannatyne Chester Le Street who helped me overcome my injury. Two years later I am stronger than ever and this has helped to keep the injuries away, and to continue doing what I love: running. Along with attending a spin class usually 3 times a week, my whole life now revolves fitness, being strong and healthy.”
Mohammed Mumtaz (42) is a member at our Luton club and through the support of the team at the club, and his own hard work, is changing his life for the better.
Mohammed was diagnosed with high cholesterol levels and borderline diabetes and made the decision to change his lifestyle and adopt a healthier approach to living.
He explains: “I have had mental health problems in the past and always felt that this was an obstacle on my fitness journey, but the support of everyone around me has changed this.
“I’ve worked with the fitness advisers at the Luton health club and they offer me advice and support. I’m pushed hard in my personal training sessions but I’m gaining knowledge of fitness from these.
“I find coming to the gym helps relieve stress and combats the difficulties I have been facing.”
Duty Manager/Receptionist Scarlet has lost 2 stone in 8 months through training at the club 3-4 times a week in the gym. One of those being a Personal Training Session with Laura who is the Club's Health and Fitness Manager/PT.
Scarlet mentioned she is calorie counting but is still allowing treats as too much restriction would cause failure. She added, "it's a lifestyle change and not a diet as diets are only a temporary weight loss measure." She is taking on board more protein especially snacks and has swapped her usual 2 packets of crisps with a bowl of tuna!When training in the gym Scarlet does a mixture of strength, functional and cardiovascular training. Laura pushes her to her limit when in her PT sessions, this has made Scarlet more knowledgeable when training on her own. Every session with Laura is different which makes it more interesting and achieves the results. Since starting the gym Scarlet has a monthly Inbody Composition Analysis were this calculates the body fat, water, lean muscle tissue and BMI. This has helped her measure her results and progress. Well done Scarlet!
John joined our health club in Hastings in February 2017 with an initial goal to lose weight. With life getting in the way, including work and family commitments, John, like many members, found it difficult to stay focused and motivated to achieve his goal.
In May 2017 he decided to start personal training.
John and his Trainer Daine worked together on building a weekly programme alongside two one-hour sessions a week to fit around what were the barriers to achieving his goal. In just 12 months John lost more than eight stone in weight and completed the Hever Castle Triathlon. (22.5 stone to 14.5 stone)
John said: “Daine changed my outlook on fitness and gave me the discipline to persevere with making the necessary changes to my lifestyle. In addition to making the sessions fun, Daine offered support and counsel outside the gym. He didn't let me give up and would push me in every session, he challenged me to do training I never would have done on my own. The relationship was key - Daine is really personable and focused on developing the trust in attitude and ability.
Daine said: “John has worked incredibly hard over the past year and I am extremely proud of what he has achieved. I knew after my first week with John he was going to do well as he demonstrated the key ingredients to getting any result in life, and that is to work hard and stay consistent! John’s results speak for themselves and he has been an inspiration to the Hastings club and has influenced many others along the way. John’s journey doesn't end here, as he is currently training to complete the following in 2018: Ironman 70.3 in Weymouth. (2km swim 90km bike half marathon) and 7 x Triathlons.”
Mike Faulkner has been a hard training consistent member at our Rotherham health club for a little over 10 years now, he is a big personality in the classes and you would struggle to find a day when he isn't giving it some serious welly on the gym floor!
The club’s general manager was chatting to Mike one day and he mentioned he needed some sort of goal to be aiming for when he's training and something to strive towards to keep him focused after all these years of fitness dedication.
So he decided to start competing in marathons all around the world. He set out on a mission to complete as many major city marathons as he could with an aim of being crowned a 'Six Star Finisher' and being awarded with a Six Star Finisher world marathon medal!
This medal and recognition is for the most elite marathon runners with only 3000 people worldwide ever to be rewarded with it.
So far, in only the last 3 years, Mike has run and successfully completed city marathons in Manchester, London, Paris, Barcelona, Prague, New York, Chicago, Boston & Tokyo... He only has to run and complete Berlin in September 2018 to be a Six Star Finisher!!!
Wow! This is one of the most impressive fitness journeys we have come across and we are sure you'll all be as amazed and as impressed as we are!
Peter, a member at our Birmingham Brindleyplace health club, has just completed the London Marathon in a personal best time of 4 hours and 51 minutes. He has given us a few words about his training and fitness journey.
“I knew when I got the London Marathon place as the Club Representative for the Birmingham Swifts running club, that I needed to put more effort in than when I trained for the Birmingham Marathon last year. Even though I trained for a month, four hours at a time, three times a week, eating healthily, I still ended up forgetting to add elevation to my training.
“After months of running flats and hitting 22 miles in training, when I hit 15 miles in the marathon, my left ankle went, followed closely by a spasming right calf. I still completed it but knew that if I was going to give the London Marathon all I had, I would have to be more goal-focused.
“I knew that my friend Connor was getting some personal training at the Bannatyne health club in Brindleyplace, from his trainer Jack Rahman. I could see a massive overall improvement in his flexibility, strength, endurance, stamina and energy and thought I'd try some myself.
“After a week I could see a dramatic change in my running, so I continued with Jack and his Personal Training sessions to build my core including chest, back, shoulders and arms, whilst leaving the legs for my running training. Jack also focused on educating me on healthier eating, making sure I ate adequately, at correct times and the right foods to maximise my training and potential, which has made a big difference within my training. He also got me to focus on training my mental attitude. He said ‘it's all about doing the technique correctly, if you lose it, then stop and restart’, this helped me focus on my running mentally, and getting myself into the right mind-set.
“I did gym work three times a week, ran three times a week and had a day off, that was my life for months until the day came for the London Marathon. I didn’t know if I was ready but I knew I had prepared the best I could for it. I put all my effort into training with my trainer Jack, and working out with Connor Kingsley the Sales Manager. The support from all the Brindleyplace staff has been invaluable to me. I completed it in the heat and hit a new personal best of 4 hours 51 minutes.
“All I can say is a big massive thank you to them all, if you have dreams to achieve and can meet them half way, then they will help you to achieve it holistically. I'm blessed to have them supporting me.”
Here is a very proud Amaris, who is a member at our Burton on Trent health club, showing off her medal from completing a 100 mile run!
The Double Ultra 100 mile is Liverpool to Manchester and back again. The idea to complete this event was given to her by her coach last summer and over the last 7 months Amaris has been getting the miles in on the road whatever the weather. 65 people started the race but only 35 completed it.
Out of the 14 women that completed the 100 miles Amaris was placed 5th finishing in 28 1/2 hours. Amaris is truly an inspiration to us all, displaying true grit and determination and proving anything is possible with a positive mind-set. A massive well done Amaris, you should be so proud of your fantastic achievement.
Bannatyne Newcraighall member, Linda Rowe, took on TV’s Ninja Warrior experience. Read her account of the day below and click on the link to watch her YouTube video to see how challenging the course looked. This lady is a machine!
Linda said: "So, not content with doing just an Ironman challenge, one of my friends saw an advert on Facebook last year looking for Ninja Warrior applicants in the UK and messaged me straight away to say, ‘You could do that!’. There was a hesitation for a millisecond then I thought ‘Yes, I could!’
“I sent my application in on 16th May 2017and I was shortlisted for an audition in Glasgow. The audition consisted of a boot camp style day and we were put through our paces. I was heavily involved with my Ironman training at this point and had the stamina, fitness and strength to actually get through the audition and I actually made it to the TV show in Manchester last year.
“It was an absolutely amazing experience from the moment of arriving at Manchester Central Convention Complex. When I walked through the main doors and was greeted straight away with the Ninja Warrior crew, they all knew my name and this threw me a bit as I knew there were 200 applicants at Manchester!
“After speaking to one of the crew, they said they spent months looking through cue cards, photos and social media to learn all about the contestants and knew everybody inside out. Everybody was taken backstage and provided with as much food and drink as we wanted. Then we were individually taken into separate rooms for interviews and health and safety briefings, along with a pre and post event interview.
“Then it was time to start. There were no trial runs with this and all the contestants were backstage, where we could watch whoever was doing the Ninja Warrior course on the TV screen. The atmosphere was electric with excitement, apprehension and nerves.
“It was my turn to hit the stage; I was shown through to the arena, I could hear the crowds cheering and Chris Kamara and Ben Shephard talking, but my head felt like cotton wool and I zoned out and focused on the course ahead.
“My stomach was in knots as I stood on the podium, looking at what seemed a marathon distance ahead. The countdown went and it was time to go. I jumped onto the first board thinking this was going to be easy - oh how wrong I was.
“The angle of the boards, the distance, and the height as the boards went along - all of this was mind blowing! I gave it my all at this stage and made it onto the rope swing, with a bit of a fumble on the first swing, then it was the Tick Tock, swinging pendulum, I grabbed onto this and made my way round the side and swung with the pendulum to maintain speeds, then I made the jump to the cargo net.
“I felt confident and settled, I knew what the next two obstacles were and I had them in my sights and I was so determined. The next one was the spinning balls, it was all about speed. I didn’t feel I had momentum going and I tripped onto the mat...but I made it! However, I knew something didn’t feel right and at that point I knew my trainer had fallen off and hit the water. Red light on - Linda out!
“I had an absolutely brilliant time and I will try again for this year’s audition. Fingers crossed, with my race laces on the next pair of trainers!"
Many of our members have inspirational stories to tell and Matthew Tate, a member at our Bury St Edmunds club, has shared his. We’re so proud to have supported Matthew and of his achievements so far!"At the age of 16 I joined the Army and finished training to join the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment. I was deployed on two tours of Afghanistan - 2009 & 2012. After being hit by a Taliban grenade launcher in 2012 while on patrol in Helmand Province Afghanistan, I was left permanently using a walking stick due to metal from the grenade in my hip."This, together with the mild traumatic brain injury and PTSD, meant the gym became a safe haven and a place to release tension lifting weights and training. After joining Bannatyne Bury St Edmunds I was lucky enough to successfully apply for the Invictus games, competing in powerlifting. My trainer at Bannatyne Luke Tomsett progressed me onto a strength programme he designed around my lifestyle and abilities/disabilities. Then with training camps with the Help for Heroes powerlifting team and British Women’s champion powerlifter Charlie Shotton-Gale of Swindon Barbell Club."With more training and technical help this allowed me to compete in the British weightlifting spring open winning a silver medal for my first ever competition. Now training further at Bannatyne Bury St Edmunds for the Invictus team trials in April and hopefully to compete in Sydney against the rest of the world representing Team GB."
Alex Gibson, a long-standing colleague at Tower 42, is undertaking a mammoth challenge to raise money for the Motor Neurone Association.
Alex and friends Robert Weaver, Jean-Michel Abecassis, Ross Thiele, James West, Matt Olushola, Daniel Gibson, Jason Gibson, Sean Gleeson are cycling 185 miles in the Outer Hebrides to support the charity. Alex has recently been diagnosed with MND and this challenge is one of the ways he is tackling the illness head on. He will be completing the ride on a recumbent tricycle.
Everyone at the club is behind Alex in his fundraising activities. Click here if you would like to donate.
Jim Greenoak, member at our Falkirk club, winner of the club’s February MyZone challenge explains how the technology supports his fitness goals.
“Having done well in achieving some 5,500 MEPs in February for the MEP challenge, it’s timely to say thank you to the gym staff at Bannatyne’s in Falkirk for their support and guidance.
“The Myzone app has helped provide me with a more focused and structured approach to achieve my goals. Targets have been set and achieved and there’s no doubt it provides an impetus to work harder and do more. It’s well worth getting one of the belts to enhance your training.
“As someone who is 65, my training is geared to remaining healthy and flexible and keeping in trim for day to day life; that doesn’t mean we can’t get fitter- we can! I think it’s important to strive to do a little more for longer and I ensure that my routine contains something different each day that keeps it fresh and interesting. Equally it’s important to take a little time off and perhaps just have a swim occasionally.
“Aron and his staff are only to willing help, good technique is vital to get the benefit from exercise and the gym staff have the expertise to guide us all.
“I try to complete about an hour and a half of gym work 5 days each week. An hours CV followed by light weights and mobility and strengthening exercises. My wife Sue does Pilates which she enjoys and helps her core strength and flexibility.
“I enjoy coming to the gym as it’s always a challenge and I also enjoy the social aspect of having a cup of tea and banter with the good folks who attend the gym in the morning. I think Bannatyne’s Falkirk has a good atmosphere and is very much a social and friendly club.
“A big thanks to those who said “well done” on achieving my results in February; it’s much appreciated and helps the effort become more rewarding.”
Darren and Sarah have both fully embraced their new lifestyle commitment of getting to a healthier and fitter body. Their journey began in December 2015 and is still on-going now, not only can you see from the pictures but the waist line doesn’t lie! Darren’s jean size has gone from a 38”-40” to a 30” and Sarah’s has gone from a 22 to a 16.
They started off slowly by attending the gym only 2-3 times a week. Darren was keen to get healthy after a health scare and Sarah had recently had a hip replacement. They had decided to set themselves a target of getting fitter by not only changing their diet but also by introducing exercise as well.
They both started to feel healthier but also much more positive about themselves. They both had allowed themselves to over indulge in the past and the change made them feel great.
They changed their diet by fitting in healthier options e.g. cutting the amount of carbs and increasing veg etc. Darren did a lot of research into some super foods such as quinoa, and they found ways to include these into their lives. They started to eat this type of food and quickly felt that they had much more energy.
They have always said they did not have much confidence at first but carried on going to the gym and doing what they felt most comfortable with, using the exercise bike the hand bike and also the swimming pool.
Sarah said: “We soon gained the confidence to attend classes such as RPM which we gradually built up in to our weekly routine. We tried Combat but Darren unfortunately then started suffering from an old injury in his lower back so we then decided to look at the B:Core class to strengthen overall and we both have not looked back.
"This has changed our perspective on life and we try to live it to the full with loads more energy and enthusiasm. We have realised since starting this, to embark on committing to a healthy lifestyle is a bit like a road trip – you can’t expect to go far without enough fuel in your tank!”
Simon Robinson's success story with the Bannatyne health club Bristol!
I have been a member at Bannatyne’s Bristol for more years than I care to remember! My weight has yo-yoed over the past few years &and over the last 18 months I neglected to keep it in check. It was at the end of September 2017 I weighed in at almost 200 pounds [more than 14st] and I said enough is enough that this has to stop now. Some 15 weeks later I had lost 34 lbs."
How did you manage this Simon? - "A lot of willpower, dedication, support a big reward. I had all the tools in the box - a great team at Bannatyne including both instructors and other members, classes that I enjoyed including Les Mills RPM, Body Pump, Step & Attack, the MyZone belt, Tracker watch, Kinetica sports drink and a healthy eating plan.
At first I kept quiet about what I was doing - I cut out my favourites; chocolate, gin cheese and a lot of bread but supplemented this with plenty of fresh vegetables. I soon began to notice the difference - I had to wear a belt!
As I lost more weight I found that I could put even more effort into my classes and with encouragement from the instructors I enjoyed it more and more. Yes there were a few hiccups - but more ups than downs as I lost more weight - though at the beginning of December more people were noticing that something was changing in this chap - my gym tops were too big. Christmas & New Year were going to be an issue but I wanted to reach my goal of 2 stones lost before I went on a trip to the Maldives in Jan 2018. I had to limit the alcohol and watch the size of the Christmas Dinners - the chocolate & gin are still watching me in the kitchen!
9th Jan 2018 saw the scales prove I had lost 30lbs yippee! What will 2018 bring? Well I’ll just have to shed more than those few extra holiday pounds and continue to enjoy life."
Steph Tate, a member at our Durham club is achieving her health and fitness goals with determination, and a little help from the club’s personal trainers.Steph said:
"In 2014 I weighed 17.3 stone, the heaviest I had ever been, so realised that I needed to make a change and do something about it. I started off by joining Slimming World in the October but didn't start off originally with exercise. By September 2015 I had joined a gym but it just wasn't for me at the time so my training seemed to phase out.
It was in March 2017 when I decided to join Bannatyne health club in Durham. It has been the best decision I have made. With help and support from the trainers and getting some additional PT sessions I now have lost 3 stone and currently weigh 14.3 stone, just 1 stone to go before I hit my target weight!!"
Nathaniel Pool - Fitness Manager Durham – has seen Steph’s hard work and progression first-hand:
“Since Steph has started her journey with Bannatyne’s, she has been a prominent member of the club, attended numerous classes of all intensities, additional one to one sessions regarding her nutrition and independent gym workouts. During the past 10 months Steph's hard work, commitment and dedication has proven that anyone's goals and targets can be met. The team and I are extremely proud of her. Well done Steph, Keep it up!!”
Here is an amazing story about one of our members at the Bannatyne Humberston Country Club, Jack Brumpton. Jack has been a member at the club since mid- way through 2017 and since then has made incredible progress and seen some fantastic changes in himself. Jack’s self-esteem and overall body confidence have both sky-rocketed since he became a member of the club and began to train regularly.
Jack loves to come and visit the club so that he can meet lots of new people and exercise with the fitness instructors. He has said himself, “It makes me very happy to come to the club, everyone is so friendly and knows who I am, and everyone knows that I want to get a 6-pack.”
Julia, Jack’s mum, said “Humberston Country Club is a friendly and safe environment that Jack can attend and I have noticed a big improvement in his gross motor skills, his balance and his overall body confidence. Jack has always wanted to look good and always wanted to be on stage or model. Jack has hypermobility and is flat-footed. Working out in the gym keeps him fit and healthy in a way that he can manage.”
Joy, Jack’s Nana, said “Jack always gets very excited to come to the club, he likes to work out with the fitness instructors and they have really encouraged and motivated him in all aspects of his life. He has learnt so many new things like how to operate equipment, which he can now do on his own. He loves the friendship shown by all the Bannatyne staff and it has really helped his independence.”
Some of his favourite things to do are to use the spin bikes, the BoxMaster, and classes such as Cardio Tennis and Body Combat.
When not at the club, Jack takes part in frequent modelling photo shoots, and has had photos taken by a world-renowned photographer who has also photographed The Queen and Michael Jackson. The director of the modelling agency that photographs Jack has been so inspired by his success and drive that it has made her want to join the club herself and she is really looking forward to working out with Jack.
We hope that Jack’s incredible story will help to motivate more and more people to part-take in regular exercise.
Kristoffer Davidson, who joined our Bannatyne Aberdeen health club this January following a health scare, has bravely shared his story with us.
Kris, 35, was admitted to hospital to have several tests and was diagnosed with bowel disease. Unfortunately, he gained some weight as a result of the steroid treatment that he was prescribed. While in hospital, it occurred to doctors that Kris may also have an issue with his heart and further tests revealed that he been suffering with a hole in his heart.
Although he is currently unsure as to whether his heart condition was caused at birth or as a result of his weight, he was unhappy with being 19 stone, and looked into joining a health club to kick-start his weight loss journey. Thoroughly impressed by the facilities on offer at Bannatyne Aberdeen, Kris and his fiancé joined the health club immediately.
Kris said: “I have been very impressed with the exceptional customer service and level of support on offer as a member at Bannatyne Aberdeen. Once an initial assessment has been booked, I will be working with the club to create a bespoke programme that will allow me to get the most out of my gym sessions, without pushing myself too far.
“I proposed to my partner on Boxing Day, five years into our relationship, and we’re now planning our wedding. Though Leanne is using her membership to prepare for the big day, I am very much looking forward to trying to reach the five stone weight loss goal that I have set for myself, with Bannatyne’s help.”
Will Watson, 56, a member at our Peterborough club is happy to share his positive fitness experience and says sometimes it’s the smallest things that give a sense of achievement.
Before weight 154 kgNew weight 121 kgAmount lost in weight: 5 stone 3 lbs
I started training around a year ago and was getting nowhere because I was lacking focus and motivation. I have arthritis in both knees and had almost given up believing I could function properly.
Around eight months ago I started training with Candice Barry at the Bannatyne health club in Peterborough. She trains me and she understands what I am capable of but most of all drives me to be the best I can. With a good diet, regular Personal Training sessions and commitment from me I am well on the road to achieving my health and fitness goals.
Now I actually enjoy training and look forward to the results. One of my small achievements was being able to wrap a towel round myself, but overall it’s being happy content and motivated. I have recently bought a myzone belt! I am really looking forward to using it so I can correctly track the calories I burn and join in the challenges set by Bannatyne’s.
Louise shares her story to help inspire others to be the best they can and explains how her fitness training helped her at a tough time.
Two years ago I gave up alcohol & chocolate and started to run – I love the thrill of an event and love the medals and t-shirts. At the same time my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s and coeliac disease after becoming very ill, very quickly. I needed the training as a focus to get me through what was a very tough time. Not long after, my eldest daughter was also diagnosed with coeliac disease.
I started fundraising for Crohn’s & coeliac UK. I signed up and ran 3 half marathons in 2017 with lots of other 10K & 5K events. I even signed up as part of a team of 4 that ran 4k loops for 4 hours.
I have switched charities this year and have signed up in 2018 for the Newport and Swansea half, a night time 10k , Cardiff Bay 10k, ladies race series 10k and Cardiff’s run the streets 5K to raise money for Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. I have received a lot of help and encouragement from my colleagues and members at Bannatyne Health Club - Newport which was a huge boost. The club in-body scales were a big help, actually having the results on a graph, seeing that maybe a week when I hadn’t lost weight but being able to see that I had gained muscle and lost body fat kept me feeling positive. I started using my myzone belt and now I won’t train without it – seeing the MEPS adding up during the month, pushes me to do more, I have gone from Iron to GOLD status and only have another 11 months before I will be PLATINUM.
I have lost 4 stone and feel so much better, not so tired and way more energised – I feel able to cope with things better and have a positive outlook – anyone can do it when you set your mind to it!
One of our members at our Burton health club is currently training and competing in lots of races for a very good cause."My name is Amaris Alice, I'm enthusiastic and I love my fitness training. However my life hasn't always been this way. I entered my first gym 12 months before my first marathon. I had an array of issues around my self-image, self-esteem and mental health, I didn't know where to begin. But the point is, I did begin.
“Six years on and I'm training my way through a series of events, raising funds and awareness for Derbyshire Mind. The idea of these events came to life at around mile 30 of a 40-something mile ultra-marathon I was running last year. The idea is to run one event in every four week block during 2018. It is a nod to the statistic of the one in four people affected by mental health problems at any one time.
“My new challenge is to run 100 miles in one go! My goal has become about distance, which is an effort to find my own limitations. I have completed 17 marathons since 2013 and recognised that it was only a matter of time before I needed something new, hence joining Bannatyne Health Club. New goal, new focus, excellent Yoga classes and steaming hot saunas!
“My partner Richard, "accidentally" acheived a London Marathon 'good for age' qualifying time, when he turned 60 last year. So the week before I attempt to run 100 miles, he will be running the London Marathon, probably a lot quicker than me, but also for Derbyshire Mind!
“The point we're both trying to demonstrate is that anything is possible as long as you have the desire to have a go."
We wish all the best to Amaris and Richard competing in their gruelling races!
Sign up to our newsletter