Back to the gym in January: Never mind a few aches...let’s have five sets of Russian Twists

Three weeks into January and it feels as though my car could drive itself to the gym.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 4:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:57 pm
The PFG Team

As you may recall from my previous column a fortnight ago, I was determined to start 2019 in a healthy way.

I committed to three sessions per week for two months at Eastbourne Herald’s Gym of the Year Performance Fitness Gym, with coach Scott Halliday.

I was keen to feel stronger and I’m pleased to report that I’m making some progress...I think.

Maria Howard

First thing’s first, I have attended and enjoyed each session so far. That may sound like the minimum requirement, but apparently the hardest part can often be getting yourself there.

Once at the gym, the personalised sessions have proved challenging but most of all, much more enjoyable than I thought. From chest, biceps, triceps and stomach to lunges, squats and legs curls – each part of my body has been tortured/exercised.

I have had a few aches, which I now know have a special name all of their own, called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). At one point my husband, who to his credit did his best not to laugh, had to help take off my jacket.

At the next session, Scott targeted the soreness with lighter weights and after a few grimaces, it eased somewhat.

I hesitate to say this, but three weeks in, I’m beginning to see and feel the benefits. (If you read this Scott, it doesn’t mean you can increase my weights!).

What has impressed and geed me on the most however, is the environment that Scott and the excellent team at PFG have created. It’s been highly motivational and in some cases inspiring.

One member training next to me had a recent hip replacement operation and was told she would have to put up with limited movement and pain. Undeterred, she continued to attend three to four sessions per week and her range of movement has increased significantly.

From struggling to walk, she has reached a standard where she could now squat at competition level. “Why limit yourself to what you can achieve,” said coach Scott.

“It just shows what you can do with determination and commitment.” After hearing that, a few aches and pains paled to insignificance. With a bit of Marylin Manson playing in the background, I pushed on with renewed energy for five sets of Russian Twists (google them, they are a killer).

There are all abilities at PFG. Last week I did deadlifts next to former Olympic weightlifter Delroy McQueen, who also broke the deadlift world record in 2014 with an eye-watering weight of 380kg – almost 60 stones!

There are 30 members who represent Great Britain, along with European and world class athletes.

But it’s not just about the elite. Some members are working to programmes to rehabilitate from injuries or operations while others, like me, are just looking for improvements and to feel healthier in everyday life.

That’s what I have enjoyed the most. Each of us work to our own targets and achieving those goals help us feel that little bit better about ourselves – and that’s got to be a good thing.

Performance Fitness Gym, contact: 01323 412498 or visit