Signs of progress as hard work pays off for fit club participants
It’s time again to catch up with all the participants in the Shetland Times/Shetland Recreational Trust fit club. LOUISE THOMASON hears how they feel it is going and, perhaps more importantly, how their personal trainers think they are getting on.
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Elaine Jamieson Elaine’s progress has been hampered slightly by illness earlier in the year and the loss of her running partner who is now pregnant, but despite these setbacks she said she was still “really enjoying it”.
“I’m running steadily a couple of times a week in the town, but I’ve not been doing so much in the country. I’m doing the Mind Your Head 10K in August and after that I’ll decide on whether to do the half marathon. I’m feeling pretty up for doing it though and definitely feel the better for it.”
She said an important part of the programme had been finding a way to incorporate fitness into family life. “I feel I’ve finally found a routine with the family, where I’ll get tea ready and go for a run listening to Radio Shetland!
“It’s good as it means I can come in and tea is made. It has benefits too as it means I don’t over eat and as my metabolism is up you burn more calories.”
It was never Elaine’s goal to lose a massive amount of weight, and while she said she had not changed dramatically appearance wise, she admitted “there are firmer bits where there were wobbly bits before”.
Trainer Janice Hamar said: “I had written a 16-week running programme for Elaine which included a number of tougher training sessions incorporating hill and Fartlek training. The aim of this programme was to train towards the Glasgow half marathon on 6th September and hopefully complete it in under two hours.
“However, Elaine had a period of time when she was continually contracting colds and this was affecting her lungs. Elaine has a very busy lifestyle and tried to continue despite her illnesses. She has learned with hindsight that this was not the correct thing to do and she had to take a step back for some weeks in order to regain her health.
“Although Elaine has not managed to follow the programme completely she has been running three or four times per week doing four to five miles at a time and has kept in better health. “The running has now become a form of lifestyle for Elaine which she has incorporated as part of her daily routine. Elaine looks forward to getting out for a run and rather than thinking of it as a chore misses not being able to get out if something else arises.”
Tam Rowley and Graham McAllister Tam said he and fitness partner Graham McAllister had been kept busy at spinning classes while their trainer Karen Craigie was away at the Åland Island Games.
He said: “I’m feeling good, there’s a big difference to when I first started. My clothes are looser and my body has definitely changed. You feel better about it when you see the difference you get from slogging your guts out some days.”
They took part in a 21 days “Tour de France” spinning challenge at Clickimin with Robert Geddes which saw them cycling every day for three weeks, which Tam said was “good crack”.
He said he had noticed a big difference in his energy levels and health generally and was keen to keep his new fit lifestyle up. He said: “I’m not going to stop now, it would [have been] a waste of time. I hope it’ll encourage other people to do it, I’m always telling people to get down to the Clickimin and give it a go.”
Other people too have noticed a change in him. He said: “It’s when you speak to people you’re not seeing every day; when I went back down to Fife my family noticed a big difference.”
Graham has also managed to keep the training up and is also feeling the benefits.
He said: “It’s going really good. I’m on holiday at the moment so this will be a test, hopefully when I get back I won’t have put on too much weight.”
The summer months and weekends have posed a challenge for him, as he said with all the events going on there was always danger of eating and drinking too much.
However, the programme has had a positive impact on the lives of his whole family: “It’s changed our way of living, which is the way it’s meant to be.”
Trainer Karen Craigie said of Tam and Graham: “With myself being away from the end of June and Graham now on holiday, I have used the last date we recorded at the start of June for Graham’s statistics.
“In the first three months of the programme, Graham lost over a stone in body weight with the majority of that coming from body fat. There has been a steady weight loss over the weeks and it is encouraging for the future. His waist measurement has reduced by three inches enabling Graham’s clothes to fit more comfortably, even starting to feel loose! “His exercise routine has changed from doing no constructive exercise to various group fitness classes including spinning, power circuit and studio gym. He also has regular trips out on the golf course.
“Tam’s statistics are also from mid-June and the most notable is his reduction in body fat by 12lbs – a credible five per cent loss – and a waist reduction of two and a half inches.
“Tam has also gone from doing little or no exercise to working out most days by attending spinning, power circuits and studio weights classes. Tam has been really encouraged by his partner Frances Hornal, who herself is following a healthy eating and exercise routine, achieving her own weight loss and fitness goals.”
Susan Anderson Susan said she had noticed a big difference to her health and overall wellbeing.
“I’m getting on pretty good, with lots of a walking. I try to go out at least three times a week and walk no less than six miles, though sometimes I do up to 12miles.”
Her partner Mark bought her an iPod, so with this and the encouragement of the Shetland Times and even strangers showing support, Susan said she was really enjoying her new lifestyle.
“I definitely want to get down to 10 stone but I think because folk are really encouraging it makes you feel really good.”
Testament to her determination, Susan recently completed the Moonwalk half marathon in Edinburgh. The nightly event sees hundreds of women, many walking in their bras, travelling a half marathon course in the city to raise money for breast cancer charities.
Susan completed the challenge and raised £1,000. She said: “Afterwards I had really sore legs but it was really good. The atmosphere was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it. There were women from all over, even America, taking part.”
And while fitting exercise into family life has been a challenge, especially during the school holidays, Susan said they have noticed a change in her.
“My family reckon I’m happier. Although I have lost a bit of weight, folk say I’ve changed shape. I probably don’t notice as much but other people have noticed.”
Her trainer Jake Williams said: “Despite a couple of minor setbacks Susan has been able to maintain good, steady progress towards her weight management and fitness goals.
“From the outset I recommended that Susan builds up her fitness gradually to allow her body time to respond to the training without too much stress (or spaegie). Susan and I agreed that, longer term, this would be a more sustainable approach to improving her health and fitness.
“Over the last few months Susan has been increasing the amount of cardiovascular exercise she does each week using the Clickimin’s treadmills and running track and can often be seen walking and jogging around the Clickimin Loch.
“Walking and jogging burns off about 100 calories a mile and helps strengthen ligaments, tendons and joints so was a great way for Susan to make progress towards her weight management goals.
“As a result of increasing her energy expenditure and monitoring her diet Susan has already significantly improved her ratio of lean muscle mass to body fat and I’m confident that Susan will continue to make gains in this area in the future.”
Terry Williamson Terry Williamson has also noticed a change for the better due to his fitness regime. He is aiming to keep the training up and is determined to make sure he does. He said: “It’s not a case of whether I think I will, I know I will. I made that decision fairly early on.”
Terry said that being part of the challenge has definitely made an impact on his life. He has been going to the gym an average of three or four times a week and concentrating on cardiovascular activities, using the treadmill, rowing machine and cross trainer.
All this effort is definitely paying off: “I feel a lot fitter and there are physical changes, I’ve lost weight, I’m having to buy new clothes. I have more energy. We’re in the process of building a new house and working on that – doing DIY and things around the house – is a lot easier.”
He said that while he has had a couple of injuries, these were unrelated to his training and overall he has had no problems with the plan.
Trainer Jennifer Thomson’s said: “Terry continues to do well with his exercise programme. He will soon participate in the Round Spiggie Fun run and walk and he’s on course to reach his target time of one hour 30 minutes.
“Terry’s programme has mainly been gym based but has also included walking, swimming and golf. Along with the regular structured exercise, Terry has changed his diet, which has helped with his weight loss and increased energy levels.
“Over the past few months Terry has significantly increased the amount of cardio exercise, which has led to an increase in his aerobic capacity.
“After four and a half months of grit, determination and perseverance all the hard work is paying off. Terry’s body fat percentage has dropped from 43.4 per cent to an impressive 34 per cent, with his fat mass decreasing from 10st 8.5lbs to 7st 8lbs, meaning that he has lost three stone in fat alone.”
Gordon Williamson For Gordon this has been a difficult month. As it has been a busy one for his business he hasn’t been able to keep up his usual amount of training, and he was disappointed to learn that half a pound had crept on.
However, his morale is still up and he feels that things will quieten down soon, allowing him to get back to training.
He said: “I’m still feeling pretty good. I knew it would be a bad month and it actually hasn’t been as bad as I expected. It should get easier from now as things quieten down.”
He has been spending a lot of time doing show jump training in preparation for the events at the Orkney Show early next month. “It’s a big competition so I’ve spent a lot of my free time practising with the horse.”
Trainer Marianne Hughson said: “When we first began, Gordon’s body mass index (BMI) was 27.2 per cent and is now 25.9 per cent. His fat mass was 3st 6.5lbs, which is now 2st 8lbs.
“As you can see from the results, Gordon has made steady progress since taking part in the programme and continues to do so. As this is peak time at the Herrislea Hotel where Gordon is proprietor, he has found it challenging to maintain the balance of work and exercise.
“Our plans for Gordon to compete in the Tingwall duathlon in August have taken a back seat as it clashes with the county show jumping competition in Orkney.
“With this in mind, Gordon has maintained regular running and cycling sessions to keep his fitness levels up and to help with weight control. He has also been swimming with the Shetland Triathlon Club to improve his technique and speed through the water.”
Catriona Campbell Catriona was unavailable, but her trainer Marianne Hughson said: “Catriona has really taken to her running programme and is constantly clocking up the miles in preparation for the Glasgow half marathon.
“With the weather being favourable lately, it has meant that most of her training has been done outdoors which is great as it is quite different to running on a treadmill with a perfectly smooth surface.
“However once per week she uses the treadmill to do an interval training session where she pushes her speed up for a set time then slows the speed and recovers before repeating the process several times over. This has helped to increase Catriona’s overall base pace.
“Once a week a long run is done at a slow steady pace to get the mind and body accustomed to the stresses that the half marathon will place on her body. To date the longest run that Catriona has done is eight miles. This is now comfortable for her and she is very much on schedule for completing the half marathon in September with ease.
“As weight has not been an issue for Catriona, we are going on how she feels and how she rates her energy levels. Both she assures me are much better than when the fitness programme began at the beginning of the summer.”