June Rowlands

For the past 18 months, I’ve been training with Dean Sugden (aka The Boss) at NMA Fitness Centre.

Dean was already a friend when I switched from my previous personal trainer in February 2012. I’d hit a bit of a plateau and needed a few well-aimed kicks up the butt to get back on track – who better to do that than the coach of champions?

After only a couple of sessions, it was obvious Dean knew exactly which buttons to press to get the most out of me… To begin with, I need to be involved – the prescriptive approach doesn’t work for me. I don’t just want to be told what to do, I want to have some input of my own.

There’s never any doubt who’s The Boss but Dean’s approach, listening to my ideas and suggestions and taking them on board when they’re feasible (not always!!) makes me feel I’m ‘training’ rather than just ‘being trained’ – subtle but important difference there… And I need to be challenged. I’m highly competitive, although generally speaking it’s myself I’m competing with – except when I’m trying to out-PB my gym bunny buddies Claire, Jen and Alison!

But the slightest suggestion from Dean that I might soon be ready to add a couple of kilos to the deadlift, swing a slightly heavier kettlebell or add a few more dips to my personal best is like a red rag to a bull for me – the hell with SOON, I’m going to do it NOW!

Oh and did I mention it’s a laugh a minute? Well, maybe not ‘a minute’ – deadlifting or back squatting 87.5kgs, doing battle with the Bulgarian bags or planking for four minutes is bloody hard work and the air is frequently blue in the red and black room of pain… But there are plenty of lighter(!) moments – who says working out shouldn’t be enjoyable too?

Unlike all the NMA and Suggy’s Gym stars, I’m never going to win any titles – except maybe that of The Oldest Deadlifter in Town! – but thanks to Dean I’m lifting heavier (no girlie weights for me), looking leaner and, best of all, I’m looooving it!!

August 2013