Challenge Henry week two: Evening Mail duo put through paces - amid piegate confession

18 March 2017 7:21PM

HE'S a successful gym owner and personal trainer. They are desk-dwelling Evening Mail team members in serious need of a better lifestyle. (Sponsored)

Ulverston gym chief Henry Armer has set himself the stiffest of challenges as he bids to transform self-confessed 'cuddly man' and motors advertising rep Ryan Parkinson, and desk-dwelling fizzy drink-loving editor James Higgins into fitter, healthier individuals.

Here the pair write about week two of their six week journey with the personal trainer. You can learn more about what he offers HERE

Ryan's diary

Its not getting any easier! Monday was a different PT at Henry was away living it up in Rome.

Matt had a totally different approach to Henry. Now on meeting Matt, my initial thought was tough guy!

But, as it turned out he was a blooming nice bloke (still wouldn’t want to argue with him though, yet!).

After the initial warm up and stretches, the session was faster in pace than previous ones and much more muscle / strength orientated.

With gruelling circuits of battle ropes, bicycle crunches, push-ups, spinning bike and the tiniest “Barbie” weights combined with squats and lunges,it was tough.

Now those “Barbie” weights; looking at them I thought this will be nice and gentle. Oh how wrong I was, after the third round of circuts, 1min on 30seconds off mainly arms and shoulder work, those “Barbie” weights felt like a baby elephant in each hand.

Follow this with the ropes and OMG, never have I been afraid of a bit of rope before.

Barely enough time to let the ache in the muscles dwindle and the boxing gloves were quite literally on!

Me being a lover not a fighter had never done any boxing or boxing training. I developed a new found respect for anyone in the ring for a couple of rounds, quick successive head height punches and dropping for what felt like 100 pushups and back up again and repeat repeat repeat.

Following a few days of very stiff neck and shoulders, and a busy working week, the second session of the week came around. Thankfully it seemed to be focusing back on a more general, all over work out.

In general however, I do look forward to these sessions primarily as they make me do something. Yes there is a small amount of, lets face it pain, but this far outweighs the uplift it gives for the rest of the day.

Its only the end of week two, and I am noticing subtle changes; bending, standing etc.

Bring on week three. Thanks Henry.

James' diary

Dear Henry, forgive me for I have sinned.

Session four of our get fit programme had started well enough, but when we were asked if we were eating well, I couldn’t lie.

Henry had caught me at an unfortunate time. The day prior, I had nipped to a well-known high street bakers for a breakfast sausage butty (brown sauce) and by dinner time was back at its counter to buy a pie and a chicken mayo sandwich.

The saving grace had been my tea (salmon, broccoli and sweet potato) but even that had been helped along by a liberal dose of cream cheese.

To be fair to Henry he did not judge and gave some useful nutritional pointers - all part of the PT service he offers. Then the session began in earnest and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was throwing in a few extra reps.

“Give me three more,” he encouraged as the going got tough. “That’s for the pie,” I reckon he was thinking…

Two weeks in and we are going great guns. Don’t get me wrong, these sessions are tough; they push both me and Ryan, if not to our limits then close – but that’s great because we would both otherwise be living in the kingdom of the couch potato (with mature cheddar and crispy bacon on top).

We got a taste of a different style at the start of the week. Henry had been away and so we were left in the capable hands of Matt McClean.

In his tracksuit and cap he cut the figure of no-nonsense PT. “Don’t tell me you can’t do it because you can,” he roared as we threw ourselves into a circuit.

He was a motivational speaker for sure. Not the sort who might step up on a stage in front of an audience, mind. More the passionate, personable I’m-right-behind-you-type-of-guy.

The circuits were tough. And with every rep we completed he was there asking for more – then checking to see he wasn’t pushing us too far.

There’s friendly banter in between exercises as we are given a quick breather, and that makes the sessions more personal.

I’m looking forward to really feeling the results. And in the weeks that follow, seeing them too.

Must dash now. It’s Saturday night – and that means it’s curry night. Just don’t tell Henry.

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