I came to (aka crashed) the GRIPT Christmas party in 2016 with my friends who were members there. I was unhappy with my current training routine and they told me how great GRIPT was, so I spoke to Drew that night and arranged to come in for a free Energize trial.

I had been a self-confessed ‘gym junkie’ since the age of 20 and had dabbled in a variety of exercise routines, from running 10kms every weekend to commercial gym classes, bikram yoga and Pilates, never quite finding a routine that brought me the results I was after. At the time of joining GRIPT, I had been an F45 member for 12 months and was unhappy with the lack of physical results I was seeing, despite attending classes 5 times a week. I was cardiovascularly fit, but the classes were no longer motivating me and I felt like I had plateaued with my training.

It only took one Energize class and I signed up as a GRIPT member, I loved how challenging it was. It wasn’t just about going through the motions – it pushed me to a whole next level and I knew that’s what I needed to regain my motivation. I also loved the vibe of the gym and their approach, the trainers were all so friendly and knowledgeable and the environment extremely motivating.

Training at GRIPT is like a little family. Because you see the same faces there all the time, you get to know the members which adds a social aspect to your training experience, all the more motivation to attend your classes. I’ve met so many amazing people through GRIPT, including my partner who I started dating after we met in the studio in 2018. The GRIPT environment is encouraging, supportive and inclusive. We work hard and we have fun while we’re at it.

Over the last 2 years, I initially was signed up to the unlimited group training package and used to attend 5 energize sessions per week. From a cardiovascular point of view, that would have been the fittest I’ve ever been. But the biggest change to my physique came after I incorporated Volumize weights sessions into my routine in July 2018. I had always loved weight training, but previously had done only one private PT session per week, and due to lack of knowledge I wasn’t executing exercises properly when I attended commercial gyms. Now the Volumize classes, especially the upper body ones, are my favourite and I always look forward to them.

I used to have a really unhealthy relationship with training and food – a classic case of overtraining/undereating. The trainers at GRIPT have educated me on building a healthy lifestyle. Not only have they taught me about correct training and nutrition, but also the importance of getting sufficient rest and recovery. I used to attend 6am gym classes (pre-workout powder down the hatch) even if I’d only slept 5-6 hours the night before. Did I see positive changes from doing that multiple times a week? Hell no. I was consistently sleep deprived and running on an overload of caffeine, which threw my hormones out of whack and affected my mental health. Now I prioritise getting a good night’s sleep to let my muscles repair themselves.

Thanks to GRIPT I have also learned a lot about the importance of fueling your body. Prior to joining GRIPT, I had tried probably every diet under the sun, from Atkins, calorie restricting, ‘21 day shreds’ and consuming only 5 protein shakes per day (a suggestion from an old trainer at a commercial gym, I know – wtf). All that lead to was weight fluctuations, dissatisfaction, no energy and a period in my mid 20’s where I used to deprive myself of enough food, then binge eat like crazy to the point where I was physically sick (not to mention feeling guilty AF). These days I no longer diet – I just focus on being healthy and fueling my body.

Honestly the Volumize weight training has changed my life. I have seen huge physical changes to my body since I consistently incorporated weight training into my routine. The trainers at GRIPT have taught me about correctly executing the exercise while engaging the correct muscle and focusing on form and technique, not just pushing around the highest weight possible. The nutrition knowledge I have gained from the trainers has also made a huge change to my life. I now eat a consistently healthy diet, I eat naughty stuff in moderation and I eat as much of the healthy food as I like. I no longer skip meals, experience cravings nor binge eat. I’m so much happier and in the best shape I’ve ever been.

In my current routine I do 2 x lower body Volumize, 2 x upper body Volumize and 2 x Energize per week (one training session per day except for Sunday which is my rest day). I’m also very active and walk a lot, I aim for at least 12,000 steps per day.

If I had some advice for other women out there, it would be to make your health and fitness a priority. When my friends ask if I’m free to catch up after work I’ll say yes, but only after I’m finished at the gym. It’s easy to find excuses to skip sessions, but if you are consistent with your training, eat healthy meals, get sufficient sleep and don’t blow it by going on a bender all weekend, you will see results. We’ve all heard it before, but honestly don’t be scared to incorporate weight training into your routine. It won’t bulk you, it will tone you and make you leaner. Plus becoming stronger feels amazing.