Enhance your body and mind with W10 Performance….
Let me begin by saying, I am no gym bunny. I do not like the gym. In fact, I would rather get my exercise being late for work every morning (and endure the ensuing panic that follows) than pound on a treadmill for forty minutes.
This is not to say that I am against exercise; far from it – I live for sport, but most gyms or “health clubs” (as they have been popularly re-branded), do not exercise the mind as well as the body. Put simply, if I am going to exercise for me and not for fun, then I want to do it properly with measurements of my successes (or failures) over a period of time, which doesn’t just include standing on a scale once a fortnight.
Enter W10 Performance….
This is a gym with the sole intention of self-improvement through knowledge, technique and pure determination.
In three months, I learnt more about my body, food, nutrition, exercise and mental toughness than I ever had before. Combining food diaries, intolerance tests and background medical checks with structured workout routines that are designed to enhance your body to the maximum, makes W10 Performance a leader in its field. There is no pretence, no bank of TV sets on MTV or Sky Sports – this is a gym to be used, and you are a diamond in the rough ready to be polished, smoothed and moulded. “The bottom line is that we want everyone who walks through the door to leave here healthier, stronger, fitter and more educated about nutrition and fitness,” says managing director and founder Jean-Claude Vacassin (known as JC).
The focus on nutrition is paramount. Understanding what food does to your body is just as important as the dedicated workouts themselves. JC is a veritable encyclopaedia of nutrition and of the effects different foodstuffs have on the body.
After reviewing my three day food diary, which consisted of Fruit’n’Fibre for breakfast, sushi/pasta/sandwich for lunch and a varying assortment of hot meals in the evening, I was told (much to my obvious delight), that I was eating entirely the wrong thing. An in-depth analysis of how each thing I ate affected my body in a different way was rather disturbing, so I decided to relinquish my much-loved Eat baguettes and try something new. A food pyramid was produced with healthy items at the bottom and evil, delicious things toward the top. From then on, it would be my bible. I was now in the know and would not to be fooled by 2-for-1 deals on baked beans or the 50% extra on my Nesquik milkshake. I swapped crisps for crudite, sushi for steak and replaced beer for slimline gin and tonics. Carbs were the enemy and I’d declared war.
As JC says, “You cannot separate nutrition and exercise if you want results” – and I wanted an A, and not just for effort.
With a mental strategy in place, next came the physical side to things. JC stated the only way to get fit was to measure your performance, so that you could assess yourself and see if your healthy fitness regime was working – after all, 80% of losing weight is about diet. Out came the pincers and I was measured, rather painfully, to give me a benchmark from which to improve on. In two weeks, I would either be throwing in the towel or feel quietly self-satisfied.
Next, I learned the W10 ethos to gym training. Here’s what I learnt:
- Spending an hour on a cross trainer at medium pace is not as useful as going at full pelt for 12 minutes
- Men are strong, women are flexible but few are at a happy medium between the two (whilst I enjoyed being told I was strong, being told that I had the flexibility of an 80 year old women was less encouraging!)
- Workouts should consist of four “resistance training” exercises repeated four times at varying repetitions and weights, with a finisher at the end
- Lunges are the fitness instructor’s weapon against inflexible people like me – and I got to love them after three months
- Every item in the gym is there to be used in the fight for fitness
- Keep a food diary – there’s no point burning it up in the gym if you’re turbo-carbing morning, noon and night
- Keep your discipline during the week and treat yourself on the weekend
- Keep active outside the gym – walk to work, cycle home, climb stairs….anything to keep your metabolism up and at its peak
As the weeks passed by and my first performance measurement came back positively, I started to enjoy rather than rue each session. JC’s attitude to personal training is that it should be just that – personal. Training is done one on one or in groups of a maximum of four so that the trainer can really engage with each person and help motivate and (when necessary) correct their routines depending on their levels of fitness. “Programmes are not always easy – you get what you need as opposed to what you want,” says JC.
Whilst it can be imposing to have someone standing over you, you quickly realise how quickly the time flies and how much you’ve achieved in a short space of time. Plus the training is so varied and different that you don’t get bored – a critical necessity for my whimsical mind. After all, motivation is only as strong as your determination to concentrate, and the physical presence of someone standing over you, helping you get through the ordeal is only beneficial. It helps that JC and his trainers are all incredibly friendly and enjoy the work they do with steely determinism – so much so that the few times I cancelled, I sensed a disappointment on their part, almost like a sculptor being told that he can’t have his chisel for another week. “It is important that people have fun, that they have new things, new stimuli and we do provide that. We do not have a wide array of cardio equipment that you will be used to seeing in other gyms as it is not about the tools; it is about the results,” JC says.
I would be lying if I said that I adhered to all the rules and was steadfastly diligent but, fortunately, JC has learnt that the general public aren’t all single-minded athletes with one goal – we have many goals and they push and pull us in all sorts of directions, so that controlling them all can be overwhelming. His understanding of the toil of everyday life was refreshing and the “realistic” approach to working out really appealed. I finished my course with a wider knowledge of my body, including what I could achieve if I put my mind to it, and for that I was profoundly thankful.