From PC correspondent to PC follower

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From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby Harry Hayfield » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:27 pm

I have long wanted to use a proper gym, sadly there has been one major barrier towards me doing so. Cost. I have been interested in physical culture (or as most people would term it, weight training and exercise) since the late 1970's when I lived in a village in Warwickshire next to a wheelwright (one of the last surviving ones in the county) who despite being almost fifty was still able to hoist wheels almost as big as him onto the wagons.

However, unlike most people with an interest, I had a problem. It's called "not being sure of myself" as was demonstrated in 1987 when in high school, the local teaching unions held a series of half day strikes in protest to government plans for education (and please note that some 30 years later there are still agruments). Because of the fact I only lived a matter of yards from the school (around 300 or so) I would walk up and down the hill that led to it every day for the whole of the time I was at that school (ice and snow excepting of course) and so during one of these half day strikes, I found myself being the only member of my class there which put the PE teacher in a bit of a bind and asked me why I was so uncomfortable during PT lessons. The simple answer was a lack of confidence about myself to which the teacher knew about having suffered from it as a child, but he assured me that one day I would get over it. He then asked if I was any good at maths, which I was, and so he asked me to help him with some counting. The counting turned out to be how much he could bench in a minute in preparation for a charity strongman event later in the year and when he had finished I said, and these were my exact words, "Three thousand, seventy hundred and fifty pounds, or to put it another way, that's impossible!"

He explained why it was possible and suggested that I had a try so I did, admitedly only with fifteen pounds on the bar but I did ten reps to which he said "There you go, you have just lifted the same as you weigh! Think you can try a quarter more?" however all I could manage was six reps, but he said that I had shown promise and the next PT lesson, if there was a similar strike, he would help me get as strong as possible, sadly the strike was resolved before then and at the next PT lesson the rest of the class were benching sixty, seventy and one lad even benched ninety pounds and I just could not face the embarrasement of them jeering at me and so never stepped foot in a gym again seeking to do all my exercising by walking everywhere.

The next mark came during the Sydney Olympics where through a combination of both virtual jet lag, by watching as much of the Games as was possible, and fourteeen inches of rain in the UK, I got throughly fed up with my lot in life and so went to see a local doctor to see what they could suggest. They suggested using the local gym in the same town to which I replied "I can't" explaining that as I was only on welfare payments, the cost of getting to and from the gym as well as the cost of using it, made it prohibitively expensive and so the doctor suggested taking vitamin C during the winter months and to carry on walking. This is a situation that has dogged me from then. As an example between 2002 and 2011 I lived in a village where the nearest gym was some two miles away, but to access that gym (for a suggested three days a week training) would have cost £4 a session (£12) plus three sets of return journeys (3 x £3.50 = £10.50) for a total of £22.50 a week from a welfare payment of just £59 a week (which I used to cover my costs of food, heating and lighting) and even when I moved to where I am living now, although my welfare payments are now £63 a week, the cost of getting there has increased to £29 a week thanks to the increase in the cost of fuel since 2011.

However, in 2015, things started to perk up, when a new gym was established. Admitedly I didn't find out about until eleven months after it had opened, but with a monthly fee of £25 I still faced the same problem of £20 a week, that was until July 2017 when the Welsh Government announced that every weekend from July 2017 until at least May 2018, the bus fare on every route operated by them would be abolished and suddenly, that became a viable option as it reduced the cost to just £6 a week and thus I set about becoming a member of the gym.

The gym is run by Sion Evans, a native of Aberaeron, the county town of Cardiganshire in Wales, and was established following his qualification in Sport & Exercise Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University at the BSc level with a 2:1 and fueled by an intent to open a world class training facility and offering my services as a Personal Trainer plus it's the only 24/7 gym in whole of West Wales (an area marked by it's low population and yet at the same time large numbers of health concerns). The other thing that attracted me to his gym was this "I will never prescribe any quick fixes, and am a thorough believer that good diet and a consistent exercise regime will always provide the best results, and should be a part of everyone's lifestyle" and is similar to my thoughts on the issue as well, but the real clincher was this. Even at the busiest times of the day, there are no more than five people in it at any one time, meaning I had found a gym where I could train and not get picked on for being so much weaker than everyone else.

The aim of my training is to improve my health, get a bit stronger and find out just what I can really do, which as the gym has a regular monthly challenge and a strength and fitness sports league for members I shall try and partake in (as soon as I have worked out what piece of equipment does what). I have discovered that between now and Christmas there are precisely twenty weeks, therefore (based on what I know) I believe it should be possible to be forty pounds lighter by Christmas (as a minimum) and will update this thread with my progress to see if I have reached that goal.

You can find out more about the gym via its website http://www.sionevansfitness.co.uk/ or via any of the social media platforms listed on the main page.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby David Gentle » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:37 pm

Harry, i enjoyed your write up and so will others. however have you not considered doing as most of us old guys used to do. There were very few if any gyms around, and to fork out money was out of the question. so to save money, we and i mean a couple of mates just made our own gym equipment, see Sticks for this, and scrounged around for weights, second hand stuff which is quite cheap and available and so many buy weights and then give it up after two weeks. then with good mates, get an old shed, and from Health and Strength and this site, sort out schedules and take it from there. Also get all your buddies to pay our a small sum to cover lights or buy new weights. make sure you have a spotter on bench presses and squats. THERE IS NO NEED AT ALL FOR ALL THAT FANCY EQUIPMENT. just use free weights. take another look around the site for idea , i repeat, make your own stuff , like benches or squat racks, use schedules from the site. Too many modern gyms have so called "personal trainers" who dont know their ass from their elbows. David Gentle
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby Harry Hayfield » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:57 pm

David Gentle wrote:Harry, i enjoyed your write up and so will others. however have you not considered doing as most of us old guys used to do. There were very few if any gyms around, and to fork out money was out of the question. so to save money, we and i mean a couple of mates just made our own gym equipment, see Sticks for this, and scrounged around for weights, second hand stuff which is quite cheap and available and so many buy weights and then give it up after two weeks. then with good mates, get an old shed, and from Health and Strength and this site, sort out schedules and take it from there. Also get all your buddies to pay our a small sum to cover lights or buy new weights. make sure you have a spotter on bench presses and squats. THERE IS NO NEED AT ALL FOR ALL THAT FANCY EQUIPMENT. just use free weights. take another look around the site for idea , i repeat, make your own stuff , like benches or squat racks, use schedules from the site. Too many modern gyms have so called "personal trainers" who dont know their ass from their elbows. David Gentle


Sadly, David, my formal education did not have any room for things like woodwork or metalwork classes, so making my own equipment was a complete non starter, plus you have to remember that because I live with my grandparents and have moved fairly frequently in the last forty odd years I don't have many friends who share my interest in fitness in this area (indeed the closest person I can call a friend who shares my interest in fitness and bodybuilding lives in Blaenau Gwent and the next closest lives in Suffolk)
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"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby peter yates » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:11 am

Well Harry,better late than never i say. You have started the journey and it looks like the guy running the gym has the right idea. Please do not focus on anyone else as this is all about you and becoming the best you can be. Get some good ideas from the gym but also as David suggests do some training at home during the week. You have some dumbbells and you can do free hand squats and pushups in a very small space. Stay the course and you will make some significant changes in a year.Having challenges and goals is good and keeps a focus on what needs to be done.Congratulations mate,we are all behind you in this.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby DannyBoy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:37 am

I enjoyed the write-up Harry. Seems like you've had a rough time of it in your schoolboy days, but are certainly on the right track now and have found a gym that suits you well. I believe you've mention Sion Evans and his gym here in the past, have you not? In any case, I hope this all works out well for you and you have a great experience at the gym. I look forward to your progress updates and I'm rooting for you to reach your goal of losing 40 pounds by Christmas. Cheers! :)
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby Harry Hayfield » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:10 pm

DannyBoy wrote:I enjoyed the write-up Harry. Seems like you've had a rough time of it in your schoolboy days, but are certainly on the right track now and have found a gym that suits you well. I believe you've mention Sion Evans and his gym here in the past, have you not? In any case, I hope this all works out well for you and you have a great experience at the gym. I look forward to your progress updates and I'm rooting for you to reach your goal of losing 40 pounds by Christmas. Cheers! :)


I have indeed Danny, in reference to the lack of gyms in Ceredigion, and his website confirms that his is the only 24 hour gym in the whole of Ceredigion, Powys, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire (a combined land area of 10,976 square kilometres and a combined population of 515,900 for a population density of 47 people per square kilometre, about the same density as Fiji on a worldwide basis and between Kentucky and New Hampshire on an American basis).

You might like to know that I have now got all I need, I have a training outfit (shirt, pants, shorts and gym shoes) as well as a water container which can have fresh fruit added to infuse the water with.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby peter yates » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:24 pm

GO HARRY!
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby DannyBoy » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:30 pm

Harry Hayfield wrote:
DannyBoy wrote:I enjoyed the write-up Harry. Seems like you've had a rough time of it in your schoolboy days, but are certainly on the right track now and have found a gym that suits you well. I believe you've mention Sion Evans and his gym here in the past, have you not? In any case, I hope this all works out well for you and you have a great experience at the gym. I look forward to your progress updates and I'm rooting for you to reach your goal of losing 40 pounds by Christmas. Cheers! :)


I have indeed Danny, in reference to the lack of gyms in Ceredigion, and his website confirms that his is the only 24 hour gym in the whole of Ceredigion, Powys, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire (a combined land area of 10,976 square kilometres and a combined population of 515,900 for a population density of 47 people per square kilometre, about the same density as Fiji on a worldwide basis and between Kentucky and New Hampshire on an American basis).

You might like to know that I have now got all I need, I have a training outfit (shirt, pants, shorts and gym shoes) as well as a water container which can have fresh fruit added to infuse the water with.

Sounds like you got what you need and are all prepared Harry. Do you have the day of your first training session set yet?
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby Harry Hayfield » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:08 am

DannyBoy wrote:Sounds like you got what you need and are all prepared Harry. Do you have the day of your first training session set yet?


Yep, my first official day in on August 6th when I shall establish my base levels (by doing ten reps of each available weight for bicep curls, bench press / dumbbell press and calf raise) to know what my 1RM's are, the only problem I may have is there does not appear to be a leg extension / ham curl machine there so I am not sure what I can do to test my quads (especially as I am not confident about squats) so any suggestions would be more than welcome.

After that, I shall be attending twice a weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from then until at least December 17th (as the buses over the Christmas and New Year period are notorious for their lack of reliability) before resuming on January 6th. There will be times however when other pre booked events happen (for instance community theatre) but on those occasions I will go walking instead.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)
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Re: From PC correspondent to PC follower

Postby sticksb » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:31 am

Dumbbell squats , dumbbell deadlifts , step-ups on a bench DB in hand .
Can all be done with kettlebells also . Heel raises on a block will finish
the leg routine off quite nicely old bean .
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