Better Body Group – Testimonial Alan North


I have always been someone who has struggled with my weight, and have yo-yo dieted for most of my life. Name a fad diet, I have probably tried it, only to always end up right back where I started. I have gone from 110kg to 70kg and back again several times in my life, It’s not fun, and has left me feeling as low as you can be at some points. I have tried gyms as well but always felt ashamed to go back when I got big again as well as being intimidated by other gym goers who always make it look so easy while I was dying on the treadmill!


Just over 3 years ago I caught glandular fever and a nasty liver infection, it took me a good 18 months to get over both of those and by that time I was back to my heaviest and at my lowest point.


However 10 months ago, my sister (and you should really read her story too) persuaded me to attend a free taster session with one of her trainers, Jimmy Sykes, at the Better Body Group. I was scared, gyms fill me with fear. Fear of people looking at me and making an instant judgment, fear of embarrassing myself, and fear of not being good enough. I must have sat outside for a good 15 minutes plucking up the courage to go in, but I am glad I did as it was the best decision I have ever made. That first hour Jimmy made me feel like I was the only one in the gym he was training that day. He showed me round and introduced me to the other trainers as well as doing a basic assessment. Jimmy has a truly infectious personality, I don’t think I have ever seen him in a bad mood, his energy is amazing and he was the perfect person to introduce me to BBG. The gym itself is amazing and I have never been to one like it. You can really see the hard work everyone has put into the place and it’s constantly being improved with new kit and machines. I loved seeing an indoor running track, I had never been to a gym with one of those!


I initially signed up to two PT classes a week and a class at the weekend. At the beginning  I was paired with James Hudson, and we worked on my confidence as well as strength and conditioning. James really helped in the initial few weeks but when he left I was then paired with Dan Phoenix. Dan has been amazing with me, he isn’t just my trainer he is also a mate and I look forward to whatever he has planned for me on a Tuesday and Friday night. He has built my confidence as well as worked on my strength, stamina and conditioning. As someone who had never done any weights before and was terrified of the thought of it this was a real eye opener to the point that now it’s my favourite thing to do, and I love deadlifting which is my best of the lifts. Dan’s sessions are never the same and we enjoy ribbing each other, usually about Arsenals latest disaster! Dan makes every session fun, and an hour literally flies by. I have learnt to like myself and learned that its ok not to get it first time, it’s ok to make mistakes and I genuinely enjoy learning the technicality of lifting and other elements. If you are looking for a trainer I can’t recommend Dan highly enough. He will not only  push you to reach your goals but celebrate with you when you set a new PB. His Tuesday night boxercise class is also great fun, usually as he is shouting at me and my sister and our friends for not listening!


When I started at BBG I was nearly 100kg, I was ashamed of myself. With the help of Dan, as well as some amazing nutrition programmes and support from Elly (her bespoke programme is brilliant) and extra sessions with Becca as well as Jimmy’s fantastic boxercise and Spin classes I have shed nearly 20kg and I am well on my way to my 75kg target.


BBG is now my second home, not only do I love to train there but I have made some amazing friends along the way. It really is a family gym and everyone who goes there will tell you the same. All of the trainers want to help and support you, and If you are happy in your training and who you are training with then it makes it even better. You will find me there most nights of the week, if you have had a stressful day at work then it’s a great place to unwind while also getting fit.


I can’t recommend BBG and all of the trainers highly enough, If you are like me and are sitting outside plucking up the courage to come in then do it, it’s the best decision you will make!