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Matt’s journey at CoActive Health

Learn more about CoActive Health member Matt’s journey and experience training with us.

In October I was asked by a colleague to take part in a record breaking first attempt flight. He wanted me to fly with him in a light helicopter around the world passing two antipodes other than the North and South Poles whilst remaining between the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. I agreed, but I did not realise that my journey would start in a gym situated in Chalfont St Giles.

I had let my weight and physical well-being deteriorate for well over a year and was hauling around over 90Kg in weight with a fat percentage of around 33%. I have lost weight before, mainly through cardio and calorie counting, but each time it seemed to get harder and take longer. Also on previous occasions I had time to commit to cardio for long stretches during the day. This time the weight was not moving and I could not commit hours a day to running and swimming, etc. I needed to find something that would keep me motivated but above all something that would help me maintain a balanced and heathy weight and stop the cycle of yo-yo dieting. I needed to find an activity that I could keep doing that could become part of my lifestyle. Maybe I should try weights, but how was I going to do that? I had not lifted a weight in years, and besides I really did not know how to use those machines.

I Live in Chalfont St Giles and would pass by the sign for CoActive, and like many I regularly said that I should pop in “one day”. It was not however until the end of October and after I signed up for the helicopter adventure that I finally took the important and life changing step and visited the gym.

With trepidation, I walked through the doors, feeling overweight and slightly old (48 ish). To my grateful surprise everything seemed relaxed, no bulky muscle builders to make me feel self-conscious, and no rows of cardio machines waiting to bore me into tedious oblivion, and no line of electronic weight machines to pound me into submission, there where however plenty of free weights and free weight machines. This made me nervous, if I do not know how to use a weight machine there is no chance in me knowing how to use the free weights properly. Roan was the first person I met. To be honest Roan may have looked a bit scary but he was pleasant and explained the gym’s concept; personalized attention through personalized programmes with personal or semi-personal trainers. After that first visit I left with only on real decision to make; that was to go with either the personal option or semi-personal option. I chose the semi-personal route, partly through cost but mainly because I felt more comfortable with the one on four / six set up (I am not sure that I could have handled one on one from the start).

All signed up, I set out for my initiation; Matt weighed me in, took my measurements and after asking, took the “obligatory” before photos. Matt asked me what my goals were, what my lifestyle was like and assessed my diet.  My diet was the pits and this was the part that I was most fearful about (I was not willing to compromise). I am a fussy eater, surely Matt would berate me and try to get me to eat the latest and greatest “superfoods” all with a healthy serving of fish (probably haddock, the smellier the better). Again, I was surprised, Matt noted that I did not particularly like fish and realized that it is impractical to try and turn a tanker around in a short time and small space. He provided me with healthy options and guidance that I could cope with, (chicken does seem to be the real super food, full of protein and actually tastes like chicken, pizza is still on the menu but not every night) he also provided me with suggestions for supplementation, but most importantly explained what they were for. As well as explaining how the supplements worked he also ran though all my body measurements explaining the effects of all the bad lifestyle choices that I was making and how my body composition hid them (actually, hid is the wrong word, highlighted is probably more apt).  Goals set, measurements taken, diet discussed and sleep patterns briefed Matt assessed my physical fitness and strength. So far so good, the initiation was over and the hard work was about to begin. The hard work may have been about to begin but it was no longer with trepidation but with immediate enthusiasm and energy, which I can honestly say has remained with me thoughout, even to today.

The programmes have been set on a regular basis, usually at around the third week, depending on how active I have been. As well as Matt and Roan being there to ensure that I am using the weights correctly and monitoring my form and progress Barry and Ben have also greatly participated in my transformation. Both Barry and Ben have provided encouragement, guidance and kept my motivation at full throttle.

Matt, Roan, Ben and Barry have all been important, but they have not been the only ones involved.  Probably one of the greatest influences during the past few months leading up to my trip have been the other clients. CoActive is more than a solitary gym, it is a team, a team made up of the staff, clients and self.  It is encouraging to see regular faces and to find out that many of them have been coming to the gym for many years, it must say something about the variety of programmes and the overall atmosphere that they all keep coming and keep motivated. I do not feel out of place, and after walking through the door that first time, never did, in fact everyone made me feel that I was in the right place and that I was part of the team from day one.

My helicopter trip is about to start; my goals were met and exceeded (a loss of over 10kg and reduction of body fat of around 10%). The helicopter trip should take around four months and you can follow me through The 130-day journey will be utterly amazing and if you go to the footer of the page of you can follow my satellite beacon track en-route.  If you “LIKE” the Facebook page, you can also follow the journey on social media. You can also follow on Twitter.  I will also, if time permits blog on It would be lovely to have you come along for the experience, and indeed, please comment and share with all your friends.

The round the worlds trip may end on my return, but I will still be embarking on a life long journey at a great gym in Chalfont St. Giles called Coactive. See you all on my return in August. Have a great and sweaty summer.

CoActive Health
London Rd,
Chalfont St Giles,
Bucks, HP8 4NN
Tel: 01494 873531
Enquiry form
Opening Hours
Mon – Fri: 06:30 to 19:30
Saturday: 07:00 to 12:00
Sunday: Closed
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