Gym nightmare turns to a dream

WALKING into a gym is like walking into a personal nightmare for some of us, says reporter REBECCA LEFORT. However she plucked up the courage to be put through her paces by Matt the Motivator, who is the expert behind The Evening Star's fun fitness programme Spring into Summer starting later this month.

WALKING into a gym is like walking into a personal nightmare for some of us, says reporter REBECCA LEFORT. However she plucked up the courage to be put through her paces by Matt the Motivator, who is the expert behind The Evening Star's fun fitness programme Spring into Summer starting later this month.

TONED bodies, complicated machines, and a lot of hard work - it's no wonder most of us hate the idea of going to the gym.

When I join this year's Spring Into Summer crew to start our sporting challenges at the end of March, we won't be faced not by imposing bodybuilders and stunning slimmers, but by the friendly face of Matt the Motivator.

For Ipswich personal trainer Matt Goldrick, exercise is his passion, but he also understands that not everyone finds sweating and straining as much fun as he does!

Which is why he is keen to help Spring Into Summer, in his spare time from guiding clients to fitness. Matt said: “Some people are really worried; they don't think there is anyway they will be able to exercise, and certainly not enjoy it. But everyone can do something, it doesn't matter what age you are, how fit you are or anything like that.”

Well that's a relief. When I turned up at Next Generation where freelancer Matt does most of his work, I felt better once it became clear he wasn't actually a terrorising fitness freak.

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He started by finding out a bit about me and what I wanted to achieve - which of course was to lose weight, tone up, become gorgeous, and all the usual desires.

Matt said: “There is a pre-exercise questionnaire and I can carry out a range of tests such as bleep tests, body fat tests, blood pressure tests. All this helps me decide the level of fitness someone is starting at and where to go from there.

“So many people come to me and say they have been trying for so long to exercise but it never works, and then when I talk to them it turns out they're just making some basic errors. For example people think they shouldn't eat before they exercise but that doesn't work. And yo-yo dieting is awful.”

After assessing me, Matt suggests a regime which the exercise bike, cross-trainer, and various resistance machines, and tells me I should be doing the routine for around an hour, two to three times a week.

The promise is that if I stick to what he tells me, I'll gradually get fitter and eventually will lose pounds.

So I pounded away at the cross trainer and straight after I finished the warm-up, I thought he must be insane to think all this effort could make me feel better about myself.

Yet later on in the day I began to think maybe he had a point. I became pleased with myself and motivated to do some more training.

Matt said: “Exercise and taking control by coming to a personal trainer, really helps people build confidence. Some people come to me before work and you can see that they are feeling better about themselves for the rest of the day.

“If people have problems we can talk about them and hopefully get them out through exercise.”

Matt also tries to provide recommendations for a whole new lifestyle.

To really succeed, Matt's clients also need to be able to exercise without him so he encourages them to take up sports they enjoy.

He said: “I want people to be able to stay healthy for themselves. What I help with, is making sure they don't pick up any bad habits and to get them on to the next level.

“I actually want them to like fitness. I see it as a very important aspect of everyone's life, and by living healthily most people are happier and able to achieve their goals.”

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Twelve lucky readers will be selected to benefit from Matt's expert help, during Spring Into Summer which starts at the end of March for ten weeks.

If you saw the fun last year and would have loved to take part - now's your chance.

The exciting sessions will be held once a week, in the evenings and occasionally at weekends, in association with Ipswich Borough Council, and Matt Goldrick Personal Training.

We want just as many men as women so don't be shy. You'll never know until the actual day of each session, as they remain a secret until a sealed envelope is opened in front of the squad - so it's always a surprise to find what skills you will be learning in which new sport.

All events will be free of charge to the 12 participants.

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To enter, complete this form and send in to arrive by March 14. All we ask is if selected, you do your best to attend all sessions, because ongoing team spirit is what makes this programme special.

Age: 24

Ethos: "My goal is simple, to make you look better, feel better, and maintain it for the rest of your life"

Qualifications: More than a dozen qualifications to advanced levels, for subjects including sports studies, personal training nutrition, coaching, and sport for people with disabilities.

Career: Started in the Royal Engineers for the Army, then spent seven years in the fitness industry working at five gyms in both the public and private sector before becoming a freelance personal trainer three years ago.

Hobbies: Cycling, jogging and playing football.

Weblink: www.mgpt.co.uk

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