Buxton personal trainer heaps praise on clients' fitness efforts after year of remote coaching

A Buxton personal trainer who launched a bespoke online fitness programme in lockdown is thrilled with the progress her clients have made despite a year when the going got tough.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 4:14 pm

Sarah Ridgeway, who works at New Bodies Gym, on Dew Pond Lane, had to do some quick thinking when gyms closed last spring but it has paid off with some incredible success stories – including her own.

She said: “At the beginning we didn’t have time to arrange anything for our clients. Some were putting tinned food in carrier bags to use as weights.

“We gradually got things sorted out. We developed an app which contains everyone’s individual fitness programme, mixed with Zoom coaching, and chat groups to keep everyone motivated.”

She added: “We had to find other ways to keep progressing, and the results people have achieved are truly unbelievable.

“The client to coach connection is a big driver of people’s motivation, and we do group work which adds a sense of belonging. I’ve now got clients who I’ve never met in my life. It’s been hard but I’m really proud of everyone.”

Among those who have made the greatest changes are Mark Allard, 41, and Scott Bickerton, 39.

Mark has shed 31 kilograms and six inches from his waist in the past 18 months, while Sarah has helped Scott lose 45 kg and ten inches, reducing his blood pressure from high to low risk in the process.

Mark Allard, left, and Scott Bickerton have slimmed down with help from Sarah Ridgeway at New Bodies Gym.

Scott said: “I’m fitter and stronger. Lockdown has changed my life.”

Both men had started trying to lose weight before contacting Sarah – Mark last January, and Scott in August. She put them on a plan called ‘the switch’, with personalised training and nutrition goals to help people lose weight and then maintain their new physique.

It is a journey she knows well. Having started her own road to fitness with a period of weight loss five years ago, Sarah now competes in national amateur bodybuilding championships – scoring her most recent podium place in a socially-distanced competition in the autumn.

She said: “I think what makes them stand out is that they’re both working full time, they’re both dads, and they’ve both contracted Covid and had to go through periods of isolation while we were training.

When they were forced to self-isolate, Sarah would set step counts for Mark and Scott to complete on their stairs on in the garden. At other times, she set them tasks using

resistance bands, home equipment, bars and dumbbells lent from the gym.

Sarah said: “Some days I’d speak to them and they’d be very down, some days I would be too, but they never gave up or let anything get in their way. I think the future’s bright for both of them.

“It just goes to show, if you stick it out, work hard, you really can achieve more than you ever imagined.”

New Bodies is hoping to reopen on April 12. To find out more about training with Sarah, go to www.naturallybuilt.co.uk.

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