Janet Crook, 47
I started with Beki and Diane in November 2018.
Not all personal trainers are created equal! I’m lucky enough to be able to have the flexibility to exercise at different times during the day and to have a fairly good set-up at home with some fitness equipment, but that is not necessarily helpful if you’re not sure what you need to do to work specific areas or if you’re doing what you’re doing correctly. I moved to this area early in 2018 and found that sometimes what is presented as personal training tends to be training that is planned the same for all clients, just with different weights or reps – which to me is not really the point.
I have a range of health conditions and a disability – I was diagnosed with M.E. in 1999 which has caused a range of issues over the years including joint pain and fatigue, and psoriatic arthritis diagnosed in 2015. It is important to find someone who listens to what you can do and also who challenges you to do as much as you can. I wanted to find training that was specific and personal to me (not a tall order you would think), and training that was flexible in how it was offered (times, days, frequency), with no pressure to continue and no problems if there is a break (I work away on occasions and can be away for a few weeks at a time). Having done some research, I found Beki’s website and liked how it was presented as a family-run business with the client at the heart of the work they do. I went along for a consultation, had a very detailed discussion of my needs and got started! It was also attractive to me that the sessions were very affordable, especially given I get much more from them than I would from a gym membership.
I can’t tell you how much the style of communication from both Beki and Diane encouraged me from the starts and helps me every week. I’m not a fan of chatting on the telephone or social media, so being able to send an email or text and request a consultation suited me perfectly. The initial consultation was face-to-face and was very detailed but also informal, with no pressure to sign up. It’s hard to explain, but as someone who works communicating all the time there is always a sense from both Diane and Beki of real listening, which takes skill and genuine interest in other people. This is quite rare to find these days. Both Beki and Diane are totally honest and have the greatest integrity – they will not tell you are going to be Elle McPherson when, like me, you’re more Ernie Wise. If they don’t know about something, they will go away and find out. Diane uses Beki’s assessments of my pain and flexibility from massage to inform sessions and vice versa, and they worked together when Beki found an issue with my posture which needed to be improved. Initially I worked with Diane personal training twice a week wherever possible.
The training was always planned out, always catered to me, always adapted depending on how I was feeling when I came in and reflected specific areas I wanted to work on. When I started to have issues with my weight I also worked with Diane on my food intake – quality and quantity. I consider myself a reasonably intelligent and sensible person (!) but had no idea that not eating enough can be as bad as over-eating, which shows you don’t know what you don’t know. When I was diagnosed with a slipped disc in my back caused, most likely, by posture issues linked to arthritis, I also started working with Beki in massage and posture exercises and support. This has even meant focusing more on how I walk, how I hold my shoulders, how I need to strengthen my back – all of which I never realised I needed. Using measurements is also very interesting to me as it makes me aware of what I am doing and the impact, without feeling under pressure to change these quickly. They are used to inform and support training, rather than as something to celebrate or complain about.
I am much more aware of how I move in everyday life. It sounds crazy but it’s not just about improving how much you move about, it’s also making sure that you move in a way that prevents pain and injury (especially in my case with health issues). I am also much more aware of what I should be eating (and not just the usual eating healthily), and ho much I should be eating. When I train at home I’m also much more confident in how I do exercises, and if I am away Diane comes up with a routine I can do anywhere without specific equipment to support me keeping moving. I feel like Diane and Beki are real-life gurus – and have been alongside me through some difficult times such as two very close family bereavements this year. Not having any family now, they have become like family and are always at the end of a text or email. Rather than thinking ‘I might ring the GP’ I text Beki or Diane for help!
I can’t say that I don’t still have issues – I do – but I feel like I know where to turn and feel confident that there will be solution that Diane, alongside Beki and with me myself can come up with. I feel confident that whatever issues happen, they will find a way to overcome them. I feel more informed and more able to have confidence that when my mind thinks ‘I can’t do that’ my body will be able to. Beki’s creative and exciting Christmas challenges always make me think ‘I can’t do that’, but always encourage my competitive side and push me to be better!
What first attracted me to BA Wellness Enterprises was the family feeling the website has - it shows that women at different stages of their lives work together and give you confidence that they will be able to understand you. Neither presents themselves as an example of perfection, which is heartening (even though they are both awesome!), and it’s great that when one is unsure they ask the other (and are honest about that, which is so refreshing). ‘Holistic’ is a word that tends to be over-used these days, but the team work really shows a holistic view of the client – from food to training to posture to stretching to massage and even mental health support. The mini-personal trainer is always a welcome support and brings such enthusiasm it is hard not to smile when she pops into the studio!
I have to give credit to Beki as a businesswoman. She is creative, caring, committed and continuously working to improve the service offered by herself and her business. I’ve never met someone who works so hard to develop new ideas and to develop herself and her skills all the time – her ambition and work ethic are a credit to her. It is clear that she gets this from Diane, who works tirelessly too to come up with sessions planned to support me every week, and is calm and positive every session in spite of what turmoil I might have going on, physically or mentally! She will always text me if she knows I’ve been feeling ‘off’ to check up on me, which is such a great support. As a team they listen to each other, learn from each other and support each other, which is really the greatest way to support their clients.
I am very happy with the level of support I am receiving – I know that whatever happens I can make progress and even if I take a few steps back I will at least get back to where I was. I never feel under pressure to commit to more than I can do, but do feel inspired to push myself more. I especially push myself more than I would if I was just doing something at home from a DVD or an online video. My goals are reviewed regularly and I always feel positive and motivated after a session. I can’t wait to see what BA Wellness Enterprises has to come in the future!
Largest Loser Competition
Beki and Xercise4Less took part in a competition in 2014 to raise money and awareness for Sports Relief. With all the Xercise4Less sites across the country taking part, Beki volunteered to give up her free time to be a team leader as one of the 4 representatives of the Hull Club.
The competition was to last 8 weeks, from the beginning of March to the end of April 2014. 1 Weigh in every week. X4L Hull had one mission – To get all 4 teams in the top 4, country wide.
Half way into the competition, the Hull club had all 4 teams in the top 12, and by the 6th week, all 4 teams in the top 5! Team Beki (Renamed Team Awesome) made a fantastic effort, having 2 group PT sessions for the first 6 weeks, then a final push with 4 -5 PT sessions in both the last 2 weeks. The team – Rebecca, Sarah, Holly and Robert have all become great friends, started training together on extra days on top of team meetings and have really made Beki Proud.
The total team loss was an amazing 3 Stone. They clubbed together to buy Beki a lovely bouquet of flowers to say thank you at the end, but the journey does not stop there. They’re still training as a team, going out as friends, and have continued working with Beki on a paid basis to further their goals.
I joined in Feb/March 2013 and weighed in at 27 & ½ stone! Over the next few months I did manage to lose about 5 stone which felt fantastic. During October the weight loss had stalled and I didn’t lose anything for the next 4 weeks, eventually my gym attendance got less and less and eventually ceased altogether. I had lost all motivation. By the time the new year arrived I had put back on about a stone and a half and was hovering at the 24 stone mark, so with renewed vigour I returned to the gym with all the new year resolutions still ringing loudly. However, I found myself struggling to find the motivation again and so when I spotted the Largest Loser competition I knew it was the kick up my arse I needed!!
As an added incentive for me to train hard, I signed myself up to do the Hull 10km race in June!! Me running??!! Was I mad?? The last time I had run any distance was about 20 years earlier and about 11 stone lighter. My goal when I started the largest loser competition was to lose 2 stone. Beki gave us an eating plan and if I’m honest I was a little sceptical at first, I could have bacon and eggs for breakfast? Snack on Cheese? And eat fat??!! I was expecting to eat like a rabbit! Well I followed her plan, binned the bread and pasta, and within a couple of weeks of binning the bread I noticed that I wasn’t suffering from the bloating feeling and indigestion that I usually complained of, I started to feel great.
Up till the start of the largest loser my exercise routine consisted of the same machines, 20-30 mins on the treadmill, 10 mins on the cross trainer and 30 mins on the weights machines. I was in a kind of rut! Beki changed that and introduced me to whole new regime of exercises – Mountain climbers, squat jumps, BURPEES!! She was tough on us, but tough was good it was what I needed!! I began to enjoy the gym once more and started to attend daily, sometimes even twice!! I also started to go for the occasional jog at home and even started to do the Park Run at east park, a 5km run every Saturday morning. It was here that I started to notice my fitness levels improving every week putting in a new PB, My first 5K I finished in about 38 mins, and I am currently running it at about 31.45!! Massive improvement!!
Final Weigh in day came, couldn’t believe that 8 weeks had passed so quickly, It had been hard work but enjoyable as well. I had made new friends in my team mates – Rebecca, Sarah and Holly and of course our team leader the awesome that is Beki, whose dedication and commitment to us, pushing us hard never letting us give up even when our minds and bodies wanted to! I had lost 36.5lb in 8 weeks!! I had smashed my initial target of 2 stone!! Get in!!
The journey is far from over for me, I’ve still got a fair way to go until I reach my target weight of 13 stone, but I know it’s achievable and now my motivation is motivated! Team Beki continues!! New target challenge for October is the Major Series 10Km obstacle race…….Bring it on!!
I entered the largest loser competition because I want to lose weight and get in shape and the competition gave me a little extra motivation. I'm really glad I got the team we did. We gelled well as a team and formed good friendships throughout the 8 week journey. For me, both the team and trainer Beki are very much regarded as family. Beki has taught me many things.
Since I first began working with her, my confidence has improved massively. When I first began working with Beki it was a struggle for me to do more than a minute’s exercise without becoming breathless. I had a massive anxiety of the cross-trainer due to having fainting episodes in the past, (I can now do 10 minutes’ intervals increasing the level each minute), and I have learned there is nothing I can't do if I really want it and am prepared to work for it. Beki has taught me to correct my posture, and recently we began working on correction of heel striking. Whenever we identify an area for improvement I become very aware of what needs adjusting and it motivates me to do the necessary work.
While working with Beki I have achieved a massively noticeable waist reduction. My overall performance in exercise has improved dramatically. My confidence and my mental health have massively improved. (I was suffering with depression but now the only medication I occasionally need is my inhalers for asthma.) My core strength is much much better. And also my appetite is more stable and I have learned to correct my dietary intake to what my body needs.
Team mates have been hugely supportive and we are all sticking together as training buddies, preparing for a new challenge in October (10km assault course). We all share the same sense of wit and humour which made each training session as fun as it was difficult. Team members have engaged in additional physical activity together, including Park Run and ice skating. Working as a team has taught me that although we each face our own personal challenges there is nothing really that we can't achieve when we work together. It really brought me out of my shell. I have made new friends who encouraged me to get out of the house more. We all bring our own unique qualities to the team. And that's what made us like family. By working with people in a team I felt able to do more, and overcome obstacles such as my phobia of cross trainer.
I would recommend personal trainers any day. They really are very personal, pushing you while never expecting more of you than what you're capable of. When working with a trainer you can be assured that you are performing each activity safely and correctly, while receiving guidance and encouragement and (if you need it as I sometimes do) distraction. If I hadn't worked with a trainer I would not see the results I see today. The photo proof is enough to show for itself. I couldn't be happier with my choice!!
I would tell anyone Beki is a caring professional who tailors exercise to your individual needs. She understands personal limitations and will endeavour to help you overcome any problem. She is fun to know, and taught me that I can enjoy exercise and also try new things. Beki really is a star trainer and once you get to know her she feels like family ;)
The biggest thing I have got from this experience is confidence and the realisation that my goals are not so far out of sight. I have definitely reached some of my goals. I never could run before. Now I can manage 3km and aim to push it up to 5km. My ultimate goal is to be size 12, I have gone from a 16 to a comfortable size 14 :). Beki is an amazing trainer and I know that with her help I can reach any goal!
I entered the largest loser competition because I get married next year and the back of my dress is laced up, and ideally I would like the lacing to met up the back, and I needed to get back to the gym after a work accident which knocked my confidence.
I am glad got in team I did, I have made some really good friends (including Beki), and we gave each other a lot of support and encouragement. Beki was amazing she gave us so much support and encouragement. She answered all our questions, no matter how silly. I always felt listen to and encouraged and pushed that next bit! Beki taught me to believe in myself and that I can achieve what I want to achieve. I have learnt how to eat clean and have done to achieve the results I want. I have lost weight and gained back a lot of confidences which I lost. I feel and look so much healthier.
We supported each other as a team so much through this and we have become really good friends and have set up a Facebook group called Team Beki - take two, so we can keep in contact with each other. We have planned to continue training together and the do the major series assault course this year. Sometimes I need that extra push. I have achieved a happier and healthier me.
Personal Training is worth doing, you gain a better understanding of what you should be doing to achieve your goals. Beki is a beast! (In a good way of course!) She is really encouraging, and gives you a lot of support. Whatever your goal Beki will help you achieve it. The biggest thing I have got from the competition is making lovely friends, and feeling much better in myself. The back of my wedding dress nearly meets and I have gained so much more confidences, we are already planning to continue working with Beki.