Here at Perkville, we know that success for one equals success for all. And Heather Sawyer is a perfect example of that.
After living a sedentary life for over ten years, Sawyer decided to head to her local Xercise4Less gym to start a fitness routine. After hearing about Xercise4Less’s partnership with Perkville, she set her sights on the ultimate prize: a free year of gym membership.
This goal not only helped get Sawyer to the gym regularly – it also helped her develop healthy habits elsewhere in her life.
Here’s her story.
I'm Heather Sawyer; I'm 39 and live with my husband and our two dogs in Milton Keynes, England.
I manage an HR service centre in London, so I live a relatively sedentary life. I'm at a desk for eight hours a day, and then another three hours sitting down on both commutes. I had a very active youth and was a competitive swimmer for several years before I had an accident skiing and tore my knee, so I got out of the habit of daily, regimented exercise and diet.
I will have been with X4L for one year on August 28th of this year.
Initially, my goal was just to build my fitness and strength, having led a pretty sedentary lifestyle for the past 10 years.
When my physio mentioned that my legs and glutes were a lot stronger than they used to be, and I started noticing that the little niggling aches had stopped and my carpal tunnel pain was essentially gone, it motivated me to continue as I could see the effect that the training was having.
I decided to really go for the free year around Black Friday in 2015, as there were several bonus point offers on – and it started to feel achievable! Also, it was a reason to keep coming to the gym since I could claim the points each time for checking in.
I started training with a PT at X4L Milton Keynes (Marq Cravo), and he has been helping me for the last year. He created workouts that I enjoy, but that are still challenging, which means I look forward to training rather than dreading it!
He has helped me build strength (by sneakily upping the weights when I'm not looking) and has made me a confident user of the free weights area rather than making me focus all my energy on cardio. He also helps by creating HIIT (high intensity interval training) regiments that I enjoy – it has kept me more engaged!
Early on, he suggested I meet up with another of his clients as we both wanted someone to workout with, and that's how I met James, my workout buddy.
James had told me how interactive X4L was on Twitter and how the Twitter team responds and engages with the users on a daily basis. Whenever I check in or tag them, there is always a response and it feels like you are part of something.
James introduced me to Perkville as well. Seeing him claim his free year was quite motivating for me to keep collecting points – and as points mean prizes, he always makes sure to remind me when a new promotion appears!
Having someone to train with has also made me more accountable as I know I am letting them down if I cancel just because I am tired. Initially, we started using the virtual Les Mills on our non-PT days for Sh'Bam. And recently we started walking regularly on weekends as well, so there is always a reason for me to be active now.
My husband Martin has been there all the way through, picking up the slack and cooking my dinner when I have a late session – and never complaining about how often I'm at the gym!
The points are really motivating, especially the countdown telling you how many more gym visits until you hit your monthly bonus. Suddenly realizing that you only have to check in a couple more times makes it less daunting.
I like the ease of use with Perkville – it's not a chore and fits in really easily. I have the Xercise4Less app on my phone, so a check-in or photo post is so simple.
I like the different bonus offers, too. You never know what will come up the next month. I also like the interaction with Twitter for bonus points.
Next fitness/lifestyle goal is to drop a couple dress sizes for my brother's wedding by sorting out my macros! I have seen some inch loss while I have focused on strength training, but am going to up my game this year and build in more HIIT and cardio now that I am so much stronger!