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Jan 17 2013

Whatever gets you going... it's waiting for you

by Matt Lawless

Matt Lawless is a Sports journalist who is training at the Virgin Active Classic Collection Kensington. The 26-year-old has decided to get fit in 2013. But can he get in his best shape ever? He's up for the challenge and will be exclusively sharing his experiences with Virgin Active throughout the year. Follow him on Twitter @mattylawless

by Matt Lawless,
Sports Journalist

Like most, I entered the New Year with a resolute commitment to get in shape. One step on the scales was all it took to confirm the blatantly obvious: I had enjoyed the festive season far too much.

However, the prospect of buying a wardrobe of new clothes to adjust to my new waistline measurements was in turn just as daunting. A gym membership would certainly be more economical. Unfortunately, it turns out to be the same promise every year. ‘I will get fit, I will get fit, I will...’ You know how it is: that inspired initial get up-and-go and then, bang... there goes all the enthusiasm. Well, that was until I joined Virgin Active...

‘Whatever gets you going’. Now, there’s a saying I can appreciate. As a sports journalist I’m often glued to my desk or my phone, reacting to the latest transfers or biggest breaking news. It gets me going. But for years I’ve been left wondering, how do I apply the same motivation to a new keep-fit regime? I’ve tried other gyms before.

I’d work up a sweat but it was all laboured, doing it just for the sake of doing something, without much enjoyment. Have a run, hit the weights, shower, leave. For the most part, it felt worse than doing a solid week’s worth of household chores.

Matt Lawless going through his paces at Virgin Active Classic, Kensington

But as irony would have it, something I’d been searching for, for so long, was there right in front of me (rather five minutes from my office) all along: The Kensington Club. Following a £1.1million refurbishment last year the Classic club - one of only nine in the country - is rated among the best in London.

And I have to say so far, it is so, so good.

Everything there is state-of-the-art. From the atmospheric-lit swimming pool that boosts an incredible adjacent Hydrotherapy area to the first class equipment in the gym area, where expert trainers are always on hand, the Kensington Club quite simply has it all.

What’s more, there is a wonderful warm atmosphere that makes the place feel extra special and keeps you going back for more. Honestly, I’ve not experienced a feel-good factor at a gym like it before and maybe that’s why I feel I’ve finally found the home for me.

At the Kensington Club you’re made to feel welcome by all and most of all, where it matters most to you. Here’s a prime example: After completing my own workout routine, I was invited by one of the trainers to try his V-Core group exercise class.

The eventual 15 minutes of planking, sit-ups and complete core treatment transpired to be the most important of any spent sweating in the gym. It reinforced to me that this was the place for me. I was ushered in to join the family with a big brother figure driving me on to fulfil my goals.

Now when I escape from the desk at lunchtime, I’m glued to the timetables to see what I can do next: Pilates, V-Cycle, TRX Suspension, Kettlebells... I’m delightedly spoilt for choice. According to a study Journal of Clinical Psychology one in five of us will not manage to keep up their promise to get fit after less than a few weeks.

As a Virgin Active member, I just can’t envisage that being a problem. And that really gets me going.