“What are your goals?”
This was the first thing Steve asked me when I first bumped into him and it perfectly sums up the personalized and client-focused approach that DS delivers. Having always done my own gym sessions I had never really considered exercise classes; truth be told I thought I could work myself better and harder on my own. Faced with a 6’ 4” ex-Royal Marine Commando with a build I’d give my right arm for, I was convinced to try a taster session. It turned out my pre-conceptions about classes and particularly DS Lifestyle & Fitness classes were oh so wrong. I’ll never forget that taster session; it destroyed me and I was hooked. The gym to class ratio was inverted and I am now a convert.
Being a keen cyclist, if I’m not in a class or the gym in the evening of a week, I’m either on the road bike or down-hilling in Macc Forest. The weekends are almost always spent in North Wales on the downhill bikes with the boys. This year we (the boys and I) have entered the Pearce Cycles Downhill Race Series which has been the major focus of my training this year with DS.
• Build more explosive power and endurance
• Build lean muscle
• Get rid of the chicken legs
DS have helped, and more with every single one of the above. The chicken legs are a work in progress but they are much improved; more Ostrich now I’m told.
I am now a full member attending Evo-CT, P.A.D.S., Core Conditioning and Cyclone. These classes have increased my endurance tenfold with no exaggeration. I have always suffered from the dreaded “arm-pump” (fore-arm fatigue that makes holding on or pulling the brakes near impossible) when down-hilling which has often rendered me “done for the day”, after only a measly 4 or 5 runs. Now it’s a different story. Last weekend in fact my mate Alex noted,
“You can tell your fitness work is paying off, you’re not even tired are you?”
That was after about 3 or 4 hours of down-hilling. This improvement is due to the environment and ethos of the classes. They push you so much harder than you could push yourself because you’re motivated by those around you. There are some awe-inspiring levels of fitness in those classes. But irrespective of fitness level, everyone is there for each other; encouraging and pushing. DS is a close-knit and friendly unit. This friendly, competitive and goal-orientated environment is what makes DS so good. When you meet Dom and Steve it becomes very apparent where these values have come from.
Classes aside, I’ve also been fortunate enough to experience Steve’s PT sessions (beastings). For my first PT Steve asked me to bring my downhill bike along, ride it around and show him my body positioning on the bike and the typical movements the sport involves. Having done this Steve tailored a training regime that would target specific muscle groups and help me achieve the explosive leg power and both lower and upper body endurance I wanted for race season. It’s certainly worked and had a knock-on effect on my technical ability on the bike. This is not only due to the added fitness and strength, but because I’m not thinking about not being able to hold on or being shattered anymore: I can focus solely on the trail. My legs are much stronger, I’m getting the pedals down everywhere and the tank is never empty. The work on my core has increased my stability and my cornering ability as I’m able to use my hips and oblique’s to guide the bike more.
The arm-burn is all but disappeared except for on the most demanding tracks (where everyone gets it) and my finish line sprints are now super-strong.
I’ve sung a lot of praise about DS but it is well deserved. The results are not just down to the awesome classes and tailored PT sessions (which you will barely walk out of), but to the mental strength DS builds. You very quickly learn from Dom and Steve that negativity is not allowed; it’s about positivity. This is what pushes you past your limits.
“I would not make you do something I did not think you could do. You can do this”.
This is something I’ve heard many a time as Steve turns the level up, adds more weight or threatens more reps. It’s a running joke in DS but true that you will hear Steve’s voice when you’re pushing hard. It’s what chases me down the mountain on the downhill rig 🙂
Dom and Steve are the unique selling point of DS. The physical and mental strength the classes and PT sessions deliver are second to none. But advice on training, diet, supplements and anything else to help you achieve your goals is ever present. They genuinely can’t do enough to see you succeed, even if that’s shouting you a protein shake because you’ve run out before your next order. Most of all, they’re just fun to be around.
All of the above is why I will continue to train with DS Lifestyle and Fitness.
Thanks Dom and Steve.