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From unfit to Uni Fit

12 Nov 2013

A trio of colleagues who wouldn’t have met during their normal working lives have been drawn together in a quest to become fitter, slimmer and more confident.

Un Fit session

Sabina Hawthornthwaite (National Graphene Institute) and Fiona Pogson (IT Services) were among the first members of staff to sign up for the Uni Fit personal training sessions which Mike Pearce began running on campus in January 2013. Stephanie Marsh from the Directorate of Estates and Facilities joined in April.

Sabina, who signed up to lose weight and improve her fitness, is delighted to have lost four stone (30 kilos) and dropped two dress sizes since January.

Both Fiona and Steph had enrolled in gyms and classes in the past, only to fall by the wayside as the weeks passed. However, far from giving up on Uni Fit, the training sessions have encouraged both of them to seek further goals outside the classes.

Fiona was so inspired by Mike’s participation in the London Marathon that she has run three 10Ks - in Salford, Glasgow and Heaton Park - since September.

Steph’s improved sense of wellbeing after establishing a regular exercise routine prompted her to begin running again after a two-year break. She also accepted Mike’s challenge to go sugar-free, losing 9lbs (4 kilos) during September and changing her eating habits permanently (“I refuse biscuits in the office now and I’m healthier all round.”)

So what keeps them coming back to Uni Fit sessions? They give access to the skills and expertise of a personal trainer for a reasonable price, and take place at convenient times and locations. Perhaps most importantly, the small group size (3-8 people) allows Mike to give personal attention to each client and encourages a feeling of camaraderie.

Steph explains: “Mike is good at motivating you without your realising it, is very supportive and understands that you have bad days. He knows how to challenge you – and increases the challenge once you start feeling too comfortable.”

Uni Fit sessions are based around bodyweight metabolic exercise and cardio fitness circuits. Resistance work builds up core strength in the stomach muscles and everything else develops from there. Our trio of interviewees each attend between eight and 12 sessions a month.

Mike also encourages clients to adopt a diet based on unprocessed food and vegetable-derived protein and carbohydrates, and to keep a food diary.

Sabina says: “I’m an evangelist for Uni Fit - I’d encourage anyone to come along and give it a go!” 

Further information

To book a free trial week and obtain details of pricing and location, contact: