3 weeks ago we launched Team PB – a 6-week programme to motivate, encourage and support people to realise their health goals, specifically with the Coronavirus pandemic and its physical and mental effects in mind.  6 volunteers from across the country have been taking part in the programme with all members having been significantly impacted by the pandemic in some way with various mental well-being, nutritional and physical challenges brought on by the crisis.

Throughout the last 3 weeks they have been having 3 sessions a week with their allocated Personal Trainer at their local club, as well as two sessions with nutritionist Jenna Hope and clinical psychologist Dr Jessamy Hibberd. These sessions are all about understanding how they’ve been affected by the pandemic, to realise what has been holding them back in the past and to identify any barriers or bad habits.

We’ve caught up with our members to hear how they’re feeling at the half way mark of the programme. I think it’s fair to say they’re all enjoying it!

Jack, 27

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I am feeling really good for the first time in a long time. I’m lifting weights which I could never have imagined lifting and I feel amazing!

Pre-pandemic I’d trained for a half marathon, without gaining muscle or losing weight. But with just 3 sessions a week with Harry, my PT, I’ve started to see changes that I didn’t think were possible.

My sessions with Jenna and Dr Jessamy have been incredible. One of the things that Jessamy identified was that I get a lot of my motivation from external sources. I hadn’t spoken publicly on social media or to any of my friends about being part of Team PB as I was worried that I wouldn’t see the effects, and if my friends didn’t see progress then I would lack in confidence. But this week I’ve been posting about it on social media and talking about the programme to friends, and the support and encouragement I’ve received has been hugely validating.

I’ve also been following Jenna’s advice, especially when it comes to drinking a lot more water, which seems such a basic thing but something I just wasn’t getting anywhere near enough of it! I’m doing well and feeling so much better for it.

It feels like every time I go to David Lloyd I’m getting more confident and more excited about what I can do. I just want to keep doing it forever.

Michelle, 32

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Midway point of the Team PB programme and I’m feeling good. I don’t think I would be here without having been through the pitfall of week one, and growing my relationship with Chantelle, my PT, in week two. The midway point has given me a massive confidence boost – from feeling like I might not be able to complete this programme, I really feel like I’ve actually grown this week and got my confidence back.

After contracting COVID-19 in December 2020 I have since been unable to reach my full potential in fitness. Pre-pandemic, I was used to running eight miles a day, but before joining Team PB I was experiencing a lot of post-exercise exhaustion and wasn’t able to exercise as regularly as I would like. This week I tried a run and lo and behold, I managed to do 6.3 miles without having to stop – I felt strong, my posture has improved which is helping with my breathing, and I didn’t feel exhausted afterwards.

Generally, I’m just feeling so much better in myself. It’s the amalgamation of the nutrition, the positive affirmations that I’m doing with Dr Jessamy and working with Chantelle, getting my confidence back in the gym, getting my strength back up. It’s all coming together this week.

I’m super excited to see where I am in another 3 weeks when the programme ends!

John, 41

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Over the last 3 weeks, my results have been absolutely astounding. Not only weight loss but my fitness levels. I feel great after a workout and no longer work myself to exhaustion anymore. I can still do things with my wife and kids, still go and walk the dogs and not be crying that my muscles are hurting.

It really is all about a mindset change. Mark’s helped massively but also all the other Team PB members – we’re all so supportive and it’s great.

Also, my sessions with Dr Jessamy and Jenna have been amazing. Dr Jessamy has made me realise that I’m worth spending time on and that I need ‘put my own mask on first before I help others’. And Jenna… well, what can I say, it’s all about food for me. I love to eat and hate to move! But she has really highlighted so many ways for me to use things around the house to make healthy and fun meals, which I’m really enjoying.

So far Team PB has been, honestly, life changing for me. And I think it’s going to stick. I’m really enjoying myself at the moment so let’s keep this going.

Eva, 59

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I’m officially having a ball. And this third week has made me think about what we’re all doing and the difference it’s making to all of us. It’s been great. We’re all on a journey – our own journeys, yes, but a journey together.

When I started doing this, I read back my diary, and although I had a fairly easy time of it during the pandemic, I did realise that the actual lockdown side of things made me worry about my own health. I realised that I wasn’t as fit as I need to be as I approach the big 60.  

Starting Team PB was a new chance – I’ve done dieting in the past but I hadn’t locked everything together with regards to food, mental attitude, looking at my diet in detail and exercise.

I’ve done exercise in the past – Zumba and tennis which has been great – but nothing that has built my strength up which I know is important for women my age. I was quite frightened of going into the gym because I felt so weak. The first time I met Harry, my PT, I thought I was going to be dreadful and that he’d make me run on the treadmill and I’d be all puffy… none of that has happened. I’ve done fantastic weight exercises, which have given me so much more confidence, and on the days I haven’t been training I’ve been playing tennis. People have commented on how I’m brisker round the court, which has been great!

Talking to both Dr Jessamy and Jenna about food and mental attitudes to things has been really helpful and they both made me think: I eat very healthily but my issue has been portion control, and the ‘c’ word: cheese! I’ve managed to knock off eating too much cheese and I don’t nibble as I cook. I’ve followed Jenna’s advice and I’m sitting down while eating, not eating as I cook which I used to do all the time.

Also with Jessamy I’ve been looking at how I can be a bit of a carer – I look after my in-laws, my husband, my son; everyone, and she highlighted how I should be looking after myself too.

Rachel, 44

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Team PB so far has been great – it’s so amazing having that constant support from a personal trainer and the sessions I’ve had with Jenna and Dr Jessamy They were real light-bulb moments.

In my session with Jenna I learnt that I actually need to snack more. I’ve never been a snacker but she’s suggested I add into my daily diet protein rich snacks will help keep my blood sugar levels up which gives me more energy to be able to do my job, and my workouts.

With Dr Jessamy, we talked about what I’ve been through this last year and how I work in an industry that was one of the first to close and will be last to fully reopen and how when it does, I need to be physically and mentally fit to give it my all. A great tip from her was to write down all the positive things that have happened to me and that I should be proud of what I have got through rather than thinking about what I haven’t over this pandemic.

My sessions with my PT Jack, have all been great. This week, in the midpoint of the programme I’ve been doing deadlifts which I didn’t think I could ever do! We started adding weights to those too and Jack has said I’ve got really good form which has given me a real confidence boost.

I just feel so good in myself. I think you feel better when you’re surrounded by people who are supportive and who are positive and that’s definitely what Team PB is full of!

It’s so great to hear how well everyone is doing and we can’t wait to check back in at the end of the programme. To follow the Team PB members stories, challenges and achievements visit David Lloyd Clubs Instagram channel and Facebook and for support and information on how you can go on your own health journey keep checking back to the blog – we’re going to be covering it all!