Niki - Personal Training Testimonial (May 2014)

September 20, 2018


"I started CrossFit at Train Manchester six months ago and was instantly hooked. Within weeks I felt stronger, fitter and faster and slowly felt the fears I had about the whole weight-lifting thing start to disappear. The CrossFit gym is an inspiring place with wonderful coaches and teaching and some serious athletes there to show you how it’s done.


For anyone serious about getting fit, I can’t see a better route, with the variety in movements and intensity pushing your boundaries in your strengths and weaknesses. But as a relative newbie, that variety which was so core to my progress was also a bit of an obstacle – I found myself dipping into some of the core skills here and there, but without enough consistency to feel myself making good progress in some of the skills I really wanted to do better at.  


So towards the end of the year I toyed with the idea of getting some PT sessions to work towards those goals, but it took some time before I got round to doing anything about it. Partly that was because I felt I was getting so much out of the classes on their own themselves, and partly because I was worried about the extra cost on top of my membership.


But early in the New Year I realised that if I really wanted to take CrossFit seriously then this was the commitment I needed to make. So I decided that 2014 would be my year of CrossFit and approached Sean to see whether he would work with me in this quest. Three months into my CrossFit experience, I appreciated the fact that Sean never assumed that I knew or remembered all of the movements and skills. He took the time to break everything down in all the classes, and while sometimes I was eager to speed ahead, when I reflected on this I realised how important it was in resisting the temptation to go heavy before getting the foundations right. 


So Sean and I met to discuss what I wanted to towards and we decided that we’d work on pull-ups, which would give me the strength that would translate into all of my other skills and movements, as well as the dreaded Double-Unders which I was determined to conquer.




Eight sessions in and I am absolutely thrilled with my progress – so much so that I wonder why on earth I didn’t do this earlier. I’ve been doing one session a week and Sean has put together a diverse and challenging programme that has been building both core strength and skills. It has been a revelation to see how quickly this has paid off – within a couple of sessions I could do a few kipping pull-ups unbroken, and come the CrossFit Games I was thrilled to find out that I could also do chest-to-bars and weighted pull-ups.


My new muscles have also really paid off in other areas and I have seen my PBs going up in pretty much every lift too. My double-under progress has been less amazing, but Sean has persisted with my seemingly random DU style that initially had him baffled! But each week he came in with a new thought about what we could try next and (fingers crossed) we think he nailed where I was going wrong this week and with a bit of practice hopefully I will be seeing similar progress there too. 


I realise that over the last few weeks I have turned into a complete fitness bore, but these new discoveries have had me literally walking on air. In that, the pay offs from Sean’s guidance and these sessions have gone way beyond these new-found skills and reaped huge benefits in terms of confidence. I hadn’t realised how important that was, thinking before our sessions that it was predominantly technique and strength holding me back.


While I still have a long journey ahead in continuing to build those, I have seen how much confidence can boost performance. If someone had told me before that having never done a chest-to-bar before I would manage 23 reps in the CrossFit Games 14.1, I would never in a million years have believed them. Now I am eager to try everything!"


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