Tell me about your Gymbox journey. How did you to get into fitness, and what made you join Gymbox?
I’d never been to a gym until three years ago. I was working for a big law firm that had a gym at the bottom of the building - I started going there and then I became really addicted. Everyone was saying “you’re addicted, you’re addicted” and I’m like “okay, this is the best addiction!”
I was looking for a place to do proper training, and I came to the old Farringdon Gymbox. I started coming in and I was in love! It was really amazing. All the instructors and the class construction was so good and I just thought “I don’t want to go anywhere else.”
Losing weight was the main purpose of joining, but now my physical and mental health is completely different...I now understand why people come to the gym. My understanding before was that you just go and it’s boring, but it’s not like that anymore – coming here opened my eyes. I can’t imagine my life without the gym; it puts me in a different state of mind. I’m really glad I have this place.
I am planning to go back to Turkey, and I know it’s sad, but I’ve been in this country 24 years and the only thing that I would really miss would be Gymbox! I think it’s one of the best gyms. They cover everything here. And the instructors are really good too.
Speaking of instructors, who’s your favourite?
I like Tamsa a lot. I do his HIIT classes, and Prehab and Frame. He’s very organised…He said two weeks ago we were going to work on hand stands – something everyone wanted to do, but not many people can do. So he set up a program for 6 weeks, starting from scratch.
He’s there to help, and he hangs out with us. He’s amazing!
How have you progressed over the last 3 years?
I have progressed a lot! When I did my first Ninja Warrior class there was rope climbing, and I tried to do it and it was just impossible. But when you keep on doing things, you keep working your whole body with different types of exercises, and now I can do it easily. My challenge now is to do a legless rope climb.
I’m quite strong, and I got stronger here. Things that I never imagined would be possible for me to do, I can now do. In the aerial classes for example, there’s a certain routine you do…I used to be like a potato sack before, but now I can do it very controlled. Last week, the first time I tried it, it was amazing. I didn’t realise how strong I had become. And the tire flip: I never used to imagine I could do it. But now it’s easy!
There are still lots of things I want to do, but I’m working towards them so I know they will happen.
What are your favourite classes?
Whiplash, Strongman on Tuesday, Frame Fitness and Prehab with Tamsa, Invert Yourself on Friday, and James Dawkins’s BadAss and Ripped and Stripped class.
I do all of James’s Ripped and Stripped and BadAss classes. James is top notch – he’s fun and he works you really hard in the class. I’ve never seen him in a bad mood, and his class is so much fun and so uplifting. Even if you don’t want to move, you do, because he makes you with his spirit!
How else do you motivate yourself, and what tips would you give to others looking to train as much as yourself?
I set myself goals, and I think the main thing is not to give up on them. If you try something a few times and you can’t do it, you should never give up. If you give up, all that time has been lost! I recommend just consistently working towards your goals, then one day - to my surprise, because I experience it myself - you just do things. And you’re like “wow” – it’s an amazing feeling.
I would recommend anyone to look at fitness from a different perspective, like the mental aspect of fitness, as that’s very important. For example, whatever problem you have when you come in here, in the 45 minutes of a class you switch off. When you’re in a normal life, it’s not possible to do that. And I think everyone needs to do that, just switch off. When you’re in a class you can’t help but do that because you have to concentrate.
I recommend that you set goals, achieve them and feel happy! [laughs]
What will you miss most about Gymbox when you move back to Turkey?
I’ll definitely miss the instructors, and I’ll miss the like-minded people. It’s like a little family here really!
Even if I go to another gym, it won’t be like here, I know that for sure. I’ll just try to make the most of it until I go.
What are your fitness goals for the future?
Now that I’ve come this far, I always want fitness to be a part of my life. I was thinking I could maybe work as a PT, or if I get rich one day I could open up a gym [laughs]…Though that’s far in the future – it would be nice if I could do that.
How would you describe Gymbox to someone who’s never been before?
I would say that Gymbox has amazing instructors, and something for everyone – even people who are not so willing to go to the gym would find something for themselves. And I’m sure if they come in for a bit they’ll definitely get hooked...Gymbox is for everyone!