The members of Letterkenny Transformation Gym AMG Fitness are celebrating an amazing joint achievement after losing 12 stone of weight in just eight weeks.
AMG Fitness is one of the newest gyms in the county, but owner Andrea McGowan has a lot to be proud of. She takes her clients on a journey she’s been on herself, while she continues to make her own progress alongside them.
“We do things very differently, people always assume I’m mad about exercise altogether but the reality is I train so that I can enjoy good food and still be happy with the way I look, so that’s what I teach my clients to do too,” says Andrea.
“I was never the athletic type growing up, and I’ve had a lot of struggles with my own weight, so I know when somebody comes through the door weighing 17 or 20 stone, they’re feeling fed up and they don’t know how to make a start on changing their habits. That’s what I teach my clients,” Andrea said.
Since opening the doors to her small studio off the Lower Main Street in September, Andrea has seen business take off at an incredible rate.
“We get results, and we do it in a way that doesn’t embarrass people or make them feel like they’re not able to keep going.
“My clients know I’m tough on things like attending their sessions and sticking to their plan, but they also know that’s the reason why they’re regularly seeing 3 and 4 pounds coming off each week.”
Ramelton woman Kathleen Aiken has been training at AMG Fitness for 3 months now, and considers it her “last ditch attempt to be able to move again.”
Kathleen says “I was waking up exhausted every morning, I didn’t even realise how bad my sleep was, and then I was thinking to myself “how in the hell can I get myself into exercise if I’m tired from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed?”
“I knew I had a wedding coming in October and I said to Andrea ‘I just want to be able to dance at it, I used to love going to weddings and dancing away having the craic, but I couldn’t do that any more’”
“I couldn’t believe the things I was able to do when I put my mind to it, and in the first four weeks I had a stone and a half off. I jumped up and screamed with happiness when I saw that!,” Kathleen said.
Letterkenny mum of two Lisa Devine started personal training with Andrea before the studio even opened.
Lisa said: “I have 2 kids under 4, I’m trying to start my own career, and I’m only 23 myself, so I knew I needed help to get my eating habits and exercise going right. With having the kids, I had put on weight and it just wasn’t going anywhere, so I started training with Andrea to get back to my pre-baby shape.
“I had no idea that we would change our eating habits as a whole family, the food I’m eating is perfect for the whole family, and my little ones are eating way more fruit and veg now that they see me doing it too! My husband trains with Andrea too, and the difference I’ve noticed in his strength and physique is incredible. He looks brilliant, so thank you Andrea!”
Andrea says there’s one big mistake we’ll all be making in January when we’re setting New Years Resolutions. “We’re the worst in the world for taking on too much in one go. I’ll be hearing endless people telling me they’ll go to the gym every single day, they’ll eat lettuce for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or even worse they’ll start juicing!
“Don’t get me started on juice fasts,” laughs Andrea “people starve themselves, ruin their hormone levels and then wonder why they can’t control their appetite when they go back to ‘eating normally’.
“Here’s the issue, if you’re overweight, 9 times out of 10 it’s very simply because the way we’re eating is wrong. Me and my clients eat 6 meals a day, we’re by no means starving, but we’re not piling plates high with chips or eating out 4 and 5 times a week, it’s all about being sensible.
“When I get new people looking to join, I have a good chat with them and make sure they’re the right fit for the group, I’ll be taking on a small number of clients this month and in January, and I’ll be able to guarantee them they’ll reach their goals. All I ask is that they’re motivated and they trust me, and I’ll get them the rest of the way.”
With a client list that’s getting longer by the week, the results really are flying in for AMG Fitness, they’re celebrating a combined 12 stone weight loss in just 2 months, and 1 and a half stone of that is from Andrea herself.
“I practice what I preach, I’m training for a bodybuilding competition in the Spring, and I have my own coach, Sam Conley in Limavady. Sam has been there and done that, he has lost a massive amount of weight and been on stage as a bodybuilder, so I’m learning from the best, and my clients are getting all of that expertise too.
“I’ve lost a stone and a half in 8 weeks now, so it’s a matter of maintaining that progress for another few months and I’ll be well on track. My clients aren’t doing anything I’m not doing myself, and they appreciate that too.
“We’re all on this journey together, and sure we’re having the craic along with way! Anybody coming into the classes says the atmosphere is brilliant, we have a good laugh and a joke, and we’ve become really good friends too.”
AMG Fitness has spaces available now for small group classes and personal training for men and women. Contact Andrea on 087 131 6256, or visit www.facebook.com/AMGFitnessNW to get signed up.