Name: Chris Hammond aka Speedy Gonzarlez
Occupation: Risk Analyst
Favourite Exercise: Quite like pull ups now I can do some/ Squats
Favourite Meal: Pizza
Note from Mark: Chris trains in our small group training called Less Fat More Muscle, he is also June's member of the month for his pure dedication over the last 6 months. Well done mate!!
What is your number 1 hobbie?
Was football....looking for a new one!
How did you find Benchmark and how long have you been involved?
A few lads from football had liked the original page, I had a look at the website and the downloadable info and with it only being down the road from my new house popped in for a look and to meet Mark. That was back in January so almost at the 6 month mark.
How has Benchmark changed your life?
I've always been pretty fit (built more for speed and endurance than anything strengthwise) but had a 6 month period of housing issues where I was constantly injured, eating/drinking rubbish and generally feeling lethargic.
The primary benefit since joining is I've managed to cut out the 'rubbish', banished the teas, coffees, juices, fizzy drinks and processed food that had become part of my daily diet and have started eating a hell of a lot healthier - in turn my 4 year old daughter's started picking up on the new habits so started swapping her fruit shoots for water to be like dad!
Secondly...and literally within 2/3 weeks I noticed a considerable difference when playing 11 a side football, legs felt stronger and was able to keep up for the full 90 minutes where I'd noticed myself lagging previously (at half time on occasion) - others picked up on it too which led to another benefit....
Confidence....on and off the pitch, I felt quicker, stronger and more focused when playing (if anything a little overconfident). Day to day I think I'm more confident in work, things I used to worry about don't seem to matter as much any more - especially when I've been up since 6am in the Gym!
Confident to try new things - currently looking at some form of martial art, don't think I'd have attempted that a few months ago.....
Confident to walk into a gym (when staying in a hotel) and not stick to just running aimlessly on treadmill because it's the only thing I can work, I can pick up some of the free weights and not look like a bumbling fool!
What is your biggest achievement so far and what is your next big goal?
On my induction session I could barely lift my own body weight on a pull up, 5 press ups and I was struggling.
A couple of weeks back I managed 2 sets of 8 (I think?) reps, and then Mark chucked a weight vest my way.....doesn't sound a great deal but massive compared to where I was!
I don't tend to set long term goals with anything and just take it step by step. The good thing is that we record all our sessions, so tomorrow I'll come in and want to better the previous weeks weight/rep count.
If I was to set a big goal - then a full set of weighted pull ups along with lying on a beach with the form of a Mens Health model!
What was you doing before Benchmark to achieve your goals?
I was hitting the gym by Work in my lunch hour religiously 4 times a week, going after work for a period of about 9 months to get the beach body. I'd noticed progression in the first month or so and then hit a wall (now know this is apparently 'normal').
Went through a stint of doing the tried and tested 'no carbs' diet alongside for a period of about a month but was constantly knackered.
The extra gym work I was putting in didn't do a great deal other than ruin my knees and in turn took me away from being available to play footbal!
What puts Benchmark above any other gym you have ever trained at?
1) The people - Mark, and the guys you train with are just normal....there's none of the ego's you generally see in gyms, everyone supports each other to get through each exercise, improve your technique and increase your strength. When I trained alone I 'thought' I trained to my breaking point, at Benchmark, Mark is there to squeeze out another couple of reps.
2) All round advice - I've never sought advice in other gyms (It's a bloke thing - fear of being ridiculed) but you hear chat around reps/technique/Steroids/Protein/Carbs etc and assume that's the way to 'get ripped'. Ultimately doing any without the right information/knowledge is counter productive. Since training with BM I feel like I'm eating the right foods that enable me to train to a level where I can see progression on a regular basis without feeling run down or being on a ridiculous diet of spinach/juices/shakes etc.
3) It's simplicity - a box and a dumbbell, an elastic band, a rope, pull up bar. All basic bits of equipment with a multitude of uses....some hotel gyms I visit need a computer degree just to get them working.
What would you say to someone that was considering to join Benchmark?
If you're already considering it, then you've already decided that whatever you're currently doing isn't working.
I'd never used a trainer before and will admit to being a bit cautious on the cost...but ultimately to consider Benchmark you've got some form of goal in mind - decide if you want it enough to put your money into it and the Benchmark guys will get you there!
You have nothing to lose, it's enjoyable, rewarding and bloody addictive.