16st 10lbs (2nd July 2017) to 12st 8lbs (2nd July 2018)

Adam has been a member of ION for 12 months now. A fantastic individual to have around the place with a constant smile on his face! Hopefully Adams 12 month journey will help kick start others on their health and fitness journey by making some changes that will have a positive impact on their lives.

Here is Adams story……..


I’m a 27 year old male who has now been a member at ION Strength and Conditioning for 12 months. Here is my story, and this is what I have learnt.

As a bit of background I would consider myself a pretty average person, through my early to mid twenties work took up a big part of my life, with large periods of time working away from home, living in hotels, eating in hotels and then going out eating and drinking with my friends and now wife on weekends. My weight had peaks and troughs but was following a general upward trend even though I was actually pretty active doing a lot of white water kayaking, cycling and even playing squash competitively.

When I got back from my honeymoon and jumped on the scales to assess the ‘damage’ from the holiday of a lifetime in America and the number I saw mortified me as it was a new high,by a long way. 16st 10lbs. I knew I needed to make a change as my thirties are fast approaching and I thought if I didn’t sort it now I never would. This graph shows where I started and where I am now.

For the first month of my weight loss journey I did it solo. I felt too out of shape and overweight to join a gym. I decided I would ‘lose a bit and get in shape’ before joining a gym. In this time I spent plenty of time on google typing things like ‘how to lose weight’, ‘how to get fit’ etc etc. When doing

this I kept coming across something called ‘CrossFit’ so my research went in this direction. This is how I ended up finding ION Strength and Conditioning. On reflection, trying to get in shape before joining the gym is just insane. You go to the gym to get in shape, you don’t get in shape to go to the gym. It is even more insane when considered with CrossFit as everything is completely modifiable dependent on fitness level and ability. The coaches at ION could modify a workout to suit me, the fittest man on Earth or my grandmother.

So a month after trying to lose weight through calorie restriction and working out at home (which actually went quite well) I went in and signed up for the ION Beginners CrossFit course. The course takes you through all the foundational movements and terminology which you need to you to get out into general classes. They also gave me a ‘Beginners Guide’, which I read taking extra interest in the piece about nutrition.This is more important than the hour you spend in the gym every day. The image to the right is CrossFit’s description of Fitness in a 100 words written by the founder of CrossFit Greg Glassman and I decided to follow it pretty literally. I always thought it was pretty interesting that what you should eat comes before what you should do in the gym. I also counted all the calories I ate in MyFitnessPal for the first few months to ensure I was staying in a slight deficit to lose weight. I haven’t done this in a while as I have got my head around portion control and what works for me.

So now that the Beginners course was done it was time to get out into the general classes and start training and following the programmeming written by the coaches. This for me is the beauty of ION. You turn up, there is a workout on the WODify Screen (the Online Training Diary System every member has access to), you get coached and you do a workout and then you input your results on WODify, that enables you to monitor progression. I never liked going to the gym before ION as I would end up wandering around with no purpose or direction not really achieving anything. Following the programmeming and doing the daily ‘WOD’ (Workout of the Day) takes this issue away completely. 12 months into doing the daily WOD here are some of my thoughts:

1.The workouts are testing both physically and mentally.

2. The workouts, and the feeling afterwards is addictive. There is a reason I get up at 5am to be there for a 6am class start most days.

3. The coaches know their stuff.

4. There’s nothing like suffering to create community and friendships. ION has a community of people like I’ve never seen at a gym. I think this is as everyone turns up and feels the same pain from doing the same workout!

5. You need to know how to recover.

6. Creating routine in turning up is key. There is the occasional day I just want to snooze the alarm and go back to sleep but I’m always glad when I don’t and the workout is done.

In the first few months at ION I was sore, so sore that sometimes walking up stairs was a genuine challenge. This is where recovery comes in. I didn’t realise how closely linked sleep and nutrition were to recovery from the intensity ION delivers

. When I started I couldn’t train more than 3 times a week. Now 5 days a week is the norm with some days being double. This

isn’t possible without a full nights sleep (at least 8 hours!) and a diet that is healthy and balanced. I also dedicate as much time as I can to bodywork and mobility. Think foam rollers, lacrosse balls and sports massage. There is a great mobility class on a Sunday morning at ION that is worth going to so you can incorporate the things you do there into your routine after workouts or just at home. There is also a brilliant sports masseuse located at the gym!

For me, the bottom line is, if you turn up at ION regularly, eat clean the majority of the time (life is for living, I still love going out for good food and plenty of drinks), sleep well and try to improve, things will improve. No matter what your goals, whether it be to lose a bit of weight, get fitter or even to meet new people, ION creates an environment that makes it all possible.

Adam Evans – Member of 12 Months

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