Will Hersey completed the programme in 2016…

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Will Hersey completed the programme in 2016…

After taking part in the Amateur to Athlete programme the obvious benefits I feel are being significantly fitter, stronger and lighter in such a short space of time. People I last saw at Christmas have almost done a double take which highlights the difference, so I feel younger too.

Other less obvious benefits from such an intense programme have been getting to understand the types of food and eating routine that works for me, which I can take on now it’s ended.Doing the programme and making such good progress has given me the impetus to now kick on and set new targets, and made me realise the importance of routine and building up healthy habits that are sustainable. It’s great to be heading in to Spring at my fighting weight – it’s been a while since I could say that.

Specific highlights:

  • perhaps being able to do my first ‘set’ of pull-ups and a macabre sense of satisfaction after Alex’s interval/treadmill sprints on a Friday. Very intense and also marked the beginning of the weekend!
  • going for a run in Venice when I was on holiday was also memorable – not something I would have done if I wasn’t on the programme and not really a city for running but really enjoyed it

General highlights:

  • were the level of support from the personal training team and variation in workouts, including learning more about weight training and the science of exercise
  • plus it was personally satisfying taking control of my diet and sticking to it for such a long period.


  • the first week/10 days were very hard both in terms of hunger on the diet as my body adjusted, plus the culture shock of the exercise and also the disappointing results, barely losing a pound in week one when I expected big results. I also found the long and slow heart rate runs difficult
  •  it was also very hard to have a social life not just for the alcohol side, but the meal plan was quite limited and no options for a cheat meal of even a steak which surprised me! The diet plan was only a guide and only had a few suggested meals so I did go off plan and invented quite a few extra meals by the end. Managing the nutrition definitely took up a lot of time and planning but worked out in the end
  •  finally, a lowlight and highlight in one – having to buy a new wardrobe of clothes. Nice but expensive!

Advice I would you give to prospective amateur to athlete participants:

Be serious about it and don’t go in half-hearted but that goes without saying. Don’t make too many plans during the 10 weeks either – you need to fully focus on it and everything has knock on effects so try to clear the diary.

Small things that helped me a lot included pictures/quotes on the fridge, a blackboard meal planner for the week in the kitchen so I knew what I was eating well in advance, plus getting lots of flavour in your food with garlic, ginger, coriander, chilli etc – on a low calorie diet flavour will be your only friend!

Schedule your exercise that you do on your own so you never skip and try to enjoy even the toughest sessions you have, as it goes quick.

I would obviously recommend the Amateur to Athlete programme. The bespoke structure delivered life-changing results for me personally and it was a pleasure, for the most part at least (!), to work with a team who prioritise long-term health and fitness over quick fix gimmicks and care about getting results as much as you do.