Custom Fitness year in review – the final quarter.

So here we are…. the final quarter of 2018.

OCTOBER – October started off with a  post about why where you train matters. You can read that HERE.

Our Member of the Month was Sally who really ramped up her training and commitment and consistency. October also saw CF boss Dave & CF members Karen & Laura(+ Laura’s fella) complete the Spartan Trifecta by running the ‘beast’ in Windsor. 

We also started to share more of the success stories and quote form our amazing members….. whilst it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff, its important to continually celebrate the many  positives that CF has brought to members. Check out some by going on our Facebook Page

NOVEMBER – Our Member of the Month was Nell.   You can see a video of Nell smashing a massive new PB in her deadlift HERE.

DECEMBER – our Member of the Month was Michelle. Finding her ‘why’ has really made a massive difference to her approach to training. We held our Custom Fitness winter Games & social. After a fun day of friendly competition, tea drinking and cake eating, we descended to Bar Unico.

The final thing of December was the start of our behind the scenes with Kayley. Following her progress, the how’s and why’s and the reality of what working with a client is like.  You can check out each post…

So 2018…..nearly in the bag!

Lets see what 2019 brings….


2018 year in review – part 3

JULY – This month started with a bang! Laura – completed her 1/2 ironman triathlon. The Lincoln 10k was run by a number of the members – Christy, Gemma and Diane.  

Following this strong start to July, we then had a number of the CF tribe go and run the X runner OCR at Nottingham – Karen, Helen, Jo, Laura & Steph. 

Finally for July we celebrated this awesomeness from Lisa J – press ups.

AUGUST – We started a new award in August – our Member of the Month.  For August it was Lea Chapman.

August also saw our first Custom Games…. and we followed it by a fantastic social at a local brewery. A great afternoon of members working hard, and then playing hard….

SEPTEMBER – Our Member of the Month was Lisa Johns. 

We had CF member Jo run the Great North Run, amazing after lot of hard work to come back from a knee injury. We the were able to show/hear about the amazing progress Gareth had made in his time at CF so far… 

Around this time we also introduced a PB board at CF…. and each week were able to celebrate those little wins that people achieve each week…. those ones that add up to massive outcomes.

Quarter 3 – all in all a busy quarter of hard work and some hard play too!


Custom Fitness 2018 a year in review – part 2

After a full on first quarter we move onto the second quarter – April to June.  

APRIL – CF members Shel & Shane completed on of the hottest London marathon on record! 


Also a number fo the CF crew Dave, Karen, Lea, Laura & Christy went and ran the REAPER Obstacle Course run. What a great day, and amazing run.  Lots of mud, fun and enjoyment.  

Finally for April – when the tunes are on point i.e when they aren’t from Coach Nicola, then there is only one thing to do in rest periods….dance!

MAY – start of the 12+ club….a celebration of the members who have achieved a high level of consistency in their commitment to turning up and training consistency.

We then have the machine that is Jess showing how resistance training doesn’t make you big and how there is something for everyone! Check it out HERE!

Finally we had the additions of Lea & Christy to our wall of fame!

JUNE – June was a bit of a quieter month…..mainly as Dave was away on holiday for half of it!  The highlight… Dave passing the year long MNU nutrition course.  Second only to completing his Masters Degree, this course is regarded as the gold standard in nutrition. 


Latest News

Custom Fitness 2018 a year in review….part 1

2018 review….the first quarter.

JANUARY – the year started off with a few members joining Dave for a run around Hartsholme Park – a sign of things to come for Dave…running!

We showed that age is just a number and not an excuse with Margaret working on her DL technique….(18/01/18) and Margaret is still lifting strong!


Jan also saw the start out series of myth busting videos that Lisa and Dave did to address a number of the topics that create confusion in regards to nutrition. You can see how natural Dave is on camera here! 

The month fished on a massive high with these kind words a member posted….

FEBRUARY – Our first year completed in CF mk 2….a big milestone for us!

We hosted our first ever KB competition – run by the team at Grass root KBs.  CF members Kayley, Karen, plus CF coach Dave + Lisa took part.  They were amazingly supported  by other CF members.  

Plus cake Wednesdays….it’s and thing and it kicked off big style with Gemma, Kayley, Christy leading from the front!

MARCH – This was a big month for member achievements. Shel completed the London sights 1/2 marathon.  A key point in her prep for the London marathon. Diane had recently got into running and  she completed the Clumber 10k.  Both fantastic achievements!

March was also the month for one our most popular myth busting videos…. Gluten.  You can watch it HERE

NEXT up…..Quarter 2 – APRIL-JUNE.

More amazing members achieving more amazing stuff…..and possible more cake! 



Breaking the status quo

Breaking the status quo so you can expand your boundaries…..

Yesterday I bagged a PB on a run – 15k. I was so knackered at the, but I did it.

I filmed this video straight after…..

Give it a watch…

IF you have any comments, please drop me a line….

Alternatively if this has made you feel that now is the time to push your boundaries then hit the button below.


Testimonial – Christy

My journey with Custom Fitness started in 2014 with a 30 day trial. I had a go at a little bit of everything and was hooked from the first session. In January 2016 the sports team I was part of created a partnership with CF and a weekly session was established.  Then in October 2016 I saw an advertisement for the Body Transformation Programme – at this point I had retired from the sport I played, had lost my fitness mojo and had a serious loss of my sense of identity having played a team sport for so long and then going to nothing. In the words of Nike, I thought ‘Just do it’ so I applied and the results over a 10 week period were incredible.

These noticeable results have become a real driving force for me but it’s not just that that has me hooked on the place which is now a regular fixture in my daily routine! Custom Fitness has a real sense of community; it is a gym like no other I have been to. The CF ethos helps to create an environment that sparks a sense of identity and therefore a belonging. It’s a positive, encouraging, team atmosphere. I have never once felt like I did not want to go to a session, I’m normally trying to work out how I can fit more sessions into my week. Walk in and you are welcomed by name and met with an abundance of hellos and smiles from like-minded people ready to encourage, challenge, motivate and inspire you to be the best version of yourself with everyone celebrating each other’s successes.

I have learnt so much already from my time at CF and so much more than just how to ‘work out’. Going to sessions is just one piece o f the jigsaw puzzle that is CF. The behind the scenes, off the gym floor knowledge and expertise that is shared is invaluable. All this support from the CF team has enabled me to establish sustainable, life-long, healthy habits both physically and mentally. A shift in mindset now means I have a healthier, more positive relationship with food, and knowledge of how to nutritionally fuel my body to get the results I want. I have been supported in establishing daily routines, from writing down three wins each day to developing an effective sleep routine.

When you join the Custom Fitness community you are assigned a key coach. A key coach is like having another person fighting your corner with you – pushing you, challenging you, making you accountable but also encouraging you and celebrating with you. My key coach knows my triggers, what makes me tick and what motivates me and uses these in just the right way to ensure that I am able to meet my personal goals. I pride myself in being a strong (in all senses of the word) and independent individual and CF nurtures and empowers this. 

Still thinking ‘Is this for me?’ I say just go for it! I can guarantee you will get more from it that what your initial goals are. If you trust the process, follow the principles and are honest and open about what you want to achieve, you will get the results you want and a whole heap more!


Testimonial – Shel

I first started PT with Dave in September or October 2016 with a goal to run faster, more specifically I wanted to drop a few pounds and be able to run a really fast 5K with my dog. I wouldn’t say that I was a greatly experienced runner prior to this, I’d run a couple of half marathons and a few 10k runs and no spectacular times to shout about. In fact, I’d only really taken up running just over a year prior to this.

So, my journey began and little did Dave know what he’d agreed to take on (insert evil laugh) – the first couple of months were really focused on nutrition and hydration, improving my strength and working on my weak areas. I won’t lie it was hard, I complained a lot, I got told off a lot for not drinking enough water – but that’s what I needed and somehow Dave knew that, I guess he’d got to understand me and knew just when he had to play the parent/teacher role and when he needed to be the coach or counsellor.

We worked through food diaries quite regularly as that was something I really struggled to get right and wrap my head around when I first started and in stepped Dave as coach here. I can’t imagine it was easy for him as I’m vegetarian and was really funny about eating and drink certain types of food – but with a lot of patience and quite a few ideas from Dave, I got my head round it and I started to see the difference. I shifted a few pounds and the running started to improve a little – so the intensity of the training got harder, I complained some more, and Dave learned to listen and ignore me and kept telling me to follow the plan.

Had the plan worked? Well it all came down to race day in December 2016 – I stood on the start line with my boy and off we shot, I’d forgotten to start my watch (typical!!) so I had no idea how fast I was going – but we ran, and I gave it everything I had. I had to wait till the end of the day to find out how fast or slow we had been. We’d completed the race in under 25 mins, it had worked!! I’d never run that fast before and I was over the moon – was this going to be the start of some fantastic canicross times for the rest of the season? I think so…

Somehow my brain had worked out that I was now invincible, and I could do anything – so why not sign up to run up Mount Snowdon!! I can’t remember when I exactly told Dave that I’d signed up to Man v Mountain, but I do remember the conversation – I’d turned up for a PT session and at the start of it I stated – “I might have done something silly, I’ve signed up for Man v Mountain, it’s in September 2017 and I guess I’ll need to train for it”. Well his face was a picture – but ever the professional (I guess to some extent he probably didn’t want to tell me that he thought I was crazy as I’d never run more than 15 miles in my lifetime and now I was going to run 24 miles and up a massive hill!!) Dave simply agreed that we best get training for it then.

Dave worked up a new plan and training continued, the prowler became my frenemy in the gym, all my sessions were based on working to emulate going up a hill, because let’s face it Lincolnshire’s flat and the only hills I was going to get was when I was able to head to the Derbyshire Dales for a training run. Coaching didn’t just start and end in a PT session, it was almost a daily thing now – I had questions almost daily about food and training and Dave was on hand to answer them or tell me to stop being so stupid because I already knew the answer. I had training days that were a complete disaster and, in some cases, consecutive training days that were a disaster and I would go into mini-melt down mode and question my ability to do this race – that’s when I needed “counsellor” Dave and that’s exactly what I got. He was on hand to celebrate the successes as well and trust me there were a lot of those too. Like clock work I’d get a message every Sunday to ask how my long run went, what went well and what didn’t go so well – it was a Sunday for goodness sake – didn’t the man want a break from this madness!!

PT sessions weren’t always about high intensity work and working really hard, Dave was able to gauge the days I was tired or had injuries and my body just ached, and on those days, it was about remedial work and I’d quite often get to put the world to right. PT sessions were always fun and I have to say I looked forward to them, which is one of the reasons why I probably stuck to the plan so well. It wasn’t like you were about to walk into a military bootcamp and someone was going to spend an hour making you work so hard you were sick at the end of it. It was specifically tailored to my ability on that particular day.

Summer came and went pretty quickly and I was finally on my way to Wales – this was it, 24 miles up and down a mountain – there were points in the race where everything hurt and I didn’t want to ever see another hill ever again. There were points I absolutely loved (all the down hill running, the finish line and of course the food en-route) – my frenemy the prowler, who I complained about on a weekly basis, had just become my best friend as I hiked up the last few miles of Snowdon and made my way up the steps of the vertical kilometre – maybe, just maybe Dave knew what he was doing when he made me push the blasted thing up and down the gym floor every week, and it wasn’t just to shut me up for a while (it was the only time at the gym I didn’t have the energy to talk!!). I can proudly say I finished that race, it was at the time one of the hardest things I’d done and I enjoyed most moments of that race – I got back to our cottage we were renting that week and in true Dave style a message was waiting for me on my phone to see how I’d gotten on and celebrate my success – I wouldn’t have expected anything less by this point. Oh, and some advice of course on making sure I ate and drank enough food over the next couple of days and a reminder to stretch as well.

Back home to Lincoln after this epic race and what next? I thought I’d start focusing on canicross again as it was the start of the season and I’d said to Dave “no more long-distance races – they’re just not for me”. So, of we set to work on speed and unfortunately, I injured my self at the first race of the season, I wasn’t able to run let alone walk properly. Just my luck as well, a week after I’d injured myself I got a letter through the post from the organisers of the London Marathon to say I was successful in gaining my ballot entry to the London Marathon and I was racing in April. Hmmm…

I’m pretty sure the very first message I sent when I saw the letter was to Dave (not even my mum or dad) – and I’m quite sure it went something along the lines of – you know I said I didn’t want to run another long distance, well…”attached picture of my letter”…Oh and I might have forgotten to mention I entered the ballot for the Marathon earlier in the year – surprise!?!

If only I could have been a fly on the wall of that office that day when I sent that message through – I can only imagine the reaction – of course that was quickly followed by a message from me saying I can’t even walk how am I going to do this!!

Here we went again – new plan was set, and we worked on other aspects for 2 months till my foot was better and I was able to run again. It was back to following the plan, more of me complaining, more of Dave checking up on me and more of changing the plan to suit my needs, compensating for injuries (and I had a lot of those this time round), even more mini-melt downs, moments of lose in confidence of my ability and of course celebrating successes. Did I finish that marathon – absolutely, how? Well I can only put it down to following the plan – because it was the hottest London Marathon recorded and I struggled for a large part of it because I just don’t do heat – but somehow my brain and body just knew what to do.

Without fail there was a message waiting for me when I got home to say congratulations and reminding me to eat and drink properly.
I decided to take a short break and not focus on a specific training goal after the marathon – I knew I needed the break. So while I might not be going to PT sessions at the moment, the coaching still hasn’t stopped, Dave still takes an interest in what race I’ve signed up for next and what I’m doing to train for it, he doesn’t have to take an interest – but I think that’s what makes him a good coach, he’s happy to share his knowledge to make me a better, fitter version of myself. Oh, and he’ll still listen to me complain.

Looking back at my journey so far the words marathon and running up a mountain were never things I had dreamed of accomplishing in a million years, in fact they weren’t even on my radar – but somehow they became goals for me and I was lucky enough to have a coach who didn’t tell me I was crazy, but helped me achieve what seemed like the impossible. Reading back what I’ve written, I have to say I do feel sorry for Dave, because he really didn’t know what he’d signed up for with me and boy do I complain a lot (something I clearly need to work on) – but he got to know me and the way I work, he knew when to be coach, counsellor and parent and he made it fun along the way. I’d like to think I made a good friend along the way too.

This definitely isn’t the end of my training journey – I’m sure I’ll come up with another hair brain idea soon and Dave will be getting a message from me saying…so I’ve kind of signed up to something…


‘Well meaning’ – is it acceptable?

Is ‘well meaning” good enough?

‘It’s ok, they meant well…..’

This is a topic that has raged in my head for a while.

The first time I heard someone really address the question of ‘is “well meaning” good enough?’ directly was in the beginning fo 2018 whilst completing my MNU nutritional certification – Martin was address the topic in a video on social media.

Its gnawed away in my head on & off for a while, and whilst I was watching a bit of Sunday brunch yesterday the topic was brought to the front of my mind once again.

The guy who played Ken Barlow was being interviewed…

They were discussing the release of his new book, and although I can’t quite remember the reason why, he started going on about how bad sugar and carbs are.  How they were the reason that we are getting fatter.

Now whilst his intentions are 100% well meaning, that type of talk is dangerous.

The facts are that it’s not sugar or carbohydrates that are the cause of the nation becoming fatter, increases in obesity and related conditions/diseases. It’s the excess calories that’s the problem, not a set food type/group.  You could also add in how, as a nation, we are becoming less active, as well as the social elements like losing connection with food and where it comes from and how to cook etc. 

On the MNU course, Martin has a phrase for these type of people….the ones who mean well, but don’t really have a clue. I’m not going to repeat the comment that was used word for word – I can’t remember it specifically, but this ‘well meaning’ scenario  seems to be popping up more and more.

People with no education making bold statements about a topic and being incorrect.  This is the same principle as people saying/advertising that they are X specialist coach, run a program…and they aren’t.  Using technical and fancy words to make themselves sound amazing.  Recently I’ve worked with a number of people who have been to such set ups – buying into a product – with the same end result – injury.  Our sessions have all started with addressing all the issues/injuries (with the support of Hannah@Restore) that have picked up, with the end results NOT being what was written on the tin.

It frustrates me massively …..

Massively massively….

Before putting pen to paper I even discussed this topic with some of my colleges as I was questioning my motives…was I simply being a dick about it all? It was only when I hear someone else discuss it, and present that standpoint that I realised that I wasn’t being a dick.

I can accept that I’ve been in this industry a long time, have gained a huge amount of knowledge and experience, and that I have high standards…plus I defiantly know I went through that stage as a PT when ‘I was right’ and ‘everyone else was wrong’. My position now far clearer – using the principles of training, nutrition and lifestyle management to help people become a better version of themselves. If the end result wasn’t scaremongering, adding to people’s already poor relationship with food, people being injured and being ripped off then it wouldn’t annoy me as much, but unfortunately these things happen and that is something I detest immensley.

I’m pretty good at NOT making statements about topics I know nothing about….I refer to specialists, or go find them. I will go as far as ‘it’s fucked!’ when something isn’t working/broke, but then I leave it to someone in the know to expand on the specifics.

When giving out advice, I am always clear on the words I choose, and more often than not seek peoples clarity before our conversation is over.  Likewise, when coaching, I use my knowledge and experience to react to what’s actually happening in front of me at that specific time.  I also  (as much as possible) look to get the individual involved in some of the thought processes, helping them make their own conclusions based on the facts presented.

So whilst people may accept that ‘it’s ok, they meant well!’, when it comes to people’s health and wellbeing I don’t accept that as a reason.  We have to hold ourselves AND others accountable and take ownership of the services we deliver.  As coaches we have to develop a strong underpinning subject knowledge base and apply principles to our coaching.  This process NEVER stops. Whilst I cant hold everyone else accountable, I can hold myself accountable to standards, and the immediate coaches around me.  We ask each other for help, refer to each other, and discuss clients to get the best possible outcome.

At Custom Fitness,all the coaches/therapist talk to each other.  Like I outlined above.  Its one of the many things that I feel makes us completely unique – and its something that I’m personally proud of.  If you know me – then you’ll realise what a big statement that is!

If you have any questions comments please stick them in the comments section below, OR ping me .


Food with Gemma…Super Green Pasta

Super Green Pasta.

This pasta sauce is SO green, there’s no way it’s not healthy!


Serves 3

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • large handful of fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (add this if you’re vegan or lacking in B12), if not, a type of grated hard cheese would probably make a good substitute.
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • 6 medium mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup peas
  • 75g pasta per person
  • Pine nuts to serve (optional)


  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, chop and sautee the mushrooms and onion until softene (5 mins).
  3. Add the asparagus to the onions and mushrooms.
  4. Scoop the flesh from the avocado and add to a blender (I used my smoothie maker!), add the basil, garlic, nutritional yeast/cheese and season generously.
  5. Add a ladle full of the pasta water to the blender and blitz. If the sauce needs loosening, add more of the pasta water.
  6. Add the sauce to the sauteed veg and stir in over a low heat.
  7. Drain the pasta and stir into the veg and sauce mix.
  8. To serve, add a few pine nuts to the hope and some more cheese/nutritional yeast if you want.

Lets talk Nutrition

Lets talk nutrition…..

Its one of the more common things we get quizzed about when people join.


Well the training element when you’re a CF member is pretty straight forward.

WE do a lot of the hard work for you….

the planing

the progression/regression

the adaptations

you just have to turn up 3-5 time a week and get on with it

and considering EVERY session is coached

and you’re not left to dick about 

thats that part done.

The harder bit – because there is SOOOOO much conflicting stuff out there is nutrition


Nutrition is like TRAINING in that there are PRINCIPLES

apply them to you….

add some consistency 

and BOOM!!!! 

you get a result!


If you want to lose weight – you need to be in a calorie deficit …… PERIOD

HOW you hit that deficit is up to you…

If you want to gain weight then its the opposite – you need to be in calorie surplus …. PERIOD



million dollar question is now coming up……

What is it about nutrition do YOU struggle with????