How Ilanna Stays Motivated

Meet our Studio Member Ilanna

Our little quiet achiever, Ilanna at Pinnacle Caribbean Park who when chatting to us about her training told us that she didn’t think it was very motivational. Well we beg to differ!

Ilana describes her life as very busy. Juggling full time work as a teacher, her partner studying and working full time as a critical care nurse plus spending lots of time cooking and spending time with family.

“My job is quite demanding and training provides me with an outlet after work each day for my mental and physical health. Training with a group of people and forming connections outside of my familiar circles motivates me as I look forward to seeing them!”

So what does the typical week look like for Ilana?

I alway like to start off my week right with a Locker Room class on Monday’s after work. This always starts my week off right.

Wednesdays I attend Body Pump at Scoresby and love the CRX class there on Fridays too.

Saturday I like to take things a little slower with a sleep in and then a Reformer class at Caribbean Park.

Sundays are my rest days where we spend time with family and in the kitchen cooking.

Sometimes it’s hard to get to classes depending on if I get out of work on time but I try to go as much as I can and see it as part of my day. I go straight to the gym from work so I don’t have time to think twice about it. The feeling you get after a workout and the consistency and discipline that comes with going to the gym regularly is also a big driving force.

My biggest motivational factor is knowing the trainers will see you every week (and notice when you aren’t there!) as well as the people you usually train with. It takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me try things I definitely wouldn’t if I was training by myself.

Find out more about our studio membership options here

Melissa Duncan’s Top Running Tips

With the weather getting better & longer days upon us, it is the start of the running season and the perfect time to hit the pavement. Running is a fantastic form of exercise that improves your cardio fitness, builds lean muscle and also a great way to de-stress and get that endorphins hit.

Someone who knows this all too well is Australian Middle Distance runner & Pinnacle member, Melissa Duncan. Melissa has put together her top tip for anyone thinking of getting into running.



Having a squad to run with makes the whole process more enjoyable because you can use it as a time to catch up as well as get fit. Even just meeting with someone ensures your accountability to get out there.

Running is hard, but it’s the friendships and the social aspect that helped me fall in love with it.


Whether it be a target distance you want to achieve or a fun run event coming up, having a goal will make you more likely to stick with your running plan.


It’s very simple- the more frequently you get out for a run, the more you will improve! Don’t be afraid to have walking breaks if you need to, then gradually decrease them as you get fitter.


If you’re working long hours and already have a busy schedule, planning to run every day might be an unreal expectation. Start with a realistic plan of how often you can run and ensure it’s achievable so you will stick to it. If you miss one planned training run, it makes it easier to miss more in the future, so if your plan is attainable, you shouldn’t have any reason to deviate from it. Plan shorter runs during the working week and a longer run on the weekend when you have more time.


To ensure you can keep running, it’s important to avoid injury and soreness, so get that foam roller out and give your whole body a good stretch after every run so you don’t feel sore the next day.

Above all, it’s really important to enjoy your running or you won’t have the motivation to keep doing it, so spoil yourself with some brunch after your run on the weekends!

If you are interested in joining us for our Pinnacle Run Club with Melissa, you can register your interest here:

Women We Love: Team McLennan

Happy International Women’s Day to each and every Wonder Women! At Pinnacle Health Clubs, Women are always at the front. Not only does our ChicksLift program exist to empower & inspire women to train the right way for their bodies, our clubs and head office are filled with awesome like-minded females – just like Coaches, Elise & Melissa McLennan (not related!). We caught up with both these ladies to find out why they devote so much of their lives & passion to helping women gain confidence in their own skin.

MEL: My passion for health and fitness intensified after having my first child. It gave me something else to focus on, time out for myself to do something good for me. I was dedicated, saw some great results and it greatly increased my confidence.

ELISE: My first Strength & Conditioning Coach was a driving force for my career choice. I was stuck doing useless training in a gym just trying to burn calories and never getting results. Ash (an old high school friend and now Strength & Conditioning Coach in Canada) introduced me to structured strength training and taught me the science behind it all. I fell in love and knew I needed to spread the good word.

MEL: I love training other woman as I have seen what our bodies are capable of; the transformations they go through and also the desire to have that post-baby body back! I find women need more direction and praise than men, so I get a lot out of training woman specifically.

ELISE: My favourite thing about training other women is watching them fall in love and feel (and see) the benefits of getting strong AF!

MEL: Love life, live healthy – you CAN do this!

ELISE: Train smarter not harder. A philosophy I’ve developed from my own experience. I used to think I had to be killing myself in the gym at least 6 days a week to get results. I now follow a structured, progressive strength program 4 days a week and am achieving the best results I’ve ever experienced (both body composition & strength wise).

MEL: Most of the time I love a fast paced high intensity workout.  I do also love a Dead Bug – it’s a simple movement which gives great results to our inner core muscles!

ELISE: Definitely the Pallof Press! I pretty sure every client I’ve ever trained has had to do this exercise. In my opinion, it is one of the greatest and most functional core exercises as it trains anti-rotation in a standing position and it uses many of our core muscles (obliques, TVA, glutes, rectus abdominis, etc).

MEL: I made the decision to study a new career after having a family a huge change. At a time when I was trying to raise a young family I also had to establish myself in a completely new industry. My workplace was filled with people nearly half my age, who had a wealth of knowledge and were already succeeding and doing wonderful things. Today I am so glad I stuck it out! I have definitely found my passion and have even developed a niche for myself as Pinnacle’s pre and post natal specialist. Ladies, we’ve got this!

ELISE: Hitting PB’s in all my lifts the past few weeks amidst many minor  niggles has been a pretty good achievement.

We think that’s ace Elise – just like YOU & MEL! If you are interested in joining either of these ladies, they can be contacted at their prospective clubs. Elise works out of Pinnacle Scoresby & Mel can be found at Pinnacle Upwey. 




Pinnacle’s brand new 8 Week Challenge (8WC) is based on our original 12 Week program which has helped thousands of people lose weight, break unhealthy habits and make their health & fitness a priority. So, why did we make the change from 12 to 8 weeks? Read on to find out… 


Previous challenges have proven 8 weeks to be a more manageable time-frame
Our team have been facilitating 12 Week Challenges for more than 5 years, and with 2-3 Challenge’s each year, we’ve gained powerful insights into what motivates our members.  Over the last couple of years in particular, we’ve noticed that it’s the 7-8 week mark where the magic happens! During these weeks, members have achieved amazing transformations in both body & mind, and are ready to put what they’ve learnt into practice. At this time they’ve made a conscious decision on whether they’re now ready to go it alone with a Coach or workout in the gym with the mates they’ve made during the challenge… and they’re usually ready to celebrate at this point too (see note on presentation night below!).

Small goals provide the stepping stones to your success
Pre-challenge check-ins are a great time for a heart-to-heart with one of our expert coaches.  During this time, they help pave pathways for success and then, during group workouts and via online conversations, they help you set small goals as stepping stones. Small goals over 8 weeks are a lot less daunting than one huge goal and a 3-month timeframe.

Camaraderie and a sense of community flourishes
Q: What happens when you work out in a team three times a week for 8 weeks? You encourage one another? You push each other to your limits? You banter online with words of support and share healthy recipes?
A: You build a strong, proud team – and even find lifelong friends. This motivation & support network is one of the vital catalysts for change.

Be inspired to make lasting lifestyle improvements
In addition to your supportive tribe of likeminded friends and regular group workouts – the complimentary Nutrition Workshop in week one, meal plans, and regular healthy tips for an active lifestyle make it almost impossible to not feel motivated and inspired. This equates to better odds of you sustaining your new lifestyle long after the challenge has finished.

Last but not least, an 8 Week Challenge means there’s only 2 months to wait until the fun-filled bootcamp awards presentation

And whether it’s 8 or 12 weeks, no Pinnacle Challenger will be left thinking ‘what next?’ We make it a priority to provide pathways for ongoing success and long term fitness goals.

So, no matter your starting point or whether your goals are fitness, weight loss or habit-specific, we’d love to help you achieve them in our next 8 week Challenge. Starts Monday 21st January  HERE 


Massive kudos to all the incredible Pinnacle members who have been smashing out impressive sessions in the gym since returning from the festive break. A big warm welcome to all our new members who have made solid commitments to their health and fitness this year and to all the mums, dads and carers who survived school holidays and made it through January – well done!

We’re so, so proud of all of you (even if you’ve had a few slips ups – who doesn’t? We’re all human right?)

So, what’s next? It’s now about making the most of your Pinnacle membership.

Discover all that your club has to offer. Every program, class and special event has been designed to keep you motivated so you not only reach those current goals but can set (and reset) new ones! From the high-energy team training sessions in The Locker Room, ladies-only strength sessions, 40+ weekly group fitness classes on each club’s timetable and Wellness studios at Upwey & Caribbean Business Park in Scoresby, there’s something for every person, ambition and mood.

Meet your coaches. These Pinnacle powerhouses are experts in helping you keep your eyes on the prize – especially when you feel like giving up. Whether your goal is weight, fitness or habit related, they’ll be by your side through the highs and lows, offering guidance and imparting the fundamentals of fitness & nutrition to help you thrive with a clean, active lifestyle. Look out for free Head Coach Clinics, book a Coach Catch Up or add a Private Coaching session to your weekly schedule for an added boost!

Find your tribe! Train with a team in the bright, welcoming Locker Room, make lifelong friends in a Pinnacle Challenge or find your squad in a Wellness studio. Whatever path you choose at Pinnacle, there’s a team of likeminded people eagerly awaiting your arrival. Or if you just want to go it alone, know that everyone at Pinnacle is on your side. It’s our goal to ensure your journey at Pinnacle is nothing short of spectacular.

In 2018 we promise to be your coach, your team and your biggest fan club. Connect with us in club, online or out in the community at one of our external events. And be sure to share your proud pinnacle moments on our social pages using the hashtag #Pinnacleproud

Can I get in shape for Summer?

A couple of days ago, a fitness professional was spruiking his “quick fix” Summer Shape Up program on the radio and it got us thinking: “Summer is less than a month away, is this guy setting his followers up for failure?” To answer our question, we turned to Pinnacle Caribbean Park Coach, Dave Carman

In short, my answer is: Yes. Any fitness program needs to be viewed as a lifelong commitment to health and wellbeing. For some people – especially those who have been inactive for a long time – that might sound exhausting but this sort of thinking is actually more conducive to achieving results both short and long term for the following reasons:

1) Adding another deadline to our already time-poor society adds another stress, and as research shows, stress = weight gain! Extend the timeframe and suddenly you keep up good habits long into Summer, the festive season and beyond!

2) Put unrealistic expectations on people in the first stages of their fitness program and guess what happens when they don’t achieve the weight loss/muscle gain/ or love of fitness they were promised? They give up on themselves.

That’s not to say you can’t develop good habits in a short timeframe – you most definitely can! That’s the difference between programs offered at PinnacleHC (such as the 28 Day Game Changer) and others in the market. The 28Day Game Changer is ALL about offering the highest level of support and education to set people up for long-term success. It’s as much about changing mindsets as it is about fitness – maybe even more.

It’s also important to me that we use the right language with people so they’re not set up for failure. To use language that makes someone who is currently in poor health expect they’ll be in great shape after a couple of weeks can be so damaging to their self-confidence – especially when they don’t achieve what they expected to in the end. Therefore, I would rephrase the original question to: ‘Can I really be healthy for life


Drink more water than you’re drinking now
H20 helps flush out the nasties in your system and regulates many of the key metabolic functions of your body

Find Stress Managing Techniques that work for you
Cortisol, the stress release hormone, is one of the key hormones related to weight gain. Reduce stress and watch your waistline reduce without the need to do 100 sit-ups a day! Quite often we get stressed because we aren’t losing weight so if that’s you, try implementing self-love strategies such as making positive self-talk a part of your every day AND extend your weight loss timeframes (see point 1 above if you’ve skim read to here)

Recruit an Exercise Partner 
It can be a Personal Trainer, a gym buddy, a walking friend, a bike riding group – anyone to keep you accountable. Plus, exercise is always better together!

Add Resistance Training 2-3 times per week
Working out at a fairly high intensity means not only do you burn more calories during the session, but post workout too!

Portion control 
Most of us have eyes bigger than our stomach and often we’re not even aware of the number of calories in our foods. Using a monitoring device – such as PinnacleHC’s Nutrition App – can help you stay on top of your calorie intake. Eating less calories than you burn is still the best way to reduce weight & body fat – provided you’re eating plenty of protein, fresh veggies and doing your weights!

Dave is available for 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 Private Coaching sessions at Pinnacle Caribbean Park. When he’s not specialising in Strength & Weight Training, High Intensity Interval Training, Boxing, Functional Movement or Health Coaching, he’s playing cricket, talking about cricket or thinking about cricket!

Meet Our Ambassador, George

Pinnacle’s November Ambassador, George (29) has been a much-loved member of Pinnacle Oakleigh for 2 years – almost to the day! When we last wrote about his journey (see previous blog here) he had lost 20kilos, was squatting 75kgs and was constantly challenging himself in and out of the gym. Along the way, George experienced an incredible mindset change which has never wavered and today, he is one of the most positive people we know. Below he shares what’s been happening over the last 12 months and proves why he’s a much-deserved Ambassador for Pinnacle Health Clubs… 

Last time we checked in, you had lost 20.5kg and 13.9% body fat. Tell us what’s been happening?
This year has been pretty hectic with plenty of social events – weddings, engagements, etc so the diet hasn’t been perfect but by keeping up with my training I have maintained my weight loss.

What are the 3 main changes you made to achieve your incredible results?
— Sticking to a regular exercising routine
— Diet changes: slowly cutting out all sugars from my food and soft drink. From there, making sure I eat three filling meals a day – without over eating! – and keeping up my water intake
— Maintaining a positive mindset.

What was your turning point?
When I first dropped below 100kg it gave me hope that I could make true lasting change. For my entire adolescence, and into adult life, I’ve been in the triple digits so to finally hit 99kg, it felt like there was an end goal. Little did I know that this would just open the floodgates for new challenged and ambitions.

What has been your proudest moment to date?
Finally being able to drop to a lower clothing size and walk around pain free – you can’t put a price on that kind of thing.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
When I first started, I had a terrible back and ankles, and couldn’t walk long distances. By sticking to an exercise routine, I slowly strengthened both my back and ankles and became more mobile.

What has been your motivation?
My family and friends are a constant source of motivation, as well as the staff at Pinnacle Oakleigh.

What have you learnt about yourself?
That I can overcome any obstacle if I put my mind to it.

How has Pinnacle Health Club helped in your journey?
They’ve not only helped me reclaim my health, but allowed my self-esteem to build up before I had put on the weight. The Pinnacle team helped me realise it was important to be proud of my achievements and now I walk with my head high with how good I feel.

If you had advice for someone in your old shoes, what would it be?
Take it one day at a time, and don’t worry about the person next to you; focus on yourself.

Andy & Sara: In It Together

For Andy (32) and Sara (30), this 12 Week Challenge (12WKC) presented an opportunity to draw a line in the sand. “Enough was enough”, says Andy who was on a self-confessed downward spiral of unhealthy habits. For Sara, it was just as personal; “I didn’t want to be “the big girl” who couldn’t keep up anymore. Having not been members of a gym before, they were unsure where to start but knew a team environment would present their best opportunity for success, having both played competitive team sports over the years. Enter Pinnacle Health Club, the 12WKC, and the amazing Upwey community and now – 10 weeks in – it’s safe to say neither Sara or Andy could have imagined their new lease on life. Here’s their story (so far!)…

How did you feel before the 12WKC?
ANDY: Completely shot! It was time for a change in a lot of aspects of life and the 12WKC has reinvigorated me, not just with the exercise but eating habits and choices! It’s even given me the energy and enthusiasm to make changes in other areas like finance and work/life balance.

SARA: In a word: unhappy. I knew I needed to do something but didn’t know what and I was scared to put myself out there. I was nervous walking into the gym – even for the initial chat with the Pinnacle Coach and almost talked myself out of the challenge all together before the first scan.

How do you feel today?
ANDY: Refreshed, recharged, reinvigorated and reenergised! Sara and I are both happier in everyday life, we are laughing more and starting to live a better life than the one we had been living for a while! I genuinely can’t thank Ryan, our 12WKC team mates, and everyone else associated with Pinnacle enough for what the last 3 months has taught me!

SARA: I feel great and have so much more energy but it’s been far more than just exercise and going to the gym – I feel happier, more confident, proud of my achievements and am looking forward to setting new goals and reaching them too. I am enjoying the new routine and look forward to going to the gym – words I never thought I would say!

Best thing about the 12WKC so far?
ANDY: The sense of achievement. We’re in week 10 now and the sessions we’re doing I’d never have been able to do 3 months ago! I’ve also discovered that I love boxing – so much so that I went and bought boxing gear and I’ve been making Sara box with me at home!!

SARA: The people. Coach Ryan and the other 12WKC Crew make every session fun; it’s supportive but we also push each other at the same time. There have been times when I have had to push myself to get up and go but the minute I am there with everyone it’s so much easier to get through the session. I love that every session is different because I’ve been exposed to different exercises – even if that has meant I’ve had to spend time in the spin room!!

Your proudest achievement so far?
ANDY: I’d have to say the Pinnacle Park Run/Walk we did last weekend. It might not seem like a massive achievement to others but completing 3.3kms in 37 minutes proved to me that I’m doing all the right things. Previously the farthest I’d attempted to walk was 2.5kms and that took me at least 50 minutes – if not longer!

SARA: The first time we did the 1000 steps – this was a big moment for me. Having lived around the hills for most of my life I have used every excuse to not attempt the 1000 Steps. The first time we did it as a 12WKC group, we were two weeks in and I was really nervous – I even hoped it would be cancelled due to rain but it wasn’t and I went. Coach Elise and Allie (challenger from another club) were with me the whole way and when I got to the top I was ecstatic and emotional (lots of tears at the top!) Seldom have I been proud of a physical achievement and it felt like a real turning point.

Toughest part of the 12WKC and how you got through it?
ANDY: I’ve struggled with tiredness, energy levels and an injury to my quad. In previous attempts to lose weight the injury would have been all the reason I needed to pack it in and declare it “all too hard”. Coach Ryan has been fantastic – helping me train through the injury, constantly checking-in to make sure what he has planned isn’t too strenuous on the quad and suggesting suitable (and I’m sure, often harder) alternatives!

Sara has kept me on the straight and narrow at home, making sure I haven’t undone the hard work when tiredness (and laziness) have started to creep back in as a convenient excuse.

SARA: Remaining consistent, turning up three times a week and giving it my all. It’s hard to change habits and push myself week-in-week-out.

How has Pinnacle’s Nutrition App helped you?
ANDY & SARA: We used the Nutrition App a lot in the beginning to re-educate ourselves on the types of foods we should be eating to support good nutrition, how often and how much of each macronutrient we should have. Coach Ryan has also checked in with us a lot with regards to nutrition and that has kept us on the right track too!

Any healthy habits to share? 
ANDY: I’ve rediscovered a love of eggs! I think I’ve had an omelette every morning Monday to Friday since we started the 12WKC and my personal favourite would have to be blue cheese and chipotle tabasco sauce!

SARA: The biggest thing I have learnt is to be prepared. Be organised with healthy options so there is always a good choice on hand. Boiled eggs, cut up veggies, portioned out dips in the fridge all mean I make good decisions when I need to grab something quick. I also have things like natural popcorn portioned out in the cupboard so that if I do snack I’m not over eating.

I have often referred to the Pinnacle 12WKC Facebook group to ask questions and ask for inspiration and I think this platform has been incredibly beneficial. Having a forum to ask questions and see food photos and recipes has been great.

Your biggest learning so far?
ANDY: I’ve learnt that I have much more resolve and determination than I thought! And that its more than okay to put myself first rather than trying to please other people all the time. I’ve also learnt the importance of recovery sessions, daily foam rolling and a balanced diet.  My new diet is a sustainable lifestyle change rather than a short-term attempt that will ultimately crash and burn in glorious failure.

SARA: I have learnt that I hate spin classes (ha ha!). In all seriousness, I couldn’t articulate how much I have learnt as it has been incredibly eye opening. From learning a myriad of different exercise techniques and targeting specific areas to researching food and being far more aware of what I am eating and how it impacts my body – it’s been an incredible, life-changing journey.

PINNACLE: Sara & Andy have not only made each other proud, but their Pinnacle Coaches and team mates couldn’t be prouder. They’ve also helped motivate the Upwey 12WKC crew with their cheeky banter and positively infectious personalities! We’re so grateful they chose Pinnacle Health Club and can’t wait to see what else is in store for them.  

Dishani’s Game Changing Journey

Since being diagnosed with a thyroid problem 10 years ago which resulted in having her thyroid gland removed, Dishani (44) has struggled to lose the 20kgs that subsequently crept up on her. Today, it’s a different story! When she looks in the mirror, Dishani is proud of the strong determined woman who broke down her fitness barriers, looks fantastic and feels a million dollars. All this, she says, would not have been possible without Pinnacle’s 28 Day Game Changer

What made you choose Pinnacle’s 28 Day Game Changer to help you reach your goals? The 28 Day Game Changer promised to include fun team training workouts with a motivating coach pushing me to my limits – and that’s exactly what I got! It was just the kick-start my body needed.

What were your main goals when you signed up to the 28 Day Game Changer? To lose 5kgs and get into the rhythm of regular gym workouts. I knew I needed to supplement this with a healthy diet but didn’t know where to start so I also wanted nutrition advice to help me reach my desired weight loss goal.

Did you achieve your goals? Not only did I achieve them, I smashed them! I have lost 7kgs so far and feel fantastic inside and out with so much energy. I’ve rid myself of depressive feelings and feel extremely confident and happy.

What did a typical week of health & fitness consist of prior to your 28 Day Game Changer? There were barely any healthy choices and almost no fitness. I was dragged to the gym by my husband and kids and didn’t enjoy working out alone. I used to counting every minute to get out of there. I also comfort ate cakes, sweets and chips. I was feeling so depressed, tired and sluggish.

What does a typical week of health & fitness consist of now? Now I am ultra-alert, I even feel a little guilty if I don’t hit the gym. I love doing classes and even enjoy working out on my own because I now know what I’m doing. I’m the one pushing my hubby and kids to the gym! I’m also conscious of eating healthily and only prepare nutritious meals for the family. Personally, I’ve could cut down on carbs without feeling hungry because the Coaches at Pinnacle educated me on fuelling my body with the right type and balance of foods.

Did the 28 Day Game Change teach you anything you now implemented into your day-to-day? Absolutely! My goal setting session for the 28 Day Game Changer was with Alex and he was so knowledgeable. He showed me stretching exercises to do pre and post workout which has increased movement in my legs and shoulders. He also helped me install the PHCFitCoach App (Pinnacle’s Nutrition and Fitness App) on my phone and this was such a strong form of accountability. I couldn’t hide what I was eating or my portion sizes – it was all laid out for my coaches and I to see! This helped me be more disciplined with managing my calories and macronutrients and was an excellent educational tool. Every coach I encountered during the 28 Day Game Changer, both at Pinnacle Oakleigh and Scoresby, taught me something that I now incorporate into my daily workouts. I learnt correct technique, intensity and – most of all – how super fun workouts with likeminded people challenge me and help me continually progress my fitness.

Best thing about the 28 Day Game Changer? The variety of workouts & the people I met. I met a bunch of amazing people, namely Sam who was my daily workout buddy and made every workout so much fun! I knew I could get through any day with him encouraging me and saying, “we can do this”. I made friends for life through the 28 Day Game Changer.

Toughest part of the 28 Day Game Changer? Getting back into a regular exercise routine. However, by constantly working on maintaining a positive mindset, I became excited about the experience being my true game changer.

Be 1 of only 30 people per club to experience the next 28 Day Game Changer. REGISTER HERE NOW!

How Brian won his battle

Brian Blight, 52 believes his journey is not as significant as what others in the gym have achieved but we couldn’t disagree more! Almost 18 months ago, he weighed 130kgs and whilst he lost over 30kgs to stall his type 2 diabetes with gastric bypass surgery, he also lost muscle mass and a lot of strength. Joining Pinnacle 18 months ago helped Brian lose more of his unwanted weight while at the same time get stronger and fitter. In his words “I can feel hard muscles on my body where jelly once ruled”. Like all our inspiring Ambassadors, Brian believes it’s a combination of factors that have been key to his success. Read on to find out what these are…

Three changes you made to achieve results? 1) Regular and consistent exercise; 2) Seeking expert exercise technique advice to get the best results for the least work & 3) Understanding that diet is such an important part of the journey – what you put in your mouth can have a massive negative effect on all your efforts.

Challenges along the way and how you’ve overcome them? When I started exercising, I was hopeless! I had no balance, no flexibility and felt like giving up on several occasions. Without the Pinnacle Coaches advising me how to improve, and many long term Pinnacle members welcoming and encouraging me, mine might have been a different story. Persistence started to pay off and slowly I got fitter, dropped the extra kilos and people started telling me how good I was looking.

Along the way, I fatigued and my results even went backwards for a period. On advice from Coaches, I saw Pinnacle’s affiliated Nutritionist. Turned out I was eating half of what I needed to fuel my body for exercise. On advice from the Nutritionist, I started gaining muscle mass instead of losing it and I still lost weight. This all makes sense now, but is not intuitively logical.

What motivate you? Friendly interaction between the Pinnacle team and fellow members. I came from a gym that left me to my own devices and consequently, I started finding excuses not to go. Within days of being a Pinnacle member all Coaches and staff knew my name – this was long before I knew theirs! The Locker Room is so good – I am now a gym junkie, attending at least 5 days a week and often twice in the one day!

Your biggest learnings? Previous to the last two years, I had not been to a gym since I was 17 – now I feel like I have cheated on my partner (Pinnacle) if I miss a session. I realize how addictive fitness can be and how much better I feel. I’m getting to the stage that I catch myself strutting around like a rooster. I’m proud of the improvements I’ve made and love that many old friend don’t recognize me when they see me.

Proudest moment to date? Recently I went snowboarding for 12 days in NZ with my 19, 17 and 15 year old sons. Normally they would run rings around me and I would be tired, sore and out of breath. This time I skied nonstop and as hard as I ever have and was not sweaty, tired or sore – unlike my sons who were sore all over. This holiday was momentous for me as it revealed just how much I have achieved and yet I know there is still more improvement to come.

Favourite moments in the gym? I have made many new friends at the gym which is important to me as I have not come with any of my friends. It is good to be able to chat to someone as the classes are about to start, see how they are going and what they have achieved. I use a Myzone belt (which I won in a Pinnacle challenge) and the other members and I watch and compare how we are going through Locker Room sessions. As a result, I try harder to stay in front of them or catch them and that ultimately benefits me and my training.

New Goals? As I get fitter and stronger, I’m considering doing things outside the gym that I would never have considered before. Maybe a triathlon, maybe Tough Mudder. Definitely more long distance bike riding and getting a new road bike. The potential to do things that I was not physically up to before has given me a new lease of life!

Advice for someone in your old shoes? Come to Pinnacle and join in. You might feel slightly out of place fitness or coordination-wise to begin with, but persist for 3-4 weeks and you will be amazed at the change. The more you work, the better you feel and the better you feel, the more you work. If you have any issues, speak to the Coaches or fellow members because they will all help you to succeed.

Interested in finding out why Brian loves sessions in The Locker Room so much? Download a 3 Class Pass here.