KETTLEBELLS, dumbbells, high-intensity plyometric exercises, core bags and press-ups have all become my life for the past few months. I’ve known nothing else. Thanks to Y Club Manchester and my personal trainer, Maya Petrova I’m now one of those fully-fledge hardcore gym types (you know, the ones who wear lycra most days and have a strange obsession with eggs? That’s me now). I see no sign of slowing down yet.

The result of the body blitz is five pounds lost and a massive ten inches shed from my entire body.

I first meet my beaming Y Club trainer as a cardio-loving, weightlifting-reluctant wimp, desperately wanting my ‘old body’ back – the body I had shamelessly destroyed with Prosecco and fancy meals the previous year (read here). Petrova in comparison is a picture of strength; she’s Herculean strong, she does press-ups just as easily as I do sit-downs and can boast a marathon completion time of less three and half hours. It was safe to say that I was in capable hands for the next eight weeks.

L and MayaL'Oréal and Y Club personal trainer Maya Petrova

I’d be visiting Maya once every two weeks to learn another exercise regime, change up my routines and chart my progress. The programme would also mean I’d get to join in the Y Club’s extensive class schedule, gain a nutrition plan and have one-to-one access to Petrova’s encyclopaedic knowledge of diet and exercise.

And I was in for hard work and there'd be no room for excuses -  this was something I was ready to embrace. I felt I should be handed a great deal of punishment for my previous gluttonous ways. I braced myself...

Watch L'Oréal's tough but fun workouts Maya Petrova

To start, the all-important figures. I’d be weighed and measured twice during the program. I’d be reassured that inches would be much more important than the number on the scales.


My blood pressure, lung capacity and body fat percentage were also logged. We’d also do a fitness test to compare by the end. Just how many press-ups can I do in one minute? Well, on my knees, in what’s affectionately known as 'lady press-ups', I complete 37 – not too shabby for someone who has super noodles for arms.

How many inches lostHow many inches lost?
How many press ups in one minuteAnd how many press ups in one minute?

This was only the start. Maya quickly acknowledged that deep inside me there was a budding fitness buff willing to come out and she’d tailor my programme with intense, vigorous exercises. Still, while I watched Maya do press-ups as she balanced on top of two dumbbells, my mind was blown - she didn't expect me to do the same, did she? But I could do it (not as easily, mind you) and I soon learned that my limitations were all in my mind. I could lift heavier weights, I could push through my pain barrier and I am much stronger than I once imagined.

The programme gradually became much more of a test of my mental toughness and determination as it was my physical endurance. I would have to continue working out when Maya wasn’t on hand and continually push myself without the forceful encouragement of a trainer. A few hiccups here and but I stuck with it, mixing classes with gym days four to five times a week. I attempted to eat clean most days, although I sometimes succumbed to the office treats (you've got to live, right?).

I've sweated, I've screamed, I've had to perform motivational speeches in front of the mirror but I've done it.

And so, the result of the body blitz is five pounds lost and a massive ten inches shed from my entire body.



Ten whole entire inches have been chiselled from my body - I’m overjoyed. I feel a great sense of achievement and I’m swelling with a new found confidence, plus the definition forming in my stomach means I’ll be wearing crops throughout Winter. Training isn’t easy, but we all know that. Y Club gives you all the tools you need to help you do the work – but it’s still up to you. It’s a lifestyle for me now, I can honestly say that. I had to rekindle a relationship with exercising and learn to love it again. Y Club and Maya Petrova gave me that extra push I needed. More so, this journey has reminded me how important it is to look after myself. I’m on an a happy high from all those exercise endorphins and I refuse to come down.

The Y Club are now offering 6 weeks for £39. Find out more here.