Thursday, 14th December 2017
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Robbie Ridgard is a 24 year old, full time student at WIT and a well known Waterford native. Following years of being heavily overweight and out of shape and a change in his personal life, Robbie decided enough was enough and joined Goldstone Gym & Fitness, Waterford.

"My dad and I joined together with the idea of keeping each other motivated, but once I got focused and determined and started seeing results with the help of the instructors, I began to hate missing a session."

On joining, Robbie was assigned a highly qualified fitness instructor and given a full fitness assessment involving a cardio fitness test, muscular endurance tests, flexibility, body measurements, BMI and body fat percentage amongst others. The assessment includes a consultation about goals, your time availability for working out and advice on diet and nutrition too.

"They explained to me the importance of setting small to medium term goals along the way to reaching the big goal at the end, and this was very important. As I hit every small target I could see the results and my belief and confidence that I could do it grew more and more."

Robbie's initial fitness program was designed to get his body used to exercising and to increase his fitness level for the harder calorie burning programs to come. Then at regular intervals, his program was updated and the difficulty level increased, with a view to achieving Robbie's desired goals.

"The gym at Goldstone is fantastic with lots of equipment and my programs were always a mix of cardio machines such as treadmills, cross trainers and rowing machines, and weight training equipment using both machines and free weights. This meant I was burning off the calories and fat; getting fitter and toning up all at the same time."

Goldstone Gym also offers free fitness classes to members and Robbie took full advantage of these. "I started going to Spin Fit classes and toning classes like Bootcamp. These are great because you are really motivated and encouraged to push yourself, while still being fun to do because you're with a group of people."

While Goldstone provided Robbie with all the expertise, equipment and encouragement needed, he still had to change personal habits when it came to food and socialising. "I had to learn to say no and that was hard at the start. I might call to a friend's house and suddenly there would be drinks and a take-away ordered and I had to deal with making the right choices in those situations. The same on a night out as a few too many drinks can kill a week's hard work in the gym. Don't get me wrong, the instructors explained the importance of a reward every now and then, just not 2 or 3 times a week. Changing this was probably one of the hardest things to do, but also one of the most rewarding for my progress."

So what now for Robbie? He spent months working hard in the gym and cleaning up his food, losing over 7 stone in the process. "I'm enjoying going to the gym as part of my everyday routine and hate to miss it. My confidence is definitely higher; I'm happier in mood generally and full of energy. Even little things like clothes shopping for example, are no longer stressful. I've also decided to change career and have changed my course in college from business to health & exercise studies. Hopefully I can help others change their lives for the better like I've changed mine."

When asked to give advice for others who may be struggling with their weight, Robbie offered this, "It can be done! It won't happen overnight and a quick fix won't last in the long run so stick at it. Time will pass and nothing will change, unless you choose to do something about it. I chose Goldstone Gym and I recommend it to everyone I meet!"

Goldstone Gym & Fitness is based in the Six Cross Roads Business Park, Kilbarry Road, Waterford. For more information on joining and starting your fitness journey visit http://www.goldstonefitness.ie, follow them on facebook & twitter, telephone them at 051-354802 or simply visit the gym in person.

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