Welcome to the Fitness Belfast Hall of Fame

I am not a fan of the traditional "X-week transformation" approach, or the before and after photos. I find them misleading, short sighted and missing any story of impact on a persons life skills, long term physical or mental health.

So that's not what this is!

My hall of famers are real people with real lives, and real goals, who have worked with me to reach them, and live healthier, more positive lifestyles. CHECK EM OUT!


I have undertaken personal training with Gary since January 2016. My husband bought me some vouchers for Christmas as I’ve attended Gary’s boot-camps since they’ve started and I love the exercise style and routine. Historically over the last 7 years, I’ve suffered with a variety of back related degenerative problems resulting in chronic pain, fatigue and a loss of patience, confidence and happiness. Previously I’d sought as much help as I could get including spinal steroid injections, physio, chiropractic and other medical interventions. 

So, I was excited to start PT but also very nervous and if truth be told, I wasn’t actually expecting too much to change. I considered myself to be fairly fit – I had got to a stage in my life where I just put up with pain and tried to exercise the way I wanted to and thought I wasn’t doing too badly. I was running a couple of miles once a week, dog walking, some cycling etc. But I lacked muscle tone.

However, from the day and hour I had my first PT session, I could see 3 things: that Gary really knew what he was talking about and I didn’t, regarding exercise (yep, really); that I was honestly going to enjoy myself and didn’t need to be nervous and finally that the exercise regime was actually going to help my pain.

And all of this is really down to Gary’s attitude. There isn’t a succinct way to explain this apart from he is calm, sensible, funny, quietly confident, motivational and very empowering, all rolled into one! Previously, to any new exercise I would have said ‘I can’t, my back is too sore’ but now I just say ‘why not!’ I never expected to have a reduction in pain but it’s happened. I never expected to be able to attempt cross bar pull ups, but it’s happened. I never even expected to like the gym, but it’s happened! Gary’s quiet persistence was just the catalyst I required. 

And my physical gains have also increased my mental strength. I don’t have to give part of my brain over to thinking about chronic pain and when I’m tired, I know it’s because I’ve tried my hardest and have been able to exercise. This is probably the most important part for me. We all have stressful busy lives and it’s hard to find an outlet for that. But for me, it’s definitely exercise. 

All you really ever have is your health. Mine has been a bit rubbish for a while and I’ll always be glad I’ve changed my perspective and exercise regime. I simply couldn’t have done that without Gary as I didn’t know what could change or how good it would all feel. 

Go Fitness Belfast!!

OOnah - PERSONAL TRAINING CLIENT & BOOTCAMP SUPERSTAR


"We think our different experiences demonstrate Gary's key quality - his ability to tailor programmes for different individuals, with different levels of fitness and different goals. Gary motivates and pushes you but not in the stereotypical 'drill-sergeant' way. He is a competent and knowledgeable trainer, and a very nice person."

Barry
Gary was first recommended to me by Charlene (check out her story below). I used to play a lot of GAA but since a career-ending injury, I’d always struggled to find the motivation and direction to maintain a high level of fitness. Gary has given me that. He listened. He knew exactly where I was coming from and tailored a programme to suit my specific goals, which he continues to amend as my goals change.

Rachel
In contrast to Barry, I could never be described as 'sporty'. After having tried and failed multiple times to establish a regular exercise routine, I turned to Gary to seek out a basic strengthening programme. He provided me with an excellent beginner level confidence building programme, and since then has shown me that it is possible for anyone to bring about changes in their fitness and strength, regardless of their starting point.

Barry & Rachel – Personal Training & Nutritional coaching


It wasn't the gym I was scared of, give me a treadmill and I'll jog away, it was the weight's room! That elusive part of the gym where people grunted, made strange noises and jotted down measurements in little notebooks. In my head they all looked like complete pros. There were a few times where I built up the courage to walk in only to turn on my heel and walk back out! 

I wanted to tone up but my good old friend, the treadmill, just wasn't cutting it. I tried researching fitness bloggers and spent many an hour on 'fitspo' Instagram accounts but this just left me feeling confused by conflicting advice.

I contacted Gary to see if he could help me establish a routine where I'd begin to see results and maybe even enjoy exercise. Gary was extremely knowledgeable and completely understood my goals. I initially signed up for the 12 week programme and was delighted when I received a nutritional and fitness programme tailored to me.

I genuinely began to feel stronger at every session and by week 3 strolled into that weight's room with my plan and my head held high! I've not only noticed a change in my body shape but also in my confidence and moods. I now go to the gym in the mornings before work and genuinely enjoy it! Never thought I'd say that!

Natasha Walsh - PERSONAL TRAINING CLIENT & BOOTCAMP SUPERSTAR


"This year I wanted to to work out how I could become a better version of me. In the last five years through a plan of exercise and nutrition, I have been able to reverse my Multiple Sclerosis and generally live a very active, fit life.

There are lots of excellent PT’s out there all doing some great work. However in my opinion Gary stands apart from anyone I have met in the industry. In terms of his PT work, he is an excellent coach and very quickly picks up on your abilities and knows how far to push you. 

In addition Gary’s nutritional background and knowhow Is incredible. He has invested substantially in himself to give his clients the edge. I did the 10 week course with Gary and this has got me ready fro my third Ironman in ten months. If you want to become fitter, stronger and healthier, you couldn’t have picked a better PT….

PS He won’t like me saying this but he is also a top class genuine guy. Thanks Coach!!"

Conor Devine - Ironman, Businessman, MS Survivor and passionate Dad….


"Initially I signed for a 12-week one to one training programme with Gary to improve my overall health and fitness.  Although I lived a relatively active lifestyle there were certain body goals I wasn’t able to achieve by myself – I wanted arms like Juliette Lewis and abs like Jennifer Lopez.

Gary kindly reminded me that J-Lo had 30 years on us but he took up the challenge and put me to work. I felt really comfortable with Gary from the start – he listened to my goals and designed a complimentary food and exercise plan for me to follow. I felt motivated by his encouragement and I genuinely looked forward to hitting the gym, as I could feel my fitness building session after session.

Gary’s nutritional advice has enhanced my relationship with food – I eat better, I eat healthier and I eat happier. The 12-weeks have comfortably passed and I feel and see a noticeable difference in all my focus areas, which feels brilliant. I feel very motivated to continue my training with Gary throughout 2016, watch out J-Lo….."

Charlene Hegarty - Personal Training & Nutritional coaching


"Training with Gary is one of the best decisions I have ever made. My weight is down, my confidence is up and my body and mind are stronger than ever!

I am a work in progress, but I want to lead as healthy a lifestyle as I possibly can, and working with Gary is pivotal in achieving this. Yes we use equipment in the gym, but he also equips me with the mental tools to try and stay healthy all through the week and battle against emotional eating which is my weak point. I can honestly say personal training with Gary has made fitness and food more fun than ever!"

LOUISE QUINN - PERSONAL TRAINING CLIENT & BOOTCAMP SUPERSTAR


"Gary got me from being very unfit to enjoying a new lease of life as an amateur league footballer and - as a result of his sessions - I’m fitter than I’ve been in about twenty years!

I always hated the gym but now really enjoy our sessions and while they’re always tough - Gary is encouraging and sociable which is a massive help. He’s also great for giving tips for solo sessions, for recovery after matches and he’s helped and encouraged me to make important changes to my diet. His work with me has been focused and detailed and - as a result - I’m exactly where I want to be with regards to fitness."

DAVID O'REILLY / RIGSY - PERSONAL TRAINING CLIENT, BBC RADIO ULSTER PRESENTER, DJ & NEWTOWN FOREST III'S PLAYER


"I have been working with Gary for the last five years, and in that time, I have lost seven stone.

I’ve had good days and bad days just like we all do, and when I need a little motivation I always look back at this photo. I remember the day it was taken - I was on holiday in Corsica, and so exhausted that I couldn't take one more step. I never want to be in that dark place again, and so for me, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change - exercise is a pleasure not a punishment.

I’m healthier now than I have ever been – I’ve done white collar boxing events, climbed Slieve Donard, ran in the Belfast Marathon all for charity  at – 57 years young that’s not bad I think lol! I am so blessed to have Gary as an awesome trainer who is always there to help me with my nutrition and an exercise plan to achieve my goals. Looking forward to becoming stronger in 2016!"

Pauline - Personal Training Client, White Collar Boxer, Slieve Donard Climber, Belfast Marathon relay team & VEGAN WARRIOR!


"Gary's help over the past few years has been invaluable in preparing me for some of the more physical & physique orientated roles of my career.

His nutritional guidance really was key in me getting in the kind of shape I felt was necessary to appear menacing and intimidating in my role as Jimmy Tyler in the Fall. As someone who had exercised religiously for many years it was somewhat humbling to have Gary shatter my own belief that “as long as I exercised I could eat what I want”.

His nutritional guidance also continues to have a profound effect on my ability to continue to play Saturday League football, injury free and at a standard I am happy with despite the efforts of those hoping to have me stop."

Brian Milligan - Actor HBO's Strikeback: Project Dawn, The Fall; Player/Manager Newtownbreda FC & my big bro


"I've been training now with Gary for 6 years and it really has been invaluable in aiding me establish a more healthy work/life balance.

He has always accommodated me during my busy work schedules and helped me establish the right pace for my training. He's really good at knowing just how to push me that bit harder to get the best out of our training sessions without effecting my ability to carry out my work. I would thoroughly recommend him as a personal trainer no matter what your level of competence! Plus he's ginger!"

Crawford Boyce - Personal Training Client & Bootcamp Superstar


"Quite simply, Gary has changed the way I eat forever."

I now understand fully the benefits of eating & preparing good food and exercising regularly. I am much healthier & happier in both my social & working lives as a result, he's awesome!"

Paulo Ross - Personal Training Client & Cool FM Breakfast team


"I started a training programme with Gary in July 2015, after being out injured with a dislocated elbow and a broken arm for the entire previous year.

My main goal was to be able to feel comfortable and confident whilst playing football again with my arm.

The results I achieved exceeded all my expectations. I improved basically everything to do with my fitness, and the strength I've built in my arm has been brilliant. Gary makes it very easy and comfortable in the gym. I had never lifted weights in my life and the sets and sessions he made me do made me feel a lot more confident. 

My biggest achievement throughout the programme however came outside the gym when I quit cigarettes. I was smoking around 20-30 a day before I started training with Gary and I slowly but surely under Gary's watch cut that down and as I write this in October 2015, I haven't had a cigarette in 3 months. Furthermore, the changes to my diet and cutting out energy drinks {was drinking 5-6 lucozade a day} has made me feel one hundred times better. If you had said to me a year ago that I would be a non smoker in 12 months time, I would have laughed in your face.  

I couldn't have done any of this without Gary, and I honestly couldn't recommend training with him any more. His knowledge, expertise and personality make him a pleasure to work with and I really doubt I would be back playing football at the level I am without him. The best money I've spent in a long, long time."

SIMON RAMSEY - PERSONAL TRAINING CLIENT & PLAYER FOR AQUINAS FC


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