removing the walkers & the future

removing the walkers & the future
We know that some of you were disappointed by our decision to remove the walkers from the studio. We took this decision after listening to clients feedback but also after having in depth discussions with Helen Holmes. Helen previously worked for Keiser (who made the walkers) and was instrumental in introducing them to Movers & Shapers originally.
Helen has created the new class that will replace CrossFit so we thought it would be good to find out a bit more about her and to get her take on this decision. So we asked her to introduce herself in her own words.

"I am Helen Holmes, firstly I am a Mum of two grown ups, a dog lover of my Cocker Spaniel Oliver, I am a cyclist, tennis player and general fitness enthusiast.  I live in a little village outside Oxford and teach classes at my local Leisure Centre and David LLoyd Club.  I should also mention that I am 49 years old. 

I have been an International trainer, tutor and presenter for fifteen years and been in the fitness industry for twenty five, which is rather unbelievable as I think about that.  The reason I started a career as a fitness instructor is passion and I hoped to be able to spread my passion for health and fitness to others, specially those who find the whole fitness thing a drag.  

I am happy to say I managed to achieve this and have become known for my passionate sessions, classes and performances at conventions.  To develop my skills I studied with the YMCA to become a fitness professional tutor and then began teaching others to spread their passion too.  Up until recently I have delivered training internationally for the YMCA, Keiser and the military. 

My fitness journey -

On a more personnel note, I have suffered from knee pain since I was twenty one, when I had my first arthroscopy.  When I was thirty, after four arthroscopes,  my surgeon advised me to stop all impact work, if I didn't I could be looking at a total knee replacement at thirty five.  Obviously this was a real shock not only for my personnel fitness but also for my career.  Luckily I had been cycling outside and I had trained as an indoor cycling instructor and had a few classes which were busy and I was growing in confidence and building my own style and reputation.  The cycling not only gave me a new career but also built muscle around my knees, improved my quad and glute muscles and kept me out of surgery for seventeen years.  I was proud to not teach the standard 'spinning' sessions where the emphasis is on high intensity, over exertion, fast peddling and even upper body movements in some classes!   I was teaching classes which were  more effective and sustainable sessions working with heart rate and all the information and experience I had gained from cycling outside and becoming a competitive cycling coach.  I choose not to call my classes 'Spinning' as it does not provide the correct understanding of what the class is about.  Unfortunately so many people have had bad experiences and have even had injuries from these style of classes.  As part of my course we educate instructors to set up and it has been a year and a half since my total knee replacement, which I am very glad to say I kept at bay with sensible exercise and cycling.  The physiotherapists  goal after most knee operations is to get full rotation of a bike, which was also my main focus. With a combination of physio, Pilates and cycling I am now back to fitness and cycling as before, but with out pain. 

I was back teaching the classes which I had created, classes which had progression, a good warm up, which were at a pace for all levels of fitness, ability or age could attend.  As my husband and I have been providing coaching and V02 testing for athletes and general fitness enthusiasts for many years, we wanted to be able to bring this information into my classes.  Our coaching and programmes were working for our clients, so they would work for indoor fitness and indoor cyclists too. So Zonefit was designed and launched at David Lloyd.   

Equipment -

As far as equipment is concerned, I was the international Master Trainer for Keiser and delivered training for them on their Keiser M3 bikes and M5 striders for ten years.  When the new M3 Keiser bikes were launched I was delighted to see that they had a computer console with important data for instructors and members to use. This also completely matched my Zonefit Program, with RPM, heart rate and WATTS information, I could target areas for individuals and make the class even more accessible and accurate.

Keiser launched the M5 striders and I was responsible for the development of education, delivery of sessions and instructor courses.  I absolutely love the M5's and have one at home along side my M3 Keiser bikes.  I enjoyed training on them, designing classes and offering another cardio experience for people.  In general people would switch from bike to strider enjoying them both, but the demand was and still is for the bike. David Lloyd did have ten striders in a few key clubs, but cycling classes still dominated and there was a definite impact after the wonderful London Olympics, which brought hundreds of new cycling enthusiasts to clubs hunting down indoor sessions to hone in on their fitness and skills.  David Lloyd have now removed the M5's from their clubs and introduced more bikes, with heart rate systems and Zonefit!

Walking Classes and the future -

Indoor walking classes are new to the UK, coming from hotter climates, such as Spain and Italy where a long walk would be considered ridiculous in the heat of the summer months.  The instigator of the Keiser M5 strider coming to the UK was Paco Gonzarlez, who is Keiser's Global trainer, an old colleague of mine and still a very close friend. He understood the difficulties the UK would have but felt it was worth the introduction to our fitness market.  

With the demand growing for cycling and good quality indoor cycling classes clubs find themselves investing in more bikes, bigger and better spaces with technology based studios.  Rather than relying on just equipment it is felt by some forward thinking clubs to invest in technology, heart rate, power and tuning in to the trend of data and analysis.  These are the clubs who are investing in the future are bringing the members not just what they need but what they should demand.  Sessions which provide accurate and effective training along side fun and safe work outs.  We can no longer just do what we do and expect members to accept it, we have to show them how they are improving their health, demonstrate and educate fitness enthusiasts and enable them to negotiate their way around their own fitness gadgets such as Fitbit, Garmin, Polar and Myzone wearable technology.  There is no doubt this is the way forward and as a fitness enthusiast myself, I have little time to train myself, so when I do have time it has to be the most efficient and accurate time I spend. So I work out with my Myzone belt and use my APP to view and analyse my workout.  

Zonefit & Movers and Shapers -

So our Zonefit sessions provide educational sessions, how to train effectively, the benefits of each heart rate zone, fuel utilisation, base building, improving cardio vascular fitness, HIIT intervals and race simulations. Taking participants through an accurate fitness journey, with information to take away to all aspects of fitness and sports. Our instructors are provided with extensive information to inform their classes, members and clients how they can make the most of every moment and we are so excited to bring our Zonefit sessions to Movers and Shapers.  Our classes are already enjoyed at a variety of large and small clubs around the UK.  We are very proud that the RAF, Navy and Army all enjoy Zonefit sessions and have our instructors teaching classes with in their bases in the UK and abroad.  Hopefully this demonstrates how highly our training is thought of and what we provide.  So fun, effective, sustainable, intervals based progression, heart rate and zone information, we cover all areas, its time to train smart! 


The Group Personal Trainers are professional, knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. A fitter body, a healthier mind, increased confidence. Thank you so much.

Pamela P, Muswell Hill
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