As a busy mother of three children under the age of 10, I definitely didn’t have the time, money or energy to join GRIT. Those factors, combined with me being anti-military should have meant that our paths would never cross.

But it was the summer of 2022. A massive heatwave. And another year had passed when I was miserable about my weight, how I looked and how I felt about life. It was yet another summer of not feeling comfortable or happy wearing what I actually wanted to wear. My 45th birthday was fast approaching and I felt I couldn’t continue how I was. So, I started investigating surgical options to shift the ever-growing weight as I had given up all hope of being able to turn things around through diet and exercise alone…

Around the same time, I started seeing social media posts from GRIT and I was intrigued so, I booked a consultation. And, then, I cancelled it. I convinced myself there was no point going as GRIT would be for other people. Not people like me.

I left things a few months, gained a bit more weight, felt even more overwhelmed and fed up and, then, after seeing another social media post decided to book another consultation. That was nine months ago. And what a nine months it has been.

Chris and Carrie, the husband and wife co-owners of GRIT, are a phenomenal team with exceptional and unrivalled knowledge about all things, well, human. They’ve been there every step of the way for me with my endless questions, my quirks, my need to know ‘why?’ and my tendency to sabotage all my hard work and effort.

The sessions themselves with fellow crew members are deliberately challenging. It’s military training after all. Expectations are exceptionally high. But the camaraderie and satisfaction of achieving far more than I thought possible in every single session wins every time.

As I approach my 46th birthday, I feel like a totally different person. My body and mind have both completely changed thanks to GRIT. It’s the first summer in years I feel OK about wearing what I want to wear. I said at my initial consultation that I didn’t want to be the fat woman in a swimming costume anymore. Well, I’m not. It’s not just the scales and centimetres lost from my body that prove it – I’ve just returned two swimming costumes I bought online thinking they would most likely be too small. In fact, they’re far too big so, much to my surprise, I’m opting for a bikini instead for a waterpark-based summer holiday!

GRIT isn’t just a gym. For me it’s a place where I can be myself no matter how I’m feeling on a particular day. There’s a space for it all. Highs, lows and everything in between. GRIT’s members are a welcoming, supportive and diverse community of military and non-military individuals all with a common purpose of transforming their minds and bodies through discipline, desire and determination.

There is no ‘other’ at GRIT. We’re a team all on our own individual missions.

I’ve still got work to do, my body is far from perfect but I am so grateful to Chris, Carrie and the rest of the GRIT family for being there for, and with, me along the way.


As an over fifty, overweight and definitely unfit individual, I’d been looking at joining a gym again but it had to have some sort of structure. ….you know, like a set programme, otherrwise I’d find reasons to “go tomorrow”. I’d seen plenty of gyms in the area and even looked at some PTs but none stood out to me – they all seemed to be run of the mill, if you know what I mean.

Then on my FB feed, in the local community group, this thing called ‘ GRIT Military Gym’ started showing up all of the time! I tried to ignore it…. but it became insistent, seeing individuals doing strange things with tractor tyres and the like! I messaged them and had a brief chat with Chris and Carrie, who were kind enough to take time out of their day off! I must point out at this point that they have a military background; Chris is a Military Veteran and very experienced in personal fitness. I’m ex-RAF so I had a reasonable idea of what GRIT might be. We call it a beasting! I wasn’t quite on point; RAF physical training wasn’t quite the same as Infantry!

I signed up to a six-week challenge first. I’m nearly at the end of it and I can, with all honesty say that I have never worked quite so hard as I have over the last few weeks. A lot of that is down to Chris’s training programme and the way in which he delivers it and supports your training, based on your ability and current fitness level. It keeps you going and encourages you to push yourself that little bit further.

The range of exercises are varied, and each has its own challenge. Chris goes through them with you making sure you get the “form” and the most benefit from the work you put in. There is a bit of screaming, grunting and shouting… and not just from me! But it works! The military theme is followed through all the way, with a spirit of teamwork prevailing throughout all the sessions. Along with the work that you do, there is some great military style banter.

Personal-wise, I am on a path to better levels of fitness overall. After a few short weeks I have gone from only managing a handful (single numbers) of half-press-ups (those ones on your knees) to today I did two sets of 26 full press ups, increasing by a couple more each day. I can’t remember the last time I did that! If ever! And I can’t recall ever thinking “I’ll bang out a few press-ups before taking the dog out”. Ever!

Speaking with Chris and Carrie and listening to their advice, along with others training here , I’ve begun to look at my diet a lot more closely. I’ve never been one to turn down an award-winning pork pie, but now think a little bit more about what I am eating and drinking.

The result of this has been my body composition has changed, inches off my waist and gains on my arms and legs. I never had a firm target of loosing weight or becoming an “Adonis”. I just wanted to improve my fitness, mobility, and overall health.
There is no quick way of doing that. Just discipline to follow the programme.

It is that and teamwork what makes GRIT Military Gym. And I can fully recommend it.


When I joined GRIT I had just had one of those birthdays ending in a zero (you know, the ones that everyone else wants to celebrate for you but you’d probably rather forget!), I was working full time from home, sat at my desk for up to 10 hours a day, feeling lethargic & unmotivated.

My husband actually inspired me to join initially – he’d joined soon after opening and was so enthused; the physical changes in him were striking too. Could I, should I, give it a go too?
I gathered the courage to contact GRIT, meet Chris & Carrie in person and then start 1-2-1 sessions.

Why 1-2-1? For a long time I’d been struggling with lower back pain, getting regular treatment from an osteopath. We decided 1-2-1 was the way to go until I was strong enough to join a group. I loved the sessions from day 1 – don’t get me wrong they were bloody tough and there’s nowhere to hide when it’s one on one!

It’s now nearly July 2023 and I have been part of a group since February and I can honestly say that I don’t even think about my back anymore! The group sessions are amazing and we manage to have fun too! The camaraderie within the groups is great, and the whole GRIT team is amazing, encouraging and supportive. Can you believe I’ve even signed up for Total Warrio?! – the extra training sessions we’ve been doing in preparation have not been for the faint-hearted but oh so rewarding.

Over 10 months on you can see the changes in my progress pictures – in the first picture I’m wearing size 14, now I’m buying sizes 8 and 10! I’m so proud of the muscles that are really starting to show!

It’s not only physical changes though. I’ve grown in confidence both at GRIT and at work, feel happier in my own skin and fitter than ever before. I used my GRIT experience as the basis for a presentation at a recent Leaders Conference at work too – I got great feedback for an engaging & inspiring session!


My journey with GRIT started around 2 months ago when I knew the PT I had and the exercise I was doing wasn’t working for me. I knew about GRIT just by walking my dog around Denby Dale. I needed motivation, consistency, accountability and discipline. And with GRIT I definitely get that!

As with most people nowadays I’m very time limited, so the belting 45 minute sessions are great for me and Chris is accomodating to need for either mornings or evenings so I can get my sessions in. I’ve never had a PT in the past be so enthusiastic and giving everything to the session. This is motivation that I need especially at the end of a busy day.

I am able to train at least 3 times a week which is awesome, this consistency means results and in the first 4 weeks I lost 10cm in my measurements. Exercise is not easy, I’ve never been a natural, but how ever much Im not in the mood, at the end of the session I’m buzzing. Buzzing with exhaustion and accomplishment, knowing I’ve been pushed to the max and amazement I’m still alive! It’s a great feeling!

Having regular fitness tests and weigh-ins together with body fat measurements means we are checking my progress. Again, with other PT’s an initial weigh in and then it’s forgotten. This accountability, knowing that I’ll be weighed again and again makes me more mindful of my diet. Also having 121 PT sessions works for me to ensure I actually turn up and exercise! And this leads on to discipline. There are so many times when something gets in the way of exercise or going to the gym. Having discipline to show up even when I could stay in bed at 7am, comes from training with Chris. I want to acheive goals, and I know it will take time but I’m now disciplined and motivated to get there with the help of GRIT!

I cannot recommend Chris and Carrie enough to anyone who is at a point in their life to achieve their health and fitness goals. I can’t wait to see my GRIT journey will lead!


I have a goal…. I want to compete in body building next year, which I have wanted to do since I was 18 but…. I’m 62. It’ll be the over 60’s class. Just before I was 60 I said to my husband ‘my 60th year is going to be my best, healthiest, fittest year’. Just after I was 60 I was diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic and Celiac within the same two or three weeks and so I was ill until they got my medication sorted. So…. that’s another reason why I came here…. because I knew with exercise I could get the diabetes under control which, it’s under control now because I’ve lost that much weight. So yeh… Chris suggested that I compete. It’s something that I have always wanted to do that I’ll be honest, I thought because I can only tense one side of my body – my mind-muscle connection is poor – that I could never compete. Yeh, I think because of how Chris is, if Chris tells you that you can do something, you can just do it, can’t you.

I’m a 59 year old bloke who used to be reasonably fit while working for the Police for 37 years. Since retiring from that field I have steadily put on weight and not doing any exercise.

My wake up call should have been 7 years ago when I had 3 heart attacks in quick succession, resulting in me having a triple heart bypass. For a while I did some exercise and watched my diet, but complacency set in and that all stopped.

I have twin daughters who are coming up 21 now and who have successful careers in front of them and maybe now it’s time I started to look after myself as I’m coming up 60 and want to see weddings, grandchildren etc.

I went to GRIT with some trepidation as I clearly have some health issues, I take tablets to deal with the after affects of other tablets (sometimes I think I rattle because of the tablets I take), my doctor has warned I am at risk of type 2 diabetes. So I did wonder what I was letting myself in for.

Chris and Carrie were brilliant, they were understanding, not judgmental. Chris is a hard taskmaster, but pushes me just enough to get that extra rep, he seems to know my limit better than I do.

GRIT is a family, we all encourage each other and for once I don’t feel I’m the fat bloke at the back that the gym bunnies are judging.

All Chris and Carrie expect is that everyone gives 100%, I do and I think the difference in only three weeks shows in my pictures below..

I’m now working on my ‘six pack at sixty’ challenge, I have until May 2024. I’m sure with GRIT’s help I can do it.


At the age of 42, working full time and having a toddler, life had become extremely busy and I had put myself on hold. Still struggling with post pregnancy weight (2 years later) I did not feel good mentally and when I looked in the mirror and saw what I saw I felt even worse.. That’s when I went to talk to Chris & Carrie at GRIT.

As soon as I sat down, I felt at home and I knew this was where I was going to start feeling like me again. I had always been a commercial gym goer, paying for PTs and following the standard push, pull, legs programme… but GRIT felt different.

Chris wanted to know me. My lifestyle. My work. My home life. He wanted to help. He wanted to help transform me to who I wanted to be. To someone who I recognised as me.

I have and will never look back..

12 months on I am 4kg away from my pre pregnancy weight. My shape has changed again, and I am stronger than ever. Most importantly I am happy. I’m thriving and my son is too.

Determination. Dedication. Desire. Discipline.

That’s all it takes. Can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings.


Having suffered with Post Natal Depression and still experiencing Anxiety, starting with GRIT was a massive jump for me.

GRIT has actually changed my life and mindset.

I signed up with the GRIT team in July/Aug last year to do the 6 week weight loss challenge. Unfortunately I sprained my metatarsal (due to my own clumsiness) fairly early on and had to stop for a good 6-8 weeks. Both Chris and Carrie were amazing, sending support through WhatsApp and the FB group and flowers home too. I just couldn’t wait to get back!

When I was fully healed I returned back to start my 6 week challenge again. What I realised was that I didn’t actually need to lose masses of weight, I just needed to tone, build muscle and challenge my mind and that I have done!

After my 6 weeks was over I didn’t want to leave and signed up for a whole year….committed or what?! I had seen a change in myself that I didnt want to lose, I hadn’t been like this in a very long time… I was fitter, happier in my body, more confident and even willing to put myself forward for promotions at work and challenge myself in other areas of my life.

GRIT isn’t just a gym, it’s a family of support who will push you to and beyond your limits both physically and mentally which in turn makes you a stronger person in all aspects of your life. I feel like I’m a stronger person, a better Mummy and Wife and I feel like I’m smashing my job too!


The thing that actually got me to sign-up was you and Chris. You were just very, very different. There was no sort of… I needed a certain level of fitness to start… there was never going to be any judgement. You talked about how you’d had your own struggle. It just felt safe… It felt safe for someone of my size and you don’t get that in many places [crying].

Erm…. there is no way that I could have walked, not just the size but the place I was mentally, I couldn’t have walked into another gym. Even if I’d gone to a gym and it was just me with a Personal Trainer, I would not have felt comfortable because I’ve had Personal Trainers before and they make you feel…. like you’re just a number; you’re not good enough. You do your exercise and when you go you’re not thought of and there is no sort of feeling around it, and that’s not what it’s like here.

Even with the team… that was a really big thing for me to train with people who are a lot fitter than me – and I still battle with it… but you and Chris have never once made me feel like I don’t belong here, even though it’s a battle for me. It’s always been that I DESERVE to be here and that’s a really big thing for me… sorry [crying]. Deserving to be somewhere and belonging ….when you’re at my size is a really difficult thing to find. I was 21 ½ stone.

Things are changing mentally for me now though. I feel like I’m getting myself back. It was the little things that I was embarrassed of…. like walking through a carpark and not fitting through spaces and now, it’s not an issue. Now I walk around a supermarket when before I felt…. terrified and ashamed…. even though I was doing a food shop for my family,. It’s the automatic judgement. That seems to be disappearing. I’m exercising outdoors on my own and swimming and I even went running around the block with my daughter.

I think the point that I want to get across is, that I know it can be scary for everyone going into a gym but I know I, in particular, was morbidly obese. I had a binge eating disorder, real severe anxiety and health issues and…. this is the first place that I have ever been where I have felt that I can combat that and that it wasn’t judged… it wasn’t looked upon as I shouldn’t be here because I had those things. It was you SHOULD be here because of those things. I really do want other people that are in my position to see the photos. So that they can see just how big I was and to see that if I can do it, they can too.


I joined the GRIT team as I was attracted by the group training sessions. Seeing photos of people pounding the streets of Denby Dale carrying logs and tyres looked great fun. I have always had regular 1 to 1 PT sessions which I absolutely love, however I missed the fun side of group training that you get from Bootcamp.

I’d had a friend who did the GRIT challenge for 6 weeks, her results were amazing. I decided to contact Chris and Carrie to find out more. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about whether I would enjoy military style training.

We talked through what I wanted to achieve. I’m realistic, I have never been and never will be a Size 8, just a Size 14-16 would be nice! However I know how losing 10Kg in lockdown made me feel. I was happier in myself, my clothes fitted better. I could do the things I loved more easily and I had more body confidence. I just wanted to get back to that feeling.

I started sessions with the 7pm crew. I’m a team player and relished the team challenges, however there’s that competitive side of me that wants to push more reps out or push the weights. I’ve also adapted to military style and actually enjoy Chris pushing me beyond my comfort zone, but don’t tell him that!

For me, it’s not about the what the scales say, it’s how I feel.

I am stronger.
I am fitter.
I am happier.
I have made new friends and feel part of a community.

I do this alongside my PT sessions. This works for me and gives me the balance I need between focused 1 to 1 training and group training. I like the structure and discipline that comes with this style of training.

I’ve had to make some modifications recently due to an injury I sustained whilst walking in the mountains, but Chris is great at adapting sessions within my ability, without holding back the group but still making me feel part of the team. It’s a long rehab journey for me, but one I’m pleased to be doing with the support of the GRIT team.


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